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 October 24, 2019

1. Lessons from Zuck's day on the hill

Scientists propose a new way to build a scalable, low-energy Bitcoin

What you need to know

Four months can make a lifetime’s worth of difference to a project like Facebook's Libra. 

When he appeared before Congressional representatives in July, Libra co-creator David Marcus adopted an aggressive posture and refused to halt development of its blockchain and cryptocurrency for the sake of regulators. Back then, curiosity about the project was high and lawmakers were asking for a moratorium on its development until they could understand its implications.

Why it's important

Marcus’ boss, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, appeared more contrite in his Congressional appearance today. “Our views [about Libra] have clarified,” he said in response to a question from Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA). 

That clarification includes a commitment to withdraw Facebook from Libra, if it was not approved by U.S. regulators, a rebranding of Libra as a payment system instead of a currency, and an admission that their blockchain was, in fact, not decentralized like most cryptocurrencies.

Read the story in full

2. Clean crypto

Pi Network seeks to offset the environmental damage done by Bitcoin mining

What you need to know

A new cryptocurrency network launched earlier this year by a group of Stanford graduates claims to have what it takes to succeed where Bitcoin has failed: a way to bring crypto to the masses, and without the energy-guzzling blockchain that damages the environment.

Why it's important

The Pi Network is a new type of “social cryptocurrency” that the Standford PhDs and graduates behind it—Nicolas Kokkalis, Chengdiao Fan, and Vince McPhillip—say is so lightweight and easy to use, it’s designed to run on mobile phones.

Read more here

From the interweb

Here are the biggest stories in the cryptoverse:

Learn of the day - Tokenized World

The world is built on a giant $256 trillion pile of assets. Everything from property to art, to stocks to oil. Blockchain wants to change all that. This collection explores the industries being disrupted, by whom, and what that means for both consumers and enterprises. We've delved deep into the tokenized world to uncover the people, the projects and the potential of this technology to change capital forever.

Find out more about the project, here.
Read our learn of the day

3. BBC goes dark

BBC embraces the dark web, mirrors website for Tor users


What you need to know

While critics may chastise the Tor Network for its associations with online black-market dealings made in cryptocurrencies, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) sees Tor as an opportunity to fight censorship.

Why it's important

The British news agency announced today that it is making its website available to Tor users by providing a “dark web copy” viewable on Tor browsers. The idea is to ensure access to its news stories in parts of the world where such information might be censored.

We cover this story here

Startup uses DNA and blockchain to trace maritime fuel

Forensics and blockchain technology are coming together to help track maritime fuel supplies.

London-based startup BunkerTrace is hoping to improve accountability by putting synthetic DNA into the fuel—known as “bunker”—at each stage of the supply chain, which will then be logged on the blockchain.


Read more here.

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