While short term investors and speculators might not be in the best of shape right now, the long term development of the ecosystem is still advancing on pace. Companies and institutions are continuing to invest time and money for furthering cryptocurrency research as can be seen by the stories featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.
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Preventing the Next Mt. Gox
Nchain, the BCH-focused R&D firm, has announced the issuance of its second patent by the European Patent Office, entitled “Determining a common secret for the secure exchange of information and hierarchical deterministic cryptographic keys.” This Deterministic Key Generation technique is said to provide for improved secure communication between a pair of nodes, while being able to keep their private keys secret. The company explains that it has already been using the technique as part of its work with SBI BITS in Japan, the subsidiary of SBI Holdings, and that its publicly available SDK offers the patented technique for any developers that need it.
Nchain CEO, Jimmy Nguyen, stated: “The Deterministic Key Generation technique will help prevent Mt. Gox-type hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. But its potential use cases are far greater as the digital world grows with increased digitisation of assets, cloud storage of data, newer methods of digital communication, and the anticipated explosion of Internet of Things devices. The invention can provide significant security benefits for any situation in which sensitive data, assets, communications or controlled resources need to be secured.”
Stanford Research Center
A new Center for Blockchain Research has been founded by leading computer scientists at Stanford University. The center will be headed by professors Dan Boneh and David Mazières, and faculty will also include Alex Aiken, David Dill, John Mitchell, Tim Roughgarden and Joe Grundfest. It is meant to help scientists develop best practices for the field as well as create courses to help future students.
Prof. Boneh commented: “Blockchains will become increasingly critical to doing business globally. Stanford should be at the forefront of efforts to improve, apply and understand the many ripple effects of this technology.” Prof Mazières added: “Blockchain massively lowers the barriers to creating tradeable, digital assets. It allows individuals who don’t know each other, or even trust one another, to make irreversible transactions in a whole variety of fields in a safe and secure way.”
New $300 Million Crypto Fund
Andreessen Horowitz, the Menlo Park headquartered venture capital firm, has announced the launch of a16z crypto, a new $300 million venture fund that will invest in crypto companies and protocols. The fund will be led by Katie Haun, a former US DoJ federal prosecutor who worked on the Silk Road case which seats on the board of directors at Coinbase as well as taught cybercrime and cryptocurrency at Stanford Law School.
Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, stated: “We are long-term, patient investors. We’ve been investing in crypto assets for 5+ years. We’ve never sold any of those investments, and don’t plan to any time soon. We structured the a16z crypto fund to be able to hold investments for 10+ years. We have an ‘all weather’ fund. We plan to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions. If there is another ‘crypto winter,’ we’ll keep investing aggressively.” Regarding possible investment targets he added: “We are focused on non-speculative use case. We want services powered by crypto protocols to be used by hundreds of millions and eventually billions of people. Crypto tokens are the native asset class of digital networks, but their value is driven by the underlying, practical uses cases.”
What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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