SaaS-Blockchain Platform FiO Releases Alpha Version at Google Developer Group Meetup in Taiwan 39033

The disruptive SaaS platform FiO kicked off its ambitious 2020 roadmap this week in Taiwan. The company officially released its platform’s alpha version at a Google Developers Group (GDG) meetup in Taichung, Taiwan, where a senior FiO engineer delivered a keynote speech, showcased the versatile blockchain-onboarding service in action and helped participants try it out.

FiO’s simple “blockchain tool” enables conventional companies to create tailored, non-technical blockchain applications, such as product provenance, online gaming, fitness tracking, and cross-platform loyalty rewards.

On January 9th, 2020, FiO Senior Engineer Joe Huang delivered a keynote speech to Taichung’s Google Developer Group (GDG), where he demonstrated the FiO alpha version, the convergence between blockchain and cloud services and shared insights on how to choose the right cloud service platform.

Cloud service platforms have become a ubiquitous part of the digital economy over the last 5 years. Most features though are overly complex and hard to differentiate vis-a-vis, making it difficult for non-technical customers to review offerings on merit.

Huang listed several key criteria to be assessed before choosing a solution, such as server locations, authority management, system maintenance, ease of access, synchronization accuracy, and more.

Huang also touched on cloud companies that provide blockchain solutions, such as Google’s GCP, Amazon’s AWS, Alibaba’s Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure. He highlighted the converging relationship between blockchain technology and cloud services and the opportunities this present to specialist blockchain service providers like FiO.

Huang finished by demonstrating how non-technical users could utilize FiO’s blockchain tool without any programming knowledge, by using free Google cloud computing applications such as Google Sheets.

After garnering significant buzz in 2019 from the blockchain industry, the event marks an important milestone for FiO as it’s their first official alpha version release, a vital step in a dedicated testing process. Going forward, FiO will engage in rigorous further product testing and developer community feedback to provide users with a groundbreaking final product later in 2020.

About GDG Taichung

GDG Taichung is an independent Taiwanese Google Developers Group that helps the Google community connect and share their development expertise.

Learn more: https://t.me/gdg_taichung

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ZebPay Expands Chainalysis Relationship in India 3189

Chainalysis, the blockchain analysis company, today announced the expansion of its partnership with ZebPay, the leading cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider in India. Under the terms of the agreement, ZebPay will expand its use of Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction) for transaction monitoring and compliance processes and Chainalysis Reactor for enhanced due diligence and investigations in India. The expanded relationship follows the recent regulatory developments regarding cryptocurrency in the country. ZebPay already uses Chainalysis software in Singapore.

“While there are still steps that need to be taken to strengthen cryptocurrency regulation in India, exchanges like ZebPay that implement robust compliance and investigative software will be well-equipped for future developments,” said Jason Bonds, Chief Revenue Officer, Chainalysis. “We believe India is poised to make advancements for the cryptocurrency industry, and look forward to growing our business there. We are excited to partner with ZebPay during such a historic time.”

“We wanted to build a best-in-class compliance program in India from the start,” said Avinash Shekhar, President, ZebPay. “We already knew the power of Chainalysis KYT’s automated compliance features and Chainalysis Reactor’s advanced investigative capabilities from our work with them in other markets, and we know Chainalysis will set us up for successful expansion in India.”

By leveraging Chainalysis KYT, cryptocurrency businesses like ZebPay can monitor large volumes of cryptocurrency activity and identify high-risk transactions on a continuous basis. Real-time alerts on the highest-risk activity allow compliance teams to focus on the most urgent activity and fulfill their regulatory obligations to report suspicious activity. Chainalysis Reactor assists cryptocurrency businesses to further investigate suspicious transactions and provide more detailed reporting on criminal activity such as fraud, extortion, and money laundering on the blockchain.

About Chainalysis
Chainalysis is the blockchain analysis company providing data and analysis to government agencies, exchanges, and financial institutions across 40 countries. Our investigation and compliance tools, education, and support create transparency across blockchains so our customers can engage confidently with cryptocurrency. Backed by Accel, Benchmark, and other leading names in venture capital, Chainalysis builds trust in blockchains. For more information, visit www.chainalysis.com.

About ZebPay
ZebPay is India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange since 2014, offering the largest BTC-INR and BAT-INR markets in the world. ZebPay is headquartered in Singapore, with exchanges in India, Singapore, and Australia offering cryptocurrency trading facilities.

Core Scientific and Bitmain Partner to Bring Bitmain’s “Ant Training Academy” to North America 4904

Core Scientific, the leading US blockchain hosting provider, and Bitmain, the industry-leading fabless manufacturer of computing chips, today announced the launch of the new Dalton, GA based Ant Training Academy (ATA) location, the first outside China. The new location was created to allow more North American based participants access to the same highly regarded training and certification services of the China based Academy, without having to travel outside North America. Courses are expected to begin in fall 2020.

Core Scientific is a leader in Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies, delivering best-in-class infrastructure and software solutions. In an increasingly distributed and connected world, Core Scientific believes AI and blockchain are changing the way information is processed, shared and stored across a range of industries.

Created by Bitmain in 2017, the ATA curriculum is based on years of knowledge dissemination and technology inheritance and accumulation. It is the sole training institution and certification authority officially certified by Antminer. ATA’s Maintenance Training Course is designed to educate maintenance personnel on how to install, operate, and repair mining equipment.

“We are very excited to partner with Bitmain to bring the world class Bitmain Ant Training Academy to North America” said Jeff Taylor, Chief Information Officer, Core Scientific. “Combining the proven ATA curriculum with accredited instructors from Core Scientific, where the white glove approach and strong operational excellence is part of our DNA, ensures attendees will walk away with the mission critical skills they need to operate at the highest level and secure the long term viability of their equipment.”

“As part of Bitmain’s commitment to providing continuous support and development for its global customers, we have partnered with Core Scientific, a company well-known for their professional work in the industry. We are confident that through this cooperation, customers will have better access to high-level professional training and certification from ATA to enhance the process of maintaining miners on a global scale”, said Nathaniel Yu, International Marketing Manager, Bitmain.

About Bitmain
Founded in 2013, Bitmain transforms computing by building industry-defining technology in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI). Bitmain leads the industry in the production of integrated circuits for cryptocurrency mining, as well as mining hardware under the Antminer brand. The company also operates the largest cryptocurrency mining pools worldwide-Antpool.com and BTC.com. Bitmain technology supports a wide range of blockchain platforms and startups.

About Core Scientific
With a team that has a multi-year blockchain success story, Core Scientific provides custom hosting solutions at scale. Core Scientific is pioneering new innovations and best practices in the AI and Blockchain landscape. To learn more, visit www.corescientific.com.

LG Joins Hedera Governing Council to Accelerate Innovation and Adoption of Public DLT Globally 4716

LG Electronics Inc. and Hedera Hashgraph, an enterprise-grade distributed ledger platform, today announced that LG has joined the Hedera Governing Council. The Council, designed to enable the most decentralized governance model for a public ledger, will comprise up to 39 global organizations from a diverse array of industries and geographies.

LG is the Council’s 14th member, joining Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, DLA Piper, FIS (WorldPay), Google, IBM, Magalu, Nomura, Swirlds, Swisscom Blockchain, Tata Communications, University College London (UCL), and Wipro. As the sole home appliance manufacturer to join the Hedera Governing Council, LG will work with Hedera and other members of the Council to identify ways that distributed ledger technology can benefit consumers and supply chain partners by enabling seamless transactions.

All members of the Hedera Governing Council will run a node on the Hedera Hashgraph public network and are responsible for approving Hedera’s roadmap and updates to the platform’s codebase. Members ensure the Council’s decentralization and diversity.

Mance Harmon, CEO and co-founder of Hedera Hashgraph, said, “We are thrilled to welcome industry leader LG to the Hedera Governing Council. For many years, LG has been visionary in their approach to adopting new technology in the name of improving the lives of customers and partners worldwide. We look forward to collaborating with LG and their ecosystem to explore the many potential ways that distributed ledger technology can similarly be applied to benefit their customer base.”

“Distributed ledger technology holds the potential to improve customer value and allow enterprises across many sectors to offer new services that take advantage of the trust, security, and speed that it provides,” said Cho Taeg-il, senior vice president of LG Electronics. “We look forward to being a part of the Hedera Governing Council and opportunities where we can collaborate with other leading organizations across a wide range of industries to further develop the application of distributed ledger technology to benefit businesses and consumers alike.”

Layer1 Launches Bitcoin Batteries to Stabilize Energy Grids by Releasing Electricity to Meet Market Demand 5903

Layer1 Technologies, the leading U.S. Bitcoin mining and energy infrastructure company, announced today that it has completed the installation of its proprietary demand-response technology based on the energy market standards developed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Now, Layer1’s fully integrated, proprietary Bitcoin-mining data center containers serve as large-scale energy storage systems (“Bitcoin Batteries”) that can be tapped in real time to meet peak market demand. By centralizing the consumption and release of multiple Megawatts per data center container, Layer1’s Bitcoin Batteries stabilize national and local energy grids that frequently suffer from demand shocks.

“Layer1 is the first company in the global Bitcoin mining industry that can curtail large amounts of energy consumption during times of market need and release it to the grid at the push of a button,” said Alexander Liegl, co-founder and CEO, Layer1. “We are the first company to perfectly align the economic incentives of large-scale energy consumption for high-performance computing, such as Bitcoin mining or cloud computing, and the need for grid stabilization by energy market regulators.”

Utility commissions are required to provide grid reliability while serving the increasing consumer demand for electricity in their markets. For instance, when a heat wave strikes and amplifies retail demand for air-conditioning, citizens are threatened with blackouts in times of greatest need. Layer1’s proprietary demand-response software can be activated to stabilize the energy grid by dynamically managing its electricity usage during periods of peak market demand.

“The increased installation of renewable energy production capacity will require increased demand response services from companies like Layer1,” said Liegl. “While the increased generation of renewable energy enables the government to meet carbon emission reduction goals, the volatility of green energy production means there’s less certainty of supply for end-consumers. In order to continue guaranteeing energy grid stability, public utilities will need to increase their integration with cutting-edge demand response technology.”

Layer1’s developed, proprietary large-scale power management software and patent-pending immersed liquid-cooling infrastructure reduces the company’s all-in electricity costs by over 75%, enabling its cost of production per Bitcoin mined to be multiples lower than any other global competitor.

Layer1 continues its mission to be the only vertically integrated Bitcoin miner to deliver pioneering technology for the energy market. Layer1 has redesigned Bitcoin mining from first principles to control every profit and cost lever across its technology stack, from proprietary ASIC chips and liquid-cooled mining containers to wholly owned power development and procurement.

The Layer1 team brings together Bitcoin mining’s most experienced team, having built-out over 15% of the network as founders of some of the biggest players in the world. Armed with a full-stack approach and never-before-seen container power capacity that’s rapidly scalable, climate resistant, and plug-and-play deployable, the Layer1 team is on a mission to forever change the way large-scale mining works.

Mechanical Technology Incorporated Announces Closing of Previously Announced GigaWatt Acquisition 7595

Mechanical Technology, Incorporated (“MTI”), a publicly traded company (OTC Pink: MKTY) headquartered in Albany, New York, announced today that EcoChain, Inc. (“EcoChain”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTI, has closed its acquisition of the intellectual property of Giga Watt, Inc. (“GigaWatt”) and certain other property and rights of GigaWatt associated with GigaWatt’s operation of a crypto-mining operation located in Washington State.

The acquisition was approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington and was consummated by EcoChain on May 20, 2020. As previously announced by MTI, EcoChain purchased the subject GigaWatt assets for cash consideration of $200,000 and will be assuming certain contractual obligations of GigaWatt related to existing leases and utility power supply. EcoChain intends to sell certain acquired equipment that is determined to be excess in nature so as to reduce EcoChain’s overall transaction costs. EcoChain expects that the newly acquired assets will form the cornerstone of EcoChain’s new pilot cryptocurrency mining operation.

About EcoChain
EcoChain, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTI, is developing a pilot cryptocurrency mining facility powered by renewable energy to integrate with the bitcoin blockchain network.

About MTI
MTI is engaged in the design, manufacture, and sale of test and measurement instruments and systems through its subsidiary MTI Instruments, Inc. MTI Instrument’s products use a comprehensive array of technologies to solve complex, real world applications in numerous industries including manufacturing, electronics, semiconductor, solar, commercial and military aviation, automotive and data storage.

Harmony Launches Staking, Becomes the First Sharded Proof-of-Stake Blockchain to go Live 8734

Harmony upgraded its mainnet to support staking, becoming the first blockchain to successfully combine sharding and proof-of-stake. Launch partners include Binance, Huobi and BitMax as well as professional validators such as Blockdaemon, Stake.fish and Figment Networks. Stakers on Harmony can expect to earn annual yields ranging from 45% to 15% in the first year.

Background

In 2018, the combination of proof-of-stake and sharding emerged as a leading solution for blockchain scaling. Projects like Ethereum 2.0, Near Protocol and Harmony adopted this approach for its promise to increase transaction throughput and reduce cost, while preserving decentralization.

Theoretical promise quickly gave way to the daunting technical complexity of building such a system. Fast forward to 2020 and no project has yet been able to crack the nut of sharding and proof-of-stake. That is until Harmony announced it had successfully upgraded its 4-shard network to support staking.

Impact

Being first is one thing, but the real question is does this blockchain architecture deliver on promises? And here Harmony’s making remarkable progress. Transactions on Harmony settle in 8 seconds, a welcome change for those accustomed to waiting minutes for Ethereum transactions to finalize. Costs are significantly cheaper as well. A transaction on Harmony will set you back only $0.000·001.

Sharding allows Harmony to achieve these results without sacrificing decentralization. Harmony’s network consists of over 320 public nodes and Harmony plans to increase that number to 1000 and beyond by the end of the year. By contrast chains like EOS and Libra scale at the cost of decentralization by limiting their networks to 21 and 27 nodes respectively.

Proof-of-stake blockchains have been criticized for “rich get richer” economics, in which the largest stakers earn the most. Harmony’s novel staking mechanism called “Effective Proof of Stake” counters this problem by capping the rewards of large stakers and boosting the rewards of smaller ones.

Future

Now that the core protocol work is complete, Harmony will shift focus to solving a potentially harder challenge: adoption. Harmony’s EVM compatibility makes it easy for developers in the Ethereum ecosystem to test out the new network. In addition to the protocol’s features, a comprehensive set of developer grants are planned to encourage developers to take the leap.

“Now that we’re equipped with a battle-tested base layer, we will shift gears to pursue adoption with the same nonstop execution that enabled us to launch the first sharded PoS blockchain,” said Harmony CEO, Stephen Tse. “Our scalability, speed and cost will enable use cases and user experiences that no other blockchain before us could.”

Harmony’s roadmap for 2020 includes reducing settlement times below 8 seconds, transitioning to community governance, and pursuing several promising application areas including cross-border finance and branded digital collectables.

Partners

Among Harmony’s launch supporters are numerous professional validators and exchanges. Blockdaemon, Stake.fish, Staked.us, Wetez, Sesame Seed, Everstake and InfStones are among 16 staking partners who are also top validators on Tezos, Cosmos, EOS and TRON. Binance, BitMax and Kucoin will support Harmony staking on their platforms.

About Harmony

Harmony is a fast and open blockchain for decentralized applications. Its protocol has achieved secure and random state sharding. Harmony’s Mainnet supports thousands of nodes in multiple shards, producing blocks in a few seconds with instant finality. The network’s staking mechanism reduces centralization while supporting stake delegation, reward compounding and double-sign slashing. Harmony aims to build an open network of nodes operated and governed by a large community.