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Fixing Blockchain: Startup to Clamp Down on Illicit Activities and Welcome...

sponsored A new blockchain network is focusing on social responsibility — clamping down on fraud, illicit activities and making crypto accessible to millions of people. For the everyday consumer, cryptocurrencies and blockchain are still shrouded in mystery. User interfaces that are difficult to understand represent a major barrier to entry, with slow transaction speeds frustrating open-minded people who are trying to use the technology for the first time. An upcoming blockchain network says change is desperately needed if crypto is ever going to reach its full potential and enjoy mass adoption. The World Open Network (WON) plans to offer products and services that are centered on users — with intuitive front-end systems that can be easily understood without any technical know-how. According to WON, this is not the only hurdle that the industry must address if it has any chance of going mainstream. Continual headlines about massive amounts of crypto being stolen have shaken consumer ..

Japan: Regulators Approve Startup’s Bitcoin Sidechain Trial for Exchanges

Crypto Garage’s Settlenet system, which will be trialled within Japan’s regulatory sandbox, aims to provide easier liquidity solutions for exchanges. Japanese blockchain development company Crypto Garage announced it had gained regulatory permission to trial its settlement system using Blockstream’s Liquid Sidechain, Cointelegraph Japan reported Jan. 21. Crypto Garage, which claimed to be the first such blockchain finance project to get the green light under the Japanese government’s regulatory sandbox scheme, will now conduct a one-year pilot with a group of participating cryptocurrency exchanges. The product, dubbed Settlenet, uses Liquid as part of an arrangement allowing exchanges to issue yen-pegged stablecoins and trade against Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC), Blockstream’s sidechain. The feature also makes use of so-called ‘atomic swaps,’ the ability to make cross-blockchain transactions without manually converting assets. “This will enable rapid, secure and confidential transfer of the..

Blockchain Data Developer Spring Labs’ Research Program Gains 16 Startup Members

Blockchain firm Spring Labs is fostering data security knowledge prior to releasing a public version of its Spring Protocol. United States-based blockchain startup Spring Labs announced sixteen fintech companies had joined its partner program prior to the release of its Spring Protocol in a press release Jan. 17. Spring Labs, which last year raised $15 million in funding, aims to release anti-fraud technology in the form of private P2P data sharing technology, powered by blockchain. At the same time, it has convened the Spring Founding Industry Partners (SFIP) Program, a research effort comprised of partners aiming to further reduce data fraud and boost security prior to the Protocol’s public release. Now, a further sixteen small businesses and consumer fintech lenders have signed up to the program. “As an ever-increasing amount of financial transactions move online, new types of mission-critical fraud and ID verification solutions based on information sharing must be developed,” Noah..

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Acquires San Francisco-Based Tech Startup Blockspring

Crypto exchange Coinbase has acquired tech startup Blockspring, originally backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Major cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has acquired Andreessen Horowitz-backed tech startup Blockspring. The purchase was revealed in a blog post published Jan. 14. San Francisco-based Blockspring produces tools that enable developers to automatically gather and process information from application programming interfaces (APIs). In 2015, the company raised $3.4 million in a round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and seed-stage investment firm SV Angel, while also having support from venture fund Y Combinator. Following the acquisition, Blockspring will reportedly continue operating as an independent entity, while any changes to its business will not be binding on the company’s current and new customers. Last month, Cointelegraph reported that a new application filed by Coinbase with the United States Patent and Trademark Offi..

Major Blockchain Investors Arrington XRP, NEO Global Back DEX-Focused Startup

Decentralized exchange aggregator Totle has closed a fresh funding round led by Arrington XRP, NEO Global Capital (NGC) and Goren Holm Ventures. Decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator Totle has closed a fresh funding round led by major blockchain investors, according to a blog post from the firm Jan. 14. Arrington XRP, a crypto-focused hedge fund created by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, alongside top blockchain investment funds NEO Global Capital (NGC) and Goren Holm Ventures, have reportedly jointly led the $1 million round. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Totle focuses on building infrastructure to support the decentralized application (DApp) and DEX ecosystem — notably through the recent launch of its API. As the post outlines: “[The API aims to] relieve the need to integrate with and understand the protocols of multiple decentralized exchanges. Totle supports many use cases including in-app exchange in wallets; payments and transactions for business; arbitrage exploit..

Google Reportedly Blacklists ‘Ethereum’ as a Google Ad Keyword, Startup Claims

Google has reportedly blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum on its advertising platform Google Ads. Google (Alphabet Inc.) has reportedly blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum (ETH) on its advertising platform Google Ads, smart contract auditing startup Decenter tweeted on Jan. 10. The official Google Ads account replied to the tweet stating that cryptocurrency exchanges targeting the United States and Japan can be advertised on the platform, and that targeting other countries could be the reason for the ad rejection. When Decenter explained that they are a group of developers doing smart contract security audits and that they were seeing the error message when trying to use the “ethereum development services” and “ethereum security audits” keywords, Google Ads’ official account answered: “Although we wouldn't be able to preemptively confirm if your keyword is eligible to trigger ads, we'd recommend that you refer to the 'Cryptocurrencies' section of our poli..

ConsenSys Backs Icelandic Startup Co-Founded by Ex-Chair of Country’s Central Bank

ConsenSys has participated in a $2 million seed funding round for Icelandic blockchain startup Monerium, which counts the country’s central bank ex-chairman as a co-founder. Ethereum (ETH) blockchain startup and incubator ConsenSys has participated in a $2 million seed funding round for Iceland-based blockchain startup Monerium, according to a press release from the firm, published Jan. 11. The startup counts the former chairman of Iceland’s central bank among its four founders. The funding round was reportedly led by Icelandic venture capital fund Crowberry Capital, and has also seen the participation of Icelandic private investment firm Hof Holdings. Founded in 2016, Monerium is reportedly developing a solution for “bridging fiat money and blockchains,” issuing what it refers to as e-money. Former central bank chairman Jon Helgi Egilsson, alongside co-founders Gísli Kristjánsson, Hjörtur Hjartarson, and Sveinn Valfells, are spearheading a workforce of 14 people across Iceland, Swede..

After Cancelling ICO, Crypto Startup Zwoop Filed for Administration: Report

The board of directors of cryptocurrency and e-commerce startup Zwoop reportedly filed for administration at the end of November last year. The board of directors of cryptocurrency and e-commerce startup Zwoop reportedly filed for administration at the end of November last year. The news was revealed in an exclusive article by major United Kingdom-based newspaper The Telegraph, Jan. 11. According to anonymous sources cited in a report by tech news outlet The Next Web, this move has left employees and suppliers of the company with unpaid wages and bills. Namely, the company allegedly owes one London-based marketing agency £42,000 (about $53,858) and a public relations firm £30,000 (about $38,470). Zwoop — reportedly founded by Italian entrepreneur Alessandro Gadotti and raised $13 million from American billionaire Robert Friedland — announced plans to launch its initial coin offering (ICO) in August last year. Later in September, it declared that the ICO would be suspended until furthe..

VeriBlock, A Blockchain Startup, Accounts For Up To 20% Of BTCs...

Not too long ago, BTC developers noticed strange activity on the Bitcoin blockchain. They reported that an a significant number of unidentified OP_RETURN transactions were seen on the blockchain. Keep in mind that OP_RETURN transactions are those that are used to embed data into the Bitcoin blockchain. This type of transaction can be used for issuing new assets and proving the existence of a data among other things. VeriBlock Now Accounts For 20% Of Bitcoin’s Daily Transaction Volume During the weekend, the developers discovered that the transactions were being generated by a new Bitcoin startup known as VeriBlock. VeriBlock is a project that piggybacks on the blockchain as a more secure alternative for cryptocurrency asset networks. The CTO of Casa, Jameson Lopp, VeriBlock has developed so much that it now accounts for up to 20% of the daily Bitcoin transaction volume. About VeriBlock VeriBlock is strongly supported by the proof-of-proof consensus mechanism. This mechanism is supp..

Ditch Google and Use a Bot Instead: Startup Says the Golden...

sponsored Struggling to find good recommendations for drinks, dinners and dancing? A blockchain startup is building a bot that scours the local area for hidden gems. Finding your way around a new city, or even discovering exciting things to do in areas you know well, is hard. Meanwhile, local economies have been struggling to prosper — with small businesses increasingly reliant on online behemoths such as Facebook and Google where users face information overload. A new blockchain-based startup believes the golden era for apps is over and says the public wants a more personalized experience when they are finding things to do. Rather than depend on potentially biased platforms, which often fail to capture the full breadth of nearby venues, Localflow says the future lies in conversational bots that can provide fast recommendations and a plethora of other services. For the typical user, Localflow means they can find the goods and services they want through the messaging apps they already..
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