Blockchain’s Big Split: Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

The split of the Bitcoin blockchain has begun and Bitcoin Cash, a new cryptocurrency, was created when a group of miners “forked” from the main Bitcoin blockchain.

In order to create the competing cryptocurrency, the miners began operating a different software and succeeded in officially branching off at around 8:20 a.m. ET, August 1 when they started adding blocks to the separate blockchain.

At about 2:14 p.m. ET, August 1 ViaBTC mined the first Bitcoin Cash block, which came in at a block size of 1.915 MB. That block contained 6,985 transactions, according to public data. Since then, four Bitcoin Cash blocks have been created, though only the first of the initial five had a block larger than 1 MB. By comparison, the most recent block to the publishing date contained 520 transactions, using about 0.4 MB of space in the transaction block.

During the development process, given the relatively small amount of miners running the new software, and the fact that the software carried over with it the same difficulty that regulates how easy it is to find blocks based on the number of miners, Bitcoin Cash struggled to keep up with the main Bitcoin network, which quickly grew in size.

Bitcoin Cash intends to activate new rules that are at odds with the Bitcoin network, aiming to boost transaction capacity by increasing the block size to 8MB and removing Segregated Witness (SegWit), a long-debated code optimization that is likely to activate on Bitcoin later in August.

In addition, the exchanges that accept Bitcoin Cash deposits first will have a lot of activity, and that initial trading will likely cause some significant price volatility due to reduced liquidity.

Sumitomo Mitsui, MUFG Join Ripple’s Japanese Banks Consortium

Ripple, a US-based provider of financial settlement solutions, has added two new members to its Japanese banks consortium, Sumitomo Mitsui and MUFG.

As a result, the Asian consortium has 61 members, representing over 80% of total assets in Japan. SBI Ripple Asia created the consortium in August 2016, and consisted of 15 banks connected by a network, focused on Ripple’s blockchain technology for payments and settlement.

The consortium later grew to 47 banks that successfully completed a pilot implementation of the startup to enable real-time money transfers, both domestically and internationally.

The announcement said that three major banks, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), MUFG and Mizuho have joined the Japan bank consortium. Apart from these banks, Ripple also welcomes Japan Post Bank to the roster of the banks using Ripple for payments in Japan.

Furthermore, the startup said that it plans to launch a common mobile application later in 2017, for payments that will unite all the member banks’ customers worldwide.

Rivetz Introduces Decentralised Cybersecurity Token

Rivetz has announced the RvT cyber security token, created to combine computing with blockchain technology to offer privacy protection.

The solution enables multi-factor authentication across devices, to achieve security at the transaction and authentication level. Moreover, it will enable peer-to-peer transactions to have provable cyber controls that become a permanent part of the blockchain record, providing cryptographic proof that the measured protections were in place before a transaction. The app checks the status of a device before undertaking a task, such as connecting to the cloud.

Rvt token is built on a technology that has already been delivered on over a billion devices containing ARM-compatible processors. It takes advantage of the established features of the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) to provide a vault on the device to enable machine execution of instructions that are subject to owner-led policy.

The launch of the RvT token sale is expected to take place on July 25, 2017.

Scaling Ethereum to Billions of Users

Data

Fred Ehrsam published a great article today on the likelihood of scaling Ethereum out to billions of users (well, transactional computations) that is well worth a read.

It’s one of the challenges that I have been contemplating for a long time. I’m not sure that Fred has all of the answers but his theory is definitely on the right path. It’s a great article to read.

See the full article here.

IBM Builds Blockchain Technology for Seven European Banks

IBM has announced a blockchain technology that will be used by seven European banks, to facilitate international trade for small and medium-size enterprises.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit are part of the consortium.

IBM is building this new blockchain, Digital Trade Chain, to help parties track, manage and transact internationally. The tech solution will be built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain framework, and will go live by the end of the year.

Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the executive board at Rabobank, explains that when a merchant sells goods to another party and those goods arrive, the blockchain triggers a payment to take place. The aim is to move the payment into that blockchain solution, when the payment in blockchain is ready to be robust for large-scale application.