China’s Digital Currency Is Ready
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has claimed that its digital currency “can now be said to be ready.”
According to PBoC deputy director Mu Changchun, a prototype that adopts blockchain architecture has been successfully developed after five years of research.
Mu said issuing a digital currency using a pure blockchain architecture would be difficult to achieve in a country as big as China because retailers require high concurrency performance.
The digital currency is also going to adopt a two-tier operating system to cater to the nation’s “complex economy with a vast territory and a large population,” with PBoC on an upper level and commercial banks on a secondary level. This will improve accessibility, enhance adoption rates among the public, and promote innovation among commercial entities.
According to the PBoC executive, the digital currency is designed to be suitable for “small-scale retail high-frequency business scenarios.”
Furthermore, the PBoC has been planning to get ahead of the U.S. and Facebook’s Libra by issuing a national cryptocurrency, as American politicians slam the brakes on the social network’s stablecoin because of regulatory concerns.
However, it remains unclear exactly when China’s digital currency will actually launch. (Neutral)
IOTA launches $5 million Coordicide research grant program
IOTA announced a $5 million grant program to contribute to “Coordicide”-related research, the elimination of the project’s centralized coordinating node.
IOTA is a cryptocurrency that aims to facilitate IoT transactions by creating a fee-less, highly scalable, asset transfer network.
In May 2019, IOTA Foundation announced its push toward Coordicide—a planned upgrade for IOTA which removes the network’s centralized coordinating node. Currently, in theory, the IOTA Foundation could harm the network by choosing which transaction receive priority or freeze user funds. The Coordinator is also a single point of failure which may be susceptible to hacking and is a bottleneck to scalability, said the Foundation.
To further contribute to the process the IOTA Foundation is offering $5 million in grants for Coordicide-related research. Some of the areas of interest include spam prevention, network optimization, reputation systems, and decentralized random number generation.
Unlike other major cryptocurrencies, IOTA does not use a blockchain-based structure for its network. Instead, the project uses a different distributed ledger technology called a directed acyclic graph (DAG), allowing multiple chains of transactions to co-exist and interconnect (hence the name the “Tangle”). DAGs allow for high scalability but present unique challenges around security, decentralization, and asset management. (Positive)
IBM Files Patent for a Web Browser Which Includes its Blockchain and Token
A new patent application from IBM describes a blockchain-based web browser. Filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, IBM’s patent is for a web browser backed by a peer-to-peer network.
The browser collects pre-specified information from web browsing sessions, according to the patent. The information is then transferred to a network of peer-to-peer nodes for collection and storage. Information collection depends on the type of browsing experience chosen. Browsing on a work computer versus a personal browser would demand different settings, for example.
Types of potentially storable session information include what websites one visits, bookmarks, task performance, geolocation, plugin installation, and security patches.
As the company states, a blockchain-based browser “affords a system for storing browsing information such that privacy is preserved and places privacy in the ‘hands of a user’ rather than a third party.”
One potential use-case the document includes, among others, is an attack on a computer’s browser. If secured by blockchain technology, a viable backup of all user information is available.
Interestingly, IBM included a token in their model. IBM says tokens will verify a users browser session activities as they are packaged into blocks for the peer-to-peer network. (Neutral)