Vacuum Maker Dyson Designed a New Ventilator in Just 10 Days

British technology maker Dyson has announced it has designed a new ventilator called the

Vacuums to Ventilators

British company Dyson — best known for its sleek vacuum cleaners — has announced it has designed a new ventilator called the “CoVent” in just ten days, according to CNN, to help the UK treat coronavirus patients.

The company is planning to produce 15,000 ventilators to help fight the pandemic, 5,000 of which will be donated to other countries.

“A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world,” company founder James Dyson wrote in an open letter, as quoted by CNN.

Race to Production

Just ten days ago, Dyson received a call from UK prime minster Boris Johnson, asking the company to help the country’s National Health Service by supplying ventilators.

The newly designed CoVent ventilator is a portable battery-powered ventilator that can be mounted to the side of a hospital bed.

Ten Days

Ten days is an extremely short turnaround time to design something so complex.

“The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time,” Dyson added. “The race is now on to get it into production.”

The news comes after tech magnate Elon Musk announced late last night via Twitter that he’s planning to reopen Tesla’s Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York to also start manufacturing ventilators.

READ MORE: James Dyson designed a new ventilator in 10 days. He’s making 15,000 for the pandemic fight [CNN]

More on ventilators: Elon Musk: NY Gigafactory Will Reopen to Produce Ventilators

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Vacuum Maker Dyson Designed a New Ventilator in Just 10 Days

ER Doctor: US Bungling COVID Response Like Soviets Did Chernobyl

Emergency physician Joshua Lerner says that America's response to the coronavirus pandemic is so bad it reminds him of the Chernobyl disaster.

For emergency physician Joshua Lerner, the American government and healthcare industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is so inadequate and fragmentary that he likens it to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union.

In both crises, Lerner writes in a Scientific American op-ed, people on the front lines worked tirelessly to save others’ lives despite being equipped with makeshift, insufficient protective gear. Back then it was scrap metal meant to shield against deadly radiation. Now it’s home-sewn masks and reused hospital gowns being used to treat patients sick with a dangerous virus.

“Please don’t tell me that in the richest country in the world in the 21st century, I’m supposed to work in a fictionalized Soviet-era disaster zone and fashion my own face mask out of cloth while others in our country hoard supplies for personal use and profiteering as so-called leaders sit around in meetings hearing themselves talk,” Lerner writes.

It’s embarrassing, Lerner argues, that America’s massive corporations haven’t mobilized against the pandemic.

Companies like 3M, he writes, should have already stopped everything to churn out medical supplies like masks and gowns at a massive scale. Amazon should be lending its massive logistics network to quickly distribute tests and medical supplies to hospitals across the country.

“I don’t want talk. I don’t want assurances. I want action,” Lerner writes. “I want boxes of N95 masks piling up in hospitals, donated from the people who hoarded them or from stockpiles of less critical use.”

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It Isn’t Just You: The Internet Is Actually Super-Slow Lately

According to a new report by Broadband Now, many cities in the US are experiencing internet slowdowns during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Streaming Slowdowns

According to a new report by Broadband Now, a consumer advocate website that compares U.S. internet service providers (ISPs), many cities are experiencing internet slowdowns during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Out of the country’s 200 most populous cities, 88 “have experienced some degree of network degradation over the past week compared to the 10 weeks prior,” according to the report. Three cities “experienced significant degradations, falling out of their ten-week range by more than 40 percent.” Most cities, however, didn’t find their speeds deviate by more than 20 percent.

New York City, one of the hardest hit US cities by the coronavirus, experienced slowdowns of up to 24 percent last week.

In many of the hardest hit areas, though, increased demand from households streaming “The Office” for the 14th time while self-isolating hasn’t affected speeds at all. “Cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn, and San Francisco have all experienced little or no disruption,” reads the report.

Speed Bump

Broadband testing service Ookla also found that median download speeds dropped an average 4.9 percent compared to last week.

According to the Speedtest Global Index by the same company, the US is number eight in terms of fixed broadband speeds, with Singapore, Hong Kong and Monaco taking up the top three spots. But not everybody has access. According to a 2019 Pew Research report, 33 million people in the US are still living without internet.

To cope with the onslaught of streamers, YouTube announced it will default to standard, rather than high, definition for users worldwide. Facebook and Netflix have also decided to cut the overall quality of their streams while the pandemic continues, for the same reason.

READ MORE: 88 out of top 200 US cities have seen internet speeds decline this past week, 3 cities by more than 40% [TechCrunch]

More on the virus: Vacuum Maker Dyson Designed a New Ventilator in Just 10 Days

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101-Year-Old Man Who Survived 1918 Flu Beats Coronavirus, Too

A 101-year-old man in Rimini, Italy born during the 1918

There are those who have been around the block, and then, there’s this guy: A 101-year-old Italian man has survived the 1918 flu, a World War, and now, the coronavirus. What’d you do today?

A patient known as “Mr. P” was admitted last week to Infirmi Hospital in Remini, Italy after testing positive for COVID-19. Mr. P was born in 1919, as the 1918 flu pandemic — which would go on to kill an estimated 600,000 Italians — was in full-swing. And on Wednesday night, 101 someodd years later, Mr. P was discharged from the hospital, and taken home by his family.

The Vice Mayor of Rimini, Gloria Lisi, provided a statement to local newspaper ReminiToday about the man. The (incredibly poetic) statement, roughly translated, reads:

“Given the progress of the virus, it could not even be called a ‘story like many’ if it were not for a detail that makes the life of the person returned to their loved ones truly extraordinary.

Mr. P., from Rimini, was born in 1919, in the midst of another tragic world pandemic. He saw everything, hunger, pain, progress, crisis and resurrections. Once over the 100-year-old barrier, fate has put this new challenge before him, invisible and terrible at the same time. Last week, Mr. P. was hospitalized at in Rimini after testing positive for COVID-19. In a few days, it became ‘history’ for doctors, nurses, and the rest of the healthcare personnel who treated him.

A hope for the future finds itself in the body of a person over a century old, as the sad chronicles of these weeks mechanically tell every day of a virus that is raging especially on the elderly.

Yet, Mr. P. made it. The family brought him home yesterday evening, to teach us that even at 101-years-old, the future has yet to be written.”

Per the Hopkins Map, as of this writing, Italy leads the world in COVID-19 infections resulting in death, and is likely to overtake China within the day for total confirmed infections. But their rate of infections continues to slow, and the country’s lockdown appears to be working. The reality of the math is brutal, but Mayor Lisi isn’t wrong: The future, as doubly evidenced, isn’t entirely bleak, and has very, very much yet to be written.

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This Livestream of Tardigrades on Twitch is Oddly Soothing

Canadian artist Julie Laurin recently started a livestream of tardigrades — eight-legged micro-animals also known as

Keep on Swimming

Canadian artist Julie Laurin recently started a livestream of tardigrades — microscopic, eight-legged micro-animals also known as “water bears” — wriggling around on Twitch. And it’s exactly the kind of thing we need right now.

You can watch a full, narrated hour of tardigrade action on Laurin’s Twitch channel.

The stream, first spotted by Boing Boing, is part of a project called “A Tiny World” that explores microscopic life that surrounds us.

Good morning! Here's a little Tardigrade that I collected in a sample of balcony water yesterday. ?@tardigradopedia pic.twitter.com/hwcC0cOMxv

— A tiny world (Julie Laurin) (@atinyworldorg) March 25, 2020

All Around

“By sharing this journey with you, my hope is that maybe you’ll be inspired to get your own microscope, or to look closer at the little objects and creatures all around you!” Laurin’s description of the project reads on an official website.

So where is Laurin finding all of these critters? In dirt found on her balcony. “There are hundreds and hundreds of #Tardigrades that live on my balcony and I think they thrive in this brownish-greenish film and dirt that has formed over the years due to improper draining,” Laurin wrote in a tweet.

Little Water Bears

First discovered by biologists in the late 1700s, tardigrades are tiny micro-animals that can be found in a huge variety of environments, from oceans to sand dunes.

They’re also immensely resilient creatures: they can survive the vacuum of space, adapt to severe dehydration, and can even block intense blasts of radiation. But they might have an Achilles heel after all, according to recent research: global warming.

READ MORE: It’s fun to watch tardigrades squirm around on Twitch, adorably [Boing Boing]

More on tardigrades: Scientists: Global Warming Could Kill Tardigrades

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Experts: We Should Hide From the Apocalypse in Underground Cities

As climate change renders parts of the world inhospitably hot, the best move may be to dig down and build underground cities.

Planning Ahead

Even if we band together as a planet and prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change, some parts of the world could gradually become so hot that people can no longer live there.

That means that millions could find themselves in search of a new home. But instead of migrating as climate refugees, a growing number of researchers and design experts suspect they could stay put, according to OneZero — by digging into the Earth and building subterranean cities beneath the ones we live in today.

Digging In

In some places, people are already doing this. OneZero lists places like Coober Pedy, Australia, where the entire town exists in 30-foot-deep trenches and caves so people can escape the unbearable desert heat.

There are underground regions of cities in Japan, Mexico, China, and Finland. More are being constructed in places like Singapore and the United States. But architect Esteban Suárez has a grander vision: massive, underground cities that resemble upside-down skyscrapers.

“We thought it would be very interesting,” Suárez told OneZero, “instead of going up with a skyscraper, what would happen if we dug down through these layers of cities?”

Not Ready

Suárez originally wanted to build his so-called Earthscraper in the heart of Mexico City to mitigate low-income workers’ unsustainably-long commutes. But the city blocked it because he would have had to dig through culturally and historically-important sites.

“We need to go vertical in this city because urban sprawl cannot continue growing,” Suárez told OneZero.

READ MORE: As Disasters Mount, Our Cities May Need to Move Underground [OneZero]

More on the future of cities: Professor: Pandemic Will Force the Rich Into Hiding

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The US Now Has the Most Coronavirus Cases in the World

On Thursday, the US surpassed all other countries in the world to have the highest number of coronavirus cases. And it's not a good look.

USA Number One

On Thursday, the United States went flying past every other nation’s count, to  claim the title of the most coronavirus cases in the world. As of this morning, the United States has upwards of 94,000 cases, while China currently stands at just past of 86,000 — despite the fact that China has four times the population than the US.

The number of deaths is still comparatively low in the US at around 1,400 (Italy, by comparison, is at a staggering 8,200 deaths so far).

It’s a grim reality — an entire country of 330 million people has come to a standstill with people self-isolating at home to keep themselves and the people around them safe.

Testing, Testing

And the trend is very likely to continue as the US has been extremely slow in testing new patients. South Korea alone has tested more than six times the number of patients, as NPR reports.

Countless patients have been turned away because they simply didn’t meet the prerequisite symptoms — or because hospitals simply didn’t have any tests available. Others were denied any treatment because they didn’t have health insurance.

Bleak Outlook

The US economy is in shambles right now. The news comes after almost 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week — the highest number in recorded history. The next highest weekly number of claims was in October 1982 with just 695,000.

But competent leadership is hard to come by right now with Trump in office. While the number of cases and deaths are soaring in the country, president Trump announced on Tuesday that he would like to have the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” as CNN reported, despite the fact that doing so could have disastrous consequences, according to experts.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of American deaths due to COVID-19; the number is 1,400, not 3,200 — that’s China’s current count. The article has been updated to reflect the accurate number.

READ MORE: U.S. Surpasses China In Cases Of Coronavirus [NPR]

More on the virus: Bill Gates Is Pissed: “We Should’ve Done More” to Stop COVID-19

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Mexican Protesters Complain That Americans Are Spreading COVID-19

Mexican protesters shut down the border with the United States, complaining that American travelers are spreading the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Border Patrol

Mexican protesters shut down the border with the United States on Thursday by blocking roadways, fearing American travelers spreading the deadly coronavirus pandemic to their country.

“There are no health screenings by the federal government to deal with this pandemic,” protester Jose Luis Hernandez told USA Today. “We’ve taken this action to call on the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to act now.”

Turn Tables

The protesters, wearing facemasks, told the BBC that although the border is supposed to be closed to all but “essential” business, travelers from the United States are still being allowed through with no health screening.

It’s an ironic reversal, as the U.S. has cracked down on border security under the Trump administration. But now, flipping that dynamic, the U.S. has more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than anywhere on Earth — whereas Mexico only had 500 as of Thursday, according to the BBC.

Bad President

The protesters are also angry at Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who they say isn’t taking the outbreak seriously.

Public health officials in Mexico are calling for strict measures to limit community transmission, according to USA Today, but López Obrador has refused to tell residents to stay home — a move that could mean the virus will spread regardless of whether the country cracks down on its Northern border.

READ MORE: Protesters in Mexico block lanes at Arizona border crossing to demand stricter coronavirus screenings [USA Today]

More on the future of cities: Professor: Pandemic Will Force the Rich Into Hiding

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Goddamn, I Guess We Need to Get Into eSports Now

With large gatherings banned — and ill-advised anyway — eSports may be the best way to scratch your competitive itch for the time being.

Online Matchmaking

Thanks to the global pandemic, sports leagues seem to be shut down across the board. Even gathering in a New York City park for some casual kickball has been banned — and would be extremely dumb even if it hadn’t been. So, what’s left?

Get hyped, folks: We’re all getting into eSports now. With gatherings banned, many major video game competitions are going online, according to The Verge. While there are still challenges inherent to bringing eSports totally online, the industry is far better positioned to do so than just about any other sport, so it may be the best way to scratch that competitive itch for the time being.

Welcome!

For the uninitiated: competitive video gaming has been a major spectacle among fans for years. It’s no Super Bowl, but some games and championships can fill stadiums. There are huge pots of prize money for professional teams, the celebrities of the eSports ecosystem. Commentators keep the crowd riled while tightly-controlled tournaments happen on-stage.

So while moving video game tournaments online sounds trivial at first, it actually requires a massive logistical restructuring, The Verge reports.

No Peeking

Remember playing Halo with your siblings? How they’d peek at your corner of the split-screen display and know exactly where to go to kill you? Well, that’s actually a problem for competitive gamers too — unscrupulous players could tune in to livestreams and get an advantage.

That’s why there are still challenges to sort out, The Verge reports, like broadcasting tournaments at a delay to make sure players can’t watch. But compared to organizing a physical sport, eSports still has an advantage for continuing in quarantine.

READ MORE: How the biggest gaming leagues are adapting to an online-only world [The Verge]

More on vidya games: Fortnite Didn’t Do Anything New. That’s Why It Will Shape The Future Of Gaming.

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Trump Suspends Enforcement of EPA Laws, Because ¯_(?)_/¯

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to suspend its enforcement of environmental laws indefinitely in light of the ongoing pandemic.

All Bets Are Off

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to suspend its enforcement of environmental laws indefinitely in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, as The Guardian reports. The move sends a clear signal: pollute with impunity.

“This temporary policy is designed to provide enforcement discretion under the current, extraordinary conditions, while ensuring facility operations continue to protect human health and the environment,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler wrote in an announcement.

Outrage

It’s a move that has enraged environmental advocates. “The EPA uses this global pandemic to create loopholes for destroying the environment,” youth climate leader Greta Thunberg tweeted today. “This is a schoolbook example for what we need to start looking out for.”

“Outrageous,” tweeted Representative Mark Pocan (D-WIS). “Suspending all environmental regulations indefinitely? This has nothing to do with coronavirus. This has everything to do with protecting Big Business.”

No Laws

To get around environmental laws, all companies will have to do is prove that they had to violate them due to the pandemic. Oil refineries, many of them in Texas, have already been blasting past the limits of carcinogenic benzene emissions, according to The Guardian.

Worse air quality could actually end up making the pandemic much worse. “Excusing the potential release of excess toxic air pollutants and other pollution that exacerbates asthma, breathing difficulty and cardiovascular problems in the midst of a pandemic that can cause respiratory failure is irresponsible from a public health perspective,” a letter penned by former head of EPA enforcement Cynthia Giles reads, as quoted by The Guardian.

READ MORE: Trump administration allows companies to break pollution laws during coronavirus pandemic [The Guardian]

More on coronavirus and the environment: The Coronavirus Pandemic Drastically Reduced Carbon Emissions

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Your Bosses Are Trying To Spy On You Now More Than Ever

With companies operating remotely than ever, bosses, managers, and executives are flocking to spy with disturbingly-invasive workplace surveillance tech.

FOH

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, more employees are working from their homes, more than ever before. But does that mean managers and business leaders let up with their bizarre, over-reaching workplace surveillance? Not a chance.

In an office, surveillance tech can be justified a little bit: It’s defensible for an employer to not want workers using company computers for personal business. Surveillance software also be used for cybersecurity. But now? Bloomberg reports that workplace-surveillance software is flying off shelves and being forced on people working in their own homes — a massive breach of trust and privacy.

Ease Up

The range of surveillance tech being forced upon workers today is appalling to the point of absurdity. Some companies impose software tracking whatever the employee does — specific programs can even flag employees who print their resume — others take a picture through the laptop’s camera every few minutes.

Bloomberg reports that some employers have even required employees to join an all-day video conference, just to keep an eye on them.

Double Standard

Of course, executives frame the surveillance as a way to boost productivity. But some, like Axos Financial Inc. CEO Gregory Garrabrants, one of the highest-paid banking execs in the world, puts it more bluntly.

“We have seen individuals taking unfair advantage of flexible work arrangements,” Garrabrants wrote in a memo reviewed by Bloomberg. Slacking workers “will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

The most telling part? Axos spokesman Gregory Frost refused to say whether Garrabrants was subject to the same surveillance — and we have a pretty good hunch about that.

READ MORE: Bosses Panic-Buy Spy Software to Keep Tabs on Remote Workers [Bloomberg]

More on surveillance tech: Walmart Patents Tech for Eavesdropping on Workers

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DIY Face Masks Are Basically Useless Against the Coronavirus

Despite a growing DIY army's intentions, the simple fact is that home-sown cloth masks are close to useless in protecting against the coronavirus.

Knitting enthusiasts are hard at work filling a giant, gaping hole in the nation’s supply of face masks for healthcare workers. And they’re growing in numbers. The New York Times called them “a sewing army” in a recent report.

Despite their good intentions, the simple fact is that home-sown cloth masks are nearly useless in protecting against the virus, as Wirecutter reports, and should only be a very last resort for practitioners in the field.

In the age of coronavirus, personal protective equipment (PPEs) like surgical masks, gloves, and face shields are becoming increasingly hard to come by. And that’s really bad news: without healthy healthcare workers, no treatment. No treatment, more deaths.

“Homemade face masks are not considered [PPEs], and should be an option only when there are absolutely no respirators or face masks left, and used with other protective equipment, such as face shields,” CDC spokesperson Arleen Porcell told Wirecutter in an email.

“It’s important to note that this strategy is considered a last resort and does not adhere to the typical standards of care in the US, but acknowledges the hard realities on the ground,” Porcell added.

The best case scenario for practitioners remains to be N95-certified respirator masks, as they catch more than 95 percent of particulates. Surgical masks simply create a physical barrier and don’t seal.

Studies have confirmed the fact that homemade cloth masks are pretty terrible at catching viruses. A 2013 Cambridge University study found that tea towels and vacuum cleaner bags were far closer to the effectiveness of actual surgical masks in blocking a certain type of virus.

And then there’s the fact that people might think their cloth face masks can do more than they actually can — in fact, a false sense of security could actually do more harm than good. By touching a contaminated surface and then the mask could actually end up with you getting infected yourself. Besides, homemade masks aren’t properly sterilized.

So what can you do? Here’s the upshot: consider donating money to your local hospital so they can afford to buy proper PPEs. Leave the respirator masks at the store — they won’t protect you from catching the virus, only protect the people around you from get it from you. With a national shortage of respirators, don’t hoard them for yourself and make sure that healthcare practitioners on the front lines have access to them instead.

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Blockchain – Wikipedia

distributed data store for digital transactions

A blockchain,[1][2][3] originally block chain,[4][5] is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.[1][6] Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block,[6] a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).

By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way".[7] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a blockchain.[8]

Blockchain was invented by a person (or group of people) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.[1] The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown. The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has inspired other applications,[1][3] and blockchains that are readable by the public are widely used by cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is considered a type of payment rail.[9] Private blockchains have been proposed for business use. Sources such as Computerworld called the marketing of such blockchains without a proper security model "snake oil".[10]

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta.[6][11] They wanted to implement a system where document timestamps could not be tampered with. In 1992, Bayer, Haber and Stornetta incorporated Merkle trees to the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several document certificates to be collected into one block.[6][12]

The first blockchain was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Nakamoto improved the design in an important way using a Hashcash-like method to timestamp blocks without requiring them to be signed by a trusted party and introducing a difficulty parameter to stabilize rate with which blocks are added to the chain.[6] The design was implemented the following year by Nakamoto as a core component of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network.[1]

In August 2014, the bitcoin blockchain file size, containing records of all transactions that have occurred on the network, reached 20GB (gigabytes).[13] In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30GB, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bitcoin blockchain grew from 50GB to 100GB in size. The ledger size had exceeded 200 GiB by early 2020.[14]

The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto's original paper, but were eventually popularized as a single word, blockchain, by 2016.

According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that blockchains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services in 2016, therefore reaching the early adopters phase.[15] Industry trade groups joined to create the Global Blockchain Forum in 2016, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

In May 2018, Gartner found that only 1% of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organisations, and only 8% of CIOs were in the short-term "planning or [looking at] active experimentation with blockchain".[16]

A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.[1][17] This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively.[18] A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests.[19] Such a design facilitates robust workflow where participants' uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. A blockchain has been described as a value-exchange protocol.[20] A blockchain can maintain title rights because, when properly set up to detail the exchange agreement, it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree.[1] Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain.[1] This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.[21]

Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.[21] Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and are given incentives to extend with new blocks rather than overwrite old blocks. Therefore, the probability of an entry becoming superseded decreases exponentially[22] as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low.[1][23]:ch. 08[24] For example, bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system, where the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.[25]

The block time is the average time it takes for the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. Some blockchains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds. By the time of block completion, the included data becomes verifiable. In cryptocurrency, this is practically when the transaction takes place, so a shorter block time means faster transactions. The block time for Ethereum is set to between 14 and 15 seconds, while for bitcoin it is on average 10 minutes.[citation needed]

A hard fork is a rule change such that the software validating according to the old rules will see the blocks produced according to the new rules as invalid. In case of a hard fork, all nodes meant to work in accordance with the new rules need to upgrade their software.

By storing data across its peer-to-peer network, the blockchain eliminates a number of risks that come with data being held centrally.[1] The decentralized blockchain may use ad hoc message passing and distributed networking.

Peer-to-peer blockchain networks lack centralized points of vulnerability that computer crackers can exploit; likewise, it has no central point of failure. Blockchain security methods include the use of public-key cryptography.[4]:5 A public key (a long, random-looking string of numbers) is an address on the blockchain. Value tokens sent across the network are recorded as belonging to that address. A private key is like a password that gives its owner access to their digital assets or the means to otherwise interact with the various capabilities that blockchains now support. Data stored on the blockchain is generally considered incorruptible.[1]

Every node in a decentralized system has a copy of the blockchain. Data quality is maintained by massive database replication[8] and computational trust. No centralized "official" copy exists and no user is "trusted" more than any other.[4] Transactions are broadcast to the network using software. Messages are delivered on a best-effort basis. Mining nodes validate transactions,[21] add them to the block they are building, and then broadcast the completed block to other nodes.[23]:ch. 08 Blockchains use various time-stamping schemes, such as proof-of-work, to serialize changes.[27] Alternative consensus methods include proof-of-stake.[21] Growth of a decentralized blockchain is accompanied by the risk of centralization because the computer resources required to process larger amounts of data become more expensive.[28]

Open blockchains are more user-friendly than some traditional ownership records, which, while open to the public, still require physical access to view. Because all early blockchains were permissionless, controversy has arisen over the blockchain definition. An issue in this ongoing debate is whether a private system with verifiers tasked and authorized (permissioned) by a central authority should be considered a blockchain.[29][30][31][32][33] Proponents of permissioned or private chains argue that the term "blockchain" may be applied to any data structure that batches data into time-stamped blocks. These blockchains serve as a distributed version of multiversion concurrency control (MVCC) in databases.[34] Just as MVCC prevents two transactions from concurrently modifying a single object in a database, blockchains prevent two transactions from spending the same single output in a blockchain.[35]:3031 Opponents say that permissioned systems resemble traditional corporate databases, not supporting decentralized data verification, and that such systems are not hardened against operator tampering and revision.[29][31] Nikolai Hampton of Computerworld said that "many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases," and "without a clear security model, proprietary blockchains should be eyed with suspicion."[10][36]

The great advantage to an open, permissionless, or public, blockchain network is that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed.[22] This means that applications can be added to the network without the approval or trust of others, using the blockchain as a transport layer.[22]

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies currently secure their blockchain by requiring new entries to include a proof of work. To prolong the blockchain, bitcoin uses Hashcash puzzles. While Hashcash was designed in 1997 by Adam Back, the original idea was first proposed by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and Eli Ponyatovski in their 1992 paper "Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail".

Financial companies have not prioritised decentralized blockchains.[citation needed]

In 2016, venture capital investment for blockchain-related projects was weakening in the USA but increasing in China.[37] Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies use open (public) blockchains. As of April2018[update], bitcoin has the highest market capitalization.

Permissioned blockchains use an access control layer to govern who has access to the network.[38] In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[citation needed] Permissioned blockchains can also go by the name of 'consortium' blockchains.[citation needed]

Nikolai Hampton pointed out in Computerworld that "There is also no need for a '51 percent' attack on a private blockchain, as the private blockchain (most likely) already controls 100 percent of all block creation resources. If you could attack or damage the blockchain creation tools on a private corporate server, you could effectively control 100 percent of their network and alter transactions however you wished."[10] This has a set of particularly profound adverse implications during a financial crisis or debt crisis like the financial crisis of 200708, where politically powerful actors may make decisions that favor some groups at the expense of others,[39][40] and "the bitcoin blockchain is protected by the massive group mining effort. It's unlikely that any private blockchain will try to protect records using gigawatts of computing power it's time consuming and expensive."[10] He also said, "Within a private blockchain there is also no 'race'; there's no incentive to use more power or discover blocks faster than competitors. This means that many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases."[10]

The analysis of public blockchains has become increasingly important with the popularity of bitcoin, Ethereum, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies.[41] A blockchain, if it is public, provides anyone who wants access to observe and analyse the chain data, given one has the know-how. The process of understanding and accessing the flow of crypto has been an issue for many cryptocurrencies, crypto-exchanges and banks.[42][43] The reason for this is accusations of blockchain enabled cryptocurrencies enabling illicit dark market trade of drugs, weapons, money laundering etc.[44] A common belief has been that cryptocurrency is private and untraceable, thus leading many actors to use it for illegal purposes. This is changing and now specialised tech-companies provide blockchain tracking services, making crypto exchanges, law-enforcement and banks more aware of what is happening with crypto funds and fiat crypto exchanges. The development, some argue, has led criminals to prioritise use of new cryptos such as Monero.[45][46][47] The question is about public accessibility of blockchain data and the personal privacy of the very same data. It is a key debate in cryptocurrency and ultimately in blockchain.[48]

Blockchain technology can be integrated into multiple areas. The primary use of blockchains today is as a distributed ledger for cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin. There are a few operational products maturing from proof of concept by late 2016.[37] Businesses have been thus far reluctant to place blockchain at the core of the business structure.[49]

Most cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology to record transactions. For example, the bitcoin network and Ethereum network are both based on blockchain. On 8 May 2018 Facebook confirmed that it would open a new blockchain group[50] which would be headed by David Marcus, who previously was in charge of Messenger. Facebook's planned cryptocurrency platform, Libra, was formally announced on June 18, 2019.[51][52]

Blockchain-based smart contracts are proposed contracts that can be partially or fully executed or enforced without human interaction.[53] One of the main objectives of a smart contract is automated escrow. An IMF staff discussion reported that smart contracts based on blockchain technology might reduce moral hazards and optimize the use of contracts in general. But "no viable smart contract systems have yet emerged." Due to the lack of widespread use their legal status is unclear.[54][55]

Major portions of the financial industry are implementing distributed ledgers for use in banking,[56][57][58] and according to a September 2016 IBM study, this is occurring faster than expected.[59]

Banks are interested in this technology because it has potential to speed up back office settlement systems.[60]

Banks such as UBS are opening new research labs dedicated to blockchain technology in order to explore how blockchain can be used in financial services to increase efficiency and reduce costs.[61][62]

Berenberg, a German bank, believes that blockchain is an "overhyped technology" that has had a large number of "proofs of concept", but still has major challenges, and very few success stories.[63]

In December 2018, Bitwala (a crypto-friendly banking service[64]) launched Europe's first regulated blockchain banking solution that enables users to manage both their Bitcoin and Euro deposits in one place with the safety and convenience of a German bank account. The bank account is hosted by the Berlin-based solarisBank.[65]

The blockchain has also given rise to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as well as a new category of digital asset called Security Token Offerings (STOs), also sometimes referred to as Digital Security Offerings (DSOs).[66] STO/DSOs may be conducted privately or on a public, regulated stock exchange and are used to tokenize traditional assets such as company shares as well as more innovative ones like intellectual property, real estate, art, or individual products. A number of companies are active in this space providing services for compliant tokenization, private STOs, and public STOs.

A blockchain game CryptoKitties, launched in November 2017.[67] The game made headlines in December 2017 when a cryptokitty character - an in-game virtual pet - was sold for more than US$100,000.[68] CryptoKitties illustrated scalability problems for games on Ethereum when it created significant congestion on the Ethereum network with about 30% of all Ethereum transactions being for the game.[69]

CryptoKitties also demonstrated how blockchains can be used to catalog game assets (digital assets).[70]

There are a number of efforts and industry organizations working to employ blockchains in supply chain logistics and supply chain management.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) works to develop open standards for supply chains.[citation needed]

Everledger is one of the inaugural clients of IBM's blockchain-based tracking service.[71]

Walmart and IBM are running a trial to use a blockchain-backed system for supply chain monitoring all nodes of the blockchain are administered by Walmart and are located on the IBM cloud.[72]

Hyperledger Grid develops open components for blockchain supply chain solutions.[73][74]

Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users[75] or musicians.[76] In 2017, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.[77] Imogen Heap's Mycelia service has also been proposed as blockchain-based alternative "that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians."[78][79]

New distribution methods are available for the insurance industry such as peer-to-peer insurance, parametric insurance and microinsurance following the adoption of blockchain.[80][81] The sharing economy and IoT are also set to benefit from blockchains because they involve many collaborating peers.[82] Online voting is another application of the blockchain.[83][84] The use of blockchain in libraries is being studied with a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.[85]

Other designs include:

Currently, there are at least four types of blockchain networks public blockchains, private blockchains, consortium blockchains and hybrid blockchains.

A public blockchain has absolutely no access restrictions. Anyone with an Internet connection can send transactions to it as well as become a validator (i.e., participate in the execution of a consensus protocol).[89][self-published source?] Usually, such networks offer economic incentives for those who secure them and utilize some type of a Proof of Stake or Proof of Work algorithm.

Some of the largest, most known public blockchains are the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain.

A private blockchain is permissioned.[38] One cannot join it unless invited by the network administrators. Participant and validator access is restricted.

A hybrid blockchain has a combination of centralized and decentralized features.[90] The exact workings of the chain can vary based on which portions of centralization decentralization are used.

In October 2014, the MIT Bitcoin Club, with funding from MIT alumni, provided undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology access to $100 of bitcoin. The adoption rates, as studied by Catalini and Tucker (2016), revealed that when people who typically adopt technologies early are given delayed access, they tend to reject the technology.[91]

The need for internal audit to provide effective oversight of organizational efficiency will require a change in the way that information is accessed in new formats.[92] Blockchain adoption requires a framework to identify the risk of exposure associated with transactions using blockchain. The Institute of Internal Auditors has identified the need for internal auditors to address this transformational technology. New methods are required to develop audit plans that identify threats and risks. The Internal Audit Foundation study, Blockchain and Internal Audit, assesses these factors. [93] The AICPA has outlined new roles for auditors as a result of blockchain.[94]

The Bank for International Settlements has criticized the public proof-of-work blockchains for high energy consumption.[97][95][98] Nicholas Weaver, of the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley examines blockchain's online security, and the energy efficiency of proof-of-work public blockchains, and in both cases finds it grossly inadequate.[96][99] The 3145 TWh of electricity used for Bitcoin in 2018 produced 1722.9 MtCO2.[100][101]

In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[102] The journal covers aspects of mathematics, computer science, engineering, law, economics and philosophy that relate to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[103][104]

The journal encourages authors to digitally sign a file hash of submitted papers, which are then timestamped into the bitcoin blockchain. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers for non-repudiation purposes.[105]

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Blockchain - Wikipedia

IBMs Blockchain Will Support The MiPasa COVID-19 Data Project – Forbes

IBM logo is seen on the office building in Krakow, Poland on February 28, 2020. (Photo by Jakub ... [+] Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Announced on March 27th, IBMs Blockchain Platform will support the data steaming service for the MiPasa Project.MiPasa is utilizing data analytics and privacy tools for the public health analysis of COVID-19.

The information is sourced from the World Health Organization, the Center of Disease Control and others similar agencies.

From the press release, MiPasa is designed to make it possible to synthesize data sources, address their inconsistencies, help identify errors or misreporting and seamlessly integrate credible new feeds. Our hope is that this tool can help technologists, data scientists and public health officials by giving them the data they need at scale to respond and devise solutions that can help subdue the outbreak or support recovery.

A multi-disciplinary group of health professionals supports MiPasa. Along side are software developers and privacy experts who are working together to gather reliable, quality data, and make it accessible to the appropriate entities.

Member on-boarding is done through the Unbounded Network, which is running a production version of The Linux Foundations Hyperledger Fabric on multiple clouds. IBM has been among the early supporters of the Unbounded Network.

MiPasa is starting to get off the ground.

From their website, corporations, such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, and organizations like the World Health Organization and John Hopkins University, among others, are supporting the effort.

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IBMs Blockchain Will Support The MiPasa COVID-19 Data Project - Forbes

How Blockchain Technology Offers Computational Trust For Tracking The Coronavirus Outbreak – Forbes

Before our lives as U.S. citizens were upended as we knew it, the idea of some data nerds hoping to cure the U.S. healthcare system of all its ailments probably would not be in the headlines. With the limited activities of life inside, surfing the web to learn the latest on coronavirus is one activity in which most Americans are likely to engage. This story examines how blockchain technology may help us trust the information we are given as accurate and timely.

Man self isolating at home

In an age where information is at our fingertips, a recent poll from NPR provides insights into who we trust most in providing us information on coronavirus. With the choices including the President, news media, state and local officials, and public health experts, public health experts led the pack when it came to entrusting the accuracy of information provided.

One of these public health experts is providing a nervous population timely and accurate information on coronavirus. Jim Nasr is the CEO of Acoer and has offered a data visualization tool for COVID-19 offering real-time and trusted information on coronavirus. As the former Chief Software Architect at the Center for Disease Control in the Obama Administration, he is someone most Americans would likely trust on receiving much-needed accurate and timely information.

Coronavirus written on file folder label

It is not just his credentials that might lead you to trust him - he also uses blockchain-enabled technology to create a Coronavirus (COVID-19) tracker, where machines provide the fuel for trusting the data inputs. Mr. Nasr defines blockchain as a computational trust protocol, and uses Hedera Hashgraph, a public distributed ledger technology, to create trust in the data used in his visualization tool.

Jim sees blockchain as a way of providing trusted data to the public when the source of the information is at a premium in the case of the current pandemic. He noted, For most Americans, blockchain is a term that is becoming more and more familiar and typically involves a connection to bitcoin. As a peer-to-peer exchange of digital currency, blockchains first use case in 2009 was bitcoin. Jim sees the conflation of these concepts as a negative for how the technology can be leveraged in health care.

The more we talk about other use cases, the less we talk about bitcoin, the better. Regarding his view of what is distinctive about blockchain, he states, Blockchain is a platform for computational trust.

To understand the benefit of blockchain to this visualization, data from the CDC, World Health Organization, and clinicaltrials.gov is digested into the system and a reference file including the data and metadata is created that matches this information to the source. This file is confirmed by a blockchain or distributed ledger technology where a timestamp of when the information was received and from what source is securely recorded and publicly available for others to review.

Jim states the distributed ledger technology he uses (known as Hedera Hashgraph) is a way to provide the public a tamperproof transaction log of everything that has happened on Hedera,. With extremely efficient and computationally sound aspects that makes Hedera Hashgraph one of the trusted platforms he uses to offer a computational trust layer to prove what I have done.

Victoria Adams, a leading blockchain influencer, notes, It is vital that we understand the provenance of these data and be able to trace back how it has been used.Blockchain is vital in this respect.We much know not only what we know but how reliable that data is.Tools like the Hedera Hashgraph DLT can be vital in providing this information.

Avoiding Tradeoffs Of Health Care Privacy To Fight COVID-19

Heather Leigh Flannery, Founder and CEO of ConsensSys Health, also includes blockchain technology in helping to achieve computational trust of public health data. At ConsenSys Health, Covid-19 response is our number one priority. We are working on constellations of tech for the benefit of humanity as this pandemic is continuing.

Heather doesnot believe we need to give up all of our rights to personal privacy when it comes to healthcare data in the rush to fight this pandemic. The current ethos is to give up all our personal privacy. This is problematic in the long term, and we should be prioritizing technology that can help us advance public health while preserving personal privacy. Blockchain alone does not deliver this privacy. However, this technology used in concert with two other families of technology: zero knowledge cryptography and federated analytic and machine learning does.

As U.S. citizens accepts the reality of a major pandemic and the information on coronavirus is at an all-time premium, the idea of whether blockchain technology can engender trust in the information provided on the coronavirus will certainly be put to the test.

Disclosure: Jason Brett has worked at ConsenSys. Additional, he serves as CEO and President of the Value Technology Foundation, where Hedera Hashgraph is a contributor.

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How Blockchain Technology Offers Computational Trust For Tracking The Coronavirus Outbreak - Forbes

Santander and Ripple Launching Blockchain-Powered Payment Service in Mexico – The Daily Hodl

Santander, the 16th largest bank in the world with $1.74 trillion assets under management, is planning to launch its Ripple-powered payments app One Pay FX in Mexico this year.

The blockchain-based international payment solution, which went live in 2018, has already added six countries: Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Poland, Portugal and Chile.

According to a filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Santanders multi-corridor international blockchain app aims to offer customers increased transparency and predictability, and improve the current sub-optimal customer experience and client stickiness through a best-in-class global payment system.

Traditional borderless payments can take up to five days to process. One Pay FX says its users can expect their payments to arrive on the same day while benefiting from competitive rates.

The app also provides a seamless digital experience with several details about each transaction including bank fees, exchange rates, estimated delivery time and a notification that the money has been received.

One Pay FX uses Ripples payment messaging system, as opposed to Ripples native token XRP, to move money between currencies. The tech product, which is a competitor to the international financial network Swift, helps banks settle fiat-to-fiat transactions in real time by using messaging to clarify and verify transaction details.

Featured Image: Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei

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Santander and Ripple Launching Blockchain-Powered Payment Service in Mexico - The Daily Hodl

Algorand Launches A Blockchain App To Help Battle The Coronavirus – CryptoPotato

The Singapore-based blockchain company, Algorand Foundation, has launched an application called IReport-Covid to help the fight against the novel COVID-19. Users can fulfill a survey, which will soon be publicly posted on the Algorand blockchain to ensure free and constant access.

At the time of this writing, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is exceeding 600,000. The death tolls are close to 30,000, and the effects are not slowing down. In attempts to fight it, numerous health organizations, businesses, and even individuals are launching different initiatives.

Such is the case with IReport-Covid application by the blockchain company Algorand Foundation. It allows symptomatic and non-symptomatic users to directly report any information they wish about the virus anonymously by filling a survey.

According to the website, this will teach us about how COVID-19 is affecting people in real-time, which can help inform the public and studies on the pandemic now and into the future. All responses cannot be altered or dismissed and are automatically posted publicly on the Algorand blockchain to guarantee free and permanent access to anyone.

Once theres a sufficient amount of reports, the app will publish aggregate statistics and will introduce tools for the community to build applications using the collected data.

Its worth noting though that the app does not provide medical advice nor treatment consultations regarding the issue.

According to Dr. Tal Rabin, the person who managed the research team, the application can provide invaluable data, which can ultimately help other people in their personal struggles. She also believes that the app could be beneficial in receiving information for future viruses, as well:

The Algorand Foundation app leverages blockchain technology to provide users with timely, transparent, and permanent information sharing tools. The app serves as a tool to deliver information during the current crisis and support future research on epidemics.

Dr. Rabit added that sharing and obtaining accurate data will be essential in ending the novel virus:

The need for information is one of the key requirements in the fight against the Corona epidemic, with many emergency operations in the world having to rely on up-to-date information.

There are many sources related to Corona today, but very little information is coming directly from the people in the community. I hope more people in the world will respond to the questionnaires in our app so that we can gather meaningful information.

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CasperLabs Pivots Away From Ethereum to Fundraise With Its Own Blockchain – CoinDesk

Some crypto startups, including Solana and Dapper Labs, are eager to execute fundraising plans regardless of any coronavirus-induced downturn.

Likewise, CasperLabs, the startup formerly advised by Ethereum Foundation researcher Vlad Zamfir, is now partnering with the Singapore-registered exchange BitMax to conduct its token sale in the form of an Exchange Validator Offering (EVO).

Its a really attractive opportunity to participate with the same terms that are usually only available to institutional investors, said CasperLabs COO Clifford Sarkin.

This fundraising effort comes after the startup raised $14.5 million in 2019 from investors like Arrington XRP Capital and Terren Scott Peizer, who the New York Times dubbed Wall Streets jack-of-all-trades. It originally focused on Casper protocol experiments.

Since then, CEO Mrinal Manohar said the startup switched to developing a new blockchain inspired by Ethereums proof-of-stake plans for participants to deposit their tokens as a way to fuel the network. Manohars team of 26 developers and researchers, out of a total staff of 34, plan to launch the new blockchains mainnet before 2021. Investor Michael Arrington said hes not sure whether his firm will participate in the upcoming token sale before CasperLabs mainnet launch.

We will very likely run a node, Arrington said. We havent made a decision yet on further investment.

In the meantime, starting on March 30, a new CasperLabs token (CLX) will be sold to retail investors through BitMax, which predominantly serves traders in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Russia and India.

The exchange will automatically stake CLX for buyers when the mainnet launches later this year, after which there will be an enforced 90-day lock up to prevent prompt sell-offs.

The target audience is for a more sophisticated demographic, since this token wont be liquid at launch, said Shane Molidor, head of business development at BitMax.

BitMax is especially popular with crypto traders in Japan and China, where token sales to non-accredited investors may not attract enforcement from securities regulators, as they do in the U.S. But BitMax and CasperLabs are officially registered in Singapore and Switzerland, respectively. And American retail investors will be barred from the sale, Manohar said.

Molidor added that, across the board, his exchange saw more than a 272 percent surge in trading volume this month, compared to February. The coronavirus crisis may turn out to be a boon for exchanges.

As such, BitMax is committed to operating a full node at CasperLabs mainnet launch to facilitate staking services for CLX and selling up to $3 million worth of tokens, as evaluated by both participating companies.

On a relative valuation basis, were allowing people to come in at the ground floor, Manohar said. It performs exactly like ether will perform when Ethereum becomes a primarily proof-of-stake chain.

CasperLabs, one of many prospective smart-contract-based Ethereum competitors, is betting its security setup on the hope that the network will quickly decentralize.

Manohar said the team is in talks with several other exchanges and companies that offer staking services. But, as it stands, so far just a few people are committed to staking or running nodes, which could invalidate the security model if it isnt eventually resolved. Series A investor Omer Ozden of Rocktree Capital said his firm plans to participate in a private token sale and rely on staking services to utilize the tokens.

We also have a wide ecosystem of partners, clients and projects we have invested in, Ozden said. In China particularly, blockchain is being rapidly adopted by large and medium-sized enterprises because of the government's top-down directive.

From Ozdens perspective, he said he wants to see this project as part of the emergence of Wall Street 2.0.

Meanwhile, CasperLabs employees will retain roughly 8 percent of the token supply, restricted with a three-year vesting period. Manohar said the total token supply, yet to be launched, will be worth an estimated $100 million.

When asked how to sell such assets to retail investors in coronavirus-stricken jurisdictions, he replied terms reflect several things to protect risk, such as the prospect of built-in yields once the network launches.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Self-Proclaimed Worlds Lightest Blockchain Rolls Out Phase Three of Its Testnet – Cointelegraph

A new cryptocurrency ecosystem claiming to be the worlds lightest blockchain has ostensibly grown to become one of the largest layer 1 testnets by peer count in the industry.

Speaking Cointelegraph on March 24, the developers behind Coda Protocol said that phase three of the networks testnet launch has now drawn over 400 users with 300 users signing up to stake, and 143 maximum concurrent users.

When compared with data from block explorers for other testnets as well as anecdotal information from professional validators Coda claims this peer count already makes it competitive with established testnets such as Celo, Solana, Cosmos, and Cardano.

The Coda Protocol, created by software development firm O(1) Labs, uses recursive zk-SNARKs, or zero-knowledge proofs, to improve scalability and operate as a tiny, portable blockchain that can be downloaded on smartphones and browsers, or integrated into decentralized applications.

As reported, zk-SNARKs are a cryptographic primitive that can sever any tractable piece of data between two parties over a public medium, such as a blockchain. They are therefore commonly used to enhance digital privacy for transactions using cryptocurrencies, as with the anonymity-focused altcoin Zcash (ZEC).

Yet beyond their privacy potential, they are also, as Codas developers emphasize, extremely lightweight, and therefore well suited to lighten the overall data size of a given blockchain.

The Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain has a current blockchain size of roughly260,900 MB with nodes needing to download the entire chain in order to verify that it is correct and reach consensus.

Such resource-intensivity, Codas developers argue, places increasingly high barriers to entry for participant nodes, compromising decentralization and potentially rendering the network more vulnerable to a 51% attack. In trying to tackle this problem, they write:

What weve done with Coda is replace that whole transaction history with a lightweight, zero-knowledge proof (recursive zk-SNARKs), which is only about a kilobyte, or the size of a few tweets, so you only need to look at that small proof to know that the current state of the blockchain is correct.

In this view, the lighter a blockchain, the larger and more inclusive the pool of eligible validating nodes can be.

Alongside its testnet launch, Coda has rolled out a token program called Genesis, distributing 6.6% of all tokens to founding members to prepare them to become block producers on the network. The team has reportedly already received 1,300 applicants wanting to join Genesis and has onboarded 40 founding members to its first cohort.

Among these members is Libra Association founding member and blockchain infrastructure provider Bison Trails, as well as Figment Networks a validator on the decentralized Ethereum-compatible network Skale.

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Self-Proclaimed Worlds Lightest Blockchain Rolls Out Phase Three of Its Testnet - Cointelegraph