Microsoft Drives Forward with the Blockchain: BTCManager’s Week in Review April 24
Microsoft has announced a new Plugin for Office10 that makes it possible to store a hash of documents on the blockchains of Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic. With this, you can prove the authenticity of any document – without the need for a notary or a lawyer. Microsoft has potentially created Bitcoin’s first non-monetary killer app.
The new notary app for Outlook is not Microsoft’s first venture into the world of blockchain technology. Microsoft has also developed the Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, which allows companies to collaborate by experimenting with new business processes using Microsoft’s cloud-based distributed ledger platform. Microsoft has also joined the Enterprise Ethereum Network to develop blockchain solutions together with leading financial institutions and has teamed up with startup Tierion to secure identities in digital format on the blockchain.
The head of the Large Bitcoin Collider, an attempt to crack bitcoin private keys, also spoke to BTCManager: “Yes, I own some bitcoin, and the LBC does not change that. What I personally would not do any longer is to store large sums of bitcoin on a single address. By doing so, you take risks, independently of the LBC. I would not trust a chain of 160 ones and zeros with something like $100 million.”
Litecoin trading volumes have grown over the past week, as SegWit looks almost certain to be locked-in. The price of litecoin moved higher and posted a fresh high just below our target at $17.387 as stated in our previous cryptocurrency market outlook, at $17.353 on the Poloniex exchange. The market has since retreated to $16.00, but the target at $17.387 remains valid while a key support lies at $15. The price of bitcoin has also drifted higher over the week, flirting with the $1250 handle at the time of writing.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Alex Lielacher, Christoph Bergmann, and Jamie Holmes.
The new blockchain plugin for Office10 uses the publicly available API of blockchain startup Stampery. The add-on for Outlook creates a hash of something like an e-mail, sends the hash to a Microsoft Azure server, and this server give the hash to the server of Stampery, where it is put in the blockchain of both Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic. The user meanwhile keeps a copy of the hash and likely receives an ID of the transactions.
The Large Bitcoin Collider (LBC) tries to break Bitcoin addresses through a brute force attack. In the few past weeks, the project announced their first success. In an interview with BTCManager, Rico, the head of the LBC, explains that he has found a way to break into bitcoin addresses successfully and recommends not to store large amounts of bitcoin in one single wallet as they are not impossible to break into.
Former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, estimated to be worth billions, stated at a Harvard Business School Club of New York forum on April 19 that he has invested 10 percent of his net worth in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He considers placing funds into this new asset class as the best investment of his life and has been actively investing in bitcoin since October 2013.
Autonomy or Just Another Slavery?: Ukraine and Bitfury Start Full-scale Blockchain eGovernance Program
Oleksandr Ryzhenko, head of the Ukrainian State Agency for eGovernance, and Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury, have signed a memorandum which could be a milestone in the digital transformation of the state. The memorandum aims to start a wide scoped project which aims to bring most parts of the governmental data streams of the Ukraine on a blockchain.
The “full-scale Blockchain eGovernance program” will start with a pilot project to test how the Ukrainian eGovernment platform can use blockchain technology. The main areas being explored are state registers, public services, social security, public health and the energy sector. “Once the pilot is complete, the program will expand into all other areas, including cybersecurity,” the press release notes.
The California-based startup BitcoinIRA.com has launched a new Ethereum IRA investment product that allows individuals to invest in a self-directed IRA that holds Ethereum’s cryptocurrency ether as an investment in a retirement fund.
Now, investors also have the ability to hold the second most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum’s ether, in their retirement fund. BitcoinIRA.com’s Ethereum IRA is now available to investors in the US and can be set up online by rolling over or transferring existing retirement accounts into a self-directed Ethereum IRA.
The anonymous cryptocurrency Monero celebrated its third birthday last week and has cemented its place as one of the leading blockchain networks. As an effort to continue ‘Satoshi’s vision,’ the altcoin, denoted XMR, has attracted a lot of interest, with many bitcoin holders diversifying into the privacy-focused cryptocurrency. In this article, we take a look at the coin’s intriguing and strange history.
Soramitsu and the Central Bank of Cambodia to Develop New Payment Infrastructure Using Hyperledger Iroha
Japanese blockchain startup Soramitsu Co. and the National Bank of Cambodia have announced that they will collaborate to co-develop the open-source distributed ledger project Hyperledger Iroha with the aim to build a new payment infrastructure based on blockchain technology.
Hyperledger Iroha is an open-source software framework and part of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project. Hyperledger Iroha is a distributed ledger software that specializes in developing applications, such as mobile and web applications, for end users to interact with and allows for data to be processed quickly and securely. This makes Hyperledger Iroha a useful framework for digital payments, identity management, and supply chain management, among a range of other possible applications.
The Russian political party Partiya Rostiya has launched the world’s first blockchain-based social project by issuing its cryptocurrency called Upcoin in collaboration with the blockchain startup Waves to promote blockchain technology awareness and to incentivize its party members to engage in more community-based activities.
Using the Waves platform, ten million digital Upcoins were created. These coins are readily available for people who sign up on the projects portal Ludirosta. Once a user signs up, he or she receives an e-wallet which is used to store the tokens they receive. Tokens are distributed electronically for taking part in community activities such as participating in party meetings. The tokens received can then be used to acquire access to discounts at partnering social services such as education programs or other classes offered at local community centers.