A Tech Personality Became the Author of Mona Lisa Using Blockchain

monalisa blockchain

A blockchain startup Verisart has recently received some “black” PR. The project specializes in verifying the authenticity of pieces of art, creating digital certificates for them and also tracking down the history of particular works.

However, Verisart, as well as other art-related blockchain products, is heavily critisized by some of the developers. Some people prefer to just leave a negative comment in a forum or on the website, but there are people that go to the extreme to prove their point.

In this case, a technological expert, Terence Eden, decided to try and register on the above-mentioned platform as a creator of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”. He also provided evidence of successfully completing his endeavour.

According to him, the site only required his name, email address and the picture itself which was downloaded by him from Wikipedia.

Nevertheless, there were people that did not take this experiment seriously. For example, a blockchain specialist, Peter Todd, called it a fraud.

He protected Verisart by saying that Terence Eden does not truly understand the essence of its blockchain. According to Todd, Verisart is not an authoritative project, its main purpose is to timestamp evidence, so that it could not be backdated.

With both sides providing strong arguments, it is hard to understand who is actually right in this situation. Thus, we recommend you to be very careful when getting involved in any project or startup, especially if it is little-known.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Is The World Not Ready for the Power of Blockchain Yet?

The blockchain technology undoubtedly has a huge potential for companies specializing in various fields and areas. On a daily basis, we witness enterprises all over the world incorporate blockchain for security, cross-border payments, storing data and many other purposes.

Blockchain is used in the healthcare sector, studied in universities and even used to combat crimes against humanity, like child labor and drug trafficking. However, if we take a closer look at the statistics, we will be surprised to find out that most businesses are not yet at the stage of development to start using blockchain.

According to the research made by the software company Globant, among the participants of the survey, less than a half (46%) are actually ready to apply the blockchain technology right away.

Our report reveals organizations are eager to invest in blockchain solutions to improve their internal operations. Enthusiasm toward blockchain has yet to translate into readiness, however,” is mentioned in the report.

As for the statistical results of the survey, here it is worth pointing out the following bullet points:

  • 64% of the respondents are willing to incorporate blockchain and invest into blockchain solutions, but have not undertaken anything specific yet;
  • 61% are already actively researching the technology and the ways of applying it for their businesses;
  • Only 28% have selected their first or subsequent blockchain vendor.

Out of the respondents whose businesses have already started researching blockchain:

  • 42% are in the discovery phase;
  • 30% are still unsure of which blockchain provider to choose;
  • 19% have chosen their first vendor;
  • 9% have already moved on to another provider.

Thus, we can clearly see that although the interest in blockchain is obviously present and growing with every single day, however, it is still quite far from being fully incorporated by the businesses worldwide.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Chinese Fudan University Opens Up a Research Center Devoted to Blockchain

One of the oldest and most prestigious educational establishments in China, Fudan University, located in Shanghai, is moving with the times. Just like their colleagues from universities in Tokyo, Stanford and other cities around the world, Fudan scientists decided to try out the potential of the blockchain technology.

The university partnered up with a couple major companies in Shanghai, one of them being Shanghai Zhongren Information Technology Co., Ltd, and launched Shanghai Blockchain Engineering Technology Research Center.

The new blockchain hub will function not only to benefit Fudan University, but also for the sake of the whole city.

Professor Lu Haibin, the newly appointed Director of the Blockchain Research Center of Fudan University, introduced it during the official opening:

The Blockchain Research Center will carry out basic research, demonstration of possible application and training talented people with the help of the blockchain technology, strengthen the combination of production, study and research, and serve Shanghai’s economic development.

Frankly speaking, this is not the first time that a Chinese higher educational establishment opened up a similar center. The fintech research department of the Tsinghua University in Beijing cooperated with the blockchain payment solution producer Ripple and established a special scholarship for gifted students in this area called the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship Program.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

CryptoMining.Farm Scam: 30 Victims Lost $1.34 Million

Thirty people have filed complaints to Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division stating that they were victims of crypto mining scam, they allegedly lost 42 million baht ($1.34 million). The police thinks that the amount of victims can be bigger.

According to the victims’ words, the leaders of the scam convinced them to invest money into CryptoMining.Farm, a blockchain-mining website. One anonymous victim said to the Bangkok Post that one of the leaders promised investor an impossibly high return – 70% a year.

The victims signed contracts when they entered the website, the documents said that a customer may withdraw money at any time he/she wanted without any additional condition. However, the situation has changed since August. The victim stated that:

“From August the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money. Then at the start of this month, the site announced it would start paying back investors in 84 installments which would take over seven years to complete. The payments were supposed to be made in foreign currencies [which] is not permitted by Thai laws.”

After a preliminary investigation, the police is sure that not 30, but 140 people became victims of the scam. Moreover, it can be related to a big scandal which happened in August 2018, when a popular Thai actor and his siblings stole about 797 million baht ($25.5 million).

According to the Bangkok Post, the company has two official offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which may make the victims think that the company’s operations are legal.

Thailand treats digital money with caution and tries to regulate it. The Thai Ministry of Finance even issued a document last year where all the country’s cryptocurrency activities were regulated, including the taxation of participants of crypto market.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

The Recent Filing of Apple to SEC Suggests Its Interest in the Blockchain Technology

It has been detected that one of the latest listing of Apple submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission called “Conflict Minerals Report” mentioned the blockchain technology as one of the methods to deal with the issue stated there.

The issue itself regarded the mining, production and shipment of minerals used to produce smartphones and other electronic devices.

We have covered the topic earlier and informed you about the company Ford that cooperated with IBM and other giants in order to combat child labor in Africa. Their primary goal was to focus on cobalt mines in Congo, where minors were and maybe still are working illegally.

Meanwhile, Apple has some big plans on that cobalt, since this mineral is crucial for the company to manufacture their devices. However, using cobalt from the infamous mines in Congo would mean direct support of the human rights abuse.

Many experts have repeatedly pointed out that the supply chains of Apple were involved in multiple scandals involving the violation of human basic rights. Thus, the company had to make sure it got rid of the “dirty” reputation.

Apple is deeply committed to upholding human rights across its global network of suppliers that support the manufacturing of its mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and related accessories. Apple works to safeguard the well-being of people involved in its supply chain and to protect the places where materials are sourced,” the filing reads.

Conflict Minerals Report was mainly about the work ethics of Apple and the possible ways to ensure the legitimacy of supply chains, using the blockchain technology, as well as educating other businesses how to use blockchain for security purposes.

Thus, we might draw a conclusion that Apple is getting closer to using the blockchain technology, even though it is indirect so far. Bigger step towards using the potential of blockchain might follow soon.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Romance Scams: Total Loss Accounts For More Than $143 Million

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently published a report showing that romance scams are relentlessly gathering momentum. The number of romance scams has increased in 2.5 times, from 8,500 in 2015 to 21,368 last year, overtaking the number of any other type of consumer fraud.

Romance scams data

The data provided below shows that in 2015 the number of reports did not exceed 10,000, and the total loss was estimated at about $33 million. The situation has been worsening since 2016, when the reported loss accounted for $75 million, two times bigger than in 2015. However, the year of 2018 broke all the records when the total loss comprised over $143 million.   

Source: www.ftc.gov

How do scammers lure people?

Romance scammers usually create attractive and convincing personas on the dating sites and apps or social media, like Facebook, for example. They frequently use fake photos and names, but there were cases of assuming the identities of real people. The scammers lure people with their sob stories to convince victims to send them large amounts of money.

Once the romance scammers have people by the heartstrings, they say they need money for medical treatment or for any other quite sad reason. The fraudsters usually explain to victims that they are in the military and stationed abroad, thus, they cannot meet. The report says that most affected are people from 40 to 69, the rate of their losing money to romance scams is higher more than twice in compare to the rate of people in their 20s.

Tips how to not get engaged in a romance scam

  1. Do not send money or anything else to the sweetheart you have never met in person before.
  2. Tell your close friends about your sweetheart. People can become blinded when they are in love, thus, pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
  3. Do not rush, just take it slowly. Try to ask questions, use a reverse-image search of the profile picture. If something does not match, it is a scam.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

A Major Japanese Bank Is Developing a Blockchain-Based Payment Network Due in 2020

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is on the most prominent financial institutions in Japan, moreover, it is the world’s fifth largest bank in the world. Located in Tokyo, MUFG has branches in 50 countries all over the globe and over 150 thousand employees.

The financial group provides services in the various fields like leasing, asset management, commercial banking, credit cards, securities and others. It also constantly collaborates with the largest banking establishments in America, Europe and Asia.

MUFG and blockchain

Following the example of its competitors and partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group decided to involve innovative technologies in order to upgrade and advance its payment systems.

According to the official press release of the bank, it is partnering up with the Massachusetts-based company Akamai Technologies, which is a leading provider of content delivery and site accelerating services.

MUFG and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (“Akamai”) announced today that they have agreed to strengthen their strategic alliance towards the full-scale launch of a new payment network business and establishment of a joint venture, Global Open Network, Inc.,” is mentioned in the press release.

The main purpose of the collaboration, the development of a blockchain network for payments, is planned to be launched in 2020.

As stated by the bank representatives, they want to experiment with “diverse payment schemes” which will allow to expand their range of services.

We remind you that another global financial establishment, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, is also working on implementing cutting-edge technologies and launched a financial management app.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/