Úno 23

21 Inc. Details Payment Capabilities for its Hardware

Source: bitcoin


In an announcement posted to the company’s blog on Medium, 21 Inc. revealed details about the 21 Bitcoin Computer’s unique ability to facilitate micropayments between users. Updates to the group’s main consumer facing product, released in November 2015 and available for $400, now open unchartered possibilities for integration and usage of micropayments for Bitcoin fanatics, entrepreneurs and developers alike.

Also read: What’s Causing Bitcoin’s Current Bullish Run?

21 Inc. and Micropayments

The post reads:

“Today we’re announcing the release of software and libraries to allow high frequency Bitcoin-based microtransactions between any pair of 21 Bitcoin Computers, without any change to the Bitcoin block size. And soon, you’ll be able to download a free client that makes this work between any pair of devices.”

Through providing a simple command line plugin, developers will now be able to enable micropayments more naturally and easily in applications. These will not rely on any third party, either. Instead, they will trust the open source and decentralized network that is the Bitcoin blockchain. 21 Inc. is angling their hardware to provide infrastructure for micropayments that will enable the next wave of Internet commerce, interaction, tipping, and financing for business and consumers alike.

Business applications could range from supply chain and inventory tracking to international or local trade.  On the consumer side, 21 Inc. is positioning itself to be at the center of micropayments use within applications as well as in the real world, with possibilities ranging from the Internet of Things to social networking plugins to directly rewarding users for sharing content or producing valuable content.

By leveraging two features of the Bitcoin source code known as nSequence and Locktime, both of which were initially imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, 21 Inc. will enable secure and sustainable forms of micropayments through the smart phones of individuals. An analogy outlining this in their Medium post states:

“How does this technology work? A good analogy is the idea of a bar tab. When you go to a bar, you typically put down a credit card to open a tab, enjoy your food and drinks, and then close out the tab at the end of the night. This means just two “transactions” (opening and closing the tab) even if there were many rounds of food and drink for your party. Reducing the transaction overhead is more convenient for both you and the busy bartender, as you don’t need to pull out your card and they don’t need to pay credit card fees for every pour of every drink.”

This will even be self-fueling through using the local 21 Bitcoin Computer client to mine bitcoin and provide support on the back-end. In a nod towards the lightning network, 21 Inc. is using their own “deposit transaction” channels which are economically feasible through the mining technology the 21 Bitcoin Computer provides.

Applications such as Zapchain (a rewards based social network) and ChangeTip (a integrated set of tools for social media centered micropayments tipping) are the early leaders in the micropayments consumer space. The tools 21 Inc. is providing, however, will be profoundly impactful for the next generation of developers.   Gaming is another impactful area for micropayments, and Minecraft’s Bitcoin plugins and initiatives such as FreeMyVunk will likely benefit from this news.

Overall, this is a surprising yet hopeful move for 21 Inc. The organization lead the single largest round of Bitcoin or Blockchain related investment, with reports claiming the group had raised over $116 million in funding in March 2015. Recent changes and advancements for firms such as Digital Asset Holdings and the Hyperledger Project also signal that investments from 2015 are coming into fruition in 2016.

What do you think about the future of both 21 Inc. and micropayments?   What technical challenges are there towards seeing this into a reality? Will consumers or developer want to utilize these quickly? Share your thoughts below!

The post 21 Inc. Details Payment Capabilities for its Hardware appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

21 Inc. Details Payment Capabilities for its Hardware

Led 05

Blockchain Commuication Could Replace Email, IM, add Trustless Security

Source: bitcoin

Blockchain Commuication Could Replace Email, IM, add Trustless Security

Government surveillance has become a fact of life for anyone communicating digitally these last few years, and it’s been a bumpy transition for those that value privacy. Even with the adoption of PGP keys and VPNs, options for secure day-to-day communication are scarce. End-to-end encryption is a clunky mess for email and IM, and the commercial services that automate the process rely on the assumption that they won’t be subpoenaed or broken into.

Also read: Will There Ever Be A Gold Platform That Performs Like Bitcoin?

Enter BitMessage, an open source project that has re-implemented Bitcoin’s block-and-transfer system to decentralise and automate encrypted communication. This protocol solves the biggest problem in secure communications: trusting a third party to safeguard your data.

If you’ve used a bitcoin wallet, PyBitMessage (the default BitMessage client) will feel eerily familiar to you. You generate a key and passphrase on your first startup, instead of a transactions page you have an inbox, and your contacts have unique strings that look like bitcoin addresses. Everything is encrypted end-to-end on the network, and messages are handled like transactions on Bitcoin’s blockchain. The main departure is that transactional mixing is a natively implemented feature – meaning that even capture of the encrypted data you send is incredibly difficult for potential eavesdroppers.

Each alias has a unique public key attached to it, and you can create as many as you need.

Sending messages in the “vanilla” program also feels like dealing in cryptocurrency. You have long alphanumeric strings in your contact list instead of handles or email addresses, and you need proof-of-work to get your messages sent. You can set a different key and passphrase for each of your aliases, and create as many as you want. Contacts are not automatically labelled, and there is no peer discovery system, lending to the protocol’s overall security. However, these same features may turn the uninitiated user sour on the idea of using BitMessage, as they run counter to what are considered common conveniences in modern text communication.

The Raspberry Pi doesn’t have enough power to use BitMessage for IM

Its real utility, though, comes from its extensibility. Bitmessage is a communication protocol, not an all in one package. There are more and more services popping up that connect it to traditional communications networks: bitmessage.ch and bitmail allow users to link a BitMessage alias to an email address, offering seamless end to end encryption out of the box. And as of version 0.3.5, the protocol supports “chans,” anonymous bbs-style mailing lists that are next to impossible to take down or censor; they are a permanent part of the ledger, accessible to anyone who knows their address.

While it is a solid communication proof of concept, BitMessage is barred from the mobile space. The current proof-of-work implementation is too computationally intensive for most SoC devices: I was able to get it working on an overclocked raspberry pi 2, but the processing delay between writing a message and upload made it unusable for instant messaging. As BitMessage comes out of alpha we may see this change, but whether the developers want to get the protocol working well on mobile platforms remains to be seen.

Currently, BitMessage is a secure drop in replacement for email, Instant messaging, and IRC. Though the alpha builds have  limited scope and a somewhat arcane interface, we may well see support for hooks into XMPP, SMS, and other popular chat and text APIs as the protocol develops. For now, though, It’s most useful for desktop applications. Those interested in having a trustless solution to web privacy, BitMessage is a project to watch.

What do you think about Bitmessage? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Blockchain Commuication Could Replace Email, IM, add Trustless Security appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Blockchain Commuication Could Replace Email, IM, add Trustless Security