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Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Explores Zk-STARKs In New Blog Post

Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Explores Zk-STARKs In New Blog Post

Click here to view original web page at www.ethnews.com

On November 9, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin published a blog post exploring the class of technology known as zero-knowledge Succinct Transparent ARguments of Knowledge (zk-STARKs) and how they differ from the related and better-known mechanisms that fit under the gloss of zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive ARguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs).

The concept for zk-SNARKs (which predates Ethereum, but in the Ethereum context could be used to verify transactions) caught the attention of several of that blockchain’s developers as a result of its anonymity-enabling properties.

While currently the sending address, receiving address, and the amount of Ether involved in every Ethereum transaction is a matter of public record, zk-SNARKs would effectively mask these three data points, potentially making the platform more attractive to privacy-focused users.

Among the features that enable greater anonymity is the use of a non-zero “random secret number.” The prover of a transaction multiplies this number by the product of two mathematical functions, then sends the verifier the resulting value as well as the value of the random secret number. With this information, the recipient node can verify a transaction while knowing almost nothing about it.

As the ability to verify transactions faster has become a more central concern for Ethereum, several of the blockchain’s developers have started looking at zk-SNARKs as a means to boost scalability. In addition to their potential to enhance privacy, zk-SNARKs offer the benefit of reducing transaction verification time relative to the capacity of the current protocol.

Zk-STARKs share this feature with their more famous SNARK “cousins,” but according to Buterin, also address several shortcomings, including their “reliance on a ‘trusted setup.’” Additionally, he claims that the technology is theoretically “secure even against attackers with quantum computers.”

While he estimates zk-STARKs’ proof sizes to be “a few hundred kilobytes” relative to zk-SNARKs’ 288 bytes, he argues that the tradeoff may be worthwhile “in the context of public blockchain applications where the need for trust minimization is high,” and most certainly will be “if elliptic curves break or quantum computers do come around.”

According to a PowerPoint document by computer science professor Eli Ben-Sasson, who Buterin thanks by name in his zk-STARKs blog post, a “[computational integrity and privacy] system is transparent if setup and all verifier queries are public random coins.” Unlike this technology, zk-SNARKS require a “non-transparent setup phase.”

For further details, be sure to visit Buterin’s blog post, here.

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether.

Like what you read? Follow us on Twitter @ETHNews_ to receive the latest Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum or other Ethereum ecosystem news.

Source: Science of Crypto
Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Explores Zk-STARKs In New Blog Post

Seven Critiques of Ethereum According To The Creator

Seven Critiques of Ethereum According To The Creator

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Vitalik Buterin Seven critiques of Ethereum

On July 5, 2017, Vitalik Buterin answered an inquiry posted on r/ethtrader to address which Ethereum critiques merit consideration and discussion. As co-creator of Ethereum and the most visible face of the Ethereum Foundation, Buterin articulates concerns that are likely prevalent among those in the development community. In this article, I will attempt to explain Buterin’s concerns in layman’s terms.

IMO [In my opinion] the most valid criticisms of Ethereum as it currently stands are:

1. Scalability sucks; the blockchain design fundamentally relies on bottlenecks where individual nodes must process every single transaction in the entire network

From a social and technical standpoint, scalability is a major obstacle to Ethereum’s continued development. As the network grows, achieving consensus to enact significant changes will prove more difficult. Detraction by mining pools and activists alike may hinder Ethereum’s rise. From issues of size and speed to throughput limitations and gas controversies, there is no overarching solution to scalability. Instead, it’s a puzzle that will require work on many fronts – which is probably why Buterin lists this as the number one issue.

2. PoW is extremely expensive, and furthermore is fundamentally vulnerable to 51% spawn camping attacks with no effective strategy for recovering from one. Selfish mining is profitable starting at 25-33% hashpower, and 51% censorship attacks are definitely profitable.

In its simplest terms, Proof-of-Work (PoW) is the way that miners confirm transactions and enter them into a blockchain. The longer a blockchain becomes, the harder it is to alter previous transactions. However, by virtue of the way mining works, a blockchain is susceptible to a “fifty-one percent attack.” Controlling the majority of computing power in the network is akin to controlling the House or Senate in American politics. Pushing legislation (transactions) through can’t be stopped by the minority. In passing, Buterin also references the difficulty of recovering from attacks (nobody needs to be reminded of The DAO) and worries about selfish mining, an attack which would give a pool an unfair advantage and disproportionate opportunity to mine blocks.

Although PoW is due to be replaced by Proof-of-Stake (PoS), for now, the cost incurred by the Ethereum network is absurd. According to Digiconomist’s Ethereum Energy Consumption Index, the network is using approximately the same amount of electricity as Moldova (a country of 3.5 million people). From an environmental and technical standpoint, Ethereum needs to step up its game to be feasible for widespread adoption.

Lastly, “spawn camping,” which evokes video game terminology, is one of Buterin’s recently invented phrases. On Twitter, Buterin explains that spawn camping occurs when “a 51% miner cartel keeps attacking over and over again, rendering the chain useless.”

3. Privacy sucks

The desire for privacy in cryptocurrency has enabled the rise of Zcash and tumbling. In digital currency, tumbling mixes small amounts of a coin from independent pools to pay for a transaction. Imagine that you were buying an XBOX at Costco and wanted to be anonymous. If you gather $5 from each of your friends to pay, then it would be much harder for the cashier to figure out who originally wanted to buy the console – this is obviously a very watered down explanation. Nonetheless, this makes it much harder to trace the transaction’s originator.

Replying to a comment on the same thread, Buterin explains, “There’s a plan to develop a general-purpose HLL [high level language] that compiles to zk-snark verification.” Implementing a zero-knowledge protocol for Ethereum could make Zcash and tumbling services secondary, or even obsolete! Evidently, this is a development to follow closely.

4. It’s hard for regular users to hold large amounts of funds without running substantial risks of theft or loss due to theft or loss of their private keys.

If you had one irreplaceable, unique key to your house, then losing it would be devastating. Storing your valuables in your house might seem like a good idea for security purposes, but you would also need to weigh the chances that you may permanently lose access to your belongings. Cryptocurrency users face this same dilemma with wallets.

Additionally, centralized wallet providers present an attractive target for hackers, so keeping a significant amount of cryptocurrency in a single wallet is a risky proposition. While spreading your funds across several wallets can help avoid a catastrophic event, this also requires keeping track of multiple private keys. Investors need to weigh the benefits of a decentralized currency versus the absence of a third-party mediator. Ultimately, there’s no customer service department on the blockchain.

5. Economics do not encourage good “storage hygiene”; insufficient incentives for clearing storage and insufficient cost for filling it, especially for long periods of time

Blockchain storage goes beyond the scope of this article. For interested parties, I’ll direct you to Appendix G of the Ethereum yellow paper.

6. Bunch of various marginal technical inefficiencies.

On reddit, Vitalik responded directly to my request for elaboration. Fair warning, this is deeply technical.

He explains:

  • With its 256-bit values, the EVM is substantially less efficient than it could be, making it hard to implement many kinds of cryptographic primitives.
  • The trie is hexary and not binary, and there doesn’t yet exist a data format for taking advantage of the redundancy between a trie node and the fact that the hash of the node is in that node’s parent; these two things together mean that Merkle branches are ~4x longer than they need to be.
  • RLP is somewhat overcomplicated; if I could redo it I would remove the single-byte case. I’d also come up with a trie format that doesn’t use RLP to keep it simpler and easier to encode and decode.
  • The storage tree is 2-layer and not 1-layer. This makes various optimizations harder to implement and adds more edge cases.
  • The storage tree doesn’t properly let users take advantage of the fact that fetching and writing anywhere up to a few kilobytes to a database doesn’t cost that much more than fetching or writing 32 bytes. As a result, most applications take substantially more DB reads than they need to.
  • All current implementations of the state tree do an account or storage read by hopping through the tree in the DB. This makes any state reading opcode take O(log(n)) database reads when there exists a way to only make it take one.
  • Quite a few gas costs are probably still not well-optimized.
  • Not enough ability to take advantage of parallelization.

Edit: 7. It’s hard for regular users to know that contracts they are interacting with do what they say they do, and do not have accidental or malicious bugs.

Auditing code is crucial for users to trust the contracts on the Ethereum network. Buterin notes that “regular users” (or non-technical folks) often don’t know how to protect themselves. On a governmental level, that’s why the US has agencies like the FDA. Experts help make sure that complicated architecture functions like it claims to – and certify that products are safe for consumption. The newness of Ethereum, and its accompanying applications, makes it hard for non-technical folks to determine what meets a suitable standard for investment or usage.

In all, these concerns reflect thoughtful and patient leadership, qualities that will be necessary as Ethereum expands its reach. Buterin’s willingness to engage in a public forum like reddit demonstrates that he acts as a strong bridge between the technical and non-technical worlds. Continued discourse and careful discussion should allay fears and attract additional support for the network.

Source: Science of Crypto
Seven Critiques of Ethereum According To The Creator

Bitcoin IRA Revolutionizes Retirement Industry with its Cryptocurrency Based Investment Options

Bitcoin Press Release: Bitcoin IRA is the only company offering cryptocurrency-based retirement investment portfolios with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

June 27, 2017, Los Angeles, USA — BitcoinIRA.com, the only company offering cryptocurrency-based retirement investment portfolios, has negotiated first-of-its-kind agreements with leading retirement and cryptocurrency companies to allow customers to invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum with their IRAs and 401ks.

Bitcoin IRA’s accomplishments with leading retirement custodian Kingdom Trust and leading cryptocurrency wallet BitGo™, represent a first for the industry. Together, this partnership creates a secured multi-signature encryption wallet from BitGo™ that enables Kingdom Trust to provide custodial services with a self-directed IRA.

The COO of Bitcoin IRA, Chris Kline, said,

“These are unique set-ups that no other retirement custodian is able to replicate. Our partnership with BitGo and our custom configuration with other partners provides a secure, one-of-a-kind investment opportunity for individuals that can’t be replicated in the marketplace.”

Bitcoin IRA has been featured in leading publications including the Wall Street Journal, QZ.com, Barron’s, Investopedia and popular Bitcoin publishers CoinDesk.com and CoinTelegraph.com.

In one of the articles, Drew Pierson from CoinDesk wrote,

“Cryptocurrency IRAs are no different than IRAs invested in more traditional options like stocks and bonds. The firm Bitcoin IRA is the only option for investors who wish to hold cryptocurrencies in their IRAs directly.”

Recently, Bitcoin IRA also launched Ethereum IRA, a similar investment product for Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency. The company has been evaluating releasing new cryptocurrencies on its proprietary SDIRA platform, along with new features being driven by demand from existing stakeholders and clients.

About Bitcoin IRA

Bitcoin IRA is the only Bitcoin-based retirement investment portfolio that allows people to invest with actual bitcoins for their IRA or 401(k). The platform works with leading fintech professionals to provide secure, high-quality Bitcoin investments.

Bitcoin IRA offers both traditional and Roth IRA options, which offer the same tax incentives as regular IRAs and 401(k)s. The company differentiates itself from other bitcoin investment products in multiple ways. Unlike Bitcoin ETFs and investment funds, Bitcoin IRA offers an opportunity for individuals to invest in real bitcoin at a much lower fee. In addition, investors keep total control over their Bitcoin deposits, with no holding fees and the ability to withdraw once the term is over.

Learn more about Bitcoin IRA and Ethereum IRA at – BitcoinIRA.com
Bitcoin IRA on CoinDesk – http://www.coindesk.com/traditional-iras-coming-world-bitcoin/

Media Contact

Contact Name: Kristy Velazquez
Contact Email: kristy@bitcoinira.com
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Phone: +1.877.936.7175

Bitcoin IRA is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to FDIC and other consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only.

 

About Bitcoin PR Buzz:

Bitcoin PR Buzz has been proudly serving the PR and marketing needs of Bitcoin and digital currency tech start-ups for over 5 years. Get your own professional Bitcoin and digital currency Press Release. Click here for more information.

The post Bitcoin IRA Revolutionizes Retirement Industry with its Cryptocurrency Based Investment Options appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz.

Source: Bitcoin Press Releases
Bitcoin IRA Revolutionizes Retirement Industry with its Cryptocurrency Based Investment Options

Ambisafe Announces Orderbook – an Innovative Trading Platform for Ethereum-based ICO Tokens

Ambisafe, an Ethereum asset management platform has just announced its newest development – Orderbook, a trading platform for Ethereum-based ICO tokens.

Ambisafe has helped to launch successful ICOs for several blockchain companies, particularly Polybius, TaaS, and Chronobank. The Polybius ICO has so far raised over $21.2 million dollars, whilst the TaaS ICO has raised over $7.5 million dollars with over 3,900 investors.

Orderbook, a new venture organized by the team behind Ambisafe, is a trading platform for Ethereum-based ICO tokens. Through this trading platform, ICO participants can take advantage of cutting edge security, in which all critical operations are executed via Ethereum smart contracts, and all assets will be held “on-chain”.

All asset information will be available on the platform including dividend history, trading protocols, transaction volumes and analytics from trusted cryptocurrency sources.

Furthermore, The Orderbook exchange platform will streamline operations and ensure transparency for both ICO founders and traders. Since the platform is implemented as a set of smart contracts, all trade history will be available for audit to ensure that there are no fraudulent manipulations. The unique trading interface will contain additional information about companies and provide the ability to receive dividends directly for traders, thus creating an efficient, transparent and versatile environment for the cryptocurrency industry.

To learn more about Orderbook:
● Website: https://orderbook.io/
● Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orderbookio
● Twitter: https://twitter.com/orderbook_io
● Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/AAAAAA2i5AUMn3RpatYG5Q

Please note that Orderbook will be launched as alpha version which may include minor bugs and non-critical issues.

Media Contactmedia@orderbook.io

 

Ambisafe is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to FDIC and other consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.

The post Ambisafe Announces Orderbook – an Innovative Trading Platform for Ethereum-based ICO Tokens appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz.

Source: Bitcoin Press Releases
Ambisafe Announces Orderbook – an Innovative Trading Platform for Ethereum-based ICO Tokens

Ethereum Surges 314% as Bitcoin IRA delivers stellar Self Directed IRA Returns to Clients

Ethereum is $200, and Bitcoin is over $2,300. Both of these digital currencies started small, offering investors a chance at millions for less than $1.

LOS ANGELES, May 30, 2017 – In just 32 days since the launch of Ethereum IRA,​ the digital currency also known as Ether rose in value from $48 to its current price of $202, delivering investors a whopping 314% return. Ethereum has peaked the interest of Fortune 500 companies and is considered by many investors and traders to be the hottest altcoin on the market right now.

“Our clients are ahead of the curve; they are early adopters eyeing a massive opportunity as Ethereum and others become the digitization of efficiency in our common lives”  Chris Kline, COO of Bitcoin IRA

The weekend rise in Ethereum price may have moved lock in step with key partnerships and developments announced over the weekend. Below are the most common reasons that investors cite to justify a $1,000 Ethereum coin.

The People’s Republic of Chain wakes up to Ethereum

China’s leading bitcoin and altcoin exchange, Huobi announced it would offer Ethereum on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017. Huobi is one of the largest exchange players in China, if not the world. If history is any guide, one just needs to look back to when Litecoin started trading on Coinbase, almost immediately it’s value skyrocketed.

Ethereum and the Trillion dollar Freelancer market

eDEV.one, a remote worker wage payment, and job platform announced its plans to issue a part of its token sale on Danish exchange OpenLedger. Freelancers now makeup 35% of U.S. workers and collectively earned $1 trillion in the past year, according to the Freelancers Union, based in New York City, and the large freelancing platform Upwork, headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Toyota and MIT Partner to accelerate self-driving vehicles

Toyota Motor company has announced a tie-up with MIT to utilize blockchain​ and distributed ledger technology to speed up the development of autonomous driving technology.

Storj Labs raises millions to disrupt Dropbox

The leading decentralized cloud storage provider has concluded a token sale for its Ethereum-based application token. The platform met its goal of $30 million in just seven days.

The fact that Ethereum continues to be adopted by mainstream exchanges, companies, and initiatives signify its long-term value.

In Bitcoin IRA’s first year since launch, the company’s innovative retirement platform has was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Investopedia for making Bitcoin an easy option for retirement investing. It has also expanded its cryptocurrency offering by adding a secure way to invest in Ethereum as well as Bitcoin.

About Bitcoin IRA

Bitcoin IRA is the only Bitcoin-based retirement investment portfolio that allows people to invest with actual bitcoins and ethereum for their IRA or 401(k). The platform works with leading fintech professionals to provide secure, high-quality Bitcoin investments.

Bitcoin IRA offers both traditional and Roth IRA options​, which offer the same tax incentives as regular IRAs and 401(k)s. The company differentiates itself from other bitcoin and ethereum investment products in multiple ways. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum ETFs and investment funds, Bitcoin IRA offers an opportunity for individuals to invest in real bitcoin or ethereum at a much lower fee. Also, investors keep total control over their digital wallets, with no holding costs and the ability to withdraw once the term is over.

Learn more about Bitcoin IRA and Ethereum IRA athttps://bitcoinira.com/

Media Contact

Contact Name: Amith Nirgunarthy
Contact Email:amith@bitcoinira.com
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Phone: +1.877.936.7175

Bitcoin IRA is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to FDIC and other consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only.

 

About Bitcoin PR Buzz:

Bitcoin PR Buzz has been proudly serving the PR and marketing needs of Bitcoin and digital currency tech start-ups for over 5 years. Get your own professional Bitcoin and digital currency Press Release. Click here for more information.

The post Ethereum Surges 314% as Bitcoin IRA delivers stellar Self Directed IRA Returns to Clients appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz.

Source: Bitcoin Press Releases
Ethereum Surges 314% as Bitcoin IRA delivers stellar Self Directed IRA Returns to Clients

The Bank of Canada Just Joined An Alliance to Develop Ethereum

Click here to view original web page at motherboard.vice.com

On Monday, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced 86 new members that will work together to develop business applications on the Ethereum blockchain, including Toyota, Deloitte, Samsung SDS, and the National Bank of Canada.

Ethereum is an alternative to bitcoin, which still dominates the cryptocurrency world. But while bitcoin has become a haven for speculators trying to win big by trading coins, Ethereum’s promise is that its blockchain—the public ledger that records all transactions—is chiefly a platform for developing apps, powered by economic incentives. One often-floated use case for blockchains in the financial industry is as a settlement layer to instantly close transactions without middlemen.

Read More: The Bank of Canada Slipped the Konami Code Into a Bank Note Announcement

The alliance, which was founded in February of this year, is a global foundation with more than 100 members which include financial institutions like JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Banco Santander. Its goal is to develop business applications with Ethereum. Membership in the alliance grants organizations the ability to participate in meetings and events, as well as to make contributions to technical documents and white papers.

This isn’t the first time the Bank of Canada has dabbled in cryptocurrencies. The bank ran a pilot using an in-house digital currency to conduct interbank transactions on a blockchain in 2016, snubbing the existing bitcoin currency. However, a recent staff paper proposed ways to regulate bitcoin. Membership in the alliance is the first time the bank has indicated that it wants to have a hand in developing an existing digital currency platform itself.

Neither the National Bank of Canada nor the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were available for comment at the time of publication.

Interest in Ethereum is growing as its boy genius creator, 23-year-old Vitalik Buterin, continues to travel the world and spread its gospel. Ethereum still might not be as valuable as bitcoin (one coin is worth over $2,000 USD at the moment, while one denomination of Ethereum, called ether, is worth $163), but it could be a whole lot more useful for banks. It was designed from the ground up to accommodate applications—called dapps, or “decentralized apps”—while bitcoin is still just a currency to many.

Joining the EEA is one more indication that the Bank of Canada is open to new technologies in the finance industry, but perhaps even more significantly, it appears to have chosen Ethereum as its horse in the race over bitcoin.

Subscribe to Science Solved It, Motherboard’s new show about the greatest mysteries that were solved by science.

Source: Science of Crypto
The Bank of Canada Just Joined An Alliance to Develop Ethereum

Worlds collide: JPM works with team behind anonymous crypto Zcash

Worlds collide: JPM works with team behind anonymous crypto Zcash

Click here to view original web page at www.americanbanker.com

Blockchains make strange bedfellows.

For years, Jamie Dimon has derided digital currencies. Now, his company has teamed up with the creators of one of the most prominent “altcoins” to build privacy features for the bank’s blockchain platform.

JPMorgan Chase’s partnership with Zerocoin Electronic Coin Co., announced Monday, is perhaps the most surprising alliance yet as traditional financial institutions co-opt a technology originally developed to route around them.

ZECC’s founder, Zooko Wilcox, was part of the 1990s cypherpunk movement, which sought to defend individual privacy through strong cryptography. Last year his firm released Zcash, a cryptocurrency designed to be more anonymous than bitcoin.

Just that phrase, “more anonymous than bitcoin,” might send shivers up the spines of some bank compliance officers, to say nothing of regulators. So, just to be clear: JPMorgan isn’t using Zcash. “This is solely a technology transfer agreement,” Wilcox said.

Instead, his team will use the same cryptographic techniques to add a “security layer” to Quorum, the system JPMorgan is developing to run smart contracts.

In their most basic form, blockchains allow all participants in a network to see who has done what. But that transparency has been a turn-off for financial institutions, which don’t want to tip their hands to competitors, or reveal confidential client data.

“Existing smart contract systems on replicated shared ledgers are unable to provide data privacy — transactions and smart contract state data are exposed in the clear on the replicated shared ledger,” JPMorgan said in a white paper for Quorum published in November.

Quorum was designed so that a smart contract would be visible only to the parties, not the whole network. But that, by itself, precludes the contracts from involving assets that could later be transferred to other participants in the network. “You can’t prove to Charlie that Bob is the legitimate owner of an asset while concealing that Alice was the previous legitimate owner,” Wilcox said. (“Alice and Bob” are regular characters in the hypothetical examples given by cryptographers.)

The Zcash developers plan to enable Quorum smart contracts to trade transferable, resellable tokens, through a cryptographic method called zero-knowledge proofs. These allow someone to prove that a statement is true without conveying any other information.

In the Zcash currency, for example, zero-knowledge proofs provide assurance that users are only spending money that they have without revealing on the public ledger how much they have received from or sent to others. Participants can selectively decrypt such details about their own transactions, however, making it possible to comply with audits or court orders. Otherwise, the ledger is just a list of timestamped transactions, with the senders, recipients and amounts obscured.

Applying that technology to Quorum would allow tokens (representing real-world financial assets, say, shares in Apple) to circulate throughout the network, rather than be confined to bilateral agreements between banks, without sacrificing privacy.

“By adding the zero-knowledge security layer into Quorum, we are able to explore how state of the art cryptographic privacy technology will enhance the next generation of financial services applications,” Suresh Shetty, an executive director and lead architect for JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, said in a press release Monday.

Dimon has famously predicted that decentralized currencies like bitcoin — which let anyone with an internet connection send money anywhere in the world without the permission of an intermediary — are doomed. According to published reports, his bank has expressly forbidden banks it does business with to work with digital currency exchanges.

“Virtual currency, where it’s called a bitcoin vs. a U.S. dollar, that’s going to be stopped,” Dimon said in 2015. “No government will ever support a virtual currency that goes around borders and doesn’t have the same controls. It’s not going to happen.”

Bitcoin vending machine next to a Chase branch in Austin, Texas, photographed March 14, 2015
Together at last?

Around that time, JPMorgan and other banks had begun to investigate the possibilities for their business of blockchain technology, which was originally developed to prevent double-spending of bitcoins. One advanced use case is smart contracts, which theoretically can cut costs in the financial system by automating much of the work done by lawyers, compliance officers, syndication desks, and others.

“Smart contracts on a replicated, shared ledger hold the promise of improving efficiency and lowering costs compared with existing enterprise systems based on duplicated business logic and consensus by reconciliation,” the bank’s Quorum white paper said.

JPMorgan participated in several of the industry alliances that are working to develop blockchain solutions for financial services, though it recently quit the R3 consortium. The bank decided to model Quorum on another open-source platform, the bitcoin rival Ethereum.

While Zcash started as a “fork,” or modified version, of bitcoin, Wilcox’s company has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, of which JPMorgan is also a member.

Wilcox said the Zcash currency has served as a showcase of sorts for the technology his company has been pitching to enterprises.

“We can point to the thing running live in the wild as proof that it works and we can deliver,” he said.

Source: Science of Crypto
Worlds collide: JPM works with team behind anonymous crypto Zcash

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

Click here to view original web page at news.bitcoin.com

professionals
Forum

Bitcoin can be a very technical subject, and oftentimes people have to find various resources online to educate themselves. However, there are a few organizations that instruct cryptocurrency enthusiasts through training and curriculum in order to edify the growing field of bitcoin professionals.

Also read: The Case for Using mBTC Over BTC Denominations

Education and Professional Expertise Helps the Growing Bitcoin Economy Flourish

As the bitcoin economy grows, there are many people looking to learn about the bitcoin protocol and the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem. A leading-edge network of professionals that understand the technology is needed to bolster the innovative technology into the future. In 2017, there are few ways an individual can become a certified bitcoin professional to advance their knowledge and careers.

Three Online Academic Bitcoin Courses

The Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

One educational program called the Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium (C4) teaches students how to be certified bitcoin specialists. C4 has three types of courses that enable people to become either a Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP), a Certified Bitcoin Expert, and a Certified Ethereum Developer.

A graduating CBP claims to give an individual a significant grasp at understanding the bitcoin protocol, transactions, and network operation. “CBPs are able to apply Bitcoin technology to their professional area of expertise and understand privacy aspects, double-spending, and other issues that relate to the currency,” explains the educational consortium. The cost to become a CBP involves two years of study at the cost of $95 for the course and a $30 renewal fee.

A CBX gives an individual “expert-level knowledge” about bitcoin, says the consortium. C4 also claims the certification gives a person the ability to develop blockchain applications as well. “CBXes understand how peers communicate on the Bitcoin network, how transactions are crafted at the byte level and how Bitcoin scripts can be written to customize the behavior of transactions,” C4 details. This course is three years long but is not yet available to students.

The consortium is backed by a board of directors which include Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin, and Michael Perklin. Furthermore, C4 has well-known advisers such as Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Director of the Bitcoin Education Project, Peter Todd, Bitcoin Core Developer, and Steve Dakh, author of Kryptokit and Rushwallet.

Digital Currency Council

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

The Digital Currency Council (DCC) was created in 2014 in New York by David Berger, the school’s founder and CEO. DCC claims to have over 1500 members from 90 countries worldwide utilizing the organization’s digital currency training, and certification. The group calls itself an “association of professionals in the digital currency economy.”

The DCC Professional Certification Training Program is shorter than the two-year consortium course with only a seven-hour online program. However, the course is far more expensive costing $299 for students taking the final exam. The DCC advisory faculty covers the six sections called “core competencies” which include cryptocurrency technical underpinnings, monetary implications, practical use, bitcoin’s ecosystem, accounting, and legal subjects. DCC also offers a self-assessment test to see if you qualify for the certification training program. The school is also backed by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group and the Silicon Valley accelerator 500 Startups.

“The DCC Certification, like other professional certifications, allows us to hold professionals who are advising clients to a higher standard, and provide a benchmark for evaluating skill and professional value,” Barry Silbert, CEO of the Digital Currency Group explains on the DCC website.

Coursera: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

Princeton’s Coursera computer science class called “Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies” is a free course from Princeton University. Assistant Professor Arvind Narayanan instructs the class on a variety of lessons that cover the innovative technology at a “technical level.” The next class begins on May 15 and begins to discuss cryptographic building blocks and introduces the concept of cryptocurrency.

“After this course, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” explains the Princeton Coursera website. “You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects.”

The Coursera class is eleven weeks long discussing subjects like decentralization, the mechanics of bitcoin, regulation, mining, altcoins, and more. Every week the course offers an interactive textbook, pre-recorded videos, quizzes, and projects. Furthermore, students can connect with other peers and converse about course material.

Furthering Bitcoin Careers and Creating Crypto-Professionals

There are other ‘certification style’ digital currency education programs online but do some research on the course and organization before registering. Teaching a broader audience of professionals is a good idea to continue progressing the new digital economy.

These types of certificate programs may even further an individual’s career, and it’s also possible to learn at home for free. Besides Coursera’s free course, there is a boatload of information on bitcoin and its technical aspects. However, people often enjoy a class setting and a certificate from an organization from accredited luminaries in the bitcoin space could go a long way.

What do you think about these certification programs and courses covering the cryptocurrency environment? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Bitcoin.com, C4, DCC, and Coursera websites.

Bitcoin.com’s own store features a wide range of interesting Bitcoin-related products. Looking for a hardware wallet? We got ‘em. Want a good-looking t-shirt? It’s there. Want to gift a nice Bitcoin tea cup? Go shopping.

Source: Science of Crypto
Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

Bitcoin Up 300% as Bitcoin IRA Celebrates 1 Year Milestone

Bitcoin IRA announces superior fund returns along with 100% customer satisfaction in their self-directed cryptocurrency-based retirement accounts.

LOS ANGELES, May 8, 2017 —BitcoinIRA.com​, the only company offering cryptocurrency-based retirement investment portfolios, has announced its one-year anniversary today, in the first year since launch the company’s innovative retirement platform has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Investopedia for ​making Bitcoin an easy option for retirement investing. It has also expanded its cryptocurrency offering by adding a secure way to invest in Ethereum as well as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin IRA is the first and only company to offer cryptocurrency-based IRAs for investors, allowing them to hold actual cryptocurrencies in a retirement account. Unlike traditional ETFs and investment plans, investors in ​Bitcoin IRA and Ethereum IRA​ continue to own their cryptocurrency even after the end of the IRA tenure, allowing them to freely distribute it.

Combining its innovative product with a strong bitcoin price trend and excellent customer support, Bitcoin IRA has achieved an extremely high client satisfaction rating, receiving an average of 5 out of 5 stars on review platform Birdeye.

“We’re extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished with Bitcoin IRA,” says Chris Kline, COO. “Our commitment to listening to our clients has helped us grow month after month, and continually offer new, innovative ways for investors to save for retirement.”

Recently, the team behind Bitcoin IRA also launched Ethereum IRA, a similar investment product for Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency. The company has been evaluating releasing new cryptocurrencies on its proprietary SDIRA platform, along with new features being driven by demand from existing stakeholders and clients.

“We’ve only scratched the surface of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the retirement space. Projects currently under development are driven by our clients and designed to drive mainstream crypto adoption ahead”

About Bitcoin IRA

Bitcoin IRA is the only Bitcoin-based retirement investment portfolio that allows people to invest with actual bitcoins for their IRA or 401(k). The platform works with leading fintech professionals to provide secure, high-quality Bitcoin investments.

Bitcoin IRA offers both traditional and Roth IRA options, which offer the same tax incentives as regular IRAs and 401(k)s. The company differentiates itself from other bitcoin investment products in multiple ways. Unlike bitcoin ETFs and investment funds, Bitcoin IRA offers an opportunity for individuals to invest in real bitcoin at a much lower fee. In addition, investors keep total control over their Bitcoin deposits, with no holding fees and the ability to withdraw once the term is over.

Learn more about Bitcoin IRA and Ethereum IRA athttps://bitcoinira.com/

Media Contact

Contact Name:​ Amith Nirgunarthy
Contact Email:​amith@bitcoinira.com
Location:​ Los Angeles, USA
Phone:​​ ​+1.877.936.7175

Bitcoin IRA is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to FDIC and other consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only.

The post Bitcoin Up 300% as Bitcoin IRA Celebrates 1 Year Milestone appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz.

Source: Bitcoin Press Releases
Bitcoin Up 300% as Bitcoin IRA Celebrates 1 Year Milestone

Monolith Studio Launches Crowdsale for TokenCard – World’s First ERC20-Compliant Debit Card for Ethereum

Bitcoin Press Release: Monolith Studio announces the first ERC20-compliant TokenCard Etheruem debit card, crowdsale to start on May 2, 2017.

April 25, 2017, Singapore – TokenCard, the first debit card powered by smart contracts is about to do their initial token sale. Monolith Studio, the creators of TokenCard will, for the first time, bring the VISA payments network to Ethereum. This will allow token holders to use Ether as well as other ERC20 tokens to purchase items anywhere that accepts VISA debit cards.

TokenCard’s ‘token creation’ phase will mark the release of a new ERC20 token, called TKN, on May 2, 2017. TKN holders have a pro-rata share in an accumulation of different Ethereum tokens that accrue to the ‘TKN Asset Contract’. To download the whitepaper and register for updates, please visit the TokenCard website.

TokenCard is a project by Monolith Studio, a Web3 startup bringing Ethereum to the legacy world.

“We are witnessing the birth of the biggest shake up in financial history with the introduction of the Ethereum Economy,”

Said Mel Gelderman, creator of TokenCard.

“TokenCard is a platform that brings this new kind of economy to the general public through a clever trifecta of technology.”

“Users choose a Contract Wallet rather than having to deposit funds outside of their control. TokenCard VISA debit cards draw funds from this contract wallet that support Ether and almost any ERC20 token. Users can use the Token App to operate their Contract Wallet and manage their TokenCard, giving them a top-tier mobile banking experience that adds unique features into the mix like multi-asset spending.”

“For example, users can pay for their afternoon lunch with Ethereum tokens and can even split the bill between for example 30% DGX, 20% REP, and 50% ETH — all this while remaining in full control of their assets.”

Aside from providing a solution for the underlying Ethereum community, TokenCard is uniquely equipped to improve upon the entire spectrum of regular debit card and banking services. Markets like international remittances and asset management are ripe for innovation using Ethereum technology, and TokenCard is well-positioned to reach these new frontiers as a revolutionary financial solution.

TokenCard has already partnered with Digix Global to create gold backed debit cards. With more exciting partnerships to be released in the near future, TokenCard is positioning themselves to be a leader in Ethereum transfers to the fiat world.

While initially providing current token holders with payment utility, the core vision of TokenCard is to build a product that anyone can use. With the accompanying Token app alongside the debit card, regular users will have a familiar platform to access and engage in the Ethereum ecosystem.

“TokenCard makes every token better, letting users spend supported tokens with just a swipe at VISA merchants worldwide,”

Said Peter Vessenes, founder of New Alchemy.

“It has unique benefits for the remittance market, and the TKN token being issued is designed to let all TKN holders benefit from broad market exposure to the token economy. This is a great, great offering and we’re excited to be part of it.”

To download the whitepaper and register for updates, please visit the TokenCard website.

About Monolith Studio

Monolith Studio was founded by Mel Gelderman and David Hoggard. Monolith Studio is a Web3 venture production studio that is exploring ways to realize the potential of Ethereum. Monolith’s first product TokenCard, combines Ethereum smart contracts and VISA payments. For more information, please visit Monolith Ventures.

Learn more about TokenCard at – http://tokencard.io
More information about Monolith Studio available at – http://monolith.ventures

Media Contact

Contact Name: Mel Gelderman
Contact Email: mel@monolithdao.io
Location: Singapore

Monolith Studio is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest

 

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The post Monolith Studio Launches Crowdsale for TokenCard – World’s First ERC20-Compliant Debit Card for Ethereum appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz.

Source: Bitcoin Press Releases
Monolith Studio Launches Crowdsale for TokenCard – World’s First ERC20-Compliant Debit Card for Ethereum