19/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. India’s Prime Minister Backs Blockchain Technology

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, the most populous democracy in the world, has called blockchain technology ‘disruptive’ and able to revolutionise the country. He went on to say that both blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) will have a significant impact, and a quick adoption will soon be a necessity. Modi shared his thoughts today at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Hyderabad, India. The event was attended by IT industry associations’ representatives from 80 countries, covering 90% of the total industry. Furthermore, the country’s Minister of Law and Justice and Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has also positively spoken about blockchain, adding that providing the younger generations with the related skills is fundamental.

2. Technology Giant Lenovo Files Blockchain Patent

Chinese technology giant Lenovo has filed a patent, available on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website. The patent is for a system which would be able to assess the authenticity of documents through the use of a security blockchain. An online signature, opposite to a physical one, ensures that the document has not been modified following the signature. Therefore, people would be certain to that the parties involved all have the same version of the document. The digital signature would be decoded and translated by a processing machine into a ‘map’, which would then be compared with the physical version of the document.

3. The Availability of Cryptocurrency Insurance Packages Is Growing

Cybersecurity is one of the main concerns when discussing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Instances of hacking and fraud have created a demand which is being met by cryptocurrency insurance. Indeed, the number of options available is growing. Messaging app Line is the latest example, with its package aimed at companies worried about being hacked and losing their digital assets. Insurance firms, such as Great American Insurance Group, XL Catlin, Chubb and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, have begun to offer this type of coverage — a sign of the changing times. However, in order to be able to offer the service, they need strong security protocols, which could represent a challenge.

4. Thailand To Adopt Blockchain Technology Soon

It has been reported that blockchain startup Omise has co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Affairs. This partnership will lead to the implementation of a digital identity verification and online payment system, both on a national level. The government hopes to fight illicit activities online and increase the protection of customers, as well as increasing the speed of online transactions and cutting the costs. This would make Thailand one of the first governments to adopt this type of technology. At the same time, countries such as Senegal and Scotland are considering the issue of state-backed cryptocurrencies.

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