How blockchain solves the complicated data-ownership problem – TNW

Every minute of every day, billions of users are dutifully generating terabytes of data on the internet, from tweets to Facebook posts and Google searches, emails and chat messages, content, music, videos and much more. This data is either directly worth money or can be used to fuel business processes.

However, you have little or no ownership over the digital information that you create or the value that derives from it. All of it goes into the gaping maws of tech giants and corporations that use it to monetize their services.

The reason for this is the centralized architecture that has dominated internet services for the past decades. Under this model, you have to entrust our digital information to brokers such as Facebook and Google. These companies store our data, guarantee its security and integrity, and leverage it to improve their services. But they also use it for other business purposes, often without your consent and giving you little choice. If the broker decides to close down your account, or if their servers fail, all your data goes with it.

Blockchain technology provides an alternative that gives the ownership of data back to users. Blockchain is a decentralized database where data is replicated across several unrelated nodes. No single node can act as a gatekeeper and assume control of your data. Transactions in the ledger are stored in a permanent and verifiable way. Users who store information on the blockchain retain access to it through encryption keys, independent of the service or application that generated it.

Many companies are leveraging the blockchain to provide new business models and platforms where users are in full control and can decide which applications and services can access their data.

More at: How blockchain solves the complicated data-ownership problem – TNW

Singaporean Shipping Giants Partner IBM for Blockchain Trial – Cryptocoins News

Two major Singaporean maritime companies have inked a deal with technology giant IBM to explore and trial blockchain technology for supply chain networks.

Singaporean shipping giant Pacific International Lines (PIL), one of Asia’s largest shipowners, and the Port Authority of Singapore (PSA), one of the world’s largest port operators, have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) are jumping on the blockchain bandwagon with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IBM Singapore.

The three parties will unite to work on proof-of-concept blockchain solutions to enhance the security, transparency and efficiency of the supply chain network in south eastern Asia.

Singapore is among the world’s largest hubs for trade and travelers whilst commonly seen as the gateway to Asia from the west. Any implementation of blockchain technology for regional supply chain operations and trade finance will prove to be a significant endorsement of the decentralized innovation most prominently known as the core technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

More at: Singaporean Shipping Giants Partner IBM for Blockchain Trial – Cryptocoins News

Blockchain-Based Ad Network AdEx Teams Up with the NEO Smart Contracts System – Press Release – CoinSpeaker

Press Release

AdEx Network has just announced its technical partnership with the smart economy platform NEO.

The AdEx team has just released the AdEx Core – the base smart contract that will power the advertising network. The team has explored the NEO smart contract system and has evaluated it as very well-designed and more beneficial for its operations, therefore it is committed to porting the AdEx Core to NEO.

Furthermore, the AdEx management believes that such a collaboration will be incredibly favourable for the NEO ecosystem as well, being one of the first decentralized applications (DApps) to ever run on NEO.

. . .

The NEO project is evolving rapidly. Founded under the name Antshares in 2014, today it has rebranded and grown to become China’s first and largest open source blockchain with the ambitious plan to outperform Ethereum”. NEO’s smart contract code will support digital identities, decentralized commerce and asset digitization, thus introducing the concept of “Smart Economy”. Following the rebranding, the NEO token price has exploded, serving as a testament to the project’s worth.

More at: Blockchain-Based Ad Network AdEx Teams Up with the NEO Smart Contracts System – Press Release – CoinSpeaker

Blockchain technology could extend to oil and gas transportation – Houston Business Journal

The oil and gas industry has seen huge advances in the extraction of resources, thanks to cutting edge technologies like fracking. But it hasn’t exactly been a leader when it comes to digital adoption.

That could change, at least when it comes to the blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin. Though they are slower to adopt the technology than those experimenting with it in finance and tech, some oil and gas industry players are exploring ways the technology could be used for everything from commodities trading to tracking flows coming from oil and gas fields.

More at: Blockchain technology could extend to oil and gas transportation – Houston Business Journal

Expelling Digital Demons from U.S. Sensitive Supply Chains – The Cipher Brief

If the U.S. Department of Defense were an economy unto itself, it would be the 20th largest in the world. Like any other advanced modern economy, it is deeply integrated with the entire globe, its supply chains often stretching into countries with whom the United States has adversarial relations.

The open manner with which U.S. national security enterprises bid for goods and services can be exploited by U.S. adversaries seeking to inject counterfeit or malicious components into sensitive electronic hardware. The unprecedented challenge of policing the vast and complex supply chains for such hardware will require radical innovation in technology and governance to ensure that the rules-based system of international trade that the U.S. has long championed is not degraded into a chaotic arena of unrestricted economic warfare.

. . .

The complexity and scale of the transactions that comprise U.S. sensitive supply chains create a kind of informational fog in which adversaries can hide. However, if the information associated with each such transaction can be projected onto a timely and granular digital dataspace, the U.S. can harness the power of modern machine learning methods to identify suspicious activities within its supply chains at scale. Although there are many technologies with which this dataspace can be constructed, we believe the blockchain has, even in its nascence, demonstrated that it has the economy, security, and power that make it the ideal technology for this purpose.

More at: Expelling Digital Demons from U.S. Sensitive Supply Chains – The Cipher Brief

A Bitcoin Is Worth $4,000–Why You Probably Should Not Own One – Forbes Leadership #CuttingEdge

Even though most people don’t even know what they are, Bitcoins increased in value from about $570 to over $4,300 — an astounding 750% — in just the last year.  Because of this huge return, more people are becoming interested in possibly owning some Bitcoins hoping to make a fast fortune.  That would be very risky.

More at: A Bitcoin Is Worth $4,000–Why You Probably Should Not Own One – Forbes Leadership #CuttingEdge

Money Management Firm Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fad’ then Files for Bitcoin ETF – Cryptocoins News

Money management firm VanEck has filed for a bitcoin ETF despite claiming that the digital currency was a ‘fad.’

Regardless of the recent user activated hard fork (UAHF), which saw the creation of bitcoin cash, bitcoin’s value has soared. Over the weekend, the digital currency jumped to over $4,000 for the first time, quadrupling its value since the beginning of 2017.

However, despite claims that bitcoin’s price is similar to the 17th century Dutch tulip mania, it appears the rising interest in the digital currency is presenting a high-risk opportunity that is too good to miss.

This is the case for VanEck.

According to a report from CNBC, Joe Foster, portfolio manager and strategist for VanEck’s flagship International Investors of Gold Fund (INIVX), he said that bitcoin would never ‘replicate or replace’ gold.

Foster said:

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are a fad that has attracted the attention of programmers, speculators, and early adaptors.

He added that he didn’t think governments would permit digital currencies to reach the level required to challenge fiat currencies, claiming:

At best, digital currencies may eventually occupy some middle ground as a niche product. At worst, they become a failed experiment that ends in tears.

Now, though, in a complete reversal, the money management firm has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a VanEck Vectors Bitcoin Strategy ETF. Initially investing in bitcoin future contracts it will trade on the Nasdaq.

More at: Money Management Firm Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fad’ then Files for Bitcoin ETF – Cryptocoins News