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How To Create a Cryptocurrency Wallet?

create a cryptocurrency wallet

A Cryptocurrency wallet is a safe avenue where users can store their digital assets and funds. It can be used to send and receive money easily and help to possess full control over crypto holdings. A Cryptocurrency wallet app can be installed on a smartphone to send and receive funds. By launching a robust crypto wallet, you can make substantial income in the long run, along with gaining a massive user base.

crypto wallet development

What is Cryptocurrency Wallet?

It is a piece of software or a program that can be easily downloaded on a compatible device. It will keep track of your available balance, the different expenses, and lets users hold more than 100 digital currencies at once. A Cryptocurrency wallet can be downloaded and installed on a smartphone. It can be used for making daily purchases, as a long term investment, or just utilize its cold storage facilities.

The Features of a Cryptocurrency Wallet

  • Quick conversion from fiat to cryptocurrency and vice-versa.
  • Automatic session logout post the execution of a transaction to prevent any unauthorized access.
  • Unrestricted access to transaction history for the users to ascertain their expenditure pattern.
  • An exclusive QR code scanner facility to make payments quickly and securely.
  • Real-time push notifications to view the activity 24×7.
  • Auto denial of duplicate payments to prevent chargeback frauds.
  • Protection from inflation and economic downturn.
  • Not influenced by any government regulations.
  • Affordable rates for processing transactions as there is no interference of third parties.
  • Real-time pricing information will be provided about different kinds of cryptocurrencies.
  • The list of frequently used wallet addresses will be displayed in a separate list to process transactions faster.
  • Security measures like password and PIN protection will be available.
  • A real-time tracking facility for payments.
  • Multiple modes of executing a transaction via NFC, QR codes, or a Bitcoin URL.

How does a Cryptocurrency Wallet work?

  • It stores all the transaction records in the immutable blockchain network.
  • It operates in the form of a software program containing your private and public keys.
  • When a person sends his cryptos to another user’s wallet, he is transferring the ownership of the digital coins or tokens to the wallet address of the recipient.
  • The private key stored in your wallet must match the public address the currency is assigned to for unlocking the funds and utilizing them for various purposes.
  • The public key will be used to receive the funds and can be searched in the distributed ledger.
  • The private key is used to sign the transactions and prove that the user owns the related public key.

What are the Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets?

  • Desktop wallets can be downloaded and used on a PC or laptop. They are accessible only from the single computer on which it was originally installed. They are mostly secure except in cases of a virus or a hacking attack on your computer. This would lead to the loss of all of your funds. Popular examples of a desktop wallet would be Armory and Bitcoin Knots.
  • Virtual wallet for cryptocurrency is also called an online wallet. They operate on the cloud and can be accessed from any location using any device without any restrictions. They are very convenient to use as private keys can be stored online. But, sometimes they are vulnerable to hacking attacks and chances of theft as they are indirectly controlled by a third party.
  • Mobile wallets can be utilized via an app on your smartphone. They are accepted by retail stores and supermarkets for processing various payments. They usually have limited cold storage facilities than desktop wallets. Some of the well-known mobile wallets are Green Address, Bither, and BitGo.
  • Hardware wallets are a bit different from software wallets like desktop, mobile, and online wallets as they do not store the user’s private keys online but store them on a hardware device like a USB. They have robust security measures as they are stored online and transactions can also be executed online. They can support different digital currencies and are seamlessly compatible with several web interfaces. Some famous hardware wallets are Trezor, Ledger Nano S, and KeepKey.
  • Paper wallets are easy to use and are highly secure. The software will automatically generate your private keys and public keys which can be printed. A user can easily transfer funds from their software wallet to the public address of their paper wallet. You can enter your private keys or scan the QR code on the paper wallet for transferring funds from it to your software wallet. A Bitcoin paper wallet can be printed at bitaddress org.

How do you Secure Assets in a Cryptocurrency Wallet?

  • Notify your users to keep their passwords and private keys securely. If unauthorized access has been granted funds will be swindled in no time without any chance of recovery. Hence, tell them to ensure that only they have access to their respective password and private keys.

secure your digital wallet

  • Enable two-factor authentication as it will act as an extra layer of security. Even if someone happens to get access to the password and private key, it will save users from the potential misuse of their wallet as the secret code containing a few digits sent to them is needed to log in to the cryptocurrency wallet.
  • Ensure that you do not deposit all your funds in one wallet. Distribute all your investments in multiple wallets simultaneously to get the benefits of diversification and division of risk.
  • Make sure that you update the wallet’s software regularly. This will add the latest security enhancements.
  • Some wallets like Armory are multi-signature enabled and have sufficient cold storage facilities. All the private key data of the users are stored in secure offline computers. They follow GPU-resistant wallet encryption.

Quick Steps for Creating a Cryptocurrency Wallet

  • Configure a wallet API for managing the permissions. The code can be obtained from platforms like GitHub.
  • Set a password for the wallet and do not share it with anyone.
  • Set up a private key so that you alone can access the funds.
  • Try to make outgoing transactions.
  • Generate a new wallet address.
  • Test the user interface thoroughly.
  • Store some funds in it.

How do you Create a Cryptocurrency Wallet App on your own?

  • Readymade templates can be used easily.
  • You can make use of standard open-source libraries like Chain-Java.
  • Install an API from a website.
  • Provide a wallet name and set up permissions for transactions.
  • You can choose third-party programs and integrate them with your Cryptocurrency wallet.
  • Decide on the features if you are planning to develop it from scratch.
  • Write the code and integrate it with your database.
  • Design a user-friendly interface.
  • Make sure extensive testing is done before the official launch of your wallet.

In case the above steps are confusing to you, get in touch with an experienced cryptocurrency developer who will streamline the process of creating a Cryptocurrency wallet app easily.

The Future Expectations for a Cryptocurrency Wallet

This is the right time for businesses to launch a cryptocurrency e-wallet from Blockchain App Factory as digitization is spreading its wings far and wide. It will assist in keeping track of all your digital assets on a real-time basis and manage your portfolio of investments efficiently. It will help to increase your customer base and give your business firm a lot of freedom and flexibility along with a greater inflow of revenue.

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Top Digital Collectibles on WAX Blockchain of 2020

wax blockchain

The world of collectibles has changed. There was a time when the only place to trade collectibles was with a stack of dog-eared cards in the corner of the schoolyard. That was fun until you left school. eBay created a market that was always open and now covers everything from baseball cards to works of art. It’s a place where sellers can always find buyers, buyers can always find sellers, and everyone can find current prices. But even eBay still requires shipping goods, and buyers still need to hope that a rare item on offer is as genuine as the seller claims. Here are to top digital collectibles on WAX blockchain of 2020.

Digital Collectible Have Changed and Will Keep Changing

Digital collectibles have changed everything again. Instead of packing up a card or a figure into a box — the exchange takes place online. And instead of hoping that you haven’t accidentally bought a forgery, the blockchain provides an immutable record of ownership.

While Ethereum gets a lot of attention for artists seeking to distribute and sell their digital art, a blockchain called WAX has quietly become a leading distributor of digital collectibles that bring back the nostalgia of opening a “pack� of cards.

Known in the community as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) listed here are the ten best digital collectibles that came out on the WAX blockchain this year.

  1. Blockchain Heroes

Blockchain HeroesBlockchain Heroes demonstrated not only that a new intellectual property can succeed, but it also showed how to build and engage with a community and innovate technology.

The collection of colorful blockchain heroes and villains are dynamic and vibrant, but they’re also set in a dramatic universe where the evil Centralizers seek to wrestle control from the people. Events bring players together on Telegram, while gamification allows collectors to improve their items.

  1. KOGs

KOG'sKOGs are the biggest-selling intellectual property on the WAX blockchain. As well as collecting and trading KOGs, owners will soon be able to play games with them, extending their functionality and enhancing the fun. And they’re endlessly varied.

KOGs introduced the notion of variations of collectibles, ensuring a steady stream of unique items. The Telegram group is at t.me/waxXkogs

  1. Topps Garbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids The Garbage Pail Kids were the first major intellectual property to reach the WAX blockchain. First released as cards by baseball card maker Topps in 1985, the return of the property in digital form on its 35th anniversary showed that digital collectibles could work even for major brands.

The theme of a set of collectibles didn’t have to focused only on the digital world. Powered by a wave of nostalgia, the first series of collectibles sold out in 28 hours.

  1. Bitcoin Origins

Bitcoin OriginsBitcoin Heroes celebrates the characters who fight the centralizers and battle for freedom from authoritarianism.

Bitcoin Origins marks the most important moments in that fight. Using artistic renditions of 15 key Bitcoin moments, Bitcoin Origins give collectors a record of the Genesis Block, the creation of the White Paper, propagation, and more. Together with Bitcoin Heroes, it’s history you can own. Join the Telegram group.

  1. GoPepe

GoPepeGoPepe claims to have the “dankest collectibles� on WAX. The team behind the Pepe-the-frog-inspired collection is anonymous, ensuring that all of the attention remains on the cards and their artwork. And on the cards’ burn mechanism.

Although the initial release was for 160,000 cards, 140,000 of them are burnable. Collect five identical cards, and you can upgrade them to a rarer card, burning away the five you’ve collected.

It makes digital collecting even hotter and gave makers of digital collectibles a new template.

  1. UpliftArt

UpliftArt Musician Michael Blu created the world’s first NFT music video and he continues to pioneer digital collectibles with a series designed to benefit charity.

Uplift.art is unique in its attempt to give collectors genuine works of art, created by artists, and supported by the WAX blockchain. Collectors can still trade and burn their way towards rarities but they can also keep and admire some valuable artworks.

A portion of the drops support children in Haiti. Join the Telegram group and support some creative philanthropy.

  1. CryptomonKeys

CryptomonKeys So what do you do once you own some rare digital cards? You want to share them. You want to show them to the community and see them move around as memes. CryptomonKeys come from SoggyApplePie and bantano, core team members of the cryptocurrency project BANANO. The collection features a set of fun monkeys to own and trade, with a portion of funds raised from secondary sales going to charity. Community is everything at CryptomonKeys. You can join it on Telegram.

  1. NiftyWizards

NiftyWizards The KeeperNiftyWizards puts NFTs to use. The digital collectibles function as tools in a choose-your-adventure game played entirely on Telegram. You’ll need to collect gold and scrolls and keys, as well as beer and weed, and trade them to complete quests.

The game even has its own currency, DUST, that you earn as you play. You can join some unique, old school fun at t.me/niftywizardslobby.

  1. Dark Country

Dark CountryDark Country shows that digital collectibles don’t have to be cute and whimsical. With a grim story, ancient rituals, and card collections made up of a ghostly ancestral guard and the reanimated dead, the collectibles combine the best of classic card games with unique social features and tangible digital assets. Players chat and swap their ghost stories on the Telegram channel.

  1. The Nifty Box

The Nifty Box The NiftyBox proves that it’s possible to apply a subscription-based sales model even to the world of digital collectibles.

For a set annual fee, members of the world’s first subscription box for digital collectibles and NFTs receive a regular airdrop of collectibles to their wallets.

They get at least 8-10 drops every month, the ability to redeem NFTs for physical products, and they even have the right to transfer their membership card. That’s not something you see often in real-world subscription models.

Top Image Credit: 3_RezPhede_Auditor

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AI artificial intelligence banking and finance Blockchain financial technology Fintech FinTech Development Tech

Fintech Development Trends that You Must Know About

Fintech Development Trends

Fintech Development Trends are ever-changing and to keep yourself updated with these essentials. One of the most renowned words – Fintech, is a blend of “Financeâ€� and “Technology.â€� Here are Fintech development trends that you must know about.

Fintech defines any organization that uses technology to either automate or improve the financial process along with any other services related to it.

Fintech shows the acceptance of people for on-demand finance instead of the traditional slow-paced methods involved with financial management and transactions.

With the blooming of Fintech throughout the world and it’s better and secure ways, financial and banking services have become faster and more incredible than it was before.

From the preceding several years, there have been many new implementations and innovations on the way Financial Technology must work.

It has brought a new Finvolution and by the end of 2020, there will be different approaches and trends of fintech that will blow every person’s mind away.

FinTech Development Trends And Their Effects

You will want to know about these trends and how they are about to affect the way you currently deal with finance. All the latest trends of Fintech will be beneficial for you, no matter how you are involved with it.

1. Blockchain

A blockchain in FinTech offers a more comprehensive, accessible, and secured network for businesses, reduced costs, and efficient service/processes.

Over the years, security and transparency have also increased because Blockchain is a decentralized system. When finance is involved with blockchain, any organization can assure security while saving the cost.

Apart from that, it can also increase the speed of transactional processes amidst banks because of their protected and dedicated servers.

Blockchain will be a great approach for financial institutions as it will provide data integrity and allow full transaction history for the customers as well.

Read Also: Blockchain – A Platform for IoT Solutions

2. AI Adoption

Just like all the other industries, fintech has also concluded AI or Artificial Intelligence in its working.

AI when introduced or adopted by the financial industry can eliminate the cost of operating from banks, credit unions, loans association, and many other financial units.

The AI-based systems when implanted helps in the collection and analysis of data so that an investor can make a better decision on their investment.

Loan providers also use the AI system so that they can offer their services with less to no risk in returns. The AI used by creditors evaluates the applicant’s financial health.

3. Regulatory Technologies

RegTech manages the regulatory processes of the financial industry using technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, etc.

As the businesses spend a higher amount of money, they need to acquire the reporting, monitoring, along with compliance that is regularly upgraded by the government.

With the help of RegTech, all the financial institutions can secure themselves from the constant updates in the system because of the changes made in the regulations and laws by the government.

Some of the RegTech offerings that you can easily find anywhere are:

  • KYC (Know Your Customer) Solutions
  • Risk Management Solutions
  • Data Management Solutions
  • AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Solutions
  • Trade Monitoring Solutions
  • Records Management Solutions
  • Tax Management Solutions
  • Reporting Solutions
  • Quantitative Analysis Solutions
  • Regulatory Change Management Solutions

Read Also: Challenges of Adopting AI in Businesses

4. New Payment Methods

When you will look back just one or two decades prior to today, you will find that the payment and transactional methods were as limited as swiping a credit card or signing a check.

Recently, there is a sudden growth in the ways to process a transaction and make a payment which is also the trendiest in the FinTech industry.

These advanced payment methods have helped the users in easy transfer of funds from an account to another with just a few touch of their fingers.

Having accessibility to the mobile wallet or other banking or payment applications has become more convenient for all users. Moreover, by the end of 2020, almost every individual will have access to the contactless cards derived by various banks.

5. Online Banks

Online Banks or Digital Banks are the new initiatives towards Financial Technologies. Let’s think about banks that are only virtually available and do not have physical existence yet the customers get global payment methods.

Also, there are numerous benefits from the virtual banks as neither anyone will have to deal with the different temper of bank teller nor have to wait in lines for completing a transaction.

On the other hand, already existing banks can extend their reach to the area where they haven’t constructed a building yet and save all the hectic and costs effortlessly. However, customers must proceed carefully before opting for any virtual bank.

6. Big Data and FinTech

FinTech Companies use structured as well as unstructured data which is collectively known as Big Data to divide customers, identify frauds to manage any risk factor with ease. These companies evaluate the big data and add certain algorithms to them to make necessary decisions.

By the utilization of Big Data in Fintech, one can easily predict the fraudsters that any human eye can’t.

Analysis of big data assists in understanding the behavior and usual buying habits of the customers and any fintech corporation can detect suspicious behavior of the users that tends to be dangerous for the entire operation of their business.

7. Identification From Biometric

With the continuous growth of mobile banking, one of the major concerns that customers face is the security of their data as well as money. That’s when the Biometric

Identification comes in action for any Fintech Company as it assures the security of the transactions from different customer authentication methods while preventing any kind of fraud.

If you are using any payment application from your phone then you knew that without providing either your fingerprint or password transaction cannot be processed.

Similarly, there will be more such methods in the upcoming years where almost everyone will be using biometric payment methods.

8. RPA or Robotic Process Automation

The addition of RPA in a FinTech institution is quickly becoming the main center of attention. It not only improves the timely value but is also reducing human errors while enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of the transaction, record maintaining, performing queries, or calculations.

Soon every bank or financial unit will indulge themselves in it. So be ready for the most required and amazing transformation to come sooner than later with more opportunities for a better business to financial institutions.

9. Fintech Cyber Security and Stability

Customers were really worried about the protection of their sensitive personal information when it comes to FinTech as technologies have never been reliable and bring a lot of threats like money laundering or identity thefts.

Majorly cybercriminals focus on small banking firms as they might not have invested in the security which means that by the end of 2020 FinTech organizations will be taught about cyberattacks and its survival.

There will be more security and stability on the customer’s personal information and funds.

10. Converge on Unserved 

Based on the reports by the World Bank, around 1.7 billion people around the world have never been a part of the financial system. Many have never had a bank account of their own because 26% of people find it expensive, 30% were never influenced by the bank need, and the rest 46% do not have money.

The main focus of financial leaders is in this unserved area. Instead of focusing on the already established area, fintech startups are trying to focus on the new area and finding creative ways to reach more customers.  

11. Low Use of Physical Money

Another important trend that indicates the more use of fintech is fall in the use of physical money.

Starting from 2016, around the world either people started using payment wallets or net banking or the merchants have declined any cash payment.

In 2020, the percentage of low use of cash has accelerated and the contactless payment has become one of the greatest trends. Also, with the ongoing pandemic and social distancing practices, it has become common for the people to use cards and payment wallets for purchasing as they don’t want to come in contact with others. 

12. Inclusion of Voice Search

According to stats, around 50% of the world population will use voice search in 2020. It is enough reason that fintech will transform the banking and financial sector with voice search.

The voice search in the fintech industry will offer methods to encrypt and support communication with voice assistants and will also guide customers to easily access banking services. It also reduces the need for physical customer executives to help customers with their problems and will help financial institutions to save up to $3 billion dollars3 billion dollars.

The innovations for payment such as online banking and mobile wallets help in moving past the borders financially while allowing users to shop or make payments throughout the globe efficiently. 

What are the Insights on Fintech Trends?

Customers have admired the complete idea of all-time access to finance. It can be said that Fintech or financial technology is a hot topic nowadays.

Additionally, the traditional institutions of finance are enhancing their investment in Fintech to provide better and efficient services.

FinTech is on its way to bring transformative changes with the flexibility and agility they offer. So let’s get to some of the major insights on FinTech Trends.

1. Growing Blockchain benefits

With the elimination of central intermediaries for the fund transfers, Blockchain enables peer-to-peer or decentralized transactions.

These transactions are not only limited to funds but also includes the transfer of vehicles and home as well. It is removing all those steps to authentications on transfer before the settlement which can take up to 2-3 days.

The Blockchain method helps the customers in making transactions faster and the settlement to take place within a few seconds.

2. Technology Implementation 

Excitement can be felt among both customers and financial institutions with Fintech and other upcoming innovative technologies. But, with innovation comes numerous transformations to previous architecture and the implementation challenges which will eventually get removed. 

A benefit that financial institutions will achieve with the use of financial technology is the ability to save billions of dollars. Apart from that, the tech implementation of finance helps in fraud reduction. 

FinTech is being used by the banking industry with Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Client (B2C) financial transactions as well. Because of the B2B, businesses are now able to easily acquire loans and other financial services.

With B2C comes the ability to pay anywhere anytime to the businesses. These payments can be made via apps like Google Pay, PayPal,  Apple Pay, and many others.

3. Financial Firms Indulging in Fintech

Those days are gone, where customers used to visit banks for their needs. Whether one wants to open a bank account, transfer money, or want to stop a check payment — customers can do it either while being in their comfort zone.

Financial firms like banks are extremely indulging with fintech to improve the overall banking process. Some of the key changes that FinTech has brought are:

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Opportunities for Financial Inclusion
  • Increase in NBFCs
  • Easier KYC process
  • Better Wealth Management
  • New Banking Models
  • Improve in Loan Approval & Distribution
  • Secure Transactions

4. Rising Interest of Regulators 

Several regulators are slowly taking leads and showing interest in the Financial Technologies to foster better innovation.

The regulators are testing scenarios to identify the ways in which technology can be intensified. It will also help them to solve problems in transfers.

The FinTech Investment has been increased in the past few years by 500%. Along with that, there has been a paradigm shift in the scale and scope of financial services.

There are factors that can be improved by the regulators. But, they are waiting for the players in the Fintech industry to figure it out. Besides, they are trying to figure out the way in which innovation can become more risk-free.

Many are in the observer pace as there’s no guidance in this industry yet. 

5. Fintech: A Marathon 

Investment in FinTech is expected to reach a whole new level by 2022, i.e., from $127.66 billion to $309.95 billion. This growth is going to give an annual hike of 24.8%. There has been an incredible amount of hike in this industry.

A large number of people have realized that Fintech is not some short term race. It will not come and go within a matter of time. FinTech is a marathon where they have to run for the long-term to achieve their goals. Additionally, there’s nothing stopping this industry from the tremendous growth in the upcoming years.

Creative FinTech Trends Are Offering Complete Business Solutions

With huge banks and card organizations out of the market, Fintechs are offering help to organizations with installments and consistency. Here are a few of the zones in which fintech companies are offering assistance for startups and other businesses, like:

  • Business Checking Accounts
  • Online Banking
  • Business Invoicing
  • Escrow services
  • Money Transfer
  • Taxation Transmittal
  • Shopping Cart Integration
  • Patient/consumer retail
  • Full Cash Management services
  • Track N Trace
  • Inventory Management
  • 360 closed-loop risk/compliance management

Conclusion

The entire FinTech industry is continuously growing. But, with the changes comes challenges from internet banking. To keep customers and companies safe, finding the right solution for them is important.

With the trends, this brilliant combination of Finance and Technology will dominate the world for a long time. It will make the transactions easier, give high-end security, and settlement faster.

FinTech will also offer efficient loan approval, instant KYC, and personalized offers to the customers.

With so many advantages and ongoing trends, one needs to always ensure to protect the customer’s data & reduce the chances of fraud.

The innovations for payment such as online banking and mobile wallets help in moving past the borders financially. It also allows users to shop or make payments throughout the globe efficiently.

Image Credit: bongkarn; Pexels

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How Blockchain and IoT are Improving the Food Supply Chain

blockchain supply chain

The world’s top blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) minds are working with the agricultural industry to find ways to improve our overstrained agricultural supply chain. They are trying to make it more efficient, transparent, and safe.

Why Are There Problems With Our Food Chain?

Consumers have become more demanding over the last decades. We expect our food to be available regardless of the season. And tastes have become more exotic than ever before. While most of us love the fact we can get tomatoes in winter, most consumers don’t see the hidden costs.

Businesses have been forced to source food from further afield than ever before. This has led to supply chains that span the globe. Around 14% of all food is wasted before it even reaches store shelves. And the average direct cost of a single product recall is around $10 million.

Aside from these direct costs, it’s becoming more challenging for businesses to maintain their brand promises. Opaque supply chains and high profile scandals, such as Uncle Ben’s rice recall due to concerns about glass’s possible presence, have damaged consumer trust. And more than 75% of consumers would prefer to switch to brands that provide more in-depth information about a product.

There are primarily two issues with reducing and reacting to food safety problems: poor communication and lack of traceability. Many companies rely on traditional paper-based tracking mechanisms, which are slow and error-prone. To make matters worse, those involved in various stages of the supply chain often don’t communicate with each other. This leaves blind spots in the supply chain.

These problems have always been present but have been exacerbated by the increasing size and complexity of supply chains. As we continue to source more of our food from further afield, we will likely see more problems appear. If businesses want to prevent this, they need to act now, before the problem spins out of control.

How Can Blockchain and IoT Help?

There is no silver bullet to solve the problems facing the food industry. But the potent combination of blockchain and IoT technology could help tackle the root causes. To understand how these technologies can work together, it’s important to understand each’s strengths and limitations.

Harvesting Data With the Internet of Things

You might not know it, but you probably already take advantage of IoT products. If you have a smart thermometer, speaker system, or TV, you’re already part of the IoT phenomenon. But the true potential of IoT lies in its ability to harvest data in real-time automatically and then share that data.

IoT devices rely upon various sensors. These can monitor everything from shipping time to temperature to even which agent handled the food and when. These sensors can be anything from drones to smart thermometers to radio-frequency identification (RFID) and GPS. They help remove human error from each point on the supply chain.

The key advantage of this is that it enables companies to collect data in real-time without requiring human input. This cuts down on potential errors and theoretically will remove many of the failure points in the supply chain.

The trouble is that IoT alone can’t fully solve the transparency and communication problems that plague food supply chains. That’s where blockchain comes in.

Providing Immutability With Blockchain Technology

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin and Ethereum, but you might not realize that the blockchain technology they are based on has significant applications outside of cryptocurrencies. In fact, blockchain was around for decades before the first cryptocurrency.

Regardless of its use, blockchain’s power is that it creates an immutable ledger that cannot be altered or tampered with after the fact. This feature makes it uniquely suited for storing and displaying data that is both transparent and unchangeable.

Another advantage of blockchain is that it forces companies to clean-up and systematize their existing data. It has been estimated that 75% of the work that goes into implementing blockchain is spent fixing the data to work in the new system. This enables companies to improve their overall processes while making historical data more accurate and useful.

As an example of this process in action, let’s say that you want to purchase organic breakfast cereal. You are relying upon the fact that the manufacturer says that it is organic. But depending upon the supply chain, the manufacturer may be in the same situation: accepting their direct suppliers’ word. And so on.

With a blockchain solution, you would be able to use the unique hash code to track every single step of the production process. This ensures that you know your cereal is what it says on the packet, without worrying that anyone in the supply chain messed up.

IoT and Blockchain Could Transform the Food Industry

Combined, these two technologies have the potential to save the food industry more than $31 billion over the next five years. This is primarily due to savings from combating food fraud (e.g., improperly selling chicken as Animal Welfare Approved), but there are other advantages.

Better sensors would reduce food wastage, increasing the total amount of food that hits store shelves. Fewer, smaller, and cheaper recalls would also generate savings.

Agricultural blockchain/IoT tech is still in its infancy, but there are several ways that it can be implemented.

Improving Crop Efficiency

The first step is to leverage IoT smart devices to help understand the output of a specific farm. These devices can use crop sensors to measure the temperature, pH, light, humidity, and soil moisture. Drones can be used to capture real-time data about crop health and to alert farmers to potential problems in their fields.

This alone is helpful, as it enables farmers to make smarter decisions in real-time. But when you add blockchain, it becomes a game-changer. Once the data has been successfully structured, it can be fed into a blockchain solution. In addition to this direct use of data, it can be improved further with machine learning.

These AI-generated insights can be saved onto the blockchain so that other stakeholders can access the information without violating any individual farmer’s privacy.

More Transparent Supply Chains

The next major challenge is shining a light on existing supply lines. Food supply tracking is disturbingly opaque, and it is difficult for consumers to make informed decisions. The first step to fixing this is IoT technology.

Sensors can be used to track where an animal was raised, or a crop was grown and whether the conditions comply with organic and cruelty-free labels. Then IoT-enabled vehicles will transport the products for processing. The temperature the goods are kept at and who has interacted with them will be recorded and stored on the blockchain throughout the entire process.

This enables retailers to keep track of when produce will arrive but more importantly, it provides transparency to consumers. It should be possible to use a QR code and see a product’s entire life cycle before you buy it.

Other Uses

The beauty of IoT and blockchain technology is that they are incredibly flexible. Farmers can use them to share weather data and help mitigate climate change effects, or environmental campaigners can use it to verify that food is actually meeting quality standards.

The key is that the combination of IoT and blockchain will help cut costs and improve the quality of the food we eat. The best part is that the use cases mentioned above are far from just theoretical. Several companies are already implementing blockchain technology in the real world.

Current Uses of Blockchain and IoT Technologies

Many projects are working towards a blockchain-powered agricultural sector. Some of these projects are tightly focused — designed to tackle a single problem very well. Others are more ambitious, seeking to tackle problems facing the whole food industry.

Tracking Sustainable Foods With the WWF-Australia’s OpenSC Project

The World Wildlife Fund-Australia (WWF-Australia) is interested in tracking and improving our food logistics. The organization has partnered with BCG Digital Ventures to build OpenSC. The OpenSC project is focused on transparency that leverages blockchain and IoT tech to help people avoid illegal or environmentally damaging products.

A primary example consists of the fishing industry. A ship leverages IoT tech to record the exact location a fish is caught. This fish is then tracked through the entire supply chain. Once it hits store shelves, a customer can use their smartphone to scan the QR code on the product and confirm that the fish they are buying is what appears to be and has come from a sustainable source.

But the project is bigger than that. For example, OpenSC has already begun collaboration with Nestlé to trace milk from farms and producers in New Zealand to factories in the Middle East. The company wants to use this to help further its commitment to transparency.

The OpenSC project raised $4 million in funding in 2019 and could become a proof-of-concept for the entire agricultural sector.

Boombloc and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council

Palm oil has become one of the most controversial products in recent years. Large illegal palm oil operations have caused significant environmental damage. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has partnered with Boombloc to restore some credibility to the sector, which is a vital source of income for Malaysian farmers.

The project uses smartphones to upload information about individual trees to a database. This allows a detailed ledger to be built. Users can then track the lifecycle of that tree and the origin of any palm oil they purchase. The MPOC hopes that this will help allay any fears about illicit palm oil operations’ environmental impact.

IBM Food Trust

The IBM Food Trust is by far the most influential agricultural blockchain project. It is based on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain protocol. This modular blockchain framework is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for many enterprise blockchain platforms. The project is open source and designed with business users in mind.

The Food Trust is designed to connect various participants across the food supply chain through a permissioned, permanent, and shared data record. The project leverages a suite of tools designed to make it easier for companies to implement blockchain protocols. And it appears to be working.

For example, Nestlé and Carrefour have collaborated to use the platform for the GUIGOZ Bio 2 and 3 infant milk range. They are using the technology to track the product from “milk to shelf.”

The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) has also worked with the IBM Food Trust to provide a platform where its product’s data can be looked up. Both these projects aim to help improve transparency and allow consumers to confirm that these products are meeting the standards they claim to.

The Dawn of a New Era in Food Tracking

The food industry’s problems are genuine and will only worsen if the global supply chains don’t adapt. This is why it is essential for food companies, particularly those involved in logistics, to look into IoT and blockchain technology today. Around 20% of grocers are already considering implementing the technology by 2025. As technologies become more accessible, this number is likely to grow.

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Blockchain Data and Security Entrepreneurs Tech

How can Blockchain Improve Data Security in 2020?

data security

It’s quite easy to overlook the potential benefits and disadvantages of any new technology when the hype reaches a fever pitch in the way it has with blockchain. According to Transparency Market Research, the global blockchain market will be worth US$ 20 billion within the next five years.

It can play a crucial role when it comes to reducing costs, especially for financial institutions. Therefore, the blockchain’s business value-add will go up to US$ 176 billion by the end of 2025. Besides, blockchain provides some substantial advantages to the business world, so it is considered a game-changer for numerous industries.

It could be decisive in terms of data security, but it’s not a cure for all corporate ills. In case you are embracing it, you should understand the pros and cons of blockchain in detail.

You need to have a clear and effective strategy before adopting new technology, no matter how much positive vibes it creates.

Let us take a closer look at how blockchain could create a beneficial impact on data security.

Provides Encryption and Validation

There’s no doubt blockchain offers next-level encryption since everything that takes place on it is encrypted. Likewise, it is impossible to alter the data, which resides on the blockchain. You can verify file signatures on all the nodes across all the ledgers in the network that they have not changed to be on the safe side. If anyone does the trick by changing the record, the signature becomes invalid.

Apart from this, you can take huge benefits from smart contracts by using them within the blockchain to ensure that specific validation occurs when particular conditions are fulfilled every time. If someone changes the data, all the ledgers on all the nodes in the network confirm that the change is done successfully.

Offers Secure Data Storage

What makes blockchain stand out from the rest is its data protection feature that secures the shared community’s data. As a result, no one can snoop or look into any sensitive data stored on the blockchain whatsoever.

Interestingly, the data available on the blockchain is distributed throughout a network of people, making it easy to manage the data. Above all, public services can use this technology to keep public data safe and decentralized without any hassle.

As far as the business models go, they can save a cryptographic signature of a data or a vast form of data on the blockchain. This way, users can protect their crucial data to a certain extent. Blockchain breaks down enormous data into small chunks in a distributed storage software, which means the data is encrypted and secure.

Harder to Hack

Next to impossible, it is impossible to attack or hack blockchain because the data is decentralized, encrypted, and cross-checked by the whole network. Once the information is stored on the ledger, hackers cannot alter the data without invalidating the signature.

The multiple nodes on the network have to confirm every legitimate transaction. Hence, hackers will need to hack most of the nodes at a time to decrypt blockchain successfully. This activity would require unbelievable expertise and time, not in the grasp of contemporary cyber goons.

Bearing in mind that hackers attack users’ devices 2200+ times every day, using blockchain technology must secure users’ data from privacy invasion, data breaches, and other privacy issues.

New Opportunities for Banking Sector

Banks can adopt blockchain technology to reduce the chances of financial fraud by improving their customers’ financial data security. Through blockchain, it becomes easy to share, view, and store digital information securely. Furthermore, it uses cryptography encryption to protect every transaction. By doing so, banks can enhance their existing security and transparency levels to new heights.

If we talk about the possible application of blockchain technology in the banking sector, the Bank of New York Mellon is already using the blockchain idea to increase the productivity of its 360BDS platform used to create backup records of treasury bond settlements.

opportunities-for-banking-sector

Limitations to Keep in Mind

Blockchain is still a nascent technology that will expand over time. It is imperative to keep an eye on its potential problems and limitations. Before implementing blockchain, you should understand the importance of network size. If your data is not well distributed, it can turn out to be a honeypot for hackers and other cybercriminals.

However, blockchain has all the right attributes to make a long-lasting contribution to data security in the coming years. The prevalent use cases of blockchain are worth studying even if it is not a panacea.

For instance, New Zealand has a population of around 5 million people, but the country is progressing regarding Blockchain application in the right direction. A company by the name of Centrality primarily works as a Blockchain venture studio.

The company assists innovators that help them create a decentralized peer-to-peer apps marketplace. Centrality offers different resources to startups, small businesses, and developers to create customer-eccentric decentralized apps in its ecosystem.

This way, small businesses and startups do not have to build such apps from scratch. Interestingly, Centrality has built a portfolio that includes 20+ apps, and the story does not end here as the list keeps growing rapidly.

Considering the use of Blockchain technology in improving data security, the significance of a good VPN for New Zealand has become a need of the hour. This is because a new cyber-attack called privacy “Poisoning” can adversely influence Blockchain technology’s performance.

The attack loads users’ private data such as personal information, including names, addresses, and credit card details on Blockchain illegally. This situation can put the network in conflict with local laws to a certain degree.

Hence, organizations need to use VPN services to secure their Blockchain network’s next level. These online privacy tools help them encrypt users’ data. Companies can protect their users’ data from different sorts of privacy issues like hacking, phishing, malware, and viruses significantly.

Wrapping Up

Blockchain is not a temporary solution when it comes to data security. The concept is highly relevant and has a considerable potential to influence other industries regardless of their nature and dynamics. The successful implementation of blockchain may harness the relationship between technology and users’ data privacy.

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AI AR/VR Artifical intelligence benefits of HR Blockchain Chatbots cloud computing data security robot process automation

6 Futuristic HR Technology Trends Amid COVID-19 Crisis

HR tech trends

Businesses are quickly adapting to the COVID-19 reality where HR technology has made the greatest influence to do so. COVID-19 has accelerated the evaluation, training, and implementation of HR tech trends in businesses of all sizes.

The HR team is actively involved in adopting innovative technologies at all levels like – recruitment process, employee engagement practices, and management processes. An emphasis has been laid on mobile connectivity and visual communication as employees started working remotely. The traditional management approach may not address the new challenges and complexities to keep the employee cycle moving.

Also, HR professionals are turning toward more strategic roles. They are catering to business needs like structuring organizations, strengthening the workforce, and managing talent. So, the repetitive tasks are handled through tech tools paving the way to use their potential to spot trends, decision-making, and becoming the true business partners.

In the survey, we can find how HR projects are delivered on their expected business value as said by employers.

Let’s deep dive into the technical aspects of the HR domain and how best HR leaders are cruising through this storm in the ocean. Here is a quick primer on some of the popular HR tech trends that are developing at an unimaginable speed.

Popular HR Tech Trends Amid COVID-19 Crisis

There is a quick shift in HR functionalities amid the COVID-19 crisis. Here are the HR tech trends that are raising the bar and helping the team to make informed and innovative decisions for the organization.

Artificial Intelligence in HR

AI in HR is on the limelight to lessen the administrative burden on the HR team. Artificial Intelligence can be used for various purposes in HR functionalities like screening, recruiting, online and offline training of employees, managing leaves, detecting anomalies, resolving queries, reviewing performance, absenteeism, exit metrics, and initiating retirements. AI use cases include digital coaching, development planning, recognition, and wellness as per ISG reports, 2019.

In brief, AI can streamline redundant and time-heavy tasks. It can quicken the tasks like surfing hundreds of resumes and cover letters, compiling and analyzing survey data, and many more tasks. Also, it removes human bias or error while evaluating candidates. However, one has to take care that there is no built-in bias while programming the algorithms, as this will continue the issue and may not get noticed upfront.

It is essential to train the systems with the right data and algorithms that are easy and transparent to understand. AI-enabled workplace still requires human skills and that’s where leadership in HR shines.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in HR

RPA includes robotic skills like natural language processing (NPL), machine learning, chatbots, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It helps the HR team to increase productivity as it can speed up communications. Many of the modern HR systems have chatbots that can provide answers to employee inquiries. 50 percent of companies will have HR chatbots by 2022, Chatbot News Daily reports.

RPA has a wide range of applications in HR processes, Deloitte reports. RPA can contribute in many aspects like strategic processes, talent management, operation, and total rewards.

  • The strategic processes include workforce planning management, also, employee satisfaction, organization design, establishment, and implementation of HR policies and programs.
  • Similarly, talent management processes involve recruitment, onboarding, employee development, employee training, performance, competency, global employment, career graph, and succession planning.
  • Likewise, operation management involves data administration, management of payrolls, reports, employee health, employee separation, labor, and employee relations.
  • And, total rewards include salary compensation and other related employee benefits.

As per Deloitte studies, RPA tools are best suitable for processes with repeatable and predictable interactions with improved efficiency and effectiveness of services.

Employee engagement tools in HR

Employers today are concerned with the employees’ financial well-being and health. As a solution, they are providing financial and employee wellness apps like budgeting apps, fitness trackers, wearable apps for health, and more. They are given access to many other apps and platforms for child care too.

Moreover, there are apps provided by healthcare providers that maintain the privacy of health data. Given the pandemic situation and raising remote work culture, there are self-service employee experience portals that facilitate employees to handle HR functions all by themselves. Likewise, remote tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are also used in maximum while engaging with employees, interviewing, hiring, and recruitment at the remote. This paves the way for the HR team to focus on people more than processes.

Cloud-computing in HR

Cloud computing streamlines the recruitment process and is capable of transforming the whole HR functions. To mention a few trends are omnichannel models, the Internet of Things, employee wellness, learning culture, agile workforce, and data security.

  • Cloud computing ensures streamlined functions and benefits organizations that have implemented it.
  • IoT acts as the perfect tool through greater connectivity. It can be used to transform data into information at a faster rate. And, storage of this humongous data will not be a hurdle due to the cloud.
  • Cloud communication is much better and fills the missing links in the communication facilitating managers to review, communicate, or provide feedback and all through a single platform.
  • As firms encourage e-learning and online training for employees to upgrade their skills, cloud computing enables employees to meet industrial requirements in a comfort zone.
  • Cloud computing connects the workforce from various geographical locations and profiles easily and gives instant communication facilities.
  • Cloud computing is more reliable for data security as the security measures protect the data to the core.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in HR

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can be used as a tool in HR toolkit. They help in the recruiting and onboarding process by setting up a simulated environment to test candidates’ specific skills, share a virtual tour of the office, create a personalized work-space environment, improve efficiency, save costs and make engaging recruitment process that helps in branding, training employees in new techniques.

It enables the HR professionals and supervisors to identify key areas of improvement, understand elements of concern for accomplishing goals by scanning people’s faces through sentiment analysis. 49% of Gen Z employees in Singapore believed that VR would revolutionize their work, while 45 % in the US confirmed the same. AR and VR have the potential to elevate a team collaboration levels. Though it is not implemented in an appreciable strength, it is more likely to be the top trend in the near future.

Blockchain in HR

Blockchain technology is poised to manage HR capabilities in different ways. The HR industry is envisioning the use cases of blockchain in their arena vowing to its characteristic features like immutability, transparency, trust, security, and decentralization. A few of the use cases could be –

With its security capabilities, blockchain can handle sensitive employee data like their pay, healthcare, banking, performance records, and expense reimbursement. Blockchain will prevent internal and external hacks of sensitive records as there will be authorized persons only.

It is difficult to determine the employees’ work and education history with the current facilities. With blockchain, the HR team can improve recruiting processes, verify the qualifications of the prospect, and make background checks. All records of the candidate will be present in a block that will get accessed through authorization.

Further, blockchain eliminates time lags in payroll systems even when the company goes global. The blockchain ledger helps to track invoices, facilitate distribution, billing, and reporting of all kinds of transactions. Payroll processing will occur in a timely fashion. It also assists in automating taxes, reimbursement system, mitigate audit risks, and give better access to benefits and packages.

To conclude

HR technology is helping the industries to sustain amid the prolonged lockdown led by the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to these technology implementations, an increased focus toward the people aspect will drive the HR domain toward new work habits and its success.

Image Credit: pexels; pixabay

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Blockchain

How to Make Your Own Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and a handful of other cryptocurrencies have broken into the mainstream, but what if you want to start a cryptocurrency of your own? There are many valid motivations for doing so. For example, you may not like how the mainstream coins operate; you may want to found a new coin with a new underlying philosophy or mode of operation. You may want to challenge yourself with a new tech project. Or you may just want to get into a new coin early, to maximize your potential gains.
Whatever your core motivation, is it possible to start a cryptocurrency of your own?

Tokens vs. Coins

First, you should understand the difference between a token and a coin. To create a coin, you’ll need to have a dedicated blockchain for that coin. Tokens, by contrast, can operate on existing blockchains, and are therefore easier to create from scratch. Tokens are also limited to use within a specific project, while coins aim for widespread utility. In most cases, coins can buy tokens, but tokens can’t buy coins.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably interested in starting your own coin, which means you’ll need to create your own blockchain.

Designing Your Own Blockchain

Designing and building your own blockchain is a major limiting factor in this endeavor. Blockchain development is a technically complex subject, and one with a limited talent pool; because blockchain-based solutions are in such high demand, experienced blockchain developers are hard to come by.
Of course, you could always try to build a blockchain yourself. If you build a blockchain over HTTP, you can use a common programming language like Python. The fundamentals of blockchain coding are straightforward; you’ll create a blockchain class to store the blockchain, and another to store your transactions. You’ll then create a method to create individual blocks for your chain, where each block contains the cryptographic hash from the previous block. You’ll also need systems for managing transactions, and allowing for proof of work (which allows most currencies to be “mined�).
For most users, this will be the most technically challenging phase of creating a cryptocurrency. However, it’s entirely possible to do, even with limited programming skills and limited programming experience—especially if you hire other developers to join your team. In other words, the physical process of creating a new cryptocurrency isn’t restrictive.
However, getting your coin into widespread use is exceptionally challenging.

Security Concerns

As banking continues to shift online and cryptocurrency makes strides towards displacing traditional funds, what is the state of cybersecurity? A quick look at the headlines is elucidating; a hacker manipulated digital markets to turn a flash loan into $360,000, trojans are stealing the two-factor authentication to access cryptocurrency exchanges, and digital-first banks are lagging on security measures for fear of compromising user experience. It’s not a pretty picture, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Turning our attention to the growing population trading futures online, looming cybersecurity threats mean these investors need to choose their platform with care. The futures market is complicated enough without these dangers, but to keep their money safe, investors should keep a close eye on these 3 factors as they select their preferred platform:

Existing Regulations

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is responsible for regulating futures markets, and that includes the platforms investors use to trade futures. When choosing a futures trading platform, then, it’s important to make sure that the platform is overseen by the CFTC, or other appropriate regulators, depending on region. Though most platforms boast at least some degree of regional regulation, certain platforms stand out, such as IG, a pre-digital futures trading platform, boasting CFTC, Financial Conduct Authority, and Australian Securities and Investment Commission, among others. Trustworthiness and authority are often regional, so a platform highly regarded in the UK may not be held in such esteem in the US.

Risk Management

Risk management goes hand-in-hand with regulation, but when it comes to choosing a futures trading platform, they’re not one and the same. What’s more, the degree of risk – and the types of risk – that investors find acceptable, will vary widely depending on the trader’s experience. According to research by RJO Futures, new traders consider risk management tools a top priority, while advanced traders prefer access to pre-market risk functions; they want to understand risk, not avoid it.
What kinds of risk management or risk analysis tools appeal to a given investor will depend largely on your experience level, as well as on your financial position. While some will want risk management at every level, others seek little more than assurances that there are no major data risks embedded in their platform of choice.

Cryptocurrency And Combined Risks

While futures investors typically dealt in conventional commodities like wheat, soy, or oil, more recently, futures trading has come to embrace a new horizon: cryptocurrency. This is a seriously risky situation from a cybersecurity perspective, since it opens up the possibility of being hacked at multiple levels. Binance, which is opening up to cryptocurrency-based futures trading, has had problems with hacking in the past, so users should proceed with caution. For now, it may be safer to avoid combining fiat-to-crypto exchanges with futures investment to minimize risk. From a security perspective, increased international regulation may be one of the best things to happen to platform-based futures trading, because these laws are creating uniform pressure on platforms to protect user information. From Europe’s GDPR standards to California’s CCPA, platforms are being forced into compliance. How each platform will respond in the long-term remains to be seen, but as we’ve seen with banks, regulation is critical to trust and, ultimately, to performance.

The Marketing Problem

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is basically a marketing problem. If your coin is going to be successful, you’ll need thousands, if not millions of users constantly mining the coin, verifying transactions, and placing transactions. If your coin isn’t in widespread circulation, or if it doesn’t have a path to get to that level, it won’t be successful (other than being an interesting coding exercise for yourself).
On one hand, you may be able to solve this by making your cryptocurrency more visible. Here, you can employ a number of different marketing and advertising methods to try and win popular support. For example, you can write and update a blog about the perks of your coin, you can write and syndicate press releases. With enough money and effort, you can get people talking about your coin.
But then, another problem kicks in. With so many successful mainstream coins already in circulation, how are you going to distinguish your coin? Why would someone deliberately choose to mine or make purchases with your currency, rather than something like Bitcoin, which probably has a much longer history and a better reputation?
To solve this problem, you’ll need some unique feature to distinguish yourself. You can’t compete with Bitcoin by simply being a worse, newer version of Bitcoin. You have to offer your users something different, like a logistical advantage or a different way of doing business.

The Regulatory Problem

There’s also a regulatory problem to consider. Cryptocurrency regulations are always evolving, and if you want your currency to be legally acceptable, you’ll need to follow certain guidelines. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are increasingly rare, because it’s much harder to get approved for such an offer. And if you plan on offering your coin internationally, you’ll need to become familiar with a host of laws in different countries.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is this: while it’s technically possible to make your own cryptocurrency, the positioning, marketing, and regulatory challenges are steeper than many newcomers realize. If you’re genuinely interested in introducing a new coin to compete with the top players, you’ll need to have a solid strategy in place—and a truly disruptive idea to distinguish your coin from its competitors.

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Apps Blockchain IoT

Blockchain – A Platform for IoT Solutions

blockchain iot

As you heard many times before, blockchain technology is going to change the whole IoT industry. What you have not heard is how this is going to happen. Here is the answer to three questions and how blockchain is a platform for IoT solutions.

  1. What is a blockchain?
  2. Which blockchain is a better choice for IoT solutions?
  3. How to design IoT based solutions?

Note that there are several fundamental problems with almost all the blockchains that you know, including BTC and Ethereum.

blockchain

 

What is a blockchain

A blockchain is a distributed database that is accessible from anywhere, and there is no single point of failure. So, is that it? You might argue that all these things are achievable by current platforms and infrastructures.

But the cost is higher, and the availability of the system is lower. To understand it better, let me take you through the characteristics of blockchain technology.

A Public ledger

A public ledger means everyone can join the system. That is the major difference between a blockchain and other systems. Let’s clarify that any blockchain that is not public, is not a blockchain. So just drop any private blockchain without being impressed by the big names (e,g., Hyper ledger by IBM).

Immutable

An immutable database or ledger records everything. So, it is a trail of evidence! It logs every action on the system. It doesn’t mean you can not update a record, you can! But you need to create a new record and refer it to the old one.

Distributed

If you work with current databases like Oracle, you know how costly it is to distribute data. By using blockchain as a database, the data is already distributed with no single point of failure which leads to 100% service availability with global access.

Built-In Money

Paying from a device to another device in the form of micropayments opens many opportunities for IoT solutions.

Imagine in the coming years and with the existence of driverless cars, you get to your workplace, your car goes away and works for you during working hours, and gets paid constantly per kilometer/meter/hour/minute.

In this instance, your car could also sell the current traffic data to other applications whenever they use the data.

All of these are possible only with micropayments on the blockchain, (not all of them) because micropayments are too expensive on any other system.

Cryptography

The nature of asymmetric cryptography allows you to authenticate and authorize devices. The feature is a perfect tool to trigger other devices without a direct connection. More on the later.

 

Choosing the right one.

Decision, Blockchain
Choosing the right one.

 

Now we know why we should use blockchain in IoT. The next step would be how to evaluate a blockchain for IoT solutions. The followings are the basic requirements for a usable blockchain-based platform

  1. Scalability
  2. Interoperability
  3. Global Accessibility
  4. Low and non-Volatile Cost
  5. Stability
  6. security

Scalability

A successful IoT solution generates a massive set of actions(transactions). As a result that will put the platform in real test. A blockchain that doesn’t scale has no chance to be used for an IoT solution.

Interoperability

IoT devices vary in many ways, their OS, the application, usage, etc.. So it is necessary to use a platform that works perfectly with any device despite the differences.

Global Accessibility

How silly it sounds when someone tells you they have their own internet? The same rule applies if someone tells you they have their own IoT network. The nature of an IoT solution is to be accessible globally, the name “Internet� is in the IoT after all!

Low and non-Volatile Cost

In any solution, estimating the cost is part of the process. To do that, you need to make sure the platform you are using has a fair and steady cost. If the cost of using the platform decreases in the future, Great! But an increase in cost will kill the project easily.

Stability

Last but not least is the stability. For instance, you have installed a device to work for years, but the protocol of the platform changes constantly. Think about it, you are not changing anything, but any change on the platform affects you directly.

Imagine having an FTP server where the FTP protocol changes every six months, how painful that would be.

Security

A blockchain is secure if it meets the following requirements:

  1. Having an immutable database where nobody can alter or delete the data. The major difference between a blockchain database and other databases is the immutability. This feature makes blockchain a perfect database to store activities of IoT devices.
  2. It is expected to continue running in the future. One of the existing problems of many blockchains is the uncertain future of these projects. This comes from things like regulations, business models, number of users, lack of incentive in miners and investors.
  3. Having incentivized and honest players. In bitcoin whitepaper, the word “honest� was written fifteen times which pretty much emphasizes the importance of honesty in blockchains. So, if a miner or a major player isn’t honest to the platform, nothing can make that network secure.

Not all the blockchains pass the requirements of being a proper platform for IoT solutions. Now we are going to learn how to distinguish a suitable blockchain from the rest.

How to Use Blockchain with IoT

A blockchain is a single distributed database (ledger) where data won’t be altered or lost. Now the main question is how to update this database? How do the transactions on Bitcoin work?

Transactions are a way of telling the network that you want to update the ledger. Generally, this update can be a request for actions like moving coins or inserting data.

Each transaction requires at least one input as the sender unless it is a Coinbase transaction and one output as the recipient.

When someone requests an update on the ledger, he needs to provide the proof for its request which is the signature of Unspent Transaction Outputs – UTXOs (the process is simplified). Only the person who has the private keys can provide those signatures.

As long as the private key(s) are safe and not compromised, nobody can update the ledger on behalf of the sender (the owner of UTXOs).

With the original version of Bitcoin, the transactions also can carry data, this data can be anything with any instructions. (Today you find some limitations on the BTC network regarding injecting data into the ledger.)

Scenario One:

We have devices A and B with no direct connection, or through a specific server. Item A is a motion detection device. Whenever it detects any activity, it logs and encrypts the event in a transaction and sends it to the network.

If device A doesn’t detect anything in five minutes, it creates an “OK ” transaction and sends it to the network.

On the other part of the city, device B is monitoring the network(with no direct connection to the device B). Device B is ready to take some actions according to the following situations:

  • Device B captures a transaction with the address of Device A as the sender, including the status of “OK.â€� As a result, it resets the timer to zero and does nothing.
  • Device B detects a transaction with the status of the warning. It will make an automatic call to the Police station with a proper message.
  • The timer on Device B passes five minutes with no transaction from Device A. Accordingly, Device B will make an automatic call to the Police station with a proper message.

In this scenario, there is no way to counterfeit Device A by an adversary unless he gets his hands on the keys. Also, there is no way to detect any server involved in the process or any relation between A and B.

Scenario Two:

Another simple example would be having two dogs in the yard and feeding them one by one. For example, you want to feed them only in times that one of them is in the yard, and the other one is resting.

You think about it and find out how we can manage two dogs with GPS devices and food gates that take actions according to the GPS data inside the transactions to the network. The above instances were only examples to grasp the concept of IoT on the blockchain better.

If you look at the keywords, you can think of thousands of other possibilities for creating complex algorithms.

Note that In Bitcoin you can have 2^256 (the real number is a bit lower) addresses. Each address can represent a device without requiring a public IP. The transactions cost less than $0.002. By using payment channels this amount will decrease even more considering the transactions transferred between parties.

Conclusion

Most of what you hear about blockchain technology is just hype but using blockchain technology improves security, transparency, and availability. Also, it lowers the cost of running projects.

At the moment of writing this article, the original Bitcoin is the best candidate for IoT solutions. It has all the elements an IoT solution requires.

In this article, I gave you the pieces of the puzzle. The rest is up to you to come up with countless secure IoT solutions.

Image Credit: Worldspectrum; Pexels

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Blockchain

The Top Blockchain Trends of 2020 that You Need to Know About

blockchain 2020

The year is just over the mid-point, and you may have noticed that the hype for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies hasn’t cooled off at all. Make no mistake: the blockchain revolution is far from over. Here are the top blockchain trends of 2020 that you need to know about.

Development continues unabated, and organizations are still investing time and money into the study of this nascent technology.

Blockchain as a technology is very much in its early stages. Not all organizations are ready to take advantage of the benefits blockchain brings to the table. Let’s take a look at a few trends that will continue to impact blockchain and its related technologies as we continue through 2020.

Blockchain Hype Fatigue is Real

Let’s face it: blockchain is arguably the most hyped technology of the past five years, if not the decade. But we have to ask ourselves a simple question: has it lived up to the hype? Has it managed to fulfill our expectations?

While the business value of blockchain continues to grow, there is also a sense of frustration with blockchain, with many executives feeling that the technology is overhyped.

There are many factors that contributed to this mounting frustration. One of them is the belief that blockchain is a catch-all solution to issues across many industries.

While the promise of the technology can be seen, it isn’t quite the major disruptor many thought it would be, and the frenzy over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies certainly did not help matters.

A lot of the early blockchain pilot programs were too focused on proving the legitimacy of blockchain. Present projects, however, are now looking at using blockchain technology to solve issues and add value to services.

Instead of trying to figure out if the technology will work, people are now asking the right question: “How can I make blockchain work for me?�

Blockchain Development Will Move Toward Practical Applications

When blockchain burst on the scene, many focused on its usage in the realm of cryptocurrency. While this is a valid approach towards technology, it isn’t really attractive to many firms and enterprises.

Instead of cryptocurrency, we are starting to see a more practical approach to the implementation of blockchain-based solutions. Many industries have started embracing technology, leveraging the unique approach that blockchain brings.

Diverse fields including insurance, medicine, banking, and logistics have begun to use blockchain for myriad practical uses.

Practical and helpful blockchain tech include tracking shipments, record keeping, and even in data security.

Adoption Of Blockchain Will Continue To Grow

While fintech firms were the first to take notice of blockchain because of its cryptocurrency applications, it soon became clear that the technology had more to offer than just digital money. Blockchain has started to gain prominence in many industries that found a practical use case for the technology.

Blockchain has been utilized in many different forms. It has been used as the foundation of clearing and settlement systems that are resistant to tampering and fraud. The technology is used for smart contracts, and found use in speeding up digital transactions as well.

The field of agriculture is one place where blockchain has proven to be a boon.

Logistics and supply chains have seen a use for blockchain as well, allowing both fields to track the provenance of materials, information and other resources.

The medical and healthcare field leverages blockchain by taking advantage of its data transparency and trustworthiness in record keeping.

More industries are finding practical uses for blockchain, allowing these businesses to use this technology to improve services.

The Demand For Blockchain-Related Jobs Will Increase

The wide array of apps and the rapid diversification of blockchain also heralds an opportunity for developers. With more firms gearing up to take advantage of blockchain, the demand for developers will start growing exponentially.

Blockchain-related jobs are one of the fastest-growing fields in the labor market today. Even the freelance market has taken note, with skill in this technology becoming even more in demand.

Stablecoins Will Gain More Prominence

Consumers and investors across the globe are on the lookout for an alternative investment that does not have the volatility that people associate with decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Stablecoins may well be the answer to this need. Several interested firms in the private sector are working on their take on stablecoins while several countries are developing their own.

The rise of stablecoins will also be the needed push many regulatory bodies will need to come up with sorely needed regulatory guidance for cryptocurrencies.

Government Agencies Will Start Integrating Blockchain Into Their Operations

Data management isn’t just a challenge for the private sector. Government agencies that handle large amounts of information will find blockchain-based solutions very attractive.

Current data systems used by government agencies are separate from each other, and implementing a blockchain-based solution will go a long way towards streamlining government operations.

Blockchain and AI Integration Will Continue To Gather Steam

The technical collaboration between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain will be a focal point of 2020. On its own, blockchain provides little value. Combined with other technologies, however, blockchain comes into its own.

Blockchain solutions can help make AI decision-making easier to trace. Blockchain will help ensure that any decision made by AI is made based on easily verifiable and provable information.

AI brings its own set of benefits to blockchains, helping them become more secure and improving their user-friendliness.

The Internet Of Things Will Be Secured By Blockchain Using Blockchain Technology

The advent of the Internet of Things or IoT can be seen as a double-edged sword. While the IoT helps make sharing and processing data easier, it also opened up avenues of attack for bad actors. It also makes it easy to lose or misplace data.

Integrating blockchain into your IoT provides a solid solution that is almost perfect. Blockchain keeps a permanent, transparent record of every activity and transaction, it means it is easier to identify when something goes wrong, or when a malicious breach has occurred.

Blockchain Will Transform Social Media

Billions use social media on a daily basis. The addition of blockchain and distributed ledger solutions to social media will help solve the issues faced by social media sites.

Data privacy, data control, and content relevance are just some of the challenges that blockchain will resolve.

Blockchain Interoperability Will Improve

The interoperability of separate blockchains has been a challenge faced by developers, and 2020 may be the year when we finally get improved communication between different blockchains.

Interoperability allows users to access their data on one blockchain while they are on a different one, or even send data from blockchain to blockchain. While this is a challenge for many developers, the benefits will make it worth the trouble.

2020 is the Year of Regulatory Clarification

Regulation has always been a tricky subject for blockchains, especially those that are associated with cryptocurrency. The regulatory landscape is a muddled, complicated mess, with many different interpretations coming from US regulatory agencies, and even from international bodies as well.

There have been steps taken in the right direction. In late 2019, the IRS issued an update, the IRS Revenue Ruling 2019-24, and updated their FAQs.

Meanwhile, the state of Wyoming became a trailblazer in the US, passing legislation that is aimed at encouraging innovation in the cryptocurrency sphere while setting clear regulatory guidelines and oversight.

Expect other regulatory commissions and legislators around the world to keep a sharp eye on how these new laws and updates will work, with an eye towards following in their footsteps.

The Bottomline

The future of blockchain and distributed ledger technology is fluid and rapidly changing. Predicting what trends will come to the forefront is a difficult task at best.

One thing remains clear, however. Viewing blockchain as a solution in itself is the wrong way to tackle this nascent technology.

Instead, we need to view it as part of a solution. Look for the value it adds to AI and IoT solutions as a data management system that enriches technology.

Image Credit: Subin; Pexels

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Digital Collectibles Go Mainstream on the WAX Blockchain

collectibles blockchain

Collectors have always had a problem. The value of the items they collect depends on their rarity. If DaVinci had seen that people really liked his portrait of the Mona Lisa, for example, and knocked out a few thousand copies to cash in on the interest — the first buyer might have felt put out, and the picture in The Louvre would be worth a lot less.

Digital Collectibles are exciting as they go mainstream.

Da Vinci can’t do that now, but if you’re collecting baseball cards or other trading cards, you always face the risk that the manufacturer will churn out more of the product and lower the value of your holdings. As long as someone else has the freedom to print copies of your collectibles, those collectibles face a risk to their value.

It’s similar to money. If the government prints more of it, the value of the dollar in your pocket will go down.

The fact that the dollar will go down has always been a large part of the attraction of Bitcoin.

A burst of quantitative easing can’t unexpectedly lower the value of your digital currency. The number of Bitcoins that can circulate is pre-programmed, and the structure of the blockchain ensures that no fake coins can circulate.

The value of a Bitcoin, like the value of a work of art by a dead artist, is dependent entirely on the rise and fall of demand. The supply is fixed.

Having the supply fixed makes the blockchain an ideal way to keep track of—and secure the value of—other collectibles through the use of non-fungible tokens.

These tokens are digital items written into the blockchain that each represent a single unique object, such as a work of art. They function as a certificate of authenticity secured by the blockchain’s distributed ledgers.

It’s already happening. In May, WAX, a blockchain company, teamed up with collectible firm Topps to release a set of digital Garbage Pail Kids cards. All 12,000 packs, a total of 110,000 cards, sold out within 28 hours and quickly made their way to secondary markets.

WAX and Topps will soon release another set making use of licensed property related to Tiger King.

William Shatner, the original captain of the Starship Enterprise, is releasing his collectible memorabilia on WAX’s blockchain. Shatner has now joined the WAX Advisory Council.

Considering the new functionality that the blockchain is bringing to the collectibles market, it’s not surprising that WAX is also working with the hosts of The Bad Crypto Podcast.

The Bad Crypto Podcast is set to produce a set of digital collectible trading cards featuring parodies of blockchain and cryptocurrency personalities.

Blockchain Heroes is shaping up to be another success as chatter on social channels would seem to indicate.

What’s happening here is that the collectibles market is undergoing a revolution. It’s possible now for anyone to fake anything. While you can find anything you want to buy on sites like eBay, you can never be sure that what you’re buying is genuine.

Blockchain technology is bringing that authenticity and certainty to the collectibles market.

Blockchain technology has fraud-proof ledgers, and the use of non-fungible tokens ensures that you can always see the proof of ownership for an item you want to buy. You can even see the sales price so that you can track how the market is performing.

You’ll be confident that if someone tries to sell you a happier looking version of the Mona Lisa — merely ask to see the blockchain ledger!

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