NYC Government Employee Caught Mining Bitcoin On Work Computer

Mining bitcoins is a notoriously electricity-intensive process better suited for areas where resources are subsidized by the government (like the mountainous Northern China, where a cluster of some of the world’s largest mining pools are located), or are at least exceedingly cheap. Cities like New York, are, of course, not ideally suited for the task of mining. But then again, if you’re not paying for the electricity, then it may as well be free, right?
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That, essentially, was New York City teacher Vladimir Ilyayev’s plan when he started mining bitcoin on his work computer, running the software during the evening while monitoring it from home, according to CoinDesk, which discovered paperwork relating to Ilyayev’s hearing before the BOE’s Conflicts of Interest Board.
‘According to a recently published disposition from the City of New York Conflicts of Interest Board, department employee Vladimir Ilyayev admitted to mining bitcoin between for a period of several weeks between March and April 2014. Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to the blockchain, generating new coins with every block that is created.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2017.

R3 Sends Cease-and-Desist to Bitcoin Developer Peter Todd

Bitcoin and banks were never supposed to go hand-in-hand. So, in 2015, when the world’s largest financial institutions began investigation the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, it took many people by surprise. Now, approximately two years after those efforts began in earnest, it seems there’s somewhat of a clash taking place between Bitcoin and the consortium through which the world’s largest banks investigate blockchain technology, R3.
The blockchain consortium, whose main goal is to cut costs for the back office processes at major banks, seems to have no problem lobbying legal threats at members of the Bitcoin Community who do not follow the consortium’s line.

This post was published at GoldSilverBitcoin on NOVEMBER 26, 2016.

U.S. State Department Recommends Development of Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers to International Partners

Last month the U. S. State Department launched the “American Innovation Roadshow” with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Senior members of U. S. Secretary of State’s John Kerry’s economic team led business delegations from financial investors, U. S. multinational and early stage companies. In two stunning speeches, the State Department began advocating the adoption blockchain technology.
Ambassador David H. Thorne, senior adviser to the secretary of state, was among those attending the roadshow. The ambassador leads a departmentwide effort to ‘position economic and commercial issues more prominently within the U. S. foreign policy landscape’ and to ‘elevate the importance of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation in the State Department’s promotion of global prosperity.’
Thorne gave speeches at both the March 3 @America Innovation at Innovation and Entrepreneurship Presentations at Pacific Place in Jakarta, Indonesia and the March 7 Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology Innovation Conference in Hanoi.
Speeches given by the ambassador encouraged these countries to adopt blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
Both the Vietnam and Indonesia (prepared) remarks included the following similar, if not identical, recommendations:
‘…[W]e would like to encourage the development of new financial technology or ‘FinTech’ innovations – blockchain and distributed ledgers, mobile banking, etc – which will provide a backbone to the e-commerce activity … These kinds of tools naturally encourage fiscal and business transparency, not just for start-ups but for everyone, which is a key for reducing corruption and improving efficiency.’
Bitcoin Blockchain Advances
Last year the White House named Dr. Ed Felten deputy U. S. chief technology officer. Felten was previously the director of the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton University, and is a well regarded Bitcoin researcher.

This post was published at Bitcoin Magazine on Apr 12, 2016.

The Panama Papers: This Is the Consequence of Centralized Money and Power

Technologies such as the blockchain are enabling alternative ways of creating and distributing money outside central banks and states. If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. This is the core message of my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All. The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power that are free of any constraint (such as taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power–this inequality is the only possible output of centralized money and state power. Here is a graphic portrayal of just how concentrated global wealth really is: the top .7% (less than 1%) own 45% of all global wealth, and the top 8% own 85%.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on TUESDAY, APRIL 05, 2016.

Ukraine Government Plans to Trial Ethereum Blockchain-based Election Platform

A group of Ukrainian officials signed a memorandum late last week to move multiple levels of elections to the Ethereum blockchain using E-vox, a platform developed by a group of companies including Ambisafe, Distributed Lab, and Kitsoft. The goal of this memorandum is to create “a decentralized, transparent and accessible system for group decisions making [sic] via blockchain-based instruments” for political primaries, elections and online petitions or referenda.
This new platform could serve as a beacon of transparency and accountability in a polarized country ravaged by the “Orange Revolution,” a series of protests against corruption, voter intimidation and direct electoral fraud during the 2004 election of President Viktor Yanukovych.
The list of signatories includes the head of the state agency for e-government, the Head of IT of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, an adviser to the president of Ukraine, a group of NGOs, and blockchain companies such as Ambisafe, Distributed Lab and KitSoft.
While most blockchain and Bitcoin election platforms employ colored coins, E-vox will rely on smart contracts in order to fulfill a number of Ukrainian legal requirements. By involving major players in the Ukrainian government early in the process, Ambisafe CEO Andrey Zamovskiy doesn’t feel regulations or laws will hinder the implementation of E-vox.

This post was published at Bitcoin Magazine on February 17th, 2016.

Debunking the 11 Most Stubborn Lightning Network Myths

Earlier this year, Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja released the Lightning Network white paper. In it they theorize how a layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain can allow for instant and cheap bitcoin transactions, while vastly improving its scalability.
As a result of the block-size limit debate, the Lightning Network has been getting a lot of attention lately. But, unfortunately, wild myths have started to dominate the discourse. Suddenly thrown in the middle of a long-lasting conflict of visions, Poon and Dryja’s concept is hailed both as the great savior solving all of Bitcoin’s problems – and as a source of deep corruption within Bitcoin’s development community.
This article will not seek to explain how the Lightning Network is set to function on a technical level. Such explanations can be found here and here , and for those who really want to immerse themselves with all of the nitty-gritty details of how it all works, here.
Rather, this article addresses 11 common myths surrounding the Lightning Network, in hopes of putting these to bed for good.
Myth #1: Core developers are crippling Bitcoin to force users onto the Lightning Network.
Although Poon and Dryja, along with several others, are currently realizing their own Lightning Network-based startup, Blockstream has been the only company funding the development of the Lightning Network so far. Specifically, the Bitcoin business with a $21 million seed round under its belt empoyed Paul ‘Rusty’ Russel to work on an implementation of the concept.
Meanwhile, some of Bitcoin’s most prominent developers — such as Gregory Maxwell and Pieter Wuille — are on Blockstream’s payroll, too. This has led some to believe that Blockstream is working nefariously. It’s been alleged that the company is blocking any increase of Bitcoin’s block-size limit, as this will drive up transaction fees, forcing bitcoiners to use the Lightning Network instead.
This logic, however, seems very farfetched at best.

This post was published at Bitcoin Magazine