This Virginia Lawmaker Argues Blockchain Can Boost Local Elections, Economy

A Virginia lawmaker is pushing her state’s government to study how blockchain could shape the future of local elections and commerce.  On Jan. 8, Delegate Hala Ayala (D-51) offered two bills to the House of Delegates: the first calling for Virginia’s Department of Elections to investigate blockchain as a means to secure elections, and the second requesting that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) research blockchain’s current and coming role in the state economy.  Together, they comprise Ayala’s political drive to embrace – or at least consider – integrating distributed…

Hacker Noon Is Storing Content on a Blockchain After Ditching Medium

Hacker Noon is putting its money where its pen is, embedding blockchain features into its new publishing platform.  Annotations on Hacker Noon’s blog-styled content, with some 4 million monthly readers, will now be locally hosted on users’ spare storage space, said Hacker Noon CEO David Smooke in a press release. These annotations and in-line comments will be powered by ERA Inc.’s GUN, a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) database system. By utilizing local storage on Hacker Noon reader’s free CPU space, the cost of maintaining the domain drops on GUN specifically, ERA…

Ripple-Backed Crypto Wallet BRD Launches Blockchain Toolbox for Enterprise Apps

Mobile wallet provider BRD is making something of a pivot, launching a suite of tools aimed at allowing blockchain developers to more easily build apps for enterprises. Called Blockset, the new offering – announced Friday – is described as a blockchain data integration platform with a suite of tools that allow coders to create “enterprise-grade” blockchain applications. These bring the ability to automatically pull in on-chain data via an API and, BRD says, conduct transactions in “near real-time” on multiple blockchains. Nodes can be hosted “out of the box,” BRD…

Decred’s Akin Sawyerr Says Blockchain Is Part of Africa’s Political Future

Akin Sawyerr, founder of Feleman Limited, an Africa-focused impact investment and advisory firm based in the Washington, D.C., area, spoke to CoinDesk at the Digital Money Forum. His message? That decentralized finance and governance can rebuild economies all over the world. “I have geographical purview over Africa. So a lot of what I’ve been working on is identifying opportunities around Africa,” he said at the forum held at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. “One of the big challenges you see across Africa is governance. And wherever you have weak governance you have…

Illinois Legalizes Blockchain Contracts – CoinDesk

With the new year Illinois became the latest state to recognize smart contracts and other blockchain-based records as legal instruments. The state’s “Blockchain Technology Act,” sponsored by Rep. Keith Wheeler (R), took effect Jan. 1, opening a slew of potential new legal scenarios for blockchain-based contracts. These contracts are now admissible as evidence in court, recognized as a viable alternative to paper-based records and statutorily exempt from local taxation.  “A smart contract, record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because a blockchain was used to…

Blockchain Vendor R3 Scores Its Second Patent in a Week

Enterprise software vendor R3 has won a patent for a blockchain-based record system designed to make corporate information-sharing more efficient. Awarded Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent describes a “system and method for managing transactions in dynamic digital documents” that would provide companies with a shared distributed ledger to supply relevant parties with the same immutable data record. The award comes just over a week after R3 received another patent, that one for a new decentralized payments system that doesn’t have to use a blockchain. Awarded…

Smashing Through Surveillance Capitalism With Blockchain

This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2019 Year in Review, a collection of 100 op-eds, interviews and takes on the state of blockchain and the world. Jack Henderson is Co-Founder and President of RadicalxChange Students. Glen Weyl is Founder and Chair of the RadicalxChange Foundation and Microsoft’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer Political Economist and Social Technologist. The web instilled in us the hope of replacing the old social hierarchy with a network of networks. Yet important gaps in the structure of the internet, its lack of provisioning for…

Alibaba Patents Would Secure, Accelerate Its Consortium Blockchain

Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group has won two U.S. patents designed to make its blockchain network safer and faster.  One patent aims to reduce the time to verify block data, while the other is designed to help participants set a validity period for a transaction in a blockchain network.  Both of the patents were approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) this week.  The approvals comes at a time with Ant Financial, the fintech arm of Alibaba, announced the launch of its Ant Open Blockchain Alliance, a consortium…

HTC to Increase Focus on Blockchain Phones, AI After New Staff Cuts

Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC confirmed earlier this week that it would axe jobs to remain competitive and better focus on a handful of high-end products, including the EXODUS, its blockchain phone.  HTC, which has around 3,000 employees, has not disclosed the scale of the lay-offs or the departments that will be most affected, according to a report from Taiwan News. This will be the third round of job cuts staff at the phone manufacturer have faced in the past five years. The company let go 2,250 employees in 2015, and…

VPLedger: An All-In-One Blockchain Platform

Since the moment the Bitcoin (BTC) network went live over 10 years ago, developers have been working in the creation of new technologies that focus on bringing real use to the functionalities that the BTC network had within. Blockchain technology can be defined as a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data that is recorded and unable to be altered. Under this premise, many have attempted to implement blockchain tech at…