Blockchain patents ‘skyrocketing’ in 2020 with Alibaba leading the way, says study

Blockchain patents are 'skyrocketing' in 2020 with Alibaba by far the leading publisher, according to a new study.

The research, from IP consulting provider KISSPatent, found Alibaba had published 10 times more blockchain-related patents than IBM, in second place, in 2020.

The study came about to better assess the number of blockchain innovations and patents across the spectrum. KISSPatent used multiple methods to identify them, primarily based around a mixture of...

Most cloud-native attacks looking to mine cryptocurrency, report warns

A new threat report from Aqua Security has revealed the majority of attacks analysed on cloud-native infrastructure were for mining cryptocurrency - with a 'growing, organised and increasingly sophisticated' pattern of attacks noted.

The report, from Team Nautilus, Aqua's cybersecurity research unit, detailed a year's worth of attacks observed in the wild, looking at methods used to attack container infrastructure for the first time. The report also highlighted supply chain...

Blockchain-focused venture firm Electric Capital raises $110m in seed and series A fund

Electric Capital, an early stage venture firm which focuses on cryptocurrencies, blockchain and fintech, has secured a $110 million (£84.1m) seed and series A fund, focused on cryptonetworks and blockchain-enabled businesses.

The company, whose bets include Coinlist, CryptoKitties and Oasis Labs among others, said the capital raised - its second fund - will go into five specific areas. These are decentralised finance (DeFi), particularly around insurance and credit scoring;...

Wintermute raises $2.8 million in series A funding for crypto markets

Wintermute, a crypto market maker, has secured $2.8 million in a series A funding round to further its expansion into new liquidity products.

The company, which launched in 2017 and creates liquid and efficient markets for leading crypto exchanges and trading platforms, has the goal of being the 'invisible hand' of the market. Wintermute's proprietary tech stack focuses on high frequency trading, algorithmic trading and market making from traditional financial...

Kirobo claims ‘retrievable’ crypto transaction solution

Meet Kirobo. The Israel-based startup claims its solution can retrieve cryptocurrency that has been sent to the wrong address.

The company aims to add an extra layer of logic to give users and crypto service providers new capabilities. Kirobo 'provides a unique code to every transaction that must be entered by the recipient in order to receive the transfer', the company notes. 'Until the right code has been provided by the recipient, the sender can retrieve the funds at any...

UNICEF’s Cryptocurrency Fund pings ETH to educational emerging economy startups

The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund has announced its latest graduates for funding, with a focus on technology providers in developing and emerging economies.

The fund will invest 125 ETH - around $30,000 USD - in eight companies, part of a wider group of 40 startups which have graduated from UNICEF's innovation fund: Afinidata, Avyantra, Cireha, Ideasis, OS City, StaTwig, Somleng, and Utopic.

Afinidata, based in Guatemala, has an AI-based app which provides parents with...

South Korea’s NH Bank to launch blockchain consortium for cryptocurrency services

South Korea's Nonghyup Bank (NH Bank) is working with blockchain laboratory Hexlant and law firm Bae, Kim & Lee to develop financial services using virtual assets.

As reported by the Korea Herald, the consortium has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a joint institution for the research and development of cryptocurrency exchanges.

"Through the consortium, we will step up efforts to take a lead in the local cryptocurrency industry," said Jang...

Facebook renames Calibra wallet as Novi to avoid confusion

Another step is afoot in the development of Facebook-led digital currency initiative Libra - as the Calibra wallet is renamed Novi to sever any links between it and Libra itself.

The move is aimed at ensuring Libra, whose membership includes Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase and Shopify among others, is not seen as a Facebook-only entity. According to the company, the name Novi is derived from the Latin 'novus', for new, and 'via' for way.

The Novi wallet is the main bulwark...

Libra changes course after regulatory hurdles with more ties to local currencies

Meet the new Libra - not quite the same as the old Libra. The Facebook-backed digital currency initaitive has today launched a redesigned roadmap after encountering blowback from regulators.

The vision for Libra is now to create a more traditional payment system tied to local currencies, including USD, EUR and GBP. The Libra coin (LBR) - therein the original concept of a digital currency backed by assets - remains, but as co-creator David Marcus noted, will be a "smart contract...

Bitfarms gives positive update to mining process amid Covid-19

Blockchain infrastructure firm Bitfarms has optimised mining operations in real-time to maintain maximum computer capacity all through the on-going economic and social turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bitfarms has been able to maintain an average daily hashrate of about 630 petahash per second (PH) since a significant decline in Bitcoin price on March 12 till the price recovery at or above $6,000 on 19 March. It maintained an average daily hashrate of approximately 750...