Blockchain Energy Trading Startup Power Ledger Raises $17M in Cryptocurrency ‘ICO’

Blockchain Energy Trading Startup Power Ledger Raises $17M in Cryptocurrency ‘ICO’

Power Ledger, an Australian startup that’s seeking to use blockchain technology to create a peer-to-peer renewable energy network, is in the midst of raising tens of millions of dollars in what may be the first “cryptocurrency” fundraising effort in the energy space. 

On Sunday, the Perth-based startup launched its first sale, or "initial coin offering" (ICO), of Power Ledger POWR tokens -- units of ownership of the company traded on the Ethereum cryptocurrency network. Within 72 hours, the company sold out of the 100 million POWRs offered in a public presale, in which the price per token was set, for a total of about $17 million. 

Blockchain could clean up messy shareholder registers

Blockchain could clean up messy shareholder registers

For Patrick Byrne, the iconoclastic chief executive of internet retailer Overstock.com, a financial system reliant on intermediaries coming between buyers and sellers has persisted for far too long. “For 6,000 years we have been using third party institutions because we trust these institutions. But these institutions have ways of getting corrupted over time,” says the libertarian and Wall Street sceptic. 

The Key To Avoiding A Fall Stock Market Correction

The Key To Avoiding A Fall Stock Market Correction

Semiconductor stocks, which tend to lead the U.S. stock market both higher and lower, have recently made an abrupt and unexpected upward reversal which, if it holds, is likely to lead the broad market to new all time highs by year end.  If this bullish reversal fails to follow through over the next week or so, however, it will warn of an emerging market correction that could extend into October.

Blockchain will turn the internet into the world's largest 'stock' market, says investor

Blockchain will turn the internet into the world's largest 'stock' market, says investor

Balaji S. Srinivasan is CEO of 21.co, a start-up that's proposing a system where strangers can pay investors and other busy people to respond to their emails, as well as a board partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford and has been an early investor in crypto-related projects and currencies including bitcoin, ethereum and Polychain.

Big gains attract new money to emerging markets, but should investors stay?

Emerging markets have offered all the thrill of a 10-foot slide into a cobra pit for much of the past decade. But right now, emerging-market stocks are in a sweet spot: They have low prices, lots of momentum and a flood of new cash pouring in. If you're getting your clients into emerging-market funds and ETFs now, however, you'd better be sure to prepare them for the inevitable downturn. It may not come soon, but it will come. Hence, the advantage of emerging markets goes to those who can truly be long-term, buy-and-hold investors.

10 Top Cryptocurrency Investors Share Their Favorite Long Term Picks

10 Top Cryptocurrency Investors Share Their Favorite Long Term Picks

There’s a lot of focus right now on short-term speculation in the cryptocurrency space. But at some undefined future point, a reversal from speculation to value is going to happen. And when it does, you’ll want to be in the right positions.

Investing exclusively in tokens with real world value creation is the philosophy that my crypto hedge fund, General Crypto, is predicated on. Unless you’re a skilled day trader and don’t mind incredible stress levels, it’s wise to buy-and-hold coins with game-changing value rather than just jumping to and from the flavor of the week.

Analyzing the validity of that value isn’t easy. So I thought it would be interesting to hear what some very smart people who dedicate themselves full-time to crypto are betting on in the long-term.

Bitcoin bond launch brings digital currency step closer to 'world of high finance'

Bitcoin bond launch brings digital currency step closer to 'world of high finance'
  • Fisco, a Japanese financial information company, announced this week a unit of the company has issued a bitcoin bond.
  • The bitcoin bond "brings digital currencies into the world of high finance," said Dan Doney, chief executive officer of Securrency.
  • The development of bitcoin options, futures and now bonds could help the often volatile digital currency become a better-established asset class.

Evelyn Cheng@chengevelyn

IBM Forges Blockchain Collaboration With Nestlé & Walmart For Global Food Safety

IBM Forges Blockchain Collaboration With Nestlé & Walmart For Global Food Safety

A group of leading retailers and food companies including Nestlé and Walmart have signalled their commitment to “strengthen consumer confidence” in the foods they purchase by announcing a major blockchain collaboration with IBM. The consortium will work with ‘Big Blue’ to identify the “most urgent areas” across the global food supply chain that could benefit from the blockchain.

Highlighting matters, every year one-in-10 people fall ill (c.600 million) globally and around 420,000 die as a result of contaminated food, according to global estimates of foodborne diseases from the World Health Organization (WHO). These diseases were cited as being caused by diseases caused by 31 agents - bacteria, chemicals, viruses, parasites and toxins.

3 Ways Blockchain Is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity

Omri Barzilay , CONTRIBUTOR

The second quarter of 2017 was a wild one for blockchain companies and investors, with nearly 60 initial coin offerings (ICOs) closed in the quarter for more than $750 million, and it looks like this is just the beginning. It seems that blockchain is about to have an impact on nearly every industry.

While banking, finance and real estate are the so-called usual suspects by being ahead of the curve, even industries like education, social media and security are being disrupted by blockchain-powered startups. Blockchain tech has an inherent connection to cybersecurity. Blockchain technologies are, after all, the culmination of decades of research and breakthroughs in cryptography and security. It offers a totally different approach to storing information, making transactions, performing functions, and establishing trust, which makes it especially suitable for environments with high security requirements and mutually unknown actors.

Thus, while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin sometimes experience rocky fluctuations in value, its blockchain underpinnings have so far successfully withstood cyber-attacks for more than 8 years. This is the reason the some of the largest corporations like Lockheed Martin had decided to bet on blockchain for cybersecurity. Other innovative companies have also been exploring the advantages of blockchain tech in solving the pressing security issues of our time:

 

Guardtime detects and mitigates cyberattacks in real-time

Guardtime, founded by Estonian cryptographer Ahto Buldas, is a data security startup that has been around since 2007. It is now placing its bets on blockchain technology to secure sensitive records. The company has already used blockchains to create a Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), a replacement for the more traditional Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which uses asymmetric encryption and a cache of public keys maintained by a centralized Certificate Authority (CA). Guardtime has grown into “the world’s largest blockchain company by revenue, headcount, and actual customer deployments.” In 2016 the company reached an incredible milestone as it secured all of Estonia's 1 million health records with its technology.

REMME is making passwords obsolete

With REMME’s blockchain, businesses can authenticate users and devices without the need for a password. This eliminates the human factor from the authentication process, therefore preventing it from becoming a potential attack vector. Alex Momot, founder and CEO of REMME, says that the use of simple logins and a centralized architecture are a big weakness of traditional systems. “No matter how much money a company spends on security, all these efforts are in vain, if customers and employees use passwords that are easy to crack or steal. Blockchain takes the responsibility for strong authentication, resolving the single point of attack at the same time. In addition, the decentralized network helps us to provide consensus between parties for their identification.”

REMME is built on the premise that a decentralized system is better than a centralized one, which is vulnerable to attacks. Consider, for example, the numerous attacks on centralized password manager LastPass, which have left millions of accounts potentially vulnerable to theft. REMME leverages a distributed public key infrastructure to authenticate users and devices. Instead of a password, REMME gives each device a specific SSL certificate. The certificate data is managed on the Blockchain, which makes it virtually impossible for malicious hackers to use fake certificates. The platform also uses two-factor authentication to further enhance security for its users.

Businesses are already taking heed. Ukroboronprom, Ukraine’s umbrella association for the defense industry, has established a strategic partnership with REMME to enable secure, password-less access to its employees – this shows the level of trust that companies are putting into blockchain-based security. To bolster its capacity, REMME is also planning to announce its initial coin offering (ICO) by October this year.

Obsidian ensures the privacy and security of chats

Messenger services  comprise today a big amount of internet usage across the globe, and these apps are already being used for payments and to engage users through chatbots. The integration of messaging and commerce holds that much promise. For example, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp each count for at least 1.2 billion active users, and Chinese messaging service WeChat boasts 2 billion. However, there is an inherent danger of social engineering, hacks, and other security vulnerabilities. Consider, for example, the risk that WhatsApp and Telegram could have faced with a flaw based on image metadata.

Obsidian uses the blockchain-decentralized network, which cannot be censored or controlled by any single source. In addition, communications meta-data is scattered throughout the distributed ledger, and cannot be gathered at one central point, reducing the risk of surveillance through such digital fingerprints. Users need not link to their email addresses or telephone numbers, thereby increasing privacy. “The initial concept for Obsidian was to overcome the weakness that other end-to-end-encryption messenger apps still have today,” says Peter McClury, CEO of Obsidian. “The issue many of these apps (WhatsApp, Signal, Wire, Threema, etc.) is that none of the well-known secure messengers protect communication metadata effectively enough, that is, who is communicating with whom.”

Obsidian Messenger will also implement a parallel network for exchange of payloads like data and files, and the platform will provide a means to exchange its own token, ODN, as a means of value exchange. Obsidian has raised its minimum required capital through an ICO, which is ongoing and so far, raising around 424 BTC ($1.78M as of writing) of its around 1371 BTC target (around US$5.9 million as of writing).

The future looks bright for blockchain-based security platforms

The blockchain addresses the fundamental flaws of security by taking away the human factor from the equation, which is usually the weakest link. By leveraging a distributed ledger and taking away the risk of a single point of failure, blockchain technology provides end-to-end privacy and encryption while still ensuring convenience for users.

Blockchain technologies are here to stay. It is probably going to help us protect as individuals, companies and governments. Even the pentagon already thinks the blockchain technology can be used as cybersecurity shield. Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain have proved to be resilient, and the numerous new blockchain technologies offer even more promise in terms of extensibility and robustness, especially in the field of security.

This article originally appeared at Forbes.com.

 

 

You Can Now Hold Ether In Blockchain, One Of The World's Most Popular Cryptocurrency Wallets

You Can Now Hold Ether In Blockchain, One Of The World's Most Popular Cryptocurrency Wallets

With the price of Ethereum's token, ether, up almost 4,000% for the year, Blockchain.info, one of the oldest and most popular user-controlled bitcoin wallets, Thursday adds it as a second currency to the service.

The move gives the 16 million Blockchain wallets access to the second-highest market cap coin, which is used to power smart contracts on the Ethereum platform.

Additionally, the wallet, available in 140 countries, now integrates the crypto-to-crypto exchange Shapeshift so users can easily trade from bitcoin to ether and vice versa.

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

Standing in a warehouse in a Moscow suburb, Dmitry Marinichev tries to speak over the deafening hum of hundreds of computers stacked on shelves hard at work mining for crypto money.

"The form of currency we are used to is about to disappear," predicts the 42-year-old entrepreneur, who also works as President Vladimir Putin's adviser on internet matters.

Marinichev is one of Russia's leading crypto-businessmen at the helm of operations in this facility larger than a football pitch located in a former Soviet-era car factory, which collects virtual money on the accounts of its clients.

Ethereum hits a one-month high and is up nearly 50% in the last two weeks

Ethereum hits a one-month high and is up nearly 50% in the last two weeks

While bitcoin's bitter infighting and subsequent price rise has taken center stage, rival cryptocurrency ethereum has been quietly pushing higher in the background.

On Wednesday, ethereum hit $314.75, the highest level in over a month since it reached $322.28 on June 29, according to CryptoCompare, a platform monitoring live prices of major cryptocurrencies. The price pulled back at a bit on Thursday to just above $301.

But ethereum has been climbing steadily. Over the past two weeks, ethereum is up nearly 50 percent.

For many Middle Eastern entrepreneurs, the first order of business starts offshore

As startups make headway across the Middle East, they are increasingly doing business via offshore havens like the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Cayman Islands, and even the US state of Delaware. This approach is the only way to calm investors who are deeply wary of the region’s sclerotic courts and opaque regulations that are often enforced on the whims of powerful bureaucrats.

Could This Blockchain In Korea Be The First To Connect An Entire Country?

Could This Blockchain In Korea Be The First To Connect An Entire Country?

While hundreds of blockchain projects are cropping up around the world, the technology’s true potential to seamlessly share information is still largely untapped. In South Korea, one company is vying to be the first to connect the country through a massive-scale blockchain, and it's already gaining momentum.

Dayli Financial Group, a house of Korean fintech startups, is working on creating an ecosystem called ICON that will allow government departments, universities, hospitals, securities, banks and any private company to interact without third-party networks that charge transaction fees or delay the process.

How NEM Blockchain Can Potentially Revolutionize Stock Markets

How NEM Blockchain Can Potentially Revolutionize Stock Markets

hare trading essentially has remained unchanged since the 17th century. While most of the exchanges have shifted to an electronic model and trades are conducted faster than ever before, the truth is that there is still a central intermediary in stock trading, and this is perhaps the biggest weakness of the system.

Bringing the Blockchain to the system holds the promise of building decentralized exchanges in the future. The wider DIM Ecosystem comprises of DIMCOIN, DIMCOIN Foundation and other constituents.

The technology is based on the NEM Blockchain technology and seeks to revolutionize the way securities are traded. The DIMCOIN Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is currently underway and will end on Aug. 27, 2017.