Category Archives: Blockstream

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Japan Approves Trial for Yen-Backed Stablecoin Settlement

Japan Approves Trial for Yen-Backed Stablecoin Settlement

A subsidiary of Japanese internet group Digital Garage has been approved for the first blockchain finance project authorized by the government’s new regulatory sandbox. Crypto Garage will test the issuance of a Japanese yen-backed stablecoin using Blockstream, a Bitcoin infrastructure startup.

Excited to announce @CryptoGarageInc, a Joint Venture between @DigitalGarage, Tokyo Tanshi & @Blockstream, developing #SETTLENET & $JPY #stablecoin for #LiquidNetwork. Alongside the JV, @Blockstream took an additional $10MM strategic investment from DG. 🌊 https://t.co/mOvMsogMOX pic.twitter.com/j82dusL2gO

— Blockstream (@Blockstream) January 21, 2019

A new platform called SettleNet has been launched by Crypto Garage with development aid from Blockstream to conduct the trials, which utilizes the latter’s inter-exchange settlement network Liquid. Settlenet will be used both to test the issuance of the stablecoin as well as conduct payment settlements between it and alternative cryptocurrency assets.

The proof-of-concept trial has been proposed to last the length of one year and will involve only Japanese licensed cryptocurrency exchanges with trades between the yen-backed stablecoin and Blockstream’s Bitcoin-pegged token, Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC), taking place with restricted volumes for now.

According to Crypto Garage, the network will allow atomic swaps between the two digital currencies for instant trades, creating ”rapid, secure and confidential transfer of the crypto assets while eradicating counterparty risk”.

Digital Garage has been working alongside Blockstream since November 2017 to develop blockchain financial solutions in Japan. The Cabinet Secretariat of Japan is responsible for managing this trial.

 

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NASA Looks to Blockchain for Air Traffic Management

NASA Looks to Blockchain for Air Traffic Management

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is examining the potential of employing a management blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services.

The prototype has already employed Hyperledger and has proven to researchers that this infrastructure would offer rapid deployment at an affordable cost. The paper published by NASA highlights the benefits of the system:

“This framework features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorized member.”

Another system planned to be launched soon, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance System (ADS-B) which will be mandatory by 2020, has had teething problems. This is mainly due to its susceptibility to third-party spoofing, the reporting of false airport positions, as it publicly broadcasts aircraft positions. NASA researchers have suggested this privacy problem could be overcome by implementing cryptography.

The new Aviation Blockchain Infrastructure (ABI), based on Hyperledger Fabric and smart contracts, would allow control over what data is shared publicly or privately with authorized entities.

NASA has been making blockchain history since its announcement last year that it would fund and co-run a research project utilizing Ethereum blockchain smart contracts in safeguarding deep space travel. That project focused specifically on implementing the technology in improving space communications, ensuring navigations that take place are safer and more efficient. Even earlier in 2017, NASA awarded a USD 330,000 grant to support the development of a blockchain-based spacecraft system.

In December 2018, development firm Blockstream launched a fifth satellite which now broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain back to Earth.

 

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No Internet? Blocksteam Satellite Now Provides Bitcoin Access to All Major Landmasses

Blocksteam Satellite Constellation Now Covers All Major Landmasses And Provides Entire Bitcoin Blockchain

Tech company Blockstream announced on 17 December 2018 that it has added a fifth satellite to its constellation broadcasting the Bitcoin network. This new satellite covers the Asia-Pacific region, so now all major landmasses on Earth except for Greenland and Antarctica can use Bitcoin via satellites. Further, Blockstream has expanded capabilities to provide a full version of the Bitcoin blockchain, as well as a worldwide anonymous messaging network.

Previously Blockstream satellites only provided the most recent Bitcoin blocks but now will provide the full Bitcoin blockchain. This will allow users worldwide, even in the most remote locations, to run full Bitcoin nodes. This opens up the possibility of mining Bitcoin in locations that are well-removed from internet but rich in renewable energy like solar, geothermal, or hydroelectric.

Perhaps most importantly, Blockstream ensures that Bitcoin can be used independently of the internet, making Bitcoin more decentralized. This also expands the global coverage of the Bitcoin network, since most locations on the Earth can now send and receive Bitcoin transactions. This could be quite useful in disaster scenarios when local internet grid stops working.

A messaging network integrated with onion-routing, similar to Tor, will be launched in January 2019. This will allow users to send completely encrypted messages worldwide without using the internet. Transactions will be paid for via the Bitcoin Lightning Network, with fees calculated per KB of data.

The Blockstream satellite constellation has made Bitcoin independent of the internet and has spread Bitcoin’s network coverage across the globe, giving it an advantage over all other cryptocurrencies.

 

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Bitpay: Bitcoin the “Under Pound Gorilla” Will Eclipse Many Other Currencies

Global Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay is making some upbeat predictions for 2019 which certainly paint a different picture to the digital currency’s rocky ride as 2018 comes to a close.

The Atlanta-based company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Sonny Singh predicts that 2019 promises to be an “exciting” year which will push Bitcoin’s value up to between USD 15,000 and USD 20,000 by next December.

He believes that with the entry of Fidelity and Intercontinental Exchange into the market and ETFs getting the green light, 2019 will take on a whole new look when it comes down to investment opportunities. He commented it would be Bitcoin that would eclipse many other digital currencies whose fortunes were less easy to foresee, suggesting, “I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.”

He said, “There’s a night and day difference between Bitcoin and everything else. Bitcoin is the under pound gorilla, it’s the one that has the mass network effect… [the one] the traditional financial incumbents are building products around.”

In terms the durability of his gorilla, Sing argues that “Bitcoin survives first”, even in a poor market, despite its fluctuating fortunes. Blockstream CEO Bobby Lee, brother of Litecoin founder Charlie, agrees, suggesting that despite flashes of green in the last 24 hrs, Bitcoin could still threaten USD 3,000 but long-term, he feels it will overtake gold.

In this bear market for #Bitcoin, it’s worth reminding everyone that $BTC is still only one-hundredth of the value of #Gold: $80 billion vs $8 trillion.
Gold is worth 100 times more than Bitcoin today!
What will the ratio be in 10-20 years?
Will it flip, with Bitcoin worth more? pic.twitter.com/VIpzIDKfo0

— Bobby Lee (@bobbyclee) November 20, 2018

Currently, there is a consensus among certain cryptocurrency experts that with Bitcoin’s growing convenience as a payment method, illustrated by the march of ATMs worldwide, along with the digital currency becoming an internationally recognized household name, past hype could surrender to real value. A deflation of Bitcoin could “clean out weak hands”, according to the views of many investors. Serious players in the market would then be left to establish Bitcoin’s real value. EToro analyst Mati Greenspan says the ship isn’t sinking, but simply readjusting to its load:

“What we’re seeing now are the after-effects of the unprecedented rise of Bitcoin and other crypto assets in 2017. This year is simply a retracement of that… These cycles can sometimes be accentuated in the crypto market due to the riskier nature of this nascent industry. In the same way, previous cycles have not signaled the end for broader markets, these price movements don’t signal the end for crypto assets.”

For now, Singh’s gorilla is still in the mist, waiting for its moment to escape.

 

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