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Thoughts On What Bitcoin’s Rise In Value Mean

Thoughts On What Bitcoin's
Rise In Value Mean

The cryptocurrency bitcoin — money backed by mathematics rather than governments or precious metals — first came into existence around 2009. The digital currency, which is "mined" by computers, has since gained a solid number of adherents, and nearly as many questions.

 

The CryptoCurrency BitCoin

Bitcoin brags about their digital wallets, easy transfers, identity protection and minimal fees. Critics warn of the system's complexity to explain, as well as its volatility. Some question the use the money is put to, saying that anonymity can help criminals shift money safer.

But in early January, Bitcoin's value surpassed a record-high set in November 2013, and as of early March, the price continues to rise. Is this change a temporary one, coming from market influences, or does it signal broader acceptance for the currency? Members in the Forbes Technology Council have this to say about what 2017 will mean for bitcoin adoption:

Remember: Early Leaders Are Usually Not the Ultimate Winners 

I think the real question is less about how widespread bitcoin's adoption is going to be, and more about how long before other currencies adopt blockchain as their basis. The early leader in almost any technology is usually not the ultimate winner. There is already a lot of development and early exploration both into integrating blockchain into currency, but there is not clear standard — yet.

Governments Don't Want It 

You don't need to go far to recognize why bitcoin is back at record highs. Just look at the situation with China's economy right now. The SEC delayed their decision on the Winklevoss's bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which means we'll likely not see what happens for several more months under a new presidency. Governments around the world will never want a currency that is supply limited.

Adoption Set To Increase 

I think as long as it keeps going up and continues to stabilize in its pricing, more people and businesses will become interested and adopt it in the coming year. With more work being done on country regulations and standards, as well as further research on applications for blockchain, the comfort level for use will increase.

Cryptocurrency Will Grow 

The bitcoin era is halfway through its course, while cryptocurrency overall is still growing. The golden years are already gone, and only big mining pools will be able to thoroughly profit from it from now due to large investors bringing tons of technological and human resources to the table. However, cryptocurrency popularity will only increase based on Bitcoin’s success and others will emerge.

Volatility Driven By Multiple Factors 

Unlike fiat currencies, bitcoin volatility is influenced by regulation, politics and proposed technology changes. 2017 started with a record $18 billion market capitalization. With 90% of miners and 70% of trades in China, the recent regulatory moves created vast volatility. The rest of the year will see even more volatility with the political, economic and technical (such as block size debates) uncertainties.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Is ItToo late to buy top Chryptocurrencies

Is vit too late to buy top chrptocurrencies

Is It Too Late to Buy the Top Cryptocurrencies

 

While the majority perceives digital currencies including Bitcoin, Monero, Dash and Ether as either a means of payment or a token for development, there still exists a relatively large group of users who consider these digital currencies as short and mid-term investments.

Many investors within the digital currency exchange market still inquire about the timing of their investment. For short and mid-term investment, is it too late to buy the mentioned digital currencies?

Issuance rate

Dash and Ether are different from most digital currencies such as Bitcoin or Monero in the sense that they have unique monetary policies.

Ethereum, for instance, is actually an inflationary token because it operates on top of a concept called the “Issuance Rate.” The Issuance Rate represents the number of Ethereum tokens or Ether that will be created within a year. In 2017, the issuance rate of Ether is 14.75 percent.

Making the creator rich

Dash is a controversial cryptocurrency because over two mln Dash — previously known as Darkcoin — was instantaneously mined in the first 30 hours of launch. Homero, a Bitcoin trader and cryptocurrency trader, wrote:

“During the first day 2M coins were mined, and as of today, less than 3k are mined daily. Even if there were no features/community at the time, he didn’t relaunch and decided to keep his instamine, claiming that the community told him to do so. Having a fair launch is very trivial for the future of a coin, because a premined coin has only one future : to make the creator rich.”

Bitcoin and Monero, on the other hand, were launched and mined with complete transparency and legitimacy and because of their open processes. They continue to be two of the most respected and appreciated cryptocurrencies currently in existence.

Trading and price

Since Bitcoin and Monero are based on a fixed supply of coins, it is quite evident that the value of the two coins will continue to rise until their supplies are maximized. In other words, Bitcoin price will continue to increase until it hits its 21 mln supply cap. Even when the supply cap is reached, if the demand of the currencies continues to increase, its price will maintain an upward trend.

For Ethereum and Dash, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies in the world, it is difficult to predict their price trends due to their unique monetary policies.

Furthermore, Ether is considered as an alt-asset instead of a digital currency because the Ethereum network uses gas or Ether to power decentralized applications, hence the necessity of an inflationary monetary supply.

Betting on usability

In general, cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Monero, Dash and Ethereum are all at their early stages. For both short and mid-term investors, it is important to recognize and evaluate the technical backgrounds and usability of these cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum developers or users will argue that the price of Ether will continue to increase so long as the development community remains active.

Conclusively, it is not too late to invest in cryptocurrencies that have potential to grow and evolve.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Source : TheCoinTelegraph

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Sweden Moves to Next Stage With Blockchain Land Registry

Sweden Moves to Next Stage With Blockchain Land Registry

  

Sweden’s land registry authority to trial blockchain technology

A project set up last year by Sweden’s land registry authority, the Lantmäteriet, to trial blockchain technology for recording property deals has just moved to its second phase. Conducted by blockchain startup ChromaWay and consultancy group Kairos Future, the initiative is also working in partnership with two banks: SBAB and Landshypotek.

“It could be a great benefit for economic growth,” said ChromaWay CEO Henrik Hjelte on the project's potential, further arguing that Sweden is the ideal place to test a blockchain system for land titles, as trust in public authorities is high and could influence agencies elsewhere to follow suit. Under the proposed system, a buyer and seller would open a contract where banks and the land registry can view the workflow of the deal, such as due dates for payments. “In the blockchain confirmation of each step in the workflow is made with a hash, like the blockchain normally,” said Magnus Kempe of Kairos Future, adding: “Everyone has the same information and you can check it yourself.”

Another use example is verifying the existence of the IOU issued by the bank to the property buyer. “That part is going to be hidden for the others in the contract. You will only have the hash confirming from the bank that the IOU has been signed,” said Kempe. The newly entered second phase involves examining how the technology can be integrated with banks’ existing processes when verifying contracts. The firms indicated that ChromaWay’s platform won’t be handling any payments on the system – those will remain separate.

SBAB Bank, however, said it has no immediate plans to implement the tech, saying:

"Our reason to participate in the project has not been to actually implement the solution in our current processes. But rather an opportunity for us to get a better understanding of the blockchain technology and how it might possibly fit in our future products/offerings."

Trusting the digital

There remains one major hurdle to fully integrating this blockchain system for selling a house from start to finish. “We want to work fully digitally, but the law requires, at the moment, physical signatures on the papers, which makes it difficult,” explained Kempe.

While trust in digital contracts has been lagging for a long time, he argued that blockchain tech can now provide the trust needed to move forward. “As soon as the legislator understands that this is possible, I think it will come true,” said Kempe. Helping that process, the EU passed a directive in 2016 that puts more weight behind digital signatures and could eventually influence Swedish policy.

For now, the land registry project is looking at ways of working around the issue. Kempe said:

“Actually, the land registry today, they don’t receive much physical paper, they get PDFs of the contracts which are signed electronically so they don’t store the physical contracts. What we are thinking of is, you can actually sign the contract digitally in the blockchain to the land registry, they can award the land titles and then you can throw away the paper so you’re not dependent on the physical archive."

Outside interest

ChromaWay and Kairos Future said that they have been approached by more than a dozen public authorities from other countries expressing interest in the project. The team explained that they don’t hold any patents for the platform, preferring to see other organizations work on similar schemes, eventually leading to more collaboration.

Sweden’s testing of the blockchain for land titles is possibly the most ambitious application of the technology in real estate thus far. Others are working on the concept, however. Early last year, the land registry authorities in Eurasian nation Georgia began working with blockchain startup BitFury, which, in February, signed a memorandum of understanding to extend the tests to other government agencies.

According to ChromaWay’s Henrik Hjelte, the use of blockchain could be transformative for developing countries in managing ownership of property and improving transparency in real estate sales. On the other hand, proof-of-concept tests in Honduras were put on the back-burner in late 2015 over an apparent breakdown in communications between the government and Factom, the company that was supposed to conduct the trials.

ChromaWay and Kairos Future are confident about the future, though. Kempe said:

“There’s very little reason to think that this won’t work."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What’s Blockchain and How Could It Impact Government?

What's Blockchain and How Could It Impact Government?

Blockchain technology is the latest system governments are considering in the long-standing effort to increase efficiency.

The source code was originally created to support bitcoin, a decentralized payment processing, and stock exchange system. Creators were attempting to solve the risk that an online currency such as bitcoin could be double spent. To maintain the decentralized system, the network works on a peer-to-peer model, creating locked records that redundantly save across multiple servers.

Similar to a shared document, one transaction can be viewed across multiple places. However, a block record cannot be changed once it is recorded, only referenced as new records are made. The diffuse system is meant to act as its own iterative confirmation service.

Many people are talking about how blockchain could change everything from health records management to identity verification. “It has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems. But while the impact will be enormous, it will take decades for blockchain to seep into our economic and social infrastructure,” an article in the Harvard Business Review says. Each recorded block of information represents a transaction and each transaction is redundantly recorded. Nearly 300,000 blockchain records are recorded daily for Bitcoin alone.

One UC Berkeley study expresses concern that the order of transactions is extremely important, and research firm Constellation says blockchain's main purpose is to prove entry order. Maintaining record order could be worked around if timestamps were applied by a vendor, but the necessity of this is still being debated. Blockchain has grown so much since its first mention in 2008 that an ID program and bank card were created to support refugees by an experimental Voluntary Nation program.

Aside from banking and identification confirmation, blockchain can also create smart contracts that automate transactions between parties and verify ownership of assets before the exchange is finalized by referencing older block records. Similar systems have been suggested for health-care records management and banking security where estimates of cost savings differ, anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion.

Using a system that can decrease risk, is auditable and maintains real-time settlements could minimize the need for many record-based positions such as notaries and contract lawyers, leading to predicted savings. The multiple uses for blockchain is what concerns many stakeholders, especially as many rush to find use cases for the tech.

“When discussing blockchain technology, it is important to remember Amara's Law (named after Roy Amara, co-founder of Institute for the Future): ‘We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.’ Anytime a technology goes through a hype cycle as is happening with blockchain, I find this maxim useful to reference,” Rachel Hatch, research director at Institute for the Future, wrote in an email to Techwire.

Startups like Ascribe remove the middle man from digital art, transferring more of the profit to the artist and the art to the buyer in one series of records. Many vendors agree that as more things become connected, more records are necessary. “The Internet of Everything needs a Ledger of Everything,” the Harvard Business Review said.

Hatch referred to this as a space for opportunities for change and growth. With a similar eye on change, Congress created a Blockchain Caucus to study use cases, and Delaware is considering it for its corporate registry. Many stakeholders agree that adoption will be a long time coming because the technology is the kind to build off of, not the kind that turns a business model upside-down. “The process of adoption will be gradual and steady, not sudden, as waves of technological and institutional change gain momentum,” the Harvard article said.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

New Industry Partners are Joining

MultiChain, the private blockchain platform launched by Coin Sciences Ltd, has entered beta phase with the release of MultiChain 1.0 for Linux and Windows. The platform has also revealed that 15 new industry partners are joining its Platform Partner Program — a consultancy group originally backed by financial services giant Accenture.

Notably, the new members of the program include three multinationals — Boston Consulting Group, PwC, and Worldline – as well as 11 smaller companies. The MultiChain platform was set up with the aim of helping organizations more easily build applications using blockchains and distributed ledgers.

CEO Shinam Arora of Primechain Technologies, a new member of the partner program, explained some of MultiChain’s use cases, saying:

"We are using MultiChain for building several blockchain-powered solutions, including shared KYC/AML, syndication of loans and consortium lending, trade finance, asset registry, asset re-hypothecation, secure documents, cross-border payments and peer-to-peer payments.”

The platform said it plans to release a final version of the software this summer. In related news, Seal Software, a contract discovery and analytics platform, has said it will integrate MultiChain into its platform. The marriage will enable a machine-learning framework based on what the company called "intelligent contracts" to be used in conjunction with MultiChain's blockchain functionality.

Chain and Thales Interlock for
Blockchain Key Security Solution

 

A new Integration with Blockchain

French cyber-defense and aerospace firm Thales has launched a new integration with blockchain startup Chain aimed to boost blockchain security. The partnership will see Chain bridging its enterprise-focused blockchain software capabilities with the nShield hardware security module (HSM) developed by Thales. The move comes shortly after Thales unveiled a blockchain offering in conjunction with professional services firm Accenture.

Thales’ HSM is a hardware solution for securely storing private keys — the all-important strings of data that, for example, protect a user's bitcoin or other blockchain-tied tokens. As these pieces of information are critical in the context of digital asset management, the hardware offering has been positioned as one that would alleviate security concerns among enterprises and other organizations.

Jon Geater, CTO for Thales' cybersecurity arm, said in a statement:

"Blockchain is a game-changer in the financial services industry, with the potential to enhance security, speed and operational efficiency. Our integration with Chain provides a strong root of trust and ensures the integrity of the underlying blockchain operations that enables organizations to build, deploy, and operate blockchain-based transaction networks with confidence."

Regulators are also likely to cheer the advance of security measures in the blockchain space. In February, the European Securities and Markets Authority proclaimed that distributed ledger technology regulations would be premature, given the state of the tech and a lack of market-wide cybersecurity standards.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Basic Rules for Beginners in bitcoin Trading

Basic Rules for Beginners in Bitcoin Trading

basic rules for trading

 

There has been a protracted debate on the actual identity of Bitcoin, whether it should be regarded as a currency or a commodity.

With reasonable support on each side of the debate based on its inherent characteristics, a huge segment of the ecosystem is of the opinion that Bitcoin can, and should be regarded as both a currency and a commodity.

Whatever definition attached to Bitcoin, the constant variation in price offers an opportunity for investors to make a profit by trading the cryptocurrency, either as a long term investment or in a speculative short term pattern.

What is Bitcoin trading?

Bashir Aminu, Bitcoin trader and convener of online crypto group Cryptogene, explains the basic Bitcoin trading process as follows:

“If you buy Bitcoins at one price and then sell them for a higher price, you make a profit of the difference between those two prices, less any commission that you paid. However, if the price goes down, you will be in the uncomfortable position of having to either sell them at a loss or hold and hope the price goes back up while risking higher and higher losses if the price continues to drop.”

There are two major types of traders in the Bitcoin market, they are ‘long term’ traders and ‘short term’ traders. Each of these group of traders are classified by how long they may wish to hold onto a given position of trade.

Long term traders are usually involved in studying price trends over long periods of time. This informs their decision to buy and hold Bitcoin also over long periods with the hope of taking profit at a price higher than their original entry point. With Bitcoin still in its developmental stages, a lot of users suggest that this is a good time to buy.

This suggestion is based on the assumption that with increasing use case scenario and more adoption, demand for Bitcoin and its associated technology will increase, thereby creating more demand for the cryptocurrency which will automatically cause an eventual increase in value. Glimpses of this have been observed with the surge in Bitcoin price which coincides with a boost in its market capitalization and volume of trade.

On the other hand, short-term traders analyze the intraday behavior of Bitcoin price and seek to take advantage of the swings in price. These traders thrive in market volatility, a factor that is presently characteristic of Bitcoin.

In its early stages, the swings in Bitcoin price was usually so huge as every little event within the crypto space had very serious impact on the price of the cryptocurrency. As adoption grows and Bitcoin becomes more stable, price volatility has reduced considerably and experts think it is a better time to trade the cryptocurrency, compared to an earlier time.

“Bitcoin is certainly safer to invest in now than it was a couple of years ago”, says Aminu.

 

Trading rules

Aminu describes Bitcoin trading as extremely profitable if you play your cards well. According to him, it all depends on the market movement pattern. He tells Cointelegraph that Bitcoin value rises and falls dramatically throughout each trading day, jumping in whole dollar amounts. A phenomenon which he identifies as very risky when misjudged.

Based on his trading experience, Aminu outlines a set of rules for newcomers who may wish to profit from the Bitcoin market as follows:

Never put all your eggs in one basket. Your capital should be broken into smaller lots for multiple positions at different price levels.

Do not invest your life savings or money that may change your life drastically in the event of a loss. This rule is important mainly due to the existing level of uncertainty that still exists within the Bitcoin market.

Take full advantage of available technology in order to gain maximum profit

Understanding the market is a continuous process and requires a lot of time, concentration and effort. It is very crucial to do research and be up to date with current trends.

Know when to cash in. It is important to stay focused, unemotional and professional.

Traders should keep in mind that losing, just as much as winning, is an integral part of trading. It is the cumulative gains that count.

If this sounds to complicated there is a proven way of automated trading in the top 10 Cryptocurrencies by joining Trade Coin Club who do the hard work for you allowing you to share in the profit at three levels of risk. This frees you from having to follow the markets, minute by minute or hour by hour.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

By Iyke Aru

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The ways that blockchain will change your life

The ways that blockchain will change your life

  

Blockchain is an intriguing concept to explore

Starting to gain traction in the mainstream, this technology has a lot of far-reaching potentials. Blockchain is an intriguing concept to explore. It is a digital ledger that entails transactions, working with data arranged through a series of records called blocks. This uses a secure system and is essential for managing financial data as well as the development of the Bitcoin. With all the hype that it’s received over the past year with Santander and others announcing that they are setting up their own internal Blockchain systems, it begs the question as to why blockchain is all of a sudden so appealing.

For those who already own a few Bitcoins but keep them and want to exchange for the higher price, there are many options to calculate, how rich you are. Even if you haven’t mined or bought Bitcoin yet, there are ten good ways how the underlying technology of blockchain will impact your life. These entail points on security, simplicity, and how well it works with your budget in mind.

It makes things secure

Blockchain technology is very secure and effective. You can get all transactions validated when adding blocks. This is thanks to how the blockchain system reads more data and is very transparent. The data gathered can be read by multiple databases. Encryption is not included in the blockchain system. You can still add that if desired. Digital signatures may also be added to confirm one’s identity when using it. Such signatures can also regulate read/write access rights.

The identities of people who work with the system can also be secured if needed. Proper certificates can be used to allow people to log onto a setup and use it. This allows the certificate to be used in lieu of an actual person’s name. This may work with a setup that keeps individuals from being identified. In some cases, the business running it may be listed but the individual responsible for triggering a transaction will not be listed.

Additional control is possible

You will get more control over any blockchain system you use. You can adjust your content in any way that you see fit. In particular:

● You can create limits as to what specific parties can do with a blockchain setup.
● The central owner of a block of data can be determined. You can adjust the identity of the owner to make whoever is in charge of a certain part more accountable.
● Limits can be created with regards to what people can or cannot do with a blockchain. This is especially for when you are trying to keep certain people from accessing specific spots.

You can use blockchain in cases where you need to get many parties to read the same data but while also maintaining some control. There is no limit to the amount of protection that you can add to it. This adds a setup that isn’t too hard to use without being complicated or far too technical.

It is a more durable solution

The blockchain setup uses a series of decentralized networks. This allows blockchains to be read by more parties. As a result, there are no central points of failure. It is easier for the blockchain system to handle any possible failures that may develop.

Transactions run faster

Transactions are easy to handle within the system. A universal system is used with the same kind of interface. This does not require any outside standards from separate providers. Confirmation times can vary on the system. It often takes less than half an hour of a transaction to be managed. It can take a few hours in some instances but such cases are rare.

Transaction costs are reduced

A great part of blockchain is that it uses no third parties for managing transactions. As a result, funds will be easy to move without spending too much money on each one. It often costs less than $10 USD to get a single transaction managed. The cost varies but it is typically around that total.

Only one ledger is required

You only need one ledger to get a blockchain transaction handled. This is another benefit of there being no third parties involved. Therefore, you can process a transaction quickly and effortlessly.

Transparency is possible

With a blockchain transaction, you can learn all about what happens. You will learn everything you need to know about an individual block by looking it up. You’ll find details on:

● How many transactions are involved in a single block
● Transaction fees
● The approximate volume of the block
● The size of the block
● Who is relaying that block
● How much time it takes to get some transactions reviewed

The information you will get is extremely detailed. It does require a bit of extra technical knowledge in some instances.

It is a direct solution

The blockchain system is made as a direct solution. All parties involved with a blockchain can alter the chains they find. Information on all prior blocks will also be made available online. With this, people can get a clear idea of how the system works. They won’t have to worry about any suspicious details in their chains.

Energy credits may be available

You may be able to get energy credits depending on where you are located. Blockchains may be generated for acquiring renewable energy credits. This helps you to get a business or other entity to work with solar or wind power or with other renewable energy options. This is useful if you are planning on generating renewable energy. This includes energy used for private purposes. This is useful but you must watch for the total credits you will earn versus what you might spend on energy. This includes looking at how much money it costs to generate energy used to produce a new blockchain.

Digital signatures may be required

The last improvement that blockchain uses comes from digital signatures. A digital signature is a setup that encrypts data with a digital code. This should entail a setup that is difficult to read without a proper encryption key. This helps to make it easier for you to get the most out of your security. You should look at how blockchain can be of benefit to you. This makes it easier for transactions to be made while also being fully transparency. The simplicity that comes with the setup is especially important. Be sure to consider it for your general use in the future.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How Blockchain Technology Will Dominate The Travel Sector

How Blockchain Technology Will Dominate The Travel Sector
 

Blockchain Technology can be a Valuable

CEO of CellPoint Mobile, which develops payment solutions & technologies that help airlines & travel companies. I am among those enthusiasts who believe that blockchain technology can be a valuable corporate finance tool outside of the banking sector. Airline industry CFOs and finance executives throughout the travel sector belong on the growing list of beneficiaries as well. As the backbone of digital currency, blockchain is already revealing its value in areas such as transparency, data security, logistics and process simplification, and even regulatory compliance. Recently, Walmart and IBM announced a pilot project to apply blockchain technology to Walmart's global supply chain management system.

Of course, not every company is a candidate for blockchain applications: A recent Wharton analysis concluded that a company must determine whether blockchain is suitable based on multiple factors. The rationale for embracing blockchain technology will make the most sense — and take on a degree of urgency — if the business structure involves any number of parties that need trust and inter-party data access and management. As a provider of mobile commerce and payment solutions for travel companies, this makes the travel sector an ideal candidate in my book.

More Business Equals More Revenue 

The travel business is complex and fragmented — ask any travel sector CFO or technology vendor. In addition to operational and financial challenges connected with protecting and growing their business, travel executives face distinctive challenges in their efforts to protect their customer base. Among the most pressing is identity management as security concerns persist and passenger numbers grow exponentially.

As the Walmart pilot suggests, there is growing evidence of blockchain's value on an operational level. But its potential benefits, including security features, extend to "soft" yet vital airline success factors, such as customer satisfaction and retention. For example, with blockchain processes serving as the underlying authentication layer for biometric-equipped mobile and wearable devices, a passenger's experience becomes easier, faster and more satisfying. They can verify their identities, purchase travel products, and ancillary services before, during and after their trips. They can communicate with airlines in a variety of new and engaging mobile formats without pulling out IDs and expose personal financial information every single time.

To extend the vision from a passenger's perspective, imagine going from home to the airport for a flight, then from the destination airport to your hotel and straight to your room without standing in a single line or sharing your personal data. Managing frequent flyer and loyalty programs and tracking baggage can also be a piece of cake, using blockchain technology as the information "connector." The beauty of this vision is that it serves as a genuine win-win for both the airline and its customers. And by contributing to customer satisfaction, an airline is much more likely to retain and grow that source of revenue, not to mention the range of ancillary purchases that become easier with blockchain technology.

From Visionary To Commonplace

Airlines and governmental bodies are already investing in the idea of a universally accepted blockchain ID, to both simplify travel and make it safer. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are important players, yet airlines and other travel companies must wrestle with the fact that innovation is being driven outside of their industries by companies such as IBM, Google, and Apple. Venture capital continues to pour into the bitcoin and blockchain world, with an estimated $1 billion in VC funding since 2014.

As the blockchain universe evolves within the travel sector, it holds the potential to integrate new products and services without excessive investment costs or overly complicated implementation efforts. Granted, this will not happen overnight. It will likely take another three-to-five years before blockchain technology matures to the point of widespread adoption, and perhaps even longer before many airlines and travel-related businesses understand out how to embrace and monetize blockchain. Only then can they affect change throughout the enterprise.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Arizona Lawmakers Pass Blockchain Records Bill

Arizona Lawmakers Pass Blockchain Records Bill

  

Arizona's legislature has cleared a bill that would recognize blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law, sending it to the governor's desk for final approval.The measure, as previously reported by CoinDesk, would make data tied to a blockchain "considered to be in an electronic format and to be an electronic record" in Arizona. It also notably featured language specifically related to smart contracts, signifying an effort to capture new kinds of delivering information — in this case, via blockchain — under existing rules.

The bill's authors wrote:

"'Smart contract' means an event-driven program, with state, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger and that can take custody over and instruct transfer of assets on that ledger."

Public records show that the bill was sent to sent to Gov. Doug Ducey's office on 27th March after clearing the Senate by a 28-1 vote on the 23rd. While it's not immediately clear if or when the governor will sign the bill, the broad support the bill saw in the legislature — members of the legislature's lower chamber approved it unanimously late last month — suggests the measure could ultimately get the green light. The bill is akin to legislation passed and signed into law last year in Vermont. Lawmakers in the state proposed allowing data embedded on a blockchain to be used in a court of law.

IBM Unveils Blockchain Platform for Oil Trade Finance

A group of companies including IBM has spearheaded the development of a new blockchain-based crude oil trade finance platform.Along with IBM, commodities trading group Trafigura and corporate investment bank Natixis took part in the creation of the platform, built using code from the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger project. IBM’s BlueMix cloud hosting service is also being utilized.

Within the system, parties can view transaction data as it is published on the blockchain. The platform also hosts documentation and updates on shipments, deliveries, and payments. Natixis, a member of the R3 distributed ledger consortium, is no stranger to trade finance applications of blockchain, having joined with the "Digital Trade Chain" project last year. According to Arnaud Stevens, Natixis’ head of global energy and commodities in New York, the bank sees the tech as potentially bringing down costs while also boosting procedural transparency.

Stevens said in a statement:

"We want to use blockchain to optimize the antiquated arena of commodity trade finance. The current process is paper and labor intensive, we have multiple friction points with high processing costs and limited automation. Distributed ledger technology brings some much-needed innovation into our industry."

The platform’s introduction marks the latest bridging of the blockchain and trade finance worlds. It’s an application that has attracted significant interest from a range of companies and governments worldwide, including Dubai. Many of the world’s banks also continue to push ahead with related projects focused on the commodities trade.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June
 

Ethereum has gained a lot of attention over the past year or two as it became the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. The platform enables the execution of smart contracts, a feature coming to Bitcoin in the form of RSK.

On a recent episode of Coin Interview, RSK’s co-founder, Gabriel Kurman, claimed that RSK’s private testnet will turn into a public testnet on May 22nd at the 2017 Consensus conference. RSK will then be launched on Bitcoin’s mainnet approximately a month later.

“RSK goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability.”

A smart contract is simply a computerized transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract. According to the Elements Project, smart contracting platforms with more expressive scripting systems, such as Ethereum and RSK, are attractive to developers as Bitcoin’s scripting system is limited by design for security reasons.

Ethereum is in essence a programmable blockchain. Rather than giving users a set of predefined operations, such as bitcoin transactions, the platform allows users to create their own operations, of any complexity. In this way, it serves as a platform for many different types of decentralized blockchain applications, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies. “Ethereum allows us to move much faster than building on Bitcoin due to its turing complete script,” explains Augur co-founder Joey Krug.

The team behind RSK has done everything they can to make it easy for Ethereum developers to move to their platform. According to the original RSK white paper, the platforms virtual machine is backwards compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which “gives the opportunity to developers working on Ethereum to benefit from the robustness of the BItcoin blockchain.” The EVM allows developers to create applications using programming languages modelled on existing languages like JavaScript and Python.

Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson has hypothesized that the smart contracts written on top of these kinds of systems will be released on multiple platforms. The process would look similar to releasing mobile applications for both iOS and Android, developers may decide to release their applications on Ethereum, RSK, and Ethereum Classic.

In addition to RSK’s advanced smart contract capabilities, the sidechain also has the potential to decrease the transaction burden on the main Bitcoin blockchain. “We have the Lumino Transaction Compression Protocol (LTCP), which allows 2,000 transactions per second on chain and the Lumino Network which will allow up to 20,000 transactions per second off chain,” said Kurman. “Every single developer is going to be able to plug in, and run their contracts. It’s going to operate against the Bitcoin testnet for a month approximately, and then we’re going to apply [it] to the Bitcoin mainnet.”
 

“We expect RSK to be multiple times more secure than other platforms because it has Bitcoin’s hashing power behind it, and it's fuel should cost 1/10th of that of Ethereum. RSK is subsidized by Bitcoin, plus its virtual machine is six times faster than Ethereum’s given Sergio Lerner's improvements.” — Gabriel Kurman RSK co-founder

The initial version of the RSK sidechain will not require any changes to the underlying Bitcoin protocol to implement the necessary 2-way peg (2WP) to work with Bitcoin. The 2WP allows the transfer of bitcoins from the Bitcoin blockchain to a secondary blockchain and vice-versa. The “transfer” is in fact an illusion: bitcoins are not transferred, but temporarily locked on the Bitcoin blockchain while the same amount of equivalent tokens are unlocked in a secondary blockchain. The original bitcoins can be unlocked when the equivalent amount of tokens on the second blockchain are locked again in the secondary blockchain.

 

In the short term a federation will manage the multisign keys to release the bitcoin on the way back from the peg, Kurman explains. According to the RSK website, well-known Bitcoin companies, such as Xapo and Bitpay, have signed up to be notaries for the sidechain. According to Kurman, these notaries will participate in the governance of the federation, and provide more services to RSK. “The federation will provide multiple services in the future on top of the peg such as security checkpoints in each block, oracle services, and providing liquidity,” he said.

 

According to Kurman, miners already have the ability to merge mine the private RSK testnet. “Bitcoin India is already merge-mining with 100% of it's hashing power. Most other major pools are testing the plugin,” said Kurman. “Once a separate soft fork is implemented in Bitcoin, the release [of bitcoins on the sidechain] will be done by a combination of miners and federation — hence a hybrid 2-way peg.”

RSK currently has 30 partners building on the platform from multiple different industries. “Once the source code becomes public and the platform open on May 22, we expect a lot of use cases being ported to RSK given its full compatibility with Ethereum,” Kurman stated.
 

David Ogden
Entrepeneur

 

Kyle Torpey, — Author

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member