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Welcome to the ICO CAPTURE! Discover the best ICO (initial coin offering) opportunities. ICOCAPTURE.com is a cutting-edge initial coin offering platform, where investors will get a detailed list of ICOs, token sales, and ICO results. With strong technical skill and decent experience in the crypto industry, our objective is to provide a substantial platform to investors. The projects on our listing are scanned and updated regularly, to help crypto investors make better investment decisions. We have the best rating system where you can find the best ICOs using our Active ICO, Upcoming ICO and Past ICO listings.

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Updates: May-25-2018 12:50:13 AM
Bitfury-Backed Group Mined 800 Bitcoins in Q1 -  Hut 8 Mining Group raised $70 million CAD to invest in mining machines, and mined 828 bitcoins in the first quarter of 2018.>> full details
Updates: May-22-2018 09:09:11 PM
Bank of America Patents Blockchain Security Tools -  A new Bank of America patent outlines how a permissioned blockchain might restrict users while still helping them access the information they need.>> full details
Updates: May-22-2018 09:08:27 PM
India's Supreme Court to Hold Crypto Lawsuit Hearing in July -  The Supreme Court of India has decided to hear crypto-related cases with respect to the news from RBI stopping banks from dealing with cryptos.>> full details
Updates: May-22-2018 09:07:35 PM
UK 'Cryptoassets' Task Force Plots Path Forward at First Meeting -  The U.K.s new Cryptoassets Taskforce has taken the first step on its mission to "develop thinking and policy" around blockchain and cryptocurrency.>> full details
Updates: May-22-2018 09:06:53 PM
Circle Adds 'Buy the Market' Feature to Its Crypto Investment App -  Circle Invest formally launched the startup's trading platform on Tuesday.>> full details
Updates: May-22-2018 09:05:57 PM
CFTC Issues Guidance for Firms Offering Cryptocurrency Derivatives -  The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has released new guidance for companies issuing cryptocurrency derivatives products.>> full details
Updates: May-21-2018 08:49:35 AM
2017 Saw 'Exponential' Blockchain Startup Growth, Says China's IT Ministry -  Forty percent of all Chinese blockchain startups emerged in 2017 alone, according to a new report published by China's IT Ministry.>> full details
Updates: May-21-2018 08:47:51 AM
At Ripple's Snoop Dogg Party, A Search for XRP -  So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We're just having fun, something something XRP.>> full details
Updates: May-20-2018 12:56:04 AM
Zcash Leaves Crypto Market Behind with 50 Percent Weekly Spike -  In a poor week for the wider markets, a listing on the Gemini exchange put a strong bid under zcash, producing gains of 50 percent.>> full details
Updates: May-20-2018 12:54:27 AM
EU Parliament Touts Blockchain to 'Empower' Businesses and Citizens -  A committee of the European Parliament believes that small businesses could benefit from integrating blockchain technology.>> full details
Updates: May-20-2018 12:53:45 AM
Santander Conducts Proxy Voting Blockchain Pilot at AGM -  Banco Santander has completed a blockchain pilot that it says improves the process of proxy voting during annual general meetings.>> full details
Updates: May-20-2018 12:28:50 AM
The Use Cases and Applications for Involving Women in Blockchain -  While women in the blockchain industry want to focus on the technology, a lack of women is hurting the industry.>> full details
Updates: May-20-2018 12:27:14 AM
Tea Tokenizers Arrested in China for Alleged $47 Million Crypto Fraud -  Another cryptocurrency project has been busted by law enforcement in China for allegedly soliciting money from investors with fraudulent claims.>> full details
Updates: May-14-2018 02:35:46 PM
CME Group Partners to Launch Ether Reference Rate Index -  Derivatives exchange operator CME Group and U.K. firm Crypto Facilities are partnering to create an ether reference rate and real time index.>> full details
Updates: May-14-2018 02:35:25 PM
Florida Tax Collector to Accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Payments -  BitPay has partnered with a Florida county tax collector to facilitate tax payments in bitcoin and bitcoin cash.>> full details
Updates: May-14-2018 02:34:24 PM
IoT Startup Filament Hits Milestone for Blockchain Hardware -  Filament announced Monday that its blockchain-native semiconductor is now available in a USB form factor. >> full details
Updates: May-14-2018 02:34:02 PM
SAP Launches Blockchain Supply Chain Initiative -  Software giant SAP has announced a new food safety-related blockchain pilot and a collaboration with a Swiss supply chain startup >> full details
Updates: May-14-2018 02:33:41 PM
First Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain Now Secured By 1 in 10 Miners -  From miner adoption to a lightning-like network to new partners, RSK, which developed the bitcoin smart contracts sidechain, is building momentum.>> full details
Updates: May-14-2018 02:33:20 PM
Crypto Valley Association Taps VC Firm Lakestar as Strategic Partner -  The 600-member Crypto Valley Association has added venture capital firm Lakestar as a strategic partner >> full details
Updates: May-9-2018 10:39:51 AM
China's Police Ministry Touts Blockchain for Secure Evidence Storage -  China's Ministry of Public Security has developed a blockchain system aimed to more securely store evidence collected during police investigations. >> full details
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latest updates from Bitfury-Backed Group Mined 800 Bitcoins in Q1
Updates: May-25-2018 12:50:13 AM
The Bitfury-backed Hut 8 Mining Group mined more than 800 bitcoins in the first quarter of 2018, the company reported Thursday.

In a summary of its quarterly financial results, the company noted it raised $70 million CAD to continue investing in mining hardware, generated nearly $11 million CAD in revenue and is one step closer to opening another facility in Canada. Chief executive Andrew Kiguel said he was "pleased" with the work conducted so far, given that Hut 8 first began operations in late December 2017.

The 828 bitcoins mined in the first quarter of 2018 join another roughly 500 coins mined since December, meaning the company currently has a reserve of more than 1,300 bitcoins, he said in a statement. However, Hut 8 is not done developing its facilities: he noted that the company has begun construction of a new datacenter in the City of Medicine Hat, which will more than triple the company's mining capacity.
 
latest updates from Bank of America Patents Blockchain Security Tools
Updates: May-22-2018 09:09:11 PM
Bank of America has won a patent for a way to control access to certain aspects of a permissioned blockchain network, newly published documents show.

The patent for a somewhat innocuously titled "system for managing security and access to resource sub-components" explains how security tokens (essentially electronic keys, distinct from blockchain-based assets that mimic physical securities) would be used to grant access to certain users to the information contained in a particular block. According to the text, the system would be automated, effectively meaning that the network itself would grant and track access.

Bank of America was awarded the patent on May 22, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It represents the latest intellectual property development for the bank, which has filed many blockchain-related applications in recent years.

The focus on security and data privacy is perhaps unsurprising, given the sensitivity of the information that Bank of America might look to transmit across the networks. And it speaks as well to the wider issue of security in the crypto space today, given the all-encompassing need to keep private keys safe from malicious actors.

And, as Bank of America itself notes in the patent document, "with the advent of distributed/decentralized blockchain networks ... a need exists to develop systems ... that manage control over blocks of resources."
 
latest updates from India's Supreme Court to Hold Crypto Lawsuit Hearing in July
Updates: May-22-2018 09:08:27 PM
The Indian Supreme Court will hold a hearing in July in an effort to decide on the growing number of crypto-related petitions filed against the country's central bank.

The Supreme Court has barred all other courts from accepting petitions in the wake of the filing of five petitions against the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) move to bar banks from dealing with cryptocurrency companies. The RBI published a circular in early April to that effect, saying at the time that the entities it regulates "shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling [cryptocurrencies]."

The hearing will be held on July 20, according to an Economic Times report.

One of the petitions was filed by a startup called Kali Digital Ecosystems - which planned to launch its crypto exchange, CoinRecoil - has been transferred to the Supreme Court. Two other petitions transferred to the Supreme Court were originally filed in the Delhi High Court and the Calcutta High Court, the Times further reported.
 
latest updates from UK 'Cryptoassets' Task Force Plots Path Forward at First Meeting
Updates: May-22-2018 09:07:35 PM
The U.K.'s recently created Cryptoassets Taskforce has taken the first step on its mission to "develop thinking and policy" around blockchain and cryptocurrency.

An inaugural meeting held yesterday saw the group agree on a series of objectives which, according to a post on the Gov.uk website, include assessing the impact of cryptocurrencies, the "potential benefits and challenges" of adopting blockchain technology in the finance sector and determining if - and what - rules might be needed in response to those enquiries.

As reported by CoinDesk, the Cryptoassets Taskforce was first announced in late March by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as part of the government's Fintech Sector Strategy - an initiative aimed to make the U.K. "the best place for Fintech business."

According to Dave Ramsden, deputy governor of the Bank of England, blockchain technology has the potential to deliver benefits to both the financial system and the British economy.
 
latest updates from Circle Adds 'Buy the Market' Feature to Its Crypto Investment App
Updates: May-22-2018 09:06:53 PM
Payments startup Circle has launched the full version of its crypto investment app.

After a soft launch back in March 2018, the company is making the app with its full suite of services available as of Tuesday. Circle first announced its investor-focused app back in November and later released it in 46 U.S. states as part of an "early access availability" phase.

One of the features going live on Tuesday is the "Buy the Market" tool, which is geared toward newer users, Circle senior product manager Rachel Mayer told CoinDesk.

"'Buy the Market' is the culmination of all we've been doing since the soft launch," she said, going on to explain:
 
latest updates from CFTC Issues Guidance for Firms Offering Cryptocurrency Derivatives
Updates: May-22-2018 09:05:57 PM
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released new guidance for clearinghouses and exchanges planning to list cryptocurrency-related derivatives products.

Published Monday, the joint advisory from the agency's Division of Market Oversight (DMO) and Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) provides companies with "regulatory clarity" around such products, a press release states.

The advisory addresses areas including market surveillance, large trader reporting, risk management and governance, and coordination with CFTC members, describing them as "key areas that require particular attention."

DCR director Brian Bussey said the new guidance would help market participants to develop risk management programs specifically for cryptocurrency products, according to the release.
 
latest updates from 2017 Saw 'Exponential' Blockchain Startup Growth, Says China's IT Ministry
Updates: May-21-2018 08:49:35 AM
Nearly 40 percent of all Chinese blockchain startups emerged in 2017 alone, according to a new white paper published by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Revealed by the ministry's Information Center on Monday, the blockchain industry paper indicates that currently China has 456 startups whose core businesses are focusing on blockchain technology development and applications.

While the number of new blockchain firms in 2016 had tripled compared to that in 2015, the year 2017 saw "exponential" growth, it says, with a total of 178 newcomers.

Meanwhile, corresponding to that trend, similar momentum was also seen in equity financing for blockchain startups. According to the government data, currently there are 249 equity financing initiatives that directly relate to blockchain startups, and nearly 100 of them got started in 2017.

That number marks more than the total recorded from 2014 to 2016, the paper says, and also notably, the industry has already seen 68 equity financing initiatives for blockchain startups in the first quarter of 2018.

Published as a comprehensive summary of the blockchain outlook in China, the 157-page white paper marks the latest effort by the Chinese government to bring knowledge of the nascent technology to the public, and shed light on future development - especially regarding regulatory frameworks.

While reiterating the importance of maintaining the ban on initial coin offerings, the ministry also argues in the paper that China's current patent law - completed a decade ago - may already be outdated when it comes to protecting intellectual properties for blockchain technologies.

For example, as explained in the paper, the patent law in China now only seeks to protect those technology use cases that can be specifically outlined by patent applicants.
 
latest updates from At Ripple's Snoop Dogg Party, A Search for XRP
Updates: May-21-2018 08:47:51 AM
As part of the first-ever New York Blockchain Week, Snoop Dogg was booked to perform at the XRP Community Night on Tuesday. The event, as the name would suggest, was meant to celebrate XRP, a cryptocurrency most closely tied with the San Francisco startup Ripple. The party could have provided the latest example of a celebrity hyping crypto: Floyd Mayweather, Dennis Rodman and Paris Hilton have each pumped one token or another in recent months.

Stakes were even higher after the 46-year-old rapper praised the trading app provider Robinhood in January for "putting tha Crip in Crypto!" after the company announced plans to roll out bitcoin and ether trading.

"Snoop's a talker," said one attendee at the party, raising his eyebrows to suggest the rapper would have something to say about XRP - or who knows, maybe even a special announcement of his own SnoopCoin.

Nothing like that happened, though.

In fact, XRP mania was difficult to find at the party. Where was the #XRPArmy that pervades certain corners of Twitter, cheering any good news about their favorite cryptocurrency and decrying all bad news as "garbage," "FUD" and "fake news?"

It seems they were few and far between at XRP Community Night. Instead, this was a Ripple party, with a Snoop Dogg thrown in for good measure.

And the online XRP community seems to have noticed.

"Has anyone seen any pics yet of last night's party of the actual XRP community and not Ripple employees?" one user posted to XRP Chat, a forum for the cryptocurrency's enthusiasts. "From what I have seen so far it seems to have been more like a staff Christmas party than a party hosted for the XRP community."

That slightly miffed take on the event gets at the heart of the Ripple/XRP identity crisis. A couple of years ago, executives at Ripple - the company - had no problem referring to their cryptocurrency as lower-case "ripple." But today, after the XRP rebrand, Ripple is twisting itself into rhetorical knots, trying to put its cryptocurrency at arm's length.
 
latest updates from Zcash Leaves Crypto Market Behind with 50 Percent Weekly Spike
Updates: May-20-2018 12:56:04 AM
The cryptocurrency markets are flashing red as the third week of May comes to close.

The total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has dropped by 14.48 percent to $366 billion in the last 7 days, taking the month-to-date losses close to 30 percent, according to CoinMarketcap.

Further, the probability that the cryptocurrency market will regain poise next week looks low, given that the bear grip around bitcoin seems to have strengthened, according to technical charts. The world's largest cryptocurrency by market value fell below one-month lows under $8,000 today, showing losses of 3.6 percent on a weekly basis.

Other larger cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH) and EOS are reporting at least a 14 percent decline, while ethereum's ether (ETH) has largely remained flat-lined on a weekly basis, while Ripple (XRP) has depreciated by 1.96 percent.

Amid the broad-based losses, however, lesser-known cryptocurrencies like zcash (ZEC), binance coin (BNB) and lisk (LSK) have managed to put on a good show and are ranking higher on the list of gainers among the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
 
latest updates from EU Parliament Touts Blockchain to 'Empower' Businesses and Citizens
Updates: May-20-2018 12:54:27 AM
Members of the European Parliament believe small businesses could benefit from integrating blockchain technology.

The Industry, Research and Energy committee voted Wednesday to recommend that small businesses look into blockchain payment systems in a move aimed at relieving some of the costs associated with intermediary payment facilitators. In addition, an oral question will be posed to the EU Commission about the technology during a plenary session next month, according to a press release.

The committee specifically suggested non-monetary uses for the technology, specifying data controls, supply chain management, land registries and in democratizing the energy market, according to the release.
 
latest updates from Santander Conducts Proxy Voting Blockchain Pilot at AGM
Updates: May-20-2018 12:53:45 AM
Banco Santander has completed a blockchain pilot that it says improves the process of proxy voting during annual general meetings (AGMs).

For the project, announced Thursday, Santander partnered with global fintech firm Broadridge and custodian banks JPMorgan and Northern Trust, describing it in a press release as the "first practical use of blockchain" for shareholder voting.

However, it should be noted that other entities such as Nasdaq, the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and a group of central securities depositories, including Russia's National Settlement Depository, have all conducted pilots, are developing systems or have launched platforms around the use case.

The Broadridge-built solution - piloted previously in April of last year - aims to improve transparency in the global proxy voting system, while also increasing security, efficiency, security and analytics, the release says.

The pilot was concluded on March 23 for the Spanish banking giant's AGM and saw participation from Santander's blockchain lab and Corporate Services, which acted as the issuer's agent. The blockchain solution was used to produce a "shadow" digital register of the proxy voting system taking place in parallel using the conventional voting model.

Sergio Gamez, global head of shareholders and investor relations at Santander, said that, for a listed company like Santander, the AGM is one of the most important corporate governance events
 
latest updates from The Use Cases and Applications for Involving Women in Blockchain
Updates: May-20-2018 12:28:50 AM
"Satoshi is female!"

That's how New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney rallied the crowd on May 13 at the "Women on the Block" event in Brooklyn, New York, where more than 300 people came together to talk about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The event comes at time of tension within the crypto community, as blockchain stars like Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark are urging interviewers to stop asking what it's like to be a woman in crypto.

"Stop marginalizing and write about the awesome work that women are doing," Stark tweeted in February.

But to the ladies at the event, it's less about creating a divide and more about a welcome reprieve from the perennial challenge of being treated like a crypto unicorn, when they just want to discuss use cases and applications.

True to that, many of the day's discussions focused on the business opportunities within the space, from using the technology to shine a light on the opaque real estate industry to utilizing blockchain for supply chain management within the food sector.

Nonetheless, the fact is that women are still underrepresented in positions of privilege and power across the board - and the blockchain industry is no exception.

Based on findings from an international Quartz survey of 378 venture-backed crypto and blockchain companies founded between January 2012 and January 2018, roughly 8.5 percent had a woman on the founding team, compared to 17.7 percent in the broader tech industry.

And according to many women at the event, this lack of gender parity could hold the nascent industry back significantly.
 
latest updates from Tea Tokenizers Arrested in China for Alleged $47 Million Crypto Fraud
Updates: May-20-2018 12:27:14 AM
Another cryptocurrency project has been busted by law enforcement in China for allegedly soliciting money from investors with fraudulent claims.

According to Guangdong Daily, a provincial government organ in China, police in Shenzhen arrested six individuals Monday who allegedly defrauded 3,000 Chinese investors out of $47 million by selling a cryptocurrency they claimed was backed by a commodity.

The six suspects formed a firm based in Shenzhen called PEB, which beginning in January 2017 issued a blockchain-powered token dubbed Pu'er Coin, according to the report.

The project's website says buyers of the token are entitled to hold a contract representing ownership of a certain amount of the Pu'er Tibetan tea the firm has in stock, which it claims to be worth billions of dollars.

While the token can be subsequently exchanged in a secondary market called Jubi.com, another website claims the contract can also bring a 12 percent annual return if investors choose to lock their funds for 12 months.

According to the police investigation, though the firm had only a "very limited amount of the tea in stock," it promised high short-term returns to investors in social media promotions and roadshows at high-end hotels.

The police said the project succeeded in attracting a significant number of investors by manipulating the secondary market with its own funds to drive up the token price twentyfold over the course of 2017.

In fact, this week's crackdown may not be entirely surprising as the firm had received a warning and a fine late last month from China's State Administration for Market Regulation, whose mandate is to ensure fair and just market competition.

The authority fined the firm $20 million for disseminating false claims in an advertisement that touted its supposedly large stockpiles of the Tibetan tea to back the token.

The arrest marks another notable crackdown on alleged cryptocurrency fraud in China as law enforcement in the country have beefed up efforts to battle illegal fundraising.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, police from Xi'An have arrested the founders of an alleged nationwide cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that is said to have amassed $13 million from over 13,000 people.
 
latest updates from CME Group Partners to Launch Ether Reference Rate Index
Updates: May-14-2018 02:35:46 PM
Derivatives exchange operator CME Group is launching an ether reference rate and a real-time ether-dollar index in partnership with UK-based digital asset trading service Crypto Facilities.

The operator noted Monday that it would provide "a daily benchmark price in U.S. dollars" every 24 hours, as well as the real-time price "based on transactions and order book activity" from cryptocurrency exchanges Kraken and Bitstamp, according to a press release. The rates are already available online on both the CME Group and Crypto Facilities websites, and will be provided to the CME Group Market Data Platform starting June 4.

In a statement, CME Group managing director and global head of equity products and alternative investments Tim McCourt said "the Ether Reference Rate and Real Time Index are designed to meet the evolving needs of this marketplace. Providing price transparency and a credible price reference source is a key development for users of ethereum."

Similarly, Crypto Facilities CEO Timo Schlaefer said:

"Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, experienced incredible adoption and growth in 2017, evolving into the leading blockchain for smart contracts. We are excited to be contributing to the strong community that has developed around the Ethereum network by providing a reliable reference rate and real-time Ether-Dollar price."

The new indices will be overseen by the Bitcoin Oversight Committee formed by CME Group, Crypto Facilities and other industry participants, according to the release. This "oversight committee will regularly review the methodology, practices and standards to protect the integrity of the reference rates."

The news comes just days after Crypto Facilities began trading in ethereum futures, as previously reported by CoinDesk. The platform announced it was launching the first futures contract for the token through a regulated platform on May 11.

Crypto Facilities notably provides CME Group with reference rates for the latter's own bitcoin futures.
 
latest updates from Florida Tax Collector to Accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Payments
Updates: May-14-2018 02:35:25 PM
A Florida county tax collector has partnered with bitcoin payments processor BitPay to accept cryptocurrency for a variety of services.

Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg said in a statement Monday that his office will take bitcoin and bitcoin cash for payments associated with driver licenses and ID cards, automobile tags and titles and property tax.

The office decided to accept the cryptocurrencies in an effort to streamline fee collection, reduce the potential for fraud and identity theft and increase the transparency and accuracy of payments. Greenberg's office added that it does not perceive any "price volatility or risk to the County" in accepting the cryptocurrencies.

Greenberg said in the statement:

"The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options."

The collaboration with the Seminole County Tax Collector marks BitPay's first government partnership. Head of compliance Jeremie Beaudry said the company was launched because "we recognized the potential for blockchain to revolutionize the financial industry, making payments faster, more secure and less expensive on a global scale.

"With the Seminole County Tax Collector's office, we have engaged our first government agency to accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash by making it easy and seamless for them," he added.

However, Greenberg's office is not the only local government entity that has entertained the idea of accepting cryptocurrency for taxes.

Arizona and Georgia lawmakers both proposed bills this year that would allow citizens to pay their state tax liabilities in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, though neither bill made it through their respective legislatures.
 
latest updates from IoT Startup Filament Hits Milestone for Blockchain Hardware
Updates: May-14-2018 02:34:24 PM
Filament, a startup that focuses on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, announced Monday that it has successfully created a USB-compatible form factor for its blockchain semiconductor.

Co-founder and CEO Allison Clift-Jennings told CoinDesk that the device, based on Filament's existing technology, allows technologists to launch blockchain projects simply by plugging it into a compatible port. The blockchain-native semiconductor was first announced in January and offers "the ability to sign and verify transactions at the silicon level."

The new "Blocklet" device, she said, builds on that, allowing blockchain processors to interface with existing infrastructure.

"Many products, not all, [have] the ability to connect [to] USB. These are for manufacturing lines - we have a version of a USB product that plugs into the [on-board diagnostics] port in vehicles. It's very much trying to drive toward machines being transactive in nature," Clift-Jennings said in an interview.

Stepping back, the Filament chief executive said that there has been a shift in how people perceive blockchain in the last several years.

"A couple years ago we had the blockchain-native capability, but it was to sell IoT devices as sensors and we'd Trojan Horse the blockchain into it. We had a hard time getting people to commit even when they knew about blockchain," she said, continuing "now we're trying to massively hire more engineers and we want that chip in our product line."

The move is similar to announcements made by IBM and Microsoft, she said, noting that IBM has announced a blockchain hardware chip and Microsoft has been promoting its Azure cloud computing framework.

That being said, "both of these chips don't exist, so we don't know" what the companies are specifically planning, according to Clift-Jennings. By contrast, "our devices can hold up to 16 keys, so you can have 16 blockchain implementations simultaneously."

"We can deploy solutions on Microsoft Azure or IBM Bluemix, but that doesn't give you the application you need. It doesn't give you the smart contract to write things," she said.

The startup has already produced a small number of the devices, but is in the process of ramping up production, Clift-Jennings said, adding "probably [in third quarter] people can have as many as they would like."
 
latest updates from SAP Launches Blockchain Supply Chain Initiative
Updates: May-14-2018 02:34:02 PM
Multinational software firm SAP is expanding its work with blockchain into the supply chain space.

Torsten Zube, SAP's blockchain lead, revealed Monday that the company is looking to apply the tech to agricultural supply chains by way of its Farm to Consumer initiative. Companies like Johnsonville, Naturipe Farms and Maple Leaf are working as additional collaborators on the project.

"The Farm to Consumer project perfectly showcases a common pattern we see in many of our blockchain projects," Zube wrote in a blog post detailing the initiative. "Cross-company collaboration along complex value chains for which the technology can remove abundant process steps and friction, and establish automated trust."

SAP will integrate the blockchain into its existing Global Track and Trace technology to act as "an additional layer complementary to core processes that creates one shared view on the data from all involved stakeholders contributing to the supply chain."

The enhanced technology, Zube contended, allows companies to trace the origins of food products, enter requests and offerings, and authenticate and execute transactions.

SAP also revealed that it has teamed up with Swiss supply chain startup modum.io to further its supply chain ventures. SAP plans to provide further details on the companies' joint work on pilot projects in June.

Zube is bullish on blockchain and thinks the technology could potentially reconfigure current food industry production models.

"If enterprises can access the complete version of product history," he explained, "this could result in a shift from a central unilateral supplier-led production to a consumer demand-led supply organized by a consortium of peers."

He went on to predict:

"Networking along the traditional lines of value chains will be replaced by sharing data governance, resources, processes and practices and lead to joint learning opportunities."

These undertakings are not SAP's only blockchain ventures. The company previously launched a "blockchain co-innovation initiative" to explore distributed business processes that utilize peer-to-peer networks. It is also a member of Spain's Alastria consortium, which focuses on inter-company data sharing, and the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA).
 
latest updates from First Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain Now Secured By 1 in 10 Miners
Updates: May-14-2018 02:33:41 PM
The first bitcoin smart contracts sidechain just reached an early milestone.

To be revealed Monday at CoinDesk's Consensus 2018 conference, RSK, the startup that built the long-anticipated technology, touted as a way to bring ethereum-style smart contracts to the world's largest cryptocurrency, is issuing new details on the number of bitcoin users dedicating computing power to backing the experimental idea.

First launched this past January, the sidechain pegged to bitcoin was admittedly limited in that it's not pegged to bitcoin in a "trustless" way advocates have promised for so long. Rather, anyone who wants to move their bitcoin to the sidechain needs the approval of a 'federation' group of third parties.

Still, the miner support, RSK Labs co-founder Gabriel Kurman contends, is rather impactful as it shows support for a concept heralded as a way to expand bitcoin's functionality.

He told CoinDesk:

"It's a major announcement for bitcoin as a whole. This 10 percent is coming from 80 percent of the total mining pool power."

And, although there's a small fraction of the entire network currently securing the sidechain, about 80 percent of miners have already committed support in the future.

"The hash power percentage is set to increase significantly over the next months," Kurman added.

It makes sense, after all, because the sidechain is designed to be "merged-mined" - a process which allows miners to get transaction fees by contributing their hash power to the sidechain, all while using the same equipment, electricity and power they're already using to mine bitcoin.

"RSK has massive support from the mining ecosystem because it adds a new revenue stream for them," Kurman said.

RSK's lightning
Not only that, but RSK has developed the sidechain to be able to handle more transactions than bitcoin can currently.

The RSK sidechain uses what the company calls "smart bitcoins," a separate version of bitcoin with the smart contract capability, and that allows for improved scalability.

"On RSK you can process smart bitcoins at 100 transactions per second," Kurman said, pointing to the "compression" technology RSK pioneered that decreases the total amount of data that must be stored on the blockchain.

Even with that improvement, though, Kurman is quick to note that that's not nearly enough to bring this technology to the masses, acknowledging that the sidechain still deals with the scalability issues faced by many of today's blockchains. But the team is working towards that.

Taking inspiration from developers working on both bitcoin and ethereum, who have been developing technologies called the lightning network and Raiden network, respectively, RSK has been building a similar technology.

Called "Lumino," the project is what Kurman describes as a "combination" of these two networks so that it can work with RSK's unique sidechains technology.

Kurman said he believes the finishing touches won't take long, telling CoinDesk:

"Before the end of the year, we hope to launch the Lumino network, which will allow for 20,000 transactions per second."

Growing the family
The last announcement from RSK today is that two companies are now joining the "RSK family," Kurman said.

The first is the Inter-American Development Bank, an Argentinian NGO that seeks to promote financial inclusion in Buenos Aires. The NGO has been working on its launch on RSK for the past two years, although Kurman did not elaborate on how exactly the business plans to use the network.

The second company building on top of RSK is the BitGive Foundation, a long-standing bitcoin-focused charity organization that's been used to funnel bitcoin donations to Nepalese citizens affected by a devastating earthquake in 2015, among other initiatives.

Speaking to the BitGive's interest in using the RSK sidechain, Kurman said, "It's a project that allows donors to have transparency using smart contracts."

He added that these new partners display that more and more businesses are starting to see the benefits of bitcoin (and beyond), and as such, are adopting the technology.

RSK will be demoing all this functionality at their booth at CoinDesk's Consensus 2018 conference in New York City this week.
 
latest updates from Crypto Valley Association Taps VC Firm Lakestar as Strategic Partner
Updates: May-14-2018 02:33:20 PM
Switzerland-based blockchain consortium, the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), has added European venture capital firm Lakestar as a strategic partner, the association revealed to CoinDesk this week.

Lakestar has previously dabbled in blockchain, and in 2017 made investments in crypto wallet provider Blockchain and exchange startup ShapeShift. Its portfolio also includes investments in Skype, Spotify, Facebook and Airbnb.

With the announcement, Lakestar will join the rank of CVA's existing strategic partners that include the multinational consulting firm PwC, and ethereum startup ConsenSys. In addition, Lakestar will chair the CVA's new "Venture Building" working group, which will be comprised of experts from both the blockchain and business sectors.

Lakestar has previously raised two funds with an aggregate volume of 500 million euros in 2013 and 2015, and intends to leverage this experience to offer guidance on tech investments for the Swiss blockchain consortium.

The CVA, which has more than 600 members, said it expects the partnership to be mutually beneficial.

"Their experience of investing and assisting technology entrepreneurs effectively scale and internationalize will provide unique insight to support the work of the CVA and our members," CVA president Oliver Bussman said of the firm.

Likewise, the CVA said Lakestar will gain "greater access to and understanding of its startup community and ecosystem" through its involvement.

"We see great synergy between our proven track record of building global, digital leaders and the work of the CVA's blockchain-focused teams," Lakestar partner Nicolas Brand said. "We look forward to working with the CVA and its members in supporting some of Crypto Valley's most exciting projects."
 
latest updates from China's Police Ministry Touts Blockchain for Secure Evidence Storage
Updates: May-9-2018 10:39:51 AM
China's Ministry of Public Security has developed a blockchain system aimed to more securely store evidence collected during police investigations.

According to data released by China's Intellectual Property Office on Tuesday, the ministry's research arm filed a patent application in November 2017 for a blockchain-based system that timestamps and stores data submitted to the cloud in a bid to provide a more transparent and tamper-proof deposition procedure.

With centralized cloud platforms becoming an increasingly popular way to share data, the ministry - which supervises all China's police forces - said a potential problem with the current deposition process is that evidence sent via cloud providers could easily be altered.

In addition, the lack of an efficient technology to provide clear supervision of the cloud storage process could also make the deposition process less reliable.

As such, the patent sets out a blockchain system that would initially request that cloud providers be sent deposition data, which, after receiving multi-signature confirmations from both parties, would be recorded and timestamped on a blockchain. In this way, the system would provide an immutable copy of the data, as well as who initiated the transaction and the time and date it occurred.

Although the technology described in the application doesn't appear to be entirely novel, given it largely reflects the basic mechanisms of standard blockchains, it still marks a notable use case exploration by one of the 26 cabinet-level ministries of China's State Council.

Further, the Ministry of Public Security is not the only Chinese government agency that is interested in taking advantages of blockchain technology.

As reported previously by CoinDesk, China's National Audit Office, another cabinet-level ministry and also the government's official auditing authority, is also looking at blockchain solutions for storing audit data it gathers from provincial and local level bureaus.
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