Thunder Road: Adding Speed and Scale to the Bitcoin Blockchain

blockchain-wallet-graphic-300x200Leading Bitcoin wallet developer Blockchain this week announced the open-source alpha release of the Thunder Network, which it describes as “the first usable implementation of the Lightning network for off chain bitcoin payments that settles back to the main bitcoin blockchain.” Though only a first step, the Thunder release could help pave the way to enabling the sort of high-speed, high-volume transactions and micro-payments on which many media-related uses of Bitcoin are likely to depend.

Blockchain open sources Thunder network, paving the way for instant bitcoin transactions

Blockchain, the company behind the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet, has been quietly working on an interesting project called Thunder.

The Thunder network is an alternative network of nodes that lets you make off-chain bitcoin payments in seconds and settle back to the bitcoin blockchain every now and then.

This sounds complicated but it’s quite neat and could be a powerful innovation for bitcoin transactions.

Source: Blockchain open sources Thunder network, paving the way for instant bitcoin transactions | TechCrunch

Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, eBay: How Blockchain Can Break Data Monopolists

Blockchains can be extended beyond the database paradigm towards a general application platform. These platforms work very differently. For example, they have shared virtualized databases, micropayments and consensus mechanisms, from common on-premise or on-cloud platforms that they have the potential to re-implement the named examples while not allowing one party to monopolize the platform.

The main Blockchains like Bitcoin are an example for a distributed autonomous organization. These are organizations centered around code as their ‘constitution’ and have as its main players users, developers, miners (those that render the infrastructure) and evangelists.

Source: Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, eBay: How Blockchain Can Break Data Monopolists

Banks, tech companies move on from bitcoin to blockchain

As a debate raged across the internet Monday over whether the mysterious founder of the bitcoin digital currency had finally been identified, executives at a major bitcoin conference in New York had a simple message: we’ve moved on.

That’s because bitcoin, the digital currency, has largely been supplanted by blockchain, the technology that underlies it, as the main interest of investors, technology companies and financial institutions.

“If there is a 100 percent opportunity in the blockchain, bitcoin, or the currency, is only 1 percent of it,” said Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain Technologies at International Business Machines Corp. “So there is a whole 99 percent that has broad applications across the broad industries.”

Source: Banks, tech companies move on from bitcoin to blockchain | Reuters

Major questions arise over Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto

The tech community is currently pouring scorn on the news that Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has revealed himself to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. They say the story does not add up, given that his ‘proof’ could simply be an old signature signed by Satoshi and what was previously known about how the Bitcoin inventor operated in the past. Wright has previously been named as Satoshi but denied it at the time.

Wright openly gave the story to three media outlets in order that they might verify his claim the BBC, The Economist and — somewhat unusually — men’s lifestyle magazine GQ.

Source: Major questions arise over Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto | TechCrunch

Craig Wright revealed as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto 

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. His admission ends years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system.

Mr Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator. Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team have also confirmed Mr Wright’s claim.

Source: Craig Wright revealed as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto – BBC News

You Can Now Buy Games on Steam Using Bitcoin

Valve has partnered with Bitcoin payment service Bitpay to bring everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency to games platform Steam. Bitpay says it was approached by the company because it wanted to internationalize its operation, making it easier for Steam users in emerging markets to to buy games without using a credit card.

“While more users are coming online in these countries, traditional payment options like credit cards often aren’t available,” said Bitpay in a blog post. “As the internet’s universal currency, Bitcoin will allow Steam to easily reach gamers in every market around the world — without the high fees or the risk of chargeback fraud that come with card payments.”

Source: The Verge

Bitstamp Becomes First Nationally Licensed Bitcoin Exchange; License Applies In 28 EU Countries 

On Monday, Bitstamp announced that Luxembourg has granted it a payment institution license, making the company the first nationally licensed Bitcoin exchange in the world.

Under the European Union’s “passport” program, which allows financial services providers legally established in one member state to operate in others, Bitstamp, the third-largest Bitcoin exchange, will also be licensed across all 28 European Union countries. The license goes into effect July 1, when Bitstamp will be operational in Luxembourg.

Bitstamp also announced the launch of euro-Bitcoin trading. Now, consumers in all EU countries wanting to exchange euros for Bitcoin and vice versa will be able to do so on a fully licensed Bitcoin exchange.

Source: Forbes

Bitcoin Technology Organizations Launch Global Blockchain Forum To Address International Policy

As digital currencies and the technology behind them become more widely adopted by incumbents and startups with a global presence, the need for consistent laws and regulations governing them is ever more apparent.

The Washington, D.C.-based Chamber of Digital Commerce, along with three other of the world’s leading digital asset/blockchain trade organizations (with “blockchain” being the shorthand to describe the technology), Tuesday announces the launch of the Global Blockchain Forum, an international body whose mission is to help shape international blockchain policy.

“The Global Blockchain Forum is a platform for international collaboration,” says Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber. “We’re bringing together the leading trade associations representing the digital assets/blockchain industry around the world. As we engage with these various governments, it’s important that the associations and stakeholders working with these public policymakers have some type of coordination to their efforts.”

Source: Forbes

What Happens to the NFL’s Battle against GIFs when Thursday Night Football Streams Live on Twitter?

According to the press release, users won’t have to register in order to stream the game, but surely some portion of football fans will wind up signing up for an account. This may be a Hail Mary move for Twitter which needs to boost its flagging growth in user numbers. According to the NFL, Thursday Night Football’s TV broadcasts averaged 13 million viewers over the 16 games broadcast last year.

One thing that remains to be seen is how they’ll treat GIFs. I don’t mean that in a glib way. Sports GIFs after games are a huge social media phenomenon; after an amazing catch, touchdown, or buzzer-beating shot, short clips from the broadcast flood social media streams. And broadcasters and sports leagues have signaled they don’t like it, coming out aggressively against the use of their copyrighted material.

Last year the NFL, along with the NCAA and UFC, filed a number of DMCA requests to get GIFs and Vines of games taken down. Those requests led to the suspension of several Twitter accounts, including those of Gawker Media sports blog Deadspin and an SBNation account

Source: Fusion

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