Category Archive : Tech

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Discusses Social Media Privacy With Top Officials

A gathering between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and top state law enforcement officials took place on Tuesday to discuss the ways the government can protect the privacy of social media users. Read More

Puerto Rico Finds Hope In Crypto, Cannabis, And Nicolas Cage

Hurricane Maria had a disastrous effect on Puerto Rico, and even though the one-year anniversary of the natural disaster is on September 20th, the island has yet to fully recover.
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Elon Musk Smoking Cannabis On Joe Rogan Didn’t Affect Tesla Shares For Long

Elon Musk appeared as a special guest on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast last week. When Rogan lit up a tobacco-cannabis hybrid cigarette – often referred to as a butt – after two hours of interview, he assumed Musk would decline due to the inevitable backlash from Tesla and SpaceX shareholders. Read More

Google Introduces New Startups To Launchpad Studio, Partners With Four Indian Banks

Google just introduced a new group of startup businesses into Launchpad Studio, the tech behemoth’s accelerator it launched last year that matches top machine learning startups and experts from Silicon Valley with Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies.

While the accelerator’s first group was meant to gather new insights from medical data, this most recent one is meant to shake up well-known financial markets and systems.

Accurately reviewing and analyzing millions of data points tied to locations, demographics, and financial situations will result in information helpful to the financial sector.

Some of the new startups include:

Celo (USA) – growing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency.

GuiaBolso (Brazil) – improving the economic lives of Brazilians.

Starling Bank (UK) – improving financial well-being with a mobile-only bank.

Frontier Car Group (Germany) – investing in the ever-changing process of used-car marketplaces.

Inclusive (Ghana) – verifying identities across Africa.

Aye Finance (India) – remodeling financing in India.

m.Paani (India) – powering local businesses and the next one billion users in India.

India and the United States are the only countries with more than one business in Google’s latest Launchpad Studio accelerator additions – With two startups coming from these countries.

In addition, Google is partnering with four Indian banks to issue customer loans online, as the battle for the $1 trillion digital finance market persists. 

The banks partnering with the search engine are HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Federal Bank.

They will offer instant, pre-approved loans to consumers “right within Google Pay in a matter of seconds.”

Google also re-branded its made-in-India Tez app, launched in September, as Google Pay.

The app’s users can take out customized loans and get the funds transferred straight into their bank account.

“We’ve learned that when we build for India, we build for the world,” Caesar Sengupta, vice-president of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative and Payments, said at the “Google for India” meet in New Delhi.

Over 55-million people in more than 300,000 towns and villages have downloaded Google’s payments app to pay for dinner, bus rides, or other services.

In total, Google estimates about $30 billion in annual transactions through the Tez app.

Google also announced that it’s expanding its Google Station internet access program to 12,000 villages and cities throughout the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The search-engine will add more Indian language content through a publishing venture called Project Navlekha, and will also add a new feature in Google Go that allows users to listen to websites read aloud in English and five different Indian languages.

Former Digital Gold Developers Launch Token Sale for Cash, Micro-Lending System

(GoldSilverBitcoin) – Everex, formerly Midas Reserv, is making waves in the crypto-cash industry thanks to its contributions in cash-transfer technologies. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Everex’s central product, Cryptocash, allows individuals to transfer cash across borders instantly in form of national currency on a blockchain. Applicable to remittance and cash transfers, Cryptocash is a digitized form of cash backed by national currencies thanks to Everex’s partner institutions. Read More

JP Morgan’s Blockchain Researchers Discussed Ethereum’s Shortcomings Before DAO Hack



When two senior blockchain leaders left JP Morgan’s Juno project last month to start the firm Kadena.io, as reported by Quartz, it was on amicable terms.

Related: JPMorgan Publishes Code for Permissioned Blockchain

JPMorgan & Kadena Partnership In The Works?

In fact, former executive director Stuart Popejoy and JP Morgan head engineer Will Martino – who use South Park caricatures on the website in their biographies – are currently exploring a partnership with their former employer, the largest bank in the United States with total assets of $2.35 trillion.

Kadena’s conversations with JP Morgan revolve around both the initial pilot of the Kadena self-titled blockchain and other use-cases, and  a relationship with the bank could be formalized in the next few months with Kadena either as a vendor or partner. Spinning off from JP Morgan was “definitely” a professional decision for Popejoy and Martino.

“Our decision was based on the belief that the true potential of the Juno pilot would be best-served by an independent effort,” Martino told Motherboard, referring to JP Morgan’s blockchain project.

DAO Hack Foreseen By JPMorgan

Martino’s and Popejoy believe  their work serves as an improvement over Ethereum. Martino and Popejoy say Kadena’s technology would avoid blockchain crises such as the June $56 million DAO hack of Ethereum’s token, ether.

Like Ethereum, Kadena’s blockchain technology can handle payment clearing use-cases, but that’s just an “added bonus of private utility-like blockchain technology,” as Martino says. He believes blockchain technology can standardize business logic for inter-organizational relationships. This, he suggests, “could provide for terrific business acceleration.”  At the time of the DAO hack, Kadena was preparing Pact, a safe, declarative smart-contract language.

“While bugs aren’t impossible in Pact, it represents the same sober, disciplined approach found in database engineering and Bitcoin: safety is absolutely paramount in transactional computing,” Martino said.  The Ethereum hack, ultimately, confirmed a longstanding hypothesis of the Kadena founders – one they had since their JP Morgan days.

“That Ethereum’s Solidity, and indeed the EVM bytecode environment itself, is fundamentally unable to provide a safe environment for blockchain transaction execution,” Popejoy expressed.

Martino and Popejoy noticed Ethereum’s shortcomings as blockchain technology researchers in the Emerging Technologies Group at JP Morgan, which is tasked with fostering innovation within the bank. Ethereum’s design presented “a significant barrier to industry adoption of private blockchain in a multi-organizational setting.”

Is the Kadena blockchain a Bitcoin and Ethereum killer app? Popejoy and Martino believe so. Kadena can, after all,  process upwards of 7,000 transactions per second. Bitcoin is currently stuck at seven transactions per second a la the “Bitcoin block size debate.” Kadena also claims their blockchain sacrifices none of the cryptographic robustness expected from a blockchain, proving full durable security. Overall, the Kadena founders foresee a paradigm shift away from public blockchains like Ethereum.

“Private blockchain solves a raft of issues for transaction processing that normally require extensive operational and engineering expertise, including database replication, reliable and performant messaging, service discovery, high-availability, and disaster-recovery,” Popejoy said. “Remarkably, blockchain solves all of these problems in a single stroke, letting IT focus efforts on solving business problems by coding transactional logic into smart-contracts.”


Donald Trump Unveils New US Business Policy in SHOCKING Tweetstorm



President elect Donald J Trump took to Twitter last week to promise punitive actions for those companies who left the US. It’s hardly the sort of free trade beliefs he pushed during the election, and a nightmare scenario for US business.

Mr. Trump outlined what could become one of his legacy policies as President of the United States in a tweetstorm.

Mr. Trump first tweeted,“Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad”

He then launched the bombshell US business policy on which there will be a tax for US companies, who re-incorporated abroad, to sell their products back to US businesses and consumers.

That Mr. Trump fails to distinguish between small and big companies – “any business” he tweets – could have implications for thousands of small and family businesses.

“The U.S. is going to substantially reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country,” Trump’s first tweet of on the subject begins, “fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S.  ……

without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies …..”

Trump spells out why: this will make it harder for US companies to escape.

Across the tweets, the President essentially threatens US companies, offering back nothing more than a promise of future low taxes for those who obey.

“these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged,” he tweets. “Please be forewarned prior to making a very …expensive mistake!

In a truly Orwellian ending, Mr. Trump tweets: “THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS”

We were watching when last week Mr. Trump declared at a rally in Indiana, “companies are not going to leave the US anymore without consequences.” We waited for him to elaborate. He has.

CEO’s are asking, ‘Who’s next?’ in context of last week’s Carrier deal.

Sarah Palin called that deal “crony capitalism.” Mike Pence denied it. Mr Trump, meanwhile, uses the Carrier deal as an example of a business first approach.

Mr. Trump’s actions could disrupt balances in the ‘Chimerica’ arrangement with China, prompting a trade war so soon as his first 100 days in office.

Bitcoin Investor Peter Thiel Dresses as Hulk Hogan for Trump Donor’s Costume Party



Bitcoin investor Peter Thiel attended the same costume event last week where Donald Trump made headlines. The theme of the event – heroes and villains – prompted Mr. Trump to fittingly dress as himself. Read More

Donald Trump & Japanese Blockchain Researcher SoftBank Reach Deal on $50 Billion US Investment & 50,000 Jobs




Donald J Trump tweeted Tuesday that SoftBank of Japan agreed to invest $50 billion in the US towards businesses and 50,000 new jobs. The tweet comes on the even of Pearl Harbor, a scar on the memory of both nations. In announcing the deal, Mr. Trump makes good on a campaign promise to improve international relations. 

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Dark Web Gun Runner Overdoses in front of Court to Try and Avoid Sentencing



A man who went by the darknet alias of Walter Mitty tried to overdose and take his own life outside of a court, before a judge was set to sentence the UK man, for a second time. His ploy failed, and the judge sentenced him to jail anyway.

Justin Young, 45, was taken to the hospital after drinking an entire bottle of whisky and swallowing a huge dose of prescription medicine, according to The Sun out of the United Kingdom. 

He was about to face the music for the illegal importation of assault rifle parts via the dark web. The judge jailed him for eight years while Mr. Young was being treated in the Royal Cornwall hospital for his self-inflicted wounds.

Walt-sunuk

The court learned how Mr. Young was a “normal” man who eventually “went off the rails.” In his ‘Walter Mitty’ delusion he crafted, he seemingly led the life of the protagonist of the hit show Breaking Bad, Walter White.

Having pleaded guilty to three counts of “conspiring to fraudulently avoid prohibition on the importation of illegal firearm parts,” Mr. Young was caught red-handed for importing rifles, including AR-15s.

This was not the first, but indeed the second time Mr. Young tried to overdose before being sentenced OUTSIDE of court. The first time he was simply arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

As he tried to die this most recent time, he handed police a note to his wife and children in which he explained his intention to commit suicide.

The darknet has been subject of much controversy since the Silk Road, the first underground marketplace where users could trade bitcoins for assorted illicit goods, was taken down by the FBI.

Subsequent darknet marketplaces were launched and global law enforcement agencies have banded together to track commerce originated from such darknet marketplaces.

Such a marketplace was made possibly by the advent of Bitcoin technology. A decentralized digital currency in which users can transact pseudonymously.

2017 Might be Your First Chance to Tip the Moon thanks to Dogecoin



“To the moon!” That’s the cliche slogan for so many digital currencies, perhaps made most famous not by Bitcoin, but by , whose users since the beginning have proudly proclaimed the slogan. Read More

Don’t Miss this $40,000 24k Gold Bar get Totally Crushed

YouTube channel Crushit recently crushed a gold bar worth nearly $40,000 provided gold company Baird & Co.  Check out the cascading of gold that doing so produced. 



Many individuals claim that gold is a good investment. They usually cite economic uncertainty as a reason for owning gold, which is seen by mainstream investing knowledge as a ‘safehaven’ to protect one’s wealth in times of economic crisis.

But, the YouTube channel Crushit doesn’t really care about savings. They care about views. The video got nearly ten million views in just a few days. 

The 1 kilo or 32 troy ounce gold bar puts on a show demonstrating golds malleability along the way. 

“This will be by far the most expensive crush we’ve done yet here on Crushit,” the host says.

Gold bar came sealed in plastic with corresponding serial number. The bar isn’t huge. More like  aperp weight. “Wow it is really heavy for its size of course its one of the most densest and expensive if you drill a hole through it,” he says. “…The things I could buy with this.” The gold acts similar to liquid as its smashed. 

The hydraulic press indeed has its way with the gold.

“Wow,” the host says, “just look at that it looks like a gold nugget so cool…

The gold wasn’t destroyed, to be sure. Intead, it could easily be sold for face value or melted again into new bullion product. Sure, something was spent on the totally cool experiment, but not $40,000. Whatever it was, it was totally worth it (for Crushit and the viewers, at least).

 

Bitcoin Mining isn’t totally unheard of on Global US Armed Forces Bases




A 30 year old in the US Air Force, stationed in Korea, mines bitcoins in his dorm room.  He mined in the US from his own apartment before being deployed. Read More

Royal Mint Experimenting with Blockchain-based Gold Trades



The Royal Mint partnered with markets operator CME Group to build a gold market with blockchain technology as a means of broadening London’s hip-factor when buying and selling gold bullion.

The Roya Mint, owned by taxpayers, plans to accept trades from the middle of next year on the Royal Mint Gold platform, intended to log each transaction using blockchain. Read More

The Physical Bitcoin Market Not Available to US Citizens

BTCC is one of the most influential Bitcoin mints in the world. Based in China, the Bitcoin miner recently introduced a line of physical bitcoins, a product very popular early in Bitcoin’s existence but stymied by regulatory uncertainty. Read More