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Encryption | General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Companies can reduce the probability of a data breach and thus reduce the risk of fines in the future, if they chose to use encryption of personal data. The processing of personal data is naturally associated with a certain degree of risk. Especially nowadays, where cyber-attacks are nearly unavoidable for companies above a given size. Therefore, risk management plays an ever-larger role in IT security and data encryption is suited, among other means, for these companies.

In general, encryption refers to the procedure that converts clear text into a hashed code using a key, where the outgoing information only becomes readable again by using the correct key. This minimises the risk of an incident during data processing, as encrypted contents are basically unreadable for third parties who do not have the correct key. Encryption is the best way to protect data during transfer and one way to secure stored personal data. It also reduces the risk of abuse within a company, as access is limited only to authorised people with the right key.

The Regulation also recognizes these risks when processing personal data and places the responsibility on the controller and the processor in Art. 32(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to secure personal data. The GDPR deliberately does not define which specific technical and organisational measures are considered suitable in each case, in order to accommodate individual factors. However, it gives the controller a catalogue of criteria to be considered when choosing methods to secure personal data. Those are the state of the art, implementation costs and the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing. In addition to these criteria, one always has to consider the severity of the risks to the rights and freedoms of the data subject and how likely those risks could manifest. This basically boils down to the following: The higher the risks involved in the data processing and the more likely these are to manifest, the stronger the taken security measures have to be and the more measures must be taken. Encryption as a concept is explicitly mentioned as one possible technical and organisational measure to secure data in the list of Art. 32(1) of the GDPR, which is not exhaustive. Again, the GDPR does not mention explicit encryption methods to accommodate for the fast-paced technological progress. When choosing a method one must also apply the criteria catalogue above. To answer the question of what is currently considered state of the art data protection officers usually rely on the definitions set out in information security standards like ISO/IEC 27001 or other national IT-security guidelines.

Encryption of personal data has additional benefits for controllers and/or order processors. For example, the loss of a state of the art encrypted mobile storage medium which holds personal data is not necessarily considered a data breach, which must be reported to the data protection authorities. In addition, if there is a data breach, the authorities must positively consider the use of encryption in their decision on whether and what amount a fine is imposed as per Art. 83(2)(c) of the GDPR.

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Homepage – Cryptocurrency Army

The world of cryptocurrencies is a quickly growing and expanding place. The value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been going through the roof. The reality is that cryptocurrencies are becoming ever more important, valuable, and widely accepted as legitimate forms of money. With this great value comes a very real chance for people to make a serious income. Yes, the trading of Bitcoins, Ethereum, and other such cryptocurrencies is becoming much more common and profitable too. Just like with other forms of trading, Bitcoin and Crypto trading has a lot of merit in terms of its profit potential. That being said, there are also lots of threats out there that arise from this popularity of cryptocurrencies. This is why we here at the Cryptocurrency Army have come into existence, to help you fight off these threats and stay safe.

Source:huffingtonpost

The sad reality is that there are countless cryptocurrency scams out there looking to take advantage of you. Just like with other scams and scammers, crypto-scams looks to expose beginners and people with limited knowledge. These criminals promise huge profits and awesome returns if you just give them some money. Whether it is a trading scam, a scam application, or an HYIP scam, there are plenty out there looking to bite a chunk out of you. These people are fraudsters, criminals, and scammers of epic proportions looking to make your life miserable with a ridiculous array of crypto-scams. Here at the Cryptocurrency Army our main goal is to keep you safe from scams, let you know about the legitimate trading applications out there, and to teach you everything there is to know about cryptocurrencies.

Here at the Cryptocurrency Army our mission is to keep you safe from scammers, criminals, and fraudulent peoples of all sorts. Were here to evaluate trading programs, investment opportunities, and to review anything and everything to do with cryptocurrencies. Whether Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or any other form of digital currency, our goal is to ensure that your money is right where it should be, in your own pocket and not in the hands of scammers. To learn about cryptocurrencies, check out our section titled Cryptocurrency Explained and for info about the latest crypto-scams, visit our section titled Scam Report.

Email Us:cryptocurrencyarmy@gmail.com

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Cryptocurrency – Simple English Wikipedia, the free …

A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, that is designed to work like a currency. Usually, cryptocurrencies use features found in strong cryptography, such as digital signatures to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.[1][2][3] The first of them were created to be independent of a government-issued currency.

Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control[4] as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems.[5] The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain [6], that serves as a public financial transaction database.[7][8]Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is generally considered the first decentralized cryptocurrency.[9] Since then, over 4,000 altcoin (alternative coin) variants of bitcoin have been created.

In many cases, cryptocurrencies cannot be converted to real currencies; it is only possible to convert them to other cryptocurrencies, or to use them to buy things. Some cryptocurrencies can be converted to real currrencies: They usually have a high volatility, and using them carries a high risk.[10] They are also a target for so-called Pump-and-Dump-Attacks.[11] They act like a big distributed economic system: As they are not issued or controlled by central banks, their value is difficult to influence: For this reason, they cannot really take the place of a stable currency.[12]

Cryptocurrencies are prone to speculation, which makes buliding a system of more or less stable exchange rates very difficult.[13] Another problem is the inequality of distribution: Many cryptocurrencires are held by only few people. As an example: about 1.000 people hold half of the total amount of bitcoins in the world. This means that if any of these persons starts using their cryptocurrency, this has an effect on the exchange rate. It also means that these people have a great influence on the value of the currency, and are able to change its value easily.[14] The currency itself only documents ownership changes. Exchange rates of cryptocurrencies are established outside the system. Exchange rates are issued by brokers and traders; their indication is no guarantee that the currency is traded at the value proposed. In itself, the unit of cryptocurrency has no value.

In contrast to cyptocurrencies, real currencies are issued and controlled by central banks. Certain econnomic phenomena such as inflation or deflation may change the value (and exchange rate) of a currency. The people who own units of the currency have no direct influence on its value.

According to Jan Lansky, a cryptocurrency is a system that meets six conditions:[15]

In March 2018, the word “cryptocurrency” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.[16]

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How To Create Your Own Cryptocurrency – fastcompany.com

When you look at the complexities that go into making a physical dollar bill its plain to see why most people dont start trying to print a new form of currency every day, but making a new digital currency is surprisingly easy for someone with even basic coding skills. But coding isnt the only step to getting your digital currency off the ground. Here are the five steps you should follow according to the makers of three cryptocurrencies.

When you think about creating a new digital currency its easy to assume the first step would be to begin coding your coin, but thats the wrong place to start, according to Chris Ellis, a London entrepreneur and a community activist at Feathercoin.

The first step is to find a community and build a currency around them rather than building a currency and expecting everyone to show up, Ellis says. It has to be sensitive to their needs and be relevant to their cultural heritage and background.

Feathercoin was created by Peter Bushnell in April 2013. Bushnell left his job as head of IT at Oxford Universitys Brasenose College because he wanted to start his own currency that put people at the center. This was in response to what he saw as a lack of community involvement and inclusiveness by the existing cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, on the popular cryptocurrency site bitcointalk.org.

Though he had not met Bushnell at the time, Ellis, who had been actively promoting and educating people on cryptocurrencies since last March, shared the sense of alienation and seclusion found on Bitcoin forums.

These forums were very tech focused and not very welcoming to newcomers or minority groups which are often served better by smaller teams, Ellis says. The forums did not make it easy for people to get involved in the development of the coin. Many people on these forums take a backseat and speculate on the price rather than actively getting involved.

Ellis found the cryptocurrency community activism he was looking for in Feathercoin, whose technical development he says benefits greatly from its community activism approach.

For Feathercoin we were a group of crypto enthusiasts, some of whom were new to the scene but who felt shut out from the rest of the space, Ellis says. Everyone at Feathercoin feels its important to demonstrate how a devoted group of people can establish a stable currency, he says. By working together a community of dedicated crypto enthusiasts are much better able to find and address vulnerabilities and security threats, like the 51% attack, which the community of coders at Feathercoin have successfully built protections against.

Building such protections and nurturing the development of your currency give your coin legitimacy and trust in the eyes of the public, something that is hard to do if those involved in the currency are passive spectators looking out for their own interests.

Surprisingly, every single currency developer I spoke with said the same thing: Coding your cryptocurrency is usually the least time-intensive part of the process. Thats because virtually every cryptocurrency on the market today is based on the open source code of Bitcoin or Litecoin that is available on GitHub.

The creation itself does not take long. It is maybe only a day, says Peter Otterbach, one of the creators of Coino, which bills itself as the fastest cryptocurrency on the market with a maximum transaction time of only 50 seconds. To start coding you just need to know about C++ to build your own features in it.

The length of time could be a little longer than a day, however, according to Kolin Evans, developer of the Quark cryptocurrency. In coding the most complex steps may be related to how complex you plan to have the individual parameters of the blockchain, Evans says. For example, many currencies just use the Litecoin code and copy it, but with Quark there was a whole new Hash algorithmthat is to say, its separate from both Bitcoin and Litecoinso this aspect if you were to change it would certainly be the most difficult. And time consuming. In this case coding a cryptocurrency could take months. However, Evans notes that if a developer is just reusing code from GitHub and changing some simple parameters, thats something a competent coder could do in literally 30 minutes.

But just because anyone with some C++ skills can make their own cryptocurrency doesnt mean that there will be as many currencies as, say, iOS apps one day. Feathercoin is in fact a fork of Litecoin, says Ellis. It began with the minimum number of parameter changes because we felt the most important feature of a currency was survivability.

However, the Feathcoin team noticed that a few of the currencies that came before didnt last very long because they included a novel feature set which would gain short-term speculative hype but then the team often werent able to follow through on the stewardship of the project longer term and the project would fail. In other words, the developers of those coins that failed probably wanted to make some cheddar on some quick coin creation and didnt want to work at developing the currency for the long runsomething which doomed them from the start.

You have a duty of care at the development end in terms of bug fixing and ensuring the promise made at launch but you also have a duty to educate people of the risks and give them what they need to secure their wealth, Ellis says. If you cant do that, no one is going to stick around to use your coin, and the mining of it will drop off as quickly as downloads did of the first Doodle Jump knockoffs.

Once youve developed your coin you need to spread the word so people start mining it, which raises awareness of its existence and hopefully begins to gain some value in the eyes of its miners and users. This is where makers of cryptocurrencies need to stop thinking like coders and instead look into how human beings put trust (and value) in things.

A good start is half the way there and so this involves building trust, expressing your vision and intentions to miners, who have the hardware you need, and getting them on board with the opportunity ahead, Feathercoins Ellis explains. You have to be honest and respect peoples expectations and their tolerance of risk, which many people overestimate.

Overselling your coin will backfire. Including novel feature sets just to try and stand out will not work either. The market is there to test your grit and determination. You need a group of loyal miners committed to the cause who will process your payments even during slumps in price because they believe in the eventual outcome. Its about good communication and team building.

Many coins have failed because they undervalue the soft stuff. They think that throwing technology at a problem will make it disappear. Central banks think throwing money at problems does the same; the world has never worked this way. You have to be good at knowing what work needs to be done and be prepared to do the jobs nobody else wants to do.

Lets says youve made it this far. Youve conceptualized a good cryptocurrency and brought the right team together to code and nurture it along its way. Youve spread the news around the cryptocurrency forums and theres a healthy dose of miners actively working to grow your currency. The next step is marketing your currency so all the people mining it have a place to spend it. This is no small feat. After all, you need to convince individuals and merchants that these digital bits youve created hold value and can be traded for things, just like traditional, trusted money.

Its a process of confidence building, Ellis says. It takes good stewardship and time to work out what you really believe and stand for. People will buy in to your motives more than your actions, so once you feel confident you then have to start talking about your currency to friends, merchants, on Internet forums and on social media.

The people behind Coino agree. To start the marketing you need to find the exact target group, Peter Otterbach says. At first you can just start at the cryptocurrency market itself because the people there know about coins and you see the first reactions. After that it gets more difficult. You need to convince people who mostly dont even know what a cryptocurrency is, so you have to get the currency accepted as a payment solution in online shops to get their attention.

I would add its not just about educating them with facts, Ellis notes, its about inspiring them to learn and discover the advantages for themselves. Money is a ledger, it is a tool that people will use as a way of achieving their goals and satisfying their needs. Understanding that will take you a long way in your marketing efforts.

Ellis says that merchant adoption is similar to miner adoption, its just a matter of understanding their different outlooks. Different stakeholder, same rules. The difference is that miners have a speculative sentiment and merchants are conservative. He notes that merchants have three principal aims: to make money, to save money, and to increase their awareness. If you can bring them customers and increase their sales while reducing their payment fees, the rest is a matter of persistence and making it as easy as possible to get them started.

The last step in your cryptocurrency journey is, according to pundits and conventional wisdom, world domination by your coin. But given that in over 5,000 years no single currency has dominated the globe, its very unlikelyno matter what Silicon Valley Bitcoin enthusiasts saythat any one cryptocurrency ever will.

Besides, global cryptocurrency domination doesnt have to be the goal, Ellis says. Currencies can be local, indeed we think of Feathercoin as a local currency that can serve a global market.

And therein may lie the true market for the burgeoning field of cryptocurrency: hyper-local currencies for certain neighborhoods, cities, events, venues, and groups of people that are built around a community of like-minded consumers allowing them to trade freely, quickly, and securely for goods and services that are important in their lives instead of having to rely on the central banks and larger markets to tell them what arbitrary item, be it a copper coin or a plastic dollar, holds value.

Indeed, in a market where cryptocurrency use is defined by neighborhood boundaries or group memberships there is no need for any one cryptocurrency to win. Theres room for them allexcept maybe the ones with memes.

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Using Encryption and Authentication Correctly (for PHP …

“Encryption is not authentication” is common wisdom among cryptography experts, but it is only rarely whispered among developers whom aren’t also cryptography experts. This is unfortunate; a lot of design mistakes could be avoided if this information were more widely known and deeply understood. (These mistakes are painfully common in home-grown PHP cryptography classes and functions, as many of the posts on Crypto Fails demonstrates.)

The concept itself is not difficult, but there is a rich supply of detail and nuance to be found beneath the surface.

Encryption is the process of rendering a message such that it becomes unreadable without possessing the correct key. In the simple case of symmetric cryptography, the same key is used for encryption as is used for decryption. In asymmetric cryptography, it is possible to encrypt a message with a user’s public key such that only possessing their private key can read it. Our white paper on PHP cryptography covers anonymous public-key encryption.

Authentication is the process of rendering a message tamper-resistant (typically within a certain very low probability, typically less than 1 divided by the number of particles in the known universe) while also proving it originated from the expected sender.

Note: When we say authenticity, we mean specifically message authenticity, not identity authenticity. That is a PKI and key management problem, which we may address in a future blog post.

In respect to the CIA triad: Encryption provides confidentiality. Authentication provides integrity.

Encryption does not provide integrity; a tampered message can (usually) still decrypt, but the result will usually be garbage. Encryption alone also does not inhibit malicious third parties from sending encrypted messages.

Authentication does not provide confidentiality; it is possible to provide tamper-resistance to a plaintext message.

A common mistake among programmers is to confuse the two. It is not uncommon to find a PHP library or framework that encrypts cookie data and then trusts it wholesale after merely decrypting it.

Message encryption without message authentication is a bad idea. Cryptography expert Moxie Marlinspike wrote about why message authentication matters (as well as the correct order of operations) in what he dubbed, The Cryptographic Doom Principle.

We previously defined encryption and specified that it provides confidentiality but not integrity or authenticity. You can tamper with an encrypted message and give the recipient garbage. But what if you could use this garbage-generating mechanism to bypass a security control? Consider the case of encrypted cookies.

The above code provides AES encryption in Cipher-Block-Chaining mode. If you pass a 32-byte string for $key, you can even claim to provide 256-bit AES encryption for your cookies and people might be misled into believing it’s secure.

Let’s say that, after logging into this application, you see that you receive a session cookie that looks like kHv9PAlStPZaZJHIYXzyCnuAhWdRRK7H0cNVUCwzCZ4M8fxH79xIIIbznxmiOxGQ7td8LwTzHFgwBmbqWuB+sQ==.

Let’s change a byte in the first block (the initialization vector) and iteratively sending our new cookie until something changes. It should take a total of 4096 HTTP requests to attempt all possible one-byte changes to the IV. In our example above, after 2405 requests, we get a string that looks like this: kHv9PAlStPZaZZHIYXzyCnuAhWdRRK7H0cNVUCwzCZ4M8fxH79xIIIbznxmiOxGQ7td8LwTzHFgwBmbqWuB+sQ==

For comparison, only one character differs in the base64-encoded cookie (kHv9PAlStPZaZJ vs kHv9PAlStPZaZZ):

The original data we stored in this cookie was an array that looked like this:

But after merely altering a single byte in the initialization vector, we were able to rewrite our message to read:

Depending on how the underlying app is set up, you might be able to flip one bit and become and administrator. Even though your cookies are encrypted.

If you would like to reproduce our results, our encryption key was 000102030405060708090a0b0c0d0e0f (convert from hexadecimal to raw binary).

As stated above, authentication aims to provide both integrity (by which we mean significant tamper-resistance) to a message, while proving that it came from the expected source (authenticity). The typical way this is done is to calculate a keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC for short) for the message and concatenate it with the message.

It is important that an appropriate cryptographic tool such as HMAC is used here and not just a simple hash function.

These two functions are prefixed with unsafe because they are vulnerable to a number of flaws:

To authenticate a message, you always want some sort of keyed Message Authentication Code rather than just a hash with a key.

Using a hash without a key is even worse. While a hash function can provide simple message integrity, any attacker can calculate a simple checksum or non-keyed hash of their forged message. Well-designed MACs require the attacker to know the authentication key to forge a message.

Simple integrity without authenticity (e.g. a checksum or a simple unkeyed hash) is insufficient for providing secure communications.

In cryptography, if a message is not authenticated, it offers no integrity guarantees either. Message Authentication gives you Message Integrity for free.

The only surefire way to prevent bit-rewriting attacks is to make sure that, after encrypting your information, you authenticate the encrypted message. This detail is very important! Encrypt then authenticate. Verify before decryption.

Let’s revisit our encrypted cookie example, but make it a little safer. Let’s also switch to CTR mode, in accordance with industry recommended best practices. Note that the encryption key and authentication key are different.

Now we’re a little closer to our goal of robust symmetric authenticated encryption. There are still a few more questions left to answer, such as:

Fortunately, these questions are already answered in existing cryptography libraries. We highly recommend using an existing library instead of writing your own encryption features. For PHP developers, you should use defuse/php-encryption (or libsodium if it’s available for you). If you still believe you should write your own, consider using openssl, not mcrypt.

Note: There is a narrow band of use-cases where authenticated encryption is either impractical (e.g. software-driven full disk encryption) or unnecessary (i.e. the data is never sent over the network, even by folder synchronization services such as Dropbox). If you suspect your problems or goals permit unauthenticated ciphertext, consult a professional cryptographer, because this is not a typical use-case.

If you wish to implement encrypted cookies in one of your projects, check out Halite. It has a cookie class dedicated to this use case.

If you want to reinvent this wheel yourself, you can always do something like this:

For developers without access to libsodium (i.e. you aren’t allowed to install PHP extensions through PECL in production), one of our blog readers offered an example secure cookie implementation that uses defuse/php-encryption (the PHP library we recommend).

In our previous examples, we focused on building the encryption and authentication as separate components that must be used with care to avoid cryptographic doom. Specifically, we focused on AES in Cipher Block-Chaining mode (and more recently in Counter mode).

However, cryptographers have developed newer, more resilient modes of encryption that encrypt and authenticate a message in the same operation. These modes are called AEAD modes (Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data). Associated Data means whatever your application needs to authenticate, but not to encrypt.

AEAD modes are typically intended for stateful purposes, e.g. network communications where a nonce can be managed easily.

Two reliable implementations of AEAD are AES-GCM and ChaCha20-Poly1305.

In a few years, we anticipate the CAESAR competition will produce a next-generation authenticated encryption mode that we can recommend over these two.

And most importantly: Use a library with a proven record of resilience under the scrutiny of cryptography experts rather than hacking something together on your own. You’ll be much better off for it.

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Africa Dominates P2P Bitcoin Exchange Paxful With $64 Million …

Paxful Inc., a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, is seeing significant growth in Africa. The U.S.-based company said Africans now accounted for the largest number of people buying and selling cryptocurrency on its platform, with average monthly transactions totaling $64.5 million.

Also Read:Brazilian Banks Ordered to Reopen Cryptocurrency Exchanges Frozen Accounts

Over the past year, users from the African continent of 1.2 billion people soared by 225 percent, Ray Youssef, chief executive officer of Paxful, told South African media. Transactions on the exchange climbed 60 percent in Nigeria, Africas biggest economy, 25 percent in South Africa, the continents most sophisticated economy, and by up to 100 percent in other parts of Africa.

The adoption of bitcoin across the globe re-affirms our belief that crypto will take its place as a mainstream financial system, Youssef was quoted as saying. As has been the case with other disruptive financial tech innovations like mobile money, Africa is leading the peer-to-peer financial revolution.

Each month, more people from Africa are opening new accounts with Paxful than from any other region of the world, he explained. The surge illustrates how Africas swelling population of millennials is quickly taking to cryptocurrencies, not only to circumvent the system (dominated by monopolistic institutions such as legacy banks and the state), but also to hedge against inflation and fiat currency volatility while enjoying lower transaction costs. On average, Africas young people spend $59 each on BTC via Paxful, Youssef said.

However, the increase in adoption is in sharp contrast to the often heavy-handedness with which some African governments have responded to digital assets. This is despite the continent being a region where virtual currency is viewed by many as key to mainstreaming the 350 million unbanked adults. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique have all banned cryptocurrency, while Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and South Africa have adopted a somewhat pragmatic approach.

Other datafrom peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins reveals that Russia dominates bitcoin trading with over a quarter of all the platforms volume, followed by Venezuela at 12.2 percent and the U.S. at 11.8 percent. African countries trail, with transactions originating from Nigeria accounting for 7.6 percent of total volume, South Africa 1.3 percent and Kenya at 0.7 percent.

Artur Schaback, chief operating officer of Paxful, said African consumers tend to use cryptocurrency to buy goods, mostly from overseas, as well as investments in promising blockchain startups.

As a company, weve learned a lot from African consumers. For instance, weve improved our mobile capabilities to cater to the widespread use of smartphones on the continent. Our experience in Africa has strengthened our capability to serve consumers regardless of geographical location or origin, he explained.

What do you think about cryptocurrency adoption in Africa? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on ourBCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts atSatoshis Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Benefits of cloud computing | IBM Cloud

If you are considering adopting cloud technologies and practices, you will receive a ton of different guidance about the benefits you might see.

Infrastructure and workloads

Many companies position the low initial costs and pay-as-you-go attributes as a very significant cost savings. Theyll note the considerable cost of building and operating data centers and argue for avoiding that to save money. Numbers can get astronomical depending on how you calculate them.

SaaS and cloud dev platforms

A software-as-a-service provider may discuss the savings from paying for application access versus purchasing off-the-shelf software. Software providers will add those “cloud attribute” benefits to the specifics of their software. Recently, there has been more discussion regarding the savings that cloud-based platforms can offer developers.

Speed and productivity

How much is it worth to your business if you can get a new application up and running in 30 hours rather than six to nine months? Likewise, the generic “staff productivity” doesn’t do justice to the capabilities that cloud dashboards, real-time statistics and active analytics can bring to reducing administration burden. How much does a person hour cost your company?

Risk exposure

I like to think of this simply. What is the impact if you are wrong?

When the negative impact to trying new things is low, meaning that the risk is low, you will try many more things. The more you attempt, the more successes you will have.

If you asked me how to benefit from adopting cloud services, my first question would be, “Which services?” Every user and every organization is going to get a different set of benefits. The most important thing I can suggest is to think across the spectrum. Evaluate the potential savings, but also think about the soft benefits: improved productivity, more speed and lowered risk.

As hockey great Wayne Gretzky observed, you will miss 100 percent of the shots that you dont take. How much of a benefit is it to take your shot?

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Cloud Computing Trends: 2018 State of the Cloud Survey

In January 2018, RightScale conducted its seventh annual State of the Cloud Survey of the latest cloud computing trends, with a focus on infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.

Both public and private cloud adoption grew in 2018, with larger enterprises increasing their focus on public cloud. AWS is no longer the runaway leader as Azure has grown rapidly and is now a close second, especially among enterprise users. New to the survey this year is data on the large and growing spend on public cloud, which has driven cost optimization to the top of companies’ 2018 priority list. To gain control of growing spend, enterprise cloud teams are taking a stronger cloud governance role, including managing costs.

The State of the Cloud Survey is the largest survey on the use of cloud infrastructure thatis focused on cloud buyers and users, as opposed to cloud vendors. Their answers provide a comprehensive perspective on the state of the cloud today.

The survey asked 997 IT professionals about their adoption of cloud infrastructure and related technologies. Fifty-three percent of the respondents represented enterprises with more than 1,000 employees. The margin of error is 3.08 percent.

We highlight several key findings from the survey in this blog post. For the complete survey results, download the RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report.

Multi-Cloud Is the Preferred Strategy Among Enterprises

96 Percent of Respondents Use Cloud

More Enterprises Are Prioritizing Public Cloud in 2018

Organizations Leverage Almost 5 Clouds

Serverless Is the Top-Growing Extended Cloud Service

Enterprise Public Cloud Spend Is Significant and Growing Quickly

Enterprise Central IT Teams Shift Role to Governance and Brokering Cloud

Significant Wasted Cloud Spend Makes Optimizing Costs the Top Initiative

Container Use Is Up: Docker Is Used Most Broadly While Kubernetes Grows Quickly

Use of Configuration Tools Grows, with Ansible Showing Strongest Growth

Azure Continues to Grow Quickly and Reduce the AWS Lead, Especially Among Enterprises

Private Cloud Adoption Grows Across the Board

AWS Leads in Users with 50+ VMs While Azure Grows Its Footprint Faster

How AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud Stack Up Among Enterprises

In the 12 months since the last State of the Cloud Survey, a multi-cloud strategy remains the preference among enterprises even as the percentage of enterprises who use multiple clouds dropped slightly to 81 percent vs. 85 percent in 2017. Those planning a hybrid cloud strategy fell to 51 percent (from 58 percent in 2017). However, there was a slight increase in the number of enterprises are using multiple public clouds or multiple private clouds.

Both public and private cloud adoption have increased in the last year. The number of respondents now adopting public cloud is 92 percent, up from 89 percent in 2017, while the number of respondents now adopting private cloud is 75 percent, up from 72 percent in 2017. As a result, the overall portion of respondents using at least one public or private cloud is now 96 percent.

Among enterprises, the central IT team is typically tasked with assembling a hybrid portfolio of supported clouds. This year, many more enterprises see public cloud as their top priority, up from 29 percent in 2017 to 38 percent in 2018. Hybrid cloud still leads the to-do list, but has decreased as a top priority for enterprises, declining from 50 percent in 2017 to 45 percent in 2018.

Only 8 percent of enterprises are focusing on building a private cloud, and 9 percent see their top priority as using a hosted private cloud.

On average, survey respondents are using 4.8 clouds across both public and private. Respondents are already running applications in 3.1 clouds and experimenting with 1.7 more.

A significant number of public cloud users are now leveraging services beyond just the basic compute, storage, and network services. Year over year, serverless was the top-growing extended cloud service with a 75 percent increase over 2017 (12 to 21 percent adoption). Container-as-a-service was the second highest growth rate at 36 percent (14 to 19 percent adoption). DBaaS SQL and DBaaS NoSQL were third and fourth (26 and 22 percent growth rates, respectively), but achieved this growth starting from a much larger base of use, with 35 and 23 percent adoption, respectively, in 2017.

As use of public cloud has grown, so has the amount of spend. Public cloud spend is quickly becoming a significant new line item in IT budgets, especially among larger companies. Among all respondents, 13 percent spend at least $6 million annually on public cloud while 30 percent are spending at least $1.2 million per year. Among enterprises the spend is even higher, with 26 percent exceeding $6 million per year and more than half (52 percent) above $1.2 million per year.

Enterprises are not only using a lot of public cloud, but also planning to rapidly grow public cloud spend. Twenty percent of enterprises will more than double their public cloud spend in 2018, while 71 percent will grow spend at least 20 percent.

SMBs generally have fewer workloads overall and, as a result, smaller cloud bills (half spend under $120 thousand per year). However, 13 percent of SMBs still exceed $1.2 million in annual spend.

In contrast, private cloud use will grow more slowly for all sizes of organization. Only 7 percent of each group (enterprises and SMBs) is planning to double its use in 2018. Fewer than half of enterprises (47 percent) and 35 percent of SMBs plan to grow private cloud use by more than 20 percent.

As companies adopt cloud-first strategies, they are increasingly creating a centralized cloud team or a Center of Excellence for cloud. These teams provide centralized controls, tools, and best practices to help accelerate the use of cloud while reducing costs and risk.

Overall, 44 percent of companies already have a central cloud team. Enterprises have an even stronger need for centralized governance within their larger organizations: 57 percent of enterprises already have a central cloud team with another 24 percent planning one.

In 2018 we see enterprise central IT taking a stronger cloud governance role in advising on which applications move to cloud (69 percent in 2018 vs. 63 percent in 2017), managing costs (64 percent in 2018 vs. 55 percent in 2017), setting policies (60 percent in 2018 vs. 58 percent in 2017), and brokering cloud services (60 percent in 2018 vs. 54 percent in 2017).

Even though managing cloud costs is a top challenge, cloud users underestimate the amount of wasted cloud spend. Respondents estimate 30 percent waste, while RightScale has measured actual waste at 35 percent.

With significant wasted cloud spend, organizations are focusing on gaining control of costs. Optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative for the second year in a row, increasing from 53 percent of respondents in 2017 to 58 percent in 2018.

Despite an increased focus on cloud cost management, only a minority of companies have begun to implement automated policies to optimize cloud costs, such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost cloud or regions. This represents an opportunity for increased efficiency and increased savings, since manual policies are difficult to monitor and enforce.

Docker adoption increased to 49 percent from 35 percent last year (a growth rate of 40 percent). Kubernetes, a container orchestration tool that leverages Docker, saw the fastest growth, almost doubling to reach 27 percent adoption.

Many users also choose container-as-a-service offerings from the public cloud providers.

The AWS container service (ECS/EKS) followed close behind Docker with 44 percent adoption (26 percent growth rate). Azure Container Service adoption reached 20 percent due to a strong growth of 82 percent, and Google Container Engine also grew strongly (75 percent) to reach adoption of 14 percent.

As part of adopting DevOps processes, companies often choose to implement configuration management tools that allow them to standardize and automate deployment and configuration of servers and applications. Among all respondents, Ansible and Chef are tied with 36 percent adoption each, followed by Puppet at 34 percent adoption.

Ansible showed the strongest growth since last year, up 71 percent in adoption. Chef grew 29 percent and Puppet grew 21 percent.

In 2018, AWS continues to lead in public cloud adoption, but other public clouds are growing more quickly. Azure especially is now nipping at the heels of AWS, especially in larger companies.

And 64 percent of respondents currently run applications in AWS, up from 57 percent in 2017 (12 percent growth rate).

Among enterprises, Azure did even better. Azure increased adoption significantly from 43 percent to 58 percent (35 percent growth rate) while AWS adoption in this group increased from 59 percent to 68 percent (15 percent growth rate). Among other cloud providers that were included in the survey last year, all saw increased adoption this year with Oracle growing fastest from 5 to 10 percent (100 percent growth rate), IBM Cloud from 10 to 15 percent (50 percent growth rate), and Google from 15 to 19 percent (27 percent growth rate).

Enterprise respondents with future projects (the combination of experimenting and planning to use) show the most interest in Google (41 percent).

In contrast to last years survey when we saw private cloud adoption flatten, the 2018 survey shows that adoption of private cloud increased across all providers.

Overall, VMware vSphere continues to lead with 50 percent adoption, up significantly from last year (42 percent). This includes respondents who view their vSphere environment as a private cloud whether or not it meets the accepted definition of cloud computing. OpenStack (24 percent), VMware vCloud Director (24 percent), Microsoft System Center (23 percent), and bare metal (22 percent) were all neck and neck. Azure Stack was in the sixth slot, but showed the highest percentage of respondents that were experimenting or planning to use the technology.

The cloud adoption numbers cited previously indicate the number of respondents that are running any workloads in a particular cloud. However, it is also important to look at the number of workloads or VMs that are running in each cloud. The following charts show the number of VMs being run across the top public and private clouds.

Among all respondents, 15 percent of respondents have more than 1,000+ VMs in vSphere as compared to 10 percent in AWS.

However, AWS leads in respondents with more than 50 VMs, (47 percent for AWS vs. 37 percent for VMware). In third position, Azure shows stronger growth, increasing respondents of more than 50 VMs from 21 to 29 percent.

While public cloud found its initial success in small forward-thinking organizations, over the past few years the battle has now shifted to larger enterprises. AWS has been moving quickly to address the needs of enterprises, and Microsoft has been working to bring its enterprise relationships to Azure. Google and IBM are also focusing on growing their infrastructure-as-a-service lines of business and continue to increase adoption.

The following public cloud scorecard provides a quick snapshot showing that AWS still maintains a lead among enterprises with the highest percentage adoption and largest VM footprint of the top public cloud providers. However, Azure is showing strength by growing much more quickly on already solid adoption numbers. IBM and Google are growing strongly as well but on a smaller base of users.

The 2018 State of the Cloud Survey shows that multi-cloud remains the preferred strategy. Almost every organization is using cloud at some level, with both public and private cloud adoption growing. On average, companies using or experimenting with nearly five public and private clouds with a majority of workloads now running in cloud.

However, public cloud is increasingly becoming the top focus among enterprises and, as a result, public cloud use is growing more quickly with the addition of new customers, an increase in workloads, and an increase in the number of services used.

This expansion in cloud use is driving public cloud spend higher, with large increases expected in 2018. Cost was the number one cloud challenge for intermediate and advanced cloud users. As a result, spend continues to be the top initiative for 2018 as even more organizations are turning their efforts to cost optimization efforts. There is still much room for improvement as 35 percent of cloud bills are wasted due to inefficiencies, and few organizations have yet implemented automated policies to help address these issues.

Enterprise central IT teams are taking a stronger role in cloud adoption, creating central cloud teams or a Center of Excellence. The role of these central teams is focused on cost management and governance as well as advising business units on workloads that should move to cloud. However, business units seek stronger autonomy, except in the area of cost optimization where they look to the central IT team for assistance.

The use of DevOps continues to increase, driving further adoption of container and configuration tools. Docker grew strongly again this year, and Kubernetes showed even stronger growth as a container orchestration solution. Many users are also adopting container-as-a-service offerings from AWS, Azure, and Google.

AWS still leads in public cloud adoption but Azure continues to grow more quickly and gains ground, especially with enterprise customers. Among enterprise cloud beginners, Azure is slightly ahead of AWS. Google maintains the third position, and VMware Cloud on AWS did well in its first year of availability. Adoption of Oracle Cloud is still small, but is growing well in the enterprise.

Cloud provider revenue is driven not just by adoption (percentage of companies using the cloud), but also the number of workloads (VMs) deployed, and the use of other extended cloud services.

Respondents continue to run more VMs in AWS than in other public clouds. However, Azure is growing quickly here as well to reduce AWSs lead.

VMware vSphere continues to lead as a private cloud option (both in adoption and number of VMs) followed by VMware vCloud Director. OpenStack is third, but Azure Pack (sixth place). stands out with the strongest interest level.

Download the RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report for the complete survey results.

Use of Charts and Data In This Report

We encourage the re-use of data, charts, and text published in this report under the terms of this Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are free to share and make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute the RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report as stipulated in the terms of the license.

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GoChain (GO): Here’s Why This Altcoin Might $GO All The …

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The need for a faster, friendlier and more decentralized blockchain has led investors to a variety of exchanges this year, searching for viable returns. And while most of the internet chatter on our favorite media sites continues to focus on the loudest competitors in the space (think Tron (TRX) and EOS (EOS) as examples) an exciting crypto-alternative may have slipped past your radar. GoChain (GO) is now getting the attention it deserves as this little-known altcoin consistently leads the market in daily gains.

Announced in February of this year (2018), this blockchain concept, developed to rival Ethereum, quickly made its way to a number of exchanges (includingBinance, where most of this altcoins trading of is done). Since the announcement, a continuous onslaught of positive news and market gains has excited the industry as its competitors stagnate in the current market doldrums we all have experienced.

So, what is GoChain (GO) exactly?

GoChain (GO), whose mainnet was successfully launched earlier this year, is billed as an energy efficient alternative to Ethereum. It is a smart contract platform for dApps with the promise of faster transactions (a lot faster) and increased decentralization. According to their website, GoChain (GO) can provide 1300 transactions per second (compared to Ethereums 13) and can do so with greater decentralization, due to a global network of nodes operated by independent users of the platform.

While these talking-points may sound similar to the rhetoric commonly touted by better-known competitors of the Ethereum killer space, GoChain (GO) has a number of characteristics that investors have started paying closer attention to.

GoChain (GO) is ranked 131 on coinmarketcap.com, and boasts a market capitalization of just under US $40 Million. With its daily volume surpassing US $2.6 Million, there seems to be a lot of room to grow. The price point on this newest crypto darling is still stunningly attractive, hovering near US $.06, despite the 1.02 Billion coins that make up the total supply. In a market surrounded by unicorn valuations (companies with a market cap valued over US $1 Billion) there is a concerted effort by savvy investors to place their fiat in smaller companies, like GoChain (GO), that still have potential to expand.

But what recent developments have the market excited about GoChain (GO)?

October was a busy month for GoChain (GO) as the company exerted its strengths at the annual SanFrancisco Blockchain Week conference. Immediately after the successful conclusion of the conference, the company capitalized on their PR blitz with the announcement of the first decentralized exchange, GODDEX, to be built on the GoChain platform.

GoChain (GO) has started November off with a bang as well, as the company announces a new partnership with LINKCHAIN, a secure supply chain sourcing solution. LINKCHAIN will build its platform on $GO, launching GoChains first security token offering (STO).

GoChain will be providing marketing and fundraising support to LINKCHAIN while assisting in the development of this blockchain-based supply chain solution.

With momentum building and a consistent track record of performance backing the team, GoChain (GO) stands ready to take their platform to the next level. And with the current news of their newest partnership, investors will likely clamor to take advantage of the current price point before this thing explodes in a brand new bull run. And as we watch Gochain (GO) make consistent gains in the near term, we should all be asking ourselves just how far this altcoin could $GO.

For real-time trade alerts and a daily breakdown of the crypto markets, sign up forElite membership!

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our fulldisclaimer.

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Find The Best Bitcoin, Altcoin, or Multi-Cryptocurrency …

At a glance, it becomes very obvious that the Ledger Nano S is the best bet for if you’re an altcoin enthusiast. The Nano S currently supports 26 cryptocurrencies not supported by Trezor or KeepKey.

High market cap coins only supported by the Nano S (and sometimes also the Blue) include Ripple, Stellar, Tron, NEO, VeChain, and Qtum.

If you’re interested in securely storing any of the coins that are only supported by the Ledger Nano S, then we’d strongly recommend the Nano S for you.

For those of you who are Bitcoin maximalists or are only interested in coins supported by Trezor devices, this is where things get interesting.

From a user-friendliness standpoint, we favor Trezor’s web interface to Ledger’s Ledger Live” apps.

Trezor

While setting up your Trezor device, you’ll be prompted to install the “Trezor Bridge”. This is a simple application for your computer that will allow your hardware wallet to communicate with the Trezor web wallet interface. Aside from installing the program, you should never even notice it again, so long as you’re using the same computer. New computers you want to use will also need to install the bridge.

After setting up the bridge, you’ll be able to fully interact with the Trezor web wallet interface. The wallet allows you to seamlessly switch between different supported coin wallets. With the exception of Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and NEM, you can view your balances, send transactions, and view your addresses for receiving transfers all from this one page.

Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and NEM are unique in the way they operate. For these cryptocurrencies, Trezor has been integrated with third-party wallets. This means you get all of the security benefits of Trezor but can’t use these coins’ wallets directly from Trezor’s web interface.

With that said, we still find the Trezor’s approach to these altcoins more user-friendly than Ledger’s app system (which we’ll get to just below).

For example, when you click on “Ethereum (ETH)” in the drop-down menu, you’ll see the following pop up to use MyEtherWallet or GoCrypto’s Ethereum wallet. You can also navigate to these sites directly.

Once at MyEtherWallet, you can select to connect your Trezor device.

After connecting to MyEtherWallet, you can then use your Ethereum addresses to send and receive transactions. Note that you can also use MyEtherWallet in combination with Trezor to store all ERC-20 tokens.

Ledger

Ledger devices use “Ledger Live”, Ledger apps, and some third-party wallet integrations. For those who have used the old Ledger app manager, Ledger live is a big step up for changing between wallets. As the name implies, Ledger Live allows you to view your account balances without having your hardware wallet connected, a feature lacking from Trezor.

What we find most annoying about the Ledger system is the fact that you have to open apps from your device. This means using the hardware every time you want to switch between which wallet apps you’re using. While this might sound like a minor inconvenience, it may become super frustrating over time. It’s especially cumbersome if you’re used to Trezor’s seamless switching between wallets.

This shortcoming mostly affects users of the Nano S, as the Blue’s touchscreen makes switching between wallets less of a hassle.

All hardware wallets in this guide require users to enter a PIN code to access their device. In a similar vein to the above annoyance, Ledger hardware wallets can be a pain to access. Whereas Trezors have you enter a PIN code on your computer (from an array of numbers shown on the devices), Ledger devices require you to enter your PIN on the hardware itself.

Pin Entry on Ledger Nano S vs Trezor

Again, this is less of an issue for the Ledger Blue, as it’s easier to interact with the Blue’s touchscreen, compared to the Nano’s two button set up.

It’s important to note that Ledger’s lackluster system is at least partially due to the large number of currencies it supports and its team’s dedication to security.

KeepKey

KeepKey uses a simple chrome app for accessing your wallets. While KeepKey boasts even fewer supported cryptocurrencies than Trezor, it offers a pretty great overall user experience for the coins it does support. Unlike the Nano S, we did not have any major frustrations with the KeepKey.

Ledger Nano S

Despite the Ledger Nano S having some annoyances, it’s hard to argue this is not the best hardware wallet available. At $99.99, the Nano S is the cheapest hardware wallet while simultaneously offering the most supported cryptocurrencies.

For many, the Nano S is a no brainer just based off of these facts. It’s essentially a necessity for altcoin holders, even including popular altcoins like Ripple, Stellar, and Tron.

Even for those who are new to crypto and haven’t yet entered into the altcoin waters, you may want to prepare for your seemingly inevitable entry into these markets by opting for the Nano S.

Trezor One & Trezor Model T

The Trezor One (89 ($106) is a tried and true hardware wallet, with a user experience we find better than the Ledger. If you don’t need the coin support of Ledgers, then we personally would recommend the Trezor One for this reason. If the roughly $6 difference in price is a deal breaker for you, then you might want to hold off on even purchasing a hardware wallet until you have a larger investment to protect.

Now if you’re determined to own a touchscreen hardware wallet, the Model T offers one for about $100 cheaper than the Ledger Blue (~$170 vs $269.99), though it’s significantly less pleasing on the eyes. Despite this, it does still offer the touchscreen convenience and slight security benefits while still being able to fit on your keychain.

Ledger Blue

Two words come to mind when looking at the Ledger Blue: “cool” and “unnecessary”. For those crypto ballers out there who don’t mind shilling out $269.99 for a hardware wallet with less coin support than it’s $99.99 counterpart, we see no reason not to.

That being said, the Blue does function as a very easy-to-use choice that offers more coins than non-ledger competitors.

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