upcoming Action Plan on FinTech and on the EU’s position at the upcoming G20 in Buenos Aires,” said Dombrovskis, in reference to the financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector. “We have not excluded the possibility to move ahead (by regulating cryptocurrencies) at the EU level if we see, for example, risks emerging but no clear international response to the threat.”
Despite what might be interpreted as a sombre warning about the potential downside cryptocurrencies might have for investors, Dombrovskis was quick to point out that he remained positive about initial coin offerings (ICOs), saying the EU – one of the smaller traders of cryptocurrencies – needed to work with other G20 nations to address any potential risks.
The UN’s children’s agency, Unicef, has launched a futuristic pilot project to utilise the cryptocurrency Ethereum to raise money for Syrian children.
the “blockchain” technology associated with the cryptocurrency – the world’s second largest after the controversial Bitcoin – to revolutionise not only how aid organisations raise money but also to increase transparency in their financial transactions.
Blockchain – which emerged as one of the underpinnings of Bitcoin – is a shared record of transactions maintained by a network of computers. It has become a key technology because of its ability to record and keep track of assets or transactions with no need for middlemen.
Moscow appears to have moved quickly into the market of cryptocurrencies and cryptography. Gref earlier warned that companies including Blockchain and Bitcoin should not be banned or hindered in their operations.
Russia’s Finance Ministry legalised cryptocurrency trading on January 25 with the Digital Assets Regulation Bill, despite vocal objections from the country’s Central Bank. The bill defined cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets that are not legal tender in Russia. The Central Bank, however, argued that digital currency trading rules should only be applied to tokens that would attract financial investments.
Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.
We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.
It is time to break up Facebook.
America was built on the idea that power should not be concentrated in any one person, because we are all fallible. That’s why the founders created a system of checks and balances.
More legislation followed in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to promote competition and hold the biggest companies accountable.
Starting in the 1970s, a small but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policymakers sowed the seeds of our cynicism. Over the next 40 years, they financed a network of think tanks, journals, social clubs, academic centers and media outlets to teach an emerging generation that private interests should take precedence over public ones. Their gospel was simple: “Free” markets are dynamic and productive, while government is bureaucratic and ineffective.
From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.
Facebook’s monopoly is also visible in its usage statistics.About 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products. Over two-thirds use the core site, a third use Instagram, and a fifth use WhatsApp. By contrast, fewer than a third report using Pinterest, LinkedIn or Snapchat. What started out as lighthearted entertainment has become the primary way that people of all ages communicate online.
The F.T.C.’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp. In 2012, the newer platforms were nipping at Facebook’s heels because they had been built for the smartphone, where Facebook was still struggling to gain traction. Mark responded by buying them, and the F.T.C. approved.
The News Feed algorithm reportedly prioritized videos created through Facebook over videos from competitors, like YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, Twitter introduced a video network called Vine that featured six-second videos. That same day, Facebook blocked Vine from hosting a tool that let its users search for their Facebook friends while on the new network.The decision hobbled Vine, which shut down four years later.
unlike Vine, Snapchat wasn’t interfacing with the Facebook ecosystem; there was no obvious way to handicap the company or shut it out. So Facebook simply copied it. (opyright law does not extend to the abstract concept itself.)
As markets become more concentrated, the number of new start-up businesses declines. This holds true in other high-tech areas dominated by single companies, like search (controlled by Google) and e-commerce (taken over by Amazon). Meanwhile, there has been plenty of innovation in areas where there is no monopolistic domination, such as in workplace productivity (Slack, Trello, Asana), urban transportation (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and cryptocurrency exchanges (Ripple, Coinbase, Circle).
The choice is mine, but it doesn’t feel like a choice. Facebook seeps into every corner of our lives to capture as much of our attention and data as possible and, without any alternative, we make the trade.
Just last month, Facebook seemingly tried to bury news that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords in plain text format, which thousands of Facebook employees could see. Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms.
Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.
As if Facebook’s opaque algorithms weren’t enough, last year we learned that Facebook executives had permanently deleted their own messages from the platform, erasing them from the inboxes of recipients; the justification was corporate security concerns.
Mark may never have a boss, but he needs to have some check on his power. The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.
We Don’t Need Social Media
The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good
Hughes joins a growing chorus of former Silicon Valley unicorn riders who’ve recently had second thoughts about the utility or benefit of the surveillance-attention economy their products and platforms have helped create. He is also not the first to suggest that government might need to step in to clean up the mess they made
Nick Srnicek, author of the book Platform Capitalismand a lecturer in digital economy at King’s College London, wrotelast month, “[I]t’s competition — not size — that demands more data, more attention, more engagement and more profits at all costs
At democracy’s heart lies a set of paradoxes: a delicate interplay of identity and anonymity, secrecy and transparency. To be sure you are eligible to vote and that you do so only once, the authorities need to know who you are. But when it comes time for you to mark a ballot, the government must guarantee your privacy and anonymity. After the fact, it also needs to provide some means for a third party to audit the election, while also preventing you from obtaining definitive proof of your choice, which could lead to vote selling or coercion.
Building a system that accomplishes all this at once — and does so securely — is challenging enough in the physical world. It’s even harder online, as the recent revelation that Russian intelligence operatives compromised voting systems in multiple states makes clear.
In the decade since the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto published an infamous white paper outlining the idea behind bitcoin, a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” based on a mathematical “consensus mechanism,” more than 1,500 new cryptocurrencies have come into being.
definition: Nathan Heller in the New Yorker, in which he compares the blockchain to a scarf knit with a single ball of yarn. “It’s impossible to remove part of the fabric, or to substitute a swatch, without leaving some trace,” Heller wrote. Typically, blockchains are created by a set of stakeholders working to achieve consensus at every step, so it might be even more apt to picture a knitting collective creating that single scarf together, moving forward only when a majority agrees that a given knot is acceptable.
Unlike bitcoin, a public blockchain powered by thousands of miners around the world, most voting systems, including Votem’s, employ what’s known as a “permissioned ledger,” in which a handful of approved groups (political parties, election observers, government entities) would be allowed to validate the transactions.
there’s the issue of targeted denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, in which a hacker directs so much traffic at a server that it’s overwhelmed and ceases to function.
Although a distributed ledger itself would likely withstand such an attack, the rest of the system — from voters’ personal devices to the many servers a vote would pass through on its way to the blockchain — would remain vulnerable.
there’s the so-called penetration attack, like the University of Michigan incursion, in which an adversary gains control of a server and deliberately alters the outcome of an election.
While it’s true that information recorded on a blockchain cannot be changed, a determined hacker might well find another way to disrupt the process. Bitcoin itself has never been hacked, for instance, but numerous bitcoin “wallets” have been, resulting in billions of dollars in losses. In early June 2018, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange was penetrated, causing the value of bitcoin to tumble and resulting in a loss of $42 billion in market value. So although recording the vote tally on a blockchain introduces a new obstacle to penetration attacks, it still leaves holes elsewhere in the system — like putting a new lock on your front door but leaving your basement windows open.
A blockchain is only as valuable as the data stored on it. And whereas traditional paper ballots preserve an indelible record of the actual intent of each voter, digital votes “don’t produce an original hard-copy record of any kind,”
In the end, democracy always depends on a certain leap of faith, and faith can never be reduced to a mathematical formula. The Economist Intelligence Unit regularly ranks the world’s most democratic counties. In 2017, the United States came in 21st place, after Uruguay and Malta. Meanwhile, it’s now widely believed that John F. Kennedy owed his 1960 win to election tampering in Chicago. The Supreme Court decision granting the presidency to George W. Bush rather than calling a do-over — despite Al Gore’s popular-vote win — still seems iffy. Significant doubts remain about the 2016 presidential race.
While little doubt remains that Russia favored Trump in the 2016 election, the Kremlin’s primary target appears to have been our trust in the system itself. So if the blockchain’s trendy allure can bolster trust in American democracy, maybe that’s a net positive for our national security. If someone manages to hack the system, hopefully they’ll do so quietly. Apologies to George Orwell, but sometimes ignorance really is strength.
Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web
Countries all over the world are seeing significant increases in criminal activity through the use of technological tools. Such crimes as identity theft, cyberattacks, drug trafficking, and human trafficking are conducted through the deep and dark web, while social media is utilized by murderers, sex offenders, and pedophiles to elicit information and contact their victims. As criminals continue to harness technology to their advantage, law enforcement and government officials are left to devise alternative strategies to learn more about all aspects of these modern criminal patterns and behavior, to preserve the safety of society, and to ensure that proper justice is served. Regrettably, the lack of adequate research findings on these modern criminal activities is limiting everyone’s abilities to devise effective strategies and programs to combat these modern technology-related criminal activities.
In an effort to compile the most current research on this topic, a new major reference work titled Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web is currently being developed. This comprehensive Encyclopedia is projected to encompass expert insights about the nature of these criminal activities, how they are conducted, and societal and technological limitations. It will also explore new methods and processes for monitoring and regulating the use of these tools, such as social media, online forums, and online ads, as well as hidden areas of the internet including the deep and dark web. Additionally, this Encyclopedia seeks to offer strategies for predicting and preventing criminals from using technology as a means to track, stalk, and lure their victims.
You are cordially invited to share your research to be featured in this Encyclopedia by submitting a chapter proposal/abstract using the link on the formal call for papers page here. If your chapter proposal is accepted, guidelines for preparing your full chapter submission (which should be between 5,000-7,500 total words in length) can be accessed at: http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/ (under the “For Authors” heading – “Encyclopedia Chapter Organization and Formatting”).
Recommended topics for papers include, but are not limited to:
Bitcoin and Crime
Botnets and Crime
Dark Web Vendors
Dating Websites and Crime
Fraud and Internet
Gaming and Crime
Government Regulations of the Dark Web
Hacking and Crime
International Regulations of the Dark Web
Internet Safety & Crime
Online Advertisement Websites and Crime
Online Forums and Crime
Online Hate Crimes
Social Media Deception
Social Networking Traps
Undercover Dark Web Busts
Virtual Currencies & Crime
IMPORTANT DATES: Chapter Proposal Submission Deadline: October 15, 2018; Full Chapters Due: December 15, 2018
Note: There are no publication fees, however, contributors will be requested to provide a courtesy to their fellow colleagues by serving as a peer reviewer for this project for at least 2-3 articles. This will ensure the highest level of integrity and quality for the publication.
Based on the blockchain technology, Hyperledger offers distributed ledger frameworks to a variety of industry leaders in the fields of banking, finance, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and technology.
4. IBM Bluemix Blockchain:
Developed using the base of Hyperledger, IBM Bluemix offers transparency in transactions and security in information for enterprises. At present, IBM Bluemix runs on the IBM cloud.
Multichain is one of the best Blockchain platforms that enables the creation and execution of private blockchains. This multi-asset exchange is becoming popular for solving real problems in finance, infrastructure, and e-commerce.
Developed by Coinprism, Open-chain is a Blockchain infrastructure that’s used for the perseverance and management of digital assets. Open-chain is an enterprise-ready platform for digital assets. Its approach is different than the standard Bitcoin approach to implementing Blockchain.
With the above-mentioned blockchain platforms, you can get unprecedented services for the security of digital transactions and assets. The blockchain technology provides independent and secure work structure and is a reliable solution that can be utilized to streamline an organization’s processes and transfer of assets without getting into any extensive documentation or periodical controls.
Beginning Monday, authorities are rolling out a replacement for the apparently unironically named “strong” bolivar, swapping it out for a “sovereign” bolivar that will be pegged to the government’s proposed cryptocurrency, the petro. In the process they are devaluing Venezuela’s physical currency more than 95 percent and radically weakening its exchange rate
Blockchains, which use advanced cryptography to store information across networks of computers, could eliminate the need for trusted third parties, like banks, in transactions, legal agreements, and other contracts. The most ardent blockchain-heads believe it has the power to reshape the global financial system, and possibly even the internet as we know it.
Now, as the technology expands from a fringe hacker toy to legitimate business applications, opportunists have flooded the field. Some of the seekers are mercenaries pitching shady or fraudulent tokens, others are businesses looking to cash in on a hot trend, and still others are true believers in the revolutionary and disruptive powers of distributed networks.
Mentions of blockchains and digital currencies on corporate earnings calls doubled in 2017 over the year prior, according to Fortune. Last week at Consensus, the country’s largest blockchain conference, 100 sponsors, including top corporate consulting firms and law firms, hawked their wares.
Here is a noncomprehensive list of the ways blockchain promoters say they will change the world. They run the spectrum from industry-specific (a blockchain project designed to increase blockchain adoption) to global ambitions (fixing the global supply chain’s apparent $9 trillion cash flow issue).
Things Blockchain Technology Will Fix
Bots with nefarious intent
People not taking their medicine
Device storage that could be used for bitcoin mining