Explore cryptocurrencies and blockchain industry.
The QuadrigaCX exchange scandal from a few months back caused widespread fear among people for their financial wellbeing. The scandal began with the sudden death of the exchange’s co-founder and CEO, Gerald Cotten, which led to over 100,000 of their users losing their cryptocurrency funds.
The CEO was supposedly the only person with access to the codes of almost $140 million worth of cryptocurrencies held in the exchange’s cold storage. When he unexpectedly passed away during his honeymoon in India, he left his customers to fight for their assets in Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court, while an appointed overseer for the company is still trying to search for the missing funds.
Events like this continue to propagate a very fragile trust in crypto, making banks and other traditional financial institutions even more suspicious. As the industry continues to find proper regulations for this new technology, crypto owners should do their best to self-regulate and take better care of their assets. Here are some ways crypto owners can make sure their funds are safe:
Audit and accreditation
When considering an exchange or any sort of fund keeping provider, you should be attentive to their verifications in order to ensure they are the best out there. Many have their verifications and accreditations on their websites, and to be extra safe, you can ask about their security audits and ask to see some audit reports, compliance documents, and any other kind of document that proves some sort of oversight.
As with QuadrigaCX, many changes can happen to a company over time. Technologies evolve and people come and go. One of the most important things for any company is redundancy and adaptability to circumstances. There should be safeguard systems in place for any unexpected circumstances in order to ensure safety for their clients or users.
A company’s history is nearly as important as its future strategy, and a company must have a proven track record of success. Brand new companies with no operational history should be studied carefully, as they aren’t as proven as other alternatives. There are many great new companies and exchanges out there, and by no means are we trying to diminish them, but operational history is important to consider. You should be able to review transactions as well as the type of business they conduct. For example, operating a cold wallet network is very different than providing hot wallet services for high transaction volume. If a company is new with not much available history, do your due diligence and make sure you look at their accreditations and verifications. ATAIX provides ours right on our website for all to look at in order to ensure user trust.
Multi-signature is the use of multiple keys to access cryptographic assets which require multiple people to come together in order to release assets. Those persons should incorporate the right level of governance and security protocols that will ensure the safety of your crypto assets for the foreseeable future.
Any person’s assets should be taken seriously, and the aforementioned steps should be taken by anyone interested in crypto. To start trading safely on a secure platform, sign up on ATAIX today.
Even before anything was announced, many people interested in the tech and phone industry were already speculating that Samsung would have some sort of crypto integration in their new Galaxy S10 line of phones. In the end, it turns out they were right, as Samsung unveiled a cryptocurrency wallet for their S10 line. As we've talked about before, crypto is giving credit cards a run for their money, and this is something Samsung seems to want to capitalize on.
The Korea Herald, one of the most popular English language newspapers in Korea, was the first to report on Samsung’s intention to integrate a crypto wallet into their new line on January 21st, exactly a month before the release of the Samsung Blockchain Wallet on February 21st. Samsung Pay- Samsung’s native payment processing application with over 10 million active users- will be the driving force behind the crypto wallet. On March 8th, Donga, one of South Korea’s biggest media outlets, elaborated on Samsung Pay’s serious intention on crypto integration in order to expand their user base. Donga’s report stated:
“Samsung Pay has recently extended the transaction period for overseas users and integrated an international payment processing service, aggressively targeting the global financial services market.”
As this continues to develop and the wallet is added to Samsung Pay, the platform may cement its status as a modern solution for the new ages. For now, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet is reported to be supporting only Ethereum, but more coins will definitely be integrated in the near future.
Such developments were expected from Samsung when looking at the acquisitions and product launches that it has had in the past. Samsung Pay went head to head with applications such as Apple Pay and KakaoPay immediately after its launch. A 2015 acquisition of LoopPay innovated their payment platform, allowing users to simply hover their smartphones over POS terminals in order to pay, presenting a huge advantage over its competitors.
Some important data reported by Donga shows that Samsung Pay’s user base has increased by a whopping 58 percent from 2017 to 2018, a number of 6.6 million users. Such figures could make Samsung a leader in the crypto payment sector in the near future.
As we have seen with Cash App’s Bitcoin integration, which increased the company’s market valuation by an astronomical 516%, crypto integration can have a huge positive impact for payment services. This could be something we see with Samsung soon.
As of April 2018, Samsung Pay had a transaction volume of $18 billion. With successful crypto integration, Samsung could set a precedent for mainstream companies continuing to embrace and integrate crypto and other blockchain based solutions to their products while also cementing its status among the leading blockchain-friendly companies out there.
Be sure to sign up on ATAIX to begin trading and to follow any other developments in the world of crypto.
Credit card fee hikes in recent years have brought to the surface some questions about traditional financial institutions and their instruments and created some debates among their effectiveness and that of cryptocurrencies. Many reports indicate that there are significant savings in payments processed with cryptocurrencies, but as creatures of habit, most people still prefer their banking cards over crypto transactions. Still, it seems that we are just a few years from established universal blockchain and crypto integration. Even today there are some major advancements that make a solid case for choosing crypto over credit. Here are some of the more significant ones.
This actually might be the single most important difference between crypto and credit cards. The user of a crypto wallet needs to give explicit permission and has full control over its financials when a transaction is occurring. It is up to the user of the wallet to decide under what terms, when and what amount he wants to transact. On the other hand, banks have full control over your money and personal data and have automated all of their processes to simply pull money out of your bank account at any given time.
This is closely linked with the point above. Users of crypto need to display their public address to receive payments and need to personally initiate any transaction in which they are sending money. The user is the only one with access to their funds via their private key. At no point can a merchant access the user’s funds. They can only send to the user or receive after the user has initiated a transaction. This completely eliminates security problems, scams, and hidden fees associated with banking cards, since users of banking cards give their bank full access to their funds, which may lead to a security risk or exploitation on the banker’s end. Credit cards are notorious for the latter, with hidden fees being a common concern linked to their services. With crypto, this aspect as a whole is eliminated.
Low fees, various alternatives
Low transactional fees were one of the main initial selling points for cryptocurrencies. Although that hasn’t been true with Bitcoin lately, that still leaves us with hundreds of other projects that have successfully implemented a low fee transaction schedule. This means being able to pay just a fraction of a dollar for basically any payment, making this an attractive offer for everyone so much so that even crypto to fiat conversion presents itself with more usable rate than credit cards.
As we all know, our personal information and identity is tightly connected to the credit cards and banks we use. This can create several issues with transactions, traveling, or even doing business overseas (sometimes domestically too!) since these things often include long, bureaucratic processes and the smallest mistake or inconsistency will halt the process. Many factors may contribute to complicating the process as well, including loss of documentation, emigration, or even things such as age and financial history. Cryptocurrencies, however, are like cash- easy to use anywhere, anytime, for anything. In fact- since they don’t need to be converted based on the country or region, they are even more convenient than cash, and certainly a much more preferable alternative to credit cards.
National patent and trademark offices are the clearest way to go if you have some kind of intellectual property to protect. A very well established infrastructure already exists in most nations, coupled with more recent international intellectual property protection programs. However, the 21st century has provided us with many ways to enhance nearly every aspect of private and public life. It has also provided new challenges for almost every field, intellectual property included. With that in mind, we want to once again look into the potential use of one of the 21st century’s greatest innovations- blockchain- in this particular field.
In almost every country around the world there are different systems that regulate intellectual property, all of which were created long before the digital age we live in today. The rules that each country has set for themselves were mostly concentrated inwards, meaning they were meant to be enforced only for intellectual property that was to be used in that particular country. Now in these modern times, almost every idea has some international usage potential, and that, of course, has created some big problems. International treaties and conventions have attempted to address and resolve these issues, but have been met with many enforcement hurdles. This has been particularly evident in the case of internet-based businesses that have quick internationalization capabilities. Managing such businesses across multiple countries and continents has been a headache for many brands, taking a lot of their time and money. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, is the holy grail that everyone hopes will sort out some, if not all, of these hardships.
Below are three interesting ways that blockchain can potentially address these issues:
The birth of an idea
The first steps that are taken when an idea sees the light of day, by its individual creator and/or the company that represents it, are always to protect it. If some kind of technological development, service, or product can potentially be created from it, it’s only natural to patent the idea.
Blockchain actually provides a very clear and simple solution here, which is its ledger and the information that is recorded on it. Recording intellectual property on the ledger guarantees transparency when it comes to proving who came up with a certain idea first. Needless to say, this can prevent the headache, time, and expenses parties spend on legal battles to settle such issues.
One of the other purposes of the intellectual property systems is to award companies that innovate with their ideas when these ideas are used by third parties and their products through licensing. Verifying ownership of patents can be a real challenge when companies don’t update their ownership status, making it very hard for even the biggest companies to license something out.
This, like the issue above, creates endless disputes that can be easily avoided by implementing blockchain, thus giving a clear picture of who owns what, as well as a set of guidelines on how those things can be used by third parties.
Dealing with multiple jurisdictions around the world is a big problem. A ton of paperwork for each separate patent in each different country is enormously wasteful time and money wise.
If the blockchain is used to save an idea on its ledger, then legal offices around the world can just update the ledger with their set of rules which will make things less complex, more cost-effective, and, above all, borderless.
This is certainly a huge potential development in the blockchain field. To follow any other such developments and beign trading, sign up with ATAIX today.
Despite the bumpy ride that this remarkable technology has endured in the past year, blockchain is still one of the most important and profound inventions of the modern era.
Many startups have failed but even more have succeeded in attempting to bring value to this industry. The most important sign that Bitcoin and its underlying technologies are still going strong and gaining momentum is the fact that big companies are pushing its innovation and overall value creation.
That being said, here are some of the most important trends that everyone should know about when it comes to blockchain today:
Real value vs hype
Practically any industry in the world that could bring innovation where there previously wasn’t, will naturally open huge possibilities for wealth creation, and can attract a lot of positive but also negative attention. For the blockchain industry, this has kind of gone over the edge. There has been an overwhelming number of scammers promising all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes that have fooled a lot of people. But despite that black hole of scams, the industry will see the light of day with the introduction of regulations that promise a lot less of these money grabbers. In any case, a little research and caution can go a long way.
The IOT - Blockchain story is just starting
The interoperability between the blockchain technology and IOT has doubled in 2018. This means that this trend is very far away from its peak and it’s just starting to show the endless possibilities that come from merging these two technologies. With expectations of over 26 billion connected devices in 2019, experts say that this year IOT will see an explosion of use cases and blockchain will push the numbers even further.
Breaking new ground in the financial industry
As it has become obvious by now that there is no stopping the revolution in the traditional finance industry induced by the Bitcoin and its underlying technologies. Many companies in the field have decided to stop resisting and start working on their own solutions that will improve the old inefficient and broken ways of doing business. ICE, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, has already put their plans in motion with Bakkt – a Bitcoin-based futures trading platform. This represents one of the first steps towards implementing blockchain in many spheres of the current financial system that is just starting to improve the way we go about our finances.
Ever-increasing investment opportunities
With the implementation of blockchain technology, the entry bar for larger investments like real estate, for example, is significantly lower and continues to decrease. This requires a bit more regulation in order to allow everyday traders to take part in, but as things are moving along in that direction, in time we will surely see the doors open for the masses. Digital “shares” will become a common thing in all traditional investment markets and with the help of smart contracts, all of the unnecessary costs and the middlemen like lawyers and brokers will be eliminated.
Be sure to sign up with ATAIX today to begin trading and to follow any further developments in the industry.
Innovative projects utilizing blockchain is something we’ve already covered in depth, as well as the great possibilities that blockchain has opened for many existing companies from various industries. The use of smart contracts, improving supply chain management, quality assurance, voting processes, improving trust in transactions, accounting- the uses for blockchain seem endless. Now it seems, blockchain and its potential is starting to seep into the mainstream.
As it stands now, only smaller companies and startups have a firm grip on the use of the blockchain as a prominent part of their workflow. Many big companies have been doing research and testing the waters, but are not quite there with full implementation. The biggest problem that enterprise companies seem to have when it comes to blockchain is privacy. It’s just not enough for big companies to have pseudonymous blockchain as they have huge numbers of customers and customer data. If somehow an address used for private business from a company is made public, then all of that address transaction history will be publicly available forever. This creates a big problem for companies that have privacy regulations like GDPR and the California Privacy Act hanging right above their heads.
However the future isn’t all doom and gloom and despite certain concerns, some companies are attempting to build the necessary bridges between blockchain and their existing enterprise infrastructure. For investors interested in the blockchain technology who believe in its potential, this provides an interesting opportunity. Here’s a few companies who are looking into blockchain implementation:
Hyperledger Fabric is the name of the standard used by IBM that looks to provide a solution to the problems enterprises may have when it comes to confidential transactions. Hyperledger is hosted by The Linux Foundation and at the moment has the cooperation of hundreds of companies.
A statement from the company issued says:
“Data confidentiality mechanisms ensure that individuals or organizations are prevented from accessing data that they are not authorized to access, such as classified information of other organizations’ transactions. Anonymity requires that participants of transactions are concealed.”
IBM is actually one of the biggest companies out there that is an active proponent of blockchain use. They have created IBM Blockchain to implement blockchain use and are “transforming blockchain’s promise into bottom-line business results.”
Together with the startup Kaleido, Amazon and its Web Services (AWS) have joined forces to offer businesses the power of distributed ledgers with the introduction of Hyperledger and Ethereum templates.
AWS statement goes as follows:
“Introducing Kaleido to AWS customers is going to help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves. Kaleido offers a full-stack SaaS for creating, operating and scaling enterprise blockchain solutions.”
This company has been doing an awesome job of working on a solution that will enable different blockchains to communicate with each other. Their main goal is to use smart contracts to make a transaction of data and assets between chains a simple process. The so-called “parachains” will play a big role in Polkadot’s product. They will be used for gathering and processing information and then sending it off to a relay chain. In the end, the data will be passed along to “bridges” that will connect to a base-blockchain like Ethereum.
This blockchain-based storage network has been developing two very interesting solutions that would hopefully suit the big enterprise companies. The first one is Provable Data Possession (PDP) and the other one is Proofs of Retrievability (POR). The idea behind this is to create an immutable and secure solution for storing, accounting for and exchanging large volumes of data between multiple parties. Access control will be implemented via multi-authority attribute-based encryption (MA-ABE).
With each passing day, more companies continue to invest in and adopt blockchain. The next couple of years will be very exciting for the blockchain world and we look forward to seeing any changes that come with blockchain integration. To begin trading and to follow more blockchain related developments, sign up for ATAIX today.
When the first Bitcoin was mined back in 2009, it silently marked the start of something big. At that time the mining process didn’t really mean anything in particular other than “simply” creating a virtual currency. It was a niche that was shrouded in mystery, much like its founder.
At first, this revolutionary technology was supported and mined only by the enthusiasts and developers of Bitcoin. In order for it to become what it is today, it took many years of building its network’s foundation of miners that now comprises of thousands of people and companies around the world contributing to the most famous online payment system of all time.
Seeing as there’s been many advances in the crypto mining industry in this last decade, we wanted to briefly go over a handful of some of the more interesting methods people use today.
Number 1: Doing the right way. Legally.
At the beginning, like we mentioned, mining cryptocurrencies was reserved for the enthusiasts, developers, and entrepreneurs with some small capital to invest into mining rigs. Soon after, it became incredibly competitive with companies buying all of the latest gear, stacking it up in mining farms all over the world where the electricity is cheaper. But nevertheless, the Bitcoin crash dawned upon the industry and endangered the ability to make at a profit. Despite this huge downturn event this still is the most secure way to mine some crypto: simply upgrading your machine or buying a separate mining machine and getting to work.
Number 2: Using excess power
In some places there is surplus electricity that is generated, more than is demanded. In Washington for example, electrical power generated by the dams has been in overwhelmingly high numbers. More precisely, it is six times higher than what the whole population including the companies will ever need to use. This represents a great chance for miners as the local price for excess power in Washington has been dirt cheap which makes this region a worthwhile mining investment opportunity.
Number 3: Cryptojacking - Interesting but illegal (and completely unendorsed by us here at ATAIX).
This mining method has been very popular and pretty much on the rise from the moment it was created. What cryptojacking is practically doing is injecting a malicious code into an app, website or a computer in order to use the victim’s computer processing power to mine cryptocurrencies. Many people are using various web pages that offer them ready-to-mine code that they can just copy-paste into their own website or application so when someone is using their app or browsing their blog the processing power of the device is used to mine cryptocurrencies without the user knowing. Though certainly fascinating, this is nevertheless highly illegal.
Number 4: Using unregulated markets
Countries like Iran and North Korea that have been under sanctions imposed by most of the world are a pretty safe haven for miners. In Iran, they are using the high rates of the world traditional currency market between the US dollar and the Iranian Rial so they can still make more money at an extremely low crypto market value. An additional plus is the cheap electricity in the country so even if Bitcoin goes as low as 2000 dollars combined with the high fiat rates, they can still make a profit.
Since the inception of blockchain, some people saw its potential beyond its traditional use as a payment system. With the astronomical rise of Bitcoin’s popularity, which has gone from the depths of the web to a household name, many more began looking into the technology it’s based on. As time goes by, the number of companies in many different industries that try to implement this unique technology in their day to day workflow constantly increases.
One of the most important industries, the healthcare industry, has been experimenting with blockchain implementation for some time, and has recently gotten the approval of the state to go ahead full steam. The US Department of Health and Human Services have received approval to start working on a system that will utilize blockchain and AI technologies.
This system will extract information from 100,000 contracts that are representing around 24.8 billion dollars of annual spending from five different contract systems in the Health Department. It will do an analysis on the expenses and terms of those contracts and eventually use all of that processed information as a guide for new purchases.
As the associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition, Jose Arrieta, stated:
“We believe there are significant savings and significant price negotiation power that will come with having full visibility into prices paid and terms and conditions.”
With this solution, the US government will cut short the months-long process of doing market research and then extrapolating the data for analysis. In this scenario, all of the purchasing data will be updated in real-time making it available right away so that it can be used for planning as well as negotiating.
As mentioned before, blockchain is not the only technology that is going to be used in this new solution, as robotic process automation and machine learning will have a role too. They will be used for data cleansing as soon as that data is extracted from the contract system. Natural language processing will be used in order to analyze the terms and conditions but also the pricing information of the contracts.
The initial results of this new process are expected to be delivered in the first couple of months of 2019. With all of the feedback info from the teams that are going to be using it, it will be gradually improved over time.
There are also other examples of blockchain use by the medical industry. The Massachusetts General Hospital, which is one of the top five hospitals, in the US are working together with a Korean blockchain startup called MediBloc in order to find better methods to store and share their patient’s data.
As the director of the Laboratory of Medical Imaging and Computation of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Synho Do, has said:
“In collaboration with Medibloc, we aim to explore potentials of blockchain technology to provide secure solutions for health information exchange, integrate healthcare AI applications into the day-to-day clinical workflow, and support data sharing and labeling platform for machine learning model development.”
Innovating and utilizing blockchain technology is happening simultaneously in all fields as we speak. It’s something we’ve monitored closely and are extremely excited about. Seeing blockchain be utilized not only in a professional field, but also a field that works to better the lives of everyone is a massive leap for the healthcare industry and also for blockchain technology.
We all remember the old days when everyone was getting their cell phones and SMS messaging became not only a trendy, but incredibly convenient, method of communication because you could instantly reach anybody, anywhere for a small fee, making voice calls a bit of an afterthought.
Sometime later the smartphone revolution started which marked a new chapter. Now paired with the internet, the smartphone started to increase its significance in people’s lives. Its messaging feature evolved passed many limits that were previously unimaginable, doing so without necessarily being connecting to the same cellular network as the whole planet was. Most importantly, smartphone messaging did so without incurring any of the fees that came with SMS messaging.
Applications like Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram (among many others) emerged, and in time they were able to bring new features like group chats, image sharing, and longer message support for virtually no cost. Apple even converted its traditional SMS application to iMessage, which provided all the features these applications did between any two iPhones.
Seeing as things are constantly evolving, we can come up with many other uses for this SMS technology. Cryptocurrency transactions are increasingly becoming an everyday tool that are being implemented on a global scale. For example, Facebook, among other companies that pioneered the messaging technology, has an active dedicated cryptocurrency team. Some reports claim they are working on cryptocurrency that would enable users to send payments via their subsidiary company and messaging app WhatsApp.
Now there are also other companies like the Swiss based startup Zulu Republic that has developed their own service called Lite.im. Their service will use Facebook Messenger and Telegram and utilize their messaging abilities to send, receive, and manage cryptocurrencies. Additionally, they have a feature to use traditional SMS messages that will not only support their own native token ZTX but also some of the more popular cryptos out there like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Using the RSA encryption algorithm, this company will make sure nobody from Facebook or any other cell service company will be able to have access to users’ passwords and private keys.
As the CEO of the startup Zach Cavanaugh stated:
“Litecoin, Bitcoin – it’s portable money that transcends borders. Crypto can’t be stolen if you follow best practices. You can’t get locked out of it. It can’t be censored or mismanaged by governments. If we had a widely accepted self-sovereign identity system it could simplify the process of applying for asylum, getting financial aid, accessing legal and health services.”
Solutions like this one that allow anyone with a basic smartphone without an internet connection to send cryptocurrencies with a simple SMS message can provide an alternative to those that might need it (in situations without WiFi or data or otherwise).
A very simple but ultimately effective use of this could be philanthropists or charitable organizations helping people by easily sending them aid without worrying about corruption or middlemen.
By combining new emerging technologies with old existing technologies, we are seeing a potential to do some incredible things. Borders that were previously untouched will now be broken and new technological precedents can be set.
As the world is heading towards a larger adoption of cryptocurrencies, governments are catching up and are trying to push on regulations. There has been an ongoing battle for some time now between crypto exchanges and Denmark’s authorities, who were trying to get an approval to start collecting private users’ information. The battle came to an end this month when tax collectors got permission to start gathering sensitive information such as names, addresses, associated wallet information, and trading history data belonging to three unnamed crypto exchanges spanning from 2016 till 2018.
The statement for this decision mentions that all foreigners who have used a Danish crypto exchange will have to provide their personal details to their respective country’s authorities. Karin Bergen, Skattestyrelsen (SKAT) Tax Agency of Denmark Director said: “With the permission of the Danish Tax Council, we will, for the first time, gain access to the trades made via the Danish Stock exchanges. This gives us completely new opportunities in relation to control in the area.”
Considering the fact that one of the main purposes of cryptocurrencies is to provide anonymity with there being no law that mandated to give out any kind of data in Denmark, it has been very easy for the users to hide information from the tax authorities. According to SKAT, this action will “ensure that citizens who have traded cryptocurrencies have paid the right tax.”
This is one of the rare cases where a country has made such a decision that, despite how negative it appears, will definitely help to legitimize the crypto landscape. It will also play a role in terms of changing the public’s view about Bitcoin and the technology behind it as a tool for criminals and all sorts of illicit activities. The cryptocurrency community in Denmark, as expected, took the news wrongly. They firmly defend the anonymous nature of the virtual coins and will most probably start to avoid their country exchanges.
The earlier decision by the Denmark tax authorities published on March 2014 stated that no profit on cryptocurrency trading will be accounted for tax is set in stone and it’s all safe water for traders. Relying on this statement, the crypto community was let down. Towards the end of 2018, all directions pointed to the opposite direction when the tax agency of Denmark performed an investigation on 2,700 Danes that were trading in secret on a Finnish crypto exchange.
Many countries around the globe are now rapidly looking for ways to implement measures that will allow them to tax crypto trading activities. This would further push the need for truly decentralized exchanges that would bring the ultimate freedom to everyone who wishes to participate in these new trading markets.