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Category: blockchain

30 Jul 2019
How Blockchain Will Change Construction

How Blockchain Will Change Construction

Blockchain technology is among the most disruptive forces of the past decade. Blockchain’s power to record, enable, and secure huge numbers and varieties of transactions raises an intriguing question: can the same distributed ledger technology that powers bitcoin also enable better execution of strategic projects in a conservative sector like construction, involving large teams of contractors and subcontractors and an abundance of building codes, safety regulations, and standards?

“Increasingly, we are thinking more carefully about when and where we need to compete and what can we share and collaborate on,” said David Bowcott, global director of growth, innovation, and insight in Aon’s global construction and infrastructure group. Using blockchain to automate the contractual processes and paperwork underpinning these complex projects could save money, free-up valuable resources, and speed up project delivery. (Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from interviews we conducted as part of our research.)

Blockchain-enabled real-estate development projects

In commercial real estate, Amsterdam-based HerenBouw is applying blockchain to a large-scale development project in Amsterdam harbor. According to Propulsion Consulting founder Marc Minnee, HerenBouw’s objective was to set up a blockchain-enabled project management system to make the building development lifecycle more efficient. Minnee’s blockchain application for HerenBouw focused on registering transactions at legally binding moments, where accuracy and an audit trail are essential. “Blockchain provides a platform for clearly cascading work products down the chain and holding everyone accountable for completing key tasks,” Minnee said.

The system’s benefits include timely information, unambiguous communication, and fewer mistakes. “Stakeholders have a clear and evenly distributed incentive to register these facts on-chain: either you won’t get what you ordered or you won’t get paid,” said Minnee. They also develop trust, which reduces friction in their mutual business processes. “Stakeholders spend more time discussing creative design and building method options.”

Blockchain pilots in construction achieve liftoff

Aon, global risk advisor to the construction industry, estimates that 95 percent of building construction data currently gets lost on handover to the first owner. Briq, a California-based blockchain firm, is demonstrating the potential to capture and secure a construction project’s documentation in a blockchain ledger that parties can navigate and give to the owner as a deliverable.

Working on behalf of Minneapolis-based Gardner Builders, Briq developed a “digital twin” of a new office construction with a room-by-room inventory of every asset. “When a product or specification needs to be found in a building, there is finally a place to go to simply search for what is actually in that building,” said Briq CEO, Bassam Hamdy. The blockchain-encoded specifications are granular—paint colors, ceiling fixtures, LED bulbs, door hardware—plus manuals, warranties, and service life in a countdown clock that building owners can monitor.

“Any improvements and refurbishments to the building can be documented, and the whole repository can be transferred to new owners if the asset is put up sale,” said Ellis Talton, Briq’s director of growth marketing. In other words, building owners get a living ledger of everything that has happened with the building.

Overcoming cultural obstacles

Engrained practices in the construction sector will likely prolong widespread blockchain adoption. “The construction industry is technologically advanced in many aspects of what it does,” said Talton of Briq. “But the industry is very relationship based. There are many family-owned firms and private companies. The selection of contractors and subcontractors can be based on relationships that have existed for decades.”

Talton also noted that very little money—less than one percent of revenues (versus 3.5 to 4.5 percent in aerospace and automotive)—is invested in upfront contracting and technology infrastructure for managing complex construction projects. “The vast majority of the projects costs are in the building process, including the people and materials,” he said.

Scott Nelson, CEO of Sweetbridge (where one of us — Don — is an advisor), finds construction a natural for blockchain-based project management: “Projects are well-structured and contract-based. Objectives are clear—be on-time, on-spec, and avoid rework. Classic project management techniques still work, but projects can benefit from a more decentralized and agile approach where transparency is high and parties can be compensated for outcomes as well as work performed.”

Identifying applications of blockchain in project management

Over time, blockchain will have breakthrough applications for project management. We encourage organizations to explore and capitalize on this potential. Here are a few next steps.

Identify use cases for blockchain adoption. Look where success depends on mobilizing resources across enterprise boundaries; where identities, contracts, and payments must be audited and protected; and where the provenance and ownership of assets must be tracked. Here are a few ideas:

  • A reputation ledger that tracked subcontractors’ deliverables could help to identify reliable subcontractors for a project.
  • Smart contracts that identified accountabilities and triggered milestone-based payments could automate agreements.
  • Blockchain-enabled applications that aggregated data into a shared project management dashboard could help to manage workflow.
  • A distributed ledger that chronicled the construction process end to end could record all building inputs and assets, including warranties and maintenance checkpoints.
  • Blockchain-enabled apps that tracked materials, testing, and results against building codes and standards could streamline inspections.

Develop prototypes and pilot projects. Do preliminary analysis: audit the systems in use, consult their users, and think about who would need to be involved in identifying viable options, selecting one to prototype, designing the pilot, and participating in testing.

Make a business case for investing in blockchain. Identify ways blockchain can increase project success, such as improving processes and organizational capacity to locate and share large quantities of data with specific individuals and entities.

Said Bowcott of Aon, “Collectively, we are all better off if we encourage data collaboration and use blockchain and machine learning to help us establish longer-term industry roadmaps for investments, and technologies that can boost productivity and efficiency and lessen risk.” While the fundamentals of project management will remain important, blockchain enables managers to focus their talents on solving problems and achieving better project outcomes.

Source: https://hbr.org/2019/07/how-blockchain-will-change-construction

18 Jun 2019

Ethereum Public Blockchain Favoured

A Polish bank has bucked the trend of companies and institutions experimenting with blockchain technology using private, permissioned ledgers. Warsaw-based Alior will reportedly use the Ethereum public blockchain to build a system to let customers check the authenticity of documents they receive from the bank.

By using a completely permissionless, public blockchain, the Alior authenticator feature is something of a world first. Previously, banks have been reluctant to work with any true crypto project and have favoured permissioned systems based on Ethereum or another blockchain platform.

Alior to Build Directly on the Ethereum Blockchain
The news of the Alior authenticator feature broke earlier today via Forbes. The publication described the use of a public blockchain as being “among the very first.”

According to Tomasz Sienicki, the blockchain strategy lead at the bank:

“Our mission is to be disruptive, so we want to provide innovative solutions, and we want other banks to follow us as well. We welcome if somebody copied our solution… We are showing that it’s possible to use public blockchain even if some people think it’s impossible.”

The decision to build such a feature using the Ethereum blockchain has been driven by financial regulations in Poland. The law states that the public must have access to all documents from a bank in a durable medium. In 2017, the nation’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection ruled that a bank website was not an adequate way to deliver information to a customer since it could easily be changed.
This prompted Alior to explore how they could bring similar online banking convenience to their customers, whilst remaining compliant with regulations. Their experimentation led to the founding of what the bank calls its Blockchain Center of Excellence. Established last October, the department’s first implementation of blockchain technology so far is the bank document authenticator.
Public vs Private Blockchains
There has been a lot of debate over public and private blockchains in recent years. Many crypto naysayers hold the opinion that projects such as Ethereum will be ignored in favour of distributed, permissioned ledgers that the entities using them can control. However, many of those more learned on the subject of cryptocurrencies argue that a permissioned blockchain sacrifices almost everything remotely innovative about the technology.

Blockchain is great for removing the need for different parties to trust each other when doing a transaction of some kind. If you have to request permission from a central authority that created and controls the network to participate, then there is very little ground being broken by such a system.

Hopefully, more companies like Alior will see how much more powerful a tool for disruption a public blockchain like Ethereum is over those glorified, centralised databases that are being created by numerous companies trying to get their heads around this new technology, whilst not rendering their own business obsolete in the process.


10 Jun 2019
Is there a weak link in blockchain security?

Is there a weak link in blockchain security?

Recent research revealed that blockchain is set to become ubiquitous by 2025, entering mainstream business and underpinning supply chains worldwide.

This technology is set to provide greater transparency, traceability and immutability, allowing people and organizations to share data without having to be concerned about security. However, blockchain is only as strong as its weakest link. Despite the hails surrounding blockchain’s immutable security, there are still risks surrounding it that organizations must be aware of – and mitigate – prior to implementation.

It is important to understand that there are two types of blockchain – permissionless and permissioned. The most prominent example of permissionless blockchain is Bitcoin – a public blockchain network that anyone can participate in. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin favor this type of blockchain technology because it enables all users to track, verify and confirm transactions, regardless of whether users choose to be anonymous or not.

The other blockchain model is permissioned (also known as private blockchain) – and is mainly used for business applications. These networks are only accessible to known entities such as partners, suppliers or customers. With permissioned blockchain, a company establishes protocols to achieve consensus, and verify and assemble blocks. This set up can deliver thousands of transactions per second and provide granular management and control over who sees and accesses the transactions.

In both cases, the main benefit is the trust and transparency that blockchain brings – all parties involved in the network have total visibility into the transactions recorded in the blockchain ledger and each block is tied to the block before it.

This transparency makes blockchain extremely difficult to manipulate at scale. While the blockchain platform itself may be secure, there is still some work to be done to ensure organizations are equipped to make their networks secure end to end. For true security, organizations must focus on the last mile connection between a physical event and the digitized record of this event.

If these points of entry to the platform are tampered with, the blockchain is rendered worthless. It is therefore imperative that organizations secure all points of entry, and assess the risks, before they consider deploying blockchain on a broad scale. They will need to consider security at all layers, most importantly:

This starts with ensuring data and transactions entered in the blockchain ecosystem are adequately protected from manipulation. The infrastructure these networks resides on must also have the necessary protections in place. With blockchain, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

If integration points are compromised, the entire blockchain ecosystem could be at risk, meaning that blockchain credentials and data could be exposed to unauthorized users.

Identity and access management
To prevent unauthorized parties from accessing blockchain data, a combination of encryption and identity management tools are needed. Stolen credentials could potentially allow a cybercriminal to access the blockchain platform, regardless of how secure it is. Organizations must deploy identity and access management controls. Encryption should also be deployed to ensure that data is not stolen, manipulated or leaked in transit.

End users
The insider threat should be a focal concern when it comes to blockchain too. Organizations must consider that employees, partners and suppliers – be it unintentionally or maliciously – can cause security incidents that impact the blockchain.

To mitigate this, organizations should deploy security awareness training for employees and outline clear security parameters and responsibilities with partners. This will stop employees from making careless mistakes and may also ward off malicious insiders. In line with these requirements, blockchain can provide advanced security controls – for example, leveraging the public key infrastructure (PKI) to authenticate and authorize parties, and encrypt their communications.

Data governance
Blockchain-based networks are built on shared business interests creating a system of trust. However, as the network grows, participating entities could leave the network and new ones may join, leading to ambiguities around operational considerations around data sharing and data ownership. These could result in serious regulatory and reputational repercussions for organizations as data owners, unable to secure the customer data.

Organizations are multi-faceted and have multiple revenue streams, often linked to each other. One of the major challenges to blockchain adoption has been a lack of interoperability across different blockchain networks. There have been recent developments, with major players embarking on developing interoperable networks, which could boost blockchain interest to a different level, at the same time introducing additional levels of vulnerability.

Smart contracts
A key component of blockchain networks is the Smart Contracts, which are developed using different languages on the platform being used, like Solidity being used in Ethereum. These languages allow developers to make changes to the underlying blockchain networks, causing vulnerabilities. However, from an enterprise blockchain perspective, a solid governance mechanism using permissioned chain can establish a secure system in place to restrict the privileges to governing body.

To achieve the most value from blockchain, both now and in the future, organizations must take responsibility for their safety and security at all levels – application, Infrastructure, data and partners.

By conducting a blockchain risk assessment and addressing key risks, organizations can make sure they are well positioned to leverage the efficiencies, transparency and cost-effectiveness provided by blockchain without opening themselves up to unexpected risks. The most pragmatic way for organizations interested in blockchain is to test the concept through pilot programs. Pilots should be focused on the areas that offer organizations the most control and companies should take these weak links into consideration.

Ultimately, blockchain has the ability to solve business issues relating to traceability, responsiveness, and trust. By taking a carefully planned approach to implementation, and understanding blockchain’s weak links, organizations can unlock the true value of blockchain, creating new opportunities and reducing inefficiencies.


21 Apr 2019
Blockchain and Law: Some Insights on Using Blockchain in Governance

Blockchain and Law: Some Insights on Using Blockchain in Governance

We all know by now that blockchain has the capacity to disrupt and transform the way we live. But, how much and to what extent? Given the recent trends, it is expected that blockchain will become mainstream by 2020. For now, let’s explore its surpassing impact on the legal industry.

With respect to blockchain in the blockchain industry, a majority of the disruption lies in a scripting language and a set of protocols commonly known as smart contracts. You can see them disrupting banking, financial services, payment industries for now, though these disruptions are not limited to merely these industries. In simpler terms, smart contracts use blockchain to facilitate transactions and their use is preferable over traditional modes because of their ability to save payment and transaction costs and facilitate the instantaneous clearing of transactions.  

Given the disrupting effects that blockchain has generated over the course of years, by delivering increased convenience, reduced risk, efficiency for service consumers and lower cost of operations for financial services providers, it has become almost essential for lawyers to understand how to communicate securely and protect their client data.

Let us look at some of these governance use cases and their use cases for a blockchain development company in the legal industry.

E-discovery and Evidence: Changing the Rules of the Game

Traditionally, e-discovery software is prevalent in India and other jurisdictions abroad and are used to search documents, emails and other artefacts in the litigation discovery process. Given the fact that blockchain is an immutable and virtually infinite log, it is natural to expect that a majority of legal procedures will be supplemented with blockchain in obviating most evidentiary issues. But this also raises several perplexing issues, for instance, treating blockchain data as evidence will be a crucial problem in making blockchain legally accessible. For instance, in the United States, the standard for admissibility of evidence is dependent upon whether a human has sworn under penalty of perjury that the information is true. Stand-alone documentary evidence such as blockchain records are usually not permissible and are categorized as mere ‘hearsay’.

In India, similar evidentiary principles apply. For example, to submit evidence from the government or other sources, we produce the artefact and attach an affidavit to attest that the artefact was kept in the usual course of business and that the information in the artefact is true, to the best of the custodian’s knowledge. Blockchain technology, an immutable log of events, will change these evidentiary rules and in the process, create a more efficient documentary evidence standard.

Information Governance

It has been seen from past instances that law firms are relatively weak in terms of information governance and employ control mechanisms that are easily subject to breach. For instance, data break-ins at large law firms outside India have resulted in stolen client information, apart from reputational damages. Blockchain can secure this privileged information held by large law firms, especially those pertaining to contracts and other information that is legally protected. Futurists and technology vendors are working on realizing this vision as to how the blockchain will change the way lawyers operate.

Changing Privacy laws

Like any formal ledger, blockchain has the ability to become an official record for tracking the validity of transactions and other information. Though this record is effectively visible to all, individual elements of the transactions are encrypted and not publicly visible. Let’s say that if information pertaining to your passport is put on such a ledger, only the proof of transaction could be used publicly on a blockchain to prove your identity for purposes of validating that transaction, while your passport or other identity information might be securely encrypted. Hence, the underlying private data is secured.

On the other hand, there also exists the possibility of severe misuse of blockchain in breaching privacy laws. Nefarious transactions such as the sale of illegal goods or supporting a ransomware payment model can be easily facilitated through public blockchains, due to its anonymous nature.

In order to avoid these, financial organizations may be required by law to be able to permanently remove data when required to do so by a court. In Europe, GDPR is already under scrutiny with respect to its “right to erasure”, which presents issues that need to be addressed when personal information is stored in blockchain-based storage systems like IPFS, primarily since the information stored in the blockchain cannot be altered or deleted once added. With the data protection bill of 2018 in India in sight, it will be interesting to see how the law tackles these perplexing situations.

Another risk that may exist is where blockchain applications are implemented across multiple jurisdictions without a single entity responsible for their operation in any jurisdiction. Applications like these will be required to resolve issues relating to cross-border data flows and also address wider legal questions concerning enforceability, liability, dispute resolution, discovery and extraterritorial application.

Read more:

13 Mar 2019
Asia-Pacific has a Great Potential To Lead in Blockchain Adoption

Asia-Pacific has a Great Potential To Lead in Blockchain Adoption

Putting all the blockchain hype into perspective, if we consider analogous examples of how revolutionary technologies have historically taken root in society – from early adoption to widespread global penetration – blockchain technology can be said to have reached the “early majority” phase. That is, the tech has begun to gain traction and spread exponentially, though we’re still way off from ‘full adoption.’

Even so, with a market size now expected to exceed $16 billion by 2024, we’ll surely witness blockchain changing our world in profound ways over the next decade. The question is how and who will take part in leading.

Findings from a Global Market Insights recent report corroborate many experts’ prediction that the  Asia-Pacific region is set to usher in a new era. With the region’s blockchain market set to grow by an estimated 87 percent over the next six years, blockchain innovation is surging forward in the region.

And while analysts argue over the scope and speed of the ‘blockchain revolution,’ here are the reasons we’ll likely watch part of the next chapter of blockchain adoption unfold in the East.

Blockchain Consumers By The Billions

One of the primary reasons the Asia-Pacific region looks poised to blaze trails in blockchain is its consumer market. Not only is it big – the size of Asia’s middle class is expected to reach 3.5 billion by 2030 – but it is especially eager to embrace new technologies.

The region’s enthusiasm for cutting-edge tech can be attributed to its uniquely young, tech-curious population. Sixty percent of the world’s youth is concentrated in Asia-Pacific. At the same time, a 2016 study by the Consumer Technology Association found that, relative to the US, a much higher percentage of consumers in Asian nations tend to identify themselves as early adopters of new technologies.

Read more: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/330012

25 Feb 2019
Why Sheikh Mohammed's vision, leadership style should be taught in schools

Why Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, leadership style should be taught in schools

Dubai’s creative leadership paving the road for emirate to light and shine

Think of leadership and vision and the first name that comes to mind is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Hence, academia, researchers and business executives have suggested that the vision and style of leadership of Sheikh Mohammed should be taught in the schools and be made a part of the curriculum.

“Dubai’s creative leadership is paving the road for this emirate to light and shine. The unique style of leadership of Sheikh Mohammed is inspiring all of us. The environment that Dubai created paved ways for individuals like us and this is the reason for being here and what I am now. I am indebted to His Highness,” said Dr Manahel Thabet, president of the Economic Forum for Sustainable Development.

“Being a resident of Dubai, I believe his leadership style should be taught in schools. Sheikh Mohammed has taken critical, crucial and quick decision to tame the complicated financial issues that Dubai faced in the past 10-15 years. His vision is distinguishing him from the rest of the world.”

Dr Thabet has been ranked among the 30 smartest people alive worldwide by SuperScholar and is a Guinness World Record holder in mind ability.

She highlighted different styles of his leadership such as Dubai’s march towards being a knowledge-based economy, as well as the creation of incubators and accelerators, which she suggested they should be followed by emerging economies.

Dr Raed Safadi, chief economic advisor at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, pointed out that the critical element of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision is flexibility, which helps seize an opportunity that arises and also foresee future challenges.

“This emirate has embraced technological changes before they were common currency. There was fear that technology is going to take away jobs, but we are embracing it – not fearing it,” he said during a panel discussion on leadership organised by Accounting, Audit & Advisory Services Focus Group (AAA), a unit of the Indian Business & Professional Council, in Dubai.

Sanjay Manchanda, CEO of Nakheel Properties, said Sheikh Mohammed is a great inspiration.

“Thanks to the vision of His Highness, they realised that there is somebody capable of [handling Nakheel] and that is how I took my seat as CEO,” Manchanda said during the panel discussion on leadership.

He strongly recommended public to read Sheikh Mohammed’s latest book, Qissati, which reveals a strong message of how Sheikh Mohammed shaped the business and the emirate with his vision. Citing an example, he said: “Dubai started the Government Summit and that has taken his entire vision to global platform of bringing global audience to the UAE.”

Naweed Lalani, head of audit and credit rating agencies supervision at the Dubai Financial Services Authority, also recommended reading 50th chapter of Sheikh Mohammed’s latest book, which talks about leadership.

“His Highness said either innovate or leave – you cannot sit without innovating. The leaders need not necessarily be creative but catalyst for the change.”

Naveen Sharma, convener at AAA Focus Group, said creativity will be an essential talent that people will be judged on by 2020.

“IBM had conducted a global CEO study and the results surprised the world. Creativity was selected as the most crucial factor for future success – way ahead of integrity, openness and even fairness.”

Other keynote panelists, speakers and attendees were Mishal Kanoo, chairman of Kaaf Investments; Abbas Ali Mirza, past president of the IBPC and ICAI Dubai Chapter; Dr Mohammed Abu Ali, dean of the school of business administration and professor of economics at American University; Rahul Mahajan, vice-president fpr digital transformation at Nagarro; and Mahmood Bangara, chairman of ICAI – Dubai Chapter.

Source: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/why-sheikh-mohammeds-vision-leadership-style-should-be-taught-in-schools

28 Jan 2019


If you look for the definition of Economy you would get the state of the country in terms of the production of goods or services.

This article isn’t about the economy of a country or the technology effects on the economy. It’s about the Technology Economy. A term which may be new to you. Don’t worry, Let us Explain.

It is stated that the Technology Economy is the 3rd Largest Economy in the world after China and the United States of America.

This term is derived from the fact that some companies choose to cut back technology to cut losses to increase profit, however, the research found that companies end up with exactly opposite due to missing out on important technological advancements.

Technology Advancements

Technology advancements include improved cybersecurity, the blockchain, better devices for the workplace and internet of things.

Not investing in cybersecurity may lead to cyber threats or worse, attacks. The investment must be continuous to continue to improve security and limit the damage. As cyber damage may end in court to data theft of employees or clients which would lead to more costs.

Seeking to improve and invest the current devices or electronics for the workplace can make the job easier for the employees and a better service or product to the clients which can only bring prosperity and more profit.

Internet of things is the network of command between all the devices in the world. The network of a workplace is also a part of the Internet of Things.

A company must look to keep investing in the internet of things so the communication stays clear and there aren’t maintenance issues that may delay the production of the product or service.

Many companies are moving on to be part of the blockchain craze currently going on. Companies, rightly so, believe that the way forward is the blockchain due to its numerous of benefits it offers such as transparency, security, and efficiency.

It’s a change that companies must embrace. It’s another technological advancement that is getting part of this Technology Economy with devices already being implemented with the blockchain operating system.

On another note, Technology Advancements are also breaking through the health sector with the growing industry of medical cannabis, where doctors and scientists are finding the technology available to keep improving the medicines. During the World Cannabis Forum 2018, speakers will be speaking about the benefits that technology can bring to the industry.

Source: https://bitemycoin.com/opinion/the-technology-economy/


26 Jan 2019
Regulators snub SA cryptocurrency developers

Regulators snub SA cryptocurrency developers

Regulators have quietly barred cryptocurrency developers from having access to a tax incentive aimed at spurring innovation in SA. It is likely to hinder the country’s chances of being at the forefront of the fledgling digital money market.

But some say SA has far bigger things to worry about: Africa’s most advanced economy appears uninterested in experimenting with blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and is slated to have a bright future in almost every industry.

Partly thanks to bitcoin’s torrid year in 2018 (prices slumped 72%), blockchain is starting to seize the limelight from the broader crypto market. In SA, that trend could be accelerated because authorities have sent the signal that they want no part in stimulating cryptocurrency innovation.

Digital currencies have been categorised as “financial instruments” in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, which means start-ups, incubators and other companies that develop cryptocurrencies in SA can no longer claim a large income tax incentive, says Rob Hare, senior associate at law firm Bowmans.

In that sense, SA could be shooting itself in the foot. It scuppered its chances of becoming a leading cryptocurrency innovator, a status that would help it attract sought-after technical skills and boost its endeavours to become a fintech hub for Africa. For that reason, Hare says it’s surprising that crypto developers have been snubbed by SA authorities, who have also offered no reasons for the move. “The supposedly small change of categorising cryptocurrency as a financial instrument is an unnecessary step in the wrong direction,” he says.

Incidentally, SA has produced one of the best-known cryptocurrency developers in the world. Riccardo Spagni, who lives in Plettenberg Bay, is the lead developer of the Monero cryptocurrency — the 14th biggest by market capitalisation.

But Monica Singer, the former Strate CEO who’s now ambassador for New York-based blockchain firm ConsenSys, believes SA’s regulators are being prudent — and rightly so. She says the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank are trying to ensure that SA is not seen as a tax haven for cryptocurrency developers, particularly in light of a spate of crypto-scams.

“Imagine how crazy it’d be to give a tax incentive for a scam; that would be a disaster,” says Singer.

On the other hand, she says blockchain — the decentralised public ledger system that records transactions and is largely tamper-proof — is an “ideal” technology for such concessions from the government. “The world is moving towards blockchain development in every industry,” she says.

Read more: https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/fm-fox/digital/2019-01-25-regulators-snub-sa-cryptocurrency-developers/

20 Jan 2019
Bettering Threat Intelligence And Cyber Security A New Role For Blockchain?

Bettering Threat Intelligence And Cyber Security A New Role For Blockchain?

Despite the news being inundated with hacks, cons and scams surrounding cryptocurrencies and exchanges, the truth remains that actual blockchains have yet to be compromised in their immutable and unhackable nature.

Blockchains are epitomised by security and safety when it comes to storing data on its distributed ledger; they use a trustless model to be utterly trustworthy. On this principle of protection, it would make sense to start applying blockchains to a new and emerging movement in cybersecurity.

It has become more apparent ,and more evident, that new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, as well as blockchain can benefit from teaming up with one another to solve their shortcomings. Threat Intelligence is another such emerging area of technological advancement that can also lean on blockchain to aid its application and betterment.

according to CERT-UK, Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) is an “elusive” concept, but mostly, it involves the collection of intelligence on cyber threats that are shared and openly available through open source intelligence, social media intelligence, human Intelligence.

Ben Schmidt, CSO of PolySwarm, a company that is using the blockchain’s immutable ledger, as well as the decentralised ecosystem and its marketplace, to try and boost a more efficient Threat Intelligence model, attempts to define this ‘industry’

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrynpollock/2019/01/19/bettering-threat-intelligence-and-cyber-security-a-new-role-for-blockchain/#2f46f6a21ed7 

16 Jan 2019
Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The redundancy of the system ensures many backups, and the lack of a central storage place ensures there is no one target for hackers. Some suggest that blockchain could become a component of the next generation of the internet.

Many blockchain systems provide a technology called “smart contract:” these are the rules by which records can be accessed and modified by creating new versions. These rules define, for example, who gets access to the stored records, under what conditions, for what declared purpose and in exchange of what (payment or virtual credit). Smart contracts also record every access to the data in the blockchain.

In this way, users can permanently and securely store their data, set their own conditions and control who accesses the data and for what purpose. Because of these features, blockchain technology can be used to store user profile data.

Hoarding the data

Currently, social media giants hoard user data and use it to sell targeted advertisements (their main source of revenue). These social media networks don’t give users a real choice or awareness of what data about them are kept. They provide very few control options and no rewards for users in exchange of their data.

Recently, we have seen many cases when user data has been stolen by hackers, leading to breaches of privacy, the possibility for identity theft or exploitation of the data to manipulate people and influence public opinion towards voting. This can have serious consequences for the democratic process in a liberal society.

Source: http://theconversation.com/transparency-and-privacy-empowering-people-through-blockchain-104887