Bitcoin and Ethereum Have a Hidden Power Structure, and It’s Just Been Revealed – MIT Technology Review

By Mike Orcutt    January 18, 2018

Close examination reveals how power is being consolidated across their networks.

In cryptocurrency circles, calling something “centralized” is an insult. The epithet stems from Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s revelation: a monetary system doesn’t need a central authority, like a government, to work. That’s such a potent idea that it’s morphed into a battle among crypto-enthusiasts between good—that is, “decentralized”— currencies and evil ones, or anything with a whiff of “centralization,” that are assumed to threaten the utopian view of cryptocurrencies as the vehicle for a new financial world order.

Do these arguments hold any water? Emin Gün Sirer, a cryptocurrency expert at Cornell University, says in many cases the jury’s still out—mainly because no one’s bothered to take a hard look at how decentralized these networks actually are.

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“We don’t have any real metrics yet.” he says. His group aims to help change that with newly published results from a two-year-long study focused on Bitcoin and Ethereum, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency networks.

More at: Bitcoin and Ethereum Have a Hidden Power Structure, and It’s Just Been Revealed – MIT Technology Review


US exchange giant launches cryptocurrency data feed – Financial News

By Clare Dickinson    January 18, 2018

Intercontinental Exchange has launched a data feed for bitcoin and other virtual currencies, as the world biggest financial institutions start to build a professional framework for trading the volatile assets.

ICE Data Services has teamed up with Blockstream — which provides blockchain technology, a type of distributed ledger that backs virtual currencies — to offer the real-time feed from 15 trading venues.

It will include leading cryptocurrencies measured against the US dollar and other major currencies, according to a statement from ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.

Lynn Martin, the president and chief operating officer of ICE Data Services, said: “With the broad array of cryptocurrencies and exchanges, and given the price variances between exchanges, it’s critical that investors have a comprehensive source of pricing information.”

The move by ICE comes shortly after two of its rivals, CME Group and Cboe Global Markets, launched trading in futures contracts. And this week Goldman Sachs’s chief financial officer R. Martin Chavez said on the bank’s earnings call that it is aiming to offer clearing in the contracts after receiving requests from clients.

More at: US exchange giant launches cryptocurrency data feed – Financial News

Hyperledger’s Behlendorf: 2018 Will Bring Breakthrough Blockchain Developments –

By Jessie Willms, Bitcoin Magazine    January 17, 2018


Brian Behlendorf is confident that 2018 will be a peak year, not only for Hyperledger – the international consortium of companies and organizations developing open source, permissioned blockchain technology – but also for blockchain technology in general as businesses and governments recognize the potential power of distributed ledgers and smart contracts.

“2018 will be the year that Hyperledger and blockchain come into their own. Projects demonstrating real world solutions, like Change Healthcare , that will enable healthcare systems to better and more efficiently process claims and payments, will launch this year.”

Hyperledger, founded in 2015, incubates and promotes blockchain technologies for business, including distributed ledgers, client libraries, graphical interfaces and smart contract engines.

More at: Hyperledger’s Behlendorf: 2018 Will Bring Breakthrough Blockchain Developments –

Global IT Spending Rebound is Here to Stay Per Gartner –

By Zacks Equity Research    January 17, 2018

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.68 trillion in 2018, a 4.5% increase from the $3.53 billion recorded in 2017, as per a recent report by the information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner Inc. IT . This will represent back-to-back the second year-over-year growth in spending on information technology after witnessing two consecutive years of decline. Notably, in 2015 and 2016, worldwide spending declined 5.5% and 0.6%, respectively.

Per the predictions of the research firm, the turnaround in global IT spending, which started last year, will keep its momentum alive at least till the next year. Gartner forecasts this spending to reach $3.78 trillion in 2019, representing year-over-year growth of 2.7% from the current-year level. If this happens, overall IT spending will cross the previous highest mark of $3.71 trillion reached in 2014.

More at: Global IT Spending Rebound is Here to Stay Per Gartner –

Poland is Developing National Cryptocurrency – Finance Magnates

By Arnab Shome    January 17, 2018

The Polish government hopes this will revolutionize payments and the banking systems.

When it comes to the blockchain technology development in Europe, Poland is very progressive. The Polish Blockchain Technology Accelerator (PATB), which operates under the patronage of the Ministry of Digitalization, has revealed that one of its team is working on the development of a digitized national cryptocurrency, called Digital PLN (dPLN), as reported by the Polish daily Puls Biznesu.

Prof. Krzysztof Piech is the initiator of the dPLN project and is leading a team at the Lazarski University in Warsaw, which is working on this. The team had already developed a working basic version of dPLN, and is currently working on the advanced version of the code. The team is also planning to begin the software testing phase in about two weeks.

More at: Poland is Developing National Cryptocurrency – Finance Magnates

IBM shares jump 2% after Barclays upgrade: ‘The worst may finally be over’ – CNBC

By Thomas Franck    January 17, 2018

  • IBM stock rises 2 percent in premarket trading after Barclays upgrades shares to overweight from underweight, citing its strategic initiatives.
  • “IBM could emerge as the next important cloud vendor after Amazon and Azure over time,” analyst Mark Moskowitz says.
  • The analyst raises his price target to $192 from $133, representing 17 percent upside from Tuesday’s close.
  • IBM reports earnings Thursday after the bell.

. . .

As one of the technologies highlighted by Moskowitz, blockchain may also be an area in which IBM could capitalize. It currently has 1,500 employees assigned to developing blockchain, hoping to leverage the popular technology with Walmart to address food safety.

“Eighty-four percent of chief investment officers plan to use multiple cloud vendors and IBM’s initiatives with both blockchain and analytics could help the company become a more competitive vendor for certain cloud workloads,” Moskowitz said. “Uptake of these solutions would benefit IBM revenue and help scale the company’s cloud segment margin.”

More at: IBM shares jump 2% after Barclays upgrade: ‘The worst may finally be over’ – CNBC

IBM And Maersk Teaming Up To Create New Blockchain Company – Tech Times

By Jean-Pierre Chigne    January 17, 2018

IBM and Danish shipping company Maersk announced that they will be involved in a joint venture to create a new blockchain company focusing on global trade. The two companies have been working together for some time.

The relationship began in 2016, with both companies creating a partnership to digitize supply chain using blockchain technology.

Shipping Blockchain

The new company will be based in New York owned exclusively by both companies. Maersk will own the majority at 51 percent, and IBM will own 49 percent. It will focus on international shipping. It aims to help those involved with global supply chains track shipments and replace paperwork.

IBM and Maersk first test with the blockchain was during their initial partnership in 2016. Both traced a container of flowers from Mombasa, Kenya, to Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After several tests, both saw the capabilities of the technology.

More at: IBM And Maersk Teaming Up To Create New Blockchain Company – Tech Times