Bitcoin

Bag Week 2018: The Bitcoin Genesis Block backpack will centralize your belongings

Posted by | Bag Week 2018, Bitcoin, blockchain, computing, cryptocurrencies, ethereum, Gadgets, TC, technology, United Kingdom, vitalik buterin | No Comments

Welcome to Bag Week 2018. Every year your faithful friends at TechCrunch spend an entire week looking at bags. Why? Because bags — often ignored but full of our important electronics — are the outward representations of our techie styles, and we put far too little thought into where we keep our most prized possessions.

It’s difficult to show people that you love blockchain. There are no cool hats, no rad t-shirts, and no outward signs – except a libertarian bent and a poster of a scantily-clad Vitalik Buterin on your bedroom wall – to tell the world you are into decentralized monetary systems. Until, of course, the Bitcoin Genesis Block Backpack.

Unlike the blockchain, this backpack will centralize your stuff in a fairly large, fairly standard backpack. There is little unique about the backpack itself – it’s a solid piece made of 100% polyester and includes ergonomically designed straps and a secret pocket – but it is printed with the Bitcoin Genesis Block including a headline about UK bank bailouts. In short, it’s Merkle tree-riffic.

The green and orange text looks a little Matrix-y but the entire thing is very fun and definitely a conversation starter. Again, I doubt this will last more than a few trips to Malta or the Luxembourg but it’s a great way to let Bitcoin whales know your ICO means business.

The bag comes to us from BitcoinShirt, a company that makes and sells bitcoin-related products and accepts multiple cryptocurrencies. While this backpack won’t stand up to 51% attacks on its structural integrity, it is a fun and cheap way to show the world you’re pro-Nakamoto.

So as we barrel headlong into a crypto future fear not, fashion-conscious smart contract lover: the Bitcoin Genesis Block backpack is here to show the world you’re well and truly HODLing. To the moon!

Read other Bag Week reviews here.

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Meet the quantum blockchain that works like a time machine

Posted by | Bitcoin, blockchain, computing, cryptocurrencies, decentralization, Gadgets, information, Startups, TC, technology | No Comments

A new — and theoretical — system for blockchain-based data storage could ensure that hackers will not be able to crack cryptocurrencies once the quantum era starts. The idea, proposed by researchers at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, would secure cryptocurrency futures for decades using a blockchain technology that is like a time machine.

You can check out their findings here.

To understand what’s going on here we have to define some terms. A blockchain stores every transaction in a system on what amounts to an immutable record of events. The work necessary for maintaining and confirming this immutable record is what is commonly known as mining. But this technology — which the paper’s co-author Del Rajan claims will make up “10 percent of global GDP… by 2027” — will become insecure in an era of quantum computers.

Therefore the solution to store a blockchain in a quantum era requires a quantum blockchain using a series of entangled photons. Further, Spectrum writes: “Essentially, current records in a quantum blockchain are not merely linked to a record of the past, but rather a record in the past, one that does not exist anymore.”

Yeah, it’s weird.

From the paper intro:

Our method involves encoding the blockchain into a temporal GHZ (Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger) state of photons that do not simultaneously coexist. It is shown that the entanglement in time, as opposed to an entanglement in space, provides the crucial quantum advantage. All the subcomponents of this system have already been shown to be experimentally realized. Perhaps more shockingly, our encoding procedure can be interpreted as non-classically influencing the past; hence this decentralized quantum blockchain can be viewed as a quantum networked time machine.

In short, the quantum blockchain is immutable because the photons that it contains do not exist at the current time but are still extant and readable. This means the entire blockchain is visible but cannot be “touched” and the only entry you would be able to try to tamper with is the most recent one. In fact, the researchers write, “In this spatial entanglement case, if an attacker tries to tamper with any photon, the full blockchain would be invalidated immediately.”

Is this possible? The researchers note that the technology already exists.

“Our novel methodology encodes a blockchain into these temporally entangled states, which can then be integrated into a quantum network for further useful operations. We will also show that entanglement in time, as opposed to entanglement in space, plays the pivotal role for the quantum benefit over a classical blockchain,” the authors write. “As discussed below, all the subsystems of this design have already been shown to be experimentally realized. Furthermore, if such a quantum blockchain were to be constructed, we will show that it could be viewed as a quantum networked time machine.”

Don’t worry about having to update your Bitcoin wallet, though. This process is still theoretical and not at all available to mere mortals. That said, it’s nice to know someone is looking out for our quantum future, however weird it may be.

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Someone made a game where you ride the rapidly changing prices of cryptocurrencies

Posted by | Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, dogecoin, Gaming, Mobile | No Comments

The cryptocurrency world is a strange one, but at least it has a sense of humor. A new game has you riding a little crypto-car along the wildly fluctuating prices of major and minor currencies. It’s quite ridiculous, and it isn’t even a bad game!

It’s called Crypto Rider, predictably, and is very much a spawn of the popular Line Rider type of game, though (hopefully) different enough that there won’t be any cease and desists forthcoming.

You select your car, then pick a chart to ride — most are a ride from a coin’s humble start to its highest value. But there’s a mountain-like “total market cap” track, a “drag race” where you need to clear a valuation gap and one that must be depressing for BTC holders: a bumpy downhill ride from $20K to $7,850. New tracks should appear in time, as new cryptocurrencies rise and fall.

The game is cute — there are fun messages along the track, and the exhaust is tiny coins — and you collect coins toward unlocking new cars. I’m pretty sure they’re just aesthetic changes, but I’m gunning for a Dogecar anyway.

“The game was a side project for me to do in my own time,” wrote back Daniel Fahey, founder of the developer, SuperFly Games. “So the first original 10 tracks were what I felt were needed to give the game some replayability. But after the reception the game has received during its launch day, I will certainly be adding more tracks.”

It’s free, it’s dumb and it’s a fun way to waste a few minutes while you inadvertently lampoon the hubris of this rushed attempt to overthrow existing financial systems.

“I hope people find the game funny because it certainly wasn’t meant to be serious,” Fahey wrote. “It’s a bit of light-hearted fun in a somewhat serious space.”

Blockchain stuff is promising and we’ll get there eventually. But as the game seems to emphasize, it’ll probably be quite a ride.

You can download Crypto Rider for iOS or Android.

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Robinhood rolls out zero-fee crypto trading as it hits 4M users

Posted by | Apps, Bitcoin, coinbase, cryptocurrency, ethereum, Finance, Mobile, Robinhood, Robinhood Crypto, Startups, TC | No Comments

 Coinbase has some serious competition. Today, Robinhood starts rolling out its no-commission cryptocurrency trading feature in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire. Users there can buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum with no extra fees, and everyone can track those and 14 other coins in its sleek app. Read More

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Robinhood adds zero-fee cryptocurrency trading and tracking

Posted by | Apps, Bitcoin, coinbase, cryptocurrency, ethereum, Finance, Mobile, Robinhood, Social, Startups, TC | No Comments

 No-commission stock trading app Robinhood will let you buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum without any added transaction fees starting in February, compared to Coinbase’s 1.5 to 4 percent fees in the US. And as of today Robinhood will let all users track the price, news, and set up alerts on those and 14 other top crypto coins, including Litecoin and Ripple. “We’re planning… Read More

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The Sun Exchange funds solar installations with micro-investments and bitcoin

Posted by | Battlefield, Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Disrupt Berlin 2017, events, Gadgets, GreenTech, hardware, renewable energy, solar, Solar Power, TC, the sun exchange | No Comments

 Solar power could transform small communities around the world, but remote villages can’t always scrape together the thousands of dollars required to install the cells. The Sun Exchange wants to change that by leveraging the hearts and wallets of hobby investors, who cover the installation costs and then have their share of the revenue trickle in for years to come. There’s even… Read More

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The makers of the Solarin secure cellie are building a bitphone

Posted by | Bitcoin, blockchains, computing, cryptocurrencies, decentralization, Gadgets, Mobile, mobile phone, money, TC, technology | No Comments

 Bitcoin-powered cellphones — basically phones that can securely hold and send cryptocurrencies — have long been a fascinating if undeveloped concept in the crypto community. When phones talk to each other using BTC or other currencies — whether it’s to pay bills or send money to friends — you open up an interesting world of commerce. Read More

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Mining (And Learning) With The 21 Bitcoin Computer

Posted by | 21 inc, Bitcoin, Gadgets, TC | No Comments

21inc4b._SR700,525_ A few days ago a $400 charge hit my credit card and Amazon notified me that my 21.co bitcoin computer was on its way. Essentially a Raspberry Pi connected with a custom bitcoin-mining ASIC and a heatsink, the computer is one of the most interesting MVPs in modern memory. While you could easily recreate it yourself, the fact that 21 is building and selling these for a few hundred dollars is… Read More

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