Category Archives: Knowledge

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Russian Bear Poised to Pounce at Fintech Crossroads

Recent statistics published by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) shows that Russian investors appear to be at a crossroads in the fintech space.

The future of Russian cryptocurrency adoption is very much dependent on what lies ahead, particularly with regard to the Kremlin’s past stance which has never been favorable towards allowing the public to become active participants, despite government murmurings suggesting the adoption of CBDC or ‘cryptoruble’.

RACIB statistics indicate the degree to which the cryptocurrency space has been affected by scandals and corruption and a lack of clear government leadership. The resulting status quo sees half of the ICO funds raised in 2017, which amounted to USD 300 million, going to pyramid schemes, according to Bitcoin News.

While the West is predominantly concerned with finding the right balance as it discusses cryptocurrency regulation on an almost daily basis, the major eastern powers such as China and Russia look towards prohibition, over-regulation or limiting digital currencies for government use only, despite blockchain’s rise and rise in commercial enterprises.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) continue to debate the securities versus utility issue in order make final decisions over adoption, whereas in blockchain-friendly Europe, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has become a point of focus as more companies line up for conducting business using everything that fintech may have to offer.

As Bitcoin News reportedly recently, Russia is in no way short of fintech expertise and blockchain technical know-how with a major CEO presence now working in Moscow, but the cryptocurrency industry been apprehensive due to the government’s lack of direction regarding digital currency.

This could change if the Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work supports the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code. Such a move though would not automatically allow digital currency to become a legitimate means of payment, as this would require a separate law, although the initiative plans examine smart contract application.

A change in direction may be on the way after President Vladimir Putin’s recent push for blockchain technology to be part of his new “digital economy” program, saying that the country can’t be “late in the race” for blockchain dominance.

A recent Moscow cryptocurrency summit was attended by 200 speakers and over 3,000 participants, showing that the impetus for change is there in the new technology race. It remains to be seen how the Kremlin progresses and contributes towards Russia ’s technological advancement.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post Russian Bear Poised to Pounce at Fintech Crossroads appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

UN Partners with IOTA for ‘Tangle’ Tech to Boost Field Efficiency

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has announced a collaboration with the IOTA Foundation to examine the feasibility of DLT streamlining its operations, according to Coindesk.

The new partnership announced on Tuesday stated that the two organizations plan to utilize IOTA’s tangle technology which is easily compatible with Internet of Things devices, due to its minimal computing requirements.

IOTA uses a different blockchain system from that of Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, which is one reason that the UN division has chosen to work with the foundation. UNOPS special advisor on blockchain tech, Yoshiyuki Yamamoto claims that the ledger “can be operated on battery power or alternative connectivity networks” in areas with “sporadic access to high-speed internet connections or even electricity”, essential for UN field operations.

Yamamoto points out that an important factor of the collaborative project is that UN will able to apply the technology to real-world use cases. The UN is increasingly using blockchain in numerous projects around the world. Thomson Reuters Foundation reports that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is launching a crypto-funded university solar energy project this year in Moldova in partnership with the South African solar power marketplace Sun Exchange, and many such projects are either underway or planned for the future.

UN aid efforts have a historic problem of fraud, mismanagement, and bureaucratic red tape, but with the ability to circumnavigate governments and banking institutions, transferring aid via blockchain can be far more efficient.

“We don’t do blockchain for blockchain’s sake. We have limited resources and personnel, so we have to focus our efforts on solving real-world challenges. Our priorities stem from our mission as an organization, not from the fads of the crypto space,” Yamamoto concluded.

Yamamoto could not predict how long it might take to move from a pilot phase to fully implementing IOTA’s technology due to the current educational nature of the collaboration.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post UN Partners with IOTA for ‘Tangle’ Tech to Boost Field Efficiency appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

London Mosque Takes Crypto Stance, Accepts Ethereum for Donations

The first mosque for Turkish Cypriots in the UK, the Masjid Ramadan, has decided to accept Ethereum in order to carry out essential repairs, reports London’s Hackney Gazette.

Leaders at the mosque have made the decision to accept the cryptocurrency as part of Muslim observance of Zakah, the annual donation made by all of that faith, requiring that adherents donate 2.5% of their current wealth.

The Hackney mosque hopes to raise at least GBP 10,000 in Ether donations over Ramadan. Erik Guney, the board of trustees’ chairman, said that he hopes that the project can bring attention to the Muslim world that the community needs support:

“I’ve grown up around here and I have watched the community grow and the challenges it’s faced with – it’s a struggle, with housing, food, the cost of funerals and government changes, he said, going on to point out that the wealthy can make a significant contribution.

“We are trying to appeal to a wider audience with the new money. It’s big in the Islamic world, and we have set up a platform for wealthier Muslims outside our community to support and donate to our mosque,” he added.

Founder of blockchain startup Combo Innovation Gurmit Singh has become the mosque’s crypto advisor, outlining how best the funds can be received, stored and sold.

Until recently, there had been concerns among Muslims whether the selling of cryptocurrency was permissible under Sharia Law and if it was possible for Islamic financial firms to invest in cryptocurrencies alongside the rest of the world. At a recent conference in Bahrain, leading Islamic scholars decided that Bitcoin and other digital currencies fell into the category of ribawa. This means that cryptocurrency must be exchanged in equal measure, and with immediate transfer of possession, to avoid breaking Sharia Law.

This argument is key to any decision that might be taken in the future regarding the permissibility of virtual currencies in the Muslim world, as the buying and selling of Bitcoin could be viewed as a type of usury due to its huge profit and loss margins.

It appears that this law is being observed by the mosque, as donations will be transferred straight from the mosque website to the bank’s cryptocurrency hard wallet, which will be visible for all to see. The donation will then be traded for sterling through a currency exchange like LocalBitcoins UK.

“If Muslims, who make up a quarter of the world’s population, hold just 1% of Bitcoins – or GBP 1.04bn – then GBP 26 million in Zakat contributions is due,” said Singh.

Zayd al Khair, a religious advisor at Masjid Ramadan, has been monitoring discussions and debates by Muslim scholars from all over the world:

“Bitcoin is a new phenomenon so scholars are divided,” he said. “Some have taken a practical approach and others have embraced it fully, and we have decided to take their position.”

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post London Mosque Takes Crypto Stance, Accepts Ethereum for Donations appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Small Business Boost from EU Blockchain Committee

Members of a European Parliament committee voted on Wednesday to recommend that small businesses look into blockchain payment systems. The positive news was reported recently by one of the leading crypto news sites.

The EU Commission’s Industry, Research, and Energy Committee specifically suggested non-monetary uses for the technology, specifying data controls and supply chain management in order for a more cost-effective way of making payments in order to democratize the energy market. The commission believes that small businesses could benefit from integrating blockchain technology into small business.

Eval Kaili, committee member believes that DLT is “cutting edge” commenting:

“Today the Industry Committee voted univocally in favor of a forward-looking technology that we expect to change the quality of our life, empower SMEs and improve business models in most industrial sectors … and we aspire to make EU the global leader in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The proposed model covers blockchain use in many areas:

Monitoring

Monitoring the origin of goods, offering greater certainty that, e.g., diamonds are ethically sourced, clothes are not made in sweatshops and a bottle of champagne comes from Champagne,

Democratizing

Enabling households that produce energy to exchange and consume it without the need to pay an intermediary agency, and

Recording

Creating records such as land registries, birth certificates, and business licenses, with less dependence upon lawyers, notaries and government officials.

“Citizens could use blockchains to gain full control of their own data and decide what to share, and small firms and innovative start-ups could use them to cut intermediation costs and ensure that transactions are executed efficiently the committee,” a European Sting report says.

The press release suggests that the committee called on the  EU commission to start a regulatory process for various blockchain scenarios which could be deemed “ innovation-friendly and technology neutral,” and request more funding for projects from the EU.

Kaili attended the NY Blockchain Week Consensus Conference last week and commented there that the EU was in favor of Blockchain, but that education was a major issue regarding the new technology, joking that, “we don’t have too many scientists within the European Parliament”

She calls for “harmonization, sandboxes, and regulation,” over the next few years to progress the technology towards mainstream recognition.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post Small Business Boost from EU Blockchain Committee appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

AI Platform to Identify Health Issues Without Human Error

The Skychain platform, self-described as a blockchain infrastructure aimed to host, train and use artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, has announced its to launch its diagnostic system within weeks.

The company believes that the new alpha version of its infrastructure can identify conditions in patients and prescribe appropriate treatments in milliseconds, substantially reducing the risk of human error during the crucial diagnosis stage, Cointelegraph reports.

The beta version, Skychain estimates, will be released in December with an official launch by summer of 2019, although the company claim that early participants, including hospitals, medical AI developers, and healthcare data providers will have access to a “fully built” ecosystem by June.

Skychain’s aim is to eliminate human medical errors, claiming that this is now the third most common cause of death in the US. The company suggests that are numerous cases of misdiagnosis due to X-ray analysis, citing a study which has recorded that human error causes 250,00 premature deaths each year. According to the company, when doctors analyze X-ray lung images, they fail to diagnose early lung cancer in as much as 69% of cases.

Cointelegraph reveals Skychain assertions that the technology is more effective at diagnosing skin, lung and cardiovascular diseases than some highly experienced doctors. The company claims that its system identifies conditions in an average of 0.1 seconds, compared to the 20-30 seconds that doctors need to make their conclusion.

Skychain spoke of the effect of fatigue on medical practitioners; one of the problems the AI system is designed to combat:

“In real life, medical professionals may get tired or be in low spirits; they may also lack the necessary experience, specialize in a different area, or be biased… Each of these factors can have a negative impact on the accuracy of a diagnosis. Moreover, a machine learning system can easily analyze a poorly structured medical history or wade through large amounts of data.”

Figures published by Healthcare Financial Management Association estimate that in 2016 alone, misdiagnosis cost the US economy a massive USD 20.8 billion. Skychain’s mission is to save 10 million patients from premature death due to medical errors within 10 years.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post AI Platform to Identify Health Issues Without Human Error appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Blockchain to Drive Companies in Next Industrial Revolution, Says US Mutual Fund VP

Federated Investors vice president and portfolio manager Steve Chivarone, ranked blockchain in the top five key technologies that will drive what he called “this next industrial revolution” in an interview with CHBC on 11 May.

Chivarone went on to comment that blockchain would be an “economic growth driver” along with automation robotics, AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to Cointelegraph. The Pittsburg-based company VP continued:

“When you think about it from an enterprise perspective, it has the ability to replace reconciliation, which is expensive and requires back-office and time and paperwork with more instantaneous verification […] that will allow cost to be cut and that savings [sic] to be passed along.”

He suggested that banks such as Bank of America investing heavily in blockchain and companies like Nvidia and Intel producing computer chips used in mining illustrated how investors could “play” the potential of the new technology.

DLT is becoming more attractive to big companies and banking institutions with what Fortune describes as “laudable goals — speed, lower cost, security, fewer errors, and the elimination of central points of attack and failure. These models don’t necessarily involve a cryptocurrency for payments”.  Fortune argues that it is the “Bitcoin model” that could have the most impact:

“Each blockchain, like the one that uses Bitcoin, is distributed: it runs on computers by volunteers around the world; there is no central database to hack. The blockchain is public: anyone can view it at any time because it resides on the network, not within a single institution charged with auditing transactions and keeping records.”

On 8 May, two United States House Subcommittees concluded that blockchain technology could be used in diverse areas, from US Customs and Border Protection to cyber-security, despite its current lack of industry-wide standards.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post Blockchain to Drive Companies in Next Industrial Revolution, Says US Mutual Fund VP appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Irish University Wants Government to Push Blockchain Into Mainstream

National University of Ireland (NUI) authors of a study on the adoption of blockchain have approached the government to promote a more widespread use of the technology in the country, reports The Irish Times.

The new study involving 20 selected Irish companies, conducted in association with the Blockchain Association of Ireland examined the factors that influenced them in their decisions to adopt blockchain. On its website,  the association described its aims as, “facilitating Irish business leaders, educators, policy-makers and citizens in learning how blockchain technology can be applied to make Ireland the World’s most blockchain literate nation.”

The study is expected to receive much interest as it’s the first of its kind in the country that has examined how blockchain could be implemented and hopes to increase blockchain awareness and adoption more broadly across the nation.

Research leader at NUI Galway, Dr Trevor Clohessy, sees the need for a national initiative to promote the new technology, particularly in the light of, as yet undecided border rules, between Ireland and the north following Brexit

“…Beyond business, other beneficial uses of this technology would be in voting machines and ballot boxes to address electoral fraud and potentially looking at a blockchain enabled technology-controlled border identification system that could provide a possible solution to the current North/South Brexit border challenges.”

One of the findings of the study shows that only 40 percent of companies in Ireland have embraced blockchain technology, which the researchers felt was relatively low, despite Ireland’s 13th position on Bloomberg’s 2018 Innovation Index, with high productivity scores and advanced IT infrastructure.

In recent years, Ireland has promoted itself as a hub for fintech and blockchain business. A recent report by Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) released figures which indicated that 30% of global of financial executives had plans to commit to blockchain technology within the next 18 months.

The study is proposing that the Irish government promote the new technology to extend this level of interest within the country, overcoming executives uncertainties about embracing blockchain, such as lack of business cases and in-house expertise. It was noted in the report that association with ICO’s and digital currency was perceived negatively by executives.

In terms of awareness of the technology, five out of 20 company executives interviewed had a basic level of blockchain awareness, while six had a medium level and only nine were able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge.
Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post Irish University Wants Government to Push Blockchain Into Mainstream appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Bitcoin Mining Takes Off Above the Stratosphere

Sweden based company Miner One has launched a bitcoin mining rig into the stratosphere where it successfully mined the digital currency from over 100,000 feet (35,000 meters) above the earth, states the company in its blog post.

The rig called Space Miner One was launched using a hydrogen balloon with a capsule assembly attached containing an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and a Rasberry Pi3 microcomputer capable of processing the data at that height.

The Space Miner One capsule also contained instruments for navigation and tracking, along with the material necessary to protect the rig from extreme temperatures. It landed two and a half hours after take-off having mined at a hashrate of 330 megahashes per second.

The project is the brainchild of Swedish CEO Pranas Slušnys, who feels that mining in space will have far-reaching consequences for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole:

“The goal of Space Miner One is to symbolically express our belief that bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general, is about the future and the revolutionary technology at its heart: so-called blockchain technology. And with this new technology, the sky’s the limit.”

Miner One is presently planning to build a mining farm in northern Sweden region, chosen for its favorable low temperatures. The company,  in a statement, mentioned that even NASA is researching the possibility of using blockchain in space for communications and navigation.

There are detractors though. BTCManager reported last year that a blog post by cryptography consultant Peter Todd suggested that bitcoin mining had a future in space, but primarily in using solar power. Todd argued that NASA’s probes near the sun indicate that it would be a good area to locate solar-powered miners, but felt it might be unprofitable due to its latency and the fact that most of the hash power is on earth.

The European Space Agency agreed that it would financially impracticable, reporting that, “due to the harsh space environment, the lifetime of current solar panels in space is significantly shorter compared to the Earth surface.”

However, Todd agrees that the implications of blockchain technology are far-reaching. Juan Benet, the inventor of Interplanetary File System (IPFS), plans to merge this technology with the blockchain, envisioning a future where:

“IPFS connects all these different blockchains in a way that’s similar to how the web connects all these websites together. The same way that you can drop a link on one page that links to another page, you can drop a link in ethereum [for example] that links to zcash and IPFS can resolve all of that.”

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at @BitcoinNewsCom
Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

 

Image source:  Pixabay ( Communication-76, CC0 License)

 

The post Bitcoin Mining Takes Off Above the Stratosphere appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Worlds Largest Car Producers Form Blockchain Alliance

Major global car producers, BMW, General Motors, Ford, and Renault have joined with other companies to launch the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative.

Also, Bosch, Hyperledger, IOTA, and IBM are part of the project’s 30 strong membership which has been formed to explore the potential of blockchain in the mobility space.

MOBI suggests that the group’s goal is not to create a particular distributed ledger, but create common standards to enable data sharing and make transportation, “safer, more affordable, and widely accessible using blockchain technology.”

The new cooperative aims to enable payments and data-sharing between cars, creating a new digital mobility ecosystem, from ride-sharing to self-driving vehicles and everything in between. MOBI states that it also wants to examine areas such as autonomous cars and ride sharing.

There are other such projects currently operating. French carmaker, Renault, one of the MOBI participants, has joined the R3 research consortium, and German company, Daimler, is part of the Hyperledger project from the Linux Foundation. Also, Japanese maker Toyota has been conducting its own research into utilizing DLT. However, unlike some of these projects, MOBI plans to focus its attention completely on the automotive space and how blockchain can improve it.

Chris Ballinger, CEO of MOBI,  sees the new technology as having a huge impact, maintaining that the car is the next “big data battleground. It’s a trillion-dollar prize.” He comments:

“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles…by bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”

Ballinger points out the importance of data generated inside the car, given that the average commuter spends two hours a day in their car and is often using the internet asking virtual assistants for directions. Also, the data generated by the car itself is significant, with an estimated 25 gigabytes of data an hour being produced by a connected vehicle.

Ballinger maintains:

“That data might be out there, but nobody is sharing it and so the day, when we get safe cars, is probably further away than it otherwise could be.”

 

The post Worlds Largest Car Producers Form Blockchain Alliance appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Science Research Marketplace to Use Blockchain for Pharmaceutical Data Security

Scientist.com, the popular online marketplace for research services, has revealed that is about introduce a blockchain-powered platform designed to track and protect pharmaceutical data.

The new program, Data Smart, will be the site’s first foray into using blockchain applications which provide tracking and protection of medical data. It is a sector which is beginning to entice companies looking to apply blockchain as a replacement for current systems which are fast becoming outmoded.

Online market researcher BIS Research estimates that blockchain in healthcare will reach over USD 5.6 billion by 2025, and some of the biggest beneficiaries of this technology will be pharmaceutical companies, which lose an estimated USD 200 billion to counterfeit drugs each year.

Data from Statista.com shows that in 2017, only 15% of healthcare applications stated their intent to adopt blockchain for commercial deployment, although 50% were still undecided.

Companies such as Pfizer, BlockRx, and Genetech now use the technology to improve security, while more recently, DHL and Accenture have linked to create their own blockchain-based prototype in March to “track pharmaceuticals across the supply chain”.

Data Smart will do exactly this, ensuring “the integrity of information”, stated Scientist in their press release, “In biopharma research, we need blockchain technology to verify and validate the supply chain and to ensure the integrity of research data.”

Another hurdle that Data Smart will overcome is the cost and time adhering to current regulations, which will now be overcome by validating the integrity of the supply chain. Scientist maintains that the application will help to reduce the current pressure being put on biopharma businesses, due to strict US data regulations.

Currently, a number of healthcare institutions are successfully using blockchain technology around the world, ranging from constant tracking in clinical trials, healthcare information, and pharma supply chain solutions.

Dr Christina Czeschik, a physician and specialist in medical informatics argues that there are “few other industries in which so many different viewpoints and agendas need to be reconciled to achieve a common goal” – which, in this case, is good patient care.

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/pill-capsule-flying-many-horde-1884777/ – qimino

 

The post Science Research Marketplace to Use Blockchain for Pharmaceutical Data Security appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.