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Microsoft’s patent number 666 is creepy and rightfully getting trolled

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Microsoft has filed a patent, which we covered in our weekly news (#25), is getting trolled on the internet.  

People are referring to the presence of 666 in the patent number (WO2020060606) as an indication of something ominous.

[Quick sidebar: for those who don’t know, 666 is considered the number of the devil].

When you add the fact that the patent proposes to mine cryptocurrency based on human bodily activity adds a sense of creepiness to the matter.

The language in the patent that has triggered the trolls is highlighted in yellow below:

“Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user which is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user. Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.

Patent says that the device can be anything with the ability to sense, monitor, record and transmit the data over to the system for the cryptocurrency rewards.

The Patent describes “functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners or sensors, electroencephalography (EEG) sensors, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) sensors, heart rate monitors, thermal sensors, optical sensors, radio frequency (RF) sensors, ultrasonic sensors, cameras, or any other sensor or scanner that can measure or sense body activity or scan human body. For instance, the fMRI may measure body activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. The fMRI may use a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body (e.g. blood flow in the brain to detect areas of activity). The material shows one example of how the fMRI can measure brain activity associated with visual information and generate image data.”

Vagueness is the creepiest part of this patent

If you think the internet is doing its thing and trolling something that is probably not a big deal, think again.  

How about this language in the patent: For example, a brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

Fitbit or other devices generally do not read brain waves.

Does this mean that there is a device that is geared to read brain waves?  If so, what can this device do with the brain waves?  Can it read the waves, translate them to text and transmit the data to the system?

Facebook had bought the technology that could read brain waves so people can type their thoughts without a keypad.  However, the program went into stealth mode as it freaked out everyone on the internet.  However,  no one knows if they are secretly building that technology underground or if it is already used by the secret agencies today.  

Now Microsoft comes along and files a patent that can transmit the information based on ‘brain waves’ and mine crypto based on these waves and body heat.  

No wonder people are comparing this proposal with Matrix style human batteries.  

One Reddit user (spectyr) commented:

 “I read this as, “Microsoft Wants To Mine Cryptocurrency From Your Body Cavity Data.” Turns out the patent is just about as invasive.” 

While some quipped it as a cruel joke played on Microsoft by someone at the Patents office.

It gets more creepy

The patent goes on to elaborate “data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.”

Does this mean that the device stays connected with the users while they sleep and thus taps into their REM and other stages?

If this project ultimately launches as a centralized (the patent calls for the possibility of both centralized and decentralized models) how will the data be processed, will the data be used to influence user behavior? 

Where will the data go?  Who will have access to such data? Will it be sold or used for other purposes?  

Patent doesn’t clarify.

Covert way to take on Basic Attention Token and other projects?

This patent looks to cover as much ground using as much vague language as possible. For instance, the patent talks about rewarding cryptocurrency for performing simple tasks such as watching an advertisement or uploading a file.

Both these concepts, that is, rewarding users for watching an ad and performing menial tasks have been already launched by other projects. For instance, Basic Attention Token has made strides in rewarding users for watching ads on their Brave Browser.

While Brave project is fighting the intrusion of ad trackers and illicit data mining, Microsoft’s patent seems to go straight for the most intimate details about human body and bodily activity.

All in all, the lawyers at Microsoft have filed a monster (or should we call it Devil?) of a patent that is vague, all-encompassing and invasive, in our opinion. 

No wonder people are trolling the presence of 666 in the patent.

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Crypto News Today #42

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Crypto News this week.

Bitcoin seems to be having a great week this week with it crossing $10,000 and retracing to $9800.

Beyond the price action, a major development happened this week in the crypto space.

OCC clears US banks to offer Crypto custody services in the US

bank crypto custodyProbably one of the biggest bullish news in the US around cryptocurrencies came from The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC),  which clarified that Banks must provide the custody services to its customers including digital assets.  In a press release, OCC confirmed that: “From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today,” said Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks. “This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”   This move ensures that banks are able to provide custodial services to its customers for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. This stamp of approval could open up a vast majority of investors ‘dipping in’ to crypto.

MasterCard expands Cryptocurrency program

Mastercard cryptoMastercard announced “the expansion of its cryptocurrency program, making it simpler and faster for partners to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market. Supercharging the partnership experience, cryptocurrency and crypto card partners are invited to join Mastercard’s Accelerate program for emerging brands and fintechs, giving them access to everything they need to grow quickly.”  Wirex recently received Mastercard’s principal membership to offer crypto services to the consumers on MasterCard platform.

Visa reveals its outlook on Crypto payment

Visa partners Bitcoin ZapVisa has revealed its outlook on crypto payments on its network.  In a somewhat positive spin on the digital currency move, Visa has praised the advantages of crypto payments, “We believe that digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places. As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money. We look forward to sharing more with you on this work in the months that follow.”  Visa did point out that there is a lot to do on the legal and policy framework side of things and that Visa has been “Visa has been engaging with policy makers and global organizations to help shape the dialogue and understanding of digital currencies; this includes our work with the World Economic Forum and our collaboration on a set of policy recommendations for central banks exploring the concept of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).”

DC Financial Services Law: Bitcoin deemed ‘money’ 

When Larry Dean Harmon tried to argue that ‘he cannot be tried for money laundering’ because Bitcoin is not money.  Well, the federal court tossed his argument out of the window declaring that “Money “commonly means a medium of exchange, method of payment, or store of value,” Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell wrote for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “Bitcoin is these things.”  While Bitcoin is considered as ‘property’ under the IRS tax laws, this federal court ruling brings to light that Bitcoin is money for in the court of law.  This variation in the eyes of federal law and tax law will potentially continue to exist in the foreseeable future.

ESPN goes Crypto with eSports on Blockchain

Espn crypto paymentsESPN has unveiled its ‘pre-launch’ online gaming on Blockchain enabled for crypto payments.  This platform is expected to facilitate micro transactions. “As per a research done by 3EA Limited, a global strategic management consulting group, e-sports and online gaming is a $140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies, which we believe will benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of the Blockchain technology,” said Mr. Chris Parker, one of the Directors of ESPN Global.” The ability of Blockchain to facilitate ‘micro transactions’ without the need for central financial institutions could revolutionise the space.   

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.  

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Crypto News Today #41

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Welcome to yet another exciting, exhilarating and equally crazy week in crypto.

While the world seems to have come to terms on how to live in spite of COVID as the numbers keep spiking, blockchain and crypto are not losing any steam.

A lot of exciting developments continue to propel this space forward.

Let’s get on with this week’s news.

Massive Twitter hack targets Bitcoin newbies

We keep telling people that there are no free giveaways, especially in the crypto space, unless it is an airdrop.  A colossal coordinated Twitter attack hacked accounts of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Apple, Obama and more.  A message about ‘free bitcoin giveaways’ was promptly posted by the hackers to con the gullible users.  Luckily, and we say that with a sigh of relief, the entire debacle cost around 13 BTCs.  It could have been worse in our mind but glad that it ended with minimum damage.  Twitter issued a statement: “We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”  It is unclear whether or not Twitter will bear the loss for investors from this debacle.

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We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.

Kingdom Trust Appoints Fidelity Digital Assets To Power Bitcoin Custody For Choice Retirement Accounts

Kingdom Trust bitcoinProbably the biggest news this week is Kingdom Trust’s appointment of Fidelity Digital Assets to provide Bitcoin custodial services to the retirement accounts.  Kingdom Trust wants to bring the Fidelity brand confidence to its Bitcoin offering so that the investors feel comfortable and confident about their bitcoin holdings. “For anyone who was considering bitcoin as part of their retirement portfolio, but was waiting for the infrastructure to mature and for familiar names to enter the space, that day is today,” says Ryan Radloff, CEO of Kingdom Trust, in the Press Release.

TATA Consultancy Services launches Quartz to support Cryptocurrency Trading

TCS Quartz BlockchainTata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) new crypto services solution to allow Banks and Investment Firms to invest in crypto services. The announcement on the Bombay Stock Exchange revealed that TCS has launched Quartz, a solution in the crypto space, “the solution is designed to support multiple cryptocurrencies and stable coins, digital currencies linked to fiat currencies, trading venues and public blockchain networks, thus offering choice and flexibility to customers when deciding their trading and investment strategies. Importantly, it can help banks and investment firms offer their customers the ability to transfer payments in the form of ‘digital cash’, and benefit from lower transaction costs and quicker access to liquidity.” 

PayPal hints Crypto initiatives

In a letter sent as a response to the European Commission’s public consultation on building EU Framework for markets in Crypto-assets, PayPal revealed that while it has exited the Libra association it continues to “continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities to democratize access to financial services.” People are interpreting this statement to mean that PayPal is innovating in the crypto-assets space.  At the minimum, based on the response in the letter, it seems plausible that PayPal may be building on ramps to facilitate any EU guidelines to accommodate Crypto-assets on PayPal. 

Cosco Shipping and Alibaba join hands in blockchain initiative

Cosco Shipping BlockchainCosco Shipping Group, the Chinese state-run shipping company, is the latest to join the growing momentum in digitization through the use of blockchain technology. China Ocean Shipping Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China’s e-commerce company Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Group, to jointly promote the development of blockchain technology for shipping logistics,” read the news.  The collaboration will explore the opportunities to utilize blockchain to support the smart shipping and smart ports efforts. 

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

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Crypto News Today #40

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How does mainstream adoption take place?

One day at a time.  In this week’s news case – one IPO at a time.

Coinbase’s intention to go IPO and Arca’s launch of the first ever SEC registered fund to offer digital shares are all hinting towards a tectonic shift in the blockchain and crypto space.

Coinbase to go IPO

coinbase best exchangeCoinbase is making headlines yet again. Reuters reported in an exclusive that Coinbase is preparing to go public either by end of this year or early next year. While the 2018 valuation has put the company at $8 Billion, we have to wait to see how much the company’s valuation will be for the IPO.  The company has not yet filed the paperwork with the SEC.  However, “Coinbase said it had hired Facebook Inc FB.N deputy general counsel Paul Grewal as its chief legal officer.”  This has further cemented the rumor that the company is serious about its IPO plans.

Binance acquires Swipe

binance logoBinance is on a global dominance of crypto space.  It has been making strategic investments to accomplish this mission.  Binance has announced that the acquisition of Swipe has completed.  The announcement disclosed that “The two companies will work together to further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies by bridging the gap between fiat and digital assets, notably payments and purchases in cryptocurrency through traditional financial systems.”  Bringing the solutions that make the transition from crypto to fiat and vice-versa is one of the easiest ways to bring crypto to the masses.  This partnership of Binance and Swipe is the step in the right direction.

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Arca to become first SEC registered fund to offer digital shares

ArCoins will be issued on Ethereum Blockchain which will provide the interest to the investors on quarterly basis.  The company will issue 100 million ArCoins at a face value of $1.  Jerald David, president of Arca Capital Management, stated that ““Shareholders can directly transfer ArCoin using blockchain technology; other features of blockchain are being used for fund operations, such as freezing and replacing tokens for investors that have lost their public keys, and using smart contracts on the blockchain to enforce transferability of ArCoin to only whitelisted ETH addresses,” as reported by Forbes.

Lithuania issues world’s first digital collector coin on Blockchain

World’s first blockchain based digital collector coins will be created by the Bank of Lithuania.  The press release states that “The Bank of Lithuania is planning to release 24,000 collector tokens created using the blockchain technology. Each token will feature one of the 20 signatories and collectors will have a chance to collect the entire set. The tokens will be divided into 6 categories by the signatories’ areas of activity, with 4,000 tokens allotted to each of them. When purchasing the digital coin, buyers will get 6 randomly selected digital tokens and only upon collecting a token from each of the 6 categories they will be able to redeem a physical silver coin. The tokens will be available for purchase and storage on the Bank of Lithuania e-shop.”

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

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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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