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- [UPDATE] ABS-CBN [ABS 9.00 ▼14.93%] confirms distribution deal with Zoe TV’s rebranded “A2Z Channel”... this is just confirmation of the fire that caused the ceiling-play smoke a couple of days ago that saw the ABS stock price rise 50% intraday. According to this press release, ABS-CBN and Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc have made a deal to show “some entertainment shows and movies of ABS-CBN” on A2Z Channel 11, a newly re-branded Zoe Broadcasting Network channel that will broadcast on analog TV in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. ABS content will start appearing on this new A2Z channel starting October 10.
- MB: No details yet on what content, exactly, will be shown, but the wording of the press release is interesting. It mentions “entertainment and movies” specifically, but leaves out politically-adjacent topics like news or analysis/interview shows. The Inquirer is reporting a rumor that “It’s Showtime” and “ASAP Natin ‘To” will be part of the content to make its way to A2Z Channel 11, but that has not been confirmed. Investors will want to watch this closely to see how well ABS is able to monetize this agreement with advertising, and to see how the government reacts as more ABS content moves into this pipeline.
- [UPDATE] Wild DITO CME [DITO 6.81 unch], NOW Communications [NOW 4.98 ▲13.44%], and Chelsea Logistics [C 5.90 ▼4.07%] price action in yesterday’s session... the NOW and DITO pump has been massive and constant. But this last week was especially spicy, with yesterday’s session just an absolute gong-show that caused brokerage meltdowns. DITO opened the day at P7/share, up 3% on the previous day’s close, and steadily gained to a high-water mark of P8.02/share (+18%) at around 11:45am. At 11:45am, DITO had a marketcap of P22.5bn. In the next 27 minutes, DITO would lose P7.4bn in marketcap as the price imploded to P5.38/share, swinging from an 18% gain on the day to a 21% loss. Then, over the next 30 minutes, completely erasing that loss and ending the day right where it started, at P6.81/share. 2.09 billion shares changed hands on the PSE yesterday; DITO accounted for 16% of the day’s total volume (355 million shares). The three companies combined accounted for over 28% of all shares traded.
- MB: MB: The amount of market uncertainty here is incredible. Traders love it, investors hate it. DITO doesn’t even own DITO Telecommunity, or anything else of material value for that matter, NOW just diluted shareholders with a bearish low-price sweetheart deal, and Chelsea is a company of tugboats and passenger ferries that happens to own a sliver of Dennis Uy’s enigmatic telecom. NOW has a long history of playing the “press release pump and dump” game, and I can only imagine that it’s happy just to be along for the ride, fluffing feathers before a potential IPO by way of introduction. Everyone in the Philippines can sense that connectivity is a bull market, whether that be mobile data (C, GLO, TEL.... then NOW) or broadband (GLO, TEL, CNVRG)...so money just keeps pouring into telco-related stocks. And it makes sense, too, given how few options there are right now on the PSE for anything that looks both pandemic-resilient and secularly profitable. But some of these things are not like the others. Some of these things will crush it, and some will not. Be careful trading telcos that you remember whether you’re being a trader (short term) or an investor (long term). Don’t start out as a trader, forget to place stops, then wind up as an investor with an investment that’s underwater. BE CAREFUL. EDIT: Also, COL Financial, get your act together. You blew AREIT and MM, and you blew yesterday's Telecommotion. At this point, traders/investors should not make plans in reliance on COL Financial's execution of a buy or sell trade.
Link to original article: https://block.co/blockchain-use-in-intellectual-property/submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]
Patents, trademarks, and industrial designs, along with copyrights, are all types of intellectual property protections that help creators of written stories, inventions, artistic works, or symbols to stop people from stealing or copying their pieces of work. In this article, we will examine how blockchain is used in Intellectual Property rights.
Broadly speaking, Intellectual Properties (IP) are “unique, value-adding creations of the human intellect that result from human ingenuity, creativity, and inventiveness.” (Kalanje, 2006).
By observing trends, we can identify a steady increase in the number of Intellectual Property applications worldwide. According to official statistics by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), applications worldwide of patents grew 72.3% over ten years, increasing to 3,326,300 from 2008 to 2018. Trademarks grew an astonishing 160% over the same period, to a record 14,321,800 number of applications, while industrial design applications were 1,312,600, growing by 61%. Every country has a specific authority where to apply for proper protection. However, it is becoming increasingly common that these jurisdictions will utilize blockchain technology to provide a smoother, faster, and cheaper application process and a system that ensures an incorruptible and secure timestamping through the hashing function.
How does it work?
Blockchain ‘trust’ is guaranteed by hashing algorithms, instead of third parties. Since, by default, hashes are unique and cannot be misinterpreted, nor two same hashes can be produced, it’s just easy to identify and match that hash with a unique document creating an unambiguous proof of existence. This way, a permanent ledger of data is created to prove the existence and the lifecycle of a specific IP right, enhancing its protection at a registry or in court.
Blockchain use in Intellectual Property potential is enormous, aiding in the evidence of creatorship and provenance authentication to registering and clearing IP rights; digital rights management; establishing and enforcing IP agreements, licenses, or exclusive distribution networks through smart contracts; and transmitting payments in real-time to IP owners.
In the case of patents, the real benefit of using blockchain lies in the immutable ledger of records with a tamper-proof code providing strong evidence of facts about an invention life-cycle. However, unlike copyrights, any new creation will still have to be patented with the proper authority or anyone else will be free to copy it or claim it without incurring any legal trouble.
“Deploying blockchain technology within the patent system could reduce inefficiencies in recording and efficiently agreeing the time of registrations, perhaps across several national patent systems” (Boucher et al., 2017).
In the case of Copyrights, these do not need to be registered with a government authority, therefore blockchain can have a major role in ensuring that evidence can be provided of authorship, use, and status of a specific production. Particularly, in case of disputes in court, blockchain provides strong evidence to prove an inventor’s right on intellectual property, and protect legal rights on authorship. So, when including writing and literary or artistic works, creators get some type of protection automatically via blockchain, whereas with others, they have to apply for it.
Trademarks, on the other hand, are the IP protection type that can most benefit from blockchain because it can easily, quickly, and very cheaply prove how similar are two marks to each other and who can claim to have used it first, providing immutable and timestamped proof of dates and usage. By using blockchain, many of the questions which can arise about exactly when, where, and how the trademark was used, can be instantly answered.
Cyprus-based company Block.co provides services in a range of different industries, and timestamping trademarks on the blockchain is one of them. The company is a spin-off of the University of Nicosia, one of the biggest blockchain contributors globally, and its mission is to eliminate document fraud in all sectors, by transforming the way institutions manage digital records.
International business and technology lawyer Christiana Aristidou makes large use of Block.co’s services and especially in copyrights and trademarks for several of her clients.
“We consider the Block.co solution indispensable towards our objective of constantly enhancing the provision of our legal services through innovative technological solutions. The protection of copyright and other relevant intellectual property rights now involves a simple, fast, automated, and cost-efficient, blockchain-backed certificate issuance. Using blockchain, thereby ensuring a transparent, immutable, secure, time-stamped, and tamper-proof recording of data, the Block.co solution offers a revolutionary and innovative means to protect our clients’ intellectual property, instead of other time-consuming and costly traditional processes.” she recently stated.
“Specifically, our clients’ data and evidence supporting their authorship, invention, or creation of any property that warrants copyright protection, may now be recorded in a digital document, which is then verified in a trusted and time-stamped manner on a blockchain. Our clients retain ownership and control of their data, having been granted easy access to a self-verifiable blockchain-secured certificate of such data.”
Smart contracts could also represent an important asset of blockchain technology because they can be used in intellectual property to establish and enforce agreements such as licenses and allow the transmission of payments in real-time to IP owners. Indeed, they allow automatic payments for transactions between users and rights holders with no middle man, thereby cutting out intermediate fees, longer procedures, and bureaucratic hurdles.
Blockchain in IP around the world
In Europe, various governmental agencies and IP registries such as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) are actively involved in researching and promoting blockchain capabilities within the industry.
In particular, they believe blockchain can transform IP rights by highlighting, in one of their advanced research forums, that:
In the United States, we find a clear example of how blockchain is used to protect American businesses from IPR theft by testing imports. Since blockchain has proven to be beneficial to streamline communication between multiple parties securely, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with the funding of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate, recently completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) of a blockchain platform with that specific aim. Personal data and trade secrets would be kept safe at all times using encrypted keys, with the blockchain acting as an immutable ledger to record trade transactions.
In Southeast Asia, Thailand is leading the way in developing blockchain technology for IP protection. Various organizations and government offices have invested in projects aimed at implementing the tech to make IPR processes more efficient and faster. The Ministry of Commerce has recently launched a feasibility study to explore the use of blockchain for IP registration in the country, while the Thai Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), in collaboration with the British Embassy, were designated to analyze the study and translate it into action plans for future developments.
Conclusion — Blockchain limits and benefits in IP
As with every new technology, especially the most disruptive ones, setbacks can be both from a technical and a systemic perspective. Enormous processing power and scalability are still the main issues from a technical point, whereas a system that could connect registries across the world through a single distributed ledger represents the main challenge, not only for IP-related industries. Thankfully, Block.co’s solution already uses the Bitcoin blockchain and its network effect for this purpose, envisioning truly decentralized and secure storage for IP rights, that will outlive any issuing institution itself.
An international standardized system and platform that could facilitate global communication and successful management of IP rights via blockchain is an ambition that is reflected in healthcare, law, and many other industries. On the other hand, blockchain based IP rights enforcement is already a huge achievement, especially for those small artists who could not afford teams of lawyers to defend them in disputes to prove records of their authorship.
For more info, contact Block.co directly or email at [email protected].
Tel +357 70007828
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Link to our website: https://block.co/blockchain-in-the-public-sector-webcast-insights/submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]
This article provides a summary of the insights provided during Block.co’s 4th Live Webcast on the topic of Digital Transformation Of The Public Sector & The Upcoming Legislation Of Blockchain Technology In Cyprus.
Adoption of Blockchain and other disruptive technologies has flourished particularly in smaller nations that represent interesting hubs where innovations are more easily tested and applied. With blockchain in Public Sector, we’ve already experienced the commitment of small countries like Switzerland, Malta, Singapore, and Cyprus more recently. In just a few years, the small island in the Mediterranean known for tourism and offshore bank accounts has become a desirable fintech jurisdiction for investors and global businesses, due to the vivid interest of the Cypriot government towards new technologies, blockchain and AI imprimis.
With a highly favorable tax environment and the financial incentives available, Cyprus is shining as a hotspot for blockchain businesses and entrepreneurs from all over the world. In 2018 a Declaration was signed by EU member states to promote blockchain in public sector use across its members. By that time, Cyprus had already expressed interest in the technology with a series of initiatives. Cyprus’s partnership with Singapore-based blockchain platform VeChain was sealed to push forward the development and adoption of the technology. In addition, the Cyprus Blockchain Association was created while the University of Nicosia was involved in the development of the technology by offering courses and Master’s degrees on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and by also practically using blockchain technology to validate academic documentation through block.co.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) launched a blockchain innovation hub with other organizations and associations to support the development and implementation of technologies that can facilitate administrative operations and improve citizens relations with authorities. In 2019, Cyprus’ cabinet published its National Strategy on Distributed Ledger Technologies in order to provide a platform for both public sector and private initiatives employing blockchain applications. With such an exciting background in mind, Block.co arranged its fourth webcast that was held on Tuesday 21st July at the presence of prominent guests, who are all helping the government of Cyprus, develop and adopt the disruptive technologies in its administrative, economic and legal activities.
How are corporates, governments, and citizens impacted by the changes in legislation?
Hosted by brilliant Christiana Aristidou, a Technology Lawyer and Digital Transformation Specialist, Block.co along with Cyprus’s Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation & Digital Policy, Mr. Kyriacos Kokkinos, and international Blockchain experts Jeff Bandman and Steve Tendon joined forces in the webcast to discuss the enormous potential of Blockchain technology in both the public and private sectors.
The guests’ common path into blockchain was the early and skeptical discovery of Bitcoin followed by years of research and a more in-depth understanding of the technology which led them to embrace it in different ways.
Jeff became interested in the legal implications and the regulatory framework that would arise with the technology. His firm Bandman Advisors has recently been appointed by the Cyprus Government to draft its legislation on Blockchain & DLT.
Steve was a software engineer who moved to a management consulting role and had founded TameFlow when he learned about technologies like Ethereum and how its smart contracts could be used in governance. He became a consultant for Malta to help the country benefit from blockchain adoption and gave a major contribution to the drafting of Malta’s National Strategy on Blockchain.
The Deputy Minister, Mr. Kokkinos is the person responsible for the design and implementation of Cyprus’s Blockchain and DLT strategy:
“We want to convert the innovation researching tools into pillars for our economy to encourage more prosperity for our society. Blockchain and DLT are essential for digital transformation, a key player in a globalized economy. In June 2019, the Council of Ministers of Cyprus approved a strategy for DLT and blockchain, and part of my job is to facilitate the detailed implementation through both technical and legal perspectives. Jeff Bandman has worked to help with the legal, I help with the strategic side.”
The strategy document indicates that “The Republic of Cyprus, in line with the European and global trends of change and progress, strives to create the right environment for enterprises, companies, services, and investments by adopting innovative practices and procedures.”
“We’re all closely monitoring discussions at the EU level -continues the Deputy Minister- in order to meet regulatory standards and we’re considering them for our strategy. We’re working on achieving maximum compatibility with the EU legislation and encouraging all members to arrange a deployment of blockchain in all fields.”
Governments have come to realize they must provide all tools available and needed for digital transformation in the public sector, to ultimately best serve its business communities and citizens alike. The intricacies of bureaucracy speed up the need for new technologies, and in the pandemic era, access to digitalization is proving crucial to meet future challenges especially in areas where blockchain can help like healthcare, supply chain, and digital identity implementation. Jeff believes that blockchain can start by keeping consistency between democracy and trust, through the transparency that it can provide. “For example tracing the origin of funds and their allocation, will facilitate trust which is the basis of a distributed and decentralized environment”.
According to Steve: “Blockchain can be interesting from different perspectives and I also believe trust is crucial. While we normally trust governments and authorities to manage most of our public and private life, with blockchain we have the chance to take it all back and shift to a sovereign approach. Starting with your own identity, with healthcare records, licenses, voting, and so forth, self-sovereignty will identify who you are, not a government. We’ve started building SOV, a stablecoin that will soon be legal tender, detached from a central bank but built on the chain and established by the algorithm. For the first time, this new monetary policy will remove the discretionary power of central banks, something that was not even conceivable before blockchain. The power is back to the people”.
With the first upcoming legislation in Cyprus, Christiana asked Jeff if he could share what this new law will involve, and what will be regulated.
“We’ve been working very hard on drafting and evaluating the different perspectives. Most efforts and resources are being dedicated to a definition and classification of the different digital assets, to the legal certainty around smart contracts, and to protect vulnerable consumers. From a business perspective, we’re still evaluating company laws, how blockchain can assist the full operational process, which criteria will help mainstream adoption of blockchain in Cyprus”.
The results of the 2019 strategy plan were supposed to be released in April but the Covid-19 crisis has delayed the works and they’re now expected in September this year. “The lesson we can learn from pioneer Malta -informs us Steve, who played a pivotal role in shaping Malta’s blockchain reputation- is to set up the right expectation and find a balance between the level of ambition and what is practical. Malta became a blockchain island because it made efforts to regulate the technology, but the challenge is to make regulation fair and accessible to everybody, the community, and the professionals so that innovation is encouraged at all times.”
What will the future hold for Cyprus? Will it be the new blockchain island?
“We have a promising technology -continues Steve Tendon- and collaboration between countries should be encouraged in terms of legislation and regulations, and the EU should take a more active role. It’s not a competition but a collaboration between Malta, Cyprus, and other geographies where a regulatory framework that promotes innovation should reflect and embrace the changes that new technologies bring to a globalized world.”
For more info, contact Block.co directly or email at [email protected].
Tel +357 70007828
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On our website, you can find the original article: https://block.co/webcastqa-blockchain-in-healthcare/submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]
Block.co third webcast ” Blockchain in Healthcare: Bridging Trust in response to COVID-19“ received amazing feedback! We gathered some of the best experts in the field, Georgina Kyriakoudes, Ahmed Abdulla, Dimitri Neocleous, Dr. Alice Loveys to share their experience in the industry and discuss with us the latest updates in the sphere of Healthcare! In its third series of webcasts, Block.co gathered 253 people watching the event from 59 different countries, for a 90-minute webcast where guests answered participants’ questions.
Below is a list of the questions that were made and were not answered due to time constraints during the Blockchain in Healthcare webcast. Please note that the below information is only for educational purposes!
Question 1: I like what Dimitrios was saying regarding ownership and transfer. Health and social care have invested much in Information Management systems and processes. Transfer between NHS and social care is a typical block. Can you elaborate on how the blockchain sits across that – leapfrogs yet goes with the grain of what is already there in terms of shared records protocols, the exponentially growing types of professionals, pharmacists, careers, etc. that need early access to these records for better decision making.
Block.co Team Answer: Blockchain technology has the potential to improve healthcare, placing the patient at the center of the health care ecosystem, while providing security, privacy, and interoperability of health data. Blockchain could provide a new model for health information exchanges and transform electronic medical records to be more efficient, disintermediated, and secure. While it is not a cure, this new, Blockchain in Healthcare rapidly evolving field provides a sandbox for experimentation, investment, and proof-of-concept testing.
Healthcare systems around the world are preparing road maps that define critical policy and technical components needed for nationwide interoperability, including:
Blockchain technology creates distinctive opportunities to scale back complexity, improve trustless collaboration, and create secure and immutable data. National Healthcare Systems need to track this rapidly evolving field to identify trends and sense the areas where government support may be needed for the technology to realize its full potential in health care. To form blockchain’s future, they ought to take into account mapping and gathering the blockchain ecosystem, establishing a blockchain framework to coordinate early-adopters, and supporting a pool for dialogue and discovery.
Question 2: What about the “compatibility” of blockchain solutions in healthcare with GDPR and/or other regulations about personal data protection.
Block.co Team Answer: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s new framework for data protection laws, has a vital impact on healthcare organizations. During this more and more patient-centric world where global healthcare organizations collect a large set of data on patients to produce improved health outcomes, this increased regulation has an even larger impact.
GDPR presents challenges across all industries and includes language that has a special impact on healthcare. The regulation defines “personal” data as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (data subject); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.” On top of this definition, GDPR contains three extra, important definitions that pertain to health data:
However, healthcare organizations that usually manage health data, have an added responsibility to take care of “data concerning health,” “genetic data,” and “biometric data” to a higher standard of protection than personal data, in general. GDPR prohibits the processing of these forms of health data unless one of the three conditions below would apply as per Article 9.
a. The data subject must have given “explicit consent.”
b. “Processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services …”
c. “Processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against serious cross-border threats to health or ensuring high standards of quality and safety of health care and of medicinal products or medical devices …”
Consent VS Explicit Consent – If one pays attention, there’s a difference in the GDPR’s health data use conditions (calls for “explicit consent”) and the general definition (calls for “consent”). Thus, there’s an ongoing debate as to what constitutes the difference between “unambiguous” and “explicit” consent. Despite the debate and the final legal clarifications, there is no doubt that in the purposes of the healthcare the “explicit consent” must have the strongest agreement form listing in detail the use(s) of data and covering the cases of data transfers and storage.
Question 3: How can we use blockchain technology by the government in Africanflavored government, say by Ministry of health to have patient autonomy of medical records that can be accessed by any government hospital irrespective of the ailment and record printed by the previous hospital and doctor, such as referral cases without having to open a new file in the referred hospital.
Block.co Team Answer: Perhaps that would be an ideal implementation of the Block.co solution issuing a digital certificate of medical examination on an Open Public Blockchain such as the Bitcoin blockchain, that would be decentralized in nature, easy to validate online without any special wallets, and would be provided by the patient on-demand, to refer to treatments received in other hospitals or areas. But this would require that the practitioner is aware and can use the open-source code or use Block.co services to issue these certificates. Alternatively, there could be the use of a wallet to store these medical credentials to be submitted on demand to health practitioners. Moreover, there would need to be an alignment of regulation in the matter as decentralized repositories are not recognized at the moment.
Question 4: Is there any data breach threat in the blockchain using a poorly protected private key at communication?
Block.co Team Answer: Millions of health care records have already been breached, and in attempts to combat this issue, solutions often result in the inaccessibility of health records. Health providers often send information to other providers, and this often ends up in mishandling of data, losing records, or passing on inaccurate and old data. In some cases, only one copy of an updated health record exists, and this may result in the loss of information. Health records often contain personal information such as names, social security numbers, and home addresses. When it comes to Blockchain in Healthcare, a poorly protected private key is always a factor to consider. A private key allows us to sign a transaction and spend funds residing in an address (public key) by providing ownership with the signature. It is a unique string of information that represents proof of identification inside the blockchain, which includes the right to access and control the participant’s wallet. It must be kept secret, as it is effectively a personal password. In the case that that private key is poorly protected, there is always a data breach threat.
Question 5: The medical record of a patient is owned by the patient. What happens if a doctor accesses the record without the consent of the patient? Using the smart contract, could there be a governing body, say a legal system that can call the doctor to order?
Block.co Team Answer: Rather than having each physical and electronic copies of records, blockchains may enable the shift to electronic health records (EHR). When looking at Blockchain in Healthcare, medical records on the blockchain would be within the management of the patient rather than a third party, through the patients’ private and public keys. Patients may then control access to their health records, making transferring information less cumbersome. Because blockchain ledgers are immutable, health information may not be deleted or tampered with. Blockchain transactions would be accompanied by a timestamp, permitting those with access to maintain updated information. The doctor would not be able to access the record without the consent of the patient. A patient would need to sign the transaction in a smart contract in order to transfer patient details to the doctor.
Question 6: So, how are private data protected when the patient is simply notified that unauthorized access just took place on her medical record? and, how are the negative results of this breach rectified towards the patient?
Block.co Team Answer: The patient would be notified to sign a transaction enabling access to the party requesting access to the specific medical record. In other cases, there could be a multi-signature wallet requiring multiple transactions in the cases where the patient may need assistance, for example, when underage or when not in a healthy state of mind, or being non-responsive or in critical condition. The patient needs to be responsible for his own data and be empowered through awareness and know-how of this technology. With great power, comes also great responsibility, although it is yet a challenge to enable computer illiterate people to interact with this technology.
Question 7: Can the same record of a patient still be shared with private hospitals and say another government/private hospital abroad on the same blockchain?
Block.co Team Answer: Depending on whether the information is on a public blockchain or a private blockchain. When on a private blockchain, they will need to be granted permission to access the blockchain accordingly.
Question 8: No one has directly spoken about ownership where a large research institution/ consortium is working with the data – it is not solely the person who has said so…
Block.co Team Answer: Indeed, it is solely not the person who has a say so. Technology may be used in both evil and good ways and it is still the obligation and responsibility of people within governments to ensure human liberties and rights are preserved when utilizing such powerful technologies such as blockchain and sometimes the combination of blockchain with AI, IoT, and biometrics. Blockchain in Healthcare, in the same way, that it can empower individuals and increase their standard of living and prosperity, at the same time, it can also empower corrupt governments with alternative agendas and totalitarian states. Block.co believes it is most important for people to be educated around the matter and be able to form a voice and movement to safeguard their human liberties and rights, hence our continuous effort on discussing these matters with our community and providing education, powered by the pioneers in the space, the University of Nicosia.
We would like to thank everyone for attending our webcast and hoping to interact with you in future webinars. If you would like to watch the webinar again, then click here!
For more info, contact Block.co directly or email at [email protected].
Tel +357 70007828
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Bitcoin hacks and thefts have exploded since bitcoin's epic 2017 bull run saw the price balloon to around $20,000.submitted by MIEX_Official to u/MIEX_Official [link] [comments]
The bitcoin price has fallen by more than half since its late-2017 all-time high but bitcoin users remain a popular target for hackers.
Now, researchers have warned "millions" of bitcoin users might have been exposed by a newly discovered vulnerability in a number of popular bitcoin wallets.
Bitcoin transactions across three major bitcoin wallets were vulnerable to what some might call a double-spending attack, researchers at Tel Aviv-based bitcoin and crypto company ZenGo have revealed, adding other wallets beyond the nine they tested could be compromised.
The bitcoin wallets known to be affected—Ledger Live, Edge and BRD—have been updated in an effort to prevent the attack after their developers were alerted by ZenGo.
The vulnerability, named BigSpender, allows the attacker to make the wallet holder believe a payment has been received while in fact it has been replaced by the sender. The exploit could prevent the wallet's owner from accessing its funds, though not everyone agrees on the nature of the vulnerability.
"The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually," ZenGo's senior software engineer, Oded Leiba, wrote in a blog post revealing the weakness.
"This negligence has many faces. First and foremost, a user’s balance is increased on an incoming transaction while unconfirmed and is not decreased if the transaction is double-spent and thus effectively canceled."
Ledger and BRD have questioned the language used by ZenGo researchers.
"There is no actual double spend being performed," the Ledger security team said via email. "The user funds stay safe. Nevertheless, the display of received transactions could be misleading."
The bitcoin wallets that were found to be susceptible to the attack are some of the most widely used—something ZenGo researchers said highlights the bug's seriousness.
"Potentially several millions of users were exposed before the fix based on the user base of Ledger and BRD public numbers," ZenGo's chief executive Ouriel Ohayon said via email. BRD recently passed the 5 million user mark, its chief technology officer told bitcoin and crypto news outlet Coindesk.
While the bitcoin wallet developers dispute the exploit's risk, Ohayon insists the threat could actually be worse than is known.
"It does not mean that there are no other issues or that other wallets are not exposed to the BigSpender attack," Ohayon said, adding other wallets ZenGo researchers tested, including its own, were not vulnerable to the attack.
"Considering that this could result in the impossibility to spend your funds and the fact that this could be done at scale, this [exploit] can be considered serious."
"Hacks are constant. Security is an on-going battle fought by the industry and one that cannot be won by a single player or a single product, let alone a version update. To allow mass adoption it is critical that wallets invest as much effort in research and security and they do in product development and services."
Link to original article: https://block.co/benefits-of-blockchain-technology-in-the-banking-industry/submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]
The rapidly growing interest around blockchain is creating an increased amount of use cases across multiple industries, and a high demand for adoption by many governments. Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry is predicted to be drastically transformed by this disruptive technology. According to Allied Market Research 2019, the blockchain value in the BFSI market reached $277.1 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $22.46 billion by 2026. Blockchain technology has the potential to solve the pain points of the current banking systems and operations including security, transparency, trust, privacy, programmability, and performance.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the technology behind the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, that was proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, as a response to the failing financial system during the crisis. It is often associated and confused with Bitcoin, but the scope of the technology is much wider. It is also important to differentiate between the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and blockchain, as the terms often used interchangeably. All blockchains are DLT, but not all DLTs are blockchains. DLT is simply a decentralized database managed on a peer-to-peer basis.
“Blockchain is a type of DLT, a subcategory of a more broad definition, much like how the word ‘car’ falls under the umbrella term ‘vehicles’ and ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ falls under ‘geniuses’.”
In essence, blockchain is a continuous sequential chain of records (‘blocks’) that are chronologically linked together with the aid of cryptography, to ensure immutability. These records are immutable, as any change to the information recorded in a particular block is stored in a new block. Moreover, the use of modern encryption algorithms enables the security of all the records from copying or editing by other users of the system. Blockchain can be programmed to record not only financial transactions as cryptocurrency but almost anything of value (Deloitte Insights, 2019).
How Blockchain Can Improve Banking Industry?
The modern banking system is not perfect and commercial banks have not changed a lot to their servicing structure since the 1970s (Haycock & Richmond, 2015). Running a bank still requires large numbers of the workforce, reliance on quite outdated systems, bloated structures with high probabilities of human error, and manual work. There are several aspects, which could be improved by the application of blockchain technology in banking operations:
1) Security Enhancement
In the UK the overall value of the financial fraud losses (e.g. payment cards, remote banking, cheques) equaled £844.8 million in 2018. The situation is even worse in the US — $170 billion average yearly losses in the financial sector. According to KPMG’s Global Banking Fraud Survey 2019 the total volume, number, and value of the fraudulent activities are drastically increasing every year.
The nature of banking operations dictates the need for centralized systems, which proved to be vulnerable and subject to cyber and hack attacks. Now, the blockchain is immutable as it operates on the principles of decentralization and transparency, and all the network participants get an identical copy of the distributed ledger of transactions. Thus, if applied in banking, blockchain can increase the validity and security of the financial transactions, eliminate the need for third-party authentication, and solve the issue of a single point of failure and hacks.
Moreover, since each transaction on the blockchain has its unique fingerprint (hash) it can be easily traced and verified. Such functionality makes blockchain a great tool to combat money laundering and reduce fraudulent or illegal transactions (Guo & Liang, 2016).
2) Improving Financial Transactions Efficiency
As we mentioned previously, the utilization of obsolete mechanisms and operational systems slows down the performance of banking institutions and provides ground for human error, delays, and system failures. All these inefficiencies could be solved by applying blockchain technology. Take for example the time-consuming bilateral exchange. The process of data reconciliation needed for it could be simplified, as on the blockchain, it is inherently part of a transaction (IBM, 2016).
Blockchain and its decentralized nature eliminate intermediaries in banking operations, which significantly cuts transaction costs and boosts efficiency (Cocco et al., 2017). Blockchain does not require intermediaries, enables cross-border transfers and micro-payments, while drastically decreasing operational costs. Such transactions in the traditional banking environment are expensive (from 1% of the amount), and constitute a huge expense on a global scale. In cryptocurrency networks, transfers may range from a few minutes down to milliseconds, and the transaction fees are decided by the market forces, meaning users have the option to set their transaction fees (Deloitte, 2017).
3) Workflow Simplification
Blockchain can simplify the current complex workflow in banking institutions. As any operation can be traced, the ability to automate processes significantly reduces costs and the need for manual work. Moreover, it is impossible to make retroactive changes on the blockchain. This guarantees data immutability and excludes the human factor, thus the probability of error, data tampering, or even leakage. Using blockchain in banking operations will digitize and automate tons of manual work, greatly boost the productivity of the financial institutions and eliminate the probability of mistakes, delays, and errors.
4) Enhanced KYC & AML
Some financial institutions find it difficult to deal with problems related to policies such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC). Numerous organizations are not able to solve these problems, due to the rapidly escalating costs. The adoption of the blockchain technology will enable the creation of a system where all clients’ information may be stored safely, making the independent verification an easy process or even automated securely. In this way, both AML and KYC processes will become simpler and easier, as all involved organizations will share the same system and the information will be updated in real-time, perhaps through the use of Digital Identities. In addition to this, blockchain technology will assist the organizations to minimize their administrative costs and reduce the workload.
5) Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are an innovative development of blockchain technology which enables for time and resources saving, as they do not require a third-party interaction. Traditional contracts do not differ a lot from smart contracts, however, their key benefit is that obligations are automatically enforced and cannot be avoided by anyone.
When smart contracts are integrated with blockchain technology, we enjoy benefits such as security, automation, immutability, and transparency. The integration of smart contracts in the financial sector will provide opportunities for transparent auditing and real-time remittances. Traditional contracts are paper-based and require financial institutions to invest money in paperwork and maintain records. These records can be easily manipulated as they are on paper. Smart contracts offer bank tools for bookkeeping based on blockchain. Smart contracts have already been applied to the financial industry to gain greater automation.
6) Decentralized Finance
Another application of blockchain is Decentralized Finance, also known as DeFi. This application is at an early stage but its disruptiveness enables millions of people across the world to have access to financial services. DeFi refers to decentralized applications, financial smart contracts, digital assets as well as protocols popular as DApps, which are built on public blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. The aim of DeFi is the creation of a decentralized financial system that will not depend on the traditional banking system.
Decentralized Finance offers numerous benefits to the users as it eliminates middlemen, enables everyone who does not has access to financial services to enter the global economy as it is a permission-less technology, and enables innovation with the combination of DeFi products. Besides, the use of decentralized finance increases the symmetry of information and democratizes financial services in this sense. The evolution of DeFi over the years means that most people around the world are only limited by their imagination when considering how to gain benefits from the financial ecosystem. However, there are still many complexities that need addressing to further expand the full extent of the possibilities of DeFi.
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