Digital Currency Weekly Recap 8-14-2016
Jaxx Wallet First to Offer Support for iOS
This week, Jaxx announced that its multi-platform and multi-token wallet will soon include support for Dash, which will make it the first Dash wallet available for those using iOS. In making the announcement, the company’s CEO emphasized Jaxx’s commitment to working with developers to facilitate access to many different digital currencies through the creation of a blockchain-based interface “for the masses.” The Jaxx wallet was already available to users of Android, OSX and Linux, and capable of being used on Windows via a desktop app. It also can be accessed via Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. The integration of Dash support is expected to be complete within the next week.
Coursera Crypto Course: For Free
The educational technology firm Coursera will soon be offering a free cryptocurrency course online. That course, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, is currently scheduled to begin next month, and will be focused on teaching newcomers to the world of digital currencies about Bitcoin and its technical aspects. Key topics within the course will include issues related to cryptocurrency’s unique nature, its anonymity, how it works, security, and regulation concerns. The instructor will be Princeton University assistant professor of Computer Science Arvind Narayanan, and the course will be provided in English.
This first cryptocurrency educational offering from Coursera will use an interactive online textbook and a variety of educational tools that will include everything from quizzes to videos and various projects. Students who choose to join the class will be expected to get a passing grade on course assignments to actually complete the coursework. Finally, the course will provide a forum for students to discuss and debate course materials and a variety of related ideas and concepts. Enrollment is open now for anyone who wants to participate.
Just What the World Needs: A DDoS-Created Cryptocurrency
In what has to be one of the strangest bits of news in recent months, a pair of researchers recently presented a paper at the 2016 USENIX computer security symposium that proposed the creation of something called the DDoSCoin – a cryptocurrency that is mined by executing malicious Distributed Denial of Service attacks on websites. Those researchers - Eric Wustrow and Benjamin VanderSloot – developed a system with rewards that operate differently than most digital currencies. Instead of mining the coins by resolving complex puzzles, these coins would be mined as the system receives confirmation that a user has initiated a successful denial of service attacks.
As you might expect, the researchers themselves deny that they would bear any responsibility for the misuse of their theoretical system. As Wustrow noted in a recent conversation with Motherboard, “In our paper we have only attempted to show that the idea is possible; we have not pushed to actually make it a reality today.” Or, as Eminem once rapped, “I just said it, I ain't know if you'd do it or not”
How Russia Gave Me Whiplash
Bear with me, if you will. So, I was at the doctor’s office yesterday to see if she could tell me why I kept having these persistent neck and upper back pains, recurring minor paralysis, dizziness, and other symptoms that made me feel as though I had been ran down by a truck. After a thorough examination, she diagnosed me with Russian CryptoWhiplash, which is apparently a condition brought on by trying to follow the ever-shifting attitudes the Russian government expresses in relation to digital currency. The only cure apparently involves the country’s officials finally making up their mind and settling on one actual policy direction – which thus far has meant that no real cure is in sight.
Okay, so that’s not a real medical condition, but it might soon become one if these policy shifts keep occurring with this type of regularity. This time, the changes involve the Ministry of Finance meeting with the Ministry of Justice and the Central Bank and finally agreeing to drop its effort to criminalize digital currency creation and use. As you might recall, Finance had plans to introduce legislation creating penalties for digital currency use back in May – penalties that could have included jail sentences as long as seven years, and fines of as much as $38,000.
The latest news represents yet another shift in the cryptocurrency winds in Russia, but at least it is a welcome sign this time. With any luck, the Russian government can continue on this path long enough for the nation to take advantage of the opportunities that the technology can offer to the Russian people.