by Eliot Harkin
Two important stories were in the news this week: The results of ShapeShift’s postmortem report and the draft of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016. Both address issues of security. In ShapeShift’s case, how the breach is leading to improved security measures; in the second, how government legislation could force backdoor access everyone’s personal data, leading to “unintended consequences.”
We also focus on two startups that are hoping to spread bitcoin adoption among average users and merchants alike.
Stories compiled with contributions from Nuno Menezes, Diana Ngo, Michael Scott and Joseph Young.
The Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, released last week, proposed a new set of obligations which would force companies to allow access to sensitive information. Now, a joint force comprised of the Reform Government Surveillance, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C) and the Entertainment Software Association has replied to the draft bill. The group wrote a letter defending encryption as necessary in the protection of an individual’s data and the preservation of the free flow of information.
The group holds the position that the effect of excessive requirements will force companies to prioritize government access over other considerations, including digital security. As a result, companies “could be forced to make decisions that would create opportunities for exploitation by bad actors seeking to harm our customers and whom we all want to stop.” They agree that making sure that law enforcement has the legal authorities, resources, and training it needs to solve crime, prevent terrorism, and protect the public, but these enforcements should be carefully conducted so that it can preserve customers’ information and security.
The Viva Technology international summit, organized by Publicis Group and Group Les Echos, will take place in Paris from June 30, to July 02, 2016 and is expected to bring together tech leaders and visionaries, including 5,000 startups, dozens of international corporations, 200 renowned speakers, and 100 of the biggest VCs. More than 30,000 visitors are expected to attend.
As part of the summit, Viva Technology and its partners are organizing a series of open innovation challenges, among which are four blockchain-dedicated startup competitions.
CGI Group Inc. has integrated Ripple’s distributed financial technology into its payments solutions to deliver instant settlement of international banking transactions. CGI is a Canadian IT leader and the fifth largest independent IT and business process services firm in the world. By integrating blockchain technology into its payments solutions, CGI hopes to stay at the forefront of payments modernization and innovation.
Jeff Miller, vice-president of CGI’s Financial Solutions Group, said that the integration “is the first of more to come in our efforts to deliver practical innovation to clients.”
Infoteria Corporation, a Japanese firm that creates enterprise software products, is teaming up with Dragonfly Fintech to develop blockchain-enabled solutions aimed at enhancing payment, clearing and settlement solutions for the financial services industry. The collaboration announcement comes simultaneously with the news that Dragonfly Fintech, a Singapore-based blockchain infrastructure developer, successfully completed a three-month long demonstration experiment with SBI Sumishin Net bank and Nomura Research Institute (NRI). The experiment happened to be a success and, according to Lon Wong, founder of Dragonfly Fintech, “shows that blockchain can be used for the core banking system.”
Since the end of 2015, a number of Japanese banks and financial institutions have started expressing their interest and even experimenting with blockchain technology.
The results of a digital investigation of ShapeShift’s security breach were released on April 18 in a report entitled ShapeShift Cyberattack Postmortem, drafted by Michael Perklin, head of Security and Investigative Services at Ledger Labs, a Toronto-based consulting firm focused on blockchain development.
In the report, Perklin identified the ways in which the hack took place and gave recommendations for future security measures.
He praised Erik Voorhees and ShapeShift for their swift and transparent actions following the breach.
Perklin also is a member of the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) Board of Directors; C4 is responsible for publishing the CryptoCurrency Security Standard.
“ShapeShift has already implemented some controls that help them score as Level I, Level II, and even Level III, in certain aspects,” Perklin told BTCMANAGER. “They plan on completing the remaining controls over the next few weeks so that all aspects are unanimously compliant with CCSS Level I.” From there, the company will continue to complete all controls necessary to achieve Level III.
The Bitcoin Aliens team introduced themselves to the Bitcoin mobile game market with their very first Bitcoin faucet game called Bitcoin Aliens. Today the company have 4 mobile apps, with around 500k+ installs between them. In this feature interview with company president Daniel Bainbridge, BTCMANAGER brings the story of how a bitcoin game company is trying to help spread bitcoin adoption with a little fun.
34 Bytes is also trying to promote bitcoin adoption: in this case, by encouraging more merchants to accept bitcoin at the cash register. Its creator, Stephen Karlsgodt is quick to point out that current POS solutions that run phones or tablets are not as simple to use as one might think. What makes the 34 Bytes processing terminals so appealing are their built-in WiFi capabilities; retailers will no longer have to rely on wired connections for payment acceptance. Moreover, because 34 Bytes does not serve as a wallet service, the company will never touch the funds being transacted between merchant and customer. Instead, a Coinbase tool has been integrated into the system, allowing retailers to set up their own bitcoin wallet address.