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New router chips could save open source firmware from FCC rules

LXer -

A company that designs MIPS processors for networking hardware says it is developing technology that would allow installation of open source firmware on wireless routers while still complying with the US Federal Communications Commission's latest anti-interference rules.

Can I ask a direct (and genuine) question? Does /r/Bitcoin see Bitcoin\'s ultimate destination as a settlement layer, or as P2P cash?? Or is that a silly distinction to begin with (and if so, why)? I\'m seriously trying to understand.

Bitcoin feeds -

ANY (serious, non-troll) help would be appreciated, as, at least for me, this is one of the drivers of why I have been so confused about the direction this project is taking. Do I misunderstand the terms? And are the terms even relevant in a crypto world (like, a linear projection fallacy of some kind that my mind is making), anyway?

I will read every link. Actively and hopefully honestly consider and try to understand every opinion.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help.

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Tell Leader Nancy Pelosi to Stand Against the TPP

EFF's Deeplinks -

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has never been on a shakier footing, given widespread (and well justified) public mistrust of the process and the outcome, opposition from all of the Presidential candidates, and to top it all off a decidedly lackluster forecast even from the administration's own International Trade Commission. Is it too much to hope that the TPP is on its last legs?

Perhaps, yes. It would be a critical error to underestimate the political power of the industry sectors that have been pushing the TPP negotiations through this decade. And those powerful forces may have one final trick up their sleeve. According to our sources on Capitol Hill, TPP proponents are planning to schedule a vote immediately after the election, during the "lame duck" session of Congress, in the short window when the old Congress continues to sit before the new one takes office. Members of the "lame duck" Congress  may have already retired or been voted out of office, yet they still have the authority to make law. As a result of their minimal accountability to their constituents during this period, it is inappropriate that a vote on TPP should come before the lame duck session.

Amongst Democrats, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have come out against a vote on TPP during the lame duck period. But Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to take a firm stand. Critics of the TPP are now banding together to ask her to do this, and we would like to be able to add the voices of EFF members to this call. A petition to Leader Pelosi hosted by Daily Kos has already drawn about 7,500 signatures, and other groups are collecting signatures to the same petition text in solidarity. EFF is doing so through our Action Center, which you can visit here:

Now is not the time for complacency. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would set the strictest and most unbalanced elements of U.S. intellectual property law in concrete, and export them across the Pacific rim. It would also give new rights to corporations to sue governments for protecting the interests of users and consumers. It fails to meaningfully protect the values and principles that users and innovative business depend upon, such as fair use and network neutrality. And if it passes, it will send a message that secretive, lobbyist-dominated backroom deals are an effective way to make rules for the Internet. We can't let that happen—and Leader Pelosi could be the one to stop it.

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bitcoin testnet daemon stuck

Bitcoin feeds -

I am running bitcoin testnet daemon for development, but lately I have trouble with starting the daemon. Blockchain is downloaded and it seems that everything runs fine till init message: Verifying blocks... Verifying last 288 blocks at level 3 then it seems stuck or takes hours before doing (...)

Bitcoin and the Blockchain Take the Stage for International Summit of Central Banks at the Federal Reserve

Bitcoin Magazine -

When Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper in 2008, little did Bitcoin’s creator know that less than 10 years later, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen would be encouraging central banks around the world to take a closer look at the benefits of Bitcoin and blockchain technology to improve the world’s financial systems.

In her remarks to the International Conference on Policy Challenges for the Financial Sector, the chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve acknowledged heightened concerns about cybersecurity, and said banks must move forward into the digital age and learn how to apply Bitcoin, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

At a low-key three-day conference in Washington, D.C., last week organized by the Federal Reserve, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, more than 90 central banks from around the world heard from members of the Bitcoin community, including Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Bloq CEO Jeff Garzik and Chain CEO Adam Ludwin.

Conference participants were told that their discussions would be off the record – no recordings or videos would be allowed. As a result, the normally conservative crowd may have been freer to explore the possibilities of a whole new way of looking at money and finances.

Bitcoin Luminaries Shine Light on New Technologies for Conference Participants

In a keynote address, Ludwin told central bankers they will issue national currencies in digital form in the near future. He cited many reasons for this shift, including:

1. Banking and finance are next up to digitalize and globalize, just as music, publishing and communications sectors have grown and benefitted from new technologies. He noted that soon, the phrase “cross-border payment” will make about as much sense as “cross-border email.”

2. Bitcoin is into its seventh year and is still showing robust resilience and steady growth as the volume of transactions, increasing steadily, is now at 250,000 a day.

3. Multisig and other technologies provide more robust security than traditional banknotes and systems, and more flexibility than current centralized systems.

4. The efficiencies and cost savings of these new technologies will be the strongest reason to digitalize. (At this point in the presentation Ludwin brought out his phone and sent a Bitcoin donation to Wikipedia in one easy step – likely the first Bitcoin donation sent from the Federal Reserve.)

5. Other financial institutions are already building new networks to digitalize assets such as securities and currencies, so they can move more efficiently and securely.

6. Central banks will want to be in a better position to influence liquidity in the increasingly important capital markets that operate outside of depository institutions.

Ludwin went on to note that ultimately, blockchain networks will lead to a safer and better payments system. And central bank digital currency will be the foundation of that system.

Bloq’s Garzik stressed that the greatest advantages of digital currencies will be seen first in the developing world. “Some of the greatest potential benefits of blockchain technology are going to be first seen and actively leveraged in emerging nations,” he said.

Garzik told the conference that the innovative elements of blockchain technology, including trust shifting, decentralization, cryptography and immutability will guarantee its future success in the banking and financial sectors.

Boring, of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, encouraged the Federal Reserve and central banks to focus on and embrace innovation in blockchain and distributed ledger technology. 

“We believe blockchain technologies are capable of providing the Fed and other regulators with next-generation tools to fulfill their mission of monitoring the safety and soundness of the financial system more effectively, Boring told American Banker.

Central Banks Already Have Begun the Process of Exploring Blockchain Technology

As has been previously covered by Bitcoin Magazine, the Federal Reserve and the People’s Bank of China have both been active in studying the emergence of digital currencies .On February 3, David Andolfatto, Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, wrote a blog post based on a presentation he gave at the International Workshop on P2P Financial Systems 2015. The title of the blog post is “Fedcoin: On the Desirability of a Government Cryptocurrency.”

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that an inherently conservative financial sector ‒ particularly central banks ‒ have responded so positively to blockchain technology in such a historically short period of time.

Other speakers at the three-day conference included:

  • Fredrik Voss, Vice President of Blockchain Innovation, NASDAQ
  • Tom Jessop, Managing Director of Technology Business Development, Goldman Sachs
  • Alan McIntyre, Senior Managing Director of Global Banking, Accenture
  • Hollis Hart, President, Citi International Franchise Management
  • Carolyn Wilkins, Senior Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada
  • Fritz Zurbrügg, Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank
  • Sheila M’Mbijjewe, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Kenya
  • Lorenza Martínez Trigueros, Director General of Payment Systems and Corporate Services, Banco de México
  • Konstantin Peric, Deputy Director of Financial Services for the Poor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Shamina Singh, Executive Director, MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth
  • Alejandro Picos, Vice President, PayPal
  • Min Liao, Director-General, China Banking Regulatory Commission, Shanghai Office


PhotoAgnosticPreachersKid/Creative Commons

The post Bitcoin and the Blockchain Take the Stage for International Summit of Central Banks at the Federal Reserve appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

European Securities and Markets Authority Issues Discussion Paper on Distributed Ledger Technology

Bitcoin Magazine -

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a discussion paper titled “The Distributed Ledger Technology Applied to Securities Markets” for a public consultation on distributed ledger technology (DLT). ESMA is seeking feedback on the possible use of DLT in securities markets, including potential benefits and risks.

The Telegraph notes that shares could eventually be traded almost instantly without the costly safety net of clearing houses by using the blockchain, the building blocks of Bitcoin, although the technology remains at an early stage. While DLT was first deployed to run the Bitcoin network, it could be adopted to streamline securities trading.

ESMA began analyzing virtual currencies in 2013 and then analyzed investments using virtual currencies or DLT, including possible risks and benefits, on which ESMA is now seeking more in-depth feedback to further its assessment. 

The public “Consultation on the Distributed Ledger Technology Applied to Securities Markets” runs from June 2 to September 2, 2016. Stakeholders and other interested parties are invited to respond to the questions stated in the discussion paper and describe alternatives that ESMA should consider. In particular, the ESMA is seeking feedback and opinions from fintech companies and financial institutions interested in the use of DLT in securities markets such as banks, central counterparties, central securities depositaries, custodians, asset managers and investors. 

Two of the key questions asked, which seem especially representative as indication of ESMA’s targets, are, “If you are working on a concrete application of the DLT to securities markets please describe it (i.e., which activities, which market segments, which type of assets and for which expected benefits) and explain where you stand in terms of practical achievements in relation to your objectives,” and “Do you see potential regulatory impediments to the deployment of the DLT in securities markets?”

ESMA will use the feedback provided by the participants in the consultation to develop a position on the use of DLT in securities markets and, in particular, to assess whether a regulatory response may be needed.

ESMA appreciates that DLT may have different applications and impacts on financial activities, market participants and market infrastructures, depending on a variety of elements, including its capacity to address a number of technical, governance, legal and regulatory issues. A disclaimer notes that it’s too early to form a definitive official position on DLT. With the publication of the discussion paper, the authority does not intend to express a firm position on the DLT, but rather present “in a factual and objective manner” the results of its preliminary analysis on the possible impacts of the DLT on securities markets.

According to the authority’s preliminary analysis, DLT could ultimately become the trusted source for the record of ownership of securities and safekeeping of assets. It could speed the clearing and settlement of certain financial transactions, by reducing the number of intermediaries involved and by making the reconciliation process more efficient. Additional benefits could come from the possibility of combining clearing and settlement of transactions into a single step, which would be almost instantaneous.

DLT could also facilitate the recording of ownership of a variety of securities and the safekeeping of assets, the implementation of a unique reference system across securities markets, and the collection, consolidation and sharing of data for reporting, risk management and supervisory purposes.

In a reference to emerging trends in DLT, the ESMA notes that smart contracts implemented on top of distributed ledgers could increase automation and reduce uncertainty and risk. In another interesting statement inspired by an emerging trend, pioneered, among others, by Overstock, the authority notes that “DLT could also be used to directly issue digital securities and track their ownership and help supporting issuance related services.”

Two important arguments in favor of DLT are security and cost. The document notes that the perceived high security of DLT ‒ which according to the authority “remains to be tested” ‒ is due to the distributed nature of the ledger, which doesn’t present a single point of attack, and the use of cryptography and consensus to secure and validate transactions. “These features could help mitigate the risk of a cyber-attack,” notes the authority. “They could also reduce the need for recovery plans, since the records would be kept in several places at the same time.” A general reduction of costs is another suggested benefit of DLT.

Among the perceived shortcomings of existing DLT mentioned in the paper, scalability and interoperability have a central role, and risks are thoroughly analyzed. It’s worth noting that the authority clearly favors “permissioned” ledgers over the  “permissionless” model used in the Bitcoin network, where everyone ‒ including non-vetted anonymous participants ‒ can operate a network node and validate transactions.

The ESMA document notes that the capacity of DLT to fit into the existing regulatory framework may limit its deployment, and analyzes the key E.U. regulations likely to apply, and what requirement they would impose on the participants in DLT networks.

The post European Securities and Markets Authority Issues Discussion Paper on Distributed Ledger Technology appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.


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