Blockchain This Week – $6 Million Fees to Recoverable Keys

Would you pay $6 million for $900,000?

In the cryptocurrency world, it is not unusual to hear about users paying hefty fees to get their transactions confirmed faster. But how much is anyone ready to pay? This week proved that there are no such restraints. Earlier this week, a user paid an unusual amount of $2.6 million to transfer $134! Within 24 hours, the same user topped it up by paying another $2.6 million for transferring $87,000. Finally, a third such payment, but by a different user, amounting to half a million dollars was made. These bizarre events have led to several conspiracy theories. One of them claims these hefty fees are coming out of the pockets of a crypto exchange, possibly a victim of a phishing attack.

Playing the classic games with crypto

Atari, the creator of the beloved classic video games such as Pac-man, Breakout, and Asteroids, has been very engaged in the crypto space. This week Atari announced its partnership with Unikrn, an esports betting firm. Now, Atari coin holders can use their Atari tokens to bet, shop, and play their favorite Atari games on the Unikrn’s esports betting platform.

Monero mining on Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft reported that hackers have hijacked their Azure cloud resources and are using them to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. This attack was made possible allegedly due to misconfigurations done by users, which opened up their Kubernetes dashboard for hackers to exploit and install mining software.

Moscow to register votes on Blockchain

Russia will vote on July 1 to decide whether their president should stay in power for longer than the current limit of two consecutive six-year terms. While the majority of the country still uses paper ballots, the voters of Moscow will have an option to cast their vote electronically, and have them recorded on Blockchain.

US mulls over digital dollar payments

Russia is not the only country that is contemplating on Blockchain and its applications. Back in the US, the digital dollar is back on the table as a payment option. On Thursday, a US congressional committee hearing reviewed digital currency as an option to speed up the delivery of stimulus payments.

US digital dollar project picking steam

Meanwhile, the US digital dollar project is picking pace with the National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, awarding a $225,000 grant to a private blockchain startup. What’s unique with this startup is its “Proof of Balance” protocol. With this protocol, users do not have to buy cryptocurrencies to interact with decentralized applications or to earn voting power in the blockchain network. Instead, they need to deposit money in bank accounts, and an equivalent amount of crypto is allocated free of charge. This feature would be essential while issuing the digital dollar in exchange for fiat dollars.

New York Times on Blockchain

In a blog post, on Friday, the New York Times (NYT) announced a prototype they have built leveraging Blockchain to store metadata about the various photos found online. The need to do so stems from the frequent misuse of the online photographs. Photographs taken at different locations and times are often used elsewhere in unconnected events. As per NYT, using Blockchain to store data about the place and time when the photos were taken will help verify the veracity of the photographs.

Japanese houses on Blockchain

Japanese home builder, Sekisui House, has announced that it will be using blockchain for rental contracts with their tenants, which will eliminate the need for real estate agents. Tenants of its “Shamaison” rentals will be able to use just their phone numbers and addresses to enter the property.

Gaining access to services without losing identity

Busan, a South Korean city, now allows its citizens to access various government services, using a blockchain-based identification app. Users of the app can store their IDs locally on their devices. They need to add only the cryptographic proof of their IDs to the app. It will not only provide reliable information, but will also protect the privacy of users.

Now buy cola with crypto

Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola, has partnered with the digital assets platform, Centrepay. The vending machines operated by Amatil now allows consumers to scan a QR code and buy items using Bitcoin or any ERC-20 tokens.

Saving businesses with Blockchain

China Zheshang Bank has issued asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) using Blockchain technology. ABCPs help provide financial support to the Small and Medium-sized companies. China is considering this paper as one of the relief to the firms hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bitcoin payments with Mastercard

BitPay, a bitcoin payments firm, has launched a prepaid Mastercard for its crypto users in the US. The card users can convert their crypto into fiat, then load that fiat money into the card, and use the card just like any other Mastercard. The BitPay card supports a basket of crypto and stable coins.

Mt.Gox CEO’s plea rejected

Japan’s high court has rejected the appeal from Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of Mt. Gox, convicting him of manipulating the electronic data at Mt. Gox. Mt. Gox is a cryptocurrency exchange that became notoriously famous after the 2011 hack of 850,000 bitcoins, which today is worth billions of dollars. Mark was arrested in 2015 and was found guilty in one of the three accusations.

Middle Eastern bank pioneering in the use of Blockchain

Saudi Arabian central bank says it has used blockchain to transfer funds to the local banks. The Middle East has always been at the forefront in the adoption of Blockchain technology. This is yet another step towards its blockchain sovereignty.

MakerDAO price spike

The price of the currency from the decentralized lending platform, MakerDAO, increased by 30% on June 10. This rise is attributed to the MakerDAO community’s vote in favor of collateralized “real-world” assets. Loans will be issued in Dai,  the stable coin from MakerDAO.

Recoverable private keys

Here is some good news for those who find it difficult to remember or retrieve private keys to their crypto wallets. A digital assets security firm Ngrave has launched an encrypted private key backup that uses steel plates, called Ngrave Graphene. It has a cryptographic puzzle designed using two steel plates, both of which are required to retrieve the owner’s private key. Steel is more durable than paper or electronics, and can withstand extreme situations such as fires which makes it more efficient for key backups.

And finally, a Decentralized Blog or dBlog

Unstoppable Domain, a San Francisco based Blockchain company, has released its decentralized blogging service. This blogging platform is hosted on the InterPlanetary File System and has a .crypto extension. Many notable names from the crypto world have hosted their blogs on this platform. They believe a decentralized blog is key to freedom of information. 



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