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Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:07:36 PM
Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin: Blockchain Will Be Most of the Economy in 10-20 Years -  Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin said that he expects the global economy will be 10 times larger in 10 to 20 years, >> full details
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:07:16 PM
Blockchain and Crypto Business Reps Protest Nevada Bill -  Representatives from the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries voiced their concerns about a bill in the Nevada State >> full details
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:07:02 PM
Insurance Giant AXA XL Launches Security Token and Crowdfunding Insurance Service -  Insurance giant AXA XL and insurance technology startup Assurely have jointly launched a new insurance product covering >> full details
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:06:46 PM
Blockchain ID Startup Metadium Reveals Partnership With Game Engine Giant Unity -  Metadium, a South Korean blockchain identity startup, is releasing its Software Development Kit (SDK) on leading game >> full details
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:06:13 PM
SEC’s Finhub to Host Public Forum on Blockchain, Digital Assets in May -  United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is hosting a public forum >> full details
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:05:56 PM
Yacht Owners Offered Crypto for Geo-Data as Company Tries to Improve Navigation Systems -  A crypto company that bills itself as “the future of yachting navigation” says its technology enables sailors to mine tokens >> full details
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:05:34 PM
IBM Hints at Stablecoin Cross-Border Payments Solution for Financial Institutions -  The head of blockchain solutions for IBM, Jesse Lund, has hinted that bank-targeted stablecoins will be a major forthcoming >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:53:05 AM
Consensus Algorithm Tendermint Raises $9 Mln in Series A Investment Round -  Blockchain consensus algorithm and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocol Tendermint has raised $9 million in a Series A >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:52:32 AM
French Court Clerks to Use IBM Blockchain Platform for Corporate Registry -  French commercial court clerks will use a blockchain-based platform to record changes in companies’ legal status within >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:52:16 AM
Report: Over 40 Bugs in Blockchain and Crypto Platforms Detected Over Past 30 Days -  White hat hackers have detected over 40 bugs in blockchain and cryptocurrency platforms over the past 30 days, tech news >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:51:54 AM
Republican Leader Claims Blockchain Can Make US Government More Efficient -  Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current Republican Minority Leader in the United States House of Representatives, said on Tuesday, >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:51:34 AM
SEC Chairman Highlights Investor Protection in Regard to Bitcoin ETF -  United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton is still concerned about investor protection >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:51:19 AM
Report Shows Cryptojacking Is Prime Example of Shift Towards Discreet Cyberattacks -  Cybercriminals are reportedly favoring unhurried approaches in attacks made for financial gains, with cryptojacking as >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:57 AM
Launch a Crypto Exchange in 30 Days: German Firm Offers White-Label Products for Startups -  A company says it is combining the power of IT and marketing to deliver high-security, functional and profitable pieces >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:43 AM
Cross-Platform Blockchain Project Cosmos Launches First Hub After $17 Million ICO -  Blockchain platform Cosmos, which is set to work as a mediator between different blockchains, has officially launched the >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:26 AM
Enterprise Blockchain on the Rise Despite Criticisms -  In the announcement for the launch of its blockchain security testing service, IBM X-Force Red highlighted the rise of enterprise >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:09 AM
Spain: Stock Exchange Operator Pilots Collateral Pledges Digitization on Blockchain -  Major Spanish stock market operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has completed its first blockchain pilot for electronic >> full details
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:49:50 AM
Token 2049: Vitalik Buterin Says Non-Financial Blockchain Use Cases Are a 'Harder Pitch' -  Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin says that blockchain applications outside of finance face more difficulty gaining >> full details
Updates: Feb-20-2019 11:06:06 PM
New Survey Indicates Businesses Unprepared to Deploy Blockchain Technology -  A new study has revealed that, while businesses are considering blockchain adoption, overall they do not feel ready to >> full details
Updates: Feb-20-2019 09:14:37 AM
New Survey Indicates Businesses Unprepared to Deploy Blockchain Technology -  A new study has revealed that, while businesses are considering blockchain adoption, overall they do not feel ready to >> full details
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latest updates from Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin: Blockchain Will Be Most of the Economy in 10-20 Years
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:07:36 PM
Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin said that he expects the global economy will be 10 times larger in 10 to 20 years, when blockchain is fully ramified, and blockchain will be involved in most of it. Lubin made the statement at the SXSW conference in Austin on March 14.

During the same keynote, Lubin also pointed out that just as nowadays there aren’t many “normal” people using blockchain-based systems, “there weren’t a lot of ‘normal’ people firing email around in 1983.”

He also reiterated the promises of Ethereum 2.0, stating that there are a lot of inefficiencies present in Bitcoin (BTC) and the current version of Ethereum that Ethereum 2.0 won’t have:

“In Bitcoin and currently in Ethereum, you need to have specialized hardware, burn lots of electricity, waste lots of computation, to basically keep everybody in sync. [With Ethereum 2.0, in 18 months] we’ll have a blockchain system much more powerful and scalable that uses orders of magnitude less energy.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Lubin also said that blockchain technology and decentralization can benefit content creators and journalists.

The statements mentioned above are also in line with what Lubin said in November last year, when he told a New York Times interviewer that with blockchain, society will move “from a scarcity to an abundance mindset.”
 
latest updates from Blockchain and Crypto Business Reps Protest Nevada Bill
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:07:16 PM
Representatives from the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries voiced their concerns about a bill in the Nevada State Senate in a Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, March 12.

The bill, SB 195, would introduce several uniform standards to the virtual currency industry, and would require crypto-related business like exchanges to register with the state’s Department of Business and Industry.

The Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Businesses Act, sponsored by Democratic senator James Ohrenschall, is an effort put forward by the Uniform Law Commission to introduce consistent regulations for the virtual currency industry. In the hearing, Ohrenschall states that other iterations of the bill were introduced in state legislatures in Hawaii, Oklahoma and California.

Following an initial explanation of the bill before the committee, representatives from the crypto industry protested the legislation. The Nevada Technology Association (NTA) said that the bill was premature and would put Nevada at a competitive disadvantage as blockchain was still in its nascent stages. The NTA continued that a bill that tried to regulate the rapidly evolving technology in such detail could do more harm than good.

Matt Digesti, vice president of government affairs and strategic initiatives at Blockchains LLC said that no blockchain- or cryptocurrency related businesses were consulted during the bill’s drafting process.

A written statement from Wendy Stolyarov, director of government affairs at blockchain firm Filament, said the law would “unintentionally classify us as a money transmitter because we build hardware wallet technology that enables machine-to-machine autonomous transaction.”

The bill is still in the early stages of its legislative lifecycle, having only been introduced in mid-February. No action was taken on the bill in committee and it has yet to be amended, according to public records.

Early this year, the Associated Press found that some counties in Nevada were issuing marriage licenses on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. While the technology purportedly enhances the provenance of such documents, their acceptance reportedly varies across different government agencies.
 
latest updates from Insurance Giant AXA XL Launches Security Token and Crowdfunding Insurance Service
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:07:02 PM
Insurance giant AXA XL and insurance technology startup Assurely have jointly launched a new insurance product covering equity crowdfunding and Security Token Offerings (STOs), according to a press release published on March 6.

The new product dubbed CrowdProtector is designed for issuers and investors, and purportedly protects new online capital formation strategies like equity crowdfunding and STOs. The product also aims increase trust, confidence and safety to potential investors guaranteeing that the issuer is insured. According to Ty Sagalow, CEO of Assurely, the parties have managed to increase underwriting. The releases states:

“CrowdProtector provides Issuers protection against investor complaints and lawsuits as well as serve as a communication to investors that they may get their principal investment returned should the issuer misuse the funds, purposefully misrepresent information in their offering documents, or steal the money.”

In the release, it is noted that until recently, investing in private companies has been available to accredited investors, — having a net worth of higher than $1 million, or earned income exceeding $200,000 — leaving a large amount of potential investors on the sidelines.

AXA XL is reportedly the second largest insurer in Europe, also providing risk management and reinsurance services to insurance companies globally. In 2018, the company’s net profit was reportedly 2.14 billion euro ($2.42 billion), having fallen by 66 percent from a year earlier. At the same time, the company’s earnings in 2018 rose by three percent, with dividends up by six percent to 1.34 euro ($1.52) per share.

Back in 2015, AXA XL revealed its plans to use Bitcoin (BTC) for remittances in order to streamline payments around the world. At the time, the company stated that many use cases related to Bitcoin had not yet been explored.

As Cointelegraph reported in February, blockchain security firm and crypto wallet service BitGo announced plans to offer crypto insurance through Lloyd's of London. BitGo Business Wallet clients will purportedly be able to acquire insurance for their digital assets held on BitGo’s Business Wallet service and Custodial offering.
 
latest updates from Blockchain ID Startup Metadium Reveals Partnership With Game Engine Giant Unity
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:06:46 PM
Metadium, a South Korean blockchain identity startup, is releasing its Software Development Kit (SDK) on leading game engine Unity’s Asset Store, according to a press release published today, March 15. The press release describes the move as a “strategic partnership” with the gaming giant.

Per the press release, the Metadium Meta ID service will be available to game developers using the Unity engine via the Unity Asset Store. In correspondence with Cointelegraph, the startup further explained the nature of the partnership with Unity, noting that its is part of the Asset Store Partner program:

“It [this partnership] includes extra assurance tests for our SDK's stability and certification of our plug-in. In addition to this, there will be more involvement of both sides for promotional activities to ensure exposure and to drive wider adoption among game developers.”

The press release further claims that the partnership can potentially open Metadium’s Ethereum (ETH)-based identity system to the 6.5 million game developers using the game engine. At a TechCrunch conference about six months ago, Unity’s CEO, John Riccitiello, stated that the engine is currently used in half the world’s games — and more than half of mobile and Nintendo-platform games.

A game engine is a Software Development Environment meant for easier video game building. Metadium also told Cointelegraph today that the Unity Asset Store has only a few other blockchain partners, citing Enjin and DMarket as examples.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Enjin — an Ethereum-based digital asset tokenization startup — also launched an SDK for Unity earlier this month.

Around the same time, a patent from Unity related to in-game cryptocurrency tokens was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
 
latest updates from SEC’s Finhub to Host Public Forum on Blockchain, Digital Assets in May
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:06:13 PM
United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is hosting a public forum on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets this May. The news was revealed in an SEC press release today, March 15.

The commission’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (Finhub) has organized the event — dubbed the Fintech Forum — which will take place on May 31, 2019. The press release reports that the forum will include industry experts as panelists and is “designed to foster greater communication and understanding around issues involving DLT and digital assets.”

According to the announcement, topics to be covered during the forum include initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency platforms, “DLT innovations, and how these technologies impact investors and the markets.”

The agency reports that the forum is the second in the Fintech Forum series, the first taking place in November 2016.

The event — which is open to the public — is set to take place at the SEC’s headquarters in Washington D.C., the announcement notes.

As previously reported, Finhub was created in fall 2018 with the aim of facilitating the agency’s engagement in fintech-related fields, including DLT and digital assets.

This week, the SEC also announced that Finhub will host a series of local peer-to-peer meetups across the country with the aim of engaging more actively with the crypto and wider fintech community. The first scheduled meetup is set to take place in the San Francisco area on March 26, at the SEC’s regional office, before extending to other offices across the country.
 
latest updates from Yacht Owners Offered Crypto for Geo-Data as Company Tries to Improve Navigation Systems
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:05:56 PM
A crypto company that bills itself as “the future of yachting navigation” says its technology enables sailors to mine tokens as they sail.

BoatPilot offers a free marine navigation service that is geared toward private and commercial yachting markets. The firm describes itself as a blend of Google Maps and TripAdvisor, as it offers up-to-date and relevant data and a comprehensive database of user-generated photos, routes and comments that have been verified by the yachting community. Augmented reality (AR) support also means that the data that the skippers need can be incorporated into their surroundings — eliminating distractions and enabling skippers to focus when sailing in poor visibility or darkness.

The company believes that one of the best ways to keep marine charts updated is to incentivize sailors to share their geo-data. It has created a module called BoatGod that can be installed on vessels and capture geo-data — with yachtsmen rewarded in NAVY tokens whenever this precious information is sent to BoatPilot.

Delivering crucial information
In its white paper, BoatPilot claims that private yachtsmen and small charter companies now represent the largest fleet in the world, yet they are being badly underserved by marine navigation systems that were initially built for commercial purposes instead of civilian use. The company says “adapted” versions of these systems that have been made available to the public are often packed with irrelevant information, a poor user interface, and sometimes fail to provide crucial details on the nearest fueling stations, restaurants and marinas.

BOATPILOT IS AVAILABLE HERE
Through its crowdsourced approach to geo-data, BoatPilot is aiming to guarantee that information on seaports and other known large objects is regularly updated and relayed to users quickly — helping to keep yachtsmen and their passengers safe. At present, the company claims it can take years for data to be added, changed or removed from existing systems. Illustrating the problem, its white paper adds, “In the Mediterranean region alone there are dozens of known marinas and lighthouses that are not included in any of the navigation systems currently available.”

According to BoatPilot, testing of its product has already shown that its software “provides more precise information than other marine navigation systems that have been on the market for years” — and in one case, its program was able to deliver details on 100 geo-locations in the Mediterranean that were completely absent from the systems offered by long-standing competitors.

Making yachting easier
BoatPilot says that its navigation software — and the hardware module capturing geo-data — is complemented by a tool called Pocket Skipper. Pocket Skipper provides additional services to yachting enthusiasts, enabling them to list their vessels for sale, explore marina rentals and more.

The company claims more than 50,000 users have downloaded the Android version of BoatPilot MVP (minimum viable product) since the product was released — adding that, during a “record-breaking” season in 2017, the software was trusted by yachtsmen for the navigation of 4,700 vessels. Moreover, the team plans to launch the app this spring.

In a recent blog post, BoatPilot said its concept came to life when one of the company’s founders encountered severe weather while sailing in darkness. It hopes that its AR functionality will “minimize navigation risks and raise the safety of the waterways,” bringing all of the information they need together in one place.

The company raised more than $5 million during a token generation event. The 2018 sailing season saw the BoatGod hardware module rolled out to the first batch of charter yachts, and now the company’s NAVY token has been listed on three crypto exchanges: DDEX, Mercatox and Livecoin.
 
latest updates from IBM Hints at Stablecoin Cross-Border Payments Solution for Financial Institutions
Updates: Mar-16-2019 05:05:34 PM
The head of blockchain solutions for IBM, Jesse Lund, has hinted that bank-targeted stablecoins will be a major forthcoming development for the tech giant’s blockchain-powered cross-border payments solution. Lund made his remarks during an interview on financial news channel Cheddar on March 15.

While more details are set to be imminently announced next week, Lund told Cheddar that “market demand” is driving IBM to develop a stablecoin solution for financial institutions.

“More than a few banks around the world [...] see tremendous business benefit to issue stablecoins in their native fiat currency,” he said.

When asked how IBM’s solution compares to JPMorgan Chase’s forthcoming in-house, USD-backed “JPM Coin” stablecoin, Lund hinted that IBM’s solution would be “somewhere in between” JPM’s exclusive, closed network asset. He stated:

“It’s not a proprietary coin like JPMorgan’s solution, although I think what they’re doing makes a lot of sense for them. [...] What JPM’s doing also adds tremendous validation to what we’re doing. But our view for stablecoins is really that they should be more broadly accessible and what World Wire seeks to do is to provide fungibility of digital assets across financial institutions.”

“World Wire” refers to IBM’s collaboration with Stellar (XLM) and use of the network’s native asset in IBM’s cross-border payment network, Blockchain World Wire (BWW).

Alongside BWW, which aims to leverage cryptocurrencies to enable near real time international settlements between banks, IBM has also partnered with Stronghold, a Stellar-based asset, to create the Stellar network’s first stablecoin.

As Cointelegraph reported in February, Lund recently hinted at IBM’s interest in stablecoins as a vital aspect of innovating the cross-border payments landscape. Proposing that there should be an ecosystem of various digital assets that work as settlement instruments for cross-border payments, he suggested:

“It could be [...] XRP [...] it could be Bitcoin, but it would also probably include other instruments, like stablecoins, and even eventually soon — hopefully — central bank-issued digital currencies.”
 
latest updates from Consensus Algorithm Tendermint Raises $9 Mln in Series A Investment Round
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:53:05 AM
Blockchain consensus algorithm and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocol Tendermint has raised $9 million in a Series A investment round, according to a blog post published on March 14.

Tendermint has raised $9 million in the Series A investment round led by cryptocurrency investment company Paradigm, with contribution from Bain Capital and 1confirmation among other investors.

Part of the funds will purportedly be allocated to support of further development of the Cosmos Network and its ecosystem. The company also plans to spend the funds on the building staff and creating a sustainable business model.

The round closing follows the Cosmos Hub mainnet launch — so called “The Internet of Blockchains,” developed by Tendermint — on March 13. The developers believe that Cosmos may contribute to solving blockchain’s scalability and interoperability problems.

Salil Deshpande of Bain Capital reportedly said that “we envision a future where multiple blockchains serve specific use-cases  —  store of value, privacy, general purpose smart contract platforms, and many others. In this future, interoperability solutions provide a crucial alchemy that could lead to an explosion of blockchain applications, as well as boosting usage on existing chains.”

Cosmos Hub will further pass two more phases, as the recent launch was reportedly the first in a series of proof-of-stake chains developed by Tendermint.

Tendermint reportedly supports leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s decentralized digital currency exchange. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reportedly said that Binance Chain is based on the Tendermint protocol and runs on a Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm.
 
latest updates from French Court Clerks to Use IBM Blockchain Platform for Corporate Registry
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:52:32 AM
French commercial court clerks will use a blockchain-based platform to record changes in companies’ legal status within the country. The development was revealed in an official announcement on March 14.

The blockchain network was jointly developed by IBM and the National Council of Clerks (NCC) and will reportedly be deployed starting in 2019 by the clerks operating in commercial courts across France. The blockchain platform is built on the Hyperledger Fabric framework and aims to increase transparency and efficiency in legal transactions associated with the lifecycle of companies in the registry.

Specifically, the solution will be used to record and share data related to “the exchanges of regulatory information related to companies' difficulties,” as well as “the changes of status of the company registered on the French territory.” That includes such data as change of corporate name, registration court office, establishment of branch offices, and business dissolution.

In a pilot, NCC reportedly managed to shorten the time needed to update the registry from several days to a single day. Vincent Fournier, Senior Manager Blockchain at IBM France, said that "blockchain's qualities are ideal for this use, improving the Clerks' business processes and adapting to the ever-changing nature of their missions."

IBM has released various commercial blockchain products and filed a number of blockchain-related patents. Moreover, IBM reportedly offers the greatest number of blockchain jobs, according to recent research by The Next Web.

This week, IBM partnered with blockchain consortium and credit union service organization CULedger to develop new blockchain-based solutions for the credit union industry. These solutions can reportedly improve services such as digital identity authentication, Know Your Customer compliance, lending and payments services, and other consumer processes that require authentication.

Also this month, IBM revealed two new patents targeting network security using blockchain technology and focusing on database management using the tech.
 
latest updates from Report: Over 40 Bugs in Blockchain and Crypto Platforms Detected Over Past 30 Days
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:52:16 AM
White hat hackers have detected over 40 bugs in blockchain and cryptocurrency platforms over the past 30 days, tech news outlet The Next Web (TNW) reported on March 14.

According to an investigation conducted by TNW, 13 blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related companies were hit with a total of 43 vulnerability reports from Feb. 13–March 13.

In the blockchain field, e-sports gambling platform Unikrn reportedly got the most vulnerability reports, amounting to 12 bugs. Unikrn is followed by OmiseGo developer, Omise, having received six bug reports. In third place is EOS, with five vulnerability reports.

Consensus algorithm and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocol Tendermint received four bugs. Tendermint is followed by decentralized prediction market protocol Augur and smart contracts platform Tezos, with three each. Anonymity-focused cryptocurrency Monero, ICON, and MyEtherWallet reportedly saw two vulnerability reports each.

Major American crypto exchange Coinbase and the developer of blockchain browser Brave, Brave Software, reportedly received one vulnerability report each.

The hackers received a total of $23,675 dollars for their efforts, of which Tendermint contributed the most at $8,500. EOS gave $5,500 in rewards, while Unikrn awarded $1,375. TNW says that the low bounty amount suggests that the bugs were not critical.

In contrast, tens of thousands of dollars in bounties were handed out by EOS to white hat hackers who found critical vulnerabilities in its platform.

This week, major hardware wallets manufacturer Ledger unveiled vulnerabilities in its direct competitor Trezor’s devices. Among other issues, the Trezor device could purportedly be imitated by backdooring the device with malware and then re-sealing it in its box by faking a tamper-proof sticker, which is reportedly easy to remove.

Trezor subsequently responded to the claims, stating that none of the weaknesses revealed by Ledger are critical for hardware wallets. According to Trezor, none of them can be exploited remotely, as the attacks described require “physical access to the device, specialized equipment, time, and technical expertise.”
 
latest updates from Republican Leader Claims Blockchain Can Make US Government More Efficient
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:51:54 AM
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current Republican Minority Leader in the United States House of Representatives, said on Tuesday, March 12, that blockchain can make the U.S. Congress a more efficient and transparent place.

Speaking to the Select Committee for Modernization of Congress, McCarthy said that blockchain technology has changed the paradigm of security in the financial world:

“Blockchain is changing and revolutionizing the security of the financial industry. Why would we wait around and why wouldn’t we institute blockchain on our own, to be able to check the technology but also the transparency of our own legislative process?”

The lawmaker also suggested that Congress use “21st century technology” to make the government more friendly, but at the same time more accountable. “We have an opportunity to take this window to make this place more effective, more efficient, and most importantly, more accountable," he concluded.

McCarthy became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007, serving as House Majority Leader from 2014 to 2019, and as House Minority Leader since January 2019.

The Select Committee for Modernization of Congress was established during the 116th Congress in early 2019. Democratic congressman Derek Kilmer chairs the committee, which forms recommendations for modernizing the legislative branch.

As Cointelegraph reported in October, U.S. Representatives Doris Matsui and Brett Guthrie proposed a new bill, dubbed the "Blockchain Promotional Act 2018," to the House of Representatives. The bill aimed to create a working group to study the potential impact of blockchain across the policy spectrum, and to establish a common definition of the technology.

More recently, the state of Wyoming passed two blockchain-related bills. The first laid groundwork for storing so-called certificate tokens representing stocks on a blockchain “or other secure, auditable database,” and permitted their digital transfer. Another acknowledged the establishment of special purpose depository institutions to serve blockchain-related businesses, as they are often unable to receive services from federally-insured banks.
 
latest updates from SEC Chairman Highlights Investor Protection in Regard to Bitcoin ETF
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:51:34 AM
United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton is still concerned about investor protection when it comes to the commission approving a Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). The SEC chairman spoke about crypto in an interview with FOX Business on March 14.

In the interview, Clayton claimed to be neutral toward digital currencies, saying that he is not a spokesperson against the asset. The SEC chairman explained that he is concerned with the potential for manipulation associated with the space, and wants to guarantee investor protection:

“What I’m concerned about at the moment is if it can be reasonably demonstrated that the underlying trading is generally not manipulated, it’s happening on reliable venues with good rules and that custody is something we can feel comfortable about.”

While Clayton declined to comment on any specific Bitcoin ETF application, he still noted that there “may be a case where a Bitcoin ETF could satisfy our rules.” The chairman elaborated:

“I think this technology has and is already demonstrating pretty significant promise, but it’s demonstrating significant promise in the places where it’s consistent with our approach to capital raising in the past.”

Recently, the SEC announced it will soon start the countdown period to approve or disapprove the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF. After withdrawing the ETF application due to the U.S. government shutdown in late January, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) re-submitted the application a week later.

Earlier this week, Jay Clayton confirmed his previous statement that Ethereum (ETH) and similar cryptocurrencies are not securities under U.S. law. However, Clayton stipulated that he meant that a digital asset’s definition as a security can change over time.
 
latest updates from Report Shows Cryptojacking Is Prime Example of Shift Towards Discreet Cyberattacks
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:51:19 AM
Cybercriminals are reportedly favoring unhurried approaches in attacks made for financial gains, with cryptojacking as a prime example of this shift. IT news website ComputerWorld reported on this development on March 14.

Data released by cybersecurity company Darktrace reveals that cryptojacking attempts increased by 78 percent in 2018, and, according to ComputerWorld, the company also said that this trend continued in 2019.

The ComputerWorld article cites Max Heinemeyer, director of threat hunting at Darktrace, commenting on the findings. He reportedly said that since many ransomware victims may be unable to pay a ransom in Bitcoin (BTC) due to technical ineptitude, cryptojacking might be a better approach.

He added that “it [cryptojacking] is low and slow and guarantees a profit,” while ransomware does not. ComputerWorld also quotes Heinemeyer as stating that the barriers to entry to creating cryptojacking malware are low.

Heinemeyer also said that other methods, such as stealing credit card credentials, are cumbersome since criminals need to establish money laundering networks in order to avoid law enforcement. Lastly, he also noted:

“We've seen so many different variants of how these pieces of malware are spreading or being loaded.”

Per the report, he cited a company based out of the United Kingdom that saw over 400 devices very quickly infected by a cryptojacking malware after an initial infection via a phishing email. Also, according to Heinemeyer, one system admin installed a mining device underneath the floorboards of the data center where he worked at a major European bank in a creative cryptojacking move.

The article also suggests that such attacks mine the Monero (XMR) blockchain, since unlike Bitcoin, it is more suitable for mining on non-specialized, even consumer-grade, hardware. However, Cointelegraph recently wrote that a Monero upgrade has made the coin more resistant to ASIC mining.

As Cointelegraph has reported, of about 400 servers running virtualization software Docker that were found to be vulnerable to outside exploitation, most were seemingly running Monero mining software.

Also, United States-based software corporation Microsoft has removed eight Windows 10 applications from its official app store after cybersecurity firm Symantec identified the presence of surreptitious Monero coin mining code in February.
 
latest updates from Launch a Crypto Exchange in 30 Days: German Firm Offers White-Label Products for Startups
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:57 AM
A company says it is combining the power of IT and marketing to deliver high-security, functional and profitable pieces of software that not only work flawlessly, but also sell.

CPI emphasizes its software is scalable and geared toward the finance and blockchain industries. The firm offers white-label products that allow businesses to achieve their financial goals by converting casual visitors into paying customers. Among its suite of products is a crypto exchange that is available on the web and through mobile apps.

The platform delivers high-frequency trading for virtual currencies and fiat, along with assets such as real estate that have been tokenized on the blockchain.

According to CPI, it can help fledgling crypto businesses get their own exchange up and running in less than 30 days — complete with promotions across a plethora of channels to help generate traffic and revenue.

The German company describes this platform as its masterpiece because it supports a range of major crypto and fiat currencies. It can handle up to 10,000 orders per second (per market) and also comes complete with social trading — which means an exchange’s users can follow successful traders and emulate their strategies.

CPI has also become a payment service provider, enabling merchants to easily complete transactions in fiat and cryptocurrencies, both online and offline. This software can be easily integrated into any company’s existing infrastructure and is offered as a white-label product, meaning it can be adapted to incorporate their branding.

Additionally, the firm helps startups secure the financing they need to get off the ground. It offers an intuitive dashboard for initial coin offerings and security token offerings, enabling them to collect the money pledged to them by contributors. According to CPI, this service helped new businesses collect more than $250 million in 2018 alone.
 
latest updates from Cross-Platform Blockchain Project Cosmos Launches First Hub After $17 Million ICO
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:43 AM
Blockchain platform Cosmos, which is set to work as a mediator between different blockchains, has officially launched the first hub of its ecosystem on Wednesday, Mar. 13. The Cosmos initial coin offering (ICO), held in April 2017, raised a little more than $17 million.

The Cosmos Network, which describes itself as “The Internet of Blockchains,” was developed by California-based startup Tendermint Inc — a software development company that was appointed by Swiss non-profit Interchain Foundation to develop the cross-blockchain ecosystem.

The mainnet launch, which was announced on Cosmos Twitter, was also streamed live on Youtube, mimicking the launch of a rocket with Christine C., the community architect at Tendermint, dressed as an astronaut. The first block was mined at 11 p.m. UTC (7 p.m. EST) on March 13.

According to the Cosmos Network website, the company developed the scalable ecosystem, which allows different decentralized applications to interoperate on a single platform, for three years. The developers believe that Cosmos may contribute to solving some of the main problems in blockchain, such as scalability and interoperability.

The recent launch is reportedly the first in a series of proof-of-stake chains developed by Tendermint. As per a recent blog post, Cosmos Hub will further pass two more phases.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, a group of developers at crypto startup TenX in late 2018 successfully tested the use of its cross-blockchain interoperability protocol to transfer ERC20 tokens for Bitcoin (BTC) using the Lightning Network.

More recently, a report to the European Union made recommendations on how to better develop blockchain technology, including the introduction of interoperability and scalability standards. The paper, dubbed “Scalability, Interoperability And Sustainability of Blockchains,” was prepared by blockchain tech firm ConsenSys.
 
latest updates from Enterprise Blockchain on the Rise Despite Criticisms
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:26 AM
In the announcement for the launch of its blockchain security testing service, IBM X-Force Red highlighted the rise of enterprise blockchains and said that “organizations are seeing real efficiencies and cost savings from its use.”

IBM also highlighted the IDC’s 2018 Spending Guide, which forecasts worldwide blockchain spending to grow to $9.7 billion in 2021.

This arrived on the back of a Forbes article in February that explored the reasons “Why 2019 May Become The Year Of Enterprise Blockchain,” which also highlighted Deloitte’s 2018 global blockchain survey that found 95 percent of companies across different industries were investing in blockchain tech projects.

All of that indicates a rosy outlook for blockchain growth. But some critics contend there’s no need for enterprise blockchains and question whether such investments are warranted. It’s that pushback that has placed many companies in a difficult position — fearful of falling behind competitors, but wary of investing in a technology that may not require proprietary solutions.

The dilemma is reflected in the mix of comments in the enterprise vs. public chain debate.

Sky Guo, CEO of Cypherium, a startup offering enterprise-ready blockchain solutions, said to Forbes that enterprises no longer question whether blockchain is worth the attention but that, on the contrary, they are now proactively seeking new ways of incorporating this technology in their legacy systems.

This is something Leanne Kemp, CEO and founder of Everledger, a global digital registry for diamonds powered by the IBM enterprise blockchain platform, would agree with. Kemp, who won the 2018 Advance Award for technology, indicated that the introduction of enterprise blockchain solutions has the potential to completely revolutionize traditional supply chains, not just for the diamond trade:
 
latest updates from Spain: Stock Exchange Operator Pilots Collateral Pledges Digitization on Blockchain
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:50:09 AM
Major Spanish stock market operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has completed its first blockchain pilot for electronic certificates of collateral pledges, according to an official press release published on March 15.

Implemented along with Renta 4 Banco, which is the only investment services firm listed on the BME, the new pilot intends to eliminate the use of physical certifications by digitizing all processes and providing network participants with real-time access to data.

The pilot’s proof-of-concept (PoC) consisted of the release of collateral pledged by Renta 4 Banco to cover customer’s positions at BME Clearing, BME’s central counterparty.

According to the announcement, the implementation of the blockchain-powered pilot enabled the parties to reduce total processing time by more than 80 percent.

The PoC was developed by BME’s division DLT-Lab, which researches the use of blockchain for improving existing financial procedures in collaboration with regulators and various financial institutions. To develop the pilot, BME’s DLT-Lab worked with infrastructures involved in the process and the BME subsidiaries BME Clearing, the Spanish central securities depository Iberclear and Renta 4 Banco.

According to the press release, BME and Renta 4 Banco will keep working on the initiative in order to launch the new system officially by the end of 2019.

Berta Ares, Head of Digital Transformation at BME, emphasized that distributed ledger tech (DLT) allows the parties involved in the process to both reduce operating times and provide legal certainty for electronic certificates, while maintaining privacy and compliance.

Previously, BME participated in a joint blockchain tech project to record the issuance of financial warrants. The initiative involved eight major European financial institutions, including Spanish securities regulator the National Securities Market Commission, BBVA, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank and others.

In early February, Cointelegraph reported on Switzerland's principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange plans to test blockchain integration for its upcoming parallel digital trading platform SDX in the second half of 2019. The blockchain-powered platform intends to minimize trading risks, as well as to expand the scope of tradable titles.
 
latest updates from Token 2049: Vitalik Buterin Says Non-Financial Blockchain Use Cases Are a 'Harder Pitch'
Updates: Mar-15-2019 01:49:50 AM
Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin says that blockchain applications outside of finance face more difficulty gaining traction, as the primary added value they offer is decentralization. Buterin made his remarks during a speech at crypto event Token 2049 in Hong Kong on March 13.

Buterin began by noting that finance is “realistically the first blockchain [application] that will probably achieve wide scale adoption,” and that even though he is a self-declared huge fan of other applications:

“The problem is that decentralization is basically their value add. With finance you’re competing with banks that take five days to do something interesting. With anything that’s not financial, chances are there is some internet thing that does what you want, that’s just centralized. So it’s a bit of a harder pitch.”

As examples of areas where blockchain can catch on beyond finance, Vitalik isolated digital identity, reputation and digital certificates in particular — all of which have use cases that are not necessarily confined to the use of cryptocurrencies or financial markets.

In his further discussion on the current state of blockchain adoption, Buterin appealed to event attendees to identify real-world applications that are developing “not just in theory, but on the ground.” Audience examples included micro-insurance, non-fungible tokens and gaming.

On the latter, Buterin said that while many people are committed to blockchain innovation from their conviction that it can tackle real-world problems with positive social impact, entertainment use cases such as gaming are valuable areas where the technology can draw high numbers of early adopters.

Speaking of his personal commitments, Buterin highlighted decentralized applications (DApps), which allow multiple actors to share and cooperate on applications that are based on an underlying, decentralized blockchain protocol.

He proposed that the DApps use case can potentially redraw the existing technology and power landscape by leveraging a decentralized ecosystem to allow smaller players to compete with tech giants’ monopolies.

In a recent interview, Buterin stated he was trying to solve Bitcoin’s (BTC) limited functionality with the creation of Ethereum. He compared Bitcoin’s ability to do one thing and do it well, with the aspiration to make Ethereum more like a canopy for apps that can do almost anything.
 
latest updates from New Survey Indicates Businesses Unprepared to Deploy Blockchain Technology
Updates: Feb-20-2019 11:06:06 PM
A new study has revealed that, while businesses are considering blockchain adoption, overall they do not feel ready to implement the technology. The survey was conducted by software development firm Globant and published on Feb. 19.

The report says that 64 percent of organizations are intent on investing in blockchain solutions to improve their internal operations, while only 46 percent of respondents feel ready to deploy the technology.

Out of 61 percent of organizations that are already researching blockchain, only 28 percent have chosen a blockchain provider. According to the survey, the majority of decision-makers are still investigating the technology and comparing vendors, and have not yet defined their stance on blockchain tech.

Diego Tartara, CTO Latin America at Globant, said, "Blockchain implementation is different for every organization, so it's imperative for business leaders to have a unified idea of what their integration will look like. The technology as such usually requires a shift in paradigm to adopt it, thus sharing core objectives for the technology is key for a successful blockchain integration."

To prepare the study, the researchers reportedly surveyed 679 senior-level decision makers employed in the fields of marketing, IT and operations in the United States during first quarter of 2018.

Earlier this month, a TD Bank survey revealed that 90 percent of treasury and finance professionals think that blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will positively affect the payments industry. Per the survey, only 14 percent of the respondents said that their organization has training strategies for blockchain.

A survey by the Global Blockchain Business Council published last January revealed that 63 percent of respondents believe that senior business executives have a poor understanding of blockchain technology. 30 percent consider their knowledge of the emerging technology as “average.” The remaining 7 percent described senior executive understanding of blockchain as “good.”
 
latest updates from New Survey Indicates Businesses Unprepared to Deploy Blockchain Technology
Updates: Feb-20-2019 09:14:37 AM
A new study has revealed that, while businesses are considering blockchain adoption, overall they do not feel ready to implement the technology. The survey was conducted by software development firm Globant and published on Feb. 19.

The report says that 64 percent of organizations are intent on investing in blockchain solutions to improve their internal operations, while only 46 percent of respondents feel ready to deploy the technology.

Out of 61 percent of organizations that are already researching blockchain, only 28 percent have chosen a blockchain provider. According to the survey, the majority of decision-makers are still investigating the technology and comparing vendors, and have not yet defined their stance on blockchain tech.

Diego Tartara, CTO Latin America at Globant, said, "Blockchain implementation is different for every organization, so it's imperative for business leaders to have a unified idea of what their integration will look like. The technology as such usually requires a shift in paradigm to adopt it, thus sharing core objectives for the technology is key for a successful blockchain integration."

To prepare the study, the researchers reportedly surveyed 679 senior-level decision makers employed in the fields of marketing, IT and operations in the United States during first quarter of 2018.

Earlier this month, a TD Bank survey revealed that 90 percent of treasury and finance professionals think that blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will positively affect the payments industry. Per the survey, only 14 percent of the respondents said that their organization has training strategies for blockchain.

A survey by the Global Blockchain Business Council published last January revealed that 63 percent of respondents believe that senior business executives have a poor understanding of blockchain technology. 30 percent consider their knowledge of the emerging technology as “average.” The remaining 7 percent described senior executive understanding of blockchain as “good.”
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