Cryptocurrency Daily News Bulletin: August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018 1:22 pm Published by

General News

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to trial blockchain technology to verify North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) certificates. CBP Division of Business Transformation and Innovation head Vincent Annunziato said the agency was beginning a “live fire testing” of a blockchain platform to certify that imported products originated where they claim during CBP’s 2018 Trade Symposium in Atlanta, according to the American Shipper. The new system, which will launch in September, can be used to authenticate trademarks and check on an item’s physical properties. In other news, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a Washington-based self-regulatory body, has cautionedinvestors to beware of ICOs touting their adoption of the SAFT (Simple Agreements for Future Tokens) framework as evidence of investment security or regulatory compliance.

UK Blockchain startups are increasingly considering their options to move to the EU after considerable uncertainty regarding the ramifications of Brexit; facing issues such as potentially longer approval processes and the threat they might lose access to the European market or not gain “passporting” rights. Meanwhile, the FCA has said that crypto investment scams are increasingly targeting British investors, in an official warning published Aug.17. The watchdog warns that fraudsters often use celebrity images, slick websites or “prestigious” City of London addresses as a smokescreen through which to lure prospective investors. The FCA notes that cryptocurrencies themselves are not currently regulated by the agency, meaning that many crypto exchanges and other brokers fall beyond its remit. The agency does however regulate crypto derivatives — including futures, contracts for difference (CFDs), and options.

Russian independent electoral watchdog is trialling a blockchain-based electronic voting system, according to a local news platform report dated Aug. 17. The non-profit Association of Independent Public Observers, dubbed “National Public Monitoring” (NOM), announced the pilot at a press conference in Moscow on Friday. The inaugural Russian Congress of Public Observers was held on the initiative of NOM, alongside the Russian Fund for Free Elections and the Association of Lawyers of the Russian Federation. Other partners of the event were reportedly the Corps for Clean Elections, the People’s Observer, and Public Association Group 32. Russia has been embroiled in trying to pass crypto and blockchain legislation since the beginning of January. This spring saw the State Duma accept a first reading of a package of draft bills concerning crypto and blockchain, but the Russian government has yet to formally approve the statutes as law.

China: Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in a press release published on Aug. 17. The new tool, dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform, aims to enable businesses to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch. According to the press release, the service will offer smart contract functionality for “public and private enterprise clouds.” JD outlines a range of potential use cases for the platform: “The technology can help companies streamline operational procedures such as tracking and tracing the movement of goods and charity donations, authenticity certification, property assessment, transaction settlements, digital copyrights, and enhance productivity.” In other news, blockchain technology is increasingly being considered as a solution to corruption and governmental finance issues due to the nature of the Chinese receipt-based system.

Capital One, an American Bank Holding Corporation, has filed a patent application for the implementation of blockchain technology in user authentication, according to a filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the document, the inquiry is a continuation of a patent application submitted by Capital One to the USPTO in June 2017. The proposed system is designed to receive, store, record, and retrieve authentication information for a user in multiple blockchain-based member platforms. The filing says that recording of users’ personal data in blockchain can “enable members of the authentication system to retrieve user identification data from a database using the authentication information.” The document provides a use case example of the system for “authentication in the context of a business process subject to statutory or regulatory requirements, such as ‘Know Your Customer’ requirements.”

IBM has applied for a blockchain patent for the development of transaction data identifiers based on nodes, according to a patent document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO). The system described in the patent, entitled “Node Characterization in Blockchain,” intends to introduce a method of data extraction from nodes on a blockchain network in order to identify different types of transactions. Specifically, any operation on blockchain may possess a node or a number of nodes that can carry useful information about the character of transactions. According to the document, the described specification would extract a range of characterization types such as “entity extraction, text mining, information analysis and discovery, compliance, semantic extraction, and ontology based entity discovery.” Such a manner of data extraction would allegedly empower regulatory authorities with a due level of monitoring the security of data on blockchain.

Australian-based Demand Film has released a new virtual currency to reward users who promote and watch movie trailers. Demand Film is officially releasing the cryptocurrency, known as ‘Screencreds,’ before the company launches in Germany next Tuesday. The new digital coin is the latest example of how digital currencies and blockchain technology are making waves in the film industry. The idea behind Screencreds is to give people an incentive to market and promote offerings from Demand Film. The company organizes theatrical screenings for films and documentaries based on consumer demand. Demand Film CEO and managing director David Doepel told the Hollywood Reporter that people who watch and share movie trailers will be able to earn the cryptocurrency as a reward. Doepel said payouts will be based on the number of people who see and then buy tickets after watching a shared trailer.

Cobinhood: The founders of cryptocurrency exchange Cobinhood are commissioning the development of a new blockchain capable of processing 1 million transactions per second, a massive undertaking given that Bitcoin transaction can take hours to complete and Ethereum transactions range from 1-5 minutes, with even Visa’s ~2000 tx/s being dwarfed in comparison. The company behind the project is DEXON, which is focused on blockchain mass adoption within the banking industry and real-world application requirements. DEXON reports that the new blockchain technology uses a blocklattice structure that meshes multiple chains together to form what the company claims to be an infinitely scalable, low-latency decentralized transaction processing engine. The company was launched by the executive team of the zero-fee crypto exchange Cobinhood, and the $20 million funding round that just closed was led by IDG Capital, a venture capital firm which manages over $20 billion in assets.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin $6,471.74 USD (1.11 percent): A bomb threat was sent to a Norwegian Bitcion mining company for “sabotaging the peace” with noise this past Saturday. Kryptovault, a Bitcoin mining firm with facilities in a number of cities in Norway, reported receiving threats after a local paper reported on its work, according to Yahoo Finance. The bomb threat said “if you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives,” according to the report. Kryptovault managing director Gjermund Hagesaeter said the anonymous notice was immediately sent to local authorities, who are “taking the whole issue very seriously indeed.”

Ethereum $293.04 USD (-1.49 percent): Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has partnered on a new art project that utilizes a pair of newly-minted ethereum-based tokens. Motherboard reported Friday that Ai – well-known for his criticism of China’s Communist government as well as his art installations and photos – is working with Irish conceptual artist Kevin Abosch. Together, Ai and Abosch have created two new tokens, freely distributable, in an effort to (as they describe it) illustrate how worth is perceived and imbued within modern society. And it’s an area that Abosch has already been working in – bridging the worlds of art and cryptocurrency through his work – as the New York Times previously reported. The project, dubbed PRICELESS (ticker symbol: PRCLS), involves twin tokens, one of which is made publicly available to the extent that, in theory, every person on the planet could own a fraction. The other token, according to Motherboard, is locked away and inaccessible to anyone.

Zcash $139.59 USD (-2.36 percent): Privacy coin zcash is gearing up for a major upgrade with the first release of network software compatible with its upcoming Sapling hard fork. Zcash version 2.0.0 was released Thursday, according to a blog post penned by Sean Bowe, an engineer with the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, which develops the zcash cryptocurrency. The company is “encouraging all users and miners” to upgrade to the new version “as soon as possible,” he said. The Sapling upgrade is intended to significantly reduce the storage requirements for private transactions and update the blockchain’s zk-snarks cryptography to make it more secure. The v2.0.0 software upgrade includes experimental support for remote procedure calls – by which code can execute on a remote computer as if it was called locally – although full support will not be available until the 2.0.1 release. It also fixes a bug which slowed some nodes syncing to the network when banning peers. The function “was introduced to mitigate against a class of [denial of service] attacks from Sprout nodes,” Bowe wrote. The new software instead just ignores invalid transactions.

EOS $5.12 USD (0.11 percent): Billing itself as “the online encyclopedia reinvented for the modern age,” Everipedia has officially introduced its long-anticipated, peer-to-peer, online encyclopedia using EOS.IOtechnology that rewards users with crypto tokens for providing and editing articles. These “IQ” tokens entitle the holder to voting rights within the network. Seeing itself as as an alternative to Wikipedia, Everipedia seeks to democratize the encyclopedia model and offer incentives to content providers. Everipedia’s founders claim its decentralized structure makes it impossible to censor the network. The rewards system is designed to provide a more inclusive, fully-autonomous encyclopedia without donations or advertisements.

WN.com, Izaan Khan



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