Tesla: Elon Musk’s Cloud Hacked to Mine Cryptocurrency

According to security research firm RedLock’s Cloud Security Intelligence (CSI) team, electric car manufacturer Tesla’s cloud account was hacked and used to mine cryptocurrency. The report, released Monday, comes as crypto-related cybercrime is on the rise and users and exchanges are struggling to keep up with hackers and the constantly evolving methods they employ to steal money and information.

RedLock’s researchers say they found Tesla’s unprotected information on a Kubernetes console, which is a Google-designed system for optimizing cloud applications. It is this exposure that allowed hackers to access the company’s cloud. The breach was discovered last month when the CSI team was trying to determine who or what had left credentials for an Amazon Web Services account open to the public.

This isn’t the first instance the researchers uncovered: First there was Aviva, a British multinational insurance company, and then Gemalto, the world’s largest manufacturer of SIM cards. Before discovering Tesla’s security issue, RedLock reports that hackers had secretly infiltrated these organizations’ public cloud environments to mine cryptocurrencies as well.

RedLock immediately reported the incident to Tesla, and the company quickly attempted to fix things. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed that no customer data was compromised by the breach: “We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it,” the spokesperson said. “The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way.”

According to the report, once the hackers gained access to Tesla’s cloud servers they began running a mining protocol called Stratum to mine for cryptocurrencies, evading detection by obscuring the true IP address of the mining server and keeping the CPU usage low.

What’s particularly interesting is that, according to RedLock, using Tesla’s cloud account to mine cryptocurrency is more valuable than any data actually stored within it:

“The recent rise of cryptocurrencies is making it far more lucrative for cybercriminals to steal organizations’ compute power rather than their data,” RedLock CTO Gaurav Kumar told tech website Gizmodo.

Cryptojacking efforts like the one that hit Tesla are growing increasingly common. RedLock estimates that 58% of organizations that use public cloud services — such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud — have publicly exposed “at least one cloud storage service;” Of these, 8% have experienced some sort of cyberattack.


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Recently, Renping Liu (CTO of UCOT) and key members of his technical team came to visit Monash Universities cryptocurrency laboratory. This lab, located within the Faculty of Information and Technology, which is being operated by professor Dr. Joseph Liu is currently helping the ecosystem by developing practical Blockchain-based solutions with rigorous security that can, in addition to digital currencies, be applied in other domains.

During their visit, Dr. Liu and the UCOT team discussed the concept of Blockchain, its current applications, and privacy mechanisms that many projects are using to protect their user’s information and traceability.

It was also at this time that the two parties announced a strategic partnership, with Dr. Liu coming on the project as an official security advisor.

As a network security expert whose contributions have had a remarkable effect on the Blockchain industry, specifically his 2004 thesis on linkable ring signatures, which led to the creation of Monero (XMR), a privacy-based cryptocurrency with a market cap of over AUD 4.8bn, UCOT firmly believes that Dr. Liu will be a valuable asset to its company as it continues to strengthen the privacy of its network.

Besides his Hash focused laboratory and his work establishing Monero, Dr. Liu’s privacy-based work can be seen in many public Blockchain networks in use today.

monero

Apart from Blockchain privacy technology, Dr. Liu has conducted extensive work in cloud security, big data security, lightweight security and applied cryptography. Additionally, as a well-read academic, Joseph has published over 80 journal papers, conference articles and other various documents regarding his work, and in 2014 he won the best paper at Esorics (the European Symposium on Research in Computer Security).

During their meeting, Joseph’s team explained the research they had been conducting in details while highlighting various security and privacy functions that could be implemented in UCOT.

As an up-and-coming IoT (Internet of Things) Blockchain project, UCOT will focus on effectively integrating with smart IoT and supply chain management systems, thus, effectively being able to store large amounts of misappropriation-proof information. Such information (e.g., inventory levels, location data, temperature data, etc.) ensures that users requiring this information (such as businesses, their stakeholders, governments or customers) will be able to monitor and review a true account of this information without the potential of third parties or corrupt persons tampering with it.

System Framework

To fulfill its IoT and supply chain management goal, UCOT will provide its users with integrated services and features which will allow them the ability to review different goods and services information based on their needs. For example, a pharmaceutical company may wish to track the delivery of their drugs from warehouse to the pharmacy to ensure that their drugs aren’t being stolen or tampered with, or to see if their drugs are being stored in the right temperature. With UCOT’s technology, these users will be able to see exactly where their product is, what temperature it’s being stored at and where it’s being stolen or tampered with, thus allowing that company to find and eliminate these inefficiencies.

UCOT has created partnerships with many well-known brands and smart applications among various industries

Along with a Blockchain network, UCOT will implement an off-chain database, which will use big data to create easy-to-digest statistics for its users. UCOT will collect information from the Blockchain and will use that information to update its off-chain database to ensure consistency between the two. This database is essentially an auxiliary of the blockchain, as information stored in the database must be the same as that in the blockchain. This makes the retrieval of ciphertext from the database difficult.

Additionally, its transactions will not only contain IoT and supply chain management information but will also contain the number of blocks, thus allowing users to easily check the authenticity of the provided information.

 

As per the nature of a Blockchain, information stored on this network is transparent and can be viewed by all participants. Thus privacy protection is an issue that needs to be considered. To combat this, UCOT will encrypt all information on its network. This will not only provide its users with total privacy but will also allow for hierarchical access of control.

Coinciding with the security needs of UCOT, Dr. Liu’s team is currently focusing on technology that aims to strengthen security within databases through the creation of a ‘searchable encryption’ function that will prevent internal and external attacks. In addition to this, Dr. Liu’s team is working with the Swinburne University of Technology, with Swinburne’s team focusing on how to integrate this feature into Blockchain networks, which as an auxiliary benefit, will address many of UCOT’s security concerns.

Overall, through cooperation with Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, and Dr. Joseph Liu and his team, UCOT firmly believes that it will be able to provide an improved and effective way for companies to monitor, review and improve their business through access to reliable and accurate information, thus allowing them to remove inefficiencies and better understand their systems. As a secondary benefit, UCOT also believes that this information will be useful to governments, regulators, business stakeholders and customers – as information provided through this system will be able to be shown to these parties as being wholly true.

Today, Coinbase — cryptocurrency exchange, brokerage, wallet, and operator of GDAX — and Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex have announced the implementation of P2SH Segregated Witness (SegWit). As per the companies’ tweets, users will experience improved transaction processing times and lower fees across the Bitcoin network.

For Coinbase, this process began in December, when vice president and general manager Dan Romero indicated to investors and users that the exchange would adopt the SegWit protocol in early 2018

The protocol, an oft-debated measure introduced as a means of scaling Bitcoin to meet increased demand, is expected to decrease congestion in the cryptocurrency’s network, resulting in faster transaction times and lower fees.

Fees have been a huge problem for Bitcoin users — although they have fallen to recent lows at an average of $0.79 on Sunday. In December, amidst an upsurge in use and value of the cryptocurrency, prices reached peaks of up to $34.00.

What is SegWit?

SegWit is a Bitcoin protocol improvement that facilitates scaling. The SegWit implementation will provide Coinbase and Bitfinex users with lower transaction fees and improved processing times on transactions across the Bitcoin network. This happens by increasing block size limits by separating signature data from transaction data.

In addition to increasing capacity, SegWit will also effectively fix transaction malleability, a potential attack based on the modification of transaction IDs prior to network confirmation. Further, SegWit also lays the foundation for future Bitcoin development efforts like the implementation of Lightning Network, which will permit the network to process millions to billions of transactions per second.

Looking ahead

Moving forward, the question is what will happen as the Bitcoin network continues to grow. A hard-coded limit on the size of blocks limits how many transactions the network can process per second.

Some in the bitcoin community wanted to simply raise the block size — see Bitcoin cash. Instead of increasing the maximum block size, SegWit separates cryptographic signatures from the rest of the blockchain data, so these signatures aren’t counted against that one-megabyte block-size limit — consider it a de facto block-size increase.

That said, SegWit is not the be all end all: If 100% of transactions use the new protocol, it will roughly double the network’s capacity — but that’s it. Further increases will require more radical changes.

Coinbase

Romero said the exchange has carefully considered the implications of adopting SegWit:

“In terms of our engineering priorities, securely storing customer funds remains our top priority. Our next priority is to ensure that our platform remains performant during periods of peak volume,” Romero said.

The adoption of SegWit is a huge undertaking for the Coinbase because its platform is much larger than most other digital currency exchanges. The exchange has millions of users active each month, and it accounts for a significant portion of all Bitcoin trading. This means the impact of its decision to adopt SegWit could have repercussions on the entire cryptocurrency space.

NAGA has officially started the pre-registration for its fully-functioning, crypto-friendly NAGA Debit Card. There are 10,000 pre-registration slots available for the chip-based MasterCard. Further information on how to secure your personal pre-registration slot can be found on the NAGA Coin website.

Usability

The NAGA Debit Card will fill a huge hole in the current crypto sphere. By becoming the first fully-functioning debit card to allow funding by cryptocurrencies, the NAGA Debit Card will blur the lines between the words of crypto and fiat. This push to bring cryptocurrencies into everyday transactions sets the NAGA Debit Card apart from the many people who claimed to bring this development to the market, but who have all failed so far. NAGA will deliver, and at six months ahead of schedule.

The NAGA Ecosystem

The NAGA Debit Card will become the focal point of the whole NAGA Universe. Whilst entirely functional as a stand-alone top-up debit card, the NAGA Debit Card will also be directly connected to the ever-growing number of platforms in the NAGA Ecosystem. Social traders on NAGA TRADER (formerly SwipeStox) will be able to make profits on the stock exchange and send their winnings over to their debit card for when they head out to celebrate. While users of the soon-to-be-released gaming platform, Switex, will be able to sell their in-game items and then convert that capital into real world cash that can be spent both online and offline, all over the world.

The NAGA Coin

The fact that the NAGA Debit Card can be funded by all of the major cryptocurrencies is a game-changer, but one of the most exciting features of the NAGA Debit Card will be the incorporation of NAGA’s utility token, the NAGA Coin (NGC). As 2018 progresses, NGC will become the main unit of account on all NAGA platforms. Users of the NAGA Coin on NAGA TRADER and Switex will get reduced commissions and other benefits on both platforms and the transferring of NGC across the NAGA platforms to the NAGA Debit Card will be seamless.

Ahead of the Game

The NAGA Debit Card will be ahead of the game and continues the disruptive tone set by other NAGA products and services. After completing one of 2017’s most successful Token Sales, 2018 promises to be yet another year of growth, innovation, and progress for NAGA. Don’t miss out on your chance to be one of the first lucky 10,000 people to secure your NAGA Debit Card pre-registration slot.

ShineChain, A Global Mutual Insurance Community Based on Blockchain Technology, redefines the insurance marketplace. Led by its CEO Jin Hui, ShineChain is backed by a dedicated team of experts having an extensive industry experience and are all set to bring their vision to reality.

Jin Hui, the CEO of ShineChain, explains that industry experts realize that through the trust-creation and decentralization features, the blockchain technology can successfully tackle the challenges in the current insurance industry. Defining the scope of the project, Hui says:

ShineChain is opening a new chapter in the insurance industry, where blockchain technology is leveraged to insure the health and wellbeing of our members. In our society, we are seeing rapid development and drastic changes in our living and working environment. There are increasing instabilities, environmental disruptions and food safety issues.  Mutual Insurance has also become a necessary supplement to public and tradition commercial insurance programs.”

The ShineChain Platform & its Real Life Applications

Traditionally, the commercial insurance companies charge high premiums, have information asymmetry, risk of inflation and privacy concerns.

Once such example is the recent case of Aetna, the U.S. third-largest insurance provider having 23.1 million customers. As per California’s insurance commissioner’s investigation, a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath that he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care. The insurance commissioner says:

“If the health insurer is making decisions to deny coverage without a physician actually ever reviewing medical records, that’s of significant concern to me as insurance commissioner in California — and potentially a violation of law”.

ShineChain could solve such problems and other problems faced by both customers of health insurance as well as the lawmakers tasked with monitoring the lawful sale of these services. This is because its business model is based on blockchain technology, which eliminates the chances of insurance fraud, higher cost, inefficient data exchange, privacy leakages and improper decision making. As shown in Aetna’s case, these issues are inevitable in the traditional insurance model, but the ShineChain insurance system will mitigate these challenges.

In the context of Aetna case, it is evident that the health insurance company made decisions on the allocation of care without reading medical records. The use of block chain technology would have alerted the insurance monitors to this violation. This is because blockchain algorithms can be designed to keep track of the chain of custody for each individual document as it goes through the approval process. The person who reviewed the document and the time that they spent on each document can even be spent be logged to the page level. This is what ShineChain ecosystem is based upon, which makes it bear significant real-life implications in the current insurance industry. ShineChain is able to catch these inconsistencies in real time.

The Effective Process & SHE Tokens

ShineChain connects customers and insurance providers using blockchain based smart contacts. SHE Tokens are the unit of exchange for this system. They will be used to synchronize all the transactionional activities within the ecosystem. SHE synchronizes all transactional activities, value transferal and message delivery across the platform. SHE is governed by smart contracts. Users, investors and managers hold SHE, ensuring a healthy flow and circulation.

ShineChain intends to deploy its ecosystem on the global market. Plans are in place to initially promote the system in Japan, Korea, Britain, the United States, Dubai and then the globally after the transaction line is listed. ShineChain issues SHE tokens for platform trading, so that people around the world can participate in this blockchain mutual Insurance community.

Customers use SHE to pay premiums and gain SHE as compensation for claims. As a hedge against future token value deflation, the number of SHE tokens are locked after a user joins the ShineChain community.

ShineChain will have their product demo at the TokenSky Conference in Seoul, Korea on March, 14th and 15th 2018.  To learn more about this platform and invest in SHE tokens, please visit http://www.shinechain.org.

Stock photography emerged in the beginning of the last century, and stock agencies have been mediating image sales at a hefty premium ever since. This industry was created by the middlemen, and just like decades ago, most of the money ends up in their hands.

Whether reselling exclusive shots for magazines in the 1930s or licensing their vast online libraries for a subscription today, stock agencies have always kept a lion’s share of the image sale revenue. Even now they manage to take away up to 80% of the image earnings. Given that the still image market is predicted to hit $4.5 billion before 2020, industry giants are certainly comfortable with this state of affairs.

In the past few decades, stock photography has been shaped by major efforts of consolidation and restriction. Getty Images pursued an aggressive strategy of competitor acquisition. Once their strong rival, Corbis Corporation purchased and locked up a vast archive of historic images before getting acquired itself. However, focused on taking over the biggest market share, most stock agencies failed to reinvest their profits into improving the experience for existing contributors and consumers.

And now the profits are falling. In part, this is due to the costly acquisitions and library expansion the current stock agency model depends upon so heavily. But this model is hardly sustainable. Abundant photography is turning into a commodity, and as mere content resellers, agencies may ultimately be forced to lead a price war they won’t be able to afford if their spending keeps outpacing revenue growth. Ex-CEO of Getty Images once said that it is “lovely to get milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt and meat without buying the cow”, but what if everyone around is a farmer? If continued, this blind expansion will ultimately happen at the expense of the buyers’ wallets or the photographers’ payouts.

This is not the only force pushing photographer earnings down. In the past few years, social media, royalty-free microstock, and widespread access to quality gear have all made it harder for content creators to secure their income. Furthermore, they have no reliable and universal pricing mechanism at hand. The process of image valuation is currently obscure and varies from platform to platform. When each middleman arbitrarily slaps its own price on an image, both the seller and the buyer are cut out of the picture. Instead of obeying genuine supply and demand, such a market is driven by false signals that have little to do with actual quality, popularity, or novelty of images. This problem could be solved by introducing an open trading system, accessible to all buyers and sellers, scalable enough to accommodate the growing multitude of independent creators and billions of peer-to-peer transactions. A blockchain registry system can provide all of these benefits and more. Thanks to the intensive development and increasing maturity of this technology, this is a now top priority step on IPStock’s roadmap.

The current stock photography model with its undervaluation and vast image selection may seem to favor the buyers, but in fact it fails to make the market accessible to them. The payout cut on the photographer’s side doesn’t turn into a discount for the buyer, but makes up a bulky commission for the middleman instead. Huge independent collections of images take hours to sift through, and instead of direct cross-platform integration of metadata and statistics, the buyers have to adapt to the peculiarities of multiple separate search interfaces. Insights into the licensing history of a particular image are virtually non-existent. And the notorious “stocky” aesthetic is a direct product of centralization and intermediary selection policies. There are hardly any means or any will to address these issues in the realm of the traditional stock image industry. It has become as hard to navigate for the buyer as a giant overcrowded wholesale marketplace. IPStock proposes to level the playing field for the buyers by giving them direct access to blockchain registry, large-scale data analysis, and smart contracts.

Stock agencies may be waking up to these challenges, but the rules of the game are changing too profoundly for the old approach to remain relevant. A massive amount of authentic content makes its way to social media, and platforms for sharing free photography like Unsplash and Pexels are attracting a soaring community of creative professionals and amateurs. They are a living proof that image creators and consumers value direct connections, and prolific photo communities can thrive beyond obsolete licensing models. Both the demand and the supply are here: we just need a new formula to connect them.

Long Blockchain, the company formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea, has announced a new CEO and plans to spin off its original iced tea business. But there’s a problem: According to company’s balance sheets, it has no income or assets related to blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Long Blockchain has been attempting to rebrand itself — last year the company announced it was diversifying, shifting focus from beverages to blockchain technology — but investors aren’t buying. The company has been issued a second delisting notice from Nasdaq (the first notice being in October of last year before the company changed names) for failing to keep its market cap above $35 million. Shares were down 5% Tuesday at just over three dollars a share, giving the company a current market cap of $27.98 million.

Today, February 20th, the company announced a change in leadership. Shamyl Malik, who previously ran the firm’s blockchain efforts, has taken over as CEO, replacing Phillip Thomas:

“Shamyl has shown great initiative and leadership since joining the team, and his appointment as CEO and our planned spin-off will allow the Company to execute on a clear, focused Blockchain strategy,” Thomas said in a statement.

Obstacles:

In December the company announced its name change and diversification — which spurred a near tripling of its share price overnight. The problem is Long Blockchain’s financial documents don’t back this new direction up: According to its most recently filed balance sheet (from November) Long Blockchain currently owns no blockchain assets.

That said, the company has recently announced plans to merge with a New Zealand firm called Stater Blockchain Limited, a “technology company focused on developing and deploying globally scalable blockchain technology solutions in the financial market,” according to its website. If the buyout goes through, Stater Blockchain would become a subsidiary of Long Blockchain — meaning the company would actually gain tangible blockchain assets, which would include Stater’s in-house currency futures brokerage.

Long Blockchain’s pivot hasn’t been smooth. The company announced in January that it would spend $4.2 million to buy 1,000 cryptocurrency mining machines. It seemed to be a strange move: Mining high-risk and relatively unexciting compared to doing something like developing a cryptocurrency service or other blockchain-based venture. Less than a week after it’s announcement, Long Blockchain abandoned plans to sell stock to finance the purchase — by the end of the month it had abandoned the mining proposal entirely.

Larger trends:

Long Island Ice Tea wasn’t the first company, nor will it be the last, to try to take advantage of the media attention that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have commanded as of late. Others, like Kodak and Atari, have diversified their platforms too, with both companies recently putting forth plans to develop their own tokens. Like Long Blockchain, these fledgling companies have been met with some skepticism from experts and industry insiders. The company’s fourth-quarter balance sheet — required of all public companies within 45 days of the quarter’s end — is now one week overdue. 

The crypto-market has been booming for the last year and numerous exchanges have been created following the new trend. Almost all of them, however, have one main purpose – to make as much profit as possible. Tokens are getting listed just because their creators can afford the costly procedures and fees, and users are left speculating on the prices of assets with no real adoption. This only leads to a menacing bubble within the crypto-economy. In order for this disaster to be prevented or to reduce the risks of it of this, a team of people who believe in the future of blockchain has decided to concentrate only on those projects with actual value.

The trading platform Otcrit is working on, can be defined as the next step when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges. It will be interconnected with another product – the Otcrit platform, where their experts and community members will be constantly producing valuable information and reports about blockchain projects. People from all over the world will be able to publish analyses and reports on crypto-companies in various categories – team & founders, competition, industry, code evaluation, etc. Users on the Platform will be able to hire these specialists or community authors and pay them in OTC tokens to write private reports.

Otcrit’s database will help traders make better decisions and always stay informed. Considering how upcoming forks, updates, and milestones have a huge impact on the assets’ prices, the team will be updating them at all times. Based on numerous factors which go beyond market cap size, they will introduce the world to their own OT-100 Index, featuring the most well-perceived crypto-assets. These will also be enabled for over-the-counter trading on the exchange, making it easier and more accessible for the public to buy and sell large quantities of tokens without meddling with their prices.

What they have defined as even more crucial though is the adoption of crypto in real life. The exchange will be listing only projects with solid teams and business plans, the assets of which you can utilize to pay for actual services and products. Being listed on the Otcritex will not cost anything, while most of the rest in this sphere ask for hundreds of thousand dollars. This way many promising ICOs will be able to take advantage of the chance to get greater exposure. Companies’ assets that have been accepted on Otcritex will be tracked and if these projects are not living up to the promises that they make, they will be penalized. Those ventures that follow their roadmap and are completely transparent to their followers will be rewarded with a percentage of Otcrit’s profit, made from the trading of their token. However, the asset creators will not be the only ones to benefit from this business model.

Holders of Otcrit’s native token, OTC, will be awarded on a weekly basis with 10% of the company’s earnings. The rewards will be distributed in ETH.

According to the ambitious team, there will be no compromise when it comes to UI and UX. Most exchanges neglect their interface and fail to improve their user experience. Since this project is entirely community-centric, it will be improving constantly, based on the users’ feedback. Having responsive customer managers will also be a priority, considering how many traders have gone through the headache of needing weeks till an issue of theirs is resolved.

The founders’ main concern is having the distributed ledger technologies penetrate everyone’s daily lives instead of merely participating in any price speculations. It’s time to go back to the roots of the idea behind the blockchain – to increase the trust among peers, to eliminate third parties and the expenses coming from them and to give more liberty to the people. Only through pushing forward the mass adoption can a lasting crypto-economy be built. Otcrit will be dedicated to finding the diamonds in the rough and to making sure they get as much exposure as possible.

If you want to be a part of this positive change, then you can read more about on their website, check the Alpha version of the Otcrit platform and you can also join the exclusive token pre-sale which will last till the 15th of March.

Recently, we’ve seen a rapid increase in the widespread use of blockchain technology.

Only a few months ago, very few people had even heard of the blockchain or cryptocurrencies.

Now it feels like everyone is talking about them. Even some of the most technology-averse people we know have made investments in Bitcoin after witnessing how much attention it was receiving on the news.

This has been a massive, if extremely unexpected, step forward for the crypto community. Despite this, there are still some relatively significant barriers that are hindering the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Introducing the Internet of Value (IoV)

You’ve probably already heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), but the Internet of Value (IoV) is one buzzword you might not yet have come across. Many people have attributed the invention of the blockchain to the beginning of the Internet of Value.

To put it simply, the Internet of Value (IoV) will enable us to exchange any asset of value with another person – from stocks to votes, to frequent flyer points, to intellectual property, and more.

Until recently, transactions like this has required a third-party intermediary such as a bank or service (think AirBnB, Uber, etc).

However, blockchain technology allows us to completely cut out these middlemen and carry out transactions directly. This is extremely efficient, and significantly reduces the cost and saves time, whilst vastly increasing security.

As the widespread adoption of blockchain technology increases, it is likely that we will witness a rapid expansion in the IoV.

Increasing the Interoperability, Scalability, and Usability of the Blockchain is a Necessity

One of the blockchain’s most obvious applications is in the finance industry. However, there are still some significant barriers that are preventing our adoption of the technology.

Most of these problems are centered around the interoperability, scalability, and usability of the blockchain itself. Of all of these bottlenecks, it is most urgent that we attempt to increase the interoperability of the blockchain.

By doing so, we can transfer value more easily between different blockchains, program smart contracts with different tokens, and ultimately improve scalability more easily.

This will vastly increase our progression towards the IoV and bring it closer to reality.

Working Towards the Widespread Adoption of Blockchain

Fusion is one blockchain startup that is working towards breaking down some of these barriers to increase the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. They are aiming to create an inclusive system that connects a variety of tokens together in a more efficient manner.

The vast majority of token wallets currently in existence are limited to trading between tokens based on the same technology. However, Fusion’s crypto wallet is unique in that it can store all different values of tokens.

The platform has created a public chain that acts as a solution to many of the current bottlenecks on the Internet of Value.

It will enable multi-token smart contracts, parallel computing, off-chain data support, and multi triggering mechanisms for smart contracts (including time, data, etc).

Fusion founder, Dejun Qian, has stated:

“Fusion is an independent public chain that has multiple token smart contracts, which are distributed and can visit off-chain data sources and can run automatically by calling a list mechanism.”

It is becoming increasingly clear that the ability to trade bonds, currencies, properties, content, and identities in a secure manner without the intervention of a third-party is now almost a necessity.

Ultimately, the project aims to serve as the infrastructure for the Internet of Value. So far, the project has proved to be a hit and has raised over $50 million within 24 hours of its Initial Token sale.

A Blockchain Revolution…

The widespread adoption of blockchain technology has many notable benefits for both businesses and individuals. Most notably, these benefits include vast increases in security and transaction speed.

A 2015 report by Santander InnoVentures has even claimed that by 2022, blockchain could generate savings of between $15-$20 billion per year for cross-border payments.

It is becoming increasingly clear that blockchain technology has huge potential to change the way the financial industry operates.

As the industry powers forward at a faster rate than ever before, it’s only a matter of time before the Internet of Value takes over.

 

The NewsBTC team recently reached out to Kirill Suslov, the CEO of Finom to know more about the FIN token sale. We asked him a series of questions and this is what he had to say.

NewsBTC: The market was excited about the latest news – you became the industry’s first company to take a bold decision of starting a new token sale right after the first one. What was your main idea for the second campaign?

 Kirill: The FIN token sale focused on large market players and funds. Actually, we raised 80% of our funding at the presale stage. In total, more than 7,000 investors took part in the campaign, but there were not so many private investors. All contributors received NOM tokens as a bonus when purchasing FIN security tokens and asked a lot of questions on how they can apply them.

Exploring NOM applicability, we discovered that the more frequently the token works in the business ecosystem, the more services and transactions it serves, the greater benefit it brings. So we decided it should serve not only as a discount or a bonus tool for certain services but as a full-featured payment method within the platform. To that end, we should attract more private investors from the crypto community, the audience our ecosystem caters to, and reduce the initial purchase price in order to make the token more usable as a payment tool available even for small transactions. And, of course, we need many more NOM tokens for these purposes.

NewsBTC: What was the reaction of your investors? It’s a sensitive moment, isn’t it? 

Kirill: I would say it was… different, as nobody has done that before. And, I have to say, it was much better than we expected. At the end of the day, nobody needs a useless gift, so a NOM token that has more value and application is much more attractive. Many of our investors understand that more NOM token holders and more transactions within the platform mean more capitalization and more dividends to shareholders (FIN token holders).

NewsBTC: You issued two tokens: FIN security and NOM utility. Why do you offer both token types? You could have just implemented additional emission of your security tokens.

Kirill: Yes, we could have done it according to the US legislation, but for the second token sale we decided to focus on utility tokens only. The release of FIN tokens was a bit of an experiment. No one has ever done that before, especially if we are talking about legality. The FIN token sale was guided by SEC (Regulation D of the American Securities Act of 1933), and the funds are being handled by the US-licensed escrow agent SharesPost. In fact, we digitized our company’s shares and offered them up for sale as tokens. A FIN is a share in our company, and it gives its holders dividends and the right to vote. We were able to underpin the tokens with Finom’s real profits.

However, security tokens have a certain drawback: according to the US legislation, they must be frozen for a year. Utility tokens are more familiar to investors, easier to issue, easier and faster to trade on exchanges. So, it is still an interesting challenge to combine both types, although the second token sale will be just for NOM tokens.

NewsBTC: You claimed to solve a huge market challenge – to design an all-in-one and single-window solution for the whole crypto industry, including mining, trading, and banking. Do you think it’s possible to implement?

Kirill: Our aim is to design the solution that may be called a financial Google-flavored service with blockchain and artificial intelligence. In our case we have 5 existing crypto services, forming an ecosystem of services with one login and one verification. Now we are working on services integration and reducing service commissions. In fact, when the services support each other, we do not need to pay a fee to different providers.

Indeed, such complex things like banking require huge expenses – for licenses, certificates, auditing and so on. However, we are still sure a platform where users get everything they need for their crypto operations including banking, payment processing and factoring right away is in high demand and can be implemented within the terms we offered in our roadmap.

NewsBTC: Why do you need the AI in your ecosystem?

Kirill: Virtual assistants are a good practice in the IT industry – Google Maps and Google Now, Alexa and Siri, AVR in the telco industry, and even bots in almost all the corporate channels, including banks. Ours will help the system to adapt to the goals of each user and suggest the most beneficial and relevant solutions. For example, the smart assistant can advise a user what to mine, when it’s better to buy some assets to increase revenue – as these processes are always ongoing and depend on a huge amount of factors, we need to add these AI and machine learning components.

NewsBTC: What do you mean by a single window in your ecosystem, can you give an example?

Kirill: Well, we developed the Beetle app for purchasing Bitcoin or Ethereum via bank cards. It is combined with Cryptonit exchange, where users actually buy coins through Beetle’s interface. This app was one of our first joint projects. In the upcoming weeks, Beetle and Cryptonit users will have one login and one verification for both services.

The second example is Finom Cloud Mining, a service for renting computer power to receive revenue in cryptocurrencies. We’re launching it in March 2018. The equipment installation and maintenance are covered by Finom. This Cloud Mining service is based on our Cryptal mining center and Nanopool mining pool. Some of the crypto coins will be mined via Nanopool to strengthen the pool and make the cloud mining cheaper for its users.

NewsBTC: So how many businesses and services are in Finom Group now?

Kirill: We have 5 services now –  Nanopool, TabTrader, Cryptonit, Cryptal and Beetle.io. We are going to release some more soon: for example, a desktop application for mining with an easy interface and auto-selection of the most profitable coins for mining.

NewsBTC: Now it seems that you have no experience with banking services yet. How do you plan to cover this area?

 Kirill: Sure enough, we faced banking with its operations and processes when back in 2014 we created a crypto terminal. Since then, we have become very closely acquainted with many banking aspects starting from licensing to legal approval. Now I can say we understand confidently how banking works and how it should work in the crypto industry. By 2020, we’re going to have a licensed bank and transform it into a crypto one with a network of crypto terminals.

A bit sooner, in 2018, we plan to release crypto e-wallets with linked debit cards. Miners will be able to use recently mined coins right away, transferring them to their wallets immediately. We’re also designing a platform for peer-to-peer lending.

NewsBTC: What is already done from your roadmap?

Kirill: In December 2017, Nanopool launched its seventh mining pool for a new cryptocurrency – Electroneum. The TabTrader team added Binance exchange to the app and is negotiating with Tidex and Lykke. Binance became the 23rd exchange in TabTrader.

Then, Nanopool received an ICP license (№ 苏ICP备17001807号-8) from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China. The document allows the pool to be officially represented in the internet space of China and to work with its citizens. This happened with the help of our new advisor Xiaochen Zhang, President of Blockchain Frontier Group.

In January, Cryptonit exchange was reopened to new users, following extensive site rebuilding and rebranding. The exchange’s interface and trading engine have been completely revamped; it will allow the service to cope with larger loads.

We are going to announce more good news regarding our roadmap implementation very soon.

NewsBTC: What exchanges will trade your tokens, besides your own?

 Kirill: We plan to release NOM tokens on the key crypto exchanges in March 2018. We are working on agreements with Bittrex, Exmo, CEX, YoBit, BitFinex, Wex, Liqui, Livecoin, Cryptopia, Binance and Mercado Bitcoin.

FIN tokens will catch up to the NOM ones only 1 year later, as they are regulated by the US trade legislation and that’s why they have to be frozen for this period. This is common practice for the stock market. The lock-up period allows a reduction of the assets’ volatility and of the risks of insider dealing when entering the exchange.

All (except the US residents) will be able to trade FIN tokens at Cryptonit in 2H 2018.