Tag Archive : blockchain

Tencent launches Blockchain Accelerator to Drive Blockchain Adoption in China

Chinese Internet company Tencent has launched a blockchain accelerator to help 30 startups in the implementation of blockchain in various industrial aspects.

Chinese Internet giant and operator of famous social media app WeChat, Tencent is all set to launch a blockchain accelerator. Tencent on its website officially confirmed the news. According to it, the “Tencent Industrial Accelerator” is ready to accelerate 30 startups irrespective of whether they are just starting up or matured. The only pre-requisite is that the applying startups must have at least one prior financial round. Tencent is accepting applications until the 6th of June. The application cost around 100,000 RMB, which amounts to just about $14,000. 

The announcement stated, “Tencent Blockchain Accelerator is an important part of Tencent Industrial Accelerator. By integrating global blockchain industry resources and linking excellent blockchain companies, a multi-dimensional service platform based on technology, scenarios, business opportunities, and capital is created to achieve strategic planning. All-round acceleration to the implementation of applications, jointly promote the independent innovation of blockchain technology, help the application of technical applications to the industrial scene, and jointly build an industrial prosperity ecology.”

Some of the areas on which the accelerator will focus are industrial blockchain solutions and blockchain applications for data sharing, supply chain financing, digital asset transactions, government affairs, energy, education, logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, and public welfare.

All the selected applicants will have access to one entire year of mentorship, along with Tencent’s blockchain-as-a-service platform. Moreover, they will also be presented with industry networking and business opportunities. 

 

Ready to start a career in blockchain space? Here is what you need to know 

About two years ago I started to wonder how one joins the blockchain world, without prior experience. After doing a week of extensive searches on careers, skills and jobs needed in blockchain, all I could find were a few reddit posts with obvious “You better be a software developer”  rhetoric. I am not a programmer by trade, and that sparked my curiosity about what it takes to transition to blockchain for a career without being a developer. Until recently, all I got were dead ends, old blog posts with very generic “try harder” suggestions and nothing with a hands on approach. It seemed anyone in the field was too busy with building cool decentralized projects and didn’t have time to share it with the rest of us. Two years later, there seems to be even less blockchain career advice yet right now it is looking to be one of the hottest fields to enter right now, according to Linkedin and their 2020 study. 

“As companies explore how to take advantage of this technology, they have a huge need to build this skillset.” – Linkedin

Blockchain skills were voted the #1 top skill employers are looking for in 2020 by Linkedin. It was the top priority for employers hiring in the U.S., U.K, France, Germany and Australia, over in demand fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing and UX Design 

Even in the current crisis it seems that many blockchain companies are actively hiring.

Coinbase also recently announced its specular 40x growth and advertised over 100 positions across its United States offices and in both Europe, and Asia.

The hiring trend in crypto seems to expand beyond just Coinbase, Kraken and Binance. 

“A month after the new coronavirus was first reported, in December 2019, blockchain jobs were submitted to job site Indeed.com at a rate of 114.5 per million. By February 2020 that number had increased 3% to 118.4 per million.” – Bitcoin KE

Recently I got an update that BlockchainDriven, an award winning blockchain implementation company in the blockchain world decided to launch an educational arm focused on giving a real look into the industry and how to get your career started in the space. 

That got my attention, since how can it be possible that there is no information on the blockchain field and how to enter it, while Linkedin says that blockchain space is #1 priority for companies to hire in.  

BlockchainDriven has been around since 2015 and has been involved and implemented in some fantastic projects across logistics, healthcare, finance, cyber security and government tech.  And what they have done with the academy is to open their doors to offer an insider look into these projects.

They just did a free live streaming session last week, Future Proof Your Career on Blockchain and you can watch a recording of it at the link. I found it to be very insightful and relevant to what I was looking for. Instead of trying to overcomplicate the blockchain space, as I have seen companies do many times, the BlockDrivenAcademy session was focused on giving the listener a pure and clutter free look into possibilities in blockchain, what skills sets they need, how current blockchain space looks, what blockchain skills you need to get hired and with hands-on case studies on existing blockchain projects to give clear view of what takes place on blockchain. 

For anyone interested in the blockchain career, this is a great place to start and let the people in the blockchain industry get you up to speed. 

Author:  PAUL LENNIE
Paul is a Scottish finance expert who moved to New York in 2002 to trade on Wall Street, and has been a blockchain and cryptocurrency advocate since 2013. He is a well-respected member of the global blockchain community, and has worked with banks and other large corporations on integrating blockchain technology into their businesses.

bitFlyer Blockchain Arm Starts Offering Consultancy Services

Japanese Crypto Exchange bitFlyer blockchain arm starts offering consultancy services to new businesses in the blockchain space. 

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, bitFlyer just announced that its blockchain arm named bitFlyer Blockchain will offer consultancy services to businesses around the world built around blockchain technology. bitFlyer is also one of the most prominent Bitcoin brokers in the world. 

bitFlyer already offers services like BaaS, Joint Business, Miyabi Core, and RegTech. With the launch of its latest consultancy service, it aims to help new blockchain businesses with their task management requirements. As of now, bitFlyer Blockchain is targeting new companies in sectors like finance, manufacturing, technology, real estate, and public sectors. 

In the press release, bitFlyer noted, “We do not know how to launch a business using blockchain, we do not know the effect of introduction, there are no blockchain experts, the significance of using the blockchain instead of general database “Why Blockchain?” Many companies face challenges such as in-depth discussions.

As a virtual currency exchange company, we have a track record of operating for over 6 years. In addition, we have expertise in cryptography, which was originally developed from 0 for the blockchain algorithm, and a domestic top-class blockchain patent.”

Based on these backgrounds, in addition to the segments shown in Figures 1 to 4 below, experienced blockchain consultants have developed from the perspective of the customer to solve the business problems of the customer. As a new segment, we have started to provide consulting services.

The firm had been receiving many requests from major corporations regarding Security Token Offerings (STO), building transparent supply chains, and the usage of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). It is being speculated the recently launched consultancy services will help to address such inquiries. 

Vinetree Corporation Launches a blockchain Gaming Platform

Vinetree Corporation, the company behind South Korean social gaming app GameTalkTalk launches a blockchain-based platform, Ludena Protocol.

Vinetree Corporation, the parent company of South Korean social gaming app GameTalkTalk has recently announced a blockchain-based platform, named Ludena Protocol. The platform will be house to a reward-based social media DApp, a matchmaking peer-to-peer gaming platform, and a digital item exchange.

Vinetree Corporation confirmed that the platform will be fully operational in the second quarter of 2020, and users will then be able to access the app’s internal digital assets (stars), with which they will be able to complete in-game missions and download new games as well. 

How will this work? 

Once available, users will be able to use Stars to buy gift cards, in-game items, and tangible products. They will also be allowed to convert Stars into the platform’s native token LDN. Game publishers will use LDN as a marketing tool to access the community. 

Moreover, the app is also equipped with a behavior tracking mechanism, using which it will identify parameters like mobile gaming experience, money spent in downloaded games and the frequency of gameplay. With this data in hand, Ludena Network will then match relevant players with gaming companies. 

Ludena Protocol CEO Joshua Kim stated, “A single definition for Ludena Protocol is: The platform that gives significance and incentives to worldwide gamers.”

Growth of Blockchain Games

As the world is under a complete lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, the popularity of blockchain games has increased tremendously. More gamers are now exploring this space.

The positive public response to the potential of public gaming has also prompted game developers and publishers to develop and roll out blockchain games to the masses. Recently, Infinite Fleet, a space adventure game partnered with blockchain marketplace STOKR to launch a security token offering and raise funds for further development. Popular gaming platform The Sandbox also collaborated with Iconic entertainment firm Atari, and will soon release new features in its games backed by blockchain technology. 

Japanese Advertising Giant Dentsu Uses blockchain to Help Content Creators

One of the largest advertising firms in Japan, Dentsu partners with Kadokawa Ascii research laboratories to help content creators using blockchain technology.

As per the recent reports, the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Dentsuhas partnered with Kadokawa Ascii research laboratories to help content creators to be recognized in the market, using blockchain technology.

It is using a Proof of Concept to reward content creators, even if they use copyrighted content. As of now, it is targeting people commenting on popular Japanse comic, Manga, with live-stream applications. The news was confirmed by a local news outlet Nikkei newspaper.

Videos created by creators on YouTube and other popular live-streaming apps are often demonetized owing to copyright infringement issues. As a part of their collaboration, Dentsu and Kadokawa aim to make it easier for people making commentary videos on popular platforms to earn money, through blockchain, if they possibly use some copyrighted content.

On the other hand, it is also aiming to educate secondary and tertiary creators (people who comment on Manga using Livestream apps, and those who translate those into other languages respectively) about the range of allowed content in these platforms. 

Commenting on the partnership, a spokesperson from Dentsu said, “We want to integrate fans’ work that had previously not been valued as a legitimate market.”

The Japanese Government has recently taken an initiative to manage content creators and their work using blockchain technology. Under this initiative, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry announced last year that it will provide up to 50 million yen for companies with the same vision. 

South Korean Govt to Recognizes Blockchain as Golden Opportunity

The Government of South Korea has acknowledged the potential of blockchain as Golden Opportunity and plans to implement a dedicated strategy in the country’s next budget. 

The South Korean government authorities have made a statement praising the growing potential of blockchain technology and deemed it as a golden opportunity for the country to establish itself in the technology space. They have also urged private sector companies to come up and harness the potential of blockchain. 

According to a report published by local news outlet Fn News, the Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance, Koo Yun-Cheol hosted a meeting with prominent private sector players of the country and discussed blockchain technology at length. 

He focussed on the growing adoption and development of blockchain in various countries across the world stating that “The size of the blockchain-related industry is expected to grow by more than 80% per year on average, and is competitively supporting foreign countries to preoccupy the market that is attracting attention as a promising technology in the future. It is possible to preempt the industry if the government effectively supports it in stages.”

He went on to add, “The technological gap with developed countries such as the United States and Europe is not large for 2.3 years, so it is now a golden time for pursuit.” 

At the same time, Koo also stressed on the importance of government initiatives to boost the growth and adoption of blockchain in the country. He opined that the government should play a more active role in creating the initial market for blockchain in South Korea.  

A Golden Opportunity for South Korea

In alignment with the above thought process, the South Korean government aims to create a blockchain proliferation strategy and include it in next year’s budget proposal. 

Various countries across the world are gradually acknowledging the potential and benefits of using blockchain technology. For quite some time, UAE has been a leader in this space, in terms of experimenting on new projects and implementing blockchain in various sectors like supply chain, food, oil, etc.

On the other hand, since the RBI’s ban-lift on the usage of cryptocurrency in India, a lot of Indian companies like WazirX have made significant steps in the blockchain and crypto space. 

 

HTC Blockchain Smartphone Exodus Will Allow Monero Mining

Mobile manufacturer HTC announced yesterday that its blockchain smartphone Exodus will now let users mine Monero cryptocurrency. To make this possible, HTC has partnered with ASIC chip design firm Midas Labs. This will allow Monero mining through an application called DeMiner.

It will be available for download in the second quarter of 2020. HTC also clarified that DeMiner will be designed in a way that the mining process deactivates automatically when the mobile phone is in use or when the charger is unplugged. 

Exodus 1s is HTC’s blockchain-based smartphone that allows running a full Bitcoin (BTC) node. 

Cryptocurrency mining is energy and cost-intensive activity. HTC’s latest move to allow mining on mobile phones is aimed to reduce energy and cost consumption. 

Phil Chen from HTC explained, “Mining on mobile is an important research topic in understanding the development of secure crypto networks. The number of mobile phones in 2020 is approaching 3.5 Billion, which would further decentralize and distribute the hash rate and mining power of such crypto networks.” 

He added, “Monero is an important and crucial experiment resisting the trend of centralized mining. It utilizes an algorithm called “Random X” that is suitable for CPU-based calculation. The use of this algorithm is actively fighting some of the centralizing forces that create the mining pools in Bitcoin.”

Phil is also of the opinion that giant mining pools across the crypto space are dominating the hash rate. Hence, the decentralization of mining power via mobile phones is the only viable way to get rid of this problem and begin a culture of inclusivity in terms of crypto mining

About the DeMiner App

DeMiner is the application that will allow Monero mining on HTC’s Exodus. Dr. Jri Lee, CEO, and founder of Midas Labs explained that the app has been designed in such a manner that a smartphone will have reasonable hash power almost similar to a desktop, but it will consume much less power. This will basically allow crypto mining from mobile devices (when connected to a charger) without consuming much electricity. 

 

Can Blockchain Replace Secure Socket Layer (SSL Certificate)?

Well, although the question of whether blockchain can replace SSL certificates is debatable one, there is evidence to prove that blockchain has no capabilities to solve the problems that SSL certificate can solve. So the answer to this question is NO. This article will explain the concept of blockchain and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates and give out the reasons as to why blockchain cannot replace SSL certificates. 

  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL Certificate)

SSL Certificate is not a new term in the technology world. Netscape first introduced it in 1994. SSL certificates have ever since been a critical player in the security of the most website and e-commerce stores.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is the data file that is usually installed onto web browsers. An SSL certificate plays the role of allowing for a secure connection between web browsers (client) and the webserver. It achieves this by establishing encrypted links.

By encrypting the data that are being transferred, SSL certificates protect the websites and e-commerce stores from fraudulent activities that hackers might undertake whenever they get hold of the information. The reason for this is because the encrypted data goes through an undeciphered form, and it will be hard to establish its meaning. 

To websites and E-commerce stores, an SSL certificate plays essential roles. They encrypt crucial data, such as credit card details and transactions. They can also secure data transfers, act as hosts to ensure social media websites and also process logins. To achieve this, the SSL certificate makes use of a Cryptographic Key that provides critical validation of data sender and receivers. The cryptographic key will detail the server name, domain name, hostname, company name and location. 

A majority of SSL certificates also come with Transport Layer Security protocol that adds an extra security layer. 

Trusted Certificate Authorities only do issuance of SSL certificates. SSL certificates have for a long time, been instrumental in securing websites and has enabled a secure exchange of data. However, in the recent past, many sites have experienced an increase in the cases of SSL certificate vulnerabilities that have created loopholes for hackers to steal vital information. 

Technology specialists have, in turn, started to consider blockchain as a perfect replacement of SSL certificates. But does can blockchain supersede SSL certificates in creating complete security for websites?

 

 

In some ways, blockchain technology is similar to Secure Socket Layer certificates. Just like SSL certificates, blockchain technology also plays a critical role in authentication and securing of digital transactions. The two are essential layers of security in cybersecurity.

Blockchain technology gained its popularity due to the rise in the prices of bitcoins. The most common definition of blockchain is ‘distributed and decentralized public ledger.’ It is used to store digital information into a public database. An example of digital information that may be stored in the date, the time and the amount of purchase from Amazon. The record is made without any identifying information by using a distinctive digital signature.

Unlike SSL certificates, the roles played by blockchain are far from just securing digital transactions. 

To authenticate and secure digital transactions, blockchain uses a Blockchain Originated Certificate of Authenticity that allows users to transfer files across websites safely. This is the only similarity that exists between blockchain and SSL certificates.

Blockchain Originated Certificate of Authenticity uses sophisticated techniques in protecting the private information of the users. It also does not integrate the Public Key Infrastructure as in the case of SSL certificates. The level of security that is provided by blockchain technology is much far from asymmetric encryption and caching of public keys that is for the case of SSL certificates.

 

  • Past Loopholes That Come With Secure Socket Layer Certificates

 

Different versions of SSL certificates, especially the earlier versions that were released, also had several faults. For instance, SSL 2.0, which was the first version of the SSL certificate that was issued in 1995, had a weak MAC construction that made use of an MD5 hash function. This made it very vulnerable for several cyber-attacks.

Another perfect example is the SSL 3.0 that was released in 1996. This version had a fragile derivation process that entirely depended on the MD5 Hash function. This made it more vulnerable and less collision-resistant. The next versions of SSL certificates had these loopholes sealed.

  • Why blockchain cannot Replace SSL Certificate despite the flaws exhibited by SSL certificates

From the susceptibilities that SSL certificates have presented, FinTech experts now suggest that blockchain is the perfect replacement for SSL certificates. This is despite the alarmingly high rate of insecurities that come with blockchain technology. It is for the fact that blockchain technology brings forth more security features than those brought in by SSL certificates. 

However, blockchain does not hold what it should beat SSL certificates in the world of cybersecurity. Why is this so? First and foremost, blockchain does not have the human touch that is much needed to verify whether or not a user is legitimate. 

Secondly, blockchain technology has got a centralized trust, unlike secured Socket Layer, which has a trust established in different Certificate Authorities (CA). Blockchain technology thus eliminates the human factor from digital transactions that are seen in SSL certificates. 

This is a significant setback that comes with blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology does not solve the problem that a Secure Socket Layer certificate usually solves. SSL certificates try to match up the names and details of a business and a person, public keys and the domain names. Doing this requires some level of real-life facts, a feature that is represented by the Secure Socket Layer Certificate. 

Final Thought

SSL certificates have, for a long time, been used to provide security and privacy over the internet. However, they have depicted security flaws that put the user under a high threat of cyber espionage. Cybersecurity experts have then suggested blockchain technology to be a replacement. However, blockchain still does not have the human touch that is required to verify the legitimacy users. This fact alone disqualifies it to be a replacement of SSL certificates.

Ethereum’s PoS Developer CasperLabs Announces Own blockchain

According to a recent announcement, CasperLabs has decided to launch its own blockchain in collaboration with Singapore-based crypto exchange BitMax. CasperLabs is also the firm that is responsible for developing Ethereum’s Proof of Stake mechanism. 

Through CasperLabs’ Exchange Validator Offering (EVO), retail investors will get access to CLX tokens. As a part of the collaboration, BitMax will also offer a full node of the network to enable staking for retail sale participants. 

The total supply of CLX tokens will be 10 billion and investors will have access to 10% of those. After the mainnet launch, CasperLabs will roll out 20% of the total supply for circulation in the first year. 

The mainnet is scheduled to be launched in the third quarter of 2020, and all purchased tokens will have a 90 day lockout period after the launch. During this period, these tokens will participate in validator staking and earn staking rewards. Once the lockout period is over, the tokens will be rolled out gradually over the next nine months at a rate of 1/38th per week. Furthermore, BitMax announced that the sale will have a target of 3,000,000 USDT. You can know more about CasperLabs blockchain here

During the EVO, CLX tokens will be sold at $0.01 each, and the public sale later will be set at a minimum price of $0.02 per token.

The announcement further explains the sale mechanics, “CasperLabs has made no token offerings to date and all funding has been conducted via a standard Series A equity financing. The decision not to sell tokens was based on ensuring open access to the underlying system. […] CasperLabs, together with BitMax.io, is taking a novel approach to challenging the status quo of staking power consolidation amongst institutions by conducting the industry’s first EVO.”

CasperLabs CEO Mrinal Manohar clarified that the platform is specifically built to scale blockchains without losing decentralization and security.

Last year, CasperLabs nabbed in $14.5 million for its blockchain scalability solutions. 

Canadian Blockchain Startup Unveils – Civitas App to Fight COVID-19

As per the recent blockchain news, a Canada-based blockchain startup Emerge has come up with a blockchain application named Civitas App to fight against the existing global health crisis in Latin America. The startup announced that the app is aimed to stop the spread of the COVID-19 by ‘reducing gatherings in tight spaces’.

How will the App Work? 

The software integrated into the app will tally the locals’ government ID numbers with unique blockchain records. This will allow the authorities to determine is a person qualifies to be permitted for his/her home. Moreover, the app will also guide COVID-19 symptomatic citizens as to what is the safest time for them to go out for shopping essentials. This will essentially reduce the chances of them spreading the virus.

Blockchain Technology Actively Fighting the Global Pandemic

Countries across the world are using blockchain technology to overcome the detrimental effects of COVID-19. Here are a couple of examples.

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) is using the technology to check the digital identity of citizens for various governmental processes. It has also implemented blockchain-based chat systems to digitally authenticate official certificates and other documents.

The idea is to ensure that citizens can get this sort of work done from the comfort of their homes, and reduce the chances of being affected by the virus. 

The present scenario has also brought about a supply-demand crunch, thus inflating prices of essential items like medicines. To counter this problem,  Netherlands-based distributed ledger technology firm Tymlez has proposed its blockchain solution to optimize the supply chain of medical goods and control the soaring prices.

Lockdown in Central America

About 3 million citizens of Honduras are currently under lockdown and are facing heavy penalties if they violate quarantine protocols.  

In Honduras, the app will enable doctors to track patient symptoms and suggest relevant medical care to them. Such data will be available to both the users and healthcare officials while maintaining the utmost privacy. 

Similarly, other countries across the world are also under strict lockdown, and blockchain is definitely one of the go-to technologies that governments across the world have adopted.