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XRP Transactions via Apple’s Siri Are Now Possible Thanks to an Independent Developer

XRP continues to cement itself as a multipurpose cryptocurrency with enough merits to be the most important altcoin in the market. A few days ago, an independent developer known on Twitter as xRpTo_O managed to develop an iOS implementation that allows users to send XRP with simple voice command.

iOS jailbreak and development scene has been a bit quiet lately; however, this has not stopped some developers from joining their passion for cryptocurrencies with the creation of software to facilitate the lives of users beyond what official apps have to offer.

In a video, the user communicates with Siri through voice commands in a natural way and sends 0.5 XRP to a user that Siri found in its database.

Although the video only shows money transfer, the developer has been adding several features over time. The app establishes a communication link between Siri and XRP TipBot making the app much more functional with every new release.

Ripple, Apple, and Alexa: The Big Giants Have Not Yet Given Their Thumbs Up to Hands-Free XRP Tipping

Although neither Ripple nor Apple are directly involved in the development of this app, its creation is a sign of the growing interest of the community in this cryptocurrency. While on previous occasions some critics of Ripple’s philosophy claimed that XRP did not have the necessary properties to be considered a true crypto, the recent increase in the number of users and the software developments that are being achieved to boost the use of XRP in everyday life are a sign that Ripple is successfully finding a space within the community.

The announcement comes one month after Nixer achieved a similar implementation in which he managed to integrate such service with Alexa.

However, despite the efforts of the developer, shortly after his submission, the application was denied by Amazon:

Right now, Ripple’s token is the second cryptocurrency in terms of global market cap, with a capitalization of $12,236,145,454. The token has suffered the same bearish run of the whole crypto market but actually, the gap between XRP and ETH has been increasing almost at a daily basis

The post XRP Transactions via Apple’s Siri Are Now Possible Thanks to an Independent Developer appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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How Crypto Incentives Work, Explained

Crypto platforms are taking innovative approaches when it comes to incentivization, but what does it mean for miners and the people who use these services?

Where do loyalty programs fit in?

This marketing tool has been suffering issues for years.

In the non-crypto world, consumers are overwhelmed by the number of schemes offered by retailers and are disappointed by the rewards. Blockchain projects are hoping to inject some innovation into this sector by offering schemes which are meaningful to shoppers.

The startup behind Elipay — Eligma — says its approach involves a universal loyalty scheme. Instead of carrying around a wallet full of cash and credit cards, consumers will be able to shop and receive rewards from a plethora of merchants in one place. The tokens that customers earn can then be used for further shopping or for receiving the benefit of discounts on goods and services. This also has the potential to deliver a boost to merchants who have been struggling to compete with online giants such as Amazon, as they can offer compelling deals to drive repeat customers.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Can tokenizing services help boost investment in crypto companies?

Potentially, as one of the biggest ways to incentivize crypto users is to create utility.

One of the biggest challenges for many crypto startups out there is that they hold crowd sales for utility tokens, but it is not clear whether or not they will be able to satisfy the public’s demand that the tokens be used in exchange for goods and services.

To incentivize the public to embrace cryptocurrency, there need to be clear benefits in using this new form of payment in the first place — offering something that they would not be able to find somewhere else.

Shopping is something we all do every day, and old habits die hard. When it comes to incentivization, it is necessary for crypto startups to think outside of the box in order to encourage the public to try something new. Systems for mobile payments with crypto at offline and online stores such as Elipay are addressing this challenge by offering shoppers cashback in the form of crypto tokens whenever they make a purchase. This solution was to create a network of retailers at which people can spend their assets without converting them back to old-fashioned currencies.

Does proof-of-stake (PoS) offer any advantages over PoW?

One could argue that PoS provides a double incentive.

Here, the onus changes to “staking,” where miners have a better chance of being chosen to add a block to the chain — and hence get rewarded — depending on how many coins they possess. As well as being motivated to invest in a platform and support a currency to increase their profitability, there are the rewards to think about on the horizon.

Although it has addressed some of the issues inherent in the PoW protocol — namely the extraordinary costs involved with mining, which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars a day — it does deliver its own disadvantages. For example, PoS does run the risk of monopolization, where a few validators rich in coins end up receiving the lion’s share of the rewards.

All of this said, PoS does inoculate a platform against a so-called “51 percent attack” — as such an attack would likely devalue the digital currency which the validators themselves own. In a PoW scenario, miners can reap rewards even if they don’t own the asset involved. Again, it just goes to show that incentives in the crypto world can present themselves in many ways.

How is proof-of-work (PoW) an incentive?

Miners are rewarded, but the costs are high.  

Proof-of-work — known as PoW — sees miners compete to become the first person to solve mathematical puzzles using their computation power. Miners who beat their rivals to the punch are then rewarded in the form of cryptocurrency, and major networks — including Bitcoin and Ethereum — use this consensus algorithm.

Fans believe that PoW delivers an array of benefits. First off, it insulates a platform against denial-of-service attacks. Additionally, it puts miners on more of a level playing field, and decision making on a network does not hinge upon their wallets. Instead, they should be willing to splash out on hi-tech machines that can be very expensive to run.

How are blockchain marketing tools incentivizing users?

They promote a sense of community and inclusion within a platform.

Cutting out the middlemen has tumbled fees, and many startups are using this to their advantage. In addition to cheaper services compared with their mainstream rivals, they are luring in users through revenue-sharing schemes that give everyone a slice of the profits. This encourages loyalty to a platform and drives participation. Miners and validators — the people who make transactions run smoothly on the blockchain — are also getting rewarded through the contributions they make to a network, and crypto enthusiasts with expertise are being incentivized to uncover security flaws through bounties or to embrace new coins through airdrops.

Blockchain platforms are also helping brands connect with consumers directly, eliminating the middlemen who act as a conduit and distort the message. From an advertising perspective, the power is now also in the hands of the shopper. The public is being given opportunities to be paid in tokens when they are exposed to advertising, and they can decide which data about them is used for this purpose. It ultimately helps brands target their products more efficiently, giving them greater value for money.

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Hodler’s Digest, Nov. 26—Dec. 2: Satoshi Makes a New Friend, Buterin Gets Negative Over Centralized Blockchains

Ohio businesses can soon pay taxes in Bitcoin, while Nasdaq looks ahead to a Bitcoin futures launch.

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Top Stories This Week

Nasdaq Notes Bitcoin Futures Could Launch in Quarter 1 2019, Bloomberg Reports

Major U.S. stock exchange Nasdaq still intends to launch Bitcoin futures, and may do so in the first quarter of 2019, according to “two people familiar with the matter.” Speaking to Bloomberg this week, the two unnamed sources note that Nasdaq has been “working to satisfy the concerns of the U.S.’s main swaps regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], before launching the contracts.” Later in the week, it was revealed that Nasdaq had partnered with U.S. investment firm VanEck to jointly launch a set of “transparent, regulated and surveilled” digital assets products, a move that supports the unnamed sources’ claims.

Ohio Poised to Become First US State to Accept Bitcoin for Taxes

The U.S. state of Ohio is set to become the first state to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a tax payment. According to the Wall Street Journal, the decision will at first only apply to business, but there are plans in place to extend the crypto option to individual taxpayers in the future. Beginning this week, the WSJ notes that all Ohio-based businesses will be able to register to pay their taxes in BTC, which will then be processed through crypto payments service BitPay.

Vitalik Buterin: Blockchain Tech Isn’t as Applicable in Every Industry as People Think

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin said this week in an interview that the misapplication of blockchain technology in some industries leads to “wasted time.” Buterin noted that although there are a high number of companies that try to establish higher standards and transparency by using blockchain tech, he does not believe that blockchain can be applied usefully in every industry. Buterin specifically criticized the proprietary nature of corporate blockchain projects from tech giants like IBM, noting that crypto and cross-border payments are suitable industries for the technology’s use.

US Securities Regulator Charges Floyd Mayweather Jr., DJ Khaled for Illegal ICO Promotion

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer Khaled Khaled (known as DJ Khaled) for unlawfully advertising Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The SEC found that Mayweather did not disclose receiving payments for promoting three ICOs (including $100,000 from Centra Tech), while DJ Khaled failed to disclose a $50,000 payment from the same crypto startup. In May, Centra’s three co-founders had been formally indicted for running a fraudulent $32 million ICO in 2017.

Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s P2P Account Goes Live, Posts One-Word Update

Anonymous Bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s P2P Foundation account became active this week, posting a one-word status and adding a Brazilian user to his friend list. The profile, which is associated with an email that had previously been hacked, has been offline since Nakamoto withdrew from online activity in late 2010. The one word post — “nour” — has no obvious meaning: a Google search finds an Urban Dictionary post for “the most loving, affectionate and caring person you’ll ever meet,” while the word also is a transliteration of the Arabic and Ancient Hebrew for “light” or “life.”

Most Memorable Quotations

Most Memorable Quotations

Vitalik Buterin

“I don’t understand this deeply, but the detail that jumped out at me is they’re saying ‘Hey, we own all the IP and this is basically our platform and you’re getting on it.’ And like, that’s… totally not the point….” — Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin, speaking out the corporate blockchain projects

Tom Lee

“If you’ve got time, it will arise. It will not happen within three months, or one year, but in two to three years, and this is the golden time to be in crypto,” — Tom Lee, major Wall Street crypto bull and co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors

Josh Mandel

“I do see [Bitcoin] as a legitimate form of currency,” — Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, speaking about adding a BTC tax payment option

Laws and Taxes

Laws and Taxes

Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange Receives “Business License” From Regulator

The Liechtenstein Ministry of Economic Affairs has reportedly given a “business license” to professional traders-focused Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX). According to the business, the license is a “milestone” in developing a “fully regulated blockchain ecosystem,” targeting institutional and professional investors. The firm now plans to apply for a Financial Market Authority (FMA) license, as well as other regulators’ approvals to trade security tokens among other offerings.

US SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Reiterates Strict Stance on ICO, ETFs

Jay Clayton, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), implied this week how the regulator is maintaining its strict stance of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) compliance. In an interview, Clayton noted that there was still a need to conduct public token sales to U.S. customers while following SEC guidelines. Clayton refused to comment on the SEC’s  pending decision on whether to allow Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to launch, noting only “we’ve been clear on some of the issues that are of concern to us.”

Malaysia Plans to Create Crypto Regulation by Quarter 1 2019, Says Finance Minister

According to Malaysia’s finance minister, the country will develop regulations for cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in Q1 2019. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng stated that the country’s regulator, the Securities Commission (SC), had given him the timeframe for the regulations, which will form “part of the SC’s efforts to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes.” Also this week, the minister noted that any entity wishing to issue cryptocurrency must defer to the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Adoption

Adoption

Coinbase Launches Over-the-Counter Trading for Institutional Investors

Major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase revealed this week that they have launched over-the-counter (OTC) trading for institutional customers. In contrast to trading through a crypto exchange itself, OTC crypto trading will allow institutional investors to conduct direct trades between each other. Head of Sales at Coinbase Christine Sandler noted that the decision to open OTC trades came at a time of increased demand for the service from institutional players, who consider leveraging both exchange and OTC business as a “huge benefit” to their customers.

CLSNet Blockchain Payment Netting Service Launches With Big Banking Clients

U.S. forex exchange (FX) settlement giant CLS’ blockchain payment netting service went live this week, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as some of the initial users of the service, which was built in conjunction with IBM. The blockchain netting service, which is described as the “first global FX market enterprise application running on blockchain in production,” also has “committed” participation from six international entities including the Hong Kong branch of the state-run Bank of China.

Abu Dhabi-Based Bank Completes “First” Sukuk Transaction on Blockchain

Al Hilal Bank, based in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced it has completed “the world’s first sukuk transaction” with the use of blockchain technology. Sukuk is a legal instrument, also referred to as “sharia compliant” bonds, which allows investors to generate returns without infringing on Islamic law. The sukuk transaction was worth a reported $1 million, sold by Al Hilal to a private investor with the participation of Swiss-based fintech company Jibrel Network, which has offices in Dubai.

Bahrain Finance Training Institute Launches Blockchain Academy

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) announced the launch this week of what it claims to be the country’s first “Blockchain Academy.” The BIBF established in Bahrain in 1981 by approval of the Specific Council for Vocational Training, is an unregistered non-profit semi-government entity that provides training in the financial sector. The Blockchain Academy, according to the announcement, is designed to prepare participants to earn the international qualification of Certified Blockchain Professional C|BP and was developed by both the BIBF and Dubai-based training firm MyLearning Key.

Amazon Debuts Two New Blockchain-Related Products

E-commerce giant Amazon has announced the launch of two new blockchain-related services this week: Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain. QLDB is a ledger database, overseen by a central trusted authority, that will provide a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable log of transactions, while the Amazon Managed Blockchain can operate with QLDB, allowing users to adjust and manage a scalable blockchain network.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

“Code of Conduct” Association Launched for Crypto by Ten Blockchain, Fintech Firms

Ten financial and technology firms have established an Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) in order to create a “code of conduct” for the cryptocurrency sector. Among the founding members of the organization include Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, global financial services firm BTIG, fintech firm Paxos — of recently-launched stablecoin PAX — and crypto liquidity solutions provider GSR. The group plans to work with regulators to create “comprehensive standards” for digital asset market participants.

Nasdaq and VanEck Partner to Release “Regulated, Surveilled” Digital Assets Products

Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange, and the U.S. investment firm VanEck have announced a partnership to launch a set of “transparent, regulated and surveilled” digital assets products together. The partnership, announced via a tweet and then at a New York crypto conference, supposes that the new products would use Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance system, alongside VanEck’s MVIS digital asset pricing indices.

Microsoft Japan and LayerX Partner to Increase Domestic Blockchain Use

The Japanese arm of computer giant Microsoft has partnered with nascent blockchain startup LayerX to “accelerate” uptake of the technology in Japan. LayerX was created in August as a joint project between news curation app Gunosy and advisory service AnyPay, and sees blockchain integration for enterprise, including the application of smart contracts and general consulting. Using Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution, the companies will work together to promote broader applications of blockchain.

ASUS Partners With GPU Mining Platform to Let Users Mine Crypto via Graphics Cards

Taiwan-based tech giant ASUS and GPU mining platform Quantumcloud have formed a partnership in order to allow users to mine crypto via their graphic cards. Per the terms of the partnership, owners of ASUS graphic cards will be able to mine crypto through Quantumcloud software and withdraw earnings using PayPal or Chinese app WeChat. Quantumcloud noted that it doesn’t guarantee profits, and that users need to consider usage costs on their own.

Funding Rounds

Funding Rounds

Blockchain Capital Leads Almost $13 Mln Funding Round for U.S. Securities Token Startup

Blockchain Capital has led a $12.75 million Series A funding round for American securities tokens startup Securitize this week. The platform, which enables the issuances of digital securities — or security tokens — of any asset, also had  Coinbase Ventures, Global Brain, NXTP, OK Blockchain Capital, and Xpring at Ripple participate in the funding round. Blockchain Capital’s co-founder and managing partner Brad Stephens will join Securitize’s Board of Directors.

Decentralized Exchanges Completes $15 Mln Funding Round with Huobi and OKCoin

BHEX Exchange, a decentralized crypto exchange, finished a $15 million funding round this week with support from major exchanges like Huobi and OKCoin. According to BHEX, the new funding round also included support from Genesis Capital, among others. BHEX’s investment subscription has purportedly attracted over 70 investment institutions, while Blue Helix selected 40 to participate in the first round of investment.

Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

The crypto markets are slightly in the green at the end of the week, with Bitcoin trading at $4,128.16, Ripple at $.37, and Ethereum at $116.48. Total market cap is around $134 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are FREE Coin, Etheera, and RabbitCoin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are ZeusNetwork, Cyber Movie Chain, and TRONCLASSIC.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

FUD of the Week

FUD of the Week

Bitmain Sued for $5 Mln For Alleged Unauthorized Mining at Clients’ Expense

Crypto mining giant Bitmain is facing a class action lawsuit of $5 million that alleges the company mined crypto for its own benefit while its customers’ devices were in the process of setting up. According to the lawsuit, Bitmain is benefitting from the the lengthy “initialization” period that its ASIC [Application-Specific Integrated Circuit] devices need for set up. The plaintiff claims that the company’s ASIC devices are “preconfigured to use its customers’ electricity to generate crypto currency for the benefit of Bitmain rather than its customers.”

US Treasury Adds Crypto Addresses of Two Iranians to Sanctions List Over BTC Ransomware

The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned two Iranians allegedly involved in Bitcoin (BTC) ransomware scheme SamSam, including their Bitcoin addresses in a first for putting crypto addresses on a sanctions list. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against two Iranian individuals, Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan, who are accused of exchanging Bitcoin into Iranian rials (IRR) associated with the scheme. OFEC has managed to identify two crypto addresses associated with the alleged Iran-based criminals, with 7,000 transactions in Bitcoin and around 6,000 BTC moved since 2013.

Bulgarian Prosecutors Detain Three Hackers Who Reportedly Stole $5 Mln in Crypto

Bulgaria’s Gendarmerie forces and specialized prosecutors have arrested three hackers allegedly involved in stealing $5 million in crypto this week. According to the investigation, the hackers used new methods and advanced computer skills, including specialized hardware, in the scam. The investigation, which began five months ago, has ended with the police seizing cryptocurrencies worth around $3 million, as well as computers, flash drives, and a hardware portfolio for storage of crypto data.

Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Lost $136 Mln During First Three Quarters of 2018

According to a report from Bloomberg this week, Mike Novogratz‘s crypto investment bank Galaxy Digital has lost $136 million in the first three quarters of 2018. The banks realized and unrealized losses in Q3 amounted to $41 million, and the firm’s share price also dropped to a record low after tumbling 55 percent this month. Galaxy Digital explained the loss by pointing to the falling prices of Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), and Ethereum (ETH), calling the lack of crypto trading volumes a “headwind” to success.

Zug Court Shuts Down Crypto Mining Firm Over Unregistered Initial Coin Offering

The cantonal court in Zug, Switzerland, has shut down cryptocurrency mining firm Envion AG for offering an allegedly unauthorized Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Envion, a Swiss-based off-grid mining company that touts itself as using decentralized, clean energy like hydroelectric and solar to power its mobile mining units, raised around $100 million through its mid-January ICO this year. The funding led to a conflict between the two partners at Envion, resulting in a court trial. This week, the court ruled to liquidate the firm, while noting the complete absence of any auditing function or board.

Prediction of the Week

Prediction of the Week

Civic CEO Believes Bitcoin Will Trade Range-Bound for “Three to Six Months”

According to Vinny Lingham, the CEO of identity management startup Civic, Bitcoin’s (BTC) price will remain range-bound between $3,000 and $6,000 for the next three to six months. Speaking on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” the CEO noted that it is doubtful that the coin will break down the support level of $3,000 since there is “a lot of buying in the short term around that mark.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Best Cointelegraph Features

Ohio to Accept Tax Payments in Crypto — Setting the Standard for Future?

Ohio state is looking to become the first in the U.S. to let businesses, and possibly later individuals, to use cryptocurrencies to pay for taxes. Cointelegraph spoke to Ohio’s State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the person responsible for the initiative, about how he sees the state becoming more of a blockchain hub as well.

Trezor One Wallets Forgery Reveals New Techniques Used to Steal Crypto

Last week, Trezor, one of the leading crypto hard wallets, reported that one-for-one copies of their devices had been found, and warned customers to be careful of purchasing Trezors from unreliable sellers. The key difference between the real and fake Trezors? A holographic sticker on the box, which some critics say is too weak as a security measure.

ABC vs SV: Assessing the Consequences of the Bitcoin Cash War

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork took place on Nov. 15, but the consequences are far reaching. Bitcoin ABC, which was backed by both BCH advocate Roger Ver and Bitmain founder Jihan Wu, ended up winning the allegiance of the majority of exchanges, but Bitcoin SV is far from being dead.

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Amazon Presents Its Quasi-Blockchain Solution, Platform for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric

More about Amazon’s recent blockchain-related offerings.

On Nov. 28, e-commerce giant Amazon announced two blockchain-related products: Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain. The company hence marked its further expansion into the field of blockchain technology, which started with blockchain-related patents and collaborations that Amazon has seemingly chose over working with cryptocurrencies, per se.

So what are those new projects and are they going to change the crypto industry?

QLDB: Cryptographic, but centralized database

As per Amazon’s website, QLDB is a ledger database designed to provide “transparent, immutable and cryptographically verifiable log of transactions,” which is overseen by “a central trusted authority.”

Thus, all changes are purportedly recorded on-chain, while the new product is also able to automatically scale to “execute 2–3X as many transactions than ledgers in common blockchain frameworks.” Indeed, Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), reportedly stated that the QLDB “will be really scalable, you’ll have a much more flexible and robust set of APIs [application program interfaces] for you to make any kind of changes or adjustments to the ledger database.”

Additionally, QLDB allegedly uses a cryptographic hash function (SHA-256) to generate a secure output file of data’s change history, serving as a proof that “validates the integrity of data changes.”

“With QLDB, your data’s change history is immutable — it cannot be altered or deleted — and using cryptography, you can easily verify that there have been no unintended modifications to your application’s data,” according to the description on Amazon’s website.

Walter Montes, co-founder of the Costa Rican Blockchain Community, told Cointelegraph that — being a centralized product — QLDB cannot be compared to decentralized solutions, although it does attempt to do so in its roadmap:

“It makes no sense to compare things like transactions per second from a centralized service to a decentralized one. There are reasons why these things are decentralized and these are not merely technical ones. Amazon seems to miss the point by comparing QLDB with a blockchain.”

Even if one attempts to compare QLDB with permissioned blockchains, which are common among industry-level corporations because of their security, there are major distinctions between the two, says Montes:

“Permissioned blockchains handle cryptography in a decentralized way, which provides properties like historical evidence […] Another relevant point is the value of the smart contracts or chaincodes, which function as agreed and signed rules on how to modify the data. At least in the public information, they only address the immutability promise, but what about the governing rules of data? Without that, they only log whatever happens, with no real proactive control.”

That technically makes QLDB a database, argues Eyal Shani, a blockchain researcher and former software engineer, as well as Aykesubir consultant:

“QLDB is a normal database from that sense, [while] a blockchain database is also an immutable ledger […] the QLDB tech is another layer of software which eases the development of ledger-like software.”

Montes also agrees that QLDB resembles a conventional database, adding that its cryptography feature still makes it inferior to blockchains in terms of safety.

“Cryptography may calm down some users but doesn’t provide the security and robustness that a blockchain provides. [It is more] like a marketing tool.”

Moreover, the fact that there is a central authority overseeing the whole process might make it less reliable among competing businesses:

“Imagine six banks of the same size trusting one of them (a competitor) to hold a ‘cryptographically linked-list’ that they can verify. They simply won’t trust it. [Instead], they’d end up creating their own data store and then checking data versions daily. Cryptography is there in part to verify things, but when you can’t even do that, it falls short.”

Why QLDB avoids decentralization?

So who are the potential users of Amazon’s QLDB solution? Perhaps those who have become skeptical of the blockchain buzzword, now that the hype has begun to settle, suggests Shani:

“Some believe in that as much as Satoshi and some don’t want to hear about decentralization, possibly because of the bad reputation it had and the excessive amount of speculators in the cryptosphere.

“It’s marketing buzz, we see it with artificial intelligence and [the] Internet of Things, too. That may continue to happen until creating a real decentralized blockchain is as easy as creating a database today.”

Therefore, with further development of blockchain comes greater adoption. It might take more time until decentralization becomes a more trusted solution among corporations looking to shield their data from tampering:

“Decentralization of trust as a concept is something that could fundamentally disrupt some industries, but it’ll take time until we get there. The public and the regulators would have to change their mindset in order for that to happen fully […] Meanwhile, the use of blockchain-like applications and tokenization of assets is already a big jump to many industries and will ease the change into blockchains in the long run.”

Amazon Managed Blockchain: Add-on to QLDB or independent blockchain solution?

Amazon Managed Blockchain, which was announced along with the QLDB, “makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using the popular open source frameworks Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum,” but also works with QLDB itself, according to the company’s website.

Further, the product automatically scales depending on the needs of specific applications and is deployed in managing certificates, inviting new users to the network and tracing metrics, such as memory and storage resources and usage of computer, Amazon argues. AWS CEO Andy Jassy claims that this service “is going to make it much easier to use the two most popular blockchain frameworks [Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric].”

Shani questions that argument by stating that Ethereum and Hyperledger blockchains are already “easily” set up in the industry’s present circumstances. The blockchain researcher also emphasizes the vagueness of Amazon’s press release:

“Governance in distributed protocol is an important aspect, but it’s unclear in what manner Amazon achieves this. If they implemented it in a centralized manner, how different is that from QLDB?”

Montes, in turn, doesn’t believe that a managed blockchain service offering may be around for long because “it limits open scalability (in a technology that is based on network-effects) by locking it up into a single cloud provider.” However, such solutions might be useful for testing and proof-of-concept (PoC) operations, he adds.

Still, the fact that a company as large as Amazon announced new blockchain-related products might seem like a healthy sign for the industry.

“From a macro point of view, the more research and development being done around Ethereum, the more the protocol strengthens and grows into a global adoption as a standard,” Shani concludes.

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Walmart’s Latest Blockchain Patent Lets Robots Conduct Deliveries Across Supply Chain

U.S. retail giant Walmart has applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to patent a blockchain system for deliveries, according to an official patent document released August 30.

The new patent aims to provide a technology for running “in-field authenticating of autonomous electronic devices” to enable secure deliveries. The patent specifies that “[i]n exemplary embodiments, two autonomous electronic devices, such as delivery drones or household autonomous robots, can authenticate each other using embodiments of security procedures described herein.”

The patent is entitled “Systems, Devices, and Methods for In-Field Authenticating of Autonomous Robots” and was filed in January 2018 by Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The document describes a system of operating multiple robots or drones that conduct package deliveries all across the supply chain. The machines are intended to operate based on wireless signals that enable blockchain-powered secure authentication of electronic devices’ identities.

According to the patent application, the deployment of blockchain will be useful in the process of recording authentication signals and data, which is considered to be a primary target for hackers:

“Updates to the blockchain may comprise authentication signals or identification information, and one or more nodes on the system may be configured to incorporate one or more updates into blocks to add to the distributed database.”

Walmart has applied for a number of blockchain-related patents in the U.S. in the past year. According to Investopedia, blockchain technology enhancement is mainly being used by the retailed in order to “help Walmart keep pace with its rivals,” such as Amazon.

Recently, Walmart applied for a patent on systems and methods for managing smart appliances via blockchain. The tech would allow users to customize levels of access and control for appliances such as portable computing devices.

In mid-July, the retail giant patented the technology for a blockchain-powered delivery management system that can keep delivered items safe until their purchasers are able to sign for and collect them.

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Ripple’s XRP and Tech best Choice for Amazon to Go

The Crypto – Market – Ripple’s XRP

Despite many believing that the same 2017-gold rush will return very speedy this year, it seems like we have to wait a bit longer. In these times of violent sell-offs, it is of positive nature to return to the words of Bill Barhydt – CEO of Abra, who said:

“I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose. He added: “Once the floodgates are opened, they’re opened.”

Parallel to that, just yesterday the CEO of IOHK and Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson on an announcement video regarding his platform added that this unsettling market volatility happened even before and we were there so everything is fine.

Keeping the above in mind, it is a good moment to look out for the best choice in the market. The prices have dipped majorly and there is a high chance it will be very rare they are this low again. So, whichever your choice is, this time around is a golden windows opportunity to step in.

Ripple’s Tech Able to Support Giants

Ripple’s XRP has established itself as one of the primary cryptocurrencies to shape the future of digital commerce. As the existing financial infrastructure does need a good rework, one of best to go [many cooperation, financial entities and firms have returned with positive test results] could be turning Ripple‘s XRP, xCurrent and xRapid.

For a company like Amazon, the best yet to do after witnessing many commencing digital currency support is to go for the one that is most user friendly.

Ripple’s high coin supply and subsequent lower price-per-coin will come in handy for creating a user-friendly market. Cryptocurrency will never find a place on Amazon’s market if it can’t prove to be beneficial to the customer experience. Price volatility and slow transaction times are antithetical to this mantra. But Ripple offers an alternative.

Let us say that the coin is implemented and it is targeting users. What would be simpler for the online store user to handle with .0001 BTC or lets say 1 XRP. For a trader or someone that works in the finance it is the same as the pricing has no difference. However, for a consumer it is much easier to go with 5 XRP instead of 50,000 satoshis.

Speed

Speculation of an Amazon partnership were first seen in the Crypto-verse late last year. The idea behind the speculation hinged on the reliability of XRP during transactions. The coin is known for 3.3 second transaction speeds and $0.0004 charges per transactions. These are performances that a leading online retailer like Amazon needs for the process of moving into the future and improving the online payment settlement.

The event would not be that shocking because we have to keep in mind that Ripple’s tech is being tested and promoted by various firms, baking institutions or financial companies like MasterCard American Express, Santander.

XRP Best of Exchanges

The Binance cryptocurrency exchange is one of the most active ones in the crypto-verse. There have been many and popular tweets circulating the crypto-verse by enthusiasts that XRP should be a base coin for Binance. Some of the reasons XRP fans outlined in the comments of the tweet as to why Binance should start pairing the digital asset as a base for trading are as follows:

  • It would help Binance for it is faster and cheaper
  • A base currency of XRP would bring in more users to the exchange
  • XRP is the fastest digital asset to transfer funds between exchanges

Accordingly, Weiss Ratings has also agreed and supported the request to add XRP as a base currency on the exchange.

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TRON (TRX) With Excitement Accepted at Bitcoin Superstore: The Crypto-Community’s Choice

TRON’s TRX Available

The 12th largest digital coin by market capitalization – TRON (TRX) is listed under available payment options at any Bitcoin Superstore. Going by the people’s vote TRON‘s TRX was chosen to be included as a way to pay in 200,000 stores by Bitcoin Superstore.

See Also: Ripple’s XRP Added by Bitcoin Superstore

To buy the item you want from Amazon, users log onto the Bitcoin Superstore, paste the URL of the item they want, enter their shipping details, and check out with their cryptocurrency of choice. Bitcoin Superstore then takes care of the rest, and can handle returns as well, if necessary.

From the companies team:

“Our customers can buy from Amazon, Google Express, Walmart.com, and any other online retailer who does not charge a membership fee. Our team is behind the scenes, receiving orders, and ensuring the purchase, shipping, and delivery go smoothly. We are the customer’s interface from start to finish.”

The token is another addition to the already accepted BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and XRP.

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Coinbase Hires Former AWS and Microsoft Employee Tim Wagner as New VP of Engineering

Former Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft employee Tim Wagner has joined Coinbase as vice president (VP) of engineering, according to a blogpost August 6.

Wagner will now lead Coinbase’s engineering team, which is “central to [Coinbase’s] mission of creating an open financial system for the world,” Coinbase writes in the post.

Aiming to build the “most open, secure, and accessible financial system,” Wagner will also be responsible for expanding the team by hiring engineering talent in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Prior to Coinbase, Wagner served as general manager (GM) at AWS for more than five years, with his most recent positions at AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and AWS Serverless App Repository.

Before AWS, Wagner spent several years at Microsoft, serving as the director of development at Microsoft’s Visual Studio Ultimate.

San Francisco-based crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase has also recently hired Wall Street exec Jeff Horowitz as its new Chief Compliance Officer, and Rachel Horowitz, who previously served at Twitter and Facebook as a communications expert, as the new VP of Communications.

Last week, Coinbase announced it started exploring the listing of 49 new assets on its custodial service, including storage for such cryptocurrencies as Ripple (XRP), EOS, Monero (XMR), VeChain (VEN), Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Telegram.

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Swiss-Based Sirin Labs to Release Blockchain-Based Smartphone in November

Sirin Labs, a Swiss-based smartphone developer, will release a blockchain-based phone in November this year, the company told Cointelegraph on July 11.

In December 2017, Sirin Labs raised $157.8 million for the project during their Initial Coin Offering (ICO), with $110 million gathered over the first 24 hours.

Sirin Labs had also previously released a privacy-focused smartphone in 2016, with a market price of $16,000. The new blockchain-based phone, called Finney, is scheduled to go to market with an expected price of $1,000, Sirin Labs told Cointelegraph.

Based on the Android system, Finney will run on SIRIN OS and include a cold storage crypto wallet, a Token Conversion Service (TCS), and a multi-blockchain decentralized applications (DApp) store. The phone will be manufactured and developed at the Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology group, a major manufacturer of products from Apple, Google, Cisco, Huawei, and Amazon.

According to Nimrod May, the Chief Marketing Officer of Sirin Labs, Finney will be run on a multi-layer cybersecurity suite that will prevent users from “for example, [connecting] to a rogue network.”

May told Cointelegraph that the company intends to open their own shops worldwide, with locations in Japan, the US, and the UK. He also noted that Sirin Labs has plans to launch its own personal computer based on blockchain technology as well, which is “going to be even less costly than the phone.”

Cointelegraph reported in April that Sirin Labs hopes to license their technology to other phone manufacturers. According to an unconfirmed source, China’s Huawei is seeking a license for the open-source operating system SIRIN OS in order to develop their own blockchain smartphone that will support DApps.

The Opera web browser also announced this week that they are releasing a beta version of their service for Android that would include a native crypto wallet.

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Decentralized Cloud Platform Launches Mainnet in Challenge to ‘Big Four’ Market Leaders

A cloud platform, with the goal of building a fairer internet, has made its mainnet live — allowing its growing suite of network-ready applications to offer faster and more secure hosting services for websites, APIs, apps and e-commerce stores.

DADI says its peer-to-peer network helps to shift the emphasis of computing power away from large corporations, as its infrastructure is owned by users. The company claims that those who use its network enjoy greater performance and efficiency as a result, with costs slashed by as much as 60 percent when compared to traditional cloud providers.

This shift away from server farms could also be good for the environment, as spare computing capacity in devices that are commonplace in homes and offices around the world can be used to deliver results. Those who offer spare capacity through their device — be it a DADI Node device or their own games consoles, laptops or any other internet-enabled device — earn residual income through DADI tokens as a result.

According to the company, almost three-quarters of the competitive cloud computing market is now dominated by four tech giants: Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. DADI’s goal is to transform the market’s landscape entirely — and its other web services are already being used by major brands such as Empire, Kiss, What Car? And Monocle. The team also believes that these media brands will opt to migrate to the network over time.

A suite of DApps

The British startup plans to offer a suite of new web services (DApps) designed to work perfectly with the decentralized network.  

‘DADI CDN’ is already live — the first decentralized application to be operational on DADI’s mainnet, with the company describing it as a “just-in-time asset manipulation and delivery layer designed for faster content distribution.”

However, many more are expected to follow in the coming months. The third quarter brings Store, which is designed to offer cloud storage facilities for “all types of data” — providing the security, privacy and redundancy that users have come to expect in this tech-aware age.

Others include Publish, a DApp which is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2019. Geared toward writers who are looking to share their engaging content with the world, this software will offer flexible interfaces that allow journalists to reduce the time they spend managing articles across multiple platforms. It has been designed to support the principle of COPE — Create Once, Publish Everywhere.

Looking ahead, other applications include Track and Predict. While Track is designed to provide a real-time streaming data layer that offers accurate metrics at an individual and product level, Predict aims to offer intelligence on how users will behave in the future, based on their past interactions with a service.

It is hoped that further DApps will join DADI’s marketplace in the future — and the company is encouraging developers with ideas for new applications to contact them.

Blockchain for good

While the majority of the network revenues will be given back to the network’s contributors directly, DADI’s mainnet launch comes as the organization also throws its support behind a new nonprofit that is designed to act as a “natural extension of its work to democratize the internet.” Funded by transaction fees from the DADI network, the DADI Foundation is designed to offer research, educational tools and financial tools to help technology continue to advance human rights around the world.

At the time of the foundation’s launch, its chief executive Jennifer Martin-Nye warned that the role of technology needed to be reviewed, given the ever-increasing inequality seen in the distribution of wealth and power.

DADI quickly followed up its mainnet launch by teasing a new ‘Founding Node’ program — with plans to give away 100 limited edition DADI Node devices in a prize draw taking place in July. The company says early contributors have a chance to win a Founding Node and be one of the first to power — and own — “a small piece of a fairer, faster, safer internet.”

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.