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Category Archive: blockchain

bitcoin fork

Bitcoin fork: why developers keep calm

Right now the debate about a possible Bitcoin fork is very noisy and maybe it is the main factor that is driving the cryptocurrency price at the moment.

At press time, bitcoin value is less than $1000 with some traders that are liquidating their positions.

Amidst one of the more volatile period of bitcoin, developers seem not to be scared or worried about this two-year scaling debate.

Several miners are running the so-called solution “Bitcoin Unlimited“, a popular alternative bitcoin software that opened a discussion of a possible fork of the network which could generate two different digital currencies, a result similar to what happened with the recent Ethereum hard fork that lead to the creation of Ethereum Classic.

 

Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo has taken a skeptical point of view, explaining that the bitcoin community is not new to this issues.

Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic,  or other software alternatives that aims at changing the bitcoin blockchain- related rules, have emerged, but also declined, over the last few days.

While users who support the Bitcoin Unlimited think that is the real future for bitcoin, arguing that a bitcoin fork will bring it as the winning software, critics view it as broken.

Lombozo explained:

 

“The idea you can change bitcoin by lobbying one group of stakeholders against another is fundamentally flawed, as is the idea you can force controversial consensus rule changes. Bitcoin requires more tactful politics.”

On the other hand, Bitcoin Unlimited supporter Peter Rizun believes that bitcoin will see a block size increase, making bitcoin competitive with the other alternative cryptocurrencies.

“In my opinion, there’s a 75% chance we get an upgrade to larger blocks in 2017,” he commented.

So, while some people substain that only one software will be able to survive after this possible bitcoin fork, other experts suggested that most people won’t move to a new blockchain, so Bitcoin Unlimited will lead to another digital currency.

But, of course, the greatest part of the community want only one bitcoin.

Bitcoin Core contributor Luke Dashjr said to Coindesk:

“A hard fork is by definition an altcoin that the entire community decides to adopt as a replacement. Since most of the community rejects Bitcoin Unlimited, it is impossible for it to become a hard fork. Anyone can fork at any time. That people don’t speaks to the strong incentives not to.”

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Nevada stops blockchain transactions taxes

A new bill has been proposed to the Nevada Senate and, if it pass, will stop local taxes and fees on the use of a blockchain ledger, both for payments and contracts.

Nevada Senate Bill 398 was filed yesterday and presented by Senator Ben Kieckhefer, who wants to create a legal level for the use of blockchain-based networks.

Notably, this bill will also stop local governments asking for taxes on the use of the distributed ledger or to require a special licensure in order to use it.

This new proposed bill explains:

“A local governmental entity shall not: Impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity; Require any person or entity to obtain from the local governmental entity any certificate, license or permit to use a blockchain or smart contract; or Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity.”

If this bill pass, its benefits won’t be applied only to these potential economic expenses.

Kieckhefer’s suggestion, in fact, will allow blockchain records to be used in proceedings, noting that “if a law requires a record to be in writing, submission of a blockchain which electronically contains the record satisfies the law”.

“A smart contract, record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature. In a proceeding, evidence of a smart contract, record or signature must not be excluded solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature,”the proposed bill states.

Last month a similar proposal was made in Arizona, or a further move to legitimize the use of blockchain distributed ledger; a previous effort was also proposed in Vermont back in 2016.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
trump bitcoin

Trump Bitcoin – related new project: how will he use the Blockchain?

The newest Donald Trump Bitcoin – related project was announced this week during the DC Blockchain Summit held in Washington.

US regulators and officials explained their goal of increasing the adoption of blockchain technology within the government and the American private sector.

Also, a few representatives of President Trump, talked about the potential use cases of the distributed ledger, commenting that they are developing a new Trump Bitcoin project related to the public policy.

In fact, they underlined the ledger potential to streamline bureaucracy, empower consumers and drive economic growth.

Chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, Mark Calabria, gave a speech in which he explained how the Donald Trump administration wants to exploit the blockchain technology and what possible applications can have the tech in government and finance, as Treasury Department is conducting a review of the whole American financial system.

“We are approaching this with an open mind. We recognize that we’re not necessarily the innovators, but what we can do is get out of the way and figure out where the government stops you from being innovative.”

Trump Bitcoin project benefits

The co-chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus asserted that they are looking for understaning how the tech could be developed to be used within the public sector.

“We’re very interested in helping to facilitate the deployment of blockchain technology in federal agencies and across the government. Our role is to prod government agencies to look at more efficient ways of doing things,”  said Jared Polis.

Republican co-chair from Arizona, David Schweikert,  argued that one of the main goals is to keep policymakers updated about the technology’s potential .

“How do those of us who do policy not leap ahead and screw up what we don’t know is coming tomorrow? Sometimes those of us who get elected are arrogant sometimes in what we think we know. How do we help our brothers and sisters in congress understand this isn’t just about cryptocurrency? There’s an incredible world out there that’s so much bigger.”

 

Public and private

That said, private sector has a major role to play in the government’s blockchain adoption.

Managing director of financial services at Accenture, David Treat, explained that the public sector is not just a political advertisement.

“It was a completely different dynamic of not being reactive and not being, ‘Tell me what you did, and let’s opine on whether that was good or OK.’ It was actually, ‘We see this thing on the horizon, we know it has relevance – can you teach us?'”

Also, blockchain experts and analysts argued that its adoption by the government might help to normalize it for use in other sectors.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain academy

Blockchain Academy: a new institution in India

Kerala will soon host its own blockchain academy, the second institution to be opened in India.

This became possible thanks to a new collaboration between the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala (IIITM-K) and the Blockchain Education Network (BEN).

This new Blockchain Academy will be focused on innovation and tech consulting. Specifically,  of course the academy will explore the distributed ledger use cases related to banking, healthcare and governance.

The first Indian blockchain academy was organized by Primechain Technologies Private Limited based in Baner, near the well-known city of Mumbai and it offers a few different courses for both developers and curious people who aim at knowing more about the tech.

Recently, a new Kerala enterprise was announced by Dr. Rajasree during the blockchain conference held at the Technopark in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, according to an press release.

This speech also featured Senior research scientist for IBM Research Labs, Dr Dilip Krishnaswamy, and Michael Gord of the BEN, who explained about the blockchain benefits through a video conference.

IIITM, or the institution that co-founded this new academy, supports the so-called “Maker Village project” in the Keralan city of Kochi. Maker Village is an electronics incubator that sees the blockchain as a relevant topic related to the development of new IoT solutions for machine-to-machine payments.

India has always been interested in bitcoin and blockchain news.

For example, last week, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Rama Subramaniam Gandhi explained that digital currencies are “being overstated”. In fact, according to him, Bitcoin’s lack of central authority and pseudonymous nature mean cannot replace fiat currencies.

Also, RBI recently published a new research on how they want to digitize the rupee, or the country’s bank-issued currency,  with the main goal of avoiding the use of cash money within the Indian economy.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Blockchain investments: all the fintech services in one infographic

From American Express to Goldman Sachs and Deloitte, a lots of financial firms decided to make blockchain investments.

To provide you a insightful and easy to read, we want to share with you the following infographic originally published by CB Insight.

Consortia are not included in this infographic.

Even if the quarterly deal activity reached its lowest point since Q2’14 in Q4’16, the quarter’s top two financing deals featured investments by the most important financial companies.

This way, Axoni saw Wells Fargo lead its $18M Series A, which included a few important investors such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, F-Prime Capital and Thomson Reuters.

During the last 3 years, blockchain investments reached their apex in the fall of 2015 and in the winter of 2016.

Recently, Deloitte, Miami International Holdings (MIAX) and Credit China placed their first blockchain investment and Deloitte took a corporate minority stake in a platform called SETL.

In total, more than 50 financial companies decided to invest in a bitcoin or blockchain-related startups since the beginning of 2014.

Also, it is important to note that a small group of blockchain startups received the greatest part of the total investment. Those – who have received nearly $625M in funding –  include: Ripple, BitFury Group, Blockstream, Digital Asset Holdings, and Chain.

Let’s see what happen in 2017 and stay tuned for more relevant news!

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Europe Bitcoin report published by the EU Parliament. Read it here.

Below you can read the full Europe Bitcoin research published by the European Parliament a few days ago.

It is related to the blockchain technology and digital currencies, exploring distributed ledger use cases including digital payments, patent protection, smart contracts and online voting.

This research provides an educational point of view for EU’s legislative members, so probably we will experience a new Bitcoin regulation in the next future.

Researchers who works at the EU Parliament have studied several aspects of the distributed ledger in the past.

For example, a working group sponsored by the Parliament studied how the blockchain’s power to secure data could provide transparency during elections.

“Although blockchains are not the solution for every problem, and even if they will not revolutionize every aspect of our lives, they could have a substantial impact in many areas, and it is necessary to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities they present.”

“Europe Bitcoin” paper

The research suggests a few possible approaches for the European lawmakers, who recently approved the creation for a new task force focused on blockchain and digital currencies.

Also, the paper suggests more future explorations by saying that regulators could regulate and yield legal legitimacy to digital currencies transactions. More and more countries are regulating bitcoin and other virtual currencies during the last few monts, as you can read by clicking here.

The document’s authors explained also that this revolutionary techbology could provide many benefits to European citizens, even if it seems to be applicable only in a few cases.

“While the most idealistic and revolutionary visions of blockchain development will probably remain no more than visions, even moderate implementation of blockchain may still promote some degree of redistribution and transparency,” explained the authors in the document.

Click here to read the full Europe Bitcoin document for free.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Blockchain Regulation in Europe: everything you need to know

Today I want to explain you everything you need to know about the Blockchain Regulation in Europe.

Recently, in fact, the executive arm of the European Union government revealed that is working on the blockchain to “support” distributed ledger-based projects.

According to this new official press release published on February 7th, the Commission is looking for growing its efforts on supporting more projects related to the distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The European Commission is “actively monitoring Blockchain and DLT developments” and is working on exploring “DLT benefits and challenges as well as fields for application in financial services”.

Also, the official press release explained that the Commission wants to “pilot projects to foster decentralised innovation ecosystems and help reshape interactions between consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations to the end benefit of society”.

A task force for Blockchain Regulation

Last year, the European Parliament also created a new task force led by the Commission, to study the blockchain.

This task force has not only the goal of studying the blockchain but also to support projects related to the ledger and studying a way for a blockchain regulation.

The European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission, explained:

 

“The Commission is already supporting distributed ledger tech-enabled projects (DECODE, D-Cent, MyHealth MyData). Support activities are going to increase in the coming months (e.g. Decentralised Data Management). A study will be launched to investigate how DLT can help in reshaping public services and preparing for EU specific DLT actions to address relevant EU challenges.”

Ansip also said that the Commission will collaborate with the Parliament to organize blockchain events and workshops.

“The Commission will organise a kick-off conference with the European Parliament on Demystifying Blockchain and a series of workshops to look at Blockchain developments and use case applications”.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
matchpool

Matchpool: a blockchain startup to find love

Of course everybody knows that today we celebrate Valentine’s day, so I want to dedicate this article to the blockchain startup called Matchpool that aims at helping you to find love.

“When I looked at the dating industry, I saw it was expensive to reach a critical mass of users and open a niche dating site. That’s why dominant sites are one-size-fits-all, but that’s not what most of us look for.” explained Yonatan Ben Shimon to Coindesk.

He is the founder and CEO of Matchpool, a new blockchain-based startup for dating with the main goal of bringing people together thanks to a matchmaking system: successful matchmakers earn a cryptocurrency reward for their work.

The unique selling proposition of Matchpool is combining together elements from traditional matchmaking with the transparency of Ethereum smart contracts.

Those potential matchmakers start pools, groups of users linked by a common interests – similar to Facebook groups – where users can private message one another in the hope of finding the right match.

Pool owners can monetize their matchmaking work in a few ways, including setting a membership fee to join or charging an amount for each message sent.

Also, they can try to maintain group diversity by setting smart contract-based options between different user attributes: for example, a 50/50 male-female split or a balanced age range.

Rather than using the everyone-for-themselves, search-and-filter strategy of platforms such as OKCupid, you can define Matchpool as a different approach to dating.

Matchpool tokens for dating rewards

But why is Matchpool wants to create its own cryptocurrency token?

Ben Shimon explained that his company was attracted to the idea of using a blockchain-based database to store data about user interactions so they can be difficult to edit.

He thinks that cryptocurrencies can be an attractive option if the objective is rewarding users with small amounts of money (micropayments) on a regular basis, especially  if compared to traditional gateway of payments.

Also, Matchpool’s token called Guppy will be used to attract users: 20% of the token supply will be used to incentivize new signups with a money prize – which for the time being will only be given to women.

“I believe that if we reward early users with real money – in a way that we couldn’t do with dollars – then we can cheaply overcome the initial barriers that come from the lack of network effect”.

With a token sale (also called “initial coin offering” or “ICO”) scheduled for March, and a launch date set in May, Matchpool won’t wait too long to see its results.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchainproperties

Blockchain Properties: bitcoin tech to verify property transactions

One of the major use cases for the distributed ledger can be identified as “blockchain properties“, or the way to register and verify property transactions on the blockchain.

A few days ago, the first government to do so was Georgia that signed an agreement to use the blockchain to verify property transactions by using the well-known company BitFury services.

This is the first time that an American government uses the distributed ledger to prove and authenticate national operations using this disruptive technology.

Government on Blockchain

The private blockchain ledger that is an alter-proof ledger is also provable using the core bitcoin Blockchain that is in the public domain.

The Georgian National Agency of Public Registry and BitFury wrote a memorandum of understanding trying to find how to extend services to new land titles registration, property demolitions, mortgages, purchases and sales of land titles, rental and notary services.

There are a few other ideas focused on Blockchain land title services also in Sweden, Honduras and Cook County in Chicago which are being developed by ChromaWay, Factcom and Velox too.

Magazines also revealed that Peruvian Economist Hernando de Soto is involved with the Georgian Blockchain properties project too.

De Soto, in his book Mystery of Capital, estimates that there is “dead capital” of $20 trillion globally, consisting of buildings and lands without legal title.

Blockchain Properties on mobile

Tea Tsulukiani, Georgia’s Minister of Justice, commeted that she is very proud and happy that her country will work with the blockchain technology with the goal of having real estate quotations in a completely safe and secure system.

Also, chairman of the Georgian National Agency of Public Registry commented in a press release that he is “very pleased with the technical progress and looks forward to continuing their fruitful collaboration.”

BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov explained that the Georgian government is excited about the whole project and the methods used. Also, he continued by explaining that all the changes were executed for the citizens of Georgia, so they can track if a title is authentic when it is entered into the system.

The software is going to be completely operational during this year, he said.

“The big goal is to move the process to smartphones, so people can use it in any moments and all transactions are secured, transferrable and accountable.”

Applied on properties management, the Blockchain technology maintains agreements in a few ways: in blockchain-based entries, records are time-stamped  and this system would allow members interested in a property to verify and establish the date of previous sales.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
glasgow_digital_currency

Glasgow digital currency: hope or reality?

Soon many cities around the world will issue their own digital currency.

According to Pavel Bains, in fact, within the next 10 years we’ll see the first city that have its own digital money and that is separates from the national fiat currency.

The Blockchain Role

This could be the right time for cities to exploit the blockchain and adop their own currency.

But for a new digital currency to be adopted quickly it needs the following characteristics, according to Bains (and we tent to agree with him):

  1. Cheap: fiat currencies are very expensive to produce, manage and distribute. Conversely, a digital currency deletes all those costs and can easily be distributed;
  2. Secure: as it is digital, cryptographic and based on pure algorithms, the chance of forgery or distrust is removed;
  3. Safe: a digital currency can be backed by other assets like gold, treasury bills, foreign exchange or equities, just like fiat money;
  4. Usable: cities such as Stockholm are going purely digital, so a digital city currency could be massively adopted quickly.

The newest Glasgow digital currency

Bains is pretty sure that the first city to adopt a digital currency will be Glasgow.

This because the Scottish city failed to benefit from the England pound and it came close to a recession back in 2015.

Also, Brexit opened a real issue for Scotland’s future with the potential loss of trades. Demand for Scotland’s products is already declining: in that year there was an 11% drop in exports compared to 2.7% for the UK and with Brexit the situation can only get worse.

But Glasgow has the right tools to adopt its own digital currency. These the major reasons according to Bains:

  1. It has the regional size and population: this could make the difference compared to smaller cities such as Dundee;
  2. It has a high record of academia, government and business working together. This unity could be great to manage a new-born digital currency
  3. Glasgow has a thriving financial base, moving to 74th in the world for financial centers and this demonstrates the city has a good base and an educated population to operationalize the new digital currency system.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio