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Cryptocurrency Investment Course 2017: Fund your … – Udemy

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Russia Could Pass Cryptocurrency Law This Year, Senior Lawmaker Says – CoinDesk

An official for Russia’s nationallegislature believes that new laws regulating the exchange of cryptocurrencies will be complete by the end of the fall.

Anatoly Aksakov, who leads the State Duma’s financial markets committee, told Russian media this week that next steps involve the formation of a dedicated working group to address the issue.Further, he said that he would be meeting with officials from Russia’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance in the coming days.

Should all the pieces come together Russian officials have been working on some kind of law related to the tech since as early as 2014 lawmakers could complete work on a legislative passage over the next several months, according to Aksakov.

He said (in translated comments):

“If we agree on the main approaches in the coming week, I think that by autumn, by the end of the fall session, we will be able to adopt this law in order to provide a legal space for the development of this market.”

The comments come amid a flurry of news out of Russia on the cryptocurrency front. The country’s deputy finance minister, for example, said earlier this week that he thinks bitcoin trading should be restricted to qualified investors. The chief internet advisor to president Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, unveiled the formation of a new blockchain and cryptocurrency advocacy group earlier this week.

Image Credit:ID1974 / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [emailprotected].

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Six Banking Giants Just Decided to Partner to Create a New Cryptocurrency – Futurism

In BriefFinancial institutions have been taking a good hard look at blockchain, and now, six of the world’s biggest banks have decided the best way to take advantage of the decentralized, distributed digital ledger technology is by partnering on their own cryptocurrency.

Security is one of the most critical aspects of banking and finance. Not only do banks need to keep money secure, they also have to keep transaction records safe, all while not slowing down the verification process.

Thats why banks and other financial institutions have been taking a good hard look at blockchain, a decentralized, distributed digital ledger technology first created to support the bitcoin cryptocurrency. Now, six of those banks have decided the best way to take advantage of blockchain is by partnering on their own cryptocurrency.

The digital coin, which they are calling the utility settlement coin,was developed back in 2015 by financial services firmUBS, and its purpose is to enable the clearing and settling of transactions worldwide over a blockchain. The six new banks Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG, and State Street join UBS, BNY Mellon, and several others already on the project.

The distributed ledger is one of the most innovative technologies out there, Lee Braine from Barclaystold The Financial Times. From reducing risk to improving capital efficiency in financial markets, we see several benefits of this project.

The new cryptocurrency is slated for a limited back end run by 2018, and the banks have been in discussions with central bank regulatorsregarding the cryptocoin.

While blockchain technology can be used for a variety of purposes distributing aid,fighting climate change,tracking electricity in the grid, etc. its potential for disruption is perhaps still greatest in the world of finance. Projects like the utility settlement coin, which can test the tech on a bigger scale, will be essential if that potential is to be reached.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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AxionV: AI Cryptocurrency Fund Leading the Way in ICO Security – HuffPost

Earlier this year, we reported that, for the first time, a major venture capital firm, Union Square Ventures, invested in a blockchain hedge fund. But thats not all thats been invested in blockchain technology. By next year, 90% of central banks and 80% of financial banks will have engaged in some form of investment, programming, or planning to incorporate blockchain into their main business functions and workflows. But with cybersecurity a main determinant in which blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies receive investment, blockchain fintech companies need to be vigilant when protecting their assets from any intruder.

In this regard, one such company rises above the rest. Its name is AxionV, and it is currently about to undergo its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on September 16. AxionV is an AI crypto fund which uses proprietary algorithms and complex trading strategies to achieve much better returns for your money. Their information caught my eye because it stood out in several ways, including its unparalleled security, which is something I look for when analyzing ICOs and crypto trading. In a nutshell, the AxionV ICO seems like a unique and interesting project, because it gives access to top talent in the trading space to anyone, not just established traders.

Founded by professional traders and blockchain technology experts, it takes pride in implementing leading security protocols to ensure that company operations will continue in virtually any situation without major interruptions.

When looking for security frameworks, AxionV made the strategic decision to benchmark to institutions outside of finance that already have the highest need to be as safe and secure as possible. This is why the Nuclear Energy Institute was selected as the model framework for the firm. Beyond this, to offer clarity on jurisdiction and regulatory issues, AxionV is developing five legal teams established throughout the Asia-Pacific, Europe and Americas regions to address regional issues in order to protect the firm and its potential investors while engaging directly with local governments and advisory committees. This is the framework consisting of five risk categories. While the majority of ICOs using blockchain could claim relative software security, the other 4 layers are most often omitted.

Blockchain currently is one of, if not the most secure protocols that is luckily, also open-source.

AxionVs technology actually minimizes the use of smart contracts, leading to more security for clients and less risk to the company. This is notable and perhaps counterintuitive because one of blockchains most lauded features is the ability to create smart contractsthat is, contracts recorded on the blockchain which execute themselves.

AxionV has a reason for this: the widely reported attack on the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). Last year, a lone hacker attacked the DAO, the largest crowdfunded Ethereum blockchain organization in history at over $150m. This hacker discovered a vulnerability in the DAOs smart contract integrity, and isolated and attacked a highly valuable smart contract, siphoning over 3.6 million Ether from the organization into a child DAO with a mirroring structure. Due to this, the price of Ethereum dropped 35% last year. Yet, since AxionV mostly excludes smart contracts from the code handling of any tokens, the result is a more stable and fork-resistant token.

Hardware security offers another important layer of protection. We often trust the largest manufacturers such as Apple, Intel, HP, etc. to not insert any special chips inside the machines as backdoors, but given their proprietary nature, its always a possibility.

Whether it sounds unrealistic or not, history teaches us many breaches of hardware security will occur. One of them is mentioned by Kevin Mitnick a renowned security consultant and hacker. A program one hacker favored was called Spy Lantern, a hardware based program with the ability to monitor and record computer activities as a target works, allowing the hacker to secretly intercept every keystroke typed on the target’s computer system except that this one is supposedly completely invisible on the target’s machine.

The AxionV teams advantage compared to the competition is that they monitor hardware by verifying every machine to identify potential security breaches before deployment. AxionVs protocol involves fully assembling proprietary machines on site or directing private orders from the top manufacturers only.

Every company attempts to fully protect its information from the outside world. Perfect information protection is impossible, because employees are humans who constantly interact with the outside world. Many companies, to save expenses, install WiFi and connect machines / computers / servers with private information to WiFi. This creates a huge threat. Intruders, once they learn the password to the WiFi, can access the entire system by starting as an average user account, and increasing its access rights using a variety of techniques.

In reality, there are very few companies with sufficient educational programs that cover environmental security. Most often, theres just too much ground to cover.

AxionVs solution to environment security is to divide infrastructure into two main parts: internal and external. The internal infrastructure has no connection to the outside world, and it is fully isolated within its own environment, much like in a nuclear plant. It will be completely disconnected from the internet or people who dont have the access rights. External, on the other hand, will be public and open, accessible to virtually anyone. The idea itself is inspired by Blockchain in that it also uses a combination of a public and a private keys to produce maximum security.

Every person is a source of information. Every employee has access to some piece of valuable information that can be used against the company without realizing it. These pieces of information can help intruders get access to private information. Even corporate slang or references used outside of the workplace can be used by hackers adept at social engineering to access protected information.

Many organizations decide not to even pay attention or even consider this aspect, thinking its very unlikely it will happen. However, this is a very important factor to consider. NDAs do not work either they serve more as a psychological protection, but not as a real protection against intruders and accidental disclosure.

Examples of security breaches with failed security protocols include Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who committed espionage and gave out nuclear program of the U.S. to the Soviet Union. Or Edward Snowden, who worked at the CIA and deliberately leaked lots of information.

AxionV uses structured access to information for every employee, including provisions for loss of any employees. Every employee goes through extensive training about which information they have access to and what ways this information can be stolen from them.

Given the current landscapes throughout the world regarding blockchain, ICOs, Startups and investing, anticipating and strategic legal strategies are needed to maintain a business like AxionV. Multiple regulatory bodies have already made their stances known, but real laws and binding decisions have been mercurial so far. AxionV has developed a roadmap to combat the nature of attorneys own conflicts of interests and how to deal with the worldwide regulatory uncertainty. The strategy is to seek multiple opinions from its five legal teams and always go with the most conservative decision. AxionV willingly works within local regulations as a thought leader with the goal of helping the blockchain world develop and utilize a robust Know your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering framework that will punish violators and reward honest clients. Currently, it is considering an advanced adaptation of the proposed SAFT or Simple Agreement for Token framework, which has been modeled from SAFE from Y Combinator, as a simple framework established between VCs and startups.

Overall, I see how AxionV is leading the way in cyber security in this space, providing the framework for future ICO launches that need to be more secure, while providing immediate value to those who invest in the ICO as the AI trades and increases the value of the fund. For more information, Ive found their website and blog to both be great resources for information about their upcoming ICO as well as the future of the fund.

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There’s a lot more to the Cloud than storage these days and competition is getting crowded – Financial Post

Cloud storage was once primarily thought of as a place to keep data online securely or to host a website, but tech giants increasingly want their customers to think about what can be done with the data once its put there and, of course, to pay for services that manipulate it.

Large corporations have traditionally used servers to store big quantities of data that can then be analyzed for trends or to predict results. Now the cloud is also hosting analytic programs that smaller organizations can use to get much-needed results.

For example, a car insurance company could do instant on-site assessments: agents upload photos of an accidents damage through an app to the cloud where machine learning and artificial intelligence analyze them and quickly send back a quote. That eliminates the need to return to the office where it could take hours or days to do an assessment.

Or perhaps a small medical office in a remote community wants to do a screening for diabetic retinopathy by uploading a photo of the patients eye to a cloud-based machine-learning platform. The doctor would get instant results instead of sending a patient away to a larger city for a proper diagnosis.

The demand for such applications and others that save time and bring in more revenue is growing and the tech giants want a piece of the action.

Cloud is the great equalizer. It allows very small organizations to compete with very big organizations, said Jim Lambe, Google Clouds country manager for Canada. Historically, the big organizations beat up on the small ones, but now it is the quicker organizations that are going to beat up on the slower ones.

The worldwide public cloud services market is expected to grow by 18 per cent in 2017 to US$246.8 billion, according to a report earlier this year by research company Gartner. By 2020, cloud adoption strategies are expected to influence more than 50 per cent of IT outsourcing deals.

Google has long harnessed the cloud for its own web-based services such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Docs, but the tech giant decided to double down on the space after seeing the number of other companies that want their own cloud platforms to quickly grow.

Google said it considers itself one of the few which can properly lead the space given the high upfront cost for new entrants to develop the infrastructure, such as large data centres, needed to provide cloud storage.

If you are not already an incumbent with the DNA to do this, you cant really enter this market because you have lost the last 15 years, said Brian Stevens, chief technical officer of Google Cloud, in an interview during a recent visit to the companys Toronto office.

The size of the opportunity is well understood to be massive and Google believes this is going to be one of the biggest businesses, if not the biggest business, inside of Google sometime in the future. We feel like we are really set up for it.

Its not just Google that offers the cloud for both storage and data analysis. Other major players have existed in the space for just as long, if not longer. So far they have more market share, too.

Amazon.com Inc. helped pioneer cloud-based storage platforms by creating Amazon Web Services back in 2006. Microsoft Corp.s Azure debuted in 2010 and Google Cloud Platform came along in 2011 to round out the heavyweights, but others such as IBM and speciality companies like Box Inc. have been offering cloud storage solutions as well.

Amazon, Microsoft and Google in particular emphasize their computational and large-scale advantages rather than just their ability to securely host files.

Amazon is still the juggernaut with 40-per-cent market share as of February 2017, according to Synergy Research Group, but Microsoft is growing at twice the pace.

Google is also ramping up its efforts, opening data centres in new international markets such as Canada, something Amazon and Microsoft were already doing (the latter still leads the way with a presence in 42 announced regions).

Cloud is really driving the data centre expansion strategy for Google, Stevens said. Typically, there is a longer cycle for bringing up a new data centre, but now with cloud and, for example, places like Montreal, we are bringing up new data centres in under a year, which is pretty fast paced.

In addition to opening data centres within Canada which allows companies to keep sensitive information from leaving the country, important for regulated sectors such as banking and health care Googles myriad cloud initiatives have Canadian ties.

The tech giants Waterloo, Ont., office of about 500 has long been responsible for helping with web-based services such as Gmail, so the company has been looking north of the border for expertise as it focuses more on its Google Cloud offerings.

We have teams working here on a number of different efforts within cloud that contribute to the way that the Google Cloud platform will be successful for all of the different services around the world, said Derek Phillips, an engineering director at Googles Waterloo office and an 11-year employee with the company.

The Waterloo office is a big contributor to the success of cloud and this is a really good place for us to be as we have really been looking for other ways to make a big contribution to Google, Canada and the world.

Googles Montreal office also has engineers who work on cloud-related products (and others), but Waterloos advantage is its proximity to the University of Waterloo, one of the tech giants top schools for recruitment.

Canada is well positioned as a big contributor in this space. People have heard a lot about the cloud and they dont really know exactly what it means, Phillips said. There is a lot of ways Canada can contribute here and one way is on the engineering side and being involved in what is developed, how these things come together and how it serves customers all around the world.

The battle in the cloud is still in its early stages, but it is already fierce. Companies such as Google and Microsoft are playing catch-up with Amazon, but say their platforms have more appeal because they are companies known for their machine learning, artificial intelligence and algorithms. Amazon, though the market-share leader, isnt necessarily the first company that comes to mind for big data analysis.

Google also releases the source code to some of its cloud platforms for others to see, use and build upon, hoping to create a better end product and be recognized as a company that cares about the space, even if that means people take the code to a competitors service.

The company said it is important to be welcomed in the open-source community first and then business will follow.

We could have just said we have the best machine learning technology and you can only use it on Google Cloud. Instead we said no, we are going to open it up, Stevens said, adding that the response has been positive.

That gets you to a place where it has long-term sustainable impact for the end user and for us.

Financial Post

jomcconnell@postmedia.com Twitter.com/JoshMcConnell

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Assessing Alibaba’s Cloud Computing Opportunity – Market Realist – Market Realist

Alibaba’s Post-Earnings Update: Cloud, Mobile Users, Brand Rights PART 5 OF 16

In Alibabas (BABA) fiscal 1Q18 earnings, you can see that its Cloud Computing business only supplied 5.0% of the companys total revenues. Despite the tiny contribution to the companys top line, its Cloud Computing revenues grew 96% year-over-year, making it one of Alibabas fastest-growing businesses.

Alibaba identified the top priority in its Cloud Computing business as market expansion. The company is adding more cloud capacity and rolling out new cloud products and services to support themarket share expansionthat it seeks.

According to estimates by Synergy Research Group, Alibaba is subdued by Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabets (GOOGL) Google, and IBM (IBM) in terms of worldwide cloud computing market share.The chart above shows the rankings of various cloud providers by market share.

In the cloud computing industry, Alibaba has thrown its hat in the ring for a multi-billion-dollar prize. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market could grow 18% to reach $246.8 billion in 2017 before expanding to $383.4 billion by 2020. The market was worth ~$209.2 billion in 2016.

Cloud computing has the potential to transform Alibabas financial profile if the company can succeed in this sector. Alibabas overall revenues in fiscal 2017 totaled $23 billion, up 56%. Cloud revenues for that year reached $968 million, up 121%, and represented about 4.2% of the companys total revenues.

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Literally just one huge chart showing bitcoin’s incredible rise to $4800 – MarketWatch

Eight days.

Thats how long it took bitcoin BTCUSD, -5.34% back in April 2013, to rise from $100 for a single bitcoin to $200.

Fast forward four years and the cryptocurrency has reached an all-time high of $4,890.40 and has been scaling $100 milestones in a matter of hours on a routine basis. On Tuesday morning, the price of a single bitcoin was around $4,400; by Tuesday afternoon it had shot up to briefly top $4,700 for the first time. Friday, it scaled above $4,800 and has $4,900 in its sights.

While these milestones have become lesser and lesser accomplishments as bitcoin has continued to blaze along its upward path bitcoin would now only need to rise 2.1% to go from $4,800 to $4,900, compared with 100% when it doubled to $200 it is also indicative of just how astonishingly fast the digital currency has been rising this year. So fast we were barely able to fit all the milestones onto this whopper of a chart.

Vote: What will we see first: Dow 30,000 or bitcoin $30,000?

Also read: 22 internet memes that let you relive bitcoins historic rise

If that chart isnt making bitcoins staggering ascent abundantly clear, here are some more stats that should do the job:

One year ago, on Aug. 31, 2016, bitcoin was trading at $576.

Which means bitcoin is up over 740% over the past 12 months.

It closed 2016 trading at about $954.

So, thus far in 2017, it is up over 400%.

Bitcoin started the month of August at $2,738.

And has hit record after record this month, surging 77%.

There have been nine days in 2017, five in August alone, in which bitcoin has scaled past several $100 milestones in a single day.

At current levels, bitcoin has a market cap of $79.38 billion, larger than such companies as Starbucks Corp. SBUX, +0.13% and American Express Co. AXP, +0.05%

(Bitcoin prices according to CoinDesk.)

This is where well remind you that as the elder sibling of the cryptocurrency gang, bitcoins numbers actually pale in comparison to some of its brethren:

Ether has soared more than 4,600% this year. Its total market cap stands at $36.7 billion.

Bitcoin Cash, an offspring created in response to bitcoins transaction-size issue, has a market cap of $10.4 billion. (Though it is down about 26% from an all-time high above $860, hit on Aug. 19.)

Ripple, at about $0.25, is up nearly 3,900% this year. Market cap at latest check: $9.5 billion.

Litecoin, at about $79, is up over 1,800% since the beginning of this year, when it was trading at just over $4. Its market cap now stands at just over $4.1 billion.

Despite the records, cryptocurrency trading has been extremely volatile this year. Bitcoin recently dropped more than 10%, briefly putting it into correction territory before it subsequently rebounded. Still…

The combined market cap of all digital currencies is above $175 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

And it has grown by more than $20 billion in the past eight days.

At current levels, the crypto market cap amounts to nearly one-tenth the value of the physical stock of official gold.

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Bitcoin’s nearly five-fold climb in 2017 looks very similar to tech … – CNBC

When charted, bitcoin’s rapid gains resemble how stocks surged into the tech bubble before collapsing.

David Ader, chief macro strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence, matched a graph of the Nasdaq Telecommunications Index at its peak in 2000 to bitcoin’s five-year run to all-time highs.

“This is the price chart for an overly frothy market, in my opinion. I just don’t see anything quite as comparable to this in bubblelicious terms,” said Ader, a former top-rated bond market strategist.

Bitcoin climbed more than 3.7 percent Thursday to a record of $4,802.74, up nearly five times in price this year and about 67 percent higher for August, according to CoinDesk.

Source: Informa Financial Intelligence

“I think it’s going to come to a sorry ending,” Ader said. “I don’t know anybody who’s actually used a bitcoin for any purpose legal or otherwise. This looks like an overly frothy market and frothy markets lose their froth.”

Ader said he used the Nasdaq telecom index since many of those stocks led the Nasdaq composite’s overall gains during the tech bubble. The Nasdaq telecom index shot up more than 700 percent from 1995 to 2000, before collapsing 90 percent in the next two years. The index remains about 75 percent below its record high.

Bitcoin’s meteoric surge this year comes as many on Wall Street are becoming more interested in the digital currency and the blockchain technology behind it. New digital asset investment funds are rolling out and the Chicago Board Options Exchange is planning to launch bitcoin futures.

Many investors also bought bitcoin this month after it survived a relatively uneventful split on Aug. 1 into bitcoin and bitcoin cash, an alternative version supported by only a few developers. Bitcoin cash is up about 180 percent from its Aug. 1 low, to Thursday’s price of $588, according to CoinMarketCap.

However, bitcoin could split again this fall because there’s another upgrade proposal, and others have warned that the speculative forces behind bitcoin could quickly turn against it.

Here are a few of the alarm bells sounded this summer:

By percent change, analysis from Bespoke Investment Group shows how bitcoin’s surge has already well surpassed that of any major stock market bubble.

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

That said, some well-respected names on Wall Street have also issued positive reports on the digital currency.

Lee and Moas both reason that bitcoin can climb to those levels if even a fraction of the trillions of dollars in gold or other traditional investments move into the digital currency.

Bitcoin has a market value of about $78 billion, and digital currencies overall are worth $170 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

That makes the value of all digital currencies less than 5 percent of the more than $4 trillion inflation-adjusted value of stocks during the tech and telecom boom, said Chris Burniske, author of the upcoming book, “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond.”

“If people think this is the ‘big bubble,’ then they don’t have an appreciation for how big the idea of cryptoassets really is,” he said.

Many digital currency enthusiasts agree there is speculation in the digital currency. But they note that, just like the dot-com bubble, companies that were able to utilize the underlying technology then became global giants.

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BTC-e’s Big Claim: Bitcoin Withdrawals to Begin Tomorrow – CoinDesk – CoinDesk

BTC-e, the long-running and controversial bitcoin exchange targeted by US authorities last month, hasclaimed that users will be able to withdraw their funds beginning tomorrow.

As previously reported, BTC-e after its original domain had been seized by law enforcement following the arrest of a Russian national and the levying of a $110 million fine for money laundering violations said it had secured “55 [percent] of the funds” originally held by the exchange, with the rest being confiscated.Yesterday, BTC-e renewed access through a new domain, allowing users to check their balances and communicate through the chat box.

In an update,the exchange said that users would be able to withdraw the portion of their funds still available provided that they accept a deal which would see BTC-e issue a debt token aimed at making up for the confiscated funds.

The statement reads:

“Tomorrow, on September 2, 2017, it will be possible to withdraw 55% of the funds from the account…on the condition that our debt obligations are abandoned to the remaining 45% of funds in the form of tokens. More details about the conditions, the principle of calculation and the form of output will be available tomorrow.”

Users that elect to keep their funds on the site, the statement goes on to explain, will have their funds transferred to an as-yet-unrevealed domain that will serve as the home for the newly-launched BTC-e.

“On the day the site is launched, the balance will be recalculated at the market rate and will be credited to accounts with a higher ratio than 55/45….Tokens will be credited to your account balance, which you can use for bidding and releasing codes,” the exchange said.

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The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [emailprotected].

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Internet security startup founded by former CIA analyst raises $40 million – San Francisco Business Times


San Francisco Business Times
Internet security startup founded by former CIA analyst raises $40 million
San Francisco Business Times
This former CIA analyst is applying lessons from working in national security to help customers find and plug risks among devices connected to their networks. Subscribe to get the full story. Already a subscriber? Sign in. Subscribe to get the full

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