Today, Enjin, a dedicated Ethereum development team, announced the release of EnjinX, an ad-free universal blockchain explorer designed to make Ethereum data more accessible to mainstream markets. By delivering a Google-like experience, the new blockchain search engine provides users with an intuitive way to search transactions, tokens, and addresses. It features a clean and intuitive interface, providing traders, gamers, and token holders a simple way to explore the Ethereum blockchain.

Featured on Product Hunt, EnjinX is the world’s fastest Ethereum explorer by up to 30 seconds. It delivers blocks in real-time and even displays live tickers for pending and internal transactions. To protect users from cluttered messaging and promotional fatigue, Enjin has pledged to keep EnjinX ad-free permanently. Rather than taking advantage of user attention, the team plans to generate revenue by offering robust developer APIs and blockchain integration tools that further boost adoption of the Ethereum Network.

EnjinX’s real-time token index delivers the latest data for the top 200 tokens, making it the best place to view current prices, volumes, and market caps for ERC-20 tokens. The innovative explorer also features human-friendly address labels that attach names to well-known blockchain addresses, making browsing, searching, and contextual research even easier.

Optimized for smartphones and tablets, the new “Google search of blockchain” offers a personalized experience that allows users to choose between different themes, night and day modes, and currencies. The platform also supports over 20 languages, so users from across the world can explore Ethereum in English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, and even Pirate English.

Fully licensed to operate in China, EnjinX will provide native Chinese translations and has servers residing within China to improve performance. The service is fully compliant with all laws and regulations, so Chinese developers will be able to use EnjinX services directly in China, without fear of the tools they rely on being shut down by the government.

EnjinX will soon be upgraded include support next-generation ERC-1155 and legacy ERC-721 token standards, enabling users to browse blockchain assets ranging from gaming items and collectibles to digital art and even blockchain-based books. In the future, the team will also launch full support for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, along with a powerful REST API that delivers live blockchain data to apps, websites, and smart devices.

Enjin specializes in developing tools to support Ethereum-based applications. In addition to EnjinX, they have launched a critically acclaimed cryptocurrency wallet and are building development tools that simplify blockchain integration into games, apps, websites, and smart devices. Ethereum-based ERC-1155 tokens are currently being integrated into 29 games using the Enjin Platform.

Unity Technologies has announced plans to list Enjin’s Blockchain Software Development Kit (SDK) on the front page of their Asset Store. As the world’s largest game development platform, Unity’s listing of the Blockchain SDK will enable 4.5 million Unity developers to mint ERC-1155 tokens and manage complex gameplay mechanics through transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

*This post is credited to PRNewsWire

South Korean electronics giant Samsung is apparently seeking a trademark in the United Kingdom for a cryptocurrency wallet, according to a Dec. 27 filing with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.

In the “Classes and terms” section of the application, Samsung cites such developments as “Computer software for use as a cryptocurrency wallet; Computer software for cryptocurrency transfer and payment using blockchaintechnology; Computer application software for smartphones, namely, software to allow users to transfer cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology and pay via 3rd party’s application software.”

The application follows rumors — subsequently refuted by Samsung —  that the company has plans to include a cryptocurrency cold wallet on its Galaxy S10 smartphone. Samsung filed three European Union trademark applications for blockchain- and cryptocurrency- related software on Dec. 10.

Earlier in December, Cointelegraph reported that major smartphone manufacturer HTC integrated decentralized browser Brave on the HTC Exodus 1 phone, “the first native blockchain phone” with support for multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks.

Last month, blockchain-focused electronics supplier SIRIN Labs launched its first blockchain-based smartphone called FINNEY. Based on both Android and SIRIN’s open-source operating system, SIRIN OS, the FINNEY phone offers a cold-storage crypto wallet and provides encrypted communications.

In October, Samsung’s production wing, Samsung Foundry, launched a new production process of its 7-nanometer (nm) Low Power Plus (7LPP) process node, which could reduce its energy consumption by up to 50 percent. The chip could purportedly have positive implications for crypto miners usings Samsung’s hardware, as energy costs prove to be a critical factor in the industry’s profitability.

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

In the past year, the mainstream world has embraced the idea of the blockchain and crypto-based transactions, even making 2018 the so-called year of the blockchain. The topic has moved past mere buzzwords and opened up into new ideas and new innovations. One of the biggest steps forward in this mainstream acceptance is the fact that people understand how crypto can mean more than just trading cryptocurrency.

Much of this is due to the great work accomplished on Ethereum in 2018. From there, the blockchain industry has witnessed an explosion of new assets, and in doing so, the nature and function of crypto assets have evolved. Today, they break down into four distinct categories:

Traditional cryptocurrency: The traditional cryptocurrency options offer a decentralized currency with thousands of people mining and securing the network — all without crowd sales, ICO, or airdrop. Bitcoin is the de facto example of this.

Tokens or colored coins: Tokens/colored coins are typically associated with some form of distribution outside of mining. Many are issued on another blockchain such as Ethereum or Waves. They can be broken down even further into several subgroups, with the common thread being that they are tied to an outside market and their source of value is fungible. How this is achieved, though, can differ; in some cases, it can use a physical commodity like oil (Petro is a great example) or it can have an intangible valuation (PAX has joined the ranks of the USD Tether tokens).

One-time use token: Also known as coupons, this oft-forgotten crypto comes in a variety of flavors and can even be on their own blockchain. The benefit of these stems from their ability to record data, then disappears from the market. This is particularly effective in any market where one-way exchanges are key, such as when the Custom and Border Patrol team record data for an Internet of Things devices. Factoids are a hybrid example of a crypto and a token. They allow a user to write data to the Factom blockchain and then they are gone from the market.

Nonfungible digital assets: Not all digital assets are interchangeable, and there is plenty of real-world need for this type of transaction. Nonfungible digital assets represent unique items, and they can have a real-world connection (e.g. real estate, where every house or unit of property is unique) or a digital collectible. Examples of the latter include CryptoPunks, which is purely for collectors, or collecting-based games such CryptoKitties.

Where Can People Store Their Tokens?

If the blockchain industry is going to create ways of representing both online and offline forms of value through cryptocurrency and tokens, then the next question is this: where can people store all of their digital possessions? A secure location is required to put all this value. The answer is crypto-based wallets, which have come a long way in just a few years of development.

Wallets have evolved to hold many different types of tokens. Storage is essential, but the latest innovations have also given the ability to access decentralized exchanges. This creates an all-in-one tool, streamlining the overall process so that the wallet can act as a hub for all things crypto. A good example of this is the Waves client, which goes beyond mere storage; the Waves client also lets you create new tokens and make trades from within your wallet. Another pair of examples is Vault and Lumi. These were created specifically for storing your digital collectibles — most of which are ERC 721 assets (the standard used for many collectibles created on Ethereum).

The common thread through all of these new blockchain assets is the practical need for a wallet mechanism. Especially for the space of unique tokens or digital collectibles, without having a virtual holding location, the process becomes more cumbersome and difficult to track. Such hurdles wind up slowing down the overall adoption of a platform, which leads to another point: the speed of mainstream acceptance goes beyond the platform itself. The development of supporting applications and accessories are just as important, as they simplify and scale the user experience. It’s the difference between having a computer that technically runs even though it’s operated by a command-line system versus a user-friendly MacBook.

The wallet innovations have just started to scratch the surface of what’s possible. In the coming months, several wallets will offer new security features to extend protections, creating a deeper layer of security around your passwords. What does that mean for the layperson? Now the crypto wallet can sign into websites, MetaMask already does this for some websites. Not only does this streamline things for users, but it also creates a new form of digital identity. By signing into your wallet, you are thus validating yourself.

This brings a new idea to the horizon: a unified and secure identity. Cryptocurrency can power the process of transactions, but the engine under the hood is the blockchain. With the blockchain, a permanent, secure, and transparent database backed by one-way encryption brings a scalable type of protection to the most precious of data.

While the idea of a digital wallet may seem like practical storage for crypto tokens, it only takes one step back to see the bigger picture: a truly secure digital identity on and offline.

*This post is credited to CoinCentral

The Trezor Wallet development team has announced that the device’s beta firmware now offers native support for Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and ERC20 tokens. In an announcement on the Trezor blog, the crypto hardware wallet manufacturer stated that existing third-party integrations such as MyEtherWallet, MyCrypto, and MetaMask, which currently enable Trezor to support these tokens, would continue to function parallel to the new functionality, with no plan to discontinue the integrations going forward.

Trezor Beta Operational Details

According to the company, instant crypto exchange platform Coinswitch has been added as a new wallet exchange partner alongside Shapeshift and Changelly, as part of a revamped user experience. The announcement states that to access the new functionality, users should select “Ethereum” or “Ethereum Classic” in the currency selector, and then select “Go to Trezor Ethereum Wallet.”  Once in, they may immediately commence using the new beta interface.

Users of any of the aforementioned third party Trezor integrations will immediately see their balance in what Trezor hopes will be a seamless user experience. The summary view presents them with an overview of their account balance and helps them select their desired tokens. The tab also shows users the total balance and current exchange rate denominated in any fiat currency of their choice.

They may also use the tab to deposit a selected crypto token to their wallet and monitor balances and transactions for any selected tokens.

Describing the “Send” and “Receive” functions, an excerpt from the announcement reads:

“These sections function very similarly to what you are used to. Use the Receive tab to display your receiving address either in the text form or in the form of a QR code. Always remember to verify the address on your Trezor device. The Send tab allows you to set outgoing transactions and transaction fees. In the advanced settings, you can set the Gas limit, Gas price and add additional data to the transaction.”

The news comes as the latest attempt by Trezor to consolidate its position as a market leading hardware wallet. In October, CCN reported that it faces a stiff upcoming challenge from global electronics giant Sony, which is reportedly developing its own sophisticated hardware wallet.

In the same month, CCN also reported that the company issued a warning to its users about a counterfeit Trezor wallet on the market which was designed to steal user funds by impersonating the Trezor One to an astonishing degree of accuracy.

*This post is credited to CCN

Blockchain startup Blockchain shared its roadmap for the coming months. The company is launching a hardware wallet in partnership with Ledger. Blockchain is also launching a new trading platform called Swap — this platform will find the best trading prices across a variety of exchanges and liquidity pools so that you can exchange tokens at a fair price straight from your Blockchain account.

Blockchain is one of the most successful cryptocurrency wallets out there. The company has built a solid user base with a software wallet for Bitcoin, and now also Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

Compared to traditional exchanges, you remain in control of your private keys. Blockchain can’t access your tokens, hackers can’t empty your wallet if Blockchain gets hacked. Blockchain currently manages 30 million wallets, which represent over $200 billion in transaction volume in the last two years.

But a software wallet isn’t as secure as a hardware wallet. There have been countless of phishing attempts and scams to take over your private keys. That’s why Blockchain is going to release its own hardware wallet, sort of.

The company is partnering with French startup Ledger  to release the Blockchain Lockbox. It looks exactly like the Ledger Nano S, but with a Blockchain logo. It’ll feature a customer Blockchain firmware and integrate with Blockchain’s wallets.

Just like Ledger’s own app, you’ll be able to check your balance without connecting your hardware wallet to a computer. But as soon as you want to process a transaction, you’ll need to plug your Ledger wallet to confirm the transaction on the device itself.

It’ll be interesting to see how your Blockchain wallet and the one tied to your Blockchain Lockbox work together. The Lockbox could act as a sort of longterm vault while you could keep some coins on your standard Blockchain wallet for frequent transactions.

As for Swap, Blockchain is building its own trading product. It’s not going to be a separate exchange as the company plans to integrate with multiple sources. Eventually, Blockchain hopes to add support for decentralized exchange protocols so that you can exchange tokens without going through an exchange.

The Blockchain Lockbox will cost $99 and start shipping in November. I hope there will be other versions that support Bluetooth and mobile phones in the future as Blockchain is quite popular on mobile.

*This post is credited to TechCrunch

“Airdrops are good for crypto users.”

Those are the unequivocal words of cryptocurrency wallet and data provider Blockchain in a new white paper that sets out why it believes token giveaways can be beneficial for both individuals and the crypto ecosystem, while announcing a new program aimed to assist approved projects with token distributions “as a force for good.”

Addressing the issues that newcomers face when obtaining cryptos for the first time, the paper says that making purchases through an exchange or an initial coin offering (ICO) requires, for one, actually having the financial wherewithal to do so. Further, a buyer may be faced with regulatory issues that vary across different regions, as well as risks that come with depositing funds in online platforms.

Mining crypto, too, poses difficulties for newcomers, requiring technical know-how and often costly equipment.

“Airdrops, on the other hand, provide a free and transparent way for anyone with an internet connection and a computing device to obtain cryptoassets at no cost,” according to the white paper.

It goes on to argue that airdrops can easily reach millions of individuals around the world, can help with financial empowerment, and can boost the wider crypto industry via increased adoption.

Backing up that belief, the company is today announcing its Blockchain Airdrops program – a way of helping crypto projects reach Blockchain’s millions of wallet holders (its website now boasts 29 million downloads), and providing a more secure way for users to receive cryptocurrencies.

Marco Santori, president and chief legal officer at Blockchain, told CoinDesk via email:

“We think airdrops have the power to decentralize networks without the investment risks inherent in ICOs and the complexity inherent in mining. Using Blockchain Airdrops, crypto creators can supercharge network effects and crypto users can try out new tokens for free. It’s a win-win for the ecosystem”

Using the initiative, token projects “should aim for broad distribution to as many individual users as possible within a properly targeted community,” the paper says. “Failure to ensure broad distribution would defeat the purpose of the airdrop.”

However, it adds, airdrops can also be targeted at “network influencers and connectors, individuals or institutions” in order to help bring about wider crypto adoption and use.

In order to be considered for the program, the paper states that tokens must be distributed at no cost and must have a function. An airdrop should also be conducted in a “transparent and deterministic manner,” and be free from “alteration or manipulation.”

Other factors, too, are taken into account, such as a project’s technical team, its community and network activity, and regulatory compliance.

“Historically, airdrops have met with mixed success. We took the most effective airdrop elements we’ve seen, eliminated the ineffective ones, and added some novel thinking of our own. That’s how we developed our Guiding Principles,” said Santori, adding that the company is now “actively considering” token projects that reflect its guiding principles.

*This post is credited to CoinDesk

DDEX, an Ethereum-based decentralized exchange, has launched its mobile wallet, rolling out the application for iOS and Android devices. DDEX is backed by Initialized Capital, a venture capital firm owned by Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.

According to Medium blog post penned by Scott Winges, director of operations at DDEX, the wallet will offer a “safe, simple, and completely natural process”. DDEX aims to provide a system of blockchain payments, which is “as easy as a simple Venmo payment.”

Customers are in essence traders and not necessarily experts in the realm of financial technology. So, DDEX has simplified its smart contract protocol, that can be easily understood by amateur investors. It reiterated that customers using the new wallet do not need to have a “huge prerequisite of technical knowledge.”

DDEX is operating on a “Mobile First” principle, wherein it works to expand the use of mobile phones as a means of facilitating trades instead of computers. The blog highlights the example of applications like Robinhood, which “clearly exemplify the potential power and importance of mobile trading.”

The difference between the cryptocurrency market and traditional stock markets can also be noticed while trading through a mobile device. Crypto markets are open 24/7 and for such a volatile market, there exists a need to seamlessly track and manage trades – which can be done easily through a mobile, DDEX stated.

Mobile wallets have been gaining traction in the crypto space, with some popular wallets being acquired by crypto giants. Coinbase recently acquired Toshi as well as Cipher, while Binance took over Trust.

Being one of the initiators of the mobile wallet frenzy, DDEX has packed its application with a slew of innovative features. Apart from its trading features, the app will provide users with notifications when wallet activity occurs, complete autonomy over funds with no interference, the ability to create a new wallet or import existing ones and Face ID recognition for security purposes.

DDEX also mentioned that it plans to launch more features such as Wallet Connect, Smart Notifications, Portfolio Overview.

Our goal in creating DDEX Wallet was to set a new, higher standard for the mobile decentralized exchange experience. We aim to provide a simpler, more intuitive mobile trading experience with liquid trading pairs and 24/7 customer support,” the blog post concluded.

*This post is credited to BC Focus

The stakes must have seemed high already in 2013, when the largest bitcoin wallets safeguarded by blockchain security provider BitGo held about $1o million-worth of the cryptocurrency.

Later on, in 2015 they crept up to around $100 million. And what had perhaps been unthinkable in the years previous, by 2017 the largest crypto wallets in BitGo’s charge reached close to $1 billion.

Looking ahead to the next milestone, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe will give a talk next month at Stanford University entitled “Securing the Trillion Dollar Wallet.” In a world of tokenized everything – not to mention hedge funds and other institutions redefining the meaning of a whale crypto investor – this no longer seems far-fetched.

“Now we are really thinking, what’s it going to take to secure a trillion dollars?” Belshe told CoinDesk. “It may be a little far away, but we have to start thinking about it now; we have to start designing it now in order to get there.”

Designing a system like this involves a complex blend of hardware and software, policies and procedures, not to mention meeting externally audited regulatory requirements (BitGo recently received approval in the act as a qualified custodian for digital assets on behalf of institutional investors).

However, as one security consultant told Belshe’s team, building a secure vault for such a large sum of money basically comes down to two things: kids and fingers.

It’s one thing to keep the cryptographic private key controlling a bitcoin wallet in cold storage, i.e. on a piece of paper or a hardware device disconnected from the internet and locked in a safe. But if a bad guy comes into your office and is ready to cut off your finger or put a gun to your child’s head, what are you going to do? Obviously, quick and ready access to those assets means the security will be cracked.

The trick is to marry technology with process and controls such that it’s difficult to get the money out – or at least so that moving the vast majority of the assets involves lots of independent, separate people whose key signatures are all required, said Belshe.

He added:

“Some of the technology guys out there are saying, ‘hey we can get you out of cold storage in 10 minutes.’ I’m sorry, but if you can get a billion dollars out of cold storage in 10 minutes, that means there’s somebody’s finger that you can threaten.”

Big money

Stepping back, becoming a qualified custodian has taken Belshe years and has seen BitGo come close to acquiring qualified custodian Kingdom Trust, before going it alone to establish BitGo Trust.

With the addition of a regulated trust function, BitGo, which currently handles around $15 billion in monthly crypto transactions, is arguably pulling ahead in the race to secure digital assets for the institutional set. Competitors in this space include the hardware maker Ledger, the traditional U.S. custodial bank Northern Trust, and blockchain startup itBit.

But Belshe views the inevitable evolution towards digital assets as a rising tide that will benefit everyone in the industry. He also admitted clients are really looking for custodians with big balance sheets, something which BitGo does not have today.

“I would love if the big players came in and put their balance sheet behind the security of their custodianship of digital assets. It would be amazing for all of us,” he said.

Since the 2008 crash, the onus has been on diversifying custody arrangements, something the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has encouraged. These days, hedge funds will often be using 15 to 20 custodians with perhaps only 5% in each to limit their exposure, noted Belshe.

He said BitGo has been in talks with many hedge funds and found there are “literally dozens” that can’t wait for the end of a 30-day review period (during which the public can register objections to South Dakota’s approval of the company as a qualified custodian) so they can use its trust service.

In the detail, achieving parity with established qualified custody providers involves gaining third-party certification of policies and procedures, or SOCs (system and organization controls). BitGo has now attained SOC I and II certifications, with the auditing of those carried out by Deloitte.

It’s a length which few, if any, other crypto companies have gone to, said Belshe, and it encompasses a wide range of eventualities.

“You can have the most secure software in the world and the most secure hardware. But inside your company what’s the policy for keeping things safe? What happens if your data center goes down?” he said. “We have policy, procedures and plans for all this, that have been tested and are in place.”

Insurance claims

Following BitGo’s qualified custodian announcement, the startup’s next big step is a crypto insurance product to be released within a couple of months. Such insurance typically covers investors for risks such as theft.

BitGo wouldn’t write the policies, but rather white-label the product with an established insurer. Belshe wants to do this right and has amassed a deep knowledge of the subject along the way. The experience has left him circumspect whenever he hears about crypto insurance being offered in the market.

“The insurance claims out there are wide and wild and often not really of value,” Belshe said (meaning “claims” as in representations about insurance, not requests for payment from an insurer). “Anybody that’s looking at insurance, or a provider that claims to be insured, ask them to really show you what the [coverage] limits are.”

This can take some digging. As hard as it is to differentiate BitGo’s cold storage from somebody else’s cold storage solution, it’s equally hard to differentiate one claim of full insurance from another, said Belshe. Oftentimes, you’re dealing with small policies of $10 million or less that may not even cover theft.

Typically the questions that need answering are: Who is the underwriter? What cases are covered? What about insider theft? What about executive insider theft? What are the caps, what are the deductibles? Can you cover your deductibles?

Belshe acknowledged that underwriters are there to provide a service and don’t want to be used as marketing, but in the end, full transparency has to be made available for customers.

Someone offering a great insurance program would find a way to get “solid green lights” from anyone who wanted to review it, even if they had to do that under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), said Belshe, concluding,

“If they are not willing to talk to you about it, it’s a red flag. I guarantee you, if it’s in secret, there’s a reason it’s in secret.”

*This post is credited to CoinDesk