Society2 to Launch IOTA Based Decentralized Social Media Platform; Exchange Privacy for MIOTA

Society2, a new decentralized social media initiative by IOTA is trying to change the way the user’s personal data is handled on the internet.

The project called DeSM aims to help consumers regain control of their data and make social media a truly private experience. Though this project, IOTA node owners would be able to run their own social media websites and applications.

Today any internet-based service or application has become a sophisticated data phishing portal where they track and collect user’s personal data on the behest of offering their service.

Social media services, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or similar other services collect every possible data of the user like their locations, their call record, their search history and then sell it to the highest bidder without any moral check. This not only puts the user’s interest and privacy at danger but if it falls in the wrong hands it can be conveniently used to harass the user as well.

While there have been many decentralized social media initiatives, they never enjoyed widespread adoption and Society2’s team is looking to change the factor.

The developer team has started to develop an IOTA-based DeSM framework that would enable new privacy standards and how the user’s data is shared between social media platforms. Ben Royce, head of development at Society2 said:

“SOCIETY2’s framework is very different from existing social networks. An owner of an IOTA node can run a social media site or app as easily as downloading an open-source template from a menu, customize it or not.”

The developer team has promised that the decentralized social media solution would come with privacy and security controls, which are not available on current, more centralised platforms.

In fact, present social media platforms make it extremely difficult for anyone to read or get notified about privacy policy changes and bury this information at the bottom which can’t be easily found by those unfamiliar with technology and the importance of privacy.

Society2 Users can Decide Who Can Access Their Private Data

The decentralized social media platform would not only give total control of user’s data in their hand, but would also give them the power to decide who can access it, and in return, they receive micropayments and rewards in IOTA.

The social media platform would be strictly based on IOTA’s framework, utilizing its peer-to-peer micropayments system in case a user is ready to offer their data to advisors.

Rayce also revealed that the decentralized social media solution would only support the IOTA token since they believe that the IOTA framework is best suited for such an initiative, having the scalability and security to assure it of being successful.

Society2 Would Work on Top of IOTA Streams

Society2 would not only use the IOTA currency as the fuel for its network, but its framework would work on top of IOTA’s distributed Ledger Technology – called IOTA Streams.

IOTA Streams is a framework for cryptographic applications which would enable social media content encryption and distribution.

The Society2 project was officially launched this week and is expected to deliver an early prototype for DeSM system by Q3 of 2020 for community feedback.

The development team behind the project also believes that the framework for the decentralized social media solution could also be utilized by modern-day social media giants like Twitter. Joseph Skewes, the project’s head of operations said:

“Twitter recently funded the independent team bluesky, which is researching the decentralized social media landscape for a standard that Twitter itself could eventually use. A framework like SOCIETY2 may develop into a suitable candidate for such a platform.”

Skews comments towards the use of their DeSM framework by Twitter could have been inspired by an announcement made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey towards the end of 2020, where he revealed that they have funded a developer team to develop decentralized standards for social media.

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Author: James W

Japan’s FSA Rolls Out New Initiative (BGIN) To Create ‘Open and Neutral’ Blockchain Dev

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), has announced the launch of the Blockchain Governance Initiative Network (BGIN). The regulator revealed this at the “BG2C – Special Online Broadcasting Panel Discussion,” held in collaboration with Nikkei on March 10.

According to Georgetown University Professor, Dr. Shin’ichiro Matsuo, this project is meant to create a sustainable ecosystem for blockchain tech development. The fundamental idea is to develop an open network that can facilitate dialogue between industry stakeholders.

Apart from a communication avenue, BGIN will serve as an archive for academic research and development on distributed ledgers. The project is set to create a common language which will enhance interaction and sharing of perspectives amongst network stakeholders like the JFSA;

“an open and neutral sphere for all blockchain stakeholders to deepen common understanding”

These developments are part of the G20 Osaka declaration where the JFSA spearheaded research initiatives around blockchain. The roundtable took place back in 2019 and prominent regulators across the world were in attendance. Some notable mentions include the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, and France.

Given Japan’s advanced crypto laws, BGIN is more likely to complement regulatory development so far. This open network will take blockchain discussions to distributed ledgers which means more input and consolidation within the industry.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Square Crypto Launches Lightning Development Kit ‘LDK’ To Boost Adoption Of The Network

The crypto initiative started by the payment firm Square and called Square Crypto has announced on Tuesday the launch of its first product.

This product is a Lightning Development Kit (LDK) that’s meant to help the integration of Lightning with developers’ Bitcoin (BTC) wallet applications. It includes demo apps, language bindings, an API and many other elements that should make the Lightning integration safe, easy and simple to configure, says a blog post published by the group.

Square Crypto Took a Few Other Projects into Consideration

Square Crypto has mentioned that it took a few other projects into consideration, but that it finally concluded a Lightning-Network integration project for wallets is necessary, as developer are demanding it. This is what the company’s blog posted reads further:

“We spoke with dozens of wallet developers. What we heard was a desire for flexibility when integrating Lightning. Wallets and applications require different key store and backup mechanisms, security approaches, UX tradeoffs, and more. That means the solution is building for more wallets, not fewer.”

The Kit’s Release Not Yet Announced

The tools included in the kit intend to give developers an improved user experience, Square Crypto saying that:

“For bitcoin to become a widely used global currency – one that can’t be stopped, tampered with, or rigged in anyone’s favor – improvements to bitcoin’s UX, security, privacy, and scaling are required.”

It seems the kit is still getting built and a date for its release hasn’t been yet revealed. What’s sure is that today’s Lightning infrastructure is not complete and could sure use some more features. Back in December 2019, Square Crypto announced that it’s offering grants to a Lightning developer working part-time, in order to provide support for his work. Earlier in September, it hired 3 new team members, out of which 2 have experience with Lightning.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Jack Dorsey’s Square Crypto To Invest $100,00 In The “Future Of Money”

The crypto initiative of payment company Square, Square crypto recently announced that they are allocating $100,000 on grants to the BTCPay Foundation.

Square integrated bitcoin in 2018, when its Cash App began selling the cryptocurrency to users. This service generated over $190 million in revenue over the first two quarters of this year, yielding shy of $3 million in gross profit. Dorsey said Square’s exposure to various payment methods could help the company “weather storms,” referring to economic downturns.

The announcement for the news said:

“BTCPay represents everything we love about open-source bitcoin projects. It exemplifies the ideals of our community and promotes adoption by letting merchants accept bitcoin, control their private keys, and self-validate their coins. It also creates powerful real-world applications for bitcoin without sacrificing user experience or requiring trusted third parties.”

In an earlier interview, Dorsey had said:

“In the long term it will help us be more and more like an internet company where we can launch a product … and the whole world can use it, instead of having to go from market to market, to bank to bank to bank and from regulatory body to the regulatory body.”

Square’s Cash App is reportedly testing a free stock trading service. In a recent interview, Dorsey revealed that the company was hiring five open-source engineers to work entirely on making the crypto ecosystem better.

Steve Lee, Square Crypto’s project manager had earlier said in an interview:

“We are very, very pro-Bitcoin. There is more than enough work for us to do there. That said, we are open to emerging use cases and technologies that complement Bitcoin.”

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

ICO Startup GXChain (GXC) Offices Reportedly Shut Down By Chinese Police; Execs Being Interrogated

GXChain, A Chinese-based initial coin offering (ICO) initiative, have just had their offices clamped by the Hangzhou local police.

According to Bitcoin influencer and co-founder of Primitive Ventures it seems the GXChain team is having some legal issues. Using her Twitter account, Dovey was able to relay the news to the world by posting a photo of the startup’s offices which were taped closed, probably by the Chinese police, and stating that GXChain had been shut down by the Chinese police.

Dovey also wondered why GXChain had been clamped as she believes it has an authentic business. Dovey, however, quipped that the reason for the clampdown could have been triggered by the startup’s core business of trading individuals processed credit data saying that the venture is very sensitive in China. GXChain has in the past sometimes blurred the lines of privacy in a similar manner to Facebook and that could likely be the cause.

Dovey also updated her followers stating that the entire managerial team of GXChain had been picked up by Hangzhou local police for interrogations.

GXChain was started in 2017 and was rated as one of the hot ICOs of the year. The startup were successful in reaching their hardcap just a few hours after its ICO went live. The company sold approximately 24,510,000 GXC tokens and in the process raising about $144,000,000 USD after the end of ICO.

The company refers to itself as the ‘blockchain for the global data economy’ and comprises of a decentralized data marketplace that offers various forms of data to numerous enterprises in China.

Compared to many ICOs that came up in 2017, GXChain is one of the few legit projects that kept its promise. They maintained a team that kept working to ensure the project was successful even after the ICO was over. Despite being one of the authentic ICOs of 2017, the Chinese police are now after them.

Cointelegraph reports that the Chinese police are also actively investigating a non-custodial token trading platform EtherDelta in relation to a suspected exit scam.

Although it is not yet clear what the Hangzhou police are looking for in GXChain, keep it here for more details as the story unravels.

Latest update from who’s close with Hangzhou local police – all executives of GXchain are now with the police for interrogation

— Dovey Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) September 11, 2019

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Coinbase Introduces USDC Bootstrap Fund To Support DeFi Projects; Investing $2M In Compound & dYdX

Coinbase has introduced a new initiative dubbed USDC Bootstrap Fund and just as the name suggests, the firm intends to boost developers with a fund in terms of USDC tokens.

In a blog post, the crypto exchange said that the new fund will be used to enhance developments of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. The new initiative ‘USDC Bootstrap’ will only invest in DeFi based projects using its stablecoin USDC.

DeFi is a relatively fresh concept in the blockchain sphere which can be described as the conventional financial products that you could get from a financial institution like lending or derivatives that have been developed on top of a blockchain. In other words, DeFi protocols consist of smart contracts that are governed by codes and the protocol on which they’re built on.

CoinDesk reports that after several deliberations with DeFi platform developers, the exchange says it realized that liquidity or availability of funds to borrow was one of the urgent needs for DeFi based initiatives. The exchange hopes that through grants, it will boost the development of the DeFi ecosystem.

To kickstart the initiative, Coinbase announced that it was investing 1 million USDC each in Compound as well as dYdX. However, unlike the Coinbase Ventures where investments are made in startups for an equity stake, the Bootstrap fund is designed to add to a protocol’s lending pool where interest will be returned after counterparties borrow from it.

Zhuoxun Yin, dYdX operations head, the most challenging aspect in the development of a new DeFi protocol is attracting borrowing demand. however, the addition of USDC to the lending pools will help to lower the interest rates and embolden clients to borrow more USDC.

Head of Bootstrap Fund Nemil Dalal explained that boosting lending protocols will help in the growth and development of DeFi, which is an area of much interest for Coinbase. In the recent past, Coinbase venture also invested in different DeFi protocols such as Dharma and BlockFi. Dalal explained that Coinbase was interested in enhancing decentralized finance within the banking industry.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Hashed Helps Dapp.com Raise a $1 Million to Help Boost User Base and Korea Expansion

Dapp.com raised a million dollars in the last week in an investment initiative that was led by Hashed. For those not in the know, Hashed is a South Korean based blockchain company and Du Capital. Dapp.com provides data analysis for all decentralized application products that have been built on the blockchain product, e.g., Steem, Tron, Ethereum, EOS, and BTC.

Kyle Lu, the CEO, and Founder of Dapp.com stated that the amount raised would go towards expanding into new markets. He went on to state that the company would use the money to expand into new Korean markets as well as to continue seeking new opportunities.

Hashed, which was launched 2 years ago (2017) is currently one of the biggest investment companies in South Korea. Some of its past investments have included Oasis Labs, Quark Chain, and Handshake.

DappRader, a leading competitor also closed its founding week in the past one week. Blockchain.com and Naspers were the leading investors.

History

Founded in 2017, Hashed reached the quarter-billion-dollar mark in May 2018. That was slightly over 18 months after it was launched. It sought to distinguish itself from all the other players in the crypto market by accelerating and concentrating on big crypto projects in the Korean market.

Started with only $600k, it right now manages over $250 million in capital and assets. The company is managed by a very small team that includes investment professionals, serial entrepreneurs, and engineers.

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Author: Daniel Jimenez

Casa Announces Node Heartbreaks to Encourage Maintenance of Bitcoin (BTC) Nodes

Casa, an important Bitcoin (BTC) startup, has recently started a new initiative to encourage its users to check the status of their BTC nodes more regularly. The Node Heartbreaks program can be used to see if a node is working properly and, according to the company, it does this in a quick, secure and private way.

The program works like this: Casa sends a brief connection from its main servers to the node and checks whether it is online or not. If it is, the connection will be complete and the so-called heartbeat will be sent back. This new service will only work with Casa nodes, obviously.

The Heartbeat SatsBack Reward program is being launched today as well. The program will work together with Node Heartbreaks. Each time the users check their nodes, they will receive 0.0001 BTC, which is around a dollar. They will be able to do it five times a week.

According to the company, no IP data or router details are collected, so people will be able to remain private even by checking the network.

As long as the nodes are operational, people will still be able to keep receiving the rewards. According to the CEO of Casa, Jeremy Welch, this is important in order to create a more healthy network.

The nodes are needed to validate the network, so they need to be working properly. With constant validation, any problem will be found quickly and the efficiency of the whole process will increase over time.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

FINRA’s Friendly Reminder Towards Firms to Keep Regulators Updated of Crypto Activities

FINRA’s Friendly Reminder Towards Firms to Keep Regulators Updated of Crypto Activities

Back in 2018, FINRA first revealed an initiative in which member firms had to notify of their current and planned activities involving crypto activities (i.e. cryptocurrencies and any other forms of digital assets). In particular, the former requested that said communication should be made as an ongoing effort.

As for the notifying of activities, this supposedly falls under the issuance of Regulatory Notice 18-20, in which firms are supposed to update the Regulatory Coordinator in terms of their involvement in cryptocurrencies, as well as those that are deemed non-securities.

Keeping constant updates was supposed to last until July 31, 2019. However, this has since been extended until July 31, 2020.

Consequences that Arise from Failing to Abide by FINRA

News outlet, Bits Online, also reported on this matter and has since disclosed that member firms that have failed to abide by FINRA have had severe consequences. The example of Arthur Breitman, Co-Founder of Tezos, was provided in which the former issued a fine of USD$20,000 to the latter.

The justification for such a fine stems from Breitman’s failure to disclose details regarding Tezos while working at Morgan Stanley roughly four to five years ago. In addition to the fine, Breitman was not allowed to associate with broker dealers for two years.

Ultimately, it is evident that FINRA is on the watch and businesses should consider the disadvantages that arise from not complying.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Facebook Is Looking To Achieve Global Regulatory Compliance as Libra Vies for New York BitLicense

Facebook-Is-Looking-To-Achieve-Global-Regulatory-Compliance-Company-Applied-for-New-York-BitLicense

Facebook’s Libra coin, the new initiative from the company in order to create its own crypto and bring a frictionless and globally-available currency to all its clients is looking to get the New York BitLicense, considered the hardest regulatory approval to get in the United States.

The company is taking all the steps to appease regulators all over the world before the launch of Libra, but many experts seem to be concerned that the company will not have a fully successful enterprise this time.

In order to achieve its global regulatory compliance, Facebook will have to carefully deal with central banks and financial regulators from several countries. This will involve thousands of officers from dozens of countries.

According to Sean Park, the founder of CIO of Anthemis, a venture capital company, Facebook is far from having won the battle so far. This is not to say that the company has not made any kind of progress. Calibra, the subsidiary that will oversee the token and its wallet, has been already registered with the U. S. Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN), for instance.

Trying to obtain the BitLicense from New York’s Department of Financial Services is another smart move because it generally takes a long time and Facebook may even get rejected, so the company needs to work very carefully here.

Obviously, Facebook is not only dealing with U. S.-based regulators. The company has already been talking with Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Bank of England and FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator. Recently, the Russian Ministry of Finance also affirmed that Libra will be treated just like any other token in the country, too.

Facebook Will Not Get A Free Pass

Even if Facebook is right in making all these steps as soon as possible, the company is far from having a free pass, in Park’s opinion. As soon as the product is launched, the authorities of the United States, European Union and India are going to be looking closely to the new coin.

The Central Bank of Singapore also seemed somewhat skeptic of the token and affirmed that it would require more information about the project before being able to allow it.

As you may know, Facebook is also being accused of leaking private information, so the global confidence in the company is far from high right now. If Facebook already had troubles with regulators, things are bound to take a turn for the worse with Libra.

Obviously, it should be remembered that Libra is not set out to be the new Facebook Coin. The new token is also managed by the Libra Association, which contains companies such as Uber, Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and others and is based in Geneva.

While Facebook is expecting the scrutiny, nobody knows how harsh the global regulators will actually be. The Bank of International Settlements, for instance, is already expected to place some restrictions on this new currency. The chair of the Financial Stability Board, Randal Quarles, is also reported to have affirmed that the company needs bigger scrutiny in order to be allowed to launch Libra.

According to representatives from Facebook, Libra is not planning to acquire any local banking licenses and all the value that the token will have will come from investment in government bonds and currencies, just like governments do with their sovereign fiat currencies.

These reserves, as affirmed by a Representative of the company to Reuters, will also fully follow the monetary policies of the countries that hold these assets.

At the moment, not a lot is known about Facebook’s ability to discover money laundering and tax evasion or fraud, so the company will have to take care of that before it can be whitelisted by international regulators which are often worried about this kind of question.

Jeff Bandman, a former U. S. Commodies Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) executive, has affirmed that Facebook has not yet fully considered the position that it is taking. To him, the company will use this year to figure that out and to narrow (and rescale) its project.

He affirmed this because he believes that such a huge project in an attempt to disrupt the global financial system is a very audacious plan and it has to be laid out well if it is supposed to work.

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Author: Gabriel Machado