IBM’s Food Blockchain Is Going Live With a Supermarket Giant on Board

IBM’s Food Blockchain Is Going Live With a Supermarket Giant on Board

IBM is taking its food-tracking blockchain into production, making it one of the largest enterprise projects to achieve that milestone, and has signed European supermarket giant Carrefour to use it. Announced Monday, the commercial launch of IBM Food Trust means that large players, as well as small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry supply chain, can now join the network for a subscription fee ranging from $100 to $10,000 a month. And many SMEs may have a stronger incentive to participate to participate now that Carrefour, which operates 12,000 stores in 33 countries, is on board. The retailer will track and trace its own branded products in France, Spain and Brazil, before expanding to other countries by 2022. “For us, it’s a matter of sense for the consumer,” Emmanuel Delerm, blockchain program director at Carrefourm told CoinDesk. “It’s really this that will push us to say to our producers or partners or suppliers, will they come on the platform? It’s really consumer-orientated; it’s really for them that we are doing this.” Yet Carrefour is only the latest food company with supply chain clout to sign up for IBM Food Trust. Others include Nestle, Dole Food, Tyson Foods, Kroger, Unilever – and not least of all the U.S. big-box behemoth Walmart. Notably, Walmart has already flexed its muscle, telling leafy-greens suppliers last month that they must integrate with the network by September 2019 and citing an e.coli outbreak as an urgent reason to improve transparency. Describing the fruits of more than a year’s work, Ramesh Gopinath, IBM’s vice president of blockchain solutions, told CoinDesk, “IBM Food Trust is the first production blockchain at real scale and we are super-excited to finally be making the product available broadly.”  Indeed, the one other enterprise blockchain of comparable heft to go live is we.trade, the trade finance consortium of 12 global banks, which entered production in late June. The mainstay of the IBM Food Trust commercial offering, explained Gopinath, is the ability to trace items backward and forward through the supply chain. This means the apples in a brand of baby food, for example, can be pinpointed back to a particular batch and orchard; then, in the event of, say, contamination, the trace can go forward to recall the whole…

Bitcoin’s Price Volatility Just Hit Another 15-Month Low

Bitcoin’s Price Volatility Just Hit Another 15-Month Low

Bitcoin price volatility continues to drop, with one measure having reached a 15-month low. Weekly volatility, as calculated by the difference between the high and low, fell to $317 last week – the lowest reading since the first week of July 2017 – according to Bitfinex data. More importantly, the leading cryptocurrency witnessed a trading range of $498 and $741 in the previous two weeks. The data indicate that BTC is being squeezed in a narrowing price range and as per technical rules, a decisive move is overdue. Other measures of bitcoin price volatility are also echoing similar sentiments. For instance, Bollinger bandwidth reading fell to the lowest level since December 2016 last week. That said, both bulls and the bears continue to remain on the sidelines, offering very little directional bias to the cryptocurrency. At press time, BTC is changing hands at $6,600 on Bitfinex, representing just 0.15 percent gain on a 24-hour basis. Weekly chart BTC defended $6,100 and created a bullish outside reversal in the third week of September, as seen in the weekly chart. However, the follow-through has been anything but encouraging. Notably, the cryptocurrency created a doji candle last week, signaling indecision in the marketplace. The odds of a big bullish move would rise if BTC finds acceptance above the last week’s high of $6,741. On the other hand, a move below the last week’s low of $6,424 may embolden the bears. Daily chart Over on the daily chart, the lateral trading has brought BTC closer to falling trendline sloping downwards from July highs. The bearish trendline would be breached if BTC continues to move sideways in the next 48 hours, however, the sideways breach of the falling trendline does not qualify as a breakout, as per technical analysis theory. Only a convincing upside move above the trendline hurdle would confirm a bullish breakout. The daily chart also shows that the choppiness index has dropped below the 61.8 percent level, indicating BTC could be in the early stages of a big bullish or bearish move. View The last week’s high of $6,741 and low of $6,424 are key levels to watch out for this week. BTC is closing on a long overdue range breakout, according to choppiness index. A break below…

Binance Labs Invests Millions in Blockchain Auditing Platform CertiK

Binance Labs Invests Millions in Blockchain Auditing Platform CertiK

Binance Labs, the incubator wing of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, has invested in a smart contract and blockchain audit startup, the company announced Monday. Called CertiK, the firm seeks to help secure smart contract and blockchain platforms through a formal verification process. The team has already begun working on ensuring existing blockchain platforms do not contain bugs that could lead to a loss of funds or other vulnerabilities, according to a press release. The company was founded last year, in part by Yale professor Zhong Shao, who is known for developing a “certified operating system” called CertiKOS, and Columbia University assistant professor Ronghui Gu. CertiK’s team operates by applying mathematical proofs to networks to determine whether hackers can breach the systems. The team’s methods include “a layer-based decomposition approach, pluggable proof engines, machine-checkable proof objects, certified [decentralized application] libraries and smart labeling,” according to the release. By using these approaches, the researchers claim they can then confirm a blockchain platform’s security in an objective manner. While Binance Labs did not disclose the total amount of the investment, a spokesperson told CoinDesk that its stake accounted for “multiple millions” of dollars. The incubator’s CEO, Ella Zhang, said in the release that CertiK’s platform addresses at least one outstanding need in the blockchain space, explaining: “CertiK mathematically validates the security of smart contracts, which is a critical pain point we are facing in the blockchain ecosystem, bypassing the limitations of manual detection.” The investment “signals the recognition of the importance of formal verification in the blockchain industry,” the statement went on to say. CertiK in particular comes with a “unique advantage” in the field given its history and proven technology. This technology includes CertiKOS, which has already been used in both enterprise and military programs, and is one of the tools used by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the release notes. Business miniatures image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

World’s Largest Crypto Exchange Binance Announces All Listing Fees Will Be Donated to Charity

World’s Largest Crypto Exchange Binance Announces All Listing Fees Will Be Donated to Charity

The CEO of world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance said he “hoped others would follow” his decision to donate all listing fees to charity after a sudden announcement Monday, October 8. According to the announcement, beginning “immediately” meanwhile, Binance will not only donate all such fees to charitable causes for the “greater good,” but also allow developers themselves to name the amount they pay, without demanding a minimum fee. “Binance will continue to use the same high standard for the listing review process,” the announcement continues. “A large donation does not guarantee or in any way influence the outcome of our listing review process.” Confirming the news on Twitter, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao capped a period of controversy surrounding Binance, during which industry sources and users alike criticized the platform for the allegedly exorbitant fees it charges developers to list altcoins. In August, Christopher Franko, creator of blockchain platform Expanse, uploaded to social media what appeared to show a Binance representative ask for 400 BTC ($2.6 million) to list its in-house token. While Zhao subsequently claimed the material was fake, he argued that it was the quality of the asset which was clinched the listing process, avoiding details about Binance’s mysterious listing fee structure. “We don’t list shitcoins even if they pay 400 or 4,000 BTC,” Zhao tweeted following Franko’s complaint, noting the exchange had listed several major assets without charging a fee: “…[The] Question is not ‘how much does Binance charge to list?’ but ‘is my coin good enough?’ It’s not the fee, it’s your project! Focus on your own project!” Binance is currently the world’s largest crypto exchange by daily trade volumes, seeing about $806.5 million in trades over the past 24 hours to press time.

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Denies Rumors of ‘Insolvency’ and ‘Banking Issues’

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Denies Rumors of ‘Insolvency’ and ‘Banking Issues’

Major crypto exchange Bitfinex has responded to a recent swathe of online rumors, denying that the firm is “insolvent” or facing banking issues, in an official blog post published October 7. Bitfinex’s rebuttal comes in the wake of last week’s reports that the exchange’s banking partner, Puerto Rico’s Noble Bank International, is seeking a buyer and had lost both Bitfinex and affiliated firm Tether — who share a CEO, Jan Ludovicus van der Velde — as clients. In addition to Noble’s apparent woes, online bloggers were claiming that Bitfinex itself was insolvent, citing unverified reports of difficulties processing fiat withdrawals on the platform. Bitfinex has today stated that “Bitfinex is not insolvent, and a constant stream of Medium articles claiming otherwise is not going to change this.” Castigating its accusers for failing to substantiate their claims, the exchange posted links to three accounts it says “represent  a small fraction of Bitfinex cryptocurrency holdings,” noting that these “do not take into account fiat holdings of any kind”: Bitcoin cold wallet 1, Ethereum cold wallet 1 and EOS cold wallet 1. The first link indicates that Bitfinex holds 148,467.26 Bitcoin (BTC) – down from circa 226,000 BTC on Sept. 9 2018 – worth $978,758,494 at press time. The second shows Ethereum (ETH) holdings worth around $382,071,909, while the third EOS (EOS) account is valued at $203,406,110 at press time. Bitfinex’s disclosures are noteworthy given the controversial backstory of U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin Tether (USDT) and concerns over a lack of transparency regarding its dollar reserves: the firm broke ties with its third-party auditor in Jan. 2018, and only issued an unofficial audit in June to prove that the coin is indeed backed 1:1 by the appropriate amount of fiat holdings. Hinting at past contentions, Bitfinex wrote yesterday that these most recent accusations of insolvency are “once again, perhaps indicative of a targeted campaign based on nothing but fiction,” adding that both fiat and crypto withdrawals are “functioning as normal” for Euros, Japanese Yen, Pounds Sterling and U.S. Dollars. The firm did however acknowledge that “complications continue to exist” for Bitfinex “in the domain of fiat transactions,” but claimed this is something prevalent among “most” crypto-related organizations. In response to the Noble Bank reports, some in the crypto space…

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Denies Accusations of Insolvency

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Denies Accusations of Insolvency

Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Bitfinex has hit back against claims it is insolvent and disclosed wallet addresses that hold over $1.5 billion in crypto assets. The company, which shares management with Tether, the venture behind the U.S dollar-pegged crypto USDT, stated in a blog post on Sunday that it is not insolvent, and “a constant stream of Medium articles claiming otherwise is not going to change this.” Bitfinex called out such allegations as “a targeted campaign based on nothing but fiction.” The firm further revealed cold wallet addresses holding bitcoin, ethereum and EOS, as claimed proof of the amount of the respective assets it currently holds. It added that the wallets’ contents represents a “small” fraction of its total assets, which also include undisclosed fiat holdings. Based on the provided addresses, Bitfinex holds at least 148,467 bitcoin, 1.7 million ether, and over 35 million EOS. These cryptocurrencies are worth around $1.5 billion, based on data from CoinDesk’s price index and CoinMarketCap. Bitfinex’s rebuttal follows a recent article on Medium published on Saturday that claimed the exchange is no longer solvent and urged users to withdraw their assets. The author, who goes by the title “ProofofResearch” alleged that Bitfinex made “a concerted effort” to censor a number of posts on a sub-reddit that it moderates in which users reported issues with fund withdrawals for at least a month. However, in its response, Bitfinex claims that “both fiat and cryptocurrency withdrawals are functioning as normal,” adding: “Verified Bitfinex users can freely withdraw Euros, Japanese Yen, Pounds Sterling and U.S. Dollars. Complications continue to exist for us in the domain of fiat transactions, as they do for most cryptocurrency-related organizations.” The Medium article also referred to a Bloomberg report last Tuesday as supporting evidence that the Puerto Rican Noble Bank is now mulling a sale and has stopped offering its banking services to both Bitfinex and Tether. On that front, the exchange said information and accusations surrounding Noble Bank has “no impact” on its “operations, survivability, or solvency.” The news comes as the latest controversy surrounding Bitfinex as one of the longest-running crypto exchanges. In January, both Bitfinex and Tether were reportedly subpoenaed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Months later, amid complaints over lack of transparency, the company published…

The Daily: BTC Volatility Low, New Liquidity Ranking Site & PwC Backs Stablecoin

The Daily: BTC Volatility Low, New Liquidity Ranking Site & PwC Backs Stablecoin

The Daily To kick-start the new week, we bring you news of bitcoin hitting a record low — for volatility, not price. There’s also been an altcoin breakout ahead of an impending Coinbase listing, a new metric for ranking cryptocurrencies and an obligatory new stablecoin story. It’s all covered in Monday’s edition of The Daily. Also read: Rapper Soulja Boy Releases New Single Titled ‘Bitcoin’ Bitcoin Goes Nowhere For the past two weeks, bitcoin core (BTC) has done precisely nothing price-wise, adhering closely to $6,600 territory. While behind the scenes there’s been plenty of development work going on, in the markets there’s been little cause for cheer or for gloom. So stable has BTC been, with its volatility hitting a 17-month low, that jokes have been circulating of bitcoin now constituting the world’s most decentralized stablecoin. Some have speculated that the lack of action is evidence of bitcoin maturing as an asset class. “This is a maturing market, so volatility should continue to decline,” observed Bloomberg Intelligence commodity strategist Mike McGlone. “When you have a new market, it will be highly volatile until it establishes itself. There are more participants, more derivatives, more ways of trading, hedging and arbitraging.” It’s too early to tell whether this interpretation is correct or whether BTC is simply taking a breather before sprinting to its next support level. 0x Climbs on Presumed Coinbase Listing While BTC has remained stable, the same cannot be said of altcoins. 0x (ZRX) has been one of the best performers over the last 24 hours, up 12% after rumors of a Coinbase listing resurfaced. It’s been all but confirmed for months that the Ethereum-based relaying and governance token would be added to Coinbase at some stage, but screenshots showing 0x appearing on the site’s transactional reports section have convinced speculators that a listing is imminent. PwC Teams Up With Cred to Launch Latest Stablecoin News of another stablecoin is not news in itself, for such events have become daily occurrences in the crypto space. The entity behind the latest dollar-pegged token is of interest, however. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is the world’s second-largest professional services firms, and ranked as a Big Four auditor, right behind Deloitte. It has collaborated with crypto-lending platform Cred to launch a…

Messaging Giant Kakao Launches Its Own Blockchain for Testing

Messaging Giant Kakao Launches Its Own Blockchain for Testing

Ground X, the blockchain development arm of the South Korean messaging giant Kakao, has launched a test network (testnet) of its proprietary blockchain network dubbed Klaytn. The firm said in a press release on Monday that the testnet is now made available to 10 invited partners on the network. It has also published a white paper offering details of the platform, which seeks to lay the technological foundation for decentralized applications or dapps. According to the white paper, the Klaytn blockchain takes a hybrid approach that adopts the concepts of consensus nodes (CNs) and ranger nodes (RNs) to achieve both scalability and transparency. CNs are invited partners on the network that together form a private blockchain to batch and confirm transactions by running a byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm, according to the white paper. Meanwhile, anyone from the public can connect to the network and participate as a RN, whose duty is to double check blocks that have been propagated by the CNs. “Ranger nodes (RNs) download newly created blocks from the CNs and periodically communicate (‘gossip’) among themselves while storing a local copy of the blockchain. They validate the new blocks chosen by the CNs and check that the CNs never equivocate on the content of a given block height. Anybody can join the network as an RN,” Ground X wrote in the paper. Via this hybrid approach, Ground X claims the block propagation interval in the testnet has been reduced to less than one per second and offers throughput of up to 1,500 transactions per second. To incentivize participation, the network will proportionally distribute 10 billion “KLAY ” tokens to both types of nodes based on their contribution, though an exact ratio has not been announced so far. The network is expected to issue additional tokens every year as block rewards. Ground X added that it will publish the network’s source code to the public at a later stage and the Klaytn full live network (or mainnet) will launch in the first quarter of 2019. At press time, the company had not responded to a CoinDesk enquiry on whether the KLAY token will be tradable on exchages when the network is official live. The testnet launch comes roughly six months after Kakao revealed its plan to…

Seoul Mayor Plans $100 Million Fund to Build Blockchain Smart City

Seoul Mayor Plans $100 Million Fund to Build Blockchain Smart City

Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, has revealed a five-year plan to invest $108 million to make the South Korean capital a smart city powered by blockchain. In a speech during his visit to Zurich, Park announced last week that his Blockchain Urban Plan for 2018–2022 will cover 14 public services in five areas, with a government budget totaling 123.3 billion Korean won (around $108 million), according to a CoinDesk Korea report on Thursday. Park added that major public services that will adopt blockchain include labor welfare, vehicle history management, certification issuance, donation management and elections voting. The mayor explained, for instance, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will use the technology to protect part-time workers who don’t have labor contracts or are not covered by employment insurance. These workers will be able to register via a blockchain application that will be developed as part of the plan. After that, labor welfare organizations and insurance companies, which participate as running nodes, could share workers’ information over a distributed network and decide on insurance schemes, the report said. Park also indicated his administration aims to spend another 60 billion won, or about $53 million, building two complexes by 2021 to house 200 blockchain startups by utilizing parts of the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park and Mapo Seoul Startup Hub. The plan comes just months after Park won the re-election campaign as Seoul’s mayor in June. As CoinDesk previously reported, Park pledged as part of his campaign at the time that he would increase support for blockchain development in Seoul by developing the city’s Mapo district as a center for blockchain incubation. Seoul’s blockchain effort is also in line with the roadmap announced by South Korea’s Ministry of ICT, which said in June it would invest $9 million in the coming years to lead blockchain adoption in six major public services. Park Won-soon image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

The Daily: Bitcoin’s Low Volatility and High Liquidity, PwC Backs Stablecoin

The Daily: Bitcoin’s Low Volatility and High Liquidity, PwC Backs Stablecoin

The Daily To kick-start the new week, we bring you news of bitcoin hitting a record low — for volatility, not price. There’s also been an altcoin breakout ahead of an impending Coinbase listing, a new metric for ranking cryptocurrencies and an obligatory new stablecoin story. It’s all covered in Monday’s edition of The Daily. Also read: Rapper Soulja Boy Releases New Single Titled ‘Bitcoin’ Bitcoin Goes Nowhere For the past two weeks, bitcoin core (BTC) has done precisely nothing price-wise, adhering closely to $6,600 territory. While behind the scenes there’s been plenty of development work going on, in the markets there’s been little cause for cheer or for gloom. So stable has BTC been, with its volatility hitting a 17-month low, that jokes have been circulating of bitcoin now constituting the world’s most decentralized stablecoin. Some have speculated that the lack of action is evidence of bitcoin maturing as an asset class. “This is a maturing market, so volatility should continue to decline,” observed Bloomberg Intelligence commodity strategist Mike McGlone. “When you have a new market, it will be highly volatile until it establishes itself. There are more participants, more derivatives, more ways of trading, hedging and arbitraging.” It’s too early to tell whether this interpretation is correct or whether BTC is simply taking a breather before sprinting to its next support level. 0x Climbs on Presumed Coinbase Listing While BTC has remained stable, the same cannot be said of altcoins. 0x (ZRX) has been one of the best performers over the last 24 hours, up 12% after rumors of a Coinbase listing resurfaced. It’s been all but confirmed for months that the Ethereum-based relaying and governance token would be added to Coinbase at some stage, but screenshots showing 0x appearing on the site’s transactional reports section have convinced speculators that a listing is imminent. PwC Teams Up With Cred to Launch Latest Stablecoin News of another stablecoin is not news in itself, for such events have become daily occurrences in the crypto space. The entity behind the latest dollar-pegged token is of interest, however. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is the world’s second-largest professional services firms, and ranked as a Big Four auditor, right behind Deloitte. It has collaborated with crypto-lending platform Cred to launch a…