14 April

Technologists building blockchain-based self-sovereign identity (SSI) tools are collaborating on an “immunity passport” to help stop the spread of COVID-19 without compromising the privacy of users.

The COVID-19 Credentials Initiative (CCI) is working on a digital certificate, using the recently approved World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Verifiable Credentials standard. The certificate lets individuals prove (and request proof from others) they’ve recovered from the novel coronavirus, have tested positive for antibodies or have received a vaccination.

These digital certificates would be issued by health care institutions but controlled by the user and shared in a peer-to-peer manner. The blockchain acts as a decentralized directory of public keys rather than relying on a centralized service, which helps return control back to the user.

It’s really the polar opposite of surveillance-focused solutions we have seen in places like China.”

“The basic idea involves storing bitcoin (BTC) on-chain in a particularly secure manner that allows for recovery from security mistakes.

The stored bitcoin would be divided into a series of what Bishop is calling “shards.” These shards could only release their bitcoin to a hot wallet one at a time at some pre-set interval. The proposal also calls for something called a watchtower which would monitor vaults. It’s not yet clear whether users would run their own watchtowers or if that will need to be something that’s shared by users.

This kind of wallet is terribly complex, having at least three distinct wallets: an ‘active’ wallet (used to send & receive), a ‘vault’ (timelocked storage), and a ‘recovery’ wallet (destination for funds in case of attack).”

“Binance has officially launched Bitcoin (BTC) options on its futures trading platform. It is, for now, limited to the exchange’s mobile app.

Binance is offering the American, as opposed to the European, version of the derivative, in which traders can exercise their rights — i.e. settle the contract at the chosen strike price — at any time before or on the expiry date itself.”

See Also: Gemini Adds Support for Dai, Chainlink and Orchid Trading This Month

“Huobi Group has launched an in-house transaction intelligence tool to snuff out illicit activity across its crypto exchanges. The new program, called “Star Atlas,” will automatically freeze accounts deemed to be engaging in “suspicious” transactions until a compliance officer follows up on the case.

Chainalysis claimed Huobi was the off-ramp for nearly 25 percent of the $2.8 billion in illicit bitcoin (BTC) transactions Chainalysis traced in 2019. Only Binance had a higher share.”

“Wright has dropped a libel lawsuit against Adam Back over the Blockstream chief executive’s assertion that Wright was fraudulent in claiming to be the creator of Bitcoin (BTC).

Wright filed the complaint alongside similar suits targeting Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver, podcaster Peter McCormack, and Twitter user ‘Hodlnaut’ one year ago.”

“The Nanshan government and Huawei will work together to establish the Kunpeng industrial demonstration zone, to accelerate the application of blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and 5G.

In April 2018, Huawei launched its Hyperledger-based blockchain-as-a-service platform. Also, the PBoC announced in September that it had started testing its digital currency in Shenzhen, in conjunction with Huawei and some of the biggest commercial banks in China.”

“In surprising twist to its normal day-to-day duties advancing the litecoin (LTC) cryptocurrency, the Litecoin Foundation has acted as executive producer for a new horror flick.

Called “We Summon the Darkness,” the movie was also produced by Litecoin community member @CommonEnemyInc. Johnny Knoxville stars as the “fire-and-brimstone” preacher father to one of the characters.”

“On April 9, the United States Small Business Administration released its application form for nonbanks to sign on as lenders under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

A host of fintechs have already ostensibly signed on [including Square and Paypal] after just a few days, while reports state that some banks are stalling with loan approvals, leaving small firms in limbo.

One of the biggest advantages that fintechs have over traditional lenders is their ability to be more agile. Fintech lenders are digital-first and can process loans quickly.”

See Also: US Treasury Approves Square as Coronavirus Stimulus Lender