ZK International’s Subsidiary, xSigma Corporation, Launches its Blockchain DeFi Protocol 12837

ZK International Group Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: ZKIN) (“ZKIN”, “ZK International” or the “Company”), a designer, engineer, manufacturer, and supplier of patented high-performance stainless steel and carbon steel pipe products primarily used for water and gas supplies, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, xSigma Corporation, (“xSigma”) www.xsigma.com is launching a Decentralized Finance (“DeFi”) protocol which aims to provide a new level of transparency and legitimacy to decentralized financial blockchain-based smart contracts. In doing so, the Company with its investment in xSigma will become one of the first publicly traded enterprise to invest and enter the growing DeFi arena.

xSigma’s DeFi ecosystem will begin with the launch of its decentralized stablecoin exchange, offering fair farming terms for liquidity providers and an intuitive user interface for users. On the providers side who provide crypto for exchanges, it is the system that utilizes users’ cryptocurrencies and earns them a potential reward from the exchange’s trading fees. On the customer’s side who execute the exchanges, it provides liquidity to those wanting access to DeFi markets. The protocol being developed is expected to have an intuitive interface, and easy-to-use platform, offering decentralized exchange for stablecoins.

A DeFi Milestone

What is DeFi? DeFi is the hottest trend in the blockchain industry, with more than $9 billion locked into the ecosystem as of the end of September.[1] Decentralized financial systems allow users to participate in blockchain markets and other alternative markets that have been developed on blockchain based networks. Also it enables cross-border payments, as blockchain markets have no borders. As with any blockchain technology, there is ultimate privacy transparency and security, when used properly.

xSigma’s DeFi protocol is launching at an opportune time in the blockchain arena. In addition to the $9 billion currently locked in DeFi [1], the cryptocurrency market keeps growing and has added billions of dollars in market cap over the past 12 months as indicated in publications like Forbes, Bloomberg, and Asia Times, which have all declared that we are in the early stages of the next cryptocurrency bull market.

Many believe DeFi to be the new paradigm in global finance—one that is backed by foundational open-source networks unfettered by centralization and intermediaries. Despite its rapid growth, DeFi has generally been the domain of niche technology startups backed by unproven teams. On the other hand, xSigma, being a subsidiary of a NASDAQ listed public company gives xSigma the reputation and the best in class than many other companies in this space.

xSigma’s DeFi protocol plans to serve as an independent financial tool that provides a new level of transparency and legitimacy to decentralized financial blockchain-based smart contracts. Until the main net launch, users who want to be the first to participate in the DeFi protocol have a limited time to register for the whitelist, where they will be the first to receive updates on project developments. The protocol and additional details about the new project are expected to be released in the coming weeks on the official website of the protocol www.xsigma.fi

ZK International launched xSigma as a research and development lab back in 2018 to solve real-world infrastructure challenges. Its mandate was to explore new opportunities in smart contracts, supply chain management and other blockchain-based solutions. xSigma has since pivoted to decentralized finance, focusing on decentralized exchanges, stablecoins and lending protocols. The research lab is now actively working on its ecosystem of products beginning with its DeFi protocol. The ultimate objective is to build a range of financial tools and products for the flourishing decentralized finance industry.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Stratis Brings Blockchain as a Service to All Businesses via Its C# Native Platform 2497

Stratis was created for a simple purpose – to provide enterprises with blockchain as a service (BaaS) solutions, designed to implement complex blockchain architecture within mainstream coding languages, used by everyday companies away from the crypto niche. It does this through cloud solutions, support for C# and .NET application building, alongside tool customization via its open source protocol. The result of this? Stratis unlocks the power of blockchain technology for mainstream businesses, and unlocks the mainstream market for the blockchain industry – two powerful combinations.

Enterprises that find themselves relying on the Stratis tool set will access a less expensive and less complex blockchain building framework. Companies no longer need to purchase and manage their own full nodes, nor do they need to build a blockchain infrastructure from scratch – something which is niche and represents a huge barrier to entry by setup cost to all but the largest of companies. Moreover, businesses in need of smart contract support will be pleased to find that Stratis supports virtual machines via Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Stratis – Tailored with Perfection

Stratis holds several key values that make it an optimal choice for blockchain operations – decentralization, privacy, scalability, practicality, accessibility, reliability, security, and performance. To better understand this, Stratis blockchains run a number of cloud-based full nodes, so decentralization is assured. Privacy is guaranteed – through cryptographic encryption, all transactions and communications remain private. Stratis is also keen on providing an adaptable degree of scalability, achieved through the means of intuitive sidechain usage.

Companies looking to leverage the power of smart contracts must know that Stratis is the only platform providing support for C# execution, so developers can efficiently code self-enforcing programs utilising their existing development tools and existing knowledge of a rich and versatile programming language. Stratis is also working on facilitating cross-chain communication between contracts running within Stratis’ ecosystem and those deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, hence increasing their suitability for today’s interconnected world.

STRAX Swap on Binance

In September 2020, the team introduced STRAX, a more powerful protocol designed to flawlessly integrate within the platform’s existing business model. Previously-minted STRAT tokens have been swapped to STRAX tokens on a 1:1 basis via Binance. Following the shift, Stratis will introduce a series of other advanced features, such as the STRAX SideChain, Stratis InterFlux, SegWit support, cold-staking, the DeFi app library, IoT development tools, and many others.

Since STRAX is based on the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, network participants can receive token-based rewards in exchange for staking their STRAX tokens. Stratis is well-aware of the security risks posed by hot wallet storage, so the team has decided to use cold-staking for ideal token security.

2021 – The Year for Stratis & BaaS

In Q1 2021, Stratis will launch the Unity Development Kit (allowing the integration of NFTs and decentralized identities within the gaming ecosystem), the DeFi Software Library (a catalogue of C# standardized smart contracts), the Stratis DAO (a means of funding next-gen developments via voting), the Stratis System Contracts (introducing on-chain logic and simplifying user-driven processes), and the mobile wallet featuring token support (supporting tokens issued on the Cirrus Sidechain).

In Q2 2021, Stratis will launch the Python Development Kit (allowing Python coders to build on Stratis), the IoT Development Kit (meant to introduce Stratis solutions to IoT hardware), a new version of Proof-of-Stake (boasting improved security and additional features), Stratis Oracles (a distributed means of accessing off-chain data), and Dex Mobile Support (allowing mobile trading of SRC20 tokens).

In Q4 2021, Stratis will launch Ethereum Interoperability (known as InterFlux, this will enable usage of wrapped STRAX tokens on the Ethereum chain), alongside the STO & Digital Asset Platform (providing the tools needed to manage token offerings).

SwiftPass and Wallyt to Partner with Findora on Payments Network 5276

Findora announced today that the company will integrate their solutions with SwiftPass, a leading mobile payments service provider in Asia, and Wallyt, a Hong Kong based Fintech that provides international mobile payments and open banking solutions. Findora is a blockchain network that leverages zero-knowledge proof technology to ensure privacy for financial transactions while remaining auditable. Findora supports confidential transaction processing, verification and asset issuance for any cryptocurrency or financial asset, such as equities, derivatives, debt and cash.

“Among its peers, Findora has a unique approach to financial systems, with a balance between transparency and privacy for building a large-scale transaction network. We are excited to partner with Findora and, together, provide more Fintech solutions,” said CEO of Wallyt, Tong Liu.

Wallyt’s global presence and SwiftPass’ expansive platform and user base are ideally suited for Findora’s confidential ledger. The use of Findora is expected to provide enhanced data safety and privacy for the financial institutions and other clients they serve.

“Findora Development Foundation is excited to partner with two dynamic platforms in Wallyt and SwiftPass, in the constantly evolving Fintech and payments sector. The Findora blockchain’s unique approach to combining cryptography and blockchain will help Wallyt and SwiftPass achieve both confidentiality and auditability,” said F.I.R.S.T. Director of Findora Foundation, Paul Sherer.

Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund Sees Record Trading Volume In Debut 9148

Bitwise Asset Management, a leading crypto fund manager, announced that the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (ticker: BITW) saw record initial trading volumes of its shares in the secondary market following its debut on OTCQX Best Market® on Wednesday, December 9. More than $67 million of shares traded in the first three days, making it the highest volume debut of a publicly-traded crypto fund in U.S. history.

The prior record holder, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, saw just over $9M in trading volume during the first three days following its debut on OTCQX on June 25, 2019. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the largest crypto fund, with more than $10 billion in assets under management today, joined OTCQX on May 5, 2015, and had under $1 million in trading volume in its first three days on the market.

“We are thrilled to see the market’s reception of BITW as the first publicly traded crypto index fund,” said Bitwise cofounder and CEO Hunter Horsley. “As more and more financial advisors and investment professionals look to establish an allocation to crypto in their portfolios, a professionally managed index fund is a familiar and important tool.”

BITW ended last week as the fourth most highly traded security on OTCQX Friday, behind GBTC, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Air Canada.

“We are pleased that a market developed so quickly in BITW last week, with multiple market makers and a wide variety of participants involved,” said Bitwise COO Teddy Fusaro. “All investors should carefully consider the risks associated with the Fund, including the fact that we anticipate BITW shares will trade at either significant premiums to or significant discounts to their underlying value. We encourage individuals to talk to their financial advisor prior to making any investment decision.”

The Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund had over $135 million in assets under management as of December 13, 2020. The fund tracks an index of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies, screened for certain risks and weighted by market capitalization. The index and the fund are rebalanced on a monthly basis. As of Nov. 30, 2020, the fund held approximately 75% Bitcoin and 13% Ethereum, with the remaining 12% allocated across XRP, Litecoin, Chainlink, Tezos, and other cryptocurrencies.

GridPlus Sets a New Standard for Blockchain Security with the Release of the Enterprise-Grade Lattice1 Wireless Hardware Wallet 11877

GridPlus, a manufacturer of secure hardware for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications, today launched retail sales for the Lattice1, a wireless hardware wallet that sets the new standard for security, utility, and ease of use. Combining a hardware security module and a Linux mini-computer, the Lattice1 is an all-purpose blockchain security hub that lets users accomplish complicated tasks with ease, free from the prying eyes of hackers. The Lattice1 introduces features that advance the state of the art for hardware wallets: physical anti-tamper protections, card-based backups, and permissioned signing which will make automatic cryptocurrency payments possible.

With the Lattice1, security and versatility go hand in hand. Its 5″ TFT touchscreen clearly displays transactions for users’ approval via an intuitive interface. The secure and general computing environments are segregated at the hardware level so the user’s private keys are isolated and safe, even when the paired phone or computer might not be.

As Dr. Karl Kreder, GridPlus Chief Security Officer and lead designer of the Lattice1, notes, “Blockchain technology is advancing at an increasing rate, but the security tools available simply have not kept pace. The difficulties associated with storage and use have prevented widespread adoption. The Lattice1 was designed for daily active use of cryptocurrencies and digital assets instead of just storing them until sold.”

In a world where we no longer need to rely on traditional banks, the Lattice1 is your personal financial center. Blockchains eliminate the need for costly intermediaries, but this requires individual custodianship which is a huge challenge for the average person. The Lattice1 gives less technical users access to powerful blockchain tools with the peace of mind that their assets are safe.

The Lattice1’s always-on wireless connectivity allows users to pair and sign with multiple devices via secure channels. This means there’s no need to reach for a USB cable every time you want to sign a transaction. Pairing simplifies key management by allowing you to use the same wallets across multiple devices.

The complicated task of securely backing up accounts with a seed phrase is also made simple using PIN-protected GridPlus SafeCards which employ the same physically unclonable chips found on credit and debit cards. SafeCards let users create backups, create additional offline storage, and easily switch between accounts on the fly. SafeCards allow anyone that can use a debit card to safely and securely use cryptocurrency.

Users can manage multiple accounts and easily interact with decentralized finance (DeFi) applications as they earn interest on their holdings, open cryptocurrency collateralized loans, and trade assets.

Preventing physical attacks on the device was a key design consideration. The Lattice1 was designed to withstand tampering and reverse engineering attempts from sophisticated attackers with direct access to a user’s hardware. This is achieved through a feature not found on other hardware wallets: a laser direct structured (LDS) mesh which encases all secure components.

The LDS mesh is a three-dimensional maze of electrical traces with a unique waveform travelling through it constantly. This circuit is monitored for continuity from the moment of provisioning to end of service. If the circuit is ever broken, the Lattice1 securely destroys all sensitive information – essentially a tripwire set off by intrusion attempts. The user could then recover their funds using GridPlus SafeCard backups.

The Lattice1 meets stringent security industry standards including FIPS, PCI, and EAL 6+ and is the only hardware wallet designed to safeguard against edge case risks such as attackers remotely accessing a user’s secrets via RF emissions.

The Lattice1 is designed, engineered, and manufactured in Texas and is available for purchase in North America, Europe, and Singapore.

About GridPlus, Inc.
Founded in 2017, GridPlus manufactures blockchain hardware infrastructure with uncompromising security. Its team of hardware, software, and cryptocurrency experts is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Visit gridplus.io for more information.

Huobi Group and Filecoin Collaborate to Bring Incubation Center 14599

Huobi Group, in collaboration with Protocol Labs, announces alongside Filecoin the launch of the Huobi-Filecoin Incubation Center with a $10M USD fund dedicated to supporting the Filecoin ecosystem. The incubation center will focus on three main areas: Incubation, investment, and community development. It will support promising Filecoin developers, promote Filecoin-related academic research, and foster ecosystem development. Both Huobi and Protocol Labs believe that IPFS and Filecoin will be the foundation of the next generation of internet, creating a safer, more equal, and accessible system to distribute and store data – our most valuable asset in the 21st century.

As Filecoin launched its mainnet, the crypto market has also witnessed a surge of interest in this technology. Miners have now onboarded more than 1 Exabyte of storage to the Filecoin network, up +60% since the mainnet launch on October 15th. This is enough to store 250 Million 1080p Movies or 4000 versions of Wikipedia. There are over 100 organizations building on Filecoin’s mainnet, 200+ new projects entering the ecosystem through accelerators and hackathons, over 700 miners providing storage solutions and more than 4,800 developers contributing to the project on GitHub.

Seeing the Filecoin ecosystem’s enormous potential, Huobi believes that similar to decentralized finance, decentralized storage solutions such as Filecoin will lead a new wave of blockchain revolution and bring more innovation opportunities to developers. With Protocol Labs as the technical advisor to the investment fund, the incubation center would provide the best support for Filecoin developers and the community.

“Decentralized storage is a great experiment that combines cloud storage with the decentralized mechanism of blockchain. We believe that Filecoin would be the infrastructure for the next generation of internet. In this new age of information, we need to develop new ways to protect, store, and exchange our data, which could be crucial for how society and the world could be defined and developed.  In the past, the world has no mature system to handle data at scale in a decentralized way. Decentralized storage in the blockchain world is also still in the 0 to 1 stage. Viable use cases, incentive mechanism designs, and the system’s robustness and effectiveness are yet to be tested. There are still many gaps to be filled in the Filecoin ecosystem, whether from theoretical research or technological development standpoint; we see that the entire ecosystem needs more resources and support,” said Huobi CIO Sharlyn Wu.

“Right now the internet is in the middle of a revolution, and, with the launch of Filecoin, it is beginning the transition back to its decentralized roots so we can all work together to safeguard this valuable resource for the world. I’ve been impressed and grateful for the large and growing community of Filecoin developers, miners, builders, users and ecosystem participants in Asia who are passionate about a vision for a better internet.  Programs like the Huobi Filecoin Incubation Center will play important roles in supporting the community in their quest for a better web and a brighter future”  commented Juan Benet, Founder of Protocol Labs and Filecoin.

“Nurturing the Filecoin ecosystem of clients and applications building on Filecoin is a top priority for the community.  We believe the Huobi-Filecoin Incubation Center will play an important role in helping the Filecoin & IPFS ecosystems attract even more developers, entrepreneurs and community members and support their efforts to accelerate adoption of the protocol.  By 2021, we expect the Filecoin ecosystem to have world class applications, developer tooling solutions and infrastructure for clients, miners and the broader community”  said Colin Evran, Ecosystem Lead for the Filecoin Project and Leader at Protocol Labs.

Algorand Launches Global Partner Program to Accelerate Development and Adoption of Blockchain-Powered Products and Services 13597

Algorand, a world-class blockchain powering secure and efficient frictionless exchange, today announced the Algorand Partner Program (APP), designed to build and curate a partner ecosystem that enables and delivers Algorand-based products to market faster, easier, and with end users in mind. APP participants can differentiate their services and expand their business in the private and public sector with organizations at different stages of their blockchain journey: from those exploring blockchain’s potential to those already working on blockchain projects.

Program participants benefit from unique access to resources and support in building and delivering their Algorand-based offering. Additionally, they get access to the exponentially growing market of organizations seeking resources to develop or adopt Algorand-based solutions. The initial list of companies accepted in the APP includes:

  • Applied Blockchain, a company that develops enterprise software solutions for clients using blockchain and privacy-preserving technologies.
  • Rocket Insights, the fastest-growing product agency in the United States, focused on creating beautiful apps for Mobile, Voice, and the Web.
  • Mentat Innovations, a company that delivers Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain solutions for enterprises seeking to unlock the hidden value of their data.
  • BLOCKCHAIN ITALIA.io, a software developer based, specializing in fintech and blockchain.
  • Nona Digital, a high-end custom software studio.
  • Emali, an enterprise technology company that develops, licenses, supports, and delivers fintech software, solutions, and related services.
  • Bluemi, a technology payment company focused on business adoption of digital currency.
  • Cartan, a full-service fintech management consulting company with deep regulated institutional experience.
  • IntellectEU, a leader in digital finance and emerging technologies that offers strategic consultancy, operations support, and implementation services.
  • Looptribe, a software consulting company focused on digital innovation and transformation.
  • Reach, a consulting company that developed the fattest, safest, and easiest way to build applications on Algorand.
  • Koibanx, a financial assets tokenization platform, customizable for payments and digital banking products.

“As organizations, central banks, and governments begin to leverage blockchain to transform the way they create value and facilitate economic exchange the demands to provide organizations with support, resources and professional services are increasing exponentially,” said W. Sean Ford, COO of Algorand, Inc. “From DeFi startups to traditional financial institutions across a variety of sectors and geographies, Algorand’s Partner Program will help companies navigate their path to building enduring value through blockchain adoption.”

Some of the APP participants, such as Applied Blockchain and IntellectEU, have recently introduced new applications built with Algorand technology.

“Algorand’s advanced technology is best-in-class for financial products and services of the future,” said Chris Kelly, Product Manager at IntellectEU. “Having seen Algorand’s commitment to building out the ecosystem and supporting its users, we are excited to be a part of the Algorand Partner Program as it will open up new opportunities for us and our clients as we build next-generation blockchain solutions.”

“We have been working with the Algorand team for almost a year on a number of initiatives, and we have found them to be one of the most professional teams in our field,” said Adi Ben-Ari, Founder and CEO of Applied Blockchain. “We look forward to deeper collaboration through the partner program, making it easier to define a clear track to building success for our company and our clients on blockchain.”

Algorand plans to expand its program, adding more partners globally to facilitate integrations with enterprise, governments, and financial institutions that leverage Algorand blockchain. This will include select consulting firms, system integrators, software development firms, infrastructure and complementary service providers, which provide the capabilities to enable and ensure success of Algorand’s adoption. Companies interested in becoming a part of the program can apply at algorand.com/partners.

About Algorand Inc.

Algorand Inc. built the world’s first open source, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol for the next generation of financial products. This blockchain, the Algorand protocol, is the brainchild of Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali. A technology company dedicated to removing friction from financial exchange, Algorand Inc. is powering the DeFi evolution by enabling the creation and exchange of value, building new financial tools and services, bringing assets on-chain and providing responsible privacy models. For more information, visit https://www.algorand.com.