SpaceChain’s New Milestone: First-Ever Demo of Blockchain Tech on the International Space Station

On Monday, December 5, 2019, community-based space and blockchain-focused platform, SpaceChain sent its blockchain hardware wallet technology to the International Space Station (ISS). As per the press release, this endeavor is the first ever ISS demonstration to date and was achieved as part of the CRS-19 commercial resupply service mission.

This is definitely a milestone for SpaceChain, as the blockchain hardware is said to be installed in Nanoracks’ commercial platform on Station, making it the third blockchain payload containing crucial information about a transaction sent into space by the team.

What happens once everything has been activated? The entirety of this move is said to establish receipts, authorizations, and retransmission of blockchain transactions. Moreover, SpaceChain’s multi-signature satellite wallet requires multiple approvals to complete transactions. This was done to not only secure the transfer of funds but also to make the process faster.

Speaking in regard to this venture is the Co-Founder and CEO of SpaceChain, Zee Zhang, who noted that the third payload launch is just the beginning of the possible development of a New Space Economy. It was further emphasized that:

“The integration of space and blockchain technologies has uncovered new possibilities and opportunities and we are very excited about the prospect of working closely with financial service providers, fintech and Bitcoin developers…”

According to Jeff Garzik, Co-Founder and CTO of SpaceChain, “Blockchain is the next major disruptor in space… Through integrating technologies, new paradigms that were once beyond reach can now be created and add exciting elements in the New Space Economy.”

SpaceChain was awarded funding from the ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions just months ago to explore different use cases for its satellite blockchain technology. Before this launch, SpaceChain was able to develop an open-source OS and flight-tested two blockchain nodes into space within a year’s time. To completely achieve the goal behind the third payload, and for the team to check it off their list of tasks, the testing is expected to done by early 2020.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

CR7’s Club Juventus Football Club Debuts Its Crypto-Based Token for Its Fans

As the Crypto industry continues to expand, the sporting industry has found its way into the crypto space. Football clubs are launching their blockchain-based fan-based tokens as a way of interacting with their fans all over the world. Socios.com, a token-powered platform fan voting in sports, has partnered with several football clubs to develop club branded token for their fans.

The tokens are then made available to the fans through Socios.com App at different prices. Among clubs venturing into tokenized fanbase in partnership with Socios.com include Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Atlético de Madrid, and Juventus, which recently launched its crypto-powered token $JUV through Socios.com.

Juventus Football Club’s token will allow fans to vote on some of the club’s decisions. This way, Juventus can accumulate a voting power of up to 400 million fans globally. $JUV is available through Socios.com App for €2 currently or $2.2.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s club, Juventus, is planning to use its tokenized fanbase platform to vote on the song to be played at Allianz Stadium every time the team scores a goal. The club wants to replace their current song, Alexandre Dreyfus, and the newly voted song will be played from next year.

“We happy and proud of being the first club to launch a club-branded token through the Socios.com platform. This will be a new way of interactions with our fans globally, “noted Giorgio Ricci, the revenue chief officer of Juventus.

Socios is also planning to launch trading pairs $PSG/CHZ and $JUV/CHZ, among others, during Q1 of 2020, allowing football fans to trade the tokens. $CHZ is Socios’ token, Chiliz, and has already been listed on Binance cryptocurrency exchange for $0.0011 each piece.

Other clubs are also planning on joining the platform to tokenize their fanbase. According to The Block, Socios.com has six similar deals to be executed by the first quarter of 2020. A.S Roma, Galatasaray, and West Ham United are lined up for February 2020, while Atletico de Madrid and PSG will be launching their token towards the end of January 2020.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Overstock Shareholders Stake Their Claim To Lead Class Action Lawsuit Over tZERO Controversy

Overstock, an e-commerce giant that ventured into the decentralized space with its tZero platform is at the center of a class-action lawsuit filed against it on September 27 this year. The lawsuit accuses Overstock of security fraud and the firm is currently facing 5 cases against it. Several investors this week filed their motion to consolidate on these cases.

A total of 8 former and current shareholders have expressed their desire to lead the lawsuit which includes the likes of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Block & Leviton LLP, Bragar Eagel & Squire PC, Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP, and Kahn Swick & Foti LLC, Levi & Korsinsky LLP, Pomerantz LLP, Bernstein Liebhard LLP.

Benjamin Ha from Block & Leviton LLP claimed that Overstock purposely created a tZero platform to punish short-sellers who sold their Overstock shares. Overstock’s shares have been on a continuous decline along with its dominance in the home goods e-commerce market.

Investors claim tZero was created to artificially inflate the Overstock share price

The lawsuit claimed that Overstock’s dismal performance in its e-commerce market along with declining share prices forced the firm to create a tZero exchange to give it’s business some more time.

Ha claimed that the firm has been struggling to keep up with Wayfair.com and hasn’t recorded any profit in the past three years.

“According to the suit, in September, investors discovered that the company “had engineered the tZERO offering as revenge upon short-sellers and tried to create a short squeeze by offering a digital token dividend that would not be registered and could not be resold for at least six months.”

The tumbling of Overstock shares

The firm had put a tZero digital token dividend lock because of which short-sellers couldn’t hand off their stock even after selling their shares. tZero did rise as high as $27 at one point but soon the investment banks declared that they would not accept the tZero dividend and instead accept cash. The news tumbled the price of the crypto token and Overstock promised to register their stock to end the lockup.

The problems started to creep up right after that, The first company’s CEO Patrick Byrne resigned from his position and liquidated $90 million worth of his Overstock shares. Then the very next month in September when the firm presented its financial report, it was found that the firm misrepresented its financial prospects which tumbled their share prices by 50%.

Byrne stated that the main cause of his departure was not being able to get corporate insurance. He explained,

“The proximate cause for my departure was, in fact, the impossibility of our getting corporate insurance with me still at the helm. Just as we learned in Game of Thrones that behind the scenes the Iron Bank makes the big decisions, in Corporate America insurance companies get the last say.”

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Author: James W

Singapore’s HBSC To Launch Bond Registry Pilot Using DLT; Partnering With Temasek And SGX

One of the largest banks in the world is delving into the decentralized ledger technologies (DLT) space to offer fixed income securities on the blockchain. Singapore’s HSBC announced a partnership with Singapore Exchange (SGX), a leading exchange in debt and fixed income assets, and Temasek, a company with a net portfolio value of $231 billion USD, to launch a bond issuance platform on DLT in Asian markets.

HSBC partners with SGX and Temasek Investments

The Asian bond market is witnessing absurd growth in the past year or so as investors look towards non-volatile investments. According to the Asian bond monitor index, at the end of June, there was $15.3 trillion in local currency bonds outstanding in the region, 3.5% more than at the end of March and 14.2% more than in June 2018. While the space experiences high growth, the service, and infrastructure remain inefficient rendering the process slow and expensive.

In a turn to innovation, HSBC will launch a pilot project applying smart contracts and tokenized securities to streamline the bond industry. Chief Executive Officer at HSBC Singapore, Tony Cripps, is looking forward to the use of blockchain to explore possible digital bond contracts. In the partnership with SGX and Temasek, he said,

“The potential of DLT is an evolving story, and its role in overcoming inefficiencies in the fixed income market is yet to be seen. Only by collaborating with market participants will we fully understand its actual viability.”

Adding to the comments, Lee Beng Hong, Head of Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities at SGX, said,

“Having HSBC and Temasek on board will enable us to evaluate holistically whether smart contracts and DLT can solve some of the long-standing challenges in the fixed income issuance ecosystem.”

HSBC Deeply Rooted on Blockchain Technologies

In June, the bank sent out a letter to its customers educating them on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, a move that signaled better things to come. Since then the company has integrated blockchain to reduce transaction times by over 40% and became the first bank to complete the first yuan-denominated letter of credit transaction on the blockchain.

In October, the Malaysian subsidiary, HSBC Malaysia, sent its first-ever letter of credit across the border to Singapore cutting transaction times by 90 percent.

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Author: Lujan Odera

The Story Behind the Renowned Icelandic, “Big Bitcoin Heist”: From Mastermind to Execution

Iceland is known for having the world’s largest bitcoin mine. Given so much space and low electricity, it is a spot that most eye when it comes to Bitcoin mining. However, the country is also known for having witnessed five crypto data centers that were broken into in a span of two months reports Vanity Fair. The accumulated loss? A gross $2 million. Turns out, 60% of them had a crew in common, led by mastermind, Sindri Thor Stefansson and his partner in crime, Hafthor Logi Hlynsson.

Who is Sindri Thor Stefansson?

Stefansson (32) is considered the mastermind of what Iceland calls the “Big Bitcoin Heist,” and many know him as being a famous thief. In the interview with the news outlet, Stefansson seems to be pleased with the work he’s done, stating:

“It’s the biggest burglary in the history of Iceland. So, I guess it’s my biggest yet.”

Taking everyone back in time, the thief shared that he’s always been a “naughty boy” as young as the kindergarten times, where he smashed into the school window to open the door. It’s supposedly the thrill that arose from such activity that led him towards this path.

He met his ‘best friend and partner in crime,’ Hlynsson at the age of six. What started as a combined effort in stealing from an elderly working at a shopping small, led the duo to commit the Bitcoin Heist. As he aged, he involved himself in all the things people are advised against, and by his early adulthood he had 200 cases of petty crime.

While in prison, Stefansson decided to get clean and start a new life. He got married and graduated with a degree in computer science. Having done odd jobs for far too long and in need of more money, he eventually came across Bitcoin mining (something that he was interested in).

Mr.X to Have Opened Stefansson’s Eyes

In 2017, Stefansson supposedly made an acquaintance called, Mr. X who is described as being a ‘dangerous international investor.’ Sharing his visions of mining Bitcoin,

Mr. X stopped the lad by asking, “Why go to all the expense and effort to start your own Bitcoin mind, when you can get a head start into the business by stealing computers from the competition.”

What did Stefansson get out of this? 15% of the goods, which supposedly amounts to 1.2 million per year forever. Stefansson was amazed by the entirety of computers being able to create money. He said:

“You’re stealing machines that make money. Making money while you sleep.”

The Plan Right Up Until Its Execution

Mr. X was supposedly the one to have rounded up a crew of five Icelandic men in their twenties. Given that everyone knew each other, the plans will be discussed at a friend’s house in Reykjavik. The crew itself can be considered a hierarchy, with the lower step consisting of 2 boys who had clean police records, then comes “the brains”, Hlynsson and obviously there’s the boss, who the police deem is Stefansson, but to him it was all about following Mr. X.

Stefansson had all the possible tools he needed for the team to succeed in the Bitcoin Heist. They even thought out communication, i.e. Telegram, because it is encrypted, and messages can be self-destructed. Some communication also took place in a Facebook Group called, “Foruneytid” (or the Fellowship).

At the time of the Bitcoin Heist, there supposedly wasn’t any securities walking around, as most simply stared at security monitors. The Heist started with breaking into Algrim Consulting data center. Then, they tried to attempt it at the Borealis Data Center, only to fail, but according to Stefansson, the police were slow in investigating the situation. Although what they had stolen sufficed, it seems like the crew wanted more power.

Stefansson at some point got an innocent call from his friend from school who was working as an electrician. He shared that the AVK Data Center required more electricity for something called Bitcoin. After having studied the AVK Data Center’s area and realizing that it was an early establishment with no security, it automatically became the next victim.

Stefansson and his buddy eventually got arrested but given how polite they were and having conversated with the thieves for three days, the police had nothing on them, and they were released.

In the same way, with additional reach to an insider, they hit the Advania Data Center. Eventually arrested again, but this time Stefansson was caught for good because he failed to delete information from his phone, which the police were able to access.

A Loophole in the Icelandic Law

According to the reportings, staging a prison break is not considered breaking the law because “all human beings are naturally entitled to freedom and thus cannot be punished for seeking it.” This is exactly what Stefansson did after some three months passed, and eventually flew to Stockholm under someone else’s name. Apparently, Sweden doesn’t require Icelandic travellers to carry a valid ID or passport.

Having reached Amsterdam at some point in his travels, he met with some members of his crew only to get caught again because of a picture of the trio that went on Hlysson’s Instagram. Ultimately, he was sentenced with four-and-a-half-years in prison.

As for Mr. X, he still remains at large with the stolen 550 computers. When Stefansson was asked if he were Mr. X, how he’d rate the entirety of the Heist, he replied, “A masterpiece. I just wish I had done it.”

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai