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Korean Government-Backed Researchers File for Blockchain Patent


A South Korean government-funded organization has submitted a blockchain-related patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), public documents show.

The application, which was submitted by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) on January 10 of this year, details a blockchain-powered system for managing data that belongs to public organizations.

More specifically, the system, fueled by a number of servers, would record the financial transaction history of a public organization on a blockchain. To boost the system's reliability, a third-party server is also introduced to the structure as it does «a mathematical operation.»

At the heart of the concept is an effort to boost transparency around information tied to public organizations.

As the application explains:

«An income history or an expenditures history of the public organizations that enforce the national budget and non-profit organizations that raise donations needs to be transparently managed. However, even though there are many possibilities that the server may be attacked or manipulated/tampered internally, it is difficult for ordinary citizens or donors to know the income history and the expenditures history of public organizations.»

Alongside the U.S. patent, ETRI submitted a similar application to the Korean Intellectual Property Office in January 2017.

The application is a notable example of a government-funded organization moving to obtain patent rights around an application of blockchain.

ETRI, according to its official site, was founded in 1976 and is one of the most elite research organizations in the field of telecommunication in South Korea. It's also an active patent-seeker, its published data shows, with more than 10,000 patent applications submitted thus far.

Lawmakers to Discuss If Crypto Is 'The Future of Money' Next Week


Cryptocurrencies will take center stage once again on Capitol Hill next week.

The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee announced Thursday that it would host a hearing titled «The Future of Money: Digital Currency» on Wednesday, July 18.

Though the Committee, headed by Chairman Jeb Hensarling, has yet to announce a full list of participating witnesses, CoinDesk confirmed that the event will be livestreamed on its website.

Past hearings by the Committee have seen lawmakers discuss cryptocurrencies through the lenses of terrorism financing and fraudulent investments, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

That being said, it seems the topic of next week's hearing is more geared towards debating the utility of cryptocurrencies as a form of money.

It is a timely topic in light of an increasing interest in cryptocurrencies as a potentially useful monetary tool for governments and more specifically, central banks, around the world. In March, the Bank of International Settlements, what some consider as the central bank to central banks, argued cryptocurrencies backed by central banks could in fact fuel faster bank runs during periods of financial instability.

Other countries including Canada, Finland and South Korea have weighed in on the matter, though responses have been mixed with trepidation.

Police Seize $1.5 Million in Crypto During FIFA Gambling Crackdown


Local police officials in China seized more than $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies as part of a crackdown on gambling during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Chinese state-run media outlet Xinhua reported on July 11 that authorities first noticed the unnamed gambling platform in May following advertisements that claimed it would «accept international recognized cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether and litecoin» in order to draw in users. An investigation was launched soon after, according to the outlet.

The special investigation team discovered that the site, based overseas, utilized a traditional online gambling model coupled with cryptocurrency payments. Xinhua cited «regulatory loopholes» by which the site was able to secure profits by hiding proceeds using those currencies.

All told, over the course of eight months, some 333,000 users used the site, which reportedly saw an estimated transaction volume of at least $1.5 billion.

Now, authorities have arrested six organizers of the site and confiscated $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies as well as $750,000 in renminbi deposits from their bank accounts.

A spokesperson from the police department in Guangdong province said that the task force will continue working to«maintain a highly concentrated attention» on cracking down online soccer gambling and advised soccer fans to watch the games «rationally and consciously.»

New Power Rates Approved for Crypto Miners in Upstate New York


A municipal utility provider in New York got the green light from state regulators to create a new set of electricity rates for cryptocurrency miners.

The move by the The New York State Public Service Commission was announced Thursday, allowing the Massena Electric Department to «allow high-density load customers, such as cryptocurrency companies, to qualify for service under an individual service agreement.»

While primarily an administrative move, it's a potentially significant development for cryptocurrency miners hoping to tap the hydroelectrical resources located in New York.

A senior official for the commission said that the decision was based on a desire to balance the need to charge «fair» rates while also attracting business to the region.

Commission chairman John Rhodes said in a statement:

«We must ensure that business customers pay a fair price for the electricity that they consume. However, given the abundance of low-cost electricity in upstate New York, there is an opportunity to serve the needs of existing customers and to encourage economic development in the region.»

The newly approved rule will allow any electricity customers with a maximum demand of electricity over 300 kilowatt-hours to qualify for service under a negotiated contract. The contracts will be reviewed by Massena's municipal utility and must «protect existing customers from increased supply costs resulting from the new service.»

Thursday's move wasn't the first of its kind out of the Commission – earlier this year, the body approved a bid to levy miners with higher rates in the form of a new tariff.

The decision came in response to a petition filed by the New York Municipal Power Agency (NYMPA), which expressed concern that local residents may experience higher rates due to the higher-than-average consumption rates of miners.

OKCoin Exchange Launches in US Offering Fiat-to-Crypto Trading


Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has launched a branch in the U.S. market offering trading services between U.S. dollars and several major cryptocurrencies.

According to OKCoin's website on Friday, the exchange has already launched the new offering and is now accepting U.S. dollars deposits and withdrawals, as well as trading against bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum and ethereum classic.

For the new offshoot, the company filed a money service business (MSB) registration with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in November 2017. The document shows that the legal entity behind the exchange is called OKCoin USA Inc. and is based in Mountain View, California.

However, OKCoin states on its website that the fiat-to-crypto trading service is currently limited to investors in California – a limitation indicated in the initial MSB filing.

The news follows a report weeks ago revealing a similar move by Huobi, which launched a purely crypto-to-crypto trading service this month for all 50 states in the U.S. through a partner entity dubbed HBUS.

Earlier this year, HBUS also filed an MSB registration with FinCEN. However, Li Lin, co-founder and chief executive of Huobi, noted at the time that registering with FinCEN does not resolve all of the possible regulatory issues that come with operating within the U.S.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, both OKCoin and Huobi were once two of the three major crypto exchanges in China before the notable trading ban issued by the People's Bank of China in September 2017.

Following the regulatory clampdown, the exchanges shifted their businesses overseas with a focus largely on crypto-to-crypto trading.

Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash Are Latest Crypto Additions to Robinhood Investing App


U.S.-based mobile stock trading app Robinhood has added two new cryptocurrencies to its no-fee trading service.

The company said in an announcement on Thursday that litecoin and bitcoin cash have been added for Robinhood Crypto users following strong demand from customers for crypto assets beyond the current options of bitcoin and ethereum.

As part of the announcement, Robinhood also claimed it now has over 5 million users on the platform following expansion of its crypto trading service to 17 U.S. states.

The news follows a report in May that Robinhood raised $363 million in a Series D funding round, which the company said would allow it to offer more crypto trading pairs in more markets in the U.S.

At the time, Robinhood Crypto was available in 10 states. Since then, crypto trading has been opened up across Utah, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey and Texas.

The company's co-founder and co-CEO Baiju Bhatt previously said he expects Robinhood Crypto to be able to cover the entire U.S. by the end of 2018 as part of a plan to become one of the largest cryptocurrency platforms.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, Robinhood launched the crypto trading service in February, offering bitcoin and ethereum trading pairs in five states.

GiantCoin


Giant is a decentralized options exchange that is built on blockchain technology, which allows you making money by predicting exchange rate of the top cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC.

GiantCoin (GIC) is a cryptocurrency designed to work with the Giant exchange. Placing of an option and getting a reward are available only in GIC. You can buy GIC on an exchange, mine it and earn passive income by running a masternode.

Giant secure the blockchain and provide different services for the network like instant transactions, privacy and for this, each masternode receive a financial compensation, so called rewards. To create a masternode an investor need to block 1000 GIC as collateral deposit that can be considered as an investment since he will be rewarded in GIC coins for this.

Check out all the profits on the site GiantCoin.

ClearCost



ClearCost is a global project with its mission reflected in the name.

ClearCost allows its consumers to receive goods and services without paying for advertising costs and sellers’ super-profits.

To become a member of the club you can pay an annual fee on the site. However, getting it with
CCWT tokens is about four times more profitable, and this ratio will grow.

You can find more details about this unique project on ClearCost

Crypto Exchange Gemini Hires Former NYSE Tech Chief


Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has hired former New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chief information officer Robert Cornish to serve as its first chief technology officer.

The exchange, founded by investor-brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced Friday that Cornish would be in charge of Gemini's technology team and strategy, according to a press release. Further, Cornish will be overseeing the deployment of Nasdaq's SMARTS Market Surveillance, a benchmark for «real-time and T1» solutions for market surveillance.

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Cloud Provider Xunlei Launches Blockchain File System


Chinese technology company Xunlei Limited, known to some as the BitTorrent of China, announced Friday that it has launched a new distributed file system aimed at supporting blockchain platforms.

The ThunderChain File System (TCFS), as well as three ThunderChain Request for Comments (TRC) standards, will help support blockchain development, the company said in statements. The new file system, in particular, aims to combine features of existing platforms like IPFS and filecoin, while adding new security and flexibility tools.

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