blockchain

  • Sinochem Energy Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary of state oil and chemicals firm Sinochem Group, is in talks with Royal Dutch Shell and Macquarie Group to build an energy blockchain platform, three Beijing-based industry sources said. Shell and Macquarie entered a memorandum of understanding in July to explore building a blockchain platform for crude oil, one of the Sinochem unit’s incubator projects with growth potential, said one of the sources who has direct knowledge of the matter. Under the MOU, companies also agreed to study the possibility of investing in the firm itself. Shell and Macquarie both declined to comment. Sinochem’s press office did not respond to a request for comment. The digital platform, named Gateway, is valued by Sinochem Energy Technology at 100 million yuan (US$14.10 million), the source said. If discussions come to fruition, it could bolster the prospects of the Sinochem technology unit which has floundered since its launch two years ago with heavy spending but little revenue “Sinochem group has set an internal deadline for the technology firm to bring in strategic investors by the end of September, or the latest October, because the firm is in deep loss,” said the source. The technology firm was created in August 2017 with a registered capital of 1 billion yuan to aid a planned US$2 billion partial privatisation of Sinochem’s traditional energy business which was shelved late last year due to poor market reception. Sinochem has ploughed in over 600 million yuan into Sinochem Energy Technology, which has cut its staff by half from its peak of 1,000 workers, said the first source and a separate industry official with knowledge of the matter. Gateway will use blockchain, the computer and cryptological technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, to reduce trade and settlement inefficiencies, improve transparency and reduce the risk...
  • Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new strain of the nefarious Glupteba malware that uses the Bitcoin BTC blockchain to ensure it remains dangerous. TrendMicro’s latest blog details the previously undocumented variant, capable of invading systems to mine Monero crryptocurrency and steal sensitive browser data like passwords and cookies. Analysts confirmed this version of Glupteba also exploits a previously discovered security vulnerability in MicroTik routers to transform the target machine into a SOCKS proxy to initiate widespread spam attacks that could threaten Instagram users. Attackers transfer Bitcoin with Electrum to keep Glupteba online Infection typically works like this: a target machine is first hit with a “malvertising attack,” which forces it to download a Glupteba “dropper.” The dropper will flood the target with various rootkits, backdoors, and other nasties taken from GitHub. It then does the usual stuff like check for antivirus programs, add malicious firewall rules, as well as include itself in defender whitelists. Most notable, however, is that this malware utilizes Bitcoin to automatically update to keep it running smoothly — even if antivirus software blocks it from connecting to its remote command and control (C&C) server. According to TrendMicro researchers, Glupteba attackers will first send Bitcoin transactions via the Electrum Bitcoin wallet, which Hard Fork previously reported had been threatened by a prolific phishing campaign. The malware, which has been programmed with a hardcoded ScriptHash string, will then make its way through a public list of Electrum servers to find every transaction that was made by the attacker. Buried in those transactions is seemingly innocent OP_RETURN data, which actually contains an encrypted C&C domain. “This technique makes it more convenient for the threat actor to replace C&C servers,” said TrendMicro. “If they lose control of a C&C server for any reason, they simply need to add a new Bitcoin...
  • HSBC completed the first yuan-denominated blockchain-based letter of credit transaction, the bank said on Tuesday. HSBC, like many of its competitors, has been looking to use digital ledger technology, or blockchain, to streamline the traditionally paper-based and bureaucratic business of financing trade. As the first such transaction to use the Chinese currency, this deal marks a step forward in the use of the Voltron trade finance platform, developed by eight banks including BNP Paribas, and Standard Chartered as well as HSBC. So far transactions using the platform have primarily been individual pilot cases, but Ajay Sharma, HSBC’s regional head of global trade and receivables finance for Asia-Pacific, said that progress was being made toward a full proposition, and what could be a commercially acceptable model for banks. “We are hoping that we will have something by end of the year, maybe the first quarter of next year, where will we know from Voltron what it costs, at which point, a lot of banks who might be sitting on the sidelines will be able to make a decision,” he said. “Clearly we are hoping that through this technology, the unit cost of doing a transaction comes down, along with other benefits, such as speed.” HSBC said, citing SWIFT data, that 1.2 million letters of credit, documents issued by a bank guaranteeing a buyer’s payment to a seller, worth US$750 billion were issued into and out of China alone in 2018. This particular deal involved Hong Kong-based MTC Electronic exporting a shipment of LCD parts and panels to its parent company, Shenzhen MTC, based across the border from Hong Kong. The exchange of the electronic documents was completed in 24 hours, compared to the typical five to 10 days for conventional document exchange, the bank said. Read more VMware to back ASX...
  • The US’ top financial watchdog has settled with Dallas-based blockchain startup Bitqyck Inc. over allegations it fraudulently sold shares of company stock to more than 13,000 buyers of its Bitqy cryptographic token. In a statement released yesterday, the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) also alleged the firm and its founders Bruce Bise and Sam Mendez fraudulently promised investors interest in a cryptocurrency mining facility through sales of a secondary token, BitqyM, and its related blockchain-powered smart contract. That facility was supposed to be powered by below-market rate electricity. As it turns out, there was no such deal, and no such facility – the entire mining operation was a fake. “Bitqyck, aided and abetted by its founders, also is alleged to have illegally operated TradeBQ, an unregistered national security exchange offering trading in a single security, Bitqy,” said the SEC. Although Bitqyck’s founders did not confirm or deny the allegations, the pair agreed to return all money raised (more than $13 million) with interest. Bise and Mendez will also need to pay a civil penalty of $8,375,617, as well as $890,254 and $850,022 respectively. This continues a veritable trend of judgements against (allegedly) fraudulent cryptocurrency startups across the US. Earlier this month, the SEC moved against a “self-described financial guru” that raised $14.8 million with an allegedly fraudulent ICO, while last week saw the SEC reach a settlement with a Russian firm that advertised initial coin offerings without disclosing that it had been paid to shill the coins. Whoops. Published August 30, 2019 — 15:09 UTC 10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute email address is a disposable temporary email that self-destructed after a 10 minutes. https://tempemail.co/– is most advanced throwaway...
  • The supposedly independent group of companies tasked with overseeing the delivery of Facebook‘s “cryptocurrency” Libra has announced a public bug bounty. In a blog post yesterday, the Libra association disclosed that its offering up to $10,000 to security researchers that find flaws and help tune up the Libra blockchain. The bug bounty was first opened in June when Facebook officially announced plans for its Libra blockchain and cryptocurrency. However, only 50 specially selected security researchers were invited to scrutinize the platform. Now anyone can take a look under the hood, so to speak. Libra says its opened the bug bounty to the wider public in an attempt to make its blockchain as secure and dependable as possible. If people are going to rely on Libra for their everyday financial needs, it is critical that the infrastructure behind it be dependable and safe. Bear in mind though, this bug bounty is on the Libra test net, and the code open for scrutiny is by no means the final version of what the Big F will launch. Full details of the bug bounty program are live on HackerOne. Perhaps one key detail though, is that all flaws must be submitted to the Libra Association to approve the bug disclosure before it’s made public. Any public disclosures that haven’t received Facebook‘s approval will be considered in breach of the bounty program. With every passing week there seems to be another story about another regulatory challenge facing Libra. Just yesterday, news came to light that Facebook has hired a political lobbying firm to do its leg work in Washington. Last month, I even joked that the best way to make money out of the so-called cryptocurrency would be to bet on it not launching at all. Well, maybe in the meantime, if you have...
  • Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been announced launch of a new blockchain and it’s called project “Venus.” I’m not sure why it chose that name because Venus has no moons. Sad. In an announcement published this morning, Binance described Venus as an “initiative to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe.” Binance wants to create partnerships with governments, corporations, tech companies, to help countries offer new types of currency based on its new blockchain. You’d be forgiven if parts of that sounded familiar. Facebook is currently working on its own digital currency called Libra, it too plans to work with other large tech companies to offer the coin but has so far faced tough feedback from governments. But unlike Facebook, it sounds like Binance will be seeking support from governments much earlier than the social media giant. Beyond the announcement, specific details about Binance‘s open blockchain remain sparse. The exchange did point out that it’s been offering fiat-pegged stablecoins since last April, including one pegged to the value of the British Pound. Now, let’s think about this with some context. Binance has gone from being a nobody to one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in less than three years. Growth is good, continued growth is better. Stablecoins are often touted as trading tools that help traders weather markets by being able to cash in and out of trades quickly. As the coins track the value of fiat, they’re generally less volatile than regular cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency exchange also has Binance Coin (BNB), its own proprietary trading token. Users of the exchange can pay fees and trade other cryptocurrencies using BNB, it serves as an on-ramp to get and keep traders in the Binance ecosystem. With all that in mind, it’s probably fair to assume...
  • Russia, ruled by Vladimir Putin‘s arguably authoritarian regime, wants to leverage blockchain technology to host Moscow‘s administrative services and boost transparency. Essentially, the government is looking for a contractor to build an Ethereum-based system to host the issuance of property ownership documents, the allocation of slots at farmer markets, and wait for it: a voting platform which enables Moscow residents to have their say on matters such as locations for new bike paths, street decoration, and city events, CoinDesk reports. The estimated cost of development of such a system will approximately be $860,000 and will take around 60 days to build once a contractor has been chosen. Apparently, the aim is to leverage blockchain technology to boost public confidence in Moscow‘s electronic capabilities by increasing transparency – something for which Russia is not known for inside or outside of its borders. It goes without saying that most news coming out of Russia should be met with a certain level of skepticism given Putin‘s regime is hardly known for playing by the rules. Russian and blockchain When it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency, Russia has had a tumultuous  – some would say confusing – history with both. What bothers me the most, though, is that the hype around blockchain is seemingly canceling out Russia‘s state-run propaganda. While some want to see blockchain do well, let’s not let optimism get in the way of what is useful, plausible, and true. And as free press, we have a responsibility to identify propaganda and the failure to do so is beginning to be depressing. Published August 15, 2019 — 12:03 UTC 10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute email address is a...
  • Welcome to another Moonday Mornings. Let’s waste no time and take a look at the weekend’s cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines you can’t afford to miss. 1. Cryptocurrency traders in Israel are facing a sticky situation. Some banks are refusing to accept deposits from profits of cryptocurrency trading for fear they may have been obtained through illicit or illegal activities, local media reports. There is now a stack of $86 million in unpaid taxes that should have been paid on earnings from cryptocurrency trading. 2. Over the past financial year, – April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 – Canada’s anti-money laundering watchdog sent 61 cryptocurrency-related incidents to relevant law enforcement agencies, according to The Globe and Mail. This is more than three times the number of cases it sent in the previous year. Industry experts expect this number to explode over the next 12 months when the watchdog begins examining the operations of virtual currency exchanges. 3. After a five-year wait, China’s central bank digital currency is said to be “ready,” The Block reports. A senior official from the country’s central bank announced that it would roll out its digital currency “soon.” According to the announcement, the prototype coin exists and has “fully adopted the blockchain architecture.” That said, the digital currency won’t rely entirely on a “pure blockchain” as it wouldn’t provide the transaction speed required for the coin to be used for retail payments. 4. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has teased what digital assets might be added to its US targeted platform. A blog post from the company’s US CEO outlined the 30 tokens being considered. Leading coins such as Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin are mentioned, along with the exchange’s own token Binance Coin. And finally… 5. Blockchain patent whore IBM has filed yet another patent...
  • We’ve heard about auctions using blockchain to record sales of expensive works of art. We’ve seen the abstract musings of the cryptoart world, too. But what about a cryptoart charity auction that’s using blockchain to pick the winner? Well, an initiative being run by a trio of firms including cryptocurrency swap exchange service ChangeAngel, crypto-clothing store CryptoBantam, and cryptoartist Trevor Jones, is doing just that. Hey CT! Enter to #win this limited edition AR artwork ‘The Ecstasy’. 💯 goes to 3 charities. 242 tickets sold so far. Please like & share and lets hit 300+ and raise more $$$ for @WarChildCan @pennyappeal & LittleEdi Raffle organised by @changeangel_io #bitcoin #cryptoart pic.twitter.com/hA51sJCaYp — Trevor Jones 🎨 (@trevorjonesart) July 31, 2019 The raffle style event is auctioning one of Jones’ Bitcoin-inspired artworks, called “The Ecstasy.” What’s more, the cryptoart raffle is not only taking payments in Bitcoin BTC (and fiat currency) but it’s also using the blockchain to pick the raffle’s winner too. How, you might ask? Well, let me tell you. Like a standard raffle or lottery, customers buy entry tickets. Raffle ticket sales are logged and added to a list, (the list can be viewed on the CryptoBantam website under “Lottery History“). When the competition closes on August 4 each ticket will be assigned a sequential hexadecimal number starting from zero, a spokesperson from CryptoBantam told Hard Fork. The list of numbers will be published online, and timestamped on an internet archive, such as the Wayback Machine, for transparency. Now here’s where the blockchain comes in. Once the list is compiled, CryptoBantam will announce a “deciding block.” At the moment, it has chosen a block that will be mined around 9PM UTC August 4, 2019. About two hours after ticket sales are complete. “Provisionally this will be Bitcoin block number...
  • The year is still 2019, but Twitter‘s Bitcoin community is looking to the future. Tons of Bitcoiners are sharing their predictions for the cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry 11 years from now with the hashtag #TheYearIs2030. Blockstream CSO Samson Mow kicked off the trend with a sarcastic take on recent news of high-profile departures from popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which previously drew the ire of Twitter‘s cryptocurrency community with the acquisition of controversial blockchain analytics firm Neutrino. In the tweet, Mow took a dig at Coinbase‘s loose token-listing criteria, forecasting its demise at the greediness of its co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong. The year is 2030. The last Coinbase employee leaves. Finally content, Brian Armstrong sits down upon his throne of forks and smiles. He presses the button to list the final shitcoin we’ve never heard of and pivots the company to sell organic durians. https://t.co/ywEcnH6fwG — Samson Mow (@Excellion) July 30, 2019 He then invited the rest of the Twitterverse to follow his lead – and it didn’t take long before the hashtag started gaining traction. Alternate reality version: In 2025 the city of SF becomes gilded in human poop. Brian is forced to move CB to Las Vegas to fulfill the Coinbase Armstrong Vision™ pivot to a legitimate Shitcoin Casino where you can bring money in but never take it out. — WhiteRabbit (@WhiteRabbitBTC) July 30, 2019 Soon enough though, the sarcastic Coinbase predictions expanded into memeing on popular crypto-personalities like EOS founder Dan Larimer, TRON‘s Justin Sun, Ethereum‘s Vitalik Buterin, and Bitcoin Cash’s Roger Ver. The year is 2030, everyone has abandoned Bitcoin and Ethereum for Tron, because Justin burned half his coins (40% of the total supply) hours before meeting with the president of the USA, and declaring Tron as a replacement for the dollar. —...