Geekyrj | Tech That Matters

Monday, December 10, 2018

This Banking Giant Begins to Commercialize Blockchain-powered Services



One of South Korea’s largest banks, Shinhan has claimed it has started adopting blockchain technology “in earnest,” claiming that it has already provided some 400 employees with blockchain “education and consulting” and is already beginning to commercialize blockchain-powered services.
The bank claims that it began blockchain-powered Interest Rate Swap (IRS) transactions late last month – the first commercial service to be developed by the bank’s Blockchain Lab unit. The unit has also conducted talks with government and regulatory bodies with a view to potentially expanding its commercial blockchain operations into the foreign exchange and investment sectors.
Shinhan is thought to be keen on exploring the potential uses of both blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Per media outlet Money Today, the bank has also struck a deal with Korbit, one of the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, which will allow new Korbit account holders to use real-name banking services for Korean won withdrawals. The bank had previously only allowed existing Korbit account holders to use such services. The government earlier this year issued guidelines that require banks in the country to only allow withdrawals to be made via real-name and social security number-verified accounts.
Shinhan is also working on blockchain technology projects with KT, the South Korean telecom provider that claims it has developed one of the world’s fastest blockchain platforms. The bank has previously expressed an interest in developing a network of ultra-safe cryptocurrency vaults, and struck deals with the likes of Ripple. Its credit card arm has agreed a deal with OmiseGo, an Ethereum-powered payment platform.
Shinhan's global network:
Elsewhere, market-leading exchange Bithumb has released a Beta version of a voting platform that will allow its users to vote on which cryptocurrencies it should list. The exchange says it will monitor the platform “24 hours a day to ensure fair voting,” will bar fraudulent tokens and will review all nominated coins to ensure they are above-board.
Meanwhile, a South Korean blockchain startup is attempting to reverse the country’s blanket ban on all forms of initial coin offering (ICO) by appealing to the constitutional court, reports Segye Ilbo. The company, named Presto, is attempting to conduct a decentralized autonomous initial coin offering (DAICO), and hopes to convince the court of the ICO ban's nonfeasance.
The government is yet to announce if it has changed its stance on the ICO ban following extensive pressure from business groups – despite promising it would do so by the end of November.


Bitcoin and Ethereum Fundamentals Are Tougher than Prices, Expert Says


The fundamentals of Bitcoin and Ethereum networks have not fallen as much as prices have, author of the popular book Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond, Chris Burniske, writes in a blog post. In his research, he found that the fundamentals are outperforming the prices currently, although all of them are down since December 2017 and January 2018.


Although there are many who do not believe cryptocurrency networks have any fundamentals at all, Burniske believes that this role is filled by the health of the supply-siders and demand-siders. Supply-siders are those who provision the network’s service, in most cases miners, and demand-siders are the ones who consume the service. The research focuses on Bitcoin and Ethereum, comparing how fundamentals and network values have performed since December 17th, 2017, and January 13th, 2018 - the peak network values for both.
What he found is that, although network values (“Network Value” = “Price per Unit” x “Units of the Cryptoasset Outstanding”) were down, the number of daily transactions, as well as demand for their native functionality, is not following suit. Hash rates, or processing power of a cryptocurrency network, of both, are up compared to their peaks; although they are on negative slopes, they are still outperforming the price. Another supply-side component is developers, and Burniske writes that according to the internal analysis of venture firm Placeholder, of which he is a partner, those metrics are also outperforming the market.
“Most asset classes have widely agreed-upon models to value them; analysts just bicker over the inputs to those models. In crypto, we currently bicker over both the models and the inputs, hence the insane whiplash of the markets,” Burniske concludes, adding that the growth of network fundamentals is sure to attract analysts which, in turn, will help stabilize the market.
In reply to Burniske’s tweet featuring his article, the crypto community points out that taking the peak values from the December 17 - January 18 time frame means assuming that the market priced network value correctly back then.

“What if at the peak of the mania (at that seems to have been mania phase) [network value] got ahead of fundamentals by, say, 300%? Wouldn't it mean market still searches for a fair price which may be lower? Even if NV/fundamentals equations does not show that?” asks user @Staska.
Burniske wrote about that in a comment on Medium, “We could solve [the overvalued market problem] by looking at the cycles over time, checking in at troughs and peaks, and looking at the relative change in fundamentals and prices between the two. A more time-intensive analysis, but doable.” However, he did not add whether he intends to do such research in the future.
On this potential overvaluation also hangs the question: is the current market drop a justifiable correction? However, with the lack of data, “it’s clear to me that Mr. (Crypto) Market has only a vague idea of what he’s doing right now,” Burniske adds.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Crypto in 2019: the Most Important Regulatory Trends

crypto-in-2019

In July 2018, the small island nation of Malta became the first country in the world to establish a clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. And with the second half of 2018 seeing the likes of Russia and India preparing specific national legislation for cryptocurrencies, 2019 is set to become the year in which crypto-regulation becomes more widespread, more formal, and more international.


This could open up new possibilities for the crypto industry as it becomes more legitimate, yet as the experts below informs, it could also close off some previously lucrative areas of activity.
More anti-money laundering regulation
At the very least, 2019 will be the year when strong AML (anti-money laundering) and CFT (combating the financing of terrorism) regulation will be laid down throughout the globe, reaching many of the nations that haven't already introduced such rules.
To a large extent, this worldwide push towards AML/CFT regulation for crypto will be driven by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which is an G7-founded organization tasked with formulating (internationally adopted) policies related to money laundering.
"By June [2019], we will issue additional instructions on the standards [for cryptocurrencies] and how we expect them to be enforced," said the task force's president, Marshall Billingslea, in October.


As Gary McFarlane – a cryptocurrency analyst at Interactive Investor – explains , this will largely be a positive step for the crypto industry, although it may potentially have negative repercussions for fans of privacy coins.
 "The implementation of internationally agreed regulatory standards in line with the Financial Action Task Force would be an important step towards wider adoption of distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies," he says.
"The most professionally operated exchanges already abide those standards, so it is only the less well-resourced and cowboy operations that need to be worried."
"An exception to that would be privacy coins such as Monero and Verge, which may come in for special attention from the financial authorities, perhaps banning them from trading on exchanges in the authorities’ yet-to-be-formulated new regulatory framework."

ICO clampdown?

In August 2018, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs published a proposal that would impose new laws for initial coin offerings (ICOs), so as to protect those "consumers [who] are at risk from fraudulent activity taking place in this market."
Similarly, the US is witnessing a move towards (lighter touch) ICO regulation, as Republican Rep. Warren Davidson unveiled plans this December to send a bill before Congress that would seek to create a separate asset class for tokens issued during ICOs.


While such moves would be beneficial for consumers, some experts suspect that ICO legislation could noticeably restrict the ability of new entrants to launch token offerings.
"[T]here may be a move internationally to regulate initial coin offerings and that could hurt places like Singapore which has become a hotspot for token sales," says Gary McFarlane.

It could also lead to security token offerings displacing ICOs, although that has the downside that it could prevent smaller projects from coming to market if they have to abide by the same stringent rules that apply in equity markets.

No international crypto tax?

The G20 group of counties met in Buenos Aires at the beginning of December, and it was reported that they agreed to work towards the establishment of an 'international cryptocurrency tax.' However, while considerable fuss has been made about this online, it's not certain that the G20's declaration focuses on crypto specifically.
"The G20 final communique doesn’t really add anything new," argues Gary McFarlane. "The statement in paragraph 26 of the communique talks about “the impacts of the digitalization of the economy on the international tax system”, but I think that has been misinterpreted by some as a call to tax cross-border transactions when in fact it is more a reference to finding solutions to global Big Tech corporations declaring their profits in low-tax jurisdictions."
Still, some people in the industry are nonetheless preparing themselves for the possibility of increased efforts to tax crypto, with Utopia Music's head of blockchain, Brent Jaciow, telling that the industry could still see tax regulation at the national level.
"2019 will be the year when governments globally take a serious look at cryptocurrency markets and put in place sensible regulation. Governments will likely focus on two core areas within the cryptocurrency markets; taxation and regulation surrounding offerings/marketing to the public.”


Effects on the industry

Given that governments around the world seem fixated on crypto's worst aspects, it's conceivable to think that the industry might be in for a tough ride in 2019 (and beyond). However, most people within the industry believe that the globe's authorities will stick to cracking down on actual crime perpetrated via crypto, and won't veer into a general crackdown on crypto.
"The focus is on preventing money laundering, terrorist funding, etc.,” David Braut – the chief communication officer of Aqua Intelligence – explains.
In short, they want to know the source of funds and the flow of funds. 2019 can see these crypto-regulations improve especially in this areas. While there is reason to believe future regulations might be restrictive, it is a good thing as there are rules to follow and an actual red line that is not to be crossed - which is lacking as of now.
So while some (bad) actors within the crypto industry will find that they can no longer take an easy ride to riches, most others will ultimately benefit from a clearer and more dependable regulatory regime. And hopefully, having seen that cryptocurrencies are becoming more safely policed, the general public will become more willing to use and adopt them.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Not All Devices With Snapdragon 855 Supports 5G Know More



Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 has been launched several days ago. The storage chip is said to be attractive because it has built-in 5G support. It’s a processor chip for the top-of-the-range device, so coming soon we’ll see the flagship device manufacturers present with the Snapdragon 855 generating device.
Did you know, not all Snapdragon 855 generated devices will support 5G. Yes, it is true that this 5P chip support – but this 5G support requires a separate modem chip Qualcomm X50. The Snapdragon 855 built-in modem chips are still baseband LTE Cat 60’s Qualcomm X24  So if the manufacturer wants to integrate this 5G support – they need a separate modem chip.
The price of a 5G support device can be expensive and relatively high compared to LTE support. Yesterday, CEO OnePlus – Pete Lau said OnePlus devices with 5G support would cost $ 200- $ 300 more expensive than usual. If OnePlus devices are said to be ‘cheap’ can be expensive. What about other landmarks?

Qualcomm Vows New Milestone for 5G Wireless



Qualcomm has reached another milestone in making efforts to bring ultra-fast 5G wireless devices to users when a device using latest modem chip operated on a 5G network.
Apart from that, Verizon also conducted the 5G demonstration on its network using a Samsung prototype device with Qualcomm ‘s X50 modem at Maui hotel where the company is holding its annual Snapdragon Technology Summit.
In addition to that, AT&T also provided 5G demonstrations and BT Group in UK and Telstra in Australia attended to talk about the 5G starting 2019. 5G network launches are expected in North America, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and in China. This serves to explain how deep-seated the effort to provide the technology has gone.

Verizon also reveals that through its collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, it has reached a number of success peaks over the previous year. These milestones will help Verizon to achieve 5G network in 2019.
The team from San Diego’s Inseego said that 5G mobile hotspot using Qualcomm’s technology is expected to be launched on Verizon’s network next year. The company has vowed that 5G will jumpstart the saturated smartphone market. Yet, the technology promises to deliver fiber-optic like speeds to wireless devices.
Probably, Qualcomm is looking to win a legal war it already found itself in with Apple. The company could be hoping that if the consumers really warm up to 5G, it could help push forward a resolution in Qualcomm’s wide-ranging legal war with Apple.
Already, Qualcomm said it has gained the confidence of 18 device makers who signed up to use its chips in 5G devices in 2019. Qualcomm has resolved to deliver not only sub-6 gigahertz airwaves frequencies that are common now with 4G but also use millimeter wave frequencies.

Also, the company has the latest chip for smartphones called the Snapdragon 855 which is going to massively support 5G internet networks. This will come with beefed up processing speeds, artificial intelligence, camera, and mobile gaming capabilities.

FM Radio on Smartphones Could Save Lives | Geekyrj

save-life-using-fm

Smartphones are very powerful. They are so powerful that the FM capabilities inbuilt can save lives. Most of what they do is through a cellular connection. But cell towers are vulnerable during floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. At other times, there could be network congestions because of too many people making calls and this could make communication difficult or impossible.
Most of the smartphones that are produced today are equipped with radio chips that are capable of receiving free FM radio broadcasts when cellular service is down. However, there are those phones now don’t have a built-in antenna, such as some of the phones made in America.
Of course, when most of the communication lifelines fail, local radio can become a powerful tool for reaching out to our loved ones. With the failure of cell towers, it is still possible for local radio stations to keep broadcasting. Most radio stations keep backup generators in a bid to overcome grid failures.
During a crisis period, it is possible for the authorities to tap into a network of about 1,600 independent public radio stations in the US alone. Further, these stations can reach out to a whopping 300 million or more Americans which includes residents of rural and remote areas without access to other media services.
Through FM radio, emergency management agencies are able to convey evacuation instructions, alert communities about emerging threats, and also this medium can be used to coordinate relief efforts.
Over the years, the significance of FM radio during a natural disaster has been demonstrated. Local radio stations have been reputed to save lives during periods of natural disasters by making use of timely information to vulnerable populations even when landline phones and cellular networks fail to deliver.
One fact remains about the enabling of smartphone radio antennas which would come at no further cost to the user is beneficial for saving lives at times when natural disasters strike.

It is as easy as that: smartphone users can get access to FM radio signals simply by downloading an app.

Blockchain in Action: Bitfury helps to Boost Ukraine’s Budget


The deployment of blockchain technology in partnership with a state-run company allowed to boost the proceeds from auctions of seized property and land leases in Ukraine.
In the first year of the implementation of the technology, SETAM, a state-owned company, held 12,338 successful auctions with a combined total worth exceeding 2.5 billion hryvnias (USD 89 million). Using blockchain solution, provided by the London-based Bitfury Group, a blockchain technology company, has allowed SETAM to raise the auction prices, encouraging the technology’s deployment to land lease auctions, according to Viktor Vyshnov, the chief executive officer (CEO) of SETAM.

"The average growth of prices changed from 12% before blockchain to 18% [after the technology was deployed]. In September 2018, SETAM launched cooperation with StateGeoCadastre on a pilot project [related to] land lease auctions. In October 2018, the first electronic land lease auctions took place. Nine out of ten proposed lots were sold with an average increase in yearly lease payments [at the level of] 34.3%. The lease payment for one of the lots exceeded the state normative evaluation price of that land," Vyshnov told said
According to him, using blockchain has significantly increased the public’s trust in the system.

In September 2017, we held the first electronic auctions in the world with the use of blockchain technology. The same day, we announced the rebranding and began to provide services to our customers under the OpenMarket trademark. From the very beginning of the use of blockchain technology, we experienced a considerable increase in the level of trust in our system of electronic auctions. This has helped us to increase the number of participants and we launched cooperation with many local authorities and banks," Vyshnov said.

The auction data is fixed on a blockchain developed on the Bitfury’s Exonum platform, and each participant obtains a unique hash to check the information about their bid at the auction website, according to the CEO.
"This made the process truly transparent. The data copy is stored in a network of 4 independent servers [that are] blockchain nodes. The connection among the servers is ensured by a special protocol, which provides the auction with the reliable protection, even in the case of an attack or partial equipment failure," Vyshnov said. "The information is regularly copied to the public blockchain. This prevents the possibility of the information changing since any attempts of the blockchain-nodes collusion would be obvious thanks to the principle of the system operation. An independent auditor, East Europe Foundation, monitors the process. The system [can] also be verified by other auditors."
A video by the Bitfury Group explaining state auctions on the blockchain:


XYO Coin Jumped by More Than 120% in a Week. Why?


What does it take to rise in spite of a heavy-handed bear market that brings much bigger players down? Listing on an exchange is a good first step, at least by the example of XYO Network (XYO). The coin has jumped by more than 120% in the past week and was up by around 14% on Friday before trimming its gains to 7% (UTC 10:20 AM).
The coin, with the market capitalization of USD 27 million, even broke through the top 100 by market cap for a short while, before settling back down.
XYO price chart:


XYO Network, dubbed “the people-powered location network” by its team, is looking to solve the problem of trust in location data sharing by using blockchain technology. The XYO Network aims to make it possible for smart contracts to access the real world by using its ecosystem of devices to determine if an object is at a specific coordinate and deploy specific smart contracts accordingly.
In the past week, XYO Network has completed their gamma stage of the token sale and launched their mainnet, and claim to have received “proposals from 10 leading exchanges thus far.” They go on to explain, “By ‘leading,’ I mean they’re in the Top 100 Exchanges according to the exchange market cap listing websites.” The first one they accepted and went live on is LATOKEN, an exchange that has around USD 37 million in daily trading volume, trading against BitcoinEthereum and Tether.
The hype surrounding XYO Network started much earlier. In November, the first official full XYO Network transaction went through live on stage when they landed a drone next to their CEO using their own location data technology.


However, more notable than the news they’ve been announcing is the hype that’s been following them. Neither their Telegram channel nor dedicated subreddit has a large following - around 13,000 and 1,400 followers, respectively - but the community is certainly excited about the project. That’s the same vibe that their Twitter account and blog posts give: it seems like XYO does not see the bear market that’s brought everyone else down, and not a single post reads in a somber tone. All of them are excited and interactive with their community.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Are You Aware of the Upcoming Trends of 2019 in Global Cloud Industry?


It is hard to believe that the days when the cloud was considered unstable and risky were not so old. But, the things changed in a mere five years and the cloud became a part of every aspect of our personal and business life. We can put a glance at our lives and easily notice that the dominating things are all cloud-based solutions, as every device is internet-connected. As per a report of IDC, by 2020, almost 70% of the expenses on services, software, and tech will be cloud-based. This statement implies that cloud technology is here to stay and grow forever, and therefore, you should make it a crucial element of your organization. You should not be dealing with SaaS necessarily for that. We should always stay in the know of which things will affect our lives, be it professional or personal. Hence, this blog showcases the upcoming cloud technology trends in the year 2019, which you should be aware of. You can go through the below list and know what the year 2019 is bringing to us.

  • Brace the New and Diverse Solutions

A vast range of cloud technology and service adoption causes diversity in techniques, service delivery, and management models. Earlier, the enterprise cloud solution was neither a legacy ‘cloudwashed’ (just labeled as a cloud-based solution to keep up with the hype) solution nor a hyperscale standardized solution (which could not meet the business requirements properly). So, to solve this dilemma, various solutions came into the market and businesses were able to choose an appropriate solution as per their needs. The solutions were a blend of different services having numerous characteristics of hyperscale and on-demand solutions.

  • Improvisations in the Security

Earlier there was a threat in moving to the cloud, and some industries still think that they wouldn’t be secure after migration. Initial stages of cloud technology were very unstable and haywire as this happens with any new technology. Due to this, the businesses were reluctant to give their hard-earned data and money into the hands of someone naive.
Now, the times are changing as the cloud solutions and services are absorbing the inputs from the needs of the consumers and improving on that basis. Even if it is obvious that nothing is 100% safe and secure, still the upcoming critical risks are becoming addressable. As the threats are new, so are the solutions to tackle them. Therefore, businesses are now focusing more on the efficiency of the solution so that it fits into their critical business needs. Companies are becoming more mature using cloud-based services and solutions, technical issues, and the issues which mostly no one could address.

  • The Quantity of Cloud-Based Solutions is Increasing Rapidly

The below stats show how much the quantity of cloud-based solutions is going to increase –

  • As Bain & Company claims, by 2020, subscription-based SaaS will be rising by 18% CAGR.
  • As KPMG claims, in 2019, the businesses investing in PaaS will be 56% thereby, making it one of the rapidly-growing sectors.


These facts imply two things –
Firstly, businesses can choose from a varied and huge array of services and solutions and customize them according to their business needs.
Secondly, the enterprises in the business of providing cloud solutions and services need to be more careful and have to stay ahead than the rivals, as the competition is dense. Almost anything can be given as a service now and this fact makes cloud computing business, a game of thrones.

  • Hybrid Cloud is the New Go-To Solution

The concept of a full-blown cloud solution for the complete organization may sound easy and fascinating but in reality, a major number of businesses find it more challenging than it was imagined.
But now, the hybrid cloud solutions are letting the businesses make migration easy and fast. Further, it reduces the probable security threats and of course costs.

  • New Models have More Weightage

More than 75% of enterprises expect that a cloud-based solution can quicken-up the IT-service delivery rate. Cloud-based technology was basically thought of as a mere cost-reducing solution which could let people avoid the expense of creating IT infrastructure on their own premise. They could anytime use the services from the third parties. Cloud computing has come a long way and became a new milestone as it is now a part of every industry.
Right now, it is standing on its own as a self-sufficient business model and not as a supporting one. Businesses know that cost-reduction is not the only advantage that cloud provides, but, the flexibility, scalability, speed, and adaption to requirements are the key factors.

  • Reevaluation of IT Departments

Rapidly growing investment into the cloud market has compelled a major number of enterprises to rethink on the role of their IT department. This era demands that the otherwise isolated IT department should interact with every other department and collaborate with them. The current model emphasizes the influence of information technology’s work on the functioning of other departments. This means that owners need to hire cloud-centric people for their IT department so they can reposition their staff.

Concluding on Cloud technology Trends -
The cloud technology is there to solve your problems and it is going to evolve more. You cannot deny the fact that cloud is indeed a vital part of our lives. Its vitality is going to rise in the coming years. Now that, companies are deeply understanding the technology trends in cloud computing, they are able to make correct decisions. They are preparing for future as everyone wants to stay ahead of the competitors. Choosing cloud technology is guaranteed to take your business to the next level. There are solutions and services for your needs. So, choose wisely!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

What is Bitcoin Mining ?



Mining 1 bitcoin a year might cost you thousands of dollars. If you’re lucky.
However, our beginner’s guide to mining Bitcoins should help you.
When Bitcoin was launched in 2009 it was possible to mine the first cryptocurrency using a personal computer. Now, with more and more miners joining the race for bitcoins and Bitcoin transaction fees, for getting started with Bitcoin mining, only those with extremely powerful computers can expect a reward.
For a sense of how much investment mining might require, just search the internet for “bitcoin mining calculator”. The measure of the computing power of mining equipment is called its “hash rate”. It shows how fast the equipment can solve cryptographic puzzles. 
Once you decide on your budget, you can choose how to mine Bitcoin. You can either invest thousands or millions in your own mining equipment and keep all the profit yourself or use existing infrastructure.
To do the latter:
Join a mining pool. Mining pools unite a group of miners who combine their computing power and share profits. There’s usually a fee to be a member of such a pool.
Use cloud mining. This means buying processing power at a remote datacentre which will mine on your behalf. Here you don’t need to invest in your own equipment in order to mine, but you’re charged a fee by the datacentre which reduces your profit.

In any case, to avoid fraud, do some research before choosing a mining pool or a cloud mining solution.