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Tag: bitcoin

Amid Bitcoin Trading Resurgence, Chinese Miners Shut Down Without Warning

Amid Bitcoin Trading Resurgence,
Chinese Miners Shut Down Without Warning

    

A strange phenomenon is unfolding in China

as Bitcoin miners mysteriously close down or relocate their operations. Mines in the country’s Sichuan province were “reluctant” to discuss the reasons for withdrawal, major news resource People.cn reports. Bitcoin has recently continued its expanding price as Chinese exchanges get the green light to allow Bitcoin withdrawals. As traders delight in the new possibilities for sanctioned exchange use, however, a lack of corresponding regulation for miners is causing problems.

“A local official said the closure of the Bajiaoxi Mining Company aims at cracking down on illegal cash operations and on controlling systemic risks,” People reports, while no party was directly cited giving an explanation for the upset. Sichuan’s hydroelectric power is among the world’s cheapest, but the departure of miners is set to cost one power station $147,000 per month in lost billing. At a time when Bitcoin fees are higher than ever, the effect on miners themselves is also significant. “The southwestern region has abundant hydropower resources,” an “insider” source told fellow publication YiCai Global. “So electricity costs about half the price during the wet season. It’s hard to imagine why any mine would want to relocate now.”

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Financial Times Praises ‘Innovator’ Greek Lawyer For Bitcoin Use

Financial Times Praises
‘Innovator’
Greek Lawyer For Bitcoin Use

    

A Greek lawyer has made the Financial Times’ list

of top legal innovators in Europe for his use of Bitcoin during the country’s financial

crisis.

"Panos Giannissis came second on a list of eight finalists shortlisted by the publication, which praised his use of the virtual currency when capital controls appeared in Greece two years ago."

“When capital controls were imposed during the Greek financial crisis last year, Panos Giannissis helped clients to stay in business by converting some of their working capital to Bitcoin, the virtual currency,” it writes. “He also led the development and implementation of the information systems at his firm.”

Giannissis’ triumph is conspicuous for mainstream press’ continued treatment of Bitcoin as a bonafide “innovation.” “…He negotiated a deal with his clients’ suppliers from abroad to accept Bitcoin as collateral to back importation of supplies in case his clients would not be able to make payments in fiat money,” an accompanying press release further explains.

“After the Capital Controls were imposed, the deal was activated and his clients continued to receive their supplies as usually, while their suppliers were covered by the Bitcoin collateral.” The broader international media tone has shifted away from Bitcoin as a highly volatile, insincere investment towards one full of potential with valid use cases. As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, however, a lot of the latest supportive comments appear tied solely to Bitcoin’s price.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

‘Russian Bitcoin’ Will Be Country’s ‘Only Freely Tradable’ Crypto: Sberbank CEO

‘Russian Bitcoin’ Will Be Country’s
‘Only Freely Tradable’
Crypto: Sberbank CEO

    

Sberbank CEO Herman Gref has “agreed” on the development of a Russian national cryptocurrency

with the country’s central bank. Sberbank is Russia’s major state-controlled bank. In unofficial reports from local news aggregators, the so-called “Russian Bitcoin” will use Sberbank as its base and will be “the only cryptocurrency freely available for sale and purchase” in the country. “All other [cryptocurrencies] will only be available via exchanges or trading platforms,” the Telegram news channel DeСenter reports Friday.

The news comes amid the ongoing economic forum in St. Petersburg, where the central bank deputy Olga Skorobogatova announced work had “already begun” on developing the national cryptocurrency. Skorobogatova had previously outlined plans to regulate Bitcoin and its like in 2018, on the basis that an outright ban was no longer feasible. On the topic of Blockchain, she told forum members that it “is without a doubt necessary to buy into” such “revolutionary technology,” yet understanding the associated risks was essential.

Fully-controlled integration would require “ seven to 10 years,” she added and continued: “In the coming years we will be concentrating on digital letters of credit, custodian accounting and digital bank guarantees using the Blockchain.” Gref had also been encouraging on Blockchain, estimating initial implementations by 2019. “Two to two-and-a-half years is the timeframe in which we could be talking about seeing Blockchain technology commercially operating,” he said in February.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Scaling: Jeff Garzik AsicBoost Comments Lead to Frustration

Bitcoin Scaling:
Jeff Garzik AsicBoost Comments
Lead to Frustration

    

Bitcoin Core developer

Jeff Garzik has sparked contention with a post asking if further measures were needed to prevent covert AsicBoost. Addressing the work group (WG) on Github, Garzik put forward a selection of next steps aimed at “testing protocol/software changes that ban/disable/render ineffective this hardware optimization.” However, fellow contributor Greg Maxwell responded accusing Garzik of attempting to allow AsicBoost to, in fact, continue under his “modified version” of Segregated Witness with a hard fork.

Maxwell wrote:

“So to be clear about what you've written between the lines: you have decided that impeding covert asicboost would be a violation of the "SegWit2x charter" and so you will assure that covert asicboost continues to function in your modified version of segwit and HF as people have been alleging you would do? This will require further departure and incompatibility with the segwit proposal.”

Infighting among Core members has continued on the topic of Bitcoin’s future following Barry Silbert’s attempt to ratify an agreement which would see SegWit introduction in September followed by a cooling-off period for a block size increase to 2 MB. Reactions have been mixed, while practicality problems on the Bitcoin network are resulting in greater user calls than ever to initiate a binding solution. Garzik, meanwhile, faced pressure to state whether he intends to have AsicBoost disabled. “Anything that was not discussed is, by definition, A New Issue To Raise And Discuss. Which is what was done here,” he wrote.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Ponzi Alert: New Zealand Lawyer Labels “We Grow Bitcoins” Simple Scam

Ponzi Alert:
New Zealand Lawyer Labels
“We Grow Bitcoins”
Simple Scam

    

A New Zealand lawyer has called suspected pyramid scheme

We Grow Bitcoins a “simple scam” after a news investigation. In an article by local platform Newshub, consumer law specialist Prajna Moodley concluded that investors funneling money into the scheme, which promises 62 BTC ($148,300) monthly returns, would never see their cash again.

“I would go as so far as to say it's a simple scam, from what I can work this involves people investing money and never hearing from the company again," she told the publication. The investigation focuses on the story of a New Zealand investor by the name of Daniel Tepania, who sent the so-called “crowdfunding community” the required NZ$30 minimum entry fee and is awaiting payouts. "It's only been here about a month so I thought I would give it a go, sounded quite good," he told Newshub.

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission pointed journalists to its legislation on pyramid schemes when approached about We Grow Bitcoins, such schemes being illegal under local law. “WeGrowBitcoins is a member to member donation platform,” the website states. “Members pay a monthly subscription to have access to the platform. Platform access allows members to receive donations directly into their bitcoin wallet from other members.” Cointelegraph would like to remind readers that investing in projects purporting to deliver unproven profits in return for direct payment should be avoided.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How Do Bitcoin Transactions Actually Work

How Do Bitcoin Transactions Actually Work

How Do Bitcoin Transactions Actually Work

 

Whether you’re interested in becoming a developer for blockchain applications, or you’re just looking to understand what happens under the hood when you send bitcoin to a friend, it’s good to have a working knowledge of what happens when you create and broadcast Bitcoin transactions to the Bitcoin network. Why?

Because transactions are a basic entity on top of which the bitcoin blockchain is constructed. Transactions are the result of a brilliant collision of cryptography, data structures, and simple non-turing-complete scripting. They’re simple enough that common transaction types aren’t overly-complex, but flexible enough to allow developers to encode fairly customized transactions types as well. Today we’ll take a tour of the former.

As a developer, how does your bitcoin client post a new transaction to the network (and what happens when it’s received)?

What exactly is happening when you send some bitcoin to a friend?

This post will assume that the reader has a basic understanding of hashing, asymmetric cryptography, and P2P networking. It’s also a good idea to have a good sense for what exactly a blockchain is, even if you’re unfamiliar with any specific mechanics.

Bitcoin Transactions and their role in the bigger picture

Bitcoin is comprised of a few major pieces: nodes and a blockchain. The role of a typical node is to maintain its own blockchain version and update it once it hears of a “better” (longer) version. Simply put, the blockchain has blocks, and blocks have transactions.

 

With this simplified but accurate picture in mind, you might be wondering what exactly a transaction is made out of.

How will understanding transactions help me to become a better blockchain developer?How do transactions allow me to transfer some bitcoin to a friend?

It turns out that the answers to these questions vary based on many things. Even assuming that we’re talking only bitcoin, we can use transactions in a number of creative ways to accomplish a variety of personalized goals. Let’s start at the beginning, that is, let’s take a look a good old-fashioned pay-to-PK-hash transaction type. After all, this type of transaction accounts for over 99% of all transactions on the bitcoin blockchain.

First, let’s build a mental model. It’s tempting to think of bitcoin as an account-based system. After all, when I send bitcoin to somebody, that person receives money and I’m left with a remaining balance. In the real world though, things are represented a bit differently. Generally speaking, when I send money to somebody I am sending spending all of that money (minus transaction fees). Some of that money will be spent back to my own personal account if there exists a remaining balance. The point is that all of the money moves every single time.

How Do Bitcoin Transactions Actually Work?Save

This was somewhat confusing to me when I first saw it, so I’ll elaborate a bit. When I post a transaction, I’m essentially “claiming” an output and proving that I have permission to spend the amount of money at that output. So if I’m Bob and I want to pay Alice, those inputs are my proof that I have been given a certain amount of money (although this might just be a portion of my total balance), and the outputs will correspond to Alice’s account. In this simple case, there would be only a single input and a single output.

A deeper look into Bitcoin transactions

Let’s understand the mechanics of a real bitcoin transaction. We’ll use the image above as a reference.

If you were to cut open a typical bitcoin transaction, you’d end up with three major pieces: the header, the input(s), and the output(s). Let’s briefly look at the fields available to us in these sections, as they’ll be important for discussion. Note that these are the fields that are in a so-called raw transaction. Raw transactions are broadcast between peers when a transaction is created.

The Header

hash: The hash over this entire transaction. Bitcoin generally uses hash values both a pointer and a means to check the integrity of a piece of data. We’ll look at this more in the next section.

ver: The version number that should be used to verify this block. The latest version was introduced in a soft fork that became active in December 2015.

vin_sz: The number of inputs to this transaction. Similarly, vout_sz counts the number of outputs.

lock_time: We’ll look at this more in later articles, but this basically describes the earliest time at which a block can be added to the blockchain. It is either the block height or a unix timestamp.

Input

previous output hash: This is a hash pointer to a previously unspent transaction output (UTXO). Essentially, this is money that belongs to you that you are about to spend in this transaction.

n: An index into the list of outputs of the previous transaction. This is the actual output that you are spending.

scriptSig: This is a spending script that proves that the creator of this transaction has permission to spend the money referenced by 1. and 2.

 

Output

value: The amount of Satoshi being spent (1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshi).

scriptPubKey: The second of two scripts provided in a bitcoin transaction, which points to a recipient’s hashed public key. More on this in the last section of this article.

Transaction verification

One of the jobs of a bitcoin node is the verify that incoming transactions are correct (data hasn’t been tampered with, money isn’t being created, only intended recipients spend UTXOs, etc). A more exhaustive list can be found online, but I’ll list out a few of the important ones here:

 

All outputs claimed by inputs of this transaction are in the UTXO pool. Unspent outputs can only ever be claimed once.

The signatures on each input are valid. More precisely, we’re saying that the combined scripts return true after executing them one after the other. More on this in the last section.

No UTXO is spent more than once by this transaction. Notice how this is different than the first item.

All of the transaction’s output values are non-negative.

The sum of this transaction’s input values is greater than the sum of its output values. Note that if the numbers are different, the difference is considered to be a transaction fee that can be claimed by the miner.

A basic pay-to-PK-hash transaction

Bitcoin has its own custom (Forth-like) scripting language that is powerful enough to allow developers to create complicated and custom types of transactions. There are five or so standard transaction types that are accepted by standard bitcoin clients [5], however, there exist other clients that will accept other types of transactions for a fee. We’ll just cover the mechanics of pay-to-PK-hash here.

For any transaction to be valid, a combined scriptSig/scriptPubKey pair must evaluate to true. More specifically, a transaction spender provides a scriptSig that is executed and followed by the scriptPubKey of the claimed transaction output (remember how we said inputs claim previous unspent transaction outputs?). Both scripts share the same stack.

In the interest of efficiency, let’s use (official bitcoin wiki) a reference as we discuss. When you visit the link, go about halfway down to find a table containing 7 rows. This table shows how the scripts are combined, how execution occurs, and what the stack looks like at each step.

One thing to note is that, because bitcoin addresses are actually hashes (well, it gets even a bit more complicated. See ), there is no way for the sender to know the actual public key to check against the private key. Therefore, the Redeemer specifies both the public key and private key, and the scriptPubKey will duplicate and hash the public key to make sure that the Redeemer is indeed the intended recipient.

During execution, you can see that constants are placed directly onto the stack when they are encountered. Operations add or remove items from the stack as they are evaluated. For example, OP_HASH160 will take the top item from the stack, and has it twice, first with SHA-256 and then with RIPEMD-160. When all items in our script have been evaluated, our entire script will evaluate to true if true remains on the stack, and false otherwise.

All in all, the pay-to-PK-hash is a pretty straightforward transaction type. It ensures that only a redeemer with the appropriate public/private key pair can claim and subsequently spend bitcoin. Assuming that all other criteria are met (see the previous section), then the transaction is a good one and it can be placed into a block.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Walmart Wants to Track Delivery Drones With Blockchain Tech

Walmart Wants to Track Delivery Drones With Blockchain Tech

  

Retail giant Walmart is seeking to patent a system

that uses blockchain technology to track packages delivered by unmanned drones. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the application, innocuously titled "Unmanned Aerial Delivery to Secure Location", on 25th May, and while that title may not give away much of Walmart's plans, the application itself reveals further details. As outlined, the retailer is looking at blockchain tech as a way to track shipments that involve flying drones.

The patent application explains:

"In some embodiments, the delivery box may also include a delivery encryption system comprising a blockchain for package tracking and authentication. Package tracking by blockchain may include elements including but not limited to location, supply chain transition, authentication of the courier and customer, ambient temperature of the container, temperature of the product if available, acceptable thresholds for ambient temperature of the product, package contents placed in the container system (products & goods), or a combination thereof."

It's a notable release from the global retailer, which has revealed some of its work with blockchain in the past. For example, last October, Walmart announced that it was working with IBM to develop a supply chain solution focused on China’s pork market, the largest in the world.

At the time, the retailer indicated that it was looking to apply the tech to other supply chains. And while it provided no hint that it was looking at blockchain as an underlying mechanism for aerial drones, Walmart told CoinDesk that it wanted to leverage blockchain to facilitate "fresher and faster deliveries". The application also details how the tech could be used to establish identity within the package system. "Authentication and access may be restricted to specific blockchain keys to access the contents of a parcel's payload, and may include specific times and locations," the authors write. "Access to the contents may be determined at the scheduling and purchase of a delivery or products."

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How the blockchain could fight grid cyber-threats

How the blockchain could fight grid cyber-threats

  

The recent ransomware saga is a potent reminder

of just how vulnerable our information and data is to cyber-threats. But it’s not just our information that’s vulnerable; these threats extend into the physical world of electricity as well. In fact, today’s electrical grid is incredibly insecure against cybersecurity threats; for example, the massive 2015 cyberattack on the Ukranian power grid that left 230,000 people in the dark and the intrinsic level of insecurity presented by smart meters used all over the world. And with billions of energy-using, Internet-connected devices expected to come online over the next decade (PDF), the grid is about to experience a several-orders-of-magnitude increase in the number of vulnerabilities to

cyber-threats.

As … billions of energy-using devices are integrated into the electricity system, malicious actors will see the potential to exploit these systems and attempt to usurp this new reality.

Fortunately, blockchain technology is inherently robust against cyber-threats, and many energy companies are considering how blockchains may bolster the grid’s cybersecurity. This is because blockchains are built for:

  • Tamperproofing data (PDF): 
    Blockchains make it very difficult to change data after it has been written. This eliminates a number of risks, including man-in-the-middle attacks, in which a hacker modifies data that’s en route to its destination. With a proper blockchain implementation, all computation is "hashed" and made tamperproof at the point of origin, so there is no risk of data being modified while in transit.
  • Disintermediation (PDF): 
    With blockchains, intermediaries (escrow corporations) often are no longer necessary, significantly reducing transaction costs.
  • Complete data availability (PDF): 
    Blockchains can store data in a decentralized fashion across many nodes. With this architecture, even if some nodes or servers are compromised, users still can access a complete dataset.
  • Redundancy (PDF): 
    Blockchains operate without a central point of failure, so reliability through redundancy is intrinsic to this architecture.
  • Privacy and control: 
    Users of a blockchain can choose which data to make immutably transparent and which data to keep encrypted so only the intended recipients can view the contents.
  • Outsourcing computation (PDF): 
    Encrypted data can be sent for processing to a third party, without the contents of the data being revealed.

As the world of energy becomes more digitized and decentralized, the need for solid defense against cybersecurity threats increases drastically. When a blockchain is implemented properly, it offers a strong defense against external and internal threats by mitigating internet-connected and data communications vulnerabilities, and increasing data confidentiality and privacy.

Mitigating vulnerabilities

Internet-connected energy-using devices have the most room for improvement when it comes to cybersecurity. Between January and April, the research found that over 2 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices in homes were hacked into and rendered useless (bricked). This attack was to protest manufacturers’ poor cybersecurity policies for the devices, chiefly, thousands of devices set by default to use basic login and authentication credentials (username=user and password=password). In this case, hackers could have been much more malicious than simply bricking devices, but they wanted to prove their point: Unsecured IoT devices are unsafe, and should not be allowed to operate in a real-world environment where people’s lives and property are at risk.

Blockchain technology and those working on making it more usable for everyone are paving the way toward a new user-authentication paradigm. The current system of username/password combinations has been obsolete for many years. A much more secure mode of authentication is that of the public–private key pair (also called public key cryptography), the default in systems such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. As these blockchain implementations become more user-friendly, we will see a natural evolution of all login systems toward this more modern and secure method.

With a properly integrated cryptographic key login system for blockchain-based applications, IoT device owners will bear a significantly reduced risk of loss of power, theft of data and threats to privacy. What's more, integrating pricing and settlement on wholesale electricity markets into a secure blockchain significantly minimizes the risk of false data injection and pricing manipulation. This is largely because of the tamperproof characteristic of blockchains, which ensures immutability of a given dataset or series of communications between transacting parties.

The blockchain is also relevant for addressing data privacy and security issues. As more data is collected and transported over the internet, the risk of data exploitation and breach increases, as evidenced by the release of confidential information from hacks of LinkedIn, Yahoo, Target and other large organizations. Blockchains allow for the encrypted transportation of private data, ensuring that data is readable only by the intended recipient.

Introducing a new risk: Key mismanagement

Blockchains are great at mitigating several cybersecurity risks, but they also introduce a new risk that is often overlooked: key mismanagement. Key management is the secure storage of digital keys in a fashion that prevents unauthorized access — something of significance for distributed energy resources, which eventually will be connected to the web and authenticated mostly through asymmetric cryptography (the method used for all blockchain-based transaction and authentication). Many early adopters of blockchain technology that don’t have a background in IT have lost their private keys, rendering their blockchain assets or devices inaccessible.

However, key management is getting some much-needed attention, and innovators are creating new ways to store and recover private keys securely. One innovative way to tackle this problem is to integrate key pairs in actual, physical devices (think key fobs for your car) and use them to activate devices. This minimizes, or in some implementations renders impossible, the risk of hackers accessing private keys that confirm the identity and authority of a signing entity. Keys that exist on a personal device enforce secure signing on, for example, an energy-using internet-connected device (an electric vehicle). For a malicious actor, if all signing must be on a device, then the physical device must be compromised in a way that allows a hacker to remotely execute commands on the device instead of just reading data, which is much more difficult for the hacker and therefore a more secure implementation.

As digitized and distributed systems in energy become more common and billions of energy-using devices are integrated into the electricity system, malicious actors will see the potential to exploit these systems and attempt to usurp this new reality. Therefore, it is paramount that we ditch the "build-then-patch" approach, and build systems integrated with holistic security. Fortunately, much of this security is inherent in a properly implemented blockchain.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Russia’s Vnesheconombank Reveals Blockchain Product Strategy

  

A state-owned development bank in Russia

has revealed its plans for launching products built around blockchain. Vnesheconombank, an institution backed by the Russian government, is focusing its efforts on the areas of project management and supply chain finance, according to a report by Sputnik International. The publication quoted Vnesheconombank's chairman, Sergey Gorkov, who appeared this week at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

What they're doing: 
Gorkov's comments, as quoted, reveal a kind of two-prong approach: developing institutional knowledge and pursuing applications — trade finance in particular — that have captured the attention of a wide range of financial firms worldwide.

Here's how Gorkov framed the bank's project management initiative, according to Sputnik:

"When we started to think about how to manage projects efficiently, we realized that there is no platform. Everything that we had became obsolete. We realized that the blockchain is a good fundamental and qualitative platform for the future."

He said that the bank had since pursued a pilot project centered around the use case, with further iterations to follow. "We are launching the first prototype in terms of project management this fall," he told the publication.

Why it matters: 
That a state-backed bank in Russia is moving to launch services around the tech is a notable one — but perhaps not an altogether surprising one given the pace of blockchain development in the country's finance sector.

The unveiling comes months after Russia's prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, called for more research into the tech by a pair of government agencies. Government officials also said earlier this year that they expect to develop blockchain-specific regulations, looking to an introduction by 2019. That work comes as Russia's central bank drafts new rules around bitcoin and digital currencies, with an eye to regulate them as kinds of digital goods.

Chuck Reynolds
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Blockchain consortium R3 raises $107 million

Blockchain consortium R3 raises
$107 million

  

People may well remember 2017 as the year that blockchain broke.

After years of development and flickering just outside of mainstream consciousness and acceptance, record high prices for the most popular blockchain-based cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and newcomer Ethereum and an embrace of the technology’s core principles by some of the world’s largest institutions may mean that blockchain technology is ready for its close up. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the just-announced $107 million financing for R3, the blockchain consortium that includes some of the largest financial services firms and technology companies in the world.

Leading investors included SBI Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Intel and Temasek, the company said in a statement. R3 represents the largest consortium of global financial institutions working on developing commercial applications for the distributed ledger technology that’s at the heart of blockchain technology. In addition to the big names that committed the most capital, R3 pulled in additional commitments from ING, Banco Bradesco, Itaü Unibanco, Natixis, Barclays, UBS and Wells Fargo.

R3, which opened the first tranches of the company’s planned $200 million financing exclusively to members of the consortium, is one standard-bearer for the mainstreaming of blockchain technology. Indeed, the company already counts among its customers the government of Singapore, the Bank of Canada and other national financial institutions. The company said it will use the funds to accelerate technology development and grow strategic partnerships for project deployment. R3 has its own proprietary ledger that can be used to develop applications, and it also supports an infrastructure network for financial services firms and technology companies to build their own ledger-based applications and services.

“While still in its infancy stages, the emergence of distributed ledger technology comes at a time when the financial services industry is poised to further embrace technological change and efficiencies,” said C. Thomas Richardson, the managing director and head of market structure and electronic trading services at Wells Fargo Securities, in a statement.  That sentiment was echoed by other financial services executives whose firms were members of the R3 consortium. “Innovation in digital technologies is reshaping the banking industry, and this investment is reflective of our belief that distributed ledger technology and smart contracts have the potential to significantly enhance capital markets infrastructure. R3’s collaborative approach is key to the progress of this technology,” said Andrew Challis, managing director of strategic investments at Barclays.

Not all big banks and financial services firms have embraced R3. Goldman Sachs and Santander both dropped out of the consortium, perhaps figuring they’d be better off going their own way. Where R3 has really shined has been in getting governments comfortable blockchain-based applications. Their approach of enlisting banks and financial services companies for projects is light years from the more subversive mindset of some of the developers of the original and the largest blockchain protocol, Bitcoin.

As some investors and entrepreneurs see it, there’s room in the market for both the private blockchains developed by communities around Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the sanctioned corporate ledgers that companies like R3 are developing. For now, the technology that R3 is developing is focused on business applications like verifying transactions between banks, or automating the things like the establishment of the London Interbank Offer Rates. In the future, the company’s technologies could touch consumers more directly — through the creation of a digital fiat currency. While that may be somewhere far off down the horizon, with the company’s connections to the banking industry and to national governments, it’s not beyond the pale.

Chuck Reynolds
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