Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Russia Postpones “Crypto Ruble” Launch to Mid-2019

According to Arseni Scheltsin, the director of Russia’s Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association, the proposals on creating and regulating a national cryptocurrency will be officially presented in July 2018, while a full-fledge launch would take a year after that.

The development of regulatory documents for “crypto ruble” is carried out by the country’s Central Bank, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Finance, and the Presidential Administration.

“The required documents will be developed and presented this fall. They will be harmonized by the end of the year, and the launch itself will happen in mid-2019,” Mr. Scheltsin said.

He added that “crypto ruble” is developed as a digital counterpart of Russia’s national currency, while the security of its transactions will be ensured with a private blockchain, and the coin itself will not be mineable.

“Crypto ruble won’t be as popular as Bitcoin or Ethereum as it won’t be mineable. Its exchange rate against ruble will remain steady, and there won’t be any sense in mining. It can’t be a trader’s toy. Checking cryptoruble will be possible via nodes,” Mr. Scheltsin stated.

Russia’s Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association believes that this kind of national digital currency will help attract foreign cryptocurrency investment. Moreover, it is supposed be the only legal way to exchange virtual money for rubles since other cryptocurrency exchanges will be outlawed. Cryptoruble will also be used in public procurement.

“Every public spending will be recorded in blockchain, and the full path between the sender and the receiver will be traceable. This will enhance the efficiency of public spending,” Mr. Scheltsin added.

In the early days of 2018, one of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin’s counselors has stated that “crypto ruble” will limit the impact of international sanctions on Russia’s economy.

Earlier, Russian sources reported that following the presentation of a drafted bill to place regulations on the usage of cryptocurrency, a list of approved cryptocurrency trading platforms is being developed by the Russian Ministry of Finance.

from ForkLog

Bitfury and First Block Capital Make Strategic Investment In Emercoin

The Bitfury Group and First Block Capital announced they have invested in Emercoin and will support the provider of blockchain solutions and services for customers around the world.

The decision to support and invest in the Emercoin Blockchain will enable Bitfury to expand the scope of future applications it designs.

“Bitfury is a big fan of Emercoin technology, which offers great potential for proof of work and proof of stake mining,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO of the Bitfury Group. “In the coming months, we will develop creative ways to use this new technology, which provides both flexibility and security, to launch new pilot projects that solve complex problems for governments, companies, institutions and individuals around the world,” Bitfury’s CEO Valery Vavilov said in a statement.

Emercoin is a cryptocurrency and decentralized blockchain platform for a wide range of distributed trusted services. Distinctive features of Emercoin are high reliability, robustness and three-in-one hybrid mining (PoW+MergedMining+PoS).

The Emercoin platform already runs network security services EmerSSL/EmerSSH, decentralized domain system EmerDNS, counterfeit solution EmerDPO, VOIP solution ENUMER, to name the few. Back in March 2017, Emercoin released EMC DPO, a web app making the blockchain-based system of precise proof of ownership more convenient and simple.

Emercoin CTO Oleg Khovayko said:

“We are excited to see the Bitfury Group and First Block Capital recognizing the potential of our technology and investing in it. We look forward to working with our partners to take this technology global.”

First Block Capital is Canada’s first fully regulated crypto investment firm. The company is commited to helping investors capture the value to be derived from the disruptive technologies built on Blockchain technology. Among others the firm manages the First Block Bitcoin Investment Trust, an investment vehicle that gives investors the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin by buying units in the trust instead of having to buy and securely store Bitcoin themselves.

from ForkLog

Blockchain Revolution (Forget The Crypto Coins) - Seeking Alpha

Blockchain Revolution (Forget The Crypto Coins)
Seeking Alpha
When I look out at the blockchain, I see utter mania. A few years ago, Google glasses were hot. Before that it was 3D printing. Before that VR and nano tech. Now is blockchain's moment and this mania produces all sorts of odd events. Kodak is ...

from blockchain - Google News

All aboard the new era for poker! CoinPoker’s ICO Launches on Friday

Two Thirds of CHP already reserved with 30,000 + unique users and 4,000+ unique daily players already using site.

CoinPoker.com are launching their eagerly awaited ICO this Friday with only one-third of its allocation left for sale – two-thirds of CHP (chips) tokens already reserved for sale via the priority whitelist!

CoinPoker is a cryptocurrency based online poker room using blockchain technology to provide a transparent, secure, and accessible platform and is going to offer their in-game cryptocurrency called CHPs in two ICO stages. While the ICO will start at 10am (GMT) on Friday 19th January on the site www.coinpoker.com, interested users started making their reservations from the 5th January and have already purchased part of the tokens to be made available. Since then, CoinPoker’s MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has been downloaded 20,000 times and more than 30,000 unique users have registered on their website. There are already 15,000 CHP token holders and more than 4,000 unique daily players on the application!

“I’m very happy to see CoinPoker doing so well,” said poker legend Tony G, one of the project’s advisors, “Blockchain technologies are our future, and CoinPoker will begin the poker revolution that all the players have been waiting for. This is a game-changer!”

“CoinPoker is the first platform using the CHP token but it has a great chance to become the valuable utility token for use in the whole emerging crypto gaming industry and various projects”, said professional crypto investor Sonic Zhang.

Additional advisors on this project include PokerNews.com and poker industry veterans Isabelle Mercier, Warren Lush, and Michael Josem from the online gaming and poker industry space. There is also undoubted crypto market leaders backing this project including proven crypto investment consultancy company Digital X and top Asian crypto investment fund Valuenet Capital. Add top crypto advisors such as Sonic Zhang and Etherparty (FUEL) CEO Kevin Hobbs and it is clear there is huge momentum behind this project.

Everybody participating is able to purchase CHPs for the Stage I price – 4,200 CHPs for 1 ETH. After all the tokens allocated at this price are sold out Stage II will begin, and the price will rise to 3,500 CHPs for 1 ETH. The ICO is closing no later than on the 26th January, or when all the tokens are purchased before that.

Afterwards, CoinPoker is going to hold numerous juicy promotions during which they will distribute 15% of the tokens collected to the community. It will start with two huge opening tournaments which, assuming the ICO is going to sell out fully, will have unprecedented prizepools, as well as a tournament on the 21st January with a Tesla S as a grand prize.

While this project is still to launch its ICO, it has already attracted a considerable user base. 100,000,000 CHPs were sold out in just 6 days during the pre-ICO in November, and afterward, the project launched numerous promotions in which they gave away 5,000,000 CHP for free.

This activity allowed CoinPoker to stress test their application,
and in these few months, its stability has been improved and numerous bugs were fixed. On top of that, new features have been added, many of which had been suggested by the project’s active community members. In fact, CoinPoker is involving its players in many processes, such as the selecting game formats, structures, the aforementioned features, and even app design.

Another way that the community gets their say is by participating in a bounty program that has an option for the players to design unique table skins for CoinPoker that have a chance of appearing on the app.

Security issues were explored, too. “CoinPoker has cracked down on multi-accounters,” said industry veteran and CoinPoker’s Head of Security Michael Josem, “CoinPoker closed a number of accounts that were used by the same people and that is just the start of the measures that CoinPoker is going to take in order to reduce the risk of cheating.”

Michael Josem has his own article series on CoinPoker’s Medium account in which he explores various security-related topics where he invites the community members to express their opinions on how the room is going to operate. For example, http://bit.ly/2DFuyAq.
The project’s community is very active on its social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram) and they will have their say on how this project evolves.

CoinPoker is launching their ICO on the 19th of January, but there has already been a lot of progress made in terms of creating an active community, producing a well-tested viable product, and funding the final launch. At this point, it has already reached success and the upcoming ICO will determine the impact that CoinPoker can have in the gambling industry. For all information see www.coinpoker.com.

More info:

In order to find more detailed information on this project, please refer to CoinPoker’s Whitepaper at http://bit.ly/2AMFuJU .

Media Contact:

Michael Josem, josem@coinpoker.com
Paul Mikaliunas, paulius.mikaliunas@coinpoker.com


The post All aboard the new era for poker! CoinPoker’s ICO Launches on Friday appeared first on NewsBTC.

from NewsBTC

Japan’s Largest Financial Group To Launch Own Virtual Currency

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is launching an initiative to open a new exchange and issue its own virtual currency: the “MUFG coin.”

By controlling the exchanges themselves, MUFG plan to suppress fluctuations in the price of MUFG coins in order that they can be used stably for settlement and remittance. The MUFG coin, due to their distribution being made available on a centralized exchange, can be directly overseen by the bank. In addition, the bank can also control the value of the coin, which is aiming to be worth approximately 1 yen. Users can then use these coins, accessed from their smartphones, to pay for goods and services in a secure fashion.

MUFG is aiming to increase adoption with suppliers and retailers throughout Japan for the payment platform and is aiming to launch later in the year. The move demonstrates how cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech are slowly being realized by traditional financial institutions, who are eager to benefit from the reduced operational costs that virtual currencies can offer.

Legislative Hurdles and Financial Regulation

MUFG has already notified the Financial Services Agency on their plans to issue coins and open an exchange. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will make full preparations for the MUFG coins issuance, with plans to organize contests to generate ideas for business usage of the MUFG coins in March.

In order to establish a virtual currency exchange in Japan, it is obligatory to register with the Financial Services Agency, and there are still some hurdles left. As the Fintech industry continues to grow, further legislation for responding to new services like MUFG will continue to be developed in the country. Bitcoinist previously looked at the state of the Fintech industry in Japan here.

Online Responses To The MUFG coin Announcement

Users took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the upcoming coin launch. They were quick to point out that the MUFG coin is not OMG and that the price is to be capped at 1 yen per coin.

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, is Japan’s largest financial group and is the 2nd largest bank holding company in the world, holding around $1.8 trillion USD.

Will we see increasing cryptocurrecy initiatives such as this, with centralized banking controls? Do they offer the same degree of security as other decentralized cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images Courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Twitter/@iamjosephyoung, Twitter/@btc883n, Twitter/@ETHtrenpreneur, and Pexels.

The post Japan’s Largest Financial Group To Launch Own Virtual Currency appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

from Bitcoinist.com

When Blockchain Saves Customer Reviews, All of E-commerce Will Prosper

In the climate of click bait, unreliable journalists and “fake news,” it’s something of an unspoken rule that any you should take any opinion with a pinch of salt.

Professional review writing industries, as well as aggregates, have arguably been irrevocably tainted by financial interests. They are, after all, companies and as such have been formed with requirements (if not objectives) of creating opportunities for revenue generation: to pay the staff, cover overhead investments and ensure the ongoing development of the project.  

Issues that affect professional reviews are, however, are shared in many ways by user reviews as well; including unethical practices from retailers, review writers, product creators, and others. It does appear that our hallowed Blockchain technology could provide a solution to some, if not all of these if given a chance,  but first, it would do well first to consider what needs to be improved upon.

Problem #1: the conflicts of interest

Having an objective customer reviewer is all good and well but unless the website their review is posted on is managed by similarly minded managers & institutional practices, then there is no guarantee that the message will stay the same by the time it is published.

This is because, much like the professional magazines, the largest part of their revenue most often comes from advertisers and sponsors. To these investors, the audience is a valuable target – having established themselves as consumers by virtue of reading the content, to begin with, and as such, they are mostly comprised of those producers and retailers of the very products being covered by the publication.

There is, therefore, a clear conflict of interest between the review-hosting sites’ respective loyalties to their advertisers, and to their readers. The results of this can be manipulation of the review scores post-publication, censorship/omission of negative reviews, and the fabrication of positive reviews by the shop or manufacturer.

Problem  #2: The unreliable reviewers

Shills (Exhibit A)

Shills embody an end result of the aforementioned “conflicts of interest.” These particular individuals often manifest when one party who benefits the sale of a product approaches a reviewer (with either no reputation or with experience/trust-ability from the background) and persuades them to write positively about the product in question in return for a financial inventive or free products themselves.

This can even appear on well-known marketplaces such as Amazon (although compared to the accusations levied against them regarding employee welfare standards, I’d imagine it’s the least of their worries) and contribute to a negative perception of their reviews as being an “untrustworthy measure of quality,” according to Jeff Bercovici at Forbes.

He continues to describe the perpetrators as writers with a “vested interest – a friend, family member, [or] a fan” writing positive reviews” in addition to “notorious “sock puppets” created by novelists skilled in the practice of inventing characters and putting dialogue in their mouths.”

‘Review Bomb’ squads (Exhibit B)

Review bombing is a unique phenomenon which is most frequently associated with video-gaming and nerd culture. “The act of an organized group getting together and tanking the overall user review score.”

It is defined by the collective nature of the “attacks,” often represented by the proximity to which each is posted and to the aftermath of a certain event. They can also be identifiable in their conspiratorial nature, through semi-public announcements made on message-boards such as 4chan.

To clarify: not all instances of contradictory public opinion are examples of review bombs. A recent example presents a dichotomy between audience and reviewer opinions regarding the latest, post-Disney acquisition Star Wars film ‘The Last Jedi.’ It shows that the audience is somewhat active and reasoned in their criticisms.

Although if you were to listen to the politicized pundits, you would believe that everyone here (paying critics, who happen to disagree with their opinions) was a member of an organized “right-wing group.”

The conclusion: a Blockchain solution

A recently launched left-field ICO which appears (or at least claims) to have created a solution based on the Ethereum platform and its Blockchain to these highlighted concerns as well as much more you might not have even thought of. In fact, it is this company and their vision which inspired this piece.

Solution #1: The concern over review scores being manipulated or censored post-publication would be mitigated with Lina’s platform as all information would be stored on the public Blockchain, in addition to being backed up onto a private copy of said information (in a system called a ‘Hybrid Blockchain’). This means that nobody can tamper with it once it’s been submitted without the changes also being a public record.

Solution #2: Lina intents to tackle unreliable reviews by enlisting customers based on skill, experience, and ability. This is before monitoring their progress and customer approval in order to best determine future training/progress paths. With the project being an economy into itself, this allows for a form of compensation which encourages reviewers to contribute, which in turn helps to develop the ecosystem.

Lina.platform is a token based rating system, an economy whose value (and therefore the developer’s primary concern) is in the publication and promotion of high-quality objective reviews; as well as focusing on the development of popular and consistent writers for both prolific in content as well as audience bond.

Their ICO launched on Jan. 15, and you can read more about their detailed plans either on their website or by reading their whitepaper.

The post When Blockchain Saves Customer Reviews, All of E-commerce Will Prosper appeared first on NewsBTC.

from NewsBTC

All of the ACT Initial Coin Offering (ICO) proceeds are to be spent on Activism

All proceeds of the ACT ICO (http://bit.ly/2mP47kX) will be locked into its Alpha platform Ethereum smart contract primarily to support activists. And nothing or no-one can stop it doing so.

ACT is a decentralized funding platform focused on supporting activists on the front line of fighting for the future that we need to see.

The ACT Swiss Foundation team led by Irish Olympian and innovative climate finance specialist, Fraser Brown includes board member Patrick Storchenegger, who also sits on the Ethereum Foundation’s Board, and German based crypto-exchange software security specialists, draglet GmbH.

Since its successful pre-ICO in July last year, which raised 1200 ETH from 347 supporters, the team has been building five Ethereum smart contracts that govern the ACT platform’s innovate token economic model. The two main parts of ACT – the ACT Curation Engine and the ACT App – are both now in prototype phase. The ACT Curation Engine crypto token called “CE7” governs ETH rewards that curators receive for vetting proposal submitted to the platform – the process is completely decentralized and autonomous.

After a short vetting period of 3 days, the best proposals are automatically pushed to the ACT App where citizens have just 24 hours to vote on them. ACT votes costs 0.005 ETH each, and successful proposals are paid automatically by the smart contract from the proceeds. Following this stage, the platform generates a funding smart contract for the proposal that it’s proponents can use to raise more funding directly.

The ACT platform is designed to be highly responsive to causes, and aims to be able to fund change, and perhaps even global citizen-led movements, at any speed and any scale. It wants to transform the NGO sector with its decentralized technology.

The team has forged alliances with activist groups in the USA, UK and Germany mainly fighting coal, oil and gas, and fracking abuses of the environment. These include the United Valleys Action Group in Wales, the famous “Nanas” in Yorkshire (think Grandmas shutting down fracking operations to save their Grandchildren), and Sunrise Youth Movement in the USA. The team is also in discussion with activists from tougher places such as Ukraine, Uganda, Vietnam, Cambodia, Venezuela and Iran about pilot projects for the ACT Alpha platform.

The published project roadmap sees ACT Alpha on the Ethereum mainnet after code audits of the current prototypes this March 2018. This contains the smart contracts ICO ETH proceeds will be stored. Holders of the CE7 token which can be acquired during the ICO happening now will hold the reigns with regards to which proposals are pushed to voting, and which are not.

The ACT project is a revolutionary blockchain-powered decentralization autonomous organization. It puts power in the hands of the people absolutely. If the world got on ACT no government, or corporate power would have the resources to oppose the aggregate resources and power of global citizens enabled through the ACT platform.

ACT Founder, Fraser Brown said of the project,

“This is a project with a working prototype so it is not a hyped ICO. We have focused on community building and working with people who are concerned about our collective future. Change starts with communities and ACT aims to disintermediate NGO and charity norms to fund those on the frontline directly.”

The ICO will span just three days from Jan 13th to Jan 16th at http://bit.ly/2mP47kX.

Press contact

Fraser Brown


Phone: +353 19695775

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

from The Merkle

Blockchain Startup Cypherium Partners with IC3 for Scaling Research - CoinDesk


Blockchain Startup Cypherium Partners with IC3 for Scaling Research
Blockchain infrastructure platform Cypherium is partnering with the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3) research group to develop new blockchain scaling solutions. The partnership was announced today, alongside the news that Cypherium ...

from blockchain - Google News

AgriTech Meets Crypto ATFS Project Launches Long-Awaited Token Sale

ATFS Project revolutionizes the current food system by creating new production and distribution systems, substitute meat products and methods of financial payments with innovative advancements in all parts of the process.

According to the World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2050 the total population is expected to grow by 34% to about 9.7 billion, and the elderly population aged 60 or older by 56% to about 200 million. It is a reality that there lacks sufficient supply of food to feed the rapidly expanding population, especially in terms of animal protein supply. In view of this, ATFS has established a plan for Smart Farm 2.0, an intelligent farm with deep learning ability to ensure breakthrough productivity, and research & development of Plant-Based Meat varieties in Asian cuisine.

In addition, the current agricultural distribution system is a collection of high-cost inefficiencies caused by too many middlemen that takes away the benefits from producers and consumers.

Our Disruptive Decentralized Platform based on the blockchain technology sets a new standard of agricultural distribution. The DDP’s new type of food blockchains stores the product’s place of origin, producer, region and transactional movements, enabling rewards for producers with higher transparency and consumers to traceable and verified information.

THE ATFS TEAM is comprised of members from large financial institutions and VC funds like KB and Benex, global management consulting firms like IBM, EY and KPMG as well as blockchain developers, global strategy consultants, smart farm technicians, and bio-related experts.

ATFS ICO has a Soft Cap of 12,500 ETH and a Hard Cap of 50,000 ETH. Soft cap takes care of land purchase for Smart Farm 2.0, various advanced facilities and equipment for the greenhouse, and the development of DDP. The hard cap is needed for Plant-Based Meat R&D Center and to secure plants for mass production of the substitute meat menu as well as DDP’s expansion into other continental regions.  

ATFS Project is bound to make impact on the agricultural and food industries, shaping a new form of ecosystem that links the crypto world with tangible elements in our everyday lives.



FAQ: http://bit.ly/2ELFKuK

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDA-YwrXjk  

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

from The Merkle

Blockchain squared? Long Blockchain looks to tie up with Stater - Financial Times


Blockchain squared? Long Blockchain looks to tie up with Stater
Financial Times
Long Blockchain — the once-obscure beverage maker whose stock shot through the roof after it announced a pivot into blockchain technology — said on Tuesday that it had inked a letter of intent with Stater Blockchain, a UK-based tech company that has ...
The Iced-Tea Company That Pivoted to Blockchain Is Heading to the UKBloomberg
Long Blockchain announces plan to merge with UK tech firmNewsday
Long Blockchain (LBCC) Enters LOI for Merger with Stater BlockchainStreetInsider.com

all 4 news articles »

from blockchain - Google News