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Blog about the blockade and crypto-currencies.
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Crypto mole 3 Feb 2019, 10:23
A new generation is adopting Telegram and cryptocurrencies. If WhatsApp goes, the two might boom.

👉🏼 Let’s face it. WhatsApp will die out sooner or later. Either because Facebook shuts it down itself or another instant messaging app catches up and displaces it. The only reason why we are still using it is because all our friends are on it too. It’s one of those tech startups that starts to lag in innovation after a massive acquisition.
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Crypto mole 1 Feb 2019, 16:56
Crypto mole 16 Jan 2019, 09:39
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Crypto mole 31 Dec 2018, 13:54
The World Economic Forum (WEF) foundation has outlined more than 65 blockchain use cases for solving the “most pressing” environmental challenges, in a report published September 14.
In the report, titled “Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet,” the Switzerland-based WEF has highlighted a large number of blockchain applications that could be used to help solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
The proposed applications, according to the WEF, can enhance the environment protection efforts in several ways, such as new financing models for environmental outcomes, the realization of non-financial value and natural capital, outlining more efficient and cleaner decentralized systems, and others.
In addition to the potential for improving existing processes, the report also mentions the possibility of introducing completely new blockchain solutions – so-called “game changers” – that are expected to completely transform the way major environmental issues are managed.
These “game changers” include “see through” supply chains, decentralized energy and water management systems, sustainable fundraising sources, carbon markets, and others.
According to the report, the next important step in introducing blockchain applications for environmental protection is the establishment a “responsible” and “global” blockchain ecosystem, as opposed to funding specific, separate projects.
In conclusion, the WEF also pinpointed the problem of excessive use of blockchain caused by the hype around the industry.
To solve this issue, the organization has suggested three major questions to be considered as a starting point for any blockchain-related initiative: can the technology solve a specific problem, can the risks of unintended consequences be managed acceptably, and whether a functioning ecosystem of stakeholders is available.
On September 13, the WEF published a joint report that has estimated that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) could add $1 trillion to the volume of global trade over the next ten years. The report also argued that the embracement of the technology by major governments, including the member-states of the European Union, is “unavoidable.”
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Crypto mole 28 Dec 2018, 11:38 Reportedly Blocks ‘200’ Links From Andreas Antonopoulos’ ‘Mastering Ethereum’

Social media commentators are criticizing URL shortening service (Bitly) after a Twitter user warned Andreas Antonopoulos Nov. 3 that the service had blocked crypto-related links from his book.

Antonopoulos, author of several well-known guides to Bitcoin, quizzed Bitly on Twitter over the block, which allegedly extends to over 200 links in ‘Mastering Ethereum,’ due for publication in around four weeks.

“Why are you blocking links to crypto-currency sites?” he asked, adding:

“I'm about to publish my 4th book and it has about 200 links in it. If you are going to block links, I will need to remove all 200 and replace them with a competitor.”

Bitly appeared not have publicly responded as of press time Nov. 5, while commentators were quick to come to Antonopoulos’ defence, calling for a move away from “centralized” link shorteners.
Responding to his tweet, one user paraphrased Antonopoulos’ well-known soundpiece about Bitcoin ownership which regularly appears in talks and online Q&A sessions.

“Don’t rely on bitly or ANY shortener service. They are all a single point of failure,” one wrote, adding:

“Not your keys, not your bitcoin? Not your (shortener), not your link.”

Last week, Antonopoulos’ renowned book, ‘Mastering Bitcoin,’ courted separate controversy after Chinese state television unexpectedly showcased it, revealing that the Mandarin version of its title lacked all references to Bitcoin.
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Crypto mole 26 Dec 2018, 13:32
🔻Bank of America Reveals New Blockchain Patent Targeting Cash Handling

Bank of America (BoA) wants to patent a system using blockchain technology to improve cash handling, a new application .

Originally submitted in June 2017, the patent references “banking systems controlled by data bearing records.”

“Aspects of the disclosure relate to deploying, configuring, and utilizing cash handling devices to provide dynamic and adaptable operating functions,” its abstract reads.
BoA explains there remain communication difficulties in aspects of cash handling duties across banks’ huge operations, and suggests blockchain could help ease these.
“Cash handling devices may be used in operating centers and other locations to provide various functions, such as facilitating cash withdrawals and deposits,” the patent document continues.

“In many instances, however, it may be difficult to integrate such cash handling devices with technical infrastructure that supports banking operations and other operations while also optimizing the efficient and effective technical operations of the cash handling devices and various related computer systems.”

BoA has sought to step up its efforts to snag intellectual property in the blockchain sphere over the past two years.
In November, the bank was revealed to have the most such blockchain patents at more than 50, amid curiosity as to whether it would put all to use in the near term.
While keen on blockchain, BoA has adopted a highly risk-averse stance on cryptocurrency, becoming one of the few institutions to enact bans on associated fiat purchases by clients earlier this year.
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Crypto mole 25 Dec 2018, 12:03
📮Altcoin Bitcoin Private Confirms Additional 2 Million Coins Secretly Premined

The development team behind altcoin Bitcoin Private (BTCP) has confirmed the creation of 2.04 million units of BTCP “that were never intended to exist on the blockchain,” according to an official statement .

On Dec. 23, digital assets analytics website Coin Metrics published a report revealing that during the import of Bitcoin (BTC) chain data, an additional 2.04 million units of altcoin BTCP — about $3.9 million at press time — were secretly minted. Per the project’s white paper, the total supply of BTCP is equal to around 20.4 million coins, while the secretly premined BTCP brought “the initial supply to 22.6 million.”

The BTCP core team says in today’s statement that upon receiving the reports, they “immediately launched an investigation to ascertain whether or not the alleged findings of an additional amount of BTCP coins were true.” After performing an internal audit, the team officially says that Coin Metrics’ findings were “mathematically accurate.” The team added:

“However, at this time, the source, purpose, and recipient of this exploit is currently unknown to the Bitcoin Private Contribution Team.”

The statement further cites the timeline of events regarding the issue, unveiling that ultimately there was a bounty posted for a specific issue, which was subsequently accepted by a developer, who then became a BTCP developer and was “promoted to a contributor on GitHub, allowing him to merge pull requests.”
That developer reportedly then completed the issue, merged their own code, and received their reward. The BTCP team further discovered that one line missing in the code “allowed the fork mine to be exploited due to the nodes not properly verifying the falsified fork blocks.” Once the bounty was collected, the developer left the BTCP project.
After that, the threat actor reportedly exploited the bug, creating over 2 million coins during the publicly announced fork mine. The statement reads:
“As the code was open source, and the fork-mine was announced on Twitter, anyone with sufficient blockchain development knowledge could have exploited it.”
The BTCP team further notes it is not clear whether those coins were transferred to an exchange or used or stored elsewhere. However, the team’s statement concludes:
“this particular exploit could only be taken advantage of during the fork mine, which already occurred earlier this year. Therefore, it is impossible for this particular bug exploit to occur again, nor can it be further exploited.”
The BTCP team also stated in the announcement that they had “no prior knowledge” of the incident before Coin Metrics’ report was released to the public.
At the end of the statement, the BTCP team writes that they have contacted major crypto exchange HitBTC about the situation. HitBTC has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comments by press time.
At press time, BTCP is trading at around $1.97, down close to 7 percent over the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.
In September, Bitcoin Core released an update following the recent detection of a vulnerability in the software. The vulnerability could reportedly have caused a crash of older versions of Bitcoin Core if they attempted processing a block transaction that tries to spend the same amount twice.
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Crypto mole 24 Dec 2018, 14:02
SBI Holdings’ Crypto Exchange Vctrade Accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple Deposits

Vctrade, a crypto exchange recently launched by Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has implemented Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) deposits. The company has revealed this in a press release .

The announcement further notes that the exchange — which was launched in July — is considering adding Bitcoin Cash (BCH) deposits after further evaluation of the cryptocurrency. SBI has also explained that cryptocurrency withdrawals will not be available until late January 2019, and will be limited to a hardware walletthat the company refers to as “designated wallet.”

The ability to only use one specific wallet, according to the announcement, is supposed to “link the address pertaining to the customer,” thus ensuring adequate implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing measures on the exchange.
SBI Holdings, according to its website, has paid-in capital of over 92 million yen ($828 million), and over six thousand consolidated employees. According to an interim results announcement, in the six months ended Sep. 30 of this year the company registered over 176 million yen in revenue ($1.584 million).

As Cointelegraph reported in September, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, the SBI Savings bank, has signed a memorandum of understanding with
Dayli Intelligence, a company specialized in artificial intelligence and blockchaintechnologies. The bank has reportedly made this move to bolster its fintechbusiness.

In August, SBI Holdings also announced that it had made a second investment in cryptocurrency exchange LastRoots.
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Crypto mole 21 Dec 2018, 18:03
Facebook is Developing a Cryptocurrency for Transfers in WhatsApp

Facebook is reportedly making a cryptocurrency for users of the messaging service WhatsApp, Bloomberg .

The token will purportedly be used for money transfers made within the app, and will focus on the remittances market in India.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg states that Facebook is developing a stablecoin. The sources further stated that the coin will not be released anytime soon, as Facebook is still working on a strategy for custody assets i.e. the asset to which the stablecoin will be tied.

The Indian remittances market is significant. According to data from the World Bank, the country received nearly $69 billion dollars in foreign remittances in 2017, or 2.8 percent of the country’s GDP.
WhatsApp enjoys widespread popularity in India, with over 200 million users in the country. The number of users in rural India doubled last year as data and internet costs in the region declined.

Facebook’s stance on cryptocurrency has changed significantly over the last year. In January 2018, the social media network introduced a crypto ad ban, which it said was designed to prevent “ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
In May, David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s messaging app Messenger, announced the formation of a blockchain exploratory team at Facebook. At the time, Marcus was also a board member at San Francisco-based crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase.
Marcus then wrote “I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Facebook repealed its blanket ban on crypto ads in late June, while upholding its ban on the promotion of initial coin offerings (ICOs).
In August, Marcus stepped down from Coinbase’s board in order to avoid a perceived conflict of interest. He said “Because of the new group I'm setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I've decided it was appropriate for me to resign...”
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Crypto mole 20 Dec 2018, 14:19
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Calls 2018 ‘Correction Year’ for Crypto

Changpeng Zhao called 2018 a “correction year” for crypto currencies while expressing optimism for the future of the crypto industry during a Bloomberg interview 
. Zhao spoke in reference to the bear market plaguing traders this year, which took a turn for the worse in mid-November when markets crashed even further.

Zhao, the CEO and co-founder of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said that “it’s a correction year.” He noted that while “price is a very strong attraction” for speculators, the industry will grow thanks to builders who make applications and “real use cases” that drive the further adoption of cryptocurrency.

When asked about how the price correction affected Binance’s plans, Zhao said that Binance launched one fiat exchange, plans to launch two or three “in the next month or so,” and ten more fiat exchanges next year. He added:

“None of our plans changed, we are still pushing forward very aggressively.”

In regard to increased regulation and government involvement in the crypto space, Zhao said that the crypto industry “wants clarity, there is still too much uncertainty in many countries in the world.” He specified that the crypto industry “wants regulation that promotes innovation, and not things that just totally hamper it.” He concluded by saying that he is still “very confident in the industry.”
Binance has expanded its activities beyond those of a traditional crypto exchange. Binance Labs, the firm’s innovation wing, launched its Incubator Program in August 2018. Last week, the program graduated its first “batch” of blockchain projects that received financing and mentoring through the initiative.
Today, the Binance Charity Foundation, Binance’s philanthropic arm, launched a blockchain-powered charitable campaign in support of Maltese youth. The program aims to support terminally ill patients and disadvantaged children in Malta and Gozo.
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Crypto mole 19 Dec 2018, 15:13
Irish High Court Ruling ‘Breaks New Legal Ground,’ Reports Local Media

Ireland’s High Court has ruled that 25,000 euro in cryptocurrency held by a man in prison is considered “the proceeds of a crime,” the Irish Times reported on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
The court “broke new legal ground”, the Irish Times states, while considering the case of Neil Mannion — a man reportedly serving a six-and-a-half year prison sentence at Wheatfield Prison in Dublin for drugs offences since 2014.

Mannion had reportedly admitted to selling drugs on the darknet, specifically on Silk Road and Agora. He was jailed at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2015 after purportedly pleading guilty to charges of possession and intent to distribute various controlled substances.

The Irish Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) withdrew his Bitcoin (BTC) revenues along with funds from banking accounts and credit cards in proceedings which where purportedly settled in February 2016.
Following further investigation, CAB found an online crypto wallet holding Ethereum (ETH) worth approximately 25,000 euro. Since Ethereum had not “started operating as a trading currency” at the time of the first proceedings, it was not considered in the initial investigation, states the Irish Times.

CAB submitted an application seeking to obtain the Ethereum in July 2016. Mannion opposed the application, reportedly stating that Irish authorities no longer had rights to his computer system or any copies of it, as the investigation had been concluded.
Justice Carmel Stewart ruled that his rights had not been breached. Moreover, she stated that the initial investigation was potentially undermined by the “intricacies of data privacy rights” used by cryptocurrency exchanges. Stewart purportedly noted that, while the details of the investigative process raised serious questions, they did not constitute a breach of Mannion’s constitutional rights.
Irish courts, which are part of a common-law system, observe and are bound by precedents set in higher courts.
In June, the co-founder of Irish BTC broker Eircoin accused the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) of discriminating against crypto-related accounts. He also claimed that the banks would avoid opening new accounts for crypto businesses, following undisclosed official guidelines not to deal with illegal activities associated with crypto trading.
However, the BPFI, along with other major Irish bank AIB, denied the allegations and stated that they had not discriminated against crypto-related firms.
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Crypto mole 18 Dec 2018, 18:10
📮Hong Kong Stock Exchange Calls Alleged Bitmain IPO Hesitation ‘Rumors’

A Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) spokesperson has called Bitmain’s alleged hesitation around a purported initial public offering (IPO) “rumors,” in an email to Cointelegraph .

When asked for verification and details on the crypto mining firm’s IPO status, the spokesperson responded that “HKEX does not comment on rumors.”
Blockchain and crypto media had previously reported that the exchange was “hesitant” to host its IPO because of market conditions surrounding the overall crypto mining business. Anonymous sources have reportedly claimed that “the exchange is very hesitant to actually approve these Bitcoin (BTC) mining companies because the industry is so volatile. There’s a real risk that they could just not exist anymore in a year or two.”

The slump in crypto markets that followed 2017’s record highs has been difficult to bear for many crypto mining firms. Some have reportedly begun selling off mining equipment that reached its “shutdown price” by the kilogram. Citing market conditions, Bitmain has closed its Israel-based development center and dismissed local employees.
The potential Bitmain IPO has been the subject of some controversy and confusion over the course of the past few months. Several companies that were purported to be investors in the firm’s pre-IPO have stated that they are not involved.
As Cointelegraph reported in September, Singapore-based firm Temasek was alleged to have committed $560 million dollars to Bitmain’s IPO. Temasek said in an official statement:

“We've seen commentary about an IPO involving a cryptocurrency company, Bitmain. Temasek is not an investor in Bitmain, and has never had discussions with, or an investment in Bitmain. News reports about our involvement in their IPO are false.”

In August, Henry Yu, a Hong Kong lawyer and legal expert, told Cointelegraph that a Bitmain investor deck in Chinese used vague and misleading wording when listing investors ahead of its rumored IPO. In the Bitmain pre-IPO investor deck acquired by Cointelegraph, DST Global is listed as an investor, with claims that the investment was “recently completed.”
DST Global confirmed to Cointelegraph that it “has never invested in Bitmain.” The largest Uber shareholder, SoftBank, has also denied its alleged involvement in the offering.
In November news broke that Bitmain is facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit for allegedly mining cryptocurrency for its own benefit on its customers’ devices. Gor Gevorkyan, the lead plaintiff, suggested that the lengthy “initialization” process of the ASICs sold by Bitmain has the hardware mining at full power at users’ expense.
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Crypto mole 17 Dec 2018, 10:23
​​Singapore's Central Bank Finalizes Regulatory Framework for Crypto Payment Services

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, has broadened its regulatory regime for payment providers to bring certain cryptocurrencies under its jurisdiction. The development was reported by English-language local broadsheet The Straits Times 

The new Payment Services Bill (PSB), submitted by MAS board member and education minister Ong Ye Kung before parliament, is set to replace two existing pieces of legislation, the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (PS(O)A) and the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA).
The new bill, which has passed through two public consultations since August 2016, has reportedly been drafted to better safeguard consumer funds, counter terrorism financing, and bolster cybersecurity. In the cryptocurrency space, it is expected to affect e-wallets and digital payment tokens such as GrabPay, Bitcoin (BTC), and Ethereum (ETH). Both PS(O)A and MCRBA will be repealed when the new, streamlined PSB comes into force at the end of 2019.
The MAS has clarified that PSB comprises two parallel frameworks, the first being a “designation regime” that enables the central bank to name and thereby bring payment systems it considers “crucial to financial stability” under its oversight. The second entails a mandatory licensing regime for payment service providers, who will be required to apply for one of three licenses based on the nature and scope of their activities.
The first license, for “money-changers,” regulates providers primarily for money laundering and terrorism financing risks; a more comprehensive “standard payment institution license” is available for entities that transact over $3 million per month, provided they hold a digital money float of no more than $5 million. A “major payment institution,” the most rigorously regulated tier of license, is available for larger service providers.
The central bank has given digital token payment service providers six months after the PSB comes into force to comply with the new regime; non-crypto payment providers will have up to twelve.
This October, MAS managing director Ravi Menon commented on the need to improve banking support for crypto-related businesses. While conceding that some “opaque” activities within the cryptocurrency space pose particular challenges, he hinted that financial institutions should be encouraged to adapt their existing practices to cooperate with the emerging sector.
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Crypto mole 14 Dec 2018, 15:01
​​Church's Chicken Starts Accepting Dash in Venezuela After KFC Confusion

American fast food chain Church’s Chicken has started accepting payments in cryptocurrency Dash (DASH) at its locations in Venezuela, according to an official Facebook announcement .
According to Dash News, the cryptocurrency is accepted in all 10 restaurant locations in Venezuela. Dash has also completed its first transaction at Church’s Chicken and uploaded a video of the event on its official YouTube channel. The restaurant claims to be the first global fast food chain to accept payments in crypto.
The announcement from Church’s chicken follows some confusion regarding the acceptance of Dash at major fast food vendors in Venezuela. On Dec. 7, PR and media director at DashNews Mark Mason posted a tweet stating that KFC Venezuela would start accepting Dash payments the following week.
Later KFC Venezuela denied the news, stating that processing payments with Dash “is not a fact, nor has the publication of any news about it been authorized.”
Shortly after, Dash Merchant Venezuela posted a public apology on its Twitter account. It said that the statement was premature and reflected optimism rather than the current stage of discussions with KFC Venezuela. However, both Dash and KFC confirmed that they are in negotiations regarding the possibility of crypto payments.
In January 2018, KFC Canada introduced a PR stunt, in which it offered a “Bitcoin Bucket” of fried chicken, which could only be purchased with Bitcoin (BTC). KFC announced the promotion in a tweet stating:
“Sure, we don’t know exactly what Bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken.”
As Cointelegraph reported in August, CEO of Dash Core Group Ryan Taylor said that Venezuela had become the second largest market for Dash, with almost one hundred merchants accepting the cryptocurrency each week.
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Crypto mole 13 Dec 2018, 21:29
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Crypto mole 13 Dec 2018, 14:57
📍Major Stablecoin Basis to Close, Return Funds to Investors: Sources

Major United States-based stablecoin project Basis will shut down operations and return most of its funds to investors, crypto news outlet The Block reports today

Citing “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” the reports states that the algorithmic stablecoin project is set to return the majority of the $133 million in funding it raised in a private placement in April. Basis’ investors include major names in venture capital, among them Bain Capital Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

The Block reports that the firm plans to communicate directly on the reported shutdown later Wednesday evening, again citing a source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
In private correspondence with Cointelegraph today, Nevin Freeman, co-founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Reserve, commented that the move is evidently due to regulatory concerns around one of Basis’ token types. Freeman stated that, as with other algorithmic stablecoins, Basis’ protocol implements a “secondary token,” in this case known as a “bond” token, which needs to be purchased in order for the primary token to keep its stable peg in place.

“In many cases, these secondary ‘share’ or ‘bond’ tokens are securities under U.S. law,”  Freeman told Cointelegraph, implying that the “regulatory headwinds” allegedly behind Basis’ decision to shut down come from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Freeman added:

“Since there is only a small set of people who can legally buy these ‘share’ or ‘bond’ unregistered security tokens, protocols based on this mechanism may be at risk — if nobody wants to buy these tokens when the stablecoin is trading below the pegged price, the peg will just stay broken.”

Freeman –– whose project also completed a funding round earlier this year, with backing from high profile investors including Peter Thiel, Coinbase and Distributed Global –– also noted that not all algorithmic stablecoins will “suffer the same fate,” continuing, “designs can even include ‘share’ tokens, so long as they aren’t the direct source of capital for purchasing stablecoins out of circulation.”

Basis did not respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comments by press time.
Various models of stablecoins have surged in popularity this year, with major fiat-back coins gaining the spotlight in the past few months. In October, top crypto exchanges Huobi and OKExboth added four major fiat-backed stablecoins –– USD Coin (USDC), True USD (TUSD), Paxos (PAX) and the Gemini dollar (GUSD) –– to their platforms.
This week, research firm Diar published an analysis saying that the adoption of stablecoins is growing based on the increasing number of on-chain transactions. As per the study, the same four major stablecoins to date have broken the $5 billion mark in on-chain transactions within the three-month period.
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Crypto mole 12 Dec 2018, 17:47
Binance Tackles Cryptocurrency ‘Misinformation’ With Multilingual Educational Article Bank

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has launched a collection of educational content comprising almost 500 articles in order to fight “incorrect” and “misleading” information, a press release confirmed

Binance, which regularly tops the list of the world’s largest exchanges by volume traded, will initially support 15 languages via the project.

The launch and development is a product of Binance Academy, the exchange’s dedicated education arm which itself began operating in August.
“Misinformation spreads extremely fast. People are frequently quoting articles that are either incorrect or are misleading,” Ted Lin, chief growth officer at Binance commented in the release. Lin noted:

“With Binance Academy, our goal is to provide an entirely neutral platform with quality, unbiased, educational information.”

While it remains unknown what specific information will be covered, topics will include blockchain, security and economics, as well as “useful tutorials and guides,” Lin added.
The decision to launch an informational resource comes as even the topic of Bitcoin’s own identity continues to come under the spotlight.
Following the turmoil of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork last month, the altcoin’s proponents, notably news and information resource, continue to assert that Bitcoin Cash is the “real” Bitcoin, an angle which has earned the publication criticism in the past.

Developing such resources has also become an occupation of various other entities in the cryptocurrency industry and beyond, October seeing a government-endorsed scheme by Gibraltarto develop blockchain education courses.
Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys — a blockchain startup and incubator — in partnership with online education platform Coursera, along with Oxford University professors, have also put forward separate blockchain educational plans of their own.
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Crypto mole 11 Dec 2018, 18:22
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Crypto mole 11 Dec 2018, 17:21
Decentralized Browser Brave Becomes Default on HTC Blockchain Smartphone

Decentralized browser Brave is now the default browser on a phone from major smartphone manufacturer HTC, technology news outlet CNET 

Founded in 1997, HTC is a Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer, which was the leading smartphone vendor in the U.S. at the end of 2010, according to TechCrunch. The company's market share began decreasing, when it trailed Apple, Samsung, and LG with a roughly six percent market share in the U.S. in 2014. In 2017, HTC held 2.3 percent of the smartphones market share, while in 2018 it purportedly controlled less than a half percent.
Brave — an open-source blockchain-powered browser, which blocks ads and website trackers — will reportedly be pre-installed on the HTC Exodus 1, “the first native blockchain phone” with support for multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks. The forthcoming project of HTC Exodus 1 was initially announced in May 2018.

Brendan Eich, co-founder of Brave and previously Mozilla, announced the partnership with HTC in a tweet on Dec. 8, saying that “we are very happy to have @Brave as default browser and to be working with HTC on their Exodus phone.”
Brave browser uses Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), that send advertisers’ payments to Brave and its users, and subsequently can be used to pay for premium content. In June 2017, Eich raised $35 million in 30 seconds during the BAT Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Last month, blockchain-focused electronics supplier SIRIN Labs launched its first blockchain-based smartphone called FINNEY. Based on both Android and SIRIN’s open-source operating system, SIRIN OS, the FINNEY phone offers a cold-storage crypto wallet and provides encrypted communications.

Also this summer, the Opera browser for Android announced the launch of a private beta version that will include a built-in crypto wallet. Opera’s crypto wallet will support Ethereum Web3 application programming interface (API) and will be integrated with a “default WebView” on top.
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Crypto mole 10 Dec 2018, 15:05
📮South Korea’s Second Largest Bank Begins Blockchain Record-Keeping to Reduce Human Error

South Korea’s second-largest commercial bank, Shinhan Bank, has embarked on a project to implement blockchain in internal processes to decrease human error. The initiative was reported by English-language daily news outlet The Korea Times 

Shinhan, which has sought integration with both the blockchain and cryptocurrency spheres over the past eighteen months, also completed a staff training program to increase knowledge of blockchain for various applications.
According to The Korea Times, the bank implemented interest rate swap transactions using the technology on Nov. 30 in what it called a “first” for a South Korean lender.

Now, operations such as financial record-keeping are set to become automated, removing the chances of human-based mistakes and enhancing overall efficiency.
“Prior to the blockchain-based process, there had been no standardized rules governing keeping and managing financial records, a reason why market participants had to rely on their own records which often times led to errors despite the cross-checking process requirement,” the publication quotes an unnamed official as saying, adding:

“The new system helps remove such human errors and helps improve work efficiency through clearer, task-related communications rather than wasting time on correcting mistakes.”

Shinhan caused a stir in November 2017 when it announced it was working on offering its clients cryptocurrency wallets.
Since then, several partnerships and trials have seen blockchain technology specifically make its way to the forefront of the business.
In August, Shinhan signed a deal with South Korea’s largest telecoms provider KT Corporation in a move centered around provision of blockchain-based financial services.
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