Blockchain Weekly Recap 1-16-2016
Bitcoin XT Misses Desired Consensus Deadline
The January 11, 2016 commencement goal for the introduction of 8MB blockchain blocks for XT failed to be realized this week, as consensus within the Bitcoin community continues to be elusive. Developers Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen had initially proposed the target date for XT implementation, but in order for that implementation to happen three-quarters of node owners would have needed to adopt the XT software. To date, only ten percent of all Bitcoin nodes have converted.
Despite the failure of XT to attract the necessary support for full implementation, there is consensus among members of the Bitcoin community that some change must occur if the viability of the Bitcoin payment system is to be preserved. Despite that general sense of agreement, Bitcoin’s miners have been slow to take sides in the debate over how blockchain scalability should be accomplished.
Blockchain’s Impact Examined at ESMA Financial Innovation Event
News from the recent financial innovation event held by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) suggests that blockchain technology was a hot topic of discussion. While much of the focus was centered on the potential benefits distributed ledger technology could offer, there was also emphasis given to the potential risks - particularly with respect to terrorist financing and criminal activities.
Still, many of the ESMA participants went to great lengths to strike a balanced tone in their remarks. While there was general agreement on the need for regulation of the technology and the industry it empowers, there was also a great deal of interest in ensuring that those regulations do not prevent further technological innovation.
Reduced transaction costs, enhanced financial system transparency, and increased security were among just some of the potential blockchain benefits identified at the event. The event also highlighted implementation challenges that include the complexity of technological transition and the costs involved in adopting the new technology.
Ethereum Developer Mandeleil: Blockchain Could Help Solve Identity Hacking
With data hacks being reported with increasing regularity and a growing public awareness of the dangers of online identity theft, many internet users and tech experts have been clamoring for enhanced cyber security. Even as experts look to improvements in online security systems, one Ethereum developer is expressing his belief that the blockchain could be an important tool for resolving the problem.
That developer, Roman Mandeleil, envisions blockchain technology as a key to thwarting identity hacks. In his view, all that would be needed is for every individual to have his or her identity protected by a private key on the blockchain. He also notes that, even if this option failed to prevent all hacking, it would still offer far more security than that provided by current database models.
Blockchain Timestamps Aid in Credit Card Fraud Battle
Block Notary has announced that it is now providing a service that is designed to assist financial institutions and other companies in their efforts to remotely verify customer identification. This new service effectively documents and timestamps any potential customer’s ID verification through a process that creates a video of the consumer verbally verifying his or her identity while holding an approved identification document.
The new process would provide the verification banks need when dealing with new customers, and offers credit card companies a more effective way of protecting consumer identities during the application process. The verifying information would be timestamped using blockchain technology, providing a permanent record of the verification process for future reference and auditing purposes. The process is being hailed by some as an effective way to prevent credit card fraud, and could lead to even more creative timestamping benefits as the technology continues to evolve.