The world is rapidly shifting towards an ever-increasing digital economy. Simultaneously, blockchain technology’s popularity has grown over the years making it one of the most significant technology developments to have hit the world in the last few years. It has spurred the growth of various cryptocurrencies and innovations globally. Moreover, the technology is disrupting different sectors, providing a multitude of opportunities across multiple application areas. For most, blockchain technology is comparable only to the internet which changed many aspects of the business and information world. Below, we explore some of the blockchain projects, policies, and news stories that took place during the month of October, 2018.

Blockchain News for October

  • Venezuelan President Officially Launches the Venezuelan Petro Crypto

On October 2nd, the Venezuelan, um… President, Nicolas Maduro, appeared on national television and announced the official launch of the Venezuelan Petro digital currency (although first announced in December 2017). The controversial cryptocurrency is purportedly pegged to the country’s oil and mineral reserves and is intended to supplement the national currency, the Bolivar. The Bolivar has depreciated at a tremendous rate for the past one year, and as an attempt to get around sanctions (rather than changing how the government behaves – for the better), the Petro crypto was created. At the moment, the cryptocurrency’s official website and wallet are fully functional with the Petro trading in a few exchanges..   

  • Alibaba Files for Blockchain Patent Focused on Administrator Intervention

Chinese online e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has made steps to patent a blockchain system that will allow a third party administrator to perform unique transactions such as halting a smart contract or freezing an account linked to criminal activities. According to the company, blockchain provides a multitude of benefits, however, it fails to account for specific practical considerations associated with implementing it in a regulated, real-world environment. In particular, the company expressed concern over smart contracts, which fail to provide authorities with the ability to freeze a user account associated with illegal activities. The company is concerned that such smart contracts may hinder regulatory intervention in a blockchain network. They are, therefore, looking to provide a system that can provide them with administrative access across the whole blockchain network as opposed to just tokens or smart contracts.

  • New South African Start-up Launches Free Blockchain University

A South African startup, Tari Labs, has launched a free online university that makes training materials accessible to both local and international blockchain developers. Tari Labs is the brainchild of Monero blockchain expert, Riccardo Spagni, which he developed alongside Naiveen Jain and Dan Teere. Tari Labs hopes that through the establishment of their free blockchain university, they’ll be able to create a generation of expert open source and blockchain developers who will develop the Tari protocol even further. The start-up has chosen Johannesburg as a prime location for their university as they believe much of the talent that they need is already locally available in South Africa.

  • A Blockchain Network Security System Patent has been Awarded to IBM

An American multinational information technology company, commonly known as IBM, was recently awarded a U.S. patent concerning a blockchain-based network security system. After being first filed in September of last year, it was awarded on October, 2018, this year. This should, among other things, help secure a computer monitor in an enterprise network from hackers trying to hide their activities on it and cause such a central monitor not to realize potential threats, as all such activities will be watched with sensors and recorded on multiple monitors.

  • Bitcoin’s 10th Year Anniversary!  

Wow! Can you believe it? Bitcoin just recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary! On October 31st, Satoshi Nakamoto – the likely pseudonymous name of Bitcoin’s founder(s) – published a nine-page “white paper” titled: Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Since then, Bitcoin has exploded on the scene in a relatively short time period. It’s time to remember some of its crazy history. Although it started out nearly worthless, taking 10,000 BTC to order two large Papa John’s pizzas, it spiked briefly in 2017 to around $20,000 per BTC after a long and incredible bull run that year. Accusations that Bitcoin was in a Bubble seem to have been at least partly confirmed after it crashed back down to around where it is today (around $6,000 give or take a few hundred)… which is still many times the value of when it originally came on the scene. The birth of Bitcoin and the blockchain behind it helped give rise to many other cryptocurrencies, currently over 2,000 according to coinmarketcap.com (which has brought a plethora of good and bad happenings as the technology has plowed forward). Many of these tokens can be easily seen and categorized on coin360.io.

Bitcoin has gone from being known only by a small group of cyberpunks, to being globally recognized, accepted, and fought against, with even some institutional investors investing some of their money into the digital currency market. Some governments have even hopped on the idea of creating their own digital currencies. Bitcoin has both helped make and lose fortunes for people over the last couple of years. While the crypto market remains extremely volatile, the distributed ledger (aka blockchain) that came out of Bitcoin has helped inspire the likes of stable coins and decentralized Peer-to-Peer systems with far reaching applications. It can be fairly stated, that this one innovation, Bitcoin, has helped spark a whole new industry.

  • HTC Launches Blockchain-Enabled Flagship Phone

HTC, the Taiwanese phone manufacturing company, launched their first-ever blockchain-enabled smartphone on the 22nd of October. According to Phil Chen, the company’s decentralized chief officer, HTC is selling the phone in cryptocurrency only, as it will only target a niche audience. The phone retails for about 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH which is the equivalent of about $960. Dubbed the HTC Exodus 1, the phone is expected to run on Android OS while simultaneously providing support for DApps (Decentralized Applications). It’s likely that the phone will be a launchpad for HTC’s native blockchain network.

The HTC Exodus smartphone will have a cold storage locker for storing major digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This feature comes highly appreciated by cryptocurrency enthusiasts given the number of cryptocurrency-related cyber-crimes. The phone will also have a built-in cryptocurrency wallet known as Zion that will run on a designated part of the phone separate from the Android OS. The phone will also feature a Social Key Recovery function that will help users regain access to their assets in case they lose their private keys. For now, the first batch of phones will be available in December.

Conclusion

The disruptive capabilities of blockchain technology have been compared to that of the invention of the internet. Most agree that blockchain technology is still at its infancy stages, but given several years, further developments into the technology may have it become the epicentre of infrastructure. At the moment, blockchain technology is being researched further into, while simultaneously several large corporations are implementing the technology into their products and services. Speaking of products and services, we urge you to check out our advanced and secure, blockchain-based, multi-asset, digital wallet app, the BCMY wallet.