by Lori Brown
Consensus 2017 attracted a thriving, ambitious crowd to New York City, with the attendance comprising of more than 2,700 people from all over the globe. Here are some the top headlines.
Rootstock Launches Smart Contract Test Net, Ginger
Rootstock Labs (RSK), a Blockchain startup from Buenos Aires opened its smart-contract test network, named Ginger. RSK announced at Consensus 2017 that it had received over $4 million in funding from a variety of sources and $3.5 million of that amount came to them in the past six months. They proudly received contributions from big league players in the crypto-community such as Bitfury, Bitmain, and Anthony Di lorio, CEO of Decentral and Jaxx to name a few.
Ginger aims to be available to the public to encourage an increase of users who build and improve their own smart contracts on the existing platform. More than 40 companies are testing Ginger, including banks and startups globally, Gabriel Kurman, co-founder of RSK, told CoinDesk.
RSK tokens are pegged to bitcoin, but with the added functionality of turing complete smart contracts, known broadly speaking as a ‘sidechain.’ It is also hoped that the RSK network could be used to scale bitcoin massively to a potential 2,000 transactions per second on-chain.
Bitcoin Agreement Between 58 Companies Means Hard Fork Within Six months
The Bitcoin scaling problem was focused on and an attempt to move forward, toward the fix via the original Segregated Witness proposal. The deal, brokered by Digital Currency Group’s (DCG) Barry Silbert, was posted via DCG’s Medium blog, which read:
“We agree to immediately support the following parallel upgrades to the bitcoin protocol, which will be deployed simultaneously and based on the original Segwit2Mb proposal:
- Activate Segregated Witness at an 80 percent threshold, signaling at bit 4
- Activate a 2 MB hard fork within six months
We are also committed to the research and development of technical mechanisms to improve signaling in the bitcoin community, as well as to put in place communication tools, in order to more closely coordinate with ecosystem participants in the design, integration, and deployment of safe solutions that increase bitcoin capacity.
We welcome all companies, miners, developers, and users to join us and help prepare bitcoin for the future.”
Jaxx Adds Dozens of Crypto-Assets to their Blockchain Wallets
The popular blockchain company Jaxx announced an all-encompassing collaboration with dozens of blockchain projects, platforms and digital currencies. An “Orange Paper” will also be released soon, which will outline the company’s roadmap. New cryptocurrencies such as dogecoin are also available on the wallet, as well as several Ethereum tokens such as Golem (GNT), DigixDAO (DGD), and Blockchain Capital’s token (BCAP). After announcing monero (XMR) integration late 2016, Jaxx has decided to continue its effort to integrate XMR as well as dozens of other altcoins such as Ripple, PIVX, Factom, and NEM to new a few.
The company is not just setting its sights on providing a decent wallet with various crypto’s, but rather as the ‘browser’ for bringing blockchain technology mainstream. The press release reads;
“Just as the browser unleashed the power of the Internet, Jaxx will be the tool that brings digital currencies and digital assets to the masses.”
“We are bringing together all facets of the blockchain ecosystem with Jaxx to provide a universal interoperable interface so that non-technical people, like my dad, can easily use these decentralized technologies,” said Anthony Di Iorio, Founder and CEO of Decentral & Jaxx. “Simple tools and intuitive UI / UX will bring adoption to the masses and assist all projects and companies.”
By partnering with several companies such as BitPay, Coinbase, Bittrex, Purse.io, RSK Labs, Civic, BitGo, and many more. With the big players integrating Jaxx’s back-end infrastructure, it will make it easier to navigate the blockchain space, by providing a single entry point into various areas, such as value transfer, identity, document signing and more.
Tech Giant Microsoft Gets Behind Decentralized Identity Foundation
Blockchain adoption for identity marches forward, as Microsoft, Accenture and dozens of startups such as Tierion formed the Decentralized Identity Foundation, an attempt to use blockchain technology to develop a reliable system of identification of things on the internet. Blockstack, which announced its release of the developer version of its browser at Consensus, is also one of the Foundation’s members and may aid them in luring developers to build on top of their infrastructure. Over 1.2 billion people do not have any form of digital identity and perhaps the increasing activity in the blockchain space will help to address this problem and ensure privacy for individuals online.
Experts Discourage ICOs, Despite Being All the Rage
The event also questioned the legality of ICOs, with Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at cryptocurrency advocacy group Coin Center and Preston Byrne, COO of distributed ledger startup and Hyperledger contributor Monax, both discouraging startups from going down the road of ICOs. There is a sentiment among many experts that regulators will eventually crack down on these methods, where Byrne suggested to issue securities the traditional way and use “the blockchain as your back-end.”
Finally, the event saw some sobering advice about the legality of this new method of finance with Monero developer Riccardo Spagni serving up a stark warning to investors:
“There are scammers that don’t realize they are scammers yet.”