April 2018

UNICEF’s “Hope Page” Mines Cryptocurrency Through Visitors’ Computers

UNICEF Australia is using Coinhive — a crypto-mining service — to extract cryptocurrency through visitors’ computers and fund its ongoing mission in Bangladesh. The UN branch has long worked to provide humanitarian relief for both children and their mothers in developing nations. The organization has now created what representatives call the “Hope Page,” which allows users to donate through cryptocurrency.

UNICEF’s Director of Fundraising and Communications Jennifer Tierney explained, “We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise new funds to support children caught up in them. The Hope Page allows Australians to provide help and hope to vulnerable children by simply opening the page when they are online.”

Coinhive’s partnership with UNICEF could help to foster a more positive image for the software. Up until this point, Coinhive has widely been associated with a process known as “cryptojacking,” in which the computer processing power of individuals visiting certain sites is used to mine Monero without their knowledge or permission. In the past, Coinhive has targeted everything from government websites to even Google and YouTube users. As a result, Coinhive has been listed amongst the largest threats to web security.

In this case, UNICEF is using the software’s opt-in method to ensure visitors are aware of the organization’s intentions. While searching the Hope Page, web browsers use computer processors to solve cryptocurrency algorithms. Those examining the site can choose how much power (typically between 20 and 80 percent) they wish to donate to the task.

The website explains that the mining process is completely safe and offers the following instructional message:

“The longer you stay on the page and the more processor power you donate, the more algorithms get solved, which earns cryptocurrency … If you’re ever worried about power consumption, simply turn down the amount of processing power you’re donating. The cryptocurrency is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines. Turn the Hope Page into your homepage to give every day.”

Mining efforts will be used to fund the current Rohingya crisis. Several children and families that have fled their homes in Myanmar to escape military-led violence are now living in refugee camps in the neighboring country of Bangladesh and require certain necessities while they await placement.

Though part of the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF is not actually funded by UN efforts. Instead, it garners financial assistance through voluntary donations.

Visitors of the Hope Page are told that cryptocurrency mining isn’t free and may lead to further costs down the line. High amounts of electricity are used during the mining process, which may lead to higher energy bills for any donating individuals. In addition, the process is not tax deductible, and visitors are advised to consider cash or credit card donations prior to giving their mining consent.

This is not the first time UNICEF has used cryptocurrency to fund its global labors. In February, the organization launched Chaingers.io to raise funds for children of the Syrian civil war. At the time, the site was using the cryptocurrency mining software Claymore to extract ether through visitors’ computers.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin Magazine | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:
0

Circle added zcash to its cryptocurrency storage and investment app, the company announced Monday.

Source: CoinDesk | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:
0

Meat manufacturer Oscar Mayer has launched a bacon-backed cryptocurrency, which fans can cash out for real bacon.

Source: CoinDesk | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:

Want to Learn More About Mining? There’s a New Summit for That

For Emma Todd, it was a 2017 conference that transformed her newfound interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain into a passion. As she learned more, she had an epiphany: more people needed to better understand the esoteric world of cryptomining. Not one to be a flaneur, she is now harnessing this opportunity.

On May 18, 2018, Todd will launch the inaugural ADI Cryptocurrency Mining Summit (ADI stands for Advanced Digital Innovation) as a part of Blockchain Week NYC. This comes on the heels of the first ADI Summit which was held in September 2017 in Vancouver, B.C.

The mission of the ADI Cryptocurrency Mining Conference is to introduce new ideas, technologies and techniques around cryptocurrency mining. In addition to an investor panel, there will be discussion forums around security, compliance and legal issues; all critical elements for any successful mining operation. Finally, a hands-on workshop will explain the differences between industrial mining operations and hobby-mining systems, while demonstrating how users can set up their own home-mining rigs.

A number of well-known speakers in the industry will be presenting at the conference, including Samson Mow, CSO of Blockstream; Andrew Kiguel, president and CEO of Hut 8 Mining; Steve Schaeffer, president of MGT Crypto Capital Assets; Tim Bukher, a lawyer and partner at Thompson Bukher LLP; and Amber Scott, founder of Outlier Solutions.

Todd, who comes from a marketing and event planning background, told Bitcoin Magazine that she’s excited about the opportunity to address a largely unmet need by hosting a cryptomining conference.

According to Todd, what sparked the decision to have the conference were the endless questions she was receiving from so many people about mining. “Honestly, I had similar questions. So I started to look for conferences and couldn’t find any.”

Furthermore, Todd has recently witnessed a growing trend among Chinese mining companies that are wanting to come to North America because of increased regulations at home. “They’re asking, ‘Is there anything you can do to help us out?’”

She is hoping the conference will be of value to both the industrial mining sector as well as individual hobby miners. “We anticipate that many attendees will be interested in just the basics of how they can mine. Unfortunately, this is often harder for those without an engineering background. We are going to show people how to navigate this space, including how set up a mining rig. At the end of the day, we are going to show people the best path to mining.”

Besides these hands-on discussions, there will be attention given to some of the broader developments occurring in the mining arena. “By way of example, mining companies have been flocking to Quebec which has caused this Canadian province to put the brakes on due to potential energy and environmental factors. The good news here, given the fluidity of the crypto and blockchain space, is that someone is probably already out there thinking about this issue of greater (mining) energy efficiency.”

For Todd, one of her greatest goals for this conference is for it to engender discussion and allow people to ask questions. “The hope is that people will walk away having discovered things they didn’t know about, wanting to do a bit more investigation. Most importantly, I’d love to see people who are brand new to mining leave with all the tools they need to set a mining operation up for themself.”

She concludes: “To me, knowledge is power. So if we can offer people, the average individual, a chance to learn more about mining so that they can mine for themselves or invest in an operation, than I will absolutely be thrilled to have achieved my goal.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin Magazine | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:
0

An SEC commissioner warned that initial coin offerings could be fraudulent, but consumers cannot necessarily identify fraud.

Source: CoinDesk | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:
0

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is planning to host a workshop on cryptocurrency scams and fraud in June.

Source: CoinDesk | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:

Shocard

When bitcoin was the only show in town, things were a lot less complicated for blockchain developers. You either used some variation of colored coins to support your decentralized application or you did not.

Since then, a forest of blockchains has sprouted, each of them unique. Some are permissioned; some are public. Some use proof of work, while others rely on proof of stake. Some have substantial industry support, while some are rarefied and niche. How should decentralized application vendors choose one?

When faced with an overwhelming choice, perhaps the best approach is not to choose at all. Armin Ebrahimi, CEO and co-founder of blockchain identity management company ShoCard, is keeping an open mind. His team decided to adopt a multi-blockchain approach early on in product development, giving deployment teams the flexibility to choose their own. He said this blockchain agnosticism is essential in a fast-moving industry.

“I believe for the foreseeable future we will see blockchains evolve. They will improve and specialize in various forms,” said Ebrahimi. “Even when the underlying technology over the next three to five years becomes more stable and advanced, it is still prudent to be blockchain agnostic.”

By not picking winners, his argument is that ShoCard can more easily be interoperable with other blockchain-based identity management systems. ShoCard’s strategy can also allow them to support enterprises that have standardized their use of blockchain technology.

ShoCard does this by using a mobile application to gather user credentials. It then stores proof of these credentials on the blockchain using a cryptographic hash rather than the credentials themselves. This approach lets the user share only the credentials they are comfortable with, and only with those parties they trust.

The company needed a public blockchain to provide final verification of those credentials, explained Ebrahimi. “Using a public blockchain for the final proof of work means we cannot cheat the system, and the data can be as reliable as the underlying public blockchain that has the final hash,” he said. “This is an important part of the no-trust and no-central-control identity management platform.”

How do you use the trust of a public blockchain without forcing a choice in technology? ShoCard solved the problem using a blockchain adapter layer that acts as a proxy between the ShoCard service layer and the public blockchain layer. By reading and writing records indirectly through the proxy, the company can use a variety of public blockchains to suit user requirements.

ShoCard also designed its architecture to protect itself against public blockchain performance problems by using a mixture of side chains and caches. The sidechain stores the hashed credential data, accessing public blockchain through the API adapter approximately every 20 minutes. The system uses the public blockchain as proof of work while keeping the hashed certification data on sidechains replicated to improve performance.

Because the sidechain sits at the service layer, above the blockchain API adaptor, ShoCard had to choose a technology to run it. It based the sidechain on Ethereum open source, although as a sidechain rather than a public blockchain it will be less susceptible to the congestion now facing the Ethereum network. This means no CryptoKitties to worry about slowing the system.

To further enhance performance, the service layer also caches the public blockchain so that the system can service blockchain verification requests more quickly.

According to ShoCard, blockchain agnosticism provides several other benefits. It future-proofs an application against unexpected developments in the blockchain space, such as a public blockchain becoming obsolete. It also protects users against rising transaction costs, and it shields them from congestion, making the blockchain more scalable. The firm claims the ability to create and certify over 5 million new users, with proof of work, in under 30 minutes.

However, the company still had to settle on a blockchain to manage its token sale, and in March it chose Stellar, created by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb. Stellar can handle over 1,000 transactions per second with no transaction costs, which Ebrahimi said will make it easier to manage the many microtransactions that a well-prepared ICO can expect when selling tokens.

As blockchain options spread and grow more complex, blockchain agnosticism may become a more frequent fixture in decentralized startups. It stands out as a way of avoiding brittle technology commitments that could burden you with technical debt.

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin Magazine | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:
0

The world’s third-richest person, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet, has again made comments critical of bitcoin as an investment.

Source: CoinDesk | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share:
0

A crypto lending startup backed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington launched a U.S. dollar credit platform on Monday.

Source: CoinDesk | Date: April 30, 2018

View full Article on Source

Share: