The Efficiency of Smart Contracts and Blockchain

What To Do If There’s a Bitcoin Coin-Split

There is potential that there will be two kinds of Bitcoin tokens in the future after a coin-split.  For those using Bitcoin who do not know what this could mean for Bitcoin in general and how to adjust with the growing pains the article below will walk you through it all.

A Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide to Surviving a Coin-Split

There is a chance Bitcoin will experience a coin-split soon. If a majority of miners (by hash power) switch to Bitcoin Unlimited and decide to mine blocks bigger than one megabyte, while at least some users stick to the current Bitcoin protocol, the network and blockchain can split in two. In that case, there may be two different types of Bitcoin tokens: “BTC,” which follows the current Bitcoin protocol, and “BTU,” which follows the new Bitcoin Unlimited protocol.

The good news is that each bitcoin would effectively be copied onto the Bitcoin Unlimited chain. If you hold bitcoin right now, you will hold both BTC and BTU after a split.

The bad news is that a coin-split can be messy and risky. This is mainly because, at first, all BTCs and all BTUs will be stuck together. You will need to separate them somehow; otherwise you can lose your BTC or your BTU.

This guide will provide you with the basics to stay safe during a coin-split, and make sure you make it to the “other side” with both your BTC and BTU intact.

Author’s note: If you want to play the BTC/BTU markets as soon as possible and you are fine with taking risks, and/or you really know what you are doing, this article is probably not for you. (Perhaps try this Electrum article instead.)

If you mostly just want to make sure not to lose your BTC or BTU, read on …

Before the Coin-Split (That’s Now)

First of all, be aware that a coin-split is a high-risk situation. There is a real chance a sort of cyber-battle will break out between the two camps, perhaps even escalating to the point where bitcoin’s exchange rate(s) drops sharply, possibly to zero. Make absolutely sure you are not holding more value in bitcoin than what you are willing to lose.

If you do decide to hold on to your bitcoins, the single most important piece of advice is this: control your own private keys.

If you are storing your bitcoins on an exchange, in a custodial wallet like Coinbase, Circle or Xapo, or on any other service that holds your private keys for you, you may or may not eventually receive coins on both ends of the chain. Several exchanges have so far suggested you may but have made no guarantees. And at least one exchange, GDAX, has explicitly indicated you may not.

If you’re using any of these kinds of services to store your bitcoins, you need to create your own wallet. Send your bitcoins to this new wallet; this wallet now holds your private keys.

What kind of wallet you want to use is up to you. That said, here are some basic solutions:

If you don’t care about transacting with either BTC or BTU anytime soon, and really just want to keep both as a long-term investment, printing your private keys on a paper wallet is one option. This option, however, is only really secure if you follow strict security precautions, which you can find here.

Another option is to get a hardware wallet. Any of the hardware wallets listed on bitcoin.org will keep your private keys secure. One hardware wallet provider in particular, Trezor, has explicitly acknowledged that users will have access to their coins on both ends of the chain if a coin-split happens.

Regular wallets are about as secure as your computer (or phone) is. Since most computers and phones are not all that secure, these are not ideal for large amounts. With that in mind, all mobile wallets and desktop wallets listed on bitcoin.org will store your private keys for you. Additionally, a full node like Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Knots gives you a little extra security during a coin-split, as you’ll see below.

In any case: Make sure you make backups of your keys! Most wallets require you to do this when installing; don’t skip this step.

During the Coin-Split

The first thing to note is that Bitcoin Unlimited has not set a “flag date” to fork. This means that theoretically, a fork could happen at any time. Realistically, however, it will depend on miner coordination, and it will probably be obvious to even casual Bitcoin observers when a fork is close to happening.

If Bitcoin Unlimited does fork, things could get messy for anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of days, or longer.

Unfortunately, Bitcoin Unlimited currently does not include “replay protection.” This means that post-fork, transactions on both sides of the fork will look identical. If a transaction is picked up by both networks — for example, because the receiver of a transaction re-transmits the transaction on the other network — that transaction may be valid on both chains. This is called a “replay attack.”

As such, spending coins on one end of the chain could make you accidentally spend the equivalent coin on the other side of the chain. Instead of paying someone only BTC, you may unintentionally send BTU as well — or vice versa. This is how the BTCs and BTUs are “stuck together.”

The best way to prevent replay attacks is simple: do not send any transactions. Not until it is clearer to everyone what the post-fork situation looks like.

If you use Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Knots as a wallet and you want to accept BTC, that should still be fine. (Someone who didn’t read this article may accidentally send you the equivalent in BTU, though. If this happens, you should probably return the funds later on.)

Bitcoin Unlimited, on the other hand, does not include “wipeout protection.” If the amount of mining power on the BTC chain ever overtakes the BTU chain, the entire BTU chain will be discarded (unless users on the BTU chain coordinate fast enough to prevent this in unconventional ways).

Unless and until it is absolutely clear that Bitcoin Unlimited emerges as a definitive winner forever, accepting any BTU is very risky, and you probably shouldn’t do it at all.

After the Coin-Split

If both chains survive, and you control your private keys, you will have coins on both sides of the fork. But as mentioned, it will be tricky to spend coins on one chain without accidentally spending the equivalent on the other side.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these replay attacks. The most straightforward solution requires brand-new coins, mined after the split. These new coins are the only coins that do not exist on both chains and cannot, therefore, be spent on both. Combining these new coins with old coins effectively splits the BTC from BTU.

This coin-splitting can, and probably will, be a bit complex. But some exchanges will likely set up coin-splitting services and take care of most of the complexity behind the screens. You’d just need to send your bitcoins to an exchange, and the exchange will credit your account with BTC and BTU. (They should even replay the transaction for you, to make sure they indeed receive both your coins and can split them for you.) If you want, you can now also sell your BTU for BTC (or fiat currency), or the other way round.

There may also be other solutions to split your coins in the event of a coin-split, perhaps even trustless solutions. But that remains to be seen.

After the split, there will probably be wallets for both coins soon enough. Of course, you may need to upgrade your existing wallet or download a new wallet if and when this happens. This also remains to be seen. (Do not accept any transactions on your wallet before this is clear.)

Further specifics on what to do after a coin-split will be announced on Bitcoin Magazine (and most likely on bitcoin.org and other sources of information) if and when a coin-split occurs and we have a better understanding of the post-fork situation.

Oh, and when you, years from now, want to use the funds stored on your paper wallet, don’t forget you now own both BTC and BTU! (Wallets like Electrum and Blockchain allow you to upload the private keys, and you’ll probably need to go through the same splitting ceremony.)

If only one chain survives, operations should continue at some point. However, it’s not exactly clear what this post-fork landscape will look like. Perhaps you’ll have to upgrade your wallet. This will also be announced on Bitcoin Magazine if and when it comes to it.

If neither chain survives, the Bitcoin experiment has failed, and your private keys will probably be worthless.

So, to Recap …

1. Control your private keys.

2. To be on the safe side, avoid any transactions shortly after the split. (If you must accept BTC, use Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Knots as a wallet.)

3. As the dust settles, split your coins. (How, exactly, will depend on Bitcoin’s post-fork landscape.)

 

Source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/beginners-guide-surviving-coin-split/

A Different Economy Than Web Economy

The majority of transactions currently utilize banks.  However, in the future this could change as blockchain technology further develops allowing people to complete peer to peer transactions more often.  Predictions are being made that a blockchain economy could outperform a web economy in years to come.  Learn more about this speculation in the article from Computer Weekly below.

Blockchain economy on the horizon

Blockchain technologies will enable many new and disruptive business models than the internet itself, an expert predicts

The world is moving towards a blockchain-based economy because of its inherent security and lack of third-party involvement, according to William Mougayar, venture advisor and author.

According to Mougayar, money is one area the web has not tackled in a “native” way, with most money transactions still going through banks rather than being peer to peer (P2P) in nature.

“The banks have led us to believe that we still need them, but in reality they are just updating each other’s ledgers,” he said, pointing out that this is what blockchain technology enables, but without the need for a third party such as a bank.

The best-known application of blockchain technology is bitcoin, which Mougayar said “at its core” is really about P2P transmission of value, with cryptology being a critical component that secures both the stored data as well as securing and validating transactions.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, he believes, will become an increasingly popular way of transferring value, with up to 900 different cryptocurrencies available already.

Blockchain is also about new, emerging P2P infrastructure that is truly decentralised, said Mougayar, in contrast to many web-based applications such as Facebook that have not remained true to the original decentralised concept of the World Wide Web.

Blockchain, he said, provides a clear and quick way of getting transactions settled without involving a third party. “If you were to dumb it down, the blockchain is a just series of API [application program interface] calls to verify something – a settlement, an identity. But because it is immutable and each transaction just adds to what has gone before, transaction history remains intact. It is an excellent record-keeping technology,” he said.

Cryptocurrencies go beyond money use

Cryptocurrencies, said Mougayar, are not just about money. “They can represent a function, work and attention, which means new companies publishing user content could compensate users by enabling them to earn tokens for giving attention to content or attracting attention to content.

“This means users could earn cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for goods and services, which is already being implemented by companies such as Steemit, where everyone gets paid for creating and curating content,” he said.

Most of what has been happening around blockchain has been about the development of the core, which has been a largely “technical story,” said Mougayar.

“A lot of the activity is very technical, about the nuts and bolts of the infrastructure, but we are now going to get more into the app development and the story is going to be more about the applications, which is how the web started. First we had to get the infrastructure and the standards, and then the applications came,” he said.

Developers should prepare for ‘inevitable’ blockchain change

Mougayar urged organisations to encourage their developers to learn blockchain languages in preparation for the changes that he sees as inevitable.

“The fact that there currently around 10 million Java developers in the world and only 30,000 blockchain developers tells you were we are and where we need to be,” he said.

Standards are very important in the era of technology, said Mougayar, and although there are only few blockchain-standards, the ERC20 standard for issuing tokens or cryptocurrency is an important one because it is the main reason so many ICOs and cryptocurrencies exist. “When you put standards in the market, adoption skyrockets,” he said.

However, Mougayar cautioned against trying to regulate the blockchain prematurely for fear of stifling innovation around this technology. “Blockchain is just a baby right now. Let’s wait until it grows to be an adult, and then we can regulate it,” he said.

Going forward, he said, the blockchain is going to disrupt the database, a new type of virtual environment is going to emerge, there will be a new way of proving the identity of people and the ownership of value, and tokens and smart contracts will become the new language.

“We will enter the new blockchain economy in the same way that we entered the web economy 20 years ago,” said Mougayar.

Source: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450418530/Blockchain-economy-on-the-horizon

The Price of Bitcoin Keeps Going Up

Lately, Bitcoin has been progressing financially but not technologically. Many are debating why this is.  The article below from CoinDesk goes into the speculation and thinks about what the future might be for Bitcoin.  Investors may choose to remain optimistic or become a little more reserved. Read more about this below.

$1,700? Bitcoin’s Price is Up Even as its Tech Progress Stalls

(@AlyssaHertig) | Published on May 15, 2017 at 14:00 BST

“Honey badger don’t give a shit.”

Sometimes referred to as the ‘honey badger of money’ (after a famous viral video), bitcoin enthusiasts may find this comparison particularly apt of late. Since the beginning of the year, the network’s value has nearly doubled – even while the community continues to be mired in debate.

Market observers so far have offered a wide range of reasons for this uptick, though not all of them are good, with increasing prices causing concerns that the industry as a whole is entering a speculative bubble.

Supply and demand

Still, not everyone believes the boost is due to speculation.

Redwood City Ventures founder Sean Walsh, for example, sent CoinDesk a bullet-pointed email summarizing the various global developments that could be contributing to the bitcoin price surge. He believes developments in South Korea, Japan, Russia and China have all contributed.

The price surge, according to Walsh, is simply supply and demand.

“Bitcoin is dramatically more scarce than most people realize, especially in the context of its total addressable market of nearly 3 billion internet-connected adults,” he continued.

Walsh framed the situation simply as one where the cryptocurrency is seeing increased demand, which looks to only increase in the future:

“Once the global race to own bitcoin commences, the tiny supply of new bitcoins (just 54,000 new coins per month) will be completely overrun by demand,” he said, adding:

“There just aren’t anywhere near enough coins to go around, and pre-existing holders will grasp ever more tightly into this surging market, as perennially dictated by human nature.”

Tensions subsiding

Still, to those following day-to-day technical developments, it might seem odd that the digital currency’s price has seen such an upswing amid its scaling debate and a stalled upgrade known as SegWit.

Kristov Atlas, a security engineer at wallet and data firm Blockchain, for example, wasn’t able to find technical reasons for the uptick in demand.

He told CoinDesk

“I don’t see how the price increase could relate to tech changes; no big changes in long term projects like Lightning lately, and the block size stalemate is still status quo.”

“[It] must be something outside bitcoin that investors have changed their minds about,” he suggested.

While developers, admittedly, might not be experts on economic market conditions, those that have been in the industry for a while are perhaps more aware of how technical developments could contribute to bitcoin’s price.

When asked, some argued the state of the technology could have something to do with the recent increase, though, perhaps in surprising way.

For example, bitcoin’s block size debate took a weird turn a couple of months ago, when discussions about the possibility of forking bitcoin into two networks reappeared. This time around, some miners and developers suggested the idea of destroying the chain that didn’t follow along with the majority of hashing power.

This has yet to happen, though, and worries about such an event happening have since died down. Some wonder if this could have given the price boost.

“I think part of the rally is due to increased confidence that the risk of a contentious hard fork has all but evaporated,” Reddit moderator BashCo said.

Yet some expect to see a ‘correction’, where the price dips to a more reasonable place.

The emotion factor

The idea that raised tensions contribute to price swings fits with bitcoin developer and Nakamoto Institute director of research, Daniel Krawisz’s view that the price has more to do with emotions.

“The price of bitcoin never makes sense and it doesn’t have very much to do with the tech,” he said. “It’s about emotion. It’s about greed.”

Krawisz also sees the price more aligned with bitcoin’s original value proposition of giving users more control, rather than more granular tech additions or debates.

“It’s not the new features of bitcoin that matter. What matters are the old features. People keep moving into bitcoin because it’s a better alternative than their own national currency,” he said, adding:

“Bitcoin doesn’t really need new features, because it’s already better.”

Though, perhaps echoing other developer’s sentiments about a reduction in fear, Krawisz went on to argue that the increase in demand probably has to do with bitcoin’s apparent stability, since it’s been around for a long time compared with many cryptocurrencies.

“It’s the same reason that people always get into bitcoin now as ever,” he concluded.

Balloon image via Shutterstock

Source: http://www.coindesk.com/1700-even-bitcoin-tech-leaders-dont-know-price/

Is Bitcoin Legal Property?

Blockchain and bitcoin technologies are still fairly new and misunderstood by people. When it comes to the use of bitcoin by people around the world one has to wonder if intellectual property or property laws will cover it.  The article from Bitcoin Magazine dives into this question.

Making the Case for Bitcoin as Legal Property

“Interests in bitcoin should be protected by property law,” the Perkins Coie white paper concludes.

 

As Bitcoin is adopted by more users every day, the need to determine how it can integrate into mainstream society becomes even more pressing. One major question continues to be how traditional laws apply to Bitcoin and its use.

Many of those determinations could have major implications for Bitcoin and its holders, and few will play a bigger role in the United States than property laws, which could ultimately govern ownership over the digital currency.

A new white paper, “Treatment of Bitcoin Under U.S. Property Law,” seeks to analyze how the worlds of digital currency and property law should intersect. The report was assembled by Perkins Coie, an international law firm that specializes in blockchain technology and digital currency and has been active in the space since 2013. While detailed and clearly well-researched, the paper’s foremost conclusion is straightforward and transparent.

“We conclude that property interests should exist in bitcoin under such law, and that multiple sources of persuasive authority provide additional support for that conclusion,” the paper’s authors, J. Dax Hansen and Joshua L. Boehm, wrote.

The paper begins with an overview of Bitcoin’s technological attributes and what those mean for how property law can apply to it. Using California state law as a benchmark and Bitcoin transactions as an example, the authors make their case.

“Parties may … enter into contractual arrangements in which one party entrusts partial or complete control of such private key(s) to a third party while still maintaining formal title to the bitcoin value represented in applicable [unspent transaction outputs],” the paper reads. “These kinds of contractual arrangements are commonplace in custodial, trust, and escrow settings, which have generated well-developed legal principles that should generally translate to bitcoin custodial contexts.”

The paper dissects academic articles from some of the country’s foremost law professors, who also, for the most part, support the idea that intangible property rights should apply to Bitcoin:

“Property law scholars who have encountered the bitcoin ownership issues in the context of broader, more theoretical undertakings have reached (or assumed) the same general conclusion … that is, interests in bitcoin should be protected by property law.”

The authors move on to describe how Bitcoin has been treated by other legal divisions, such as commodities and taxation laws, citing the fact that in court opinions and regulatory guidance under these specialties, the digital currency has been treated as property.

“Although the concept of ‘property’ is fundamentally a matter of state law in the United States, it is also important that bitcoin has been widely treated as (or assumed to be) property for purposes of other state and federal statutory regimes,” reads the paper. “These treatments and assumptions have already had substantial consequences for the bitcoin sector. They therefore constitute informal but persuasive legal precedent further indicating that bitcoin can be owned as property.”

In an acknowledgment that much is still to be determined around how U.S. laws govern Bitcoin, the authors also included a section looking at the challenges to treating the digital currency as legal property. These include the multisignature arrangements, pseudoanonymity and potential lack of traceability associated with the Bitcoin platform. However, the authors remain optimistic that these challenges can be overcome as the technology develops.

“To be sure, difficulties in tracing ownership of particular bitcoin units across successive owners could cause some challenges in certain commercial use cases,” they wrote, but “blockchain technology itself has enabled, and will likely continue to enable, solutions to obstacles that do arise.”

It does appear that the worlds of Bitcoin and formal legal precedent are rapidly coming to a head. As the turning point approaches, familiarity with relevant legal precedent will be crucial.

Source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/making-case-bitcoin-legal-property/

Good News for Blockchain Startups

If you are running a new blockchain startup or are in the beginning steps of creating a company then this article is worth reading. As currency evolves technologically, banks and exchanges will have more ties to the blockchain industry.  Nasdaq has announced they want to become more involved in blockchain technologies by investing in those types of companies.  Read more about this in the article from CoinDesk below.

Nasdaq Wants to Invest in More Blockchain Startups

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on April 19, 2017 at 19:25 BST

Exchange operator Nasdaq is looking to invest in blockchain startups as part of a new venture initiative. 

Nasdaq Ventures, announced today, has set its sight on investing in companies that work with blockchain, as well as firms focused on artificial intelligence, next-generation data analysis and machine learning. The firm will invest as much as $10m in relevant startups, focusing on both seed-stage and late-stage placements.

The effort is perhaps a natural extension of the exchange operator’s work in the blockchain space. In mid-2015, Nasdaq partnered with blockchain startup Chain in an effort that saw the two jointly develop a distributed ledger market focused on pre-IPO offerings.

Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq, said in a statement:

“With the launch of our new venture investment program, we are reinforcing our focus on driving growth and innovation by evaluating, distributing, licensing and integrating disruptive technologies for the long-term benefit of our global clients.”

The operator has been testing blockchain elsewhere as well.

In February 2016, Nasdaq revealed it was testing a blockchain e-voting prototype with Estonia’s sole securities exchange. Further, in January, Nasdaq released a report outlining that, in its view, the trial “successfully demonstrated” why it believes blockchain use cases will extend beyond transaction settlement.

Image Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

 

Source: http://www.coindesk.com/nasdaq-wants-invest-blockchain-startups/

Big News for Bloq!

As you know Matthew Roszak is the C0-Founder of Bloq and, as of last week, the company has some big announcements!  BloqLabs has been created and Bloq has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.  To learn more about these two ventures and what it means for the future of Bloq read the article from Bitcoin Magazine below.

Bloq Invests in Blockchain Innovation With BloqLabs, Joins Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Two announcements from the DC Blockchain Summit came from Bloq, a pioneer in the development of enterprise-grade blockchain solutions. First, the company announced the creation of BloqLabs to boost its ongoing sponsorship while bringing support to viable open-source projects in the Bitcoin and blockchain space.

Second, Bloq revealed that it will be joining the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), an alliance that connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics and technology vendors with Ethereum thought leaders and experts. Bloq Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Garzik has been appointed to the alliance’s Technical Steering Board.

Introducing BloqLabs

According to Garzik, BloqLabs aspires to set the tone for blockchain technology, ensuring that enterprises are embracing innovations from the community’s robust ecosystem of developers.

As such, BloqLabs will support and help to develop several key projects and platforms. The initial cohort of supported projects will include Drivechain, Qtum, VeriBlock, bitcoinj and the Android Bitcoin Wallet.

“Open source is at the core of Bloq’s DNA, as both a patron and developer,” said Andreas Schildbach, developer at Bloq and the developer of the first bitcoin wallet for Android. He also maintains the bitcoinj repository primarily used in bitcoin wallets and transaction services globally. “I’m grateful for Bloq sponsoring work in open source blockchain software.”

Paul Sztorc, an economist at Bloq and chief architect behind Drivechain, concurred. “The record is clear: open source is the way to go — it’s better, faster and more secure,” he said. “I’m thrilled to have Bloq sponsor the project; few companies are this generous.”

“Businesses have been exploring blockchain technology for years now, but without widespread adoption,” said Patrick Dai, co-founder of the Qtum Project, another early recipient of BloqLabs’ support. “BloqLabs aligns with Qtum’s goal to bridge the gap between the business and technical worlds with open-source solutions that meet the commercial needs for privacy, security and, most importantly, usability.”

“BloqLabs will serve as the platform for deeper engagement between enterprises and the open source community, just like Bell Labs and Xerox Parc did for networks and technologies we use every day,” Garzik said to Bitcoin Magazine. “We’re excited to be kicking off BloqLabs with such a diverse group of projects and established leaders in bitcoin and blockchain [technology].”

Joining Forces With the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Further emphasizing Bloq’s commitment to broader blockchain solutions, Bloq has joined the company of Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, BNY Mellon, BG, ING, Thomson Reuters and ConsenSys, as a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Garzik has also accepted a position on the Technical Steering Board of the alliance.

Announced on February 28, 2017, the mandate of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is to build, promote and broadly support Ethereum-based technology.

“Initiatives like the EEA and BloqLabs will be critical to connecting enterprises with open source blockchain innovation,” said Garzik. “We’re thrilled to contribute our time, energy and insights to this project, and I’m honored to be appointed to the Technical Steering Board.”

“Jeff [Garzik] is a legend of the open source community and has been one of the most prominent advocates for strong technical governance of public blockchains,” said Jeremy Millar, chief of staff of ConsenSys and board member of the EEA. “Combined with his experiences from the Linux Foundation, Red Hat and Bitcoin Core, Jeff is a tremendous addition to our technical leadership.”

Bloq delivers blockchain technology solutions for global enterprises. Its software platform enables companies to build, manage and scale solid blockchain-enabled ecosystems, all backed by enterprise-grade service and support.

Led by a team of world-class blockchain developers, entrepreneurs and investors, the company utilizes open-source technology, providing key linkages for secure interoperability with prevailing business systems. Its technology targets critical business issues surrounding security, provenance, authentication and reconciliation.

Over the past five months, Bloq has been in a major expansion mode, having acquired blockchain analytics pioneer Skry as well as co-launching Vulcan Digital Asset Services. The latter is a platform that gives digital assets utility for everyday banking, commerce and assets services, through PwC Australia.

Blockchain and Food Safety

Did you know that blockchain technology is being used in food safety measures across the globe?  A platform was developed after a horse meat scandal and its goal is to transmit information to food suppliers quicker and more accurately to boost consumer confidence in products.  Learn more about this in the article from Bitcoin Magazine below.

Burgers on the Blockchain: How Tech Can Keep Food Safe

The European horsemeat scandal in 2013 sent shockwaves throughout the food industry, putting into question what we are eating and where that food came from. Now, using blockchain technology companies are tackling this issue and attempting to improve consumer confidence in the food industry to ensure authenticity in food traceability.

Exposed in mid-January 2013, Irish food inspectors announced that they had found horsemeat in frozen beef burgers made by companies in the Irish Republic and the U.K. after tests discovered horse DNA within them. It was revealed that these had been sold by several U.K. supermarket chains such as Tesco, Iceland, Aldi and Lidl, growing to include European stores including Findus and Nestle.

Unsurprisingly, the integrity of the food industry has taken a hit. Before the scandal broke, nine in ten people felt confident when purchasing food at the supermarket. Now, though, the number has dropped to seven in ten. A report from the Guardian shows that 38 percent of supermarket foods were found to be mislabeled or fraudulent, which can have long-lasting effects on the retailer’s reputation.

Furthermore, research from the World Health Organization found that 1 in 10 people in the world suffer from foodborne illnesses, 420,000 of whom die each year, many of them young children.

With offices in Edinburgh, Belfast and San Francisco, arc-net was formed following the 2013 horsemeat scandal and the subsequent Elliot government report in 2014.The platform is designed to deliver confidence in a global supply chain where producers have complete control of their brand and business. Through the establishment of stronger relationships with those in the supply chain, organizations can receive the correct information they need, ensuring that food products are 100 percent authentic and traceable.

According to research, following the horsemeat scandal, consumer trust in the food industry dropped by a quarter. Additionally, 30 percent of shoppers are now buying less processed meat, and a further 24 percent are purchasing fewer ready meals with meat in them or are opting for vegetarian dishes instead.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Sean Crossey, associate digital marketing analyst at arc-net, said that the scandal and the findings of the report brought into focus the gaps in knowledge relating to the food supply.

“As the issue of counterfeit products and fraudulent activity became more and more prevalent in our marketplace, there was a real need to address the gap in information relating to supply chain activity and brand authenticity,” he said.

A study by PwC and Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE) found last January that each year, food fraud is estimated to be a $40 billion problem worldwide. In the U.K., fraud costs the food and drink industry up to £11 billion per year ($13.6 billion), according to research by PFK Littlejohn. However, by tackling fraud, the food and drink industry could boost profits by £4.48 billion ($5.45 billion).

Furthermore, a campaign from Oceana has found that food fraud is cheating Americans out of up to $25 billion a year. As such, with the food supply chain expanding its global reach, it is becoming increasingly vulnerable to fraud.

How It Works

Through its immutable data history, the blockchain delivers openness and transparency, from creation through to consumption, for the consumer.

In the case of arc-net, analysis of a DNA sample from an animal can provide key markers, such as country of origin. A digital copy of that DNA is attached to every item or product an organization creates, bringing traceability to the item level, rather than to an entire batch, thereby allowing businesses to track each item throughout every stage of the supply chain.

That digital marker can then be cross-checked with the blockchain record to ensure the product’s authenticity throughout its lifecycle. The process allows producers to create a “chain of custody.”

Once the food lands on a retailer’s shelf, consumers can scan a QR code on the food package with their mobile phones to receive food safety information about the product, including details as to what is in the package and its origination.

“This [process] helps organizations prevent fraud while delivering total traceability, cutting the costs of product recalls and reducing process inefficiencies,” said Crossey. “It ensures that retailers can guarantee the authenticity of the food that reaches their shelves.”

Bloq + Swiss Re

Matthew Roszak’s company, Bloq, recently teamed up with Swiss Re to give a platform to Mr. Roszak’s presentation on Blockchain currency and how money is now technological. Check out a preview of the presentation below and then follow the link to view the rest online.

 

 

To view the rest of the presentation visit: http://media.swissre.com/documents/Presentation+Matthew+Roszak.pdf

Commodity Markets Council on Matthew Roszak

 

Mr. Roszak was recently featured on the Commodity Markets Council website. Read the feature below to learn more about him and his work.

MATTHEW ROSZAK

Matthew Roszak
Co-Founder & Chairman, Bloq

Matthew Roszak is co-founder and chairman of Bloq, a blockchain enterprise software company. Mr. Roszak is also founding partner of Tally Capital, a private investment firm focused on blockchain-enabled technology with a portfolio of over 20 investments, including BitFury, Blockstream and Factom.

Mr. Roszak is a blockchain investor, entrepreneur and advocate. He has spent over 20 years in private equity and venture capital with Advent International, Keystone Capital Partners, Platinum Venture Partners and SilkRoad Equity, and has invested over $1 billion of capital (from start-up to IPO) in a broad range of industries. Mr. Roszak is a director and beneficial owner of Eboost, MissionMode, Neu Entity, Onramp, SolidSpace and TrueLook.

Mr. Roszak serves as chairman of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain industry. In addition, Mr. Roszak serves on the board of BitGive, a non-profit foundation targeting public health and the environment. Mr. Roszak is also the founder of the Chicago Bitcoin Center, and was a producer of the documentary, The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin.

Mr. Roszak is a sought after thought leader on blockchain technology, and has testified as an expert before US Congress and spoken at The Brookings Institution. Mr. Roszak has been featured on CNBC and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Financial Times. In addition, Mr. Roszak has presented at FinTech conferences worldwide, including Money20/20, CES and American Banker.

Article sourced from: http://www.commoditymkts.org/events/state-of-the-industry-2017/matthew-roszak/