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

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 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

Researchers Explore Eclipse Attacks on the Ethereum Blockchain – Nasdaq.com

By Amy Castor, Bitcoin Magazine      March 1, 2018

An eclipse attack is a network-level attack on a blockchain, where an attacker essentially takes control of the peer-to-peer network, obscuring a node’s view of the blockchain.

In a new paper titled ” Low-Resource Eclipse Attacks on Ethereum’s Peer-to-Peer Network ,” Sharon Goldberg, an associate professor at Boston University; Ethan Heilman, a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University; and Yuval Marcus, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, describe a way to carry out an eclipse attack on the Ethereum network.

(The researchers disclosed their attacks to Ethereum on January 9, 2018, and Ethereum developers have already issued a patch – Geth v1.8.1 – to fix the network.)

In speaking with Bitcoin Magazine , Goldberg explained the research, how it compares to Bitcoin eclipse attacks and why she thinks the work is important.

First, she emphasized that working with Ethereum developers to fix the vulnerability was a smooth process. “It was a very functional, easy disclosure,” she said.

More at: Researchers Explore Eclipse Attacks on the Ethereum Blockchain – Nasdaq.com

Islamic Endowments to be Modernized by Blockchain – NewsBTC

By Martin J. Young      February 12, 2018

The potential applications for blockchain technology are seemingly endless. Every day a new startup applies distributed ledger technology and smart contracts that underlie cryptocurrencies to a different world scenario offering new and innovative ways to streamline existing systems. Islamic charitable endowments, called waqf, are the latest to get the blockchain treatment.

According to reports Singapore based fintech firm Finterra has developed a crowdfunding platform that uses blockchain to create smart contracts that would be linked to specific waqf projects. A waqf typically involves donating a building, plot of land, or other assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets. The concept dates back over a thousand years peaking during the Ottoman Empire.

More at: Islamic Endowments to be Modernized by Blockchain – NewsBTC

Blockchain: How to write safe and verifiable smart contracts – International Business Times

By Ian Allison      February 1, 2018

Blockchain platform Zilliqa introduces Scilla, a language for formally verified smart contracts.

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Zilliqa, the public blockchain exploring sharding to increase transaction throughput, has also released Scilla, an intermediate-level language for verified smart contracts.

This new approach provides a clean separation between the communication aspect of smart contracts on a blockchain, and the programming component which is amenable to formal verification.

More at: Blockchain: How to write safe and verifiable smart contracts – International Business Times

What Is DragonChain? – The Merkle

By JP Buntinx      January 31, 2018

The DragonChain project has quickly taken the world by storm in the past few months. This Disney-backed blockchain venture has a lot of potential, assuming the team can get their business in order. The project has been lauded as being the “most secure, flexible, and business-ready blockchain platform.” It is quite a high expectation to live up to, but there is no reason to think this particular project can’t succeed.

DRAGONCHAIN IN A NUTSHELL

There are a lot of business opportunities to explore when it comes to blockchain technology. DragonChain positions itself as a solution which allows users to retain complete control of their data. Sensitive business logic and smart contract functionality will be kept proprietary, for obvious reasons. The platform will operate in a scalable and serverless fashion where established programming languages are compatible from day one. This will certainly be appealing to developers looking to get involved with DragonChain and its features.

More at:  What Is DragonChain? – The Merkle

4 Blockchain Bills Introduced in New York State Assembly – CPA Practice Advisor

By Elizabeth Zima    December 19, 2017

Horrified by reports that the Russians might have hacked voting machines and the fact that one county lost a high number of voter records in 2016, New York Assemblyman Clyde Vanel introduced four bills this past week to prevent this from ever happening in the state.

“In 2016, Kings County lost 120,000 voter records,” Vanel said. “I felt we needed to secure and safeguard our election system. I wondered if blockchain (technology) was the solution.”

According to blog post written by Vanel, blockchain technology is “a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block of information contains a pointer to the previous block of information that represents a transaction of data. By design, these blockchains are resistant to the modification of the data. Additionally, this information can be used on a distributed ledger that is managed by a peer-to-peer network that makes it virtually impossible to hack.”

Because the uses of blockchain technology are largely untested in government records keeping, Vanel introduced three bills to study the technology and the effects it would have on securing voting records, election results and government record storage. Another bill would create a digital currency taskforce to analyze the impact of cryptocurrencies on New York financial markets.

A fourth bill would amend the state’s technology law to include a definition of blockchain technology, smart contracts and provide a legal understanding for digital signatures stored on a blockchain.

“We can’t be too quick to regulate (blockchain), we need to understand it first,” and how it might enhance “record keeping in government,” he said.

More at: 4 Blockchain Bills Introduced in New York State Assembly – CPA Practice Advisor

Blockchain and smart contracts: Pioneers of the energy frontier – International Business Times

By Christopher Burger    December 15, 2017

Digital payments, smart contracts, and data-backed task automation technologies are driving Germany’s energy transformation.

Blockchain is a distributed, digital transaction technology that allows for securely storing data and executing smart contracts in peer-to-peer networks (Swan, 2015, p. IX). This is potentially disruptive, as trusted intermediaries could become obsolete.

Banks and, more generally, the financial sector were the first ones to become aware of the technology via the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which operates on the basis of Blockchain. But with the recently added possibility to conduct smart contracts via a platform called Ethereum, Blockchain has gained increasing attention outside the financial sector. Conferences on Blockchain-based cryptocurrency Bitcoin are flourishing, startup competitions are held to spot the Blockchain equivalent of Amazon and Uber, and venture capital so far has raised $1.1bn to scale business models of the future (Weusecoins.com, 2016).

Meanwhile, another major disruption is occurring in the energy sector. Germany’s energy transformation, or Energiewende, is seen as a role model for the move toward a carbon-neutral energy supply. The process of reshaping the German energy system had already started in the 1990s, when it was decided to expand the share of power generation from largely carbon-neutral – albeit intermittent – renewable energies. In 2011, the German government decided to phase out its nuclear power fleet by 2022, which accelerated the transition.

More at: Blockchain and smart contracts: Pioneers of the energy frontier – International Business Times

What CryptoKitties Reveals About Ethereum Scalability Issues – CryptoCoinsNews

By Jared Polites    December 13, 2017

In case you thought 2017 couldn’t get any weirder, the world is now obsessed with virtual cats. CryptoKitties is a virtual game that allows players to collect and breed digital cats. In the game’s short lifespan (it launched on November 28th) it has already drawn interest from players across the globe. Many users are drawn to the game because it is completely personalized.

The “cats” an individual breeds or collects are uniquely their own and cannot be cloned by other users. When users breed their own cats they can add distinctive colors, facial features, or backgrounds to distinguish their cats from other users’ on the marketplace. Once a cat has been bred, its creator can sell it on the marketplace. As of December 11th, 2017, these virtual cats had generated an estimated $12 million in sales.

Although the trading of virtual cats might seem like a silly, fleeting trend, the transactional aspect may have long-term implications. What really sets CryptoKitties apart from other addictive online games is its Ethereum foundation. The marketplace, developed by AxiomZen, was built on Ethereum’s blockchain ledger, and users buy and sell cats on the protocol using Ethereum’s proprietary token, Ether.

CryptoKitties has quickly become the most popular smart contract on Ethereum, and as of December 10th, 2017, the marketplace accounted for almost 15% of Ethereum’s total network transactions.

More at: What CryptoKitties Reveals About Ethereum Scalability Issues – CryptoCoinsNews