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Monday, November 6, 2017

Blockchain News for 6 Nov 2017


A Brief History of Blockchain

A Brief History of Blockchain


Many of the technologies we now take for granted were quiet revolutions in their time. Just think about how much smartphones have changed the way we live and work. It used to be that when people were out of the office, they weregone, because a telephone was tied to a place, not to a person. Now we have global nomads building new businesses straight from their phones. And to think: Smartphones have been around for merely a decade.

We’re now in the midst of another quiet revolution: blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records, called “blocks.” Consider what’s happened in just the past 10 years:

- The first major blockchain innovation was bitcoin, a digital currency experiment. The market cap of bitcoin now hovers between $10–$20 billion dollars, and is used by millions of people for payments, including a large and growing remittances market.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2iynhsn

Source: https://hbr.org

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21 Companies Leveraging Blockchain for Identity Management and Authentication

21 Companies Leveraging Blockchain for Identity Management and Authentication


Among the variety of non-financial use cases, blockchain technology can be applied to identity applications in areas such as digital identities, passports, e-residency, birth certificates, wedding certificates, IDs, online account logins, etc. Creating an identity on blockchain can give individuals greater control over who has their personal information and how they access it.

By combining the decentralized blockchain principle with identity verification, a digital ID can be created to act as a digital watermark which can be assigned to every online transaction of any asset. Here are some of the pioneers in building blockchain-based identity management and authentication solutions for cross-industry applications.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2iwLmQ8

Source: https://letstalkpayments.com

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How Blockchain Can Stamp Out China's Fake Diplomas

How Blockchain Can Stamp Out Chinas Fake Diplomas


In 2010, former president of Microsoft China Tang Jun, had his PhD from Pacific Western University called into question. Investigators found that not only was Pacific Western an unaccredited institution, but that his diploma had cost him $2,595 in tuition, and required no classroom instruction. A year later, legions of other high-ranking senior executives were, perhaps somewhat embarrassingly, caught up in widespread "degree scams"— dubious programmes offering enrollees credentials like PhD certificates for minimal, if any, academic work. The practice of academic forgery, where degrees from unaccredited or fake institutions are sold to customers both witting and unwitting, has long been popular among unscrupulous students in China, but is relatively new to the upper echelons of its business world.  

Though not a uniquely Chinese phenomenon, a quick scroll through Chinese search engine Baidu reveals how easy it is to buy counterfeit certificates from websites like Yuhongzp and PhonyDiploma on the mainland. A fake diploma from The University of Hong Kong, for instance, costs only $250, and allows users to customize everything from the watermark to the quality of the paper stock ("aged," "eggshell" or "cream" are all options).

Allen Ezell, co-author of the book Degree Mills: The Billion- Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas, says the scope of the industry can be enormous. “One of the largest counterfeit diploma operations we have seen was based in Shenzhen. They offered diplomas on about 1,000 U.S. schools,” he tells FORBES. 

Efforts to combat this shadow economy have been spearheaded by China’s Ministry of Education, as well as education website sdaxue.com. Since 2013, Sdaxue has exposed 400 fraudulent universities, or “degree mills” in China, and just last year produced their sixth list of blacklisted schools, which outed 30 new institutions.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2ixxh4U

Source: Forbes

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Can Blockchain Challenge Content Platform Giants' Facebook and YouTube Domination?

Can Blockchain Challenge Content Platform Giants Facebook and YouTube Domination?


While the world is full of Internet millionaires who made their fortunes on social media, many talented artists and content creators are still struggling to monetize their content. Competition is fierce and one has to be creative enough to offer something catchy, unique and savvy enough to wow the insatiable audiences.

The latter appears to be all the more necessary as platforms hosting these global audiences are making monetization opportunities more difficult.

Take YouTube for example. The site has over 1 billion users worldwide. Since it introduced monetization through Content ID, the company has paid content creators $2 billion as of 2016. Recently, however, the company has faced criticism for raising the bar on monetization requiring channels to reach 10,000 lifetime views before ads can be enabled.

Against this backdrop new blockchain platforms are emerging in an effort to end the hegemony of a few giants. The question remains, can they succeed against the Goliaths in the space?

Full story at http://bit.ly/2ixxjty

Source: Forbes

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How Blockchain Technology Made It to Real Estate Business

How Blockchain Technology Made It to Real Estate Business


Every now and then, we get reports of another old-fashioned industry embracing Blockchain and its innovations. Even though this parade is mostly led by IT-related industries, such as finance, social media or eSports, their more traditional peers seem to gain pace.

There have been news suggesting that such cumbersome industries as logistics and advertisement gradually let Blockchain into their sacred realms.

One such industries, real estate, seems to have embraced Blockchain under the radar. Certain governments are testing Blockchain solutions to run auctions on public land plots or confiscated properties, and most of them are satisfied and deem the innovation worthy of further development.

Unfortunately, real estate as a business rarely produces any noticeable news when it comes to employment of distributed ledgers.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2ixXFvl

Source: CoinTelegraph

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Meet the Blockchain Tourists

Meet the Blockchain Tourists


Blockchain experiments are everywhere in finance these days. Actual blockchain applications that are big enough to have any lasting impact on banking, not so much.

Those offenders who talk alot without doing anything of substance have even been given a name in crypto world. "Too many people are using [blockchain] as a buzzword and are not focused on solving a real problem," Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse wrote recently. "We like to call them Blockchain tourists!"

The payments tech provider has a point. One loses count of all the proofs of concept showing successful tests of corporate-friendly decentralized networks, albeit in rigged lab conditions. No fewer than 15 big European banks, from Barclays Bank Plc to Banco Santander SA, have mentioned blockchain in regulatory filings since the end of March, according to Bloomberg data. Most are simulations in pretty niche areas like shipping, trade finance and commodities.

Still, that's not to say we should see blockchain tourists as the crypto equivalent of those befuddled souls queuing outside Madame Tussauds. While it may infuriate the true pioneers, there's plenty to be gained from even the  most tenuous links to the tech. Look at Bioptix Inc., a tiny biotech diagnostic specialist whose shares surged after it renamed itself to the not entirely subtle Riot Blockchain—a move redolent of the stuff going on during 1999's dotcom mania.

Full story at https://bloom.bg/2iwB2Ym

Source: Bloomberg

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