Category Archives: blockchain technology

Banks are sold on blockchain, worried about collaboration, American Banker

Banks are sold on blockchain, worried about collaboration

Several ideas are emerging about the adoption of blockchain in the financial services industry that are fairly different than what anyone would have predicted two or three years ago.

The choices banks are making are steering financial blockchains in a direction that is far from the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto’s conception of it, and closer to more traditional technologies out there today — a Google Docs of sorts for banks with immutability and security built in.

1. Things are moving quicker than expected; blockchain technology should be ready for broad use by banks within a year.

Only last spring, analysts were proclaiming that mainstream adoption of blockchain technology was ten years away. Following the fever pitch of blockchain chatter in 2015, observers expected two thousand sixteen to be the year where expectations were tempered.

But bankers and several other financial blockchain experts at a conference hosted by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. Wednesday referred to two thousand seventeen as the year of the blockchain pilot, and two thousand eighteen as the year blockchain technology will be used in production in financial services.

"To use a flying analogy, we’ve got the landing gear out and we’re preparing the final descent," said Emmanuel Aidoo, head of blockchain and distributed ledger strategy at Credit Suisse.

"All of us are focused on making this real in 2017," said Todd McDonald, co-founder and chief operating officer of R3, a bank consortium that has developed a “blockchain inspired” platform called Corda. “We all need to make this real this year into next.”

The list of financial blockchains in or close to prime time is growing.

Digital Asset Holdings, the blockchain technology company founded by former JPMorgan Pursue executive Blythe Masters, plans to have a blockchain product ready for banks to use by the end of 2017, said Chris Church, its chief business development officer.

Northern Trust recently went live with a blockchain for private equity funds, based on technology from the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project and IBM.

“I believe two thousand seventeen is the year we see live networks versus proof of concepts,” said Jerry Cuomo, fellow and vice president of blockchain technologies at IBM. “I think we’re eyeing the real evidence that blockchain is not going to come, it’s here.”

Microsoft’s Blockchain as a Service, a set of blockchain building blocks that runs on the Azure cloud, is also market ready. Bank of America has been using it to create a blockchain to automate trade finance.

JPMorgan Pursue has developed a blockchain called Quorum that’s based on Ethereum.

In February, the DTCC ended a distributed ledger proof of concept with Digital Asset to better manage the netting process for repurchase agreement transactions. The DTCC also plans to shift its Trade Information Warehouse, which keeps records on derivatives contracts, to a distributed ledger in collaboration with IBM, R3 and other fucking partners.

Two. Bankers see blockchain technology mainly as a way to save money.

It’s not surprising that bankers would want to save money. Most have to reduce their cost and efficiency ratios to get through and stay in regulators’ good graces. But when you think about the original premise of the blockchain — a means of recording anonymous digital currency transactions that would circumvent the traditional payment system and pass under the radar of the government, this is a leap.

Credit Suisse, for one, has conducted ten proofs of concept with blockchain startups to achieve cost reductions.

"We tend to look at projects that can give us, if I’m being fair, 50% or greater cost reductions," Aidoo said. "If I’m being more pragmatic, it’s more like 35%. Anything less than that doesn’t warrant execution."

Northern Trust, which has done twenty proofs of concept for blockchain technology and recently went public with its blockchain for private equity funds, also concentrates on streamlining, which would lead to cost cuts.

“We determined to embark on a mission to improve efficiency,” said Justin Chapman, global head of market advocacy and innovation research at Northern Trust.

During its earlier stages, there was hope that blockchain could be a way to to suggest fresh products and services and automate certain things, like supply chains and international remittances, that in the past couldn’t be digitized with one technology. While some are still pondering revenue opportunities on blockchain, the promise of efficiency is what is driving bankers’ interest today.

Three. The idea of "permissionless" blockchains has pretty much been dropped by the industry.

Looking back at blockchain developments over the past year, Church at Digital Asset Holdings said the financial world agreed to abandon the idea of permissionless distributed ledgers. In other words, blockchains anybody could join. Banks have gravitated toward permissioned blockchains that can only be used by those who are invited — say, counterparties to derivatives contracts or trade finance playmates.

"The permissioned environment is going to prevail because it meets the requirements of this marketplace," Church said. "That was a very significant intellectual understanding people got to."

Four. Integration/collaboration is the fattest perceived hurdle.

Asked what presents the greatest challenge to blockchain adoption — data security, privacy, scalability, business case or integration — about half of the DTCC conference audience picked integration. Last year at a similar conference, about a third of the audience chose this option. Integration in this context seems to mean the capability to work with other banks’ and partners’ blockchain technology.

“Interoperability is key: if you look at visible challenges, privacy and scalability are solved,” Church said. “If you do get interoperability, which will require collaboration, all sorts of things become possible. If you have a single source of truth, services can be built off of that, and there’s a giant market chance. Cross processes permit fresh products and services to be created.”

Aidoo noted that privacy is still tricky, because even with a permissioned, invitation-only blockchain, there can still be certain data elements not everyone on the chain should see.

“We talk about public versus private blockchains, but it’s more complicated than that,” he said. For example, the “Chinese walls” Wall Street firms have to maintain mean people in some parts of the organization should not be able to access certain information.

Aidoo also voiced anxiety about collaboration. “I worry about execution risk, meaning things like, do we have the right playmates, do we have the right ecosystem, do we have the right playmates from a collaboration perspective?” he said.

One thing many agree on: Blockchain technology is inescapable for this industry.

“This is not going to stop,” Aidoo said. “This technology will be as pervasive as SQL servers and databases.”

Related video:

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October 29, 2015

“Are See-through Managed ETFs The Future? Fund Manager Cathie Wood Is Betting On It”

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All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information on this site are rigorously beliefs and points of view held by ARK Investment Management LLC and/or ARK ETF Trust and are subject to switch without notice. Certain information on this site was obtained from sources that ARK believes to be reliable; however, ARK does not ensure the accuracy or completeness of any information obtained from any third party. The information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. The information on this site is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. An investor should consult a financial professional, an attorney, or tax professional regarding the investor’s specific situation.

Certain hyperlinks or referenced websites on this site may, for your convenience, forward you to third parties’ websites, which generally are recognized by their top level domain name. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services do not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship or affiliation with ARK with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by ARK. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by ARK and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom ARK exercises no control. ARK expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or the quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. ARK reserves the right to terminate any hyperlink or hyperlinking program at any time.

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© 2017. ARK ETF Trust. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission.

ARK Press and News, Investing in Disruptive Innovation

ARK ETFs, TEAM, AND INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY IN THE NEWS

ETF.com, July Nineteen, 2016

Bloomberg Radio Interview

October 29, 2015

“Are Semi-transparent Managed ETFs The Future? Fund Manager Cathie Wood Is Betting On It”

Samantha Sharf, Forbes

December Ten, 2014

IN THE NEWS ARCHIVE

Broadcast

Press and Online

ARK Press Release

For further information about ARK ETFs, or to request interviews or information, we ask that members of the press please contact:

ARK Active ETFs

ARK Index ETFs

Investor Material

Investor Education

In The News

About ARK

Investors should cautiously consider the investment objectives and risks as well as charges and expenses of an ARK ETF before investing. This and other information are contained in the ARK ETFs’ prospectuses, which may be obtained by clicking here. The prospectus should be read cautiously before investing. An investment in an ARK ETF is subject to risks and you can lose money on your investment in an ARK ETF. There can be no assurance that the ARK ETFs will achieve their investment objectives. The ARK ETFs’ portfolios are more volatile than broad market averages. The ARK ETFs also have specific risks, which are described in the ARK ETFs’ prospectuses.

Shares of the ARK ETFs may be bought or sold across the day at their market price on the exchange on which they are listed. The market price of an ARK ETF’s shares may be at, above or below the ARK ETF’s net asset value (“NAV”) and will fluctuate with switches in the NAV as well as supply and request in the market for the shares. The market price of ARK ETF shares may differ significantly from their NAV during periods of market volatility. Shares of the ARK ETFs may only be redeemed directly with the ARK ETFs at NAV by Authorized Participants, in very large creation units. There can be no assure that an active trading market for ARK ETF shares will develop or be maintained, or that their listing will proceed or remain unchanged. Buying or selling ARK ETF shares on an exchange may require the payment of brokerage commissions and frequent trading may incur brokerage costs that detract significantly from investment comebacks. Not FDIC Insured – No Bank Ensure – May Lose Value

All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information on this site are rigorously beliefs and points of view held by ARK Investment Management LLC and/or ARK ETF Trust and are subject to switch without notice. Certain information on this site was obtained from sources that ARK believes to be reliable; however, ARK does not ensure the accuracy or completeness of any information obtained from any third party. The information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. The information on this site is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. An investor should consult a financial professional, an attorney, or tax professional regarding the investor’s specific situation.

Certain hyperlinks or referenced websites on this site may, for your convenience, forward you to third parties’ websites, which generally are recognized by their top level domain name. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services do not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship or affiliation with ARK with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by ARK. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by ARK and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom ARK exercises no control. ARK expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or the quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. ARK reserves the right to terminate any hyperlink or hyperlinking program at any time.

ARK Investment Management LLC is the investment adviser to the ARK ETFs.

Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor.

© 2017. ARK ETF Trust. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission.

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A Blockchain Currency That Hammers Bitcoin On Privacy – IEEE Spectrum

A Blockchain Currency That Strikes Bitcoin On Privacy

In October, I was in a van in Denver with Zooko Wilcox, the CEO of Zcash, a company that was soon to launch a fresh blockchain-based digital currency of the same name. On the floor next to me was a bunch of recently purchased computer equipment. I knew we were going to a hotel but didn’t know which one. I only knew that I’d be there for the next two days straight and that it would be my job to see, ask questions, stave off sleep, and document as much as I possibly could.

That day began a cryptographic ceremony of sorts, one that could make or break a fresh digital currency. Zcash is identical to Bitcoin in many ways. It’s founded on a digital ledger of transactions called a blockchain that exists on an army of computers that can be anywhere in the world. But it differs from Bitcoin in one critical way: It is fully anonymous. Albeit privacy was a motivating factor for ­Bitcoin’s flock of early adopters, it didn’t produce the goods. For those who want to digitally replicate the practice of slipping on a ski mask and handing over an envelope of unmarked bills, Zcash is now the way to go.

The problem with Bitcoin today is that the entire history is public. If users are not enormously careful, network analysis can expose the real identities of the people behind the accounts

To supply on this anonymity, however, the Zcash protocol requires an initial dose of randomness, a set of parameters that functions as a reference point for the rest of the software. But the process comes with an unfortunate by-product. The software that generates the parameters also creates lumps of a cryptographic key, which if combined could be used to generate fresh coins out of skinny air. The ceremony I was being carted off to was serving as a public demonstration that the cryptographic fragments were being created and disposed of in such a way that the accomplish key would never come into existence.

But why make a currency that faces its very first existential threat at the very moment of its creation? Because for the subset of people who like their currency digital and free from government control, anonymity truly matters.

“Zcash is truly titillating because it’s the very first combination of the blockchain properties with the encryption properties,” says Wilcox. This layer of encryption means that with Zcash, transactions will leave no trace on the blockchain of who spent a coin or in what digital pocket it landed. All that will be visible is that a transaction occurred.

Bitcoin, the very first and most widely used digital currency, established the blockchain as a revolutionary technology. Blockchains provide a way for disparate, mistrustful parties to jointly maintain a public ledger of transactions and to do so in a way that renders all entries permanent.

The problem with Bitcoin as it is implemented today is that the entire history is public. Transactions are attributed to random identifiers that in themselves carry no information about the person controlling the accounts. But if users are not utterly careful, network analysis can expose both the financial behavior and the real identities of the people behind the accounts. (Several companies, such as Chainalysis, now provide such a service.)

Zcash also has a blockchain that records and publicly broadcasts every transaction ever made with it. But it hides all identifying information about who made the transactions and how much was spent.

“Zcash solves this privacy problem by encrypting each transaction. We use standard, modern, high-tech ­encryption, which is the same kind of encryption that is used to protect websites and emails and everything on the Internet,” says Wilcox.

This, however, creates a fresh problem. In Bitcoin, having all the details of transactions available without encryption enables miners—the people running the software that updates and secures the blockchain—to validate fresh spending requests by referencing previous transactions in the record. When those data are hidden from view, validation becomes more complicated and requires a special kind of computation called a zero-knowledge proof. That computation enables users to prove that they own the coins they want to spend without exposing any information about where the coins came from or where they are going. Such proofs are used in many other contexts around the Internet. For example, zero-knowledge proofs permit you to type in a password on a website and have it verified by the site’s server without actually transmitting the password.

The broad strokes for Zcash were designed in two thousand thirteen at a Johns Hopkins University applied cryptography lab led by Matthew Green. The currency system was later enhanced by Eli Ben-Sasson, a computer scientist at the ­Technion, and a group of researchers at MIT and Tel Aviv University. They developed a fresh zero-knowledge proof, called a zk-SNARK, that is much less computationally intensive and thus crucial for scaling the currency.

Now Zcash is in the palms of Wilcox. Privacy is an issue that is near to his heart. As a teenager, he delayed going to college to work with cryptographer David Chaum on DigiCash, an early implementation of a privacy-centric digital cash. When that project crashed in the 1990s, ­Wilcox continued the crusade.

Enhancing financial privacy will likely enhance the capability of criminals to go about their business undetected, and that’s a legitimate fear. Bitcoin itself found its first—and arguably thus far only—killer app when sellers and buyers realized that they could use it for illegal purchases in “dark Web” markets.

But Wilcox, who regards privacy as a right, argues that there are significant, legitimate reasons why someone would want to use an anonymous currency.

“There are regulatory and commercial and moral reasons for privacy from all sectors,” he says. To give a commercial example: Apple wouldn’t want Samsung to be able to track its transactions and build up valuable competitive intelligence.

Or the motivating factor could be regulatory compliance. Numerous laws in the United States and the United Kingdom, such as the data-­privacy rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, require companies to keep consumer information hidden from view, a feature Zcash can reliably suggest.

There are also stringently technical considerations that make strong privacy a necessary feature in a digital currency. Ideally, for the system to function, coins should be fungible, which is to say that each coin should be indistinguishable from the next. When a coin carries the history, and potentially the wipe, of every past transaction—as bitcoins do—this can be difficult to achieve.

“The laws of economics are almost as immutable as the laws of physics. And good money means that every unit of that money is the same as any other unit of that money. The only way to have that be the case for digital currencies is to have it be private,” says Roger Ver, a Zcash investor who considers fungibility a central concern.

But perhaps the most intriguing feature of Zcash is that users can toggle the level of privacy it provides. Albeit the Zcash protocol encrypts all information about transactions by default, people can selectively disclose this data, and they have control over what parts get exposed as well as who gets to see them.

Let’s say I’m in college and my parents are funding my studies. They could send me Zcash, and then I could lift the veil on all the transactions I make with that money in a way that only they could see.

Adam Back, a cryptographer who has himself endeavored to strengthen Bitcoin’s privacy assures with a scheme called Confidential Transactions, says that Zcash is able to suggest this degree of plasticity because, unlike Bitcoin, it starts with the strongest privacy-guarantee contraptions available.

“It’s very hard to build something stronger on something that’s feeble,” he says. “If you begin with a ideal electronic cash system building block, then you can build an electronic cash system with selective weakening in a way that makes sense for society.”

But cryptographers like Back do have reservations. There is, of course, the problem of requiring that one moment of infallibility on the part of human beings—the destruction of the key fragments—to assure its security.

Also, the zk-SNARK computations that validate transactions are fairly exotic, at least compared with the well-worn standards used in Bitcoin. “The number of people who understand and have read the math and could develop an attack would be very puny, maybe a dozen researchers worldwide. And so you run the risk that maybe not enough people have looked at it to have the insight of what’s wrong with it,” says Back.

The Zcash company, which developed the open-source software, is itself a bit of an experiment. It has a direct stake in the coins that are generated by the Zcash protocol. As with Bitcoin, miners periodically create fresh coins. But with Zcash, the miners get to keep only ninety percent of those coins. The rest gets dumped into accounts managed by the Zcash company, which has stated that it will divvy up these earnings among founders, private investors, and a nonprofit foundation responsible for working on future versions of the protocol. But it is up to the company to transparently report on where that money flows.

One of the fattest unknowns is whether enough people care deeply enough about privacy to bring Zcash into the mainstream. When DigiCash proclaimed bankruptcy in 1998, the failure was attributed partially to a lack of interest in financial privacy on the part of the everyday consumer. Buoyed by unsolicited encouragement both online and in person, Wilcox is certain that it will be different this time around.

A Blockchain Currency That Hammers Bitcoin On Privacy – IEEE Spectrum

A Blockchain Currency That Hammers Bitcoin On Privacy

In October, I was in a van in Denver with Zooko Wilcox, the CEO of Zcash, a company that was soon to launch a fresh blockchain-based digital currency of the same name. On the floor next to me was a bunch of recently purchased computer equipment. I knew we were going to a hotel but didn’t know which one. I only knew that I’d be there for the next two days straight and that it would be my job to observe, ask questions, stave off sleep, and document as much as I possibly could.

That day began a cryptographic ceremony of sorts, one that could make or break a fresh digital currency. Zcash is identical to Bitcoin in many ways. It’s founded on a digital ledger of transactions called a blockchain that exists on an army of computers that can be anywhere in the world. But it differs from Bitcoin in one critical way: It is fully anonymous. Albeit privacy was a motivating factor for ­Bitcoin’s flock of early adopters, it didn’t supply the goods. For those who want to digitally replicate the practice of slipping on a ski mask and handing over an envelope of unmarked bills, Zcash is now the way to go.

The problem with Bitcoin today is that the entire history is public. If users are not utterly careful, network analysis can expose the real identities of the people behind the accounts

To supply on this anonymity, however, the Zcash protocol requires an initial dose of randomness, a set of parameters that functions as a reference point for the rest of the software. But the process comes with an unfortunate by-product. The software that generates the parameters also creates lumps of a cryptographic key, which if combined could be used to generate fresh coins out of skinny air. The ceremony I was being carted off to was serving as a public demonstration that the cryptographic fragments were being created and disposed of in such a way that the accomplish key would never come into existence.

But why make a currency that faces its very first existential threat at the very moment of its creation? Because for the subset of people who like their currency digital and free from government control, anonymity truly matters.

“Zcash is truly titillating because it’s the very first combination of the blockchain properties with the encryption properties,” says Wilcox. This layer of encryption means that with Zcash, transactions will leave no trace on the blockchain of who spent a coin or in what digital pocket it landed. All that will be visible is that a transaction occurred.

Bitcoin, the very first and most widely used digital currency, established the blockchain as a revolutionary technology. Blockchains provide a way for disparate, mistrustful parties to jointly maintain a public ledger of transactions and to do so in a way that renders all entries permanent.

The problem with Bitcoin as it is implemented today is that the entire history is public. Transactions are attributed to random identifiers that in themselves carry no information about the person controlling the accounts. But if users are not utterly careful, network analysis can expose both the financial behavior and the real identities of the people behind the accounts. (Several companies, such as Chainalysis, now provide such a service.)

Zcash also has a blockchain that records and publicly broadcasts every transaction ever made with it. But it hides all identifying information about who made the transactions and how much was spent.

“Zcash solves this privacy problem by encrypting each transaction. We use standard, modern, high-tech ­encryption, which is the same kind of encryption that is used to protect websites and emails and everything on the Internet,” says Wilcox.

This, however, creates a fresh problem. In Bitcoin, having all the details of transactions available without encryption enables miners—the people running the software that updates and secures the blockchain—to validate fresh spending requests by referencing previous transactions in the record. When those data are hidden from view, validation becomes more elaborate and requires a special kind of computation called a zero-knowledge proof. That computation enables users to prove that they own the coins they want to spend without exposing any information about where the coins came from or where they are going. Such proofs are used in many other contexts around the Internet. For example, zero-knowledge proofs permit you to type in a password on a website and have it verified by the site’s server without actually transmitting the password.

The broad strokes for Zcash were designed in two thousand thirteen at a Johns Hopkins University applied cryptography lab led by Matthew Green. The currency system was later enhanced by Eli Ben-Sasson, a computer scientist at the ­Technion, and a group of researchers at MIT and Tel Aviv University. They developed a fresh zero-knowledge proof, called a zk-SNARK, that is much less computationally intensive and thus crucial for scaling the currency.

Now Zcash is in the palms of Wilcox. Privacy is an issue that is near to his heart. As a teenager, he delayed going to college to work with cryptographer David Chaum on DigiCash, an early implementation of a privacy-centric digital cash. When that project crashed in the 1990s, ­Wilcox continued the crusade.

Enhancing financial privacy will likely enhance the capability of criminals to go about their business undetected, and that’s a legitimate fear. Bitcoin itself found its first—and arguably thus far only—killer app when sellers and buyers realized that they could use it for illegal purchases in “dark Web” markets.

But Wilcox, who regards privacy as a right, argues that there are significant, legitimate reasons why someone would want to use an anonymous currency.

“There are regulatory and commercial and moral reasons for privacy from all sectors,” he says. To give a commercial example: Apple wouldn’t want Samsung to be able to track its transactions and build up valuable competitive intelligence.

Or the motivating factor could be regulatory compliance. Numerous laws in the United States and the United Kingdom, such as the data-­privacy rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, require companies to keep consumer information hidden from view, a feature Zcash can reliably suggest.

There are also stringently technical considerations that make strong privacy a necessary feature in a digital currency. Ideally, for the system to function, coins should be fungible, which is to say that each coin should be indistinguishable from the next. When a coin carries the history, and potentially the wipe, of every past transaction—as bitcoins do—this can be difficult to achieve.

“The laws of economics are almost as immutable as the laws of physics. And good money means that every unit of that money is the same as any other unit of that money. The only way to have that be the case for digital currencies is to have it be private,” says Roger Ver, a Zcash investor who considers fungibility a central concern.

But perhaps the most intriguing feature of Zcash is that users can toggle the level of privacy it provides. Albeit the Zcash protocol encrypts all information about transactions by default, people can selectively disclose this data, and they have control over what parts get exposed as well as who gets to see them.

Let’s say I’m in college and my parents are funding my studies. They could send me Zcash, and then I could lift the veil on all the transactions I make with that money in a way that only they could see.

Adam Back, a cryptographer who has himself endeavored to strengthen Bitcoin’s privacy assures with a scheme called Confidential Transactions, says that Zcash is able to suggest this degree of plasticity because, unlike Bitcoin, it starts with the strongest privacy-guarantee implements available.

“It’s very hard to build something stronger on something that’s powerless,” he says. “If you embark with a flawless electronic cash system building block, then you can build an electronic cash system with selective weakening in a way that makes sense for society.”

But cryptographers like Back do have reservations. There is, of course, the problem of requiring that one moment of infallibility on the part of human beings—the destruction of the key fragments—to ensure its security.

Also, the zk-SNARK computations that validate transactions are fairly exotic, at least compared with the well-worn standards used in Bitcoin. “The number of people who understand and have read the math and could develop an attack would be very puny, maybe a dozen researchers worldwide. And so you run the risk that maybe not enough people have looked at it to have the insight of what’s wrong with it,” says Back.

The Zcash company, which developed the open-source software, is itself a bit of an experiment. It has a direct stake in the coins that are generated by the Zcash protocol. As with Bitcoin, miners periodically create fresh coins. But with Zcash, the miners get to keep only ninety percent of those coins. The rest gets dumped into accounts managed by the Zcash company, which has stated that it will divvy up these earnings among founders, private investors, and a nonprofit foundation responsible for working on future versions of the protocol. But it is up to the company to transparently report on where that money flows.

One of the largest unknowns is whether enough people care deeply enough about privacy to bring Zcash into the mainstream. When DigiCash proclaimed bankruptcy in 1998, the failure was attributed partially to a lack of interest in financial privacy on the part of the everyday consumer. Buoyed by unsolicited encouragement both online and in person, Wilcox is certain that it will be different this time around.

A Blockchain Currency That Strikes Bitcoin On Privacy – IEEE Spectrum

A Blockchain Currency That Hits Bitcoin On Privacy

In October, I was in a van in Denver with Zooko Wilcox, the CEO of Zcash, a company that was soon to launch a fresh blockchain-based digital currency of the same name. On the floor next to me was a bunch of recently purchased computer equipment. I knew we were going to a hotel but didn’t know which one. I only knew that I’d be there for the next two days straight and that it would be my job to observe, ask questions, stave off sleep, and document as much as I possibly could.

That day began a cryptographic ceremony of sorts, one that could make or break a fresh digital currency. Zcash is identical to Bitcoin in many ways. It’s founded on a digital ledger of transactions called a blockchain that exists on an army of computers that can be anywhere in the world. But it differs from Bitcoin in one critical way: It is entirely anonymous. Albeit privacy was a motivating factor for ­Bitcoin’s flock of early adopters, it didn’t produce the goods. For those who want to digitally replicate the practice of slipping on a ski mask and handing over an envelope of unmarked bills, Zcash is now the way to go.

The problem with Bitcoin today is that the entire history is public. If users are not enormously careful, network analysis can expose the real identities of the people behind the accounts

To supply on this anonymity, however, the Zcash protocol requires an initial dose of randomness, a set of parameters that functions as a reference point for the rest of the software. But the process comes with an unfortunate by-product. The software that generates the parameters also creates lumps of a cryptographic key, which if combined could be used to generate fresh coins out of lean air. The ceremony I was being carted off to was serving as a public demonstration that the cryptographic fragments were being created and disposed of in such a way that the accomplish key would never come into existence.

But why make a currency that faces its very first existential threat at the very moment of its creation? Because for the subset of people who like their currency digital and free from government control, anonymity indeed matters.

“Zcash is truly arousing because it’s the very first combination of the blockchain properties with the encryption properties,” says Wilcox. This layer of encryption means that with Zcash, transactions will leave no trace on the blockchain of who spent a coin or in what digital pocket it landed. All that will be visible is that a transaction occurred.

Bitcoin, the very first and most widely used digital currency, established the blockchain as a revolutionary technology. Blockchains provide a way for disparate, mistrustful parties to jointly maintain a public ledger of transactions and to do so in a way that renders all entries permanent.

The problem with Bitcoin as it is implemented today is that the entire history is public. Transactions are attributed to random identifiers that in themselves carry no information about the person controlling the accounts. But if users are not enormously careful, network analysis can expose both the financial behavior and the real identities of the people behind the accounts. (Several companies, such as Chainalysis, now provide such a service.)

Zcash also has a blockchain that records and publicly broadcasts every transaction ever made with it. But it hides all identifying information about who made the transactions and how much was spent.

“Zcash solves this privacy problem by encrypting each transaction. We use standard, modern, high-tech ­encryption, which is the same kind of encryption that is used to protect websites and emails and everything on the Internet,” says Wilcox.

This, however, creates a fresh problem. In Bitcoin, having all the details of transactions available without encryption enables miners—the people running the software that updates and secures the blockchain—to validate fresh spending requests by referencing previous transactions in the record. When those data are hidden from view, validation becomes more complicated and requires a special kind of computation called a zero-knowledge proof. That computation enables users to prove that they own the coins they want to spend without exposing any information about where the coins came from or where they are going. Such proofs are used in many other contexts around the Internet. For example, zero-knowledge proofs permit you to type in a password on a website and have it verified by the site’s server without actually transmitting the password.

The broad strokes for Zcash were designed in two thousand thirteen at a Johns Hopkins University applied cryptography lab led by Matthew Green. The currency system was later enhanced by Eli Ben-Sasson, a computer scientist at the ­Technion, and a group of researchers at MIT and Tel Aviv University. They developed a fresh zero-knowledge proof, called a zk-SNARK, that is much less computationally intensive and thus crucial for scaling the currency.

Now Zcash is in the mitts of Wilcox. Privacy is an issue that is near to his heart. As a teenager, he delayed going to college to work with cryptographer David Chaum on DigiCash, an early implementation of a privacy-centric digital cash. When that project crashed in the 1990s, ­Wilcox continued the crusade.

Enhancing financial privacy will likely enhance the capability of criminals to go about their business undetected, and that’s a legitimate fear. Bitcoin itself found its first—and arguably thus far only—killer app when sellers and buyers realized that they could use it for illegal purchases in “dark Web” markets.

But Wilcox, who regards privacy as a right, argues that there are significant, legitimate reasons why someone would want to use an anonymous currency.

“There are regulatory and commercial and moral reasons for privacy from all sectors,” he says. To give a commercial example: Apple wouldn’t want Samsung to be able to track its transactions and build up valuable competitive intelligence.

Or the motivating factor could be regulatory compliance. Numerous laws in the United States and the United Kingdom, such as the data-­privacy rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, require companies to keep consumer information hidden from view, a feature Zcash can reliably suggest.

There are also rigorously technical considerations that make strong privacy a necessary feature in a digital currency. Ideally, for the system to function, coins should be fungible, which is to say that each coin should be indistinguishable from the next. When a coin carries the history, and potentially the wipe, of every past transaction—as bitcoins do—this can be difficult to achieve.

“The laws of economics are almost as immutable as the laws of physics. And good money means that every unit of that money is the same as any other unit of that money. The only way to have that be the case for digital currencies is to have it be private,” says Roger Ver, a Zcash investor who considers fungibility a central concern.

But perhaps the most intriguing feature of Zcash is that users can toggle the level of privacy it provides. Albeit the Zcash protocol encrypts all information about transactions by default, people can selectively disclose this data, and they have control over what parts get exposed as well as who gets to see them.

Let’s say I’m in college and my parents are funding my studies. They could send me Zcash, and then I could lift the veil on all the transactions I make with that money in a way that only they could see.

Adam Back, a cryptographer who has himself endeavored to strengthen Bitcoin’s privacy ensures with a scheme called Confidential Transactions, says that Zcash is able to suggest this degree of plasticity because, unlike Bitcoin, it starts with the strongest privacy-guarantee contraptions available.

“It’s very hard to build something stronger on something that’s feeble,” he says. “If you embark with a ideal electronic cash system building block, then you can build an electronic cash system with selective weakening in a way that makes sense for society.”

But cryptographers like Back do have reservations. There is, of course, the problem of requiring that one moment of infallibility on the part of human beings—the destruction of the key fragments—to assure its security.

Also, the zk-SNARK computations that validate transactions are fairly exotic, at least compared with the well-worn standards used in Bitcoin. “The number of people who understand and have read the math and could develop an attack would be very petite, maybe a dozen researchers worldwide. And so you run the risk that maybe not enough people have looked at it to have the insight of what’s wrong with it,” says Back.

The Zcash company, which developed the open-source software, is itself a bit of an experiment. It has a direct stake in the coins that are generated by the Zcash protocol. As with Bitcoin, miners periodically create fresh coins. But with Zcash, the miners get to keep only ninety percent of those coins. The rest gets dumped into accounts managed by the Zcash company, which has stated that it will divvy up these earnings among founders, private investors, and a nonprofit foundation responsible for working on future versions of the protocol. But it is up to the company to transparently report on where that money flows.

One of the thickest unknowns is whether enough people care deeply enough about privacy to bring Zcash into the mainstream. When DigiCash announced bankruptcy in 1998, the failure was attributed partially to a lack of interest in financial privacy on the part of the everyday consumer. Buoyed by unsolicited encouragement both online and in person, Wilcox is certain that it will be different this time around.

Related video:

Trio Solutions for Instant Bitcoin Confirmations

Three Solutions for Instant Bitcoin Confirmations

Merchants and customers don’t want to wait around for Bitcoin confirmations.

One of the so-called “problems” with Bitcoin in the eyes of fresh users is the lack of instant confirmations. Transactions are usually viewed as generally secure after a few confirmations on the blockchain, but this can create a problem in situations where you want to buy something from a store and then leave without having to wait around for the next block. The time inbetween fresh blocks has led to the creation of a number of different altcoins that boast confirmation times in the one minute range, but creating an entirely fresh cryptocurrency is not necessary wen you’re just attempting to speed up transaction times. There are also people who believe that unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions are relatively secure, but the fact remains that only confirmed transactions should be trusted. Let’s take a look at three different solutions for making instant Bitcoin confirmations both possible and generally safe.

The Centralized Solution

The most common way that people are dealing with instant confirmations right now is through centralized services such as Coinbase. With this solution, the Bitcoin wallet provider is storing the private keys for customers and merchants, which means there is no risk of a double-spend inbetween two of their users. As long as the transaction is inbetween two Coinbase addresses, the transaction will actually take place off the blockchain. This means that Coinbase simply switches their internal account ledger rather than updating the censorship-resistant Bitcoin blockchain. These “off-chain” transactions also have the advantage of carrying no fees, which makes microtransactions a more realistic possibility. While this is the most widely used solution right now, it is also the most problematic. Bitcoin is supposed to be a entirely decentralized currency and payment system, so creating a fresh version of PayPal on top of the blockchain defeats the purpose of using a cryptocurrency in the very first place.

Trusted Addresses with Multi-sig

Multi-signature Bitcoin addresses are powerful contraptions that can be used to find a fresh balance of power inbetween a company storing bitcoins and that company’s customers. When using a wallet such as GreenAddress.it, there are actually two signatures that are required to finish a Bitcoin transaction. The user must very first initiate the sending of funds with their private key, and GreenAddress will then also sign off on the transaction after checking for any kind of suspicious activity. Not only is this an enhancement in the security department, but it also permits merchants to trust zero-confirmation transactions, as long as they also trust GreenAddress as a company.

Due to the fact that GreenAddress has to sign off on every transaction, any user who dreamed to accomplish a double-spend would also need to have GreenAddress as an accomplice in the fraud. A time sensitive lock is also added to the user’s wallet permits them to use their funds without a signature from GreenAddress after a certain period of time, which means the wallet provider could never prevent a user from using their own bitcoins.

Open Transactions and Federated Servers

One last solution when it comes to enhancing the security of instant Bitcoin transactions is Open Transactions. With this option, bitcoins are stored on federated servers. This means that, much like Coinbase, transactions can be made off-blockchain without having to wait for anything to confirm every ten minutes. The main advantages of the Open Transactions model over Coinbase are that the servers storing the funds can’t forge receipts and there is not one central point of failure. Voting pools also suggest an improvement over the more traditional option of having one entity store your coins. While a system of federated servers should not be considered as secure as a blockchain, it could be the flawless balance of security and convenience that many Bitcoin-related companies have been searching for over the past few years.

Related video:

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

If you’re looking to store your very first Bitcoins and you own an Android mobile device this post is for you. However, before I review the best Android Bitcoin wallets out there I just want to give you a word of warning.

Mobile wallets (Android, or iOS) are the least secure form of Bitcoin wallets. This is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices tend to get stolen, lost and break down. If you hold your Bitcoins in a mobile wallet, it means that the private key is stored on the device, and therefor if the device is ruined or stolen you can’t access your coins.

Having said that, you can always create a backup for your wallet by using the 12-24 word seed phrase shown to you when you very first install the wallet. That’s why it’s significant to keep this seed phrase in a safe place and out of anyone else’s reach but your own.

If you’re downright fresh to Bitcoin see this movie regarding Bitcoin wallets, it will very likely response a lot of questions you already have:

And now for the wallet reviews…

#1 – Coinbase – Coinbase IS NOT a Bitcoin wallet

Table of Contents

Usually when people think about Bitcoin wallets they think about Coinbase. However Coinbase isn’t a Bitcoin wallet. It’s actually an exchange that lets you hold Bitcoins. In a blog post written by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, he states

you’ll see the Coinbase brand shift from being a hybrid wallet/exchange to focusing on purely being a retail and institutional exchange

So while Coinbase is still a cheap place to get Bitcoins, please don’t consider it as a mobile wallet. Coinbase does not give you access to your own private keys nor privacy, as we’ve covered in our review.

The real #1 – MyCelium Android Bitcoin wallet

MyCelium is a popular mobile app wallet that features a wealth of advanced privacy and security features. Yes, the wallet can be a bit complicated for rookie users but it’s still one of the safest and fastest on the market. As an open source software program, MyCelium is permanently being upgraded.

The wallet doesn’t have a web or desktop interface meaning coins can be accessed only through your mobile wallet. The good news is that you can use Mycelium together with a hardware wallet in order to get maximum security for your coins.

#Two – BreadWallet Android Bitcoin wallet

BreadWallet is most likely one of the simplest Bitcoin Android wallets around. The source code of Breadwallet is open and there are only very basic “send” and “receive” options featured within the wallet.

This will be very effortless for people to get acquainted to on the one forearm, but on the other, leaves the wallet exposed without any advanced protection in place. BreadWallet has a mobile version only for Android and for iOS.

#Trio – Copay Android Bitcoin wallet

Copay is an open source multisig wallet created by Bitpay. Multisig, stands for multisignature, and it means that the wallet requires a certain amount of people to approve a transaction before it is executed. Kind of like a collective wallet (you can read more about it here).

This is excellent for security, but makes it firmer to send out Bitcoins in some cases. Depending on your needs this just might be what you need. Copay has an Android, iOS and desktop version available.

#Four – Jaxx Android Bitcoin Wallet

Jaxx is a relatively fresh and controversial wallet. On the one mitt Jaxx seems to be a clear winner when it comes to mobile wallets. It has an intuitive interface, can pair across numerous devices (meaning you can use the same funds out of your phone or desktop) and it holds a broad multiplicity of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.)

However the main issue with Jaxx is that it’s not open source . Recently there was also a safety concern raised by developers around the community regarding the wallet. This issue has yet to be addressed. Please don’t store a large amount of coins on Jaxx if you don’t have to.

#Five – Airbitz Android Bitcoin wallet

Airbitz is another open source Android Bitcoin wallet you may want to consider. The wallet resembles BreadWallet in its plainness but also offers a diversity of features mainly aimed to support Bitcoin adoption. For example, the wallet displays a broad diversity of merchants accepting Bitcoin or place you can buy discounted bounty cards with Bitcoin.

#6 – GreenAddress (AKA GreenBits) Android Bitcoin Wallet

If all else fails you should check out GreenAddress. The wallet offers good features, good security and a slightly feeble user practice. We’ve reviewed GreenAddress in the past and concluded it to be a solid choice for people who are more practice with Bitcoin.

Please recall the following rules when using a mobile wallet:

  • Always set a pin code protection for your wallet if possible
  • Never store large amounts of Bitcoin on your mobile wallet
  • Write down the 12-24 word seed you get when you set up your wallet and keep in a safe place.

Also keep in mind that not every wallet permitted into GooglePlay is verified. This means some people can create malicious wallet like apps in an attempt to steal your coins once you send them to your mobile wallet. That’s why it’s significant to download only known apps and make sure that they are the official app you’re actually looking for.

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

If you’re looking to store your very first Bitcoins and you own an Android mobile device this post is for you. However, before I review the best Android Bitcoin wallets out there I just want to give you a word of warning.

Mobile wallets (Android, or iOS) are the least secure form of Bitcoin wallets. This is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices tend to get stolen, lost and break down. If you hold your Bitcoins in a mobile wallet, it means that the private key is stored on the device, and therefor if the device is ruined or stolen you can’t access your coins.

Having said that, you can always create a backup for your wallet by using the 12-24 word seed phrase shown to you when you very first install the wallet. That’s why it’s significant to keep this seed phrase in a safe place and out of anyone else’s reach but your own.

If you’re entirely fresh to Bitcoin witness this movie regarding Bitcoin wallets, it will very likely response a lot of questions you already have:

And now for the wallet reviews…

#1 – Coinbase – Coinbase IS NOT a Bitcoin wallet

Table of Contents

Usually when people think about Bitcoin wallets they think about Coinbase. However Coinbase isn’t a Bitcoin wallet. It’s actually an exchange that lets you hold Bitcoins. In a blog post written by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, he states

you’ll see the Coinbase brand shift from being a hybrid wallet/exchange to focusing on purely being a retail and institutional exchange

So while Coinbase is still a cheap place to get Bitcoins, please don’t consider it as a mobile wallet. Coinbase does not give you access to your own private keys nor privacy, as we’ve covered in our review.

The real #1 – MyCelium Android Bitcoin wallet

MyCelium is a popular mobile app wallet that features a wealth of advanced privacy and security features. Yes, the wallet can be a bit complicated for new-comer users but it’s still one of the safest and fastest on the market. As an open source software program, MyCelium is permanently being upgraded.

The wallet doesn’t have a web or desktop interface meaning coins can be accessed only through your mobile wallet. The good news is that you can use Mycelium together with a hardware wallet in order to get maximum security for your coins.

#Two – BreadWallet Android Bitcoin wallet

BreadWallet is very likely one of the simplest Bitcoin Android wallets around. The source code of Breadwallet is open and there are only very basic “send” and “receive” options featured within the wallet.

This will be very effortless for people to get habitual to on the one palm, but on the other, leaves the wallet exposed without any advanced protection in place. BreadWallet has a mobile version only for Android and for iOS.

#Three – Copay Android Bitcoin wallet

Copay is an open source multisig wallet created by Bitpay. Multisig, stands for multisignature, and it means that the wallet requires a certain amount of people to approve a transaction before it is executed. Kind of like a collective wallet (you can read more about it here).

This is fine for security, but makes it tighter to send out Bitcoins in some cases. Depending on your needs this just might be what you need. Copay has an Android, iOS and desktop version available.

#Four – Jaxx Android Bitcoin Wallet

Jaxx is a relatively fresh and controversial wallet. On the one arm Jaxx seems to be a clear winner when it comes to mobile wallets. It has an intuitive interface, can pair across numerous devices (meaning you can use the same funds out of your phone or desktop) and it holds a broad multitude of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.)

However the main issue with Jaxx is that it’s not open source . Recently there was also a safety concern raised by developers around the community regarding the wallet. This issue has yet to be addressed. Please don’t store a large amount of coins on Jaxx if you don’t have to.

#Five – Airbitz Android Bitcoin wallet

Airbitz is another open source Android Bitcoin wallet you may want to consider. The wallet resembles BreadWallet in its simpleness but also offers a multiplicity of features mainly aimed to support Bitcoin adoption. For example, the wallet displays a broad diversity of merchants accepting Bitcoin or place you can buy discounted bounty cards with Bitcoin.

#6 – GreenAddress (AKA GreenBits) Android Bitcoin Wallet

If all else fails you should check out GreenAddress. The wallet offers good features, good security and a slightly feeble user practice. We’ve reviewed GreenAddress in the past and concluded it to be a solid choice for people who are more practice with Bitcoin.

Please recall the following rules when using a mobile wallet:

  • Always set a pin code protection for your wallet if possible
  • Never store large amounts of Bitcoin on your mobile wallet
  • Write down the 12-24 word seed you get when you set up your wallet and keep in a safe place.

Also keep in mind that not every wallet permitted into GooglePlay is verified. This means some people can create malicious wallet like apps in an attempt to steal your coins once you send them to your mobile wallet. That’s why it’s significant to download only known apps and make sure that they are the official app you’re actually looking for.

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

If you’re looking to store your very first Bitcoins and you own an Android mobile device this post is for you. However, before I review the best Android Bitcoin wallets out there I just want to give you a word of warning.

Mobile wallets (Android, or iOS) are the least secure form of Bitcoin wallets. This is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices tend to get stolen, lost and break down. If you hold your Bitcoins in a mobile wallet, it means that the private key is stored on the device, and therefor if the device is ruined or stolen you can’t access your coins.

Having said that, you can always create a backup for your wallet by using the 12-24 word seed phrase shown to you when you very first install the wallet. That’s why it’s significant to keep this seed phrase in a safe place and out of anyone else’s reach but your own.

If you’re fully fresh to Bitcoin witness this movie regarding Bitcoin wallets, it will most likely reaction a lot of questions you already have:

And now for the wallet reviews…

#1 – Coinbase – Coinbase IS NOT a Bitcoin wallet

Table of Contents

Usually when people think about Bitcoin wallets they think about Coinbase. However Coinbase isn’t a Bitcoin wallet. It’s actually an exchange that lets you hold Bitcoins. In a blog post written by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, he states

you’ll see the Coinbase brand shift from being a hybrid wallet/exchange to focusing on purely being a retail and institutional exchange

So while Coinbase is still a cheap place to get Bitcoins, please don’t consider it as a mobile wallet. Coinbase does not give you access to your own private keys nor privacy, as we’ve covered in our review.

The real #1 – MyCelium Android Bitcoin wallet

MyCelium is a popular mobile app wallet that features a wealth of advanced privacy and security features. Yes, the wallet can be a bit complicated for newcomer users but it’s still one of the safest and fastest on the market. As an open source software program, MyCelium is permanently being upgraded.

The wallet doesn’t have a web or desktop interface meaning coins can be accessed only through your mobile wallet. The good news is that you can use Mycelium together with a hardware wallet in order to get maximum security for your coins.

#Two – BreadWallet Android Bitcoin wallet

BreadWallet is very likely one of the simplest Bitcoin Android wallets around. The source code of Breadwallet is open and there are only very basic “send” and “receive” options featured within the wallet.

This will be very effortless for people to get acquainted to on the one mitt, but on the other, leaves the wallet exposed without any advanced protection in place. BreadWallet has a mobile version only for Android and for iOS.

#Trio – Copay Android Bitcoin wallet

Copay is an open source multisig wallet created by Bitpay. Multisig, stands for multisignature, and it means that the wallet requires a certain amount of people to approve a transaction before it is executed. Kind of like a collective wallet (you can read more about it here).

This is good for security, but makes it firmer to send out Bitcoins in some cases. Depending on your needs this just might be what you need. Copay has an Android, iOS and desktop version available.

#Four – Jaxx Android Bitcoin Wallet

Jaxx is a relatively fresh and controversial wallet. On the one mitt Jaxx seems to be a clear winner when it comes to mobile wallets. It has an intuitive interface, can pair across numerous devices (meaning you can use the same funds out of your phone or desktop) and it holds a broad multiplicity of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.)

However the main issue with Jaxx is that it’s not open source . Recently there was also a safety concern raised by developers around the community regarding the wallet. This issue has yet to be addressed. Please don’t store a large amount of coins on Jaxx if you don’t have to.

#Five – Airbitz Android Bitcoin wallet

Airbitz is another open source Android Bitcoin wallet you may want to consider. The wallet resembles BreadWallet in its simpleness but also offers a multitude of features mainly aimed to support Bitcoin adoption. For example, the wallet displays a broad diversity of merchants accepting Bitcoin or place you can buy discounted bounty cards with Bitcoin.

#6 – GreenAddress (AKA GreenBits) Android Bitcoin Wallet

If all else fails you should check out GreenAddress. The wallet offers good features, good security and a slightly powerless user practice. We’ve reviewed GreenAddress in the past and concluded it to be a solid choice for people who are more practice with Bitcoin.

Please recall the following rules when using a mobile wallet:

  • Always set a pin code protection for your wallet if possible
  • Never store large amounts of Bitcoin on your mobile wallet
  • Write down the 12-24 word seed you get when you set up your wallet and keep in a safe place.

Also keep in mind that not every wallet permitted into GooglePlay is verified. This means some people can create malicious wallet like apps in an attempt to steal your coins once you send them to your mobile wallet. That’s why it’s significant to download only known apps and make sure that they are the official app you’re actually looking for.

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

If you’re looking to store your very first Bitcoins and you own an Android mobile device this post is for you. However, before I review the best Android Bitcoin wallets out there I just want to give you a word of warning.

Mobile wallets (Android, or iOS) are the least secure form of Bitcoin wallets. This is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices tend to get stolen, lost and break down. If you hold your Bitcoins in a mobile wallet, it means that the private key is stored on the device, and therefor if the device is ruined or stolen you can’t access your coins.

Having said that, you can always create a backup for your wallet by using the 12-24 word seed phrase shown to you when you very first install the wallet. That’s why it’s significant to keep this seed phrase in a safe place and out of anyone else’s reach but your own.

If you’re entirely fresh to Bitcoin observe this movie regarding Bitcoin wallets, it will very likely response a lot of questions you already have:

And now for the wallet reviews…

#1 – Coinbase – Coinbase IS NOT a Bitcoin wallet

Table of Contents

Usually when people think about Bitcoin wallets they think about Coinbase. However Coinbase isn’t a Bitcoin wallet. It’s actually an exchange that lets you hold Bitcoins. In a blog post written by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, he states

you’ll see the Coinbase brand shift from being a hybrid wallet/exchange to focusing on purely being a retail and institutional exchange

So while Coinbase is still a cheap place to get Bitcoins, please don’t consider it as a mobile wallet. Coinbase does not give you access to your own private keys nor privacy, as we’ve covered in our review.

The real #1 – MyCelium Android Bitcoin wallet

MyCelium is a popular mobile app wallet that features a wealth of advanced privacy and security features. Yes, the wallet can be a bit complicated for beginner users but it’s still one of the safest and fastest on the market. As an open source software program, MyCelium is permanently being upgraded.

The wallet doesn’t have a web or desktop interface meaning coins can be accessed only through your mobile wallet. The good news is that you can use Mycelium together with a hardware wallet in order to get maximum security for your coins.

#Two – BreadWallet Android Bitcoin wallet

BreadWallet is most likely one of the simplest Bitcoin Android wallets around. The source code of Breadwallet is open and there are only very basic “send” and “receive” options featured within the wallet.

This will be very effortless for people to get familiar to on the one arm, but on the other, leaves the wallet exposed without any advanced protection in place. BreadWallet has a mobile version only for Android and for iOS.

#Trio – Copay Android Bitcoin wallet

Copay is an open source multisig wallet created by Bitpay. Multisig, stands for multisignature, and it means that the wallet requires a certain amount of people to approve a transaction before it is executed. Kind of like a collective wallet (you can read more about it here).

This is superb for security, but makes it firmer to send out Bitcoins in some cases. Depending on your needs this just might be what you need. Copay has an Android, iOS and desktop version available.

#Four – Jaxx Android Bitcoin Wallet

Jaxx is a relatively fresh and controversial wallet. On the one forearm Jaxx seems to be a clear winner when it comes to mobile wallets. It has an intuitive interface, can pair across numerous devices (meaning you can use the same funds out of your phone or desktop) and it holds a broad multitude of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.)

However the main issue with Jaxx is that it’s not open source . Recently there was also a safety concern raised by developers around the community regarding the wallet. This issue has yet to be addressed. Please don’t store a large amount of coins on Jaxx if you don’t have to.

#Five – Airbitz Android Bitcoin wallet

Airbitz is another open source Android Bitcoin wallet you may want to consider. The wallet resembles BreadWallet in its simpleness but also offers a multitude of features mainly aimed to support Bitcoin adoption. For example, the wallet displays a broad multitude of merchants accepting Bitcoin or place you can buy discounted bounty cards with Bitcoin.

#6 – GreenAddress (AKA GreenBits) Android Bitcoin Wallet

If all else fails you should check out GreenAddress. The wallet offers good features, good security and a slightly powerless user practice. We’ve reviewed GreenAddress in the past and concluded it to be a solid choice for people who are more practice with Bitcoin.

Please reminisce the following rules when using a mobile wallet:

  • Always set a pin code protection for your wallet if possible
  • Never store large amounts of Bitcoin on your mobile wallet
  • Write down the 12-24 word seed you get when you set up your wallet and keep in a safe place.

Also keep in mind that not every wallet permitted into GooglePlay is verified. This means some people can create malicious wallet like apps in an attempt to steal your coins once you send them to your mobile wallet. That’s why it’s significant to download only known apps and make sure that they are the official app you’re actually looking for.

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

If you’re looking to store your very first Bitcoins and you own an Android mobile device this post is for you. However, before I review the best Android Bitcoin wallets out there I just want to give you a word of warning.

Mobile wallets (Android, or iOS) are the least secure form of Bitcoin wallets. This is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices tend to get stolen, lost and break down. If you hold your Bitcoins in a mobile wallet, it means that the private key is stored on the device, and therefor if the device is ruined or stolen you can’t access your coins.

Having said that, you can always create a backup for your wallet by using the 12-24 word seed phrase shown to you when you very first install the wallet. That’s why it’s significant to keep this seed phrase in a safe place and out of anyone else’s reach but your own.

If you’re entirely fresh to Bitcoin see this movie regarding Bitcoin wallets, it will very likely reaction a lot of questions you already have:

And now for the wallet reviews…

#1 – Coinbase – Coinbase IS NOT a Bitcoin wallet

Table of Contents

Usually when people think about Bitcoin wallets they think about Coinbase. However Coinbase isn’t a Bitcoin wallet. It’s actually an exchange that lets you hold Bitcoins. In a blog post written by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, he states

you’ll see the Coinbase brand shift from being a hybrid wallet/exchange to focusing on purely being a retail and institutional exchange

So while Coinbase is still a cheap place to get Bitcoins, please don’t consider it as a mobile wallet. Coinbase does not give you access to your own private keys nor privacy, as we’ve covered in our review.

The real #1 – MyCelium Android Bitcoin wallet

MyCelium is a popular mobile app wallet that features a wealth of advanced privacy and security features. Yes, the wallet can be a bit complicated for rookie users but it’s still one of the safest and fastest on the market. As an open source software program, MyCelium is permanently being upgraded.

The wallet doesn’t have a web or desktop interface meaning coins can be accessed only through your mobile wallet. The good news is that you can use Mycelium together with a hardware wallet in order to get maximum security for your coins.

#Two – BreadWallet Android Bitcoin wallet

BreadWallet is most likely one of the simplest Bitcoin Android wallets around. The source code of Breadwallet is open and there are only very basic “send” and “receive” options featured within the wallet.

This will be very effortless for people to get habitual to on the one arm, but on the other, leaves the wallet exposed without any advanced protection in place. BreadWallet has a mobile version only for Android and for iOS.

#Trio – Copay Android Bitcoin wallet

Copay is an open source multisig wallet created by Bitpay. Multisig, stands for multisignature, and it means that the wallet requires a certain amount of people to approve a transaction before it is executed. Kind of like a collective wallet (you can read more about it here).

This is good for security, but makes it firmer to send out Bitcoins in some cases. Depending on your needs this just might be what you need. Copay has an Android, iOS and desktop version available.

#Four – Jaxx Android Bitcoin Wallet

Jaxx is a relatively fresh and controversial wallet. On the one palm Jaxx seems to be a clear winner when it comes to mobile wallets. It has an intuitive interface, can pair across numerous devices (meaning you can use the same funds out of your phone or desktop) and it holds a broad diversity of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.)

However the main issue with Jaxx is that it’s not open source . Recently there was also a safety concern raised by developers around the community regarding the wallet. This issue has yet to be addressed. Please don’t store a large amount of coins on Jaxx if you don’t have to.

#Five – Airbitz Android Bitcoin wallet

Airbitz is another open source Android Bitcoin wallet you may want to consider. The wallet resembles BreadWallet in its simpleness but also offers a multiplicity of features mainly aimed to support Bitcoin adoption. For example, the wallet displays a broad multitude of merchants accepting Bitcoin or place you can buy discounted bounty cards with Bitcoin.

#6 – GreenAddress (AKA GreenBits) Android Bitcoin Wallet

If all else fails you should check out GreenAddress. The wallet offers good features, good security and a slightly powerless user practice. We’ve reviewed GreenAddress in the past and concluded it to be a solid choice for people who are more practice with Bitcoin.

Please reminisce the following rules when using a mobile wallet:

  • Always set a pin code protection for your wallet if possible
  • Never store large amounts of Bitcoin on your mobile wallet
  • Write down the 12-24 word seed you get when you set up your wallet and keep in a safe place.

Also keep in mind that not every wallet permitted into GooglePlay is verified. This means some people can create malicious wallet like apps in an attempt to steal your coins once you send them to your mobile wallet. That’s why it’s significant to download only known apps and make sure that they are the official app you’re actually looking for.

Related video:

Your Food’s Safe Journey From Farm To Fork

FoodBlockchain.XYZ: Your Food’s Safe Journey From Farm To Fork

Published on: June 6, 2017

No more paying for expired, tampered-with or re-labeled food! FoodBlockchain.XYZ ensures that the quality of products purchased is exactly what you’d expect it to be – thanks to the blockchain & foodcoin.

Reminisce how the late Noughties (yep, the époque when the world wasn’t such a vapid commonplace in its substance) were ignited by a fad for realistic sci-fi? Back then, one visionary writer came up with a total mind-blower of a story: a group of handpicked heroes was instructed to build a beta-version of a fresh universe from scratch…Would you fancy to join in as well? No, earnestly. Imagine you alone could take control over everything, just everything – including the expectancy of your own life. Sounds reassuring?

Well, to that extent, maximizing the nutritional value of your daily food intake could be a good point of departure into a secure future. Statistically speaking, wise food choices can instantly win you 2-3 years of longevity top-up. Albeit, there is a catch to this seamless survival plan – up the sleeve we have a stressor which John Humphrys (The Fine Food Gamble’s author) aptly describes as “the stranglehold of big corporations”. And the latest upsurge of food safety & hygiene scandals indeed exposes: when it comes to dealing with raw materials, supply chain intermediaries are no longer bashful of resorting to product tampering when quick and effortless build up is at stake. Which again proves that on the racetrack of corporate avarice there are plainly no finish lines in glance. Whilst top industry players proceed living up to this truism the need for decentralized control over supply chains has never been so acutely crucial. To address this critical gap, FoodBlockchain.XYZ is now rolling out an Ethereum-blockchain-based ecosystem designed to nurture the unique needs of food buyers and manufacturers and to align the food markets with the interests of farmers and consumers!

But can we predict that Foodcoin – a fresh cryptocurrency developed by FoodBlockchain.XYZ – will serve as the panacea to weakened trust relationships in the agricultural market? Angel Versetti, the startup’s CEO, has agreed to lift the edges of secrecy veil draped over the project launch.

Angel, what is the core underlying principle of FoodBlockchain.XYZ? How can we avail ourselves from blockchain when it comes to bridging food supply inefficiencies?

We have a vision for the Food Supply Chain Two.0: this is not a project or a startup, this is a entire ecosystem intended to leverage the Ethereum Blockchain technology to convert the way global food markets and supply chains work, in a way to bring more transparency and quality assurance to consumers, convenience of supply chain management for producers and fair commercial opportunities for farmers and suppliers. We intend to bring these stakeholders on board through several contraptions that bring direct value to different stakeholders: mobile solutions for food origin and quality tracking at individual product level for consumers; blockchain-based storage and asset tracking for manufacturers; and a peer-to-peer marketplace where farmers can secure better deals for their quality products. We intend to also create a lot of building blocks and developer instruments to permit the community to build extra valuable modules, dApps (decentralized apps) and solutions for the users of the system. To power the system and creative incentive models, Foodcoins will be used as the medium for service exchange, transactions, and usage.

Fair said blockchain-based solutions are lately garnering global industry interest which instantly incentivizes big companies to include it in their basic inventory. How could your system be different from what they are proposing?

Firstly, when you hear that a certain company is building a blockchain-based solution for their supply chain: there’s a big crimson flag for you! That brings absolutely nothing to me as a consumer, because if I want to be assured of food quality and origins I want the system to be independent and distributed. I think if the same company whose products and supply chains should be checked is also building the quality assurance system – that entirely kills the purpose! This is not trustworthy, and sticking the word blockchain to it, is mere marketing. It needs to be distributed, free of central interested party and community-driven. Just look at that fresh enormous scandal in the USA last week where billions of dollars’ worth of products labeled as organic actually contained non-organic corn and soybean – people were essentially scammed of their money for years. They thought they are paying extra for better food, and they were sold cheap, low-quality food! We are building FoodBlockchain.XYZ to get rid of these practices once and for all.

Secondly, unlike others, we are also developing a hardware solution: Sensor System. It controls and records quality aspects of food such as origins, actual qualitative aspects such as the internal composition and structure and the outward parameters such as temperature, humidity or pressure. These aspects are very often missing or incomplete in food supply chains.

Could you explain a bit more about these powerless links in food supply chains you have just mentioned?

A lot of food waste happens either at the stage when products reach processing facilities or from processing facilities to the retailers, due to lack of sufficient control for quality of food. What very often happens is that if any breaches of the quality are discovered – which often is not the case – the client then rejects the entire batch altogether, or in case of serious breaches of safety standards the entire product line must be recalled: this leads to giant losses for companies and also results in a lot of food waste, because often only a particular batch was contaminated. So on the one mitt, you have many consumers getting spoiled food and are unaware of this, on the other forearm flawlessly normal food is ruined if one batch was contaminated. And this all comes from missing insights into quality assurance as well as the time and place of the quality breach. With our system this discovery can be made in real-time, as brainy contracts are permanently fed the readings from sensors, thus any issues will result in instant rejection of the contract so that manufacturers can go after up quick.

What added value does this solution bring to your potential clientele? How do you envision the everyday usage of your tech for supply chain management?

Our sensory systems are using the infrastructure which already exists in food supply chains but instead of making fragmented records where the client will have to order the auditing or would spend a long time attempting to find the source of the problem with food we can do it in real time and the blockchain ensures that records are made immutable and once and for all. This is where we add a key differentiator from others. We are also the very first startup to bring Ethereum technology and clever contracts to ensure the quality of food and we are very glad with the warm reception and help we have received from the Ethereum community. In other regions where we have received interest, such as the USA and Asia, there is often no sufficient infrastructure and sensors in place, so we can also supply hardware solutions to our clients there.

How did you manage to learn the ropes of the food market so promptly given its almost menacing volatility?

This is true that in the food industry there are a lot of conglomerates and closed loop systems. Our team consists of several people who have more than 25-30 years of work practice in the food industry, in supply chain management or building quality assurance sensors, so they understand all of the structures fully. Despite the closed-loop systems – or perhaps because of it! – there seems to be an chance, specifically in the establishment of peer-to-peer models where farmers could join into co-operatives and supply products directly to the customer. This system would permit more effective trading pattern and it could totally bypass the middlemen who control the buying power – and they are the ones who have been the bottleneck of the peer-to-peer system development because so far there has not been a solution to validate the quality of food delivered to the end client, so they took on that task, but at the cost of downright squeezing out any profits from farmers. Now, it’s the manufacturer’s job to control the quality and if anything happens, the manufacturer is liable for any food poisoning or outbreaks of health problems. In our case, the system controls the quality independently – directly from the farm itself. We are able to establish independent means of quality verification and at the same time, we do have a capacity to create financial relationships inbetween suppliers and buyers. Our very first demonstrator of a decentralized food exchange platform is going to be live soon.

Does this mean you are planning to dismantle the status quo & substitute and the traditional buyer-supplier horizontal with something totally fresh?

Our aim is to align the markets with the interests of consumers/farmers. Our platform, coupled with a protocol and a marketplace will be able to create a fresh level of peer-to-peer financial relationships inbetween different parts of the supply chain. These relationships existed in the past but at a very petite, local scale. There was no technological structure for them to scale. So, we intend to build a marketplace where the farmers are getting paid fairly whilst buyers are introduced with a lot more transparency insights on the food they are buying.

How does your startup contribute to ensuring this transparency?

Our system will permit consumers to prize the farmers of their choice by sending them a token of appreciation that will constitute a reputation system. Thus transactions using our native token Foodcoin can also serve as a conduit for a reputational value whereby if people are buying products they are particularly liking or they detect in our system that certain farmers go after good farming practices. Either they commit to sustainable agriculture or they make sure there are no pesticides in use even when it is not required by labeling of the government – people can prize them. The next step will be that these producers build up an enhanced reputation in the system so they get more orders from consumers or embark supplying cafeterias, restaurants or shops directly.

The advantage is that farmers will capture the value of a better product they produce. In the past, if someone loved the product it would have been simply bought again from the same shop. So the shops as intermediaries could increase the prices and capture a higher percentage of profits, which would not necessarily translate into better revenue for the farmer.

For the current moment, which milestones have you set up for the company?

One is to release our demo publicly. The demo will consist of three parts: a software demonstrator that will showcase the functionalities of the Ethereum-based solution that we suggest. We will have profiles for buyers and sellers with multi-currency wallets who are able to create orders and brainy contracts with certain specifications. For example, you could stipulate what storage conditions or quality parameters of the food you want to have and each individual batch could be assessed in real-time so you only receive goods that have passed your requirements. In the opposite case, the goods will be discounted or re-routed to another buyer who is willing to accept lower quality products. For the protocol architecture, we will demonstrate which templates for wise contracts we have, what modules we built and how the sensor systems will communicate with the blockchain and demonstrate how the entire ecosystem on top of the blockchain will work. And the third part is the hardware: we will demonstrate the sensory system which is able to analyze different food samples, create the data, convert it into the decent structure suitable for the blockchain and record it on top of that.

Where will this demo take place?

We want to publicly unveil it in June at one of the conferences where we are participating: Pioneers Festival in Vienna and the United Nations Global Conference for Sustainable Food in South Africa. By the end of summer, we also want to demonstrate how the aforesaid three components work together as a system implementing the entire process from A to Z.

Is the European landscape conducive to the deployment of blockchain solutions in general?

There are already movements at the central level to introduce solutions where blockchain will be useful. For example just a few days ago a fresh legislation came into force in Switzerland. It is now required from the local manufacturers using the “made in Switzerland” label to put up verifiable methods of quality control. Thus it will be necessary for the food industry to adopt fresh systems for regulatory compliance purposes. The same is happening in other parts of Europe: more stringent measurement criteria are being increasingly adopted to ensure quality and safety of food for the consumers. The main aim here is to prevent counterfeiting and also reassure people regarding the content of their food. In terms of the market itself, we are working with certain areas of the food industry where the quality matters a lot more.

Any example in this regard?

One such example is baby food. In Europe, the market for baby food is the most price-insensitive one. What does it mean? Parents do not care about the price of the baby food as much as they care about the quality. And they are willing to pay a lot more if they are sure about the quality of the food. Fairly a few reports also indicate there is no brand loyalty on the market. Parents only stick to brands as long as their friends or doctors recommend it. Some crucial market players are investing millions of Euros into campaigns and communications with health associations. They are just spreading the message that their food is of good quality and people simply choose them from the best-known brands. But if we could actually create a system permitting for independent verification we would lead smaller companies and fresh challengers straight into the market. With our system, they could potentially prove that they are better than the existing players.

Angel, where does your individual passion for decentralization derive from?

I would like to avoid a cliché reaction to this question. Everyone who looks at the Blockchain close enough is instantly hooked by the limitless possibilities it offers to improve our world. When I joined the United Nations, I thought I would make the world better. I spent fairly some time there attempting to do that, with few tangible results. When I discovered the blockchain, I realized through this technology I could make a much fatter positive influence on the world. And that’s why I abandon the UN and embarked building up my vision for a better supply chain for something that is so significant to the wellbeing of every person: food.

We have a long road to plow through, but this journey is arousing enough for me to embark on. And with the sultry and dedicated team and the early support we are getting, I am more and more certain that we can make a meaningful transformation of the way that food globally is produced and distributed, making life better for both the growers of food and its consumers.

Do you believe that the life of an individual can be affected by blockchain?

Related video:

Xapo – Bitcoin Wallet & Vault

BRINGING BITCOIN TO EVERYDAY LIFE

Interested in getting commenced with Bitcoin? Make a slick transition from fiat to digital money! Xapo provides the devices you need to purchase bitcoins, then manage them through our easy-to-use online wallet, spend them with a swipe of the Xapo Debit Card, or store them in Xapo’s free, ultra-secure Vault.

YOUR MONEY, EVERYWHERE YOU GO

Your Xapo Debit Card seamlessly links to your Xapo Wallet and permits you to use your bitcoins for everyday purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs.

Secured. Trusted.

Xapo has been described by The Wall Street Journal as the Fort Knox of bitcoin storage. So if you’re looking to secure your bitcoins, then look no further than the Xapo Vault. We’ve developed a fresh standard of bitcoin security and protect your assets in the Vault so that you are rest assured that your money is safe and sound.

Welcome to Digital Money

The Xapo Wallet provides a way to manage your funds when you want and where you want. All it takes is the click of a button, the sending of an email or the swipe of your Xapo Debit Card.

What others are telling

free for everyone.”

Advisors

Lawrence H. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and proceeds to be one of the leading economic and policy thinkers of our time. “Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network. Bitcoin offers, for the very first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as lightly as they presently send a text message.”

Dee Hock is the founder of Visa, and is responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today. “Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance,” Mr. Hock said. “We live in the 21st century but are still using guideline and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot. Like the Internet, Bitcoin is not wielded or managed by any one entity, so it presents incredible opportunities for fresh levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions.”

John Reed was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Citibank, and was responsible for growing Citibank into the world’s very first truly global financial franchise. Under Mr. Reed’s leadership Citibank developed the modern ATM and helped redefine the modern retail banking practice. “Financial services have remained largely untouched by the digital revolution,” says Mr. Reed. “Bitcoin represents a real chance for switching that. Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than twenty one million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into one hundred million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Advisors

Lawrence H. Summers

Lawrence H. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and resumes to be one of the leading economic and policy thinkers of our time. “Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network. Bitcoin offers, for the very first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as lightly as they presently send a text message.”

Dee Hock

Dee Hock is the founder of Visa, and is responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today. “Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance,” Mr. Hock said. “We live in the 21st century but are still using instruction and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot. Like the Internet, Bitcoin is not possessed or managed by any one entity, so it presents incredible opportunities for fresh levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions.”

John Reed

John Reed was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Citibank, and was responsible for growing Citibank into the world’s very first truly global financial franchise. Under Mr. Reed’s leadership Citibank developed the modern ATM and helped redefine the modern retail banking practice. “Financial services have remained largely untouched by the digital revolution,” says Mr. Reed. “Bitcoin represents a real chance for switching that. Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than twenty one million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into one hundred million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Xapo – Bitcoin Wallet & Vault

BRINGING BITCOIN TO EVERYDAY LIFE

Interested in getting commenced with Bitcoin? Make a slick transition from fiat to digital money! Xapo provides the implements you need to purchase bitcoins, then manage them through our easy-to-use online wallet, spend them with a swipe of the Xapo Debit Card, or store them in Xapo’s free, ultra-secure Vault.

YOUR MONEY, EVERYWHERE YOU GO

Your Xapo Debit Card seamlessly links to your Xapo Wallet and permits you to use your bitcoins for everyday purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs.

Secured. Trusted.

Xapo has been described by The Wall Street Journal as the Fort Knox of bitcoin storage. So if you’re looking to secure your bitcoins, then look no further than the Xapo Vault. We’ve developed a fresh standard of bitcoin security and protect your assets in the Vault so that you are rest assured that your money is safe and sound.

Welcome to Digital Money

The Xapo Wallet provides a way to manage your funds when you want and where you want. All it takes is the click of a button, the sending of an email or the swipe of your Xapo Debit Card.

What others are telling

free for everyone.”

Advisors

Lawrence H. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and proceeds to be one of the leading economic and policy thinkers of our time. “Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network. Bitcoin offers, for the very first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as lightly as they presently send a text message.”

Dee Hock is the founder of Visa, and is responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today. “Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance,” Mr. Hock said. “We live in the 21st century but are still using instruction and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot. Like the Internet, Bitcoin is not wielded or managed by any one entity, so it presents incredible opportunities for fresh levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions.”

John Reed was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Citibank, and was responsible for growing Citibank into the world’s very first truly global financial franchise. Under Mr. Reed’s leadership Citibank developed the modern ATM and helped redefine the modern retail banking practice. “Financial services have remained largely untouched by the digital revolution,” says Mr. Reed. “Bitcoin represents a real chance for switching that. Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than twenty one million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into one hundred million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Advisors

Lawrence H. Summers

Lawrence H. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and resumes to be one of the leading economic and policy thinkers of our time. “Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network. Bitcoin offers, for the very first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as lightly as they presently send a text message.”

Dee Hock

Dee Hock is the founder of Visa, and is responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today. “Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance,” Mr. Hock said. “We live in the 21st century but are still using directive and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot. Like the Internet, Bitcoin is not possessed or managed by any one entity, so it presents incredible opportunities for fresh levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions.”

John Reed

John Reed was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Citibank, and was responsible for growing Citibank into the world’s very first truly global financial franchise. Under Mr. Reed’s leadership Citibank developed the modern ATM and helped redefine the modern retail banking practice. “Financial services have remained largely untouched by the digital revolution,” says Mr. Reed. “Bitcoin represents a real chance for switching that. Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than twenty one million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into one hundred million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Xapo – Bitcoin Wallet & Vault

BRINGING BITCOIN TO EVERYDAY LIFE

Interested in getting commenced with Bitcoin? Make a sleek transition from fiat to digital money! Xapo provides the devices you need to purchase bitcoins, then manage them through our easy-to-use online wallet, spend them with a swipe of the Xapo Debit Card, or store them in Xapo’s free, ultra-secure Vault.

YOUR MONEY, EVERYWHERE YOU GO

Your Xapo Debit Card seamlessly links to your Xapo Wallet and permits you to use your bitcoins for everyday purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs.

Secured. Trusted.

Xapo has been described by The Wall Street Journal as the Fort Knox of bitcoin storage. So if you’re looking to secure your bitcoins, then look no further than the Xapo Vault. We’ve developed a fresh standard of bitcoin security and protect your assets in the Vault so that you are rest assured that your money is safe and sound.

Welcome to Digital Money

The Xapo Wallet provides a way to manage your funds when you want and where you want. All it takes is the click of a button, the sending of an email or the swipe of your Xapo Debit Card.

What others are telling

free for everyone.”

Advisors

Lawrence H. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and resumes to be one of the leading economic and policy thinkers of our time. “Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network. Bitcoin offers, for the very first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as lightly as they presently send a text message.”

Dee Hock is the founder of Visa, and is responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today. “Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance,” Mr. Hock said. “We live in the 21st century but are still using instruction and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot. Like the Internet, Bitcoin is not possessed or managed by any one entity, so it presents incredible opportunities for fresh levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions.”

John Reed was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Citibank, and was responsible for growing Citibank into the world’s very first truly global financial franchise. Under Mr. Reed’s leadership Citibank developed the modern ATM and helped redefine the modern retail banking practice. “Financial services have remained largely untouched by the digital revolution,” says Mr. Reed. “Bitcoin represents a real chance for switching that. Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than twenty one million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into one hundred million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Advisors

Lawrence H. Summers

Lawrence H. Summers was the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and resumes to be one of the leading economic and policy thinkers of our time. “Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network. Bitcoin offers, for the very first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as lightly as they presently send a text message.”

Dee Hock

Dee Hock is the founder of Visa, and is responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today. “Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance,” Mr. Hock said. “We live in the 21st century but are still using directive and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot. Like the Internet, Bitcoin is not wielded or managed by any one entity, so it presents incredible opportunities for fresh levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions.”

John Reed

John Reed was formerly the Chairman & CEO of Citibank, and was responsible for growing Citibank into the world’s very first truly global financial franchise. Under Mr. Reed’s leadership Citibank developed the modern ATM and helped redefine the modern retail banking practice. “Financial services have remained largely untouched by the digital revolution,” says Mr. Reed. “Bitcoin represents a real chance for switching that. Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than twenty one million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into one hundred million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Related video:

Why Use a Blockchain?

Why Use a Blockchain?

As the implications of the invention of have become understood, a certain hype has sprung up around blockchain technology.

This is, perhaps, because it is so effortless to imagine high-level use cases. But, the technology has also been closely examined: millions of dollars have been spent researching blockchain technology over the past few years, and numerous tests for whether or not blockchain technology is suitable in various scripts have been conducted.

Blockchain technology offers fresh contraptions for authentication and authorization in the digital world that preclude the need for many centralized administrators. As a result, it enables the creation of fresh digital relationships.

By formalizing and securing fresh digital relationships, the blockchain revolution is posed to create the backbone of a layer of the internet for transactions and interactions of value (often called the ‘Internet of Value’, as opposed to the ‘Internet of Information’ which uses the client-server, accounts and master copy databases we’ve been using for over the past twenty years.)

But, with all the talk of building the digital backbone of a fresh transactional layer to the internet, sometimes blockchains, private cryptographic keys and cryptocurrencies are simply not the right way to go.

Many groups have created flowcharts to help a person or entity determine inbetween a blockchain or master copy, client-server database. The following factors are a distillation of much of what has been previously done:

Is the data dynamic with an auditable history?

Paper can be hard to counterfeit because of the complexity of physical seals or appearances. Like etching something in stone, paper documents have certain permanence.

But, if the data is in constant flux, if it is transactions occurring regularly and frequently, then paper as a medium may not be able to keep up the system of record. Manual data entry also has human limitations.

So, if the data and its history are significant to the digital relationships they are helping to establish, then blockchains suggest a supple capacity by enabling many parties to write fresh entries into a system of record that is also held by many custodians.

Should or can the data be managed by a central authority?

There remain many reasons why a third party should be in charge of some authentications and authorizations. There are times when third-party control is totally suitable and desirable. If privacy of the data is the most significant consideration, there are ways to secure data by not even connecting it to a network.

But if existing IT infrastructure featuring accounts and log-ins is not sufficient for the security of digital identity, then the problem might be solved by blockchain technology.

As Satoshi Nakamoto wrote in his (or her) seminal work, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”: “Merchants must be wary of their customers, hassling them for more information than they would otherwise need. A certain percentage of fraud is accepted as unavoidable.”

Private key cryptography enables thrust transactions, which don’t require centralized systems and the elaborate accounts used to establish digital relationships. If this database requires millions of dollars to secure lightweight financial transactions, then there’s a chance blockchains are the solution.

Is the speed of the transaction the most significant consideration?

Does this database require high-performance millisecond transactions? (There is more on this point in our guide: “What is the Difference Inbetween a Blockchain and a Database?”).

If high spectacle, millisecond transactions are what is required, then it’s best to stick with a traditional-model centralized system. Blockchains as databases are slow and there is a cost to storing the data – the processing (or ‘mining’) of every block in a chain. Centralized data systems based on the client-server model are swifter and less expensive… for now.

In brief, while we still don’t know the utter boundaries and possibilities of blockchains, we can at least say the use cases which have passed inspection have all been about managing and securing digital relationships as part of a system of record.

Authored by Nolan Bauerle; photos by Maria Kuznetsov

Related video:

Why NEM is Your Production Level Blockchain Platform

Why NEM is Your Production Level Blockchain Platform

The NEM Team would like to thank Andreu Rodríguez i Donaire (Telegram user: @andreurd) for contributing this article.

NEM (and its official currency XEM) is something more than a cryptocurrency or a fresh altcoin; it’s a revolutionary platform based on Blockchain technology, re-imagining from scrape the ideal Blockchain. NEM not only permits peer-to-peer standard transfer transactions, but it also does much more like stores data, authenticates identity, stamps documents by date and time, build domain registry systems and creates fresh digital assets. The use of secure cryptography enables NEM to be used for a broad multitude of applications in many industries, including the financial industry, government, logistics, and the medical industry.

The NEM platform is a high availability system that any business, government, and/or individual can use to reduce their operational costs and streamline their traditional processes.

The NEM code was built 100% from scrape, NEM is not a fork of any other existing project, and has been built from the outset adapting to the needs of its end users by analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of existing Blockchain platforms.

NEM has a two-tier architecture, which puts special attention to security. These two layers (server and client) consist of the NIS (NEM Infrastructure Server) and the wallet or light clients. Wallets securely connect to an NIS to execute and log transactions, without having to download the entire Blockchain, or even a truncated version, thus permitting a much better user practice. The main wallet on NEM is the NEM NanoWallet, but there are at least a dozen other projects that permit transactions and interactions with the NEM blockchain, all using its APIs.

The NEM technology is developed under the Test Driven Development (TDD) methodology. This methodology concentrates all efforts to meet the pre-established requirements before beginning to implement the technology, ensuring that each petite lump of code has been created to meet one of these requirements or tests, and to avoid inefficiencies and unnecessary code.

NEM Universal APIs are very effortless to use and are very well documented. Your calls can be made securely by pointing to an NIS using the methods in this documentation.

Because of this effortless integration, companies can build Blockchain applications with their current development teams, without hiring and training fresh developers and expanding their infrastructure in a costly manner.

The innovative consensus algorithm used by NEM is Proof-of-Importance, the very first Blockchain algorithm based on the reputation of each account. This algorithm is based on the fact that accounts with more reputation are more likely to end up “harvesting” the next block.

This fact shows that the commitment of the consensus maintainers is yam-sized due to the fine amount of stake and network usage that they have to achieve to increase their “harvesting” power.

Using the innovative system of Proof-of-Importance, NEM improves upon several characteristics above projects that use Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake. Mainly regarding efficiency and optimization of resources, POI makes NEM a much cheaper system in terms of maintenance and much more respectful with regards to the environment, while at the same time incentivizing a vibrant blockchain ecosystem.

Thanks to this fresh way of obtaining consensus, Proof-of-Importance knots do not need to be expensive machines that consume a lot of energy, and apart from that, they can work independently of the wallets. Since using the previously commented APIs, any application can access the NEM Blockchain securely without having to download the entire Blockchain.

Another outstanding feature of NEM is that its average block time is one minute. This time is ten times lower than that of Bitcoin, so NEM is able to execute and validate more transactions in a shorter time.

NEM, like many other Blockchains, permits the creation of fresh virtual assets, but takes it to a fresh level with brainy assets. With NEM Mosaics, assets (which can be linked to real values) can be created with immobilized or modifiable supplies, descriptions, rates, and transfer rights. And using the Apostille system accounts can be tokenized to be containers for digital representations of unique assets. These can contain extra mosaics, information, and be sent from person to person entire with their assets and information intact.

NEM Mosaics are always linked to an individual domain name (NEM Namespaces) to ensure that these mosaics are unique and identifiable. These namespaces are the equivalence of classic Internet domain names in the NEM Blockchain.

NEM is also the very first Blockchain with Delegated Harvesting (secure proxy mining), protection against localized spam, Eigentrust ++ for reputation management inbetween knot pairs and customizable multi-signature m-of-n accounts with Blockchain-based alerts.

Another of the highlights of NEM, is its zero inflation in the currency. NEM has a stationary supply; all 8,999,999,999 million XEM coins which were created during the NEM launch.

Other useful features of NEM are its automatic synchronization of P2P knots, the possibility of sending encrypted, unencrypted and hexadecimal messaging, signing and payment transaction approval in several geographically distributed steps and permissible private sidechains (Mijin Instances).

Ultimately, NEM is very oriented to the end user, and the possibility of running on third-party software, so it has a petite memory footprint, effortless to install and use with a portable client (NanoWallet or iOS and Android) or a traditional a server (NIS Knot).

NEM is a production ready Blockchain platform and has been tested by many companies and institutions. Its features and contracts are ready out of the box with no need for developers to write complicated contracts from scrape. These facts make this ecosystem one of the best choices for implementing Blockchain applications in this early stages of the Blockchain revolution.

Related video:

Why Blockchain-as-a-Service Should Be on Your Radar

Why Blockchain-as-a-Service Should Be on Your Radar

Blockchain news is seemingly everywhere these days, and for good reason. The technology behind bitcoin holds a lot of promise for all sorts of use cases — some of them having nothing to do with digital payments.

Over the course of last year, a lot of ideas regarding the technology were attempted out, but “during 2017, many of them will be discarded,” one blockchain accomplished predicted. This year, efforts with related crypto technologies will get even more serious attention from corporate developers.

Expected Developments in 2017

One early initiative is the announcement in February from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. The group was formed to encourage a hybrid public/private treatment to find best-of-breed solutions for corporate developers.

This mix of public and private methods makes the technology more palatable for a number of different corporate applications. For example, the use of an open-source code base can help attract developers to improve the code and add interoperable frameworks, yet also permit innovation to happen.

“Too often, private blockchain solutions are quickly dismissed by proponents of public network infrastructure,” said developer R Tyler Smith. Hopefully, that time is coming to a close.

One thing helping to expand blockchain’s reach in the past year has been the rise of blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings from major providers. Microsoft Azure Marketplace and IBM BlueMix are two of the most popular options for enterprises. It’s also interesting to note that Deloitte has a fresh BaaS suggesting as part of its blockchain consulting practice, and Amazon is beginning its own suggesting for AWS as well. Clearly there is a growing groundswell for BaaS.

How to Launch Blockchain Technology

So, how should an IT manager get commenced? Very first, look at the core reason for using the technology. “One thing that blockchains do enormously well is permit entities who do not trust one another to collaborate in a meaningful way,” said Smith. If you have to connect a broad fucking partner network or quickly establish a trust relationship among a disparate group, it makes sense to look at blockchain.

2nd, spend some time learning what is involved with the technology. Microsoft’s Virtual Academy covers the basics of the infrastructure with numerous training movies and white papers about how to deploy it. IBM also has an informative movie on some security issues you should consider. You may also want to consider these well-known BaaS providers and attempt them both out. For example, IBM makes it free to get embarked, and Microsoft’s service isn’t all that expensive for a puny test configuration.

Eventually, don’t be black and white on the issue of public or private blockchain, but consider a mix. Just like industry discussions on cloud computing have evolved away from an either/or deployment, the same will be the case for blockchain in the near future as the technology becomes a concentrate of collaboration.

Why Blockchain-as-a-Service Should Be on Your Radar

Why Blockchain-as-a-Service Should Be on Your Radar

Blockchain news is seemingly everywhere these days, and for good reason. The technology behind bitcoin holds a lot of promise for all sorts of use cases — some of them having nothing to do with digital payments.

Over the course of last year, a lot of ideas regarding the technology were attempted out, but “during 2017, many of them will be discarded,” one blockchain accomplished predicted. This year, efforts with related crypto technologies will get even more serious attention from corporate developers.

Expected Developments in 2017

One early initiative is the announcement in February from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. The group was formed to encourage a hybrid public/private treatment to find best-of-breed solutions for corporate developers.

This mix of public and private methods makes the technology more palatable for a number of different corporate applications. For example, the use of an open-source code base can help attract developers to improve the code and add interoperable frameworks, yet also permit innovation to happen.

“Too often, private blockchain solutions are quickly dismissed by proponents of public network infrastructure,” said developer R Tyler Smith. Hopefully, that time is coming to a close.

One thing helping to expand blockchain’s reach in the past year has been the rise of blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings from major providers. Microsoft Azure Marketplace and IBM BlueMix are two of the most popular options for enterprises. It’s also interesting to note that Deloitte has a fresh BaaS suggesting as part of its blockchain consulting practice, and Amazon is beginning its own suggesting for AWS as well. Clearly there is a growing groundswell for BaaS.

How to Launch Blockchain Technology

So, how should an IT manager get began? Very first, look at the core reason for using the technology. “One thing that blockchains do utterly well is permit entities who do not trust one another to collaborate in a meaningful way,” said Smith. If you have to connect a broad fucking partner network or quickly establish a trust relationship among a disparate group, it makes sense to look at blockchain.

2nd, spend some time learning what is involved with the technology. Microsoft’s Virtual Academy covers the basics of the infrastructure with numerous training movies and white papers about how to deploy it. IBM also has an informative movie on some security issues you should consider. You may also want to consider these well-known BaaS providers and attempt them both out. For example, IBM makes it free to get commenced, and Microsoft’s service isn’t all that expensive for a puny test configuration.

Eventually, don’t be black and white on the issue of public or private blockchain, but consider a mix. Just like industry discussions on cloud computing have evolved away from an either/or deployment, the same will be the case for blockchain in the near future as the technology becomes a concentrate of collaboration.

Related video:

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