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 …

Integrity Chain – A Public Proof Blockchain Service for Everyone – FREE FOR ALL

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New IC-­STAMP content integrity service is free for moderate usage Integrity Chain today announced the launch of its IC­-STAMP service, a leading-edge application of blockchain technology for the general public. The free service delivers public proof for the time and contents of private files by embedding their unique cryptographic fingerprint in the blockchain. By using only a browser and email, users no longer face the barriers of specialized knowledge, complex tools or obscure cryptocurrencies. Tampering with the past is now history. “Blockchain technology has enormous potential as a public ledger, partly by providing an unalterable ‘arrow of time’ which we utilize to establish integrity,” said Eric Schorn, Co-­Founder of Integrity Chain. “However, broad adoption is severely limited by the large amount of complexity involved. Our vision is that of simplification and thus usability for a mainstream audience.” “Services like IC­-STAMP that leverage blockchain approaches offer several advantages -­ cost, simplicity and flexibility among them -­ compared to legacy and proprietary offerings for content security and integrity. Their adoption is set to accelerate,” commented Peter Harris, Principal at Lighthouse Partners, a consulting firm that focuses on business applications of blockchain and other disruptive technologies. Integrity Chain’s IC-­STAMP service can be used …

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 …

Smart Contracts Platform Symbiont Issues its First Cryptosecurity

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Smart contracts platform Symbiont has issued its first “smart security”. The announcement was formally unveiled at an event in New York today, during which the security was issued on the bitcoin blockchain. Symbiont aims to provide services in the nascent cryptofinance sector, and traces its roots to bothOverstock’s Medici project as well as theCounterparty project. Several developers, originally working on Medici, left that initiative earlier this year and later established Symbiont. Mark Smith, CEO and co-founder of Symbiont, said in a statement: “We are proud to be on the leading edge of this blockchain and distributed ledger movement. With interest in distributed ledger technology growing rapidly, financial institutions are exploring how to leverage it to improve the efficiency and security of trading and processing financial transactions.” The launch comes more than a month after the startup raised $1.25m in seed funding. The company is seeking to close a Series A round before the end of 2015. Image via Shutterstock