Energy Web Foundation Launches Public, Open-source, Enterprise-grade Blockchain Tailored to the Energy Sector

Zug, Switzerland, 19 June 2019 – The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) today announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than 10 EWF Affiliates—including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers—are hosting validator nodes for the live network. In addition, EWF is currently tracking 17 decentralized applications (dApps) running on Energy Web test networks that are expected to transition to the live network over the coming weeks. This first wave of dApps focuses on making it easier for individuals and companies to buy renewable energy, enabling customer-owned devices like batteries or air conditioning units to balance the grid (and be paid for doing so), and simplifying the way electric vehicles are charged.

“We started Energy Web Foundation in 2017 with a promise: a production version of Energy Web Chain by Q2 2019. We are proud to announce that we kept our promise. Energy Web Chain is now running in production mode,” said Hervé Touati, co-founder and chief executive officer for EWF. “Our next target, to be reached latest by Q4 2019, is to fully decentralize the chain. At that point, it will no longer be ‘our’ chain; it will be the energy sector’s blockchain—the first public blockchain where blocks are validated by energy sector companies.”

“EW token holders are alongside our worldwide EWF Affiliate community, supporting a platform capable of underpinning hundreds of different dApps that can fundamentally transform the energy sector,” added Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of EWF. “Global energy sector investment last year totaled $1.8 trillion. And the Energy Web Chain—with its 100+ network of supporting Affiliates—boasts an unprecedented pathway to blockchain solution adoption and global scale across that massive industry.”

Over ten organizations are hosting validator nodes for the Energy Web Chain. These organizations are the foundation of the Energy Web chain’s public Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network design: a publicly accessible, ethereum-based network with permissioned validators. The chain itself is public; any company, individual, or internet-connected device can transact across the network without permission. This dramatically increases network interoperability and reduces solution development cost. At the same time, the chain’s validators are permissioned—they are known energy market participants identified and affiliated with EWF, and who has in essence “staked their brand” to help stand up this energy-specific blockchain. This PoA-based design comes with three additional benefits for the energy sector: scalability, energy efficiency (which also equates to low transaction costs for energy market participants using the network), and increased regulatory compliance.

“The Energy Web is essentially a new operating system—a new digital DNA—for the electricity grid,” explained EWF’s Morris. “Other token-based energy blockchain projects are focused on delivering singular decentralized applications. By contrast, the Energy Web is a blockchain infrastructure project focused on supporting all blockchain developers looking to accelerate the global transition away from fossil fuels toward efficiency and renewables. That’s a huge and exciting distinction.”

Today’s EW Chain launch represents the latest major milestone in the Energy Web’s fast-growing ecosystem. EWF formed in early 2017 with support from co-founders Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, as well as a cohort of ~12 initial Affiliates. By early 2018 EWF had surpassed 40 Affiliates and by early 2019 had crossed the 100-Affiliate threshold. Meanwhile, a growing list of respected utilities and grid operators have launched demonstrations, pilots, and even pre-commercial deployments on Energy Web test networks, including PJM-EIS, SP Group, Acciona, Iberdrola, Elia, and Stedin, among many others.

Like most public blockchains, the Energy Web Chain uses a native token to pay transaction costs and reward validators. But organizations are already experimenting across the Energy Web test networks and mainnet with additional uses of the token including: a) token staking to enhance data reputation and quality from internet-connected devices (e.g., electric vehicles, solar farms), b) directly using EW Tokens to pay prosumers and others for participating in the energy market, and c) decentralized finance for energy (e.g., stablecoins produced via EWT staking).

Beyond novel uses of the token, an expanding set of open-source software development toolkits (SDKs) help speed the time to commercial dApps, while the EW Link protocol allows everything from utility SCADA systems to smart meters to edge devices (e.g., inverters, EVs, thermostats) to connect to the EW Chain and transact via their digital identities. With billions of connected energy devices forecasted in the years just ahead, enabling them to easily transact on the Energy Web Chain is paramount.

“The electricity sector is on a clear pathway: more renewables, more distributed energy, more electric vehicles. According to industry forecasts, by 2030 consumers would invest more money in distribution-edge devices—solar PV, batteries, charging stations, electric vehicles, smart controls—than electric utilities would invest in power generation and electricity grids. This is a massive and unprecedented shift,” observed EWF’s Touati. “That shift will put enormous pressure on utilities to integrate all these investments and make good use of them. Customers will not want to pay twice. For that, utilities need new kinds of software technology, like the Energy Web Chain—distributed, open source, run by the industry—allowing low cost interoperability and trust between millions of devices and retailers or grid operators. Energy Web is bringing energy—if not power—back to the people.”

About Energy Web Foundation

Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. EWF focuses on technology integration and development, fostering market innovation, speeding adoption, and building community. 

In mid-2019, EWF launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first enterprise-grade, open-source blockchain platform tailored to the sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. EWF also fostered the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem, comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, and others.

The Energy Web has become the industry’s leading energy blockchain partner and most-respected voice of authority on energy blockchain. 

For more, visit https://energyweb.org

Coinbase Expands Cryptocurrency Visa Debit Cards Across Europe

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has expanded its Visa debit card service to six European countries, allowing customers in the region to spend their digital assets.

According to a report from CNBC on Wednesday, the Coinbase Card is now available for users in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

With the card, customers will be able to spend their cryptocurrency assets including bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin in both online and physical stores that accept Visa.

Coinbase first rolled out a cryptocurrency Visa debit card in April, exclusively for users based in the U.K. at the time.

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase U.K., did not disclose how many users the firm had signed up since April but said in an interview with CNBC that it had “blew past” the initial 1,000 cards issued to customers for free.

Coinbase Cards are linked to a mobile app available on both Android and iOS devices, in which customers can select which type of cryptocurrency they would like to use to fund each spending.

That said, customers are not directly paying merchants with crypto assets. Instead, Coinbase charges a fee to help convert users’ cryptocurrencies into a fiat currency, i.e. euro in the new offering.

The firm partners with PaySafe, a U.K. payment processor, to issue the cards.

Image courtesy to Coinbase

This article originally appeared at: https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-expands-cryptocurrency-visa-debit-cards-across-europe.

Huobi Global will launch Prime Lite and list ThunderCore on May 9, 2019

Since the launch of Huobi Prime on March 26, 2019, Huobi Global has significantly promoted the development of high-quality projects by providing an efficient listing process, innovative trading model and in-depth advisory services. Huobi Prime also offers users with trading opportunities at low cost through rigorous project review and filtration, 0 trading fees and a unique “price limit” mechanism. Ever since, Huobi Prime has become quality blockchain projects first and best choice for service platform.

In order to further improve the listing service and meet the practical needs of varieties of project teams, Huobi Global will officially launch an ultra-fast version of the Huobi Prime – Prime Lite on May 9, 2019 (GMT+8).

Prime Lite is a niche brand of Huobi Prime, projects listing through Prime Lite are still required to meet all the thresholds for our Smartchain v2.0 evaluation model, and will be able to leverage resources from Huobi’s worldwide local exchanges, Huobi Pool, Huobi Wallet, Huobi Chat as well as Huobi Eco Partners.

Compared to Huobi Prime, Prime Lite will have the following features:

1. Shorter listing cycle and more flexible listing schedule

2. Trading allocations for users are more flexible

3. To facilitate the development of HT (Huobi Token), all HT exchanged will be burnt

The first Prime Lite project will be ThunderCore (TT), and total trading allocation reserved for Prime Lite will be worth roughly 500,000 USDT. Specific project information and trading rules will be further disclosed in subsequent announcements.

This article originally appeared at: https://huobiglobal.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000243462-Huobi-Global-will-launch-Prime-Lite-and-list-ThunderCore-on-May-9-2019-.

Why is my keyboard connected to the cloud?

First cab off that rank should be input devices, because what sort of maniac thinks the advantages of a roaming cloud-based configuration outweighs the potential explosion in surface area to attack and compromise? That maniac is called Razer, and it has been connecting keyboards to its Synapse software for years.

At last week’s CES, Razer took it a step further when it announced it is adding support for users to use Alexa to control their peripherals.

“Alexa, ask Chroma to change my lighting profile to FPS mode,” Razer cheerily proclaims as an example of its upcoming functionality.

For this to work, the software that usually controls keyboard and mice settings needs to be connected to Amazon Alexa.

It’s a 2-for-1 cloud connection, because once you embrace the idea of Razer’s servers being secure, then you’ve already accepted a more risky proposition than using just Amazon.

Last month, Razer faced blowback when it launched a cryptocurrency mining application called Cortex, where users would be rewarded with its Silver funny money.

“The new app to put snoozing machines to work, solving blockchain puzzles in the background in exchange for sweet, sweet Silver,” Razer said at the time.

Enter Tavis Ormandy, security researcher for Google Project Zero and scourge of buggy software makers, who took a look at the software and was stunned.

“Holy moly, I just installed this. WHY IS CEF (chromium embedded) REMOTE DEBUGGING ENABLED AND LISTENING BY DEFAULT (!?!?!?!),” Ormandy tweeted.

“I don’t have any razer hardware to test, but they probably (like, *right now*) need to fix that.”

To Razer’s credit, the company fixed the issue within 24 hours; on the other hand, it allowed remote command execution in the first place.

Also in Razer’s favour is that it acknowledged it was responsible, which is more than can be said for Gigabyte.

On December 18, SecureAuth detailed an exchange of when it discovered that software utilities for Gigabyte and Aorus motherboards had privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

“There is ring0 memcpy-like functionality … allowing a local attacker to take complete control of the affected system,” SecureAuth said.

In trying to resolve what was clearly a serious issue, the security company could not locate a proper contact within Gigabyte, and headed over to its technical support team.

“Gigabyte is a hardware company and they are not specialized in software,” Gigabyte told SecureAuth on two different occasions in May.

In the end, SecureAuth said Gigabyte eventually responded by saying its products did not have any issues.

If a vendor with the experience and sales of Gigabyte responds by denying responsibility for its software, it doesn’t bode well for smaller players.

Gigabyte should stop distributing software as long as it keeps on throwing out the excuse that it is a hardware company.

And it is no small matter, because the utilities that the Taiwanese manufacturer puts out are built to manipulate hardware settings, and flash BIOSes.

If a bad actor was looking for a shortcut into a modern Windows system, trying to find your way in via Microsoft’s code will be time wasting when the camembert-like underbelly of a modern system is likely to be crap software from peripheral makers.

That tactic is not new, but with connectivity exploding, things are likely to get worse before it gets better, as with most things in the cyber realm. 

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for Groceries – Bitcoin News

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for GroceriesKiev’s historic Bessarabsky market, an indoor marketplace located in the center of the capital city, is accepting cryptocurrencies, the public communal company that operates it announced on Facebook. Locals and visitors can now buy fresh produce with a variety of digital coins thanks to a partnership with crypto payments processor Paytomat.

Currently supported are payments in bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin gold (BTG), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), nano, dash, waves, EOS, and NEM. During this initial, experimental stage customers can spend their crypto at a fruits and vegetables stand. However, a vegan street food cafe at the market is also preparing to launch crypto payments soon. Purchases are made through a QR code scan and sellers should receive the payments in fiat Ukrainian hryvnias after instant conversion.

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for GroceriesThe cryptocurrency payment option will offer buyers a new experience and attract crypto enthusiasts, according to Bessarabsky market’s managing director, Nikolay Kovalchuk, quoted by the Ukrainian outlet Bykvu. He also hopes for an increase in customer loyalty that will lead to sales growth. The market, which is one of Kiev’s landmark sites, is frequented by foreign tourists as well, and for many of them crypto payments are known and convenient.

‘Babushka’ Shows How Easy It Is to Spend Crypto

The project, which has been named “Babushka” (Granny), aims to demonstrate the simplicity of using cryptocurrency in everyday life. According to Alexander Kurin, operations director at Paytomat in Ukraine, the hardest part is to convince sellers they are going to get their hryvnias after the crypto payment is processed. He told Forklog:

The main idea is a symbiosis between traditions and innovations. We chose the Bessarabsky market because it is a well-known tourist destination, and cryptocurrencies are a universal means of payment in any country.

Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for GroceriesPaytomat has been working to introduce cryptocurrency payments in a number of cafes, restaurants, online stores, and even clinics, schools, and beauty salons, the Ukrainian outlet notes. Businesses and merchants using its services are spread across Europe, from Ukraine and Georgia in the East to the Netherlands and Spain in the West.

The platform offers several payment solutions including POS terminal, web panel, QR code and WordPress plugin. As news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this year, the Paytomat supports 11 cryptocurrencies and works with more than 330 restaurants and stores.

What do you think about Bessarabsky market’s initiative to introduce crypto payments in Kiev? Tell us in the comments section below.  

This article originally appeared at: https://news.bitcoin.com/kievs-bessarabsky-market-accepts-cryptocurrencies-for-groceries/.

A Patent-Based Bull Run

A Patent-Based Bull Run

There has been something of a boom of late in cryptocurrency related patent applications filed by Big Money players. Wells Fargo, for example, applied for a patent on a system in which any type of ‘data element’ can be located, protected, and accessed by means of its tokenization.

Meanwhile, Bank of America now has 45 blockchain patents pending, adding the latest to that queue in recent days.

Those with romantic visions for a blockchain revolution may have (at best) mixed feelings about what they may see as its corporate co-optation, and the fencing in of a commons at that. Still, the boom in filings may mean good things for the prices of the more venerable currencies in the field. Bitcoins are now in the neighborhood of $7,500. That isn’t a pricey neighborhood if your mind is still focused on the December 2017 numbers, but it is a significant improvement over late June.

 

This article originally appeared at: http://mainbloq.io/a-patent-based-bull-run/.

Half of ICOs Die Within Four Months After Token Sales Finalized

About 56 percent of crypto startups that raise money through token sales die within four months of their initial coin offerings.

That’s the finding of a Boston College study that analyzed the intensity of tweets from the startups’ Twitter accounts to infer signs of life. The researchers determined that only 44.2 percent of startups survive after 120 days from the end of their ICOs. The researchers, Hugo Benedetti and Leonard Kostovetsky, examined 2,390 ICOs that were completed before May.

Acquiring coins in an ICO and selling them on the first day is the safest investment strategy, Kostovetsky said in a phone interview. But many individual investors can’t participate in ICOs, so this option isn’t open to them. Still, all investors should probably sell their coins within the first six months, the study found.

“What we find is that once you go beyond three months, at most six months, they don’t outperform other cryptocurrencies,” Kostovetsky said. “The strongest return is actually in the first month.”
ICO Funding by Month

-1x-1.png

Returns have been declining over time, as startups have become savvier about pricing coin offerings and more have people jumped into ICO investing. Returns of people who sold tokens on the first day they were listed on an exchange have been declining by four percentage points a month, Kostovetsky said.

“They are much lower now, so I wouldn’t expect them to continue to decline at this rate,” he said.

A slew of recent studies have shown just how risky ICO investing is. More than 1,000 tokens have already bitten the dust, according to the website Coinopsy

“People often look at returns and say this is a great deal, but we teach in finance that return is a compensation for risk,” Kostovetsky said. “These are stakes in platforms that have not yet been built, that have no participants yet. There’s a lot of risk. The majority of ICOs do fail.”

Kostovetsky is an assistant professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, and Benedetti is a finance PhD student at the school.

Mastercard Latest Crypto Patent: Anonymous Third Party Transactions

Did Mastercard invent the blockchain? Interesting patent appears to say that though from a quick read appear to be referring to fiat transactions.

Will there next move be a lawsuit against Satoshi for patent infringement? 


Mastercard Granted Still More Crypto Patents

In its latest crypto patent filings, Mastercard stresses “a need for a technical solution whereby an entity may participate in a transaction where transaction details may be posted publicly to ensure accountability and trust in the data, while still providing anonymity and inability of others to track individual transactions or volume information by transaction party identifying information of both parties of a transaction to satisfy the confidentiality needs of each entity involved in the transaction.”

The more than half-a-century old legacy payments institution based in the United States is a world leader. Tens of thousands of employees. Nearly $13 billion in yearly revenue. It is a staple of Standard & Poor’s component indices. Its principal global business is as an intermediary, trusted third party, between merchant banks, and their derivations, along with credit, prepaid, and debit cards.

Mastercard Latest Crypto Patent: Anonymous Third Party Transactions

United States Patent Application 20180181953, granted yesterday after having been filed back in late December of 2016, reads in abstract

“A method for posting of anonymous directed transaction includes: storing a plurality of entity profiles, each including an entity identifier and a secret value; receiving a transaction request from a first entity, the request including transaction data and a specific entity identifier associated with a second entity; identifying a specific entity profile that includes the specific entity identifier; generating a first hash value via application of one or more hashing algorithms to the transaction data; generating a second hash value via application of one of more hashing algorithms to a combination of the first hash value and the secret value included in the identified specific entity profile; and posting the first hash value and second hash value to a publicly accessible data source.”

Loosely translated, a public blockchain transaction, as it exists in its popular forms with regard to bitcoin core (BTC), just might be a key in holding back more crypto acceptance on a broader scale. Of its many ironies, BTC’s open ledger provides a wealth of information for both consumers and businesses, and aspects of industrial espionage are sure to follow, something giants like Mastercard are keen to avoid at all cost.

Privacy for Mastercard is Different than Privacy in the Crypto World

The cryptocurrency world has continued to tackle the issue of private, cash-like transacting since its inception. Alternatives abound among tokens and alternative coins, and their numbers and intensity are growing at record paces.

Mastercard Latest Crypto Patent: Anonymous Third Party Transactions

For traditional payments companies, avoiding a public distributed ledger is equally growing in importance. They’ve several masters to please, including lawmakers and regulators who wish to grant such transaction access to police. Eliminating peer-to-peer features is also very important, and so third party processors are vital to the company’s plans. A lucrative side business is to sell such information to other companies hoping to exploit its proprietary data for advertising purposes, for example.

Crypto-related patents recently granted to the company include travel and even coupons. They’re yet another ironic turn for a company with well-known hostilities toward the crypto community.

Binance Opens Its First Crypto-Fiat Exchange in Uganda

Jun 29, 2018 at 02:00 UTC  |  Updated  Jun 29, 2018 at 12:00 UTC

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has just launched a fiat trading pair in Uganda.

Binance, the largest exchange by volume according to CoinMarketCap, announced Thursday that it was starting a fiat-crypto trading pair with the Uganda shilling. Moreover, the company also announced its first fiat crypto exchange in the nation, called Binance Uganda, according to a statement.

The exchange will charge zero trading fees when it comes online, though Binance declined to state when that would be. However, the first 20,000 users to register with the service will receive 0.5 binance coins (BNB) as “appreciation” for their support, according to the statement.

The tokens will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis but users who wish to withdraw their tokens must complete identification verification procedures after the platform is launched, according to the announcement.

The launch marks Binance’s latest steps in expanding cryptocurrency trading in the underbanked country. Only 33 percent of Ugandans actively use their registered financial accounts in 2016, according to a study by Financial Inclusion Insights, a data-collection organization which focuses on trends in the digital financial services industry.

The Hong Kong-based exchange also has announced plans to open a fiat-crypto trading platform in Malta, an island nation located in the Central Mediterranean Sea, Bloomberg reported.

This article originally appeared at: https://www.coindesk.com/binance-opens-first-crypto-fiat-exchange-uganda/.

What You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency Wallets

“At their core, cryptocurrencies are built around the principle of a universal, inviolable ledger, one that is made fully public and is constantly being verified by these high-powered computers, each essentially acting independently of the others.” – Paul Vigna

Cryptocurrency Wallets:

The place where you store your coins is called a cryptocurrency wallet. That simply means that you have a software address where coins are stored with a secret key to access them.

The address and key may be stored electronically or via paper as long as you save it and remember where you put it.

A wallet can be online or offline. Online wallets can one of two types – first is a wallet that is accessible at various locations, second is a wallet stored on your PC. The offline wallet can be an equipment- based wallet. This is much the same as a memory card or garbage drive that can be accessed using a USB port.

As cryptocurrency depends on code, the most secure method to protect your wallet is the paper-based option.

Without cryptographic money wallets, coins would be nothing as it’s the main way people embrace advanced currency standards. Cryptocurrency wallets are similar to the wallets that most of us have to carry cash and credit cards. Essentially, these wallets enable people to own cryptocurrency.

What Are The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets?

Just like banks have account names and numbers; cryptographic currencies have addresses to each wallet on the blockchain. That wallet has a public address and a private address.

The public address is where you acquire tokens or altcoins. The private address gives you access to your wallet to send tokens or altcoins.

Types Of Wallets:

*Hardware wallets: Holds your “private keys” offline in what’s called “cold storage”. This mean there is no linkage to the web. This secures your wallet against malignant programmers/programming.

A hardware wallet is set up with what’s known as a “seed expression“. This is a series of words (which are unique to you) that help you regain access to a wallet should you lose or damage it. Setting up a hardware wallet is simple, just connect it to a USB port then download the related programming.

*Desktop wallets: Downloaded and kept on a computer. This type of wallet can often offer high levels of security. That said, if your PC is hacked or infected with a virus it’s highly probable that you will lose your currency.

*Online wallets: Run on the cloud and are accessible from any device. in any location. Online wallets store your private keys on the web and are controlled by a third party. This, unfortunately, makes them defenseless against hackers and theft.

*Paper wallets: Easy to use and have a high level of security. One can also refer to a piece of software that is used to securely generate a pair of keys that you need to print. If you want to withdraw or spend currency you simply exchange your coins from your paper wallet to your product wallet.

Do You Need a Wallet For Each Cryptocurrency?

Yes, it is absolutely necessary.

Each specific Cryptocurrency requires it’s own digital wallet where coins can be stored. There are many types of digital wallets such as desktop wallets, mobile wallets, web-based wallets, etc.

At first, wallets can certainly be difficult to keep track of if you invested in multiple currencies. Why? You require a different wallet for each coin, which is time consuming and requires space.

With the huge demand and awareness now of cryptocurrencies, the wallet process has been refined and simplified. Extensive time and effort has been invested to make the system more effective and efficient.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cryptocurrency Wallet

*Compatibility: The wallet should be compatible with different operating systems.

*Security features: Security features are the prominent issue when choosing a cryptocurrency wallet. Therefore, it’s best to seed backup keys and pin codes first.

*Regulate private keys: A cryptocurrency wallet is where you can store and secure your private keys.

There is no such thing as a single wallet that stores every kind of coin. You will have to determine which wallets you need based on which coins you own.

It is extremely important that crypto holders never share their wallet password or private key with anyone.

To emphasize, when you send or receive coins you only need to share your public cryptocurrency wallet address.