Walmart goes after patent for smart appliance management on the blockchain

Walmart has applied for a patent which describes the management of smart appliances using blockchain technology, according to the US Patent and Trademark office. The filing entitled “Managing Smart Applications Using Blockchain Technology” follows a number of other blockchain patent applications relating to package delivery systems, media records storage and digital marketplaces built on the technology. The US retail giant outlines various systems - such as a desktop computer,...

They lost your data - again: Is blockchain the answer to data security woes?

There’s been another data breach. This time, Level One Robotics was found to have left the data of many top automobile manufacturers vulnerable due to a poorly-configured server. With this data likely to include trade secrets, the story could turn out to be a really big deal. However, because it’s just the latest in a long series of such vulnerabilities, it’s somehow hard to find it interesting or notable. What is truly frustrating about reading another data breach story though, is the...

China pharma scandal sparks call for blockchain in drug supply chain

Blockchain has been touted as a possible solution to drug and food safety issues in China, following a high-profile scandal involving a pharmaceutical firm forging documents relating to a rabies vaccine for minors. As reported by South China Morning Post (SCMP), China’s Food and Drug Administration found the Shenzhen-listed pharmaceutical firm Changsheng Biotechnology to have fabricated production documents and inspection records, as well as modifying process parameters and equipment,...

Why blockchain is not a solution in and of itself

It seems that individuals are beginning to develop an understanding of the importance of keeping their data secure – the GDPR compliance came into force in May, and many have been left shook from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal involving the data of tens of millions of Facebook users being leveraged in political microtargeting campaigns. Blockchain technology is being hailed as the saving grace that will put an end to a panopticon where every minute bit of user data is harvested...

Bancor exchange loses $13.5m as latest victim of cryptocurrency hack

In yet another demonstration of security shortfalls among the cryptocurrency market’s largest members, Israeli-based exchange Bancor has last night lost $23.5m (£17.8m) to a cyber attack. Announcing it as a security breach, Bancor later explained that hackers had targeted a compromised wallet used to upgrade certain smart contracts on the network, which allowed them to withdraw almost 25,000 ethereum tokens. The company operates as a “decentralised liquidity network” where...

Open Mineral plans blockchain consortium for mineral trading

Open Mineral, a Swiss-headquartered cloud-based exchange for the buying and selling of base metal concentrates, is planning to launch a blockchain consortium to streamline supply chains in the mineral industry. Seeking to attract a membership of mining companies and financial institutions, the project, dubbed Minerac, has been established as a result of a partnership between Open Mineral and blockchain startup ConenSys, an Ethereum-based platform that has already set up consortiums within...

IBM signs off $740m deal with Australia government for blockchain data security

IBM has won a five-year AU$1bn ($740m/£557m) contract with the Australian government to provide data security-enhancing technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and automation. According to government estimates, the application of IBM’s technologies across federal departments, including defence and home affairs, could save the country’s taxpayers AU$100 million (£56 million). Speaking Bloomberg where the story was originally reported, IBM’s Asia Pacific head,...

Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is hacked in $36m heist

Bithumb has suspended trading after the latest cyber-heist saw the crypto exchange robbed of $36.6m (£24m) worth in currency last night. The values of coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple have fallen in reaction to the news. It is the second time in less than a year that the exchange has been breached. In June 2017, a computer of a Bithumb employee was hacked leading to access information of 30,000 users being leaked. It is also the second time a leading South Korean...

The building blocks of trust: A guide to digital currency investing services

This week’s Coinrail incident serves to underline the importance of having the proper checks and balances in place. It follows the same pattern as Mt. Gox and Coincheck hacks in the past. (None of these companies were customers of BitGo.) The fact is that these hacks are completely preventable and shouldn’t pose the level of risk that they presently do. The present system for cryptocurrency is not sustainable without addressing the underlying issue - separating trading from the securing...

Coinrail hack sees cryptocurrencies plummet 10%

The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plunged to a two-month low over the weekend with news that the South Korean cyber currency exchange Coinrail had been hacked. Coinrail confirmed the breach on Twitter, calling it a “cyber intrusion on our system” and stating that “some coins” - which constitute lesser-known currencies - had been compromised as a result, while it didn’t disclose the exact amount stolen.  

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