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Blockchain News

Sierra Leone Is The First Country To Introduce A Blockchain-Based Presidential Election

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The world’s first blockchain-backed presidential election took place  in Sierra Leone this March 7, 2018. The African country witnessed the first blockchain tech votes all thanks to the Swiss blockchain startup – Agora – that was working hard behind the scenes to make this possible and bring such results.

In this election, Agora used a custom-built blockchain technology that it has built over the last two years. Designed as a permissioned blockchain network, it allows the network to appoint to a group of participants who are given the express authority to provide the validation of blocks of transactions or to participate in consensus.

Both Agora and the Sierra Leone officials were proud to introduce such technology where the transfer of information was secure to a verifiable blockchain ledger – with independent node operators including the names of the Red Cross, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Fribourg as the organizations that verified each ballot and the election results.

The CEO of Agora expressed gratitude for the country of Sierra Leone for showing the world how visionary they are in implementing free and transparent elections to the people. The election itself was quite notable since for the first time in years, Sierra Leone had more than two candidates with a significant chance of winning, opening up space for a more diversified parliament.

In the end, this is an important first step towards improving the democratic process in countries that have been significantly impacted by fraud and corruption in the past, all thanks to paper ballots.

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Blockchain News

Chinese Internet Court Decides: Blockchain Will Fight Online Plagiarism

In the Easter Chinese City Hangzhou, a new internet court was launched and according to the latest blockchain news, the court will now start fighting online plagiarism for online writers with the help of blockchain technology. China launched its first internet court so they can solve all of the internet related cases and reduce the costs of getting justice. The court is expected to accept court filings and cases electronically and has to rule online cases via live stream. The plaintiff’s identity will be verified with a government-issued ID or with their Alipay account. The Internet Court will work as an incubator for regulating and protecting the internet space in China but also settle Internet disputes. Hangzhou is a city in China that has a lot of online writers. There’s even a ‘’writers’’ village where hundreds of people are online writers. Online writers have a lot of trouble with privacy and it is extremely difficult for them to prove ownership of a certain article. The writers first used to download and screenshot their articles as proof of ownership but later found out that these proofs are easily forged. Also, the legal services and fees are high and writers can’t pursue justice against forgers and those who steal their work. However, the new internet court will store the data on a distributed ledger and it claims that it will be impossible to tamper the evidence. The blockchain is the option for these online writers because of its tamper-proof nature, the easy ability to track authorship and monitor the time of creation.
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Blockchain News

The 5th Satellite Streaming BTC Blockchain Launched In Space

Blockchain company Blockstream is in our blockchain news today for expanding their satellite service and launching their fifth satellite that will broadcast the bitcoin blockchain from space. Adding the fifth satellite increases the coverage area and brings a much bigger potential for internet-free BTC transactions and information sharing mostly to users in the Pacific region. Though the satellite is still in beta testing, it is already available across Europe, Africa, and North America. The company has also launched a new application programming interface that will allow the satellites to be used in order to exchange encrypted messages and users will have to pay for using those using micropayments with the Lightning Network. The Blockstream CSO Samson Mow says that ‘’Bitcoin has always been about uncensorable money and now we have uncensorable communications as well.’’ Blockstram CEO Adam Back told Forbes magazine:
 “We see the increased robustness of the bitcoin network and the lower cost of participation contributing to helping businesses rely on the service for backup, and for emerging markets to use as their primary access to the bitcoin network at a lower cost.”
With the latest launching of the fifth satellite, Blockstream managed to cover the entire globe except for parts of Greenland and Antarctica. The data that is streamed via the satellites covers all historical Bitcoin transaction data. Blockstream announced their first satellite project last year in August and their goal was to connect ‘’everyone on the planet’’ since there is still limited global internet access in the world. The idea for launching a Bitcoin satellite, however, is not new. Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik had a BitSat scheme wanting to launch a satellite back in 2014 but the initiative has stopped since.
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Blockchain News

24/7 Trading Of Different Types Of Assets Is the Future: BitMEX CEO

The co-founder and CEO of BitMEX is in our latest digital currency news today after speaking on the Laura Shin’s Unchained podcast about the future of blockchain technology. Arthur Hayes started explaining how he had first gotten into crypto trading. He was employed at Citi Bank until 2013 and lost his job which eventually led him to trading Bitcoin for a living. He got interested in derivatives trading and about 8 months after he lost his job, he co-founded BitMex in January 2014. He pointed out:
‘’What really struck me about Bitcoin and the world of crypto assets was that for the first time, you basically have access for people who otherwise wouldn’t interact with financial markets. […] I think 24/7 trading of all different types of assets is something that’s going to be the future, and that will bleed into other markets we’re all familiar with, you know, FX, fixed income, and equities.’’
When Shin asked whether crypto assets are a new asset class, Hayes explained that he believes that it is a ‘’blend’’. For example, Apple’s cash reserves are much larger than the whole market cap of cryptocurrency. He noted that cryptocurrency is not big enough to be considered a ‘’bonafied asset class.’’ Hayes thinks that it is still unknown whether Bitcoin will be secure over the long run and that it is still experimenting. Many believe that his stance is interesting especially since he is the co-founder of a well-known Bitcoin exchange. He concluded:
‘’The jury is out on whether Bitcoin is actually secure over the long run. It’s had a decade, which is pretty good, but it’s still an experiment. So I say the jury is out, but it could be a new way of raising capital and sending value around the world.’’
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Blockchain News

It’s Official: Blockchain Bank To Open In Malta In 2019

The Blockchain Island is in our crypto news today and it’s bringing some great news. Malta is about to start its first blockchain bank that will service crypto. All of the blockchain companies and individuals were surprised when the OK Group’s Blockchain Capital Limited announced that will be the main investor in RnF Finance Limited to act as a credit institution. The CEO of RnF Roderick Psaila has been working in the banking sector for almost 30 years and has started multiple banks in Malta over the past 10 years. He was also the CEO of AgriBank- a bank in Malta that is licensed credit institution. Psaila said that the Bank is planning to bring back ‘’proper banking services to clients’’. The blockchain bank will offer banking services to corporate, private banking, wealth management, and lending. The main target of the bank will be big corporate companies and private clients. This is great news for all the crypto exchanges and companies that are issuing security tokens because the bank will service them like any other company. Also, the bank intends to invest in blockchain and AI intelligence because this will help the bank to attract clients efficiently. The founding partner of the OK blockchain Capital Limited M. Tian Ying said:
“We are delighted to partner with Roderick and his team of bankers in this exciting project in Malta, and are excited to be involved in this new banking venture on Blockchain Island.”
Malta is the first country to move towards a regulated blockchain industry and it is expected to cultivate more opportunities on the Blockchain Island.
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