97% OF BLOCKCHAIN STARTUPS ARE ‘CHAINWASHING’ – R3’S TIM SWANSON

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Chainwashing is the perfect term, coined by R3’s Tim Swanson to describe the current “Blockchain, not Bitcoin” hype that is hopefully nearing its peak.  PEAK BLOCKCHAIN HYPE? There is a lot of hype around Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) today. According to a new survey by Synechron among 200 financial services business and IT decision-makers across the US, UK and Europe, over two-thirds (67%) of companies in the industry are actively pursuing blockchain initiatives. Moreover, 94%, believe that key leaders (board members) have bought into developing blockchain projects. Today, the blockchain space resembles the hype of cloud computing a few years ago, where companies can simply throw the “Blockchain” buzzword around simply to get investor attention. What was once known as “cloudwashing,” i.e. rebranding an old product or service by associating the buzzword “cloud,” has now become “Chainwashing,” according to Tim Swanson, Director of Market Research at R3CEV. Swanson noted in a blog post: We think the number of companies with legs will continue to increase over time but chainwashing will continue to be a noise pollution problem for the next few years in the enterprise world even after production systems have been integrated into institutions. Swanson spends much of his time filtering startups that his team at R3 speaks …

Bringing In and Breaking Out: 10 Bitcoin and Blockchain Predictions for 2017

Bringing In and Breaking Out: 10 Bitcoin and Blockchain Predictions for 2017

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Blockchain had a good run in 2016 with a lot going on, including over $1.5 bln invested in startups, Bitcoin breaking out of the $700 resistance level and the likes of IBM and Microsoft betting the shop on this new pervasive technology. We saw Barclays Bank’s first live commercial banking transaction, Hyperledger’s very promising Corda technology coming of age and, of course, more attacks requiring more forks. In addition, the Scaling Conference in Milan showcased some amazing projects that bode well for Blockchain’s amazing future. So what does 2017 hold for the Bitcoin Blockchain? On par with gold Bitcoin will continue its rise from its three-year high to reach parity with gold, continuing the trend post the devaluation of the yuan, the withdrawal of large Indian notes, as well as the Trump and Brexit effect. Breaking out As 2016 was the year of the Proof of Concept, 2017 will be the year when Blockchain breaks out of the lab and into production environments. Forks Ethereum will continue to fork under constant attacks and will get stronger as Casper comes of age. Furthermore, Ether will continue to struggle to break through the $1 bln market capitalization. Smart contracts Banks will try …

As Blockchain Identity Becomes Real, 2017 Will See An Explosion of Blockchain Profitability

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Blockchain identity is already in use in various sectors of data management and technological development. With its applications so far, can we say that the Blockchain has lived up to expectations? Some experts think it’s overhyped, others see that late 2016/2017 will be the year of explosion for real-world Blockchain profitability and usage. That is, as long as politics doesn’t get in the way. What is Blockchain identity? Blockchain identity is also defined by Christopher Bates of Bitland as the representation of a 100% verifiable identity which can be established through a series of security layers and protocols. It is a system which makes it possible for encryption to prevent anyone who doesn’t need to see information from accessing it. Bates explains that this can be applied when working with government oversight, where Blockchain identity could be used to protect Social Security accounts from being pilfered by governments who have overspent on their own budgets. Bates says: “One of the biggest issues is that tax money has no oversight once collected, and something like Blockchain identity could help prevent governments from spending taxpayer’s money which wasn’t theirs.” Unique opportunity for Bitcoin’s Blockchain Blockchain identity, according to Carl A. R. Weir CEO …

Will 2016’s $300 Million Blockchain Startup Bubble Burst?

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Startups powered by Bitcoin and Blockchain technology raised $290 million during the first six months of this year, resembling the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. According to a report by Juniper Research, venture capital investment raised by companies employing either Blockchain technology, or Bitcoin directly, amounted to more than a quarter of a billion dollars. About a third of this was raised by three companies: Circle, a social payment provider, which raised $60 million; Distributed Asset Holdings, a distributed ledger solutions provider, which raised $50 million; and, of course, Blockstream, the sidechain developer, which raised $55 million. Lee Gibson Grant of the Drachmae Travel Club sees investments flowing into Blockchain startups as more and more people become aware of the technology’s capabilities. He says to CoinTelegraph: “The Blockchain space is typical of new technology coming onto the market. This early stage sees many startups and experiments, which will provide proof that the technology is applicable in specific, practical use cases. Once identified, there will be consolidation into leaders within those areas at first, and progressively more capital will flow into those entities. Over time the investments will be billions of dollars, and will create new businesses and many new employment …

So, You Want to Use a Blockchain for That?

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Antony Lewis is a bitcoin and blockchain consultant and blogger, who previously served as the director of business development at bitcoin exchange itBit.  In this article, Lewis attempts to break down some of the more misunderstood questions circulating among institutions seeking to adapt distributed blockchain tech for alternative uses. There are good reasons and bad reasons to use blockchains. In conversations with people considering blockchain use cases, I have noticed common confusions arising from certain words. At issue, is that they were initially used in a narrow context (usually to describe bitcoin’s blockchain), and are now being interpreted more generically for other blockchains, in cases where they may no longer apply. In this post, I hope to untangle some of these common misconceptions. Theme: Blockchains are secure Writing data Bitcoin has specific security features for writing data due to the burden of proof-of-work consensus. That is, in order to add blocks of transactions to the blockchain, you have to validate all the transactions within the block (easy) and then perform repeated calculations (called hashing) to find a magic number that makes your block valid and acceptable to the other participants according to the rules of the network (easy, but computationally expensive, therefore …

Bitcoin’s Dark Side Could Get Darker –

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Investors see riches in a cryptography-enabled technology called smart contracts–but it could also offer much to criminals.     Some of the earliest adopters of the digital currency Bitcoin were criminals, who have found it invaluable in online marketplaces for contraband and as payment extorted through lucrative “ransomware” that holds personal data hostage. A new Bitcoin-inspired technology that some investors believe will be much more useful and powerful may be set to unlock a new wave of criminal innovation. That technology is known as smart contracts—small computer programs that can do things like execute financial trades or notarize documents in a legal agreement. Intended to take the place of third-party human administrators such as lawyers, which are required in many deals and agreements, they can verify information and hold or use funds using similar cryptography to that which underpins Bitcoin. Some companies think smart contracts could make financial markets more efficient, or simplify complex transactions such as property deals (see “The Startup Meant to Reinvent What Bitcoin Can Do”). Ari Juels, a cryptographer and professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, believes they will also be useful for illegal activity–and, with two collaborators, he has demonstrated how. “In …