Blockchain Startup Slapped with Cease-and-Decease Order – EconoTimes

May 24, 2018

The state of South Carolina slapped a cease-and-desist order to a blockchain startup due to an alleged statute violation. The company is called ShipChain and is involved in freight product tracking using ethereum-based blockchain tech. It’s also a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, which counts, FedEx, and other major companies in the shipping industry among its echelon.

To be specific, the order highlights that ShipChain continuously proffered investment opportunities to South Carolina residents via digital token despite the startup being unregistered to conduct such business. If the order passes, it will mandate ShipChain to cease “participating in any aspect of the securities industry in or from the State of South Carolina.”

The fledgling shipping business has 30 days to request a hearing on the case. When granted audience, the startup can dispute that the tokens offered do not qualify as an unregistered securities offering. The company writes on its website that customers can pay via tokens to book freights for shipping products. The tokens are the only form of payment that the platform acknowledge.

In Texas, a Bitcoin investment startup has also been hit with a cease-and-desist order earlier this month due to the company conducting business without being registered to the proper agency. The order outlined that the startup lured investors with blinding numbers that return on their investments is 100 percent guarantee in just 21 days with no risk whatsoever. This type of businesses are classic scams that are taking advantage of the growing popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

More at: Blockchain Startup Slapped with Cease-and-Decease Order – EconoTimes

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Receives an Offer to Join Google’s Mysterious Blockchain Project – CoinSpeaker

By Bhushan Akolkar      May 24, 2018

Vitalik Buterin created an opinion poll trying to decide whether take an offer and join Google’s team or stay at Ethereum. The majority backs the second alternative.

Founder of the second largest cryptocurrency (Ethereum) – Vitalik Buterin has been recently approached by Google with a proposition to join the company and help the tech giant in their mysterious blockchain project. Buterin was quick to post the screenshot of the email and tweeted it on his official handle asking his followers, in a poll, whether he should be taking the job offer.

The screenshot revealed that a Google recruiter – Elizabeth Garcia has approached him in an email that states: “Hi Vitalik, I hope you are doing well and enjoying the weekend! […] Google make sense for you now or in the near future […].” In addition to the recruiter name, the screenshot also revealed information about the recruiter’s email address and her photo.

Along with the screenshot, Buterin had attached a poll asking his followers “Should I drop Ethereum and work for Google?” Before the poll was deleted, the poll had 2000 followers already voted, of which nearly 60% believed that he should not be taking the offer while the remaining 40% believed that he should join Google. One of the key reasons for Buterin to take down the tweet was because he failed to keep the recruiter’s details confidential.

More at: Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Receives an Offer to Join Google’s Mysterious Blockchain Project – CoinSpeaker

Amazon Launches Blockchain Cloud Partnership With Ethereum Studio ConsenSys’ Kaleido

Blockchain News      May 16, 2018

Amazon has partnered with blockchain incubator ConsenSys to enable its customers to build and manage their own blockchain platforms in an easy-to-use manner with ConsenSys’ Ethereum-based cloud platform called Kaleido.

The move is part of an effort to make blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, more accessible to customers of Amazon Web Services, the cloud-computing arm of

“Introducing Kaleido to AWS customers is going to help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves,” Amazon Web Services said in a statement.

More at: Amazon Launches Blockchain Cloud Partnership With Ethereum Studio ConsenSys’ Kaleido – ccn

Nokia Is Letting Consumers Monetize Their Data with Blockchain – CoinDesk

By David Floyd      May 16, 2018

Blockchain data platform Streamr is partnering with Finnish telecom giant Nokia and California software company OSIsoft to allow mobile customers to monetize their user data and make purchases.

Chief executive Henri Pihkala announced the partnerships at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference Wednesday, while also conducting a live launch of its real-time data marketplace, through which users can provide and subscribe to real-time data streams.

He said in a statement that “today marks a hugely significant day in Streamr’s history, not only showcasing our platform to the world on-stage at Consensus but announcing two stellar partnerships.”

The partnership with Nokia will see Nokia’s Kuha base stations integrate with Streamr’s data marketplace, allowing Nokia customers to both monetize their user data and purchase streams from Internet of Things devices.

More at: Nokia Is Letting Consumers Monetize Their Data with Blockchain – CoinDesk

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Unveils Common Blockchain Standards – CoinDesk

By Stan Higgins      May 16, 2018

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the release of a common technical specification on Wednesday, fulfilling a pledge the group made less than a month ago at an event in London.

Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification 1.0, unveiled during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York, comes weeks after Jeremy Millar, a founding board member of the 500-plus-member group, spoke about the importance of common standards as a way to connect development efforts across the enterprise-focused, ethereum-based initiative.

It’s a significant moment for the group, which launched at the start of last year with backing from major corporates like British oil giant BP, Wall Street bank JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, as well as stakeholders in the blockchain work such as ethereum startup studio ConsenSys, Nuco and BlockApps, among others. CoinDesk first reported on the group’s work in January 2017.

More at: Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Unveils Common Blockchain Standards – CoinDesk

Taiwan Bank Deploys Ethereum-Based Blockchain Payments System – CCN

(no byline)      May 15, 2018

The Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, a private commercial Taiwanese bank, has reportedly launched a blockchain-powered payments system for retail usage, a first in the country.

According to a local report by the Taipei Times, the private-sector bank announced the deployment of the payment system for local restaurants and merchants on Sunday after commencing development of the platform in March 2017. Specifically, the bank is rolling out the blockchain payments system in merchant establishments and eateries near theNational Chengchi University, a national research university based in the country’s capital.

The bank first inked a partnership with the university in March 2017, announcing a joint-project dubbed the ‘Key Technology and Engineering R&D for Blockchain Payment Network’. During trials at the university’s own campus, the blockchain payment platform helped transaction volumes among participating merchants selling lunch-time meals to students grow four-fold.

According to a local report, the payments platform runs on the Ethereum blockchain by utilizing the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm, enabling it to scale and drastically reduce transaction times and costs.

More at: Taiwan Bank Deploys Ethereum-Based Blockchain Payments System – CCN

Smart Contracts: The Future of Contracts, Brought To You By Blockchain – Above the Law

By Olga V. Mack      May 14, 2018

Smart contracts are a transformative new technology that can revolutionize the way businesses process deals.

If you’ve been following this series on blockchain, you now know blockchain’s disruption beyond bitcoin, how that disruption is affecting different industries, and how to get yourself ready for that cross-industry disruption. Now, it’s time to delve into another exciting application of blockchain: smart contracts. Smart contracts are a transformative new technology that can revolutionize the way businesses process deals.

So What’s Ethereum, Anyway?

Simply put, Ethereum is a cryptocurrency you can use to build “smart contracts.” You may be thinking, if contracts start getting smart, how long do I have my job as a lawyer? Spoiler alert: The term “smart contracts” is a mis-descriptive term, at least to some extent. Smart contracts are neither “smart,” nor really “contracts,” at least not in the classic sense of the word! First, we must explore the concept of “trust” and the related concept of “permanence.” Then, we will discuss the word “contract.” Understanding these terms is the secret to understanding “smart contracts” and harnessing their power.

More at: Smart Contracts: The Future of Contracts, Brought To You By Blockchain – Above the Law

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Discusses Bitcoin Bubble and Blockchain Fame – BTCMANAGER

By Samantha Chang      April 23, 2018

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is reportedly worth more than $400 million, but he’s nonchalant about his vast wealth. The 24-year-old, says today’s bitcoin millionaires became rich mostly through luck, although most won’t admit it.

The Difference Between Intelligence and Luck

Cryptocurrency bulls like to think they’re smarter than “the masses” for buying crypto before it became trendy, but Buterin says no one could have foreseen the bitcoin bubble and ensuing riches it bestowed on early adopters.

“It’s the luck of the draw, where everyone who won the draw seems to feel like they deserved it for being smarter,” Buterin told the Financial Times April 19, 2018. “[They think] ‘I was loyal and I was virtuous, and I held through, and therefore I deserve to have my five mansions and 23 Lambos!’”

This sentiment is not the first time that Buterin has mocked the “When Lambo?” trend popular among new crypto millionaires. He finds the obsession with cryptocurrency prices and get-rich-quick schemes unseemly. In fact, Vitalik is aloof regarding the daily price swings of bitcoin and ether, Ethereum’s native currency.

When Buterin’s net worth started ballooning into the millions, his first thought wasn’t, “Yay, I get more stuff!” he recalled. “It’s more certainty that I won’t have to worry about money for a long time.”

Buterin: We’re Sort Of In A Bubble

While skeptics dismiss bitcoin as a bubble that’s bursting, even crypto evangelists like Buterin concede that we are in a bubble-like environment.

“We’ve created a culture where some totally random project raising something like $8 million is like, ‘Oh, yeah that’s peanuts,’” he says. “[That’s how you know] you know you’re in a bubble!”

More at: Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Discusses Bitcoin Bubble and Blockchain Fame – BTCMANAGER

Ethereum Foundation Awards Millions In New Grant Funding – CoinDesk

By Nikhilesh De      March 8, 2018

The non-profit dedicated to advancing and maintaining ethereum’s software  has officially announced the recipients of its first wave of development grants.

A total of 13 projects received more than $2.5 million combined to work on scalability, security, development experiences, user interface study and other derivatives of the ethereum blockchain, according to a Wednesday announcement.

More at: Ethereum Foundation Awards Millions In New Grant Funding – CoinDesk

Ethereum’s smart contracts are full of holes – MIT Technology Review

By Mike Orcutt      March 1, 2018

Blockchain-powered computer programs promise to revolutionize the digital economy, but new research suggests they’re far from secure.

Computer programs that run on blockchains are shaking up the financial system. But much of the hype around what are called smart contracts is just that. It’s a brand new field. Technologists are just beginning to figure out how to design them so they can be relied on not to lose people’s money, and—as a new survey of Ethereum smart contracts illustrates—security researchers are only now coming to terms with what a smart contract vulnerability even looks like.

More at: Ethereum’s smart contracts are full of holes – MIT Technology Review