Blockchain Summit India 2019

Indian Government Supported Blockchain Summit to be Held on Feb 22-23, 2019

Blockchain Summit India 2019 (an Indian government-backed blockchain summit) is scheduled to take place on February 22 and 23, 2019. The event is aimed to accelerate the process of policy formation regarding blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

Reports say the event will be attended by the policy makers of India. The expected participants of the event will include officials from the Indian Ministry of Finance. The current panel of experts who are currently drafting the cryptocurrency related regulatory framework is also said to be present during the event.

Blockchain Summit India 2019 – Who are Supporting?

The blockchain event is directly supported by:

  • Multiple departments of the Union Government:
    • Department
      of Science and Technology
    • Ministry of
      Commerce and Industry
    • Ministry of
      Law and Justice
    • Ministry of
      Human Resources Development
    • Department
      of Information Technology.
  • State Government of Uttar Pradesh

What’s the Objective of Blockchain Summit India 2019?

Blockchain Summit India 2019

The event, which is going to be held on February 22 and 23, has the
following stated objective:

“The
summit is targeted towards enabling Indian government and ministries to speed
up the process of developing a flourished blockchain and cryptocurrency
ecosystem.”

 The fintech partner of Blockchain
Summit India 2019 is Cashaa. Its Marketing VP, Janina Lowisz, has said that:

“for the
first time, the ministers from all relevant departments have come together with
experts from the space as well as from leading universities and global brands
to learn about and speed up the process of regulating cryptocurrency.”

Blockchain Summit India 2019 – Details of the Event

The fintech partner of the event has said that they have invited Subhash
Chandra Garg (Secretary of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance). Garg is heading
the committee, which is currently drafting the regulatory framework for Bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies in India.

Lowisz has told media that:

“Ministry
of Finance officials will be there… An invitation has been sent to Mr. Garg.”

She also noted the fact that Garg is currently abroad. However, she made
it clear that Garg’s team of officials will be there during the event’s second
day (February 23, 2019) of the event to take notes.

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General Motors Blockchain

General Motors Adopts Blockchain: Mass Adoption is a Step Closer Now

A blockchain firm Spring Labs has announced that it is partnering with the finance arm of the largest US automobile company General Motors. Their partnership with General Motors Financial will help in reduction of identity theft. The joint initiative will explore the role of blockchain technology in data sharing.

Reports say implementation of the project will help General Motors save millions of US Dollars in fraud related cost. In fact, a recent study has shown that 95% of the car manufacturers are going to use blockchain technology in the coming 3 years.

What did the Announcement Say?

Through its Twitter handle, Spring Labs has said:

“Very excited to officially unveil our partnership with @gmfinancial, one of the largest global providers of auto financing with operations in North America, South America, and Asia.”

When interviewed, Mike Kanarios (Chief Strategy Officer of GM Financial)
said that blockchain technology will help in fraud identification in a “better,
faster, and cheaper” way.

Synthetic Identity Fraud and Blockchain Technology Adoption by General
Motors

General Motors Financial, the finance arm of General Motors is confronting a newer kind of identity theft problem. It is called synthetic identity theft. In fact, this is the fastest growing identity theft type in the United States.

General Motors Blockchain

This fraud type blends different parts of people’s stolen data first. Then it creates a new identity. With the help of such identity fraud, an individual can apply for and get multiple loans on a car.

While recognizing this problem, Mike Kanarios has said:

“As the
captive finance arm for General Motors and one of the world’s largest auto
finance providers, we are continually innovating and evolving our fraud
prevention and detection capabilities to better serve and protect our customers
and dealers.”

Why are Fraudsters Targeting General Motors Primarily?

GM Financial has become a prime target of such fraudsters. This is mainly because the finance arm of General Motors has an extensive presence across the globe. Some of the global hotspots of GM Financial include North and South America as well as Asia. It issues finance, loans, and leasing options to a huge number of users.

As it has been a prime target of the fraudsters, the company loses millions of dollars every year to fight identity theft. That’s why using blockchain technology will help the company save loads of money. This is mainly because a car bought by a fraudster makes it impossible to track.

Once a vehicle becomes untrackable, it become impossible to get the finance money back from its owner. That’s the reason why GM Financial has decided to adopt blockchain technology.

Can Adoption of Blockchain by GM Financial help in Mass Adoption?

Around 62% of the top executives of automobile industry believe that incorporation of blockchain technology will bring a paradigm shift in the automobile and related finance industry in 3 years span. As General Motors is a leading player of the industry, its recent blockchain adoption will accelerate the mass adoption of this technology.

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us pension fund crypto

US Pension Fund Invests in Crypto & Blockchain Fund – Investment Details

Virginia
Police Department has revealed their plan of investing a part of their pension
fund to Morgan Creek’s
Blockchain Opportunities Fund. In fact, they are also explaining why they
are keeping faith in the newly evolved crypto and blockchain market. Analysts believe
that this is the right time to enter the crypto market as it is going through a
prolonged bearish phase.

The concerned Blockchain Opportunities Fund was intended to raise US$25
million. However, latest reports reveal that the concerned fund of Morgan Creek
has been successful in raising US$40 million from various institutions including
two pension plans of Fairfax County and other.   

What did Virginia Police Department say about Blockchain Opportunities Fund?

Jeff Weiler (Director of Fairfax County’s Retirement Systems) has given a detailed account of the total investment done by the Virginia retirement system in the Blockchain Opportunities.

He has said that US$21 million has been invested by the Virginia Police
Department:

  • Employee’s retirement fund of Fairfax County invested
    US$10 million (it represents 0.3% of the fund’s total assets)
  • Police officer’s fund invested US$11 million (it
    represents 0.8% of the fund’s total assets)

Director of Fairfax County’s Retirement Systems made the post to assuage concerns cropping up due to the investment. Reports say the investment accounts for just 1% of the total assets of the fund. Moreover, the blockchain fund of Morgan Creek doesn’t invest in Bitcoin solely. Their investment portfolio includes blockchain companies such as Bakkt and Coinbase.

It needs special mention that investing in crypto exchanges are considered to be much safer than investing in cryptos. This is because of the fact that cryptocurrency values have less impact on cryptocurrency exchanges. No matter which direction the cryptocurrency market is heading (up or down), the exchanges earn commission from both direction of trade (long or short). That’s why this kind of investment is thought as safer investments.  

us pension fund crypto

Weiler has went on to say:

“All
investments involve risk and this investment is no different. However, as they
would do with any investment, Fairfax’s investment team determined that the
expected returns from this investment were in line with the level of risk
incurred. This also played a big part in how much was invested.”

He went on to add that:

“No more
than 15% of the funds will be invested in actual cryptocurrencies and, to-date,
the Fund has no exposure to any cryptocurrencies.”

Conclusion

To assuage the retirees about the concerns regarding investment in a
bearish crypto market, Director of Fairfax County’s Retirement Systems Jeff
Weiler gave figures to show the immense opportunity ahead. He said entering a
bearish crypto market may look a risky play.

Jeff has assured that the fund is capable enough to navigate through
these stormy seas. He went on to say that a slight recovery of Bitcoin from the
current below-US$4,000 level to US$5,000 level will help the US Pension Fund to
get a return of more than US$1.9 million.

Morgan Creek’s Anthony Pompliano reportedly believes that the Bitcoin will further correct from the current level of US$3671.6 to a level closer to US$3,000 or even below. In fact, that’s why the Blockchain Opportunity Fund hasn’t made any Bitcoin purchases yet.

This means that an upward movement of Bitcoin from a level of US$3,000 will give the US Pension Fund larger returns once the largest crypto starts its upward movement.

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Globsyn Business School Blockchain

India’s Globsyn Business School to Use Blockchain for Graduate Certification

Globsyn Business School (GBS), one of the leading business schools in India, is all set to introduce blockchain technology based certificates for its new graduates. Per the announcement by GBS, they are among the first few business schools in India that are using innovative technology for their certification process.

Globsyn Business School Announces Blockchain Certification for Business
Graduates

Director of the Globsyn Business School, Rahul Dasgupta, has said:

“Having forayed into the quest for continuous innovation in education two decades ago, it is due to its propensity for the technical breakthroughs that today, Globsyn Business School stands on a strong foundation of technological platforms across its systems and processes. Following this legacy, GBS is now set to disrupt yet another age-old system of providing paper diplomas to its graduating students.”

For issuing certificates to its business graduates, Globsyn Business School is reportedly using Certy platform. This platform is being used by many other educational institutes for issuing certificates to the business school grads.

These blockchain based certificates provided through the Certy platform are tamper-proof and instantly-verifiable. Reports say that this blockchain technology-based services Certy is provided by one of the leading most blockhain startups in India named Somish.

Will Blockchain Based Certification Make Physical Certificates Obsolete?

The best part of blockchain based certification is that they can be accessed by prospective employers from anywhere in the world. Therefore, the requirement of having physical certificates will either become obsolete or ornamental (just for showing off the rolled physical certificates at the time of passing out ceremony).

Therefore, from now on the graduating students of India’s Globsyn Business School can share their diploma certificates with other educational institutions or potential employers. Once shared, the institutes or employers can check the certificates online from any part of the world. Therefore, blockchain technology will not only make the certificates tamper-proof but also instantly-verifiable in a click of a button.

CEO of Somish, Ish Goel, said:

“Students
can now simply share their certificate IDs and Blockchain transaction hash with
prospective employers for instant verification. This is truly ground-breaking.
We are dedicated in supporting Globsyn with their Blockchain journey.”

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/




blockchain interbank Italy

18 Italian Banks Start Testing Blockchain Interbank System with R3 Corda DLT Platform

Reports
say 18 banks in Italy (under the Italian Banking Association) is now in
the process of testing R3 Corda based blockchain interbank solution. Corda is
the open-source distributed ledger technology platform of R3 blockchain
consortium.

Blockchain Interbank System by Italian Banks – Details

In a statement, the Italian Banking Association (ABI) has said that the platform has been developed in association with its 3 technical partners:

  • R3 blockchain consortium
  • Sia, an Italian ICT company
  • NTT Data, a Japanese IT company

They have named their project “Spunta”. 18 Italian banks (which account for 78% of the total banking sector of Italy, in terms of employees) are currently testing this platform.

Interbank system powered by the Italian Banking Association successfully passed the initial testing phase back in October 2018. At that time 14 banks participated in the testing process.

The association of Italian banks has said that the interbank blockchain system is currently in the pre-production phase. After conducting a series of tests initially, ABI will launch it for a focus group. It is learned that the developers will also carry out testing of the platform’s stability. This will be done through the generation of transaction volumes over the 365-days period.  

blockchain interbank Italy

In fact, additional updates are being developed by the Italian Banking Association along with its partner. The pilot banks will again test these additional updates. Therefore, this will lead to the complete reconstruction of the production processes of the banking sector in Italy.

Why is AIB carrying out these Tests?

AIB is going full throttle in bringing the coveted change in the Italian interbank system because of two developments. The first development is a part of the decision made by 7 countries in the European Union. The second one is concerned with a parliamentary bill passed in the Italian parliament.

  • In Dec’18, seven European Union countries (Italy, France, Spain, Malta, Greece, Portugal, and Cyprus) decided to promote the use of Distributed Ledger Technology in the region. They regarded it as an important innovation for the economies in the southern European Union.
  • Following this decision, the Italian parliament passed a bill saying that the smart contracts need to comply with blockchain, DLT, and other technical criteria for complying with legal validity.

Conclusion

The Corda platform of R3 is used by leading financial companies all over the world. Some of the examples include Commerzbank (German), Natixis (French), Rabobank  (Dutch), and SBI Holdings (Japan). Therefore, completion of the ongoing test and consequent will help bring a paradigm shift in the European banking sector and beyond.

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bitcoin ethereum index

NASDAQ to Offer Bitcoin & Ethereum Index from February 25, 2019

NASDAQ,
one of the leading stock exchange operators of the world, has announced its
partnership with Brave New Coin (a blockchain data and research firm based in
New Zealand). This partnership will reportedly launch its two new Bitcoin and Ethereum indexes
on February 25, 2019.

NASDAQ’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Indexes – More Information

Reports say the two Bitcoin and Ethereum indexes that will start its
operation later this month are:

  • Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX)
  • Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX)

The leading stock exchange has said that these indices will provide Nasdaq Global Index Data ServiceSM (GIDS) information on a real-time basis. In fact, the consolidated data feed will also be provided.

Bitcoin Liquid Index and Ethereum Liquid Index will reportedly provide
users with reference rate or real-time spot rate for one BTC and one Ethereum respectively.
This price will be quoted in US Dollar and will be “based on the most liquid
ends of their markets.” The provided data by these indices will be refreshed
every 30 seconds.

bitcoin ethereum index

The calculation at both Bitcoin Liquid Index and Ethereum Liquid Index are done with the use of a methodology that has been audited independently against IOSCO (International Organisation of Securities Commissions) principles.

The exchange operator went on to say:

“The BLX
is one of the most widely-referenced BTC indices among crypto traders and has
been calculated back to 2010. Likewise, the ELX has been calculated back to
2014.”

NASDAQ is Very Active in Crypto Market for Quite Sometime

NASDAQ stock has been significantly active in blockchain technology implementation as well as the cryptocurrency industry for quite some time now. The company has been on the frontline of a Series-B funding round for Symbiont blockchain startup. NASDAQ had also partnered with VanEck investment management firm in November 2018 for bringing “a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” to the crypto market in 2019.

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Bitcoin Radio Signal

Bitcoin sent over National Border via Radio Signals, Without Internet or Satellite

Coinkite founder, Radolfo Novak, has successfully completed a Bitcoin (BTC) transaction from Canada’s Toronto to the USA’s Michigan without using the internet or satellite. A software-defined-radio has been used for completing the transaction.

Bitcoin Transaction Completed without Internet or Satellite – But How?

Reports say Radolfo Novak used an application named JS8Call along with a pre-configured brain-wallet for making the transaction successful. While the JS8Call application is used to send text strings by using the radio frequencies.

While commenting on the new phenomenon, Bitcoin pioneer Nick Szabo said:

Bitcoin sent over the national border without internet or satellite — just nature’s ionosphere.”

Is it Really Pathbreaking? How can it Help?

Founder of Coinkite said that brain-wallet is pretty amazing in making
cross border Bitcoin transaction. However, he also noted that a brain-wallet
which is constructed poorly can give rise to safety issues.

Bitcoin Radio Signal

He went on to note that you simply need to remember the seed phrase only
and not write it down anywhere. Novak went on to underscore the fact that it is
a risky venture to use specialized radio frequencies in transferring Bitcoin.
However, it may be extremely helpful for a person if he/she is fleeing an
oppressive regime with nothing but clothes.

In fact, some countries are also using high-frequency radio signals to bypass international sanctions. Hence, it can be seen that HF/HAM radio signals can come handy in certain special circumstances.

There are certain rumors saying that Russia has an elaborate plan of
testing to separate from global internet. Reports say that they are going to
run a trial to find a way to install a system that is separate from the global
internet. This allegedly is going to test an implementation of a “great
firewall”.

Conclusion

Radolfo Novak, the CEO of Coinkite, has said:

“Encrypted
communication is not permitted over Amateur radio unless the cypher is public.’
But I think those kind of rules go out of the window in an apocalypse, or if
the thing you’re trying to do is not permitted anyway.”

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Wikileaks Craig Wright

Wikileaks Calls Craig Wright’s Bluff of being Original “Satoshi Nakamoto”

Craig
Wright has always claimed that he is the real “Satoshi Nakamoto” (a pseudonym),
the person who is believed to be the original Bitcoin (BTC) creator. However,
Wikileaks seems to be exposing Wright’s bluff by publishing certain documents.

Wikileaks and Craig Wright Lock Horn on the Latter’s Claim of being the
original Bitcoin Creator “Satoshi Nakamoto”

Wright recently claimed in a Medium post that Bitcoin (BTC) was based on
a technology, which was always pro-State and pro-bank in nature. In fact, he
went on to paint Wikileaks as well as Julian Assange in poor light. In
addition, he also tried to position himself as a pro-State and pro-bank person.

He went on to say:

“More
importantly, I am strongly opposed to criminal markets and bucket shops. Ross
Ulbricht and others like him are criminals. They are not freedom fighters, they
are not libertarians. They simply are predators, and they are all that Bitcoin
was designed to make far more difficult.”

Wikileaks Craig Wright

This may have irked Wikileaks. Perhaps that’s the reason why they have published
documents to prove Craig Wright wrong in his claims of being the original BTC
creator.

In the concerned post, Wikileaks said:

“Craig S.
Wright is a proven serial forger of documents claiming that he is the inventor
of Bitcoin. He has been repeatedly caught. This has been independently verified
by WikiLeaks at the time of his first claim and subsequently.”

In fact, they have also provided a GitHub page link with the post for substantiating their claim.

What’s the Controversy all about?

The information provided by Wikileaks indicates that Craig Wright edited
a blog on August 26, 2008. While editing Wright didn’t change the existing
content’s phrase. He just added a sentence to prove that he was associated with
Bitcoin’s work from the very initiation. The concerned blog not only detailed
his activities at that time but also charted out the upcoming plans.

Wikileaks pointed out the text changes and went on to provide both the
original text and the altered version of the blog post.

In the original blog, Craig Wright wrote:

“Tomorrow
– back to the DNS paper, my statistics dissertation and work, Tomorrow,
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Which piece, well that is still undecided.”

However, in the edited text, he said:

“Tomorrow
– back to the DNS paper, my statistics dissertation and work. I have a cryptocurrency
paper out soon. Twenty years. Triple entry book keeping. BDO was good for
something. Tomorrow, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Which piece, well that is still
undecided.”

Just by comparing the two texts above show that Craig altered the blog
content by adding the following:

“I have a cryptocurrency paper out soon. Twenty years. Triple entry book keeping. BDO was good for something.”

Wikipedia alleges, this text is added by Wright to prove that he was associated with Bitcoin and its development from the beginning.

Photo
Credit: pixabay.com




Binance DEX Decentralized Exchange

Binance Confirms Testnet Launch Date of Decentralized Exchange

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance cryptocurrency exchange, has confirmed that the testnet of their decentralized exchange will be launched on February 20, 2019.

What did Zhao say about Binance DEX Decentralized Exchange?

Binance CEO made the announcement on Twitter saying:

“Finally got a date. Targeting to release Binance Chain testnet (@binance_dex) for public testing on Feb 20th. This is a testnet, your feedback would be most valuable.”

The test network of Binance DEX will be subjected to public testing from
the testnet launch date.

The idea of Binance decentralized exchange surfaced in 2018. This decentralized exchange will reportedly remove the issues (related to security and liability) usually faced at centralized exchanges.

Can Binance DEX Replace the Current Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Zhao first announced that the Binance DEX can either operate in a
parallel manner with the existing Binance exchange or replace existing
centralized Binance exchange completely. The final decision on the matter will
be taken on the basis of customer feedback.

Binance DEX Decentralized Exchange

What are the Other Facilities of Binance Decentralized Exchange?

  • While explaining the true decentralized nature of
    Binance DEX, he had earlier said that the customers will have full control on
    their private keys. This will help in creation of a secure and transparent
    system. He had explained by saying “So most transactions are transparent. There’s
    no hidden transactions or private transactions.”
  • CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao said that the Binance
    decentralized exchange will come with hardware wallet facility. He tweeted:

“Binance DEX will support hardware wallets from day one of launch. So
that you can be sure you private keys never leave your device.”

Conclusion

During an ask-me-anything session on Twitter, Binance CEO had said last
week that a few selected partners were given access to the Binance DEX
platform. The selected few blockchain developers and wallet developers to whom
the access was given is aimed to ensure better integration of 3rd
party services.

CEO of Binance wants to eliminate “spam or scam projects” and that’s why
the new platform will come with US$100,000 listing fee.

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/




sec commissioner peirce crypto

US SEC Commissioner Peirce says Crypto Industry is better off without Hasty Laws

US SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce has recently delivered a speech on state regulation at the University Of Missouri School Of Law. While addressing the audience SEC Commissioner Pierce said that the delays in creation and enforcement of official regulation have helped the crypto industry to grow and develop in an independent manner.

What did SEC Commissioner Peirce say about Delay in Crypto Laws?

Hester Pierce, who is also called “Crypto Mom”, said:

“We might be able to draw clearer lines once we see more blockchain projects mature… delay in drawing clear lines may actually allow more freedom for the technology to come into its own.”

Pierce acknowledged the fact that creating laws and regulations for a new industry generally takes a longer period of time. However, she also defended the time taken for creating such regulations. Pierce believes that it is better for a new industry to grow independently without any regulations rather than moving forward by creating laws and regulations hastily.

sec commissioner peirce crypto

She is of the opinion that such hastily created regulations potentially harm the industry. The US SEC Commissioner, who is known as a pro-crypto face in the US Securities and Exchange Commission, categorically said:

“If we
act appropriately, we can enable innovation on this new frontier to proceed
without compromising the objectives of our securities laws— protecting
investors, facilitating capital formation, and ensuring fair, orderly, and
efficient markets”

Conclusion

“Crypto Mom” Peirce has also suggested that in some areas there might be over-regulation in the crypto industry. She went on to say that some of the existing securities laws make the cryptocurrency companies unworkable.

US SEC Commissioner Pierce also acknowledged the fact that the attitude of the US government hasn’t always been favorable or healthy towards cryptocurrencies. She also added that the cryptocurrency industry has indeed benefitted from the non-action of the US government on crypto adoption. It has indeed provided the concerned industry enough freedom to grow as well as develop independently.

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