Author: Michael del Castillo

Project Platypus: Jimmy Song’s New Plan to Fund Unpaid Bitcoin Coders

One of the most respected developers in bitcoin wants to give a new generation of open-source developers a revenue stream. Jimmy Song, known for his easy-to-understand technical analysis of cryptocurrency, is in the process of designing a laboratory to train and pay crypto developers under his new auspices as a partner at Blockchain Capital. Informally dubbed Platypus Labs, the project will support developers with a combination of residencies and fellowships, with an initial focus on coders building on Bitcoin Core, the most used version of the bitcoin software. According to Song, the project, while still in its early stages...

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Russia’s Capital Is Leading the Charge for Blockchain Democracy

Even as Russia stands accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, its national capital is taking a leadership role in making democracy more transparent. Using an existing program called Active Citizen, the city of Moscow has been allowing residents to cast votes for measures ranging from the name of their new metro train to the color of the seats in a new sports arena. But in an effort to soothe people’s concerns over whether to trust the city in its vote counting, it’s added a private version of the ethereum blockchain to that project’s architecture. “Of course,...

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R3 Center to Train Next Generation of Distributed Ledger Lawyers

R3 is taking new steps to train the next generation of distributed ledger lawyers. Announced February 20, the consortium of more than 200 financial institutions has assembled a team of 10 law firms to create the Legal Center of Excellence (LCoE), a platform for educating lawyers around the world on the fundamentals of blockchain technology and the ecosystem that’s grown up around it. Including law firms such as Crowell & Moring LLP (the legal counsel that helped R3 raise $107 million in venture capital), Baker McKenzie and Perkins Coie, the group has formed to accelerate the rate qualified crypto lawyers...

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Coinbase. Ripple. Uphold? Investor Greg Kidd Defends Bold Bet

“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floatin’ around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both.” The well-known quote from the Academy Award-winning movie “Forrest Gump” seems to sum up tech investor Greg Kidd’s life, and he even says as much himself. Calling an investment opportunity his “Forrest Gump moment” – just being in the right place at the right time – Kidd has bumped into, and subsequently invested in, some huge successes in his day. For instance, after founding a bicycle courier service aimed at helping financial...

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Crypto Is Now Fastest Growing Donation for Fidelity Charity Arm

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have proved quite charitable, at least as far as Fidelity Charitable is concerned. Announced today, the global charity revealed it has received $69 million in cryptocurrency donations in 2017, making it the fastest-growing asset type accepted by the firm. According to Fidelity Charitable’s annual report, the funds, which included donations in bitcoin and ether, came from 169 different donors. The donations represent a tenfold increase since the organization started accepting bitcoin in late 2015, a figure that grew 140 percent faster than the other options (such as real estate, shares of LLCs and bags of grain) that...

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Comcast VC Arm Embarks on ‘Aggressive’ Blockchain Investing Plan

Comcast Ventures isn’t just investing in blockchain startups – it’s investing in blockchain startups that invest in blockchain startups, with some very specific goals in mind. The firm last month joined IBM and Boldstart Ventures in backing accelerator mState, which invests in startups building enterprise blockchain solutions. Further, Comcast Ventures revealed to CoinDesk a recent strategic investment in Blockchange Ventures, a fund that invests in enterprises that have built technology using existing centralized protocols, but that might be in for a decentralized upgrade sometime soon. The strategy of helping sow as many blockchain seeds as possible by investing in...

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T-Mobile’s Blockchain Work Is Quietly Coming Together

T-Mobile has been quietly toiling away on an enterprise blockchain solution for months, and it looks primed to make a big reveal soon. The telecom giant’s interest in blockchain was most recently advanced after the company was prominently mentioned for its role in helping develop Hyperledger Sawtooth’s 1.0 version. Yet, its overarching blockchain work is not widely known. And while details are still being kept under lock and key, Chris Spanton, the senior architect of T-Mobile’s Hyper Directory, a blockchain proof-of-concept (PoC) that was quietly unveiled in November, told CoinDesk several milestones are in the works. Each, he said, fits into...

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Bush Security Advisor Warns Against Blockchain Cold War

The man who helped invent the financial embargoes that cut off terrorist funding after 9/11 is concerned that cryptocurrencies could be used to undermine his creations. A former deputy assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush, and a former deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism, Juan Zarate is widely credited with helping create sanctions tools and financial instruments that put pressure on enemies of the state. But as blockchain technology begins to break down borders and empower the unbanked, Zarate is growing concerned it might also be weaponized to illicit ends. Zarate told CoinDesk: “There are nefarious actors out there,...

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