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According to a Financial Times report, China became the country with the most patent filings for Blockchain technology to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) in 2017. Thomson Reuters collected data from the international patent organization which shows that in 2017, overall 406 patents were filled, from which more than 225 were from China.

At this time, Tech companies from all around the world are rushing to patent their innovative systems developed by using blockchain tech, which is just like a game changer supply chain management.

blockchain patent

Last year, patent applications for Blockchain technology got tripled. An editor at Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law, Alex Batteson said:

“Companies are moving fast in order to protect their ideas in new areas of technological development — long before the technology actually goes to market.”

From 2012 to 2017, Chinese companies held the sixth spot out of the top nine filers for Blockchain patents. Even though all patents didn’t lead to feasible products, but the data remained substantial in that as it shows activity in a particular area of industry and could produce blocks to the entry.

Filed Patents from 2016-2017

China filed 225 patents in 2017 and 59 patents in 2016, while the US filed 91 patents in 2017 and 21 in 2016. Australia in on the third number with 19 and 13 blockchain-related patents in 2016 and 2017, individually.

A patent is an essential tool for any company in order to attract investment. If we talk about the US, then MasterCard, which is a payment processing giant had filed 25 patents for blockchain at the same time. Also, Lichtenstein’s nChain Holdings, which is considered as the worldwide leader in development and research of blockchain technologies by itself has filed 18 applications.

But one thing, that should always be remembered is that not all companies patent their innovations. Also, all patents don’t result in the formation of a workable product/use case. However, according to Thomson Reuters, the patent information imitates activity in a certain sphere and produce entry barriers.

Is Chinese government taking interest in the Blockchain Technology?

The Chinese government is officially taking an interest in the development of Blockchain technology in the country. As there’ve been many reports, the Investment Association of China has approved the development of a Blockchain Development Center.

As well as,  list of objectives was published by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on 23rd March, to boost the development and regularization of Blockchain technology.

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15 Crypto-related Websites Get Blacklisted by French Regulatory Agency

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AMF (Autorite des Marches Financiers) is a French stock market regulator and in a press release, they recently announced that on 15th March, 15 cryptocurrency websites have been blacklisted by them.

Blacklisted Companies

15 companies were blacklisted by press release, as these companies nonstop advertised and marketed their products and services to the French public as investment opportunities, even with the new regulations. Such businesses that illegitimately offered investments in commodities such as; diamonds and other metals are also in this blacklist.

cryptocurrency websites

Press Release Statement

According to the press release;

“The investment proposals highlighting the possibility of financial returns or similar economic effects involve intermediation in miscellaneous assets and are now subject to ex-ante control by the AMF. Consequently, no offer can be directly marketed in France without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.”

This statement also reminds customers that high profits always include high risks so; advertising materials shouldn’t make you overlook that fact. Moreover, it suggested its customers to work hard enough before making any investment, and get knowledge about their company as much as possible. They also advised their customers to invest in a product only if they completely understand it.

Last year, Francois Villeroy de Galhau (Governor of the Bank of France), issued a warning in December and claimed that Bitcoin is a speculative asset, and there are high risks of investing in it, unlike other digital currencies. French regulators this move follows an array of apprehensive attitudes toward cryptocurrencies from the French government.

Jean-Pierre Landau’s Views

Jean-Pierre Landau is an open Bitcoin critic and in January, he was appointed by the French Minister of the Economy, to assign a task of examining cryptocurrency regulation. Landau sometimes calls Bitcoin the “tulips of modern times” referring it to Tulip Mania, as in 17th century, Europe was flounced by it.

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Mastercard Scrutinizes Blockchain To Fight False Identities

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Mastercard, which is considered as a payments giant has filed a patent, suggesting that it sees blockchain as a mean to protect the identity data. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released an application on last Thursday, that Mastercard has defined a system in the application, in which a semi-private/private blockchain would be used to collect and store identity information, including; name, tax identification number, and street address.

blockchain based database

The Mastercard company has stated in the filing, that the technology could help it to block the use of false identity data inside its systems, as it initially succumbed back in September 2017 and it seems like the Mastercard and blockchain get along with each other quite well.

Mastercard Company Statement

According to Mastercard:

“The use of a blockchain for the storage of identity and credential data may provide for an immutable storage of such data that can provide an accurate verification thereof and also prevent the fabrication of such data.”

The network proposed by Mastercard would just permit specific nodes to submit data. These authorized-nodes would work to avert the data addition that may negotiate the precision of the data stored within. The filing also elucidates that data files for all entities will be generated by the system respectively, which would be linked to a public key as well as geographic authority. The entities would be subsidiary, whereas a superior entity would carry out a digital sign on their data files.

Mastercard Approved Nodes:

Only nodes approved by Mastercard can update the identity information inside the system and according to Mastercard, the projected system could perhaps substitute other ways of demonstrating the identity that might be vulnerable to forgery and imprecisions.

The company also said:

“In such instances, it may be difficult for an entity to disprove a false identity, leading to an interaction with an inauthentic individual or entity. Thus, there is a need for a technical solution to provide for the immutable storage of identity and credential data that may prevent fabrication and inaccuracies.”

 

Until now, Mastercard has submitted numerous patent applications related to the blockchain. One filing proposed an infrastructure that could enable refund services for the users of cryptocurrency. Another filing explained a blockchain based database that could promptly process payments, notably dropping the transaction settlement times. Also, the payments tech company announced that it was going to hire 175 new technology developers, as well as blockchain specialists.

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Will The Violent Closing of Crypto Hedge Funds Also Persist In 2019?

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According to some financial observers the future of cryptocurrency hedge fund could face a harsh and violent transformation during 2018. It has also been predicted that 10 percent of these hedge funds could shutdown during the next few months. Even Bloomberg reported recently that the continuous decrease in the prices of cryptocurrency assets have played a critical role in the slowdown of hedge funds. This prediction seems to be true as far as the ratio of crypto hedge funds opening is concerned which decreased continuously during the current year as compared to their launch rate in 2017 which was over 170. The situation has totally changed now as during the first three months of 2018 only 20 new players showed their existence on the scenario and shutting down of previous funds also continues.

cryptocurrency hedge fund

Reasons For This Downfall

According to latest hedge fund news the main reason for all this downfall can be the significant reduction in price of cryptocurrency this year, this decrease in price of automatically affected the relative hedge funds resulting in losses and closings of their doors for 2018. The ultimate decrease in price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has not been good for the health of hedge fund business. Regulatory uncertainty has also played its role in all this scenario.

 

Alpha Protocol is one of the recently closed funds which directly cited “potential regulatory and market risks” as main reasons for its decision to refund deposits. A statement was issued by its co-founder that new capital rate had slowed down and it was getting difficult to survive even for a high profile fund like Alpha Protocol.

Which Crypto Funds Were Affected Most?

Among those companies which had to freeze their operations, Crowd Crypto Fund and Alpha Protocol are on the top of the list. It has been reported that a total of 9 hedge funds revolving around cryptocurrency were shut down since December 2017. In addition to the shutdown of various funds, some of the investors have reverted to their previous investment plans which proved to be more secure than the crypto based hedge funds.

 

Alongwith unsure market health, regulatory uncertainty was also responsible for this downfall. Rumours have been circulating that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is fully prepared to check approximately 100 hedge funds in the near future while there are still more than 200 active hedge funds in operation.

 

Whatever the reason may be, all that discussion means that the cryptocurrency hedge fund business must evolve itself in order to compete with the regulatory uncertainty lying ahead.

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Coin hive crypto jacking campaign- Monero

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Ranked as the 13th best digital currency, Monero recently became part of the crypto jacking stir. In a recent uproar of these growing cases in the cyber world, Coin hive was being implemented for the unauthorized mining of the Monero cryptocurrency.

monero cryptocurrency

In a recent report by the cybersecurity researcher, Troy Mursch explains in detail how this malware hacked nearly 400 web pages in no more than 3 months. These web pages included a lot of government and educational sites as well.

Crypto Jacking

The term, crypto jacking has been in circulation for quite some time now. The hacker or the group of hackers uses the victims or the visitors’ processing and the computing power to mine the cryptocurrencies without their consent. The hackers scramble and steal the data and information from the users’ web-based applications. They would then manipulate victims to pay them any digital coins for the decryption of the data.

Crypto jacking is seriously affecting many websites and object them to mine cryptocurrencies according to the hackers need.

Coinhive- The Crypto Jacker?

According to the research report by Troy Mursch, an outdated version of Drupal has been the root cause of this interjection. Drupal is an open source and free content framework management software. The outdated version of this software in the CMS system, provided with the favorable environment for this malware, Coinhive to penetrate the system. As most of these sites were governmental institutions and educational sites, the integration of this malware into their JavaScript and usage of the computing power was not readily detected. But to the surprise, most of these sites domains were hosted on web pages like Amazon.

On its own, Coinhive is not malicious, but when encrypted and compromised with a ‘crypto jacking’ code, it forces the system to mine Monero without the knowledge of the target. UNICEF runs the same malware to raise funds for their work. But they use it with the consent and knowledge of their users. Which is definitely the right way to use the malware for which it was created.

There are a number of web pages using the same method and process to offer users to donate their system power to mine cryptocurrencies. The process is only performed with the consent and permission of the users. Projects like Bail Bloc and Salon are offering to mine these coins but just with the consent of the operators.

Affected by Coinhive

In an official statement, Troy Mursch has extensively mentioned a list of all the web pages that were affected by the malware so that all the users and visitors can be fully aware of the subject. Among these nearly 400 above websites included,

  • San Diego Zoo
  • The Government of Chihuahua, Mexico
  • The National Labor Relations Board
  • A U.S Federal Agency
  • Lenovo
  • The City of Marion, Ohio
  • The University of Aleppo
  • The Ringling College of Art and Design
  • UCLA’s webpage for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, and many more in the list of this 400.

With this detection of extensive, without the consent mining of these Monero (XMR) cryptocurrencies, it is hoped in the future that these practices could be detained. Coinhive is just an application like many others. It is just misused and wrongfully being implemented and practiced by the hackers.

Subsiding this dilemma, there has been an extensive negative dropping of Monero in its already established and flourished market. The reasons and causes still remain undetectable.

The Market Affect

With the slight rise in the market, all the majority of the digital world is floating in the red zones. Still not being able to maintain the pace with the Dollar. Monero XRM has been no different than the trend. Keeping the flow awaken, XRM shows a trivial downfall recently.

Despite its top 20 peers, XRM has been seen floating little weak during the month. For a period of a month, it just managed to collect a rise of 32%.

On a collective period of two months, there has been a collective drop down of -15% of the currency. Despite the reckoning, its top 20 peers still managed to rise gradually with the Dollar.

Keeping eyes on the occurring trends, Monero is facing the same dip for the current week too, continuing the same flow up to -7%.

With its fall of -3% against the dollar collectively, the currency has fallen seemingly for -1.37% against the Bitcoin.

After hitting its record price of $490 per unit against the dollar in January 2018, Monero is being traded at $222.68 currently.

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