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Decentralized Browser Brave Becomes Default on HTC Blockchain Smartphone

Blockchain browser Brave will be pre-installed on HTC’s blockchain browser, supporting cryptocurrency networks.

Decentralized browser Brave is now the default browser on a phone from major smartphone manufacturer HTC, technology news outlet CNET reported Dec. 10.

Founded in 1997, HTC is a Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer, which was the leading smartphone vendor in the U.S. at the end of 2010, according to TechCrunch. The company’s market share began decreasing, when it trailed Apple, Samsung, and LG with a roughly six percent market share in the U.S. in 2014. In 2017, HTC held 2.3 percent of the smartphones market share, while in 2018 it purportedly controlled less than a half percent.

Brave — an open-source blockchain-powered browser, which blocks ads and website trackers — will reportedly be pre-installed on the HTC Exodus 1, “the first native blockchain phone” with support for multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks. The forthcoming project of HTC Exodus 1 was initially announced in May 2018.

Brendan Eich, co-founder of Brave and previously Mozilla, announced the partnership with HTC in a tweet on Dec. 8, saying that “we are very happy to have @Brave as default browser and to be working with HTC on their Exodus phone.”

Brave browser uses Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), that send advertisers’ payments to Brave and its users, and subsequently can be used to pay for premium content. In June 2017, Eich raised $35 million in 30 seconds during the BAT Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Last month, blockchain-focused electronics supplier SIRIN Labs launched its first blockchain-based smartphone called FINNEY. Based on both Android and SIRIN’s open-source operating system, SIRIN OS, the FINNEY phone offers a cold-storage crypto wallet and provides encrypted communications.

Also this summer, the Opera browser for Android announced the launch of a private beta version that will include a built-in crypto wallet. Opera’s crypto wallet will support Ethereum Web3 application programming interface (API) and will be integrated with a “default WebView” on top.

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Startup Aims to Build Open-Source Telecom Ecosystem on Blockchain

There are 2,000+ mobile network operations in charge of providing communication services at global scale. However, the traditional infrastructure is centralized, inflexible and inaccurate. Common services like 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, BOSS mobile communications solutions and companies that use cloud-based communications solutions are often unable to render accurate content billing and distribution.

Conventional mobile packages overcharge customers, not to mention that they pose concerns around data transmissions. An alternative solution to average mobile network providers could be Blockchain technology.

Decentralized telecommunication ecosystem

As opposed to a controlled, centralized telecom system, a decentralized approach could provide better privacy from an end-user perspective. At the same time, it could offer more affordable and flexible packages tailored specifically to the needs of the customer.

Standard telcos are known for their inability to deal with network breaches and security gaps. Users fear that their privacy may be breached at any point by savvy hackers hungry for their personal browsing history, or for delicate information such as social security number and private passwords.

Blockchain technology to the rescue

With Blockchain technology, the telecom industry could evolve into customized data plans that deploy smart contracts, ensuring the end users’ information is secured. There are certain bulletproof features of the Blockchain to back up such claims, such as consensus algorithms, asymmetric encryption and a distributed ledger. By using a secure digital identity, telco users can leverage digital assets to protect their private data.

Through a decentralized global Wi-Fi sharing network, advertisers and content producers could make their content accessible to fans without making them pay for additional data transfer costs. Qlink, a Singapore-based project, is on a quest to build the world’s first mobile network powered by Blockchain technology.

Co-Founder and COO of Qlink, Susan Zhou, emphasizes:

“Qlink believes the development of the Blockchain industry as a whole will experience a long period of explorational development and then seek merger and integration. Public chain services with different purposes will communicate via agreements and protocols, similar to the TCP/IP in Internet industry today. The Telecom chain, as one of the foundational chain which supports all communication services, will be one of the pillar chains in the ecosystem, meaning Qlink has the most potential to integrate Blockchain based telecommunication in the near future.”

Bridge between Blockchain, telecom

By building a decentralized mobile network, Qlink aims to create a P2P Wi-Fi network for digital assets like SMS packages, Wi-Fi hotspots and data. The company’s end goals are to enable quicker content distribution, develop new revenue channels and establish a brand new data clearing platform among major carriers.

The Qlink ecosystem allows industry players to adopt a user-driven approach, and leverage new business models to disrupt and impact the traditional telecom system. Digital assets are registered on the Qlink NEO Blockchain, whereas billing and content information will be featured on Qlink chain. The dual Blockchain architecture will streamline communication through the cross-chain protocol.

To create a truly decentralized mobile network, Qlink will also launch its very own vehicle-mounted hardware, Qlink BaseStation. The aim will be to allow the end-user to contribute to the decentralized 4G network coverage. The company crowdsale runs on the NEO Blockchain.

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.
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Blockchain Oracles, Explained

What are Blockchain oracles?

Blockchain oracles sound like something from ancient Greek mythology, and in a way, they function in a similar role. In ancient stories, people didn’t have enough information to make decisions and turned to oracles for information beyond their understanding.

In the same way, Blockchains like those of Bitcoin and Ethereum, do not have ready access to information outside of the chain, and so there is no direct way to validate the conditions that smart contracts are based on. An oracle is, simply put, a translator for information provided by an outside platform.

Oracles provide the necessary data to trigger smart contracts to execute when the original terms of the contract are met. These conditions could be anything associated with the smart contract – temperature, payment completion, price changes, etc. These oracles are the only way for smart contracts to interact with data outside of the Blockchain environment.

How important are oracles?

Oracles are radically important. Just like the ancient stories could never have occurred without proper external information, smart contracts cannot function without some data source. Without access to these sources of information, use cases for smart contracts drop to just a tiny fraction of their potential.

However, with these systems, smart contracts have real world applications in virtually every field available. Once data hits the Blockchain, the information can be used to execute the contracts and provide use cases, which can disrupt industries across the board.

Why can’t decentralised applications communicate with the real world without oracles?

There is a fundamental difference of formats. Blockchain is deterministic, meaning that is a reflection of a specific series of events which take place one after another in sequential order – series of transactions. Accessing information outside of the chain would require data points that are not sequential, and would therefore be impossible for Blockchain to use or make sense of. This aspect of Blockchain gives it immutability, but reduces flexibility.

The off-chain world, however, is non-deterministic, meaning that there is no recording of the events in the specific sequence that they have taken place, which creates problems with transparency. Data points can be generated from and understood at any point, providing increased flexibility, but difficulty in communicating with the Blockchain.

This foundational distinction makes the two worlds incompatible with each other by default, and only the presence of an oracle can make two-way communication between them possible.

What recent developments have taken place?

Blockchain developers at the cutting edge of new Blockchain technology are making constant progress regarding ways to make Blockchain better integrated with the outside world. Because oracles are, themselves, smart contracts, designed to interact with the Blockchain by providing necessary data, they require developers with expertise in both off-chain and decentralized fields.

The recent and profound need for external data on Blockchain has given rise to new and interesting developments in the space. For example, oracles would allow Blockchain connection to any existing API, allow payments using traditional payment networks from Blockchain, and would allow interchain connections between smart contracts and other Blockchains.

Which companies are at the forefront of current oracle development?

The marketplace for these highly specialized middleware software models is growing rapidly, and, as new ways to utilize Blockchain technology are being conceived of every day, the demand will only increase.

Currently, the marketplace for these types of contracts has continued to expand, and is being led by several companies that are active in developing oracles. Oraclize has been an industry leader in oracle technology. Other startups like ChainLink and Blocksense are also seeking to take market share in this area. Finally, large scale corporations (IBM and Microsoft) are seeing the potential for huge market presence and are developing these platforms now.

Which trends should we expect in the future?

As the increasing number of use cases for smart contracts continues to rise, the need for new oracle structures will also rise as the structural framework that makes smart contracts possible. This will drive increasing investment and design into the market space, and new innovations will make Blockchain-to-web communication more simple and elegant.

One of the more likely future trends is the development of a unified, integrated platform for communication between Blockchain and the outside world. Standardized tools and interfaces make it easier for both the developers and the users of Blockchain-enabled services. That means that we’re likely to see fierce competition between multiple providers, until one, or several of them achieve widespread recognition.