By Raj Sharma, Forbes Councils May 31, 2018
There’s no doubt that blockchain is a hot topic, with management consultants and blockchain experts routinely featured as keynote speakers and panelists at numerous industry events. You can frequently hear: “Before you go in front of your board or executive team, come up with a business case for blockchain.” Perhaps you might have heard this variation on the theme: “Don’t try to sell the technology, it has to be about the business problem that blockchain solves.” It is a common practice to repeat this mantra every time a new technology starts to show promise and everyone starts to jump on the bandwagon. It is particularly difficult to address these questions in the context of blockchain, which is why consultants and enterprises keep fumbling around for a business case.
Blockchain is a transparent, immutable ledger of contracts embedded in digital code that cannot be altered. It is a shared database that timestamps every transaction that occurs. Blockchain enables direct exchange of value between A and B without the need for the middlemen — be it a central authority, broker or notary.
However, despite all the technological advantages it offers, in its purest form, blockchain may not have a place within the confines of an enterprise.
More at: Is There A Business Case For Blockchain? – Forbes Tech #CyberSecurity
May 31, 2018
Complaint charges self-described ‘blockchain evangelist’ Titanium President Michael Alan Stollery in ongoing ICO fraud case.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a court order halting an ongoing fraud involving an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised as much as $21 million from investors in and outside the US. The court also approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc, the firm behind the alleged scheme.
More at: SEC charges ‘blockchain evangelist’ behind alleged $21 million scam – The Global Legal Post
By Ken Silva May 31, 2018
With underlying tech pioneered by data and analytics marketplace Experfy, in the Harvard Innovation Lab, the Cayman Islands-based Expercoin is launching an initial coin offering (ICO), with a private presale beginning on June 1, to help build a decentralized education platform.
According to Expercoin, its platform will use blockchain technology to support upskilling, assessments, mentorships, and peer-to-peer financial aid.
Having built a leading AI-powered platform that combines work and upskilling for Fortune 500s, the Experfy team is now launching Expercoin, which will decentralize its technology stack through a new corporate entity, the company stated.
More at: Harvard’s Experfy Launches ICO for Blockchain Education Platform – Blockchain News
By John Moore May 31, 2018
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple (the company) has spoken about breaking bitcoin’s hold on prices in the wider cryptocurrency markets.
As analysts continue to search for a way to both predict the machinations of the cryptocurrency markets, and Bitcoin et al‘s effect on other financial indicators such as the stock market, Ripple (the company) CEO Brad Garlinghouse is claiming that the world’s first – and still number 1 – crypto could soon lose its influence over the price of other cryptocurrencies.
It’s a widely accepted truism that, when Bitcoin rises in price it drags up the value of other cryptocurrencies – certainly the major ones – with it. However, Garlinghouse – interviewed by CNBC – believes that “over time you’ll see a more rational market and behaviors that reflect that.”
More at: Ripple boss says “more rational market” will see cryptos come out from BTC’s shadow – Crypto News Review
By Yimian Wu May 29, 2018
Police in Jinan, Shangdong province has arrested a gang of more than ten suspects involved in a RMB300 (US$46.8 million) million pyramid scheme that masked itself as a blockchain project, in yet another scam case reported by local media.
Similar to many earlier cases disclosed by local police across the country, the suspects told members that by paying different levels of membership fees, they could obtain different amount of original shares and dividends of their blockchain-based peer-to-peer platform.
The continued discoveries and arrests of crime groups using the name of blockchain reflects the level of enthusiasm on the part of small investors to participate in the blockchain hype, despite repeated warnings from police and governments.
More at: Chinese Police Bust $47M Pyramid Scheme Masked As Blockchain Project – China Money Network
By Cindy Huynh May 29, 2018
A publicity stunt that involved a cryptocurrency ICO and a Mount Everest climb came to a tragic end when a Sherpa died on the journey.
According to CNBC, ASKfm, sponsored four “cryptocurrency enthusiasts” to hike Mount Everest. The hikers were asked to place a hard drive that contained $50,000 worth of ASKfm’s digital tokens which currently have no value on top of the mountain. The Mount Everest climb was part of an initial coin offering (ICO) marketing stunt.
As reported by the Financial Times, ASKfm mentioned that:
“Of course, there were issues…two guys were stuck at above 7,000 meters with no reserve oxygen for all of that time. Under extreme temperatures and unable to descend, they had during the second day to call for a helicopter squad to rescue. Now they’re both safe and receiving treatment. And strong have made such as move.”
Unfortunately, Lam Babu Sherpa, a local Nepalese Guide who assisted the ASKfm group, died on the dangerous hike. He had a lot of experience climbing and had reached the top of the mountain many times in the past. The Ministry of Tourism of Nepal stated that the sherpa had experienced snow blindness; when one experiences a temporary loss of vision due to the reflection from the sun’s UV rays from the snow.
More at: Mount Everest Cryptocurrency Stunt Ends in Tragedy – [blokt]
By Martin Young May 29, 2018
Chinese internet and cyber security research firm 360 reported a series of high risk vulnerabilities in the EOS blockchain platform a couple of hours ago. According to China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, some of these vulnerabilities can remotely execute arbitrary code on the EOS node, meaning that remote attacks can directly control and take over all nodes running on EOS.
The Weibo post went on to state;
“On the early morning of the 29th, 360 first reported the vulnerability to EOS officials and helped them repair the security risks. The person in charge of the EOS network said that the EOS network will not be officially launched until these issues are fixed.”
More at: Security Researchers Discover Multiple Epic Vulnerabilities in EOS Blockchain – NewsBTC
May 24, 2108
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 24
Translation by Jonathan Chong [Chinese version 中文版]
About US$1.3 billion has been invested in blockchain companies in the first five months this year, surpassing the amount of venture capital in the field for the whole of 2017, Crunchbase reports.
A number of large funding rounds related to blockchain technology have been reported this year.
Orbs, an Israeli startup that offers blockchain as a service for consumer brands, raised US$118 million.
Ledger Wallet, a Paris-based bitcoin wallet maker, raised US$75 million; Project Shivom, a German company that applies blockchain technology to genomics, raised US$32 million; and blockchain analysis platform Chainalysis raised US$16 million.
More at: VC blockchain investment hits US$1.3 bln, topping 2017 funding – ejinsight
By Ashish Bhatnagar May 24, 2018
Cryptocurrency networks seem to be on the target of some organized criminals these days. It was only two days ago when I reported that Japanese cryptocurrency Monacoin suffered from a selfish mining attack recently, and yesterday there was the news of Verge suffering from a DDoS attack. However, the worst doesn’t seem to be over yet, as now news has broken about a 3rd major altcoin that suffered from double spending attack. This brings the number of coins suffering from cyberattacks within this week to 3.
The altcoin we’re talking about is Bitcoin Gold. With a market cap of $795 million as of now it’s 24th largest cryptocurrency in the world. However, that sort of scale didn’t stop hackers from taking over 51% of its network for a double-spending attack. Let me tell you what happened in detail.
More at: Hacking Continues: Now Bitcoin Gold Suffers from Double Spending Attack With Exchanges Losing As Much As $18 Million – Crypto-News India
By Anthony Cuthbertson May 18, 2018
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has given another powerful endorsement of cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology, hailing its revolutionary potential at a conference on Thursday.
Speaking on stage at the WeAreDevelopers World Congress in Vienna, Mr Wozniak said he believed the blockchain will have a huge impact on the technology sector, hailing it as “the next major IT revolution that is about to happen.”
Despite his positive outlook for bitcoin and blockchain, Mr Wozniak said in a separate interview at the event that he was “bothered by what technology has become,” referencing Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.
More at: Apple founder Steve Wozniak hails bitcoin and blockchain as ‘next major IT revolution’ – The Independent