Austria’s Premium Blockchain Summit Attracts Billion Dollar Businesses to Line up ahead of Launch

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Austria’s Premium Blockchain Summit Attracts Billion Dollar Businesses to Line up ahead of Launch

The inaugural ANON Blockchain Summit Austria will be held April 2-3, featuring Microsoft, IBM and Accenture plus other big names.

Austria’s Premium Blockchain Summit Attracts Billion Dollar Businesses to Line up ahead of Launch

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Chief Confident About Future for Bakkt and Crypto 

The ongoing regulatory delays and hurdles imposed by the US government have not dampened the enthusiasm for crypto related products such as the highly anticipated Bakkt launch.
Bakkt Will be a ‘Moonshot Bet’
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has recently announced its fourth quarter earnings which have beat some Wall Street predictions. Chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher took the opportunity to speak on the sterling performance and shed some light on the Bakkt crypto project. Seeking Alpha ran a full transcript of the conference call in which Sprecher referred to Bakkt as a “moonshot bet”.
Over a billion dollars has been spent on strategic investments in 2018, including the Bakkt crypto futures project, according to CFO Scott Hill. Sprecher added that Bakkt had raised over $180 million from ICE and twelve other investors and partners including Fortress Investment Group and Susquehanna International Group. He said that “as we look to 2019 and beyond we’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, not only for our core business but also for newer initiatives,” which includes Bakkt.
The launch delays have been largely the fault of the US government shutdown imposed by president Trump. The highly anticipated product has been seen as a major on-ramp for crypto as it includes some major players. The firm aims to create a crypto ecosystem to bring huge companies such as Starbucks and Microsoft into the crypto industry. Sprecher stated;
“That infrastructure has attracted a lot of very, very interesting companies that have come — some that have invested in Bakkt, some are just working with Bakkt to try to tap into that infrastructure for some new use cases that will involve blockchain and digital assets and other things that we can provide these people. Obviously, we’ve announced the Starbucks — our work with Starbucks and Microsoft. We have very, very large retail franchises global connectivity to end users that we hope will be brought into that ecosystem and could create a very, very valuable company out of that initiative if our business plan plays out.”
Regarding the Bakkt launch date there were no specifics mentioned, only that it is expected ‘later this year’. Last month the company revealed more details about its Bitcoin futures products. The Bakkt BTC (USD) Daily Future will be a 1 BTC contract that will be physically delivered.
Bakkt also announced the acquisition of assets from Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) last month. The ‘back office’ infrastructure will be needed to develop the crypto ecosystem and ensure full security and a trusted fintech solution for its clients.
Image from Shutterstock
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Microsoft Stock: What Q4 Earnings Could Mean for the Market?

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Microsoft Stock: What Q4 Earnings Could Mean for the Market?

The cloud-based technical offerings along with the bad luck of Microsoft’s rivals served the company the highest market capitalization in the world. Analysts advise moneybags, who are looking for a better place for their capital, invest into Microsoft’s “golden stocks”.

Microsoft Stock: What Q4 Earnings Could Mean for the Market?

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Ripple and XRP inching closer to disrupt the gaming industry; Brad Garlinghouse confirms games on XRPL

During the Davos conference, Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse mentioned that games were being built on the XRP Ledger. Considering Ripple being a payments company, this recent revelation took the community by surprise.
The Ethereal panel at Davos had Brian Behlendorf, Ethereum, and ConsenSys’ Joseph Lubin and Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse who discussed various topics ranging from payments/remittance solutions to games being developed on the blockchain technology.
The discussion about games on blockchain erupted as Zynga’s developer, Eric Schiermeyer asked the panel if the blockchain for gaming industry was underhyped.
Garlinghouse stepped in to answer the question. He said:
“I think this is one area where blockchain use is underhyped… it is incredibly interesting in terms of which underlying blockchain is most efficient… I think there’s a couple being built upon the XRP Ledger and I think it’s gonna be very interesting space to watch in 2019.”
As surprising as the above sounds there are actually proofs to support Garlinghouse’s statements. Connecting the dots, Ripple has already partnered with Microsoft in 2015. Moreover, Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain as a Service [BaaS] which is being led by Marley Gray ultimately focuses on the payments. With Ripple’s Interledger Protocol payments and remittance doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
In addition to Ripple and Microsoft’s partnership, R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm with over 300 partnerships which includes Microsoft. R3 has built a customer base which can use their Corda Network and CorDapps to create an ecosystem for easier and instant payments.
Microsoft, in a press release, said:
“Microsoft is expanding its strategic partnership with R3 to more deeply integrate R3’s distributed ledger platform, Corda and R3Net, with Azure.”
The second strategic partnership that Ripple has struck is with GSR, which brings the dreams of games on the XRP Ledger closer to reality.
GSR, a pioneer in electronic trading of digital assets, utilizing proprietary technology built in-house to provide liquidity solutions globally since 2013. Moreover, GSR became one of the first market-makers on Ripple’s Consensus Ledger.
The CEO of GSR, Cristian Gil spoke about how the gaming industry is an untapped market that can prosper with the right technology like blockchain. He said that gamers usually purchase in-game items which becomes relatively useless and that there isn’t any trusted platform to perform such actions. Gil added:
“I guess it was a natural next step to use Ripple protocol to allow the users, the citizen of Beach Head to trade these different digital assets.”
Gil continued that he will be leading the market making for the Beach Head project and make sure that there is a liquid market and it offers other tokens like XRP, Bitcoin [BTC], Ether [ETH].
The CTO of Blockchain Economy Director responsible for creating the crypto-economy in the game, Alexis Sirkia, said:
“The Ripple Trading Engine will act like a matching engine which is distributed and trustless. Ripple Engine is the only distributed trading engine that is mature enough to be used. It has a settling time of only four seconds and is a perfect vehicle for trading.
The post Ripple and XRP inching closer to disrupt the gaming industry; Brad Garlinghouse confirms games on XRPL appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

To Buy or Not to Buy: Apple Stocks are Bargains

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To Buy or Not to Buy: Apple Stocks are Bargains

Nobody can deny that Apple has had an incredible decade. Since the iPhone debuted in 2007, the company’s sales have jumped tenfold. The stock has soared over 700%, and up until last November, it was the world’s largest publicly traded company.

To Buy or Not to Buy: Apple Stocks are Bargains

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New Blockchain Center Backed by Microsoft and IBM Opens in New York City

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New Blockchain Center Backed by Microsoft and IBM Opens in New York City

A long-lasting bearish trend that holds its grip over the crypto-market does not seem to scare away the technology major fans. Thus the NYC Economic Development Corp. backed by IBM and Microsoft is opening a new business centre devoted to the blockchain.

New Blockchain Center Backed by Microsoft and IBM Opens in New York City

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Nasdaq and Microsoft join forces to deliver blockchain services

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been an attractive proposition for a lot of traditional technology and financial companies recently and everyone is trying to board the bus in the best way they can. Same has been the case with Microsoft and Nasdaq who are coming together to deliver on the blockchain promise.
The partnership will offer blockchain based software
In the recent news report released by Bloomberg, Microsoft has said that’s its Azure blockchain services will integrate with Nasdaq’s Financial Framework, which offers software for traders, exchanges and clearinghouses to interact with each other.
The partnership will create a blockchain system that helps different technologies work together for Nasdaq customers. For example, it will make it easier to match buyers and sellers, and manage the delivery, payment, and settlement of transactions, the companies said.
Nasdaq Financial Framework plans to offer customers the ability to use different blockchains through one common interface, which the company hopes will ease and accelerate blockchain use and let customers choose which option is best for different situations.
The partnership will be announced Tuesday as Microsoft business development chief Peggy Johnson speaks at Bloomberg’s CIO Exchange conference.
Independently too, Nasdaq and Microsoft are doing their bit of work in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Nasdaq has already announced plans list multiple cryptocurrencies as early as 2019. A couple of months back, Nasdaq reportedly hosted a closed-door meeting in Chicago with representatives from about half a dozen companies, including Gemini and other cryptocurrency exchanges. As per a report by Bloomberg, the gathering was aimed to encourage the industry to work toward improving the image of cryptocurrency by validating its potential role in global markets.
While Microsoft is supposedly joined hands with The Seattle-based coffee giant, Starbucks, and Intercontinental Exchange, is working to launch a new company called Bakkt that will enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend cryptocurrencies on the global network
In 2015, Microsoft and ConsenSys had partnered to offer Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) on Microsoft Azure so enterprise clients and developers could have a single click cloud-based blockchain developer environment.
With Microsoft and Nasdaq, both taking progressive strides in blockchain and cryptocurrencies is a super positive sign for the industry. Big names like these will contribute to goodwill and enforce trust into the cryptocurrencies industry- something that is very much required in the crypto industry today.
Will names like Microsoft and Nasdaq will help in gaining the trust of people towards crypto and blockchain industry? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape

Monero [XMR] wallets compromised as hackers target MEGA Chrome extension

On 4th September, Monero [XMR] announced that the official MEGA chrome extension was compromised, with an update stealing the passwords and cryptocurrency wallet addresses from its users. The latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked, allowing cryptojackers to access saved passwords and usernames from Amazon, GitHub, Google, and Microsoft portals.
Latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked | Source: Twitter
The Chrome extension claims to provide a secure cloud storage service that can improve browser performance by reducing loading time. The extension is currently unavailable for download at the Chrome Web Store.
Monero is a privacy coin where the addresses of the sender are hidden along with the amount of transaction which took place. Thus every transaction on the Monero network goes through a secret address which cannot be linked to the first sender.
In spite of Monero’s claims of being private and untraceable, the cryptocurrency has witnessed instances where cryptojackers have secretly mined XMR with the computer power of web visitors.
Riccardo Andsaskiaspagni, also known as fluffypony, the Lead Maintainer of Monero said on Twitter,
“Confirmed that it also extracts private keys if you login to MyMonero and/or MyEtherWallet in a browser with the extension installed.”
MyEtherWallet.com, an open-source cryptocurrency wallet for ERC20 tokens, stated:

Latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked | Source: Twitter
SamsungGalaxyPlayer spotted the issue and stated:
“The MEGA Chrome extension source code has not been updates in four months, suggesting that the account responsible with updating the version given to Google was compromised”
Some of the recommendations made in his post on Reddit were to uninstall MEGA Chrome extension immediately and change important passwords. He also suggested that its users transfer funds from those accounts which could have possibly been compromised.
MEGA Chrome extension version 3.39.4 was mainly affected and all the data collected was being sent to one server. This problem was limited to Google Chrome, as the Mozilla Firefox version had not been compromised.
PWPersian commented on Reddit:
“Wow this is huge, I do not personally use MEGA however I am always afraid of extensions going rouge as I check up on updates the least often for them, sending this to everyone I know to make sure they know to change passwords etc.”
Gattacus an enthusiastic Redditor commented:
“There was an update to the extension and Chrome asked for new permission (read data on all websites). That made me suspicious and I checked the extension code locally (which is mostly javascript anyways). MEGA also has the source code of the extension on github https://github.com/meganz/chrome-extension There was no commit recently. To me it looks either their Google Webstore account was hacked or someone inside MEGA did this. pure speculation though”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bakkt to Foster Institution & Consumer Participation, No Leverage & Margin on Bitcoin Contracts

Bakkt, the digital asset platform by NYSE’s owner and backed by Microsoft and Starbucks is working hard at building a transparent and an institutional quality ecosystem for digital assets. CEO Kelly Loeffler explains that they are offering full collateralized or pre-funded bitcoin buying and selling meaning there will be no leverage or margin involved.
NYSE owner’s Bakkt hard at work
It’s been only two weeks that NYSE’s owner, Intercontinental Exchange announced the “launch of regulated, physical Bitcoin futures contract and warehouse planned for November 2018.” Bakkt, a global platform “designed to bring digital assets to the mainstream and help unlock the potential of this important technology.”
In its latest official blog, Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt is talking about being already at work on creating an open and regulated ecosystem for digital assets. She shared how in 1999, Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman has predicted the emergence of e-cash and “now are we seeing the promise of a true digital currency.”
From regulated, institutional trading and security solutions to offering more transaction choices to a customer, Bakkt is working on the wider application of digital assets.
The news of the Bakkt has been seen as one of the most important ones for the investors and experts alike. And given the giants viz. Microsoft and Starbucks included in this, it certainly holds a lot of potential for the future of the crypto market. Loeffler acknowledged the “very strong” response they received from worldwide.
People are certainly feeling positive as Mike Strutton of Ironwood shared:
“We may think #ETFs are the big story for #Bitcoin. I believe @Bakkt & “physical” bitcoin futures are going to drive the price – their vision for institutional and consumer retail sounds strong. November will be exciting. Congrats to CEO Kelly Loeffler, woman in crypto.”
Also, read: PwC & NYSE Top Executives Quit to Join BitcoinFirms
Fully collateralized Bitcoin buying & selling
Talking about the widespread need for a trusted infrastructure for storing, spending and trading cryptocurrencies. In order to achieve this, they are working on the “proven framework” comprising of, a consistent regulatory construct, transparent, efficient price discovery, and an institutional quality pre- and post-trade infrastructure.
With a special emphasis on “price discover”, she shares that “trusted price formation is a fundamental part of advancing the promise of digital currencies.” She further talks about not allowing margin or leverage on their contracts stating:
“Specifically, with our solution, the buying and selling of Bitcoin is fully collateralized or pre-funded. As such, our new daily Bitcoin contract will not be traded on margin, use leverage, or serve to create a paper claim on a real asset. This supports market integrity and differentiates our effort from existing futures and crypto exchanges which allow for margin, leverage and cash settlement.”
She further adds:
“Coupled with a secure, regulated warehouse solution, you can begin to see how this market infrastructure can help more institutions and consumers participate in the asset class.”
However, some were quick to point out as did Caitlin Long, a Wall Street veteran,
“Interesting response from @Bakkt today. For #bitcoin this is good news/bad news. First the good–Bakkt disclosed it’s not using margin or leverage (explicitly). That’s positive. But then the bad–it was silent about hidden leverage, which is subtle…”
The blog also points out the fact that the market cap recently dropped below $200 billion but ICOs, corporate R&D and venture investing is still going strong in this arena. This potential has the team excited about the upcoming launch.
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Source: CoinGape