Brazilian Electoral System to Use Ethereum Blockchain Network 34

As the technology behind the blockchain develops and evolves, its popularity will increase and more government and private organizations will look towards it for digital solutions. The latest country to embrace the blockchain is Brazil where legislators are pushing to move popular petitions to the Ethereum network.

Popular petitions (projeto de lei de iniciativa popular) are an important part of the political process in Brazil. The process enables government officials to collect and verify signatures of 145 million registered voters. They also allow the public to have their opinions heard on pressing social and political issues. However, the sheer geographical and population size makes this a logistical nightmare for legislators.

The primary problem with archaic paper-based systems is that voters are physically required to sign the documents making it a challenge to verify authenticity. Additionally, the system is often viewed as detrimental to the country’s democratic process as popular petitions are rarely actually heard or followed through in Congress.

A blockchain solution renders this data immutable and invulnerable from manipulation. Petition signatures on the blockchain would allow officials to check if the vote has been accurately recorded in a specific petition. Processing them on Ethereum using a smart contract would operate as the other decentralized applications currently do on the network. Effectively, Brazil would have its own independent digital token for its electoral system.

Universidade de Brasilia law professor Henrique Costa said that the lack of such a system has been a problem in the past;

“In part this is due to the absence of a platform that can securely collect the signatures of one percent of voters. We’ve been through a sort of crisis regarding the legitimacy…of our laws. Although the popular initiative does exist, there is no secure way to collect people’s signatures so people can propose bills themselves.”

The Brazilian government is currently developing a mobile app powered by Ethereum to give citizens the ability to register their details online and submit a petition or sign one. The app will keep track of the number of votes for each petition via the smart contract. The encrypted signatures are then hashed and added to the Ethereum blockchain so that Brazilians can check that their vote and signature is actually there.

The move has already been touted as a celebration of democracy.

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Azarus Raises $1.8 Million for Blockchain-based Competitive Gaming Challenge Platform 5662

Azarus

Azarus has raised $1.8 million from some well-known investors to build out its blockchain-based “Smart Challenge” platform, which offers gamers the ability to compete for digital assets in both casual and competitive gaming challenges.

The money comes from from Galaxy Digital via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund, Kleiner Perkins, and SVK Crypto, among others. Launched in late 2018, Azarus’s “Smart Challenge” platform motivates players by using in-game applications programing interface (API) data and information pulled from Twitch extensions to measure victory conditions in online games, paying out rewards to the victors and theirs fans alike.

Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, said in an interview with GamesBeat that retention and engagement are critical in successful online games. The Azarus challenge and reward platform gives players a bigger stake in what is happening in the game.

The “Smart Challenge” platform empowers users to create their own rules and challenges, the terms of which are notarized on the EOSIO blockchain in order to maximize transparency and fairness. (Blockchain is a transparent and secure decentralized ledger that powers innovations such as cryptocurrency or supply chain security).

“I like blockchain and competition, and I like the brand approach as well. I knew [cofounder] Erik [Whiteford] when he was at EA Sports and Madden. He hosted the Madden tournament at the Super Bowl for multiple years. I trust his nose for bringing competition to gamers,” said Gordon. “He has been doing high-level, head-to-head esports since the 1990s.”

Viewers and players earn AZA credits by watching Azarus-enabled amateur and professional esports streams and answering historical or predictive questions based on the broadcasts. AZAs can be redeemed at the Azarus Marketplace in exchange for rare in-game items, in-game currencies, digital assets, and more.

“Azarus’ implementation of blockchain tech and the EOSIO protocol is precisely what we look to invest in from the Galaxy EOS VC Fund: a scalable and consumer-friendly gaming platform that demonstrates the promise of blockchain technology,” said Sam Englebardt, cofounder of Galaxy Digital and the firm’s co-head of principal Investments, in a statement. “We have tremendous confidence in the team’s vision and ability to execute.”

China Stablecoin and Trading Appetite Dwarfs Global Demand 5423

China

On-chain data shows Tether movements hitting a new all-time-high for 2Q19 with one month left on the calendar for the period. What is most striking, however, is the volume coming in and out of Chinese exchanges dwarfs western and global trading venues and accounts for more than half of the total transaction value of known parties.

Data provided to Diar by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis highlights the magnitude of Chinese Tether demand with over $16Bn received by exchanges based in that market in 2018. This year the number has already surpassed an outstanding $10Bn, setting the stage for the biggest year yet.

2019 to date flows into exchanges catering primarily for Chinese traders beat the $7Bn of all the transactional value for 2017.

Tether on-chain movements stateside account for a tiny 3% of known volumes at $450Mn, more than $10Bn less than flows sent and received by Chinese exchanges.

And the demand is on the rise. In the 2018 bear market, Chinese exchanges accounted for 39% of all known on-chain transaction value for Tether. This year to date, the red dragon is responsible for a whopping 60%.

Global exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex have a share equivalent to half that at 31%, dropping from the 47% share seen for both 2017 and 2018.

US-based exchanges saw their share of the stablecoin demand/trading drop from 44% in 2017 to less than 10% in 2018.

This isn’t a matter of cashing out. The stablecoin movements on-chain are just shy of netting out between sent and received funds, indicating a cyclical nature and trading desire across all exchanges. The on/off nature is likely due to custody reasons from potential exchange hack concerns (see chart 3).

This similar character in the net balance of sent and received funds globally and across all regions suggests legitimate flows. There is no disparity or alternative behavior in the movement of Tethers sent to Chinese exchanges versus the transactions sent to regulated US-based trading venues.

On-chain movements out of China are telling and in stark contrast to what the industry now perceives as nothing more than fake volume following an extensive report by Bitwise, an asset management firm that filed for a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bitwise, which looked into 83 exchanges, found a mere 10 to be compliant across its own tests. And there are clear examples of dubious trading volumes that resemble simple algorithms filling up order books that fall far from reputable exchange trading trends.

On-Chain transactional volume in 2019 has gone up in unison with reported trading volumes.

While it may not be comparing apples to apples, it’s not comparing apples to oranges either. Massive amounts of funds are being moved into exchanges in China for no other purpose than trading. Even a single trade of Tethers moved onto Chinese exchanges would equal daily volumes equivalent to $215Mn for the month of April (the period Bitwise analyzed), which is three times as much as Coinbase and on par with Binance (see chart 5). This does not even take into account funds sitting on the exchanges.

The similarities in percentages of reported trading volume versus Tethers moved on and off exchanges is certainly not proof-of-innocence (POI) nor vindicating of potential wash trading and fake volumes.

But in consideration of the billions in Tethers moved on-chain in China that towers over US and world market transactional value, the estimate by Bitwise of 95% of cryptocurrency trading volume being fake is also likely to be far off the mark, possibly by magnitudes.

Court Rules Bank Leumi Should Serve Crypto Exchange Bits of Gold 5599

Cryptocurrency exchange Bits of Gold received a huge boost this Monday after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled it could continue using an account with Bank Leumi.

The cryptocurrency exchange had previously been unable to access its account after the bank had restricted access to it, citing regulatory concerns. But after taking its case to the Supreme Court of Israeli, the bank will have to allow the exchange to use its services.

Though Bank Leumi continued to object in principle to the decision, it should mean that Israeli firms doing business in digital assets will be able to connect to local banking services.

“This is an exciting moment for us as a company and for the [cryptocurrency] community in general,” said Bits of Gold CEO Yuval Roash.

“We worked hard to set up a company which met regulatory requirements, in a new industry, and those efforts paid off. I am proud to be a part of this flourishing industry and push it towards the right regulation.”

CEO NZIA Limited: Local startups must be at forefront of utilizing central bank’s digital currency 5610

digital currency

NZIA Limited’s Chief Executive Officer Jay Joe was adamant yesterday about the need for Bahamian entrepreneurs and tech startups to be at the forefront of Project Sand Dollar, the Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) digital fiat currency project.

NZIA has already started to scope the work required to implement the infrastructure for the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which is expected to be fully rolled out in Exuma before the end of the year.

Joe said through Project Sand Dollar, NZIA will demonstrate to the world how CBDC can be used to empower true financial inclusion, moving past the conceptual ideology of financial inclusion to practical, on-the-ground implementation.

He said the key to making this sort of financial inclusion a reality for Bahamian communities is through providing and encouraging opportunities for local banks, Bahamian small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs to create new products and solutions around CBDC, that would ultimately help foster widespread adoption and economic growth.

“When we look at typical CBDC projects out there, a lot of companies are trying to position themselves to kind of build the whole kit and caboodle, we’re not about that. Our vision from day one coming into this project was a people-first attitude. What we mean by helping to foster local economic development and growth is, we are about building that infrastructure,” he said during an official signing ceremony at CBOB in which the company was formally engaged.

“We are going to build the back end and we will open up the front end to allow local entrepreneurs, tech startups, whomever to be able to build new products and create new services around CBDC. We feel that this is going to be a key aspect of really making this thing become a real, living, breathing thing that people engage in.”

“If we try to be too greedy in terms of wanting to build everything, we know that it’s not going to succeed and that’s not what we want. We want to open up that front end to allow people to build new services and solutions and we know there is a lot of creativity out there, so we want to foster that.”

EOS is now available on Coinbase 5764

EOS

Starting today, Coinbase supports EOS (EOS) at Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store EOS.

EOS will be available for customers in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the United Kingdom or the state of New York. Additional jurisdictions may be added at a later date.

EOS (EOS)

EOS is a cryptocurrency designed to support large-scale decentralized applications. There are no fees to send or receive EOS. Instead, the protocol requires EOS to use resources like RAM, CPU, and network bandwidth. It also rewards the entities that run the network periodically with new EOS, effectively substituting inflation for transaction fees.

One of the most common requests we hear from customers is to be able to buy and sell more cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. In September, we announced a new process for listing assets, designed in part to accelerate the addition of more cryptocurrencies. We are also investing in new tools to help people understand and explore cryptocurrencies. We launched informational asset pages (see EOS here), as well as a new section of the Coinbase website to answer common questions about crypto.

You can sign up for a Coinbase account here to buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store EOS today.

Binance and Cred Partner to Bring Decentralized Financial Services and LBA to Binance Chain 6047

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and developer of proprietary blockchain Binance Chain, and Cred, the leading platform for crypto lending and borrowing, today announced an agreement to work together to spur the decentralization of finance. As part of the agreement, Cred will migrate a portion of its ERC20 LBA tokens to Binance Chain and will become the official lending and borrowing platform for the DeFi ecosystem. As both an investor and partner in Cred, Binance will also look for opportunities to leverage and support Cred’s industry-leading services within the Binance ecosystem.

“We are delighted to be working with Cred to help scale their efforts to more markets and users around the world through the power of the Binance Chain, which has a one-second block time and will ensure transactions and interactions by Cred’s users will be fast, efficient and effortless,” said Ted Lin, Chief Growth Officer of Binance.

Cred is a licensed lender, based in California and has secured over $300 million in lending capital. Cred enables crypto wallet providers, custodians, exchanges and crypto application providers the ability to offer some of the most competitive lending and borrowing rates in the industry. This year, Cred has announced partnerships with several influential organizations and custodians in the crypto community. Cred LBA holders will be able to commit their crypto to a fixed term and have the option to rollover assets for additional periods. Customers receive the best rates when staking Cred’s LBA token. No account minimum is needed and interest is paid out in Stablecoin. The principal is paid back in the crypto amounts that were initially received.

“Binance has been a strong partner and investor from Cred’s inception and we are very happy to support Binance Chain and continue to collaborate with Binance to bring decentralized finance to everyone in a sustainable way,” said Dan Schatt, Co-Founder of Cred. “We look forward to continuing the Cred-Binance partnership.”

Cred is backed by some of the largest investors in crypto and tech including Binance Labs, 500 Startups, Arrington XRP Capital, Blocktower and FBG Capital. Cred is also a founding member of the Universal Protocol Alliance, a board member of the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition.