Microsoft announced in November 2015 that they were launching a “Blockchain as a Service” on their Azure cloud platform. The Azure cloud is not unlike Amazon Web Services (AWS), Digital Ocean and others in its offering of hosted virtual machines (VM) – that you can spin up in minutes and then install your applications to thereafter.
Microsoft created a JSON based template to describe a virtual machine build and extensions to install various third-party vendors’ applications or execute custom command line scripts (either Bash or PowerShell depending on your platform). By collecting these scripts together as submitted by various blockchain projects into their GitHub repository, Azure created community driven content curated by Microsoft and delivered as a service on their infrastructure. The only requirement of the end user is an Azure Subscription from which to deploy a backend as a service (BaaS) offering of their choice.
The user-friendly setup is really a matter of:
Searching for blockchain project
Clicking the Deploy to Azure button
Filling a few form fields unique to your deployment
Connecting to the VM to interact with the blockchain.
All of the dirty work to setup the operating system, install the software, configure the switches and launch the blockchain are handled in that first click.
The initial release of BitShares on Ubuntu 15.10 by Ryan R. Fox on March 9, 2016 is a minimal viable release. The release allows for complete functionality from the command line using the CLI Wallet and Witness Node on a single VM. Future releases will likely include the GUI client and support for other operating system platforms.
Ryan R. Fox added that, “It was a rewarding experience to work with both Microsoft and the BitShares community to bring this release to fruition. I am grateful for the assistance of many community members who tested the template prior to release and contributed their insights in how best to position the BitShares message to Azure BaaS.”
Last summer, as the lengthy Greek financial crisis intensified, word started circulating that the country could ultimately look to Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency as a means of economic recovery. Digital currency was logically viewed as a sort of workaround for citizens who were being suffocated by ATM withdrawal limits and a general unavailability of cash. But it was also suggested that Greece could adopt Bitcoin as an official currency. Talk of such a dramatic move has since subsided, but it did serve to raise the idea of just how far a government could go to support and encourage the growth of cryptocurrencies.
The very concept of a nation adopting Bitcoin as official currency in part signified Greece’s desperation, but it also spoke to a pretty dramatic change in how the cryptocurrency is viewed now as opposed to just a few years ago. In recent years it’s been true that, categorically, governments do not accept Bitcoin as currency, at least between an individual and the state. Nations like China and Russia have at various points worked to outlaw the currency. Even the U.S. and Great Britain, where Bitcoin use has increased considerably, governments are doing very little to facilitate growth. Simply put, the status has been that Bitcoin is for independent use only, sometimes allowed to flourish by governments and sometimes not, but never directly supported.
However, this could all be changing—quickly. In part this is actually because governments around the world have begun to realize the benefits of Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain. Various banks have already worked to adopt versions of the blockchain for their own purposes of record keeping, logging of financial transactions, and transparency. And it seems that the combination of the usefulness of the blockchain and the worldwide public’s embrace of Bitcoin is leading to some shifting government stances. Nasdaq pointed out some of the changes pretty thoroughly, but here are a few highlights:
In Russia – The Russian Central Bank has been experimenting with applications of the blockchain, and in doing so has taken a look at various changes in financial technology. It now appears that the Russian authorities will look into regulating and legalizing Bitcoin transactions (particularly of a peer-to-peer nature), despite the country having outlawed the currency in the past. With over 200,000 users of cryptocurrency in Russia, this would mark a substantial boost for Bitcoin.
In Japan – There’s a chance that Bitcoin will soon be recognized in the same manner that ordinary currency is in Japan. That doesn’t necessarily means it will be legal tender in transactions with the state, but it would bring Bitcoin under regulatory control for safe expansion. In short, Bitcoin would be “real money.”
In Europe – The European Parliament has taken some fairly significant steps toward embracing the rise of cryptocurrency across the continent. Specifically, they’re creating a task force simply to ensure able responses to shifts in financial technology and the opportunities and challenges they create.
Elsewhere, such as in Australia, Korea, and Dubai, various changes are being made with regard to the use of blockchain technology in government and economics. But the highlights listed above indicate a very clear openness to the regulation and embrace of Bitcoin that simply wasn’t present a few years ago.
If these countries follow through on their various initiatives, it looks pretty clear that governments are going to wind up helping Bitcoin grow.
With the spike in the liquidity for this trading pair, people interested in buying the SmartCoin BitUSD or buying the SmartCoin BitBTC will have an opportunity to do so. Other options exist for experienced traders such as shorting BTC or USD.
Stealth transactions are now possible using the BitShares blockchain. The OpenLedger wallet now allows transferring of users assets without the transaction sender, receiver and amount being known to others. This optional feature for transfers will cost an additional fee which will in part go to repay for the development of Stealth by Cryptonomex.
The Stealth privacy mode will add to the great technology found on the BitShares blockchain that include average block times of less than two seconds, decentralized exchange, user-issued assets and SmartCoins.
The news is spreading about the smart trading platform OpenLedger. The transparent and secure asset exchange is powered by the extremely fast BitShares network. The following video was just released giving a quick two minute overview of the features that make OpenLedger special.
The video discusses how OpenLedger:
allows you to trade smartcoins that are backed by assets like gold, silver, fiat currencies like the US dollar or the Euro, stocks, commodities, bonds, or any digital currency.
holds every asset as a SmartCoin that is at least backed 100%.
it is not possible for creative bookkeeping, no trust is required.
reserves are kept as BTS held on the blockchain.
allows you to remain anonymous, or to verify with fiat gateways like Paypal, Ripple or Nanocard to instantly withdraw fiat currencies.
offers an exciting opportunity; to invest in the company by purchasing OBITS. OBITS are tradeable assets with a limited supply that allows you to share in the profit OpenLedger generates, now, and in the future.
Note: some of the use cases mentioned in the video are still being developed and expected to be available soon.
Social tipping is done for a variety of reasons, for instance you can tip to show appreciation when someone helps you, to pay someone for their work, to donate, to help a cause or to share user-issued assets with friends.
Information and recent news about BitShares can be found on a variety of websites from around the world. These informative sites are written in a variety of languages that include English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Korean and German.
The much anticipated launch of the Obits tokens has arrived as of December 1, 2015. Obits offers interested parties an opportunity to invest in the current and future revenues derived from the OpenLedger exchange powered by BitShares.
The exchange offers users from around the world the ability to swap their fiat or digital currencies for crypto-currencies. A small percentage of each transfer, deposit, withdrawal or trade is taken as profit by the exchange. The profit from the exchange is then dispersed to holders of the Obits tokens.
Additionally, future profits from accumulated trading and transaction fees from projects being developed related to the exchange like Ripple, Paypal, NanoCard, ad networks, an upstart crypto casino and more are all added to the generated profits of Obits.
Obits has been recently featured in Forbes, snippets and links to the articles are below.
Cryptocurrency exchange CCEDK has officially launched Obits, a new currency, that aims to reward holders with a share of its revenues from transactions, referrals plus income from new bourse initiatives.
The cryptocurrency exchange behind the recently launched OBITS currency initiative, CCEDK, is increasing the future payouts derived from profits and fees generated through user registrations on OpenLedger and other associated revenues – including profits from a start-up ‘crypto’ casino project.
The BitShares 2.0 blockchain launched recently and has shown to be much more stable, faster and efficient than its predecessor. The BitShares 2.0 decentralized exchange has the unique ability to trade assets and host classical financial instruments on the blockchain.