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2019: Reviewing the year so far, what you may have missed!

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Bitcoin crypto Updates 2019

We will be introducing Week in Review starting this week. Before we get to that, we wanted to give you the scoop of important updates that took place in Blockchain and Crypto space so far this year.  If we missed any, do let us know.

This could be considered Part 2 of our original Bull Stampede ahead but with a focus on what happened in 2019.
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Of course, the biggest news for 2019 so far is Bitcoin remained the highest performing asset of any asset class. That is quite a feat especially emerging out of a bear market.

There are some constants in the space:  Bitfinex-Tether conundrum, Warren Buffet’s anti-BTC sentiments, Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi, and Christopher Giancarlo is still a hero for crypto lovers.

And, there are some indicative trends that are emerging:  failing fiat economies are embracing bitcoin as hedge against market and political pressures.

Let’s look at the news that has some relevance for bitcoin and blockchain space, not just glitter.

Binance hack: KYC data of its users exposed

One of the most popular and quick to fame Binance Crypto exchange has been hacked and the KYC documents of its users has been compromised.  The hackers are now blackmailing Binance for a ransom.


Coinbase Ventures is Empowering the Open Financial System

coinbaseCoinbase is working on the long term vision of blockchain and crypto by investing in the companies that are working to make financial system more inclusive.  The company’s website lists the companies in which Coinbase has already made an investment. 

South Korea’s partial ‘Regulation-Free’ zones open doors to Crypto

While the politicians in the US are busy making uninformed statements about Bitcoin and comparing it with USD and nefarious activities, South Korea is creating spaces to nurture blockchain technology.  Busan has been declared as the ‘regulation-free’ zone for Crypto operators to set their businesses.

Walmart applies for Digital Currency patent

WalmartThe quality of this application leaves us asking for more, nevertheless, Walmart has joined the race of digital currency using blockchain.  Walmart is the largest retail store in America and if it introduces Walmart coin with a boat load of discounts for using it – the adoption could be much easier and faster than Facebook’s Libra.  This space is getting hotter by the minute.

IRS issued letters to Crypto taxpayers

irs cryptocurrenciesInternal Revenue Service has issued notice letters (Format 6173, 6174, 6174-A) to close to 10,000 taxpayers who had cryptocurrency transactions. We will be providing more guidance on these letters and what to do if you received one yourself. Stay tuned.


New York establishes Research and Innovation Division to license Crypto businesses

“It will house the Department’s division responsible for licensing and supervising virtual currencies, and it will assess new efforts to use technology to address financial exclusion; identify and protect consumer data rights; and encourage innovations in the financial services marketplace to preserve New York’s competitiveness as a financial innovation hub,” read the Press Release.

TD Ameritrade launches Bitcoin futures trading

AmeritradeWith 1.2 Trillion dollars in assets under its management, TD Ameritrade’s launch of Bitcoin futures marks yet another milestone in the journey of Bitcoin mass adoption.  At this time, the futures are available for professional clients with a minimum of $25,000 in the account.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calls Bitcoin a “National threat”

Steven MnuchinBitcoin is a “National threat” opined the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, while holding a briefing on regulating cryptocurrency.  We do not expect Politicians to know a lot about bitcoin, however, being a Treasury Secretary – Steven Mnuchin was expected to be more ‘balanced’ in his approach, however, that was not the case.

Canada’s City of Richmond Hill accepts bitcoin for tax payments

City of Richmond Hill in Canada has approved a proposal to accept bitcoin to settle tax payments. “We believe that the demand for a digital currency payment option is only going to grow in the coming years, especially amongst millennials”, said Richmond Hill Deputy Mayor Joe Di Paola who moved the motion.

IRS’s leaked Cyber Crimes training deck sends ripples in the Crypto community

irs cryptocurrenciesBlanket Subpoenas against Apple, Google and Microsoft to backtrack the crypto activities was among the suggestions proposed in an IRS Cyber Crimes training deck that was leaked on the internet.  IRS is building capabilities to use Chainalysis to track the wallets back to the owners.

 

The Miami Dolphins have an official Cryptocurrency: Litecoin

Miami DolphinsWhat better way to get the word out than sports?  Litecoin managed to become the official cryptocurrency of The Miami Dolphins team giving them access to the NFL hardcore fan base.  Moves like these are paving the way for Cryptocurrency to the mainstream.

 

SEC is seeking blockchain data provider to help its efforts to monitor

sec commisionSecurities Exchange Commission of the United States intends to “procure Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data to support its efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets” according to its solicitation.  

Prime Factor Capital receives authorization as Alternative Investment Fund Manager

Prime Factor CapitalFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA) has authorized Prime Factor Capital to act as Alternative Investment Fund Manager.  Nic Niedermowwe, CEO of Prime Factor Capital, comments: “This is a significant milestone not just for Prime Factor, but for the industry as a whole. Being FCA-regulated brings us under the purview of one of the most recognised financial markets regulators globally. This is particularly relevant in the cryptocurrency space, which has repeatedly captured headlines for poor operating standards and even fraudulent activity. Investors need to be able to trust their managers not only to generate returns, but also to act responsibly and in their best interest.” 

Facebook is asked to halt its cryptocurrency, Libra, project

facebook libraThere is a new villain in the Cryptosphere and everyone is glad that it is ‘Facebook’. U.S. House of Representatives asked Facebook to appear in front of Congress to discuss its Libra project.  Governments have realized just how detrimental Facebook’s Libra could be to the Fiat’s existence and they are using all the excuses in the book to undermine it.

ErisX gets approval for physically settled Digital Asset Futures Contracts from CFTC

ERISXCommodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has granted Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license.  “As a registered DCO, the ErisX clearinghouse will offer the clearing of digital asset futures contracts traded on ErisX’s regulated derivatives market, which will launch later this year” read their official Medium post.

Coming soon: Ethereum on Amazon 

Ethereum-AmazonThanks to two startups, Clic Technology and Opporty, we could soon be able to use Ethereum to make purchases on Amazon.  These two startups are launching a browser extension that could bring the modern day token economy one step closer to reality.

Google integrates Chainlink 

Google-Chainlink“Possible applications are innumerable, but we’ve focused this post on a few that we think are of high and immediate utility: prediction marketplaces, futures contracts, and transaction privacy” read the announcement from Google which is integrating Chainlink into its initiative.

Rumors about Crypto ban in India intensify

Indian GovernmentFirst it was South Korea, then China, and now India. Rumors about the ban on cryptocurrency have intensified in India.  A draft bill made rounds on the internet that proposes severe punitive measures against people dealing in cryptos.

 

Apple unveils CryptoKit

Framework around Cryptographic Developer tools that enable Cryptographic operations has been unveiled by Apple under the name CryptoKit.

Microsoft adds BTC symbol to Excel 

Excel Btc logoNerds and crypto enthusiasts welcomed the addition of BTC sign to Microsoft’s Excel tool.  This gesture comes after Google and Apple both beat MS to the punch in adding the BTC sign.  Better late than remaining MS.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) tightens the grip on Crypto exchange firms

FATF

FATF is closing in on ‘liberal’ crypto exchanges who have ignored the KYC and AML requirements.  Lot of the banking rules (like reporting the sender/receiver details under the ‘travel rules’ issued by FinCEN) could be applied to Crypto exchanges.  The direction of FATF was met with resistance from the crypto communities who argue that these rules are being designed to ‘stifle’ the blockchain and crypto revolution.

Montana catches up with times; exempts utility tokens from Securities Laws

Catching up with the times is not confined to Silicon Valley or NYC and Montana proved this by introducing House Bill 0584  which exempts utility tokens from Securities Laws as long there is a ‘utility’ for the token as defined in the bill.

Twitter and Square to make Bitcoin adoption INEVITABLE

Twitter SquareJack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, is a known advocate of Bitcoin.  He is showing his love for Bitcoin into business by making bitcoin and crypto payments available on Square.  Square is a 30 Billion dollar company and bringing crypto payments to the platform can make adoption of Bitcoin and Crypto payments inevitable. 

Blockchains LLC buys Nevada based Kirkwood Bank

Kirkwood Bank of Nevada blockchainIn an effort to bring Crypto mainstream, Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Blockchains LLC, has acquired Nevada based Kirkwood Bank.  These dents into the mainstream financial service industry is what is needed to onboard blockchain businesses into our daily lives.

 

China includes Blockchain as one of their top strategic priorities

Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey included Blockchain regional analysis in which they shine light on China’s “real economy” initiative in which blockchain was included as the top strategic priority.

Euro 6.5 Million Real Estate deal conducted on Blockchain in Paris

A real estate deal worth Euro 6.5 Million was closed in Paris using Blockchain.  This transaction further cemented the utility of Blockchain in the Real Estate space.

MIT says it developed a cryptocurrency that reduces the bandwidth by 99%

MITIn a Press Release, MIT announced that it has developed a cryptocurrency that reduces data users to join the network and verify the transactions by 99%.  They have named this cryptocurrency as “Vault”.

 

LedgerX, a New York based clearing house, gets approval to physically settle bitcoin futures contracts

Ledger XThe first federally regulated exchange and clearing house to list and clear fully-collateralized, physically-settled bitcoin swaps and options for the institutional market, LedgerX LLC, is the first entity to get CFTC approval to physically settle the bitcoin futures contracts.

 

Congressman joins the blockchain race

Gary Cohn

Former chief economic adviser to President of the United States, Gary Cohn, joins Spring Labs, who also held Chief Operating Officer post at Goldman Sachs. Talk about acceptance of the mainstream business of blockchain.

Prominent crypto news site dies and resurrects from the dead in less than 3 days

CCN Site CRASHCCN.com (formerly CryptoCoinsNews.com) announced that they were going to shutdown following Google algorithm updates that slashed the mobile traffic for the website. However, thanks to the outrage and all the searches flooding their way – they announced that they were back from the dead.

Visa’s move may be RIP for Ripple

ripple updatesOur readers know that we are not big fans of Ripple, even to the peril of being on the wrong end of an otherwise lucrative investment.  We are willing to live with that chance. Swift, then Stellar, then IBM, all ventured into what Ripple was hoping to, however, the latest to enter this space is Visa. With its massive network and infrastructure, this could be something that can finally sing RIP for Ripple. Of course, we don’t want that to be the case, just to be clear.

Niall Ferguson retracts his comments about Crypto and joins Ampleforth

AmpleforthFirst he openly accepts that he was completely wrong about assuming Crypto being worthless, then, Niall Ferguson joins a crypto startup that wants to develop a stablecoin pegged against goods instead of dollar.

Justin Sun wins lunch bid with Warren Buffet and hopes to turn him into a blockchain believer

Warren Buffet4.6 Million, that’s what costs to sit with Warren Buffet at lunch.  Justin Sun has invited blockchain pundits to join him with Warren Buffet for lunch, and hopes to change his views on bitcoin and blockchain.

 

Facebook introduces its CopyCat coin

facebook libraSocial media giant, Facebook, will announce its own cryptocurrency that will facilitate messenger payments.  The verdict is still out on whether or not this is good for crypto space. You can read our opinion here.

Microsoft releases tool to verify smart contracts

MicrosoftFormal verification of smart contracts developed in solidity programming language is now possible, thanks to Microsoft.  These strides are necessary for building confidence in smart contracts and blockchain platforms.

SEC sues Kik

kikYou cannot raise $100 Million without appropriate meeting the requirements of the SEC. Kik was sued by SEC according to their official press release.


Google and Apple add Bitcoin sign to the keyboard

bitcoin keyboardIt may just be a sign for the ignoramus, but for bitcoiners it is a great sight to see Bitcoin sign on both Google and Apple keyboards.


IRS to issue, finally, guidance on Cryptocurrency taxation

irs cryptocurrenciesCryptocurrency taxation guidance might finally be available this year.  This guidance is expected sometime in June, however, even if we get this before the end of the year – that would be a great stamp of approval for the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies.

State Farm and USAA are working together to test a blockchain solution

Two insurance giants announced a joint subrogation solution to test blockchain technology in speedy processing of auto claims.

Ernst & Young and Deloitte join Ethereum network

EthereumFirst it was EY, and then Deloitte, both accounting behemoths are now on Ethereum network building their own service solutions for the blockchain space with Ethereum as the underlying platform.

 

Samsung Pay to utilize blockchain to onboard its 10 million users

Samsung PayKorea Herald reported that Samsung Pay could include crypto wallet that could give direct access to its 10 million users to the crypto world.

 

Montana exempts utility tokens from securities law

Who would have thought that Montana would lead the way for other states to wake up, but that is just what happened, Montana exempted utility tokens from the purview of securities law.

Robinhood comes to New York

Robinhood Trading platformCommission-free cryptocurrency trading platform enters New York marking a milestone. Robinhood’s entry into global financial hub is a ceremonious moment for the crypto fans.

 

AT&T becomes first mobile carrier to accept bitcoin

AT&TWe are not sure why anyone would exchange their bitcoins for fiat, but if one so chooses, he/she can use bitcoin to pay AT&T bills.

 

Swiss Exchange (SIX) to launch blockchain and stablecoin in 2019

swiss exchange sixStable coin fever is everywhere.  It is more rampant than blockchain itself.  Swiss Exchange is the latest to catch this fever, however, we are glad because it’s the Swiss.

 

CBS’s 60 minutes on bitcoin

60 minutes is probably one of the longest running shows that has not lost its credibility because of tenure. Now Anderson Cooper hosted 60 minutes show on Bitcoin titled “Bitcoin’s wild ride”.  Adoption, here we come in the disguise of sensational titles.

Bitconnect is coming back, but why?

bitconnect coming backAfter the spectacular fall from $435 to under 30 cents in the shortest span of any asset class’s history, Bitconnect site hints its resurrection. Our only question is – WHY?

 

Crypto dominates IMFs survey on preferred payment method

IMF21000 out of 37000 preferred cryptocurrency to other payment methods. Of course, this survey may have been swarmed by crypto evangelists but nevertheless that is quite an overwhelming outcome to IMFs survey

Amazon files patent for Proof of Work

Amazon logoIt may not be long before the USA will mean Unified Shoppers of Amazon.  It just feels like Amazon is in everything. Now Amazon made its omnipresence known with a patent for Proof of Work with US Patent office.

 

FDIC insurance comes to crypto

FDIC InsuranceCrypto is getting more and more legitimate by the day.  The latest in this journey is the FDIC insurance, thanks to SFOX and its partnership with M.Y. Safra Bank.

 

FinCEN issues guidance on virtual currencies

FINCENAddressing many questions from the businesses and individuals in the virtual currency space, FinCEN has issued guidance that many interpret to be restrictive, read it yourself.

Fidelity may offer cryptocurrency trading for pros

FidelityInvestment mammoth, Fidelity, is looking to open its doors for cryptocurrency trading to professionals.

Maryland passes bill to embrace blockchain

States are in a race to put out a ‘blockchain friendly’ face for the techies.  Maryland embraced blockchain by signing Senate Bill 136 that allows companies to record stock ledgers and accompanying information on blockchain.

London Stock Exchange could use blockchain

London-Stock-ExchangeFor a 300 year old financial institution to acknowledge blockchain is a big deal, it’s even sweeter deal when that institution is London Stock Exchange.

Washington gives legal status to blockchain

Records entered on Distributed Ledger Technology, including Blockchain, will now be legally binding in Washington. Bill 5638 is now passed into law.

Amazon Managed Blockchain service opens

Amazon logoA fully managed blockchain service is now available via Amazon Managed Blockchain services.

 

Philip Morris International pivots blockchain use

Philip Morris InternationalThe cigarette giant wants to use public blockchain to track tax stamps on the cigarette boxes to ensure that the taxes are actually paid.

 

Let us know if we have  missed any important updates in the comments.

Thank you for reading the article.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Read more about the author here.

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V-ID is bringing real world use case to Blockchain, can it succeed?

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Vidt Token review

VIDT Review, use cases, future prediction

What follows is the byproduct of our research on whether or not V-ID is a good project.  

We have a tendency to FOMO, so read everything with a grain of salt and always DYOR.

What is V-ID?

Anything digital can be altered. How then can you be confident about the authenticity of the digital files you are dealing with?

“V-ID is a blockchain powered document certification service. The VIDT API enables organisations to certify and secure their digital data against fraud and manipulation.”

You can tag digital files using V-ID and anyone around the world can verify its authenticity by simply using V-IDs free checker.

If any information is changed within the file, V-ID flags it.

This technology has an immediate use case in the real world to fight digital frauds. Especially in dealing with:

  • Invoices
  • Scientific papers
  • Contracts
  • Official documents
  • Diplomas/certificates
  • Data from Internet of Things

Watch this quick video to learn about V-ID.

Introduction to VIDT V-ID Blockchain Powered Validation

The V-ID validation service uses blockchain technology to end all document fraud. Our client base, with customers like Airbus Space & Defence, operates in va…

Take a simple example of purported crypto ‘recommendation reports’ that float on the internet. How do you know they are what subscribers were given?

How can you be sure that the document is not manipulated by someone to ‘alter the buy up to and sell at’ prices?

In this simple situation, using V-ID, one could verify the authenticity of the document.

In a world of Deep Fakes, a solution like V-ID can be a lifesaver.

How big is the problem that V-ID solves? 

According to the Javelin Strategy report, Identity fraud cost $16.8 Billion dollars in 2019 alone.  

Obviously this includes credit card and account takeover frauds. However, when a solution like V-ID becomes integrated, there is an opportunity to curb these identity thefts as well.

Fraud Detection and Prevention which was valued at $17.33 billion is expected to grow at an 18% (CAGR) rate from 2019 to 2025.

The more diverse our technology becomes with the advent of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Augmented Reality and reliance on smart mobile devices, the more we grow vulnerable to fraud.

In our opinion, the fraud space is only going to grow bigger and faster.  

V-ID has an opportunity to place itself as a reliable solution by leveraging the blockchain’s resilience.

VIDT Technology

Source: V-ID

Using V-ID

Any solution’s success will depend on its ‘ease-of-use’. We tested the V-ID ‘certification’ to get a taste of the platform.

When we scanned the QR code of the document, it took us straight to the document where we could easily verify that it was indeed ‘authentic’.

The ease at which you can verify someone’s credentials, certifications, diplomas, etc., is simply awesome.

Users can verify the authenticity of other documents through their free online checker. Obviously, the company has to be signed up with V-ID for the documents to be ‘stamped’ on blockchain.

V-ID promises verification in 5 seconds.  Here is a video that shows how the verification works.

VIDT V-ID verification live demo

The V-ID validation service uses blockchain technology to end all document fraud. Our client base, with customers like Airbus Space & Defence, operates in va…

All in all, the concept behind V-ID is quite simple and easy to use.  

This ease of use accompanied by an amazing use case is what forms the basis for blockchain’s adoption.  The tool makes you forget about the blockchain altogether.

Does V-ID need Blockchain?

Yes. We think V-ID has a blockchain use case.

When it comes to providing a hack-resistant environment and resiliency to the underlying system, blockchain really shines.

The V-ID makes use of blockchain the backend without inundating the end users with the intricacies of ‘how blockchain works’ is quite admirable.

“Currently V-ID offers anchoring in Ethereum, Bitcoin, IBM Hyperledger, Fantom, LTO Network, Digibyte and Binance Chain.” 

For V-ID, in our opinion, Blockchain is not just a fancy jargon to allure people to the project but rather it is a smart technology choice to meet the business objectives.

Team

Vidt Team

Source: VIDT

Marnix van den Berg, Founder & CEO, has over 17 years of experience.  He is supported by 3 other Founders on the project.

Pim Voets is the Founder and Lead Concept Design, Ceciel van Helden is the Founder and Lead Programmer, Wico van Helden is one of the Founder.  

The teams section of the website shows about 9 team members and 6 advisors, including Chris Robinson, Ex-CTO of American Express.  

Just between the 4 founding members have a combined experience of over 70 years. Wico van Helden has hands-on experience in taking a company IPO.

Progress, Case-studies and traction

V-ID has been associated with many brands.  They showcase few case studies on their website:

VIDT Case study

AMSPEC is using the V-ID technology to verify the authenticity of their inspection reports

How AmSpec protects data integrity with V-ID

Amspec has started to utilise V-ID blockchain validation technology to protect the authenticity of their inspection reports. This means that recipients of a …

V-ID made history by bringing 17th Century Rembrandt to the blockchain.  This verification was made possible with CMS Law acting as notary, collaboration with Duowes Fine Arts and V-ID.  

VIDT Rembrandt on chain – V-ID collaboration with Douwes Fine Art and CMS

For the first time, V-ID’s validation platform, known for securing digital files against manipulation, extends its activities into the physical world, by val…

V-ID is bringing certificates and diplomas onto the blockchain.  To this end V-ID has collaborated with NYENRODE and HBO Drechtsteden.

V-ID successfully installed the first IBM Watson-connected IOE sensor with V-ID data anchoring.  

IBM & V-ID install first IoE sensor on IBM NL headquarters’ roof

www.internetofenvironments.org

V-ID partners with Caltrix Consultancy to offer a tailored solution for any financial organisation to comply with KYC/AML challenges. 

LTO Network and V-ID entered into a partnership by rolling out an immediately applicable, GDPR-compliant blockchain solution for companies and governments. 

This alliance allows for any party to verify the authenticity of the diamond using the certificate, and the authenticity of the certificate using the V-ID service.

The brands with which V-ID has worked with and the diversity of the projects they have been involved in bring a lot of confidence in this project, in our opinion.

Price – Revenue Model

Companies need cash flow to sustain and grow. It is important to have a revenue plan for the company to thrive.

V-ID offers 3 different pricing options that you can see below.

VIDT Price chart

Euro 2 per file may seem like a big deal but companies have the option to use the verification only for sensitive documents.

For example, on invoices or contracts, to ensure authenticity.  

Challenges to consider

Icon Latest UpdatesOne of our favorite projects, ICON, also rolled out the Broof concept which helps organizations verify certification.

Blockchain projects, like ICON, with existing capabilities could potentially ‘extend’ their solutions in the verification arena.  This could pose stiff competition.

The verification problem is so big that it can accommodate more than one player, however, the more players you have the more it dilutes the upside potential.

What Blockchain identity verification will not solve!

Demand for counterfeits

When all is said and done, counterfeits exist because they have market demand.  Without demand a product doesn’t sustain long.

There are millions of people who want to experience luxury on budget, by choice or because of lack of choice.

The projects like V-ID cannot solve the counterfeit market for those who specifically seek them out.  

However, the project does solve the ‘authenticity assurance’ demand for people who are paying the full price for the genuine product.

Market for ‘copies’

Digital products have an amazing advantage which is its major flaw and that is: it can be replicated without much effort.

If someone is deliberately seeking out for a pirated copy of something, there is so little you can do.

VIDT, Coinmarketcap and where to buy and sell?

V-ID Blockchain has its own native crypto with ticker symbol: VIDT.

We have to specify this because there is another project on coinmarketcap with VID symbol and we had few folks who seemed to be confused.

At the time of this writing, VIDT was ranked at 224.

At this time, you can buy and sell VIDT at KuCoin.

In conclusion

Blockchain finds a great ‘real-life’ business use case in V-ID.  

The association of the project, even if indirectly, with big brands like IBM, AirBus and more is just a testament to the viability of this solution.

While it may be possible for other projects to try and emulate the V-ID solution, the focus and dedication of the V-ID team could put up a mighty fight, in our opinion.

Ultimately, the problem of fraud is quite big and could easily accommodate success of multiple players.

In the end, we are coming to the same opinion about V-ID that Chris Robinson, ex-CTO of American Express, did and that is “V-ID is a rare combination of 3 things — A great idea in a large and almost green space market. A company with a proven track record and real-world customers. And, finally, an exceptionally high quality team and advisors.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

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We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Crypto News Today #43

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breaking crypto news

Cryptocurrency Weekly News

What a week for the crypto bulls to come out!

Bitcoin performed exceptionally well and all the hibernating Crypto bulls spewed their predictions all over the internet.  

The hype frenzy was quite unreal and we are worried about the newbies that might buy into the hype and get in at the peak.

While most hypers were hibernating, we are keeping our calm and tracking the crypto space for the past 4 years.

If you want to see all that contributed (and continues to contribute) to the Blockchain, Bitcoin and crypto adoption – you just have to see the most important news since 2017.

In the spirit of continuing the tradition of keeping up with what matters, let’s dive into this week’s digest!

Brave and Guardian bring Firewall and VPN to iOS

brave-logoBrave Privacy browser that supports the Basic Attention Token (BAT) has partnered with Guardian to bring Firewall and VPN capabilities to the Brave Browser on iOS platform. In an announcement, Brave team disclosed that “with this partnership, the companies are integrating their technologies to enable the fastest, safest, most private Web browsing experience. Brave now offers Brave Firewall + VPN, available for download from the App Store. This partnership allows people to take back control of their own data, browse the Web, and use their apps more safely and securely.”

Ledger market data breach

Ledger Nano S reviewUnauthorized third party access using an API Key has compromised the contact and order details at Ledger.  A total of 1 Million email addresses might have been compromised. According to the official statement “Contact and order details were involved. This is mostly the email address of our customers, approximately 1M addresses. Further to investigating the situation we have also been able to establish that, for a subset of 9500 customers were also exposed, such as first and last name, postal address, phone number or ordered products. Due to the scope of this breach and our commitment to our customers, we have decided to inform all of our customers about this situation.”

Coinbase explores [more] new digital Assets

coinbase best exchangeCoinbase is exploring more digital assets to add to their platform.  These 19 digital assets include, as per the official post,  Ampleforth, Band Protocol, Balancer, Blockstack, Curve, Fetch.ai, Flexacoin, Helium, Hedera Hashgraph, Kava, Melon, Ocean Protocol, Paxos Gold, Reserve Rights, tBTC, The Graph, THETA, UMA, and WBTC. Obviously, there is no guarantee that all of these tokens are going to be added but it is quite interesting to see some of the good projects making the list.

Putin signs Crypto bill into law

Russia just passed a bill that will allow the companies in Russia to issue digital assets as long as they seek and procure approval from the Bank of Russia.  According to Reuters (translated) “They can be an object of collateral, purchase and sale transactions, exchange of one type of digital asset for another. At the same time, CFAs are not and are not recognized as a means of payment.”

SEC Wants to Start Scrutinizing Binance Chain Transactions

sec crypto regulations“The Contracting Officer has determined that CipherTrace Inc., is the only source that can reasonably meet the SEC’s requirement […].  CipherTrace products are the only known blockchain forensics and risk intelligence tool that can support the Binance coin (BNB) and all tokens on the Binance network.,” read the official statement issued by the SEC.  This makes it clear that the transactions that people have conducted on Binance assuming they are ‘immune’ from the US government’s scrutiny are going to be surprised by what follows.

Cardano mainnet launched

cardano staking newsCardano has successfully launched its mainnet and introduced its ‘Staking’ phase ‘Shelley’. The entire crypto community has been eagerly waiting for the launch and has received the upgrade quite positively with Cardano (ADA) price coasting at 13 cents. Generally, when the community is not happy with the upgrades and mainnet launch, it tends to show in the negative price action. The stabilizing price movement indicates that the Cardano community has welcomed the mainnet launch.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

We have been tracking the most important news in blockchain and crypto space since 2017. You can check out all the chronicled news here.  

Consider subscribing to our newsletters to receive these news updates in ONE neat email per week along with other freebies that we give away once-in-a-while.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

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with updates, news, eBooks, tax updates, and more!
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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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What Are Smart Cities and the Role of Blockchain In Smart Cities?

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What Are Smart Cities and the Role of Blockchain In Smart Cities?

IT experts have designed smart cities to develop, deploy, and promote sustainable development practices.

Now, what are smart cities? 

A smart city is a framework mostly composed of Information and Communication Technologies or ICT to address growing urbanization challenges.

A considerable part of a smart city framework or an ICT framework is that it consists of an intelligent network of connected objects and machines. 

These machines transmit information through cloud applications and with the use of wireless technology. 

Cloud-based IoT applications receive, analyze, and manage all this data in real-time, which helps municipalities, enterprises, and citizens make better decisions. 

The use of smart phones and connected cars and homes citizens engage with smart city ecosystems. 

A way to cut costs and improve sustainability is to pair devices with the city’s physical infrastructure and services. 

With the help of a smart city framework, we can find solutions to many community problems. For instance: 

  • Traffic lights connected to cloud-based applications can receive data from sensors and cars. In return, light cadence and timing in response to real-time traffic can improve, which reduces road congestion
  • Parking meters and electric vehicles charging docks can communicate with cars to find the nearest available spot
  • With the help of smart garbage cans synced to waste management companies, garbage is collected and scheduled to be picked up when needed instead of the pre-planned schedule
  • Instead of plastic cards for driver’s licenses and ID cards, citizen’s smart phones take their place. In return, access to the city and local government services are speed-up and simplified

Together, smart city frameworks help in optimizing infrastructure, public service, utilities, and mobility.

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Why Are Smart Cities Being Built?

Urbanization is a problem faced by every country all over the world. 

According to statistics, 54% of the total population of the world lives in cities. The number is estimated to reach 66% by 2050. 

Over the next three decades, urbanization will make another 2.5 billion people migrate to cities, and to keep up with this rapid expansion, environmental, economic, and social sustainability is a must. 

Smart cities can provide such a framework to rely on.

Examples of smart cities  

AMSTERDAM SMART CITY:

A shining example of a well-connected smart city would be Amsterdam. The initiative of making Amsterdam a smart city began in 2009, and it includes over 170 projects. 

It sends traffic and transportation data to related parties such as developers who create mapping apps connected to the city’s transportation system. 

Due to this, navigating the city is simple and easy. The smart city infrastructure supports a floating village of houses, which helps with urbanization with a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative.

COPENHAGEN SMART CITY:

One of the smallest cities in the world, Copenhagen, is known worldwide for its mobilizing expertise. 

In collaboration with MIT, Copenhagen is leveraging open data to build an innovative bike system. 

Real-time data is shared to monitor and manage air quality as well as traffic congestion.

How Do Smart Cities Become Successful?

Along with people, dwellings, businesses, and traditional urban infrastructure, we will need four other essential elements to enable smart cities to succeed. The four elements are:

  •     Security that can be trusted
  •     Flexible monetization schemes
  •     Open information
  •     Extensive wireless connectivity

Risks   

Probably the most significant concern about smart cities is the danger of privacy breaches. 

Governments, businesses, and individuals spend millions of dollars on preventing leakage of data to outsiders, and as little as possible is shared. 

The key enabler of sustainability in smart cities would be the complex ecosystem that shares information and combines it in real-time. 

Only with the cooperation of multiple sectors can better and sustainable outcomes be achieved and to receive real-time contextual information, while making sure data is kept secured. 

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Role of Blockchain in Smart Cities

blockchainThe role of smart cities is to incorporate technology as the groundwork to take the edge off the problems that plague the current system. 

Examples of current smart city capabilities are universal identification (ID), green energy, water, pollution management, forms of transportation, wireless internet systems, and promotion of local businesses, to name a few. 

The ‘Internet of Things’ serves the current technology needs of smart cities; this term is used to define the integrated network of gadgets with planted exclusive identifiers. Examples include traffic management and e-commerce. 

A traffic management program called SCOOT improves green light time at intersections by providing inductive loop and magnetometer data to a supercomputer, in London, coordinating the traffic lights to enhance the traffic across the city. 

An astounding forty-seven thousand new jobs in Barcelona were created due to the implementation of a network of fiber optics that provides free and fast Wi-Fi, which supports the IoT and the integration of smart parking, lighting, and water management. 

In Amsterdam, the IoT-based infrastructure was tested by allowing traffic flow, public safety, and energy usage to be monitored and tweaked depending on real-time data. Moreover, cities like Baltimore and Boston have introduced smart trash cans that transfer information to determine the best pickup route for garbage disposal crew. 

India was the pioneer country to successfully enact a smart city project across 12 of its cities, in the year 2015. 

All of the above examples demonstrate the reliance on IoT infrastructure and blockchain can make IoT become more resilient and efficient.  

It is evident that Blockchain gives the groundwork for the management of transactions by providing security and transparency. 

Today many smart cities have a large scale Blockchain implementation or distributed ledger technology. 

By the next year, Dubai is aiming to become the first Blockchain-powered smart city in the world.

Since 2012, Estonia has used distributed ledger technology to keep records of its citizens. 

Companies like Hancom are the emerging suppliers of services and products related to IoT hardware for smart city development. 

The Hancom group will incorporate Blockchain technology to set up a 470-acre smart city development project in Gapyeong Malang Malang, as the basis for smart city development. 

This company also developed the 30-acre Augury Square in Atlanta, which will incorporate the use of cryptocurrency, pushing forward the usage of digital currency into the daily lives of its inhabitants. 

Information collected and kept in a cloud-based framework can be encoded by a Blockchain system to ensure the security of data in a smart city. 

Blockchain can be used for identification, for proof of citizenship, tax data, voting, to name a few. 

The elimination of paperwork in such a system helps to manage and reduce pollution in smart cities. 

Other services that can incorporate Blockchain in smart cities are: 

  •     Use of internet sensors to identify general repairs and road maintenance
  •     They connect to healthcare services for emergencies
  •     They are providing first responders with pertinent medical data
  •     Connection of residential utilities and rent to the Blockchain

Blockchain provides the framework to unite the services in a single system capable of tracking, security, immutability, transparency and above all SECURITY.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!

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