5 blockchain trends to watch for in 2018 | The Enterprisers Project

https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2017/12/5-blockchain-trends-watch-2018?sc_cid=7016000000127ECAAY

Few new technologies have raised as much discussion as blockchain. One reason is the controversy, concern, and perceived opportunity around blockchain-based cryptocurrencies (such as bitcoin and ether) and crowdfunding via initial coin offerings (ICOs). But what is blockchain’s role in the enterprise? 

This article gives some ideas to think about. Take those trends with grain of salt. There will be a crash ans bubble burst on blockchains in few years.

88 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin mania is hurting PC gamers by pushing up GPU prices
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/30/16949550/bitcoin-graphics-cards-pc-prices-surge

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin have soared in value over the past year, thanks to continued interest from a range of investors. As the price of these cryptocurrencies has increased, graphics cards have also seen big price increases thanks to retail stock shortages. A range of mid- or high-end graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia are in short supply, mostly due to cryptocurrency miners buying them in bulk to build machines to mine bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.

    Polygon reports that pricing for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 should be around $380 (depending on the model), but that some cards are now being sold for more than $700 due to the stock shortages – an increase of more than 80 percent. Cryptocurrency miners use stacks of graphics cards to solve the mathematical problems need to authenticate payments on the network and create new bitcoin.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung enters crypto-currency chips business
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42892380

    Samsung Electronics has revealed it is making chips designed specifically to harvest crypto-currency coins.

    The firm made the disclosure in its latest earnings report, where it said the activity should boost its profits.

    The report also confirmed that the South Korean company overtook Intel to become the biggest chipmaker last year.

    Asic’s advantage

    For now, Samsung is providing little detail about its new crypto-currency business.

    “Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips,” it said in a statement given to the BBC.

    “However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers.”

    Mining, in this context, refers to solving complex mathematical problems as a means to verify crypto-currency transactions – a task for which the owners of the computers involved are rewarded with new digital tokens or “coins”.

    The Bell, a Korean-language newspaper, has reported that the processors involved are Asic (application-specific integrated circuit) chips.

    These are chips that are custom-designed to carry out a single task – in this case “mining” Bitcoin or another specific crypto-currency – but not general computing operations.

    Until 2013
    a New York-based entrepreneur began selling processors custom-designed for Bitcoin mining, which promised better performance and lower energy use than GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, which are still more commonly associated with the task.

    According to The Bell, Samsung completed development of its own Bitcoin-related Asic chip last year and began mass production earlier this month.

    Until now, Taiwan’s TSMC was the only other major processor-manufacturer engaged in the activity.

    “We don’t know how low Samsung can sell its chip for and still be profitable,”

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Trust: The Rise of Blockchain in Edge Computing, Part I
    http://www.sealevel.com/community/blog/smart-trust-the-rise-of-blockchain-in-edge-computing-part-i/

    The new Amazon Key wants to kill traditional package delivery. Their drivers access your home with a special key and place your package inside. Compatible with Alexa and cloud-based, Key expands the Amazon IoT home system. Many people are saying “no, thanks” to this announcement. Vulnerabilities – physical access to the home by a stranger and camera footage transmitted to a cloud – worry consumers.

    Questions of data security for this trust economy drive cloud computing. One form of technology leads that discussion: blockchain, made famous by Bitcoin, or distributed ledgers. Part II of this smart trust series will go through the technical details of blockchain. For now, it’s easiest to summarize blockchain as a secure, trustworthy process that makes the keepers safe too.

    A relatively new technology, blockchain employs a complicated system of computing and storage to irreversibly and permanently store records, track reputations and enact transactions. It works in conjunction with other cybersecurity measures like encryption, limited access, and authorization to keep a network safe.

    Blockchain has the potential to affect multiple disciplines, including those hard-to-digitize fields like contracts. Ongoing research especially seeks to address its feasibility for edge computing and IoT networks, where data is more vulnerable. Part III of our series will discuss current and future applications.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PSA: No India hasn’t banned Bitcoin — but it’s still talking tough on crypto
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/03/psa-no-india-hasnt-banned-bitcoin-but-its-still-talking-tough-on-crypto/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    Reports of the death of Bitcoin in India have been greatly exaggerated.

    On Thursday a budget speech by finance minister Arun Jaitley generated a tsunami of ‘the Bitcoin party is over in India’ headlines, adding to downward pressures on the cryptocurrency.

    Safe to say, the truth of the matter is a lot more gray. Yes, Jaitley talked tough on crypto currencies. But no, there was no outright ban — not yet, anyway. The Indian government’s plans for crypto regulation remain unformulated (or at least unstated).

    Here’s the relevant chunk of Jaitley’s budget speech (via The India Express):
    Distributed ledger system or the block chain technology allows organization of any chain of records or transactions without the need of intermediaries. The Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system. The Government will explore use of block chain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy.

    One clear takeaway from that is the minister is sounding much more positive about blockchain technology

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin Whipsaws Investors as Bubble Shows Signs of Bursting
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-02/bitcoin-drops-below-8-500-as-cryptocurrency-misery-continues

    Bitcoin whipsawed investors, falling below $8,000 for the first time since November before recovering most of Friday’s losses, as a miserable 2018 continued for cryptocurrencies.

    Since reaching a record high of $19,511 on Dec. 18 shortly after the introduction of regulated futures contracts in the U.S., Bitcoin has wiped out more than half its value amid waves of negative news.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Japan Raids Hacked Crypto Exchange, Bitcoin Plunges Further
    http://www.securityweek.com/japan-raids-hacked-crypto-exchange-bitcoin-plunges-further

    Japanese authorities on Friday raided virtual currency exchange Coincheck, a week after the Tokyo-based firm lost $530 million in cryptocurrency to hackers.

    The raid comes as bitcoin dipped below $9,000 for the first time since November after India said Thursday it would take measures to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies.

    The search of Coincheck’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Shibuya district was carried out by the Financial Services Agency, which had already slapped the company with an administrative order following the hack.

    “We have launched an on-site inspection to ensure preservation of clients’ assets,” Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a briefing.

    Japanese officials have suggested Coincheck lacked proper security measures, making itself vulnerable to theft.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DDG, the second largest mining botnet targets Redis and OrientDB servers
    http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/68555/malware/ddg-botnet.html

    Researchers at Qihoo 360’s Netlab analyzed a new campaign powered by the DDG botnet, the second largest mining botnet of ever, that targets Redis and OrientDB servers.
    A new Monero-mining botnet dubbed DDG was spotted in the wild, the malware targets Redis and OrientDB servers.

    According to the researchers at Qihoo 360’s Netlab, the DDG botnet was first detected in 2016 and is continuously updated throughout 2017.

    The miner has already infected nearly 4,400 servers and has mined over $925,000 worth of Monero since March 2017, DDG is among the largest mining botnets.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CRUNCH NETWORK
    VISA and Mastercard make it harder to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/05/visa-and-mastercard-make-it-harder-to-buy-bitcoin-and-other-cryptocurrencies/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    Bitcoin investors started noticing additional fees on their bank statements. It turns out that VISA and Mastercard both decided (how convenient!) to reclassify the way Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency purchases are processed on their networks.

    Currently, if you want to buy bitcoin, ethereum or any other alt-coin instantly, the only option is to use your debit or credit card. Transferring funds from your bank has lower fees, but takes several days. Coinbase has long accepted debit and credit cards for instant buys, however, passing on to the buyer the standard 4 percent credit card transaction fee.

    Coinbase transactions (and presumably all other exchanges, as well) are now being labeled as a “cash advance” rather than a “purchase.” Fees will vary by institution, but what this means is that using a credit card will result in an additional 5 percent fee tacked on by your credit card merchant, in addition to the 4 percent credit card transaction fee already passed on by Coinbase.

    Even worse is that cash advances do not fall under the standard interest-free grace period that consumers expect for other credit card purchases.

    the interest rate is also higher for cash advances  —  an astonishing 25.99 percent in one case.

    For example, a $5,000 instant bitcoin purchase made on Coinbase using a VISA or Mastercard credit card will now result in roughly $500 in fees + interest too. For most people, losing 10 percent of your investment in fees

    If anything, this change makes things more complicated in the short term. Authorities are already divided on what bitcoin “is”

    By reclassifying Coinbase (and presumably all other exchanges, as well), VISA and Mastercard are doing their best to make it harder, slower and more expensive for people to invest in cryptocurrency.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Crypto-mining Botnet Targets Android Devices
    http://www.securityweek.com/crypto-mining-botnet-targets-android-devices

    A new crypto-mining botnet has been growing and targeting Android devices with an open ADB port, Qihoo 360′s NetLab researchers reveal.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Crypto-Mining Botnet Ensnares 500,000 Windows Machines
    http://www.securityweek.com/crypto-mining-botnet-ensnares-500000-windows-machines

    Focused on mining Monero crypto-currency, a new botnet has managed to ensnare over half a million machines to date, Proofpoint reports.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Japan Raids Hacked Crypto Exchange, Bitcoin Plunges Further
    http://www.securityweek.com/japan-raids-hacked-crypto-exchange-bitcoin-plunges-further

    Japanese authorities on Friday raided virtual currency exchange Coincheck, a week after the Tokyo-based firm lost $530 million in cryptocurrency to hackers.

    The raid comes as bitcoin dipped below $9,000 for the first time since November after India said Thursday it would take measures to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Where do we go now?
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/05/where-do-we-go-now/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

    The crypto crash is reverberating through the Internet while the “rest” of the economy – namely the stock market – enters free fall.

    First, I don’t think this is the bottom of the fall. Expect things to hover around $5,000-$10,000 as the folks begin thinking long and hard about why they’re in the space. I suspect we’ll see a rise in interest as Wall Street bonuses are paid out this month and savvier investors “buy the dip.”

    We all know that something big is happening. Whether it’s tied to BTC price or not is uncertain, but we do know that these technologies have a part to play in our brave new future.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin Draws Congress’ Ire as Regulators Bemoan Oversight Gaps
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-05/cryptocurrency-rules-from-congress-sought-by-u-s-market-cops

    SEC and CFTC chiefs say they may need more power over crypto
    Existing rules aren’t adequate for exchanges: SEC’s Clayton

    The U.S.’s top market cops on Tuesday identified gaping holes in regulators’ ability to police cryptocurrencies, opening the door for Congress to tighten oversight of what’s become a global investment craze.

    Lawmakers may need to to pass legislation that gives federal agencies jurisdiction over Bitcoin’s spot market and the online platforms that digital coins trade on

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Senate cryptocurrency hearing strikes a cautiously optimistic tone
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/06/virtual-currencies-oversight-hearing-sec-cftc-bitcoin/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    In a week of plunging prices and bad news, the hearing struck a tone that coin watchers could reasonably interpret as surprisingly optimistic.

    Over the course of the open hearing, Clayton and Giancarlo traded testimony over what can be regulated, what should be regulated and how, while offering a broader outlook on the long-term future of virtual currency markets and blockchain tech.

    The testimony drew a useful distinction among three pillars of the virtual currency ecosystem (for lack of a better unifying term): cryptocurrencies, “a replacement for dollars;” ICOs, “like a stock offering;” and distributed ledger technologies, or the technical framework generally known as blockchain.

    Comment:
    “Those who engage in semantic gymnastics or elaborate re-structuring exercises in an effort to avoid having a coin be a security are squarely in the crosshairs of our enforcement provision.” Pretty clear warning to the world of Shitcoins

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Sacks’s new startup wants to make it safer for old-guard industries to jump into crypto
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/06/david-sackss-new-startup-wants-make-it-safer-for-old-guard-industries-to-jump-into-crypto/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    “When you have an unregulated exchange, the ability to manipulate prices goes up significantly,” Clayton told the Senate Banking Committee earlier today.

    Clayton’s testimony is pretty convenient timing for Harbor, a new blockchain technology company that just raised $10 million from an interesting group of investors

    Broadly speaking, what Harbor claims to do is protect issuers and investors by making it easier for them to operate in accordance with securities, tax and other regulations when issuing and trading crypto-securities.

    But Harbor isn’t looking to cater to the types of decentralized file storage startups we’ve seen raise money through token sales. It’s chasing what many see as the next wave of issuers and investors — people from old-guard institutions like real estate and venture capital and private equity who want in on the game.

    David Sacks’s new startup wants to make it safer for old-guard industries to jump into crypto
    Posted 5 hours ago by Connie Loizos (@cookie)

    SEC chairman Jay Clayton made clear today that his agency, along with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, remains acutely concerned about initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency trades. In fact, toward that end, they’d like more expansive powers when it comes to protecting customers on cryptocurrency exchanges from fraud.

    “When you have an unregulated exchange, the ability to manipulate prices goes up significantly,” Clayton told the Senate Banking Committee earlier today.

    Clayton’s testimony is pretty convenient timing for Harbor, a new blockchain technology company that just raised $10 million from an interesting group of investors, including Chicago-based Valor Equity Partners; the real estate tech-focused venture firm called Fifth Wall Ventures; the Dubai venture firm Vy Capital; and Craft Ventures, a new venture fund created by serial entrepreneur David Sacks — who also helped incubate Harbor.

    Broadly speaking, what Harbor claims to do is protect issuers and investors by making it easier for them to operate in accordance with securities, tax and other regulations when issuing and trading crypto-securities.

    But Harbor isn’t looking to cater to the types of decentralized file storage startups we’ve seen raise money through token sales. It’s chasing what many see as the next wave of issuers and investors — people from old-guard institutions like real estate and venture capital and private equity who want in on the game.

    Harbor might work, for example, with a company that owns and operates commercial properties and that regularly issues real estate securities like bonds or stock in a building, but which also needs to deal with complex legal stuff, like tax withholdings and minimum investor requirements.

    How it all works is a bit complicated, but according to Harbor co-founder and chief product officer Arisa Amano, Harbor’s first project is what it’s calling the Regulated Token (or “R-Token”) Standard, an open-source project that addresses the compliance problem for secondary trading.

    It’s built on the token standard ERC-20, which is widely supported by the existing Ethereum ecosystem. And the R-Token Standard ostensibly provides an interface that embeds compliance at the token level and can be implemented in a way that ensures that specified requirements like investor caps and holding periods are met before a trade is approved. (When a trade is requested, the R-Token checks with an on-chain regulator service to make sure that the investor has been verified and the trade meets all the legal requirements.) The token will throw off an error message otherwise and won’t transfer.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is this the cybercrime megatrend of 2018?
    The Cybercrime Megatrend of 2018 | What the Cyber?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TP3gA6NRtN4

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica:
    How Lightning may mitigate Bitcoin’s scaling problem by creating a new protocol level on top of Bitcoin, making payments faster and cheaper

    Bitcoin has a huge scaling problem—Lightning could be the solution
    The Lightning network could enable much cheaper and faster bitcoin payments.
    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/bitcoins-lightning-network-a-deep-dive/

    Three startups are getting ready to launch one of the most ambitious and important cryptocurrency experiments since the creation of bitcoin itself. Called Lightning, the project aims to build a fast, scalable, and cryptographically secure payment network layered on top of the existing bitcoin network.

    Essentially, Lightning aims to solve the big problem that has loomed over bitcoin in recent years: Satoshi Nakamoto’s design for bitcoin is comically unscalable. It requires every full node in bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network to receive and store a copy of every transaction ever made on the network.

    Initially, that design was vital to achieving Nakamoto’s vision of a fully decentralized payment network. But as Purdue computer scientist Pedro Moreno-Sanchez told Ars, it creates a big challenge as the network becomes more popular. “We have reached a point where it’s not suitable any more to keep growing,” he said.

    Lightning could offer a way out of this bind. It shifts routine payments outside of the blockchain, clearing away the most significant obstacle to bitcoin’s continued growth.

    In fact, the Lightning project could potentially do much more than that. Lightning payments are expected to be faster, cheaper, and more private than conventional bitcoin payments. Proponents see Lightning as a new, second layer in the bitcoin software stack. They hope Lightning will expand the appeal of bitcoin in much the same way the Web helped the Internet go mainstream.

    Today, three different companies—San Francisco startups Blockstream and Lightning Labs and Paris startup ACINQ—are working on parallel implementations of the Lightning technology stack. The trio released version 1.0 of the Lightning specification in December, and the companies are now racing to get their software ready for use by the general public.

    Lightning uses the cryptographic primitives of the bitcoin network to make secure payments outside the blockchai

    Lightning’s core idea: Chaining payment channels together

    The basic unit of the Lightning network is called the payment channel. This is a private conversation between two users that enables the exchange of cryptographically enforceable IOUs. As long as both parties follow the rules, there’s no need to broadcast these individual transactions to the broader bitcoin network. In principle, two parties can make dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of payments to one another without cluttering up the blockchain.

    In the Lightning vision, the old-fashioned bitcoin network becomes a cryptographic backstop for these payment channels. The IOUs are actually cleverly-formatted bitcoin transactions called commitment transactions that haven’t yet been submitted to the bitcoin network. A user always has an option to “cash out” by posting the current commitment transaction to the blockchain and collecting the money she’s owed.

    But payment channels aren’t enough to solve bitcoin’s scaling challenges on their own. In the real world, people want to make payments to a lot of different people

    Each payment channel generates two bitcoin transactions: one to open it, and a second to close it. So if people had to open a new payment channel to every recipient, congestion on the blockchain might get worse rather than better.

    So the Lightning network provides a cryptographically secure method for chaining payment channels together. If Alice has a payment channel with Bob and Bob has a payment channel with Carol, then Alice can pay Carol by sending some money to Bob and asking Bob to forward the money on to Carol. Crucially, the Lightning protocol guarantees that Bob can’t steal the money as it passes through his hands.

    The ability to securely chain payment channels together creates the possibility of stitching millions of people together into a single global payment network.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Crypto prices mount a comeback following huge losses
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/07/bitcoin-crypto-prices-mount-a-comeback/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    After a big and bloody plunge this week — which saw the price of bitcoin touch a two-month low of sub-$6,000 — the crypto market has mounted a comeback with double-digit gains across the board.

    The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is estimated at over $390 billion, with bitcoin representing 35 percent of that figure.

    That marks a recovery, but the total market cap is still some way down from where it has been lately. We reported that it was at $459 billion last week, having been as high as $830 billion in early January.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This new company wants to sequence your genome and let you share it on a blockchain
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610221/this-new-company-wants-to-sequence-your-genome-and-let-you-share-it-on-a-blockchain/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_content=2018-02-07&utm_campaign=Technology+Review

    People will be able to earn cryptocurrency in exchange for letting pharma companies use their data.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Russian nuclear scientists arrested for ‘Bitcoin mining plot’
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43003740

    Russian security officers have arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility for allegedly mining crypto-currencies.

    The suspects had tried to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoins, media reports say.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paul Vigna / Wall Street Journal:
    Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail says it lost 17M tokens of Nano/XRB cryptocurrency, worth about $170M, suspends withdrawals for all cryptocurrencies — BitGrail says it lost about 17 million tokens of Nano — An Italian cryptocurrency exchange called BitGrail said on Friday …

    Cryptocurrency Worth $170 Million Missing From Italian Exchange
    BitGrail says it lost about 17 million tokens of Nano
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cryptocurrency-worth-170-million-missing-from-italian-exchange-1518241679

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43030677

    Nearly 100% of energy in Iceland comes from renewable sources

    Iceland is facing an “exponential” rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said.

    This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland’s homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson.

    He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act.

    “If all these projects are realised, we won’t have enough energy for it,”

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin: Does it really use more electricity than Ireland?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42265728

    Can something which has no physical presence consume as much electricity as an entire country?

    Around 3,600 new bitcoins are created every day through a complex process known as “mining”, where computers are rewarded with a bitcoin for processing mathematical equations through specialised software.

    Social media platforms such as Twitter are unsurprisingly full of claims about Bitcoin’s energy consumption.

    So are comparisons like this accurate?

    The short answer is that it’s very difficult to say, as there are no recognised authoritative sources on energy usage for digital currencies like Bitcoin.

    A widely-used formula to calculate energy consumption is from the crypto-currency blog Digiconomist,

    According to this method, Bitcoin’s current annual electricity consumption is estimated to be 32.56 terawatt hours (TWh).

    , it should come as no surprise that it is not without its critics.

    The total number of bitcoins in circulation currently stands at 16.7 million, which will continue to rise until it reaches 21 million – the total supply set by the currency’s rules.

    Bitcoin is likely to continue to generate headlines until it reaches its maximum circulation.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Salon’s Monero mining project might be crazy like a fox
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/13/salon-coinhive-cryptocurrency-mining/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

    In the age of altcoins, at least one news site is taking a novel approach to making ends meet. Salon announced today that it would give readers a choice between turning off ad-blocking software or “allowing Salon to use your unused computing power” in order to access their content. If you say yes to the latter deal, Salon will then invite you to install Coinhive, a software plugin that mines the cryptocurrency known as Monero.

    The offering is a clever if controversial way to recoup lost ad revenue. It’s no secret that digital media companies are hurting, and crowdsourcing the process that generates some virtual currencies is certainly an innovative solution, though definitely an experimental one.

    Still, running software like this, which is often inserted onto unsuspecting machines via malware, is a big ask from readers

    https://www.salon.com/about/faq-what-happens-when-i-choose-to-suppress-ads-on-salon/

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain engineers are in demand
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/14/blockchain-engineers-are-in-demand/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    Demand is off the charts for blockchain talent, and the capital is waiting to back it up. More than $3.7 billion has been raised through ICOs in the United States alone. Blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market; there are now 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer. And as Nick Szabo, the developer who coined “smart contracts,” pointed out, there is an extreme “$/knowledge” ratio in the blockchain space, where capital by far outpaces talent.

    Requests for on-demand blockchain talent are skyrocketing

    Since January 2017, the demand for blockchain engineering talent on Toptal has grown 700 percent, and 40 percent of the fully managed software development projects requested in the last month require blockchain skills.

    The first is Hyperledger Fabric implementation, an open-source enterprise blockchain framework. The second is Ripple development, a payment protocol used for distributed processes for remittances, payments and exchanges. The third is smart contract development with a concentration around Solidity, a smart-contract programming language for Ethereum Virtual Machine.

    “Different types of contracts are going to be disrupted first,” he said. “Disruption will be in places like asset management, or deals being made that require complex contracting. Payments are so complex, and to work at scale, require the sign-off of not just central banks, but also governments. Payments won’t come first. Contracts don’t need such a sign-off, since they are a lower barrier to entry. There are less regulatory hurdles, so we will see the contract space get disrupted first.”

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    My professional opinion as a blockchain researcher: I don’t see the point (yet)
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2018/01/12/my-professional-opinion-as-a-blockchain-researcher-i-dont-see-the-point/

    I’ve spent the last 15 months researching the implications and possibilities of blockchains and related “distributed trust technologies” from a business and societal point of view. Sadly, I have to say that I don’t quite get the hype, as much as I’d love to believe in a technological revolution that democratises the world economy.

    As it stands, public blockchain is very much a kludgy solution looking for non-existent problem, namely lack of trusted intermediaries in finance and accounting.

    Unfortunately for this central value proposition of blockchain, there is no lack of trusted enough intermediaries in the financial/accounting sector.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The search for aliens is struggling thanks to cryptocurrency mania
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/14/the-search-for-aliens-is-struggling-thanks-to-cryptocurrency-mania/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook#

    Millions of idiots trying to mine cryptocurrency so they can be part of the latest, stupidest and most irresponsibly hyped get-rich-quick tech craze are hindering the actual important work of finding out if aliens exist.

    GPUs used for cryptocurrency mining are high demand, meaning they can’t be used for other purposes for which they’re well suited, including parsing data gathered by observatories

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain & IoT Convergence: Is It Happening?
    https://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1332967

    The centralized architecture of most IoT solutions means that there is serious potential lack of resilience. Blockchain is an emerging technology that could help with system resiliency.

    Many obstacles are slowing down the adoption of the IoT.

    First, the market for IoT devices and platforms is fragmented, with many standards and many vendors. There is ongoing uncertainty about the technology, the vendors and the solutions offered.

    Second, there are concerns about interoperability, as the solutions implemented often tend to create new data silos.

    Data in the cloud is often stored securely, but cloud-based security implementations cannot protect your data against devices with compromised integrity, nor against data tampering at the source.

    Blockchain is an emerging technology that could help with system resiliency.

    According to IBM, the three benefits of blockchain for the IoT are building trust, cost reduction and the acceleration of transactions:

    Building trust between the parties and devices with blockchain cryptography and reducing the risk of collusion and tampering
    Reducing cost by removing the overhead associated with middlemen and intermediaries
    Accelerating transactions by reducing the settlement time from days to nearly instantaneous

    How would a blockchain-based system accomplish all of this? IBM’s point of view is that all devices in the blockchain should have the resources to run the blockchain software. With every element in an IoT system able to process blockchain data, suddenly blockchain becomes the solution to every problem! Well, not entirely.

    A key element of distributed ledgers is that they are open; they are not usually ‘owned’ by any one entity. Any computer connected to a distributed ledger is called a ‘node’. Most of the nodes are lightweight (or at least lightweight relative to the capacities of cloud servers), and so they don’t hold the full ledger. Each ‘block’ within the ledger has a maximum size of 1 MB. A small desktop computer can easily hold a full copy of the ledger, but this is not the case with the majority of IoT devices. Any blockchain system needs at least a few ‘full nodes’ containing the complete ledger.

    Another issue is that you need the proper security credentials to view a transaction. So, IoT security issues are still present when using this technology. Device commissioning and secure key management are still ongoing issues with IoT devices, and not solved by blockchain.

    Yet despite these benefits, the blockchain model is not without its shortcomings. These include:

    Scalability. Blockchain does not yet scale very well. This might lead back to centralization, defeating the purpose of the distributed ledger.
    Processing power. Small devices do not have the power required to perform encryption for all the objects involved in a blockchain-based ecosystem. The forecasted billions of IoT devices will be produced in very large volumes and at very low cost, and the majority of these devices will not be capable of running the required encryption algorithms at the desired speed.
    Storage. Even if blockchain eliminates the need for a central server to store transactions and device IDs, the ledger has to be stored on the nodes themselves. The ledger will increase in size as time passes. This is beyond the capabilities of a wide range of smart devices such as sensors, which have very low storage capacity (either internal flash memory or external NOR or NAND flash).
    Lack of expertise. Few people understand how blockchain technology works. Mixing blockchain and IoT technologies adds great complexities to a system.
    Interoperability issues. It is well known that the value of the IoT rises when you can combine data sources. We already lack data model standards for many vertical markets. Adding blockchain to the mix will only make this issue more difficult, not to mention the legal and compliance issues that such transaction management will create.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Frenzied demand for Nvidia’s graphic chips shoot prices through the roof
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nvidia-results-research/frenzied-demand-for-nvidias-graphic-chips-shoot-prices-through-the-roof-idUSKBN1FT2AW

    (Reuters) – Nvidia Corp’s (NVDA.O) graphic processors, or GPUs, are so overwhelmingly popular that gamers and cryptocurrency miners are willing to pay up to three times the original list price to get their hands on its cards online.

    The company’s GeForce 1070 chip set, which retailed at $349 a year ago, was going for up to $900 from electronics wholesalers on Amazon.com Inc

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Crypto miners are striving for machinery – including in Finland

    According to the data maintained by the security company Check Point, Coinhive-miners was already the second most widely spread malware in Finland’s business network in January.

    On the top ten list of the most common malware, Coinhive was the top spot, and included two other cryptolouragers. In Finland, Coinhive was the second most commonly used corporate network malware after Fireball.

    Crimean miners are used by criminals and miners are not illegal in themselves. However, cybercriminals may harness programs with the secret of some of the victims ‘computers’ performance in extracting the crypto currencies themselves,

    Source: https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2018/02/16/kryptolouhijat-pyrkivat-koneisiin-myos-suomessa/

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Clever Ethereum honeypot lets coins come in but won’t let them back out
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/16/clever-ethereum-honeypot-lets-coins-come-in-but-wont-let-them-back-out/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    An interesting new Ethereum-based honeypot has been discovered that essentially allows hackers to steal from hackers. The honeypot is detailed on Reddit. A user was hunting for examples of contracts that exhibited possible were susceptible to a “reentrancy attack.” It’s a bit complex but at its core the attack lets you concurrently request your money out of a smart contract over and over before the contract is able to set your account total to zero.

    The contracts are visible on the network and are easy to find.

    One Reddit commenter checked the code and found that all withdrawals had been secretly disconnected in the contract, ensuring that only the owner of the contract could get at the money.

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ICO startups band together to create $100M+ grant fund for Ethereum projects
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/16/ethereum-community-fund/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    In a first of its kind, half a dozen ICO companies have come together to collaborate on a new fund that plans to pay out more than $100 million to promising projects in the Ethereum crypto space.

    Beyond those projects, the Ethereum Foundation, which controls the Ether token that is the base for the majority of ICO projects, is involved with founder Vitalik Buterin confirmed in an advisory role alongside a number of other industry figures.

    The exact scope of the project is not fully clear at this point

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://ethlend.io/en/

    Decentralized and secure financial marketplace for peer to peer lending agreements using Blockchain and Smart Contracts

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain for Identity: 6 Hot Projects
    https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/blogs/blockchain-for-identity-6-hot-projects-p-2589?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BHUHbv%2BAoQb2fpd714DIZFA%3D%3D

    Distributed Ledgers for Identity and Access Management Have Great Promise

    Blockchain – a distributed, mathematically vetted ledger – already powers cryptocurrencies, but is also spawning ideas unrelated to payments

    For all blockchain’s hype, the launch of the first-ever blockchain in early 2009 with bitcoin was truly nothing short of revolutionary. Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym for bitcoin’s creator, developed a way to run a truly decentralized, secure database that offers a financial incentive to anyone who participates in the ecosystem. That’s because anyone who allows their systems to “mine” bitcoin – referring to the computationally intensive process of cryptographically verifying entries to the ledger that is bitcoin’s blockchain – might receive bitcoins as a reward.

    Distributed ledger technology also holds great promise for IAM. But it’s complicated.

    The analysts I spoke with largely feel it’s still very early days for blockchain and IAM.

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cryptocurrency market could hit $1 trillion this year with bitcoin surging to $50,000, experts say
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/07/bitcoin-price-could-hit-50000-this-year-experts-say.html?__source=facebook%7Cwired&mbid=social_fb

    Cryptocurrencies could go on a bull run greater than last year and pass the trillion-dollar value mark, Jamie Burke, CEO at Outlier Ventures said.
    Technological advancements and new investor products could push bitcoin to $50,000 in 2018, Thomas Glucksmann of Gatecoin told CNBC.
    Investors may focus on so-called “utility tokens” this year which are digital coins that can power blockchain technologies, according to one expert.

    Reply

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