Plans for digital currency spark political crisis in Marshall Islands | World news | The Guardian

The only female leader in the Pacific Islands is facing a no-confidence challenge after pushing ahead with the controversial introduction of a digital currency for the Marshall Islands.In February this year President Hilda Heine announced plans to introduce a cryptocurrency to operate as the country’s second legal tender alongside the US dollar, saying her country must not remain idle but “advance into the future”.The cryptocurrency, known as Sovereign or “Sov” was to be issued by an Israeli start-up company, which, according to the International Monetary Fund has “limited financial sector experience”.

Source: Plans for digital currency spark political crisis in Marshall Islands | World news | The Guardian

hearing | Hearings | United States Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing on “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem.”  The witnesses will be Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University Stern School of Business; and Mr. Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research, Coin Center.All hearings are webcast live and will not be available until the hearing starts. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the committee clerk at 202-224-7391 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.

Source: hearing | Hearings | United States Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Is GDPR an immovable block to blockchain? 

A report has claimed that GDPR could hinder innovation in blockchain within Europe. If that is right, then this could be enough to ensure that the technology stars of tomorrow, the next Amazons or Googles, won’t be European. The report did hint at the opportunity, however. Blockchain could be as transformative for business as the internet, at least nine out of ten technology professionals think that, or so found a survey by BTL Group.

Source: Is GDPR an immovable block to blockchain? – GDPR.Report

BIS Blasts Cryptos in Special Report: “Beyond the Hype” – Mish Talk

Cryptocurrencies: Looking Beyond the HypeCryptocurrency technology comes with poor efficiency and vast energy use.Cryptocurrencies cannot scale with transaction demand, are prone to congestion and greatly fluctuate in value.Overall, the decentralised technology of cryptocurrencies, however sophisticated, is a poor substitute for the solid institutional backing of money.The underlying technology could have promise in other applications, such as the simplification of administrative processes in the settlement of financial transactions. Still, this remains to be tested.

Source: BIS Blasts Cryptos in Special Report: “Beyond the Hype” – Mish Talk

51% Percent Attacks: Hacking a $2 Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency for Less Than $1.5 Million – Bitcoinist.com

Cryptocurrency researchers from FECAP University in Brazil have shown that it would take only around $1.5 million to attack the ETC network and still pull a nice little profit. With $55 million dollars, you could effectively bankrupt the currency, netting nearly $1 billion in straight profit.If a party that controlled just 2.5% of the Ethereum hash rate switched to ETC, they’d instantly control over 51% of the total network hash rate. The attack wouldn’t even be absurdly expensive. It’d cost what you would earn mining on the ETH network with 2.5% of the hash rate, which equates to roughly 525 ETH, or $318,000.

Source: 51% Percent Attacks: Hacking a $2 Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency for Less Than $1.5 Million – Bitcoinist.com

Bitcoin is based on the blockchain pipe dream | Nouriel Roubini and Preston Byrne | Business | The Guardian

It is high time to end the hype. Bitcoin is a slow energy-inefficient dinosaur that will never be able to process transactions as quickly or inexpensively as an Excel spreadsheet. Ethereum’s plans for an insecure proof-of-stake authentication system will render it vulnerable to manipulation by influential insiders.And Ripple’s technology for cross-border interbank financial transfers will soon be left in the dust by Swift, a non-blockchain consortium used by all of the world’s major financial institutions. Similarly, centralised e-payment systems with almost no transaction costs – Faster Payments, AliPay, WeChat Pay, Venmo, PayPal, Square – are being used by billions of people around the world.Today’s coin mania is not unlike the railway mania at the dawn of the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century. On its own, blockchain is hardly revolutionary. In conjunction with the secure, remote automation of financial and machine processes, however, it can have potentially far-reaching implications.Ultimately, blockchain’s uses will be limited to specific, well-defined, and complex applications that require transparency and tamper-resistance more than they require speed – for example, communication with self-driving cars or drones. As for most of the coins, they are little different from railway stocks in the 1840s, which went bust when that bubble – like most bubbles – burst.

Source: Bitcoin is based on the blockchain pipe dream | Nouriel Roubini and Preston Byrne | Business | The Guardian

Environmentalism in Cryptoanarchism: Gridcoin Case Study by Usman Chohan :: SSRN

This paper discusses the intersection of environmentalism and cryptoanarchism, in the form of Gridcoin, a cryptocurrency which aims to mitigate the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, through the implementation of two methods: a Proof-of-Research scheme and a Proof-of-Stake protocol. This raises questions about the need for an environment-friendly consideration of the costs of cryptocurrency mining.

Source: Environmentalism in Cryptoanarchism: Gridcoin Case Study by Usman Chohan :: SSRN

Blockchain Protocol Analysis and Security Engineering 2017 | Cyber Initiative

The conference will explore the use of formal methods, empirical analysis, and risk modeling to better understand security and systemic risk in blockchain protocols.  The conference aims to foster multidisciplinary collaboration among practitioners and researchers in blockchain protocols, distributed systems, cryptography, computer security, and risk management.

Source: Blockchain Protocol Analysis and Security Engineering 2017 | Cyber Initiative