Weekly news (16/1): Top 100 most influencial people in crypto

Remitano gladly brings you some of the most highlighted news and insights this week.

GOOD READS

The 100 most influential people in crypto: It’s been fascinating to see people from all over different aspects joining together and drive the crypto transformation forward. In honor of development growing strong throughout 2018 of the bear market, this is the list of talented individuals who will continue to lead the charge.

Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: Tron, Neo, Cardano, Binance Coin, Litecoin: Study the charts of the top 5 performers among the top coins to gauge the current sentiment.

COMMUNITY NEWS

NASA eyes blockchain tech to secure aircraft flight data

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The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has proposed an air traffic management blockchain. The proposed system would employ an open-source permissioned blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services.

The document notes: “This framework features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorized member.”

According to the proposal, enterprise blockchain solutions could be a practical PKI for aircraft applications. The document states:

“A virtue of theses blockchain schemas is that they enable implementation of a PKI infrastructure in which end users are not required to belong to any single organization, or adhere 6 to any single client/server protocol.”

In the prototype, the Fabric Certificate Authority is employed for the registration of entities, issuance, renewal and revocation of Enrollment Certificates. Such a system, according to the paper, would “enable ADS-B systems to meet or exceed the same level of privacy and security currently provided by radar-based systems in NASA.

New York city economic corp launches blockchain education center

New York City may begin testing blockchain technology for various use cases later this year.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) new Blockchain Center opened on 10th Jan. The center is part of a partnership with the venture capital fund Future\Perfect Ventures and the Global Blockchain Business Council trade organization.

The new center, based in the Flatiron District, will offer classes on coding and host lectures aimed at both developers in the space and the general public.

The move comes as a number of crypto startups began laying off employees due to an ongoing bear market, but this is not necessarily a concern for the center.

Ana Arino, chief strategy officer with the EDC, told Bloomberg that the center was “playing the long game,” adding: “It’s a nascent technology, so there’s bound to be uncertainty around this evolution from year to year. While we don’t know what the future holds, we want to make sure we have a seat at the table shaping it.

New York City itself has contributed $100,000 to the new Blockchain Center, and the facility will continue to raise funds through corporate partnerships and membership dues.

Samsung NEXT technical director values decentralization above blockchain

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Decentralization is a more important phenomenon than blockchain, a senior executive at South Korean tech giant Samsung said in an interview on Jan. 10.

Speaking about the future of blockchain, Ricardo J. Méndez, Technical Director at the firm’s innovative technology arm Samsung NEXT, forecast a consolidation of the space in the coming year, but underscored the importance of reshaping centralized structures.

 “Without question. Blockchain is just one more tool, and one that can help in decentralized contexts, but a tool is always less important than the goal.”

The perspective places Samsung in a somewhat smaller group of tech businesses championing the more ideological aspects of the blockchain phenomenon.

The majority of big players continue to look to blockchain as a method of streamlining operations such as supply chains, costs and paperwork, but rarely mention the benefits of a decentralized system akin to that of the Bitcoin (BTC) network.

On the topic of cryptocurrency, however, Méndez appeared keen to highlight the flipside of many assets’ method of transacting.

“You need to only look at most cryptocurrencies, which are completely decentralized but also 100% public – their pseudonymity only needs to be broken once,” he continued.

“Peer-to-peer approaches require you to broadcast your activity to peers, so they need an extra privacy layer (like a VPN or mix network). This is why, as an industry, we need to get better at explaining to users the trade-offs of different approaches.”

Samsung itself maintains a vested interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency-based experimentation, last month revealing it was seeking a U.K. patent for a cryptocurrency wallet.

Long-dormant Bitcoin whales resuming activity could rock price action

The number of active Bitcoin (BTC) wallets, many of which have long been dormant, has seen an uptick that could herald some major market movements. Bloomberg bases its report on data and analysis from crypto analytics startup Flipside Crypto.

According to Flipside, a high number of long-inactive Bitcoin holders — defined as those that haven’t transferred their Bitcoin for between six and thirty months — have begun to transfer their coins, resulting in wallets active over the past month now holding around 60 percent of the coin’s circulating supply.

Overall, the supply of active Bitcoins has reportedly surged 40 percent since summer 2018. Eric Stone, head of data science at Flipside, commented:

“It’s definitely a big shift. There’s more potential than usual for price swings.”

As Bloomberg notes, similar wallet stirrings preceded Bitcoin’s major historical price volatility in both 2015 and 2017 — in the latter year, the coin surged to all-time price highs of $20,000.

Tightly clustered ownership of the top cryptocurrency — with around 1,000 wallet address reported to own 85 percent of all Bitcoins — has engendered the industry moniker of Bitcoin whales, whose sizeable holdings potentially confer a consequential power to move markets.

US state of Wyoming passes two new blockchain, crypto-related bills

b2The state legislature of the American state of Wyoming has reportedly passed two new house bills that aim to foster a regulatory environment conducive to cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation.

Entitled “Wyoming Utility Token Act-property amendments,” Bill 62 is significant in establishing  a new asset class, defining “open blockchain tokens with specified consumptive characteristics [as] intangible personal property.” The definition notably means that said tokens do not require an exemption from federal securities laws. The bill clarifies that:

“The open blockchain tokens governed by this act do not constitute securities because a person who is sold a consumptive open blockchain token cannot receive a cash payment or share of profits from a developer or business, but will instead receive a fixed amount of consumable services, content or property.”

Bill 57 is entitled “Financial technology sandbox,” and pertains to the creation of a fintech regulatory “sandbox” — a supervised and flexible testing environment that provides waivers for certain statutes and rules that would otherwise hamper innovation. Its establishment reportedly aims to foster a welcoming business environment for the developers of new financial products and services, and thereby attract fintech talent to the state.

In early 2018 both the Wyoming Senate and House of Representatives passed House Bill 70, which relaxed securities regulations and money transmission laws for certain tokens offered via an initial coin offering (ICO) in the state.

A separate house bill regarding the exemption of virtual currencies from the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act was passed by the Wyoming state legislature last March, as well as a house bill exempting virtual currencies from state property taxation in February. A slew of further pro-crypto and blockchain senate and house bills have already been passed into Wyoming law.

Russian parliament to focus on digital economy bills in next session, says chairman

Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, has said that bills on the digital economy will be a priority during the upcoming session.

Speaking at the opening of the parliament’s spring session, Volodin mentioned the digital economy bills that are currently being considered, including the ones on digital financial assets, digital rights and crowdfunding. According to the chairman, the members of the parliament will focus on these bills during the upcoming session.

Volodin also urged lawmakers to create a favorable legal environment for the development of the digital economy in Russia.

The chairman further recommended the creation of working groups of experts, entrepreneurs and researchers in order to speed up the development of new digital economy-related laws. Volodin added that the MPs are set to present more than 20 new draft bills related to the digital economy in the near future.

Almost 5 new cryptocurrency ATMs installed worldwide each day, data shows

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The number of crypto automated teller machines (ATMs) installed worldwide has surged past the 4,000 mark. The current rate of growth is 4.9 new ATMs installed each day, according to Coin ATM Radar’s gauge scale.

Out of a total of 4167 crypto ATMs worldwide, 71.8 percent are located in North America — 56 percent in the United States and 15 percent in Canada — 23 percent are in Europe, and 2.6 percent in Asia. 1.3 and 1.1 percent are in Oceania and South America respectively, and just 0.2 percent are located in Africa.

According to the data, installations in the United States rose from 1,216 on Jan. 1, 2018 to 2,475 as of today — 1,259 new ATMs in just over a year. California has the highest number of any state — with a total of 473 machines — followed by Illinois with 250.

While the vast majority of the 4167 crypto ATMs worldwide support Bitcoin (BTC) — 99.9 percent, or 4,162 — 64.6 percent support one or more altcoins.

These break down to 59.5 percent support for Litecoin (LTC), 49.3 percent support for Ethereum (ETH) and 33.9 percent support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Dash (DASH) is supported by 17.9 percent of ATMs, while Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE) and ZCash (ZEC) are each supported by 3 percent or less.

US Department of Energy to fund blockchain research projects

The twin cooling towers at Dynegy Brayton Point. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced federal funding of up to $4.8 million for universities working on R&D projects, including those related to blockchain.

One of the areas being targeted for funding is blockchain technology that would “secure process signal data and other information flows within distributed sensor networks for fossil-based power generation systems.”

Other potential projects not necessarily including blockchain include those that would explore advanced computing resources for coal plants to generate analytical results, improve water reuse processes, and investigate physical and biological sciences to measure chemical elements within coal fly ash.

The department said it funds research and development projects to reduce the “risk and cost” of advanced fossil fuel-based energy technologies and make more sustainable use of fossil resources in the U.S.

This is not the first time that the department has looked to explore blockchain for technological improvements. Last January, it partnered with BlockCypher to develop solutions allowing energy transactions to be settled across multiple blockchains.

And, in July 2018, the department awarded a grant of nearly $1 million to a Colorado-based blockchain startup Grid7 in a move aimed to advance the development of a decentralized energy grid.

Collected by Remitano