Friday, July 29, 2016

KPMG: DAO Failure Won't Hinder Private Blockchain Progress

 

 

As major financial institutions began to show interest in blockchain earlier this year, many were vocal in their praise for ethereum, a public blockchain-based platform for decentralized application development.

But as has been illustrated by high-profile issues such as the collapse of The DAO and the recent contentious hard fork, the second most popular public blockchain platform is still showing signs of growing pains, ones that could lead to new questions of its underlying technology despite enterprise interest.

 

However, KPMG US blockchain lead Eamonn Maguire says he doesn't believe enterprise clients see the events as an impediment to progress for the industry at large.

While he acknowledges events like the DAO collapse and the hard fork could create poor market optics, he said it hasn’t yet happened as a result of recent events with ethereum. Rather, Maguire said KPMG sees the issues as learning experiences, as well as indications that more attention needs to be given to the security of private blockchain projects.

 

Specifically, Maguire said this means developing better standards on how blockchain data is secured and accessed, including potentially applying more conventional or previously tested protocols for use in blockchain environments.

Maguire went on to stress that it perhaps remains too early to tell what specific issues were at play and how future projects implementing similar concepts can be improved.

 

However, Maguire said that the ethereum platform "is not in question", while stating that any client relationships have not been impacted by these events.

"I see it as more of a hiccup. It’s one that I wish had not occurred, [but] we're not seeing it have impact in market confidence," he said.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ethereum Classic, Yes I do!

 

I got this email (see under) today and after reading it thorougly and that for a few times, i found the motivation plausible and acceptable, which is why I am supporting it.

Ethereum made a big mistake taking the lead with the DAO, while it was buggy not tested well, odd since the market cap was #5 on CMC.

Now they made a mistake and the same way like a child would do, they just reversed it. Reserving it such easily means 1 thing, and 1 thing only.

Whatever you made do in the future, your money with Ethereum is not safe, because they already proved to be opposite to decentralization.

Ethereum Classic Listing
Hello everyone, this is quite unexpected but I will get straight to the point. I support Ethereum classic - in an effort to make sure that blockchains do not become centralized databases we must secure networks and create a large amount of network security.

Nick Szabo was the first one to comment on smart contracts - but in an effort to make sure we do not go the same path as our financial past we must support chains that are for the people.

I urge you to support Ethereum classic - I cannot forget where I came from - pure decentralization and immutability is what this technology is about. Please support this network.

Bitcointalk Thread
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1559630.0

Community
http://www.ethereumclassic.org
https://www.reddit.com/r/EthereumClassic/

Russian
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1563268
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1563328

There are no bounties at this time

Exchanges
https://poloniex.com/exchange#eth_etc
https://poloniex.com/exchange#btc_etc

Press
https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/rejecting-today-s-hard-fork-the-ethereum-classic-project-continues-on-the-original-chain-here-s-why-1469038808
http://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2016/07/21/a-painful-lesson-for-the-ethereum-community/

Ideology
We believe in decentralized, censorship-resistant, permissionless, IMMUTABLE blockchains. We believe in the original vision of Ethereum as a world computer you can't shut down, running irreversible smart contracts. We believe in a strong separation of concerns, where system forks are only possible in order to correct actual platform bugs, not to bail out failed contracts and special interests. We believe in censorship-resistant platform that can be actually trusted - by anyone.
Code is law.

More: https://medium.com/@bit_novosti/a-crypto-decentralist-manifesto-6ba1fa0b9ede

Motivation
Ethereum Foundation responded to DAO debacle in the worst way possible. Special interests controlling the Foundation are ramming through DAO bailout hardfork against principled opposition of a significant economic minority of Ethereum stakeholders. According to (diligently hidden, pro-fork) coin vote on Carbonvote, 19% of ETH holders oppose this hardfork. Also, about 22% of Ethereum miners voted against the previous 'DAO softfork' and would logically oppose hardfork as well. Such a significant minority of stakeholders should not be silenced or intimidated into submission - they should be given a clear choice.

If we want to continue to move forward and guarantee survival of the original Ethereum vision, we must fork Ethereum. This will lay the foundation to build secure decentralized applications that are actually censorship resistant.
More: 
https://github.com/ethereumclassic/freeworldcomputer-project

Goals
The main goal of the project is to ensure survival of the original Ethereum blockchain. We will strive to provide alternative for people who strongly disagree with DAO bailout and the direction Ethereum Foundation is taking their project. Anyone opting to remain on the original chain should have such opportunity.

Development
We fork Ethereum and maintain upstream patches similar to the relation between Redhat and CentOS, until a community can form around the project and create a road map. Until this happens we can fork multiple existing clients to help prevent a monoculture of clients. We plan to follow 
https://github.com/ethereum development except for any features they introduce into existing clients that violate the key principles of openness, neutrality and immutability.

Code: https://github.com/ethereumclassic

What can I do?
Please help us spread the word about this project in Ethereum community!

Volunteers
If you feel strongly about the cause, please get involved. With just days before the planned hardfork, we need your support to ensure original Ethereum survival. We need more developers, website designers, people who can write and advocate the need for Ethereum Classic. Please let us know what are your skills and how you would like to contribute. Redditors, please reply here. Github users, please open new issue.

Users
In order to remain on the original Ethereum chain, just don't upgrade to hardfork client version pushed by Ethereum Foundation. We will maintain non-fork versions of all major Ethereum clients (as well as other key software), so going forwards all the improvements will be available to you.

Fun fact. If you keep ETH under your direct control (not in a 3rd party wallet or exchange account), you will have two sets of coins instead of one post-fork. You could then install a forked Ethereum client in addition to Ethereum Classic, copy your private keys there and use your coins on both chains! You won't be so lucky if your ETH are locked with 3rd party going into the fork - some exchanges already announced that they will only return one type of coin post-fork to its users.

Miners
Miners supporting the original chain should just keep mining with current version of software for now, without upgrading to client version introducing the hardfork code. It will be always possible to download and build latest non-fork version from
https://github.com/ethereumclassic.

The difficulty of the original chain will be quite high post-fork, but it will adjust to actual hashrate shortly (just 2048 blocks, a few hours). Since it is expected that most hashrate will move to hardfoked chain, post-adjustment it will be possible to obtain decent mining rewards in classic ethers even with solo mining.

We have mining pools supporting Ethereum Classic:
http://ethc.epool.io
http://pool.ethereumclassic.com

Because the difficulty adjusts quickly, it will be also quite possible to solo mine soon after the fork. If you intend to mine Ethereum Classic, please don't upgrade to geth 1.4.10 just yet, due to potential vulnerability. We will inform you when it's safe to upgrade. For now, just solo-mine with geth 1.4.9 or any earlier version, or use Classic pool.

Traders
https://bitsquare.io/

Most important question for traders is 'will ETHC have market price'? There are all reasons to believe that it will. Essentially, ETHC is an Ethereum 'spinoff coin' with a wide user base of all current ETH users. Some of them will see the value of transacting on a censorship-resistant chain, some won't. This creates interesting arbitrage opportunities for smart traders. Additional reasoning why EHTC is very unlikely to be 'worthless'.

Both Poloniex a Bitfinex announced that they will assign their users both ETH and ETHC after the fork. This is a step in the right direction, now it's up to these major exchanges to enable ETH/ETHC trading that will no doubt be demanded by users. Decentralized exchange Bitsquare announced ETHC trading right after the fork. Other trading venues will follow since there is a strong business case. We are in touch with several other exchanges to add ETHC trading to their platforms. If your exchange is interested in ETHC trading, please contact us.

Let's make sure original Ethereum vision doesn't just "go gentle into that good night"!

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ethereum Just Showcased the Full Power of Public Blockchains

 

In just one month, ethereum has managed to code, deploy, implement and adopt a decision while fully upholding minority rights without one metaphorical shot being fired, showcasing the full power of public blockchains and first class blockchain governance. 
In just one day, ethereum dispelled all myths and arguments against public blockchain’s inherent guarantee of rights – hard forks. The main argument, that controversial hardforks are a tyranny of the majority, was proven wrong when Ethereum Classic was provided with a market, thus giving the minority their full freedom.  Likewise, any suggestion that the decision was centralized can not stand when pure free choice is given to all and, technically, the argument that immutability was breached is incorrect as the thief chain continues.


Bitcoin’s Dictatorship vs Ethereum’s Democracy Mix
These arguments have been used in bitcoin’s land for more than a year, turning all concepts on their head. Specifically, the unspoken but implied argument that where there is a controversy a minority should decide upon the majority which is only possible by instituting dictatorship and, of course, as we have seen, leads to a never ending debate, a bitter split, and a community in paralysis, unable to make a decision and move on to real things.

Ethereum, on the other hand, achieved in one day what bitcoin could not achieve in more than a year. Instead of the community turning against each other into a prolonged and paralyzing civil war, ethereum’s community just allowed everyone to choose in a free market way, ending the episode and moving on towards building stuff and advancing this space.

As the chains have now fully separated and cannot be re-joined, ETC has nothing to differentiate it except for the harboring of a thief, making it just another altcoin in a sea of altcoins, with as good as no developers, with social promises of immutability it can not technically enforce as anyone can chain fork any blockchain and, overall, just a clone of Ethereum, no different than Expanse. Most, therefore, will probably just ignore it and move on to real things.

However, the listing of ETC is significant as it shows that ethereum and public blockchain’s inbuilt governance mechanism presents a real choice. Neither the majority nor the minority can force either or tell either what to do. Instead, they are both free to follow their own path and compete on equal terms.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

And now also finance falls in love with Bitcoin

 
The cryptocurrency is "a commodity like gold," he reports the American authority. But it is also a coin, say the judges. That's how it is transforming the virtual currency and how risky the saver
Born in 2009, Bitcoin has officially become a "commodity" like gold or oil or grain. The decision was made ​​a few days ago, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the United States, after investigating two online platforms - Coinflip and Derivative - selling options to buy or sell at the end of some bitcoins. But they did so without the slightest respect for rules of "trading" imposed by the CFTC for all other commodities.
The reprimand the two operators because in the future futures contracts, swaps, and the whole family of "derivatives" involving bitcoins to happen with the procedures required by regulators, opens the door to a series of consequences.
The first is that the "cryptocurrency" invented in 2009 by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto (his identity has not been established), and allows payments to private individuals without the intermediation of banks, is in some way promoted in the financial world so far he has kept at a distance and view with suspicion. So much to want to imitate some technological aspects, as we will see later.
The second is that after having seduced millions of people around the world, which in part also used to purchase illegal goods, now digital currency is likely to infect savers, attracted by the fact that it is cleared by an authority.
The third is that the combined provisions of finance and authority come out like rabbits from the hat of a magician products to bet on the bitcoins market, to make real money on virtual money, a perverse and dangerous building.
The proof is that it is already to be launched an ETF that bets on the performance of Bitcoin (called ARK). Finance is thirsty for new emotions, and Bitcoin is exactly what he does for her, even if it requires strong nerves: the volatility of the virtual currency has been crazy since birth. Before rose by six thousand percent, coming to quote $ 1,250, then collapsed, and today is around $ 230 value "face." With a volume of about 10 billion total value.
The failure in Japan of a leading exchange platform, Mr. Gox, should have taught us that the system is very vulnerable. The Japanese case is obvious: the manager of the Exchange has denounced the disappearance of $ 480 million in bitcoins belonging to its customers. Perhaps stolen by hackers, since they resided not in a physically safe, but in the form of bits in a computer. And he never found.
Also for customers of a hedge fund Texan in bitcoin awakening, it was bitter when the SEC found that applied a Ponzi scheme (a scam based on species of Saint Anthony of new clients chain that guarantee the gains of the previous ring chain). The fund defended himself by saying that because the Bitcoin is not money, not touching the SEC deal: the judge ruled that conversely also that virtual currency is.
And what about the case of "Silk Road", a site that was offering drugs and various narcotics, payable in bitcoins? The owner, once caught, he has also defended saying that the charges (money laundering, the sale of banned substances and other illegal activities) were unfounded because he ran a business based on something that you could not even define "money." It ended up in jail for life.
It was precisely the Bitcoin that the Greeks have decided to turn while their economy is screwed towards the precipice: the exchange sites between common currency (in this case the euro) and the virtual currency were bombarded by questions of their information from that country, reflecting a fascination beyond reason.
The question of "what is" exactly the Bitcoin is not nominalistic, although very reminiscent of the arguments of Don Ferrante on the plague in the Betrothed: being neither substance nor accident, did not exist for him, and yet he was infected and died. It is not nominalism because the various authorities try this road to bring to light and tame the phenomenon, which has had a boom in a few years, has created a network of trading companies around the world and had legions of fans. Just to say: if money must be tied to income, and therefore should be taxed.
Something good, however, the Bitcoin system has taught him. It's called "blockchain", and it is precisely the system that keeps track of transactions, distributed through the joint effort of many different computers of the user community. Every time a transaction occurs, its details are translated into a code and transmitted to the rest the population: those who can decrypt the message, share it with others to test it, and if it is ok, the effort allows you to earn a certain number of bitcoins in return. But above all, that message becomes part of a chain of information where several computers act as sentinels to report any discrepancies, for example, the use of the same bitcoins twice.
So the blockchain technology makes the system a difficult test for hackers (unless Mr. Gox).
This has pulled in the consideration of a portion of the Most powerful financial institutions in the world, from Goldman Sachs to Barclays at UBS, who have just announced that it has entrusted to a company in New York, the technological R3, the task of developing the chain of a block. To make a product for themselves and the market.
Will this road that cryptocurrency will eventually earn immortality?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

UK Parliament Hearing to Highlight Government Blockchain Applications

 

A UK House of Lords committee will meet next week to hear testimony from academics and representatives of the blockchain industry.

 

Parliament announced today that the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords (Parliament's upper house) will meet on 19th July to discuss blockchain and potential applications for the UK government. The committee will notably feature testimony from Ben Broadbent, the deputy governor of monetary policy for the Bank of England who remarked this past March that a central bank-issued digital currency could have a major impact on banking.

 

In addition to Broadbent, witnesses set to speak include Digital Asset Holdings CEO Blythe Masters; 11:FS co-founder and director of blockchain Simon Taylor; Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research associate director Dr Catherine Mulligan; Gresham College professor of commerce Michael Mainelli; and PwC transformation and assurance director Lord Spens.

 

According to Parliament’s announcement, the hearing will focus in part on public sector blockchain applications for the UK government, a topic that has seen interest from both within and outside of the government.

 

Specifically, the hearing will look into whether the technology could "be used to collect taxes or pay benefits", a question that comes after the UK Department of Work and Pensions began a blockchain welfare payments trial. The trial has since stoked concerns among privacy advocates, according to the Financial Times.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Vogogo Startup

 

Bitcoin services startup Vogogo is closing its cryptocurrency-focused payment processing service next month after it failed to gain traction, a move that comes amid the exits of several executives and reports that at least some bitcoin services will be affected in the near-term.

 

Announced on 5th July, the move will see Vogogo shutting down its payments service after it completed selling its risk management business. Those two business lines were major elements of Vogogo, which raised $8.5m in venture funding in August 2014 before going public last year.

 

The closure is notable given the relatively small size of the country's bitcoin industry and Vogogo's position as a visible service provider in Canada.

 

One bitcoin exchange, Coinbase, which used Vogogo as a payments processor for the Canadian market, has been affected by the shutdown, telling customers in that country that it won't be able to offer support after the end of this month.

 

Other exchanges that operate in Canada, most notably Kraken and QuadrigaX, say they aren't affected by the closure.

 

Vogogo has been searching for new directions – and revenue – since April, public statements show, when the company announced that its board of directors was looking for alternatives. At the time, the company said it would downsize as part of a cost-cutting plan.

 

CFO Tom Wenz said in an interview that other assets, including an Electronic Money Institution license obtained last fall, are being looked at as revenue generators, though he said that the company wasn’t going out of business and that it has “plenty of cash in the bank”.

 

He said that the payment business wasn’t making enough money to keep it afloat, and that ultimately, the company opted, in a decision he said was made Monday, to close it down.

In Switzland, Apple pay is now available with the support of visa and mastercard support

 

Even if you have a non-NFC iPhone, Apple Pay works via Apple Watch as well.

Apple reveals that it is planning to launch Apple Pay for websites with support for Macs running MacOS Sierra later this year.

 

Apple announced the upcoming availability of Apple Pay in Switzerland at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

 

According to Apple Pay chief Jennifer Bailey, Apple plans to bring Apple Pay to every major market in which Apple products are sold.

 

We also work with our network partners, where we can utilize integration with Amex and Visa, to go to market quickly.”

 

Pay with Apple Pay option

Last month, Apple added “Pay with Apple Pay” option to the checkout part on their sites.