Welcome to Last week in blockchain. My name is Wim Pelgrim, a blockchain enthusiast and with this weekly podcast you’ll stay up to speed about all the major developments on the blockchain. And that in under 10 minutes!
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This week I’ll be discussing restoring private keys, Steve Wozniak, fraud and theft in Bitcoin, Taiwan, MoviesChain, LabChain and REMME.
Anyone can relate to the situation of losing your keys. Locking yourself outdoor and climbing through a window, calling your parents if they are home to borrow theirs. But what if you lose your private keys to your information on a blockchain? Dutch website Computerwereld (computerworld) sums up five possible solutions amongst which cold storage, a wall between your app and the keys like Civic is doing or a physical organization that can restore your keys after thorough identification. A problem worth thinking about. Because it will happen: someone calling you to borrow your keys to their Bitcoins.
Then to the next biggest crypto: Ethereum. If Steve Wozkniak tells an audience your company could be the next Apple, which he said about Ethereum, your doing something good. What they are doing good? “Ethereum interests me because it can do things and because it’s a platform”, he said. And next to all the great things we see happening on Ethereum, gaming is the test case for the network.
Last year we had the crypto kittens, this week Ethereum is clogged because of shrimps, frogs and drugs. With 26.000 transactions in 24 hours, Ethereum had some trouble processing everything. One commentator on 4chan stated what everyone is thinking: “If the 2nd largest cryptocurrency can be destroyed by cryptokitties and shrimp farms then it isn’t ready for prime time and we have a long way to go before mass adoption. These games may seem stupid, but they serve as valuable stress tests for the ecosystem as a whole, and show where the weak points lie.” Something to think about when you are building an app or planning on using the blockchain to solve your problem.
Governemnts and law
Criminals are also trying to get some money off the success of the Bitcoin. Two big scams last week: a fraud investigation concerning the course of Bitcoin and money stolen from Bitcoin Gold. First the fraud investigation. Traders in Bitcoin try to manipulate courses by placing false buy/sell orders. Other buyers are tempted to buy or sell and when the course is going in the right direction for the fraudsters, the orders are withdrawn. Other traders are supposedly trading with themselves to suggest a lot of movement in the market.
Bitcoin Gold, a fork of the original Bitcoin, was attacked last week to steel money. What happened. In a blockchain network, if you have the power to control 51% of the network, you can change everything you want. Scammers controlled the Bitcoin Gold Network and moved money to other cryptocurrencies. 380.000 BTG’s (worth $18 million dollars) were stolen. The attack was possible because of the mining algorithm (how consensus in the network is established) used. The pool of available hashpower is much larger than the network’s individual hashpower. Bitcoin Gold will be moving to another algorithm, but if your BTG’s were stolen, you’ll be bent out of shape.
You can use the blockchain for almost anything (if you believe all the start-ups popping up). It’s not a surprise that the film industry is looking at this technology too with MoviesChain. The service connects film producers and viewers. Independent filmmakers can use the attractive plan for distributing content on online platforms. And this is not just an idea, or small start-up. At the Hong Kong International Film Festival MoviesChain will be showcased to Asian filmmakers.
The last application of this week is in a whole other field: medical data. Through the fund bakcing my own blockchain application in education, I met the founder of LabChain, transferring lab results between two academic hospitals in The Netherlands. I remembered this meeting because I read a press release by REMME, raising $20 million dollars, creating a secure framework for user authentication for among others Medtech. I’m very curious about these kind of developments, because privacy is even more important and live changing in the medical world than education. But looking at a neighbouring field, you can learn a lot.
The last government and law news item this week comes from Taiwan. The island is the next country to form a coalition for blockchain: The Taiwan Parliamentary Coalition for Blockchain. It aims to unite various Taiwanese political fractions under the banner of a better-defined regulatory framework that will help spur the growth of blockchain technology. There are so many countries experimenting with this technology, even smaller countries, you can ask yourself when mass adoption is completed. Looking at the technology, a lot of steps have to be taken. But when you look at the social adoption, we are on the way.
And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: www.wimpelgrim.nl for more info on me and my podcast and a full transcript of this episode. Check the links to all the news items I talked about in the description: restoring private keys, Steve Wozniak, fraud and theft in Bitcoin, Taiwan, MoviesChain, LabChain and REMME. And definitely check back next week for my new podcast on Soundcloud and in Dutch on Blocker.nl!
Restoring private keys
Bitcoin Gold theft
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