Blockchain Comes Under Data Privacy Scrutiny | Arent Fox – JDSupra – JD Supra

Blockchain Comes Under Data Privacy Scrutiny | Arent Fox – JDSupra – JD Supra

Blockchain Explained

Blockchain is an immutable and decentralized digital ledger, which records transactions taking place in a peer-to-peer network. In simple form, blockchain is a database that contains data within blocks, which are all connected. Nothing within this database can be deleted or modified after it has been validated and added, but more data can be added to the database.

Blockchain enables and facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a given blockchain network. A common misconception of blockchain is that all transactions are anonymous, when in fact, they are typically pseudonymous. Although blockchains and the transactions can be anonymous, most blockchains typically operate as public ledgers, which enable the ability to track transactions or assets to a given transaction or source.

While there are numerous blockchain platforms, perhaps the most recognized blockchain platforms are the Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum, the blockchain for Ether. The Bitcoin blockchain is credited with sparking the adoption of blockchain as it sheds light on the potential of decentralized finance. However, Ethereum is the blockchain platform that has emerged as the catalyst for innovation because of its ability to enable the building of “smart contracts” and “distributed applications” (DApps).

A smart contract is a self-executing agreement stored on a blockchain with the terms being written in computer code. Each smart contract is programmed to execute certain actions upon the completion of the identified terms. If the terms of the smart contract are not completed, the smart contract will not execute. Smart contracts are vital
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Is blockchain decentralized enough? This middleware provider doesn’t think so – Cointelegraph

Is blockchain decentralized enough? This middleware provider doesn’t think so – Cointelegraph

A decentralized platform that provides infrastructure services for DApp developers and users says its goal is to deliver safety and stability.

According to Apron, the world remains reliant on the centralized artifacts of the Web 2.0 era — and its network is designed to serve as the foundational layer for the next generation.

While the team acknowledges that Ethereum has contributed to DApps exploding in popularity, they say operating nodes on this blockchain is both expensive and energy intensive — prompting a centralized support structure to emerge.

Apron Network is designed to shake things up by improving the infrastructure service ecosystem of the Web 3.0 world. Based on the Substrate framework, it can serve as a parachain of both Kusama and Polkadot, and delivers solutions that power the effective development of DApps and DeFi developers.

Apron’s service marketplace matches infrastructure service providers with DApp developers — and provides rankings for each of the options available. 

‘The Polkadot of middleware’

Apron says that its goal is to become the middleware of blockchain — and pave the way for cross-chain collaboration and scalability. 

The platform has been conducting technical docking with Seascape, Stafi, Dora, SubDAO and a plethora of other projects, and is establishing cooperation with the likes of Polkadot, Kusama, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Huobi’s Eco Chain (HECO.) Partnerships have also been secured with Phala, Kylin, IOST, DEGO, Darwinia, Litentry, Bifrost and Math Wallet.

Earlier this month, Apron successfully developed and launched a set
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Distinguish “Smart Contract” From Abstract Idea To Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny – JD Supra

Distinguish “Smart Contract” From Abstract Idea To Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny – JD Supra

The Situation

Smart contracts are often mentioned in blockchain-themed patent applications and recited in claims. However, Examiners without a thorough understanding of this concept or unfamiliar with blockchain technology often equate smart contracts with legal or commercial contracts stored on blockchains. As a result, the Examiners may find claims directed to merely applying the blockchain technology to execute legal or commercial contracts, for example, as part of a commerce system, like hedging. See, e.g., Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. at 2356 (citing Bilski v. Kappas, 561, U.S. 593, 611 (2010)).

Without detailed explanations of “smart contract” set forth in the specification, patent prosecutors may find themselves in anuphill battle against the abstract idea finding. What makes it worse is that several mainstream online sources often explain “smart contract” in a narrow sense or an incorrect way, from where Examiners may have looked up and gathered an impression. For example, Wikipedia tells its readers that “[a] smart contract is a computer program or a transaction protocol which is intended to automatically execute, control or document legally relevant events and actions according to the terms of a contract or an agreement” (emphasis added). See here. For another example, Investopedia provides that “A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code” (emphases added). See Investopedia.

Although smart contracts have been found to revamp many traditional areas, narrowly interpreting smart
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Distinguishing to Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny – The National Law Review

Distinguishing to Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny – The National Law Review

The Situation

Smart contracts are often mentioned in blockchain-themed patent applications and recited in claims. However, Examiners without a thorough understanding of this concept or unfamiliar with blockchain technology often equate smart contracts with legal or commercial contracts stored on blockchains. As a result, the Examiners may find claims directed to merely applying the blockchain technology to execute legal or commercial contracts, for example, as part of a commerce system, like hedging. See, e.g., Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. at 2356 (citing Bilski v. Kappas, 561, U.S. 593, 611 (2010)).

Without detailed explanations of “smart contract” set forth in the specification, patent prosecutors may find themselves in anuphill battle against the abstract idea finding. What makes it worse is that several mainstream online sources often explain “smart contract” in a narrow sense or an incorrect way, from where Examiners may have looked up and gathered an impression. For example, Wikipedia tells its readers that “[a]
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Microsoft Launches Decentralized Identity Platform ION On Bitcoin’s Blockchain – Yahoo Finance

Microsoft Launches Decentralized Identity Platform ION On Bitcoin’s Blockchain – Yahoo Finance


Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) decentralized identity platform ION is now live on the Bitcoin blockchain.

What Happened: After four years in the making, the layer two network was successfully deployed on the Bitcoin mainnet, according to the company’s recent announcement.

“We have deployed an ION node to our production infrastructure and are working together with other companies and organizations to do so as well,” said Daniel Buchner of Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity team.

The project is also completely open-source, meaning it has been designed for any individual user to run their own node. “In fact, the more nodes in operation, the stronger the network becomes,” noted Buchner.

Why It Matters: The ION Decentralized Identifier (DID) will utilize the Bitcoin blockchain to authenticate online IDs.

Essentially, ION will use the same logic as Bitcoin’s transaction layers to validate a user’s identity. According to ION, all the IDs will be tied to Bitcoin’s blockchain using the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol, and nodes will be able to process 10,000 ID requests in a single transaction.

Logging into a variety of online platforms, including social media, or even buying tickets online, could be made simpler by the verification provided by a users’ DID.

Users can also use a DID as digital proof to represent any verifiable assertion, ranging from diplomas to membership cards.

However, unlike traditional usernames and email addresses, DIDs will be owned and controlled by the users themselves, existing independently of
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What Is Ethereum And How Does It Work? – Forbes

What Is Ethereum And How Does It Work? – Forbes

Editorial Note: Forbes may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Ethereum is often referred to as the second most popular cryptocurrency, after Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin—and most other virtual currencies—Ethereum is intended to be much more than simply a medium of exchange or a store of value. Instead, Ethereum calls itself a decentralized computing network built on blockchain technology. Let’s unpack what that means.

How Does Ethereum Work?

Like all cryptocurrencies, Ethereum works on the basis of a blockchain network. A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed public ledger where all transactions are verified and recorded.

It’s distributed in the sense that everyone participating in the Ethereum network holds an identical copy of this ledger, letting them see all past transactions. It’s decentralized in that the network isn’t operated or managed by any centralized
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What Is Ethereum And How Does It Work? – Roanoke Times

What Is Ethereum And How Does It Work? – Roanoke Times

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Ethereum is often referred to as the second most popular cryptocurrency, after Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin—and most other virtual currencies—Ethereum is intended to be much more than simply a medium of exchange or a store of value. Instead, Ethereum calls itself a decentralized computing network built on blockchain technology. Let’s unpack what that means.

How Does Ethereum Work?

Like all cryptocurrencies, Ethereum works on the basis of a blockchain network. A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed public ledger where all transactions are verified and recorded.

It’s distributed in the sense that everyone participating in the Ethereum network holds an identical copy of this ledger, letting them see all past transactions. It’s decentralized in that the network isn’t operated or managed by any centralized entity and is instead managed by all of these distributed ledgerholders.

Blockchain transactions use cryptography to keep the network secure and verify transactions. People use computers to “mine,” or solve complex mathematical equations that confirm each transaction on the network and add new blocks to the blockchain that is at the heart of the system. Participants are rewarded with cryptocurrency tokens. For the Ethereum system, these tokens are called Ether (ETH).

Microsoft Launches ION Decentralized Identity Network On Bitcoin – CoinDesk

Microsoft Launches ION Decentralized Identity Network On Bitcoin – CoinDesk

A radical new framework for how to authenticate online identities just went live on the Bitcoin network.

Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity team has launched the ION Decentralized Identifier (DID) network on the Bitcoin mainnet. This network is a layer 2 technology similar to Lightning except that instead of focusing on payments it uses Bitcoin’s blockchain to create digital IDs for authenticating identity online.

An ID network like ION could be the key to unlocking a web where users no longer have to fumble with passwords, emails and cell phones for verification.

“We are excited to share that [version 1] of ION is complete and has been launched on Bitcoin mainnet. We have deployed an ION node to our production infrastructure and are working together with other companies and organizations to do so as well. ION does not rely on centralized entities, trusted validators or special protocol tokens. ION answers to no one but you, the community,” Microsoft’s Daniel Bucnher writes in a blog post. 

What is Microsoft’s ION?

As noted by Buchner, ION is open source, so anyone can download the code and run an ION node to use the service. It uses Sidetree, an open-source protocol for decentralized identifiers built by devs from Microsoft, ConsenSys, Mattr and Transmute. 

Open to the public after being in closed beta since June 2020, ION uses the same logic as Bitcoin’s transaction layers to sign off
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Decentralized finance (DeFi) Definition and Use Cases – Investopedia

Decentralized finance (DeFi) Definition and Use Cases – Investopedia

In its most simple form, decentralized finance is a concept where financial products are available on a public decentralized blockchain network making them open to anyone to use rather than going through a middleman like banks or brokerages. Unlike a bank or brokerage account, a government-issued ID, social security number, or proof of address are not necessary to use DeFi. More specifically, DeFi refers to a system where software written on blockchains makes it possible for buyers and sellers and lenders and borrowers to interact peer to peer or with a strictly software-based middleman rather than a company or institution facilitating a transaction.

Multiple technologies and protocols are used to achieve the goal of decentralization. For example, a decentralized system can consist of a mix of open-source technologies, blockchain, and proprietary software. Smart contracts that automate agreement terms between buyers and sellers or lenders and borrowers make these financial products possible. Regardless of the technology or platform used, DeFi systems are designed to remove intermediaries between transacting parties.

While the volume of trading tokens and money locked in smart contracts in its ecosystem has been growing steadily, DeFi is an incipient industry whose infrastructure is still being built out. Regulation and oversight of DeFi is minimal or absent. In the future, however, DeFi is expected to take over and replace the rails of modern finance.