New malware uses Telegram app to replace crypto addresses

Cybercriminals are exploring every method they can to get to your crypto, and the latest malware is proof of the ever-evolving tactics. Known as Masad Stealer, the new malware strain uses the Telegram messaging app to exfiltrate the stolen information. Other than stealing crucial information such as browser passwords, the malware is able to replace crypto addresses from the clipboard with addresses controlled by the attackers.

Masad Stealer was discovered by security researchers from Juniper Labs. In their report, the researchers revealed that the malware is being advertised on black market forums under the name ‘Masad Clipper and Stealer.’ The most basic version of the malware is offered for free, with additional features being charged in tiers, the highest of which goes for $85.

There is at least one website, masadproject.life, dedicated to promoting the malware. The attackers have also established a Telegram group for their clients which already has hundreds of members.

The attackers’ main distribution tactic involves posing as legitimate software or bundling the malware into third-party tools. Some of the popular software products they have targeted include CCleaner, Tradesanta, Iobit, ProxySwitcher and Samsung Galaxy Software Update.

The malware is difficult to notice as it’s small in size, averaging 1.5 MB. Once it’s downloaded, it executes and immediately gets to work, collecting sensitive information from the host. This information includes system information, browser passwords, autofill browser fields, browser cookies, credit card browser data and cryptocurrency wallet addresses.

To ensure that it’s almost always running, the malware creates a scheduled task on the host machine that initiates every one minute.

It’s with cryptocurrency users that Masad Stealer is most lethal. The malware has been configured to recognize cryptocurrency addresses for over 20 cryptos, from BTC, Ethereum and Zcash to XRP, Dash and Lisk. Once the host copies a crypto address to the clipboard, the malware switches it with an address that belongs to the attackers.

One of the BTC addresses that the attackers have been swapping with has already registered 193 transactions, receiving 0.95 BTC at press time which is worth $7,500.

The report concludes, “Juniper Threat Labs believes that Masad Stealer represents an active and ongoing threat. Command and Control bots are still alive and responding as of this writing, and the malware appears to still be available for purchase on the black market.”

It’s been a hot summer for crypto malware, as CoinGeek reported recently. This year has seen a rebirth in the crypto malware menace, with millions of dollars being stolen in the past few months alone. Some of the most lethal malware campaigns include SkidMap which targeted Linux systems, Panda which is reported to be operated by Chinese hackers, Glupteba which relies on the BTC blockchain for extra resilience and Norman which is able to avoid detection.

Calvin Ayre: Long term value only comes from utility

Hedge your bets, because casino-like speculative trading in the cryptocurrency sector will be over soon. And what will replace these speculative exchanges, according to CoinGeek owner Calvin Ayre, is an exchange model that will be fiat on- and off-ramps into secondary markets for tokens built on top of the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain.

“There’s a lot of confusion around what’ happening with short-term token price, and token price right now is, first of all, a lot of it is artificial, it’s being manipulated by exchanges, exchanges aren’t regulated, a lot of people are getting hurt, and I’m hoping that over the next two years that we’re going to see I think it’s starting already, that governments are going to step in and get some kind of sanity in what’s going on,” Ayre said at the opening of the CoinGeek Seoul Conference in South Korea.

And the end of the day, he said, “long term value only comes from utility.” And as government step in, expect more anonymous tokens to be outlawed globally.

“The real world economy is going to be run by tokens that work inside the law. And BSV as an example not only platform that scales, it’s also dedicated to not changing this protocol which makes it a safer target for developing to, but it’s also designed to work inside regulatory environments,” Ayre noted.

It’s why BSV is the only option in the world today, particularly for application development. BSV, after all, is the only one that currently scales and represent real-world value of some sort—from securities to commodities, or even concert tickets.

“It’s all about scaling. At the end of the day, when you’re looking at these platforms from the perspective of application development whether for startups or enterprises, if it doesn’t scale you’re not going to get microtransactions and you’re not going to be able to create unique business models,” he explained.

The power of scaling takes the center stage at the CoinGeek Seoul Conference, with members of the cryptocurrency and blockchain community gathering at Le Meridien Seoul on Oct. 1 and 2 to discuss all the exciting developments happening on the BSV ecosystem.

“This conference is all about us spreading information about what’s possible on this technology and us wanting people that are involved in some facet or another on these other platforms that have technical challenges telling them that the technical challenges have all been solved here and there’s no need for you to keep over there, stay over there hoping that they can solve them when we’ve got them all solved,” Ayre said.

Read Calvin Ayre CoinGeek Seoul Conference welcome address:

Welcome to CoinGeek Seoul, our fourth technology conference, following our successful events in Hong Kong, London and Toronto. However wonderful those other events might have been, CoinGeek Seoul is unique, as it comes at a particularly extraordinary moment in time.

It’s been nearly one year since the hash war that helped secure the future of Bitcoin, by which I mean Bitcoin’s original protocol, which will soon be locked in place so that companies can focus on development. Early next year, the Bitcoin Satoshi Vision network’s Genesis upgrade will restore all remaining opcodes from Satoshi’s original design, after which the protocol will be locked down. After years of frustration, businesses will finally have a stable and scalable foundation on which to build, and with it the confidence to take risks, knowing that the ground won’t be shifting under their feet.

The past year we’ve seen record-breaking blocks mined both on the STN Testnet (2gb) and in the wild (256mb). The Genesis upgrade will go even further, removing all artificial caps on blocksize, thereby empowering miners to set limits as they see fit in an infinitely scalable environment.

My good friend, Dr. Craig Wright created Bitcoin not as a passive store of value but as a tool. A tool that allows the world to create, to build, to earn and – most importantly – to use. BSV is currently only teasing it’s potential, but in the coming months the world will begin to discover the infinite depths of this potential.

It’s truly an exciting time to be alive.

At long last, the greatest invention of our time is being unchained from its shackles and the commercial world will never be the same. Businesses are being handed a golden opportunity to blaze new paths, to build applications that solve real-world problems through the benefits of blockchain technology, safe in the knowledge that the rules underpinning this technology won’t change after the game is begun.

Given all the disinformation that plagues our industry and the seemingly non-stop emergence of fly-by-night ‘me too’ coins, it’s truly amazing how BSV has managed to achieve such traction in such a short period of time. 

It’s easier than ever to buy BSV as more exchanges offer it for trade and sites like BuyBSV.com allow people to buy directly with fiat currencies.

Applications like Twetch, WeiBlock and Streamanity are giving people the ability to earn BSV by creating content that engages audiences. Bypassing traditional social and video channels, content creators are now making money directly from their viewers without the need for middlemen.

And how can we forget Unwriter, who has provided a vast array of tools that allow developers to begin building with BSV both swiftly and efficiently.

Over the next few days, we’ll hear from some of the people behind such success stories, like Paul Chiari, whose on-chain weather app WeatherSV has given us a glimpse into the future of mining profitability. As the block rewards continue to halve, it’s these sorts of apps that will enable continued growth in transaction volumes, ensuring that miners continue to earn a just reward for securing the network.

In the years to come, the continued success of BSV will be down to you, the builders who develop the next killer app, and the investors who empower creators to exploit BSV’s limitless potential.  

The next few days here in Korea will prove both exciting and informative. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take the lessons learned here and spread the gospel of BSV through the fruits of your labours. The future is here, now, and you have a role to play. The platform on which we stand is stable and ready to support whatever you want to build and whatever your imagination can conceive.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, architects of the future, I welcome you all to the fourth CoinGeek conference, Seoul 2019.  

Watch the CoinGeek Seoul Conference Day 1 livestream here.

https://youtu.be/TmwzC01Qd1w

Watch the CoinGeek Seoul Conference Day 2 livestream here.

Jimmy Nguyen talks about benefits of Bitcoin Association Pitch Day

As CoinGeek Seoul is set to begin this week, the Bitcoin Association are starting off the week with something they’ve never done before. The group have gathered Bitcoin SV (BSV) companies and interested investors to have the first ever Pitch Day. To talk about how it all came together, Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen joined CoinGeek’s Stephanie Tower on the sidelines of the event.

The reasons why the Bitcoin Association put this together are pretty easy to understand. “We created this as a service for Bitcoin Association to be able to connect the great number of BSV ventures, startups that are happening on this, great people building on Bitcoin SV with the investor community,” Nguyen explained. “As a startup entrepreneur, you need investment to support yourselves, and there’s such excitement happening now in BSV development so essentially putting them together.”

Every idea has to come from a bit of inspiration though, and this one was no different. The last CoinGeek conference had a lot to do with this one having a Pitch Day. “In the CoinGeek Toronto conference, I got so many requests to take meetings for venture pitches,” Nguyen recounted. “I said, let’s create an event where we ask the entrepreneurs to submit investment materials which I and a few other people including the team from Two Hop Ventures screened. We selected top ones, and we’ve got about 15 here that have come to Seoul to pitch their projects in front of a room full of investors.”

And as Nguyen told Tower, the event has a dual purpose. “I was able to help gather investors from across Asia and other places to come here, so it’s got the benefit of giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to access room full of investors and also getting more investors knowledgeable and interested in the BSV ecosystem.”

And while they’ve been learning a lot, the Investors have also had some interesting pitches to entertain. “It’s a bit like Shark Tank but it’s not a competition,” Nguyen noted. “I think all of the investors so far that I’ve talked to have been really impressed by how heartfelt the startup entrepreneurs are in their feeling about BSV. They’ve also come in and said we choose to build on BSV. We choose BSV, I’d like to say, and they’ve explained why they chose BSV, why they want to help Bitcoin SV, so I think that’s been heartening to see.”

As Jimmy Nguyen has often preached, the Bitcoin industry has to grow up and professionalize. This event is a step towards doing that. “I think the process has also forced and challenged these young entrepreneurs to actually outline a business plan—think about things like how to generate revenue, what’s my operating expense going to be, how much money do I need to raise, who are my competitors, all those things that, as someone who has worked in the business world for a long time, I know you need to do for business planning.”

Another element that Pitch Day helps emphasize is the welcoming nature of the Bitcoin community, and Nguyen hammered that home. “We’ve seen a range of people today already who are experienced business owners, someone who’s had four businesses successful in China before to a young developer who’s never started a business before but has been great at creating great tools and applications on BSV, so it tells you the range of people interested in saying we choose SV.”

If you couldn’t make it to Seoul for this first pitch day, Nguyen noted that there will be future opportunities. “We plan to do this again before CoinGeek’s next big conference which should be in London in February 2020, so entrepreneurs, startup team members think about what your project might be,” he announced. “We’ll be making an announcement in the weeks to come about how you can submit your investment decks and materials to be considered for the second pitch day before CoinGeek London – February 2020.”

Korea Blockchain Week ‘D.FINE’ the blockchain dream

“The DNA of blockchain is seeping into the world.”

That was one of the major takeaways from Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Michael Novogratz, who took part in the Korea Blockchain Week’s main event “D.FINE” on Monday. In a fireside chat with Ryan Lee of Dunamu & Partners, Novogratz noted that by entering the blockchain industry, global giants are helping boost the market.

“Blockchain services with a large number of users will change the industry,” he said, adding that tech-savvy Asia could serve as a test bed for the technology. “Asia’s fintech is just way better than U.S.’s.”

South Korea, in particular, is making huge investments in blockchain—the technology has found use cases in both private and government sectors. The government of Seoul announced that it’s launching a blockchain-based administrative service for residents in November, while the port city of Busan has already been designated as a “regulation-free blockchain zone.” Its close contender for the title, Jeju Island, announced a new initiative called the Blockchain Hub City Development Research Service in August.

To secure global competitiveness, Chang Byunggyu, head of the Presidential Committee on the 4th Industrial Revolution, told the audience at D.FINE that the committee’s upcoming recommendation will include the promotion of blockchain and institutionalization of crypto assets. He said, “Technological advances are so rapid that we need to be able to do a lot of experiments in the industry through the regulatory sandbox.”

Korea Blockchain Week ‘D.FINE’ the blockchain dream

Even more breakthroughs are happening in the private sector. Kim Joowan, VP and Head of Service Planning Group, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, noted how blockchain is helping the tech giant build a “multi-chain open ecosystem.”

“We are trying to apply blockchain technology to Samsung Health as well as other services as much as possible,” he said. “It is a true multilateral open ecosystem where users can manage their personal information and identity.”

The D.FINE event—the first conference in Korea hosted by media conglomerates in the country—will run until October 1 at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas. If you’re in the area, also check out the CoinGeek Seoul Conference happening at Le Meridien Hotel on October 1-2.

Bitcoin Association Pitch Day recap

In the lead up to the CoinGeek Conference in Seoul, the Bitcoin Association put together a pitch day where Bitcoin innovators were offered 30 minutes to pitch their business idea to a room full of venture capitalists and equity fund partners.

The all-day event featured 14 presentations of ideas and businesses at various stage of development. 

The presentations followed a very structured format to ensure each there were equal opportunities with the investment groups. They would lead with a 15-minute pitch, and then they would have 15 minutes to answer questions ranging from company valuation, questions about their technology and future growth plans.

The presenters included social media apps, smart contracting solutions, payment gateways, and several consumer applications. 

Jerry Chan from the Bitcoin Association commented on the event, “It was very exciting to see all of the innovative ideas coming from these entrepreneurs working in the space and very encouraging to see real business use cases being explored in Bitcoin which focus on its non-financial properties. I expect a lot of new blockchain base developments to spring from this cohort of pioneers.”

The personal standouts were True Reviews and GearSV.

TrueReviews.io is a site that aims to solve the problem of fake business reviews. As consumers are relying less on advertising and more on reviews when making purchases, the influx of “fake” reviews, both negative or positive, are becoming pervasive on consumer rating sites. 

“We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in this exciting event that allowed us to show our product to such a great group of investors and learn what they are looking for when choosing to invest in Bitcoin projects. It is so great to see such a diverse group of investors looking to bootstrap projects in the Bitcoin ecosystem.” Connor Murray CEO of True Reviews

GearSV, presented by Sean Pollock, showcased a smart contracting solution for Bitcoin SV. Pollock comes from the Ethereum world shared his reasons for building his solution on Bitcoin SV. 

What stood out was Pollock’s confidence and his matter of fact approach. He identified a problem and went creating a solution with GearSV built on Bitcoin SV, Unwriters Neon Planaria and Bitbus library. 

Pollock said of the event, “CoinGeek pitch day was a special event. Talented young companies pitching in front of some of the greatest minds and investors in crypto. It was honor to speak about GearSV and the future of blockchain computing. The fully scalable smart contract platform has arrived, and it is built on BitcoinSV.”

Two other very impressive presentations requested anonymity, but considering the strength of their projects, they will become well know when the time is right. 

Speaking on the success of the event, Managing Director of Private Equity for the Ayre Group Paul Rajchgod said, “I think we saw some exciting opportunities to invest in, and though all are at different stages of their development (some are still ‘just an idea’, while others already have revenue and robust growth underway), I think there was a common thread of solid ‘Bitcoin knowledge’ and focus on building their enterprises with BSV at their core.”

Please explore and support the Bitcoin Associations Pitch Day participants sCrypt, Agora.icu, ShowPay, CityOnChain, Calendar SV, Binde, Press Bit, LetsPlay, Wheedl, True Review, GearSV and Yen Point.

If you have an idea or business that is ready for outside investment and want to be considered for future Bitcoin Association Pitch Day event please submit your applications here. (note applications will be accepted again after the conference)

The Ayre Group is always looking for new opportunities. Please send your packages to [email protected]  

CoinGeek Seoul about to kick off with major announcements expected

It’s almost that time again, when the Bitcoin SV (BSV) community gathers in one place to discuss the exciting developments happening, and about to happen, on the BSV blockchain. CoinGeek Seoul will take place October 1-2, and the line-up of speakers that have been revealed will guarantee that attendees have spent their money well.

Of course, much like other recent CoinGeek conferences, both Dr. Craig Wright, the creator of Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen will be there. They will be holding another fireside chat, where Dr. Wright might once again share revealing stories, but more importantly for BSV, motivation to keep developing new projects.

As the theme of the conference is the power of Bitcoin SV scaling, a very important speaker will be the technical director of the Bitcoin SV node project Steve Shadders. With the Genesis upgrade just a few months away, with the intended goal of returning BSV to the original Bitcoin protocol, Shadders has already broken news about what’s to come, and we expect he might make huge news in Seoul as February comes closer.

But those aren’t the only speakers who will take the stage in Seoul. You might have seen several other speaker announcements, of important developers, thinkers, and business people, who will help create with future of Bitcoin as we know it. The conference will see speakers like Alexander Shulgin, Jay Lee, David Case, Matt Dickson, Hayato Kameta, Lorien Gamaroff, Alex Fauvel, Paul Chiari, amongst others. Jimmy Nguyen will also be hosting several panels on the investment and development of Bitcoin, and how enterprises are approaching it..

And to get a really exciting look at what anyone can accomplish with a bit of motivation, which should be provided in spades by all these speakers, the finals of the second BSV hackathon will be decided in Seoul. BitQ&A, Codugh and Hive will each be presenting their projects for the audience and an esteemed panel of judges to vote on, with the winner taking home a very healthy prize.

If you’re already set to attend CoinGeek Seoul, we announced a handy app to keep you up to date on the latest events, follow the schedule and communicate with others attending the conference.

But if you haven’t bought tickets yet, it’s not too late. You can still get tickets right now, and at a discount, and catch all the excitement that’s just about to start at CoinGeek Seoul.

BTC and BSV chose different paths with payment protocol choices

A recent GitHub discussion amongst the Bitcoin Core team, in discussing the future 0.19.0 release of BTC, covered their plans to disable BIP70 by default. This marks a significant divergence in the paths of BTC and Bitcoin SV (BSV), and one which will cement the nature of each digital asset.

BIP70 is a Bitcoin payment protocol. It allows users to send signed payments to a recipient in a peer to peer fashion, as the original Bitcoin whitepaper intended. As recent coverage of this topic from Cointelegraph notes, BTC payment processors like Bitpay have favored BIP70 over other alternatives.

But now the Bitcoin Core team are pushing BIP21, which would move away from peer to peer transactions in favor of defined addresses. Many wallets and merchants have already made this move, but the news that the BTC development team are now making it the default standard is significant as it will hurt Bitpay’s business model.

As BIP70 is no longer the default payment protocol for BTC, more users will find their wallets unable to pay Bitpay invoices unless they specifically seek out a BIP70 compatible wallet option, or know how to alter their wallet settings appropriately. This may cause users to shy away from making BTC purchases where Bitpay invoices are found, and for businesses to ultimately drop Bitpay as their payment processor.

As BIP21 has been around for some time, there’s no question with regards to if it will work. BTC wallets and users are already using it. But as its now been embraced by the BTC developers, they are firmly signaling a shift away from the peer to peer nature laid out by the Bitcoin whitepaper, and toward something else entirely, as they’ve already done by working towards their off-chain Lightning Network.

Going in an entirely different direction is BSV. While also not sticking to BIP70, BSV is instead moving to embrace BIP270, which will be even more in the spirit of Satoshi’s whitepaper. BIP270 simplifies and extends BIP70, and ensures wallets do not have to run their own nodes, but instead use the Simplified Payment Verifciation (SPV) system outlined by Satoshi, allowing pay-to-ip transactions.

Not only would that move make BSV more adherent to the original whitepaper, but it will further reduce the burden on BSV wallets and businesses, as running and maintaining a node can be costly. Combined with better identity systems, like Paymail, users also have a better experience, as payments are made easier and faster.

BTC’s move to BIP21 isn’t really an issue unless your payment systems depend on it, like Bitpay. The BTC team decided long ago that their digital asset should be seen as an investment opportunity, and ultimately a store of value.

In choosing to restore Satoshi’s original vision with BIP270, BSV is instead choosing the path of being a digital currency that can have every day use, as the original Bitcoin whitepaper envisioned. BTC, in moving away from that with BIP21, are also moving away from Satoshi’s original vision of Bitcoin.

Facebook’s Libra isn’t out to replace existing money, Perez claims

Libra isn’t out to overhaul the existing currencies, the project’s head recently stated. Ever since Facebook announced the intention to launch the crypto, it has faced opposition from several policy makers who believe that it could negatively affect their countries’ monetary structures. However, the project’s head wants us to know that Libra will benefit the users and strengthen their economies, not threaten their currencies.

Bertrand Perez, the managing director of the Libra Association was speaking during a blockchain conference organized by the United Nations in Geneva, the city where the association is based.

“We are not in the area of implementing any monetary policy with the (Libra) Reserve,” he stated.

Instead, Perez believes that Libra will help the UN achieve many of its sustainable development goals. These include elimination of poverty and achieving gender equality, he stated during the event which included speakers from the International Monetary Fund and the Swiss National Bank.

And it’s not just Libra that promises to help the UN achieve its goals, with blockchain technology being at the heart of the discussions in the recently-held United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

One of the speakers at the event, Dr. Jane Thomason, a global thought leader in social impact stated, “It is early days, but in the social benevolence and impact space, the application of blockchain for remittances, financial inclusion, green bonds and new forms of financing are receiving increasing prominence in global discussions at 2019 UNGA.”

The relentless opposition to Libra seems to have forced Facebook to reconsider its strategy, with Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledging that the company may have to push the launch date. In a recent interview, Zuckerberg revealed that the social media company is more interested in getting Libra right rather than launching it fast.

He stated, “Obviously we want to move forward at some point soon [and] not have this take many years to roll out…But right now I’m really focused on making sure that we do this well.”

Zuckerberg was speaking in Japan, the latest country to voice its opposition to Libra. The governor of the Bank of Japan recently called out on regulators globally to apply the highest standards of compliance to Libra as it could have a huge impact on society once introduced.

NBA blocks Spencer Dinwiddie’s attempt to tokenize contract

NBA point guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s heart was in the right place, but his efforts have fallen short. The Brooklyn Nets star had wanted to tokenize his league contract, worth $34.4 million, on a blockchain before the NBA stepped in and shot him down. The league asserts that Dinwiddie’s contract isn’t really his to tokenize.

The 26-year-old basketballer has found his tokenization efforts to be a league foul. According to the New York Times, the NBA said in a statement: 

According to recent reports, Spencer Dinwiddie intends to sell investors a ‘tokenized security’ that will be backed by his player contract. The described arrangement is prohibited by the C.B.A. [collective bargaining agreement], which provides that ‘no player shall assign or otherwise transfer to any third party his right to receive compensation from the team under his uniform player contract.’

Investors would have been able to bet and capitalize on Dinwiddie’s skills on the court as he tried for an even more lucrative contract following the second year of his current contract. He had hoped to raise $4.95 million to $13.5 million through the plan, which was developed through his own company, Dream Fan Shares. The tokenization effort would have had a minimum investment of $150,000 and Dinwiddie has indicated that he would have offered guaranteed interest of a few percentage points for the duration of the contract.

The NBA’s application of the regulation can only be viewed as a loose interpretation at best, since Dinwiddie wasn’t planning on transferring the right to receive compensation. Instead, he was offering to augment the opportunity the contract provides, which is new territory for the NBA.

Dinwiddie isn’t ready to give up and accept the NBA’s decision as final. He has stated that he hopes to meet with league officials to present his plan and show them how it works, adding, “What better way to be invested in a player as a fan than to have some level of skin in the game. […] With the way mine works, if I play well in that player option year and we split the profits up the first year of my new deal, it greatly appreciates the return on this investment vehicle.”

Ant Financial wants to put agriculture on blockchain

China’s fintech giant Ant Financial has partnered with German pharmaceuticals company Bayer Crop Science in a project that intends to put agriculture on the blockchain. The two firms signed a letter of intent during the Apsara Conference which is being held in Hangzhou, China. The partnership will seek to develop a blockchain-powered system for the tracing of agricultural products.

The use of blockchain in agriculture has continued to grow, with provenance solutions enabling consumers to trace the source of their foods. Ant Financial intends on becoming part of this movement, with the proposed system promising to improve efficiency in the agriculture industry, boost farmer income and ensure the highest quality of food products in the market.

In a statement sent to Ledger Insights, the vice president of Ant’s Intelligent Technology Group stated, “We are excited to join hands with Bayer Crop Science to explore the application of blockchain technology in agriculture. Agriculture is the foundation of human civilization. Together with Bayer, our exploration of blockchain in agriculture will improve the transparency and responsiveness of its supply chain, and bring more value to consumers, farmers and the society.”

While it’s mostly renowned as a pharmaceuticals company, Bayer is also a big player in the crop industry, with its crop science division acquiring American agrochemicals firm Monsanto in 2018. The partnership is strategic for Bayer, especially since its crop science division has a strong presence in China where it offers such services as advanced crop solutions, digital farming technologies and safety training.

Weidong Huang, the head of Bayer’s Crop Science division in the Greater China region commented, “By working side by side, we strive to assist the agriculture industry on its transformation in the new era, enhance the application of advanced agricultural technologies, increase agriculture production efficiency, improve farmer’s income, and protect food safety.”

Ant Financial, which is valued at $150 billion making it one of the world largest fintech companies, has been a pioneer in blockchain applications. The company, which runs mobile payment service Alipay, announced last year that it had secured $14 billion to invest in blockchain and other emerging technology.

Ant’s blockchain systems have been applied in supply chain, with its subsidiary Ant Shuglian Technology developing a blockchain-powered invoice financing platform earlier this year. Ant also partnered with Philippines-based GCash mobile wallet and Standard Chartered bank on a blockchain-based remittance app. Other sectors where Ant’s blockchain solutions have a presence include insurance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals and rice traceability.

Keyring releases update to support OP_FALSE, OP_RETURN

Steve Shadders, nChain’s lead developer and cryptocurrency guru, inarguably understands the inner workings of digital currency better than almost anyone. He brought his expertise to Bitcoin SV (BSV) to help keep the original Bitcoin alive, and has been working tirelessly to further Bitcoin’s innovation. So, if he believes that changes should be made, it’s a good idea to listen. The company behind the BSV JavaScript libraries Keyring, BitBoss, did just that and has announced that it has upgraded Keyring to support the new OP_FALSE OP_RETURN script type.

Shadders first explained the entire issue surrounding OP_RETURN in a detailed blog post that is definitely worth reading. BitBoss was paying attention and announced in its own post on Medium that it had taken the programming expert’s viewpoints into consideration, making the appropriate changes to its offerings to tighten up applications and prepare for BSV’s Genesis upgrade, scheduled for next February.

Bitboss explains, “This change will ensure that all apps being developed with Keyring will maintain consistent behavior both now and after the Bitcoin SV Genesis upgrade. Instead of starting a script with OP_RETURN, it should start with OP_FALSE OP_RETURN. A locking script that contains this will always fail when it hits this sequence of op codes both now and after the Genesis upgrade, which is the proper, secure behavior.”

Keyring was initially designed to be a series of JavaScript libraries BitBoss could use for its specialty, online gaming solutions. However, it quickly morphed into something that was found to be beneficial to the entire Bitcoin ecosystem and is continuously updated in order to “help the entire Bitcoin SV community of developers.”

This is an important update, as the original use of OP_RETURN, combined with the OP_SEPARATOR field, was such that there was a bug that could have allowed coins to be spent without going through the proper verification procedures. The issue dates back to the original Bitcoin code and had been patched by Satoshi, but the patch was nothing more than a temporary band-aid that didn’t completely resolve the issue. Shadders’ solution helped to close the loophole completely and support for OP_FALSE OP_RETURN was included when Bitcoin SV v0.2.1 was rolled out in July.

Build Metanet applications with Metaglue

Developers who are considering building applications on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain now have an even easier way to achieve their goals. BitMesh has introduced a new solution for app construction, Metaglue, that is being heralded as the “world’s first Metanet app development platform.” The goal is to make BSV development as simple as possible in order to facilitate the blockchain’s advance in the Bitcoin ecosystem as a primary tool with flexible capabilities.

Metaglue provides a mechanism for the creation of Metanet applications and includes a wallet layer that gives developers the ability to construct their apps even without complete knowledge of how Metanet works or what it is.  BitMesh explains on its Metaglue webpage, “Metaglue allows developers build Metanet applications without having to build another wallet, which costs enormous amount of time and resource. Metanet allows users to store all their onchain data in a structured manner. Metaglue solution also allows developers to customize their payment button styles to ensure the button looks aligned with [overall] design language of the product.”

The solution incorporates a built-in mobile wallet that provides access to Metanet applications simply by scanning a QR code. It includes an API (application programming interface) that covers several functions, createMetaNode, createSiplePayment, getUserInfo and goLogin. There’s a second API that allows for events to be combining events into one and a third that provides an overview of user statuses – not logged in, log in authorization and logged in.

Metanet is an ambitious endeavor on the BSV blockchain that can only be described as the Internet on steroids, making use of a linked Metanet protocol. Jack Davies, a researcher with nChain, recently offered an explanation, which sums it up perfectly. He stated, “The Metanet protocol … is a tool that can allow the on-chain data used in these [Metanet] applications — and many more in the future — to be woven together. We thereby allow disparate on-chain data to be structured in ways that improve the functionality of the applications they are powering and help achieve the mission of allowing users to truly own their data on the Metanet.”

It is designed to enhance data sharing and accessibility and to provide better transparency of information that is presented. That information can be in the form of almost any type and, just like there are a number of solutions to easily create Internet-based platforms using conventional code, Metaglue is the first application-building application that will substantially help Metanet grow and become the new standard.