Two enterprising principals of a school in China were found to have been using school resources to mine Ethereum (ETH), according to reports emerging in local media.

The principals were taken to task over the theft of electricity and processing power, which resulted in significant disruption to systems within the school over a period of several months from July to November.

According to reports from the HK01 network, the alarm was first raised at Puman Middle School in Hunan province when it was noted that school computers were making more noise than usual—even during school holidays and close days.

It was also noted that IT networks in the school had been running much slower than their usual pace, while the school’s energy consumption had almost doubled in just a few months.

The general manager at the school initially thought the problems were being caused by overuse of air conditions systems. However, it was subsequently discovered that senior management had installed no fewer than seven computers, set up specifically to mine ETH on school resources.

An investigation found that school principal, Lei Hua, and vice principal, Wang Zhipeng had installed the computer system worth $7,000 to mine the cryptocurrency, costing the school somewhere in the region of $2,165 in electricity over the period.

According to media reports, the principal had initially installed the system at home before becoming frustrated by the extent of the energy bills he was incurring as a result. The principal has since been removed from his post, with the vice principal reprimanded and given an official warning for their part in the swindle.

This is far from the first time an employee has attempted to use the resources of their employer for mining cryptocurrency. Back in March, employees of the Florida’s Department of Citrus were found to have used work resources for mining cryptocurrency, while employees at the Louisiana Attorney General’s office were also implicated in a similar scam.

While it might not seem as significant as other forms of workplace theft, mining cryptocurrencies in this way can incur significant energy and computing costs, which are ultimately illegitimately billed to their employer. These are just some of the high profile few that have been caught so far; however, it seems likely that this is a problem that will continue at workplaces worldwide, as crypto mining becomes more lucrative and accessible.

*This post is credited to Coin Geek

Very few positive stories come out of China with cryptocurrency in the headlines. This one is no different as the central bank has continued with its rhetoric over the risks of dealing with digital currencies.

Same Old Story; Crypto Bad, Blockchain Good

The People’s Bank of China has issued another warning over its perceived bubble effect associated with cryptocurrency investing. Director of the research bureau of China’s central bank, Xu Zhong, penned the paper along with Zuo Chuanwei, a PBoC analyst, according to reports.

The notion that digital currencies have no intrinsic value was once again used to state that they could never been seen as a replacement for fiat currencies. The paper went on to say that digital currencies are extremely vague in nature making it difficult for authorities to track transactions or implement money laundering policies. This appears to be the crux of the issue for central banks; they want full control over flow of finances.

The paper went on to reiterate that Beijing has already banned initial coin offerings, declaring them illegal forms of fundraising. All ICO channels, media and projects have also been heavily censored resulting in the majority of them leaving for more conducive climes such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

The paper did praise blockchain technology however stating that China is still welcoming of the nascent industry. It recommended a more practical approach to distributed ledger technology and recommended higher government oversight. This has already happened with a recent crackdown on users of blockchain based services in China.

In its latest war on crypto China has plans to clampdown on airdrops claiming that they are ‘disguised’ ICOs. In a similar report the PBoC stated;

“Take airdrops, where tokens are given out for free to participants, rather than raising funds directly in public via ICO, while reserving a portion of the total supply. These cryptocurrency startups then try to push tokens’ prices higher in the secondary market in a bid to reap profits.”

It added that the bank was going to ramp up efforts in order to clean up the crypto industry, or what remains of it, in China. Hinting that the only crypto allowed within its borders will be a state backed on, the bank continued stating “Crypto assets which are not issued by the government do not have legal status equivalent to fiat currencies.”

Similar warnings have been issued in Thailand recently where the ruling junta appears to be mimicking moves made in China. Business leaders and academics are welcoming blockchain and crypto with open arms but, unsurprisingly, the military leaders want more control. In South Korea meanwhile, lawyers have urged the government to issue a clear regulatory framework for the industry in order for it to flourish.

*This post is credited to News BTC

The news reports circulating that China has recalled its Bitcoin trading ban are not true and are a result of misinterpreting facts.

Sorry, but the reports circulating that China has finally lifted its ban on Bitcoin trading is not accurate.

Contrary to several media reports, including from a cryptocurrency-focused online publication with the banner: China Lifts Bitcoin Ban; Individuals and Businesses Can Now Own Cryptocurrencies Legally as well as tweets and statements by public figures, the report that Beijing has backtracked from its moratorium on Bitcoin trading is actually a misinterpretation of a ruling by a Shenzen court.

A Twitter post by user @katherineykwu (Katherine Wu) stated:

 

Unfortunately, the above tweet also created some confusion with many journalists and personalities thinking the more than one year of Bitcoin ban in China has ended, resulting to investors rushing to buy Bitcoin in the hope of gaining profits.

But it was actually based on the October 25 court ruling of the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) declaring Bitcoin as a property and not as currency, citing existing laws of the People’s Republic of China. The decision makes it legal for Chinese citizens and merchants to transfer and own digital currencies.

The decision said:

“Although Bitcoin may not be legal currency, that does not prevent it from being protected by law as a property,” said SCIA in the released case analysis. “The Party contends that Bitcoin has characteristics of a property (SOV) that can be controlled by the owner; it has economic value and can bring economic benefits to the owner. This does not break any laws. This arbitrator agrees.”

In July this year, the Hangzhou Internet Court, which specializes in Internet-related cases, had issued a ruling allowing blockchain-enabled documents to be accepted as evidence in a copyright infringement case.

The ruling said, “it should maintain an open and neutral stance on using blockchain to analyze individual cases.”

*This post is credited to CryptoVest

David King, technology writer specializing in privacy, blockchain and FinTech, shares his view of the China’s blockchain technology journey, explaining key regulations, policies, and technology’s use-cases in the country.

In a recent broadcast, China Central Television (CCTV), the dominant state-controlled broadcast company announced in an hour-long broadcast that “the value of blockchain is 10 times that of the internet”, and that blockchain is the next significant global technological revolution, exceeding the importance of the Internet, according to Quartz which analyzed the implications for China and beyond.

This groundbreaking newscast included Chinese government officials, as well as Don Tapscott, a well-known Canadian author of the book Blockchain Revolution. China’s position on blockchain may surprise outsiders because the country historically held a very skeptical, if not overtly hostile view of cryptocurrency.  In the last year, China banned crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings. They also curtailed crypto mining.

Around the same time, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission issued a warning to investors that tokens issued via ICO may be classified as securities, and that the Commission is “concerned about an increase in the use of ICOs to raise funds in Hong Kong and elsewhere.”

However despite proceeding with extreme caution on cryptocurrency, technology experts and cryptocurrency advocates in China were pleased with the country’s pro-blockchain perspective and its potential for the world’s largest country by population, specifically citing the three main points of the televised presentation: “Blockchain is the second era of the Internet” (Don Tapscott, author of “Blockchain Revolution”), “The value of blockchain is 10 times that of the Internet” (Stanford physics professor and founder of Danhua Capital Zhang Shoucheng), and “Blockchain is the machine that produces trust.”

Xi Jinping, president of China, spoke in May 2018 about the potential breakthrough technologies that blockchain could produce, including applications in artificial intelligence. “A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things, and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications,” Xi said, via a translator.

MATRIX AI Network and Other Chinese Companies Leading the Way

MATRIX AI Network, a company registered in Hong Kong, is launching an intelligent, open-source, new generation blockchain that aims to solve major challenges currently constraining the development and adoption of blockchain technology. MATRIX leverages the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to deliver an easier, safer, faster and more flexible blockchain.

“In addition to AI experts, we also gathered experts in distributed computing who understood network architecture, topology, and latency. We wanted the team to bring fresh eyes to how blockchain had developed to date, and innovate from there,” says MATRIX AI Network Chief AI Scientist Steve Deng.

The results, to date, have been impressive, with MATRIX AI Network recently confirming that system throughput speeds exceed 50,000 transactions per second (TPS).

In addition to faster and more efficient transaction processing, MATRIX differentiates itself from previous blockchains by offering breakthrough technologies in building AI-enabled autonomous and self-optimizing blockchain networks, featuring multi-chain collaboration and decoupling of data and control blocks.  With the successful completion and release of its Testnet in October 2018, the MATRIX Main Network is scheduled to go online on December 30, 2018.

China appears to be lending support to other domestic companies with promising blockchain technology including NEO, a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency designed to build a scalable network of decentralized applications and QTUM, a blockchain technology that bridges Ethereum’s smart contracts on top of Bitcoin’s stable blockchain while using proof of stake for verification.

Implications for China

The discussions and presentations made it clear that China is angling to become an epicenter of innovation. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are all trying to attract blockchain startups and become a laboratory for FinTech innovation.

However, critics are concerned that blockchain technology will still be unable to be used in China for cryptocurrency applications. Critics state that prohibiting and/or regulating the use of cryptocurrencies in China, but embracing blockchain, indicates that the foundation of blockchain technology is being misused; meaning that the fundamental idea behind blockchain encourages a free market without government interference, which may diverge from China’s interests.

Of interest, media outlets are reporting that the People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang supports cryptocurrency, which could be a reason for the country’s embrace of blockchain technology. China is ahead the rest of the world when it comes to using digital currency on a daily basis. Even vending machines in China are equipped with the technology to accept a payment from a scanned code on a person’s phone.

In 2017, a conference titled (note, this is translated to English from Chinese) “2017 Trustworthy Blockchain Convention” was held in China, where government officials discussed their plans for instituting a standardized blockchain into the Chinese economy. Also discussed were ideas about effective regulation of the technology.

One trader and technology insider speculates that China is embracing blockchain technology to reap financial rewards. For instance, each cryptocurrency transaction made results in fees generated for any transaction and/or transfer of the currency. If the Chinese government creates its own cryptocurrency, the government itself could potentially benefit tremendously from any fees associated with the transfers and transactions.

China Embarks on Blockchain Technology Research 

In January 2018, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, discussions online and in person took place that illuminated the ideas and the future of blockchain in China. One article from the Annual Meeting argued that since blockchain technology is difficult to understand, policies are being outlined to provide guidance for industry executives and investors alike.

In September 2017, the Trusted Blockchain Open Lab was launched in China. This research facility was launched by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a research arm under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology umbrella. The purpose of this lab is to research and develop blockchain technology in China under general use. It will not address how blockchain is utilized in cryptocurrency, and it will not look at the blockchain uses in the cryptocurrency exchange markets.

Government Regulatory Guidance

Also discussed at the World Economic Forum was the idea that the world is on the brink of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, as evidenced by the work of Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. His book, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ details how he believes that “…we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another.”

As China readies itself for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it appears necessary to utilize blockchain technology to ensure the highest security of digital technology. For example, some experts believe that China is poised to develop work between blockchain experts and established data and technology companies to integrate blockchain technology into a wider scope. Government regulation is essential to integrating blockchain technology into everyday uses.

As China embarks on its own blockchain technology journey, it will be important to keep an eye on regulations, policies, and general uses for the technology outside of cryptocurrencies.

*This post is credited to CoinSpeaker

China is changing. That becomes clearer to see when we look at the field of financial technology and the talent that has emerged over the last few decades.

But attitudes in China when it comes to blockchain still sway from a useful resource to a tool for gambling. So it might seem remarkable that advancements in blockchain are in some parts being driven by the country, or at least its exports.

Certainly, the advent of blockchain is changing how countries trade with each other and Europe’s relationship with China has not been immune from this shift.

Entrepreneurs, investors and developers from around the world are coming together to explore how secure blockchain technology can be applied in business and one of those is 8 Decimal Capital, one of the most active blockchain investment firms in China and currently ranked second out of 51 active crypto funds by Token Metrics.

8 Decimal was founded by Yubo Ruan, the co-founder of Skylight Investment, a venture capitalist with an interesting history. From the age of 6, Ruan self-taught himself programming and hardware making, including inventing a gesture-controlled robot, portable holographic display, a 360-camera and subway electricity generator. Those projects won him 13 national level science awards and 5 patents. At 17, he started Alisimba Technology which was backed by a Shenzhen Government Innovation agency and acquired in 2016.

With a focus previously on smart devices, Ruan has a background in engineering and computer science. At just 22-years old, his natural instinct for enterprise led him to create 8 Decimal Capital, which launched in 2017 in Beijing and has consistently been ranked a top fund in China since.

Transgressing borders

For Ruan, he believes blockchain can transgress borders and become an international trading space. He said:

Although different countries now have different policies towards developing the blockchain technology, we are sure that the blockchain industry is a global playground. As it develops, I believe countries will work even more closely together.”

Despite his lack of years, Ruan has a clear vision of where he sees blockchain going in the future and wants to be a part of growing the industry from the ground up, making it a solid infrastructure for years to come. He has surrounded himself with advocates of blockchain as well as investors such as managing partner, Zane Wei, a former investor at Roots Capital, and blockchain investor and advisor Ben Bartlett, the Vice Mayor of Berkeley who is now working closely with the team to promote the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

To bridge the gap further, 8 Decimal added Chinese advisors such as Fan Zhang, an original founding partner of Sequoia Capital China and Karen Chen, former CEO of USB China.

Depoliticized international relations

For 8 Decimal Capital, the blockchain space is free of currency constraints and political agendas, making it a more collaborative environment for innovators to share knowledge and develop ideas.

Currently the company works across China and the US, but believes Europe could gain from the new global market. Indeed, those involved hope that they will become founders’ collaborators as opposed to simple investors. Ruan said:

“We not only provide a full suite of post-investment value-add to our portfolio companies, we also conduct joint ventures and incubate portfolios companies. We have strong connections, resources and partners in China and U.S., which gives us the ability to bridge portfolio companies with top resources worldwide and quickly help the entrepreneurs to achieve their best potential.”

The investment company’s investment in blockchain ventures means that international relations are made easier as trading is not affected by factors that impact on traditional investments such as exchange rates or local and international politics. Which is why Ruan is urging Europe to get behind the notion of a depoliticized blockchain space as the approach is yielding good results.

The company is currently focusing on token and equity investments after providing top returns in 2017. They have made over 40 investments including EOS, 0x, FCoin, Ontology, ICON, Zilliqa, Wanchain, Kyber and Bluzelle. They also invested in blockchain ecosystem projects like Trust Token, Bibox, Seed CX, DoraHacks and Coinsuper.

Progressive thinking and adaptation

In 2017, the concept of utility token sales were paramount, gradually evolving to equity raises and Security Token Offerings (STOs), which are predicted to be the main focal point of the industry in 2019.

Ruan believes STOs will provide the stability and healthy growth needed to take the industry to the next level and will be a focus of the fund. Ruan explained:

Tokenizing securities involves bringing traditional securities from the analogue world to the digital. This process removes the high costs and inefficiencies of the middlemen. Securitizing tokens involves applying traditional regulatory framework to digital tokens. This process removes much of the uncertainty and fraud of the ICO market. Security tokens will bring many benefits to both the capital markets and the real estate industry.”

At the 2018 NGC Inaugural Boston Meetup, 8 Decimal Founder Yubo Ruan gives his predictions on the future of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries as a part of the conference’s venture capital panel.8 DECIMAL

Different from other funds

The company looks at blockchain as a revolutionary financial system, so they are focused on not limiting themselves to a particular country or region.

For Ruan, he believes traditional markets are limited on a country by country basis which rules how traders operate by restricting trading operations. He said:

Our portfolios companies are often made of a global team and operated on a global scale. And we are determined in helping our portfolios to reach their best potential by connecting them with the best resources in the industry.”

These resources include research and native content to help the industry, including their personal network which is expansive and global. With the team and network in place, 8 Decimal is showing the importance of know-how, technical expertise, and community as a key to blockchain investing success.

*This post is credited to Forbes.

A latest blockchain ranking report has put Bitcoin behind the new blockchain projects like EOS and Ethereum.

The 6th Global Public Blockchain Technology Assessment Index, published by the China Electronic Information Industry Development (CCID), a government organization, listed bitcoin at the 19th position according to technological merits. At the same time, blockchain projects that surfaced after bitcoin took prime spots, with EOS topping and Ethereum, Nebula, Ripple, NEO, IOTA, amongst others, following closely.

The index judged a total of 33 public blockchain projects based on their underlying technology, applicability, and creativity. While Bitcoin has been unable to beat many of its closest blockchain peers on all the mentioned parameters, it still has managed to stay ahead of its forked version, Bitcoin Cash, which stands at the 31st spot on the index.

Interestingly, the same index report from August had put Bitcoin among the top ten blockchain projects. The last month saw the digital currency dropping to the 17th position with a total of 93.2 index points. In October, the points fell further to 92.5, bringing the credibility ranking of the bitcoin blockchain to the 19th spot.

The drop could have appeared in the wake of Bitcoin’s lower adoption while settling payments or creating decentralized applications (dapp). The digital currency’s public blockchain so far is relying on a third party solution to fix its prevailing scalability issue.  It has made Bitcoin a less attractive payment tool than its peers whose blockchain confirms transactions faster.

Nevertheless, the CCID pointer system revealed Bitcoin’s dominance as far as innovation is concerned. The digital currency scored 34.6 points on creativity, trailing ahead the rest of the 32 listed coins on the index.

“Innovation aspect, the top five were Bitcoin, Ethereum, Square, EOS, NULS, and Cardano,” the report read. “Compared with the previous period index, the index increased the most innovative public chain were NULS, IOTA, Nebula, and Bitcoin Cash.”

EOS, Ethereum Dominate

EOS and Ethereum continue to dominate the CCID index for the fourth time. The dapp and smart contract platforms this time scored 150.5 and 136.3 points, respectively, mainly excelling in terms of basic technology and applicability, which Bitcoin lacked. The report said:

“At present, EOS and Ethereum are undoubtedly the preferred platforms for Dapp development worldwide, and EOS is showing a stronger momentum. The data shows that EOS Dapp is highly active and user increments are large.”

New blockchain projects like Ripple and Nuls also entered the top 10 list, pushing Lisk and Qtum out. While Ripple had a strong month with the launch of its xRapid payment solution and partnerships with major banking and financial firms, Nuls, a China-based blockchain project, scaled its operations by entering the US market.

*This post is credited to CCN

Chinese retail giant JD.com is further gaining a foothold in blockchain technology by launching a research lab for blockchain in partnership with two technology institutes, according to an announcement published Oct. 30.

Jingdong Group (JD.com) is a leading Chinese e-commerce company, controlling roughly 30 percent of the business-to-consumer online market in China with 314 million active users, according to Financial Times. The company focuses on implementation of new technologies in e-commerce, delivery services, and finance.

Per the announcement, JD has collaborated with the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) to establish a blockchain technology lab. The lab will be geared towards solving efficiency problems and examining new applications for the technology.

Among other objectives of the lab, JD cites long-term joint research efforts in fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection, and security in decentralized applications (DApps). Zhong Hua, deputy director of the Software Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, stated that “through this partnership we will bring about blockchain innovation and promote industrial applications of blockchain technology.”

Last month, JD established the Smart City Research Institute at its headquarters in Nanjing aimed at facilitating the development of “smart city” construction with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and blockchain technologies. The Institute will reportedly influence “the entire East China region” and aims to reduce industry costs and increase efficiency.

In August, JD revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform. The new product is designed to help commercial customers to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch.

Moreover, in August the company revealed plans to issue asset-backed securities (ABSs) on a blockchain in conjunction with Huatai Securities and Xingye Bank. Within the collaboration, the partners would purportedly assess blockchain’s potential to improve asset security.

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

Regulation round-up

It has been a rather interesting and busy time in the world of cryptocurrencies with regulations being imposed on cryptocurrencies by different nations around the world. Among the highlights include Hungary’s finance ministry, which has been said to set concrete rules against cryptocurrencies as well as significant developments in both Singapore and China.  The full implications of these newly introduced regulations cannot be assessed decisively, although it is expected to affect the crypto world in some way or the other.

The Hungarian Finance Ministry

According to a report from local sources, the Hungarian Finance ministry has refused to recognize cryptocurrencies as a legal tender and are looking to revise existing laws and introduce new regulatory frameworks concerning cryptocurrency activities. According to an official statement from the ministry, “Hungary is currently looking into regulating crypto instruments, and the central bank, the tax authority, the finance ministry and other authorities have set up a joint work group to evaluate legal, economic, law enforcement, money laundering and other aspects of cryptocurrencies with an eye to introducing more detailed regulation.”

These regulations dramatically changes the position of many cryptocurrency traders and enthusiasts in the country, halting permissive cryptocurrency activities in the country.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore

It was recently revealed that the Singapore national exchange has partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore with an aim to improve operational efficiency as well as reducing settlement risks. An official statementclaimed that the venture will “allow financial institutions and corporate investors to carry out simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenized digital currencies and securities assets.”

According to a related press release, the venture will allow companies like Anquan, Deloitte, and Nasdaq to join as technology partners for the project. The main aim of the project is to examine “the potential of automating [Delivery versus Payment (DvP)] settlement processes with Smart Contracts and identify key design considerations to ensure resilient operations and enhanced protection for investors.” Chief Fintech Officer of the MAS, Sopnendu Mohanty commented, “Blockchain technology is radically transforming how financial transactions are performed today, and the ability to transact seamlessly across blockchains will open up a world of new business opportunities. The involvement of three prominent technology partners highlights the commercial interest in making this a reality. We expect to see further growth in this space as FinTechs leverage on the strong pool of talent and expertise in Singapore to develop innovative blockchain applications and benefit from the new opportunities created.”

Chinese Authorities Tighten Regulations

In another unexpected statement by the Chinese Central Bank, in collusion with the Banking Regulatory Commission, the Central Network Information Office, the Ministry of Public Security, and the General Administration of Market Supervision, warned the citizens of China against illegal fundraising ventures involving cryptocurrency technologies. This is, however, not the first time the Chinese authorities have cracked down on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, as a similar incident was recorded last December as well. Investor sentiment was at an all-time low, which resulted in a massive devaluation of Bitcoin and by extension the whole cryptocurrency market. This latest statement, however, urges citizens to be skeptical and rational before taking such investment decisions. The move is thought to counter the threat posed by various Ponzi schemes disguised as ICOs which lure investors through airdrops and/or celebrity endorsements.

As the global market becomes more and more aware of the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, it’s no surprise that national governments in various emerging markets have understood the need for regulations. The anonymity of cryptocurrencies, in general, has been described as a “double-edged sword” with the potential to either create new innovative opportunities in the market or wreak havoc with millions of dollars compromised.

*This post is credited to BlockTelegraph

China and the USA have been competing with each other in every field to gain global dominance. The same competition seems to have entered the cryptocurrency industry as White House, understanding China’s Bitcoin Dominance is now backing Ripple Labs.

Its BTC vs XRP as two global superpowers look at a crypto world

China is, by far, the undisputed world leader in bitcoin mining — with Chinese mining pools controlling more than 70% of the bitcoin network’s collective hash rate, the measuring unit of the processing power of the bitcoin network.

Many in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry have expressed concern about how much control this gives China over bitcoin, with the Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies mining more than half the world’s bitcoins creating an oligopolistic to near monopoly situation.

While China’s dominance is fairly visible, the United States doesn’t want to stay behind in this race. According to the reports coming in from the White House, it appears U.S. president Donald Trump’s White House is also worrying about China’s bitcoin dominance and Ripple Labs executive, are suggesting the U.S. administration is interested in ripple (XRP) adoption to offset China’s bitcoin strength.

Ripple Lab’s chief strategist, Cory Johnson, was quoted saying in a wide-ranging interview with crypto-focused magazine Breaker that

“The White House, in particular, seems to be thinking about what it means to have 80% of bitcoin mining taking place in China and a majority of ether mining taking place in China,”

“When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And in conversations we’ve had with the administration, they seem to get that and think that might matter.”

China manufactures most of the world’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining equipment and its massive mining farms are supported by the country’s cheap electricity prices, giving it dominance in bitcoin while for Ripple, Ripple Labs controls 60% of the ripple supply and the XRP tokens don’t require any mining. This situation of Bitmain’s dominating control over Bitcoin’s mining and Ripple’s majority control over XRP has received a lot of criticism from the industry as these being centralized in hands of few. A lot of experts believe that this war of the US vs China may intensify the centralization issues as both global superpowers would want to control these cryptos.

But according to Weiss Rating’s latest tweet Ripple’s XRP is more decentralized. The tweet says Ripple is moving towards decentralization whereas the open-to-everyone model of Proof-of- Work mining resulted in oligopolies instead of decentralization it promised to create.

Weiss Ratings@WeissRatings

China’s #BTC dominance worries Trump’s White House, pushing it toward XRP. The open-to-everyone model of PoW mining resulted in oligopolies instead of decentralization it promised to create. #XRP is moving towards decentralization, while BTC seems to be doing the opposite.

The attention and backing the crypto curries are getting from respective global giants could do amazing news for cryptocurrencies but concerns over-centralization and control still looms. One can only wait and watch how these countries play out their moves to gain supremacy in global as well as crypto worlds.

*This post is credited to CoinGape

Cobo, a cryptocurrency startup headquartered in Beijing, has raised US$13 million in a Series A funding round from DHVC and Wu Capital to further develop its consumer blockchain products and support the expansion of its product lines into additional markets globally.

Cobo offers two flagship consumer products: Cobo Wallet and Cobo Vault.

Reward Page, Cobo Wallet

Cobo Wallet is a multi-asset cryptocurrency software wallet that rewards users for storing Proof-of-Stake (PoS) cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Lightning Bitcoin (LBTC) and ZCoin (XZC). The “staking” feature allows users to pool their Dash, LBTC or XZC to mine cryptocurrency rewards and enjoy regular returns.

Cobo’s staking pools leverage users’ collective PoS assets to increase the combined staking capacity for a higher chance to validate transactions on blockchains utilizing the PoS consensus mechanism. Users earn PoS rewards as new blocks are validated by the staking pool.

“Crypto has come a long way since I first ventured into this space five years ago. While I’m excited to see that crypto investment and enthusiasm is on the rise globally, a majority of crypto assets remain dormant in an exchange or wallet for extended periods of time, which creates many lost opportunities,” said Changhao Jiang, co-founder and CTO of Cobo.

“As crypto becomes widely recognized as a legitimate financial instrument, our goal is to provide a rewards system that leverages unutilized assets to enrich investors and accelerate the growth of the entire crypto ecosystem.”

Besides the staking feature, Cobo Wallet supports 20+ chains including ETH, EOS, TRX, and 500+ multi-chain tokens. Users can choose to either register a cloud wallet with private keys backed up on the cloud, or generate their own HD wallet seed with private keys encrypted on their device. Cobo Wallet also features a native decentralized app (DApp) store.

The startup claims that since launching earlier this year, Cobo Wallet has attracted more than 500,000 users.

Cobo Vault
Cobo Vault

Meanwhile, Cobo Vault is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet that promises to be “the safest possible means of securing keys from hackers.”

Cobo Vault features a bank-grade encryption chip with tailored firmware that meets BIP 32, 39, and 44 protocols to ensure that the private key is stored in the encryption chip at all times. It includes a secondary level of hardware security that instantly triggers a self-destruct mechanism wiping all stored private keys and data in the event of an attempt to physically force open its body.

Cobo Vault also features web authentication to prevent supply chain attacks, firmware upgrades are done via TF card, and the device has no USB port to prevent active attacks. Transactions on Cobo Vault are conducted by scanning a dynamically changing QR code.

The device’s body boasts a 4-inch LCD display with an IP68 waterproof rating and a rugged, IK10 and MIL STD-810G certified, brushed aluminum case that can withstand a car driving over it, the company claims.

Cobo Vault will support eight of today’s top cryptocurrency including BTC, ETH and all ERC20 tokens. The development roadmap will include more coins based on community requests.

Cobo Vault retails for US$479 and is currently available for pre-order on Indiegogo.

What's in the box, Cobo Vault
What’s in the box, Cobo Vault

Cobo is the brainchild of two veteran blockchain entrepreneurs. Formerly a platform engineer at Facebook and Google, Jiang co-founded China’s first cryptocurrency wallet Bihang, which was acquired by cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin in 2013.

Cobo co-founder and CEO Shixing “Discus Fish” Ma is also the CEO and co-founder of F2Pool, China’s first mining pool and the largest multi-currency mining pool in the world today, which he launched in 2013.

*This post is credited to CoinJournal