Lis 04

CoinAgenda Announces Startup Competition Winners

Source: bitcoin

coinagenda

This week, CoinAgenda organizers announced the final winners of the startup competition held at the Las Vegas conference on October 25-26.

Also read: Altcoin Report: Zcash ‘Bug’ Diminishes Privacy

CoinAgenda Startup Competition Places Blockchain Business Ideas in Front of Potential Investors

The firms participating in this competition showcased their products and services, all of which utilize blockchain technology to solve existing problems or create new experiences and business opportunities not possible without the blockchain.

Seventeen businesses competed, each giving 20-minute presentations to industry leaders and investors, including the relatively new Intellisys Capital.

Here is a list of the winners in each of the competition’s categories:

Best Pre-Crowdsale Token: GoPayWin (GoCoin)

Best Trading Token: GameCredits

Best Startup: CakeCodes

Best Ramp Up: Airbitz

Rising Star: CakeCodes

Best of Show: Airbitz

These winners will have their presentations shared among members of the BitAngels investment group, giving the startups a chance to secure new funding.

The other finalists received honorary plaques, and had the chance to network with investors attending the conference.

CoinAgenda founder Michael Terpin expressed his satisfaction with CoinAgenda’s turnout and the results from the startup competition.

“Once again, the BitAngels network allowed us to field an extraordinary group of presenters, from Australia to Europe, and our judges were impressed by the quality of not only the winners, but the entire group of presenters,” Terpin told Bitcoinist.

“As CoinAgenda expands globally, we look forward to connecting even more exciting blockchain startups with a growing wave of investors seeking out these opportunities.”

CoinAgenda has scheduled a one-day summit in Las Vegas on January 4, 2017, a day before the opening of the highly-popular CES. As part of the summit, Terpin will speak at the CES Blockchain Breakfast as part of the conference’s Digital Money Forum.

Did you attend CoinAgenda? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Ryan Strauss.

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Lis 02

AirBitz and WINGS Partnership Secures Future of DAOs

Source: bitcoin

Airbitz

Bitcoin wallet and security solutions provider Airbitz recently announced a partnership with WINGS to integrate Airbitz’s Edge Security login to decentralize private key security and help make DAOs accessible to a wider development community.

Airbitz and WINGS Partner to Secure the New DAO

Through the partnership, WINGS will implement sound processes for private key management, in turn making DAO participant actions more frictionless and overall increasingly secure.

Airbitz’s blockchain-inspired, zero-knowledge data security solution enables end-users to securely access a multi-blockchain environment with a single sign-on experience.  As a result, users retain their ability to manage their own private keys and authentication, without trusting or interfacing with third party providers. Since its release, developers have been able to use this open-source Edge Security SDK for their decentralized applications.

“WINGS, much like Airbitz, is committed to delivering a user-friendly experience for people interested in using blockchain assets in their applications,” said Airbitz CEO Paul Puey.

“Our partnership with WINGS will make interacting with the next generation of DAOs a seamless and accessible experience. We’re proud to add WINGS to the growing list of premier blockchain apps powered by Airbitz Edge Security.”

DAOs are the closest realization to an automated organizational structure yet, bridging new decentralization and investment technologies to enable for expanded, internationally-focused business opportunities. WINGS combines the DAO concept with decision-making using decentralized forecast markets, while a front-end UI gives customers access to these advanced solutions through a smart phone. With the WINGS project, investors know that DAO technology and prediction markets give proposed projects sound infrastructure upon which to flourish.

“We’re excited to partner with Airbitz and offer this to the WINGS DAO community,”said Boris Povod, WINGS Core Developer. “Airbitz lets people easily interact with DAOs using stored encrypted private keys, and anyone can login simply with a username/password.”

Additionally, Airbitz recently announced equity in the company can be purchased via Wefunder.com for non-accredited investors, and on BnkToTheFuture for accredited investors. To date, Airbitz has raised over $440,000 from more than 200 different investors.

What do you think about the recent partnership between AirBitz and WINGS? What does a partnership like this mean for the future of DAOs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Airbitz, WINGS.

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Říj 25

Overstock Announces Publicly-Traded Shares on t0 Blockchain

Source: bitcoin

Patrick Byrne Overstock

On Tuesday morning at the Money 20/20 Conference in Las Vegas, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock and t0, announced the historic arrival of trading publicly offered Overstock shares on the t0 blockchain.

Also read: Money 20/20 Recap: Ethereum, Consumer Protection, Investment

Overstock Moving Forward With t0

Starting on December 15th, individuals who purchased Overstock shares by the November 7th record date will qualify to purchase shares of its preferred stock, including preferred shares to be issued and traded exclusively on the t0 platform.

As such, Overstock will become the first company to legally trade a publicly listed security on a blockchain solution.

Overstock intends to offer up to one million shares of its preferred stock, and will give stockholders the opportunity to subscribe for shares of its Blockchain Series A Preferred, which will trade exclusively on t0. Through this, the t0 platform will be demonstrated as a functioning, live proof-of-concept for potential further expansion of equities trading on the platform.

Spurring American Blockchain Innovation

Regulators understand that innovation is coming, and don’t want America to be left behind.

Acknowledging this, Byrne remarked, “We wanted to do something that met the standards of American regulators.”

Through forming partnerships in with key industry players and remaining transparent with regulators, Overstock was able to overcome the technical and policy challenges to arrive as the pilot child for this initiative.

Detailing the history of hosting crypto-bonds on a blockchain, Byrne explained that such an offering is the culmination of years of collaboration and diligent work.

Two years ago, Overstock created Medici Ventures to explore possibilities around blockchain. By April 2015, Overstock had developed an order matching-engine linked to a blockchain. In June of last year, they issued a $500,000 crypto-bond on the t0 platform, followed by a $5 million bond being the first privately purchased blockchain security in August 2015.

Upon receiving an S3 Declarative from the SEC in April of 2016, Overstock and t0 were able to proceed with the announcement.

Being the first large player to market in the crypto-equities space will enable for other organizations to learn from the process through which a company must take to publicly trade shares on a blockchain solution, as well as the advantages and challenges to using the t0 platform.

“My allegiance is not to Bitcoin per say, it’s to the blockchain,” Byrne said. “I’m one of the few who was here for the early stages of the internet and the early stages of the blockchain. . .and I think that the blockchain will be more disruptive than the internet.”

What do you think of Overstock’s announcement to issue publicly traded securities on the t0 blockchain? Will other organizations follow suit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Ryan Strauss.

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Říj 20

ShapeShift Removes Support for Ethereum Amid Forking Mishap

Source: bitcoin

ShapeShift

Update (10-20-2016, 11:26 AM EST): This article was based on a tweet from ShapeShift that they had temporarily removed all Ethereum-based assets from their platform. That tweet has since been deleted, and the company’s blog post on the matter does not mention removing the assets, although they caution Ethereum-based token traders, telling them to expect transaction delays.

Update (10-20-2016, 11:42 PM EST): Ethereum-based assets have been up and running without issue since being returned to the site.

Technical problems and increasing transaction wait times on the Ethereum network have led popular cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift to remove all Ethereum-based assets from their platform.

Also read: LaBITconf in Buenos Aires Shows Latin America Is Fertile Ground

ShapeShift Says Goodbye to Ethereum

As ShapeShift’s blog states:

“As some are aware, there have been ongoing malicious attacks on the Ethereum network over the past week or two. The attacks are changing and evolving, and as one vector is fixed, others are opened up. This struggle could continue for a while, unfortunately, though we’re confident Ethereum will emerge stronger. What this means for our users is this: Anyone doing an order with Ethereum (or Ethereum-based assets — Reputation REP, Digix DGD and SingularDTV SNGLS) should expect considerable delays in their order processing. Generally, Ethereum-based transactions are simply taking hours (or even a day or two) to get into their first block.”

Ethereum, perhaps, is having a difficult time adjusting to an increasing amount of transactions on its network. The cheap nature of “gas,” the internal cryptocurrency, has made for creative swarms of attackers to overload the system.

While hard forking is not necessarily good practice, some argue that it is the only way forward for Ethereum at this point.

Some stand to profit massively from the creation of a duplicate blockchain, which can double the coins in possession that one has and trade openly on two distinct markets. ShapeShift will not be a part of this, but look for them to re-join the Ethereum trading community in the future.

Dash, Monero, and Lightcoin remain as popular assets on the exchange, but the shift away from Ethereum has widened the spotlight on altcoins to an even wider buffet of choices.

It is not widely known whether or not ShapeShift deploys transactions directly on competing blockchains of altcoins, or if a solution is being used in-house to only interact with those blockchains at certain points. It will be interesting to see whether or not other cryptocurrency exchanges follow suit.

What do you think about ShapeShift’s decision to remove all Ethereum assets from its platform? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of ShapeShift, Crypto-Graphics.

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Říj 19

Poloniex Seeks Regulatory Clarity From CFTC Following Allegations

Source: bitcoin

CFTC

Popular Bitcoin and altcoin exchange Poloniex has submitted a request for no action relief to the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) around potential allegations that required timing of the “actual delivery” of cryptocurrency, regulated by a 28 day period in the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), has been violated.

Also read: ‘GAME Changer’ Announced at Coinsbank Blockchain Summit in Turkey

The digital nature of cryptocurrency, however, does not mend well to the wording of existing laws, thereby hurting attempts to determine the full, or “actual” delivery of the commodity. Poloniex, in turn, has responded by saying that their business practices of providing cryptocurrency exchange and margin trading do not fall under this stipulation.

Poloniex Makes a Case for Constructive Bitcoin Regulation

Due to the unique, abstract nature of cryptocurrency, determining when an “actual delivery” occurred is grey in relation to the black and white delivery of traditional commodities such as wheat or oil.

The CEA, enacted initially in 1936, states, “physical… delivery [of] the entire quantity of the commodity purchased by the buyer, including any portion of the purchase made using leverage, margin, or financing.”

While the blockchain is time-stamped, delivery of cryptocurrency itself to customers is the main question in play here. Poloniex, however, argues that the cryptocurrency at hand is delivered to the recipient immediately after the completion of an order. Whether these transactions are traditional or for lending or margin trading, the recipient takes possession, ownership, and legal control of the cryptocurrency as soon as an order is completed.

While it seems that this would free such services from this particular regulatory obligation, such questions will have to be answered in court.

Speaking to the difficulty faced by many organizations navigating the murky regulatory waters in the space and the subsequent need for further clarification, Poloniex’s press release states:

“This privilege isn’t without its challenges, because we are operating in an emerging space against a backdrop of regulations honed and crafted for yesterday’s technology — the bygone era of analogue trading. As stakeholders, stewards, and charter members of a nascent technology, it is our collective responsibility to respectfully request for laws that make sense for this new technology.”

Do you think Poloniex is right? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Hedge Think, Poloniex.

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Srp 22

India Plans to Enforce Internet Censorship With 3 Years Jail Time

Source: bitcoin

India

India has expanded their draconian internet copyright and media enforcement policies from DNS filtering banned IPs, to enforcing those bans with up to 3 years jail time and up to a $4500 USD fine for attempting to visit a blocked site. Said enforcement is facilitated with assistance from Indian ISPs

Read Also: Secure Boot Hack is a Good Thing: Here’s Why

India Lets John Doe Go Too Far

Many sites are blocked in India at the request of the Bollywood media industry and other legal entities. They do so via a legal avenue known as a ‘John Doe order:’ an injunction that recommends action as a prophylactic against the possibility of a crime taking place, or in instances of crimes perpetrated by anonymous actors. In effect, John Doe orders have given the Media Industry carte-blanche to order a site be blocked in India, and now people attempting to visit those sites risk serious legal repercussions. Mind you; not just pirates fall under this legal umbrella. Simply visiting a site with content deemed undesirable by the aabove John Doe orders will make you a criminal. Try visiting one of the many blocked sites in India, and it will return:

An ISP Complicit with new Indian enforcement

“This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the Competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of upto Rs. 3,00,000/-. Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at urlblock@tatacommunications.com who will, within 48 hours, provide you the details of relevant proceedings under which you can approach the relevant High Court or Authority for redressal of your grievance”

Tata Communications is an Indian ISP, indicating that there is deeper cooperation taking place than the previous Government DNS filtering efforts. This increased level of cooperation aligns itself with increased Indian copyright enforcement efforts.  Given that this message may be and is fairly often returned when no infringing content is hosted on a site, and that it blocks engine-searchable media like images and news outlets based on Lists Compiled from Indian media industry John Doe orders, it places an unenforceable amount of people in legal jeopardy.

While doubtful this is a move towards China-Style internet censorship in India, It highlights just how far reaching their current system is. While this censorship stems from a legal loophole that circumvents due process, interests align such that it will likely continue, and just because it criminalizes the ostensibly legal internet habits of an incredibly large amount of Indian Citizens, putting enforcement of this new policy well outside the realm of practicality, does not mean examples will not be made.

Want to discuss internet freedom on the sub-continent?  Start one in the comments!


 

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Srp 20

Mycelium May Roll out P2P Tumbling Soon

Source: bitcoin

P2P Tumbling

There’s been no official statements as of yet – but it looks like the Mycelium Wallet will be getting built-in peer-to-peer bitcoin mixing/tumbling later this year.  The first testnet transaction from devs went out four days ago, and discussion on internal channels confirms that they’re working on integrating P2P tumbling into their popular Android wallet.

Read also: Comedy Tor Forks Emerge In Response to Appelbaum Scandal

P2P Tumbling In Mycelium Pipeline

As for details, so far we know they’re using the CoinShuffle protocol (whitepaper available here) and that it will be integrated into their growing number of peer-to-peer features, including local sales and messaging. It also shows a firm commitment to privacy and anonymity from a company previously criticised for their approach to open-source and free software.

Tumbling, for those new to Bitcoin, is a process used to obfuscate ownership of Bitcoin by pooling your coins with a group of other holders, and run them through a series of transactions designed to make determining their origin difficult. The biggest flaw with this system up to date was the reliance on a trusted third party to mix the coin, and return it to the participants in the proper amounts. By adding P2P tumbling to their already formidable decentralised network, Mycelium hopes to remove that flaw, and since they’re using a spec-faithful implementation of CoinShuffle, it means that the update with this change may prompt other mobile wallets to follow suit.

There’s been a lot of talk about the changes coming to Mycelium with the next major release – but this feature – one not advertised in their roadmap or goals, will likely have the biggest impact on mobile Bitcoin users – the ones that benefit most from this type of secure tumbling. More to come as we investigate the issue further.

Thoughts on P2P shuffling? Leave them in the comments!


 

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Srp 14

Network Engineer Tries to Thwart UK Bill That Plans to Expand Surveillance State

Source: bitcoin

Network Engineer Tries to Thwart UK Bill That Plans to Expand Surveillance State

As the UK parliament is on the precipice of passing a new surveillance bill into law, one British engineer is trying to halt its progress through an anonymizing system that runs on top of the Tor anonymity network.

Also read: Blockstream Welcomes New Members to Their Team, Hires On Christian Decker

OnionDSL: The Tor-based ISP

British lawmakers are on the verge of passing a new law that expands the government’s ability to snoop on its citizens, and one network engineer believes he has a way to counter it.

The bill, which is championed by current Prime Minister Theresa May, generally aims to implement mass government surveillance throughout the UK.

Also called “Snoopers’ Charter,’ the bill’s provisions includes, among other things, requiring all ISPs in the country to keep tabs on client’s internet activity. The statute would make it mandatory for internet service providers to maintain Internet Connection Records for up to one year, and within that time must hand them over to authorities upon request.

While the controversial bill also mandates other things that are also not very favorable to privacy, it is the ISP requirements that have really got the attention of network engineer, Gareth Llewelyn, who is preparing a potential defense.

Llewelyn’s project is an anonymous ISP system that runs on Tor, which he began creating earlier this year. He presented his OnionDSL system at the HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference last month in New York. His hope is that it will make it almost impossible for the government to censor content.

To take advantage of this service, a broadband connection will have to be physically moved over to Brass Horn Communication, which is Llewelyn’s non-profit, one-man, Tor-based internet service provider. Unlike normal ISPs, the Brass Horn routing system prevents the ISP that’s run over Tor from keeping any web browsing logs. Thus, making the ISP incapable of abiding by the bill’s provision requiring it to keep customer records.

Additionally, A subscriber’s home router or PC must be configured to connect with the Tor bridge private gateway. Traffic then bounces as it normally would across the Tor network, effectively anonymizing internet activities.

Llewelyn may have produced a foolproof system to get around the bill’s ISP record keeping provisions. However, that’s assuming he will be able to get the money to fund his project in the first place because, as of right now, he has admitted that the anonymous, Tor-based project is more of a proof-of-concept that is nothing more than an act of protest against the mass surveillance laws.

What do you think of Llewelyn’s proof-of-concept for his Tor-based ISP? Let us know in the comments below! 


 

Images courtesy of Tor, headlines-news.com

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Srp 13

Blockstream Welcomes New Members to Their Team, Hires On Christian Decker

Source: bitcoin

Blockstream Welcomes New Members to Their Team, Hires On Christian Decker

Prominent Bitcoin enthusiast and proposer of ‘duplex micropayment channels,’ Christian Decker, announced on Twitter today that he will be joining the Blockstream team to work on L2 protocols.

Decker Joins Blockstream to Work on Lightning Network

According to Blockstream’s official blog, Decker was hired on to bring his expertise and talent to the company’s current research on lightning networks. While pursuing this line of work he will be joined by Blockstream developer, Rusty Russell, who has made theoretical contributions to the advancement of lightning networks in the past.

Decker is an early adopter of Bitcoin, as he began engaging in the cryptocurrency while it was still in its infancy in 2009. He has also created a number of protocols including PeerConsensus and Duplex Micropayment Channel. Furthermore, Decker brings with him the unique distinction of having authored the world’s first PhD dissertation about Bitcoin at ETH  Zurich while working with the Distributed Computing Group.

Along with Decker, Blockstream also took the chance to formally welcome other new employees that they have brought on since early this year. A noteworthy hiring has been that of Kat Walsh — joined in February as legal counsel — having served on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation for seven years, including a term as its chair. Additionally, Blockstream also hired on Eric Martindale as “Developer Evangelist.” Eric has a long history with Bitcoin, having worked a similar role for Bitpay.

Ever since the acquisition of the European-based Bitcoin wallet software provider, GreenAddress, it seems Blockstream has been trying to expand its operations. The new batch of hirings, especially that of Christian Decker, only works to further this belief as the company itself looks to continue its efforts in Bitcoin development with projects like the lightning network.

What do you think of Blockstream’s hiring on Christian Decker? Let us know in the comments below!


 

Images courtesy of Blockstream, Christian Decker

 

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Srp 02

Bitfinex Hacked, Bitcoin Confirmed Stolen

Source: bitcoin

bitfinex

On August 2, 2016, it has been reported that the major cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex, was hacked with some customers losing Bitcoin as a result. Additionally, BitGo has commented on the event.

Also read: Indacoin: Buying Bitcoin, Litecoin with a Credit Card

The Breach of Bitfinex

Bitfinex itself confirmed the hack in a press release earlier today, saying they have halted all trading on the platform. Additionally, all deposits to and withdrawals from Bitfinex have been temporarily stopped.

The exchange does not have much information about the hack, but the press release confirmed that customers of the exchange have lost Bitcoin following the breach.

Now, Bitfinex has launched an investigation into the matter and will “secure the environment,” as the bitfinex.com domain will be taken down with the maintenance page left up. They will also be conducting a review to determine who has actually been affected by the hack.

Furthermore, Bitfinex has also reported the theft to law enforcement and is now working with them to presumably help with the investigation.

According to the press release, Bitfnex says they will have to settle open margin positions in the wake of the hack as they attempt to account for individualized customer losses. Also, it has also been stated that all settlements will be at market prices as of 18:00 UTC. This action has been taken with the intention of normalizing account balances and resuming operations.

The blockchain security company, BitGo, recently released a statement regarding the hack at Bitfinex, saying:

Dear BitGo customer:

You may have read that Bitfinex announced a security breach today. We are working with Bitfinex to determine what happened.
To date, our investigation has found no evidence of any compromise of BitGo servers or services.  We believe the compromise is isolated to Bitfinex.
The security of your transactions is our highest priority.  We will keep you up to date as the situation evolves.
BitGo Team
The Bitfinex team will be posting status updates on the event when appropriate at their status page, bitfinex.statuspage.io.

What do you think of Bitfinex’s confirmed hack? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitfinex, BitGo

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Bitfinex Hacked, Bitcoin Confirmed Stolen

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