Amidst bitcoin's disruption of the online payments industry, heated debates over pending regulations and the slow and steady expansion of bitcoin ATM locations, it can be easy to lose sight of the widespread impact bitcoin, and more importantly, the technology behind it, is making beyond digital money.
In yesterday's roundup, we gave a broad-scale overview of Crypto 2.0 with insight from the emerging sector's major players. Today, we'll look at the recent news in the space to illustrate how this sector of industry is seeking to move bitcoin forward.
Counterparty launches multisig functionality
Peer-to-peer decentralized exchange Counterparty has introduced support for multi-signature (multisig) addresses, including 1-of-2, 2-of-2, 1-of-3, 2-of-3 and 3-of-3 multisig addresses.
Beyond adding extra security to accounts and transactions, multisig allows any Counterparty transaction to be tied to multiple signers.
Counterparty co-founder Robby Dermody explained:
"In the real world, quite often, you don't have one-party ownership. There are often intermediaries. This is where, up to this point with block chain technology, there's been some isolation from real world interactions."
With the new feature, Counterparty users can include escrow agents, auditors or other third-party certifiers in transactions. Dermody provides a simple example of this implementation where a gold asset representing the physical ownership of a gold bar is traded between two parties on Counterparty.
With multisig, a third party could serve as an escrow that will release, the gold asset to the buyer only when its confirmed the buyer has received the physical gold. Dermody added:
"It takes us one step closer to the holy grail of smart property. I think people in the space oftentimes think we don't need these archaic tie-overs. But even if you did have smart property, unless there is some sort of built-in intelligence, you are still going to need the intermediary frame, and multisig makes that possible."
Multisig is currently available on Counterpartyd (Counterparty's command-line input interface) and on Counterparty's Testnet. Dermody expects multisig will be available in Counterparty's GUI interface Counterwallet in one or two months.
Storj completes first round of crowdsale
Following the announcement, CoinDesk spoke to Shawn Wilkinson, Storj's founder, who illustrated how the money will be used, saying:
"Mostly we've been focused on coding and now we are beginning to focus on documentation. Our primary concern at the moment is explaining to people how we are doing things. The crowdsale allows us to do that more easily now, and also hire more people to work on the specific [Storj] applications."
Those specific applications of the Storj platform are Metadisk, which allows people to buy computer storage space from a decentralized network, and DriveShare, which allows people to sell their free hardware space to the network.
There is a prototype for Metadisk running now, which allows uploads of images, audio, and video to the network. Wilkinson says the team is currently working on getting payments integrated into the Metadisk platform.
Wilkinson went on to say that there has been a lot of demand for them to release DriveShare. The company is planning a staggered release for DriveShare once it is ready for beta testing.
"Our idea is that you should build your network one step at a time instead of releasing the whole thing at once and seeing where it goes. Our process is gradual. Push something out, fix it, release it again. Push something out, fix it, release it again."
BTER hacker returns stolen NXT
BTER did not respond to requests from CoinDesk to determine the price it paid for the returned coins.
According to earlier reports, BTER initially agreed to pay thesircom's ransom request, but thesircom became frustrated with how long BTER took and stopped responding to communication. Meanwhile, the NXT core developers gave the community the option to expunge the bad transaction.
If 51% or more of the people running the NXT client decide to run the update released by the core developers, the bad transaction would be expunged from the NXT block chain. This did not happen, and BTER was forced to pay the hacker.
NXT is a second-generation cryptocurrency built to handle large amounts of data that launched its Asset Exchange in May. Sergey Nazarov, the creator of the Secure Asset Exchange, which allows anyone to securely trade assets on NXT's Asset Exchange, explained to CoinDesk that NXT is not intended to replace bitcoin, but exist alongside it.
"NXT is really a complement to bitcoin," Nazarov tells CoinDesk. "Allowing us to easily put valuable data like asset ownership into a block chain is what will lead to that data being transacted around in bitcoin."
MyPowers announces comedian coin
MyPowers is a marketplace for premium access rights. It allows artists, organizations and brands to create digital coins, which fans in turn can purchase for access to an in-depth brand experience.
For example, a musician could issue a coin that gives owners early access to new songs, backstage clearance at concerts and the ability to vote on things like what dress he or she should wear to an upcoming awards show.
"MyPowers wants to take brand equity and turn it into an asset," says co-founder Aaron Gatti.
Unlike a traditional fan club, Gatti explains, this new kind of premium access is tradable. Coins can be bought and sold like any other digital token, meaning as a brand or artist becomes more popular and premium access to that brand becomes more desirable, a coin's value could increase too.
MyPowers' first coin, musician Tatiana Moroz's TatianaCoin, launched Counterparty through a 30-day crowdsale in May. Aries Spears Coin will be MyPowers' second release. It will be followed by a brand coin for Canadian clothing maker Potential Apparel, a coin for the 2014 BitFilm Festival and more.
Ether crowdsale nears completion
"This puts the total value of ether, including the two endowments, at slightly less than BitShares X, making us already sixth place among all coins," Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's co-founder, told CoinDesk, referencing CoinMarketCap.com for current digital currency markets.
Buterin also points out that ether is the first coin selling with its exodus being a multisig address, which has driven up the number of coins in multisig by 80% since ether went on sale.
Ether will be used in Ethereum's upcoming distributed application software platform, which will allow developers to build distributed programs on top of Ethereum's own block chain. On its website, Ethereum states its block chain's Genesis Block will be released in winter 2014/2015.
The crowd sale ends on 2nd September.
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