Blockchain Bites: Why Buy an NFT?

Digital frictionNonfungible tokens (NFT) are having a moment. In recent weeks, notable investors Mark Cuban and Chamath Palihapitiya have signaled their growing interest in this corner of the crypto economy, adding fuel to a rally that was already red-hot.  It’s tough to measure the size of the total NFT market due to how these tokens are structured. Each NFT is a non-replicable digital asset. Because there’s only ever one NFT, each asset is essentially its own market. The total value of NFT-based crypto art is now above $100 million, according…

Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin Volatility Hasn’t Shaken Out Institutions

Purpose Investments CEO Som Seif, speaking on CoinDesk TV, said there have been measurable improvements made to the infrastructure supporting the crypto economy. In fact, he thinks it would have been a mistake three years ago if regulators had approved a bitcoin exchange-traded fund when his firm first floated an application.  “So much work has been done in the backend of this, the plumbing, to effectively allow something like this. I think the regulators are comfortable,” Seif said. Purpose is the first North American firm to release a regulated crypto…

VIC Rewards and XcelTrip bring blockchain enabled Vitality Packages to consumers

This is a press release. CEO of XcelTrip, Mr. Gyanendra Khadka, and Dr. Richard Satur, CEO of VIC Rewards, are joining hands and e-Commerce platforms in partnership to dominate the worldwide Medical- Tourism Marketspace! Together, the business-duo plan to create synergy to take on the ASEAN, Indian and Korean wellness and vitality digital marketspace. Currently, the two companies are working in tandem to raise the stakes and bring consumer wellness value to the aforementioned markets. The partnership between XcelTrip and VIC Rewards is a unique and promising one. To understand…

China Has Many Strategic Reasons To Invest in Blockchain

Byrne Hobart, a CoinDesk columnist, is an investor, consultant and writer in New York. His newsletter, The Diff (diff.substack.com) covers inflection points in finance and technology.  In October, China’s President Xi Jinping said China should “seize the opportunity” to use the blockchain. To cryptocurrency advocates, this is exciting – and confusing. Why would a deeply centralized country want to use an intrinsically decentralized technology? Why would a country that exercises tight control over its currency want to try a new, un-tested currency system? The paradoxical answer is that Xi Jinping…

JPEG on the Blockchain: Image Format Creator Believes Tech Can Fight Copyright Theft

The organization that created the popular JPEG picture format believes blockchain could be used to verify images as well as flag fakes and image theft. The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) said blockchain has “great potential” as the basis of a system that would use a combination of encryption, hash signatures and watermarking in an image’s metadata to protect copyright, Digital Trends reported Thursday. The system could have advantages over existing verification models, JPEG said at a recent meeting in Sydney, Australia. Instead of signing up for a particular program,…

Riot Blockchain Plans Sale of Crypto Exchange as It Invests More Millions in Bitcoin Mining

Nasdaq-listed Riot Blockchain plans to sell its cryptocurrency exchange RiotX while doubling down on its bitcoin mining businesses.  In an announcement on Thursday, the company said it is considering opportunities to divest itself of the limited assets associated with the exchange, launched in early 2018, due to the regulatory environment, security risks and competition from peers.  “In order to concentrate its focus on cryptocurrency mining, Riot has opted to sunset further development of Riot’s U.S.-based digital currency exchange,” the company said in a statement.  Riot has hired Chicago-based investment bank…

Hedera Hashgraph, Touted as High-Speed Blockchain Alternative, Goes Live

Hedera Hashgraph has launched its long-awaited public network, backed by some of the world’s largest corporations and promising faster transactions and greater capacity to scale than any blockchain to date. Since December 2018, the network had been available in a testing environment to a small group of corporations and developers. As of 00:00 UTC Tuesday, anyone can open an account or build a decentralized app (dapp) on the hashgraph, which is similar to a blockchain but uses a different mechanism to achieve consensus about the state of the ledger. With…

IBM Official Elected Chair of Hyperledger Blockchain Tech Board

The Hyperledger technical steering committee (TSC) has elected another IBM official as its chair amid controversy over the tech giant’s increased representation on the panel. Arnaud Le Hors, a senior technical staff member for blockchain and web open technologies at IBM, succeeds Dan Middelton, a principal engineer with Intel, according to an email sent to the TSC mailing list Wednesday.  “I’m happy to have the chair role in good hands,” Middelton wrote to the list. A year ago Middelton replaced Christopher Ferris, CTO of open technology at IBM, who had…