IOHK Donates $500,000 to University of Wyoming’s Blockchain Lab

IOHK Donates $500,000 to University of Wyoming’s Blockchain Lab

IOHK donates $500,000 in ADA cryptocurrency to the University of Wyoming

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IOHK, the software company behind Cardano, announced on Feb. 14 a donation of $500,000 in Cardano (ADA) to support and develop the University of Wyoming’s (UW) Blockchain Research and Development Lab.

Professor James Caldwell, Assistant Professor Mike Borowczak and Philip Schlump will co-direct the Advanced Blockchain Research and Development Lab.

Professor Borowczak told Cointelegprah that IOHK’s donation will be used to support faculty and graduate students in developing practical applications for real-world blockchain use cases. He said:

“This funding is meant to directly stimulate and develop a highly qualified workforce in the blockchain sector. Student researchers from undergraduate and graduate levels are at the core of this initiative. Our research and development lab focuses on grounding all work in theory, while developing real-world products.”

IOHK, which was founded by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, is built around principles of peer-reviewed academic research. The company is committed to open-source software development, such as hardware for cryptography, authentication and measures against counterfeiting. For example, New Balance is using IOHK’s Cardano blockchain to authenticate its products for consumers.

According to Professor Caldwell, IOHK’s donation will specifically help with researching practical applications of blockchain, such as supply chain management, tracking the provenance of goods and the advancement of smart contracts. He said:

“Our group of researchers will work on a number of projects related to advanced smart-contract development, hardware design and verification for cryptographically secure authentication devices.”

Professor Caldwell also mentioned that UW’s Blockchain R&D lab will operate in partnership with IOHK, noting that the team will be working closely with Hoskinson and others on the IOHK research team. He explained:

“We expect to send students to visit the Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh, which serves as the global headquarters for IOHK’s various university collaborations. This arrangement should work well, since IOHK is at the cutting edge of blockchain technology, and their research model and goals fit perfectly with an academic Computer Science Department.”

Professor Borowczak further pointed out that while UW has been offering blockchain-related courses since Jan. 2018 (“Rock The Blockchain Vote” being the first), the university has only been able to support students on an educational level. The funding from IOHK will finally allow this to evolve. He said:

“Our students now have the opportunity to help define, develop, and improve the future landscape of blockchain technology. There are many research funding opportunities developing in the blockchain space – the difficulty is finding mutually beneficial partnerships that enable, balance, and respect academic research, student development, and the need for industry return on investment. This partnership leverages the strength, capabilities, and needs of our students, researchers, and IOHK partners.”

Another reason why Wyoming is at the forefront of blockchain

IOHK’s impressive donation to UW also exhibits Wyoming’s potential as one of the leading and most accepting regions in the world for blockchain development.

In Jan. 2019, Wyoming passed two house bills to create a regulatory framework to foster cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation. Following this, the Wyoming task force drafted a bill to define digital currencies as legal forms of money. Recently, Wyoming developed a series of rules for “blockchain banks,” which addressed cryptocurrency-focused features such as forks, airdrops and staking.

Caitlin Long, a former member of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, mentioned that IOHK’s donation will not only help advance university research, but will also benefit the state of Wyoming as a whole. She said:

“IOHK’s $500,000 donation, in the native Cardano cryptocurrency, ADA, will not just fund research into real-world uses of blockchain technology, but will also develop Wyoming further as a talent hub for software engineers, trained in the most advanced software development methods in the world.”

IOHK Founder, Charles Hoskinson, also commented that Wyoming’s supportive business environment and positive attitude towards blockchain was another reason for investing in UW. He said:

“The Wyoming Blockchain Taskforce’s supportive business environment and the excellence of the University of Wyoming’s science research is what led IOHK to choose to invest here. We are incorporated here as a business and are very happy to play a small part in helping embed Wyoming’s position at the global heart of blockchain-based innovation.”

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IOHK donates $500,000 in ADA cryptocurrency to the University of Wyoming

Illinois State Lottery Winner Puts Half His $500,000 Into Bitcoin

Illinois State Lottery Winner Puts Half His $500,000 Into Bitcoin

A United States Illinois lottery winner put half his $500,000 winnings into Bitcoin back in May

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An Illinois resident who won $500,000 in a state lottery has revealed he put half of it into Bitcoin (BTC) back in May. Redditor “Joxnlol,” posted an image of himself clutching the Illinois state lottery cheque on Nov. 5, with the caption: “Did this. Then put half into BTC in May. Remind me in 8 months if I f****d up.”  

65% gain to date

Joxnlol’s winning ticket sealed him the $500,000 bounty on April 19: given he converted half of it in early May, his investment has so far seen close to a 65% gain, as Coin360 data shows:

Cryptocurrency markets May 5-Nov. 5 2019

Cryptocurrency markets May 5-Nov. 5 2019. Source: Coin360

In a subsequent post, Joxnlol indicated that he plans to HODl the investment for a minimum of one year, revealing:

“I don’t intend to touch any of it for at least another year. I set aside money for emergencies, I set aside money for myself, and I set aside money for tattoos. The only major purchases I’ve done is […] bought a new car for myself and put a downpayment on a house.”

Notably, Joxnlol’s $500,000 was reduced to roughly $357,000 after taxes, he revealed — meaning he would have invested $178,500 in BTC.

Thread contributors were virtually unanimous on two points: that if Joxnlol had f****d up in any way, it was by not having invested 100% in BTC, and second, that he was tempting fate by publicizing his face and winnings on the net, making him a potential target for criminals.

Joxnlol also indicated he was storing his Bitcoin on trading app Robinhood, arguing that for him, personally, the risk of losing a cold-storage wallet outweighed the security risks of trusting his coins to a centralized third-party.

Crypto community member @BashCo, who tweeted a link to Joxnlol’s thread, remarked that:

“The popularity of this tweet makes me question if average people still falsely associate Bitcoin with lottery. Bitcoin is sound money. But if I tweet that, it will only get 20 likes.”

By press time@BashCo’s tweet has garnered 630 likes and Joxnlol’s original Reddit thread has 2,700 upvotes.

Number of US crypto owners doubled in 2019


Bitcoin’s current market cap of approximately $167.8 billion represents around 73% of state and local lottery revenue between 2008-2017, which totaled $228.8 billion, according to Statista data

A new survey of United States residents estimated that 36.5 million of them now own some form of cryptocurrency — representing a twofold increase, from 7.95% in 2018 to 14.4% in 2019.

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A United States Illinois lottery winner put half his $500,000 winnings into Bitcoin back in May

500,000 BTC Payout, Sudden Slump: Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 26–Sept. 1

500,000 BTC Payout, Sudden Slump: Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 26–Sept. 1

In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Bitcoin back in four figures, Craig Wright ordered to pay 500,000 BTC, and French police shut massive botnet

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Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Sudden slump sees Bitcoin lose support for five figures

After managing to maintain support above $10,000, Bitcoin (BTC) finally succumbed to bearish pressure this week — shedding $500 in a matter of minutes on Wednesday to stabilize at about $9,500. Altcoins weren’t immune to the sell-off either. Some, including Ether (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB), actually fared far worse in comparison. Analysts have warned that monthly charts are also looking “ugly,” but optimists claim conditions in the Bitcoin market at present are not too dissimilar to the middle of 2016, when momentum was about to start taking the world’s biggest cryptocurrency to its record high of $20,000. It’s fair to say that other predictions haven’t aged all that well. Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of financial consultancy firm deVere Group, said he believed $10,000 was the new normal bottom price for Bitcoin — a support level that was wiped out a day later.

Craig Wright must forfeit 50% of Bitcoin in court case

The long-running case between Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright and the family of his late business partner Dave Kleiman looked like it was reaching its grand finale this week. A judge has ordered Wright to pay Kleiman’s brother Ira a whopping 500,000 BTC — approximately half of the sum that the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto allegedly stole. In an interview after the bombshell ruling, Wright suggested that the payout — worth approximately $5 billion — could inspire fresh volatility in the market, as the Kleimans may have to offload a substantial amount of BTC in order to pay federal estate tax at a rate of 40%. With many of Wright’s supporters falling silent, Bitcoin SV (BSV) proponent Calvin Ayre seemed to be a lone voice speaking out in his favor — and even then, Ayre erroneously claimed that a court had declared that Wright invented Bitcoin.

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Chinese central bank ‘crypto’ not launching in November — state media

Confusion has been swirling around the People’s Bank of China’s plans to launch a form of digital legal tender — namely when it will become publicly available, and how it will work. There had been murmurings that the cryptocurrency could appear as soon as in November, but a Chinese state-backed newspaper has since claimed such reports are inaccurate. Beijing is widely regarded to be in a race with Facebook (and by extension the U.S.) to launch the first digital currency on this scale. Earlier in the week, another report had suggested that the online retail giant Alibaba and internet behemoth Tencent would be among eight organizations given access to the mystery China’s crypto first.

Facebook hires lobbying firm to ease regulatory pressure on Libra

In other Libra developments, Facebook hired a Washington-based lobbying firm this week as it attempts to assuage concerns about the stablecoin. The FS Vector consultancy firm is going to deliver support on “issues related to blockchain policy,” according to the lobbying registration documents that were filed with the United States Congress this week. It seems John Collins, the FS Vector executive who is heading up the account, will have his work cut out for him. With Facebook choosing to register its Libra Association in Switzerland, American politicians met with the nation’s financial authorities to learn more about how they work. Alas, representative Maxine Waters said she was still concerned about “allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency.”

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Bitcoin returns have dwarfed every tech IPO since 2010, new data shows

338,433,233% is an astronomical number. And, according to a new analysis of Crypto Godfather, that’s how Bitcoin has performed since 2010 — comfortably outstripping the returns offered by mainstream investments in internet firms. The earliest price data shows BTC was worth just $0.003 in March 2010, compared with a price point of $10,100 at the time Crypto Godfather’s data was shared. By comparison, the most lucrative investment in an internet firm since its public listing — in online advertising platform The Trade Desk — sealed a profit of 1,317% over the same period. Although such gains aren’t to be sniffed at, the difference is eye watering.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,598.26, Ether at $170.25 and XRP at $0.25. The total market cap is at $248,483,939,869.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are ZoZoCoin, Supercoin and Bitball. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Credit Tag Chain, HashNet BitEco and Soarcoin.

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For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“While I appreciate the time that the Swiss government officials took to meet with us, my concerns remain with allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency.”

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

“Shares similar characteristics to gold in that there will only ever be a finite amount in existence (21 million), it’s decentralised, its price is not affected by inflation and it has the added benefit over gold of lower storage costs.”

Simon Peters, eToro UK analyst, about Bitcoin

“I’m thinking about forking $XRP so we don’t have to deal with the founders dumping. — This will be a community effort. Retweet if you’re in.”

Twitter user @CryptoBitlord

“Bitcoin has again failed the safe haven test. On Friday, as escalating trade tensions sent global stock markets plunging, investors sought refuge in monetary safe havens. The Japanese yen, Swiss franc, and especially gold all moved higher. Yet Bitcoin plunged by more than stocks!”

Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital chairman, gold bug

“Roughly about 90% I would put into the category of investments slash speculations, so it could be people who have a long term view on it, people who like to trade it and about 10% would be transactions.”

Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno 

“Bitcoin is a coiled spring about to explode higher.”

Max Keiser, Bitcoin bull

“The banks and the financial institutions are not going anywhere. They’re changing, but they’re not going away. So, we’re going to have to all play nice together.”

Jonathan Reichental, CEO of Human Future, professor at UC Berkeley, former chief information officer for the city of Palo Alto

“Theoretically, more indicators of BTC involvement in serious illicit activity could further the image of BTC as the “money of dark net operators and criminals,” which could reduce broader adoption — and in turn, the price.”

Jessy Spiro, Chainalysis’ global head of policy 

Prediction of the Week

Bitcoin price 93% unlikely to hit $20,000 by end of 2019, data claims

Hopeful that Bitcoin will surpass its all-time high of $20,000 this year? I wouldn’t hold your breath, if I were you. New analysis suggests the odds are lengthening for investors betting on records being broken in 2019. There is now a 93% chance that this milestone will not be reached — nonetheless, October is being billed as “the most interesting month” for Bitcoin because of how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is set to approve two Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) — a review that could deliver a “watershed moment.” Not all forecasts are pessimistic, and according to LedgerX’s Oracle, there is a 31% chance of BTC/USD hitting $15,000 by Dec. 28.

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FUD of the Week

French police shut down 850,000 computer botnet used for cryptojacking

Police in France have shut down a massive botnet that was used for Monero (XMR) cryptojacking. It’s believed the botnet was distributed by sending virus-laden emails that promised victims erotic pictures or an easy way to make cash, and further propogated through infected USB drives. French officials added that the botnet had “massive firepower, enough to bring down all the (civilian) websites on the planet.” The unknown hackers installed a program to mine XMR without a user’s permission or knowledge — and bad actors also managed to extort money via ransomware, as well as to steal data from Israeli hospitals. The botnet’s server was located in Paris, and hundreds of thousands of affected computers has now been disinfected.

Report: Cryptojacking campaigns up by 29%, ransomware attacks up 118%

McAfee Labs says there was a substantial rise in cryptojacking campaigns and ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2019. Instances of cryptojacking — where mining software is installed and operated without a user’s permission — have leapt up by almost a third. New malware families have also been detected for users of Windows and Apple devices. Meanwhile, ransomware campaigns have more than doubled — with one of them affecting a U.S. media company’s ability to print newspapers.

Senior UN official: Cryptocurrency makes criminals harder to catch

Chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program has claimed that cryptocurrencies are making it difficult for the authorities to combat money laundering. Neil Wals claimed that cybercrime and terrorism financing are also becoming harder to detect — and he suggested that crypto assets are being used by global child sexual exploitation networks. His warning came after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin vowed that government agencies will be doing everything they can to prevent BTC and other cryptocurrencies from becoming an “equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts.”

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Best Cointelegraph Features

Crypto custody market overview — who are the biggest players?

With custody providers exploding in popularity, Cointelegraph’s Shiraz Jagati examines which companies are dominating this fledgling industry — and explores why they are gaining traction.

Paranoia and love: What pushes tech? A discussion with Prof. Reichental

Jonathan Reichental is widely regarded as one of the most competent opinion leaders in the innovation field of our time. He even counts former U.S. president Barack Obama among his followers on Twitter. Take a look at Cointelegraph’s head of features Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr’s in-depth interview with the professor.

Is Bitcoin protected as speech under the First Amendment? Experts answer

A long-held concept in the crypto world states that Bitcoin is code and code is speech — with speech protected under the First Amendment. We asked legal experts in digital rights, crypto and constitutional law to give their take on whether this is true.

Zur Quelle

In this week’s Hodler’s Digest, Bitcoin back in four figures, Craig Wright ordered to pay 500,000 BTC, and French police shut massive botnet

Blockchain Protocol Polkadot Sells 500,000 of Its Tokens, Price Still Unspecified

Blockchain Protocol Polkadot Sells 500,000 of Its Tokens, Price Still Unspecified

Blockchain interoperability protocol Polkadot has reportedly sold 500,000 DOT

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Blockchain interoperability protocol Polkadot has distributed 500,000 DOT tokens at a price that is unknown, but purportedly in keeping with the firm’s $1.2 billion valuation, technology-focused news outlet The Block reported on June 27.

Polkadot’s managing partner Web3 Foundation (W3F) reportedly told The Block that the protocol distributed 500,000 of its tokens, although the company did not reveal the exact amount of funds raised. The Block notes, that during the recent round Polkadot purportedly sold 5% of the total token supply, which should theoretically bring $60 million to the protocol’s managing team.

As reported in January, the planned token sale was expected to bring the fully-diluted market value — or the value of all tokens in circulation, plus those not issued — of its tokens to $1.2 billion. Later in May, Polkadot began offering its tokens on secondary markets at heavily discounted rates. 

At the time, experts pointed out that as well as bringing Polkadot’s potential valuation of $1.2 billion into question, sellers could be violating agreements they had signed by orchestrating third-party sales.

This month has been marked with a series of much-publicized token sales. Blockchain company Algorand — a firm that implements an open source public ledger and cryptocurrency payment system utilizing the Byzantine Agreement message-passing protocol — raised over $60 million in a token sale on financial services platform CoinList. 

Ampleforth raised $4.9 million in 11 seconds in its AMPL token sale, reportedly selling off 10% of Ampleforth’s total token supply. Ampleforth purported to be a token that is balanced around an equilibrium price target, but representatives said that despite its stable price, it is not a stablecoin.

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Blockchain interoperability protocol Polkadot has reportedly sold 500,000 DOT