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Inacta AG – managing your information

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Führende Expertise

Etherisc verlegt Sitz ins Crypto Valley und holt Lakeside Playmates und inacta an Bord

Das auf den Aufbau einer dezentralisierten Versicherungsplattform spezialisierte Blockchain-Startup Etherisc geht mit den Zuger Unternehmen Lakeside Fucking partners und inacta eine enge Partnerschaft ein und verlegt den Hauptsitz von Deutschland ins Crypto Valley.

Letzten Herbst schlug Etherisc mit einer neuartigen Flugverspätungs-Versicherung grosse Wellen. Die auf der Ethereum Blockchain entwickelte Versicherung wurde just auf den Zeitpunkt des weltweit grössten Blockchain-Kongresses DevCon2 in Shanghai lanciert und von den über one thousand internationalen Besuchern rege genutzt.

Diese mit Wise Contracts vollautomatisierte Versicherung wurde seither gezielt weiterentwickelt. Etherisc hat zudem ein Konzept für eine Ernteausfall-Versicherung für die Landwirtschaft entwickelt, die nach den gleichen Prinzipien funktioniert: Risikoberechnung, Prämienzahlung und Schadensabwicklung sind automatisiert und semitransparent. Dadurch werden nicht nur die operativen Kosten gesenkt. Auch das Kundenerlebnis wird massiv verbessert und die Versicherungsbedingungen sind nachweisbar fair für den Konsumenten. Dank der offenen Plattform können diese dezentralen Apps – kurz DApps – einfach an verschiedene Bedürfnisse angepasst und in andere Anwendungen integriert werden.

Die Kooperation mit den Zuger Unternehmen Lakeside Fucking partners und inacta eröffnet für das Startup vielfältige Wachstumsmöglichkeiten: Als Early Stage-Investor mit einem Fokus auf Blockchain-Technologien ist Lakeside Playmates der ideale Fucking partner mit breiter Erfahrung im Crypto Valley Startup-Umfeld. Auf der anderen Seite stellt das Beratungsunternehmen inacta deren IT-Expertise in Information Management und Blockchain-Anwendungen zur Verfügung. Dank dem ausgeprägten Netzwerk in der Schweizer Versicherungsindustrie kann inacta.

InsurTech-Startups wie Etherisc mit etablierten Versicherungsunternehmen verbinden und so gemeinsame Innovationen fördern. Dies ist einer der wichtigen Grundpfeiler der Unternehmensstrategie von inacta, welche in Zukunft gezielt etablierte Unternehmen und Startups für innovative Kooperationsmodelle zusammenführen will.

Etherisc übergibt einen Teil seiner Aktivitäten, den Aufbau der dezentralisierten Versicherungsplattform, an die neu gegründete Decentralized Insurance Foundation mit Sitz in Zug. Mathias Ruch, Managing Fucking partner von Lakeside Playmates wird dort als Stiftungsrat beratend unterstützen.

Ralf Glabischnig, Managing Playmate bei inacta, wird Verwaltungsrat der Etherisc Holding AG ebenfalls in Zug, welche die internationalen Einheiten (derzeit Deutschland, UK und USA konsolidiert) und den Aufbau von Kooperationen und regulierten Versicherungseinheiten orchestriert. Zudem bezieht das Startup Büroräumlichkeiten in Zug und profitiert von den Standortvorteilen und den umfangreichen Office-Services des Lakeside Business Center.

Mit dieser Partnerschaft nutzt Etherisc die Chance, den Versicherungsmarkt mit dezentralisierten Geschäftsmodellen radikal zu verändern. Die perfekte Mischung aus Erfahrung, Unternehmertum und Innovation garantiert die Fortführung einer spannende Geschichte – und dies gauntlet im Herzen der Schweiz, dem Crypto Valley.

Stephan Karpischek, Co-Founder von Etherisc freut sich auf die Zukunft: "Lakeside Playmates und inacta sind perfekte Playmate im Crypto Valley. Die Erfahrung und das Netzwerk sind für Etherisc sehr wertvoll. Wir freuen uns auf die Zusammenarbeit und kommen dadurch unserem Ziel, eine Plattform für dezentrale Versicherungen aufzubauen, einen grossen Schritt näher"

"Der Ansatz, eine offene Plattform für Blockchain-basierte Versicherungen bereitzustellen fasziniert mich sehr." fügt Ralf Glabischnig von inacta an. "Und es ist beeindruckend zu sehen, wie Startups wie Etherisc abheben. Wir freuen uns auf jeden Fall, das Etherisc-Team auf dieser Reise sehr aktiv zu begleiten und mit Ihnen an unserer gemeinsamen Vision zu arbeiten."

News – 01.07.2017

Erstmals mit Bitcoins feine Weine kaufen

Nachdem die Stadt Zug seit letztem Jahr die virtuelle Geldeinheit Bitcoin als Zahlungsmittel für Gebühren akzeptiert, zieht der Weinhändler House of Wines in Zug nach. Ab sofort kann man alle Produkte dieses Fachgeschäfts in Zug mit Bitcoin bezahlen. Somit erreicht die Cryptowährung auch den Schweizer Detailhandel – nicht zufälliger weise im Crypto Valley, welches in der Region Zug ein weltweit führendes Ecosystem an Crypto- und Blockchain-Unternehmen beherbergt.

Cryptowährungen wie Bitcoin stellen ganze Branchen auf den Kopf und fordern die traditionellen Player des heutigen Währungssystems heraus. Nun akzeptiert erstmals in der Schweiz ein Zuger Fachgeschäft die digitale Geldeinheit Bitcoin. Die Integration in den Onlineshop ist der nächste Ausbauschritt.

Was bewegte Albert Osmani, Inhaber des House of Wines, zu diesem Schritt? «Als eingesessenes Zuger Fachgeschäft habe ich sehr viele internationale Kunden und auch viele Personen aus der Startup-Szene rund um das Crypto Valley. Darum habe ich mich entschlossen, eine Bitcoin-Zahlungsstelle mit den beiden Spezialisten Bitcoin Suisse AG (als Provider) und inacta AG (als Initiator und Implementationspartner) einzurichten.» Der im Weinhandel als innovativ geltende Osmani fasziniert schon ein halbes Leben lang die Welt der Genüsse.

Ralf Glabischnig, Managing Playmate der inacta AG, ergänzt: «Den eigenen Horizont zu erweitern gehört für Albert Osmani zu den wichtigsten Erfolgsfaktoren. Das entspricht auch unserer Unternehmensphilosophie und als Zuger IT-Beratungsunternehmen und Experten für die Blockchain-Technologie war es darum eine spezielle Freude, dieses Vorhaben beim House of Wines zu initiieren und somit die Cryptowährung Bitcoin etwas mehr im Alltag zu verankern.»

«Nachdem die Stadt Zug als erste öffentliche Institution Bitcoin akzeptiert und dafür unsere Zahlungsdienste nutzt, sind wir erfreut, dass auch das House of Wines diesem Trend folgt», sagt Johannes Schweifer, Playmate bei Bitcoin Suisse AG. Er hoffe, dass weitere Unternehmen sich am Beispiel des innovativen Zuger Weingeschäfts orientieren. „Der reine Umsatz mit Bitcoin steht dabei gar nicht so sehr im Vordergrund – vielmehr die Tatsache, dass ein Unternehmen mit einem kleinen Aufwand einen sehr modernen Eindruck hinterlässt.»

Events

Blockchain Competition 2017

inacta gehört zu den Initiatoren der Blockchain Competition, die two thousand seventeen unter dem Motto #blockchain4insurance steht. Damit nimmt inacta, einmal mehr, eine Vorreiterrolle bei der Erschliessung neuer Technologien ein und sucht, gemeinsam mit ausgesuchten Partnern aus der Versicherungswirtschaft und führenden Köpfen und Organisationen aus dem Blockchain-Ecosystem, die vielversprechendsten Startups, deren Lösungen sich für die Anwendung in der Versicherungswirtschaft eignen.

Dabei stützt sich inacta bewusst auf die wachsende Stärke der lokalen Blockchain-Bewegung und bezieht die Fucking partner im Rahmen der Crypto-Valley-Initiative, zu deren Mitgliedern inacta zählt, mit ein.

Auszug aus den Medien:

Blockchain

inacta AG ist Gründungsmitglied der Crypto Valley Association

Am 1. März two thousand seventeen wurde in Zug die Crypto Valley Association gegründent. Die inacta AG ist neben weiteren führenden Unternehmen in den Bereichen Blockchain und Kryptographie wie UBS, Thomson Reuters, Luxoft, oder ConsenSys Gründungsmitglied der Crypto Valley Association.

Die Crypto Valley Association wird von Kanton und Stadt Zug unterstützt und setzt sich dafür ein, die Entwicklung von wegweisenden digitalen Technologien zu fördern, und das weltweit führende Blockchain- und Kryptographie-Ökosystem aufzubauen. Die Crypto Valley Association unterstützt Startups und etablierte Unternehmen, initiiert und ermöglicht Forschungsprojekte und organisiert Konferenzen, Hackathons und andere Branchenveranstaltungen.

Die Crypto Valley Association wird geführt von:

  • Oliver Bussmann, Gründer und Managing Playmate von Bussmann Advisory und ex-CIO von UBS und SAP
  • Vasily Suvorov, Vice President Technology Strategy bei Luxoft
  • Professor René Hüsler, Direktor Informatik der Hochschule Luzern

Auszug aus den Medien:

Der «Lotse» im Information Management

Information Management the Swiss way – Vertraulichkeit ist unser Tagesgeschäft

Wir leben in einer Welt der Information. Information ist die Basis jeder Entscheidung und Grundlage aller Geschäftsprozesse. Kein Unternehmen, keine Abteilung und kein Mitarbeiter kann seine Aufgabe anforderungsgerecht erfüllen, wenn die dazu erforderlichen Informationen nicht verfügbar und richtig sind.

Der Umgang mit Informationen ist heute eine hochkomplexe Aufgabenstellung mit sich permanent verändernden sowie weiter wachsenden Anforderungen. Ein zielsicheres Navigieren wird da gleichzeitig immer schwieriger und wichtiger. In dieser Welt der Informationen ist inacta der Lotse, der Unternehmen dabei hilft, den für sich besten Weg zu finden und Schritt für Schritt zu gehen. Auch auf den kritischsten Wegstücken gibt inacta mit Erfahrung, Wissen und Methodik die Sicherheit, dass man sein Ziel wie geplant erreichen wird – immer nah, immer einen Schritt voraus und immer wach, um auch auf unerwartete Ereignisse sofort auf geeignete Weise reagieren zu können.

Verstehen, wie unsere Systeme und Prozesse funktionieren

Disziplinen im Enterprise Information Management

Das Input Management beinhaltet die Analyse und Verarbeitung von eingehenden Informationen aus unterschiedlichen Kanälen.

  • Empfang von unstrukturierten und strukturierten Informationen
  • Extraktion und Validierung von relevanten Informationen
  • Umwandlung in interne Formate zur Weiterverarbeitung bzw. in Standardformate zur Langzeitarchivierung
  • Identifikation und Zuordnung der Informationen zur Weiterverarbeitung im Rahmen der Geschäftsprozessen

Die Dokumente aus unterschiedlichen Quellen werden thematisch und zielgruppenorientiert in Dossiers zusammengefasst. Über Workflows werden die Dokumente den entsprechenden Geschäftsprozessen zugeordnet.

  • Auffinden von Informationen im dazugehörigen Geschäftskontext
  • Anzeigen in Strukturen wie virtuellen Dossiers, dynamischen Akten und Verzeichnissen sowie Darstellung der entsprechenden Inhalte
  • Auswertungen über den Informationsbestand sowie das Nutzungsverhalten und die relevanten Prozessinformationen

Die (noch) nicht archivierungswürdigen Dokumente werden temporär gespeichert (Store) bis sie zur Lanzeitarchivierung (Archive) auf unveränderbaren Speichermedien archiviert werden.

  • Sicherstellen der gesetzlichen und internen Anforderungen bezüglich der Archivierungsform und -dauer (Compliance)

Das Output Management beinhaltet die Aufbereitung und empfängerorientierte Verteilung von Informationen auf unterschiedliche Kanäle.

  • Selektion und Zusammenführung von Informationen zu einem bestimmten Geschäftskontext
  • Konvertierung der Informationen in kanalspezifische Formate
  • Weitergabe über geeignete Kanäle unter Berücksichtigung von Sicherheitsbedürfnissen und Regulatorien

Success Story – Input Management

mailQ Postkorb und iDossier aus der Post-Cloud für einen Lebensversicherer

Unser Kunde verfügte über eine heterogene Anwendungslandschaft mit mehreren Dokument-archiven und funktional sehr unterschiedlichen Postkorblösungen, welche am Ende ihres Lebenszyklus standen und abgelöst werden sollten. Dabei sollte eine neue Lösung gefunden werden, welche die Anforderungen im Produktstandard abdeckt und welche nicht spezifisch weiterentwickelt werden müsste. Ziel dieses Kunden war es zudem, mit einer einheitlichen Lösung alle relevanten E-Mails sowie weitere Informationen aus unterschiedlichen Ein- und Ausgangskanäle wie z.B. Sedex und Output Management effizient dem richtigen Dossier zuführen zu können. Damit sich der Kunde auf den Betrieb und die Weiterentwicklung der Kernsysteme fokussieren konnte hatte er die Anforderung, die für die neue Input Management und Dossierlösung benötigten Komponenten mailQ Postkorb, mailQ E-Mail Management und iDossier sowie das SPS-Archiv künftig als Service aus der Post-Cloud zu beziehen.

E-Mail Management

mailQ E-Mail Management ist die intelligente Erweiterung für Microsoft Outlook®. Geschäftsrelevante und prozessbezogene E-Mails können durch die Benutzer schnell und einfach verteilt und archiviert werden.

Elektronischer Posteingang

mailQ Postkorb ist die effiziente Lösung für ihren elektronischen Posteingang. Dokumente aus unterschiedlichen Kanälen können schnell und unkompliziert zur Verfügung gestellt werden.

Elektronisches Dossier

iDossier bietet effiziente Möglichkeiten, Dokumente mit verschiedenen Informationen zu verknüpfen. Durch die übersichtliche Darstellung wird die Bearbeitung der Dokumente effizient unterstützt.

Support

Zugriff für unsere Kunden auf das inacta Ticket System, um Unterstützung anzufordern und sich über den Status laufender Anfragen zu informieren.

Community

Plattform für unsere registrierten Kunden und Fucking partner für effizientes Information Management in den gemeinsamen Projekten.

Herausfordernde und spannende Projekte in einem angenehmen und kollegialen Umfeld.

Finden Sie Ihre neue Herausforderung bei uns!

Related video:

If you use Facebook, Yelp, and Reddit, you should own a part of it too

blockchain yelp

Do you contribute to Facebook, Yelp, Reddit, or sites like that?

Most of us do contribute to some sites like this and our contributions, more or less depending on our contribution, are the reason these companies are valuable.

Our contributions are the reason people come to these sites day after day, so why don’t we get a bit of ownership for our contributions?

Lots of ownership goes to the employees. But, nobody goes to these sites for the high quality software, elegant design, or sturdy hosting. Further, all of the tech they are using is the result of innovation by other people.

Most of the ownership goes to the financing. Yet, these sites don’t cost much to run. A pittance actually. The cloud makes them very cheap to operate. In fact, the amount is so puny, almost all of the money needed to launch these sites could be raised by the customers using these sites.

We don’t get ownership because we don’t expect ownership.

We’ve been conditioned to give away our work and our patronage for free while the schmucks on Wall Street walk away with buckets of money.

There is a puny glimmer of hope things might eventually be switching (it’s something I attempted to do back in 2010-12 and got my bootie transferred to me for attempting to do it).

My hope is due to three things:

  1. Desire to do the right thing. We don’t see enough of this in Silicon Valley anymore, despite the fact that all excellent innovations commence with getting the “why” right. Reddit’s CEO, Yishan Wong (formerly of Facebook) is doing the right thing. He’s planning to make Reddit’s users into owners, depending on their contribution to the site.
  2. There’s a way to create a form of liquid ownership that doesn’t require Wall Street. This fresh method is based on the bitcoin blockchain. That technology makes it possible to issue ownership to contributors in a decentralized and trusted way.
  3. The combination of blockchain stock, Yishan’s example, and the practice of participants will set in mobility a wave of switch in Silicon Valley. The message is: if you want to build an online company, you better find a way to make your customers/contributors owners.

PS: This is potentially a sea switch in financing/ownership. There’s much more to this. Wall Street’s banksters should be worried.

Discussion — sixteen Responses

You’re talking about a way, than asset tax of liquidation value at the risk free interest rate providing revenue for a citizen’s dividend (aka unconditional basic income), of dealing with network effect wealth concentration (aka natural monopoly aka network externaity, aka Reed’s Law aka, Metcalfe’s Law, etc.).

From an earlier era, an analogy would have been to give early adopters of MS-DOS (both developers and users) equity in Microsoft. This may be a way to break the more pathological modes of vendor lock in and associated pathological concentrations of wealth. It won’t solve everything — there will still be vendor lock — in but not with the nasty concentration of wealth we witnessed in Gates and are witnessing in Zuckerberg.

I still think this is a problem that ultimately needs to be dealt with by sovereignty. The network effect component of asset value is truly a civilizational-level problem. The ownership of a share — meaning its revenue stream — in the sovereign quasi-mutual insurance company should not be alienable — just as during bankruptcy one’s homestead (house and devices of one’s trade) cannot be confiscated to pay debts.

John, using a blockchain type of ledge for anything other than recording large, one-time transactions will eventually become unworkable. Figure out how many teraflops it will eventually take to process a few hundred Bitcoin purchases for a candy bar and you’ll see that it’s unwieldy.

I’m not sure that is indeed a problem. There has been lots of improvement to the blockchain tech since bitcoin was set up. It’s ideal as a way to substitute stock/ownership now. It’s also good for many other things too.

I’m soo uniformed. Even if I had any bitcoins how do you use them to pay for anything?

For any of the so-called social media, users are providing “value” by being made targets for opportunistic and targeted advertising. Firms pay Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, others, for the purpose of lead generation and assembling & bundling various demographic targets into cost effective “audiences.” Free access to these sites seems like a pittance compared to the value taken by social media sites from their users. We’re their raw product and they get it for free at the cost of assembling the network infrastructure and sales team.

The reason by analogy, imagine for example the cost and profit of a mobile home if the builder got all the sheet metal, motor, and furnishings for free and yet sold it as however it had paid for raw materials, fabrication, assembly, etc.?

While I have no idea how to value the difference, or develop a mechanism tor payment, I do sense from a gut perspective that the price paid for loss of privacy is not equivalent to free access for selfies. If anything, it accumulates a liability since scam artists gather the same profile information for criminal purposes.

So John, does this mean you are planning on commencing a user-owned social media site?

I attempted to do exactly this a duo of years ago. Too early. Now it’s different. Would rather just help people doing it already, do it better.

I been thinking about an open-source social networking application/site for some time now, but I don’t have the programing abilities to make it work.

Are you aware of anyone doing this at this time?

People are thirsty for an “non-profit” alternative to Facebook and it’s ilk. A minimally functional site could go viral………

Lots of attempted. No go. Not so much interested in “non-profit” or open source. Would much rather see people make an income while upending wall street…

This inetdoucrs a pleasingly rational point of view.

Getting paid to share memes and talk with people sounds like a fine idea.

This sort of thing is already working with regard to paid internet trolls. What’s the biz model there? Can it be modified to benefit all users and not just paid trolls?

I’d be very interested in such a venture. It aligns with some ideas I’ve had for a fresh kind of *chan website. One question, how do you get the high abilities/high risk investment (and thus expecting greater payment for their work in creating and maintaining the site/application) people are kept around? You need programmers and webadmins and they want to make money. I’ll contact my programmer friends about this.

Hi John, I’ve seen that you have a profile on Quora, but don’t contribute much. Similar thoughts there??

Related video:

IDG Connect – SolarWinds Q – A: Airline industry next for blockchain disruption

SolarWinds Q&A: Airline industry next for blockchain disruption

Every day a fresh use case emerges to emerge for blockchain. Dude Halford-Thompson, founder and CEO of BTL Group told us recently that he believed the energy sector was especially ripe for blockchain disruption. While two SolarWinds executives, Patrick Hubbard (Head Geek) and Joe Kim (CTO), feel that the airline industry will be next. A lightly edited Q&A based on Hubbard and Kim’s composite view can be found below.

How common do you think the use of blockchain will become in the airline industry?

Airlines, like other industries, are increasingly becoming digital businesses, and they will need to treatment their problems in fresh, creative ways, which includes the adoption of technologies such as blockchain.

Airlines conduct various business-to-business (B2B) transactions that touch other business and government entities for every traveller’s ticket.

This means that without adopting something like blockchain, they will need to go through rigorous reconciliation processes inbetween a multitude of systems to ensure operations and security. Use of cryptographic technics can help provide collective ledgers and decentralise these types of reconciliation processes.

When do you think this will begin to happen and when might it reach its peak?

Like most things impacting a business and/or an industry, as soon as the business agony shows up, adoption will increase.

Actually, a latest blog published by Accenture illustrated the areas in which airlines could utilise blockchain to not only tokenise financial value, but apply it to other indirect values as well. These include e-tickets, loyalty programs, and data privacy.

With the value blockchain technologies give any B2B transaction, we expect peak usage within the next three years.

Will we embark to see a host of startups focused on this particular area?

With large cloud providers suggesting blockchain as a service (BaaS), most boutique blockchain shops will be focused on blockchain as a facilitating component in larger digital transformation efforts or providing industry-specific VAR services.

Like in finance, will this mostly involve the use of private blockchains?

If Bitcoin has instructed us anything it’s that blockchain-backed services are only as good as the spectacle of those services. If reconciliation and synchronisation of distributed private ledgers takes forever, or the private services that provide it are not correctly monitored and managed, then they will not be any more successful than any other IT project. Over time, it will be very difficult for private blockchains to meet the spectacle, durability, and operational costs of cloud-hosted BaaS.

Also, as companies utilise blockchain technologies beyond just financial value, it will open up extra opportunities beyond the use of only private blockchains.

What do you think the future will hold for the use of public and private blockchains?

Blockchains, and in general public acceptance of cryptographically assured assets, stand to enable fresh models of human interaction. Today we live in a state of background checks, credit scores, and trust-based security. If things of value and/or assets can demonstrate a state or relationship without the need for high-performance online history systems, it will free technology providers that much more to invest in innovation rather than operations.

Outside of the airline industry, what other areas do you see as large growth areas for blockchain? And on what timescale?

We see the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, social, and entertainment industries as growth opportunities for blockchain. Essentially, anywhere B2B, or B2B-like, transactions are conducted.

What areas are being overhyped and will blockchain never be useful for (perhaps despite endless proposals to the contrary)?

Currency mining—the idea that somehow blockchain itself is a technology that mints money. In some ways, this is responsible for a certain decrease in interest in the last twenty-four months. A certain segment of technologists has come to realise it’s not magic beans, and it’s just another enabling technology, ready for enterprise application.

What is SolarWinds’ involvement in all this?

As the public Bitcoin network has demonstrated, public and private blockchains face scaling and spectacle concerns as they grow. Building blockchain-based services that rely on high-throughput, low-latency transactions requires attention to these concerns.

Whether hosted in the cloud, white-labeled third party, or bundled into other systems, businesses will need to assure good end-user practice for the entire service. That exuberance will span WAN, edge, system, storage and more, and SolarWinds is uniquely able to help ensure visibility across all of these layers.

Related video:

How to optimise downloading the block chain

Information on block chain sync optimisations

Bitcoin is a system that throws around large quantities of data. Often you don’t indeed want all the data, just a subset of it. For example any end user facing wallet app falls into this category – for spectacle reasons you don’t want to treat the entire block chain. The wallet can work together with other classes in the library to implement various optimisations.

This article details various spectacle mechanisms implemented by bitcoinj that speed things up. It is for informational purposes only: all these optimisations are on by default and require no work from the developer.

Prompt catchup

Keys can have an associated creation time. If the wallet knows the creation times of all its keys, when you add it to a PeerGroup the quick catchup time will be set for you. Block contents before the rapid catchup time don’t have to be downloaded, only the headers, so it’s much swifter to bootstrap the system in this way. If you’re implementing a wallet app, this is a very useful optimization that will be taken advantage of automatically.

The quick catchup time can be set explicitly using PeerGroup.setFastCatchupTime , albeit it will be recalculated for you any time you add a wallet or add keys to a wallet. The time is simply set to the min of the earliest key creation time of all wallets, obtained by calling Wallet.getEarliestKeyCreationTime() .

Checkpointing

Albeit swift catchup and Bloom filtering (see below) mean you can sync with the chain just by downloading headers and some transactions+Merkle branches, sometimes this is still too damn slow. A header is just eighty bytes, but there is one for every ten minutes the system has been in operation. We can see through ordinary multiplication that headers alone takes around four megabytes of data for every year the system exists, so as of July two thousand thirteen a fresh user must still download and process over sixteen megabytes of data to get began.

To solve this problem, we have checkpoint files. These are generated using the BuildCheckpoints contraption that can be found in the instruments module of the bitcoinj source code. BuildCheckpoints downloads headers and writes out a subset of them to a file. That file can then be shipped with your application. When you create a fresh BlockStore object, you can use that file to initialise it to whichever checkpointed block comes just before your wallets rapid catchup time (i.e. the bday of the oldest key in your wallet). Then you only need to download headers from that point onwards.

Checkpoints are called checkpoints because, like the upstream Satoshi client, once you’ve initialised the block store with one bitcoinj will reject to re-organise (process chain splits) past that point. In fact, it won’t even recognise that a re-org has taken place because the earlier blocks don’t exist in the block store, thus the alternative fork of the chain will be seen merely as a set of orphan blocks. For this reason the BuildCheckpoints implement won’t add any checkpoints newer than one month from when it’s run – it only takes a few seconds to download the last months worth of chain headers, and no fork is likely to ever be longer than one month.

Bloom filtering

By default the PeerGroup and Wallet will work together to calculate and upload Bloom filters to each connected peer. A Bloom filter is a compact, privacy preserving representation of the keys/addresses in a wallet. When one is passed to a remote peer, it switches its behaviour. Instead of relaying all broadcast transactions and the total contents of blocks, it matches each transaction it sees against the filter. If the filter matches, that transaction is sent to your app, otherwise it’s disregarded. When a transaction is being sent to you because it’s in a block, it comes with a Merkle branch that mathematically proves the transaction was included in that block. BitcoinJ checks the Merkle branch for each transaction, and rejects any attempts to defraud you.

Bloom filters can be noisy. A noisy filter is one that matches more keys or addresses than are actually in your wallet. Noise is intentional and serves to protect your wallet privacy – a remote knot can’t know if a matched transaction is indeed yours or not. In theory, wallet keys/addresses could be split up across each connected knot for even more privacy, but bitcoinj does not implement that presently. The noise added to a Bloom filter is controllable using PeerGroup.setBloomFilterFalsePositiveRate . Essentially it’s a bandwidth vs privacy tradeoff – a higher FP rate confuses remote eavesdroppers more, but you have to download more futile data as a result. If you don’t call that method, bitcoinj calculates Bloom filters with almost no false positives. In future this behaviour may switch to be more privacy preserving by default.

Note that when Bloom filtering is used, your security is downgraded by a petite amount – whilst remote peers cannot coax you transactions were included in a block if they weren’t, they can exclude transactions entirely and thus climb on a kind of denial-of-service attack on you. If a peer does this, then bitcoinj won’t notice and your balance may be incorrect until you rescan the block chain. You don’t have to do anything to take advantage of Bloom filtering. It’s done for you by the framework. From bitcoinj 0.Ten onwards, peers that are too old to support Bloom filtering are automatically disconnected, to avoid you being flooded with broadcast traffic if you happen to connect to an old knot.

Related video:

How blockchain technology could reshape Utilities businesses, EnergyPoint – Le blog Energie et Environnement de BearingPoint

blockchain utilities

We have been increasingly hearing, reading and talking about blockchain technology in the latest months, especially in the financial industry, where it is thought to become a game changer. It can provide extra efficiency and security, and may even fully disrupt the entire industry.

Blockchain technology turns out to be of similar interest in the utilities business. Utilities and banks are alike in the way they are centralized, powerfully regulated structures with elaborate processes. Utilities are a favorable environment for the deployment of blockchain technology.

Indeed, we are watching growing numbers of pilot projects involving blockchain in the energy industry, some of them instigated by large companies such as RWE, startups like LO3 Energy and its experiment in Brooklyn, NYC, and even stock exchange operators such as the NASDAQ.

To understand these projects and what lies in the background, it is necessary to look at the basic concepts of blockchain, and how its characteristics provide assets for the transformations of the energy landscape.

1. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology has inherent characteristics that can be of use to many sectors, including the energy sector. Going over these characteristics will help in the evaluation of its potential in the energy landscape.

What is blockchain and how does it work?

A blockchain is a distributed, secure and see-through system of record comprising a log of transactions collective across a digital network. Each knot on the network contains a finish replica of the blockchain data. The knots are held by “miners”.

Figure 1 – Each knot on the network contains a finish replica of the blockchain data. The knots are held by “miners”

Miners are responsible for authenticating and validating transactions, and then create blocks to be added to the blockchain.

Figure Two – A transaction on a blockchain

What are their main applications?

Blockchain technology’s main applications are:

Distributed ledger : insure traceability and certification of legal documents of all types

Assets transfer : peer-to-peer transactions of assets of all types, without intermediary

Brainy contracts : autonomous programs executing pre-defined deeds under immutable terms

Blockchains are the very first systems to overcome limitations of synchronizing databases, so that individuals and companies can store data and run applications with 100% reliability. The potential cost savings introduced by a single global digitized ledger are significant.

This core functionality – decentralized database – can be beefed up by integrating mechanisms that make possible to carry out decentralized transactions inbetween two or more users under specific conditions defined previously. This is what we call brainy contracts. In this type of transaction, the terms of the contract are to be accepted previously by the users and the execution of the contract is then automatized. In a brainy contract, rules are defined individually (quantity, price, quality) and thanks to blockchain technology, there is an autonomous matching inbetween the parties, for example inbetween distributed providers and prospective customers.

An identically significant benefit is that the ledger will produce a golden source of data: useful for business owners, auditors and regulators alike.

Blockchains have a broad range of applications, some already in use like in finance with the cryptocurrency bitcoin (for more details, see our explore in the BearingPoint Institute : https://www.bearingpointinstitute.com/en/can-financial-services-industry-master-cryptofinance), others being just experiments or ideas as it is the case for most projects in the energy sector. The outlook is broad when we think of the possibilities of wise contracts in the energy sector. It represents a potential for secular switch to the status quo, in which every player perceives an chance to play a fresh role in the global energy system.

Figure Three – Main applications and functionalities of blockchain technology

The capability of blockchain to enable a decentralized and autonomous grid can explain why blockchain technology caught the attention of all energy companies in the latest times.

Two. Use cases of blockchain technology in the energy sector

After this introduction to blockchain, we can now analyze how it can be an response to the current needs of the energy sector in the lights of the current switches it is going through.

Blockchain technology may response the crucial need of authentication of contracts and certificates addressed by the energy sector

One of the assets of blockchain technology is database management, which is semi-transparent and cannot be violated. This asset could be used in systems that need certifications and traceability.

In France and several other European countries, Energy Saving Certificates or “White Certificates” are one of the main devices in their policies that aim for the reduction of energy consumption.

The idea is that energy producers, suppliers or distributors (electro-therapy, gas, fuel, fever, cold …) are shoved to promote energy efficiency deeds actively. An amount of obligations is defined in regulations over a specified period of time (obligations are distributed amongst producers according to their sales / energy deliverance). Each activity indicating the amount of energy savings has to be described and filed, and can then be managed by the authorities. At the end of the specified period, “obliged” producers have to justify the accomplishment of their obligations, or pay penalties otherwise. White certificates are tradable (For more details: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/-Certificats-d-economies-d-energie,188-.html)

This system is fairly analogous to the concept of CO2 emissions trading. Other types of certificates are also now delivered to track the production and consumption of renewable and / or recovered energy (green electro-therapy, biomethane, etc.).

These certificates are instruments supposed to ensure a specified amount of energy savings, emission, or renewable energy consumption has been achieved. Each certificate has to be unique and traceable, assuring that the influence of the related activity has not been accounted for elsewhere.

Therefore, authorities have to track the evolution of these certificates in registers. It has been noticed that authorities have a lot on their arms and sometimes lack the time to control filed deeds and work on the evolution of the mechanism (corresponding regulations are often revised), in addition to managing the registers.

In the future, registers could be managed via blockchains, requiring little activity from the authorities whilst being accessible to all players in the Energy sector (the State, the public, producers, consumers, emitters, …), ensuring the uniqueness and traceability of certificates, and even managing the certificates’ trading (certificates’ markets). The benefit is for all players, since they would be able to concentrate on deeds contributing to the energy transition.

There is no denying that there is still much to be done in the field since regulation weighs strenuously on any innovation. Each country has its own national registers for the White Certificates, which meet different rules depending on the geographical location, which entails enormous costs for the utilities. For example, if a utility has wind turbines in Belgium, solar panels in Wallonia, and biomass in Brussels, it must have three different national White Certificates management registers, and as many dedicated teams and therefore the costs rocket. Blockchain would here be a flawless example of application to disintermediate all these actors, and thus reduce the risk and the costs, except that the main actor is the State, and therefore this implies to switch the regulation very first.

NASDAQ and its service LINQ used the authentication of the certification of solar power

The stock exchange operator, Nasdaq, unveiled in May two thousand sixteen a service that lets solar power generators sell certificates thanks to its Linq blockchain service (for more details: http://ir.nasdaq.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=948326).

In this system, the solar panels have to be connected to the Internet with technology provided by Filament, a Nevada-based blockchain start-up. Through an API pull from NASDAQ’s blockchain-based private markets platform Linq, anonymous certificates are created and can be sold to anyone who wishes to subsidize solar energy. The solar panels are hard-wired into the IoT device through a converter which enables Linq to measure the wattage they’re putting out and producing into the grid.

Blockchain technology may ease the billing process for utilities and reduce energy bills for consumers thanks to wise metering

The electric current clever meter is the keystone inbetween suppliers and customers of the brainy grid, and concentrates all the transaction, confidence and security stakes associated with an ever more intelligent and lithe energy.

Brainy meters associated with the transparency of blockchain create an environment where transactions are open and secure:

– Reduce risk of fraud / theft

– Help manage debt recovery

– Increase transparency in price switches and fees

A brainy grid network supported by blockchain technology would ensure an efficient local relationship inbetween production and consumption of renewable energy. Participants could publicly track their energy usage and production, and sell any unused energy to other participants. They would also have the capability to reduce their energy bills by making more informed purchasing decisions, avoiding consumption peaks or switching into a lower subscription. Brainy meters and blockchain technology would ensure a simplified billing process (efficiency, transparency) and quicker switching times.

A blockchain solution identifying where the energy is coming from, at what unit price and any mark-up passed to the consumer would result in more competitive pricing and in better integrity from public perception.

BlockCharge: EV charging and billing solution

RWE and Slock.it are putting together a decentralized billing system for electrical vehicle charging. It is called BlockCharge. Following the same principle that wandering for telecommunications, it would permit electrical vehicles to charge anywhere (with the help of a brainy ass-plug), and to be billed for the electro-therapy they used in a plain, common, and blockchain-based way. The EVs would interact automatically with stations and the electric current payment process would be autonomous.

The benefits of the project:

– Multiplying charging infrastructures (the use of a wise plus enables to charge a vehicle anywhere)

– Simplifying charging contracts (no need for contract anymore)

– Resolving interoperability issues

– Simplifying the charging process by treating authentication, charging and billing

Blockchain may help the emergence of microsystems based on prosumers

In the energy sector, we are witnessing the development of prosumer characters that is to say individual consumers that are also producing energy (homes with solar panels for example).

In that respect, blockchain technology represents an chance for a broader development of those behaviors by enlargening the number of people who could buy and sell energy directly with a high degree of autonomy.

Indeed, as said in the previous paragraph, blockchain technology should entail major switches since it permits transactions to be carried out directly from peer to peer. No third party intermediaries are required. In theory, we can imagine a market place where consumers exchange their own production without needing energy companies to organize the transactions. It creates a shift from centralized structures (banks, trading platforms, energy companies) towards a decentralized system (peer-to-peer transactions). It would reduce cost and speed up processes. The system would thus become more lithe. Of course, in that model, energy companies are still needed to organize the transfer of energy.

From theory to reality: the emblematic experimentation in Brooklyn

Transactive Grid, the project of the LO3 platform and ConsenSys, has become a fairly famous example of the possible application of blockchain to energy with its pilot experiment in Brooklyn, NYC (for more details: www.brooklynmicrogrid.com). Five “producer” houses, tooled with solar panels, sell their production to five “consumer” houses, on the other side of the street since April 2016. The objective of the experiment lies in the re-appropriation by citizens of their energy production, by the establishment of mini-grids, that is to say, mini autonomous energy communities. For this purpose, sensors record the history of the energy generation at a specific point, and instantaneously record it on blockchain Ethereum. Wise contracts can then govern the rules of use of this energy, and of course the tariffs of producers.

We could thus imagine, like the microgrid in Brooklyn, a proliferation of local decentralized and autonomous microgrids. In local communities, single persons with a single solar panel could thus participate in the end user market. Moreover, we can lightly conceive a system where people with individual solar panel no longer feed their excess energy into the grid but market all their production.

List of potential use cases and associated examples. This list is not exhaustive, as blockchain technology makes it possible to increase efficiency in processes and improve transparency, so it can be considered in numerous applications. Its use will depend on its adoption by the greater mass. At this stage, all projects remain pilots to validate the public interest.

Figure 7 – Potential use case and examples

Three. Transformations ahead

None of the energy companies presently developing blockchain applications have moved beyond the concept or pilot stage yet. It shows up that those models are difficult to put into practice. Indeed, the actual technology lacks of maturity and is elaborate in its development and implementation, in the energy sector in particular.

Moreover, barriers such as legal and regulatory requirements that blockchain projects must conform with are obstacles that still have to be overcome. The legal and regulatory frameworks still have to be designed to reflect the requirements of decentralized transaction models and provide protection to energy consumers.

However, France is a pioneer in this field, which is encouraging for the development of blockchain technology. Indeed, in July two thousand sixteen the CRE enacted an ordinance on the self-consumption and the pooling of the energy which permits anyone to produce violet wand and sell surplus production to others (neighbors for example). It thus authorizes a collective self-consumption which would react to a local electrical request through a local electrical supply. On December 21, a bill ratifying these ordinances was adopted.

The development of these models is very promising. Blockchain technology is a potential game changer for the energy market and its ecosystem: users, real estate companies, municipalities.

Nevertheless, it is too early to know what role in energy markets blockchain technology is set to play. It may be restricted to database management and transactions processing, but most likely, some broader and more disruptive future awaits.

Related video:

How Bitcoin Could Prevent a Future Greece

How Bitcoin Could Prevent a Future Greece

It might be too late for bitcoin to save Greece from its currency crisis, but the digital currency is evolving swift enough that there’s a good chance it will help future crises. Christopher Mims, a writer for The Wall Street Journal, claims in today’s edition that digital currency is “at an inflection point” and evolving swifter than most people realize.

“Whatever happens to bitcoin itself, the technology underlying it opens up previously unimagined possibilities for the future of just about anything humans exchange,” Mims stated.

For Greeks to get ahold of bitcoin, they need to buy euros, which is the last thing they want to give up under the current circumstances. There is a daily limit on the number of euros that Greeks can withdraw from banks. The unwillingness to part with euros is why bitcoin today has no bearing on Greece’s situation, Mims noted.

The Block Chain’s ‘Unimaginable Possibilities’

However, block chain technology opens up “unimaginable possibilities” for anything that people exchange. To prove his point, Mims cites continuous interest in bitcoin from large financial institutions such as UBS, the Bank of England, Deloitte and Nasdaq. He also noted that Greece’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, claimed the country could use bitcoin technology to create a coin. The coin’s value would be assured by future tax revenue.

Michael Casey, a senior adviser to the MIT Media Lab on cryptocurrencies, said the block chain could issue the scrip that Greek companies are presently using to pay suppliers and employees, the article noted. This scrip, which promises to pay back debt as soon as banks unlock a company’s money, is an alternative currency that Greeks are using during the current crisis. The mechanism to issue scrip, according to Casey, would be a fresh technology called “sidechains.” Sidechains are a way to modify bitcoin to permit its use for any transaction, including indicating a national currency.

Cryptocurrencies Could Represent Assets

Greece could create a “collateralized currency” backed by state-owned assets, according to Casey. Cryptocurrencies could represent these assets.

The block chain has the potential democratize the creation of money, Mims noted. “And that, for many observers, is fundamentally what the debate over Greece and the fate of the entire European Union is about,” he stated.

Related video:

Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain and how they are stored: Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks, photos, and Python software

Ken Shirriff’s blog

Xerox Alto restoration, IC switch roles engineering, chargers, and whatever

Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain and how they are stored: Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks, photos, and Python software

Nelson Mandela tribute

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The plucky man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“Difficulties break some guys but make others. No axe is acute enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on attempting, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

“It always seems unlikely until it’s done.”

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and sultry about what they do.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to switch the world.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“There is no passion to be found playing petite – in lodging for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela

The data is stored in the blockchain by encoding hex values into the addresses. Below is an excerpt of one of the transactions storing the Mandela information. In this transaction, little amounts of bitcoins are being sent to fake addresses such as 15gHNr4TCKmhHDEG31L2XFNvpnEcnPSQvd . This address is stored in the blockchain as hex 334E656C736F6E2D4D616E64656C612E6A70673F . If you convert those hex bytes to Unicode, you get the string 3Nelson-Mandela.jpg? , indicating the pic filename. Similarly, the following addresses encode the data for the picture. Thus, text, pictures, and other content can be stored in Bitcoin by using the right fake addresses.

Secret message in the very first Bitcoin block

Bitcoin logo

Prayers from miners

The codebase technology has since been used by many other miners as advertising. Typical messages are: Hi from 50BTC.com , For Pierce and Paul , Mined at GIVE-ME-COINS.com , EclipseMC: Aluminum Falcon? , Glad NY! Yours GHash.IO , Mined By ASICMiner , BTC Guild , Made in China , BitMinter , /bitparking , hi from poolserverj , /ozcoin/stratum/ , /slush/ .[7]

XSS demo

Len Sassaman Tribute

A creature simulator in Basic

The original Bitcoin paper

In this transaction the Bitcoin blockchain contains the PDF for the original Bitcoin paper.

Rickrolls

A third rickroll has the song metadata and lyrics encoded in Base-64.[12]

Photographs in a messaging system

Among other things, this system contains text from the Bhagavad Gita, one thousand digits of pi, numerous JPG and PNG pics, a Shel Silverstein poem, a Rumi poem, and quotes from a random party. Here are some of the photos stored in the blockchain using this system:

Wikileaks cablegate data

The blockchain contains the source code for Python instruments to insert data into the blockchain and to download it.[16] In a weird self-referential twist, the downloader can be used to download itself. The uploader/downloader puts data into the destination address, but extends the previous mechanism by using Bitcoin escrow / multi-sig to put three addresses in each destination. It also uses a checksum to make storage more reliable.

Here’s the code in the blockchain to insert data into the blockchain. While it says it was written by Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonymous author of Bitcoin), that’s most likely not true.

Leaked firmware key and illegal primes

The switch from that transaction was used for this transaction, which references the Wikipedia page on illegal primes, followed by two supposedly-illegal primes from that page.

The switch from that transaction was then used for the Wikileaks Cablegate messages, implying the same person was behind all these messages. It looks like someone was attempting to store a diversity of dodgy stuff in the Bitcoin blockchain, either to cause trouble or to make some sort of political point.

Email from Satoshi Nakamoto

Text in Bitcoin addresses

The very first option for putting text into an address is to test millions or billions of private keys by brute force in the hope of randomly getting a few characters you want in the public address. This generates a “vanity” address which is a valid working Bitcoin address. An example is Bitcoin Armory, which uses the donation address 1ArmoryXcfq7TnCSuZa9fQjRYwJ4bkRKfv . Note that only six desirable characters were found, and the rest are random. You can use the vanitygen command-line instrument or a website like bitcoinvanity to generate these addresses.

Many people have recently received lil’ spam payments from vanity addresses with the prefixes 1Enjoy. and 1Sochi. addresses. These payments don’t get confirmed by miners and the purpose of them is puzzling.

The 2nd option is to use whatever ASCII address you want (kicking off with a one and ending with a six-character checksum). Since there is no known private key for this address, any bitcoins sent to this address are lost forever. Despite this, some addresses have received significant amounts: 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE. has received over 1.6 bitcoins (over $1000). 1111111111111111111114oLvT2 (hex 0) has received almost three bitcoins.

A very strange activity is the large-scale deliberate “searing” of bitcoins by sending them to 1CounterpartyXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXUWLpVr, where nobody can ever use them. Amazingly, this address has received over Two,130 bitcoins (about $1.Five million dollars worth) that are now lost forever. The motivation is that Counterparty is issuing their own crypto-currency (XCP) in exchange for ruined bitcoins. The idea is that “proof-of-burn” is a more fair way of distributing currency than mining.

Mysterious encrypted data in the blockchain

Inbetween June and September 2011, there were thousands of lil’ mystery transactions from a few addresses to hundreds of thousands of random addresses sorted in decreasing order. These transactions are for one to forty five Satoshis, and have never been redeemed. As far as I can tell, the data is totally random. But maybe there is a secret message in the addresses or in the amounts. In any case, someone went to a lot of work to do this, so there must be some meaning. [20]

One interesting thing is that the switch address from the cablegate description was then used for three eighty six kilobyte GPG-encoded files.[Legal] From the “magic numbers” at the beginning of these files I know that these are GPG files encrypted using CAST5, but what is in these files is a mystery. Without the passphrase, they can’t be decrypted.

By following the switch addresses, we can see that after submitting the “Satoshi” uploader and downloader, the same person submitted the Bitcoin PDF. The same person then submitted five mysterious files.[Nineteen] These files show up entirely random, so they may contain encrypted data.

Valentine’s day messages

How to put your own message in the blockchain

Summary

The notes to this article provides hashes for the interesting transactions, in case anyone wants to investigate further.

Notes and references

[1] Clients store the 16-gigabyte blockchain in the data directory. On Windows, this is C:\Users\userid\AppData\Wandering\Bitcoin . The blocks are stored in a sequence of one hundred twenty eight megabyte files blknnnnnn.dat . Syncing these files is why a total Bitcoin client takes hours to embark up.

An effortless way to see the ASCII contents of the blockchain is to visit bitcoinstrings.com.

[Two] In the Bitcoin protocol, every mined block has a transaction that creates fresh bitcoins. Part of that transaction is an arbitrary coinbase field of up to one hundred bytes in the Script language. Normally the coinbase field has data such as the block number, timestamp, difficulty, and an arbitrary nonce number.

The utter coinbase in the genesis block is:

[Three] The message in the Genesis block is slightly different from the actual newspaper article: Chancellor Alistair Darling on brink of 2nd bailout for banks.

[Four] A brief overview of Bitcoin addresses will make this mechanism lighter to understand. Normally, you commence with a random 256-bit private key, which is necessary to redeem Bitcoins. From this, you generate a public key, which is hashed to a 160-bit address. This address is displayed in ASCII using a technology called Base58Check encoding. This ASCII address, such as 1LLLfmFp8yQ3fsDn7zKVBHMmnMVvbYaAE6 , is the address used for transferring Bitcoins. But inwards the transaction, the address is stored as the 160-bit (20 byte) hex value.

In normal use, you have no control over the 20-byte hex value used as an address. The trick for storing data in the transaction is to substitute the address with twenty bytes of data that you want to store. For example, the string This is my test data turns into the hex data ‘54686973206973206d7920746573742064617461’. If you send some bitcoins to that address, the bitcoins are lost forever (since you don’t have the private key matching that address), but your message is now recorded in the Bitcoin blockchain.

See my earlier article for details on how Bitcoin addresses are generated.

If you look at the very first ScriptPubKey of the very first transaction, the address is 3d79626567696e206c696e653d3132382073697a , which turns into the ASCII text =ybegin line=128 siz . If you do this for all the addresses, you get an ecoded file. This file turns out to be encoded in the obscure yEnc encoding, designed in two thousand one for transmitting binaries on Usenet. I hacked together some code to extract and decode the file, resulting in the bitcoin.jpg file shown above. There was some discussion of this logo in 2011, but I don’t know if anyone has actually extracted the photo until now.

[6] The prayers can be found in blk00003 and blk00004. Eligius is appropriately named after Saint Eligius the patron saint of goldsmiths and coin collectors. The Rickroll is here.

[7] For a while, the mysterious message /P2SH/ appeared in the coinbase field over and over. This string is an indication that the miner supports the pay-to-script-hash Bitcoin feature. The purpose of this was to ensure that more than 50% of the miners supported the feature before it was flipped out.

[8] The XSS attack demo is in transaction 59bd7b2cff5da929581fc9fef31a2fba14508f1477e366befb1eb42a8810a000. The JavaScript for the attack was put in the transaction’s output script. The blockchain.info website displays the contents of the output script, but evidently didn’t escape it as HTML. Thus, the contents <script> would not be displayed as text, but would be executed as part of the page. The demo only popped up an alert box, rather than running malicious JavaScript. The creator of the attack describes it on Reddit.

[9] A talk presents some details on the tribute (here). The data is in transaction 930a2114cdaa86e1fac46d15c74e81c09eee1d4150ff9d48e76cb0697d8e1d72. This tribute cost one BTC, 0.01 BTC per line.

[Ten] The Basic code is in block 3a1c1cc760bffad4041cbfde56fbb5e29ea58fda416e9f4c4615becd65576fe7, and it is stored in “uploader” format, with a donation to Satoshi’s genesis block address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa.

Unluckily the code is a mess with GOSUBs without Comebacks, violated loops, half-implemented ideas, and unused variables, so the code doesn’t work, which is disappointing. It’s a mystery why someone would put this BASIC code into the blockchain.

[11] The Rick Astley lyrics are in transaction d29c9c0e8e4d2a9790922af73f0b8d51f0bd4bb19940d9cf910ead8fbe85bc9b. This data is included using the OP_RETURN mechanism, which was later supported as a non-hacky way to put data into the blockchain.

[12] The third rickroll has the data encoded in a structured format, maybe from some music database. The data format is base-64 metadata base-64 lyrics The transaction is 0b4efe49ea1454020c4d51a163a93f726a20cd75ad50bb9ed0f4623c141a8008.

[13] The messaging system references “AtomSea & EMBII”, who I assume are the creators. The chain commenced with address 12KPNWdQ3sesPzMGHLMHrWbSkZvaeKZgHt with 0.269 BTC on 2013-12-01 23:54:35 Each output is 0.000055 bitcoins, just over the current network minimum of .0000546 bitcoin. The next transaction in the chain can be found by looking at each switch address, which pays for the next block. The chain ended when it ran out of bitcoins, at address 1DQwj8BDLWy9BMzX8uUcDYze3hx8q7uBy4 .

In total, the data chain has 85KB of data including pictures, random quotes, and HTML. The system embeds filenames, lengths, and the data. There are also a lot of transaction ids stored in the data, presumably serving as an index.

[14] The Two.Five megabyte Cablegate file was stored in one hundred thirty separate transactions each holding 20,000 bytes of data, transactions 5c593b7b71063a01f4128c98e36fb407b00a87454e67b39ad5f8820ebc1b2ad5 to 2663cfa9cf4c03c609c593c3e91fede7029123dd42d25639d38a6cf50ab4cd44#o6″. Each transaction includes a trivial 0.00000001 bitcoin donation to the Wikileaks donation address 1HB5XMLmzFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v . This data is stored in checksummed download implement format.

[15] The cablegate description is in 691dd277dc0e90a462a3d652a1171686de49cf19067cd33c7df0392833fb986a, and is stored in “uploader” format. It’s a bit circular that this message describes where to find the download implement, but the message itself needs the download instrument to be read. Fortunately it’s not too hard to read the message without the instrument.

In a nice touch, these transactions both donate 0.00000001 bitcoins to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, which is Satoshi Nakamoto’s address from the Genesis Block.

[17] This transaction, 77822fd6663c665104119cb7635352756dfc50da76a92d417ec1a12c518fad69 has an unusual scriptPubKey: OP_IF OP_INVALIDOPCODE 4effffffff 1443 bytes of data OP_ENDIF .

Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain and how they are stored: Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks, photos, and Python software

Ken Shirriff’s blog

Xerox Alto restoration, IC switch sides engineering, chargers, and whatever

Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain and how they are stored: Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks, photos, and Python software

Nelson Mandela tribute

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The courageous man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“Difficulties break some fellows but make others. No axe is acute enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on attempting, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

“It always seems unlikely until it’s done.”

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and sultry about what they do.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to switch the world.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“There is no passion to be found playing petite – in lodging for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela

The data is stored in the blockchain by encoding hex values into the addresses. Below is an excerpt of one of the transactions storing the Mandela information. In this transaction, little amounts of bitcoins are being sent to fake addresses such as 15gHNr4TCKmhHDEG31L2XFNvpnEcnPSQvd . This address is stored in the blockchain as hex 334E656C736F6E2D4D616E64656C612E6A70673F . If you convert those hex bytes to Unicode, you get the string 3Nelson-Mandela.jpg? , indicating the photo filename. Similarly, the following addresses encode the data for the photo. Thus, text, photos, and other content can be stored in Bitcoin by using the right fake addresses.

Secret message in the very first Bitcoin block

Bitcoin logo

Prayers from miners

The codebase mechanism has since been used by many other miners as advertising. Typical messages are: Hi from 50BTC.com , For Pierce and Paul , Mined at GIVE-ME-COINS.com , EclipseMC: Aluminum Falcon? , Blessed NY! Yours GHash.IO , Mined By ASICMiner , BTC Guild , Made in China , BitMinter , /bitparking , hi from poolserverj , /ozcoin/stratum/ , /slush/ .[7]

XSS demo

Len Sassaman Tribute

A creature simulator in Basic

The original Bitcoin paper

In this transaction the Bitcoin blockchain contains the PDF for the original Bitcoin paper.

Rickrolls

A third rickroll has the song metadata and lyrics encoded in Base-64.[12]

Photographs in a messaging system

Among other things, this system contains text from the Bhagavad Gita, one thousand digits of pi, numerous JPG and PNG pics, a Shel Silverstein poem, a Rumi poem, and quotes from a random party. Here are some of the pictures stored in the blockchain using this system:

Wikileaks cablegate data

The blockchain contains the source code for Python instruments to insert data into the blockchain and to download it.[16] In a weird self-referential twist, the downloader can be used to download itself. The uploader/downloader puts data into the destination address, but extends the previous technology by using Bitcoin escrow / multi-sig to put three addresses in each destination. It also uses a checksum to make storage more reliable.

Here’s the code in the blockchain to insert data into the blockchain. While it says it was written by Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonymous author of Bitcoin), that’s very likely not true.

Leaked firmware key and illegal primes

The switch from that transaction was used for this transaction, which references the Wikipedia page on illegal primes, followed by two supposedly-illegal primes from that page.

The switch from that transaction was then used for the Wikileaks Cablegate messages, implying the same person was behind all these messages. It looks like someone was attempting to store a diversity of dodgy stuff in the Bitcoin blockchain, either to cause trouble or to make some sort of political point.

Email from Satoshi Nakamoto

Text in Bitcoin addresses

The very first option for putting text into an address is to test millions or billions of private keys by brute force in the hope of randomly getting a few characters you want in the public address. This generates a “vanity” address which is a valid working Bitcoin address. An example is Bitcoin Armory, which uses the donation address 1ArmoryXcfq7TnCSuZa9fQjRYwJ4bkRKfv . Note that only six desirable characters were found, and the rest are random. You can use the vanitygen command-line device or a website like bitcoinvanity to generate these addresses.

Many people have recently received lil’ spam payments from vanity addresses with the prefixes 1Enjoy. and 1Sochi. addresses. These payments don’t get confirmed by miners and the purpose of them is puzzling.

The 2nd option is to use whatever ASCII address you want (beginning with a one and ending with a six-character checksum). Since there is no known private key for this address, any bitcoins sent to this address are lost forever. Despite this, some addresses have received significant amounts: 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE. has received over 1.6 bitcoins (over $1000). 1111111111111111111114oLvT2 (hex 0) has received almost three bitcoins.

A very strange activity is the large-scale deliberate “searing” of bitcoins by sending them to 1CounterpartyXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXUWLpVr, where nobody can ever use them. Amazingly, this address has received over Two,130 bitcoins (about $1.Five million dollars worth) that are now lost forever. The motivation is that Counterparty is issuing their own crypto-currency (XCP) in exchange for demolished bitcoins. The idea is that “proof-of-burn” is a more fair way of distributing currency than mining.

Mysterious encrypted data in the blockchain

Inbetween June and September 2011, there were thousands of lil’ mystery transactions from a few addresses to hundreds of thousands of random addresses sorted in decreasing order. These transactions are for one to forty five Satoshis, and have never been redeemed. As far as I can tell, the data is totally random. But maybe there is a secret message in the addresses or in the amounts. In any case, someone went to a lot of work to do this, so there must be some meaning. [20]

One interesting thing is that the switch address from the cablegate description was then used for three eighty six kilobyte GPG-encoded files.[Legal] From the “magic numbers” at the beginning of these files I know that these are GPG files encrypted using CAST5, but what is in these files is a mystery. Without the passphrase, they can’t be decrypted.

By following the switch addresses, we can see that after submitting the “Satoshi” uploader and downloader, the same person submitted the Bitcoin PDF. The same person then submitted five mysterious files.[Nineteen] These files show up entirely random, so they may contain encrypted data.

Valentine’s day messages

How to put your own message in the blockchain

Summary

The notes to this article provides hashes for the interesting transactions, in case anyone wants to investigate further.

Notes and references

[1] Clients store the 16-gigabyte blockchain in the data directory. On Windows, this is C:\Users\userid\AppData\Wandering\Bitcoin . The blocks are stored in a sequence of one hundred twenty eight megabyte files blknnnnnn.dat . Syncing these files is why a utter Bitcoin client takes hours to commence up.

An effortless way to see the ASCII contents of the blockchain is to visit bitcoinstrings.com.

[Two] In the Bitcoin protocol, every mined block has a transaction that creates fresh bitcoins. Part of that transaction is an arbitrary coinbase field of up to one hundred bytes in the Script language. Normally the coinbase field has data such as the block number, timestamp, difficulty, and an arbitrary nonce number.

The utter coinbase in the genesis block is:

[Three] The message in the Genesis block is slightly different from the actual newspaper article: Chancellor Alistair Darling on brink of 2nd bailout for banks.

[Four] A brief overview of Bitcoin addresses will make this mechanism lighter to understand. Normally, you embark with a random 256-bit private key, which is necessary to redeem Bitcoins. From this, you generate a public key, which is hashed to a 160-bit address. This address is displayed in ASCII using a technology called Base58Check encoding. This ASCII address, such as 1LLLfmFp8yQ3fsDn7zKVBHMmnMVvbYaAE6 , is the address used for transferring Bitcoins. But inwards the transaction, the address is stored as the 160-bit (20 byte) hex value.

In normal use, you have no control over the 20-byte hex value used as an address. The trick for storing data in the transaction is to substitute the address with twenty bytes of data that you want to store. For example, the string This is my test data turns into the hex data ‘54686973206973206d7920746573742064617461’. If you send some bitcoins to that address, the bitcoins are lost forever (since you don’t have the private key matching that address), but your message is now recorded in the Bitcoin blockchain.

See my earlier article for details on how Bitcoin addresses are generated.

If you look at the very first ScriptPubKey of the very first transaction, the address is 3d79626567696e206c696e653d3132382073697a , which turns into the ASCII text =ybegin line=128 siz . If you do this for all the addresses, you get an ecoded file. This file turns out to be encoded in the obscure yEnc encoding, designed in two thousand one for transmitting binaries on Usenet. I hacked together some code to extract and decode the file, resulting in the bitcoin.jpg file shown above. There was some discussion of this logo in 2011, but I don’t know if anyone has actually extracted the photo until now.

[6] The prayers can be found in blk00003 and blk00004. Eligius is appropriately named after Saint Eligius the patron saint of goldsmiths and coin collectors. The Rickroll is here.

[7] For a while, the mysterious message /P2SH/ appeared in the coinbase field over and over. This string is an indication that the miner supports the pay-to-script-hash Bitcoin feature. The purpose of this was to ensure that more than 50% of the miners supported the feature before it was spinned out.

[8] The XSS attack demo is in transaction 59bd7b2cff5da929581fc9fef31a2fba14508f1477e366befb1eb42a8810a000. The JavaScript for the attack was put in the transaction’s output script. The blockchain.info website displays the contents of the output script, but evidently didn’t escape it as HTML. Thus, the contents <script> would not be displayed as text, but would be executed as part of the page. The demo only popped up an alert box, rather than running malicious JavaScript. The creator of the attack describes it on Reddit.

[9] A talk presents some details on the tribute (here). The data is in transaction 930a2114cdaa86e1fac46d15c74e81c09eee1d4150ff9d48e76cb0697d8e1d72. This tribute cost one BTC, 0.01 BTC per line.

[Ten] The Basic code is in block 3a1c1cc760bffad4041cbfde56fbb5e29ea58fda416e9f4c4615becd65576fe7, and it is stored in “uploader” format, with a donation to Satoshi’s genesis block address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa.

Unluckily the code is a mess with GOSUBs without Comes back, violated loops, half-implemented ideas, and unused variables, so the code doesn’t work, which is disappointing. It’s a mystery why someone would put this BASIC code into the blockchain.

[11] The Rick Astley lyrics are in transaction d29c9c0e8e4d2a9790922af73f0b8d51f0bd4bb19940d9cf910ead8fbe85bc9b. This data is included using the OP_RETURN mechanism, which was later supported as a non-hacky way to put data into the blockchain.

[12] The third rickroll has the data encoded in a structured format, maybe from some music database. The data format is base-64 metadata base-64 lyrics The transaction is 0b4efe49ea1454020c4d51a163a93f726a20cd75ad50bb9ed0f4623c141a8008.

[13] The messaging system references “AtomSea & EMBII”, who I assume are the creators. The chain commenced with address 12KPNWdQ3sesPzMGHLMHrWbSkZvaeKZgHt with 0.269 BTC on 2013-12-01 23:54:35 Each output is 0.000055 bitcoins, just over the current network minimum of .0000546 bitcoin. The next transaction in the chain can be found by looking at each switch address, which pays for the next block. The chain ended when it ran out of bitcoins, at address 1DQwj8BDLWy9BMzX8uUcDYze3hx8q7uBy4 .

In total, the data chain has 85KB of data including pictures, random quotes, and HTML. The system embeds filenames, lengths, and the data. There are also a lot of transaction ids stored in the data, presumably serving as an index.

[14] The Two.Five megabyte Cablegate file was stored in one hundred thirty separate transactions each holding 20,000 bytes of data, transactions 5c593b7b71063a01f4128c98e36fb407b00a87454e67b39ad5f8820ebc1b2ad5 to 2663cfa9cf4c03c609c593c3e91fede7029123dd42d25639d38a6cf50ab4cd44#o6″. Each transaction includes a trivial 0.00000001 bitcoin donation to the Wikileaks donation address 1HB5XMLmzFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v . This data is stored in checksummed download device format.

[15] The cablegate description is in 691dd277dc0e90a462a3d652a1171686de49cf19067cd33c7df0392833fb986a, and is stored in “uploader” format. It’s a bit circular that this message describes where to find the download instrument, but the message itself needs the download device to be read. Fortunately it’s not too hard to read the message without the instrument.

In a nice touch, these transactions both donate 0.00000001 bitcoins to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, which is Satoshi Nakamoto’s address from the Genesis Block.

[17] This transaction, 77822fd6663c665104119cb7635352756dfc50da76a92d417ec1a12c518fad69 has an unusual scriptPubKey: OP_IF OP_INVALIDOPCODE 4effffffff 1443 bytes of data OP_ENDIF .

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Glossary, Distributing Chains

Categories

Research into emerging political and geographical implications of blockchains

There are many glossaries out there which explain Bitcoin and blockchain technologies for the common user, but some of the governance aspects and more politicised elements of the systems are not often included as these are not rigorously necessary to understand in order to use the system. This glossary seeks to pack that gap and will be expanded upon via my research. Please do contribute or correct!

From time to time, when someone else’s entry is comprehensive, I might include it in utter – these are individually referenced. I have drawn from, amongst others Antonopoulos, Mastering Bitcoin, 2015, the Bitcoin.org vocabulary and Ethereum whitepaper.

Address

A Bitcoin address is similar to a physical address or an email. It is the only information you need to provide for someone to pay you with Bitcoin. You can use a different address for each transaction if you want. (bitcoin.org)

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal, a set of proposals that members of the bicoin community have submitted to improve bitcoin. (what is the selection process??)

Bit is a common unit used to designate a sub-unit of a bitcoin – 1,000,000 bits is equal to one bitcoin (BTC). With a current (date) value of one bitcoin at , and with a cap on the total number of bitoins in circulation, sub-units will be increasingly used in transactions. (bitcoin.org)

Bitcoin

Bitcoin – with capitalization, is used when describing the concept of Bitcoin, or the entire network itself

bitcoin – without capitalization, is used to describe bitcoins as a unit of account. e.g. “I sent ten bitcoins today.”; it is also often abbreviated BTC or XBT. (bitcoin.org)

Block

A block is a record in the blockchain that contains and confirms data. In the case of Bitcoin the block is marked with a timestamp and signature of the previous transaction and the block header is hashed to produce a proof of work, thereby confirming transactions.

Blockchain (blockchain and cipher block chaining, cbc)

The blockchain is a technology for validating and storing digital data in a distributed manner that aims to be independent of any intermediary or central authority. When referring to the Bitcoin Blockchain, this will be spelled with a capital B, lower case will be used when referring to blockchains in general, and block chain or cbc describes the method of cryptographic block chaining for various other purposes.

Confirmation

Confirmation means that a transaction has been processed by the network and is very unlikely to be reversed. Transactions receive a confirmation when they are included in a block and for each subsequent block. Six or more confirmations is considered sufficient proof that a transaction cannot be reversed. (bitcoin.org/ Antonopoulos)

Contract account (Ethereum)

An account that is managed by a contract code and that can send messages to other contract accounts

Cryptography

Cryptography is the branch of mathematics that lets us create mathematical proofs that provide high levels of security. Online commerce and banking already uses cryptography. In the case of Bitcoin, cryptography is used to make it unlikely for anybody to spend funds from another user’s wallet or to corrupt the blockchain. It can also be used to encrypt a wallet, so that it cannot be used without a password. (bitcoin.org)

Consensus rules

The basic rule set that the network has agreed to, including such things as the 21million total limit on bitcoin, the difficulty target for

mining, the size limit on each block and so on.

Cryptographic keypair

Cryptographic keys consists of a keypair taking advantage of the one-way mathematics of cryptography, so that only the holder of the private key is able to decrypt messages that have been encrypted with the public key. Furthermore, only the holder of the private key can generate a public signature that can be verified using the public key. This means you can share your public key widely, permitting people to encrypt their communication with you, while your private key ensures that only you can decrypt the messages.

Difficulty target

A difficulty at which all the computation in the mining network will find blocks approximately every ten minutes. (Antonopoulos)

Distributed Autonomous Organisation

A DAO is a bundle of clever contracts that run and execute functions independently of human involvement.

Dual Spend

If a malicious user attempts to spend their bitcoins to two different recipients at the same time, this is dual spending. Bitcoin mining and the blockchain are there to create a consensus on the network about which of the two transactions will confirm and be considered valid. (bitcoin.org)

Ether is the internal currency for the Ethereum system.

Externally possessed account (Ethereum)

An account that is managed by a keypair, similar to a bitcoin account

The sender of a transactions often includes a fee to the network for processing the requested transaction. Most transactions require a minimum fee of 0.5mBTC (Antonopoulos)

When a chunk of code is modified and is not included in the main assets of code. A fork can be incorporated back into the main code down the line, whereas a hard fork is not rearwards compatible.

Utter knot

A total knot checks transactions and blocks to see whether they conform with the consensus rules that have been installed before forwarding to other total knots and miners to include in the blockchain.

Gas (Ethereum)

When Ether is used to pay for transactions. While in Bitcoin each transaction costs more or less the same, in Ethereum, the transaction fee is dependent on the amount of computing needed for the utter transaction. Each transaction or message therefore has an amount of “startgas” included in order to pay for the execution of a function and as transaction fee that goes to the miner. The function will stop, or come back an error when it has run out of gas.

Genesis block

The very first block on a blockchain.

Hard fork

When a modification to a lump of code is no longer rearwards compatible with its source, thus creating a split inbetween users of the old code and those of the fresh.

Hashing

A hash function is a mathematical procedure that takes any type of data (also called a “message”) and produces an output, say a string of numbers and characters, of a given size. Importantly, the source data cannot be deduced from the output, while the same input will always reproduce that same output. These characteristics are common for all types of hashing functions. Bitcoin presently uses SHA-256 (which produces a 256bit output), however, cryptography requires constant innovation and updates in order to remain secure in the long-term (cf. Gupta, 2016; Silva, 2003)

Hash Rate

The hash rate is the measuring unit of the processing power of the Bitcoin network. The Bitcoin network must make intensive mathematical operations for security purposes. When the network reached a hash rate of ten Th/s, it meant it could make ten trillion calculations per 2nd. (bitcoin.org)

Message (Ethereum)

Apart from transactions, accounts can also send messages that can for example consist of a request to run a given lump of code. Contract accounts can thus send each other messages to run their contract code.

Mining/ miner

A miner confirms transactions and increases the security of the network by spending computing power to hash a valid proof-of-work for a block that can then be included in the blockchain. As prize, the miner receives a number of freshly created bitcoins as well as transaction fees.

Proof-of-stake

In Bitcoin validation of transactions take place through “proof-of-work” which is the task that miners do, in which your contribution of computing power to the network determines your level of say in the consensus process, in Ethereum, this instead takes place through proof-of-stake, and is dependent on your stake in the network, i.e. how much currency, or ether, you hold.

Private Key

A private key is a secret chunk of data that proves your right to spend bitcoins from a specific wallet through a cryptographic signature. Your private key(s) are stored in your computer if you use a software wallet; they are stored on some remote servers if you use a web wallet. Private keys must never be exposed as they permit you to spend bitcoins for their respective Bitcoin wallet. (bitcoin.org)

Proof-of-work

Proof-of-work is a chunk of data that on the one arm proves the expenditure of a certain amount of computational power through the mining process, as well as an underlying condition of participation so that your influence in the network is proportional to your computational expenditure. (Antonopoulos: A chunk of data that requires significant computation to find. In bitcoin, miners must find a “nonce”, in other words, a number that when hashed using SHA256 and the transactions has the result that meets the network-wide difficulty target that is adjusted every once in a while so that a proof-of-work is on average found every ten minutes.)

Prize

An amount included in each block as a prize to the miner for finding the proof-of-work, thus validating and securing the network. The prize is halved every once in a while to eventually reach zero when the limit of 21million bitcoins are in circulation.

Signature

A cryptographic signature is a mathematical mechanism that permits someone to prove ownership.

State

The status of all accounts at a given point in time. The blockchain is the mechanism that permits for decentralised consensus on the state, in the case of Bitcoin for example of all transactions in the network.

State transition

A switch from one state to another, as when a transaction takes place, requiring a fresh consensus process to take place across the network to agree on the fresh state

Transaction

A transfer of bitcoins from one address to another. However, addresses do not as such “hold” any bitcoin, rather, as put by Antonopoulos: a transaction is a signed data structure voicing a transfer of value. Transactions are transmitted over the bitcoin network, collected by miners, and included into blocks, made permanent on the blockchain.

Wallet

Software that holds your cryptocurrency addresses and secret keys. Use it to send, receive and store your cryptocurrencies.

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Fidelity becomes very first asset manager to join blockchain group IC3, Reuters

Fidelity becomes very first asset manager to join blockchain group IC3

Fresh YORK (Reuters) – Fidelity Investments Inc has become the very first financial institution to join the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies & Contracts, a group of academic institutions and technology companies looking to develop blockchain-based technology.

Fidelity Labs, the innovation arm of asset manager Fidelity, will be a member of IC3 along with Cornell University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the Technion, IBM Corp and Intel Corp, the company said in a statement.

The Boston-based fund manager will collaborate with the group to develop blockchain programs to help make financial systems more efficient and secure.

Blockchain, which very first emerged as the system underpinning cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a distributed record of transactions that is maintained by a network of computers, rather than a centralized authority.

Over the past two years, financial institutions have been ramping up their investments in the technology in the hopes that it can help the make some of its processes simpler and cheaper. Potential use cases range from systems to manage international payments, to programs to lodge securities trades.

In a bid to accelerate development and adoption of blockchain, companies have been joining compels in several industry consortia and groups.

Banks have been more vocal about their efforts than asset managers, with most large lenders having joined a group led by Fresh York-based startup R3. Most recently a group of thirty companies, including several banks, launched a fresh blockchain consortium called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

“What IC3 brings is that academic computer science legacy that can help us explore how this technology can be applied,” said Hadley Stern, senior vice president at Fidelity Labs, explaining why the asset manager had chosen the group.

Use cases the asset manager is interested include the settlement of repurchase agreements transactions, Stern said.

Despite the excitement around blockchain, the technology is still in its early days and proponents warn that it may take years before financial institutions can fully reap its benefits.

IC3, which is based at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in Fresh York City, conducts research aimed at developing blockchain that meets the standards needed to be deployed by businesses.

“Expected outcomes of our work include fresh blockchain and wise contract technologies that are secure, incrementally deployable, and efficient to meet the industry’s needs,” said Emin Gün Sirer, co-director of IC3 and a professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, Fresh York

Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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Ethereum vs EOS Shots Fired On Reddit As Vitalik, Dan Larimer Clash

Ethereum vs EOS Shots Fired On Reddit As Vitalik, Dan Larimer Clash

Clash of the Titans over Ethereum or EOS as better

In a sort of nerdy Clash of the Titans, two of the fattest names in Blockchain technology are having a conversation on which of their two systems has better overall usability for transaction numbers.

Buterin opens

The very first in the ring was Buterin, who responded to an Ethereum Reddit thread post claiming that EOS was far superior to Ethereum because of the number of transactions and plasticity that Ethereum cannot suggest.

The Ethereum cofounder argued that EOS, Larimer’s brain child, while suggesting large numbers of transactions but through a system that eliminates the protections of Merkle proofs and makes it unlikely for regular users to audit the system unless they plan to personally run a utter knot.

He also argued that the nature of EOS decentralization through DPOS causes undue reliance on voting, which has proven problematic in the past with low voter turnout and little to no voter incentive.

Lastly, Buterin took issue with EOS fees, since transactions are linked directly to coins held, making it costly for poorer users:

“The poor, who are not interested in putting the entirety of their often very low savings into a funky fresh crypto asset in order to be able to use a Blockchain.”

Come back volley – Larimer responds

Larimer, for his part, addressed the difference with EOS and validation, stating that Ethereum is built more on a system of trust with the block producers, whereas EOS has a quicker and more elementary sync feature for those who are not producing total knots, making it lighter to validate.

Larimer also dealt with voter turnout, pointing out that measures have been taken to increase voter appearance and participation.

Ultimately, he addresses fees, noting that those who use the EOS chain generally have tokens beforehand, and that the usage to cost ratio will eventually stabilize because of market compels.

“Once again critiques of DPOS, EOS and STEEM are based upon flawed economic assumptions, misinformation and ignorance/denial of vulnerabilities in their proposed solutions.”

Importance for ICOs

The issue is significant because EOS is a means of dealing with some of the apparent weaknesses of Ethereum. Ethereum (per Buterin) is the better system, and he finds weaknesses within the EOS framework. Some of the debate will require widespread implementation in order to determine which system is correct.

Because of the dependence of ICOs and other Blockchain projects on a platform (presently intensely favoring Ethereum), EOS represents a fresh system that can permit for features that Ethereum does not. Buterin and Ethereum devotees, however, sees the fresh system as more flawed than the original.

The future of Blockchain technology and its use in the public sector is up in the air. These two companies are wrestling with each other for who will be the platform of choice as Blockchain resumes to increase in popularity and widespread use.

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