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Share Internet Data Launches Banking App in Tandem With LDJ Capital

Internet crowdsourcing company Share Internet Data has partnered with LDJ Capital to incorporate a banking solution into its Internet-sharing platform.

Internet crowdsourcing company Share Internet Data Ltd (SID) has partnered with private equity firm LDJ Capital to launch a blockchain-based digital banking solution. The new digital banking app is called LDJ Digital, according to a press release on July 16.

According to the announcement, LDG Digital can function as a debit card and it supports both fiat money and cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the professed goal of LDJ Digital is to provide banking services to the unbanked, as per the report.

LDJ Digital will reportedly be a part of the existing SID platform and is based on its core technologies and principles. The SID and blockchain technology underpinning LDJ Digital will purportedly make banking accessible and affordable for the unbanked, the press release says.

SID reportedly allows users to provide Internet to other users via its mobile app, somewhat like a mobile hotspot. However, SID users do not have to acquire a password in order to gain hotspot access; instead, the app automatically generates a one-time-use password when SID users are in proximity of one-another. 

As per its website, SID has completed an Initial Token Offering and uses blockchain-based contracts to trade tokens in exchange for Internet usage.

LDJ Digital CEO Jose Merino commented that financial inclusion is a natural upshot of a free Internet ecosystem:

“Free access to the internet opens the floodgates of access to a host of other global resources. Financial inclusion is one of logical results of this. The SID ecosystem is setup to support a robust community that embraces educational, social, and financial inclusion among others.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Napster creator Shawn Fanning’s company Helium performed a limited launch of the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) hotspot devices in June. This project also aimed to create a decentralized Internet ecosystem, and further intended to provide an array of use cases harnessing the devices’ sensing mechanisms. Use cases included tracking pets and preventing bike theft via location-detecting sensors.

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Post-Hearing: Ranking Senate Committee Members Discuss Regulations

Senate Committee Members discussed regulation concerns with big tech companies in a post-hearing press conference.

United States Senators Mike Crapo and Sherrod Brown, respectively the Senate Banking Committee chair and ranking member, shared their views on crypto regulations. Both appear to want comprehensive policy for big tech companies.

The senators made their remarks while speaking with the press following the Senate Banking Hearing on Facebook’s Libra on July 16.

Senator Crapo stressed the importance of building an overarching regulatory framework for data protection — not just for Facebook, but for all Internet companies looking to launch their own cryptocurrencies, á la the Financial Stability Oversight Council for banks. Crapo said:

“We’ve got to look at how we structure data protection in the United States […] We need to move to a comprehensive approach. What that structure exactly is, I can’t tell you.”

When a reporter asked whether Crapo was calling for a “comprehensive privacy law,” Crapo confirmed that he was. 

Senator Brown appeared to agree with Crapo, saying “it will be hard to do something comprehensive, but I hope we can.”

Senator Brown also discussed how the public no longer trusts big tech companies:

“Clearly, Americans don’t trust Wall Street. They now are putting big tech and big banks in the same category. Because they’ve seen the betrayal and the undermining of our democratic values in Facebook and in other tech companies.”

Brown also discussed a bill under discussion with the House Financial Services Committee, “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” which would make it illegal for big tech companies in the U.S. to run a digital asset service such as crypto:

“A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.”

Brown remarked:

“I like that she’s doing that. I don’t know yet. I don’t know enough about what she’s doing but I like that she’s raising that issue and wanting to put pen to paper.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, libretarian Ron Paul recently spoke up again about his views on cryptocurrencies. According to Paul, the government should not be regulating the crypto space for any purpose other than to prevent demonstrable fraud.

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Wiki’s Co-Founder Larry Sanger on Internet, Blockchain and Knowledge

From Wikipedia to Everipedia, along with blockchain — interview with Larry Sanger.

Intellectual of the innovative industry, innovator of the concept of intellectuality, experimentator with technologies and educator by dedication, before co-founding Wikipedia in 2001, Larry Sanger studied and taught philosophy, being interested especially in epistemology — i.e., the science of knowledge. 

It was in college that he started thinking of the internet as a potential way of decentralizing knowledge. His early project in this regard was a web forum for discussions between tutors and students, who could thus communicate outside the usual academic environment. Sanger explained:

“The thing that drives me forward is all of the possibilities that the internet makes possible for organizing people to create a new knowledge resources. Just think of how the Oxford English Dictionary was createdL When I read “The Professor and the Mad Man,” I was surprised at how similar it seemed to be to the early years of Wikipedia, and that vision of organizing people from all around the world to create shared knowledge resources is really what drives me forward. That’s the vision that inspires me. It has nothing to do with making money. There’s much more important things at stake here.”

Decentralization

Sanger conducted his first “fork” in 2006 when he launched an alternative to Wikipedia, Citizendium, which rejected anonymous editing and introduced an expert review process. The project was ultimately unsuccessful, but Sanger kept developing educational projects as well as a crowd-sourced news portal before becoming the chief information officer of Everipedia in 2017 — an encyclopedia of unrestricted topics, based on blockchain technology.

As of 2019, the project has almost completed phase one of its move to the blockchain.

A year ago, the iOS mainnet was launched, an airdrop was conducted and now the project is ready to launch. Sanger spoke about Everipedia, saying:

“I think it’s going to take several years before there are mature decentralized apps that a lot of people are able to use. We’re still figuring out a lot about blockchain. Yes, there are DApps that will work pretty well, but I I think, ultimately, the mature blockchain technology of the future is still quite a ways off.”

The idea of decentralized information is evident throughout all his projects. Thus, on the eve of the Fourth of July — the United States’ Independence Day — Sanger wrote the “Declaration of Digital Independence,” calling for a social media strike via Twitter aimed at decentralizing social media platforms.

Complementing the internet with blockchain

According to Sanger, the internet of today could not have been created by any modern executive in Silicon Valley — and no, Mark Zuckerberg is not an exception. Sanger went on, saying: “They wouldn’t be capable, they don’t have the temperament. They’re too controlling. They don’t understand the whole idea of bottom-up.” 

And the power of the internet is enormous. As Sanger said, Blockchain technology is adding “transparency, accountability and, of course, the incentives that are provided by tokenization,” but “there is nothing magical about a blockchain technology that makes it the only way to decentralize online activity.”

However, the qualities of blockchain consist for Sanger of “being a way of giving financial incentives to open-source developers.” These concepts have not really gone mainstream “because most of the work done on open-source software is done by volunteers. There isn’t a lot of money involved. Blockchain makes it possible for us to have the same sort of decentralized development and participation that open-source software allows, but it adds onto that financial incentives for users — and that’s pretty exciting.”

Blockchain in 10 years

To Sanger, the blockchain industry needs to pay a lot more attention to user experience. He said, “It has to be made just as simple as any ordinary app or website.” And it is when out-competing traditional apps on their own terms that people can start caring about the fact that these apps are built on a blockchain. Sanger explained:

“Most people just don’t care about blockchain at this point. Maybe they should, but they don’t. And that’s just a fact that we have to deal with.” 

He continued:

“We haven’t figured out what the best ways of using the technology are. We haven’t established systematic programming languages. We don’t know what the biggest companies are going to be. There is so much that’s up in the air at this point. I think the world of blockchain is going to look very different in 10 years and we have no idea what that could be like.”

Where there is blockchain, there is crypto. Thus, commenting on Donald Trump’s recent tweets about crypto, Sanger left a meaningful “booooo.”

Twitter

Sanger concluded by saying:

“I’m not a crypto investor, really. I’ve done a little bit of that just in order to understand what it’s all about. I believe in them. I really do want the monetary system — or rather the monetary systems — of the world to be decentralized and taken out of the hands of government. I think that would be fantastic.”

The interview was conducted in collaboration with Ana Dawson, Cointelegraph’s head of events and communications. The interview was edited and condensed.

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Blockchain Browsers — How DLT Could Affect Web Surfing

iOS also gets a blockchain browser in Opera. Freedom of privacy vs. corporate control: Users have to choose what is more important for them…

The appearance of blockchain technology can be compared with the emergence of internet at the initial stage of its development: Users were cautious about a decentralized system and failed to understand many of its subtleties. But just as firms opened up to the internet, almost all corporations are now working on integrating blockchain into their processes — at least as a trial. And there are some reasons for this trend: With the acceleration of data transfers, globalization and the amount of information, the security questions concerning personal data are becoming more acute for users. 

Personal information, in a way, is becoming valuable — and thus, monetized. Most can recall a series of scandals involving Facebook and Google, which have been plagued by allegations of misusing the data of millions of users. Therefore, the idea of ​​a “Web 3.0,” which would provide people with control over their content and digital identity, is gradually gaining popularity. Traditional internet browsers are still the gateway to internet for users, but will they retain their place in the new order? And what role will blockchain play in the future of internet browsing?

It all started with the notion of ​​decentralization, and Bitcoin became the embodiment of this phenomenon. Cryptocurrencies are designed to preserve the anonymity and financial independence of users. That is why the most active companies are already undertaking cryptographic developments in this area. 

Recently, the Opera browser officially launched a blockchain browser, called Opera Touch, for gadgets operating on Apple’s iOS software, as it was initially available for only PCs and Android devices at the end of 2018. A distinctive feature of the browser is the presence of all the necessary infrastructure to work with the Web 3.0. In particular, the program is equipped with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet and provides support services for decentralized applications (DApps) working on Ethereum. The Opera browser allows users to search blockchain apps via URLs and has a built-in virtual private network (VPN). However, multiple other platforms already have different and established solutions. A representative of the Opera browser, Julia Szynzielorz, explained what Opera Touch can give to its users:

“We believe that the Web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow (Web 3.0). With built-in crypto wallet, the browser has the potential to renew and extend its important role as a tool to access information, make transactions online and manage users’ online identities in a way that gives them more control. That’s why integrated blockchain technologies across our browsers — on Android, iOS (Opera Touch) and in the PC browser which accesses the crypto wallet in one of the mobile browsers.”

She added that blockchain can be used in the new browser not only for saving digital assets but also for helping users to ease their searches on the web, saying:

“Already now, we also have a dapp explorer and Web 3 integration, which means that, using Opera you can browse web 3.0 and use dApps seamlessly, by typing in or searching for their web address, and simply accessing them via the browser.”

Brave browser and BAT reward

The Brave browser was launched in 2015 by co-founder of the Mozilla Project Corporation and JavaScript creator Brendan Eich. It operates on the basis of Google’s Chromium engine and its source code is fully open. The browser removes ad banners and blocks pop-ups. In addition, it is integrated with a system by which users are compensated with BAT coins for watching ads that have passed the browser’s screening. For these purposes, a crypto wallet is integrated into the browser. In August 2018, the browser boasted on its Twitter page that, in just four months after its launch, the number of downloads of its app in the Google Play Store has doubled and exceeded 10 million downloads: 

“Thrilled that Brave for Android now has over 10 million downloads! For privacy and safer privacy protection!”

According to its developers, in January 2019, the number of users exceeded 5.5 million people. 

Brave is constantly growing and cooperates with different partners. The company has collaborated with the Dow Jones Media Group to test the usage of blockchain technology in digital publishing, and has established partnerships with Townsquare Media to monetize ad-blocking traffic and test digital advertising solutions on the BAT platform.

In September 2018, the company entered into an agreement with the search engine Quantum, which is the default search engine of Brave in France and Germany.

In December 2018, Brave joined the AdLedger blockchain consortium with Publicis, Omnicom, IPG Reprise Digital, GroupM, MadHive, Coindesk, Meredith, TEGNA and IBM to reform the future of digital advertising.

At the same time, in December, an agreement was made with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC. Brave will be the default browser for the HTC Exodus, the world’s first integrated blockchain phone for decentralized applications.

The program is now available as a mobile app for iOS and Android, and there are also versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux. In addition to the crypto wallet, the browser has a built-in VPN service, an integrated Tor browser and a Bitcoin micropay system.

Anonymous orchid

The American blockchain startup Orchid Labs has been developing an anonymous browser since 2017, which could become an alternative to Tor and VPNs. According to data published on the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company has already managed to raise more than $43 million of the planned $125.5 million. 

Orchid’s main goal is to provide anonymous internet access for people all over the world, especially in regions and countries with excessive government censorship. In addition, the Orchid solution will allow internet service providers and users to exchange the Orchid coins. According to Stephen Waterhouse, co-founder and CEO of Orchid Labs, thanks to micropayments in the Ethereum blockchain, the Orchid network will be completely decentralized, unlike a VPN.

Open-source Beaker browser

One of the most recent examples of decentralized browsers is the open-source P2P browser Beaker. It was developed in 2018 in partnership with the team that supports the Dat Project and is based on Dat’s P2P protocol. The goal of the project is to provide the ability to create and host websites directly in the browser. To do this, a local folder should be created and shared through a corresponding URL.

Beaker allows visitors to copy their files into local folders that will appear as a torrent. Files will be transported with the P2P network instead of being locked away on a server, so everyone could explore all the files that make up a website or app. For a local copy, users can make forks and implement changes. The team behind the project also decided to link it with the real world, using its own Hashbase cloud service. This allows users to maintain constant access to Dat sites, even when its local copies are offline. Beaker does not offer the so-called “browsing privacy” — as all URL owners see the devices that hosts it or try to access it. One of the key features of Beaker is the secure file sharing using the Dat protocol.

And what about Google and Mozilla?

Google is working on a blockchain-based technology aimed at developing and supporting cloud business and a number of other projects, including plans to use blockchain to improve the security of user data storage — however, the company is not in any hurry to share the details regarding its blockchain products. Mozilla seems to be following a similar plan, as — for the moment — the browser supports plug-ins for the privacy and security of users, but no further information has been disclosed. In particular, Firefox blocks website owners from tracking the digital fingerprints of user devices, as well as scripts for the hidden mining of cryptocurrencies. The plan to introduce additional protection measures was announced in August 2018, but the use of blockchain has still not been mentioned.

Chrome vs. Brave

There are several key differences between the two types of browsers, perhaps best seen through the comparison of Chrome and Brave. The Chrome browser forces the user to confirm its account in order to make use of Google services, such as Google Docs or Gmail. This allows Chrome to collect and use the data of its users to synchronize with other devices, on which the browser and other Google services are also installed. Earlier, this required user consent; now, the corporation does it by default. This rule change was noted by cryptographer Matthew Green, who is a developer of the  Zcash anonymous cryptocurrency. In his blog, Matthew Green wrote that he was very worried about Google’s policy:

“If you didn’t respect my lack of consent on the biggest user-facing privacy option in Chrome (and didn’t even notify me that you had stopped respecting it!) why should I trust any other consent option you give me? What stops you from changing your mind on that option in a few months, when we’ve all stopped paying attention?”

Such an evolution of Google’s data protection policy opens the door for browsers such as Brave to protect the privacy of users. Brave also blocks advertisements by default and does not collect information about its users browsing history, which would usually be used for context advertising. Intead, it gives advertising content creators a larger share of its revenues. Users have an option in the browser’s settings to agree to view the displayed ads, for which they receive BAT tokens.

Speaking of efficiency, browsers always deliver obstacles, as most of the available test programs cannot be tied to real-world tasks. However, after conducting several tests, the Brave team claims its solution is significantly faster than Chrome. But Brave still has a number of significant problems: For example, some sites perceive Brave users as bots. Most likely, this is due to the function of tracker-blocking. Also, users regularly encounter additional security checks in comparison to when using Chrome.

Future for new browsers or not?

The era of the Web 3.0 promises to significantly change users’ experience. However, there are many unknown variables in this story: How will internet technologies like Big Data and artificial intelligence play a part? How exactly will the transition to decentralized data storage and processing occur? What will DApps’ structure look like and what role will browsers play in it?

At the moment, the so-called Web 3.0 browsers are hybrid structures, which are based on the software we are used to — but with the addition of extensions that support decentralized apps and crypto wallets. And this postpones the “third coming” of the internet.

Thus, various platforms and services can be developed on the basis of blockchain, and their potential could lure users from centralized companies — and possibly completely replace the services of major technology giants in the future.

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$515 Million in Bitcoin Spent on Illicit Activity This Year

$515 million in Bitcoin has been spent on illegal activities in 2019, but this only accounts for 1% of total BTC transactions.

Recent research by Chainanalysis suggests that the amount of bitcoin (BTC) spent on illegal transactions this year could hit a record high of $1 billion, even as the ratio of illegal to legal transactions is shrinking, according to a report by Bloomberg on July 1.

As per the report, the total flat value of BTC spent on illegal activity so far this year is thought to be $515 million. The research suggests that by the end of the year, this figure will double to reach $1 billion.

However, the amount of BTC spent on illegal services as opposed to legal ones is on the decline. Chananalysis executive Hannah Curtis says that just 1% of BTC activity this year is illegal activity, which is down from 7% in 2012.

As per the report, the $515 million spent on illegal activities was used in transactions on the dark web: a small subsection of the deep web, which is in turn subsection of the internet that doesn’t appear in search engines (e.g. Google).

The largest illegal dark web marketplace for spending BTC is reportedly “Hydra.” BTC is apparently the cryptocurrency of choice on such marketplaces, and Monero (XRM) comes in second, according to the report. Oftentimes, these marketplaces are involved in the distribution of drugs and/or illegal pornography

As previously reported by Cointelegraph in April, for instance, two men behind the dark web marketplace NextDayGear pled guilty to selling steroids and controlled substances and to money laundering. The website apparently offered injectable and oral steroids, as well as Xanax, Valium and Viagra as a means to stymie unwanted side effects.

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Opera Releases iOS Version of its ‘Blockchain-Ready’ Mobile Web Browser

Opera has released the iOS version of its Ethereum-friendly mobile browser, with an Ethereum wallet and support for Ethereum-based dApps.

Norway-based internet browser company Opera has launched the iOS version of its mobile web browser, Opera Touch, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

Opera Touch reportedly supports the Ethereum (ETH) protocol and the Ethereum Web3 application programming interface (API). This means that the browser accommodates Ethereum-based decentralized applications (DApps) and all ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The browser also is said to feature a cryptocurrency wallet for storing Ether, the “Opera Crypto Wallet.”

Opera released the Android version of its mobile browser at the end of 2018, which offers these same Ethereum-related capabilities. Opera Touch, however, purports to be the first mobile browser on iOS with ‘Web 3’ support and a crypto wallet

The Head of Crypto at Opera browsers, Charles Hamel, commented on the release of Opera’s latest browser iteration, saying:

“We believe that all modern browsers should integrate a crypto wallet. This will enable new business models to emerge on the web. Opera is the first browser to make using crypto on the Web seamless and easy. Following a strong demand from the crypto- community, we are now making this experience available on iOS.”

For this new release, Opera says it has partnered with the crypto collectible dApp “Marble.Cards.” This application reportedly turns website URLs into unique collectible cards that are registered as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a crypto collectible released in a promotional auction for the blockchain-based game “F1 Delta Time” sold in May for 415.9 ETH—$110,600 at the time of the sale.

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Firefox Quantum Offers Anti-Cryptojacking Feature

Mozilla’s browser Firefox Quantum has a privacy toggle that protects against cryptojacking.

Firefox Quantum, the latest version of open-source internet browser Firefox, has a new privacy toggle that protects against cryptojacking, according to a blog post by Mozilla on May 21.

Mozilla previously warned official blog post that websites can deploy scripts that launch a crypto miner on a user’s machine without them being aware — a practice known as cryptojacking.

To combat these exploitative practices, Mozilla partnered with online privacy company Disconnect to create a crypto mining blocker for their browser. Users can now toggle an opt-in feature, that purportedly blocks would-be cryptojackers from taking advantage of spare computing power to mine cryptocurrencies.

Mozilla initially announced that it would block cryptojacking in new browser releases in August 2018. As per a report by Cointelegraph, Firefox featured cryptojacking protection in its Firefox Nightly 68 and Beta 67 versions this April, just prior to the launch of Quantum.

Firefox Quantum also aims to mitigate the practice of so-called “fingerprinting,” which makes a sort of digital fingerprint of a user that is employed to monitor their activities on the internet.

Cryptojacking at the consumer level was called “essentially extinct” by cybersecurity company MalwareBytes on April 23. According to the report:

“Marked by the popular drive-by mining company CoinHive shutting down operations in early March, consumer cryptomining seems to have gone the way of the dodo. Detections of consumer-focused bitcoin miners have dropped significantly over the last year and even from last quarter, while business-focused miners have increased from the previous quarter, especially in the APAC region.”

According to the report, consumer malware detections have gone down by approximately 40%. Businesses, however, are being targeted more heavily by cryptojacking attempts, with

Business detections increasing by about 7% during the first quarter of 2019.

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Report: Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com Has Applied for Over 200 Blockchain Patents

The Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has reportedly applied for over 200 patents.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has applied for over 200 blockchain patents, according to a report by Securities Daily News on May 20.

The report also notes that major e-commerce competitor Alibaba has applied for 262 blockchain patents, and Chinese internet titans Tencent and Baidu have applied for 80 and 50 such patents, respectively, as recorded by the Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication.

According to interpretation of the data provided by Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication, JD.com was in first place for “global blockchain patent strength,” with Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu coming it at second, seventh, and fifteenth place, respectively.

The report also notes that China is the global forerunner in blockchain applications. From 2013 to 2018, China filed 4,435 blockchain patent applications, which is 48% of global blockchain patent filings, as per the “Blockchain Patent Situation White Paper (Version 1.0)” published by the official website for China Telecom.

The runner-up in patent numbers was the United States, which purportedly filed for 1,833 blockchain patents in total, occupying the global patent space by 21%.

Securities Daily that, with a breakdown of patent filings by industry, companies accounted for 75% of applicants, vastly outnumbering the quantity filed by research institutions, individuals, and government agencies. Out of this 75%, the report noted that the majority of companies that filed were internet-related.

The Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication also notes that intellectual property infringements have been an issue in the past for Chinese blockchain patents, and reportedly advises:

“It is recommended that the government do a good job in industry supervision and supervision and patent quality improvement. Enterprises should raise awareness of intellectual property protection and risk prevention, avoid blind investment in the blockchain field, apply for low-value patents, and avoid future blockchains. There have been a large number of infringement lawsuits in the field.”

JD.com released a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform JD Blockchain Open Platform in 2018, which allows organizations to streamline blockchain creation and run smart contracts, as per the Cointelegraph report. JD.com has also helped create institutes for blockchain research, such as the Smart City Research Institute and a blockchain research lab.

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Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin Each Donate 1,000 Ether to Moloch DAO

Joseph Lubin, Vitalik Buterin, ConsenSys, and the Ethereum Foundation donate 1,000 ETH apiece to new Ethereum infrastructure development fund.

Ethereum founders Joseph Lubin and Vitalik Buterin and their respective organizations ConsenSys and the Ethereum Foundation are each donating 1,000 ether (ETH) to the Moloch decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

This donation brings the organization’s total funds up to $1 million,  a Cointelegraph correspondent learned at the Ethereal Summit on May 10.

The stated objective of Moloch DAO, created by Ameen Soleimani — the CEO of the Ethereum-based adult token platform Spankchain — aims to crowdsource funding for shared, open-source Ethereum infrastructure. Moloch DAO states:

“Our objective is to accelerate the development of public Ethereum infrastructure that many teams need but don’t want to pay for on their own. By pooling our ETH, teams building on Ethereum can collectively fund open-source work we decide is in our common interest.”

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin previously acted as an advisor to a different Ethereum crowdfunding project, the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF), which was initially endowed with $100 million to go toward infrastructure developments. The ECF named their first five grant recipients at the beginning of 2018, and announced the second cohort of recipients in August 2018.

One example of these infrastructure development grants is second cohort recipient and crypto researcher Patrick McCorry’s work on improving the speed and security of Ethereum state/payment channels.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Lubin has high hopes for the future of Ethereum, believing that Ethereum will form the backbone for the next generation of the Internet:

“My feeling is this is just the next Internet. This is World Wide Web version three. We are going to be delivering applications that look like Web pages or Web applications or that look like mobile applications. They will just have this different kind of database in the backend that is a much more trustworthy database that enables easy interoperation amongst lots of other things.”

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Blockstream Launches 5th Satellite Streaming Bitcoin Blockchain From Space

Blockchain development firm Blockstream has expanded its satellite service and is now broadcasting the Bitcoin blockchain to all of Earth’s major land masses

Blockchain development firm Blockstream has expanded its satellite service and is now broadcasting the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain to all of Earth’s major land masses, Forbes reported Dec. 17.

The wider coverage — which comes via the addition of a fifth leased satellite — brings potential internet-free Bitcoin transactions and information sharing to crypto users in the Asia Pacific region. The satellite service, still in beta, had hitherto already been available across Africa, Europe, South and North America.

Blockstream has also reportedly launched a new application programming interface (API), which allows lets the satellites be used to exchange encrypted messages and pay for them using micropayments on the Lightning Network. Blockstream CSO Samson Mow contextualized the move, saying, “Bitcoin has always been about uncensorable money, and now we have uncensorable communications as well.”

As Forbes outlines, the ambitious Bitcoin space initiative aims to free crypto usage from dependency on access to the internet and make the security of the Bitcoin network maximally robust. Blockstream CEO Adam Back told the magazine:

“We see the increased robustness of the bitcoin network and the lower cost of participation contributing to helping businesses rely on the service for backup, and for emerging markets to use as their primary access to the bitcoin network at a lower cost.”

With its latest expansion, the Blockstream Satellite covers the entire globe, except for the remote regions of Greenland and Antarctica. Moreover, the data now streamed by the satellites covers all historical Bitcoin transaction data, rather than only the immediately preceding blocks, as in the project’s earlier iterations.

When it first announced its satellite project in August 2017, Blockstream pitched its aim as being to “connect everyone on the planet” in the face of limited global internet access, and even more limited online freedom.

As reported, the idea of launching Bitcoin relay satellites is not new, with Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik’s BitSat scheme seeking to do just that in 2014, although the initiative has since seemingly come to a standstill.