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Interview with founder of the copyright timestamped entity Digital Witnessor

 The world is changing, technology is changing. We conducted an interview with one of the founders of a new startup Digital Witnessor and lawyer Mister Dhruv Bagri. He shared with us his knowledge about copyright, how to securely register it, quickly and easily, using Blockchain, and from a legal point of view.

If you have created your own software, your clothes design, a choreographic dance, wrote a poem and do not know how to register copyrights to your creation, how to protect your rights, then this article is for you.


  • Please introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Dhruv Bagri, I am a  Lawyer at RDB Associates. We frequently work on matters relating to Intellectual Property protection, including a lot of copyright infringement work. I’m also one of the founders of the platform Digital Witnessor.


  • How would you describe Digital Witnessor?

We have developed a platform called Digital Witnessor that creates timestamps using blockchain on your works. This allows you to protect your intellectual property rights in just a few seconds. The timestamp is considered official proof of ownership, and this saves you a considerable amount of time and legal fees in case of infringements and helps in more than one way. As the Company is based out of Estonia and the Service provided has been structured, studied, and developed by industry veterans from Cyber Security Privacy Foundation PTE Ltd, a Singapore based cyber security company, it boasts of maintaining high levels of privacy in accordance with GDPR guidelines and also provides high levels of security protection to any and all content passing through the Platform.


  • Why copyright is so important?

A copyright is a right in rem, which means that the right exists on the person who created the work right from the time such work was created. The platform is created at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty in the law with regard to copyright. Music and Art and their associated businesses are booming in the last decade. All these come under copyrightable work.  So, the copyright timestamped entity that is Digital Witnessor helps protect individuals and companies against copyright theft.


  • Are companies secure from their own programmers/employees and third parties?

Typically, the company would be the copyright holder, even though an employee might create it on behalf of the company. That is usually the structure that is in place and is an industry-standard. However, there are times when the company would not be holding the copyright. And that basically implies that the company needs to go ahead and register the copyright with country-specific entities/registrars that are available within their respective jurisdictions, which would create a legally binding registration that could be affected in a court of law. However, without that, litigation becomes a big hassle when copyright has not been registered. It becomes harder to prove that the work is originally theirs. So, Digital Witnessor takes away this problem for the company. We will generate a timestamp for the company data that needs copyright using blockchain technology. In fact, it's just a hash that is created and that could stamp your creation. The main file would also not be required to be uploaded. A file would be stamped without giving us access to its contents in case of any sensitive and confidential information which creates a bit of a hesitation in the holder of the works as to providing such content to us. 


  • How can a timestamp be useful in court? It’s legal?

From a legal point of view, a proceeding that includes a hash-signed block is an electronic document that can serve as written evidence in court.

It would also be helpful in case you are applying for copyright after a particular period of time, for example, you need to apply for copyright because the company is selling its entity and the buying entity would require such IP rights to exist. Similarly, a company receiving investments, the investor would always be more favorable to companies holding IP rights as this would deem to be an intangible asset in the company books. So, a timestamp would help the registration authorities to access this document in itself and in determining the exact time on which such the work was created. That makes things simpler. Secondly, a timestamp would be binding in a court of law. Blockchain has been implemented in quite a few countries across the world. So, it would definitely be helpful in most of the countries around the world.

Timestamp plays the role of a virtual notary and is much more credible than the traditional one. Because nobody can alter the information on the blockchain, not even the Company and I think that is the beauty of this Product. 


  • What kind of blockchain - private/public are you using? Why?

We are using a public blockchain. Firstly, in a public blockchain, anyone can take part by verifying and adding data to the blockchain. Secondly, A public network is more secure due to decentralization and active participation. Thirdly, a private blockchain is more prone to hacks, risks, and data breaches/ manipulation. In a private blockchain, anyone who is overseeing the network can alter or modify any transactions according to their needs.


  • How does it work? For example, I am a designer and I want to copyright a shoe model. What should I do and how will it happen?

As I mentioned earlier, it can be uploaded on the platform. It is not necessary that the design in itself be uploaded onto the platform.

Post which the platform would timestamp that particular uploaded file, in this case, that file will contain a shoe design. Once that is timestamped and the credentials of the author are stamped, it enters the blockchain. 


It should be noted that the content of the original works is never available to be viewed on the blockchain or exposed publicly. It is not visible to us as and it's not visible to any third party either.


So, what we provide is a time stamping facility which allows you to do three things:

    •    Legally establish yourself as the copyright owner of the work.

    •    Legally establish the date of creation.

    •    Take legal action against anyone who infringes on your copyrighted work.

Ease in assignment and transfer of said Copyrighted works to 3rd Party entities and individuals 


  • We know that Digital Witnessor works together with legal company RDB Associates? What is the role of this company?

RDB Associates is a full-service multi-specialty law firm based out of Bangalore in India and with multiple offices across India. I am one of the founding partners of the firm, which started in 2017. We believe that in our country as well many people are not going to go and get their copyrights registered, or we see that people do that for their other available Intellectual property rights such as trademarks, industrial designs, Patents, etc.

But with copyright, no one really gives that extra push to get their works registered. So, we noticed that there were many infringement matters wherein copyrights were in question and it was very hard for even the opposing counsel and for us to prove that such and such copyright existed at a particular time or not.

We did find a way to prove that the creations are in fact created on those particular timelines. It made the process a little more streamlined and a little more simple especially since it's not easy for everyone to approach the registrar for the Copyright and requires properly drafted applications. With the introduction of the platform Digital Witnessor, one can do it in a few seconds and get the process of registration started with ease.


We have a separate intellectual property team that works on registration and cases of infringement. We are integrated into the whole aspect through the onboarding of our clients onto this Platform or giving legal opinions on whether copyright exists or not, sending out legal notices in case of any infringements, and so on and so forth.


What is the distinctive feature of your company from others on the market?

Presently there aren’t many timestamping companies. We don't technically provide the same service as other competitors in the market dealing with similar platforms. However, one of the features that is distinctive is that we provide for easy assignment of copyrights from the copyright owner to third parties. So, that is a great feature that is available on our platform.

However, our other main USP is that our platform is going to be used across the world. Most of the companies that exist are very jurisdictional specific, so they only apply to certain areas thereby limiting their rights to such certain jurisdictions alone. 


  • What are the benefits that a company would get by using the platform Digital Witnessor?

Some benefits that the company would get is primarily establishing their definite right in rem and streamlining the process of registering with applicable registrars/entities in their jurisdictions by making it much easier for registration of their work.

It will ease the process in a way that quicker decisions would be made regarding the infringement of copyrights. And individuals do not have to wait longer and go through a long, arduous litigation process to get justice. So we believe that in case of IP rights, it is important to establish definite rights and to not leave it open-ended whereby one invites liability. Streamlining the process is very important and that's the main benefit that the platform would be providing.


  • How do you see the company in 5 years?

We do have certain things lined up and planned for the next couple of years, for starters, the integration of the technology for agreements. Enforceability of contracts and agreement terms would be made much easier. So once this facility is provided, I think many companies would be or would in fact like using this platform just to streamline the internal processes as well.

But currently, I think we need to concentrate on copyright protection, and we shall take it one step at a time.


  • We've covered quite a bit in this conversation. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you'd like to share about?

I think we covered most of the aspects of the platform and its benefits.  Just looking forward to see how this develops, grows, and integrates itself into the market in the coming few months

New €4.2 Million fund to empower internet innovators to develop blockchain-based solutions

 Get up to €123k (equity-free funding), free coaching and free access to top infrastructure

The EU-funded project ONTOCHAIN has €4.2 Million euros to develop a new software ecosystem for trusted, traceable, and transparent ontological knowledge management, and is looking for internet innovators to co-create it.

18 proposals will be selected in the first open call of the project to produce functional and technical specifications for the ONTOCHAIN framework.

Through a 7-month supporting programme, participants will get up to €123k (equity-free funding), free coaching and free access to top infrastructure.

“Today, the digital life is an extension of our physical world and demands the same critical, moral and ethical thinking. By bringing ONTOCHAIN to you and building it with you we expect to contribute to a more distributed and transparent internet that respects and promotes the fundamental values of diversity, equality, privacy and participation.” Caroline Barelle, ONTOCHAIN Coordinator.

How it works?

In the first phase of the programme the 18 selected projects will start by conceptualizing a research project for one of the following topics:

    • Applications

    • Semantic interoperability

    • On-chain data management

    • Off-chain knowledge management

    • Ecosystem economy

    • Ecosystem scalability and integration

Six of them will proceed to the second phase to elaborate the concept proposed in phase one and prepare design specifications to be implemented. Additionally, the best projects will be awarded for the publication of their outcomes.

Applications are open on F6S until 15 January 2021, at 17:00 CET.

http://www.f6s.com/ontochain/apply

For more information about the ONTOCHAIN open call go to

https://ontochain.ngi.eu/apply

About ONTOCHAIN

ONTOCHAIN marries the Semantic Web with Blockchain to deliver a novel software ecosystem for trusted, traceable, and transparent ontological knowledge management. ONTOCHAIN, which is developed under the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet initiative, explores and delivers novel interoperable on-chain and off-chain data, ontology, knowledge and information management methods. The ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem consists of a novel protocol suite grouped into high-level application protocols, such as data provenance, reputation models, decentralised oracles, market mechanisms, ontology representation and management, privacy aware and secure data exchange, multi-source identity verification, value sharing and incentives and similar, and core protocols that include smart contracts, authorisation, certification, event gateways, identity management and identification, secure and privacy aware decentralised storage, data semantics and semantic linking, ONTOCHAIN optimisation and similar. The ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem will demonstrate its potential in high impact domains, such as eHealth, eGovernment, eEducation, eCommerce, decentralised infrastructures and similar in order to achieve trustworthy information exchange and trustworthy and transactional content handling.

The project is operated by 7 partners with complementary expertise that form the core of a vibrant ecosystem: European Dynamics (Luxembourg), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), IntelliSemantic (Italy), iExec Blockchain Tech (France), Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece), German Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Greece) and F6S (Ireland). 

Interview with experts who lead the project ONTOCHAIN

On 9 November E Hacking News conducted an interesting interview with experts from different parts of the world that lead the project ONTOCHAIN. It is a new European funded project, with the goal to empower internet innovators with a novel software ecosystem for trusted, traceable and transparent ontological blockchain-based knowledge management. This three years innovation project will distribute a total amount of 4.2 million euros via three open calls in order to build the ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem.

  • Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Caroline Barelle: I’m Docteur Caroline Barelle, the Coordinator of the European project ONTOCHAIN. I am working for European Dynamics (Luxembourg), one of the partners of the ONTOCHAIN project among seven partners from six countries with complementary expertise that form the core of the ONTOCHAIN vibrant ecosystem: University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), IntelliSemantic (Italy), iExec Blockchain Tech (France), Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece), the German Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Greece) and F6S (Ireland). ONTOCHAIN is also part of the Next Generation Internet initiative that is developed actually in Europe with the ambition to ensure that the development and progressive adoption of advanced technologies, concepts and methodologies contributes to make the future Internet more human-centric, particularly in these times of crisis.

Vlado Stankovski: I’m the scientific and technical coordinator of ONTOCHAIN. I work as a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Actually, our earlier initiative was the Human Centered Cloud, which we developed under the IFIP organization, established in 1960 under the auspices of UNESCO. The idea here is that the Internet in the past couple of decades has been governed by pretty strong software companies around the world. And now what we want to achieve with the Next Generation Internet initiative is to include in the core protocols of the Internet mechanisms so that people can rely and build on their historical and cultural achievements gained in the past couple of thousand years of European history. for example, the Internet backbone should support pluralism, diversity, democracy, human-rights and other aspects like this. So, we are very much engaged in this type of activity.

Miguel Gonçalves: I’m EU projects manager at F6S (Ireland), a company that has become the largest tech founder community. We are supporting the ONTOCHAIN project making sure that we deliver all the money that comes from taxpayers to the best applicants who will participate in the open calls, this is very important. So we will make sure that we found the best innovators to join us to build this novel software ecosystem called ONTOCHAIN. 

  • How Would You Describe Your Project?

Caroline Barelle: So from a general point of view, this project is funded by the European Commission and under the program, ICT-54-2020, blockchain for the next generation internet. The idea is to empower Internet innovators to co-develop with us a novel software ecosystem that will provide trustworthy and transparent applications for knowledge and information management as well as for knowledge, information and service exchange. We will do this via three Open Calls implemented successively over a period of 3 years and a total budget of equity free funds to be distributed to third parties of 4,2M€. The first Open Call is dedicated to the conceptualisation of the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem around 6 axis: Applications,Semantic Interopearbility, On-Chain Data Management, Off-Chain Data Management,Ecosystem Economy and Ecosystem Scalability and Integration . It is actually is actually open for Innovators. The second Open Call  is about from the concept, to transfer the relevant specifications and to develop appropriate applications for vital sector of the economy (eScience, eEducation, eHealth, eGovernment, eCommerce, eTourism, eInfrastructures) that will be tested and validated then during the third Open Call.

Vlado Stankovski: From my viewpoint, we have funding to build a software ecosystem that will be built and used by stakeholders that share our common goal, which means to improve the Internet protocols in a way that people can trust the knowledge and information that is being generated, stored and shared among individuals and organizations on the Internet. And by doing so to enable many dynamic, semantically complex and heterogeneous ecosystems of resources and actors that would underpin our future smart and sustainable society. 

This project follows the general idea of the Semantic Web, which is to deliver trust by delivering a Semantic Web technologies stack which is now part of the World Wide Web. You probably all know about the initiatives of the World Wide Web consortium, such as the Web Ontology Language (OWL), and other initiatives like this. And the ultimate goal of this technological stack is the trust between the different parties that share knowledge and information on the Internet.

Now, in our ONTOCHAIN project, what we want to achieve is to design and integrate an additional technology, which is coming from the area of blockchain. Blockchains are proven for people to trust them because they already do monetary transactions across the world by using different types of Ledgers. Blockchain is a shared database of transactions. In a way, this is resembles ontologies which are shared conceptualization of physical or abstract entities or shared organization of human knowledge. With these two database and knowledge base technologies put together what we hope about is to “marry" the Semantic Web with blockchains and by doing so, build a new software ecosystem that would improve the the trustworthiness of content and information on the Internet. 

Caroline Barelle:  What I would like to add, is that also one of our goals is to integrate ONTOCHAIN in a specific legal and regulatory and ethical framework that is currently thought over for blockchain and smart contracts. Standardisation and interoperability are also important aspects of what we are doing.

  • What do you mean by ontological knowledge?

Vlado Stankovski: Ontology is a shared conceptualization. We as humans have shared a lot of concepts together, for example, the concept of a car, is the same concept in Japan, in Europe,in the United States and in Latin America, all over the world. We know that carriages and later cars have existed for several thousand years. Carriages have been run using horses, but today we have battery run cars and so on. Yet, we have the concept of a car. So, having these concepts shared helps improve the interoperability of applications, the data which are stored by one application can be sent as input other applications, and easily understood by the other applications. An example of a computer language that helps solve such interoperability problems is the XML (eXtensible Markup Language) of the W3C, and is part of the already mentioned Semantic Web technologies stack. At a practical level, this helps applications communicate information among each other. Ontology languages may be used for more complex specifications of the knowledge that we have about different concepts, so that we can share the same understanding among applications and among each other. We can describe the concept of a car, but we can also describe concepts such as news items, elections, artificial intelligence methods in all their complexity.

  • Who will benefit from this project and how?

Caroline Barelle: We are, in fact, looking for innovators, developers and Internet experts. They will be our partners in co-developing the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem. A part from the equity free funding, they will also benefit from mentoring from worldwide recognised experts in the diverse fields related to ONTOCHAIN. The added value also for them would be a gain in visibility and community building with other innovators, industry and potential investors.

Vlado Stankovski: The inclusion of semantics into blockchains has the potential to open immense possibilities for new smart applications in practically all domains important for people, life and nature around the world.

Existing applications already use blockchains to record hashtags of documents in order to ensure the immutability of the information, which is stored off-chain. Now, imagine that more complex semantics, which means complex structures representing important concepts, such as trustworthy news, elections, automated doors and cars, are being recorded on the blockchains. This would make it possible, for example, to commit to the specific ontologies and consequently commit to the same democratic rules, for example, when distributing important news, going to elections, or sharing cars. Once the common rules are specified on blockchain, on ONTOCHAIN, as a matter of fact, that would enable that people follow the same rules that have been democratically agreed among each other. So, ONTOCHAIN enables organizations not only to establish the common concepts and facts that can be trusted but to rely on diversity, democratic and pluralistic means, when engaging in very dynamic, semantically complex ecosystems in practically all domains. Our goal is to support the smart specialization wave, which is in the heart of the European Horizon 2020 programme of research and innovation.

Miguel Gonçalves: So, there are three levels of beneficiaries. The applicants who take part in the open calls and receive funding, support and mentoring. A second line of beneficiaries will be all the innovators who will use this novel software ecosystem to build the new applications and software. And finally, the citizens who will benefit from trusted, traceable, and transparent based solutions. This will be the end goal of the project.

  • How might your project evolve over time?

Caroline Barelle: From our view point, even if ONTOCHAIN is a three-year project, we foresee sustainability for this ecosystem and we hope to make it last for ever as far as possible. This is the goal. 

  • You announced your project publicly 2 months ago. Did you get the expected response from the public?

Vlado Stankovski: Yes, it is fantastic. We have received really a lot of interest from people who work on different aspects, for example, from the viewpoint of ontologies and the Semantic Web. We know there are several tens of thousands of researchers in the world working only on the development of the Semantic Web technologies stack, such as the Protegé community and other innovators. Then, from the blockchain viewpoint, many hundreds of people already expressed their interest. Moreover, from the viewpoint of cryptography, experts of post-quantum cryptography have shown their interest, security in general. We have some interest from the United States, from people who lead blockchain projects for defense agencies and many other domains. I would say this technology has a lot of perspectives. That's why it has been recognized already for funding as one of the key blockchain projects for the Next Generation Internet. It is amazing that we received so much interest from different experts. And this is what we need in order to be able to build something new and useful for the future generations of users of the Internet.

Miguel Gonçalves: As mentioned the project just started two months ago. We already had the opportunity to promote five ONTOCHAIN TALKS now available on Youtube, and other events. In terms of applicants, the open call is not launched yet. It will be launched very soon, on the 16th of November and will be open for a period of two months. And we then expect to receive a lot of high-quality applications from all over Europe and 16 H2020 associated countries. 

  • Are you going to launch your own blockchain? 

Vlado Stankovski: On the baseline of our ONTOCHAIN architecture we have Interledger. Many smart applications would use private and public blockchains. For example, a smart car may move from Ljubljana to Vienna and would enter the transactions there. Some, but not all data generated in Ljubljana may be needed in Vienna. We need to convey the higher-level semantics of the Ljubljana transactions and to move that to another smart environment, such as Vienna. This is the key idea of how Interledger will support ONTOCHAIN’s semantic transactions. We have an architecture about this that is made of four or five layers. We have applications for trustworthy content handling and information exchange, we have application protocols, then we have ONTOCHAIN protocols and we have underneath this Interledger. In short, ONTOCHAIN is not a typical ledger one may think. 

  • As I understand, you'll work on Etherium and Hyperledger?

Vlado Stankovski: For the time being, but we have also some other people who have attended our meetings, for example, from Tezos and other ledgers. We are really not restricted to few particular ledgers. This project will deliver some showcase applications in the short term, but it intends to open an area of new research where the semantics is shared among blockchains, we would like to see the generation of new type of blocks that we call them ONTOBLOCKS.

  • Would you launch your own tokens or is it just purely application?

Vlado Stankovski: Our partner company iExec Blockchain Tech (France) has already tokens, which will be used in one area. However, the point is that what we want to support a variety of ecosystems. The idea is that by using our ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem, one can establish their own applications that include trusted knowledge management mechanisms. Instead of just recording hashtags, one can record more complex semantics on blockchains. One key challenge in the project is how do we make the interface between what is trusted and resides on the blocks and what is trustless, inherently I mean, which is the sensing environment, the data and information, and the decentralised oracles that reside outside the blockchains.

Any ONTOCHAIN stakeholder can, of course, launch their own tokens and make business. One topic of our first open call, topic number five, is devoted to the development of new economic mechanisms benefiting from trusted knowledge management. 

  • And how do you deal with the censorship of anything that might be required in any sort of network like this, or would it be totally trustless? 

Vlado Stankovski: Censorship in our context is rather a new ONTOCHAIN infrastructure supporting diversity, pluralism, democracy, human-rights, sustainability and other historical achievements of humankind. Imagine that the resulting infrastructure will be a forest of ONTOBLOCKS, or rather an ONTOBLOCKS graph. . This means that our key achievements as humanity can be built into this trusted knowledge management structure. This is the key technological idea of the project. It is not the same as the current World Wide Web that are currently governed by a few big players.

  • We've covered quite a bit in this conversation. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you'd like to share about?"

Caroline Barelle:  Just that we are actually calling for all Internet researchers, innovators and developers whether from high tech companies, academia or natural person(s) to be part of this adventure with us!

New Wave of Cryptocurrency Misappropriation, Hacking, Theft and Fraud Targeting Users Massively in 2020


Crypto criminals have ramped up cryptocurrency theft, hacking, and fraud by a significant margin in the year 2020. They have amassed a sum of $1.36 billion in ill-gotten crypto from January 2020 to May 2020, according to the blockchain analytics firm. The year 2020 is recorded being on the track to become the second-costliest year of all in the history of crypto; only behind 2019’s record of $4.5 billion. The largest contribution in the year’s ongoing standings came from Chinese scam ‘WOTOKEN’ that allegedly scammed more than 700,000 users and stole over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies – 46,000 bitcoin, 2.04 million ethereum, 56,000 bitcoin cash, 292,000 litecoin, and 684,000 EOS.

Cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency that uses cryptographical functions to make financial transactions. In order to gain transparency and immutability, it makes use of blockchain technology. It is decentralized in nature as there is no central authority controlling or interfering in the processes that include making cryptocurrency exchanges directly between two parties using private and public keys. Equating to money in the real-world it attracts a large possibility of cyber fraud.

On June 2, 2020, CipherTrace released its Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report covering the global trends and latest developments to fight money laundering, terrorism financing, and sanctions evasion. It highlighted the need for regulation and compliance while reporting that 74% of bitcoin in exchange-to-exchange transactions was the cross border and 88% of funds sent to exchanges in 2019 by US Bitcoin ATMs were offshore. Researchers also noted that phishing sites are the most popular COVID-19 related products marketed on the dark web.

“While only 9.8% of the dark market’s one-hop (direct) interactions went directly to exchanges, 30.7% of its two-hop (once removed) interactions went to exchanges—more than tripling the risk exposure to exchanges,” the report read.

In addition, cryptocriminals are also employing several new malware to target cryptocurrencies, an undocumented Trojan called ‘KryptoCibule’ has been found targeting various cryptocurrencies by replacing wallet addresses and stealing cryptocurrency-related files. Previously reported P2P botnet, FritzFrog attempted to brute-force SSH servers of government, education and medical institutions, and telecom players, with an objective of mining cryptocurrency via XMRig miner. Over two weeks ago, a new botnet, dubbed as TeamTNT was observed stealing AWS credentials from affected servers.

With the old techniques being upgraded and the new ones being continually introduced to mine illicit financial gains, cryptocurrencies have become one of the most increasingly targeted areas at present. Users are advised to stay perceptive to indicatives of criminal behavior.

First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia: Blockchain is not a panacea, and cryptocurrency is not money


First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova said that blockchain is perfect for letters of credit and guarantees because it solves the problem of trust. However, this is not a universal technology for all occasions.

According to her, many people overestimate the advantages and prospects of blockchain technologies. As negative aspects of cryptocurrencies, the banker noted their high level of volatility, lack of guarantees for saving investments, and the possibility of their use for money laundering and terrorist financing.

This position of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation was one of the reasons for the delay in the adoption of the bill on digital financial assets, which should become the main legislative act regulating the cryptocurrency industry. Recently it became known that the adoption of the law is being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the rejection of cryptocurrencies, Olga Skorobogatova spoke positively about stablecoins.
“We believe that this is a more reliable type of crypto-assets since they are provided with real assets and give users certain guarantees,” she said, adding that in order to protect consumers, it is necessary to effectively regulate this sector at the global level.

The Central Bank is actively collaborating with other regulators regarding stablecoins and coins such as Libra. According to Skorobogatova, many Central Banks are actively studying the possibility of creating a national digital currency, and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation is no exception in this regard, but at this stage, the authorities have more questions than answers.
In particular, she does not yet see what real benefits the digital currencies of the Central Banks (CBDC) will bring to the economy, people and business.

It is worth noting that the beginning of the pandemic of coronavirus infection served as a kind of trigger for the introduction of remote voting. This was recently stated by the political party United Russia" For this purpose, an electronic voting system based on blockchain technology has been developed. Experts believe that this will reduce the negative effect of the quarantine regime, which has somehow slowed or stopped the political activities of most other parties, not only in Russia but also in the world.

Blockchain will become a part of the Russian economy


The Ministry of Communications published a document of the new project according to which the introduction of blockchain will bring the state 1635 million rubles (25 million $). This result will be achieved thanks to the fight against counterfeit products and cost savings.

According to the document, "total investments will amount to 23.1 million rubles ($360 000)... Private investors are expected to raise funds in the amount of 50.17 million rubles ($780 000)".

Through the introduction of blockchain, it is planned to reduce the turnover of counterfeit drugs, ensure the security of storage and exchange of personal medical data and increase the availability of financial services for the poorest segments of the population. According to forecasts of the Ministry of communications, 100% of the population will use banking services upon completion of the project.

The project should be implemented by 2024 and the network throughput will be 100 thousand transactions per second. The average throughput of Bitcoin at the moment is 4 transactions per second.

However, the Chairman of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina argues that investing in cryptocurrency is a casino game, because such investments are risky and not protected by the state. She agreed with the comparison of digital money with the 17th-century tulip fever in Holland and added that everyone knows "how it all ended."

"Easily earned money quickly goes away. Here, the state does not protect your investments in cryptocurrencies in any way, unlike investments in banks. But here you risk very much," says Nabiullina.

She added that the people who invested in digital money at the peak of value have now lost a lot. According to the head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, those who want to "make money very quickly and easily" are investing in a new type of asset.

Earlier, Nabiullina said that the Bank of Russia is studying the sphere of cryptocurrencies, but can’t yet assess the advantage of issuing national digital money. The Chairman of the financial regulator noted that the new type of assets carries a lot of risks.

Are MNCs and big consultants misleading Governments on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain?


MNCs and big consultants are well known to use heavyweight lobbying techniques to twist national policies in a manner that suit their interests. This is even more valid in the context of new technologies where governments usually lack the required domain skills and perspectives to make meaningful judgements. This appears to be the case with Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains.

The arguments being presented to make cryptocurrencies illegal is that they have no real value and can be used for Ponzi schemes and other such inappropriate or illegal operations. True. But then the Rupee is also used for Ponzi schemes such as chit business and various rackets. Does that mean that the Rupee should be banned? No, one bans ponzi investment schemes, not the Rupee. No rational arguments have yet been presented on why cryptocurrencies should be banned. Why not provide regulatory sandboxes and give entrepreneurs the freedom to test and present their case. With Blockchain based crypto currencies, one can publically store hash of information which can be later verified. This time stamping and hash information in public block chain can be used to verify time stamp of data.

The underlying technology in cryptocurrencies is Blockchain. While these MNCs rally against cryptocurrencies, they are pushing blockchain technology in a big way. But then here is the catch. No one has asked MNC company to show the source code of their Blockchain technology. Originally, Blockchain source code is public MIT license. It's very interesting that no one asks these MCNS to open the blockchain source codes. Can open source code like Blockchain be made into closed source code by MNCs?

MNCs claim that the blockchain(technically it's a DLT) is not charged. They charge only for "consulting,support and services"!

Why do governments need to invest millions and transfer wealth to MNCs and big consultants who already have fat wallets? The concept of private Blockchains is going to drain money from governments around the world. Fancy multiple databases across different stake holders – this is what is being presented as private blockchains. Why not instead governments develop software which run on public blockchain? Such applications can be written for US $ 200,000 to US $ 300,000 instead of the US $ 10 mn or so that fat cat consultants and MNCs will charge for private blockchains?

Some one scared everyone banks can't put data(even hash) on public blockchain. You don't need crypto currency to use public blockchain.

Will Governments including the Indian Government wake up? Especially at a time when there is so much demand on public exchequers from the poor and the needy.

(J Prasanna is founder of Cyber security and privacy foundation. This articles is their personal view)

Bitcoin SV’s blockchain suffers block reorganisation

While Bitcoin SV or Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV)’s staunchest supporter Craig Wright is busy with lawsuits against people who criticize him, the project is crumbling under the weight of its own expectations.

On April 18th , BitcoinSV blockchain has suffered a series of “block re-oganizations,” putting the integrity of its network in question.

According to BitMEX Research, the analysis wing of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, their “Bitcoin Cash SV [sic] node experienced two block re-organizations. First, a three-block re-organization, followed by a six-block re-organization.”

The company announced it on its Twitter account, raising questions about the series of block organizations that the blockchain is suffering from.

Block re-organizations occur when cryptocurrency miners are forced to “orphan” blocks after they’ve been mined. This can happen when the network is too slow to “propagate” blocks effectively, and bigger blocks (like the ones featured by BitcoinSV) are especially susceptible to orphaning.

Blockchain reorgs occur when miners are forced to orphan blocks after mining them. This usually happens when the size of a block is too large or when the network is too slow to propagate these new blocks. BSV has an especially large maximum block size of 128 MB, which was one of the major points of contentions of its fork. Note that a few months ago, Bitcoin Cash blockchain forked to create two parallel chains- Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Satoshi Vision.

While BitMEX detected two block reorgs, the trouble runs deeper. The last time this occurred was in November 2018, when two blocks – one 16MB and another 13MB in size – were orphaned for being too large. At the time, BitMEX researchers also blamed bad network connectivity. This means that the chain has undergone three reorgs in just six months.

BitcoinSV is a fork of Bitcoin Cash (which is a fork of Bitcoin). It raised Bitcoin Cash‘s block size limit from 32MB to 128MB. Bitcoin‘s block size limit is still 1MB.

Bitcoin hacker steals money and passwords from Dark Web users, jailed

Blockchain and cryptocurrency related crimes are something heard about in a very scarce quantity. But this week, a 37 year-old man in the US has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for fraud in connection with a Bitcoin $BTC▲2.4% phishing scheme designed to rob victims of their cryptocurrency.

Michael Richo was allegedly running an elaborate bitcoin phishing scheme, all with the purpose of stealing confidential information from unaware victims, including various sums of cryptocurrency which they held.

Richo, of New Haven, was also ordered to forfeit $352,000 in cash, various computers and electronic devices, such as digital and hardware-based wallets, which contained a vast array of different precious metals and virtual coins that he purchased with the proceeds of his offense.

It was during the trial that evidence, such as court documents from the trial in question, as well as supplementary statements, illustrate just where Richo was going in order to target individuals for his Phishing attacks – The Dark Web.

Per court documents associated with Richo’s case, he will be subject to three years of supervised release once he’s out of prison. His operation involved targeting individuals on the dark web using marketplaces.

He did so by posting fake links to online marketplaces on dark web forums. Once users clicked on them, these links would then direct users to fake login pages that resembled the real login pages for various dark web marketplaces. Once the victim entered his credentials, the hacker would steal them. He would then monitor the individual’s Bitcoin balance at the real marketplace and would withdraw the coins once the person deposited the funds. He would then either deposit the funds directly to his bitcoin wallet, or sell them on cryptocurrency exchanges for US dollars. The US dollars obtained as a result were deposited into bank accounts under his control or provided to him through Green Dot Cards, Western Union transfers, and MoneyGram transfers.

Kodak Launches Own Cryptocurrency KODAKCoin — Stocks Surge

In a tie-up with WENN Digital, a blockchain development firm, Kodak photo-centric cryptocurrency, KODAKCoin, causing a 60 percent stock rise after the surprise announcement.

This is a part of a larger initiative called KODAKOne which will reportedly give photographers a new revenue stream and a secure work platform. The blockchain-powered image management system will supposedly create a digital ledger of rights ownership that photographers can use to register and license new and old work.

Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a statement, “For photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords [“blockchain” and “cryptocurrency”] are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem.”

Kodak’s choice to move towards blockchain rather than introduce a new social media platform to serve the same purpose has sparked some discussions that the company is trying to capitalise on the current cryptocurrency fad.

KODAKCoin’s initial coin offering opens on January 31st, under SEC guidelines as a security token, and it’s open to US, UK, Canadian, and other investors.

Further information can be obtained on their website.

Russian Airline "S7 Airlines" started using blockchain to issue tickets

"Alfa-Bank" and "S7 Airlines" started the innovative block chain platform for automation of commercial transactions, namely the sale of air tickets.

The solution implemented by companies, is based on the Ethereum platform to create decentralized online services on the basis of the block chain.

Reportedly, the calculation speed increased from 14 days to a record 23 seconds. Thus, the airline does not provide deferred payment to agent and gaines revenue immediately after booking the ticket. The agent, in turn, is free of a Bank Guarantee paperwork.

Moreover, the implementation of block chain allows to minimize a human factor and to increase the reliability of transactions.

In the future S7 Airlines hops to extend the scope of the block chain platform. The suppliers of fuel and food, for example, can be engaged in the project.

 - Christina