Srp 20

Microsoft Launches Advanced Enterprise Blockchain Service

· August 20, 2017 · 1:00 pm

Microsoft has announced the launch of Coco – a first-of-its-kind ultra fast and secure blockchain service for companies that can process over 1,600 transactions per second.


Microsoft’s New Blockchain Service

Recently, Washington-based tech giant Microsoft announced a new blockchain framework designed for enterprise systems. The new framework, called Coco, will utilize Microsoft’s technology to offer an advanced, fast and reliable blockchain system. The main advantages of the Coco framework are its ability to process over 1,600 transactions per second, something which neither the Bitcoin nor Ethereum blockchain can support at the moment.

The Coco framework will also use a unique technology called trusted execution environment (TEE). The trusted execution environment will be able to host the blockchain code in a secure box which will use Intel’s Software Guard Extensions or Windows’ Virtual Secure Mode in order to validate the environment. Coco framework will also be integrated into Microsoft’s Azure cloud storage service.

Coco Framework Generates Major Interest

Coco Framework Generates Major Interest

Even though Coco hasn’t been released yet, many enterprise corporations have already expressed their desire to use the blockchain service for their systems. Most prominent users of the Coco framework include Intel, R3 and JPMorgan Chase.

Rick Echevarria, the vice president of Software, Services Group and General Manager, Platforms Security Division at Intel expressed following about the new CoCo framework:

We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to bring blockchain to the enterprise. Our mutual customers are excited by the potential of blockchain. Intel is committed to accelerating the value of blockchains powered by Azure on Intel hardware, by improving the scalability, privacy, and security of the solutions based on our technologies.

In an article by TechSource, the CTO of Microsoft’s Azure platform, Mark Russinovich, expressed his following thoughts about CoCo:

Through an innovative combination of advanced algorithms and trusted execution environments, like Intel’s Software Guard Extensions or Windows Virtual Secure Mode, we believe this takes the next step toward making blockchain ready for business.

The most interesting aspect of Microsoft’s new blockchain service is the rising interest by a huge amount corporation for blockchain technology. In its current state, the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains are unable to support such large-scale amount transactions for big companies like JPMorgan or Intel. But with the new Coco framework, corporations will be able to use blockchain technology without having to sacrifice speed or the security of their systems.

What do you think about Microsofts new Coco framework? Do you think that more tech giants will use it for their internal systems? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of Pixabay, Microsoft

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Dub 15

Global Banking System Under Threat As Hackers Crack NSA, SWIFT Again

· April 15, 2017 · 2:00 pm

Hacker group Shadow Brokers has allegedly proved the US National Security Agency (NSA) hacked SWIFT international banking network.


NSA ‘Documents And Files’ Show SWIFT Transactions ‘Monitored’

In “documents and files” released Friday, Reuters reports, the group said it had evidence the NSA used SWIFT to “monitor money flows among some Middle Eastern and Latin American banks.”

The news marks the second time Shadow Brokers has laid claim to compromising NSA secrets. In August 2016, the group said it had entered an agency affiliate and taken details of cyberweapons, which it planned to auction for one million bitcoins.

If true, it is also a further blow to SWIFT, which last year recorded several high-level security failures worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“NSA hacked a bunch of banks, oil and investment companies in Palestine, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, more,” Mustafa Al-Bassam, computer science researcher at University College London, commented on the findings.

Bitcoin Core Dev: Implications Beyond Spying ‘Burning Question’

Reactions from within the cryptocurrency community meanwhile focussed on the broader implications of Shadow Brokers’ latest attack.

Core developer Wladimir van der Laan wrote on Twitter “(finding) indication of tools for manipulation of banks/markets, more than spying” was now the “burning question.”

As the traditional financial system comes under increasing threat from cyber criminals, Bitcoin could emerge as the go-to method for storing wealth thanks to its decentralized blockchain and SHA 256 encryption, especially when compared to the ‘honeypot’ of banks’ centralized databases.

Microsoft Back In Spying Spotlight

The released data does not only focus on SWIFT, but also on Microsoft. Having been outed as involved in NSA spying activities by Wikileaks’ Vault 7 dump in March, the corporation this time is facing stolen code for compromising Windows, “at least some of which still work.”

In a responsorial statement, Microsoft protested ignorance. No official correspondence regarding the threat had been received.

“Other than reporters, no individual or organization has contacted us in relation to the materials released by Shadow Brokers,” it told Reuters.

Windows 10

Regarding the specifics of the SWIFT hack, it appears Dubai-headquarted service bureau Eastnets could be a major target.

Like Microsoft, the SWIFT intermediary denied any malicious activity had occurred.

The reports of an alleged hacker-compromised EastNets Service Bureau network is totally false and unfounded,” the BBC quotes a spokesperson as saying. “The EastNets Network Internal Security Unit has run a complete check of its servers and found no hacker compromise or any vulnerabilities.”

NSA spying activities are claimed to have affected not just companies, but politicians and even everyday consumers.

As part of Vault 7, WikiLeaks suggested end-user electronic devices such as smartphones and smart TVs could have become microphones for intelligence officers to listen in on.

Even Donald Trump and his family may have fallen victim.

What do you think about the Shadow Brokers’ latest claims? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Swift, Twitter, Shutterstock

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Úno 15

Make Ethereum Great Again: How ETH Could Go Mainstream in 2017

· February 15, 2017 · 9:00 am

In July of 2015, the world was introduced to Ethereum, and the altcoin market hasn’t been the same since. So what’s has the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency been up to lately? 


Ethereum’s Quick Rise to Fame

There was a time, let’s call that time, “2015,” when the Bitcoin ecosystem wondered aloud “When is there going to be an altcoin worth a damn?” Funny that we asked that because, in July of 2013, and officially launched in July of 2015, the world was introduced to Ethereum by wunderkind Vitalik Buterin, and the altcoin market has never been the same since. Time for an Ethereum progress report.

3

In Ethereum’s brief history, ever since its initial, successful and innovative crowd-funding campaign, Ethereum has been a hotbed of activity, never short on drama. Its Ether (ETH) digital currency, partially thanks to the broader acceptance of Bitcoin’s digital currency, reached $1 USD in value far faster than Bitcoin ever did, reaching the milestone in about six months (Bitcoin took the better part of three years.)

DAO But Not Out

By the start of the summer, last year, Ethereum had easily passed $1 billion in market capitalization and its currency was valued at around $20 USD, at its peak. Last summer, things were going so well for young Ethereum, the brain trust launched their most ambitious project to date, the ill-fated DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).

This venture brought in so many investors, but failed so miserably in its execution and security that the altcoin hard-forked, broke into two parts, seemingly permanently, and has gone through more forks to cope with the aftermath. The greater Bitcoin community had left young Ethereum for dead.

Ethereum Classic

So the second half of 2016 was a substantial slice of humble pie for young Ethereum, as its value dropped to a still impressive $7.99 by year’s end. Even after being literally broken into two (Ethereum Classic still exists, trading for about $1.25, according to Coinmarketcap,) that is over 700% in appreciation in its first full year, far exceeding the 126.2% return Bitcoin brought back during the same period.

The Next Big Move?

They also had one hold card that had yet to be played in Q1 2017. Microsoft had helped Ethereum get noticed by the mainstream, back in December of 2015, through the integration with their Azure platform for blockchain technology, which was based primarily on Ethereum’s version of blockchain technology.

Many see this as a keystone to Ethereum having such a meteoric rise in early 2016. It looks like Microsoft is ready to make deja vu all over again in the weeks to come.

Bloomberg reports that Microsoft and Ethereum have another agreement, and a major announcement of a new platform application that will again feature Ethereum’s version of blockchain technology is forthcoming. Microsoft, powerful tech companies, and major banking interests are forming what is being called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and this could be a true moonshot for Ethereum’s mainstream adoption and market value.

Bitcoinist_Microsoft Logo

The details and sources are hush-hush, which indicates how big this could be, and is expected to be announced before the end of the month. It’s “smart contract” foundation in creating faster, more secure transactions than is currently used is seen as the main impetus for its ability to create a mainstream corporate alliance.

Apparently, some people know what’s about to happen, as Ethereum values have soared over 60% just since the first of the year, as ETH has gone from under $8 to approaching $13, as of this writing. Something tells me that’s just the beginning of an even greater winning streak for Ethereum.

I’m Not a Financial Advisor, But…..

I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! Therefore, maybe throwing some BTC in on ETH in the short term should be looked into? Sometime around……hmmm…..I don’t know……right now?

chart-6

Kudos to all who developed Ethereum and stayed the course. In what is turning out to be an epic comeback story, those who kept the faith late last year in Ethereum seem poised to be handsomely rewarded with their ROI on shares of the world’s greatest altcoin, Etheruem. The altcoin ante has just been upped.

Gonna be difficult to beat a mainstream business and technological alliance with Microsoft as its bedrock, don’t you think?

Will Ethereum make a comeback this year? Share your predictions below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Miscrosoft, Coinmarketcap, Ethereum.or, Fortune

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Kvě 22

Lisk Gears Up for May 24th Launch

Source: bitcoin

lisk

After a 5 month-long period of development, fundraising and community-building, Lisk is set to launch on May 24, 2016.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Bitcoin PR Buzz. Bitcoinist is not affiliated with the firms represented by Bitcoin PR Buzz and is not responsible for their products and/or services.

The May 24 launch follows a highly successful ICO between February 22 and March 21, during which the team raised over $6 million USD. The team says that the funds raised during the ICO were in bitcoin “and other digital currencies.” Preparing for the launch on Tuesday, the team is putting the “final touches” on their platform.

With Lisk, developers can create applications on dedicated sidechains. Utilizing “the most widely used programming language, JavaScript,” the platform hopes to draw in developers from all different backgrounds.

The platform’s team believes that it gives developers “endless possibilities” for building blockchain applications. They say that the apps built on the List platform use “heavily customizable” sidechains, that “can be hosted on any cloud platform by creating a Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) Virtual Private Server (VPS).

Going into the launch, the team has organized a campaign to spread the word about their platform. The team currently has “ambassadors representing and actively promoting Lisk in 11 countries.” The team has also brought PR firm Transform PR on board to provide further promotional services.

In its 6 short months of life, the platform has partnered with Microsoft and Chain of Things “to offer world class support to developers using the platform.”

About Lisk

Started earlier this year, Lisk is a decentralized start-up, founded by two former Crypti team members Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows. This project is an open source platform built on an unreleased version of Crypti. The platform is positioned as an alternative to Ethereum platform and allows developers to create blockchain-based applications easily using JavaScript and publicly available Lisk APIs. Development is currently handled by a team of 5 along with Boris Povod and Alex Hellinger as advisers.

For more information, please visit:

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Images courtesy of Lisk.

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Kvě 22

Money Demystified: How the Blockchain Offers Financial Safety

Source: bitcoin

bitcoin blockchain

Despite eight years revamping the world of finance, digital currency is still getting a bum rap. Indeed, we can acknowledge the fact that Bitcoin and the blockchain has thus far held a rather short life and faced excessive negativity and competition from traditional financiers, but is that enough to lessen its accomplishments?

Also read: Bitcoin Price Stays Put, Can Traders Finally Relax?

Since coming to fruition in 2008, Bitcoin has practically rewritten the way we think about money. It has overcome a number of false “death reports” and risen to a value equaling several hundred in USD. Among the major merchants accepting bitcoin are Microsoft, Overstock.com, Expedia, Dell and Dish Network. Even charities such as Greenpeace and the Mozilla Foundation have welcomed bitcoin with open arms, and the number of retailers allowing bitcoin as a payment method grows on a daily basis.

And yet, many people can’t seem to read the news or look at Bitcoin without feeling nervous and jittery, but are such feelings based in reality?

Nothing can be classified as “perfect,” and virtual currency is no exception, but to claim that digital currency and the blockchain are terribly dangerous is also inaccurate. The blockchain is often regarded as the safest and most convenient method for performing financial transactions, and here’s why:

Making Money Easier With the Blockchain

The blockchain is special because it allows users to send and receive funds electronically, thereby eliminating any third-party fees. According to Angela Ruth, the blockchain can replace the middle-man and provide a “payment alternative” that can potentially protect buyers and sellers from payment scams, assuring that everyone receives what they’re rightly owed. The system provides an unbeatable form of security, as information between buyers and sellers is shared within “tamper-proof public ledgers” which ultimately make it difficult for scammers to double-spend or provide counterfeit funds.

As stated in The Economist, “mathematical scrambling” is initiated to stimulate an original information code known as a “hash,” and any attempts to fumble around with the blockchain are noticed quickly as no hash is the same. The blockchain contains a public ledger that validates transactions on a global scale, not just in certain areas. The transactions are backed by several computers, and the system is decentralized, which creates an environment that’s impossible for one person to manipulate. Double-spending and counterfeiting are easily avoided, and top-level users are prevented from price gouging or falsifying financial statements. Through the blockchain, transactions are carefully monitored and recorded, and problems encountered through traditional finance are often stopped long before they can begin.

The birth of Bitcoin has paved the way for relatively other cryptocurrencies to follow in its stead. Together, they create a monetary system designed to aid in financial independence and enhance user safety and prevent the release of private information. They also bring the advantage of speed. Through platforms like GameCredits, transactions occur via blockchain-oriented codes. Aside from its relative ease and comfort, one of the main benefits of GameCredits is that users don’t have to wait extended periods of time to attain the funds they’ve earned. By merely opening an account, users obtain their money quickly and safely without the risk of having personal or private information forwarded to third-parties or other entities usually involved in traditional transaction methods.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, the words “Panama Papers” should ring a giant bell. By way of the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama, the confidential papers are now disclosing hundreds of figures ranging from politicians and world leaders to athletes and celebrities (we’re talking to you, Emma Watson) tied to offshore accounts for the alleged purpose of concealing wealth from regulators and creditors alike. As explained above, the blockchain can potentially put an end to such activity through its real-time recording techniques, so why are the blockchain and the world of cryptocurrency often demonized when it comes to financial prowess?

The answer is that many of us simply don’t understand the “magic behind the walls,” so to speak. Many people freely admit that they have no idea what the blockchain or digital currency is while others bear only minimal knowledge of one or both subjects. As our technology changes, however, our financial system will undoubtedly strive to keep up, and perhaps shortly, monetary scams and deviations from legality can finally be labeled as embarrassing moments of a shaky and ambitious past.

Are cryptocurrencies all they’re cracked up to be? Post your thoughts and comments below!


Images Courtesy of Warranteer, bitcoinlasvegas.net, extremetech.com, es.onlinegames.credit.

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Kvě 06

Emercoin Added to Microsoft Azure Platform

Source: bitcoin

Emercoin Microsoft Azure

The Emercoin platform was built with a key goal in mind, to help solve real-life problems and deliver decentralizing solutions for businesses around the world — and that goal became a little easier to achieve earlier this year.

This article was provided by the Vanbex Group on behalf of the Emercoin project.

Emercoin Added to Microsoft Azure Platform

As of January 2016, Emercoin-based products were made available in Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform for users to build from scratch and deploy, at various scales, blockchain-based architectures.

It also means users are no longer dependant on inflexible data center servers as Azure integrates everything and offers tailored packages to fit users’ needs and capacity.

“Azure is similar to a mall, where organizations can buy cloud services, and we provide our platform for all their needs while they build within Azure,” said chief technology officer at Emercoin, Oleg Khovayko.

“For us, this is a win-win situation. Azure can expand its BaaS suite of offerings and we can offer our Emercoin platform to existing customers on a highly flexible and powerful virtual machine platform.”

The Azure platform operates throughout 24 regions in the world with over 22 available online and over 100 data centers operating to power the network. Virtual machines are available to run on Windows, which is a familiar environment to much of the world, as well as Linux.

For those wishing to try the Emer platform on Azure, the BaaS Node template is available in the Azure github storage (here). Getting running is as simple as click-and-deploy.

The basic package comes with a secured API connection for external applications and a built-in web interface for wallet management.

The current available products offered on Azure for the Emercoin platform are:

  • EMC SSL: Decentralized solution for online security and passwordless authentication.
  • EMC SSH: Decentralized solution for secure shell management.
  • EMC DNS: Censorship-resistant domain name system.
  • EMC TTS: Trusted time stamping service.
  • EMC STREAM: Micropayment library for streaming digital media of all types.
  • EMC LNX: Decentralized pay-per-click advertising network of its kind.
  • EMC DPO: Digital proof of ownership solution for physical or digital goods and services.
  • EMC InfoCard: Storage for digital business cards for use with EMC SSL.

As Azure’s BaaS continues to develop, the technical and creative capability for businesses to develop innovative blockchain solutions grows that much easier.

It begins with accessibility, which, on one hand, is helped by manageable costs. Most practical, however, is what the Emercoin ecosystem offers, which is a breadth of decentralizing technologies to help push enterprises large and small, forward, into the latest, state of the art future-tech for business.

Emercoin is a merchant platform, that can provide cost-savings and streamlined solutions for more efficient and robust applications than currently being applied across a majority of industries today.

Emercoin on Azure is a stepping stone to changing the way business can be conducted.

 

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Dub 25

AppLocker Vulnerability Creates Enterprise Malware Threats

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Security Vulnerability

Several versions of Microsoft Windows had an extra feature – called AppLocker – for business-minded users to blacklist or whitelist particular applications. This should reduce the risk of being infected with malware or virii, but the feature can rather easily be bypassed by the look of things.

Also read: Industry Report: Kraken, Others Receive Large Investments

Bypassing Windows AppLocker With Relative Ease

Windows is often targeted by Internet criminals all over the world, as it is the most popular operating systems across computers and some tablets. Given the recent increase in crypto-ransomware threats, it only seems normal most of these malware infections occur when Windows machines are involved, and it looks like the threat is far from over.

The AppLocker security features found in business-focused versions of Microsoft Windows can easily be disabled by making a small change to the computer register. Although most enterprises use this feature to restrict application usage and access in an attempt to prevent malware infections, it looks like they will have to find alternative solutions.

A recent study by security researcher Casey Smith shows how AppLocker is vulnerable to an exploit that will actually disable this checking procedure. Granted, the computer itself would need to have modifications made by Regsvr32, so it points to a remotely hosted file, but doing so would let systems run just about any application in the world.

Unfortunately, there is no patch to address this vulnerability just yet, although Windows users can rest assured Microsoft is well aware of this situation. One temporary solution enterprises could make use of is by letting Windows Firewall block Regsvr32, preventing it from accessing any online file. For companies dealing with dozens of computer son their network, this is far from a perfect solution, though.

Until this AppLocker flaw can be fixed, hackers and Internet criminals will be able to exploit this vulnerability and target enterprises with all kinds of malware. It is not unlikely we will see more crypto-ransomware infections in the coming weeks. Given the stealthy nature of this alteration to Regsvr32, there is hardly a way to detect these changes either, as no administrator access is required to do so.

Are you using AppLocker, and if so, are you concerned about this vulnerability? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Engadget

Images courtesy of Microsoft Windows, Shutterstock

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Dub 19

Bitcoin Wallets of the Future: Secure Hardware Needed Sooner Than Later

Source: bitcoin

KeepKey

Imagine a world without paper currency. Maybe such a reality appears far from where we stand today, but the horizon is not so distant that it’s invisible.

This article was provided by the Vanbex Group. Written by: Brandon Kostinuk.

Today’s infrastructure cannot accommodate, on a global level, for the technology of tomorrow. But progressive policies supported by global economic players can rapidly change that.

Further, as stated by Lisa Cheng, Vanbex Group CEO, “To begin usurping traditional models of banking and finance we have to move society beyond our current understanding of currency and see that it exists today as digital value.”

“Paper currency is on its way out and will be replaced entirely by digital forms,” said Cheng, who has years of experience dealing in Bitcoin, blockchain technology, distributed applications, distributed autonomous corporations and varying types of crypto-currency.

We are already in a globalized economy with digital assets floating everywhere. Even traditional banks, as it’s well known, store money electronically as financial information in databases.

Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England Ben Broadbent said during a speech delivered on Mar. 2, that:

“Currently, deposits are backed mainly by illiquid loans, assets that can’t be sold on open markets; if we all tried simultaneously to close our accounts, banks wouldn’t have the liquid resources to meet the demand.”

In short, the digital asset era is already underway.

Countries like Barbados, Peru and Ecuador have already leaped passed conjecture, concurrently offering a digital variation alongside their physical currency. Citizens there use digital currency for everyday items like groceries and fuel for their car, facilitated by smartphone technology.

Governments worldwide from the U.K. to China, Australia to Canada, are all looking at ways to develop, adopt and adapt to disruptive financial technology (fintech) to progressively move with the shifting sands pressed on society by the Internet-based economy.

At its most reductive core, intangible assets need a physical carrier and that’s where the discussion of hardware wallets — devices that store a part of a user’s wallet for digital currency securely in mostly-offline hardware — enters the fray.

A Digital Economy

Just a decade ago, it’s safe to say most of mankind didn’t even know a thing like cryptocurrency existed, which, before Bitcoin, it did.

There was E-gold, which launched in 1996 and, as the name suggests, was a digital currency backed by gold. Ten years later, Liberty Reserve, a Costa Rica-based centralized digital currency, was founded as an exchange.

Both enterprises led down the path toward criminal activity, specifically money laundering.

The digital currency — a cryptocurrency — created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 reshaped the conversation. It changed way money, the way a currency, was thought of and its underlying “Blockchain” technology, a decentralized virtual clearinghouse and asset registry, as described by Broadbent last month, is gearing up to change the very financial structure of the globalized economy.

Bitcoin represents, in market cap today, over $6 billion USD. It has spawned an industry, from exchanges and financial services to infrastructure, gambling, news media and more. Much more.

But the nucleus of any currency is trust.

The now-infamous Mt. Gox “hack,” an episode that came to light in April 2014, showed the world security against malicious intent was of paramount concern when it came to digital currency (and that could be said of any form of money).

Launched in 2010, the Tokyo-based exchange, the largest at the time, eventually handled around 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions at the height of operations in 2013.

The total amount said to have been stolen hovered around $450 million (around 850,000 bitcoins).

According to WizSec lead investigator Kim Nilsson, “most or all of the missing bitcoins were stolen straight out of the MtGox hot wallet over time, beginning in late 2011.”

The need for secure, offline storage was apparent then and that need is no less greater today.

“Blockchain security has advanced much quicker than you would see in traditional banking,” Darin Stanchfield told CNBC’s On the Money.

The KeepKey CEO was commenting on the Bangladeshi bank hack that occurred at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where $100 million was reportedly stolen from the government’s account.

Stanchfield explained, with a device like the hardware wallet (or a vault), credentials are presented to the Federal Reserve in order to move money. These credentials would be presented when the device is first initialized and those credentials don’t ever leave the device.

This is in contrast to any ‘hot wallet’ and is the most effective standard to safeguard against hackers in the cryptographic age of computer security. Something offline can’t be invaded by external elements.

But nations and their laws and regulations move at different speeds, especially when it comes to adoption of emerging technology.

One of the most vibrant fintech hubs in the world exists in the U.K. with London’s ecosystem of startups and companies generating £6.6 billion ($9.4 billion) in revenue and attracted £524 million (over $700 million) in investment in 2015, according to accounting firm Ernst & Young.

The study occurred because it was commissioned by the U.K. government. The British government is a leading example of progressive policy-making within the fintech sector and is the primary reason it is home to the fast-growing sector in the country.

Ernst & Young further reported, the sector employs 61,000 people (5% of the total financial services workforce). More people are working in the U.K. FinTech scene than in New York, “or in the combined FinTech workforce of Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.”

In March 2015, HM Treasury — the government arm responsible for developing and executing public finance policy and economic policy in Britain — also published a report, stating, in response to the emerging fintech sector “the government intends to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges, to support innovation and prevent criminal use.”

Further, the government has been discussing the possibility and implications of issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Deputy Governor Broadbent spoke to the above, unequivocally stating, “It seems

very unlikely that, to any significant extent, we’ll ever be paying for things in bitcoins, rather than pounds, dollars or euros.”

“The more important issue for central banks considering such a move [to issue digital currency] will be what it might mean for the funding of banks and the supply of credit,” Broadbent concluded in his speech.

The government in the UK, at least those in control of the nation’s monetary policy, is already thinking about implications, structural and otherwise, of appropriating digital currency.

The conversation has leaped from opposition into adoption and it very much has to do with the underlying backbone of Nakamoto’s creation, touted as the next evolutionary step to the Internet.

Bitcoin Wallets: Making Bitcoin as Ubiquitous as Smartphones

Part and parcel of the talked of and trialed evolution of the financial layer of industrialized societies is blockchain technology. This is where transactions are created, recorded and preserved in a secure, decentralized structure.

The Internet economy has sprung the need to advance financial interactions the same way it has developed new ways of considering technology and conducting business altogether.

The most practical concern, that of safely securing and using digital currency, is a phenomenon which is itself being work and re-worked in regard to the implications outlined by Broadbent and others, like Financial Stability Board chairman and Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

But amid the pursuit, by Microsoft and IBM, to bring blockchain tools and enterprise access to market, along with the corporate race to build the blockchain of all blockchains for the financial services and banking industry, among other interested parties, it’s clear: digital currency is here and hardware wallets will be as ubiquitous to everyday life as smartphones.

And as digital currency becomes commonplace, granted the technological and regulatory environment catches up, hardware wallets will be a vital instrument, used daily by individuals.

Doug Miller, head of business development at KeepKey, the Washington-based maker of one of the few premium hardware wallets on the market today, explained, security and user-friendliness were core factors in their device’s design.

“It has to be simple and it can’t be complicated,” Miller stated. “What we wanted to do was streamline the process for use in an everyday aspect.”

With KeepKey, a typical transaction doesn’t involve the computer client storing private keys and signing transactions. The computer client will pass transactions to KeepKey, request they be signed and the user signs for it on their end, following the on-screen demands legible on the a 3.12” OLED.

It is, ostensibly, a private, offline bank account for digital currency.

Setup and installation is conducted online, using Chrome extensions and can be completed within a matter of seconds.

Jordan Tuwiner, 21, who founded the site BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com, a resource for topics related to Bitcoin, has been involved in using digital currency and hardware wallets for the past two years.

“A hardware wallet is pretty much what the average person will want to secure their Bitcoin.” said Tuwiner, adding, when searching for the right wallet, “The most important thing is to consider what you’re using the device for. If you’re serious about it, do your research.”

The ecosystem of products is expanding and so are the advantages and disadvantages to each of the products on retail today.

Tuwiner added, among the devices he used, KeepKey was quite easy to setup and install and is a good choice for novices and aficionados alike.

For the Blockchain

“We look at ourselves as a hardware company for the blockchain and that’s our long-term vision,” said Miller.

His future-looking objective illustrates a key perception, that the financial world is in a transitional state, one that moves beyond traditional institutions and legacy systems to deliver peer-to-peer transactions, self-executing contracts and best of all, a reduction in costs for financial institutions through to consumers.

Companies “for the blockchain”, like KeepKey, is the global paradigm shift currently developing, and, in a reductive sense, hardware wallets are the core construct to establishing real-world connectivity to intangible financial innovation.

Further, it offers the 21st century security and a level playing field where conditions for theft and fraud exist behind an interweaving mesh of 0s, 1s and coexisting protocols.


Images courtesy of KeepKey, epp Group.

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Bře 18

Tendermint Added to Microsoft Azure Platform

Source: bitcoin

Tendermint

San Francisco CA. March 18, 2016 — Tendermint, a next generation blockchain architecture that moves beyond limiting and monolithic token-based/bitcoin-like systems, is one of the latest added to Microsoft’s exploding suite of blockchain and related tools and applications as part of the tech giant’s Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform.

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Bitcoinist is not affiliated with this firm and is not responsible for its products and/or services.

Tendermint Being Added to Microsoft Azure

“We are proud to announce our partnership with Microsoft,” said Jae Kwon, CEO and founder of Tendermint.

“We’ll be integrating Microsoft Azure Cloud into our MintNet blockchain deployment tool and testing large-scale blockchain networks hosted on Azure Cloud,” adding, “We look forward to reporting details and metrics on our experiments.”

This project’s technology offers modular architecture for blockchain development, with an open-source blockchain engine at the core, which can power any ledger application.

Whether it be based on Bitcoin’s UTXO, the Ethereum virtual machine, or entirely novel designs, explained Kwon, his blockchain project can help power the network efficiently and to regulatory standards.

On Mar. 3, Tendermint was behind the scenes at the forefront of a large announcement by R3 CEV.

The technology innovation firm R3 completed trials with 40 banks using five different distributed ledger concepts, one of which was technology out of Eris Industries, specifically Eris:db, which runs Tendermint’s consensus protocol.

Tendermint uses Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus, which is designed for accountability and regulatory compliance, but also scalability and speed.

Over 10,000 transactions per second, per blockchain can be achieved with Tendermint’s proof-of-stake protocol, with new blocks committed in less than 1000ms.

Tendermint’s consensus engine communicates to applications via a socket protocol called TMSP or Tendermint Socket Protocol. Further, Tendermint is able to decompose the blockchain design by offering a very simple API between the application process and consensus process.

The TMSP is also language agnostic so developers can write smart-contracts in any programming language. Users can also leverage existing codebases, workflows and development ecosystems to build complex, production-quality applications.

Visit Tendermint.com for more information.

About Tendermint

Tendermint is an open source, blockchain and language agnostic socket protocol that facilitates distributed application deployment. The blockchain development project removes the previous complexities associated with blockchain development so that large institutions, as well as smaller, independent programmers can create their own blockchain technologies easily and efficiently.


Images courtesy of Tendermint and Microsoft.

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Tendermint Added to Microsoft Azure Platform

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Bře 17

Lisk Partners With Microsoft Azure, Chain of Things

Source: bitcoin

lisk

Decentralized Applications platform Lisk has announced that it has been added to the Microsoft Azure Blockchain as a Service program. The project has has also entered a strategic partnership with Chain of Things to advance blockchain and Internet of Things research.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Bitcoin PR Buzz. Bitcoinist is not affiliated with the firms represented by Bitcoin PR Buzz and is not responsible for their products and/or service.

The Future of Lisk

The platform’s developers will work with Microsoft the bring the platform to Azure. With the first step completed, officially adding the platform to the BaaS program, developers from all over the world will now be able to “develop, test, and deploy Lisk decentralized applications using Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform and infrastructure.”

In its partnership with the Chain of Things Research Lab, the decentralized applications platform “will investigate whether blockchain technology can be effective in establishing security using IoT.”

Commenting on the partnership with Chain of Things, Lisk CEO Max Kordek said:

“Alongside existing partners Ethereum and IOTA, Lisk will fulfill an important advisory role at the Chain of Things research lab. Therefore, by working in collaboration with the participating members to create an open standard for the industry, we hope that our contributions will bring great success to this shared initiative.”

About Lisk:

This platform functions as an alternative to other decentralized application platforms: due to the simplicity of the platform and its use of JavaScript, programmers will be able to develop their own dapps rapidly and easily. The platform’s team invites the crypto-currency community to test the already available features on the platform’s testnet. Free testnet tokens are available on their faucet page.

Aspiring dapp developers can start learning how to code dapps on the platform by reading the documentation section on the Lisk website. More information about the technical aspects of Lisk is available in the white paper.

Lisk started their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on the 22nd of February 2016. In just a little over three weeks, Lisk has already raised over 4600 BTC, or more than 1.9 Million USD. The ICO will end on the 21st March, 2016.

About Microsoft Azure:

“Any developer or IT professional can be productive with Azure. The integrated tools, pre-built templates and managed services make it easier to build and manage enterprise, mobile, Web and Internet of Things (IoT) apps faster, using skills you already have and technologies you already know. Microsoft is also the only vendor positioned as a Leader across Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Application Platform as a Service, and Cloud Storage Services for the second consecutive year.”

For more information about the dApp platform, please go to:

To view an explanation video on YouTube please go to:

The dApp platform’s ICO will end on the 21st March 2016, for more information please visit:

To read the ICO terms and conditions please go to:

About Bitcoin PR Buzz:

Bitcoin PR Buzz has been proudly serving the PR and marketing needs of Bitcoin and digital currency tech start-ups for over 2 years. Get your own professional Bitcoin and digital currency Press Release. Click here for more information.

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Lisk Partners With Microsoft Azure, Chain of Things

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