Japanese Company Will Launch New Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips

GMO Internet Group Launches Massive Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips

GMO Internet Group, a Japanese provider of a full spectrum of internet services for both the consumer and enterprise markets, is launching a new Bitcoin mining business utilizing next-generation 7 nanometer (7 nm) semiconductor chips. “[We] believe this new business has high potential for increasing corporate value in the future,” states the company.

Headquartered in Tokyo, GMO IG comprises more than 60 companies in 10 countries. GMO IG’s size and financial muscle, as well as the novel technologies it wants to leverage, will make it a serious entrant in the Bitcoin mining industry, and one that could have a disruptive impact.

“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” GMO stated, emphasizing that they will invest in R&D and manufacturing of hardware including the next-generation mining chip. “We will use cutting-edge 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process, and jointly work on its research and development and manufacturing with our alliance partner having semiconductor design technology.”

The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors defines 7 nm semiconductor chip technology as the next technology iteration following 10 nm technology, which, in turn, follows the 14-16 nm technology that currently represents the state-of the-art hardware in the Bitcoin mining industry. Commercial production of 7 nm chips is still in the development stage with GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) competing for market leadership.

According to a recent article in Android Authority, TSMC seems to be in the pole position in this race, having already showcased a preliminary 7 nm SRAM chip — not yet a full system on a chip (SoC) but an important milestone. Intel is said to be planning the upgrade of a manufacturing plant in Arizona to start building 7 nm SoCs. Samsung and GlobalFoundries are also striving to catch up.

According to Quartz, 7 nm technology would be four times more energy efficient than the current Bitcoin mining industry standard. Therefore, once 7 nm chips are in use, all other miners will have to upgrade to stay in the game.

“It’s clearly the next generation of miners,” Diego Gutierrez, CEO of mining software developer RSK Labs, told Quartz. “The other [mining chip makers] will surely follow and create their own 7 nm chips if they are not already doing it. As [chip manufacturers] get the new technology, everybody can access it.”

“We believe that cryptocurrencies will develop into ‘new universal currencies’ available for use by anyone from any country or region to freely exchange ‘value,’ creating a new borderless economic zone,” notes GMO IG. “[Bitcoin] can be regarded as a distributed system whose credibility is secured by mutual monitoring by network participants, as opposed to legal currencies which are a centralized system whose credibility is secured by the issuer. And management of a distributed system such as [Bitcoin] requires a mining process.”

The entry in the Bitcoin mining sector of these new Japanese players with relatively deep pockets is likely to be welcomed by those concerned about China’s dominance of the mining industry. For example, Chinese mining operator and hardware manufacturer Bitmain plays a dominant role in the $70 billion Bitcoin economy. Its mining pools, Antpool, BTC.com and ConnectBTC, account for around 30 percent of all the processing power on the global Bitcoin network, while the company is also the market leader for specialized mining hardware, including ASIC chips.

In related news, another large Japanese company, DMM, announced the launch of its own Virtual Currency Division, scheduled to begin operation of a virtual currency mining business “DMM Mining Farm” in October 2017. According to the company, which hasn’t released further information, DMM will operate one of the 10 largest mining farms in the world before the end of 2018.

The post Japanese Company Will Launch New Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

How One Blockchain Startup Is Combatting Centralization of the Credit Industry

How One Blockchain Startup Will Combat Centralization in Credit Industry

Startup company Bloom seeks to take advantage of blockchain technology’s perks to create a platform where the participants will have global access to credit services.

According to Bloom, the traditional methods of credit checking leaves billions of people without basic credit services. The stats of the company show that fewer than 9 percent of the citizens in developing countries have ever taken a loan from a financial institution. The lack of access to credit services forces numerous people to take loans from the shady underworld of illegal lending, the company states. Bloom believes that, no matter the country or the region, access to credit “is a fundamental cornerstone of social mobility” since it is the key for individuals to reach their economic goals.

Bloom also pointed out the problem of governmental monopolies in credit checking. According to the startup, 90 percent of the top lenders in the United States use the FICO score, which is in the hands of the U.S. government. Bloom stated that, despite the popularity of FICO, the credit system leaves over 45 million U.S. citizens with no credit score, thus, they are not allowed to — or they have to work hard to — take loans from financial institutions. The blockchain startup also highlighted the issues of other countries:

“In China, your credit score is affected by your political opinions. France, Portugal, Spain and the Nordic countries do not have credit scores, opting to only report negative information to your file. In the United Arab Emirates, religious restrictions on lending have prevented the development of a consumer credit reporting system. In the United Kingdom, you will have trouble getting a high credit score if you are not registered to vote.”

With its Ethereum-based platform, Bloom seeks to migrate all lenders to the blockchain. The company is currently developing an end-to-end protocol for identity verification, risk assessment and credit scoring, all kept on the blockchain. By implementing blockchain tech, Bloom strives to find solutions to the issues within the credit system. Furthermore, the Bloom platform will offer cross-border, global services for 7 billion individuals, the company wrote.

Implementing blockchain technology within the credit system would also provide solutions to security issues. Equifax, one of the three largest U.S. credit agencies, was recently breached by cybercriminals, leaving approximately 143 million Americans exposed. The FBI is currently investigating the hack; however, the Equifax cyberattack ranks among the three largest data breaches of all time, according to The Wall Street Journal. The publication reported that the current breach could be the most dangerous of all since the attackers were able to acquire key personal identification documents — names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth — all at once.

“It’s certainly the worst single breach of personal information that I know of. This data is the key to everyone’s files and interactions with financial services, government and health care,” Avivah Litan, vice president of the industry-research firm Gartner Inc., said in a statement to the WSJ.

Equifax reported that the credit card details of approximately 209,000 U.S. customers were compromised in the hack. According to independent security researcher Andrew Komarov, the financial details could be sold for $500,000 on underground markets, such as dark net marketplaces.

Bloom published a blog post in response to the Equifax breach. The company seeks to solve the security issues within the credit industry by creating their own decentralized protocol. Bloom strives to implement globally federated, secure IDs on the blockchain. This way, according to the startup, they can “dramatically mitigate” the risk of identity theft by reducing their reliance on single-source forms of identity verification.

The post How One Blockchain Startup Is Combatting Centralization of the Credit Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Giga Watt’s Role In Crypto Mining

Giga Watt Geopolitics

In late July, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that virtual tokens, such as those sold by the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), are securities and therefore now subject to federal securities laws. While the SEC announcement recognized that not all blockchain-based tokens are necessarily securities — Ether is not a security, while the DAO tokens are — the announcement should be taken seriously by companies seeking to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) under U.S. jurisdiction.

Other countries have taken different regulatory approaches, on Medium, Andrew Keys, head of global business development with ConsenSys, reported that the Chinese Mint is “experimenting with the ERC 20 token standard and Ethereum smart contracts to digitize the RMB.” Keys noted that China’s  Mint “also actively promotes blockchain technology in finance and related fields.”

As of September 4, China has taken a relatively firm stance against ICOs. However, this stance might be more characteristic of the Chinese government than catastrophic. According to Chinese financial magazine, Caixin, the Chinese regulators, the People’s Bank of China and China Securities Regulatory Commission, are currently deciding on how to handle ICOs. While permanent suspension is possible, until regulations are implemented, it’s assumed that the ban is temporary.

Geopolitics of Crypto Mining

Like the ICO world, crypto mining is dominated by China. Chinese mining pools are said to control more than 70 percent of Bitcoin’s total hashrate, if not more. There are two indisputable reasons for China’s dominance in the crypto mining industry. First, geopolitics: electricity in China is extremely cheap compared to other countries; and electricity costs are the most important factor in achieving a profitable mining operation. In industrial regions, electricity is either supplied by hydroelectric dams or subsidized by the government. Second, China maintains control of the majority of mining pools. The largest crypto mining pools ― collaborations where individuals or companies combine their hashrate to improve their chances of mining a block ― are all located in China.

The issue with China’s dominance in crypto mining is that combining pools in the same location could lead to centralization. If the bitcoin network becomes centralized its value as a decentralized ledger would essentially plummet. Russia and the United States do not have significant hashing power yet, but there is evidence their mining activity is growing.

The world’s first full-service mining solution provider

Nestled in Wenatchee, Washington, located close to a number of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River, the Giga Watt Project is becoming a significant player in North American crypto mining.

Giga Watt is fueled by five megawatts of power dedicated to mining resources, with an additional 50 in development. The token-launch platform Cryptonomos supports their ambitious quest to revolutionize mining. Cryptonomos’ objective is to deliver turnkey services to Giga Watt, including token-launch structuring, book building, platform hosting, smart contract development, cybersecurity, financial management, and administration of investor and public relations. While Giga Watt’s initial token sale has ended, there is still time to join the endeavor.

To fulfill their ambitions, Giga Watt is building an enormous network. “With massive power at our disposal, we can begin issuing blockchain solutions that perform useful computing functionality. Imagining a global supercomputer that consumes a gigawatt of energy where each of our customers can participate is indeed exciting,” admitted Giga Watt CEO Dave Carlson. With such a massive power network at their disposal, Giga Watt’s mining operation could be unmatched by any other in the world.

At this time, the Giga Watt project has three units already in operation, which means that 2.25 mega watts are currently ready for tokenization, while the construction of new units continues. At the time of writing, 1.25 million WTT tokens have potential clients to whom capacities could be rented out. By September, three of Giga Watt’s state-of-the-art pods will be completed. Capacities are allocated to token holders on a first come, first served basis.

The post Giga Watt’s Role In Crypto Mining appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Crucial Tests of Historic Support Could Lead to Further Pullbacks

Bitcoin Price Analysis

This week’s BTC-USD price recap:

Following a $700 drop, BTC-USD managed to find a bottom around $4200 before entering into a 4-day long consolidation pattern. During the consolidation pattern, the price climbed $400 on decreasing volume before ultimately dropping back to $4200. So, where does this leave us and what can we expect in the coming days in the BTC-USD markets?

Figure_1 (6).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Hour Candles, GDAX, Bear Retracement Values

A common continuation pattern during bear markets is a step-by-step series of tests along the Fibonacci Retracement set. One by one, the Fibonacci values are tested before the retracement ultimately tops out around 61%. During the climb to 61%, a bearish continuation is supported by a decreasing volume trend. In the figure above, we can see the BTC-USD market managed to retrace up to the 61% values before dropping to the 0% retracement values in the $4200s. The drop to test the $4200s was sudden and violent: It took place over a few short hours, and the volume propelling the drop was massive.

Figure_2 (6).JPGFigure 2:  BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Bear Flag

Prior to the breakout, the BTC-USD market spent a week forming a bearish continuation pattern called a Bear Flag (the details regarding a Bear Flag was discussed earlier in this week’s ETH-USD article). The price target of this Bear Flag is an approximate $700 move and is projected to touch the $3900s. However, our current price level is sitting right on top of historic support along the macro trend’s 23% Fibonacci Retracement values:
Figure_3 (7).JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Trend Fibonacci Values

Our current price level is sitting on an historically significant support level so whether or not we manage to break this support remains to be seen. When trading this pattern, it is important to confirm the movement with volume. When testing historic support or resistance values, it is common to see multiple tests before ultimately breaking through. To date, this represents our third attempt to break this support and it is currently testing it on a volume that is peaking on the 6-hour candle’s volume trend.

Summary:

  1. Following a $700 drop to $4200, BTC-USD managed to climb $400 before ultimately retesting the $4200 support.

  2. On the macro bear trend, BTC-USD broke out of a multi-day long Bear Flag. This Bear Flag has a price target of approximately $3900.

  3. BTC-USD is currently testing the macro 23% Fibonacci Retracement. This support has strong historic significance and will need to be broken in order for the Bear Flag’s price target to be realized.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Crucial Tests of Historic Support Could Lead to Further Pullbacks appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Op Ed: China’s ICO Ban Is Characteristic — Not Catastrophic

Op Ed: China's Ban on ICOs

The crypto market, especially in China, has been in a panic in these past few days, largely because of an official notice on Preventing Risks of Fundraising Through Coin Offering, jointly issued by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

There seems to be a general fear that China’s attack on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and tokens, often used to fund blockchain innovation and open up investment in blockchain technology to the masses, will stifle blockchain development and the industry as a whole in one of the world’s largest markets.

At first glance, the harshness of the statement seems to be comparable to the Chinese government’s 2013 warning that made bitcoin prices plummet immediately. However, those in the West who suspect that China is stifling Chinese innovation are underestimating the political wisdom of the Chinese government. Meanwhile, those in East critcizing China’s ICO policy for being too harsh as the government moves to protect the interests of private investors are ignoring the Chinese government’s history of decisiveness in tackling “illegal public funding” in recent decades.

Western critics should think about China’s economic development and gains during the past decades since a policy of openness was initiated in 1978; in this context, the government’s latest statment can be read for its underlying message. Eastern critics should understand that the Chinese government has zero tolerance for any activities that will jeopardize its financial stability.

The second-largest economy in the world managed to weather the financial crises of both 1997 and 2008: This was not simply chance. China’s economy is both innovative and ambitious. Since blockchain technology is acknowledged as the next-generation technological powerhouse, with the potential to reshape the way value is exchanged, there is no reason for China to do anything to harm blockchain innovation. China is not cracking down on blockchain technology: It is actually poised to lead blockchain development not only in its own country, but also around the world.

Breaking Down the Language

First, though the original text is subtle, it is crucial to note that PBOC’s statement on September 4 only targets illegal ICOs instead of targeting blockchain companies as a whole. The translation of original text is: “No organizations or individuals shall conduct any illegal token financing activities (ICO).” The underlying interpretation is that where there are illegal ICOs, there will also be legal ICOs (or “token financing atctivities”), which requires the introduction of new regulations.

Besides avoiding the use of the word “blockchain” itself, the statement also reveals another subtlety: It uses the term “virtual currencies” to refer to all ICO tokens. This word choice is particularly telling. In the past, when People’s Daily, the party-run newspaper, described bitcoin as “digital gold” ― for instance, in an article published in May ― it used the term “digital currency.” It is important to interpret the Chinese language, especially specific word choices made by official sources, very carefully. By choosing to use the word “virtual,” a word implying “unreal” and “insubstantial” in Chinese, the legitimacy of ICO tokens has already been undermined.

Second, what happened in the Chinese crypto market in the past few months has impacted the government’s bottom line: Its financial stability has been threatened. Although many Westerners in the crypto space are familiar with a few Chinese projects like NEO and Qtum, the Chinese crypto market has actually witnessed the recent advent of more than 65 ICO projects, with around $400 million raised, according to a report issued by National Committee of Experts on Internet Financial Security Technology.  

The absolute number is not enormous, but the key is that most of these projects are unreliable and even fraudulent, with no open-source codes and sometimes without any white paper. Some projects even provide huge discounts to pre-ICO investors ― thereby dooming those who joined the official ICO to lose money, even after building up hopes of 10x returns. It is this sort of irresponsible behavior that compelled the government to step in before anything more extreme happened.

Furthermore, any financial activities involving financing from the public are particularly suspect in the eyes of the Chinese government. Wu Ying, once China’s most successful businesswoman, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for “illegal funding from the public.” Also, E Zubao, once the country’s biggest online lender, was condemned by Chinese authorities as a Ponzi scheme after the company was found to have squandered the money raised from the public (which should have been used to match investors to potential borrowers). The losses can be considerable: Around $7.6 billion was involved in the E Zubao case, for instance.

Past transgressions like these are chiefly to blame for China’s current suspicion of ICOs. It is perhaps no surprise, in other words, that the government is declaring ICOs to be illegal, while requiring the return of all tokens to investors. China is being characteristically cautious regarding anything posing potential risks to its financial stability.

Third, while China still encourages innovation within the blockchain industry, it needs a regulated crypto market. It may regulate ICOs, the exchanges, and information disclosure channels. But the reason behind this regulation stems from a need to create a sound environment for blockchain development in China.

According to China’s Premier Li Qeqiang last year ― in the government’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development ― blockchain technology has been listed as an important area of development for Chinese endeavors. This overtly positive support of blockchain technology will not be changed easily. Other evidence of official support of blockchain technology abounds. For instance, a news program on CCTV stated that China is only pausing ICOs, not banning them outright. And the news section of the official site of the Chinese government also reposted an article stating that “China can potentially become the leader in blockchain industry.” (See image below.) These are all subtle signals that China is preparing for a better blockchain world.

In the blockchain session of the Global Digital Marketing Summit, held by the Guiyang government in western China in July this year, the government also mentioned that a “sandbox mechanism” will become an important step for investors to invest in projects without worrying about policy risk (as the sandbox will allow for a more open space for qualified projects to be promoted and financed).  

20170905143577337733.jpg

An article on the official website of the Chinese government: China can potentially become the leader in blockchain industry

ICOs are among the first experiments for the blockchain industry to explore its own business and financing models. It is normal that a new industry and its encumbent business model will find itself in conflict with the existing laws of a given country at some point. To make some corrections and to embrace compliance guidelines will not harm the industry in the long run.

China’s attitude toward blockchains and ICOs has had such an impact on the global token price that it has actually affirmed the importance of China’s role in the industry. Its recent policy is an attempt to maintain financial stability and set the tone for the future of the industry in China.

Fears that China will confine or even kill the blockchain industry are not tenable. Furthermore, China has a large and solid foundation of internet and mobile device users, and a world-class level of infrastructure. If the blockchain industry really has the potential to further improve human commerce and civilization, China’s market will serve as the best test case.

Even if in the end, the new policy makes it harder for blockchain projects to be financed in China, when one considers that internet giants like Alibaba, Tencent and Jingdong have all based their businesses in China but found financing mainly outside the country, there is really no need to worry about the development of blockchain in China ― let alone the rest of the world.   

The post Op Ed: China’s ICO Ban Is Characteristic — Not Catastrophic appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

An Interview With Kavita Gupta, ConsenSys’s Pick to Oversee Its New $50M Venture Fund

An Interview With Kavita Gupta, ConsenSys’s Pick to Oversee Its New $50M Venture Fund

ConsenSys, an Ethereum production studio based in Brooklyn, NY, is launching a $50 million venture arm, and it has picked Kavita Gupta to run it. Gupta’s job will be to oversee the new venture and help structure deals with the startups.

It is not uncommon for companies with investment capital to form their own investment arm. For the most part, the goal is to fund startups that could drive value for the parent company down the line. And, as a strategic investor, ConsenSys Ventures will be actively involved in developing startups from an early stage.

Bitcoin Magazine spoke with Gupta on the phone earlier this week. She was in New York getting ready to dash off to San Francisco. ConsenSys has offices in Brooklyn and in San Francisco, and Gupta will be splitting her time between both of those offices.

She explained she will be working closely with Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys and one of the early founders of Ethereum. And, she added, naturally, ConsenSys Ventures will be looking to invest in Ethereum-based startups.

“We are looking at companies already, and we are going to deploy this as soon as we get green signals from a lawyer on the structure. Everything else is place,” said Gupta, who will be talking more about the fund at Women in STEM in San Francisco on Monday.

When asked about the overall goals of the venture, she responded, “I think, to Joe, being one of the co-founders of Ethereum, what really matters is how to basically accelerate this revolution. He wants the smartest entrepreneurs to create applications on it, to use it and start ingraining that work into our ecosystem to create companies.”

To that end, ConsenSys Ventures will be looking to invest in pre-seed, seed, and equity stage companies, she explained, adding that the fund will also be investing in pre-token sales, if the entrepreneurs decide to go the initial coin offering (ICOs) route.

Gupta described her role as overseeing the entire process while also being deeply involved with structuring deals. “Like any managing partner, I will be basically doing due diligence, looking at the companies, and structuring the deal. And, at the same time, making sure all the fiduciary duties are done,” she said. “With respect to making the decisions, it is going to be me and Joe working very closely.”

She indicated, finding good startups to invest in would not be an issue. “Once you are in ConsenSys, which is pretty much the center of the blockchain space, you don’t really have to go out looking for great companies,” she said, adding that the team was currently “looking deeply” at four to five startups, but nothing had been finalized yet.

She said she will leave the decision as to whether or not a startup should launch an ICO, up to the entrepreneurs themselves. “We help them create a business. We help them create an idea. I don’t think we are really pushing or saying that every company has to go for token sales. It makes sense for some companies, and for others, it doesn’t make sense. We want to support the entrepreneurs in whatever they do.”

Strategic funding is different than straight venture capital funding, she emphasized. “We want to believe that it is different than the traditional investment because it is sort of like a VC hedge fund. All of the companies are coming to you at a very early stage, and we want to be involved in shaping the company, with respect to business, operations, hiring, and how they are going to make money.”

As part of that, the ConsenSys Ventures will offer a range of support. “We also work as a strategic investor, helping you out both with respect to the technology solutions, because we have access to the ConsenSys ecosystem, and also to deliver the company, because a lot of people forget they have to deliver the company after that.”

She also pointed out that ConsenSys Ventures was part of a natural evolution. Two years ago, ConsenSys launched as a way to build out ideas on top of the Ethereum network. Earlier this year, ConsenSys launched ConsenSys Academy to start training engineers in how to do that work on their own. Now, ConsenSys Ventures is sort of a middle ground, offering support, but still letting entrepreneurs do their own thing.

“Now across the world, entrepreneurs are capable of building and designing — coding their own systems on Ethereum. They don’t necessarily need ConsenSys 100 percent, so how do we collaborate with them? I think Consensys Ventures is the best way to do it.”

A native of India, Gupta is a 2015 recipient of the U.N. Social Finance Innovator Award. In addition to working at the World Bank, where she headed the organization’s youth innovation fund, she has more than 10 years of experience in impact investment across a variety of companies, including McKinsey, HSBC and International Finance Corp.

She has worked in the U.S., the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. She most recently led mission investing for the family foundation of Alphabet Inc. executive Eric Schmidt.

The post An Interview With Kavita Gupta, ConsenSys’s Pick to Oversee Its New $50M Venture Fund appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Stellar Announces Partnership Grant Program for Blockchain Development

Stellar Announces Partnership Grant Program for Blockchain Development

Stellar has announced a new initiative called the Stellar Partnership Grant Program. The program aims to “promote the development of high-impact projects in the Stellar ecosystem,” Stellar explained in a statement.

Jed McCaleb, Stellar co-founder and CTO, told Bitcoin Magazine, “Our overarching mission is to use the Stellar network to increase financial access globally and in particular to the more than 2.5 billion unbanked people in emerging markets across the world. The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) works mainly with licensed and regulated partners, such as banks, fintech startups and remittance companies. However, the Stellar protocol is a foundational and open technology usable by anyone.”

As for the partnership program, itself, Stellar will be accepting proposals from “leading organizations that are interested in building upon Stellar’s technology to improve the financial landscape and promote financial inclusion,” Stellar stated. Stellar will then grant select partners up to $2,000,000 USD per grant. This sum will be paid in Stellar Lumens coin, XLM, “ensuring the recipients are co-beneficiaries of network growth.”

As for who the program’s target will be, McCaleb said, “We are currently working with corporate entities like Deloitte and ICICI Bank, but with our partnership grant program, we’re really excited about tech-forward money transfer operators, and more generally, tech-forward non-bank financial institutions.”

“We’re looking to bring on quality long-term global partners that provide low-cost financial services, such as banking, micro-payments, and cross border payments and remittances to underserved markets that have large remittance flows,” McCaleb said. “These partners will be oriented around using the Stellar network as an integral part of their payment structure.”

Stellar has a history of encouraging development on its platform. The Stellar Build Challenge has been actively seeking out and funding new developments using their technology including wallets, ICOs, remittance applications, and much more. So far it has held four Build Challenges and awarded prizes to dozens of projects. Submissions for the final Build Challenge of 2017 are due on November 15.

The post Stellar Announces Partnership Grant Program for Blockchain Development appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Wanchain: Cross-Chain Transactions for Digital Finance

Wanchain cross-chain hurricane

The momentum pushing cryptocurrency markets worldwide isn’t slowing. As the inherent value of crypto assets and blockchain technology, the industry’s growth trajectory is accelerating.

However, as increasing numbers of digital currencies launch and build value in the network, the need to manage this growth becomes more pressing. This is one reason why there has been a rapid proliferation of new asset management applications recently. At a time when distributed models are seen as a more efficient and secure approach for the emerging digital economy, most of these exchange applications operate according to a centralized model.

Wanchain, an innovative digital platform curated by the Chinese firm Wanglu Tech, shows promise as a framework for building a decentralized financial market. Wanchain’s model for distributed financial infrastructure allows the exchange of assets across different blockchain networks; the native cryptocurrency, “Wancoin,” will serve as an intermediate currency for the exchanges.

A major driver of  Wanchain’s open-source project is the Singapore-based Wanchain Foundation, a non-profit organization serving the broader crypto ecosystem. The foundation’s primary objective is to raise operating funds for the Wanchain community, while offering support to enterprises, organizations, individuals and other key stakeholders.

Cross-Chain Transactions

Wanchain’s long-term vision is ambitious. It aims to establish a distributed, digital-asset-based financial infrastructure which will allow institutions and individuals to run their own “virtual teller,” where service offerings such as loan origination, asset exchanges, credit payments and transaction settlements are based on digital assets.

Thanks to blockchain technology, Wanchain is decentralized and permits transactions without the need for trusted third parties. However, the platform’s core value comes from the fact that it can transfer assets using a decentralized cross-chain mechanism and protocol. Multiple blockchains will be connected for the purpose of transferring value across networks.

Wanchain not only serves as a link between blockchains; the platform will also function as its own internal blockchain with smart contract functionality, Turing completeness and privacy protection for all network transactions.

The Wanchain model comes at a time when myriad applications are being developed across the financial industry. These include:

Wanchain aims to be a more efficient distributed-asset trading network utilizing a framework similar to those used by traditional financial institutions, including companies involved with asset-backed securities. By capitalizing on Wanchain’s innovative infrastructure, individuals and businesses will be able to access a wider range of financial services, while maintaining greater control over their assets and asset appreciation strategies.

Jack Lu, CEO of Wanglu Tech and founder of Wanchain, organized a team to curate Wanchain’s development after completing a cross-chain transaction and privacy protection verification and prototype development during the latter part of 2016. The platform is set to go live in November 2017.

Lu previously launched Factom in 2014, a company whose initial coin offering (ICO) campaign successfully raised over $9 million. Factom now sits as one of the top 30 cryptocurrency markets in the world, with an estimated value of over $200 million.

Besides Lu, who leads the company’s engineering team in the U.S. and China, Wanchain boasts a number of world-renowned software engineers and cryptographic experts. Many of the developers have matriculated from Peking University, one of the top institutions of higher education, not only in China, but in the world. Applied mathematics expert U.S.-based Zane Liang, who leads the scientific team at Wanchain, is  responsible for theoretical solutions and verification of the blockchain encryption algorithms.

Wanchain’s ICO crowdsale has been starts on September 6, when the publicly-offered digital tokens will be in the form of Wanchain ERC-20 tokens. The total supply of Wancoins is 210 million. At the conclusion of the crowdfunding venture, tokens will be distributed to users’ Ethereum wallets, through which transfers are possible. This process resembles that of smart contract tokens on Ethereum.

Wanchain has reported over Twitter that due to China’s new ICO regulations, its September 6 token sale has been postponed. You can stay update by following them on RedditTwitter or joining the conversation on the Wanchain Slack channel.

The post Wanchain: Cross-Chain Transactions for Digital Finance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Cappasity Drives World of AR/VR, One Block at a Time

Capassity Thumb

A rapidly developing project known as Cappasity, and its ARToken (ART) are igniting a new world for 3D content creators and distributors.

Its aim: to provide these creatives with a means of monetizing and sharing their work through a tokenized network. It is driven by a blockchain-centric platform powered by ART, a virtual currency now available via a $50 million token crowdsale that allows for content trading inside of the ecosystem.

This fast-moving initiative reflects the emerging intersection between augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D content creation. With growing numbers of cheaper, more powerful mobile devices entering the global marketplace, AR/VR is no longer a novelty. 

As companies like Google, Apple, Samsung and Facebook embrace these technologies, more disruptive AR/VR possibilities are gaining traction, providing massive opportunities for creatives seeking to leverage the vast potential of this space. The AR/VR world is rapidly expanding and the need for 3D images is on an exponential growth trajectory.

Fostering New Possibilities

Cappasity is at the forefront of this rapidly developing landscape. Launched as a computer startup in 2013, the company later shifted its focus to e-commerce. Today it is a cloud-based platform fueling the seamless integration of 3D content into e-commerce solutions, including product digitizing and 3D/VR shopping visualization.

The company is the brainchild of Kosta Popov who now serves as its CEO. He founded his first venture in 2005 and has over 10 years of experience in 3D technology and IT business development.

Bolstered by over $1.8 million in venture capital, Cappasity has made major inroads in the development of cutting edge innovations for the 3D world, including the easy 3D Booth, an affordable and simple-to-use full body 3D scanner for 3D printing, and the Cappasity Easy 3D Scan, which allows merchandisers to scan and easily upload their products into a 3D image. The latter game-changing solution provides consumers with a visual representation of items they may be seeking to purchase. 

As a part of its expansion efforts, Cappasity has forged collaborative relationships with a number of large retailers and top luxury brands while continuing to expand its presence through Plug And Play Retail accelerator Batch 7. 

While the focus has been the creation and integration of content into online shops, Cappasity has plans to pursue a number of other industry spaces with the goal of developing a comprehensive, global platform for everything AR/VR related. Fashion brands are just one example of a niche industry where Cappasity promises to make a mark.

All of this will require the expansion of the Cappasity ecosystem. In its present iteration, the ecosystem is comprised of two layers. The first, an infrastructure layer, powered by a blockchain, software toolkits and decentralized storage, is the setting where content creators and moderators are able to manage content directly.

The marketplace, the second layer, is for content exchange. It also serves as a testing ground for AR/VR and 3D content, a place where businesses and consumers will have access to a variety of 3D images and data.

There is also a unified solution for the creation and optimization of 3D content. Known as “3D View,” this tool provides a person with the ability to easily create quality 3D renderings of real objects and put them up for sale.

In addition, a 3D modeling module for large objects such as buildings and landscapes is currently under development. This software, which will be adapted for drone 3D shooting, requires very little in the way of computing power, allowing it to easily work with laptops and smartphones. 

Cappasity’s ecosystem also features a marketplace which functions as a buy-and-sell area where 3D and other AR/VR content exchange happens. There will be two main categories of goods: AR/VR and 3D content, as well as AR/VR and 3D apps.

The company will also deliver a powerful, analytic Cappasity AI to handle customer interactions. The Cappasity platform is compatible with AR/VR devices, empowering content creators with tools like SDK and plugins to produce high-quality AR/VR and 3D content.

Token Sale

The Cappasity crowdsale will begin on the September 27 and last for four weeks with a target of $50 million. To cater to the AR/VR/3D community, two endowment entities have been established. The first is the AR/VR Innovation Fund and the second is the Reward Fund. Following a successful token sale, 20 percent of the raised funds will be dedicated to the first and 10 percent will be dedicated to the second.

Cappasity will also provide all developers with the SDK/API to work on the platform. The company is also working on a mobile application that will make the site content compatible with the Cappasity platform and Apple ARKit.

Cappasity leaders believe that the token sale is, first and foremost, an opportunity to create a community of people enthusiastic about 3D tech, forming the basis for a global network of content creators and consumers. The belief here is that a token sale represents a great tool for the fair distribution of tokens among early adopters.

The post Cappasity Drives World of AR/VR, One Block at a Time appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…

 

Cappasity Drives World of AR/VR, One Block at a Time

Capassity Thumb

A rapidly developing project known as Cappasity, and its ARToken (ART) are igniting a new world for 3D content creators and distributors.

Its aim: to provide these creatives with a means of monetizing and sharing their work through a tokenized network. It is driven by a blockchain-centric platform powered by ART, a virtual currency now available via a $50 million token crowdsale that allows for content trading inside of the ecosystem.

This fast-moving initiative reflects the emerging intersection between augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D content creation. With growing numbers of cheaper, more powerful mobile devices entering the global marketplace, AR/VR is no longer a novelty. 

As companies like Google, Apple, Samsung and Facebook embrace these technologies, more disruptive AR/VR possibilities are gaining traction, providing massive opportunities for creatives seeking to leverage the vast potential of this space. The AR/VR world is rapidly expanding and the need for 3D images is on an exponential growth trajectory.

Fostering New Possibilities

Cappasity is at the forefront of this rapidly developing landscape. Launched as a computer startup in 2013, the company later shifted its focus to e-commerce. Today it is a cloud-based platform fueling the seamless integration of 3D content into e-commerce solutions, including product digitizing and 3D/VR shopping visualization.

The company is the brainchild of Kosta Popov who now serves as its CEO. He founded his first venture in 2005 and has over 10 years of experience in 3D technology and IT business development.

Bolstered by over $1.8 million in venture capital, Cappasity has made major inroads in the development of cutting edge innovations for the 3D world, including the easy 3D Booth, an affordable and simple-to-use full body 3D scanner for 3D printing, and the Cappasity Easy 3D Scan, which allows merchandisers to scan and easily upload their products into a 3D image. The latter game-changing solution provides consumers with a visual representation of items they may be seeking to purchase. 

As a part of its expansion efforts, Cappasity has forged collaborative relationships with a number of large retailers and top luxury brands while continuing to expand its presence through Plug And Play Retail accelerator Batch 7. 

While the focus has been the creation and integration of content into online shops, Cappasity has plans to pursue a number of other industry spaces with the goal of developing a comprehensive, global platform for everything AR/VR related. Fashion brands are just one example of a niche industry where Cappasity promises to make a mark.

All of this will require the expansion of the Cappasity ecosystem. In its present iteration, the ecosystem is comprised of two layers. The first, an infrastructure layer, powered by a blockchain, software toolkits and decentralized storage, is the setting where content creators and moderators are able to manage content directly.

The marketplace, the second layer, is for content exchange. It also serves as a testing ground for AR/VR and 3D content, a place where businesses and consumers will have access to a variety of 3D images and data.

There is also a unified solution for the creation and optimization of 3D content. Known as “3D View,” this tool provides a person with the ability to easily create quality 3D renderings of real objects and put them up for sale.

In addition, a 3D modeling module for large objects such as buildings and landscapes is currently under development. This software, which will be adapted for drone 3D shooting, requires very little in the way of computing power, allowing it to easily work with laptops and smartphones. 

Cappasity’s ecosystem also features a marketplace which functions as a buy-and-sell area where 3D and other AR/VR content exchange happens. There will be two main categories of goods: AR/VR and 3D content, as well as AR/VR and 3D apps.

The company will also deliver a powerful, analytic Cappasity AI to handle customer interactions. The Cappasity platform is compatible with AR/VR devices, empowering content creators with tools like SDK and plugins to produce high-quality AR/VR and 3D content.

Token Sale

The Cappasity crowdsale will begin on the September 27 and last for four weeks with a target of $50 million. To cater to the AR/VR/3D community, two endowment entities have been established. The first is the AR/VR Innovation Fund and the second is the Reward Fund. Following a successful token sale, 20 percent of the raised funds will be dedicated to the first and 10 percent will be dedicated to the second.

Cappasity will also provide all developers with the SDK/API to work on the platform. The company is also working on a mobile application that will make the site content compatible with the Cappasity platform and Apple ARKit.

Cappasity leaders believe that the token sale is, first and foremost, an opportunity to create a community of people enthusiastic about 3D tech, forming the basis for a global network of content creators and consumers. The belief here is that a token sale represents a great tool for the fair distribution of tokens among early adopters.

The post Cappasity Drives World of AR/VR, One Block at a Time appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Continue reading…