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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

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Posted on 17 November 2017 | 11:45 am

No Fork, No Fire: Segwit2x Nodes Stall Running Abandoned Bitcoin Code

The Segwit2x bitcoin fork may have been formally called off, but as many as 150 nodes still running its code have stopped accepting transaction blocks

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 10:45 am

Internet Archive Adds Bitcoin Cash, Zcash to Donation Options

The Internet Archive, host of the Wayback Machine, has announced it now supports donations in bitcoin cash and zcash.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 9:45 am

Korea's Hyosung Now Supports Bitcoin At ATMs, Will Soon Add Ethereum - Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)


Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

Korea's Hyosung Now Supports Bitcoin At ATMs, Will Soon Add Ethereum
Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
Korean Hyosung, a multi-billion dollar conglomerate involved in ATM manufacturing has announced it will now offer Bitcoin buying support on its machines through a partnership with Just Cash. The Missouri-based mobile company, which offers mobile-based ...
One of the World's Largest ATM Manufacturers Announces Bitcoin SupportBitcoin News (press release)

all 2 news articles »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 8:37 am

ECB Council Member: Central Banks Considering Crypto Regulation

The European Central Bank's Ewald Nowotny has said that China's recent crackdown has brought new focus on cryptocurrency regulations.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 8:30 am

Is This The One Caveat That Could Slay Bitcoin? - Seeking Alpha


The Merkle

Is This The One Caveat That Could Slay Bitcoin?
Seeking Alpha
We are Bitcoin bulls and have been writing about Bitcoin positively for more than a year. Given the recent volatility, we thought it would be a good time to address Bitcoin's most concerning caveat. We explain why Bitcoin's reliance on digital ...
Bitcoin Might Make the Professional Gambler RichThe Merkle

all 4 news articles »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 8:04 am

Ripple Makes a Splash: XRP Price Looks Up on Amex News

Positive news flow for Ripple seems to be boosting price, while the technical analysis also favors the bulls.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 7:30 am

Mike and Nathaniel's Week in Tech: Everybody Loves Bitcoin - New York Times


New York Times

Mike and Nathaniel's Week in Tech: Everybody Loves Bitcoin
New York Times
Farhad is off this week, so Nathaniel Popper, a Times tech and finance reporter, is filling in for him. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here. Mike: Why, hello there, new newsletter partner! It's everyone's favorite Bitcoin reporter ...

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 7:00 am

Square shares rise after Evercore ISI says bitcoin test is innovative, upgrades stock - CNBC


CNBC

Square shares rise after Evercore ISI says bitcoin test is innovative, upgrades stock
CNBC
Evercore ISI upgrades Square to outperform, highlighting the company's bitcoin testing as a potential revenue source down the road. Analyst Rayna Kumar also underscores Square's new technologies like Square Register, saying the new products should ...

and more »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 6:56 am

Visa Launches First Phase of Blockchain B2B Payments

Credit card giant Visa has launched the trial phase of its business-to-business payments system built with blockchain startup Chain.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 6:35 am

The World's Biggest Wealth Manager Won't Touch Bitcoin - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

The World's Biggest Wealth Manager Won't Touch Bitcoin
Bloomberg
While skeptics have called bitcoin's rapid advance a bubble, it has become too big an asset for many financial firms to ignore. Bitcoin has gained 17 percent this week, touching a high of $7,997.17 during Asia hours before moving lower in late trading.
'Bubble' Bitcoin 'Fair Value' is $100, Fumes Japan Post Bank CIOCryptoCoinsNews

all 1 news articles »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 6:32 am

Up and Away? Bitcoin Price Eyes $8,000 Or Higher

Bitcoin has staged a remarkable "V" shaped recovery from the last week's lows near $5,500, and may be looking at new highs ahead.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 5:30 am

Friends Don't Let Friends Do Bad Crypto

Our duty to users doesn't end when they leave our site or app. Behaviors learned from us guide interactions with other services, writes Dan Elitzer.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 4:30 am

Over 20 Banks Join Singapore-Hong Kong Blockchain Trade Network

A number of banks have joined the recently announced blockchain-based trade network pilot jointly set up by Hong Kong and Singapore.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 3:20 am

Bitcoin Barreled Near $8000, $10000 By Year End? - Forbes


Forbes

Bitcoin Barreled Near $8000, $10000 By Year End?
Forbes
I cover commodities, FX, equities in developing & emerging markets. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The cryptocurrency king, Bitcoin, smashed another record and grabbed investors' attention again. It appears that there is ...

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 3:09 am

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Bitcoin adds $41 billion to market cap in 6 days as it hits all-time high of $7998 - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin adds $41 billion to market cap in 6 days as it hits all-time high of $7998
CNBC
The cryptocurrency was trading at $7,998.40 in the early hours, U.K. time, according to industry website CoinDesk. Bitcoin did pare some of those gains, however, falling as low as $7,535.85; it was trading around $7,750 by mid-morning. It's been a wild ...
Bitcoin Just Surged Past $8000. Here's What's Causing the SpikeFortune
Bitcoin breaks $8000 barrier amid speculation over spin-offThe Guardian
Fork talk lifts bitcoin to all-time high near $8000Reuters
CoinDesk -Forbes -Bloomberg -Forbes
all 225 news articles »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 2:45 am

Vontobel and Leonteq Securities Launch Bitcoin Futures - Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)


Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)

Vontobel and Leonteq Securities Launch Bitcoin Futures
Cointelegraph (Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News)
Switzerland-based companies Vontobel and Leonteq Securities AG are launching separate futures products that will allow customers to bet against the price of the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The product launchings come amidst the growing interest in ...
World's First Bitcoin Short Notes Allow Bears to Ride Big SwingsBloomberg
Swiss Firms to Let Traders Short Bitcoin With New Futures ProductsCoinDesk
Betting Against Bitcoin? Swiss Firms Launch World's First Bitcoin Short NotesCryptoCoinsNews

all 8 news articles »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 2:32 am

Just the Beginning? Tezos Lawsuits Could Open Doors for ICO Litigation

Class-action litigators in the U.S. appear to be positioning for a potential pop in the hot initial coin offering market.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 2:00 am

Nasdaq Explores Storing Asset Data on Blockchain

Stock exchange operator Nasdaq filed a patent outlining how to store asset ownership data on a blockchain.

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 1:10 am

Bitcoin Is the New Crisis Currency - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

Bitcoin Is the New Crisis Currency
Bloomberg
Zimbabwe, where the price of bitcoin spiked to double the international rate after this week's military takeover, shows Jamie Dimon, Axel Weber and other cryptocurrency skeptics where the real-world use of bitcoin, and possibly its future, lies. It's ...

and more »

Posted on 17 November 2017 | 12:11 am

Swiss Firms to Let Traders Short Bitcoin With New Futures Products

Swiss bank Vontobel and Leonteq Securities announced that they will start trading Switzerland’s first two mini futures to short bitcoin on Friday.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 10:30 pm

Europe's Executive Arm Issues Report on Blockchain For Education

EU Commission has released a report titled 'Blockchain in Education' that explains on potentials of the nascent technology in the education industry.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 9:00 pm

Bitcoin Nears $7,900 to Hit New All-Time High - CoinDesk - CoinDesk


Bitcoin Nears $7,900 to Hit New All-Time High - CoinDesk
CoinDesk
UPDATE (16th November 4:48 EST): The price of bitcoin has hit a new all-time high of $7,892.42. The price of bitcoin is spiking, climbing above $7,700 for the ...

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Posted on 16 November 2017 | 4:06 pm

The Lightning Network Now Supports Transactions Across Blockchains

lnbtclte.jpg

Although still in testing phase, the lightning network can now be used to send transactions across different blockchains. The Lightning Labs development team successfully swapped testnet bitcoin for testnet litecoin through a lightning channel this week: ownership of the coins changed hands, while no transaction was recorded on either blockchain.

“Previous atomic swaps that I have done were on-chain, and had the on-chain limitations of slow [transactions] and high transaction fees,” Litecoin creator Charlie Lee told Bitcoin Magazine, referring to an older trick to exchange different types of coins trustlessly. “Off-chain atomic swaps are significantly better. They are instant, [have] low fees, and better protect one’s privacy.”

The successful test paves the way for trustless cryptocurrency exchanges, near-seamless multi-coin payment processors and more.

Bitcoin and Litecoin

The lightning network is the highly anticipated second-layer payment network to be deployed on top of Bitcoin. And as an open protocol, it’s relatively easy to deploy lightning network support for other cryptocurrencies that are forked from Bitcoin’s codebase — like Litecoin.

Interestingly, if the lightning network runs on different blockchains, these chains can effectively be linked together. If one or several peers on the network are willing to take one type of coin and forward another, it’s possible to send bitcoins on one end of a channel that will end up as the equivalent in litecoin on the other end.

In a Medium post published in the first week of 2017, Lee explained that this potential to create these kinds of “bridges” between cryptocurrencies made him throw his weight behind the Segregated Witness (SegWit) soft forks on both Litecoin and Bitcoin.

When SegWit activated on Litecoin last spring, Lee’s vision came one step closer to reality. Because the soft fork had not yet activated on Bitcoin at that time, Lightning Labs decided to add Litecoin support to their LND lightning network implementation. Thus, by the time SegWit activated on Bitcoin last summer, LND was already compatible with both chains.

The testnet versions of these two blockchains are now made interoperable through the lightning network for the first time, allowing users to swap one type of coin for the other.

“The primary advantages over previous solutions are speed, cost and privacy,” Lightning Labs developer Conner Fromknecht told Bitcoin Magazine. “Transfers are more or less instant, and don’t require the cost of an on-chain transaction. Additionally, in the cooperative case, the transactions are never broadcast, and leave no trace on the blockchain, offering privacy benefits. And with any luck, these privacy benefits will only continue to improve.”

The Test (and the Potential)

This week’s specific test was done on a local machine, on which Fromknecht himself created two nodes: “Alice” and “Bob.” These two nodes were modified to be able to monitor both the Bitcoin and Litecoin testnets. Fromknecht then created a single lightning channel that sent testnet litecoin from Alice to Bob and testnet bitcoin back from Bob to Alice at a fixed exchange rate. While still all in an experimental setting, the test was successful; Lightning Labs today published a blog post and a video detailing the results.

In addition to offering a faster, cheaper and more private solution to exchanging coins, the successful test paves the way toward a whole new range of possibilities in the context of the lightning network. For example, peers on the network could eventually act as cryptocurrency exchanges, competing with one another to offer the best exchange rates.

“Arguably the most important benefit of Lightning swaps is the ability to efficiently exchange different currencies without a custodian,” Fromknecht said. “Our ecosystem heavily depends on exchanges to fulfill this role today, but Lightning swaps offer users a choice to get the best of both worlds — instant exchanges without relinquishing control of your money.”

Similarly, such exchangers could act as payment processors: it would be much easier for users to spend litecoin at merchants that only accept bitcoin (or vice versa). And it’s even conceivable that bitcoin-to-bitcoin payments over the lightning network will route via Litecoin hubs, if that’s the cheapest way to get funds from A to B.

For Lee, at least, this is not as unlikely as it sounds, and the successful tests mark another step toward his vision for the lightning network on Litecoin and Bitcoin.

“The Litecoin team is excited to work with Lightning Labs to explore the true potential of instant cross-chain atomic swaps,” he concluded.

For a more in-depth technical explanation of these kinds of atomic swaps, see our previous article “Atomic Scaps: How the Lightning Network Extends to Altcoins” or the blog post and video published by Lightning Labs today.

The post The Lightning Network Now Supports Transactions Across Blockchains appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 3:48 pm

Coinbase Courts Hedge Funds With Storage Service

Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange startup Coinbase is launching a new storage service aimed specifically at institutional investors.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 2:40 pm

Dell Subsidiary Considers Blockchain Use in Data Transfers

In a new patent application, Dell subsidiary VMWare outlines how it could integrate a blockchain into a proposed cloud-based data transfer service.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 1:45 pm

Bitcoin Nears $7,900 to Hit New All-Time High

The price of bitcoin is spiking, climbing above $7,700 for first time since Nov. 8.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 11:40 am

Survey: Bitcoin Investors Won't Sell Until Price Nears $200k

New survey data highlights the ideological – and economic – factors driving some investors to purchase bitcoin.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 11:20 am

$100 Bitcoin? Japan Post Bank's CIO Blasts 'Bubble' Value

Bitcoin's astonishing price rally this year continues to attract skeptics, including the CIO of Japan Post Bank.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 10:05 am

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YouTube Stars Can Now Earn Brave's Browser Tokens

The ad-blocking browser provides YouTubers with an alternative monetization strategy in a year of aggravation with the video site's ad-killing bots.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 9:00 am

'Is It Real?': Square CFO Speaks Out on Cash App Bitcoin Trial

The CFO of mobile payments firm Square has explained why the company launched a bitcoin pilot scheme.

Posted on 16 November 2017 | 8:00 am

Zen Protocol Advances Smart Contracts for Financial Services

Zen Thumb

Shunryū Suzuki, the Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, once remarked that, "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."

In many ways, this aphorism captures the entrepreneurial tenor of today’s emerging world of blockchain technology, as startup companies seek to address critical issues facing the distributed ledger space.  

Many would agree that today’s financial systems are fraught with centralization, complexity and barriers to access. While established businesses and individuals in this market can manage the paperwork and bureaucracy, many still find these barriers to participation too challenging to overcome.  

As a result, potential trades and deals are lost, as these financial participants, trying to get limited access to the system, turn to intermediaries. These participants are, therefore, unable to issue assets or even to trade in some asset classes.  

Zen Protocol, a smart contract company headquartered in Tel Aviv, is on a quest to change this trajectory, by making secure, peer-to-peer finance possible on a customized, public blockchain, removing the need for intermediaries such as banks and brokers.  

Zen’s approach allows anyone, anytime, anywhere to create and trade financial products on a secure platform — a Proof-of-Work blockchain protocol. It’s here where an open marketplace for options, futures, digital currencies and a myriad of other financial instruments are offered to consumers who would otherwise be left without the ability to participate. 

Zen Protocol, in many respects, can be viewed as an alternative to Ethereum, Bitcoin’s main market competitor. Zen’s main value proposition is the creation of a blockchain that mitigates some of the pesky issues that have adversely impacted Ethereum, while simultaneously running parallel to the Bitcoin blockchain. 

By way of example, one problem users on the Ethereum blockchain face is running out of “gas.” This means that transactions on its network often fizzle out, requiring that whatever currency paid to a user be returned to them. In other words, because there wasn’t enough energy to complete their transaction, it was canceled. Unfortunately, the fee for running this transaction still has to be paid.

Zen addresses this issue through proven resource bounds: a protocol for attaching to each contract a proof of how long it takes to run. This completely removes the need to monitor gas.

Key here is that smart contracts won’t allow a transaction to be sent without knowing how much computation it uses. This one feature alone makes Zen a noteworthy alternative to Ethereum and other smart contract platforms.  

With Zen miners now able to check how much computation transactions take to verify, they no longer have to run them in a virtual machine. Unlike competing platforms, Zen simply compiles its smart contracts to machine code, enabling them to run at native speed and greatly increasing transaction throughput.

Zen has implemented a system called “Multi Hash Mining” which distributes mining rewards to several hashing algorithms while giving users — that is, holders of the Zen native token — the power to vote on which hashing algorithms will receive the rewards. The company believes that this approach will result in a fairer and more equal engagement between miners and token holders, with all participants incentivized to cooperate.  

It should also be noted that, rather than being limited to the native Zen token, any asset in Zen can be used to pay transaction fees, including those created by contracts. This reduces complexity for consumers seeking to move around and pay fees in fiat currency. With Zen, all new assets can be utilized by any existing or future contract. 

Zen Protocol’s Push Forward 

The core team at Zen protocol started working together in 2014 in the blockchain space and, after years of research, began development of the Zen Protocol in June 2016. 

“Our driving motivation in creating Zen is the belief that people have a right to own their financial assets, and we feel a responsibility to provide people with the necessary tools to empower themselves,” said CEO Adam Perlow. 

Perlow noted that rather than be exposed to counterparty risk, most individuals use financial institutions as trusted intermediaries. He says that these financial institutions facilitate the majority of economic transactions.  

The model employed by Zen Protocol overcomes the ability of financial institutions to limit people’s freedom to transact, providing an alternative way of accessing financial products and controlling risk.   

Perlow believes that Zen Protocol’s approach follows from some simple premises. 

“These premises are the need for increased security — provided by formal verification and a secure execution context, the need for real utility — provided, for example, by oracles, and the need for better governance [by multi hash mining],” he said. "In the long term, we think Zen provides people with a ‘Swiss bank’ in their pocket, allowing them to make use of cryptographic advancements to create, trade and store conventional financial assets such as stocks, bonds and derivatives over a decentralized network." 

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The post Zen Protocol Advances Smart Contracts for Financial Services appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 November 2017 | 8:29 am

Kaspersky Lab and Parity Technologies Launch Blockchain-Based Voting System

Kaspersky Lab and Parity Technologies Launch Blockchain-Based Voting System

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab unveiled Polys, a secure online voting system based on blockchain technology and backed with transparent crypto algorithms, at the company’s annual Cybersecurity Weekend event in Dublin.

“[Online] voting imposes extremely stringent requirements on the security of every aspect of voting,” notes the Polys website. “We believe that the blockchain technology is the missing link in the architecture of a viable online voting system.”

“In our Kaspersky Lab Business Incubator we’re supporting both internal and external teams in developing bright ideas and technologies, which can be implemented in various areas where safety and security are important,” said Vartan Minasyan, Head of Investment and Innovation at Kaspersky Lab.

“One such area is online voting and, when exploring the possible implementations of blockchain in particular, our team realized that this technology combined with the company’s cybersecurity expertise could solve key problems related to the privacy, transparency and security of online voting. We’re excited that we have been able to create a suitable environment for this internal innovation.”

Kaspersky Lab released a beta version of Polys, intended to get early feedback and iteratively develop an operational voting system that, according to the company, “will change the way people vote.”

At the moment, Polys offers a free web-based dashboard to create an online vote with two options: majority vote, in which the option that gets the majority of votes wins, and cumulative vote, in which the voter has multiple votes that can be given to a single option or divided among several options. Cumulative voting is often used, for example, for committee elections where voters can support more than one candidate.

Once a vote has been created on the Polys dashboard, the administrators can choose how to accept votes. Currently supported options are email, unique codes, and public voting. In email voting, Polys sends an email to each voter with a secure voting link. In public voting, the voting link is open to everyone who can view it. A combination of online and offline voting can be implemented with secure codes, generated by Polys and sent to users in electronic or printed format, which enable users to vote using either personal devices or public computers in voting kiosks.

Polys will support a desktop app to create a vote and a mobile app to actually vote. Besides the free dashboard, Polys offers a paid version that supports white-labeling, re-branding and integration options.

According to Kaspersky Lab, a robust voting system should ensure voter anonymity, provide protection against trash votes, vote trafficking and voter coercion, and enable voters to check that their votes have been recorded in the blockchain. It’s also important to encrypt the voting results recorded in the blockchain, otherwise intermediate results could become available before voting ends, which is often against the law.

For now, votes can’t be changed by Polys or by the voters, but a Polys white paper suggests countering the threats of vote trafficking and coerced voting by enabling voters to change their votes without limitation.

The source code of Polys, based on Ethereum smart contracts, will be made available on GitHub. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab is leading Polys’s security development;  Parity Technologies, a company specialized in blockchain and peer-to-peer software for the decentralized web, will support the project’s blockchain development.

“Parity Technologies is excited to be involved with Polys as their platform of choice for such an innovative project,” said Jutta Steiner, co-founder of Parity Technologies. “Blockchain [technology] is increasingly being implemented by a vast number of industries, and we believe that decentralizing the voting procedure will ensure a fair process and create a high level of trust in the system.”

Kaspersky Lab proposes two typical use cases for Polys: early-adopting environments such as universities, where students and faculty will be able to informally vote for classes and student councils, and tech-oriented “future cities” that need new solutions for conducting formal elections with speed, reliability and trust.

It seems likely that blockchain-based online voting systems, including but not limited to Polys, will first find operational applications for informal, non-binding consultative voting in academia and similar environments. It’s worth noting that Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), which can often be considered as demonstrators of future governance methods, have built-in voting systems based on blockchain technology, often implemented with Ethereum smart contracts.

Therefore, it seems plausible that blockchain-based voting could move to the “real” world of cities and governments. Once blockchain-based voting systems are able to demonstrate watertight security, they could address the challenge of counting errors and fraud in elections. It’s also worth noting that, while blockchain voting has its delays and costs, it could be much faster and cheaper than traditional voting systems. Blockchain voting could enable governments to implement direct democracy with frequent consultations on a wide range of political and social issues.

The post Kaspersky Lab and Parity Technologies Launch Blockchain-Based Voting System appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 November 2017 | 12:57 pm

MadHive’s Mission to Restore Transparency and Fairness to Advertising

MAD


Digital technology should make the advertising business more efficient. But it has not — at least not from the perspective of companies that place ads or the content publishers who sell ad space to them. Laden with middlemen and clouded by convoluted, proprietary ad placement platforms, the modern digital advertising industry faces serious challenges.


New York–based MadHive is on a mission to solve them. Using blockchain technology and smart contracts, MadHive is constructing an ad tech platform, called the MAD Network, that reduces the power of the  middlemen in ad tech and brings buyers and sellers closer together.


At the same time, the MAD Network is designed to restore transparency to the ad tech industry. By recording information on the blockchain, encrypting it and making it available to advertisers with the requisite permissions, the MAD Network prevents fraud and ensures that advertisers can trace exactly how their money is being spent. Publishers can also sell data over the blockchain to help advertisers understand consumer behavior and plan ad campaigns more effectively.

The Problems With Advertising Today

Software tools can automate most of the work required to match an advertiser looking to place an ad with a publisher who has ad space to sell. However, the platforms that currently connect advertisers to publishers operate as “walled gardens,” in which only the platform owners — as opposed to advertisers and publishers — can understand how dollars are spent and information is exchanged.


This isn’t a problem that affects only small-time advertisers and publishers. It impacts organizations as large as The Guardian, a major British newspaper that is suing an ad tech company over allegations that the company’s proprietary ad placement service imposed “secret commissions” on the publisher and obscured information that would have helped the newspaper secure a fairer share of profits from advertisers.


Put simply, advertising dollars “disappear” as they flow down the supply chain from advertisers to publishers. Middlemen soak up a majority of the revenue.

How Mad Network Fixes Ad Tech

A better approach to ad tech is possible. MadHive is leading the way by building the MAD Network, a blockchain-based ad tech solution. The MAD Network is a complete ad tech platform that consists of several components, each of which solves an important challenge for advertisers, publishers or both.

MADnet Books

MADnet Books is a blockchain-based payment system. MADnet Books does more than simply enable transactions, however. Because it is built on the blockchain, it facilitates decentralized, transparent revenue streams. Ad tech dollars can’t disappear when they are recorded on the blockchain — nor can advertisers and publishers be misled about the way money is being spent. The transparency that MADnet Books provides is just as important as the core payment functionality.

MADnet Books is powered by MADtoken, the protocol’s native token. The token economy is an important tool in the MADNetwork, which aims to flip the market dynamics for the middle layer. By doing so, MADNetwork will make it more profitable to be in business and serve the interest of buyers and sellers, which is not always the case in today’s supply chain. For the buyer this results in greater reach for the cost, while publishers actually lower the margin compression that currently plagues the digital advertising ecosystem.

MADnet Data

A significant amount of value within the ad tech industry lies in the data that digital ad platforms create. Traditionally, this data has remained in the hands of the middlemen who control the platforms. They don’t typically share it with advertisers; instead, they may sell it to advertisers’ competitors to generate additional revenue.

On the MAD Network, however, data will be shared thanks to MADnet Data, a decentralized data management platform. MADnet Data will enable advertisers and publishers to share data about ad performance and engagement directly with each other, in a secure, peer-to-peer fashion regulated by permissions and access control. Such data sharing can help to generate additional revenue streams for publishers while providing advertisers with deeper insight into the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. Here, again, it all boils down to transparency.

MADnet Core

MADnet Core is the server that matches advertisers to publishers for the purpose of placing ads. This is not just another ad server, however. Like the other parts of the MAD Network, MADnet Core operates in a decentralized fashion, with the network performing the work of finding out which publishers are a good match for which ads.
Because of this decentralized approach, no single party can control or manipulate the way ads are served. The core functionality of ad tech — matching advertisers with publishers — will remain open and transparent.

Token Sale

The MAD Network remains under very active development. MADnet Books is slated to be the first platform component to be completed, followed by MADnet Core and, later, MADnet Data.


To help support development of the MAD Network and offer the blockchain community an opportunity to invest in a platform that is poised to disrupt the ad tech industry from top to bottom, the MAD Network plans to host a token launch on November 30, 2017.

The post MadHive’s Mission to Restore Transparency and Fairness to Advertising appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 November 2017 | 8:53 am

Bitcoin Gold Launches on November 12

Bitcoin Gold Launches Tomorrow

After weeks of preparation, Bitcoin Gold (Bgold; BTG) is finally launching tomorrow,  November 12, 2017.


Bitcoin Gold is the second project to fork away from the Bitcoin blockchain to create a new coin this year; on August 1, Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) was the first. Where Bcash attempted to offer an on-chain scaling solution by increasing Bitcoin’s block size limit (while removing the Segregated Witness code), Bgold is an attempt to counter Bitcoin’s mining centralization.


The most important difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Gold is a new proof-of-work mining algorithm. Instead of SHA256, the new coin uses the memory-hard Equihash proof-of-work function that’s also used in the privacy-focused altcoin Zcash. This means that specialized ASIC hardware that has come to dominate Bitcoin’s mining ecosystem will not be able to mine Bgold.


Although Bgold is launching this weekend, the fork “officially” occurred on October 25. Anyone who held bitcoin (BTC) on that day (specifically, when Bitcoin block 491406 was mined) will have an equivalent amount of BTG attributed to their private keys. These private keys can be imported into a dedicated Bgold wallet, which, starting tomorrow, will allow users to spend the coins. (But note that this does not come without risks and tradeoffs: If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s best not to ignore BTG until you do. For more information als see this article. Update, November 12th: There are now confirmed cases of malware disguised as Bgold wallets. Be extreme careful not to import your Bitcoin private keys into any software you don't fully trust!)


Block 491407 on the Bgold blockchain will be the first block to deviate from the Bitcoin protocol. In other words, this will be the first block where Bgold splits off to become its own currency. However, somewhat controversially, the first 8000 blocks will be privately mined by the Bgold team. Only after these 8000 blocks will Bgold’s mining difficulty ramp up to normal levels, and will anyone be allowed to mine the coin. The resulting 100,000 BTG worth of block rewards from the first 8000 blocks will fund project development and more. (For more details, see the Bitcoin Gold roadmap.)


Other changes implemented by Bitcoin Gold are mostly to ensure a smooth split away from Bitcoin. This includes a new difficulty re-adjustment algorithm named “DigiShield” that adjusts the mining difficulty each time a block is found — instead of once every two weeks. Bgold also includes strong replay protection, ensuring that no users spend BTC when they mean to spend BTG, and vice versa. Additionally, BGold implemented a new address scheme, preventing users from spending BTC to BTG addresses and vice versa.


Bitcoin Gold will be supported by a relatively large number of exchanges, including major players like Bitfinex, OKex and HitBTC. Several of these exchanges are effectively supporting BTC/BTG trading already through futures markets. Ignoring an initially inflated price, these futures have traded at around 0.02 BTC in recent weeks, with a notable surge to about 0.042 BTC at the time of writing this article. If this holds up, 1 BTG would be worth almost $250, and Bgold would immediately become a top-5 altcoin on websites like coinmarketcap.com.


For more information on Bitcoin Gold, see Bitcoin Magazine’s earlier article on this project.


Disclaimer: The author of this article holds BTC and will therefore also own BTG at launch.

The post Bitcoin Gold Launches on November 12 appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 11 November 2017 | 11:15 am

De-briefing Ethereum’s Parity Predicament: What’s Next?

De-briefing Ethereum’s Parity Predicament: What’s Next?

After an unidentified actor “accidentally” triggered a series of bugs that destroyed approximately $150 million worth of digital currency, the world waits for a substantive answer — is this vulnerability an anomaly? An “I told you so”? Or a humbling opportunity to secure the Ethereum network?

What Happened?

On November 6, “Devops199,” an alleged amateur programmer, set off a chain of bugs on Parity, a popular digital wallet for Ethereum. These bugs affected multisignature, or “multisig,” accounts — “wallets” that require multiple users to sign off with their keys before funds can be transferred.. The place these wallets connect to is known as a “library” contract.

  1. According to Parity, an attempt to fix a vulnerability that allowed hackers to steal $32 million from multisignature wallets in July of 2017 inadvertently created a second vulnerability in the library contract. This allowed Devops199 gain sole ownership of the library that every multisignature wallet used for their code.

  2. After Devops199 realized what had happened, he “killed” (deleted) the code. Unfortunately, this locked all funds into multisignature wallets permanently, with no way to access them.

  3. Because of the functionality of the current blockchain, $150 million worth of ether (ETH), the tradable currency that fuels the Ethereum platform, is now effectively destroyed and inaccessible to anyone.

Among the victims of this bug are several recently successful ICOs that chose to store their funds in a Parity wallet because of its multisig option and compatibility with various hardware wallets.

Parity’s Response (So Far)

On November 7, tweets on Parity’s official Twitter account acknowledged the vulnerability and confirmed that the funds affected are frozen and can’t be moved anywhere.

A day later, on November 8, Parity de-briefed the bug, explaining that it was indeed possible to turn the Parity Wallet Library contract into a regular multisig wallet and become the owner of it, which is exactly what Devops199 did. Parity now has a tool to check if a user/wallet has been affected by the vulnerability.

Parity’s History of Hacks

This isn’t the first time Parity has fallen victim to a security exploit. Parity’s multisignature contracts were previously the target of three thefts totalling 150,000 ether in July of 2017 (the second-largest hack after the DAO fiasco). And losses could have been exponentially higher. However, the “White Hat Group,” a collection of hackers and activists, was able to intervene and drain the majority of other wallets before they could be compromised as well.

Future multi-sig wallets created in all versions of Parity Wallet have no known exploits.
 - Official Parity website post following the July 19 hack

Jeff Coleman, an expert in blockchain technologies and currently a researcher and advisor with L4 Ventures, described Parity’s response to the July 19, 2017, attack as having been “worrying, to say the least.”

Coleman told Bitcoin Magazine that his primary concerns centered around Parity’s inadequate response and its tendency to downplay the significance of the compromise, choosing instead to blame a large number of external causes:

They blamed observers for not finding the bug before it was exploited; they blamed lack of incentivization for observers; and they blamed the Solidity language for not blocking access by default to the functions the [Parity team] failed to protect.

He further noted that Parity seemed to be blaming the complexity of the well-audited wallet (which they still believed to be secure) from which they had originally modified their code. And also that Parity didn’t take responsibility for their own inadequate quality control and audit procedures.

S.O.S.?

Developers in the community are desperately trying to find a fix to the Parity predicament. Coleman believes that “from a technological perspective, there is nothing short of a hard fork [a non-backward-compatible change to the Ethereum protocol] to restore the destroyed funds.”

After the DAO hack in 2016, the Ethereum Foundation had already accepted a hard fork to restore lost funds, with the common understanding that this was a sort of “mulligan” — a one-time fix for a young, developing blockchain. This scenario, nevertheless, divided the Ethereum blockchain into two parts and created Ethereum Classic, the original Ethereum blockchain, backed by a community that vehemently opposes editing transaction history to restore lost funds.

Using hard forks as interventions to “correct” worst-case scenarios like this is highly controversial, especially since blockchains are meant to be immutable. So, it’s difficult to convince the Ethereum community to use a hard fork to rescue one team from a mistake. While many acknowledge sympathy for smaller accounts storing personal ETH, sentiment is not as sympathetic for the 300,000 ETH that belonged to the Polkadot Project, project associated with the Parity team.

Arseny Reutov, an application security researcher for blockchain security firm positive.com, affirmed this community sentiment, while acknowledging that hard forks can be solutions. However, he agrees that Ethereum cannot simply hard fork any time there is a problem on the network. He believes blockchains should expect “more and more high profile thefts and incidents,” and that the problem lies in the infant Ethereum platform itself — specifically, in the native Solidity programming language.

If a Hard Fork Isn’t the Answer, Then What Is?

Both Coleman and Reutov believe that the key to gaining the community support necessary to restore funds is to combine the Parity situation with similar situations in which funds have been lost due to various kinds of mistakes. As an example, Coleman referenced those detailed in EIP 156: “Reclaiming of ether in common classes of stuck accounts.”

Coleman also pointed out that in any of these instances, it must be “completely unambiguous who the original owners of the assets were.” The necessary changes could then be made and packaged together in an “already planned hard fork, such as the upcoming Constantinople fork.”

Even so, restoring funds is problematic. Ethereum core developers must discern which mistake-affected funds will be returned to users. Will all funds be returned or only a select few — or will this be a ~500,000 ETH learning experience?

The post De-briefing Ethereum’s Parity Predicament: What’s Next? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 10 November 2017 | 4:11 pm

Bitcoin price climbs over $4,000

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 1:16 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:14 pm

German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:32 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

November 17, 2017 -
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