AI and Robotics Enhanced By Blockchain-Based Solutions

AI and Robotics Enhanced By Blockchain-Based Solutions

Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and robotics are three of the most innovative and catchy technologies of the modern world.

Many companies actively implement them, build their ideas upon them, and create cutting-edge products. Still, only a few startups merge these tech solutions to develop even more promising projects. Further, we will review the brightest examples of blockchain/AI integration, their common features, and how these technologies are reshaping industries.

Understanding the Concepts behind Technologies

It will be impossible to explore innovative potential of the above-mentioned technologies without realizing how they function. Robotics deals with pre-programmed machines, which can handle certain tasks without human control. Most people think that robots are humanoid machines from sci-fi movies, but there are many more types of them – from assembly machines at Tesla factories to robot dogs created by Boston Dynamics. Robots are everywhere now, so we want to focus more on blockchain and AI – technologies that are less popular and a bit more complicated to understand.


Blockchain is a decentralized network, which consists of multiple nodes and allows for secure data storage, exchange, and management. Such networks are maintained by all participants and do not rely on a single central authority. Blockchains are faster and more transparent than centralized storages. In addition, they get rid of middlemen, speed up transactions, and reduce potential fees (e.g. related to money transfers).

Blockchain is usually associated with cryptocurrencies – digital assets protected by cryptography and independent of traditional financial organizations. Cryptocurrencies have evolved into a huge industry with a total market cap of $113 billion, and hundreds of high-frequency trading platforms powering it. Traders use cryptos to earn profit, while developers implement them in industry-specific applications. The most famous crypto assets are Bitcoin (frequently used as a form of payment) and Ethereum (which serves as a platform for developers).

Artificial Intelligence

AI focuses on making robots or other machines intelligent and conscious. Now, no machine has passed the Turing test, so there’s still much room for improvement. Nevertheless, the developers are actively working on so-called ‘narrow AI systems’, which are formally intelligent, but actually pre-programmed using strict algorithms. You definitely know about such robots:

  • Chatbots
  • Smart assistants
  • Self-driving cars
  • IoT devices
  • Neural networks
  • Prediction systems

AI is a highly promising technology, but it requires a lot of investment and expertise to progress.

Essential Common Features

Despite different areas of focus, both AI and blockchain share three common features, which can serve as ‘contact points’ at integration steps:

  • Require data sharing. While blockchain allows for simple and safe transfers of all data types, AI benefits from analyzing big data for making predictions and self-learning.
  • Focus on security. Blockchain is protected by unique cryptographic protocols, and AI needs a perfectly secure environment to avoid cyberattacks.
  • Must be trustworthy. All technologies have to be trusted by users. Blockchain can help AI in this regard and push its wider adoption.

Ways to Transform the Markets

But what about real use cases of integrated AI/blockchain technologies? How can they change the world or specific industries? Look through the list below to learn about potential advantages of the technology duet:

  • Open data with proper management. Giants like Google or Facebook store tons of valuable information. Moving data to decentralized networks will make it highly protected and available for everyone, so AI machines and their developers will have a larger knowledge base to work with.
  • Perfect security and control. When stored within a blockchain, information is protected from any breaches, leaks and direct hacks. Using smart contracts, AI developers can set permissions levels, track digital identity, control data flows, etc.
  • Accurate AI predictions. Traditional systems dent the existing AI models because of large portions of superfluous data. Blockchain solves redundancy issues and maintains verified databases with accurate info in them. What’s more, such systems are immutable. 

Use Cases

Some startups and even large enterprises are currently working on merging these two innovations to develop breakthrough solutions.

SingularityNET – a decentralized marketplace for AI
which has its own AGI token. Right now, it’s pretty similar to other marketplaces built on blockchain, but its developers have really ambitious goals as they want to create a self-maintaining network powered by AI. Just imagine, the whole market maintained by smart machines. SingularityNET stands a good chance to prosper as the team works with David Hanson and his masterpiece – Sophia the robot. Another project that serves a similar purpose is

DeepBrain Chain – a blockchain-based computing platform for AI systems.

We also suggest checking Colony, a platform that tries to connect professionals with decentralized autonomous organizations. The developers aim to build a feature-rich ecosystem for blockchain companies, and use AI to effectively match individuals with organizations. State Street – the US-based bank – plans to set up a decentralized storage to protect clients’ data and use it properly. Thus, blockchain will be a technical framework, while AI tools will be used for structuring and analyzing data.

Finally, the likes of IBM seek ways to integrate blockchain, robotics, and IoT. The enterprise is developing a system for device lifecycle management, where blockchain will be used for registration, identity tracking, and permission granting, while AI will process core information and perform big data analysis. IBM also focuses on creating cognitive contracts – new versions of smart contracts which will be more adaptive and self-learning.

Article Produced By
Julia Beyers

Benzinga Contributor


6 Noncustodial Crypto Payment Solutions for Merchants

6 Noncustodial Crypto Payment Solutions for Merchants

You don’t have to be a bitcoin purist or tech tinkerer to want to accept cryptocurrency

without using a third party. With lower merchant fees, greater network uptime, and no chargebacks, noncustodial crypto payments have several advantages over traditional fiat payment systems. Here are six noncustodial options for accepting crypto in-store and online.

Accept Crypto With No Questions Asked

For merchants interested in accepting cryptocurrency in-store or online, there’s now a wealth of options. Major companies like Coinbase and Bitpay dominate the industry, with the latter’s custodial solution promising to insulate the retailer from the volatility of crypto. But that’s not all custodial solutions protect the merchant from. Due to the permissioned nature of these payment systems, retailers risk running afoul of the terms of service and having their account closed, which occurs more frequently than you might think – just ask

Should any of your customers hail from countries that are subject to U.S. sanctions, for instance, you’re in danger of having your account shuttered by a U.S. payment provider. The fact that you’re transacting in cryptocurrency won’t save you when you’re using a custodial solution. There are greater reasons why it may be desirable to seek a noncustodial crypto payment solution. Doing so brings greater privacy, grants you sole ownership of funds the moment the transaction clears, and is a far truer way to transact with cryptocurrency, without intermediaries.


Atomicpay is a noncustodial payment application that supports seven cryptocurrencies including BCH, BTC, LTC, and DASH. It’s user-friendly, offers price conversion into over 150 fiat currencies, and has good privacy practices built in, including generating a new address for every transaction. You can integrate Atomicpay into an ecommerce module such as Woocommerce, and it’s easy to generate payment buttons to embed on your site.

Atomicpay is also suitable for use in physical stores. It offers API integration and the ability to generate a payment invoice in just a few seconds. In terms of fees, Atomicpay charges a reasonable 0.7-0.9% per transaction, with the Personal plan requiring no KYC to get started. Upgrade to the Business plan, however, and you’ll be required to undergo KYC. Greater cryptocurrency support, such as ETH, would be useful, as would additional ecommerce modules, which are listed as coming soon. That aside, Atomicpay provides a good all-round option for merchants desiring a noncustodial solution.


CMM Pay is a British-based payment startup whose noncustodial service only launched at the start of the month. BTC is the sole major crypto supported at present, although additional assets are on their way. Setup takes less than five minutes and, as a noncustodial payment solution, there’s no need to undergo KYC. CMM Pay’s standard fee is 1%, though for a limited time this has been waived altogether. Features include 24-hour customer support and a merchant dashboard for viewing cryptocurrency sales, business wallet balances, and a host of other metrics.


8Pay is a noncustodial payment system with a twist – several twists in fact. Operating on the Ethereum network, it provides on-demand and recurring payments between retailer and customer. This makes it possible to set up subscription-based payments for goods and services. The best part about all this is it’s achievable without sacrificing decentralization: 8Pay is noncustodial and requires no KYC. The only downside is that as an Ethereum-only solution, it’s limited to ETH and ERC20 tokens including stablecoins. There’s good reason for this though: implementing the sort of features that 8Pay’s built into its payment protocol calls for utilizing smart contracts of the sort which most other crypto networks can’t support.

Once 8Pay’s web and mobile apps are rolled out, it will be possible for shoppers to subscribe to on-demand and replenishment-based services (think movies, music, toiletries, household essentials, utility bills) with tokens deducted from their crypto wallet at fixed intervals until they choose to cancel the arrangement. 8Pay also features payment buttons, unique payment links, and the ability to generate invoices on the fly.

Coinbase Commerce

Coinbase attracts flak for some of its executive decisions, and it’s not opposed to deplatforming users of its exchange for the flimsiest of reasons. It’s hard to take exception to the company’s merchant payment solution however. Coinbase Commerce is noncustodial, easy to set up and charges no fees. BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, and USDC are all accepted, and the interface is neatly designed. It claims to have more than 2,000 merchants using Coinbase Commerce already.


A BTC-only service with a host of advanced features, Blockonomics is a noncustodial solution for crypto-savvy merchants. It’s not hard to use if you’re familiar with cryptocurrency, but there’s a lot going on here. A range of ecommerce plugins are complemented by enterprise invoicing and the ability to accept BTC into your existing wallet including hardware wallets for added security.

Bitcoin Cash Register

About as simple as a merchant application gets, Bitcoin Cash Register is an Android and iOS application developed by All you need to get started is the public key to your BCH wallet. It’s simple because cryptocurrency is meant to be simple. There’s no need for second layer solutions, payment channels or custodians to convert crypto into fiat and vice-versa when the customer can just press a button and funds are despatched directly to the merchant’s wallet in seconds. Bitcoin Cash Register is limited by being BCH-only, but in every other respect, it’s the perfect example of what a noncustodial crypto payment solution should be.

Article Produced By
Kai Sedgwick

Kai's been manipulating words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $12. It's long gone. He's previously written whitepapers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.


Iran Is Being Targeted for Economic Independence Not Terrorism

Iran Is Being Targeted for Economic Independence, Not Terrorism


New, unprecedented economic sanctions have been imposed on Iran’s central bank

after blame for a September 14 oil field attack was pinned on the nation by U.S. leaders. The sanctions blacklist the Iranian central bank and sovereign wealth fund, further severing the country’s already tenuous ties to the global market. With soldiers and weapons “of defensive nature” to be shipped to the Middle East in the wake of the attacks, some are questioning the true motives of U.S. foreign policymakers. Iran is not the first nation openly critical of the U.S. petrodollar to face such extreme sanctions, and threats of military invasion.

Past Attempts to Leave the Dollar

Like Iran, a nation whose leaders are resolute about moving away from USD hegemony via cryptocurrencies, non-USD reporting policies, and gold, Iraq was also a thorn in the side of petrodollar dominance at one time. That is, before it was invaded by U.S. forces in 2003. Iraq had begun trading oil for euros in 2000 as a means of surpassing crippling U.S. sanctions starving the country. This policy ended abruptly when America entered under the auspices of fighting 9/11-related terrorism, although there was no substantial connection. Nevertheless, Iraq now trades its oil for dollars, once again. Both Iran and Iraq are rich in the natural resource, have refused to fall in line with western political dominance, seeking plans to create sound, independent currencies backed by gold. Libya is yet another example. When Muammar Gaddafi sought to bring about his gold-backed dinar and abandon the world reserve USD, NATO forces found their way to him briskly and, in the cackling words of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “We came, we saw, he died.”

The basic breakdown is as follows:

Mid 1970’s – Agreement between U.S. and Saudi Arabia solidifies OPEC nations’ policy of pricing oil in dollars, effectively creating the petrodollar and further entrenching the USD as world reserve currency. 1970’s to present – Perpetual sanctions and warfare for any country seeking to abandon the USD and return to gold or alternate currencies for pricing oil. As the gold standard was abandoned, and the petrodollar instituted to guarantee U.S. debt securities in the wake of massive deficits from the Vietnam war, the smoke cleared; the dollar was no longer backed by gold, but by oil, and the dominance of oil, by blood. Trump stated Monday, September 16,

from the Oval Office:

In a few moments I’ll be signing an executive order imposing hard-hitting sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran … Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks including shooting down of U.S. drones.

Trump also cited Iran’s nuclear program repeatedly (now product of a deal his own administration broke and backed out of) and recent, questionable conflicts involving oil tankers in the region, as well as “other things that were done also which were not good.” Of course, the attacks on Saudi oil facilities were the supposed straw that broke old Uncle Sam’s already aching back. For the leader of the only nation to ever use a nuclear weapon in war, twice, and which has routinely engaged in fraudulent, artificial provocations of conflict such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the president’s words struck many as darkly ironic. This not to mention the increasingly harsh battery of sanctions on Iranian oil exports which have been escalating for years now under the current administration.

There Are No Angels in Geopolitics, Thus the Need for Sound Money

Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Libya have of course been historically abusive to those living within their confines. Saddam Hussein was infamous for poison gas attacks killing thousands of innocent Kurdish villagers in Halabja. Iran’s iron-fisted regime has flogged people for drinking alcohol, suffocates freedom of expression in brutal fashion, and targets women, minority groups and children, denying them basic human rights. Venezuela’s sociopathic leadership is, essentially, no different. Opposition to the state in Gaddafi’s Libya resulted in horrific consequences as well, with the leader himself once saying: “I could at any moment send them to the People’s Court … and the People’s Court will issue a sentence of death based on this law, because execution is the fate of anyone who forms a political party.”

Though the U.S. government has itself destroyed the lives of countless millions, taking hundreds of thousands in one fell swoop with nuclear bombs, routinely imprisoning the non-violent for any number of arbitrary, dictatorial edicts, for some reason the “us vs. them” mass media narrative remains. The reality is, however, that there are no good governments. Combined with an unsound monetary system, this problem is exacerbated to a place of sheer and unimaginably tragic proportions. The last century’s ongoing bloodbath has coincided with a historically unprecedented abandonment of sound money in favor of inflationary and debt-based models. This is no plain coincidence. After all, if it is now war — and not gold — that backs the global monetary system, how else can value be preserved save through killing? Money like gold and bitcoin, with a set-in-stone supply limit, cannot simply be “printed” to finance these terroristic regimes.

Economics – The Final World War

Iran has denied responsibility for the September 14 oil facility attacks. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have openly claimed responsibility for the act. Still, U.S. policy makers have fingers pointed at Iran. Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran, stated in

a recent interview with CNN:

It wasn’t an act of war against the United States and it was, as I said, an agitation of war because it’s based on a lie…If they lift the sanctions that they reimposed illegally…then we would consider it [talks].

Zarif went on to emphasize, when prompted about Iran’s citizens suffering under U.S. sanctions:

They’re lying if they tell you that food and medicine is not restricted.

Humanitarian crises, such as the starvation happening in Iran, Venezuela and elsewhere, cannot be staved off with traditional currencies, which ultimately trace back to U.S. dollar hegemony, and are impeded by state-compliant banking institutions. Cryptocurrencies however, can and do bridge this gap. Though conversion to local currencies and merchant acceptance presents significant logistical challenges, the technology allows for something that no government blood money can: a limited-supply, permissionless cash valued voluntarily by a market of independent actors, irrespective of what violent state mandates or unsound economic policies may be in place. When sanctions tell the impoverished Middle Eastern family they can’t eat, crypto and free markets say that they can indeed trade, politics be damned.

When lawmakers in Washington D.C. demand Americans fund things like the slaughter of pine nut farmers in Afghanistan — 30 were killed this week in a single strike — or the imprisonment of innocent people for the so-called war on drugs, Bitcoin has no such sociopathic mandate. The next world war will be a decidedly economic one, where those eschewing human dignity and peaceful solutions will be forced to face an ever-growing faction of human beings for peaceful, non-violent trade and voluntary market interaction, made possible by disruptive technologies like Bitcoin.

Article Produced By


Graham Smith

Graham Smith is an American expat living in Japan, and the founder of Voluntary Japan—an initiative dedicated to spreading the philosophies of unschooling, individual self-ownership, and economic freedom in the land of the rising sun.


What Is OmiseGo OMG?

What Is OmiseGo (OMG)?


OmiseGo (OMG) is a decentralized cryptocurrency network that focuses on enabling financial inclusion and interoperability

between different platforms. As a scaling solution being developed on the Ethereum blockchain, the OmiseGo platform aims to facilitate transparent, peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in “real-time.”

Facilitating “Self-Sovereign” Financial Services

According to its official website, the OMG network will facilitate globally accessible, “self-sovereign” financial services. The OMG platform may support several financial asset classes and software applications. OmiseGo’s developers have created a full-featured software development kit (SDK) that may be used to enable fiat and cryptocurrency transfers between different wallets. Users may also earn game credits and loyalty points – which may be managed with OmiseGo’s applications. OMG network users can securely access, manage, and conduct cryptoasset transactions with other users on the platform. Additionally, the OMG platform will provide a decentralized exchange “mechanism” to enable multi-asset, cross-chain interoperability. According to its developers, the proof-of-stake (PoS)-based OmiseGo network will be scalable and aims to achieve a high throughput (TPS) rate. 

OMG Network’s Clearinghouse Enables Secure and Fast Transaction Clearing

OmiseGo’s creators have developed a clearinghouse on the digital asset platform by using protocol consensus and writing Ethereum-based smart contracts that enable secure and fast transaction clearing. As noted on its website, crypto wallet providers may access the public OmiseGo platform via an open-source “white-label” SDK, in order to build functionality for trading crypto and fiat currencies on the OMG network.

“Bonding” with Ethereum Blockchain to Maximize Security

According to OmiseGo’s technical team, “bonding” to the Ethereum blockchain significantly improves the security of the OMG network. It also enables secure transaction validation and token custody. Notably, the OmiseGo team claims they can achieve “unlimited” scalability – as the OMG network could potentially process millions or even billions of transactions per second (TPS). In order to improve network throughput, the OmiseGo platform uses the Plasma architecture (a framework proposed by Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon for faster processing of blockchain-based smart contracts). As explained, the developers of the OMG network aim to create an interoperable platform for trading cryptoassets from different blockchains – including the Bitcoin (BTC) network. 

OMG Network Is Completely Decentralized

As a completely decentralized platform, the OMG network is not controlled by a central authority. In order to participate on the OmiseGo platform, users may acquire and stake OMG tokens. Staking allows token holders to validate transactions on the OMG network and receive compensation in the form of transaction fees. According to OmiseGo’s creators, the value of the OMG token will increase as the value and usage of the OMG network increases.

Decentralized Exchange Built Into OMG Network’s “Core Consensus Layer”

As mentioned on OmiseGo’s website, the OMG network will leverage the Plasma architecture, a well-researched Ethereum-based layer 2 scalability solution, to enable “low-cost” security and settlement for financial applications. Transactions on the OmiseGo platform are conducted through a decentralized exchange that is built into the network’s “core consensus layer.” Currently, the OmiseGo team is developing a DEX and a wallet software development kit (SDK) – which will serve as a key part of the OMG network’s financial ecosystem. According to its developers, the “live” OmiseGo platform will be a “performant” and highly secure PoS-based network that enables Plasma-based, low-cost transactions.  

OmiseGo Developers Are Founding Members of Ethereum Community Fund 

In February 2018, the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF) was established in order to fund the development of Ethereum-related infrastructure. As noted on EFC’s website, its founding members include the developers of OmiseGo, blockchain interoperability platform Cosmos, Golem, among others. EFC project’s advisors include Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin and Vansa Chatikavanij, the CEO at Omise, the organization behind OMG network’s development. 

Backed By Investments from Japan’s Largest Bank

In mid-2017, Thailand-based Omise managed to raise $25 million through an initial coin offering (ICO). The OmiseGo project has also received investments from Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya, which is part of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), a $19 billion Japanese financial services firm.

OMG Network Still Undergoing Research and Development

In June 2019, Kasima Tharnpipitchai, the Director of Engineering at OmiseGo, confirmed that OmiseGo platform had not gone into production as it was still in its development and research stage. Tharnpipitchai clarified that businesses were not yet involved with the OmiseGo project and that only Omise’s partners, who are creating “value-added services”, were using the OMG network. He added that the current focus for the OmiseGo project involves working closely with strategic partners to ensure that the initiative is able to “delivery real value.”

OMG Network Not Ready for Staking Funds

Tharnpipitchai, a former senior software engineer at Github, revealed that with the present state of research related to the Plasma architecture and proof of stake systems, development has not reached the point where it’s useful to stake funds on such networks. Moreover, he explained that staking without “transaction value” is not beneficial to anyone. In the coming months, the OmiseGo team is reportedly preparing to implement the OMG network’s settlement protocol. During this phase, Tharnpipitchai claims the platform’s developers will have a better understanding of the “performance characteristics” of the OMG network.

Regulations Play A Key Role in the Global Financial System

In response to a question during an AMA session regarding regulations, Tharnpipitchai said that blockchain-based decentralized networks may benefit from certain guidelines. This, as he believes that regulations play “an important role” in the global financial system. He further noted that blockchain industry participants must help regulators better understand how crypto-related technology works – so that we can build safe and compliant digital asset networks.

Article Produced By
Omar Faridi


What Is Waves?

What Is Waves?


The Waves (WAVES) platform is an open-source, blockchain-based network for building and deploying decentralized applications (dApps).

According to its creators, the Waves platform allows developers to build software solutions that are compatible with the evolving Web 3.0 standard. As noted on its official website, the developers of Waves believe blockchain technology has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of a wide range of routine business procedures. These may include processes involving supply chain management, developing tokenized economies, and building secure data transfer platforms.

Addressing the Blockchain Scalability Problem

By leveraging the transparent and immutable nature of blockchain technology, Waves’ development team intends to build a fast, secure, energy-efficient, and “versatile” financial ecosystem. The Waves platform uses the Waves-NG protocol to achieve fast transaction speeds and consistently high network throughput. As noted in its technical documentation, Waves-NG aims to solve the scalability problem by reducing transaction confirmation times to seconds – instead of minutes (like on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks)

Waves Platform Supports 13 Different Types of Transactions

In order to provide greater flexibility and allow developers to build advanced dApps, the Waves platform supports 13 different types of transactions. These include alias, burn, and data transactions (among others). An alias transaction is a short and easy-to-remember name for a Waves address that cannot be deleted. As its name implies, a burn transaction is used to burn (or destroy) crypto tokens on the Waves platform. Meanwhile, a data transaction records data to Waves’ account data storage system.

Using the Energy Efficient Proof of Stake Consensus Algorithm

As mentioned on its website, the Waves platform uses a proof-of-stake (PoS)-based consensus protocol – as it requires a relatively small amount of computing power and electricity when compared to the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism. The Waves network is able to maintain low transaction costs as it does not require “gas” to function and users are only required to pay a small transfer fee with the WAVES token. 

dApps Created Using “Purpose-Designed” Programming Language

As an open-source blockchain, the Waves platform allows developers to build scalable, enterprise-grade applications. According to its developers, the Waves blockchain uses “persistent” scripts (which execute in an automatic and trustless manner) to maintain the security of the network. dApps may be developed on the Waves platform by using a “purpose-designed” programming language, called RID

Fast Debugging Process, dApps Don’t Require “Variable” Gas to Run

As explained, dApps built on the Waves network do not require “variable” gas to run. The Waves platform also supports atomic execution, meaning that the output from dApps is only registered on the blockchain if all its associated scripts are able to run properly. Debugging or checking for errors in software programs is fast and “code ambiguity” does not affect the execution process. This, as Waves’ RIDE is a “strongly-typed” programming language.

Managing Private Keys with Waves Keeper

In order to support secure cryptocurrency transactions, the Waves team has created a browser extension, called the “Waves Keeper.” Users can install the extension in order to manage their private keys and conduct secure transactions on dApps and other Waves-based web services. Waves’ suite of products also includes a user-friendly and secure multi-currency wallet. In addition to supporting transactions in major cryptoassets including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and litecoin (LTC), the Waves wallet allows fiat currency (USD, Euros) transfers.

Waves Lab Focused on Developing Web 3.0 Compatible Technologies

The developers of Waves have launched a project incubator organization, known as Waves Lab, which aims to support application developers and blockchain startups. The management at Waves Lab intends to work with development teams that are focused on building decentralized technologies for the Web 3.0 standard. In order to accelerate the growth and adoption of crypto-related technology, the Waves Lab offers “financial, technical, and marketing support” to fintech startups. The Waves team also helps developers learn how to create dApps that are written in the RIDE smart contract language.

Vostok, a Blockchain Platform for Large Enterprises

Waves’ developers have created a separate platform, called Vostok, which allows large enterprises and public organizations to build blockchain-powered software. As noted on Vostok’s official website, the initiative was launched in order to develop “modern information infrastructure” for the rapidly evolving digital economy. In addition to leveraging blockchain technology, the Vostok project uses artificial intelligence, big data, neural networks, and internet-of-things (IoT)-based applications to collect and validate information. The Vostok platform has also been designed to help organizations perform predictive analysis and pattern detection and access distributed storage services.

Waves’ Developers Propose New “Decentralized Token Rating System”

In late April 2019, Waves’ development team proposed a new protocol for “decentralized asset verification.” According to Waves’ management, the platform’s community members and data providers such as BetterTokens will offer information regarding which crypto tokens are “safe and reliable. The Waves community will provide a “collective” rating score for token projects, in order to help investors make more informed decisions. 

Waves’ Developers to Focus on Creating Improve Trading Tools

On May 30th, 2019, Waves’ developers revealed that they would be prioritizing the development of new trading features on the platform’s DEX Client App. Instead of developing the Waves DEX as a “universal application”, the Waves team has decided to mainly focus on improving the trading process on the peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange. However, Waves’ management clarified that the platform’s flagship products such as its multi-currency wallet and token leasing option will remain “an integral part” of the DEX App.

Article Produced By
Omar Faridi


Ripple Avoids Securities Question in Motion to Dismiss XRP Lawsuit

Ripple Avoids Securities Question in Motion to Dismiss XRP Lawsuit



Ripple has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it violated U.S. securities laws

by selling XRP. In a new filing posted early Friday, attorneys for Ripple pushed back on allegations made by XRP purchasers suing the company, its subsidiaries and executives. Notably, the motion to dismiss specifically claims that the plaintiff, Bradley Sostack, does not have standing to file a complaint, rather than address claims that XRP is a security.

In the motion to dismiss, Ripple states that the plaintiff failed to bring a case within three years of the initial offering (which would have been 2013), meaning the statute of repose expired; that the plaintiff did not “plausibly allege” that he purchased XRP during the initial offering; and that the plaintiff did not “plausibly allege” that any of the defendants actually sold the XRP that he bought. Notably absent from the motion to dismiss is a full-fledged argument over why XRP is not a security. Indeed, the filing only addresses the question in a footnote (footnote 19), which states that XRP is not a security “because it is not an ‘investment contract.'”

The filing goes on to say:

“Purchasing XRP is not an ‘investment’ in Ripple; there is no common enterprise between Ripple and XRP purchasers; there was no promise that Ripple would help generate profits for XRP holders; and the XRP Ledger is decentralized.”

The footnote also adds that “because XRP is a currency,” it cannot also be a security under law. The filing states that the court itself does not need to determine “whether XRP is a security or currency for purposes of this motion, which assumes Plaintiff’s allegation that XRP is a security.” The filing also states that “the federal Departments of Treasury and Justice publicly concluded that XRP is a ‘convertible virtual currency,'” in its “factual background” section. “This is consistent with the CFTC’s position that virtual currency is a commodity,” the filing states. “Nonetheless, Plaintiff alleges that XRP is a ‘security’ under federal and state law, … and that Defendants have offered and sold XRP despite its non-registration with securities authorities.”

Moving to dismiss

Ripple’s actual arguments focus on when the most recent case has been filed, with the first hinging around the fact that XRP entered the market in 2013.

The filing states:

“… under Plaintiff’s own allegations, Defendants offered XRP to the public throughout 2013 through 2015. Accordingly, the three-year statute of repose expired as of 2016 (three years after the sales cited in the May 2015 settlement) and in no case later than May 2018 (three years after the May 2015 settlement agreement in which ‘Defendants acknowledged that they had sold XRP to the general public,’ Complaint ¶ 25). The Securities Act claims in the Complaint, filed August 5, 2019, are therefore untimely and barred by the statute of repose.”

The filing adds that the plaintiff does not claim he bought XRP directly from Ripple or another defendant, but rather, “he was part of the ‘general public’ who purchased XRP through transactions in a two-week period in January 2018.” “The necessary inference is that he bought and sold XRP through a secondary trading exchange,” the filing says. The response also states that plaintiff’s consumer protection claims under California state law (rather than federal securities law) should be dismissed because the statutes require a securities claim. As a result, the response says, the complaint should be dismissed with prejudice

(meaning plaintiffs would not be able to re-file the suit).

“Leave to amend should be denied because amendment would be futile.”

Year-long case

Ripple’s filing comes a month and a half after the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, alleging the company, affiliated entities and individuals violated both state and federal securities laws. The new complaint, filed by law firms Susman Godfrey and Tayler-Copeland Law, alleges that Ripple, its subsidiary XRP II, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and others violated securities law by selling XRP. In a first, the complaint borrowed from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s digital assets framework, drawing parallels between the SEC’s analysis for what constitutes a security and Ripple’s alleged actions. The case itself stretches back to early 2018, when XRP purchasers first began filing lawsuits against Ripple. The complaints alleged that Ripple sold XRP, using the proceeds to fund its operations. The cases were consolidated into the current form.

While the class has not been certified yet, Thursday’s filing is still the first time Ripple has had to respond to the substance of the complaints against it. At the heart of the matter is the question of whether XRP is a security. Some of Ripple’s detractors claim it is, one that is issued and managed by Ripple. The startup disagrees, saying XRP is a token created by Jed McCaleb (now at Interstellar), Arthur Britto and David Schwartz. It remains to be seen whether the case proceeds to a jury trial, or if settlement talks occur first. However, the filing notes that there is a hearing scheduled for early next year, and the attorneys say they are willing to argue the motion then.

Legal team shake up

Friday’s filing comes just days after Ripple brought Damien Marshall and Kathleen Hartnett, two lawyers with Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, on board to work on the case (a judge approved their appearance for the case on Sept. 17). They join Skadden Arps attorneys Peter Morrison, John Neukom and Virgina Milstead, who have been listed on the docket but whose names did not appear on the filing Friday morning. On Thursday night, former SEC Division of Enforcement director Andrew Ceresney also applied to join the case as a lawyer for Ripple. Ceresney is currently an attorney with Debevoise & Plimpton, an international law firm based in New York, and his name appeared on Friday’s filing. He previously represented Ripple against one of the previous class action lawsuits, filed by plaintiff Ryan Coffey, alongside former SEC Chair Mary Jo White. That case was voluntarily dismissed, and White’s work for Ripple appears to have ended around that time.

Article Produced By
Nikhilesh De

Nik is a business reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on regulators, lawmakers and institutions. He was previously a news, science, technology and community reporter and editor with The Daily Targum. His work has been featured in The Nation and referenced by The Washington Post, ZDNet, Gizmodo, NJ Advance Media and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He owns less than $20 in BTC and has no other crypto holdings.


Wells Fargo’s Stablecoin Faster Cheaper’ Than SWIFT Says Exec

Wells Fargo’s Stablecoin ‘Faster, Cheaper’ Than SWIFT, Says Exec


Banking giant Wells Fargo says its blockchain for internal cross-border money transfers is faster

and more efficient than SWIFT, the global messaging system used by over 11,000 financial institutions.

Unveiled this week, Wells Fargo Digital Cash uses R3’s Corda Enterprise software to handle internal book transfers, when funds move from a payer’s account to a payee’s account at the same bank. “When we move money across the world and we need to exchange currencies, we have to go through third parties such as SWIFT and other banks,” said Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo. “That’s a long process and every time there’s a connection with external parties, it takes time and energy and effort.” Using the digital cash would allow the bank to move funds 20 hours a day, up from only six to nine hours, five days a week when it relies on wire transfers and systems like SWIFT, Frazier said.

She told CoinDesk:

“It’s faster than SWIFT, cheaper and definitely more efficient.”

Today, for internal book transfers between branches in different countries, the bank needs to use SWIFT. This is not the case for domestic internal book transfers. The blockchain project, which will go into a pilot phase next year after a successful proof-of-concept, “will allow those locations to exchange digital cash among themselves,” Frazier said. As with rival megabank JPMorgan’s JPM Coin, Wells Fargo’s digital cash will be backed 1-for-1 with the analog kind. “We will hold the fiat currency, so it’s a stablecoin, and we will issue digital cash tokens. These tokens are placed into digital wallets and then those tokens are able to be exchanged,” Frazier said.

Parallel paths

Frazier said Wells Fargo has been avidly participating since 2016 in blockchain tests that she described as “external,” meaning other banks and financial institutions were involved. However, the bank has also been busy pursuing internal use cases for distributed ledger technology (DLT), she said. “I think the surprise is, we have found a really solid internal application for DLT on our book transfers. By doing this we are streamlining the book transfer process and are reducing the use of intermediaries that can cause a delay in settlement. Therefore we are widening the operating window for clearing of FX wires cross-border,” she said.

The stablecoin project also happens to be the first project the bank has built using the paid-for version of R3’s DLT, which Wells Fargo has now licensed — with more to follow on the platform, the bank added. SWIFT declined to comment, but the messaging system itself is collaborating with R3 on a number of projects, such as a proof of concept to connect the former’s gpi to the latter’s Corda to enable “off-ledger” payment settlement. The results of this PoC will be revealed at Sibos 2019. Corda Settler, the Corda Network’s open-source payments engine, has also been tested with the cryptocurrency XRP.

However, Wells Fargo scotched any suggestion the bank would be connecting its digital coins to anything outside its own internal payments systems. “R3’s Corda Enterprise was selected as the platform for our first enterprise DLT network, not CordaSettler,” said a spokesman for the bank. “Wells Fargo Digital Cash is an internal settlement service which will not be associated or connected to any other potential digital cash solutions emerging in the financial services markets today.”

Alex Lipton, a former bank executive, trader and quant, said Wells Fargo’s coin is potentially very useful for simplifying the “bank’s byzantine internal processes,” but not something that will see much usage outside the bank and a handful of close partners. “Large banks are so bad that they have to use SWIFT like everyone else, so in effect, they don’t differentiate between inside and outside of banks. So, a coin can help. But it is a sign of desperation,” said Lipton, now co-founder and chief technical officer at fintech firm Sila.

Another JPM Coin?

At first blush, Well Fargo’s digital cash may appear to be another JPM Coin, the much-vaunted technology built using Quorum, the privacy-centric version of ethereum developed by JPMorgan. Although initially intended for payments between clients, the coin will eventually be used to digitally fund enterprise blockchain projects such as on-chain debt issuances, JPMorgan executives have said.

JPM also boasts 344 banks on its Interbank Information Network (IIN), which uses Quorum to eradicate pain points in the way information circulates within foreign correspondent banking. Frazier played down any similarities between JPM Coin and Wells Fargo Digital Cash. “I think they are very different,” she said. Wells Fargo is not a member of IIN, but Frazier hinted at a long-term plan for interoperability.

She concluded:

“Eventually in the future, there will be interoperable networks. As these emerging technologies come out of a nascent stage all kinds of things can happen.”

Article Produced By
Ian Allison

Ian is a reporter at CoinDesk. Prior to that he covered fintech at International Business Times and Newsweek. He is the State Street Data and Innovation Journalist of the Year 2017. Ian purchased a very small amount of DAO tokens but did not reclaim them. He does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.


Japanese HR and Tech Giant Recruit Holdings Invests in Blockstack

Japanese HR and Tech Giant Recruit Holdings Invests in Blockstack


Blockchain startup Blockstack PBC has received strategic investment from Japanese human resources giant Recruit Holdings.

U.S. startups look for Japanese partnerships

The Block reported the startup’s new funding on Aug. 22. As part of the investment deal, Recruit, which is currently valued at $50 billion, is purchasing Blockstack’s STACK tokens. Blockstack CEO and co-founder Muneeb Ali reportedly said that United States-based startups typically partner with businesses in Japan. Ali further discussed the advantages of conducting crypto business in Japan.

He said:

“Japan is a very interesting market for crypto because it has clarity around regulations. It is legal to own and trade crypto assets, but only those whitelisted by the regulators.”

According to the report, Recruit’s investment paves the way for Blockstack to expand into the Japanese market. 

Blockstack’s venture into Asia

Blockstack recently received its first funding round from Asian investors, according to the report. In Ali’s announcement, he made similar comments — expressing his view of Asia as a central crypto player and Blockstack’s desire to expand its base in the continent,


“Asia is an important market for Blockstack, as Asian countries have arguably the most significant penetration for both crypto users and developers. […] The Asian strategic round led by Hashkey and SNZ marks a new chapter, and we’re excited to expand our developer outreach and grow the Blockstack community and usage in Asia.”

Blockstack partners with Lambda School

As reported by Cointelegraph, Blockstack announced a partnership with the Lambda School earlier this month. The school offers courses focused on practical skills, while Blockstack will provide educational services on how to code its apps. Additionally, Blockstack will offer an earning option through its App Mining Program. At the time, Ali reportedly said: “This is the sort of program I wish was available to me when I was a student.”

Article Produced By
Max Boddy

Max Boddy is a reporter with a background in philosophy. When he’s not covering crypto news, Max can often be found experimenting in the kitchen or writing about League of Legends.


Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures 4M

Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures $4M


Israeli cybersecurity startup GK8 has reportedly developed the world’s first offline system

for transacting cryptocurrencies. The new system uses GK8’s proprietary cryptographic techniques that enable instant blockchain transactions of digital assets without any need for an internet connection, Israeli business news publication Globes reported on Sept. 18.

The company raised $4 million in a funding round led by Discount Capital, a venture arm of one of Israel’s three largest banks, Discount Bank, and Marius Nacht, a co-founder of cybersecurity giant Checkpoint. Other investors reportedly included EdenBlock, iAngels, IDEAL-HLS, StratX and the Israel Innovation Authority. As reported by Globes, GK8’s new cryptographic techniques allowed the company to develop a cold wallet with “hot wallet functionalities,” securing user funds from hackers and cyberattacks.

Unidirectional connection 

In a recent interview with Fortune, GK8 CEO Lior Lamesh described GK8's technology as "ledger agnostic," hinting that it can be used for Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. According to Lamesh, G8K is capable of recording transactions on a blockchain in offline mode thanks to "unidirectional connection."  GK8’s technology is up and running, and is already being used by digital asset trading platform eToro. 

Fortune reports that GK8 was founded in 2018 by two members of an Israeli special defense unit that specializes in guarding the country’s digital assets. According to Silicon Valley-based crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace, cryptocurrency thefts reached $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019 — $500,000 less than what was stolen throughout the whole of 2018.

Article Produced By
Helen Partz

Helen is passionate about learning languages, cultures and the Internet. She has years of experience working at international online advertising projects. Growing interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in late 2017, she joined Cointelegraph as a writer.


Messaging App LINE’s Crypto Exchange Goes Live for 80 Million Users in Japan

Messaging App LINE’s Crypto Exchange Goes Live for 80 Million Users in Japan


Messaging app LINE has officially launched a cryptocurrency exchange service

for its 80 million users based in Japan, days after the platform received final regulatory approval. The Shinjuku-based messaging provider, which is 73.36-percent owned by South Korea’s Naver, said in a statement on Tuesday that the new exchange, dubbed Bitmax, is now live with trading of five crypto assets: bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), bitcoin cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC).

According to the statement, the service was introduced in stages from 3 p.m. Japan time on Tuesday and is available first on Android devices. It can be accessed via the wallet tab on the LINE mobile app and is also integrated with LINE Pay to provide an easier Japanese yen fiat on-ramp process. LINE said in the announcement it currently has 81 million monthly active users in Japan and 164 million globally. It operates the crypto exchange through LVC Corporation, a subsidiary, which was awarded a cryptocurrency exchange license by Japan’s Financial Services Agency on Sept. 6. BITMAX is available to residents of Japan with a LINE account. No fees are charged for trading, though a charge of 108 yen will be applied for deposits and withdrawals.

In terms of security, LINE said it utilizes a wallet developed by Palo Alto-based BitGo to segregate customer assets and store assets in a cold wallet, which is itself managed by a dedicated team. A strict KYC process is in place for new customers. Applicants can register their account with the app using an ID card and photographic capture, with a registered bank account and an ID or by mail. The new service will run separately from the company’s Singapore-based Bitbox, which has been in operation since July 2018 but excludes residents of Japan and the U.S.

Article Produced By
Michael Williamson

Michael Williamson is a content marketer who formerly worked out of Unbounced's Montreal office. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loathe to discuss himself in the third persona, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.


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