Investors pile-in for blockchain streaming start-up

How we watch our favourite television shows and sporting events is changing and up until now, this hasn’t been great news for television networks.

That is because these networks haven’t been making much money off that process, but VideoCoin might just change all that.

When networks stream to televisions, one signal can hit many different viewers, but with internet viewing it is simply one signal to one device.

Thus, the overall people per signal drops. VideoCoin plans to help broadcasters send video streams to unused tech infrastructure that have extra capacity which will help with processing.

The immersive video start-up, Live Planet, is also involved in this project as strategic partners. There are also plenty of other high profile investors on-board, including the likes of Anthony Di lorio, who is a co-founder of Ethereum and Akamai co-founder Randal Kaplan.

In fact, their entire $50 million initial coin offering (IC0) has already been sold through private investment. If you want to get involved, then we’ve some bad news; there is no plan for a public sale.

That being said, there are reports that there will be an airdrop to supporters over the next few weeks.

Halsey Minor, who is a co-founder of CNET is already on-board too and he sees this investment as a no-brainer.

He said: “What we’re building is the next-generation infrastructure for how you do video processing and distributed services.”

He also added that this is the ideal use for this technology, stating: “The one use case the blockchain that’s going to work first is the commodification of hardware. It’s perfect for it.”

Please follow and like us:

First Kuwaiti Bank to join Ripplenet for instant blockchain payments

Ripple’s Blockchain solution for cross-border payments will bolster the banks Shari’a compliant products

kuwait finance houseAnnounced today, Kuwait Finance House has joined RippleNet, a move which will enable the bank to provide cross-border payments using Ripples blockchain technology.

The RippleNet partnership is a world’s first in the Kuwaiti banking system and is part of a framework strategy to adopt blockchain technology to provide a cutting edge customer experience.

Customers will now be able to make rapid international transfers with considerably lower transaction fees.

Kuwait Finance house is a global leader in Islamic banking with operations spanning seven regions, 485 branches, 1,000 ATM’s and more than 15,000 employees.

“This is great news for the Kuwait Finance House, as it continues to add solid foundations to the major banking partnerships. The fact that KFH is the first bank in Kuwait to operate in this way will pave the way for more customers to access services through the RIBL network”

With adoption continually growing, Ripple is fast becoming the blockchain solution of choice for many pioneering banks.

Please follow and like us:

Former CEO of Visa UK to Lead Crypto Startup

Marc O'BrienMarc O’Brien, former CEO of Visa UK, a key advisor of Revolut and one of the United Kingdom’s leading payment services experts, has been appointed CEO of Crypterium, the world’s first mobile crypto bank.

Marc has over 25 years of experience in Financial Services, FinTech and RegTech.

He has been a long time advisor to MasterCard before joining Visa, where Marc held a number of significant positions, including 6 years as CEO of Visa UK and Ireland, company’s second most important market. During Marc’s time as CEO, Visa’s business doubled from $250 to $600 million with market share of debit card payments increasing to 97%.

Marc also started and led the contactless technology programme in the UK and with Transport for London from the very beginning to its multi billion transaction rollout.

After leaving Visa in 2014, Marc has been a key advisor on some of the most exciting startups in the UK, including Revolut where he was advising CEO and team on product strategy, growth strategy, and marketing. He was effectively the third person in the team after the two founders.

Recently, Marc also advised the UK’s Royal Mint on the possible creation of a Gold backed Crypto Token.

Following the global search by Sheffield Haworth, Marc will now lead the launch of Crypterium App that will let its users pay with cryptocurrencies with the same ease and convenience as with cash or credit cards. Users will be able to issue virtual cards, link them to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay, bind them to their crypto accounts and pay at any NFC terminal, or via scanning the QR codes.

“I am delighted to be joining Crypterium at such an exciting time. I strongly believe that cryptocurrency is about to go mainstream and we can be pioneers to build Crypterium into a terrific business,” says Marc.

“We are genuinely very excited by Marc’s appointment. He brings the experience and know-how to build a global banking solution that will have no peers,” adds Austin Kimm, COO of Crypterium.

Please follow and like us:

Brazilian city will pioneer Blockchain tech for public transport

Teresina, a city located in the Brazilian state of Piauí will be the world’s first to utilise blockchain technology to manage its public transport infrastructure, paving the way to a smart and futuristic municipality.

The innovative project named “Mobility Observatory: blockchain for the co-management of public transport” will aim to increase transparency by storing records such as fulfillment orders, transactions, travel reports and work orders on the blockchain, all fully accessible to the public. The data will be permanently stored on the blockchain and cannot be altered or modified without changes being tracked.

It is being developed by the Municipality of Teresina through the Municipal Secretariat of Planning and Coordination (Semplan) and Agenda 2030. It is also in partnership with the Municipal Transportation and Transit Authority and the Organization of States (OAS), through its School of Open Government, and the Hyperledger Foundation.

The project has received a €300,000 investment from various funding programmes including the European Union.

“The City Hall of Teresina has made all the investment in the infrastructure part, such as construction of terminals and corridors, so we need to know if the operation of their system is adequate and how we control the operation. already does this monitoring, but we are looking for something more technologically advanced, so we have elaborated a proposal that could improve public transportation in its management” said Gabriela Uchoa, Coordinator of Agenda 2030 in Teresina.

“This innovative project of Teresina that systematizes this management of the operation and makes it transparent, open to the population, in a system that is the blockchain, that can not be modified, altered.Any modification that is made is tracked.The idea is to create a committee of co-management and monitoring of this data and validation of them and all this part of the operation that involves collective transportation is monitored through the blockchain system, “explained Gabriela.

Aiming to transform Teresina into a smart, futuristic and sustainable city, the blockchain in public transportation will bring to the municipality the increase of reliability among those involved in the transportation system and service improvement; sharing responsibilities for the proper functioning of public transport and increasing its efficiency; in addition to prioritizing public transport to have an impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Please follow and like us:

IOTA (MIOTA) Ledger support coming soon!

You will soon be able to store IOTA (MIOTA) on the Ledger hardware wallet!

The official IOTA wallet is currently the best option to store MIOTA; however, its usability and functionality have long been questionable at best, with many users frequently experiencing issues when sending, receiving, broadcasting and attaching transactions. In some cases, users have even been unable to retrieve their IOTA.

Navin Ramachandran IOTA
Navin Ramachandran IOTA

However, this is all likely to change very soon. We spoke with IOTA Foundation member Navin Ramachandran, who assures us that with the upcoming Trinity wallet and ledger support the team are confident they are about to deliver the most user friendly, secure wallet on the market.

 


1. Will IOTA support Ledger hardware wallets and, if so, when? Security is becoming paramount for investors due to phishing and exchanges that are unable to secure customers’ funds.

The Ledger team have recently revealed that IOTA support is on the roadmap. There are a team currently working on this and we are working with them to expedite the integration. Concurrently we have committed to supporting this integration, as soon as it is available, in the new Trinity wallet. The Trinity developers are already in contact.

2. How user friendly will the new wallet be? Lots of users are reporting problems with having to re-attach transactions several times.

The new Trinity wallet has been built from the ground up to be user friendly. This was my main aim for the project. We have tested this with over 400 users during alpha testing, and we will soon be moving into beta testing.

At beta we are confident, based on feedback, that it will be one of the best wallets in the crypto realm. But we are also currently working with an excellent designer to tweak the design to minimise user friction and maximise usability.

The challenge is always how this can be achieved in a decentralised manner but still allow for synchronisation between devices. We are working on some novel approaches together with the IOTA core developers, which we hope will bear fruit in the next few months.

3. A number of IOTA users have no confidence in the current wallet; they are stuck in limbo with no safe way to store their cryptocurrency. How are you solving this?

There’s been a lot of confusion around IOTA’s wallet, but it is important to keep in mind that when IOTA pioneered the next generation of distributed ledgers we made it clear that we had no intention of even creating a UI, as the main focus was on IoT. As demand for a GUI increased, we decided to give the community what they wanted, and we are confident that Trinity will deliver.

From Navin’s feedback it seems that the team are confident that the IoT fundamentals are functioning correctly in a tried and tested environment. In turn this allows them to now focus on and allocate more resources to user software/interaction, with the aim of developing confidence in this area.

Development in these areas is in full swing, with the Trinity wallet concentrating on squashing bugs. It is very likely that once the wallet hits beta testing, it will already be an extremely polished product. Given the problems users encounter with the current wallet, it is reassuring to see the IOTA team carrying out extensive testing and taking the community’s feedback very seriously.

Please follow and like us:

Blockchain technology will track Billion dollar Amazon Fund

Brazilian Development Bank BNDES has signed a memorandum of understanding with German development bank KfW with the aim to improve transparency and efficiency in the use of public resources that finance the development of the Amazon Fund, this will now be powered by Blockchain technology.

BNDES was assigned the management of the Amazon Fund, which is responsible for raising funds and allocating resources; monitoring and supervising actions and supported projects; accountability; and reporting results obtained in a continuous and transparent manner; in addition to exercising the role of Amazon Fund Guidance Committee executive secretariat.

With eight years of existence, the Amazon Fund finished 2016 with a portfolio of 86 supported projects, totalling R$ 1.4 billion (US$ 617 million), of which 47% have already been disbursed. It has received donations from Norway, Germany and Petrobras totalling R$ 2.8 billion (US$ 1.13 billion).

Blockchain technology is set to be the object of cooperation between BNDES and KfW.

The memorandum is to be signed between the development banks of Brazil and Germany provides for test concept in the Amazon Fund

The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) has been exchanging experiences with companies, research centres and financial institutions that are dedicated to blockchain technology development. In this context, the BNDES board approved a memorandum of understanding with KfW, the German development bank, to promote cooperation between the two institutions in enhancing TruBudget software.

The tool was developed by KfW to improve transparency and efficiency in the use of public resources that finance development. Although based on bitcoin-like technology, TruBudget does not involve the use of a virtual currency: it is a workflow tool that uses a private, not public, blockchain such as bitcoin.

Until May, BNDES will do a pilot test of the application in the Amazon Fund. The Fund, which is managed by BNDES, includes the German bank as one of the donors and carries out non-repayable financial operations, which are the focus of the memorandum.

Under the agreement, KfW will provide BNDES with access to the software repository and manage all other platforms and related tools necessary to collaborate and work on improving TruBudget. The German bank will also offer technical support for the application of the tool.

During the tests, BNDES will regularly share information about the use of TruBudget among participants. The Bank will not use it for commercial purposes or claim intellectual property for the software or a modified version of it. During the joint execution of the project, KfW intends to formalize the TruBudget license in the open source modality.

Please follow and like us:

Introducing ‘petro’ – A new oil-backed cryptocurrency being launched by Venezuela

In a daring attempt to boost Venezuela’s economy, the country’s president Nicolas Maduro has announced the introduction of a new cryptocurrency which will be backed-up by Venezuela’s oil reserves.

The currency, which is imaginatively called ‘petro’, was announced by the left-leaning leader on Sunday with an emphatic statement of “the 21st century has arrived.”

Critics may point to the lack of specifics in regard to how this cryptocurrency will function, but nonetheless, President Maduro was adamant that it will be a success during this televised statement.

During the broadcast, he added that “Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency” which will be backed by their natural reserves of oil, gas, gold and diamonds.

The president also referred to the US-led sanctions currently in place and how petro will help his country “make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

The announcement wasn’t met with universal acclaim however, with political opposition stating that such an act will have to overcome copious amounts of red tape before it becomes official.

oil gas
The “petro,” a cryptocurrency backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves.

This move further indicates that the sanctions towards Maduro’s government that were put in place by Pres. Trump’s administration earlier this year are hurting Venezuela’s economy. Those moves from the USA include sanctions on officials from the country, PDVSA executives and Venezuela’s debt issuance.

The bolivar, which is the current currency in the country, is at a weak point and the country is struggling to move money through international banks.

Optimism regarding President Maduro’s move has been muted, for many reasons, including his poor economic record.

The bolivar has been on a constant slide as of late, with government controls and the over printing of currency leading to a depreciation rate against the dollar of almost 60 per cent during the last month.

Poverty stricken natives aren’t overly positive about this announcement either, as many think that Maduro’s decisions are creating a complete economic bust.

Economist and opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado told Reuters that his opinion of the president does not amount to much, adding: “It’s Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility.”

Fellow opposition lawmaker Jose Guerra added to the dissenting voices, telling Reuters that he can’t envisage any future for the cryptocurrency.

However, President Maduro has stated that he is trying his utmost to fight for his country in a monetary “war”.

The recent surge in other digital currency’s value (especially Bitcoin) have without a doubt influenced Maduro’s decision to make this move. Relations between Venezuela and the USA will most likely to continue to be tense, as Maduro looks for alternatives to boost his country’s economy.

Please follow and like us:

ARK CryptoCurrency unveils new Testnet with mobile and desktop clients.

Ark CryptoCurrency unveils their public Testnet along with both mobile and desktop clients – setting another first in the industry, after already releasing the ARK code to github, all while their TEC (Token Exchange Campaign) is still running.

The ARK Crew, the development team behind the ARK Ecosystem, has announced the release of their first publically available test network. The ARK testnet will be an alpha release featuring custom, open source mobile and desktop clients, as well as many updates to the core voting mechanism and network technology behind their dpos algorithm.

Read more: http://www.pressat.co.uk/releases/ark-cryptocurrency-unveils-new-testnet-with-mobile-and-desktop-clients-1b3460a6389966f59731aed27c51185c/

Please follow and like us:

DEA Agents in Silk Road Case Face Fraud Charges

Two former federal agents are expected to be arrested on Monday on charges of stealing money while working undercover on an investigation into Silk Road, the once-thriving black market website for drug dealing, a document shows.

The former agents are Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service.

Mr. Force is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and money laundering, and Mr. Bridges is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, according to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.

The charges stem from their roles in an undercover operation that led to charges in the Silk Road investigation and the shutting down of the website.

Mr. Force, while investigating Silk Road, “stole and converted to his own personal use a sizeable amount of bitcoins,” the digital currency that was used by buyers and sellers on the website, which he obtained in his undercover capacity, the government said.

“Rather than turning those bitcoin over to the government, Force deposited them into his own personal accounts,” the government said.

At the time charges were announced against Ross W. Ulbricht, the man behind the site, in October 2013 and the website was shut down, the authorities called Silk Road “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet.”

Several thousand drug dealers and other vendors used the site from January 2011 through October 2013 to sell hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods to more than 100,000 buyers, according to a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Manhattan.

The website generated more than $213 million in revenue during that period, and Mr. Ulbricht, operating under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, took millions of dollars in commissions, the authorities charged.

Much of Silk Road’s allure to buyers and sellers was its anonymity: The website operated on a hidden part of the Internet, out of the glare of law enforcement, and deals were transacted in Bitcoins, a digital currency that can be as hard to trace as cash.

Mr. Ulbricht’s defense lawyer, Joshua L. Dratel, argued during the trial that his client was not Dread Pirate Roberts, a character drawn from the book and movie

“The Princess Bride.” Mr. Dratel conceded that Silk Road had been his client’s idea, but he Mr. Ulbricht had turned the website over to others before being lured back as a “fall guy” to be arrested.

Mr. Ulbricht was convicted on Feb. 4 of multiple counts; four of the charges, including distributing narcotics on the Internet and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, carry potential life sentences. The judge, Katherine B. Forrest, is scheduled to sentence Mr. Ulbricht on May 15.

At the trial, the government also accused Mr. Ulbricht of commissioning the murders of five people whom he saw as threats to his enterprise. Although the prosecutors say they found no evidence that anyone was harmed, they cited the murders-for-hire as evidence that Mr. Ulbricht was willing to use violence to protect his lucrative operation.

Source WSJ

Please follow and like us:

Bitcoin could be worth more than half a million dollars each

We spoke to Sime Bakic from Bitkonan, one of the rising Bitcoin startups tipped for success in 2014.

Although BitKonan is EU based, CEO, Sime Bakic, from the very beginning wanted to have product which will attract a client base from all over the world. That was main reason why BitKonan is USD and not EUR trading platform. However, since than some European countries made biggest progress in terms of regulation of crypto currencies and potential of EU clients is growing rapidly everyday. Of course, people from BitKonan, flexible as they are, decided to react quickly and to introduce SEPA transfers for their European clients and for us that was reason to organize an interview with BitKonan CEO, Mr Sime Bakic in their Croatian headquaters.

What prompted you to enter the world of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a revolution. Bitcoin verification technology is two steps ahead of his time, and can be mapped to all segments of the business or those who need a certificate of authenticity. 
In this case it is Bitcoin, and tomorrow it may be something else. 
In any case, I see great potential for widespread use and I just couldn’t let such great things happen without me. So I gather a team of top experts from different fields (finance, programming, organisation) and we very seriously started the implementation of the project.

How did you come up with the idea to make BitKonan market?

Bitcoin markets are still very poorly developed and have not yet reached the level of a full range of functions which Bitcoin with its potential deserves. So we decided to use our experience and knowledge and to offer to the Bitcoin community a market that meets the demands of a professional trader who seeks swift execution, advanced functions (stop limit) and visibility. On BitKonan is also very easy to place an order (the key combination buy, sell) and this makes it accessible to any ordinary trader as well.

Bitcoin is very often linked to crime, what do you think about this general perception in public?

I think that’s nonsense. Everything can be linked to the crime.  Criminals use all currencies including Bitcoin. Bitcoin is not anonymous, as some may think, because all Bitcoin transactions are public and visible in the transaction chain.

What do you think about the future of Bitcoin?


Anything is possible. I think the Bitcoin protocol is a revolutionary technology that has a great future, although still belongs to an extremely risky investment. If enter in widespread use, Bitcoin could worth more than half a million dollars each. In the long term I think Litecoin could profile itself as a currency for the broad mass because of the rapid transaction processing and to become a serious alternative to Bitcoin. If we apply 2nd law of thermodynamics, the long-term value of Bitcoin and Litecion will be leveled out. Looking from this point of view it seems that Litecoin is currently better investment for long term investors and speculators. Now it seems impossible, but remember that only a year ago Bitcoin was worth a few dollars, and today about the 650 dollars, same thing could happen with Litecoin.
In any case Bitcoin protocol will leave a deep mark in history … you can bet on it!
We can be happy that we live in a time when Bitcoin occurred and that we are part of it.

What do you think about other crypto currencies? 
We are thinking to introduce shitcoin on the market…. Laugh.
No, I think the market will take what it needs, and that will probably be the LTC and BTC.
All alternative crypto currencies are copies of Bitcoin and Litecoin, so I do not see reason why they should enter in the widespread use.
However, I consider them positive to test various concepts and if some currency brings something ingeniously new and pass the test of the market it can easily take a leading role.

What are your plans for the future of BitKonan market? 


As you mentioned earlier, we are currently working on the implementation of new funding options. 
Except of basic Bitcoin, Litecoin trading options, we think about the introduction of more complex financial instruments, but for something like that we have to wait market to mature.

Of course if the negotiations with venture capital investors start to be more dynamic we can expect it soon… in any case it will be a challenging endeavor, which will require more engagement and resources.
To summarize, our aim is to offer a wide range of services, so that BitKonan take the lead role of Bitcoin industry.

 

Please follow and like us: