3 Blockchain Patterns That Can Ensure Security for IoT

By Ludovic F. Rembert, Head of Research at Privacy Canada.

The Internet of things (IoT) and blockchain are among the latest buzzwords with steadily increasing popularity since the time of their creation. It’s no exaggeration when we say that the IoT is soon going to be a part of our day-to-day activities to make lives easier and more convenient.

However, this convenience might come with a price. Specifically, companies using IoT are plagued with frequent breaches of privacy. While these companies do implement important security measures, there is still no guarantee of safety.

After reports pointed out that IoT can benefit from the decentralized mechanism of blockchain technology, people across the globe were intrigued. Luckily, it’s turned out that blockchain can, in fact, enable usage tracing, logging service issues, and boost security to help ensure the safety of IoT networks.

In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities further by discussing three unique blockchain design patterns that companies can deploy based on the use of wallets, which contain public and private keepers to create and access user data.

Let’s get to it!

Blockchain technology for IoT devices

Hackers are increasingly coming up with innovative ways to mess with your IoT devices.

This is precisely why IoT architects and administrators need to quickly develop a system with performance and trustworthiness aspects that are top-notch to automate traditionally manual processes and streamline operations. Automation is ultimately one of the most effective ways to better organize your business and improve efficiency.

To ensure this happens, companies can deploy either of the following blockchain patterns:

Platform-Controlled Wallet

Under this blockchain pattern, all data and control flows are centrally managed by the platform tier. In other words, it’s the central platform that makes all the decisions and controls the wallet.

For instance, the central platform will monitor the data coming in from the vehicles in the field and then log it in the time-series database of the platform. The unique thing here is that only vital events are logged into the system to prevent blockchain overload.

Asset-Controlled Wallet

In this case, it‘s assumed that every asset has an embedded wallet to sign and access its data on the blockchain. The other belief is that the embedded wallet will be the only way to get access to the data related to every asset.

You can even consider the trusted platform module (TPM) technology as an example. This technology can implement specialized hardware that cannot be tampered with under any circumstances in the field and can also provide secure storage of the corresponding wallet. The software of this hardware is directly deployed on the asset, which then helps determine the data that will be written on the blockchain.

The problem with this blockchain pattern is that it needs custom hardware that can be quite expensive. In addition to this, even the development and maintenance cost is relatively high due to the fully distributed nature of the system.

Smart Contracts Enhancement

The specialty of this blockchain pattern is that you can integrate it into either of the two above patterns. Having a smart contract allows the independent execution of business logic between stakeholders, while simultaneously embedding business logic into the blockchain.

Both the logged data and the business logic become tamper-proof due to the distributed and cryptographic nature of blockchain. The execution will only take place if the maturity of distributed nodes in the blockchain is in agreement about the outcome of a specific decision.

As you can see, all these three patterns are certainly unique and can be helpful for promoting the security of the overall IoT system, irrespective of the industry niche. This system of innovative compliant integration and distributed ledger technology can be useful for keeping imminent threats at bay.

Using blockchain technology for strengthening IoT security

We live in an era where attacks upon laptops, mobile devices, and IoT devices are launched every 39 seconds, which means that our devices have never been more at risk than they are now. Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can use blockchain technology for a more secure application of IoT.

While the verdict is still out about AI and blockchain compatibility, the latter can definitely be useful in establishing a trusted and secure configuration for IoT devices. You can figure this out in two ways:

  • Approach #1: IoT properties, such as configuration details and last validated version firmware, can be hosted on the ledger. During bootstrap, the configuration has to be encrypted in the ledger after it’s requested from the ledger through the blockchain node. This will then make sure that the IoT network topology or its properties remain concealed despite the analysis of the data stored in the public ledger.
  • Approach #2: The latest configuration file of every device has a hash value that can be hosted in the ledger. The IoT device will have to download the latest and trusted configuration file through a cloud service for every fixed period of time. The device can then retrieve and match the hash value via the blockchain node API, which is stored in the blockchain itself. Doing this will allow the administrators to remove any bad configurations on a regular basis as well as reboot every IoT device that is connected to the network with the latest configurations.

Remember, the whole foundation of IoT technology is based on secure communication between devices. Blockchain can help to facilitate this data exchange through processing a transaction and then storing it in a ledger. At the same time, companies can use these ledgers for storing encryption keys to make the exchanges more private.

In the case of IoT, the sender digitally signs the message before sending it to other devices. The receiving device is then allotted a public key from the ledger and then uses it for verifying the digital signature of the message received. It’s a whole process that can be useful for authenticating the involved parties, keeping the message confidential.

It starts with a sender calculating the hash of a message, which is then encrypted with its private key. The message, along with a digital signature is then transmitted to the receiver, who then decrypts the digital signature using the public key of the sender that is stored in the ledger to get the hash value (as calculated by the sender). The sent message is validated only when the calculated hash and protected hash of the message match. As a result, the trustworthiness of the retrieved messages improves when the digital signature of every message gets stored into the ledger.

Today, the general public is more aware of the importance of taking measures for maintaining online privacy and preventing data compromises. But at the same time, hackers are also developing sophisticated methods of hacking to the point that it can become very difficult to know whether one has even been hacked.

This is precisely why security measures need to be taken to the next level. In this case, an IoT device can send an encrypted message using the public key of the destination device before storing it in the blockchain network. The sender then asks its network node to get the public key of the receiver of the ledger and then encrypts the message using the public key of the receiver. Hence, only the receiver will be able to decrypt the message through his private key.


Blockchain and IoT are some of the latest technologies that can completely overhaul existing critical processes and facilitate business process management. Together, they have the potential to make our daily lives easier, provided the technology is used carefully.

Plus, IoT devices with a blockchain network eliminates any single authority. This gives every connected device a copy of the ever-growing chain of data. A transaction is stored in a block only after it’s been validated and is then passed on to the other nodes of the network. All of this helps to make our IoT systems more secure, blocking any unauthorized access and making security breaches nearly impossible.

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Blockchain Capital Joins Facebook-Backed Libra Association

Announcements, Group, News | September 21, 2020 br>

The Libra Association, an independent member organization, has announced Blockchain Capital as its newest member.

The Libra Association was established by social media giant Facebook to oversee the Libra token, a permissioned blockchain digital currency. The plan is for the Libra token to be backed by financial assets such as a basket of currencies, and US Treasury securities in an attempt to avoid volatility. The association membership is comprised of geographically distributed and diverse businesses and nonprofit organizations working to create a blockchain-based payment system supporting financial inclusion and responsible financial services innovation.

Blockchain Capital, which helps entrepreneurs build companies and projects based on blockchain, launched a tokenized investment fund in April 2017 and created the BCAP ERC-20 token, the blockchain industry’s very first security token. BCAP represents an indirect economic interest in the limited partnership interest in the tokenized investment fund, which invests in the digital assets and equity securities of some of the most recognized emerging companies building blockchain and digital asset platforms.

“As a member of the Libra Association, Blockchain Capital brings deep industry insight and a dynamic network of supporters as we work on building a blockchain-based payment system that supports responsible financial services innovation,” said Dante Disparte, Vice Chairman and head of policy and communications for the Libra Association.

Blockchain Capital joins a growing group of new Association members announced earlier this year. Recently, the association announced the leadership appointments of James Emmett as Managing Director of Libra Networks, Steve Bunnell as Chief Legal Officer, Sterling Daines as Chief Compliance Officer, and Stuart Levey as Chief Executive Officer.

“We’re honored to join the Libra Association and believe deeply in the mission of creating a more equitable payment system. Leveraging blockchain technology to improve financial access and promote innovation has been at the core of Blockchain Capital’s portfolio strategy,” said Bart Stephens, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Blockchain Capital.

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Healthcare Blockchain Market Status and Trend Report 2015-2025 offers Top Countries Data and provides a comprehensive analysis of the global Healthcare Blockchain market and knowledge about the industry, there by providing detailed market data for major countries and reasonable insights. The global Healthcare Blockchain market report offers an exhaustive analysis for potential entrants or investors.

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The Major Companies of this market Chronicled, Hashed Health, Factom, Microsoft, IBM, Guardtime, PokitDok, Patientory, iSolve, and Medicalchain…

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The market is segmented into By Application (Clinical Data Exchange, Supply Chain Management, Claims Adjudication & Billing Management, Others), By End User (Pharmaceutical Companies, Healthcare Payers, Healthcare Providers, Research &Academia, Others)

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MILAN — As the pandemic has accelerated the digital push and further awakened consumers’ environmental and social consciousness, many companies are tapping both trends to shape the fashion industry of the future.

Italy’s Idee Brand Platform, for one, has developed an online destination, dubbed the Sustainable Brand Platform, that uses blockchain technology to offer environmental and ethical ratings for international emerging fashion brands.

Set to launch on Monday, the project intends to support indie labels in assessing and cataloging their sustainable assets, as well as enhancing their visibility by connecting them with international retailers and consumers.

“This platform has to serve, first and foremost, this industry’s operators such as buyers… also in terms of scouting activity, as their job has become increasingly complex,” said Alex Albini, Idee Brand Platform founder and chief executive officer.

This is one of the key differences that Albini says differentiates his project from the Australian ethical fashion rating app Good On You. Defined by Albini as a benchmark in this area, Good On You is more oriented to final consumers, whereas Sustainable Brand Platform intends to answer the demands of novelty, sustainability and transparency of both retailers and customers.

Another point of difference resides in “the blockchain technology we apply to link all the information that are essential to evaluate a brand and claim it as sustainable,” Albini said.

Alex Albini, founder and ceo of Idee Brand Platform.

Alex Albini, founder and ceo of Idee Brand Platform. 
Courtesy of Idee Brand Platform

In particular, the web site rates brands’ commitment and results in terms of sustainability and social corporate responsibility by examining the different phases of their value chains, including the sourcing of raw materials, production processes, packaging and logistics, as well as the company’s “giving back” strategy and charity commitment.

Focusing on objective and qualitative criteria, the rating takes into consideration elements including the number of international certifications obtained by each company and details on productive and distributive processes. Each label will also have the opportunity to highlight the sustainable goals it has set for the future in the dedicated “Agenda 2030” box. 

Featuring an intuitive and minimal layout, each brand’s page will additionally showcase key background information and direct links to the respective web site and social media accounts.

Companies can register on the web site upon payment, but their sustainability claims still have to be vetted first.

“There’s a process of brand selection that is essential to investigate the real commitment of a label in sustainability and to avoid any case of greenwashing,” said Albini. Currently, three people are dedicated to evaluating companies’ assets as well as to overall scouting activities, which are mainly pursued through direct contacts and online researches.

At launch, the platform will showcase a small range of companies, including Italian ready-to-wear brand Eticlò, Les Petits Basics T-shirts and accessories label Bonchey, among others.

Sustainable Brand Platform.

Sustainable Brand Platform. 
Courtesy of Sustainable Brand Platform

Albini foresees a specific target of fashion and design aficionados aged 25 to 40 to be particularly reactive and engaged in this approach, but also confides in the positive feedback from a “Gen Z [audience], which would mean we are doing a good job.”

Asked about the ultimate mission he has for this venture, Albini said he would like the platform “to become a trusted and respected reference point in the industry and that it can join forces with other players” in blurring the lines between fashion and sustainability. “I hope it will become a guide consulted by all operators before approaching a brand and by final customers before making a purchase.”

Albini has been working for this cause for the past year but the development process accelerated during the lockdown. “In about six months, we developed the first version of our algorithm and platform and implemented the blockchain technology,” he said.

The project will also serve to expand Idee Brand Platform’s network. Founded in 2019 by Albini and Claudio Delunas, this is an integrated service company supporting international fashion and design brands in the development of merchandising and commercial strategies.

A spin-off of Idee Partners — which develops and produces leather goods and footwear — Idee Brand Platform also operates the Tora Tora showroom promoting emerging labels and counting physical units in Milan and Paris as well as a digital counterpart.

The Tora Tora showroom.

The Tora Tora showroom. 
Courtesy of Idee Brand Platform

An economics graduated from Milan’s Luigi Bocconi University, Albini matured a 10-year professional experience across different entrepreneurial sectors. He is partner of Roy Srl, a company operating in the entertainment and event industry, but also worked for Marc Jacobs and the LVMH group before joining Idee Partners, where he covered roles including chief financial officer and business developer.

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ECS Fin, which works in transaction processing optimization, will launch a pilot program to test the integration of blockchain services of Apifiny‘s Roxe network to help companies save time and costs on B2B payments, according to a press release.

Apifiny debuted Roxe earlier this year as a way to beat some of the long-held friction points in the traditional banking system, with its “fragmented” nature where assets couldn’t be transferred between different markets, countries or various settlement systems, the release stated.

The Roxe network, through its use of blockchain, works to provide secure and efficient cross-border settlement of payments and remittances and traditional and digital assets. It is designed to settle payments within seconds, and to work with multiple assets and asset classes, unlike previous incarnations, according to the release.

The news comes after the recent decision by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to let banks offer crypto services. The ECS Fin and Apifiny partnership is another step forward for integrating traditional finance with decentralized technology, the release stated.

Haohan Xu, CEO of Apifiny, said the industry is shifting from the old traditional accounts to “a new digital asset paradigm.”

“Today’s international payment settlement systems are too slow, unreliable and expensive,” he said, according to the release. “Our partnership with ECS Fin can enable banks to remove barriers of time, geography and currency so that financial value can move more reliably and much faster at much lower costs anywhere in the world.”

ECS Fin CEO Jacob Aruldhas said in the release that the partnership “reflects our accomplishments in creating highly efficient and customizable payments and trade settlement solutions.”

“We chose to engage the Roxe network in our payments platform since it provides tremendous value to our bank customers for both domestic and cross-border payments and will allow us to quickly and seamlessly expand into crypto markets,” he said, according to the release.



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.

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Houston, USA, Sept. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — INVIZION – one of the first blockchain and crypto related projects discussed at the United Nations Global Compact on the 22nd of September, is excited to announce the next major step in their vision of making the world a cleaner, greener and better place. The project will be opening doors to investors through their digital asset listing on BITXMI Exchange.

A big aspect of Environmental change relies on waste management. And to successfully achieve this change would need community support and involvement. Hence, Incentivizing the blockchain community into investing in the green energy space has been an important aspect for the team at Invizion. NVZN’s aims to achieve this by providing crypto enthusiasts with a token that has an immense real-life use case: revolutionizing the way in which our society at large deals with waste.

The current method of waste tracking is not only outdated: it’s dangerous. Since the semi-manual tracking of waste is faulty and vulnerable to human mistakes and ill-will, waste often ends up in landfills. From there, toxic chemicals find their way into drinking water, and ultimately, into our bodies. The problem is real and it affects us all. 

INVIZION makes the waste tracking process fair and transparent by replacing the human element with smart contracts. When waste is produced, it is given a certificate of origin with the use of NVZN Tokens, and from there, the entire lifecycle of a batch of waste can be easily and efficiently tracked on the blockchain. The extent in which applying blockchain technology can improve waste tracking is immense: all suppliers, orders, invoices, shipments, quality checks and so on, everything can be easily recorded with smart contracts. The blockchain that chronicles waste’s lifecycle can be independently audited, but cannot be forged or tampered with in any way. 

A sophisticated project like Invizion, requires a respectable exchange to partner with. Hence, the team at Invizion decided to list NVZN Tokens on BITXMI exchange, where cryptocurrency and environmental enthusiasts can participate in the solutions to make our planet a better place. Bitxmi was founded in 2018 and is one of the most secure global digital asset exchanges for users to trade on. The platform consists of cold storage wallets, multiple servers, and high levels of security through KYC, Sanctions checks, AML, Tracking chargebacks, and so on. 

NVZN Token is not a mere collectible: it’s a digital asset with an important real-life use case. NVZN holders will be empowered to actively take part in delivering a groundbreaking waste tracking technology to the world and follow progress in real time. INVIZION will not only keep users up to date through their website and social media, but also supply live video feed from operation sites. Holders of the NVZN tokens will be able to follow the entire process from start to the end, and see for themselves how industrial waste is being processed into green energy in a revolutionary process that produces no harmful byproducts.

Media Details – 
Company Name – NVZN token
Website URL – https://nvzntoken.com/
Email – Marketing@nvzntoken.com

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HONK KONG, CHINA / ACCESSWIRE / September 20, 2020 / Major cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced the listing of DUCATO token, the native utility token that powers Ducato DeFi protocol, an innovative platform that aims to revolutionize the decentralized financial product by launching a platform dubbed DeFi 2.0.

Developed on the Ethereum blockchain, Ducato will be taking the crypto space by storm as the protocol introduces an innovative DeFi platform with a pluggable hybrid CeFi network that taps liquidity from the traditional financial market. As DeFi booms, Ducato proposes to reshape and pivot the DeFi ecosystem by solving most of the challenges that have plagued the protocol.

Bittrex wallet for the deposit of DUCATO tokens will open on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Users will be able to deposit their DUCATO token ahead of trading which will commence on September 16.

This is an important milestone for Ducato as the project looks to take the DeFi space by storm with its innovative DeFi 2.0 protocol that bridges the gap between the decentralized and centralized lending market.

Learn About Ducato DeFi 2.0 Protocol

Ducato protocol is a state-of-the-art solution that aims to solve most of the challenges that have rocked the existing DeFi protocol, ranging from lack of liquidity, and slow settlement time due to over-reliance on the Ethereum network. Ducato provides a hybrid DeFi and CeFi platform that allows users to dip into the traditional market, gaining access to deep liquidity.

Consequently, Ducato serves the ever-growing population in the traditional lending space, by bringing DeFi solutions to them, providing them with a wide range of assets that can be used as collateral. By reaching a partnership with Delio, Ducato will be able to tap into deep liquidity in the centralized market.

The protocol allows borrowers to use traditional assets like gold, real estate, and other hard assets as collateral, creating a robust playing ground for traditional lenders and borrowers to get involved in secured, decentralized lending space powered by blockchain technology. Ducato’s protocol provides a win-win scenario for both decentralized and centralized finance, bringing them together in a seamless manner.

About Delio (Ducato’s Family Company)

Delio Group is a Korean-based company, a global CeFi lending service provider who will be providing Ducato’s platform with liquidity. Delio is the leading provider of CeFi lending services through the Bithumb exchange and other rental services.

The Korean CeFi provider features a digital asset loan with the Bithumb exchange wallet while member’s digital asset collateral remains on the exchange, not necessarily transferring them to Delio, a rental agency. Additionally, members could interact with both platforms without having to complete KYC separately on both platforms.

DucatoDeFi 2.0 protocol is made possible through a partnership with Delio, a global liquidity provider. Delio continues to expand its reach through several partnerships by launching Delio Cloud, a platform where exchanges, wallets, protocols, and platforms can easily build digital asset DPI services.

These developments have enabled Delio to attract Series A investments from Ernest Ventures and Kingco Investment Partners in March in recognition of its growth potential and are expanding its base through strategic partnerships with leading exchanges and global blockchain companies.

About Bittrex Global Exchange

Bittrex Global is a popular cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013. Bittrex is one of the most established cryptocurrency spot exchanges in the world and provides support for over 190 cryptocurrencies. The user-friendly exchange is built based on data security and the client’s trust. Aside from the web-based platform, the trading platform is also available on both iOS and Android.

Bittrex has continued to expand its reach by listing selected, innovative projects that passed its strict listing rules and meet the required regulatory compliance. Bittrex has continued to showcase itself in the international scene, In September 2019, the Blockchain Transparency Network (BTI) nominated Bittrex Global as one of blockchain’s most transparent exchanges.

As a top global exchange, Ducato is privileged to be numbered among the cryptocurrency assets supported by the Bittrex exchange.

Media And Other Important Links

Website: http://DUCATO.io/
Telegram channel: https://t.me/DUCATO_Channel
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeFi.DUCATO/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DUCATO_DeFi
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/DUCATO-defi/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB1p7-VVW51vEm02gQbb9vA/

Name: David Lee
Email: support@ducato.io
Phone : +82 10-8447-9041

SOURCE: Ducato

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Up until it collapsed, The DAO represented the highest technological achievement – and the coming wave of innovation – that the Ethereum blockchain has enabled. 

The smart contract and blockchain were interlinked ideas. In Vitalik Buterin’s early writings detailing the network of computers that would become Ethereum, the world’s second largest by blockchain by market cap but largest by developer activity, he put forward the idea of fully decentralized, autonomous corporations or organizations (or, DACs and DAOs). 

The DAO, which got that name for being the first encoded version of the concept, was the proving ground that the disruptive world of venture capitalism could itself be disrupted. Approximately $150 million in ether was contributed to the project, and more than 50 projects were teed up to possibly be funded by a smart contract that no one person owned.

See also: The $55M Hack That Almost Brought Ethereum Down

Then it was attacked. On a Friday morning in June 2016, a still-anonymous hacker (or hackers) exploited a vulnerability in the code and confiscated tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Copycats soon followed. Investors withdrew their funds, a “dark DAO” was spun up to protect the remaining and a serious debate raged over when it might be appropriate to hard fork or roll back events on a blockchain. 

Four years after The DAO hack, Matthew Leising, a veteran Bloomberg News reporter, is unsure of what it all meant. The obvious lessons around market exuberance and security went mostly unheeded, as evidenced by the ICO bubble that popped years ago and rise of DeFi today. 

“It goes back to the vision Vitalik laid out for a decentralized platform where people could do whatever they want,” Leising said. “When you give people that flexibility and creative license, you’re going to get crazy projects.”

In his latest book, “Out of the Ether: The Amazing Story of Ethereum and the $55 Million Heist That Almost Destroyed It All,” Leising traces the events leading up to and following the pivotal moment (excerpt here). CoinDesk caught up with him to discuss The DAO’s legacy and what Leising thinks will come next in blockchain. 

Out of the Ether is available wherever audiobooks are sold.
Source: (Wiley)

What do you think the most lasting legacy of the DAO hack has been? 

I think it had a short living effect. At the time, I think people realized that the smart contract should have been capped, that it shouldn’t have been allowed to grow to $150 million in ether, especially for being so new. Ethereum was only a year old at that time. There should have been some emergency stop button or safety hatch, to some way take control if anything went wrong.

I love the idea of decentralized governance, but when you’re writing in a language like Solidity, which was also less than a year old, you have to have a failsafe. Especially considering the amount of bugs that were already found in The DAO before the hack.

When you’re dealing with other people’s money – you have to be careful. I wish I could say these lessons were learned, I don’t think they have. I think we’re seeing the same mistakes made in DeFi now. The money sloshing around is just insane. It’s even worse in some respects, with people announcing they haven’t audited the code. 

See also: DeFi Lender bZx Loses $8M in Third Attack This Year

At least with The DAO they did security audits, but there were still problems. When you compile in a language like Solidity, you’re going to have problems. There needs to be much more vetting when these projects come out so real people don’t lose money. 

This seems like it gets to the fundamental enthusiasm in crypto. People are attracted to risk and volatility. 

You definitely can’t cap enthusiasm, and I don’t think you’d want to. It goes back to the vision Vitalik laid out for a decentralized platform where people could do whatever they want. When you give people that flexibility and creative license, you’re going to get crazy projects. The only thing you can do about it is to not participate. 

I think interesting things are being done to address this issue. Fabian Vogelsteller is exploring “reversible ICOs.” He’s the guy that wrote the ERC-20 code that allowed for ICOs, and is now trying to address that. He’s created a fundraising mechanism that allows people to pull their money out whenever they want. So it’s not like you dump ETH in a pool and the dev team can go out and buy lambos. 

I’d trust someone like Fabian over some anonymous guy like Sushi Chef. These are questions you have to ask. Who are the people behind the project? Are they known quantities? Have they been in Ethereum for a while or are they coming out of the woodwork? 

You decide not to determinitively call out the DAO hacker in the book and write throughout that multiple sources you’ve met with have their suspicions but are also reticent. Do you think crypto respects pseudonymity to a fault?

I want to make clear that there were several different DAO attacks, which is a point that not many people realize. The $55 million Friday attack is probably what people think of when they’re talking about the DAO attack. 

Then there was an attack on the following Tuesday. That’s where I was able to get some leads, do some reporting and track down somebody I think was involved. I believe it was a copycat. The code for the attack contract was already circulated.

They were sloppy enough for me to trace them. That to me says they weren’t very careful, whereas the Friday attacker covered their tracks really well. You should see the ways he scrambled the ether and bitcoin. They knew what they were doing and were very careful. 

I’m moving the ball forward here a little bit, but I wasn’t able to get very far with identifying anyone involved in the $55 million theft. 

If anything, the frequency and scope of attacks has only picked up – but they’ve seemingly become less and less important. Do you think the industry has accepted that attacks are just one of the risks we have to live with?

If you’re talking about people losing significant amounts of their money, I think people are just as concerned today as in 2016. I can’t speak for the industry, but given the frequency at which these things happen, it does seem like there’s a part of the industry that downplays security. 

Everyone who is trading crypto at this point should know not to leave your coins on an exchange – that’s the dumbest thing you can do. 

Despite all the politics and backstabbing, the idea was so good and valid that Ethereum survived.

I’m not sure if people just coming into the space know that. Coinbase and Gemini are like a hackers dream. You need to have your funds in a wallet on a blockchain. There are just basic things that people should be doing. But is there enough education about that? Is there anyone telling them to take these steps? Coinbase certainly isn’t telling people, “Now that you’ve bought your BTC, move it off our exchange and put it in your wallet.” That’s not in their interest. 

People make fun of the SEC and CFTC on the regulatory front in the U.S., but they are great about educating potential investors about how to keep their money safe when they’re buying and selling in markets. 

What were you most surprised to learn about Vitalik while researching the book? 

Vitalik really clicked for me after his dad shared some of this document he wrote when he was seven called the encyclopedia of bunnies. It was this 20-page Word document that he wrote because he was absolutely obsessed with bunnies. It’s really impressive.

For some people, you find a certain detail about their life that sort of unlocks them, or encapsulates them. I felt like that was the bunny book for him. We all know he’s brilliant, but he’s also really funny and meticulous. He poured all this energy into this thing as a seven year old. Once I had that, it helped me see him as a person. 

I also didn’t know that behind the scenes of the Ethereum Foundation was such a shi*tshow. There were people fired after six months, a reorganization, and then more people fired. They tried to straighten out by bringing in a board of directors and executive director – but they were at each other’s throats from the beginning. 

I love the story of all the people that came together to create Ethereum, and the mismanagement of it since the beginning. It never really got better. Despite all the politics and backstabbing, the idea was so good and valid that it survived all of that. 

Do you think they’re going to be able to successfully manage shifting to Eth 2.0? 

I think so. It’s been a long time coming. I interviewed Vitalik at a Devcon3  in 2017, where he said proof-of-stake would be here by the end of the year. Another thing I learned about Ethereum is that it has never delivered on time. They thought they would be able to do their crowdsale the Tuesday after the Miami Bitcoin Conference. It was six months late. They’ve always had a problem with timelines. 

That being said, I’ve started to see signs that Eth 2.0 is coming closer to fruition. I don’t have any reason to suggest that they won’t be able to deliver. 

See also: The ‘Hot Swap’ Plan to Switch Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake Explained

It seems like you’ve really bought into the vision of Ethereum. What are you most excited about?

I’m interested in all the Web 3.0 applications being developed on Ethereum that are allowing people to take control over their data and privacy. We’re starting to see that mature. Metamask has gone mobile. There are truly decentralized web applications being put in place. 

It gets to the heart of the idealism that folks like Gavin Woods, Vitalik and Neha Nerula had from the beginning. These people really thought they could change the world and they’re doing the work to help make it come about. 

It’s slow and piecemeal. But that vision is clearer now than at any time in the past. Ethereum, DeFi, Web 3.0 will be alternatives, but they won’t replace anything. Bitcoin isn’t going to replace the U.S. dollar as the global currency, but it’s an alternative. 

All of these things, if they’re done well, can be a stable alternative for those who want to have greater privacy. Most people want convenience over privacy, and that’s up to them. But right now, there isn’t much choice. 

That promise will propel this forward. It almost seems like a return to something the internet had at the beginning. Andreas Antonopoulos says we need to redecentralize the web – that feels like what’s happening here. Google isn’t going away, but I want an alternative. 

What do you think the subject of the next great crypto book will be? 

I think the Tether saga – if someone could really tell that story and get all the details. I tried. It’s very hard. I still think there are bitcoins stories to tell. But the space moves so fast, it’s hard to say.

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It could be argued that China’s blockchain roadmap has been relatively grey and unclear within most of the international arena, but the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) Foundation’s decision to incorporate a global sharing economy into the exclusive and selective network highlights the nation’s willingness to build a globally collaborative blockchain network that is inclusive and accessible.

One of their new partners is ShareRing, a global intermediary-less sharing ecosystem designed to help businesses safely and securely share data. Their mission is to deliver the blockchain solution the technology promised a decade ago through a global ecosystem where any business of any size can access the platform using a simple mobile application and share data more efficiently and effectively for a more sustainable and decentralized future. They have even been dubbed the middleman-less Amazon


China’s decision to include them in the first ten international companies (along with Chainlink, Neo, Tezos, and Ethereum) will no doubt be a warmly welcomed story for those seeking to understand the direction of China’s blockchain international developments. ShareRing CEO, Tim Bos said, “We are honoured to partner with BSN, joining industry giants like Ethereum, Neo and Tezos. We share their vision of removing costly entry barriers to blockchain technology and its benefits for businesses and individuals regardless of their size, resources or industry expertise. We are confident we will achieve our mission together”.

China’s BSN has lofty ambitions to become the Internet of Blockchains with the most easily accessible and affordable network that uses a cross-cloud, cross-portal and cross-framework global public infrastructure. Developers can simply plug-and-play to integrate DApps allowing them to focus on innovation and programming smart contracts, reducing the time and costs associated with interfacing blockchain technologies with traditional legacy systems. The criteria for acceptance into the network is selective, only focusing on projects deemed to have the greatest potential and impact in the world for businesses and users.

It’s worth noting that both the BSN Foundation and ShareRing align on their vision to lower the cost for businesses to enter the blockchain era, making blockchain technology accessible for as many people as possible around the world. “The BSN Foundation is pleased to welcome ShareRing into our ecosystem. Their ability to offer seamless integration with a broad range of DApps will be a strong addition to our vision to build an inclusive and accessible blockchain network for the world,” said Michael Ma, COO of the BSN Foundation.

Prior to integrating with China’s BSN, ShareRing made headlines for launching a private contact-tracing passport in a bid to use blockchain to revive the decimated global tourism industry. The self-sovereign ID system has been integrated with Thailand’s e-visa on arrival system and new partnerships with the region are yet to be announced.

It will be interesting to track what new international blockchain solutions are added to this list by China and to monitor the progress worldwide. Watch this space.

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Blockchain: Need for standardised definitions

Blockchain and associated distributed ledger technologies (DLT) will storm the world of international commerce, boosted by the Covid-19 pandemic, new guidance for lawyers has predicted.

Produced by the Tech London Advocates’ blockchain legal and regulatory group and the Law Society, it explains the role smart contracts, cryptoassets and blockchain might play in future legal practice.

It included a list of recommendations for regulation relating to DLT. Experts from major firms such as Bird & Bird, Mishcon de Reya, Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Wiggin, provided detailed technical guidance and suggestions as to best practice for lawyers.

These included standardising data governance, such as clarifying what GDPR compliance looks like for developers of blockchain technology; devising clarity on how existing copyright case law should be applied to DLT; guidance from the judiciary as to the effectiveness of on-chain dispute resolution; and legislation clarifying the detailed legal meaning of cryptoassets.

The section on the commercial application of blockchain gave the example of a private blockchain – as opposed to a public one that anyone can view – being used by a supermarket and multiple client farmers supplying it with products.

The supermarket would act as a trusted intermediary, holding the data, and farmers would access the blockchain via an app to send their fresh milk to the depot.

Each palette of milk containers would have an identifying chip making it easy to track and trace. Cameras linked to the blockchain would record pick-up and delivery. If there was a problem with the goods, it would be easy to locate their whereabouts and recall them.

The author concluded: “There is no doubt that blockchain is not the solution for every kind of problem.

“However, in some specific cases, a private blockchain may be useful because the technology makes it hard to edit data once it has been recorded on the blockchain; and, by virtue of the use of digital signatures, helps to bring together disparate parties for better coordination and sharing of data.”

The advantages of smart legal contracts included the potential for greater transparency of contractual terms, efficiency in automating performance, and scope for using novel dispute resolution mechanisms such as pre-authorising the transfer of funds to limit the need for post litigation enforcement.

There were disadvantages too, such as automating things that ought not be automated – like provisions parties might wish to retain flexibility to amend from time to time – or applying an unsuitable contract for a given transaction.

It suggested that smart contracts were most suitable for transactions that already occurred at scale using standard-form documents, operated within a range of known variables and produced deliverables that could be accommodated by the digitisation process.

The report warned: “Legal counsel may be exposed to liability when facilitating a digitised contract or transaction where full consideration has not been given to the digitisation and transaction flow process, and unintended consequences arise.

“We note that there is no judicial determination on these specific points as at the date of this report.”

The general problem with DLT was that different nodes within the network from which records and transactions were passed could react quicker than others.

This flaw could be manipulated by fraudsters so as to confuse the ledger as to which transactions had occurred, in what order. If this happened, the transfer of payment could be rejected “and the supplier, having already shipped the goods, would be out of pocket”.

Awareness of this flaw meant that transactions should take place only on DLTs that validated the order of information recorded. Blockchain – so-called because it records blocks of data in chronological order – insured an irrefutable chronology was established and maintained.

Anne Rose, an associate solicitor at Mishcon de Reya, founder of the group that produced the report, pointed out that definitions used in relation to DLT were inconsistent and needed to be standardised.

Simon Davis, the Law Society’s president, added: “The publication of this report will provide a clear framework and much needed guidance on the use of blockchain in the legal services sector.

“Technology underpins innovation in legal services and plays a critical role in driving the post coronavirus recovery across all sectors of the economy.

“It is considered that 2020 [and] 2021 are ‘breakout’ years for DLT, and the pandemic has forced businesses and governments to re-evaluate their service and business models more fundamentally than ever before.”

The report adds flesh to the bones laid out in the statement by the UK jurisdiction taskforce of the LawTech Delivery Panel – chaired by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court – which declared that cryptoassets should be treated as property in law.

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