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Free Software in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

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OSS
  • A Look at the Blockstream Company & Their Bitcoin Products & Technology

    Blockstream is a Bitcoin development company that has positioned themselves among the leaders of innovation in the broader industry. Founded by a team of notable cryptographers and Bitcoin developers, Blockstream offers a suite of open-source technology and projects designed to push the edges of a novel industry.

    Founded in 2014, Blockstream has raised $90 million from investors such as Blockchain Capital, Reid Hoffman, and Khosla Ventures.

  • Blockchain jobs remain unfilled, while skilled workers are being poached
  • PolyCash Aims To Disrupt The Betting Industry With Open Source Software

    PolyCash allows anyone to create secure betting applications on the blockchain. Many projects have launched which incorporate aspects of blockchain & cryptocurrencies with betting. But most of these projects maintain a traditional business model in which the house earns money by charging fees on each bet.

  • Crypto Lender Dharma Officially Launches on Ethereum Blockchain

    Opportunities to earn interest on your crypto are increasing, and Dharma is the latest to enter the fray.

    Announced Monday, lending startup Dharma is now open to everyone. Lenders and borrowers are matched peer-to-peer to set up crypto lending terms in a non-custodial fashion, governed by Dharma’s smart contracts.

    Dharma will differentiate itself from others in the market by offering depositors a fixed rate of return on the crypto they make available to lend.

  • Eric Voorhees compares trust in politicians to open source code

    Early Bitcoin advocate Eric Voorhees has said that “by holding Bitcoin, you are ultimately trusting open source code” in a dig at political systems all around the world.

    Political trust levels are currently plummeting. In countries like Venezuela, we can see political turmoil spilling into the lives of citizens who are now fleeing in droves across the borders. Also highly ranked on the list of politically unstable countries are Brazil, Ukraine, and Turkey, who have all seen major surprises in their recent elections.

  • Open source DEX protocol Loopring adds cryptography to technology mix

    Brecht Devos, protocol development lead, Loopring, said, “A number of hurdles have delayed the adoption of DEXs to date, including, but not limited to, a lack of scalability. However, there’s no doubting that decentralized exchanges represent the future of crypto trading, addressing, as they do, the multitudinous issues faced by users of centralized exchanges in their day-to-day transactions, such as the risk of hacks, personal data leaks, or blocked funds.

  • Ethereum Core Developers Debate Benefits of More Frequent Hard Forks

    A group of ethereum’s veteran open-source developers discussed the subject in a bi-weekly meeting Friday, wherein they aired the possibility that system-wide upgrades, also called hard forks, to the software could be enacted as often as every three months.

    Wanting to “check the temperature,” the developer asking the question explained that certain upcoming ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) such as state rents would require multiple upgrades sequentially spaced out for full effect.

  • Digital Asset open sources ISDA derivatives blockchain code

    In February the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) released version two of its Common Domain Model (CDM) which aims to standardize the coding of derivatives trade events and processes. Today Digital Asset announced that it’s working with ISDA on an open source code library that implements the CDM in Digital Asset’s smart contracting language DAML.

    The aim of implementing the CDM across the derivatives sector is to save money, and the savings could be as much as $2.5 billion. Last year Ledger Insights spoke to Lee Braine from the Chief Technology Office at Barclays about ISDA’s new standard. “Across the post-trade derivatives industry, there is infrastructure deployed that is too complex for its current purpose. And the proposal is analogous to pressing a technology ‘reset button’ allowing you to go back and radically simplify the nature of that infrastructure.”

  • Blockchain Set to Revolutionize the Open Source Movement

    It is evident that open source has transformed the current world. Developers rely extensively on open source software since it dominates the developer infrastructure. From the many operating systems like Linux in the cloud to databases like MongoDB, MySQL, and Redis, open source is there. Also, the movement dominates the programming languages themselves like Python, C, Javascript, PHP, and Java.

    Open source is also good for the consumers featuring in their phones, Android, to their method of web access like Firefox and Chrome. Hence, it makes technology more accessible and open which enables anyone to build anything.

  • Web 3.0 Accelerates As Leading Browser Expands Crypto Wallet Integration and Ethereum Blockchain Support

    Web 3.0 browser Opera has released its latest update, Reborn 3, with new features including direct access to decentralized applications (DApps) on the Ethereum blockchain, an enhanced built-in VPN service, ad blocker, snapshot tool and design changes. Opera’s Reborn 3 also includes a native cryptocurrency wallet for Windows, macOS and Linux, a follow-up to the crypto wallet integration on Opera’s Android app in December 2018.

  • IOTA To Replace Its Coordinator With An Open Source Version Of Coordinator On Mainnet

    The first open source ledger built to power the future of internet of things, IOTA is in a lot of use previously, right from waste management to green energy solutions. And now with the development of Coordicide, the platform may get a lot more transparent.

    Coordicide is actually the effort of removing the Coordinator from the IOTA networks and its research stage. For developing the Coordicide, IOTA is making the inner workings of the current network set-up fully transparent. IOTA aims to do this with an open-sourced version of the Coordinator running on Mainnet.

  • Altcoin News: IOTA to Replace Coordinator With Open Source Version

    IOTA’s technology has been put to a lot of use in the last few months, from waste management to green energy solutions. Now, it is about to become much more transparent with the development of the Coordicide.

    In an April 8, 2019 blog post, the firm gave some more insight into the development of Coordicide and the changes that will be made in that regard in the near future. First, it was explained what exactly the Coordicide is. According to the post, it is a deliberate effort to remove the Coordinator from the IOTA networks and is its research stage.

    [...]

    This open source version of the coordinator is called the Compass and was initially released some months back and allowed the opening of a private network, running of tests, and development PoCs. So far, the Compass has been tested on the spamnet and devnet and is now ready to be moved to the mainnet. IOTA has stated that using an open source version of the coordinator will make the network more transparent while improving it.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME Devs Mull Making Dedicated System Info Tool

Would you find the GNOME desktop more useful if it could tell you more about the system you’re running? If so, you may be interested to hear about a new app mooted by GNOME design team member Allan Day. Day proposes the creation of a new hardware diagnostics tool that would, in his words: “show technical details about the system and the available hardware. It would also include information about the firmware for your hardware, and allow blacklisting certain firmware versions.” Now, call me wrong — I usually am — but doesn’t that sounds like it would be mightily useful? Read more

Android Leftovers

OSS: Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW), Molly de Blanc on 'Breaking Up', Apache Software Foundation News and Beancount Examined

  • Business models and open source
    One of the more lively sessions that was held at the 2019 Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) was Heather Meeker's talk on open-source business models and alternative licensing. As a lawyer in private practice, Meeker worked on a number of the alternative licenses that were drafted and presented over the last year or so. But she is also part of a venture capital (VC) firm that is exclusively investing in companies focused on open source, so she has experience in thinking about what kinds of models actually work for those types of businesses. The LLW is organized annually by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). It is meant as a gathering for lawyers, engineers, and others interested in licensing topics. By default, sessions are run under the Chatham House Rule, which means that participants cannot be identified, either by name or affiliation. Meeker waived that rule for her talk, though those from the audience who made comments may or may not have waived the rule. Meeker acknowledged that her topic was controversial, but that she would be "your Beatrice [from the Divine Comedy] to the miasma of venture-backed open-source companies". Her slides were entitled "What color are your razor blades? FOSS business models". The title is referencing the famous What Color is Your Parachute? book for job seekers. The idea is to imagine an idea with specificity, so open-source companies need to imagine what they are selling (their "razor blades") with specificity in order to be successful. Otherwise, she said, they end up with the business model of the Underpants Gnomes ("1. Collect underpants, 2. ?, 3. Profit"). For a long time, there was a tendency for open-source entrepreneurs to equate "lots of downloads" with profit, which is more or less the same thing. That is not really going to happen unless a lot of thought is put into how the business will actually function.
  • Molly de Blanc: breaking up
    FLOSS is about choice (among other things). One of the things we get from developer freedom is the ability to specialize or have specialized technology — the development of features and tools, the fixing of bugs and anti-features.
  • Apache Software Foundation Advances Enterprise App Development With Top Level Projects
    The open source Netbeans Java Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) and SkyWalking application performance monitoring (APM) project efforts move forward. Open source is often at the core of modern enterprise applications and few if any organizations have as much impact as the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The Apache Software Foundation runs its open source projects on a hierarchy of principally three levels, top-level projects (TLPs), sub-projects and incubated projects. Achieving the TLP status is a major milestone for an open source effort. Among the projects that have recently achieved TLP status is the Apache Netbeans Java Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) and the Apache Skywalking application performance monitoring (APM) efforts.
  • Counting corporate beans
    Some things simply take time. When your editor restarted the search for a free accounting system, he had truly hoped to be done by now. But life gets busy, and accounting systems are remarkably prone to falling off the list of things one wants to deal with in any given day. On the other hand, accounting can return to that list quickly whenever LWN's proprietary accounting software does something particularly obnoxious. This turns out to be one of those times, so your editor set out to determine whether beancount could do the job. Beancount was already covered here almost exactly one year ago, but that review was focused on personal finances; company accounting has a different set of requirements. That article is worth reviewing, though, as the material covered there will (mostly) not be repeated here. Here, instead, the emphasis will be on what a simple business needs. At the top of the list is the ability to import data into the system and to get it back out again. An ongoing business has a long accounting history that needs to be present going forward. Beancount keeps all of its data in a plain-text file with a well-documented format, so both import and export are relatively easy. Building on the the tools written to extract data from QuickBooks, your editor was able to write a script to import the accounting database into beancount over the course of an hour or two.

Security: Updates, Windows Issues, GNOME Security Internship and Slackware Security Updates

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Microsoft blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on PCs that use USB storage or SD cards
  • Windows Malware ‘Aggah’ Infects Your PCs Through Microsoft Word Docs
    The latest in a series of online attacks is ‘Aggah’, a global malware campaign with roots in the Middle East. The Windows Malware comprises a commodity Trojan script being spread via an infected Microsoft Word Document. The perpetrators are tricking users into downloading and activating the malicious code using RevengeRAT. Since RevengeRat is comprised of several open source Trojan builds, it is very difficult to pinpoint the actual spammer. The people involved in this are using the alias name ‘haggah’ to carry out their operation.
  • Ludovico de Nittis: After GNOME Security Internship - Update 7
    I received a few code reviews in the GNOME Settings Daemon MR that I’ll try to address in the next days. Also I’m going to widen the requirements for allowing keyboards when the screen is locked. Right now if the lock screen is active we authorize a keyboard only if it is the only available keyboard in the system. It was a good idea in theory but not that much in practice. For example let’s assume that you use an hardware USB switch hub between your desktop and your laptop with a mouse and a keyboard attached. If you have a “gaming” mouse with extra keys it is not only a mouse but also a keyboard. That means that when you want to switch from your laptop the the desktop, the mouse and the keyboard will be connected nearly simultaneously and if the mouse goes first the real keyboard will not the authorized. So you’ll be locked out from your system. The gaming mouse is also only an example. If you have a yubikey shared in this USB hub there will be the same problem explained above. For this reason in the next days I’ll edit the current implementation so that every USB keyboards will be authorized even if the lock screen is active. However we will still show a notification to explain that we authorized a new keyboard while the screen was locked.
  • MATE 1.22.1 Brings Sharper Icons and Security Updates
    It's been a month since the final release of MATE 1.22.0 and the developers has pushed a new update MATE 1.22.1 which fixed some issues, including security fixes in the code that still uses unsafe functions such as strcat or strcpy. The new mate-icon-theme is also featuring a sharper icons for some MATE components as can be seen in the git log. The icons are now built using latest inkscape version so you will notice some differences once you upgrade your MATE components and logout from your X and login again or reboot your machine. For this new update, i had to patch the upstream source a bit to remove a dependency of inkscape in order to build mate-utils. It was introduced in this commit, but i revert some of the changes in the latest commit here. It won't have any effect at all for users as inkscape is only used as a build dependency, not as runtime dependency.