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Ethereum Blockchain Being Used to Issue North Korean Visas

From March 24, 2019, people wishing to visit North Korea may do so by purchasing ERC-721 visas issued on the Ethereum blockchain by a North Korean dissident group. Future Entry Besides the predominantly commercial use of blockchain, there have been a handful of other less-popular social aspects of its application. One example includes using blockchainRead MoreRead More. The post by Tokoni Uti appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News
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Cold-Storage Wallet Apparently on the Way for ERC-721 Tokens

D’CENT, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet company you have probably never heard of, claims to be releasing the first ever cold storage solution for storing game items that have been tokenized at the end of next month.  The wallet will support Non-Fungible Token (NFT), a, ERC-721 token that cannot be replaced and may be used for trading unique items. The most famous implementation of ERC-721 to date is CryptoKitties. Details in the official press release are sparse, to say the least. The official website also doesn’t inspire a tremendous amount of confidence — where claims are made that D’CENT is the “most secure cryptocurrency hardware wallet.” (Though, CoolWallet, Trezor, or Ledger might have a thing or two to say about this statement.) The wallet that is currently available for purchase on D’CENT’s website claims to feature a bank-grade EAL5+ secure element paired with a secure operating system embedded on the microprocessor. It also appears to have an OLED display, a built-in fingerprint scanner, and Bluetooth connectivity. The company plans on giving away 20 sets of 50 wallets “as development support to blockchain projects” before the wallet officially launches. Applications will apparently be open for blockchain-based game-application companies from March 18 to March 29 on the official website or Onoffmix platform. The winners’ wallets will be customed designed. Sandsu Baek, D’CENT’s CEO is unsurprisingly bullish on his project, stating in the press release: We have yet to see in the current market, a cold wallet that can support ERC-721-based tokens. We look forward to much interest and participation from dApp Games. At the moment, we don’t share Baek’s enthusiasm — as we’re not sure what ERC-721 tokens we would even store on the thing. What do you think about D’CENT’s wallet for ERC-721 tokens? Is this something you are adding to your wishlist, or are you completely disinterested? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!  Images courtesy of Shutterstock. The post Cold-Storage Wallet Apparently on the Way for ERC-721 Tokens appeared first on

Ethereum Crypto Collectibles Marketplace Architecture

You’ve probably heard of 0xgame, Cryptokitties, MLB Crypto Baseball, Decentraland, Cryptocorals etc, and wondered how those platforms work ?Maybe you have a great idea and want to develop your own platform but do not know where to start? Or you’re just curious and want to understand the potential of decentralized application (dapp) on the blockchain?We’ve been there at and and I want share with you what we’ve learned and answer some of your questions.This article is dedicated to developers who have experience in web development and understand how smart contracts basically work.My primary focus is the architecture needed for an Ethereum Crypto Collectibles Marketplace. My example will be a Pokemon marketplace where you can buy and sell Pokemons from the Ethereum blockchain. The goal is to have a web interface where you can see the different pokemon and buy/sell them.I won’t be covering the ERC721 non-fungible token standard implementation needed to build a Crypto Collectibles Marketplace in this article but may do so in future publications.Create, publish and interact with your smart contractsSo what you need to do is to create your smart contracts, in solidity.I highly encourage you to use truffle framework. truffle, you put all your .sol smart contracts in the /contract folder and use:truffle compile to arrange them into a JSON file that contains the contract ABI and a bunch of other datatruffle migrate to publish your contract into the blockchain.Here is a very short and dirty non real solidity overview of what your contract might looks like. can I publish my smart contracts on ?Ganache: It’s a private blockchain for your local machine, you use it for local development purposes.Rinkeby, Ropsten and more are test networks: it’s like your private test environment for your team or a staging environment. You use fake ether so it doesn’t cost you anything.Ethereum Mainnet: It’s real ether, real money, it’s production baby !In the truffle config file truffle-config.js, you can set your different environments.Then you can do something like truffle migrate —network ropsten to publish your contracts on Ropsten.How can I interact with my smart contract ?Before you begin, you’ll need to add the web3.js library to you script. (If you use react, Drizzle is an excellent option).When you want to talk to the blockchain you need to talk to one node. All the blockchain data is stored in every individual node, so you just need to interact with one. You can use web3.js to talk to a node and do stuff like web3.myPokemonContract.getPokemon(1)In dev environment you can easily host your blockchain and Ganache and it will provide everything you need to interact with the blockchain.With Rinkeby, Ropsten or Ethereum it’s a bit different because you’re not part of the blockchain network. If you do not own a node you have 2 options:Either you create your own node with geth for instance and connect it to the network of your choice (ropsten, mainnet, …). You’ll then have to install, configure and make it accessible from outside, manage the security stuff and that’s a lot of work, especially if you just want to launch your product as fast as possible.Or you can use an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) like Infura. They maintain their own nodes and provide you with everything you need, such as an api, to easily interact with the blockchain.There are many detailed tutorials that’ll help you create a web page that can extensively interact with the blockchain so I won’t cover those details here.Create your web app !Keep in mind that you can essentially do two things with a smart contract and the blockchain:Read: Get a pokemon by Id, get the number of pokemon you own, etc.Write: Create a pokemon → Write the new pokemon into your smart contract, Transfer a pokemon to another address→ Write the new owner on the smart contract, etc.In this example, we want to call the getPokemon()and the buy()functions.In our Pokemon marketplace we now have a single page that collects the pokemon XXX information from your smart contract, display the data and allows the end user to buy this pokemon (assuming he is buyable).The architecture will basically looks like this.Their are also pros and cons to consider when using a blockchain.The blockchain is slowWhile using a blockchain is simple, there are fundamental challenges to consider. As you already know, the blockchain is frustratingly slow! It can take a few seconds to get Pokemon 001’s information. So if you want to get the first 25th, then from the 25th to 50th, it is challenging to build a nice user experience. And with every refresh of your time is wasted on loading.Reading the blockchain is freeIt is fundamentally free. You can read the blockchain from the javascript thanks to web3.js and call the function getPokemon() but is does not include any additional updates.Writing, updating your smart contract data has a costYou will have to pay a gas fee in ether according to the computation needed by your action to update the blockchain.If you purchase an item, you will also pay the item price in Ether.To send Ether and to pay the fees, you need to own Ether and therefore have a wallet with Ether.You don’t have credit card linked to your Ether wallet but you can pay with Metamask!How can someone pay ether to your smart contract from your website ?Metamask is a chrome extension that safely manages Ethereum wallets. With web3.js, you can ask Metamask to send 0.0004 ether from your wallet to buy a Pokemon, Metamask will then ask for user approval and complete the transaction.Metamask can also be used for a one-click, cryptographically-secure login flow (like social login). There is nice tutorial from Toptal about it here.But do users really need Metamask to pay transaction from your website ?Yes! But keep in mind Metamask is not a guaranteed system. Your end users we’ll have to get, understand, and trust Metamask as a system; which has created caution amongst crypto enthusiasts who own ethers or bitcoins who have no previous experience with Metamask.Centralize a decentralize appLike we’ve just seen, the end users will need Metamask to perform writing actions on the blockchain but reading is free.So one solution is to centralize a decentralized application (crazy talk, I know) that will read and save your smart contract data into a database. You’ll get the data (slowly) from the blockchain to serve it (quickly) to your users through your scaled API.The benefits of using a Smart contracts is that it can emit event, like: emit Pokemon Transfer({ from: 0XO67465, to: 0x43546}) or emit Pokemon Birth({name: Nidoran }).So when you receive a Birth event (means someone called the createPokemon() function), you can add a new Pokemon to your database to better serve your users.And when you receive a Transfert event, (means someone called the buy() function) you can update the owner of the given Pokemon in your database. And you can listen to this events with web3.js !To do that you will need a dedicated server to listen to your smart contract.It can be a CRON job, hosted on a google cloud function, an AWS lambda or even your own server, coded in Node.js, Go or Python, it’s up to you.Make sure your transactions are confirmedWhen you receive an event, you will get the block number of the transaction.The block number refers to the block associated with the transactions that have been added to the blockchain. As you know, with blockchain, your transactions can still be reverted so you need to wait at least 12 blocks to ensure that the transaction won’t be reverted. (More info here)In the meantime you will want to set the transaction as ‘pending’ until you are sure that the transaction is confirmed.For instance, when a Pokemon is created, you can set it to the database with a pending status so your visitors will be able to see it but not buy it. On when a Pokemon is being added you can display the card with an overlay to tell your users that it’s coming.Server architectureNow that you centralized your application, you can serve your dapp data to your users more quickly with an API. Your database is like a mirror of your smart contract.ConclusionIf you want to create a crypto collectible market place on Ethereum you need to know that:The blockchain is slow and you can’t ask your front-end app to fetch and cook the data for every single request. One solution is to create an event processor to listen to your smart contract events and populate data into a database that would be a mirror of the blockchain. You’ll then be able to serve the data through an API.Metamask is mandatory and it can be scary for your users. Make sure to provide a good user experience and introduce Metamask usages to your users.Ethereum Crypto Collectibles Marketplace Architecture was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Coinbase Wallet adds support for Ripple (XRP)

CryptoNinjas Popular bitcoin and crypto exchange company Coinbase announced today that its users can now store XRP directly in the Coinbase Wallet app. Coinbase Wallet already supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, and over 100,000 different ERC20 tokens and ERC721 collectibles built on... Coinbase Wallet adds support for Ripple (XRP)

Announcing XRP Support on Coinbase Wallet

Starting today, you can now store your XRP directly in the Coinbase Wallet app.Our goal with Coinbase Wallet is to create the world’s leading user-custodied crypto wallet. Coinbase Wallet already supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, and over 100,000 different ERC20 tokens and ERC721 collectibles built on Ethereum. Adding support for XRP is an important next step in that direction.The new Wallet update with XRP support will roll out to all users on iOS and Android over the next week. To activate your XRP wallet — all you need to do is tap ‘Receive’ on the main wallet tab and select XRP. The XRP ledger requires that all wallets have a minimum balance of 20 XRP, so please fund your account with at least 20 XRP.Wallet also supports the XRP Testnet to aid developers and power users. You can switch to the testnet from the Advanced Settings section of the Settings tab.And, as always, your private keys are encrypted on your phone using Secure Enclave technology, to bring you best-in-class security. This specialized hardware is considered the most secure way to safeguard private data on mobile devices.As announced previously, we’re also working on support for other popular cryptocurrencies.If you have only ever used the primary Coinbase app (or, we encourage you to check out Coinbase Wallet. The Coinbase Wallet app is Coinbase’s user-controlled cryptocurrency wallet. With, you can buy crypto and Coinbase stores it (along with your private keys) for you; with Coinbase Wallet, you store your own crypto (safeguarded by a private key that only you know). To learn more, visit our website.We hope you enjoy using Coinbase Wallet. Your feedback helps us make Wallet better for everyone. You can reach us at otherwise noted, all images provided herein are by Coinbase.Announcing XRP Support on Coinbase Wallet was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Non-fungible tokens vs Fungible Tokens: What’s the difference? Part II

By: Jesse AbramowitzBlockchain DeveloperThis article is part two of the non fungible token article here. Probably best to read that first if the term ERC721 is confusing to you. This article is for an intermediate crowd.Last time I wrote about the idea of what is a non fungible token we didn’t get into any use cases, this part will address that gap.One of the first industries to push forward any cool new tech is usually video games. Whether it be because they are relatively low stakes, they are already either technology-driven or the users tend to be techno literate.In this case let us look at a video game and how they can employ both ERC20 and ERC721. Let’s take a random game, say, Fortnite for example, a game which I am a god at…actually I am horrible at it but you all have no way of verifying that.So there.In Fortnite, players receive an in-game currency called Vbucks. These tokens could be considered fungible as each of them have the same value as the others and can be used to redeem things like skins in the game.What do we know about ERC721 tokens?Well, they are unique and they can hold metadata. This means they can hold some data and can have that be populated on the front end. So the tokens can literally be the skins themselves.This means users could actually interoperate between games and a company can create a secondary market for their skins. If you need any proof of how a secondary market can boost a brand, ask Nike.The potential here also allows for individual developers to negate certain gatekeepers and have an easier pathway to licensing their game. All they need is to do is publish the rights on this token, as long as the user holds the token they hold access to the game.When we boil the video game example down what we are doing is using a cryptographic proof to prove the owner of a piece of data. This proof is done on a public blockchain so it is decentralized, immutable, and auditable.A lot of things fit this mould. How do we prove someone owns a house? Usually this comes in the form of a deed which is given out by some Canadian (I am Canadian by the way) government branch (I am too lazy to look up) and stored by them somewhere…also you get a copy and put it in your bank.Proving that you are own the Deed involves you having to gain access to the government’s database which can be slow tedious and painful. A government agency can just launch an ERC721 token and mint you a token with some metadata that points to a database. That token can point to a file in a database that is unlocked by the user’s private key.Furthermore, transferring the token (ownership of your house) would be vastly less painful than before. In this world there would probably still be safeguards, needing a witness watch the transfer etc. However, the process as a whole would be a lot smoother.Now apply this same logic to other things like patents, identity, or supply chains. It can work, it can all work. The limitations now are in things like UX, scalability, mass adoption etc.ConclusionWhether it be ERC721 or another standard the possibilities of non fungibles are endless. The groundwork for some amazing technological breakthroughs are being laid and we are only scratching the surface.—Jesse Abramowitz is a Blockchain Developer at BlockX Labs. He has worked on multiple DApps, projects, and Blockchain Networks. Currently, he is also a professor at George Brown College in Toronto. He is always looking to help, teach and build on the blockchain. You can reach him at: jesse@blockxlabs.comBlockX Labs specializes in building developer tools and solutions for blockchain ecosystems.We aim to sift through the noise to bring some sense and clarity into the Blockchain space. Our accomplishments include AIWA — a wallet and DApp interaction tool for the Aion Network, and Universal Faucet — a test token faucet for Ethereum, Aion, and Tron.Follow Us on Twitter: @BlockXLabsNon-fungible tokens vs Fungible Tokens: What’s the difference? Part II was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Tron is Now Available for Trading on the eToro Platform

Tron (TRX) was added to the social trading platform eToro. More than 100 million registered users will have access to one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the market. […] The post Tron is Now Available for Trading on the eToro Platform appeared first on UseTheBitcoin.
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eToro Acquires Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider FirmoImage via eToro, Facebook

Social trading and multi-asset brokerage company eToro has acquired Firmo, a smart contract infrastructure provider, for an undisclosed amount, eToro announced on Monday. The company said the acquisition aims to bring it “one step closer to becoming the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save.” The Firmo team will act […] The post eToro Acquires Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider Firmo appeared first on Coinjournal.

eToro Signals Tokenized Future with Acquisition of Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider Firmo

Coinspeaker eToro Signals Tokenized Future with Acquisition of Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider FirmoGlobal multi-asset investment platform eToro has today announced that it has acquired Firmo, for an undisclosed amount. Firmo enables smart contracts for derivatives to be securely enabled on any major blockchain.Commenting on the news Yoni Assia, Co-founder and CEO of eToro, said:“The acquisition of Firmo will enable eToro to accelerate the growth of our tokenized assets offering.  Blockchain and the tokenization of assets will play a major role in the future of finance. We believe that in time all investible assets will be tokenized and that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain.”eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. While this core vision remains the same, new technology namely blockchain, means that the eToro business has, and will continue to, evolve.Yoni Assia continued:“While our expansion has been largely organic to date, as the eToro business continues to grow we are on the lookout to acquire businesses which will help us stay at the forefront of fintech innovation. We believe that the market is particularly exciting at the moment.”The Firmo team will act as an internal innovation unit tasked with bringing to life the goal of tokenizing all assets on eToro. This will involve research and development of infrastructure for the representation of assets and the execution of trade processes on blockchain infrastructure.Dr. Omri Ross, CEO and Founder of Firmo, said:“The advent of crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it has driven an explosion in financial innovation, however, a number of challenges are preventing mass adoption and integration into legacy infrastructure.  Our goal is to enable our users to trade any asset globally with instant settlement by tokenizing assets and executing all essential trade processes on the blockchain.” Firmo’s underlying technology provides a platform to securely deploy financial contracts and can work with any blockchain. They have developed a formally verified, domain-specific contract language ‘FirmoLang’ which, with the support of Firmo’s compiler can be translated onto a number of blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, EOS or NEO.Yoni Assia said:“The Firmo team has done ground-breaking work in developing practical applications for blockchain technology which will facilitate friction-less global trading. The adoption of smart contracts on the blockchain increases trust and transparency in financial services. We are incredibly proud and excited that they will be joining the eToro family. We believe that together we have a very bright future and look forward to pursuing our shared goal to become the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save.”About eToroeToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. The eToro Group consists of the eToro platform, our multi-asset trading and investment venue, and eToroX, which manages our crypto wallet and forthcoming exchange.The eToro platform enables people to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to cryptoassets. We are a global community of more than ten million registered users who share their investment strategies; and anyone can follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. Due to the simplicity of the platform users can easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.As technology has evolved, so has our business. In 2018, we created eToroX, our digital asset subsidiary. eToroX provides the infrastructure, in the form of a crypto wallet and the forthcoming exchange, that supports our commitment to facilitating the evolution of tokenized assets. We believe that leveraging blockchain technology will enable us to become the first truly global service provider allowing everyone to trade, invest and save.eToro Signals Tokenized Future with Acquisition of Smart Contract Infrastructure Provider Firmo

5 Things You Need to Know About Apple’s New Credit Cardapple-cardampressman

Hoping to move more even deeply into the financial lives of its customers, Apple on Monday unveiled its own iPhone-oriented credit card, called the "Apple Card." The card, created in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, comes with some features that set it apart from traditional credit cards like a lack of a visible credit card number. But it also has some features that most people are well familiar with such as cash back. In a particularly Apple touch, customers can apply for the card on an app on their phones. It will be available this summer, Apple said. The card is tied closely into Apple Pay, the company’s digital wireless payments system. That makes it easy for customers to use the card for payments with all their Apple devices and for purchases both in retail stores and online. Here are five important things you should know about the new Apple Card: This isn’t your father’s credit card Yes, this is a physical credit card – albeit made of all-white, engraved titanium. But it doesn't have a number or expiration date printed on it. Get money back Like many other rewards cards, users will get a 2% rebate on spending with the new card through the Apple Pay app and 1% back when using its as a physical card. Customers will get 3% back on purchases from Apple. But customers won't have to wait long to spend the rebates. Apple said they would be available immediately on an accompanying app for use on new purchases, to pay down a credit card balance, or even to transfer to other people using Apple Pay. No fees Apple didn't say what the interest rate would be on the new card. Apple aapl did say that the card will have no annual fee, no late fees, no over-limit fee, and no international fees. Apple has previously offered a more typical branded Visa card in partnership with Barclays. That card also has no annual fee and lets users accumulate rewards points that can be redeemed for Apple gift cards. But otherwise, it more resembles a typical credit card, with late fees and other extra charges. Privacy protection Apple said it would provide more privacy protection than typical credit cards. The company said it wouldn't know where customers spend, how much they spend, or what they buy. Goldman Sachs gs would have that data and wouldn’t sell that information to third parties for marketing or advertising. Better spending data The new card will come with an app that provides highly detailed information about the users’ finances. Using data from Apple Maps, the app will show exactly where and when every transaction occurred instead of a traditional credit card statement. The app will "transform this mess into names and locations that you'll recognize," Apple vice president Jennifer Bailey said. The app will compile the information while processing all financial data on each user’s device. No data would flow to Apple’s servers, the company said.
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