Blockchain 

Cryptocurrency and Smart Contracts Will For Sure Enter Into Society, Says Senior UK Lawyer

One of the United Kingdom’s most senior lawyers said in a speech on May 2 that cryptocurrency and smart contract use will inevitably begin, but regulations are needed. Addressing the University of Liverpool School of Law and the Northern Chancery Bar Association, Sir Geoffery Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, dedicated time to exploring necessary changes in order for smart contracts and crypto assets to become widespread. “My starting point is to ask why smart contracts have taken so long to become ubiquitous,” he began. Vos continued: “We have been…

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Bitcoin 

SEC Staff Publish Framework for Determining If Digital Assets Are Investment Contracts

Staff at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have published a framework to help market participants ascertain whether or not a digital asset is deemed to be an investment contract, and therefore a security. The new “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” was published on April 3, accompanied by an official statement. Notably, the framework is the work of two SEC Commissioners: Bill Hinman, director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance and Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation — colloquially known as…

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Blockchain 

Kudelski Partners With Smart Contracts Auditor Hosho on Blockchain Security Solutions

Cybersecurity solutions provider Kudelski Security has entered a strategic partnership with smart contracts auditing firm Hosho in order to provide greater security for blockchain ecosystems. The news was announced in a press release from Kudelski on March 19. As Cointelegraph auf Deutsch previously reported, Kudelski Security — a Swiss-born, stalwart tech security solutions provider whose multinational operations run from locations across Europe and the United States — launched a Blockchain Security Center (BSC) this January. Kudelski, which has expertise in the field of applied cryptography, says it established the partnership…

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Ethereum 

Company Tackles Security Issues in Ethereum Smart Contracts

A decentralized, open-source crypto platform based on the Ethereum protocol named Callisto Network offers users free-of-charge smart contract security audits. The company wants to support them in the battle against cyber criminals and help developers solve security issues in Ethereum codes. Blockchain audit One of the most common crypto crimes nowadays is hacking exchanges. According to the reports of crypto analytics companies Chainalysis and CipherTrace, cyber criminals generated around $1 billion in revenue in 2018. During the latest attacks, users lost 1.35 million Bitcoin (BTC) in the Mt. Gox hack…

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Bitcoin 

Argo Blockchain Plans to Terminate Mining Contracts, Cut Costs by 35 Percent

United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency mining provider Argo Blockchain announced it was refocusing its business as part of a major cost-cutting exercise, according to a strategy update published on Feb. 15. Argo, which is headquartered in London with facilities in Quebec, said it would terminate its Mining-as-a-Service (MaaS) operations by April, focusing solely on direct mining. MaaS operators facilitate cryptocurrency mining on borrowed hardware remotely. Explaining its decision, Argo said the ongoing suppression of Bitcoin (BTC) prices and associated reduced profitability of mining had caused it to slim down its expenses sheet.…

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Blockchain 

Smart Contracts Are No Problem for the World’s Legal Systems, so Long as They Behave Like Legal Contracts

Cryptocurrencies have been a headache (if not a nightmare) for the law. Ever since Ross Ulbricht launched the Silk Road online marketplace in February 2011, Bitcoin and its ilk have been disrupting the ability of authorities to police the globe, and to ensure that norms, regulations and laws are being observed. For a while, it was believed by some that smart contracts — essentially if-then instructions written into and executed by a blockchain — would do something very similar to the law itself, coming into potential conflict with the globe’s…

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Blockchain 

Swiss University ZHAW and Telecoms Firm Swisscom Develop E-Signature for Smart Contracts

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and major telecoms firm Swisscom have developed an integrated, certified e-signature to legally authenticate blockchain-powered smart contracts. The news was reported by Swiss financial news outlet Cash today, Jan. 29. According to the report, a prototype for an Ethereum (ETH)-based smart contract was created by an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and engineers from ZHAW, together with Swisscom. The prototype was then designed to include an interface with a Swisscom-developed e-signature service, which can be used to replace the handwritten signatures that are required…

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Blockchain 

Smart Contracts Don’t Necessarily Disrupt Traditional Contract Law, Expert Argues

Blockchain-based smart contracts indubitably fall subject to private international law, a legal expert has argued in a post published to Oxford University’s Business Law Blog today, Jan. 23. Giesela Rühl — a professor of Private International Law and co-director of the Centre for European Studies at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany — entitled her analysis “The Law Applicable to Smart Contracts, or Much Ado About Nothing?” As the title implies, the report argues that the presumed friction between smart contracts and established legal precedent may be over-exaggerated. Professor…

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Ethereum 

Qtum Awards $400K Grant to Columbia University Research Team for Smart Contracts R&D

Open source blockchain project Qtum has awarded a $400,000 grant to academics at Columbia University to fund the development of a new programming language for Ethereum (ETH)-style smart contracts. The news was announced in an email shared with Cointelegraph Dec. 19. The research and development (R&D) grant will go to a team of two PhD and postdoctoral students, headed by assistant professor at Columbia’s computer science faculty, Ronghui Gu. The R&D will reportedly focus on the design and implementation of a new language named “DeepSEA” and its integration with Ethereum-style…

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Bitcoin 

US Commodities Regulator CFTC Issues Smart Contracts Primer, Outlines Benefits and Risks

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)’s fintech innovation hub LabCFTC has issued a Primer on Smart Contracts, according to an official announcement Nov. 27. The primer is LabCFTC’s second fintech-educational publication, the first being its October 2017 primer on virtual currencies. As outlined by the lab’s director Daniel Gorfine, the new primer engages with blockchain-enabled smart contract technology, which he notes “[Is] being used to drive further automation in our markets and may have an impact across a range of economic activities.” LabCFTC’s primer opens with a definition of…

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