Technology

  • Bitcoin Lightning Network vulnerability poses risk to scaling

    Lightning Labs has reportedly confirmed the existence and exploitation of Bitcoin Lightning Network vulnerability. The peer-to-peer payment network is responsible for providing low-priced and quick Bitcoin payments, but due to this bug incident, it might not be prepared for huge payments. A well-known Blockstream developer Rusty Russell in August exposed the bug on the mailing list. Russell revealed the bug’s details partially, stating that some security issues have been found in several lightning projects and these issues might lead to loss of money. What is the Bitcoin Lightning Network vulnerability? The complete specifications of vulnerability are likely to be released by the end of this month, giving the users almost four weeks for up-gradation to a secure version of the software. However, this precaution is quite late. Lightning Labs also warned its users that Lightning Network is still in its initial stages. Please upgrade to the latest versions, as they are not at risk. These are: • lnd 0.7.1 • c-lightning 0.7.1 • eclair 0.3.1 — Lightning Labs (@lightning) September 10, 2019 Who is at risk of Bitcoin Lightning Network…

    Sep 16, 2019
  • IBM Now Holds 6 of 11 Seats on Hyperledger Blockchain Steering Board

    IBM has doubled the number of its employees on the technical steering committee (TSC) of Hyperledger, stoking concerns about the tech giant’s influence on the enterprise blockchain consortium. Six out of the 11 2019-2020 TSC members announced last week are IBM employees. Five work at Big Blue itself and one, Mark Wagner, is a senior principal engineer at Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary. By comparison, the previous year’s TSC had only two IBM representatives and the same number of total seats (Wagner served on the committee, but IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat did not close until July 2019). The new committee will begin governing after the new TSC chair is elected next week. While IBM has long played a major role in Hyperledger, having contributed the code for Fabric, the consortium’s biggest and oldest project, the election results rattled some participants from rival firms. Todd Little, a blockchain platform architect at Oracle, wrote in the TSC mailing list: “It is very clear that IBM now controls the TSC and is that the direction Hyperledger wants to take?” At stake is…

    Sep 10, 2019
  • LG May Launch Its Own Blockchain Phone: Report

    Consumer electronics giant LG may be looking to launch its own blockchain smartphone. A report earlier today from Korean media outlet Chosun said “LG is likely to respond to Samsung’s innovation initiative,” a major brand competitor. In the report, Chosun further claimed LG is having difficulty separating a potential blockchain phone from Samsung’s previous releases. Earlier this year Samsung released its Galaxy S10 in multiple models complete with its Blockchain Keystore. The S10 is fully compatible with ERC-20 tokens, dapps, and recently, bitcoin. “LG has been struggling to apply blockchain to smartphones without any dissimilarity,” a Chosun source continued. “I think Samsung is trying to prepare differently in the blockchain field, just as LG responded with a dual-screen when Samsung Galaxy came out with a foldable phone.” Chosun also said LG has completed market research on dapp and blockchain providers. Earlier this summer, LG applied to trademark “ThinQ Wallet” in the United States. The patent states ThinQ is purposed for a transaction, settlement, and e-money services. LG and Samsung may be the major name brands in the field but they aren’t…

    Sep 10, 2019
  • 5 Facts About Bitcoin You May Not Know

    Lots became self-proclaimed bitcoin traders and investors. Even then, quite a lot have remained ignorant about a few facts. 

    Sep 9, 2019
  • World’s ‘First’ Blockchain Smartphone to Become Available in New Market

    Finney, the world’s purportedly first blockchain-enabled smartphone, will soon be available for purchase in Bangladesh. According to a report by local newspaper The Daily Star on Sept. 9, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the phone for import in August and it will be available on the Bangladeshi market in October. Mobile Phones in Bangladesh Finney’s launch in Bangladesh comes amid a trend of growing smartphone ownership in the country. According to a 2018 report from global research firm GSMA Intelligence, by 2025, 75% of the population (138 million) will have smartphones, while 41% (73 million) will be mobile internet subscribers. Per GSMA, the increasingly urbanized population has been buying more smartphones as cheaper devices come to market, and in this regard, Finney’s price is more comparable with high-end phones available in Bangladesh. Finney debuted last year with a cost of $999, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 is available on local phone market MobileDokan for 74,900 taka ($894). Built-in blockchain and wallet features Switzerland-based Sirin Labs developed the phone following one of the five-largest initial coin offerings of 2017 ($157.8…

    Sep 9, 2019
  • Mastercard Joins Blockchain Software Firm R3’s Marco Polo Network

    American financial services giant Mastercard has joined blockchain software company R3’s Corda-powered Marco Polo Network for trade finance. In a news release published on Sept. 3, Mastercard revealed its participation in the project, a collaboration of R3 and Irish tech company TradeIX that launched in 2017. The initiative provides a multi-asset class platform that offers broker-dealer services and multicurrency transactions, among other services. The company’s Mastercard Track platform for business-to-business global trade has collaborated with Marco Polo in an attempt to facilitate further development and more working capital finance solutions. Jacques Levet, transaction banking head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at BNP Paribas — one of the Marco Polo Network members — said: “Better flow of information across the whole value chain has the potential to drive significant benefits for all network members.” Recently, Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by total assets, joined the Marco Polo Network. Standard Bank will now develop trade finance solutions alongside major global financial institutions such as BNP Paribas and ING. In April, Marco Polo onboarded three new members for piloting and evaluation purposes, including financial…

    Sep 5, 2019
  • How Ethereum Has Become The IBM Standard Of Our Era

    There is way too much tribalism in the crypto industry. While competing platforms are healthy for general growth, the constant bashing of rivals does little positive for the overall scene. Ethereum has more than its fair share of detractors, but there is no disputing that it is still the dominant smart contract platform of our time. Ethereum Akin to IBM of Computer Age To draw comparison partner at New York based VC firm Placeholder, Joel Monegro, looked back at the beginnings of the computer industry in the 1960s and 70s. IBM was the leader of the pack despite it having a number of competitors which poured funds into developing superior technology. Ethereum could be compared to this since it is currently the world’s dominant smart contract platform despite having a number of competitors offering faster and more scalable solutions with better consensus models. At the current stage of the crypto industry those include EOS, Cardano, Tron, NEO, Ethereum Classic, and a number of others. None of those however have managed to usurp Ethereum’s position as the dominant platform of the…

    Sep 4, 2019
  • Sierra Leone Aims to Finish National Blockchain ID System in Late 2019

    The government of Sierra Leone plans to fully adopt a blockchain-enabled national identity system by the end of 2019. United Nations involved President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio reportedly claimed that the new infrastructure will allow financial institutions to verify identities and build credit histories, tech publication NFCW reported on Sept. 2. The new project, called the National Digital Identity Platform (NDIP), is a collaboration between the United Nations and San Francisco-based nonprofit Kiva, a key technology partner of Sierra Leone since September 2018. According to the report, the NDIP is being deployed in two major stages. The first involved identities being digitized — and the second, due to be finished by the end of the year, involves creating non-duplicating, non-reusable and universally recognized National Identification Numbers. Financial resilience and security The president claimed that blockchain-enabled access to credit and financial services is expected to significantly improve the lives of citizens by making them more financially resilient. He said that the new national ID system “directly translates into citizens having improved access to affordable credit to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors.” Bio emphasized the…

    Sep 3, 2019
  • China Telecom Eyes Blockchain-Enabled 5G Phones

    State-owned Chinese telecommunications company China Telecom is reportedly planning to develop blockchain-enabled 5G smartphone SIM cards, Sina News reported this week. The plans were apparently confirmed in a white paper released by the China Telecom Blockchain and Digital Economy Joint Lab at the 2019 China International Intelligent Industry Expo. As Sina reports: The white paper describes a blockchain application ecosystem created by China Telecom, which uses the unique decentralization technology to lead the new revolution in the digital economy, providing a more secure hardware infrastructure for 5G mobile phones, making 5G mobile phones gradually become decentralized computing and data. The nodes form a new value transmission network that shapes the mobile phone using a secure ecosystem. The white paper reportedly highlights the benefits users can expect from 5G, and how the blockchain can play a role in the 5G era due to its “natural advantages of intelligent contract automation, real-time settlement of value and usage, transaction traceability, and tamper resistance.” The paper also alleges that adoption of blockchain technology in the mobile market has been hindered by “the poor performance…

    Sep 2, 2019
  • Telegram Will Release Code for Its TON Blockchain on Sept. 1

    Telegram Open Network, or TON, the ambitious blockchain project announced last year by the Telegram messaging app, is expected to release the code needed to run a TON node on Sept. 1, according to two individuals familiar with the project. One of these individuals is affiliated with TON Labs, a tech startup founded by Telegram’s token sale investors. An investor in the token sale also confirmed the date. Telegram has maintained a high level of secrecy around TON, refusing to speak publicly on the project. TON Labs, which was founded to build developer tools for Telegram, has felt no such inhibition, becoming the only vocal tech company associated with the project. TON Labs has claimed to maintain regular communications with Telegram’s own developer team. To date, there has been only one operational node – run by Telegram itself – on TON’s test network. With the upcoming code release, a broader range of users will be able to run their own nodes. Users can only run nodes on testnet, with a mainnet launch expected for Oct. 31, according to the purchase agreement…

    Aug 30, 2019
  • Blockchain Activity at Top Universities Increased Since 2018

    New research by major cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase shows that 56% of the top 50 universities in the world offer one or more classes on cryptocurrency or blockchain tech. Metrics indicate growing interest Coinbase shared its research in an official blog post on Aug. 28 in which it used rankings from US News and World Report for its list of the top 50 universities. This included both undergraduate and graduate level offerings. The research found that twice as many students took blockchain or crypto courses when compared to last year and that many top universities also have a student-run clubs related to blockchain technology or cryptocurrencies. Blockchain and cryptocurrency related course offerings are up from 42% of the top 50 universities in 2018. Types of blockchain education Coinbase also reported that approximately 70% of the top 50 universities offered crypto and blockchain courses external to their computer science departments in areas like law, the humanities and economics. Computer Science is still the most common area, containing 32.2% of the blockchain– and crypto-related course offerings. One Cornell alumnus said: “We’ve had…

    Aug 29, 2019
  • One Could Win $1 Million by Finding 100 ‘Critical’ Bugs in Libra

    Facebook is offering thousands of dollars as a reward for those testers who find bugs in its upcoming Libra cryptocurrency. Libra Invites Your Security and Privacy Review of its Architecture and Design Facebook envisages empowering billions of people all over the world through its single global ‘cryptocurrency’, Libra. It will be supported by a simple financial infrastructure. The social media giant plans to release the digital asset in 2020. But before its release, its engineers and developers want to ensure that the cryptocurrency will run on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain. Indeed, the Libra team claims to have already created such blockchain “to prioritize scalability, security, efficiency in storage and throughput, and future adaptability.” Now, Libra Core testnet is available for testing purposes. Libra Core is the software that maintains the Libra cryptocurrency. On August 22, 2019, the team announced the Bounty Program. It calls for volunteers to test the system and try to find bugs or issues. According to the announcement, “In the meantime, this project is at an early prototype stage. Please let us know what you…

    Aug 29, 2019
  • Bitcoin Argentina, Others Partner to Develop DLT-Based Digital Identity Solution

    In a bid to foster social inclusivity and improve access to quality goods and services for residents of Buenos Aires, Bitcoin Argentina, a local non-governmental organization is collaborating with NEC and IDB Lab, to develop a blockchain-based digital identity solution, according to a press release August 26, 2019. Making Life Easier with DLT IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, has joined forces with Bitcoin Argentina and NEC Argentina S.A, to develop a blockchain solution that will provide a transparent and secure self-sovereign digital identity for the inhabitants of Buenos Aires. As stated in a joint press release, data released by the Buenos Aires City Government (GCBA) shows that a whopping 16.2 percent residents live below the poverty line and these people often pay exorbitant prices for goods and services, due to the concept of “poverty penalty.” Reportedly, while there are several factors responsible for the “poverty penalty,” the lack of accurate information concerning the identity and behavioral patterns of these economically vulnerable people is the major causative agent of this problem. To solve this problem,…

    Aug 29, 2019
  • Private Blockchains Were A Good Start: But They Are Not The Future

    For enterprises, public blockchains are starting to address the shortcomings of their private predecessors.

    Aug 28, 2019
  • Travelport and IBM Work on Blockchain Platform for Hotel Commissions

    Travel platform Travelport, IBM and travel management company BCD Travel are jointly developing a blockchain platform to streamline hotel commission reconciliation.

    Aug 22, 2019
  • World Bank Sells $33.8 Million More of Its Private Ethereum Blockchain Bonds

    The World Bank has issued a second round of its landmark blockchain bonds.

    Aug 20, 2019

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