Read Full Article at RT.com
Read Full Article at RT.com
That’s Janah Riddle of Coinbase living the dream after a hike through Colombian rainforest to drink some cold coffee and dip into a few waterfalls. She and her husband, Luke, are taking on the #ProofOfWorkout challenge to stay active while they travel and work remotely. Follow their journey on the Roaming Riddles blog.
You can imagine a blockchain saying to a miner, “Do you even lift, brah?” and the answer being, “Yah, dude, here’s the bitcoin to prove it.” This simple joke explains, in essence, the concept of proof of work.
Proof of work is simply the ability to show through a piece of data that your machine has used some of its precious computing power crunching cryptographic functions. The reward for all that computing power at a certain threshold and moment is bitcoin. The metaphor is apt when compared to accomplishing health and fitness goals. The work put in to maintaining a healthy and fit body is proved by muscle tone and improved health.
Last week #ProofOfWorkout announced a 30-day fitness challenge, in which participants share their fitness progress on social media and compete to win bitcoin or Gyft cards to Nike, Sports Authority, etc. Here are some numbers from the first 55 registrants.
Overwhelmingly, people are focusing on strength training, with cardio enthusiasts coming up closely behind. Body weight exercises such as yoga come up third while hiking and walking follows. Training for races, diet and specific training courses such as Cross Fit make up the last handful of goals.
The reasons people gave for honing in on these goals included: wishing to reduce body fat, build strength, train, lose weight, improve fitness and well-being, and start a routine. The number strength-training participants who used the phrases “swole” or “ripped” to describe their challenge was 44 percent.
Some of the goals listed included:
“To beat my father in an arm wrestle.” “Shrink.” “Follow the Nike training club for 4 weeks.” “Lose weight, walk daily AND spend less time in my office chair by standing while working.” “Get swole.”
Co-founder of Blockchain, Nicolas Cary’s goal: “I’d like to run more than anyone else in this contest.”
With Bitcoin rock-stars such as Elizabeth Ploshay starting the challenge with a 13-mile run, it looks like the competition is heating up.
@proofofworkout goal completed on Day 1: 13 miles of running down!
— Elizabeth Ploshay (@etploshay) May 11, 2015
#ProofOfWorkout started this week with more than 65 participants across four continents in nine countries. Participants have already begun tweeting and sharing their workout progress and goals through screenshots of fitness apps to gym selfies. According to the organizers, #ProofOfWorkout has raised in excess of their fundraising goal from corporate sponsors and individual donors, allowing participants to compete for weekly giveaways in addition to the five $100 Nike Gyft cards reserved for the final prize.
There’s still time to sign-up online.
The Euro Banking Association (EBA) has published two reports on Digital Customer Service Interfaces (DCSI) and crypto-technologies, with the intention of detailing the electronic payments landscape of the future. The reports have been announced at the EBAday payments conference in Amsterdam, Finextra reports.
The Euro Banking Association is a practitioners’ body for banks and other service providers supporting a pan-European vision for payments, with membership including more than 180 institutions from across Europe and beyond. Its mission is to provide payment professionals with a country-neutral forum for driving and contributing to the delivery of pan-European co-operative payment initiatives and business practices.
The reports, produced by the EBA’s Working Group on Electronic Alternative Payments (e-AP WG), are intended to help financial institutions (FIs) navigate the changing payments landscape. The publication of the EBA reports follows closely the EU Commission’s “Blockchain and Digital Currencies Workshop” on April 27.
According to the EBA, digital currencies such as bitcoin or ripple have the ability to disrupt the payment and banking landscape and assist in the fight against cyber-criminals.
The opinion paper on Digital Customer Service Interfaces focuses in particular on a ‘virtual layer’ on top of the existing single euro payments area (SEPA) transfer and card payment infrastructure, referencing the EBA’s MyBank offering that is seeking to become a ‘one stop shop’ e-commerce transaction platform.
The crypto-technologies paper, titled “Cryptotechnologies, a major IT innovation and catalyst for change,” is an information paper for transaction banking and payments professionals. It details four categories (currencies, asset registry, application stack, asset centric), applications such as remittances and real-time payments and scenarios, and describes the respective potential for these different categories of applications to have a major short-term impact on the architecture of systems and processes in a number of digital transaction-based industries. It also details four use cases for the most promising category. It concludes by setting forth four different scenarios of how organizations in transaction banking and payments could position themselves with regard to these new technologies.
“Cryptotechnologies are a key subject for further study for transaction banking and payment professionals, especially against the background of evolving financial infrastructures,” said Vincent Brennan, deputy chairman of the Euro Banking Association and chair of the EBA e-AP WG. “The information paper put together by the e-AP Working Group provides a hands-on introduction to this topic, which specifically focuses on the practical potential and related implications of cryptotechnologies for the transaction banking and payments area in the short to medium term.”
The four scenarios analyzed by the paper reflect different degrees (high and low) of cooperation between banks and the crypto-community, and crypto-adoption by banks. The four scenarios are dubbed:
- “Out in the cold” – the creation of a separate cryptoconomy.
- “First amongst equals” – an approach where individual payment service providers (PSPs) strive to position themselves as developers of cryptotechnology applications.
- “Awake and aware” – a collaborative approach based on constant dialogue and possible partnerships in selective areas.
- “United we stand” – a collaborative approach based on partnerships between PSPs and the cryptotechnology community embracing a successful integration of processes.
Fidor Bank, a bitcoin-friendly German bank that makes extensive use of social media, is presented as a technology innovator and an example of a bank that leverages the latest regulation to provide cryptotechnology-powered services to its customers.
The post The Euro Banking Association Publishes Crypto Technologies Report appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
On May 14 the Social Media Leadership Forum will host the inaugural meeting of the Bitcoin and Blockchain Leadership Forum, a new initiative to explore the future of bitcoin and other digital currencies as well as the disruptive impact of the blockchain.
The event will take place in London at Allen & Overy, a legal consulting firm.
Currently, the Bitcoin and Blockchain Leadership Forum website is scant on details and invites interested readers to subscribe to their mailing list. On Twitter, the Forum invites people to come and explore the next generation Internet and hints at regular sessions after the inaugural event.
The Social Media Leadership Forum is a membership organization that organizes periodic events focused on business-related aspects of emerging digital technologies, hosted in the offices of a variety of world-leading member organizations based in London.
According to an invitation email shared on Reddit, representatives of the London School of Economics and the Bank of England will participate in the Bitcoin and Blockchain Leadership Forum and give talks.
The participation of representatives of the Bank of England is especially interesting. As recently noted by The Financial Times, Great Britain is on its way to becoming a global hub for bitcoin and other digital currencies, with both the government and Bank of England having made recent moves designed to stimulate the development of digital fintech.
A few months ago the Bank of England published a research paper titled “Innovations in payment technologies and the emergence of digital currencies.” The initial three bullet points provide a concise summary of the Bank of England’s thinking:
- Modern electronic payment systems rely on trusted, central third parties to process payments securely. Recent developments have seen the creation of digital currencies such as bitcoin, which combine new currencies with decentralized payment systems.
- Although the monetary aspects of digital currencies have attracted considerable attention, the distributed ledger underlying their payment systems is a significant innovation.
- As with money held as bank deposits, most financial assets today exist as purely digital records. This opens up the possibility for distributed ledgers to transform the financial system more generally.
“Digital currencies do not currently pose a material risk to monetary or financial stability in the United Kingdom, but it is conceivable that potential risks could develop over time,” reads the conclusion of the Bank of England’s report. “The distributed ledger is a genuine technological innovation that demonstrates that digital records can be held securely without any central authority.”
A recent U.K. Treasury document titled “Digital Currencies: Response to the Call for Information” shows that the U.K. government is interested in supporting and understanding blockchain-based digital fintech, and understands the potential benefits it could bring to society. In particular, the government is launching a new research initiative that will bring together the Research Councils, Alan Turing Institute and Digital Catapult with industry in order to address the research opportunities and challenges for digital currency technology, and will increase research funding in this area by £10 million (U.S. $14.6 million) to support this.
Blockchain startup Onename launched its new product Passcard this week, which uses a blockchain-tied profile to create a secure and “trustless” identity. Onename plans on eventually using it as a sort of digital key to your identity, potentially replacing passwords, the keys to your house and even your passport.
Onename takes advantage of Bitcoin’s distributed ledger, the blockchain, which is used to record and verify bitcoin transactions. It is what enables the digital currency to properly function and can also be used to record any kind of information in a public ledger.
“Passcards are a digital form of identity and access control designed to initially replace passwords, and in the future, replace forms of physical identification like passports and driver’s licenses. You’ll be able to use it to enter your apartment or your office and when asked to present identification in an in-person context. The future of identity is here,” read the company’s blog post.Your access to everything
Passcards will expand upon the company’s earlier blockchain identity product, which was just a onename.io-hosted profile, by creating a fuller identity, allowing users to post their Passcard on websites, such as a blog or company website.
The move in is preparation of enabling blockchain profiles to be used to log into websites and apps. That will give the product its first real use case and actual utility.
“Currently, passwords help you access your online life just like your wallet and keys help you access your physical life. At a high level, passwords, identity cards, and keys are all forms of access control. Want to enter a bar? Show an identity card that says that you’re over 21. Want to access your Twitter account? Login with the username/password that you used to signup. Want to enter your home? Use the key that unlocks the door,” read a public statement.
Passcard can be seen in use on the blog of Onename investor Fred Wilson and the team page of decentralized marketplace project OpenBazaar. To get your own passcard, you can sign up at a registrar such as Onename.io or Namecoin.info. Onename also created Passcard.info, which serves as a portal for the new product and hosts a list of registrars.
Passcard uses a technology called Blockchain Name System (BNS), formerly called Onename, which, according to the company’s founders, Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea, is similar to Domain Name System (DNS), but offers more security as there are “no trusted third parties or servers.”
The startup will be announcing more about BNS and will launch the app login feature soon.
Onename was founded in March 2014. The company raised an undisclosed seed round from Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, Fred Wilson through Union Square Ventures, AngelList CEO and co-founder Naval Ravikant and investment firm SV Angel.
The post Onename Launches Blockchain Identity Product Passcard appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
After its recent purchase of the bitcoin exchange Cointrader.net, Canadian company Newnote Financial has now moved into the multi-vendor website market. On May 12, 2015, the Vancouver-based corporation announced its acquisition of PayIvy.com, an online site that allows vendors to register and sell digital products and services, including ebooks, software, graphic designs, web designs and intellectual property.
PayIvy co-founder Lode Kennes says in a press release that the company hopes to better reach its potential following the acquisition.
“With the investment from Newnote, PayIvy will be able to serve more sellers with features that no other site can offer,” he said.
Kennes, along with co-founders Ton Manh Nguyen and David Snyder, will stay on at PayIvy to assist with daily operations and development.
“This is a very strategic acquisition for Newnote,” said Newnote CEO and President Paul Dickson. “Each of our services will be integrated into one another utilizing our APIs.”
Besides Cointrader.net, Newnote also owns and operates the CoinExchange Android app, Coinpayments.net, and the BitVisits.com paid-to-surf advertising platform, in addition to several other cryptocurrency-related assets.
“Merchants can now set up shop with PayIvy.com, accept payments through Coinpayments.net, convert bitcoin to cash on Cointrader.net, and transfer the funds into their bank account or remit overseas instantly,” says Dickson. On April 24, 2015, Newnote announced that it had signed a strategic partnership with Rebit.ph of the Philippines to enable remittances.
PayIvy merchants are also able to protect their digital wares from online piracy and other unauthorized software distribution and sharing. Custom fields enable customer data collection and an advanced affiliate program is available for sellers looking to promote their products. The site accepts various crypto-currencies, including bitcoin, litecoin and omnicoin via Coinpayments.net.
Dickson stressed Newnote’s commitment to cracking down on recent illicit sales of Netflix and other accounts through the PayIvy site.
“Our priority is to protect intellectual property,” Dickson said in a telephone conversation with Bitcoin Magazine.
In its first six months of operation, PayIvy has registered over 10,000 merchants, processing over $200,000 per month in sales. Newnote reports paying a purchase price of CDN $260,000 in cash and stock.
The post Merchant Site PayIvy.com Acquired by Digital Currency Investor Newnote Financial appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.