Do you need a blockchain? | TechCrunch
Blockchain technology is set to have a profound impact on a wide variety of industries. Blockchain technology is still surrounded by its fair share of hype and uncertainty. It seems that the term blockchain has become a bit diluted as the hype has continued to bloom.

There is an inherent risk that managers eager to explore new technologies jump to conclusions without properly exploring alternative options. Go through decision models to see if makes sense to consider blockchain or not.

Blockchain differs from a database in many ways, but the most significant exception is the decentralized nature of blockchain. However, this feature comes at a cost especially on public blockchains: considerably slower than traditional databases and users must pay a fee for each “transaction”. So if performance and transaction speed and cost ate the most important factors, you most propably should stick with a more traditional database.

Thete are new private blockchains that promise benefits. Critics also argue that the term private blockchain is just a confusing name for a shared database. For example Estonia’s digital identity solution is an example of the use of the blockchain as a marketing tactic.
While there are many reasons to steer clear of blockchain technology, there are equally many potential valuable use cases.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cryptocurrency’s Estimated Draw on World Resources Could Power Bangladesh

    Is the phenomenon of cryptocurrency sustainable? A number of factors come into play here, but as it expands, power consumption and requisite cost become the main issues.

    When it comes to mining cryptocurrency and how much power is consumed during mining operations globally, nobody knows for sure. However, based on varied utility costs alone, it’s estimated at 53.99 TWh, or enough energy to power the country of Bangladesh annually, according to the Digiconomist Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index—a website dedicated to providing in-depth analysis regarding cryptocurrencies.

    Cryptocurrencies are digital assets (currencies) designed for use as a medium of exchange in the same fashion as traditional assets or money. However, they use cryptography to secure transactions as well as control the creation of additional units and the verification of transfer assets. Most, such as Bitcoin and other altcoins, are decentralized, with control mitigated through blockchains. Blockchains are continuously growing lists of records that form blocks (i.e., ledger) containing a cryptographic hash (mathematical algorithm), which makes it tough to alter the data and therefore makes the digital currency secure.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RSA yet to be sold on magic pixie dust qualities of blockchain

    Just because you can solve your problems with a blockchain, doesn’t mean you should, according to RSA CTO Zulfikar Ramzan.

    While the world rushes to slap a blockchain onto a growing number of applications to generate hype and excitement, RSA CTO Zulfikar Ramzan has told ZDNet that he is not convinced that many use cases of blockchain couldn’t be addressed by more traditional mechanisms, such as a database.

    “For example, we talk about like supply chain management, people tout that as a very classic blockchain use case,” he said. “But to me, that seems like that’s a shared database use case — and you know, it’s funny because people who don’t understand the security nuances don’t understand why a database is not worse than a blockchain, in fact I think in many cases it is better.”

    Ramzan said that in many cases, blockchain is a “heavy duty model” designed to address problems with a lack of trust, but often the solution has a number of trust assumptions built in. For instance, in the case of tracking an object, the process for assigning identifiers and adding the identifers to the blockchain need to be trusted.

    The CTO told ZDNet that blockchain is starting to be regarded as magic.

    “It’s become this magical pixie dust, where people think you can solve all problems, and yes, maybe you can use it to address a certain set of problems, but just because you can and doesn’t mean you should.

    “You can buy a sledgehammer to push a thumbtack into a wall. You could also just use your thumb. It’s a much cheaper solution, and probably better for other reasons as well. I think that’s where we are.”

    However, Ramzan was not prepared to write off blockchain totally.

    “I don’t want to discount that there will never be any applications, or there aren’t legitimate use cases where you could try blockchain outside of cryptocurrencies. But I think people who haven’t really spent time understanding the nuances will … use a buzzword to get people excited about technology.”

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Accessing Blockchain on ESP8266 Using the NodeMCU Board

    Blockchains claim to be public, distributed, effectively immutable ledgers. Unfortunately, they also tend to get a little bit huge – presently the Bitcoin blockchain is 194GB and Ethereum weighs in at 444GB. That poses quite an inconvenience for me, as I was looking at making some fun ‘Ethereum blockchain aware’ gadgets and that’s several orders of magnitude too much data to deal with on a microcontroller, not to mention the bandwidth cost if using 3G.

    Having imagined a thin device that I could integrate into my mobile phone cover (or perhaps… a wallet?) dealing with the whole blockchain was clearly not a possibility. I could use a VPS or router to efficiently download the necessary data and respond to queries, but even that seemed like a lot of overhead, so I investigated available APIs.

    As it turns out, several blockchain explorers offer APIs that do what I want. My efforts get an ESP8266 involved with the blockchain began with two of the available APIs: Ethplorer and Etherscan.

    Ethplorer (Github) responds with data to HTTP GET requests. Some key features are that it allows you to retrieve trading data like pricing and volume for both coins and tokens.

    Etherscan on the other hand focuses on more things that I’m interested in. It has some basic smart contract features like checking execution status, and in addition to HTTP GET requests it supports websockets for something approaching real-time alerting.

    Both services are presently free to use and can check Eth balances, transactions histories, and the other features you’d expect in this type of blockchain explorer. I chose Etherscan for this project because I wasn’t interested in price data and I thought of some fun things websockets would allow. Both services provide data in JSON format, which is quite convenient as we’ll see later.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Simple Ethereum Vending Machines with NodeMCU

    Recently, we covered how to use the Etherscan API to query data (a wallet balance) from the Ethereum blockchain with NodeMCU. It’s a very useful method for retrieving information from a blockchain on embedded systems where storage and memory are an issue.

    It has some limitations though. Most notably, it’s polling the API at some interval to retrieve information whether it has changed or not.

    Simply send to an address via some method, and receive goods!

    It turns out we can do exactly that with NodeMCU using WebSocket. Like HTTP, WebSocket is a communications protocol that uses TCP connections (typically over port 80), but it allows full-duplex communication. In other words, you can establish a connection to a server, and send/receive messages without needing to poll the server.

    Accessing Blockchain on ESP8266 Using the NodeMCU Board

    Blockchains claim to be public, distributed, effectively immutable ledgers. Unfortunately, they also tend to get a little bit huge – presently the Bitcoin blockchain is 194GB and Ethereum weighs in at 444GB. That poses quite an inconvenience for me, as I was looking at making some fun ‘Ethereum blockchain aware’ gadgets and that’s several orders of magnitude too much data to deal with on a microcontroller, not to mention the bandwidth cost if using 3G.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    3 Obstacles to Moving Social Media Platforms to a Blockchain

    On average, there about 10 million active sessions a day on Taiwan’s version of reddit, a 25-or-so-year-old bulletin board system called PTT.

    Last month, PTT’s administrators started developing a modified platform that could store data on distributed ledgers—permanent records shared among users themselves. Today, PTT’s servers hum on a National Taiwan University campus in Taipei

    If data is instead distributed across just enough independent entities, then the risk of censorship is much lower. And there’s another benefit: users would “own” their data and control their own privacy.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    6 Common Misconceptions About the Security of Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts

    As blockchain technology becomes an increasingly popular option for companies searching for secure business solutions, we’re seeing more use cases for the network and smart contracts.

    A smart contract is a computer protocol that is used to digitally facilitate, verify and enforce the performance of credible transactions without the need for a third party. When operating on a blockchain network, smart contracts are utilized to verify or enforce a set of promises through various digital security methods.

    However, there are a wide range of misconceptions about the security that blockchain and smart contracts offer.

    Blockchain Misconceptions
    When blockchain technology first emerged into the mainstream, it was commonly portrayed as a hub of criminality, particularly on the dark web.

    One misconception that is commonly spread about blockchain technology is that it’s completely unhackable and unmodifiable. Although the blockchain is one of the most secure options available to businesses, no system is 100 percent safe from being hacked or altered. In theory, any person or group within a blockchain network is capable of gathering enough mining resources to take control, though it is highly unlikely.

    But since a blockchain network is decentralized and not able to be controlled by a single entity, it’s virtually impossible to shut down unless every network participant stops working within it.

    Smart Contract Misconceptions

    A smart contract is software code within a program that follows the instructions set forth by an agreement between two parties. As explained on Coindesk, smart contracts essentially act as a list of “if/then” statements that operate automatically when a specific condition or promise is met. However, there is nothing legally binding about them

    smart contracts such a secure solution is that they can only be executed if a transaction or message is sent to the smart contract.

    Unlike Ethereum, most blockchain networks are either not capable of operating with smart contracts or only do so in an extremely limited capacity. On top of that, smart contracts possess completely different features depending on the blockchain network they’re running on.

    It’s no surprise that the recent emergence of blockchain technology and smart contracts has created misconceptions among the business world and general public.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How I became Leonardo da Vinci on the Blockchain

    One in particular caught my attention. On the surface it seems to solve an important economic problem – art forgery and provenance.

    By putting your artwork on the “BitCoin Blockchain”, Verisart will ✨hand wavy magic✨ increase the trust in art dealers and reduce fraud.

    That’s a pretty neat idea. A distributed public ledger of who I have sold my art to.

    what if I sell a fake and keep the original in my Underground Vault?

    There’s no way to permanently attach a digital certificate to a physical work of art.

    Incidentally, this is the problem with all the startups claiming the blockchain will revolutionise the integrity of global logistics markets. Sure, you can slap a QR code on a crate – but nothing stops an unscrupulous middle-man from replacing or adulterating the contents of the crate.

    Long story short, I convinced them that I painted the Mona Lisa. An excellent situationalist prank. Much avant-garde, so postmodernism.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain: Not just for cryptocurrency
    There’s a lot more to blockchain than Bitcoin.

    A colleague and I sat down and said, “we need to figure out this blockchain thing,” because we didn’t even know how it was relevant, let alone what problems it might be able to fix.

    Blockchain basics
    A blockchain is a distributed set of data that uses cryptography to verify and secure that information. Each piece of data in a blockchain is called a block, and the blockchain is the entire set of that data.

    A blockchain is a distributed set of data that uses cryptography to verify and secure that information

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain in action: 5 interesting examples

    We look at five areas where blockchain projects are showing tangible progress, including supply chain, real estate, and healthcare

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain evolution: A quick guide and why open source is at the heart of it

    From Bitcoin to the next generation of blockchains.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Many of your thoughts on cryptosystems are not true

    The world is slowly moving towards a completely digital monetary system and cryptographic currencies have an important role in this development. The company called GlobalData reminds us that many of the allegations associated with the CRM are not true.

    In its “Cryptocurrencies – Thematic Research” survey, GlobalData says that while block logs and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technologies) play an important role in modernizing financial systems, thinking that the boulders themselves have brought tremendous savings, is an imagination.

    - Many of the arguments put forward by the crypto curators are not true. It is alleged that the crypt sword will speed up financial transactions, remove the middlemen from the deal and be free, but none of these is true, says GlobalData analyst Gary Barnett.

    Chryptovegoods are not free. At its peak, the price of a Bitcoin transaction exceeded $ 50, which was not very well matched with $ 25 groceries. Although the purchase price is about one dollar when there is no load on the web, the amount will inevitably increase as the volumes rise again.

    Still, no cryptographic currency will be accepted and exchanged widely.

    The big problem is that the crypto currencies can not be scaled. Visa system can support 24,000 transactions per second. In Bitcoin, it is difficult to access more than 10 transactions per second. The only thing close to the Visio’s readership is the Ripple


  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One of our observations of existing systems is that consensus operations are very expensive. our network protocol design allows compute committees and storage committees to process transactions without relying on heavy-weight consensus protocols.”


  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Rental attacks mean that blockchains must evolve or die

    Blockchain technologies have a well-earned reputation for hacking and fraud, but the recent theft of more than twenty million dollars of second-tier cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Gold, Verge, and ZenCash was a fundamental attack on the core mechanisms that allow cryptocurrencies to function. The way that most blockchains (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) function now is called Proof-of-Work; miners must solve hard computational problems to add new blocks of transactions to the chain and the majority (i.e., 51%) of the computational power can determine what transactions appear in the public ledger.

    In May and June, these second-tier cryptocurrencies suffered from what is called a “51% attack”, where attackers rented more processing power than the honest participants of the network, enabling them to control the transaction register and engage in nefarious behavior.

    any blockchain with reasonably low transaction fees is fundamentally vulnerable to 51% attacks. The risk of these attacks was known, informally, from the earliest days of cryptocurrency, and to counter this risk exchanges do not immediately credit deposits.

    The average Bitcoin transaction fee is about a dollar; Budish suggests that these fees should be 100x higher (or more) to secure Bitcoin’s blockchain.

    why Bitcoin appears secure while other currencies are not: only a small fraction of the mining capability of the Bitcoin network is available to rent. Bitcoin remains secure because there is a great deal of scarcity in the market for latest-generation mining equipment, such as the expensive ASIC chips

    Looking at the hourly attack-rental prices on Crypto 51 (generally only a few thousand dollars) it is easy to draw the conclusion that every cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin and (perhaps) Ethereum should simply not exist because it is too easy for scammers to destabilize them.

    The threat of rental attacks means that Proof-of-Work blockchains must evolve or die. Ethereum is in the process of rolling out just such an evolution, called Casper.

    Casper would be a big change to the way Ethereum works and it faces considerable pushback from the community. To be fair, it is not a finished product yet

    Budish’s economic argument suggests that any Proof-of-Work blockchain with low transaction fees will be vulnerable to rental attacks. If blockchain technologies have a future, it will not be from Proof-of-Work.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The 5-Point Crypto Decentralization Checklist

    Whether a particular cryptocurrency can be considered “sufficiently decentralized,” however, is not something that’s set in stone — no official metric exists to determine such a parameter. But given the crucial role that decentralization plays within the blockchain ecosystem, it is worth investigating the extent to which it applies in practice.

    A checklist can help in this regard.

    1. What percentage of the total coin supply do the top n token-holders own?

    2. Is the project open source?

    3. Do mining/staking pools exist? How much validating influence do they have on the network?

    4. Are validators incentivized to secure the network?

    5. How does the governance structure work?

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How blockchain will influence open source

    Interactions between users and developers via smart contracts will give new power to open source.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What the Facebook Crypto team could build

    Facebook is invading the blockchain, but how? Back in May, Facebook formed a cryptocurrency team to explore the possibilities, and today it removed a roadblock to revealing its secret plans.

    Former head of Messenger David Marcus, who leads the Facebook Crypto team, today announced he was stepping down from the board of Coinbase, the biggest crypto startup. Marcus was formerly the president of PayPal

    Now Facebook is cleared to start publicly talking about its plans, though it hasn’t yet.

    So what could Facebook be building? I see three main consumer-facing opportunities.

    3% off with FaceCoin
    P2P and micropayments
    Facebook Connect for crypto

    A top problem in the world of decentralized blockchain apps is how you bring your identity with you. Securely connecting your wallet, blockchain-based virtual goods and biographical info to new dApps can be a laborious process.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PiPFS: Portable Pi Printer Console

    Connect to the Interplanetary File System and print documents on-the-go with this spaceworthy console!

    What is IPFS? It’s a blockchain-based alternative internet, which shares files peer-to-peer, similar to a mesh network. You can get files from other people nearby, even when the actual Internet is down!

    A peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol to make the web faster, safer, and more open.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Preparing data management for blockchain and other advancements
    AUGUST 10, 2018

    The rate of innovation for technologies impacting IT architectures is staggering, particularly where data management is concerned.

    Advances such as blockchain technology are steadily gaining traction both in terms of investment and adoption. Well-informed IT professionals are starting to deploy these new technologies to establish a more connected, knowledgeable and secure business.

    Here are some ways blockchain technology and database advancements are working together to help facilitate some of those benefits.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How blockchain can complement open source

    Learn how blockchain can become the decentralized open source subsidization model.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tokens can better incentivize startup employees than equity


    Tokens can better incentivize startup employees than equity
    Joyce Yang
    @Globalcoinrsrch / Yesterday

    Ah yes! Did it! A dream of the young brunet entrepreneur came true, very excited, amazed, shocked, wearing smart casual, celebrating in the office
    Token structuring and tokeneconomics are among of the most important considerations when designing a blockchain. When thinking about how best to distribute these tokens, founders often think about how the tokens will impact external stakeholders such as their investors, the community, and stakers (people that can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds). But token economies are also bringing disruption to organizations internally, especially when it comes to HR and compensation.

    If the tokens are structured properly for a blockchain, external stakeholders will be directly aligned with the goal of the project. Those incentives can encourage participation on the blockchain platform and/or drive token demand with community-building and marketing.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What blockchain can learn from open source

    To be successful, blockchain startups must build communities the open source way.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mattereum, perhaps the world’s weirdest and most daring startup, intends to own literally everything

    brewing a bizarre and/or brilliant plan for a bridge between the blockchain and the real world — a system whose success is directly proportional to the extent to which it achieves legal title over every physical object in the world.


    Mattereum, perhaps the world’s weirdest and most daring startup, intends to own literally everything
    Jon Evans
    @rezendi / 2 weeks ago

    How’s this for eyebrow-raising? In London, for the last year and a half, a team of lawyers, cryptographers, software engineers, and/or former military consultants have been brewing a bizarre and/or brilliant plan for a bridge between the blockchain and the real world — a system whose success is directly proportional to the extent to which it achieves legal title over every physical object in the world.

    Wait. Let me explain. Their name is Mattereum, and they are not Bond villains seeking to conquer the planet. Rather, they are trying to bridge the gap between programmable blockchain “smart contracts” and actual legal contracts. As you might imagine, that gap consists of an almost infinitely knotty tangle of legal precedents, gray areas, and jurisdictions.

    Mattereum has came up with a remarkable way to sever this Gordian knot. A legal concept universal across almost all jurisdictions is that assets have owners, who can decide (within legal limits) how to dispose of them. If registrars of the Mattereum network are granted legal title over assets, the thinking goes, they can then establish on-chain smart contracts with which physical assets can be programmatically bought, sold, rented, assigned, and partitioned — and use their ownership of these assets to resolve disputes and enforce those resolutions.

    Their flagship object right now is a Stradivarius violin valued at $9 million. Assigning legal title over that violin to one of Mattereum’s registrars (say, Mattereum itself) which then licenses control via a set of smart contracts (say, on the Ethereum blockchain) means the violin instantly becomes not just a physical asset but a digital one, which can now be programmatically tokenized and sold to multiple investors

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Accessing Blockchain on ESP8266 Using the NodeMCU Board

    Blockchains claim to be public, distributed, effectively immutable ledgers. Unfortunately, they also tend to get a little bit huge – presently the Bitcoin blockchain is 194GB and Ethereum weighs in at 444GB. That poses quite an inconvenience for me, as I was looking at making some fun ‘Ethereum blockchain aware’ gadgets and that’s several orders of magnitude too much data to deal with on a microcontroller, not to mention the bandwidth cost if using 3G.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain Security: The Theory and The Facts

    In whatever place we look at we always read the same story: how Blockchain is a new technology offering trust and security due to the way it is structured. But is that so? Is blockchain really so hacker proof as it praises itself to be?

    When we look at the nitty-gritty facts of blockchain put into practice in real case scenarios, we actually realise how this innovative technology is still subject to security breaches. Blockchain does bring something new, which is extra layers of security, more fit to cope with our increasingly complex world. But hackers wanting to crack the system, just need to find some little flaws in it, to produce damage.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future

    Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future. Its failure to achieve adoption to date is because systems built on trust, norms, and institutions inherently function better than the type of no-need-for-trusted-parties systems blockchain envisions. That’s permanent: no matter how much blockchain improves it is still headed in the wrong direction.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What blockchain and open source communities have in common

    Blockchain initiatives can look to open source governance for lessons on establishing trust.

    One of the characteristics of blockchains that gets a lot of attention is how they enable distributed trust. The topic of trust is a surprisingly complicated one. In fact, there’s now an entire book devoted to the topic by Kevin Werbach.

    But here’s what it means in a nutshell. Organizations that wish to work together, but do not fully trust one another, can establish a permissioned blockchain and invite business partners to record their transactions on a shared distributed ledger. Permissioned blockchains can trace assets when transactions are added to the blockchain. A permissioned blockchain implies a degree of trust (again, trust is complicated) among members of a consortium, but no single entity controls the storage and validation of transactions.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The next integration evolution — blockchain

    Here is one way to look at distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain in the context of integration evolution. Over the years, businesses and their systems are getting more integrated, forming industry-specific trustless networks, and blockchain technology is in the foundation of this evolutionary step.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Privacy and Cryptocurrency, Part I: How Private is Bitcoin?

    Bitcoin is only semi-private; the protocol doesn’t know your real name but transactions can still be linked to you in a myriad of ways
    Blockchain analytics firms specialize in deanonymizing bitcoin activity and sell this data to corporations and law enforcement agencies

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    93 Days Dark: 8chan Coder Explains How Blockchain Saved His Troll Forum

    Administrators at 8kun, the anarchic message board formerly known as 8chan, have been experimenting with blockchain and p2p technologies in an effort to build a website resistant to deplatforming and censorship.
    They found an ideologically aligned open-source blockchain to piggyback on, but the developers don’t seem keen on protecting 8kun from activist attacks.

    Three months after going dark, 8chan’s developers turned their backs on traditional internet service providers (ISPs) and found a permissionless, decentralized and censorship-resistant way to host discussions online.

    Chief among these is an open protocol called Lokinet that will soon be connected to a blockchain. The network, based on a fork of the monero cryptocurrency called Loki, functions like the privacy-protecting Tor network.

    Lokinet provides a pathway for hosting web content – including decentralized marketplaces, forums and other web applications – that is resistant to censorship and deplatforming.

    Any website accessed through the “.loki” top-level domain (TLD) is passed through an “onion-style” router that bounces user data packets, necessary to surf the web, through a distributed network of nodes to obfuscate users’ destinations and origins. Loki is open for anyone to use and the nonprofit that maintains the network was made aware of 8kun’s intentions only four days before launch.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Arweave’s Permaweb cheaply hosts sites & apps forever
    Andreessen Horowitz + USV invest

    What if you could pay now to store something online permanently? You could preserve a website against censorship, save legal contracts or offer an app even after your company fails. That’s the promise of Arweave‘s Permaweb.

    The startup has built a new type of blockchain that relies on Moore’s Law-style declining data storage costs. Users pay for a few hundred years upfront (about half a cent per megabyte), and the interest accrued by the excess payment will perpetually cover the costs of shrinking storage prices.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Always make sure to keep a backup copy.

    Irish drug dealer loses £46m bitcoin codes he hid in fishing rod case

    Clifton Collins fears fishing gear was taken to dump by his landlord after he was jailed

    In early 2017 Clifton Collins, an Irish drug dealer, had a dilemma: where to hide the codes of his illicit €55m (£46m) bitcoin fortune.

    His solution was to print them on to an A4 piece of paper and stash it in the aluminium cap of a fishing rod case kept at his rented home in Farnaught, Cornamona, County Galway. It seemed a good idea at the time.

    The codes are now missing, meaning the accounts cannot be accessed.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “use the spare cycles in your computer to study climate change”. Run your computer at peak power consumption to study the impact of… power consumption.

    There seems to be another similar climate reasearch change project Bitcoin
    “Bitcoin used an estimated 213,101,865 kilowatt hour of electricity yesterday. On a yearly basis that would amount to 77.78 terawatt hour. That’s the equivalent of Chile’s energy consumption”

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This New Association Wants Governments to Embrace Blockchain
    The Government Blockchain Association (GBA) is working to connect the public and private sector to build blockchain applications for governments.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4 Ways COVID-19 Will Bring Banks and Regulators to Crypto
    May 5, 2020 at 14:26 UTC

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft Files Patent Application for Crypto Mining System Powered by Human Activity

    Microsoft has proposed a system that can mine cryptocurrencies using data collected from humans as they exercise or read an advertisement.

    In a patent application filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Thursday, the American computer giant said sensors could detect activity associated with specific tasks – such as time spent viewing ads – and convert it into computer-readable data to solve computational problems, in much the same way as a conventional proof-of-work system.

    “Instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously,” the patent application reads.

  36. vaping king says:

    Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The new technologies that can help tackle food fraud by detecting pesticides, allergens and fake olive oil

    Smartphone, blockchain technologies to open new frontier in fight against food fraud

    Food fraudsters have found myriad ways to trick shoppers – from cheap horsemeat sold as beef to conventional apples labelled as organic. But new rapid testing and tracing technologies may help turn the tables on food crime.

    The stakes are high for producers of expensive foods, which are particularly vulnerable to fraud. These include extra virgin olive oil, saffron, and organic produce.

    ‘People do not like to be cheated,’ said Michel Nielen, professor of analytical chemistry at Wageningen University & Research, in the Netherlands.

    ‘Once they start to face cases of organic products being fraudulent, for example, then they will be much more hesitant in general to pay additional money for organic products.’

    It can take days or even weeks for laboratories to check for the presence of pesticides or antibiotics on samples collected in fields, abattoirs and shops.

    By the time results come in, the goods may already have been sold and eaten.

    ‘We want to create a fundamental change in the world of food monitoring,’

    The team is developing a device which can be attached to a smartphone to test food for the presence of allergens and pesticides.

    The device will be able to detect if a product is organic or not, and whether it is safe.

    Other hand-held testing technologies are also being developed. With so many people testing food much more data will become available, says Prof Nielen.

    That means governments and industry will be able to react faster to a breaking issue and know more precisely which parts of the food chain to close down.

    But they will also have to respond to a lot of issues raised on social media and in the general press by non-experts who have tested food and reached the wrong conclusions.

    ‘There is a high risk that people will develop a mistrust in (official) food testing and monitoring,’ Prof Nielen said.

    One way to prevent this is for designated agencies to judge the quality of smartphone measurements, as more food testing technologies come on the market, he adds.

    Other researchers are also testing big data algorithms to see how well they can predict food fraud.

    They monitor potential triggers for food scams, which include harvest size, climate, political situations, food markets and the value of products.

    Analysing the triggers helps them predict which parts of the global food chain are most likely to be targeted by fraudsters.

    ‘Crucially we need internationally agreed methods and standards for testing olive oil for fraud,’ she said.

    If Italy and China use different ways to test the same olive oil, for example, and have different results, then consumers will lose trust in the product, says Prof. Gallina Toschi.

    Europe has strong regulations governing the production and supply of olive oil.

    ‘But it’s not enough. We need to do more to (develop) new methods of control, to speed them up,’ she said.

    Traceability is key, and blockchain technology will be important to track the oil from the olive grove to its point of sale, and include information about its quality from laboratory tests.

    ‘We need to work with honest producers to try to agree a uniform method that will give the consumer a way to check the authenticity or quality of the product from the label,’ said Prof. Gallina Toschi. ‘Producers are asking for this.’

    Europe is starting to work on full traceability models


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