by Eliot Harkin
This week’s theme focused on storing and sending funds. We covered the release of Jaxx by Kryptokit, wallet security, mixing coins for anonymity, and sending coins in a variety of new ways. Check out some of the best stories in bitcoin, blockchain and fintech from around the world in this week’s BTCMANAGER Week in Review.
Compiled from stories by Joseph Young, Michael Scott, Diana Ngo and Nigel Dollentas
As the digital currency landscape continues to evolve into deeper and deeper layers of security protocol, the average user is increasingly faced with a confusing array of passwords and private recovery keys. These access credentials, while serving a protective layer from theft and intrusion, can at times result in a scenario where the end user becomes temporarily locked out of their own wallet. Or in the ultimate worst-case scenario, it can lead to a permanent loss of access.
Dave Bitcoin of Wallet Recovery Services has been the savior for many bitcoin enthusiasts whose wallets have become inaccessible due to misplaced or forgotten passwords. In an interview with BTCMANAGER, he explains how he is able to help people regain access to their “lost” bitcoins.
Dubai’s innovation center, the Museum of the Future, has announced the establishment of the Global Blockchain Council, an initiative that will focus on exploring possible use cases for blockchain technology in the business and financial sectors. The purpose, the government of Dubai said, is to explore the merits of blockchain technology for more efficient and reliable processes.
Its first initiative will be in partnership with BitOasis, a domestic bitcoin exchange focusing on the Middle East and North America regions, and will consist of implementing blockchain technology to enable Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) to secure flexidesk contracts and registration process. The government of Dubai also announced an annual conference dedicated to the technology and digital currencies that will feature high-profile individuals, workshops, hackathons, startup conferences and awareness sessions for entrepreneurs, investors and interested parties.
Leading Danish exchange CCEDK and crypto community BeyondBitcoin.org have collaborated to develop a Bitshares blockchain-based token distribution system for social media outlets. The Sharebits.io platform is targeted at businesses and individuals planning to distribute cryptocurrency tokens as a part of their marketing stategies.
Built on the second-generation crypto platform Bitshares, Sharebits.io enables anyone in the Bitshares network to use Sharebot to send tokens from a social media account quickly, with substantially low costs. Currently, Sharebot supports Twitter, Reddit and URL links to deliver funds. Corporations and organizations could utilize the Sharebot technology to reward loyal customers and clients by providing a premium perk through the distribution of crypto tokens.
Additionaly, Sharebot allows humanitarian organizations and charity groups including WFP, CARE, OXFAM, IFRC, AAH and many more, to raise funds and transfer money across the globe in a matter of seconds using Twitter or other popular social media outlets. Today, it is difficult to transfer money to countries with extensive capital and currency controls, such as China, Argentina and Venezuela. By using distributed ledger technology, organizations can send donations and charity funds to regions struggling to recover from natural disasters.
Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has been in charge of the monetary policy of the nation’s central bank since 2002. IN a recent interview, Zhou emphasized that considering the exponential growth of digital currencies like bitcoin, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies will soon challenge major financial establishments and ultimately, lead people to challenge the existence of financial intermediaries like the PBOC.
However, the major issue of implementing and pushing digital currency to become a potential replacement of cash lies behind its anonymity. Cash by nature is anonymous, and cash is the only truly anonymous form of money in circulation today. With concerns rising due to the explosive increase in the number of fraudulent transactions and illicit financial flows, financial experts and the Central Bank of China are debating whether to maintain the same level of anonymity for digital currency as they did for cash. However, Zhou argued that cash is only anonymous because of the lack of financial infrastructure to trace the origin of cash. While he understands that many individuals call for complete anonymity for digital currencies, the PBOC is aiming for a controlled and regulated digital currency.
JoinMarket is a mechanism based on CoinJoin, an anonymization method for bitcoin transactions proposed by Gregory Maxwell. The core concept of JoinMarket is to enable bitcoin holders to allow their coins to be mixed in return for a fee as CoinJoin transactions, and allow owners of bitcoin to earn a stable income.
In theory, the CoinJoin method is relatively simple. If a user wants to make a CoinJoin or anonymous payment, the wallet platform finds another user who wants to make a CoinJoin payment and combine the two payments together. The two payments will be then known as a joint payment, which will have a distorted direction and origin, becoming virtually impossible to be traced. By implementing the CoinJoin method of mixing transactions, the JoinMarket team released the third version of its mechanism with a vision to improve the general privacy of the network.
Gyft Inc, a Silicon Valley-based company that entered the $100 billion gift card market in 2012 with its mobile eCards has fueled speculation about bitcoin’s long-term, mainstream adoption potential. In short, Gyft is an online platform that connects retailers with consumers in the United States; the latter being able to conveniently upload, purchase, send and redeem gift cards from a computer, mobile phone or tablet.
Since Gyft was acquired by First Data, a global leader in payment technology and global solutions, in 2014, the opportunity is there for Gyft to expand to countries beyond the United States. This expansion would be key to greater adoption.
Bitcoin evangelist Anthony Di Iorio is the founder of Decentral, a technology consulting firm that specializes in blockchain and decentralized technologies. Kryptokit, the crown jewel of the company’s suite of products, is releasing series of new digital tools in the coming weeks.
One of these is a fleet of simple-to-use bitcoin wallets called Jaxx by Kryptokit. Commencing with its February 13th beta launch, Jaxx is a unique digital tool that creates a wallet in real-time while facilitating a web-browser digital address at warp speed. Throughout the month of February, it will release versions for Android, iOS, and desktops, as well as Chrome and Firefox extensions, among other features.
“Our primary goal is to create a product that brings everything together into a unified experience,” Di Iorio told BTCMANAGER in an interview.