Chinese E-commerce Giant Alibaba Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Alibabacoin

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has won a preliminary injunction against Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation in a lawsuit over the misleading use of Alibaba in their name, financial website MarketWatch reports Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has sided with the Chinese corporation during the trademark infringement case hearing Monday, Oct. 22.

Judge James Paul Oetken, as cited by MarketWatch, said that consumer confusion could occur due to the similarity of trademarks; therefore, the Alibabacoin Foundation should not use the confusing “Alibaba” part for its brand anywhere in the U.S.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the court’s decision implies that the Alibabacoin Foundation will no longer be able to promote or sell its cryptocurrency in the country until larger action on this case is decided.

In April, Alibaba sued the Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation for copyright infringement after the latter’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) raised $3.5 mln. The Chinese giant stated that the company Alibabacoin engaged in “prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” behavior by using a similar name.

In addition, Alibaba said that coin’s owners did nothing to combat or correct this confusion. The initial lawsuit was accompanied by a temporary restraining order against Alibabacoin.

In May, a U.S. court ruled against Alibaba’s request for an injunction, and Judge Oetken negated a restraining order on the Alibabacoin Foundation’s activity.

In early 2018, Alibaba was rumored to have plans to launch a cryptocurrency mining platform despite strict Chinese regulations. Later, the giant clarified the rumors, stating that its P2P platform had been mistakenly taken for a crypto startup. The company also added it has never issued virtual currencies and will not host any crypto mining platforms.

In mid-October, the Alibabacoin Foundation reportedly offered for Alibaba to purchase their startup.

According to the Alibabacoin Foundation’s website, the company wants to build a fund security system improved by a secret technique for implementing a blockchain algorithm into a facial recognition hashing process. According to CoinMarketcCap, Alibabacoin is ranked 1691th in global cryptocurrency rankings, and has seen a decline in price this week dropping from $1.6 per coin to $0.37 as of press time.

Article First Published here

Japan: Messaging Giant LINE Launches Trading of Its LINK Token on Native Exchange

Japanese messaging app provider LINE Corporation announced that its newly-developed LINK (LN) token is now tradeable on its native BITBOX cryptocurrency exchange in a press release Tuesday, October 16.

LINE, which launched BITBOX in July, will offer trading against three cryptocurrency assets – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT) – out of a total of thirty currently available on the exchange. BITBOX does not offer fiat trading.

In future, LN holders will be able to spend their holdings in LINE’s decentralized application (DApp) system, also currently under development, the press release notes.

“We’re very pleased that users are now able to trade LN on BITBOX, which is a major step forward in our plans for creating a token economy,” LINE CEO Takeshi Idezawa commented in the release, continuing:

“We think it is important to promote co-creation and mutual growth with LINK, while ensuring BITBOX continues to develop as a user-friendly platform that adds value to those who use it and contribute to our services.”

Along with promotional activities such as an airdrop of TRON (TRX) tokens for LN holders, the move marks the latest step in the company’s continued efforts to embrace the crypto economy.

As Cointelegraph reported in August, LINE’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary Unblock launched a $10 million “corporate token fund” with the aim of “boosting the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.”

Separately, internet conglomerate GMO Internet Co. Ltd revealed plans earlier this month to launch a cryptocurrency stablecoin pegged to the Japanese yen.

Article First Published here

Bitmain IPO: Trial by Fire for the Mining Equipment Giant

The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Cointelegraph.com

Bitmain, the world market leader for mining equipment, on the eve of an epic IPO — which could become the largest in the entire history of the IT market — is experiencing an equally epic publicity and information attack. Despite the fact that the upcoming IPO is getting closer, as demonstrated by a draft application for registration recently filed by the company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, its success may be questionable. 

The fact is that, since Aug. 21, official refutations have started to appear on the internet from companies that were previously listed in the Bitmain investor list. Beginning with SoftBank, the rumor about participation in the company’s IPO was also denied by DST Capital.

Without making unequivocal conclusions, let’s try to figure out whether there is any smoke when it comes to Bitmain’s IPO claims — to which its founder, Jihan Wu, prefers not to respond.

Reconnaissance

On June 6, media presented information that Bitmain’s IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was scheduled for September 2018 and, according to investment analysts, was expected to raise anywhere from $3 billion to $18 billion, thereby becoming the largest initial public offering in the IT market’s history, beating Facebook with its $16 billion.

However, on August 6, the company gave a more cautious outlook on the IPO date, taking the gap between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. Nevertheless, a draft application for the listing on the Hong Kong Exchange indicates that the giant’s intention is getting stronger and the date for the launch of the initial offering is getting closer. Additionally, as part of the approval process, Bitmain has submitted a prospectus where it reported new financial data which was closed before.

According to the updated information, Bitmain earned $701 million in net profit in 2017, while various estimates show that the annual income for the same period ranged from $1 billion to $4 billion. A gross income claimed for the first half of 2018 exceeded the one received for the whole previous year and comprised $743 million, despite a significant fall in the crypto market.

However, according to the report published by BitMEX at the end of August, Bitmain could face “visible losses, which might be caused by “allegedly investing the majority of its operating cash in 2017 in acquiring Bitcoin Cash (BCH).” Experts believe the estimated potential losses could reach $328 million.  Additional calculations show that the ratio of the $2.5 billion revenue to the $701 million net profit in 2017 is more positive than that of 2018 ($2,5 billion and $743 million). Further analysis made by the BitMEX team implies “Bitmain are currently loss-making, with a negative profit margin of 11.6% for the main S9 product and a margin of over negative 100% on the L3 product.”

Given the continuing decline in Bitcoin’s price and the challenging situation in the mining hardware market, some experts suggest that the company’s IPO may become a challenging task. Although the corporation still remains the industry leader, with 60-70 percent share of the ASIC production market.

As of the beginning of October, the capitalization of Bitmain has reached $12 billion with its latest funding round in August 2018 reported to be $442.1 million. In total, Bitmain has raised $784.8 million to date and was rumored to have accumulated around 51 percent of the Bitcoin network hash — or that it was at least close.

One of the reasons the research group Sanford C Bernstein & Co. is given as an argument on why Bitmain may strongly need to start its IPO, is increased competition. Wall Street may also be occupied by the company Chinese Canaan Inc., whose value is estimated at about $500 million and Ebang International Holdings Inc., registered in the Cayman Islands. Both companies also announced an IPO with plans to begin before the year ends, which will also take place on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. According to Reuters, Ebang is planning to raise up to $1 billion, while Canaan is targeting at least $400 million, which in total is 2 times smaller than the sum planned by Bitmain.

The challenges Bitmain is facing

In the middle of the summer, the media reported that Bitmain had held its first round of the pre-IPO and that among the investors there was a co-owner of Uber, Japanese SoftBank and Chinese IT giant Tencent, which developed the WeChat platform. WeChat itself is reported to be ahead of Facebook in terms of capitalization with the market valuation of $534,5 billion against $519,4 billion. Later, the insider information was released about DST Global participating in the pre-IPO.

Neither references to Bitmain’s publications disseminating information, nor the company’s comments on these data were provided. Information was distributed in Twitter with a reference to an investor deck screenshot.

By August, all three companies named originally as investors in Bitmain’s pre-ICO, have issued public denials. But this was only the beginning.

In late August — theoretically on the eve of September’s IPO, the analytical agency Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., which in 2000 merged with Alliance Capital, published a detailed report analyzing the challenges of Bitmain’s IPO.

The study is devoted to Bitmain and contains clear indications of the Chinese giant’s loss of technological advantage, connected with increased competition and the purchase of a large amount of Bitcoin Cash, which could pose a significant risk to the company if the digital token declines. Moreover, Bloomberg, which detailed the report of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., pointed out that analysts directly called for Bitmain’s technological partner — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. — not to produce chips for ASIC-miners without a full prepayment.

Meanwhile at the Bitmain headquarters

The Chinese giant is consistently expanding its mining empire. In August, Cointelegraph reported that NVIDIA left the mining equipment market, unable to withstand the severe competition of Bitmain. Thus, it appears that 85 percent of the world’s mining equipment production market has come under the control of Bitmain, a figure with which the analysts of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. agree.

More questions are raised by the above mentioned purchase of BCH, which according to some users, was either a risky investment, given the unstable market situation, or was made with the purpose of not disclosing Q2 income.

At the presentation for investors, Bitmain reported that, since the end of 2017, it consistently traded Bitcoin Cash for any available Bitcoin, despite the fact that the company lost about $500 million. A slide taken from an investor deck was published in Twitter, and caused a stormy reaction in the crypto community.

While information about the future IPO and the monopolized market was teeming with passion, Jihan Wu himself shared his opinion regarding the futility of ICOs and the prospects for Bitcoin Cash in an interview with Coingeek.

An imperturbable 32-year-old Chinese billionaire called ICOs “a bubble that will last for two years and then burst,” followed by the securities of crypto startups released on the blockchain. The Bitmain owner predicted a rate of $100,000 of Bitcoin’s fork — Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — and a dominant position in the market by 2023, as he believes only BCH corresponds to the real vision of Satoshi Nakamoto. Having intrigued Bitcoin evangelists in this way, Jihan Wu completed the interview without commenting on the prospects of his future IPO.

Possible scenarios

Bitmain has accumulated a lot of BCH, but there is no liquid market and there is no demand outside the market. A lot of ASIC-devices were released, but their profitability decreases as the complexity of BTC mining grows. So far the company has not developed any AI initiatives since the moment Jihan mentioned his plans to take on Nvidia.

The IPO process may be hindered by some of Bitmain’s mistakes, such as “producing too many units and buying too many speculative altcoins in a bull market,” BitMEX analysts say. Still they are not so catastrophic and “typical” of mining producers management teams.

The exchange specialists predict that in order to keep their industry dominance and achieve higher results, “the Bitmain management team may need to improve their management of company resources. Once the company goes public, capital allocation decisions in this volatile and unpredictable market will be difficult enough, letting emotions impact too many investment decisions may not be tolerated.”

Perhaps, the giant will reconsider their target sum for the IPO due to revealed losses, and increased competition.

Article First Published here

China: Insurance Giant Ping An Releases "White Paper on Smart Cities," Advocates for Blockchain

China’s Ping An Insurance, one of the world’s largest insurance company groups, has released a “White Paper on Smart Cities,” advocating for blockchain tech, AI, big data, and cloud computing, People’s Daily reports August 22.

Ping An Insurance, a Chinese conglomerate with operations in insurance, banking, and financial services, was ranked the third most valuable global financial services company in the world as of May 2018.

According to People’s Daily, the company released its “White Paper on Smart Cities” on August 21. The reported goal is to “help the government to create a new model of “city as a service” governance” and to “propose a comprehensive, systematic, highly-recognized methodology and solution, with “wisdom, [and intelligence]” as the main line of thinking.” The document adds:

“In promoting the development of “smart city”, Ping An puts forward the system of [intelligence] in the perspective of service and creativity, and promotes it with practice. At present, Ping An has mastered a large number of core professional technologies and is more confident in this field. Ping An’s five core technologies: biometrics, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud platforms have reached the global leading level.”

China is one the leading countries in the world when it comes to implementing new technologies, such as blockchain, AI, internet of things (IoT) in the creation of “smart cities,” of which the country plans to establish one thousand.

Currently, one of the most successful Chinese “smart cities” is Xiong’an, which was declared by President  Xi Jinping as a special economic zone back in October 2017. In July of this year, Xiong’an’s government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ConsenSys, with plans for the company to advise the government on blockchain software solutions.

Article First Published here

Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Launches Enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in a press release published today, August 17.

The new tool, dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform, aims to enable businesses to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch.

According to the press release, the service will offer smart contract functionality for “public and private enterprise clouds.” JD outlines a range of potential use cases for the platform:

“The technology can help companies streamline operational procedures such as tracking and tracing the movement of goods and charity donations, authenticity certification, property assessment, transaction settlements, digital copyrights, and enhance productivity.”

JD presents the BaaS tool as the “latest expansion” of its Retail as a Service (RaaS) strategy, through which it aims to make advanced technologies and infrastructure accessible to other businesses and industries.

The platform will host an app store that offers different “blockchain bottom layers, tools and software” that have either been developed in-house or by independent software developers. While these latter are not specified in the press release, JD says it will oversee and implement “stringent quality control over the offerings on the app store.”

The first partner to use the platform is reportedly the China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) for creating a blockchain-based electronic invoice system to trace “fapiao” — the Chinese term for official tax authority-approved invoices.

As Cointelegraph has reported, major firms including WeChat giant Tencent, alongside China’s municipal authorities, have recently been turning to blockchain-based e-invoice systems in order to achieve a frictionless link between enterprise and consumer entities and state tax services.

While JD is by no means a newcomer to the blockchain space,  other Chinese corporations have preempted its BaaS offering. In April, telecoms giant Huawei revealed its Hyperledger-powered BaaS tool, which is similarly geared towards cloud-based smart contract development and efficient blockchain solutions for businesses.

Article First Published here

Crypto Mining Giant Canaan Unveils First-Ever Bitcoin Mining Television


Canaan Creative has launched what it hopes will be the future of the blockchain and the first of a series of releases that will improve its position as it battles for increased market share in the bitcoin mining device market.

Dubbed the AvalonMiner Inside, the smart TV also doubles as a bitcoin mining device, and while some dismiss it as a marketing stunt, Canaan believes that this could be the future of bitcoin mining.

The ASIC Killer?

Canaan Creative is the world’s second-largest maker of bitcoin mining equipment behind Bitmain. While Bitmain controls an estimated 70 percent of the mining rig market in addition to its substantial bitcoin mining operations, Canaan controls about 17 percent.

Canaan’s ‘AvalonMiner Inside’, has the capacity to process 2.8 trillion hashes per second which might sound like a lot, until the capacity of existing ASIC rigs is taken into consideration. The most powerful mining rig in Canaan’s current inventory can process 11 trillion hashes per second, which means that the AvalonMiner Inside only has about a quarter of the power available to a regular mining rig.

Even including the added features like voice control, real-time bitcoin mining profitability display and a link to Canaan’s entertainment platform where users can pay for content and gifts using mined bitcoin, this still does not seem on the surface to be a device that is practical.

The catch however, is that Canaan has not built a device that is intended to directly compete with Bitmain’s Antminer or other comparable ASIC miners. What Canaan is trying to do is to build a new generation of blockchain-enabled IoT devices that blend into the background.

These devices will expand the blockchain and increase its hashrate while simultaneously reducing the centralization risk inherent to the dominant model of large bitcoin mining farms. Instead of taking on Bitmain in a potentially painful price war on a turf that has only one clear leader, Canaan hopes to democratize bitcoin mining by making people buy mining devices for reasons other than bitcoin mining.

A network of five million networked devices operating at 25 percent of an ASIC miner’s capacity will, in theory, produce better results than a network of 500,000 ASIC miners working at full capacity.

Criticisms and Upcoming IPO

Some, however, insist that the device is little more than a self-promotion gimmick, offering no real utility to users. Speaking to the South China Morning Post recently, Xiao Lei, a bitcoin analyst bsed in Beijing said:

“It looks more like hype. It will be more meaningful if these companies are able to embed the mining function into existing major TV brands.”

CCN reported in May that Canaan’s big rival Bitmain is set to go public in a record-breaking IPO. Canaan itself recently filed for its own upcoming IPO in Hong Kong estimated at $1 billion, and it no doubt has an eye on Bitmain’s existential threat with the launch of the new device.

An excerpt from its IPO filing reads:

“If we cannot maintain the scale and profitability of our single line of system products and, at the same time, offer new products, our ability to continue to grow will suffer.”

The Chinese government’s stance on cryptocurrency mining and exchange activities poses another significant risk to Canaan’s business. According to the South China Morning Post, this is a major motivation for Cannan’s proposed plan to list in Hong Kong instead of mainland China.

Featured image from Canaan.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement


Article First Published here

Japan’s Tech Giant Sony Offers Solutions for Boosting Blockchain Hardware in Two Patents

Japanese electronics giant Sony has filed two patents for boosting blockchain-based ecosystems, according to filings 20180218027 and 20180219686 published by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) Aug. 2.

Through the patents, Sony intends to improve the design and structure of blockchain hardware by introducing new circuitries to the processes of distributed ledger technology.

The first application, entitled “Electronic Node and Method for Maintaining a Distributed Ledger,” describes an electronic device for maintaining a blockchain based on multiple electronics nodes, including multiple blocks associated with at least one of the existing blocks.

The patent explains a scheme of adding new blocks on а distributed ledger in a compressed format, which contributes to the establishment of а competitive manner of nodes that perform mining process, implying that a smaller block produced by the node can be achieve a bigger reward.

In the second patent “Device and System,” Sony proposes a way of maintaining a blockchain by multiple virtual nodes, suggesting a mechanism of accessing the distributed ledger via at least one of these nodes.

By incorporating virtual nodes, Sony intends to ensure the integrity of the blockchain in cases “where the number of devices is small or becomes small;” for example, if a number of devices went down.

Founded in 1946, the Sony Corporation had previously paid tribute to the fast growing technology of blockchain; however, the latest patents are the company’s first introduction into a hardware system of distributed ledger.

In 2017, the multinational conglomerate filed a patent application for a blockchain-powered multi-factor authentication system (MFA), proposing a combination of two different distributed ledgers to conduct the login process.

Also in 2017, Sony partnered with tech giant IBM to develop an educational platform based on blockchain to provide secure sharing of student records.

Recently, U.S. retail giant Walmart applied for a patent on the management of smart appliances via blockchain, which would maintain the private keys in order to authorize a transaction. Earlier in July, Bank of America (BoA) filed a patent for a blockchain-powered system of data validation that offers tracking of sources of information by confirming resource transfers.

Article First Published here

Banking Giant Trials Blockchain for Issuance of Land-Backed Loans

The Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), one of the world’s largest banks by total assets, has completed the issuance of a loan worth $300,000 using a blockchain system.

The bank tested the technology for the first time in one of its branches in China’s Guizhou province which issued a loan backed by a piece of agricultural land as collateral, a local financial news source reported on Tuesday.

The ABC said the blockchain system is deployed among various nodes to facilitate the loan issuance including other commercial banks, the provincial branch of the People’s Bank of China as well as the local government’s Land and Resources Bureau.

By having a distributed ledger to keep parties updated with the data of borrowers and their collateral, the bank said the tamper-proof blockchain can streamline the manual process of approving loans and eliminate the problem of double spending – borrowers using the same piece of agricultural land as collateral to apply for loans from different banks.

The blockchain application is part of the bank’s effort to bring wider access to loans for farmers and businesses who own agricultural land in rural China.

Following the initial testing result, the ABC aims to further expand the application to issuing loans that are backed by other types of assets such as real estate properties in the future.

Listed in both mainland China and Hong Kong with a total asset of $3 trillion as of December 2017, the ABC is one of the “Big Four” state-owned commercial banks in China and also the fourth largest bank in the world by total asset.

Currently, out of the 26 publicly-listed banks from China, 12 of them have already started working on blockchain technology.

The ABC’s annual filing disclosed early this year shows the state-owned entity has also developed a decentralized network to issue unsecured loans in smaller amounts via an automated process for agricultural e-commerce merchants.

ABC image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

Chinese Banking Giant Trials Blockchain to Issue Land-Backed Loans

The Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), one of the world’s largest banks by total assets, has completed the issuance of a loan worth $300,000 using a blockchain system.

The bank tested the technology for the first time in one of its branches in China’s Guizhou province which issued a loan backed by a piece of agricultural land as collateral, a local financial news source reported on Tuesday.

The ABC said the blockchain system is deployed among various nodes to facilitate the loan issuance including other commercial banks, the provincial branch of the People’s Bank of China as well as the local government’s Land and Resources Bureau.

By having a distributed ledger to keep parties updated with the data of borrowers and their collateral, the bank said the tamper-proof blockchain can streamline the manual process of approving loans and eliminate the problem of double spending – borrowers using the same piece of agricultural land as collateral to apply for loans from different banks.

The blockchain application is part of the bank’s effort to bring wider access to loans for farmers and businesses who own agricultural land in rural China.

Following the initial testing result, the ABC aims to further expand the application to issuing loans that are backed by other types of assets such as real estate properties in the future.

Listed in both mainland China and Hong Kong with a total asset of $3 trillion as of December 2017, the ABC is one of the “Big Four” state-owned commercial banks in China and also the fourth largest bank in the world by total asset.

Currently, out of the 26 publicly-listed banks from China, 12 of them have already started working on blockchain technology.

The ABC’s annual filing disclosed early this year shows the state-owned entity has also developed a decentralized network to issue unsecured loans in smaller amounts via an automated process for agricultural e-commerce merchants.

ABC image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Eyes $1 Billion Pre-IPO Financing: Report


Already the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency company, Chinese bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain is reportedly enticing investors toward a new $1 billion financing round ahead of its anticipated public listing in Hong Kong.

According to regional news resource Toutiao, Bitmain is looking at a new round of financing – its biggest yet – near the end of July that would see firm valued just a peg below semiconductor giant AMD, with a current market cap of $15.5 billion.

Notably, the funding round is valuing Bitmain at $14 billion pre-investment, a 16.5% increase from the company’s $12 billion valuation just last month after it closed a $400 million financing round. Altogether, Bitmain could be valued at $15 billion before the end of July if it completes its reported nine-figure funding round in the coming days.

Founded in 2013, Bitmain has become the dominant developer and manufacturer of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips that are commonly used to mine cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. According to the report, Bitmain sold $2.3 billion in ASIC chips, second only to Huawei as China’s leading IC developer in 2017. Bitmain also notched $2.5 billion in revenue with $1.25 billion in net profits last year.

Bitmain could be valued at $15 billion following its latest financing round.  Pictured: Bitmain’s Antminer ASIC chips. Source: Bitmain

Earlier this year, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu revealed the company would strategize a marked foray into designing ASIC chips for applications in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. With an established product line under its AI chip brand ‘Sophon’, Wu estimates that Bitmain’s AI division could be responsible for up to 40 percent of the company’s revenues within five years.

Not content with raising finances, Bitmain has also been diversifying with a number of notable investments of its own. In May this year, Bitmain led a $3 billion financing round of Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency exchange Circle, which announced plans to launch its own stable cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. The firm also gained a controlling stake in popular web browser Opera with a $50 million investment—— earlier this month. Opera has since launched an updated version of its browser – currently in beta – with a built-in Ethereum wallet that also supports ethereum-based tokens.

In a targeted expansion, Bitmain is also carving an entry into the traditional technology industry by rubbing shoulders among Silicon Valley’s elite with a new 20,000 square foot office in San Jose, California. The company is also expanding its research and development center in Israel, tripling its employee ranks in the country.

All of which sees a heightened and robust interest among venture capital giants and investors queuing up to get a piece of Bitmain before its anticipated initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong’s primary stock exchange later this year. Bitmain is expected to share its prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and make a formal submission of its IPO in August ahead of its listing before the turn of the year. If successful, Bitmain could go public with a market cap of up to $40 billion, according to local Chinese media.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement


Article First Published here

South Korean Telecoms Giant KT Has Built Its Own Blockchain

KT Corporation, one of the two largest telecoms companies in South Korea, has launched a proprietary blockchain network, aiming to apply the technology across areas including ID verification, data roaming and energy trading.

According to a report from CoinDesk Korea, the firm revealed its KT Network Blockchain on Tuesday, boasting a throughput of 2,500 transactions per second (TPS) thanks to an integration with its existing high-speed commercial network.

The company further claims it can scale up that figure to 10,000 TPS by the end of the year and even as high as 100,000 TPS by 2019.

With the launch, KT said it is now looking to employ the technology to authenticate users’ identities in order to streamline international roaming services. The feature would allow users’ information to be securely shared among global partners over a distributed network.

For the first stage of the plan, the telco said it will work with China Mobile and Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo to start exploring the tech in international data roaming within the year.

KT Network Blockchain is also expected to play a role in energy trading in the second half of the year, with corporations participating as nodes to exchange unused energy quotas across the distributed network.

Today’s announcement follows a plan – announced by KT in April – to use a new telecommunications system integrated with blockchain security solutions as part of a digital infrastructure project dubbed “Future Internet.”

Network cables image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

A Japanese Telecom Giant Wants to Use Blockchain to Store Contracts

Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) may be looking to invent a new contract agreements system based on blockchain technology, according to a patent application published Thursday.

The world’s fourth-largest telecom provider details how it could use the application to store contracts without allowing for documents to be tampered with. As outlined, the system would use a blockchain to both encrypt the contract, as well as store it in a decentralized manner, which can simplify the process by which it is verified by removing the need for centralized management.

The “receiver of a transaction on an issued contract” would generate a new transaction able to be linked to an original “contract transaction,” written on a block in the chain.

The document explains:

“The present invention uses a blockchain as evidence of a contract made among a plurality of parties. A contract here refers to a sales contract, a deed of transfer, an application, a consent agreement, or the like, and is a document describing the content of a contract made among two or more individuals or bodies.”

All parties wishing to be involved in the agreement would link transactions to this principal virtual “contract transaction” that would eventually be returned to “the contract-issuing party to close the chain of transactions.”

Once closed, the patent explains there would be an “agreement verification apparatus” to ensure evidence of the contract on the blockchain is correct by comparing the public keys used for electronic signature at the start of the blockchain with the ones used at the end.

The whole system, according to Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, is “a simple method… maintaining the mode of one electronic signature per transaction, and maintaining credibility.”

Being the fourth largest telephone operating company in the world with a valuation quoted to be at $94.2 billion by Michigan TechNews, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone did announce in a press release last year that emerging technologies such as blockchain were making information and communications technology needs increasingly “more complex.”

NTT public phone image via psgxxx / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

Japanese Internet Giant GMO’s New Web Bank Will Use Blockchain for Payments


Multi-billion-dollar Japanese tech conglomerate GMO has launched a new internet banking business that will use blockchain technology for faster and cheaper payments and financial services.

In an announcement [PDF] on Tuesday, the GMO Internet Group confirmed the launch of the GMO Aozora Net Bank in partnership with Aozora Bank Group, a joint-initiative that has been in preparation since July 2016 that will leverage the use of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to provide new financial services through financial technologies.

The advent of a cashless society amid a proliferation of smartphones and rapid advancements of financial technologies in society has led to new financial services like ‘convenient [and instant] settlements’ coming to the fore, a press release from GMO Aozora Net Bank added, heralding itself as an “everything for customers, aiming [to become] the #1 technology bank” in a roughly translated motto.

Pointedly, the new bank confirmed it would be using decentralized blockchain technology to settle payments in a marked pivot away from traditional banking protocols that include an overseer or a middleman.

The new online bank said:

[T]hrough the application of blockchain technology, there is an increasing expectation for breakthroughs for safer and cheaper payments and financial services.

The new internet bank will see a majority ownership by Aozora Bank at 85.1% with the remaining stake split equally GMO Internet and GMO Financial Holdings.

The internet bank will be rooted with five specific pillars, namely “security, “speed”, “cheapness”, “convenience” and “new [user] experience”, the document added, further stating it eventually intends to become a “platform bank” that licenses its payments technology to companies across multiple industries.

GMO Internet’s latest financial foray with its new internet bank follows the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange, first announced in May 2017. Since then, GMO has also invested in its own bitcoin mining operation in Europe, paid employees in bitcoin and recently announced its cloud mining service for bitcoin and bitcoin cash, to be launched in August this year.

Last month, GMO unveiled its own bitcoin mining rig – the first indigenous crypto rig out of Japan – that will be shipped in October as the world’s first cryptocurrency miner to use 7nm semiconductor chips.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement


Article First Published here