Pewdiepie leaves Youtube to Stream Exclusively on Blockchain

The no 1 most subscribed youtuber, Pewdiepie, announces that he will exclusively stream on Dlive, a video streaming site running on blockchain.

What does this mean for blockchain

For anyone who is involved in the blockchain industry, it is common to see big named corporations named as partners in blockchain exploration and research. But adoption is still a work in progress. Over the last 24 months, following the recent boom in cryptocurrencies, there has been a strong push transferring Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), or blockchain tech, into real use cases around the world. There have been a number of challenges hindering this task, most notably, lack of clear regulations as well as the blockchain trilemma. As a result many people in the mainstream industries are generally reserved when it comes to openly showing support for this new industry.

But when the biggest creator of youtube, turns his back on the giant to openly support blockchain, it is safe to say things are changing. Fear of the unknown is being replaced with the excitement of joining a pioneering movement. It is no longer the public’s view of ‘blockchain: the cryptocurrency scam’, but rather ‘blockchain: the technology that will change the world’.

Image result for blockchain adoption

It is common now, to hear of banks employing blockchain tech in some manner; to hear of large technology companies partnering with blockchain firms to transfer their applications onto the DLT. It is normal to see governments working with organisations to enhance the use case of blockchain throughout the world.

And now, it is normal to see some of the biggest names online to openly support blockchain and adopt it. People have been asking me, are we in a new era with blockchain. And I would say yes! We are moving into the Era of Blockchain Adoption. So get ready world, we are here to stay and together we will make a positive difference.

Be sure to follow me on here and on twitter for more exciting blockchain news!

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DATAx insights: Overcoming the five biggest risks blockchain presents

Whether you are an up-and-coming entrepreneur or part of a large international company with overseas stakeholders, blockchain implementation may …

Whether you are an up-and-coming entrepreneur or part of a large international company with overseas stakeholders, blockchain implementation may seem more than tempting. The term has become synonymous with ease of access and streamlined data management, especially in the fintech industry.

According to Expanded Ramblings, 69% of banking companies actively experiment with blockchain integration, with the projected value of the blockchain market expected to exceed $20bn by 2024.

There is a clear and unsurprising interest in blockchain among numerous industries and their niches. However, implementing any type of new technology into existing business models can be risky. With that in mind, let us take a look at the biggest risks companies face in light of blockchain integration, as well as how to overcome them.

What blockchain represents

Blockchain started its life as a way of keeping track of cryptocurrency exchanges, which were anonymous and untraceable at the time.

The digital ledger system introduced by blockchain enabled internet users to trade cryptocurrency coins of various origins amongst each other more quickly and easily. According to The Global Blockchain Council, 5% of US citizens hold cryptocurrencies in their name, with 47% of US businesses open to its use for their products and services.

As we have previously mentioned, there is a clear interest in blockchain implementation, whether for cryptocurrency tracking or general data management. Blockchain has evolved from its rudimentary use as a digital exchange ledger and became more viable for everyday data tracking and management, which is where we come across the risks of implementing it.

Lack of technological clarity

The worst mistake a company can make is to implement a trending piece of tech into their business without a second thought. While blockchain can indeed help your internal management and inter-department data flow, it can also cause severe issues for your employees. This is especially true if you have less tech-savvy personnel on your payroll and ask them to use new tools without proper training.

The first order of business in terms of gauging blockchain tech’s viability in your company is to inform yourself and the upper management. What does blockchain stand for and what can it do for your specific business model? Do not compare your company’s product or service portfolio with others on the market. Reflect on your own workflow, values and existing data infrastructure before making the call to implement blockchain.

Type of information stored

Blockchain allows for different types of information to be stored on a centralized digital ledger. As with any publicly available data repository, the type of information you store there should not be damaging to your company. You should pay close attention to the type of data you store in terms of client information, project outlines and important documentation altogether. Do not risk data breach or information leaks just because blockchain is the more comfortable route to take in terms of storing data in the long term.

It is good practice to use platforms such as TrustMyPaper and Evernote to edit and format your project files before placing them into the data repository. That way, you will always be able to make sure that your stored data does not divulge any B2B or B2C data if a potential breach does happen down the line.

You can also categorize your data in a way that the blockchain data server only serves to point an interested employee to an offline storage unit via a reference number. Do not take blockchain for granted as a go-to place for storing all of your important company data and the technology will serve you well indefinitely.

The rule of majority

Internal company strife is not an everyday occurrence; however, it is a possibility even in today’s modern world. Blockchain technology is a digital data management system first and foremost and as such, it allows employees to access company information on an everyday basis.

Each employee is assigned a key with which they can access the company’s data ledger but any modification of existing information will require higher authorization. That is, until a majority of employees (51% to be exact) attempt to change blockchain information concurrently. This is where potential risks come into play, as “the rule of majority” can cause severe consequences for a company, especially in startup and small-scale environment.

Employees who band together their keys and attempt to modify, change, swap or altogether delete existing blockchain data will be able to do so with a 51% majority. In order to avoid this, social engineering, healthy HR management and blockchain educational seminars should be organized. This is not a game-changing risk – however, it should be kept in mind since it represents a small yet quite real possibility.

Security breach concerns

The way you treat the security of your information will speak volumes about the level of care and trust stakeholders can place in your company’s care. It should be noted that technologies which are capable of breaching blockchain security are years away from presenting a real threat. However, quantum computing technologies are developing at a rapid pace and hacker groups, as well as malware and spyware creators, take advantage of them.

The pre-emptive solution to quantum computing security breach attempts is to implement quantum-safe cryptographic solutions. These can be acquired from prolific antivirus and digital data protection companies which specialize in blockchain security. Blockchain is no more or less safe than other means of storing digital data.

Inevitable third-party access

Depending on the scale at which your business operates, your blockchain data ledger may have to become available to outside third parties. These third parties often include retail storefronts, e-commerce stores, fintech companies working with your business and other important stakeholders.

Over time, you will be required to allow access to your data repositories in terms of inventory for things such as retail or finance for fintech. The way you share your data with third-party stakeholders may become a security risk in itself over time if not monitored correctly. This is because you ca not monitor all of the stakeholders with access to your data 24/7, especially in terms of their infrastructure, computing power and digital security measurements.

In order to amend this, you should task your IT department with keeping track of each blockchain access point outside of your company’s premises. Allocate specialized access keys to each third-party stakeholder in order to have a clear idea of who is attempting access, from where and at what point in time. This is the best way to minimize the risk of unnecessary outside access to your blockchain data ledgers.

In summary

The benefits of what it has to offer far outweigh the potential risks blockchain implementation brings with it initially. Make sure to plan your integration strategy carefully and do not rush just to get early results. Once blockchain settles into your business model, you will be able to take full advantage of its innovative data management.

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World-Leading Web Traffic Server Files Patent for ‘High Performance’ Blockchain Network

The proposed system seeks to improve the throughput of a distributed ledger system by processing transactions concurrently rather than the existing …

American cloud service provider Akamai Technologies has filed a new patent for a high-performance blockchain capable of processing a large number of transactions within a short span of time.

The patent, filed on December 26, 2017, was finally published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on April 2, 2019. The proposed system seeks to improve the throughput of a distributed ledger system by processing transactions concurrently rather than the existing sequential order of processing.

High-Performance

In the patent application, Akamai Technologies has proposed a set of computing elements to receive the setup of a network of nodes which will concurrently process and add newer blocks to the blockchain. Currently, blockchain implementations process the blocks in a sequential manner, or one at a time.

This severely limits the performance of blockchain implementations as all nodes have to verify singular blocks before they can begin verifying the next one. This creates bottlenecks in processing, communicating, and storing the block in its aggregate form.

The proposed setup involves a distributed ledger which can process a large number of transactions in a scalable and reliable manner. It allows nodes to organize and process data concurrently with very little synchronization between them.

All network nodes are considered equal on the network, operate autonomously, and do not control one another. The network can be accessed by edge networks, which are referred to as edge servers. The edge network supports a globally distributed system that provides a message processing service.

Every message is associated with a transaction. Users can interact with edge network servers who then internally process the transaction.

blockchain

Faster Method

The proposed method is comprised of local computing nodes in the edge network. These local computing nodes are spread across the globe and act as a gateway to access the network. They work to validate transactions and add them to the mempool.

The transaction is then propagated to other computing nodes in the network for verification. The transaction data is segmented and processed to enable faster verification. They are aggregated together after verification and added to the blockchain.

The cloud delivery platform is also developing a blockchain based network with MUFG for enabling faster payment settlements. The technology proposed in the patent could be used for a future blockchain based payment system. Distributed ledgers have several use cases, which has prompted technology companies to study the industry and build better solutions.

Do you think blockchain-based payment systems are better than their traditional counterparts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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What you need to know about blockchain storage

There’s a lot of hype around blockchain storage and its underlying distributed ledger technology. That makes sense, what with IDC forecasting …

There’s a lot of hype around blockchain storage and its underlying distributed ledger technology. That makes sense, what with IDC forecasting worldwide spending on the technology hitting $12.4 billion in 2022, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 76% from 2018 to 2022.

However, the reality is it’s early days for blockchain and its use in data storage. There are still many details for companies to understand and work out.

Blockchain is based on peer-to-peer, distributed network technology used to validate transactions. It breaks up data and distributes it across thousands of nodes. The technology enables participants to see all the transactions as they happen.

There’s a lot to recommend with blockchain when it comes to tracking the movement and storage of data, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding its use for storage. How will enterprises be adequately compensated for being part of a blockchain environment? What strategies are best to minimize risks to participants? What new data security threats will emerge as blockchain storage gains a foothold? How does blockchain compare to other distributed data storage options?

Worldwide spending on blockchain

Below, we answer five key questions about blockchain’s use for data storage and highlight others that have yet to be answered.

How does blockchain storage function?

Blockchain is based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), which serves as a decentralized database of information about transactions between multiple parties. The transactions populate the DLT chronologically. They’re stored in the ledger as a series of blocks, where each block refers to the preceding one, forming an interconnected chain.

Blockchain technology distributes the ledger across multiple nodes. Each node maintains a complete copy of the data, and all the participants in the blockchain can see and verify the ledger so no central authority or verification service is needed.

A blockchain-based storage system prepares data for storage by creating data shards or segments, encrypting the shards, generating a unique hash for each shard and creating redundant copies of each shard. The replicated shards are then distributed across the decentralized nodes in the blockchain infrastructure. The transactions are recorded in the blockchain ledger, and the system validates and synchronizes the transactions across the nodes in the blockchain.

How do you become a blockchain provider?

An organization with available storage can participate as a provider — or farmer — in a blockchain storage network, leasing nodes to a blockchain service. When signing up with a blockchain service, such as Storj or Sia, potential farmers must provide information on how much available storage and bandwidth they have, as well as the average downtime of their systems.

Sharing excess storage with a blockchain-based service is a new concept, and understanding its full effect on an organization’s storage resources is still unclear. How participating enterprises minimize the risks involved with opening their systems to third-party data and how much compensation they need to take on this risk are among the details service providers and participants are still working out.

What are the advantages of leasing storage to a blockchain service?

There are a number of advantages to leasing storage from a blockchain-based storage network. Distributed storage through a blockchain service is cheaper than on-premises or traditional cloud-based storage. Enterprises using blockchain for storage don’t have to buy and maintain equipment or software. They also may not need to have as many management resources devoted to storage infrastructure as they would with traditional storage.

Blockchain data storage offers more transparency than a traditional cloud service. With data distributed across multiple nodes, blockchain technology is able to provide higher levels of availability and fault tolerance. Blockchain also offers performance advantages because users can access data closer to where it’s stored.

There’s a lot to recommend with blockchain when it comes to tracking the movement and storage of data, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding its use for storage.

Blockchain storage is also thought to be more secure than centralized storage because the data is spread out across many data points. Distributed storage is less likely to be universally hit by invasive malware. In addition, the redundancy built into these systems protects against data loss from all sorts of events.

What are the potential drawbacks of blockchain storage?

For blockchain to work effectively for storage, users must have sufficient visibility into the storage environment and must be sure the multiple peers it’s made up of are physically and logically diversified enough to guarantee high availability and reliability. For instance, if all the peers in a network happen to reside in the same region, the system could be vulnerable in the event of a major outage in that region.

Operational strain on the network when companies retrieve and consolidate data from different nodes could also be a potential blockchain problem once the technology is in more widespread use. Data security is another area where issues could arise as attackers look for and find new ways to compromise and exploit the technology.

What synergies exist between cloud and blockchain?

Industry experts expect cloud-based infrastructures to be the basis for the majority of blockchain deployments. The two technologies are built on the same concepts and provide similar benefits.

Public cloud providers operate large distributed computing environments, which are key requirements for a blockchain network. They also offer advantages, such as scalability and on-demand compute access, which are blockchain advantages, as well. Moving a blockchain deployment into the public cloud can provide more efficiency and flexibility compared with a corporate environment.

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Will Blockchain Transform the Stock Market?

Blockchain can make it easier to transfer property rights and other assets by reducing transactional…
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Blockchain can make it easier to transfer property rights and other assets by reducing transactional costs and boosting trust between investors. But can it be used by the world’s largest stock exchanges?

The rules that govern trades in financial assets have changed little over the past two or three centuries. Some say those rules have worked relatively well (apart from a few world-shattering crashes now and then). Does it need to change? Should it change? Can it change?

I believe it needs to, should, and can. What can we do to convince boards, investors, sellers, buyers, intermediaries, and supervisory bodies to adopt new solutions? Assuming change is feasible, will blockchain be a major step toward doing away with traditional stock exchanges?

That not-so-good old-timey exchange

Today’s investor relies on a traditional system of buying, selling and accounting for transactions that are old enough to be called ossified. The system generates considerable costs and adds to the time needed to close transactions. This is because trading in financial assets requires multiple entities arranged in a complex web of intermediaries, settlement systems and business partners. Whether they are investors, brokers, depositaries, stock exchange management or central supervisory bodies, all actors taking part in asset trading – buying, selling, or transferring – are obliged to generate messages, receive authorizations, and continuously update transaction status records.

Blockchain can change all this. Key transaction-related processes such as issuing securities, trading, clearing, and settlements could be handled swiftly and without much friction with the use of blockchain’s distributed ledger.

And then came the crash

There is another factor to consider: trust, the willingness of investors to believe and have faith in the general rules underpinning the stock exchange system.

The fiscal crisis of 2008, triggered (in part) by the proliferation of opaque financial instruments, called into question the transparency of the existing global model. The crash we experienced a decade ago laid bare the need to search for alternative solutions that would help build a more transparent, tamper-proof system. What emerged in the wake of the crash were new government regulations that today, in the U.S., are being rolled back.

Blockchain cannot be rolled back.

Given its properties, I think that blockchain would give us hope for a stock exchange of the future. In a blockchain-based exchange, murky transactions would become a thing of the past. Smart contracts could dispel doubts as to whether settlements have been made correctly. Supervisory mechanisms – today indispensable, albeit inefficient – would no longer be needed.

Trust would be a given. Blockchain hits the largest trading floors. The investment market is on the cutting edge of early blockchain deployments.

For instance, Nasdaq management has been looking at blockchain for three years. As early as May 2015, the private share-trading platform, Linq, was launched to enable unlisted companies to represent their shares digitally. Last year, Nasdaq Stockholm and the Swedish bank SEB started testing the use of blockchain to register all transactions in real time. Blockchain-based solutions have undergone rigorous testing on the Nasdaq Tallinn exchange. The premise of the project is that corporate shareholders would be able to vote during investor meetings or digitally transfer their voting rights to a proxy.

The London Stock Exchange Group, in cooperation with IBM, has begun testing a blockchain-based platform to fully digitalize trades in the shares of small and medium-sized enterprises. The tests are being carried out by the Italian operator of LSEG, Borsa Italiana. And the Australian Securities Exchange plans to finish its two-year-long process this year to develop a system that will increase operations transparency and enhance investor security.

One remarkable example of how blockchain can become a fact of life is the “Delaware Initiative.” In 2017, Delaware, known for its high concentration of listed companies (and business-friendly regulations and taxes), legally recognized blockchain as an official settlement system. State authorities are now setting up a system that will allow businesses to generate and store any company-related data. People who lobbied for blockchain in Delaware noted the complex nature of the securities market. They were particularly concerned about the challenge of tracking share ownership. The project’s promoters said that blockchain is a good solution that will make it possible to more easily verify share ownership and considerably reduce transaction times.

This is neither fantasy nor hype. This is happening now.

How the blockchain future will flower

Financial institutions must, above all, be certain that their customers’ money is secure. It is therefore unsurprising that even given the examples related, capital markets are still slow to embrace blockchain. To see genuine progress, certain conditions must be met, primary among them the establishment of the most stringent security standards for the block system. Blockchain implementations require proper laws. Unfortunately, right now, the legislative environment everywhere is somewhat polarized and inconsistent.

We must also bear in mind that technology continues to be limited. Work is underway to boost its capacity and reduce transaction costs. On the New York Stock Exchange, there are around three billion trades on a normal day. The development of new platforms to handle such volume is likely to prove complicated and time-consuming. And that translates into costs.

Nevertheless, I believe that financial markets will see the most important implementations of the blockchain. They will become the training ground for other sectors.

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