Russian Central Bank Begins Proposals for New Bitcoin Legislation

Russia’s central bank has announced they are working on preparations which could pave the way for new legislation governing bitcoin.

Reports from the Bank of Russia have suggested that the organization is laying the groundwork for a new law, which would seek to introduce a formal legal classification for cryptocurrencies, along with greater mechanisms for taxation and regulatory oversight.

While the law remains in the developmental stage, it could become one of the first serious attempts to regulate bitcoin and other alternative currencies anywhere in the world.

It is thought that the proposed bill would treat cryptocurrencies as ‘digital goods’, giving rise to provisions for how they might be taxed in future.

The news came as part of a hearing in Russia’s parliament, the Duma, where the bank’s deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova said that there was an imminent need for fresh proposals to clarify the legal regime in Russia.

“[Bitcoin] should be regulated, because volumes are increasing compared to the previous year. If people are engaged in this, they have to pay money for it, and we have to have a clear understanding of how to control this activity.”

The news comes as the latest confirmation of Russia’s move to embrace blockchain regulation, following a series of pronouncements on the topic over the last couple of years.

Initially sceptical about the technology, the Russian government appeared to indicate a softening approach, with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev calling for more researching into the tech over the last few months.

Now with the bank preparing to crystallize these proposals, there are suggestions that this could ultimately lead to a new regulatory structure for blockchain and altcoins in Russia in the near future.

The developments follow on from initial suggestions for regulation, which even included prison sentences for certain activities around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

While the news will be welcomed as a sign of the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Russia, it remains to be seen whether the proposals will be conducive to blockchain research and development.

With the risk of overregulation stifling development, the situation is likely to be closely monitored by developers and legislators across the world.

Russian Quantum Center announces quantum-proof blockchain solution

The Russian Quantum Center has announced a new blockchain project, which enables companies to transfer sensitive data without facing the threat of hacking through a blockchain protocol.

The solution is thought to be the first quantum-proof solution of its kind, marking yet another first for the technology which underpins digital currencies like bitcoin, amongst other enterprise systems.

Quantum computers are a significant risk to informational integrity, with the potential to wreak havoc and destruction throughout blockchains – including the platforms used for bitcoin and for secure internal government communications, for example.

Existing blockchains are thought to be vulnerable to these potential risks, a factor which is often cited as a cause for concern by investors, analysts and developers alike.

However, with the unveiling of the quantum-safe blockchain, there is now a potential solution to this problem, at least in the short-term.

According to the announcement from the development team, the reliance on quantum key distribution is the essential technology which protects the blockchain, beyond the standard digital signatures used at present.

“The quantum-safe blockchain developed by the Russian Quantum Center secures the blockchain by combining quantum key distribution (QKD) with post-quantum cryptography so that it is essentially unhackable…The technology creates special blocks which are signed by quantum keys rather than the traditional digital signatures. These quantum keys are generated by a QKD network, which guarantees the privacy of the key using the laws of physics.”

QKD networks are becoming more frequently used across the financial services sector, as well as in a number of other industries.

These networks are already extensively used in the US, China and across Europe, essential in processing financial transactions, maintaining smart contracts and facilitating the exchange of sensitive personal data.

As QKD networks continue to expand, it is expected that the quantum-proof blockchain will become increasingly utilised by companies and organisations worldwide.

The development has been welcomed by analysts and blockchain security specialists alike, and represents a significant step forward for the technology in protecting against algorithmically-driven quantum hacks.

However, while the quantum-proof blockchain will offer a significantly more robust infrastructure, ongoing development will be required to respond to the changing nature of hacking threats.

Russian Quantum Center announces quantum-proof blockchain solution

The Russian Quantum Center has announced a new blockchain project, which enables companies to transfer sensitive data without facing the threat of hacking through a blockchain protocol.

The solution is thought to be the first quantum-proof solution of its kind, marking yet another first for the technology which underpins digital currencies like bitcoin, amongst other enterprise systems.

Quantum computers are a significant risk to informational integrity, with the potential to wreak havoc and destruction throughout blockchains – including the platforms used for bitcoin and for secure internal government communications, for example.

Existing blockchains are thought to be vulnerable to these potential risks, a factor which is often cited as a cause for concern by investors, analysts and developers alike.

However, with the unveiling of the quantum-safe blockchain, there is now a potential solution to this problem, at least in the short-term.

According to the announcement from the development team, the reliance on quantum key distribution is the essential technology which protects the blockchain, beyond the standard digital signatures used at present.

“The quantum-safe blockchain developed by the Russian Quantum Center secures the blockchain by combining quantum key distribution (QKD) with post-quantum cryptography so that it is essentially unhackable…The technology creates special blocks which are signed by quantum keys rather than the traditional digital signatures. These quantum keys are generated by a QKD network, which guarantees the privacy of the key using the laws of physics.”

QKD networks are becoming more frequently used across the financial services sector, as well as in a number of other industries.

These networks are already extensively used in the US, China and across Europe, essential in processing financial transactions, maintaining smart contracts and facilitating the exchange of sensitive personal data.

As QKD networks continue to expand, it is expected that the quantum-proof blockchain will become increasingly utilised by companies and organisations worldwide.

The development has been welcomed by analysts and blockchain security specialists alike, and represents a significant step forward for the technology in protecting against algorithmically-driven quantum hacks.

However, while the quantum-proof blockchain will offer a significantly more robust infrastructure, ongoing development will be required to respond to the changing nature of hacking threats.

An Interview with Gavin Andresen Part 2

An Interview with Gavin Andresen Part 2

I’ve recently had the distinct honour and pleasure of interviewing Gavin Andresen, one of the original Bitcoin Core developers, and the man who was entrusted by Satoshi Nakamoto with the network alert key, and also entrusted to carry on the development of the Bitcoin client. You can read the first part of this interview by clicking here

Eli: In 2016, you predicted that Ethereum will outgrow Bitcoin. Looking at the charts today, one could call that an accurate prophecy. In short, what do you pin these reasons on?

Gavin: Ethereum has been more innovative and willing to take reasonable risks, and in this stage of cryptocurrency development that seems to be what a majority of people want. The next year or two will be very interesting for both Ethereum and Bitcoin, and I have no idea which will end up being the dominant public blockchain (or if something else will pass them both). Ethereum might stumble as they switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, and Bitcoin might fail to scale again even if today’s compromise is adopted quickly.

Here Gavin is referring to the recently announced Bitcoin scaling agreement whereby a group of signed companies representing a critical mass of the Bitcoin ecosystem agreed to support the following upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol.
• Activate Segregated Witness at an 80% threshold, signaling at bit 4
• Activate a 2 MB hard fork within six months

These entities represent:
• 58 companies located in 22 countries
• 83.28% of hashing power
• 5.1 billion USD monthly on chain transaction volume
• 20.5 million bitcoin wallets

But when I asked about the view on Ethereum’s proof of stake switch and whether Gavin sees this as risky or just plain unwise, he replied with:

Gavin: Just risky. I think proof-of-work is the best way we know of to create new coins, but I think proof-of-stake can be made “safe enough” to secure real-world transactions.

Eli: Eth and BTC aside, do you see any other ‘big’ movers on the horizon at all? Are you keeping a close watch on any of the thousands of others?

Gavin: I gave up predicting cryptocurrency price movements long ago. I think Zcash has a great leader, team, advisors, and technology… but I don’t own any Zcash, and it feels like all the cryptocurrency markets are in a speculative bubble right now.

EDIT (27/5/2017) – Well Gavin, you weren’t wrong. And that bubble has just popped, and Bitcoin continues to follow the same Gartner hype cycles we’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions …

Eli: You once mentioned, that you would like to be remembered as a “good guy” (as opposed to that person who did great things with Bitcoin). I imagine it would be tough, for someone in your position, where everything you say is scrutinized, sometimes trolled, other times applauded. It’s the price of being in the public eye. Is it a tough gig?

Gavin: When I first got involved in May of 2010, there were something like 4 million bitcoin, and the going price was about half a cent. If the developers screwed up (and we did), worst case people lost twenty thousand dollars. By the time I stepped down as the lead developer, that number had grown to over a billion dollars. It is a tough gig with a tremendous amount of pressure even when there is no controversy. Throw in controversy and politics and I think it is too tough for any one person or team, which is part of the reason I’m happy to see a diversity of Bitcoin implementations beginning to get some traction.

Eli: As a family man, what advice do you have to give to the younger generation who are only just getting into the cryptocurrency world, and perhaps getting a little too excited by the current coin bubble?

Gavin: Only invest what you can afford to lose, diversify, and use dollar-cost averaging over a period of at least six months to avoid buying or selling at a peak or trough.

Eli: If your current self could say three words to Gavin from 2010, what would they be?

I must admit at this point I wanted to close off with an open-ended question, with a possibility of hearing something profound, secretly wanting to hear some great words of wisdom, so you can imagine my very audible laugh when Gavin simply replied with:

Gavin: Buy more bitcoin.

Eli: Many thanks for your time. It’s a pleasure and an honour.

Eli Afram
Developer/Analyst
Twitter: @justicemate

An Interview with Gavin Andresen Part 2

An Interview with Gavin Andresen Part 2

I’ve recently had the distinct honour and pleasure of interviewing Gavin Andresen, one of the original Bitcoin Core developers, and the man who was entrusted by Satoshi Nakamoto with the network alert key, and also entrusted to carry on the development of the Bitcoin client. You can read the first part of this interview by clicking here

Eli: In 2016, you predicted that Ethereum will outgrow Bitcoin. Looking at the charts today, one could call that an accurate prophecy. In short, what do you pin these reasons on?

Gavin: Ethereum has been more innovative and willing to take reasonable risks, and in this stage of cryptocurrency development that seems to be what a majority of people want. The next year or two will be very interesting for both Ethereum and Bitcoin, and I have no idea which will end up being the dominant public blockchain (or if something else will pass them both). Ethereum might stumble as they switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, and Bitcoin might fail to scale again even if today’s compromise is adopted quickly.

Here Gavin is referring to the recently announced Bitcoin scaling agreement whereby a group of signed companies representing a critical mass of the Bitcoin ecosystem agreed to support the following upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol.
• Activate Segregated Witness at an 80% threshold, signaling at bit 4
• Activate a 2 MB hard fork within six months

These entities represent:
• 58 companies located in 22 countries
• 83.28% of hashing power
• 5.1 billion USD monthly on chain transaction volume
• 20.5 million bitcoin wallets

But when I asked about the view on Ethereum’s proof of stake switch and whether Gavin sees this as risky or just plain unwise, he replied with:

Gavin: Just risky. I think proof-of-work is the best way we know of to create new coins, but I think proof-of-stake can be made “safe enough” to secure real-world transactions.

Eli: Eth and BTC aside, do you see any other ‘big’ movers on the horizon at all? Are you keeping a close watch on any of the thousands of others?

Gavin: I gave up predicting cryptocurrency price movements long ago. I think Zcash has a great leader, team, advisors, and technology… but I don’t own any Zcash, and it feels like all the cryptocurrency markets are in a speculative bubble right now.

EDIT (27/5/2017) – Well Gavin, you weren’t wrong. And that bubble has just popped, and Bitcoin continues to follow the same Gartner hype cycles we’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions …

Eli: You once mentioned, that you would like to be remembered as a “good guy” (as opposed to that person who did great things with Bitcoin). I imagine it would be tough, for someone in your position, where everything you say is scrutinized, sometimes trolled, other times applauded. It’s the price of being in the public eye. Is it a tough gig?

Gavin: When I first got involved in May of 2010, there were something like 4 million bitcoin, and the going price was about half a cent. If the developers screwed up (and we did), worst case people lost twenty thousand dollars. By the time I stepped down as the lead developer, that number had grown to over a billion dollars. It is a tough gig with a tremendous amount of pressure even when there is no controversy. Throw in controversy and politics and I think it is too tough for any one person or team, which is part of the reason I’m happy to see a diversity of Bitcoin implementations beginning to get some traction.

Eli: As a family man, what advice do you have to give to the younger generation who are only just getting into the cryptocurrency world, and perhaps getting a little too excited by the current coin bubble?

Gavin: Only invest what you can afford to lose, diversify, and use dollar-cost averaging over a period of at least six months to avoid buying or selling at a peak or trough.

Eli: If your current self could say three words to Gavin from 2010, what would they be?

I must admit at this point I wanted to close off with an open-ended question, with a possibility of hearing something profound, secretly wanting to hear some great words of wisdom, so you can imagine my very audible laugh when Gavin simply replied with:

Gavin: Buy more bitcoin.

Eli: Many thanks for your time. It’s a pleasure and an honour.

Eli Afram
Developer/Analyst
Twitter: @justicemate

An Interview with Gavin Andresen Part 1

I’ve recently had the distinct honour and pleasure of interviewing Gavin Andresen, one of the original Bitcoin Core developers, and the man who was entrusted by Satoshi Nakamoto with the network alert key, and also entrusted to carry on the development of the Bitcoin client. When Satoshi stepped back from the project, the mantle was effectively moved to Gavin.

“Over time he (Satoshi) trusted my judgment on the code I wrote. And eventually, he pulled a fast one on me because he asked me if it’d be OK if he put my email address on the bitcoin homepage, and I said yes, not realizing that when he put my email address there, he’d take his away. I was the person everyone would email when they wanted to know about bitcoin. Satoshi started stepping back as leader of project and pushing me forward as the leader of the project.”  – Gavin Andresen. Source

Although Gavin is no longer a part of the Bitcoin Core dev team, he indeed remains a prominent voice in the Bitcoin community.

EliYou’ve been involved in Bitcoin since the beginning – and I have no doubts at all, the journey of your involvement has been one giant rollercoaster. A project with limitless possibilities landed on your lap one day, and you’ve been thrown into an exciting world, but one that is plagued with political motives and powers. How would you summarize the experience?

GavinIt has been a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I think I’m fortunate it happened to me when I was in my 40’s and was old enough to appreciate how atypical it was compared to other jobs or projects I’d worked on before.

EliI’m aware that you are pro big blocks, to increase Bitcoin’s TPS capacity, and in the past you have mentioned that you’d like to see both big blocks, and segwit. Is this your current position?

GavinYes. I think it is wise to try to have multiple ways of accomplishing your goals.

EliHow do you see the current gridlock between emergent consensus and segwit (including the UASF) playing out?

GavinI’m hopeful the agreement announced today (segwit plus a 2mb blocksize increase) finally breaks the gridlock. I think everybody using the Bitcoin blockchain and all the companies that have to deal with customers that are using the Bitcoin blockchain see that network is near a breaking point.

When asked, Gavin didn’t seem to be to concerned with the likelihood of this agreement ending up in the same failure that was the failed Hong Kong agreement.

To recap, on the 21st of February 2016, representatives from Blockstream’s Bitcoin Core team and Miners signed what is today known as the Hong Kong agreement. This closed, secretive meeting that took place ensured all miners unanimously sign an agreement, which made certain they continue to use Bitcoin Core – which in effect killed off the competing “Bitcoin Classic” client competition. Bitcoin Classic simply provided an on-chain capacity increase by increasing the blocksize, which inventor Satoshi many times stated was required to let Bitcoin grow.

The HK Agreement also stated some points suggesting that by mid-2016 a hardfork would be available which would allow Bitcoin to scale-up (although mostly using off-chain solutions). The failed timeline and the failed measure to take action has resulted in miners also abandoning the agreement. What was intended specifically to keep all miners Core aligned, had significantly back-fired.

Concerning this, last year Developer Peter Todd stated:

“The whole point of putting “Run Bitcoin Core compatible clients” in the agreement was for miners to stop playing political games for a few months to let the situation calm down and give devs a reason to work with them (remember that until more people joined, it certainly wasn’t an agreement with Bitcoin Core). By immediately playing more political games, this made it impossible to get anyone else to join the agreement. So yes, they’ve thoroughly broken the agreement”.   – Peter Todd (Core Developer)

But given Peter Todd’s own admission on the reality of the agreement, isn’t coercing the use of your own version of the software on other members of the eco-system a ‘political move’ in itself? In any case Gavin believes this to be a more promising outlook, perhaps as this is a market-led initiative.

PART 2 will be posted over the next few days.

Eli Afram
Developer/Analyst
Twitter: @justicemate

An Interview with Gavin Andresen Part 1

I’ve recently had the distinct honour and pleasure of interviewing Gavin Andresen, one of the original Bitcoin Core developers, and the man who was entrusted by Satoshi Nakamoto with the network alert key, and also entrusted to carry on the development of the Bitcoin client. When Satoshi stepped back from the project, the mantle was effectively moved to Gavin.

“Over time he (Satoshi) trusted my judgment on the code I wrote. And eventually, he pulled a fast one on me because he asked me if it’d be OK if he put my email address on the bitcoin homepage, and I said yes, not realizing that when he put my email address there, he’d take his away. I was the person everyone would email when they wanted to know about bitcoin. Satoshi started stepping back as leader of project and pushing me forward as the leader of the project.”  – Gavin Andresen. Source

Although Gavin is no longer a part of the Bitcoin Core dev team, he indeed remains a prominent voice in the Bitcoin community.

EliYou’ve been involved in Bitcoin since the beginning – and I have no doubts at all, the journey of your involvement has been one giant rollercoaster. A project with limitless possibilities landed on your lap one day, and you’ve been thrown into an exciting world, but one that is plagued with political motives and powers. How would you summarize the experience?

GavinIt has been a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I think I’m fortunate it happened to me when I was in my 40’s and was old enough to appreciate how atypical it was compared to other jobs or projects I’d worked on before.

EliI’m aware that you are pro big blocks, to increase Bitcoin’s TPS capacity, and in the past you have mentioned that you’d like to see both big blocks, and segwit. Is this your current position?

GavinYes. I think it is wise to try to have multiple ways of accomplishing your goals.

EliHow do you see the current gridlock between emergent consensus and segwit (including the UASF) playing out?

GavinI’m hopeful the agreement announced today (segwit plus a 2mb blocksize increase) finally breaks the gridlock. I think everybody using the Bitcoin blockchain and all the companies that have to deal with customers that are using the Bitcoin blockchain see that network is near a breaking point.

When asked, Gavin didn’t seem to be to concerned with the likelihood of this agreement ending up in the same failure that was the failed Hong Kong agreement.

To recap, on the 21st of February 2016, representatives from Blockstream’s Bitcoin Core team and Miners signed what is today known as the Hong Kong agreement. This closed, secretive meeting that took place ensured all miners unanimously sign an agreement, which made certain they continue to use Bitcoin Core – which in effect killed off the competing “Bitcoin Classic” client competition. Bitcoin Classic simply provided an on-chain capacity increase by increasing the blocksize, which inventor Satoshi many times stated was required to let Bitcoin grow.

The HK Agreement also stated some points suggesting that by mid-2016 a hardfork would be available which would allow Bitcoin to scale-up (although mostly using off-chain solutions). The failed timeline and the failed measure to take action has resulted in miners also abandoning the agreement. What was intended specifically to keep all miners Core aligned, had significantly back-fired.

Concerning this, last year Developer Peter Todd stated:

“The whole point of putting “Run Bitcoin Core compatible clients” in the agreement was for miners to stop playing political games for a few months to let the situation calm down and give devs a reason to work with them (remember that until more people joined, it certainly wasn’t an agreement with Bitcoin Core). By immediately playing more political games, this made it impossible to get anyone else to join the agreement. So yes, they’ve thoroughly broken the agreement”.   – Peter Todd (Core Developer)

But given Peter Todd’s own admission on the reality of the agreement, isn’t coercing the use of your own version of the software on other members of the eco-system a ‘political move’ in itself? In any case Gavin believes this to be a more promising outlook, perhaps as this is a market-led initiative.

PART 2 will be posted over the next few days.

Eli Afram
Developer/Analyst
Twitter: @justicemate

Let There Be Light (At The End of The Tunnel)

Coinify having recently put into stark reality the problems facing Bitcoin right now when they admit: “In the last approximately 30 days, there has been a massive increase in transactions waiting to be confirmed. For example, on the 24th April the peak number of unconfirmed transactions was around 7,000, while yesterday it was over 150,000.”
Hat’s off to them for being open about this – customers love information, whether you are waiting for a bus or your plane is delayed, all you want is up-to-date information.

What is so frustrating about this situation is it doesn’t need to happen…the fact that people are flocking to Bitcoin SHOULD be positive but they are having a bad experience. Why?

The absurdity of the 1MG cap is now so apparent that a child could see the solution with ease. We at CoinGeek have wanted to avoid a Hard Fork but, seriously, take a step back, do your own research and if you don’t come out thinking Bitcoin Unlimited (rather than Core) is the answer then, frankly, you must have an agenda.
It is that simple.

Luckily, the vital and vast pool of Chinese miners, so often ignored in the debate, are seeing the reality of the scenario. As the big banks continue to fight Bitcoin’s progress there will be more bumps in the road for sure but let’s get on board this frighteningly obvious solution, show solidarity and Bitcoin will be stronger at the end of this particular tunnel.

Let There Be Light (At The End of The Tunnel)

Coinify having recently put into stark reality the problems facing Bitcoin right now when they admit: “In the last approximately 30 days, there has been a massive increase in transactions waiting to be confirmed. For example, on the 24th April the peak number of unconfirmed transactions was around 7,000, while yesterday it was over 150,000.”
Hat’s off to them for being open about this – customers love information, whether you are waiting for a bus or your plane is delayed, all you want is up-to-date information.

What is so frustrating about this situation is it doesn’t need to happen…the fact that people are flocking to Bitcoin SHOULD be positive but they are having a bad experience. Why?

The absurdity of the 1MG cap is now so apparent that a child could see the solution with ease. We at CoinGeek have wanted to avoid a Hard Fork but, seriously, take a step back, do your own research and if you don’t come out thinking Bitcoin Unlimited (rather than Core) is the answer then, frankly, you must have an agenda.
It is that simple.

Luckily, the vital and vast pool of Chinese miners, so often ignored in the debate, are seeing the reality of the scenario. As the big banks continue to fight Bitcoin’s progress there will be more bumps in the road for sure but let’s get on board this frighteningly obvious solution, show solidarity and Bitcoin will be stronger at the end of this particular tunnel.

Wyre Bot Invoices on Ethereum for Facebook and WeChat Bot

Payments company Wyre has announced it has newly launched a bot for WeChat and Facebook Messenger, an application which will authenticate invoices via the blockchain.

Transactional details can be sent through the bot, which creates and sends an invoice directly to customers. The invoice is then validated on a public ethereum blockchain, providing the verification and certainty necessary to authenticate invoice requests and payments.

It represents one of the first moves of its kind from a blockchain developer, and is seen as potentially paving the way for enterprise scale solutions that would prevent fake invoicing scams which have affected several large companies in recent weeks.

The bot, which is primarily aimed at smoothing the process of sending and receiving invoices, uses the ethereum blockchain as its core form of verification.

Michael Dunworth, Wyre’s CEO, said that the security mechanism was essential for verifying transactions and safeguarding the authenticity of invoices sent and received on the platform.

“It’s on our official wallet where you can see the input data of the hashes in the blockchain. We put it into HEX and you can convert that into ASCII, if you look at ethereum, with just the click of the button. That’s just a security measure for clients so they know the invoice did go through the Wyre bot. It’s not someone pretending they went through the Wyre bot.”

The launch has been met with excitement amongst blockchain developers, with a particular emphasis on how similar technologies could be deployed across financial services and other industries for greater efficacy in the invoicing process.

A hash of the invoice is recorded on the blockchain at hourly intervals, and visible by Wyre, the sender and the receiver only. Party identities and invoice details are not visible on the blockchain, ensuring the security and privacy of the parties involved.

Having developed their working model in under six weeks, the company is now eyeing up several other use cases, including potential support for Slack and WhatsApp.

They are also thought to be weighing up whether multi-invoice processing could be handled through the same technology.

Wyre Bot Invoices on Ethereum for Facebook and WeChat Bot

Payments company Wyre has announced it has newly launched a bot for WeChat and Facebook Messenger, an application which will authenticate invoices via the blockchain.

Transactional details can be sent through the bot, which creates and sends an invoice directly to customers. The invoice is then validated on a public ethereum blockchain, providing the verification and certainty necessary to authenticate invoice requests and payments.

It represents one of the first moves of its kind from a blockchain developer, and is seen as potentially paving the way for enterprise scale solutions that would prevent fake invoicing scams which have affected several large companies in recent weeks.

The bot, which is primarily aimed at smoothing the process of sending and receiving invoices, uses the ethereum blockchain as its core form of verification.

Michael Dunworth, Wyre’s CEO, said that the security mechanism was essential for verifying transactions and safeguarding the authenticity of invoices sent and received on the platform.

“It’s on our official wallet where you can see the input data of the hashes in the blockchain. We put it into HEX and you can convert that into ASCII, if you look at ethereum, with just the click of the button. That’s just a security measure for clients so they know the invoice did go through the Wyre bot. It’s not someone pretending they went through the Wyre bot.”

The launch has been met with excitement amongst blockchain developers, with a particular emphasis on how similar technologies could be deployed across financial services and other industries for greater efficacy in the invoicing process.

A hash of the invoice is recorded on the blockchain at hourly intervals, and visible by Wyre, the sender and the receiver only. Party identities and invoice details are not visible on the blockchain, ensuring the security and privacy of the parties involved.

Having developed their working model in under six weeks, the company is now eyeing up several other use cases, including potential support for Slack and WhatsApp.

They are also thought to be weighing up whether multi-invoice processing could be handled through the same technology.

OTC Exchange Network Signs Up To FIX Group on Blockchain Standards

Trading institutions group OTC Exchange Network has become the latest organisation to sign up to the FIX consortium.

The FIX community is a not-for-profit body, pioneering standards and interoperability through new blockchain technologies. Run by and for the benefit of the investment community, the group is dedicated to developing around regulatory and compliance challenges for more efficient international markets.

OTCXN brings a wealth of blockchain experience to the group, including via the appointment of CEO Rosario M. Ingargiola to the Working Group, as it joins forces to push the boundaries of blockchain technology.

OTCXN operates a blockchain-based trading system, allowing for peer-to-peer electronic trading, effectively distributing access to the financial markets for a more democratic trading process.

Their connection with FIX effectively realises their shared aims in exploring greater standards for blockchain trading, which could help in developing the next generation of blockchain-based trading protocols.

Discussing the move, Ingargiola said that while the existing protocols were in place for an effective blockchain system, it will require further experimentation to circumvent both current and future anticipated hurdles.

“FIX has long been the standard messaging protocol for trading. However, trading related Blockchain, DLT, and digital asset initiatives are on the bleeding edge, and are seeking to define standards of interoperability. Although OTCXN is already capturing FIX message sequences and storing them on its proprietary Blockchain to drive capabilities like real-time trade match reporting with cryptographic guarantees, I believe that it will take some experimentation and an open dialog among early pioneers to identify and overcome perhaps yet unknown technical hurdles. We hope that we can bring some of our experiences and findings to the FIX Digital Currency & Blockchain Working Group for the benefit of all.”

The move comes at a time when companies across the financial sector, as well as wider industry, are ramping up collaboration efforts around the technology.

With 2017 so far a year of ongoing testing and development of blockchain systems, it is hoped that an increasing number of proofs-of-concept will be sufficiently viable for commercial rollouts in the months and years to come.