Samsung’s New EAL 6+ SE Chip For Mobile Devices to Enhance Security for Crypto Transactions

Samsung, the South Korean tech giant who boasts of a significant global market share in the smartphone business has announced a new turnkey security solution chip meant to secure crypto transactions on mobile phones.

The new chip comprises of Secure Element (SE) chip (S3FV9RR) and security software to facilitate secure storage and transactions of crypto payments.

The security chip comes with Common Criteria (CC) EAL 6+ certification which is considered among the most robust security standards primarily used for devices and applications with the highest requirement of security standards like hardware crypto wallets.

The security chip’s biggest advantage is that it can work independent of the mobile device, so even in case the device has been hacked, the chip would keep the assets secure and out of the reach of the scammers. Dongho Shin, senior vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics commented on this:

“In this era of mobility and contact-less interactions, we expect our connected devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to be highly secure so as to protect personal data and enable fintech activities such as mobile banking, stock trading and cryptocurrency transactions. With the new standalone security element solution (S3FV9RR), Samsung is mounting a powerful deadbolt on smart devices to safeguard private information.”

As the popularity and use of crypto assets are growing with each passing year, mobile manufacturers have found a keen interest in this nascent market. Samsung started offering crypto wallet support in its flagship Galaxy devices from the past two years and now have decided to introduce a stand-alone SE security chip which meets the highest security standards.

Similarly, HTC is another mobile manufacturer that has gone one step ahead and introduced blockchain centric mobile devices with the capability to run a full node and even mine cryptocurrencies.

Samsung’s Growing Interest in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

The SE security chip is expected to hit the market by the third quarter of 2020, and the announcement made specific mention of crypto transactions security for a key use case for the highly secure S3FV9RR chip.

Samsung’s interest in decentralized tech and cryptocurrencies is not just limited to offering crypto wallet support and secure crypto transactions, in fact, the tech giants have made several investments in DLT-based startups.

The latest being the partnership between Samsung Pay and Crypto Visa Card platform Swipe which would enable cryptocurrency payments to be made using mobile devices by Samsung Pay users.

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Author: James W

US Branch of 7th Largest Accounting Firm, Grant Thornton, to Leverage EOS Blockchain

  • Accounting giant firm Grant Thornton migrates clients’ inter-company transactions to EOS Blockchain via their platform Inter.x.
  • The users of Inter.x will now be able to track inter-company transactions by following unforgeable data trails.

It has been reported that industry titan in the US accounting sphere, Grant Thornton is migrating all their customer base intercompany transactions to EISIO. Their new Inter.X platform now leverages the Blockchain solution to process intercompany transactions.

This is set to include real-time analytics that will now keep track of compliance of pricing and treasury management to uphold transparency. The US Grant Thornton is part of the larger Grant Thornton International.

Intercompany transactions have been reported to be among the top most common scenarios of corporate financial amendments. They are often the hotbed of core fraudulent activities, errors, and time wastage. The chief transformation officer at Grant Thornton, Jamie Fowler is confident that Inter.x has a straightforward outlook that is able to investigate missed chances while identifying scenarios where the transactions haven’t complied with company standards.

The platform will also give the companies the ability to make quick decisions as opposed to the traditional bureaucratic approach that took effect monthly or even annually. The users of Inter.x could now trace transactions by following a trail that is practically unforgeable ensuring data integrity.

Coming up with the exact volume for their intercompany proceedings may prove to be a daunting task according to their spokesperson. However, the company made an estimated $1.9 billion in income for the last financial year according to the press release. This represents a gradual annual growth of 5.4% which according to the CEO, Bradley Preber was attributed by their combining of cutting edge tech and their business expertise to deliver value to clients.

“We posted historic revenues last year… By combining technology solutions with business knowledge we’re helping clients drive efficiencies, lower risk and improve quality”

The EOS.io 2.0 Update

Notably, the development firm behind the EOS Blockchain, Block.one released the EOS.io 2.0. this January barely three months after they released their previous version. This is the software on which the EOS Blockchain runs on. It has been reported that the EOS.io 2.0 outperforms its predecessor by up to 16 times which is even faster than Ethereum.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Microsoft Files Patent To Mine Cryptocurrencies With Verified Body Activity Data

Giant software manufacturer, Microsoft is seeking to capitalize on the new crypto hype. The firm is seeking to introduce its own cryptocurrency that will be mined using human energy replacing the costly mining process that is used today, Bitcoinist reports.

As per patent documents, the proposed Microsoft cryptocurrency will utilize body activity data. The company states that this will allow individuals in mining getting rid of the ASICs. The patent states that various forms of human body activities like the heat produced when a user executes different tasks online can be used in mining and be used as a proof-of-work. Microsoft explains:

“A brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing an advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

The documents goes on to explain that body activities will help in replacing intense computation work that must be used in various crypto systems. Users will be able to solve computationally challenges unconsciously serving as proof-of-work.

As per te patent documents, various tasks will increase or reduce the computational energy in regards to the activity being generated. Use of human body activity data for mining will work via a server which will command through wearable devices. The crypto system which is linked to the user’s device will then verify if the body activity meets the set conditions of the crypto system. Crypto will then be awarded to the user.

Currently, Microsoft is yet to reveal if the new cryptocurrency will be developed on a blockchain network or the company will develop its own framework. Similarly, it is not also clear if the new crypto project will happen soon.

The innovation comes at a time when crypto mining has been on the spotlight for excessive use of energy. It is claimed that the Proof-of-Work system utilizes more energy compared to Chile. The new system will also help in dealing with e-waste problems in the crypto space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Toyota Blockchain Lab To Focus On Expanding Partnerships To Drive DLT Adoption

Japanese automaker giant Toyota has announced various blockchain enterprises which are meant to digitalize and revolutionize the automotive sector.

As per a press statement released by the company, Toyota Blockchain Lab has conducted various successful trials where one of them aims at tokenizing the vehicles as well as ownership rights within the blockchain technology.

Toyota Blockchain Lab was started in April last year with the task of integrating blockchain within the giant Toyota’s infrastructure. The press release reiterated this initiative revealing that various enterprises are in the works while some collaborations are being forged.

At the moment, Toyota is utilizing blockchain technology for its clients as well as vehicle initiatives. The company revealed the ‘value digitalization’ where the aim is to increase financing techniques through asset tokenization in both vehicles as well as owner rights. The press statement stated:

“Toyota Blockchain Lab has been examining plans for promising applications for use and promoting demonstration trials while accumulating Group knowledge. It is also engaging in global collaboration with Group companies, including Toyota Research Institute.”

The firm also stated that some of the aspects it is working on are ID sharing as well as digitalization of clients’ contracts as some of the areas the blockchain technology will be employed. The firm also cited that it will overhaul its supply chain where blockchain will be used to record as well as share data regarding the parts manufactured as well as shipping. Other potential applications comprise vehicle transaction details for tolls, electric charging as well as parking. Blockchain is also expected to be used for car-sharing, Decrypt reports.

The press statement also gave details about the Toyota Woven City initiative which will be powered through hydrogen as well as smart technology. The Woven City project was launched in January and is set to weave together various technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. The announcement stated that this will be a great opportunity to build a city from ground-up where future technologies will be the driving forces for all the city’s infrastructure.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Binance.US Rolls Out Tezos Trading Today; XTZ To Be Paired With USD and BUSD

Binance.US, the US branch of the giant crypto trading platform Binance Exchange, is set to kick-off trading of Tezos (XTZ) tokens starting March 16th, Finance Magnates reports.

As per a blog post released by Binance US, the listing will kick off with an offering of XTZ/USD as well as XTZ/BUSD starting exactly at 9.00am EST. The firm also clarified that it started to accept XTZ deposits from Sunday, March 15. Consequently, clients can only make withdrawals once the trading starts.

According to the official blog post, for a client to either deposit or exchange USD for XTZ, they must meet the fiat verification rules as well as the basic and other advanced identity verification within its platform.

XTZ token is the main cryptocurrency for the Tezos blockchain project. By publication time, XTZ was trading at $1.31. This was after shedding off at least 18 percent of its value for the last 24 hours. The token has also fallen by more than 50% of its value from it’s all-time high in February this year that was $3.90. By February, Tezos was also ranked as the tenth biggest crypto by market cap.

Tezos is a brainchild of Arthur and Kathleen Breitman which was founded in 2014 and registered in Switzerland. The firm conducted its ICO in mid 2017 raking in more than $232 million.

The Tezos project was highly affected by a spat between Johann Gevers, Tezos Foundation former head, and the Breitmans which was highly publicized. The dispute affected the project’s timeline leading to various class-action lawsuits.

However, last year, the project recovered after securing the backing of high-profile industry players like Tim Draper which led to a rise in its staking component. According to Cointelegraph, there are various investors who have indicated interest in different projects that are currently developing on the blockchain or will kick off soon.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Leading French Bank, BNP Paribas, is Blocking Transfers to Coinbase Crypto Exchange

International French banking giant, BNP Paribas, is allegedly blocking funds transferred to Coinbase crypto exchange. According to one of the bank’s clients, this action began just recently given they could use BNP Paribas as an intermediary at the beginning of March.

Speaking to news site Cointelegraph, the client preferred to stay anonymous but shed light on this development in detail. Most notably, was a response they got from the BNP Paribas customer service in regards to Coinbase’s transfer issue. The bank, through one of its representatives, said that it was considered an illegal operation. It further cited privacy coin, Monero, crypto scams, and malware as the reasons for cutting financial interactions with Coinbase.

Reports, however, indicate that Coinbase is the only crypto exchange suffering the BNP Paribas wrath. The anonymous client also highlighted that they did not receive any prior warnings from the bank relating to the matter.

The move by BNP is not an unprecedented one within the volatile crypto market. Popular banks like JP Morgan and Citi have in the past implemented limits to crypto operations; the most significant one yet is the credit card ban for digital asset purchases back in 2018.

Bulgarian banks also took similar measures during the 2017 bull run which saw Bitcoin hit the highs of $20,000. They basically terminated some accounts that were run by crypto exchanges.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Admits To Testing Clearview’s Controversial Facial Recognition Software

The California-based crypto exchange giant, Coinbase, has admitted to using the controversial facial recognition software developed by Clearview.

According to BuzzFeed, which obtained an internal document from the New York-based AI company – Clearview – shows that the company has, so far, partnered with over 2,000 firms and authorities globally through the sale of its still controversial technology or through mutual sharing.

The company is currently facing a number of legal threats from organizations like Google and Apple.

Clearview’s facial recognition software, alongside its current operations, have faced intense scrutiny after the New York Times published a story indicating that the startup’s database contained over three billion images scraped from various websites and social media networks without the awareness or consent from users or publishers.

Hoan Ton-That, Clearview’s CEO, had indicated that the technology had only been used by law enforcement agencies, with the firm only working with organizations in the United States and Canada.

However, an anonymous source has since exposed the whole list of Clearview’s clients from over 26 nations.

The list includes renowned businesses like Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s as well as banks, universities, government agencies, high schools and various police departments.

However, it is the inclusion of Coinbase that is surprising to the majority of crypto enthusiasts since the industry is driven by the need to have privacy.

A spokesperson for Coinbase has explained to BuzzFeed that the exchange was a test of the technology for security purposes as well as compliance. She explained, that Coinbase’s use of Clearview’s AI as a potential security framework.

“We used Clearview to see if the service could meaningfully bolster our efforts to protect employees and offices against physical threats and investigate fraud.”

The spokesperson went on to say that the exchange has yet to make any commitments on the use of this technology.

Coinbase is no stranger to user privacy issues, having previously been forced to clarify that it didn’t sell clients’ data after a top executive admitted that a former analyst had sold clients’ data to third parties.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin Got its Own Emoji on Twitter, Jack Dorsey Wants Unicode to Add Too

Social media giant Twitter has released a Bitcoin emoji that comes up every time you type hashtag Bitcoin.

This really isn’t surprising given that it’s CEO Jack Dorsey is a Bitcoin proponent who believes the world’s leading cryptocurrency could be one day the currency of the Internet.

In his Tweet, Dosey CC’d the latest development to Unicode, the world standard for text and emoji, whose idea is that “everyone in the world should be able to use their own language on phones and computers.”

The letter B with two vertical strokes ₿ which is used to represent Bitcoin was approved in 2017 as a Unicode character, after being rejected in 2011, but not as an emoji. The first time Bitcoin sign appeared in Unicode 10.0 in 2017 and as of June 2017, font support for the sign was released in macOS, iOS, Android O beta, Windows 10 Creators Update, and several Linux ones.

Dorsey’s new bio has also been changed to highlight this latest development “#bitcoin”

In the meantime, the #Bitcoin hashtag with the emoji has been trending on Twitter.

Bitcoin enthusiast Rhythm Trader took to Twitter to share that this new development reflects, “Bitcoin is magic internet money.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance to Launch Korean Support Center After Investing in BxB Crypto Exchange

Crypto exchange giant Binance has made an investment in a South Korea-based startup and is preparing to launch a support center in the country.

As reported by CoinDesk Korea, the exchange has taken a stake of 500 million won ($432,000) in BxB, the fintech firm that launched the Korean won (KRW) back in 2019. Aside from the investment, an agreement was signed that BxB is going to support Binance to operate a brand-new support center for its South Korean Binance.com users.

The Investment Came Straight from Binance

Contrary to expectations, the investment wasn’t made through Binance Labs, which is Binance’s incubator arm. It came straight from the company, even if Binance Labs had previously made an investment in the South Korean firm Tera. This is what Binance’s CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, had to say about the new partnership:

“We are continuously working with local partners across regions to jointly realize our shared mission in furthering cryptocurrency adoption globally. This investment is another step forward in exploring avenues of growth in Korea, which is an industry-leading market strongly positioned to stimulate blockchain innovation throughout Asia.”

Binance Co. Ltd. Registered with Korean Authorities

Back in October last year, Binance publicly made an acknowledgment of its South Korean entity Binance Co. Ltd., which is registered with local authorities. This subsidiary is going to operate the support center together with BxB, not to mention Binance has even bigger and more plans for it. CZ said,

“Binance is currently developing a future plan for the Korean market with BxB. We are reviewing what kind of business Binance Co., Ltd. will carry out in Korea, in addition to operating the customer support center.”

KRW and BNB To Be Linked?

One of Binance Co. Ltd.’s representatives says it’s possible for the KRW stablecoin launched by BxB to link with the BNB token from Binance so that trading on the exchange’s platform to be made easier, seeing it doesn’t have a gateway for the Koran won yet. Binance and BxB collaborated in July last year too, when Binance set up another entity in South Korea.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Chinese Tech Giant Baidu Has Rolls Out Its Open-Sourced XuperChain Blockchain Network

Internet giant Baidu has just released its own cryptocurrency called Xuperchain. The news comes as China is preparing for launching the Yuan digital currency.

According to finance.ifeng.com, Baidu’s Xuperchain has just been launched on January 6 with the Open Network, which is designed to empower SMEs and developers. The Open Network is a blockchain basic service network built on Baidu’s completely self-developed open source technology. It consists of masternodes distributed throughout the country and complies with Chinese standards. More than this, it provides users the proper environment for rapid deployment and operation of blockchain applications, and for computing.

Masternodes Indicate a Decentralized Network

Operating on masternodes, the Open Network is decentralized and can be included in the high-performance blockchains category. The network’s whitepaper says it can support over 10,000 transactions per second and that Baidu has developed 50 blockchain platform patents for it. The Xuperchain blockchain’s underlying code is available on GitHub, as it has been made open source back in May 2019. Besides, there’s also a Xuperchain block explorer, so the transactions made on the network can be seen by anyone.

Xuperchain Platform to Modernize China’s Governance Capacity

The Xuperchain platform is especially designed for blockchain-based apps like Ethereum. Its whitepaper says it’s meant to modernize the governance capacity of China by helping the country bring other nations into the process of developing blockchain technologies. The whitepaper also discusses to the 13th 5-Year National Informatization Plan, which talks about blockchain-based tech and has been elaborated in 2016.

Xuperchain is Flexible and Has a Low Threshold

Based on Baidu ’s completely self-developed and open-source XuperChain technology, XuperChain meets the Chinese blockchain standards requirements. It’s flexible and convenient as it has a low threshold. Besides, it offers reduced costs for flexible payments. With flexible payment capabilities for computing and storage resources, easier billing can be achieved on demand and by volume.

The Xuperchain blockchain has been launched rather soon after President Xi Jinping has held a speech in which it encourages blockchain development and expresses his hopes that China will be part of it.

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Author: Oana Ularu