The Daily: US Defense Department Probes Blockchain, Singapore Approves 1X
In today’s edition of The Daily, we cover cryptocurrency-related news from different parts of the world. Documents have revealed that an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) plans to investigate the technology behind Bitcoin, while a teenager in Israel has been convicted of making bomb threats in exchange for BTC. In India, a major accounting firm has announced plans to hire more digital talent, and a capital-raising platform that intends to support security tokens has obtained regulatory approval in Singapore.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is the DoD’s arm for investing in cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous cars, drone swarms and humanoid robots. According to a recent request for information document, the agency intends to hold a workshop in February 2019 to investigate the technology powering Bitcoin.
“Technologies for distributed consensus protocols have been revolutionized by their prominent role in
cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. These technologies have dramatic implications for the security and resilience of critical data storage and computation tasks, including for the Department of Defense (DoD),” the agency explained. “At the same time, the concrete applications and security of these technologies for the DoD is unclear. Darpa is interested in better understanding the broader implications that such technologies may play for the DoD.”
This isn’t the agency’s first exposure to the matter. Two years ago it signed a $1.8 million deal with two tech firms to study the use of blockchain to secure sensitive military data.
A 19-year-old suffering from severe autism was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Thursday. The young man from Ashkelon, Israel, was found guilty of making fake bomb threats to schools, airlines, embassies and many other locations around the world since he was about 16.
An investigation by the Israeli cyber police found that the young man had offered his services on the darknet, charging $40 to call a private residence, $80 to threaten a school for kids that didn’t want to face an exam, and $500 to say he had put a bomb on a flight. He reportedly earned almost 184 BTC from his illegal ventures, but the authorities were not able to recover the loot, as he refused to hand over his private keys. He was spared from a possible maximum sentence of 17 years in jail due to his age and medical/mental condition.
Ernst & Young (EY), one of the Big Four global accounting firms, is set to expand its Indian workforce by about 2,000 people over the next couple of years. The new hires are needed to serve clients that work with technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.
“There is significant capital available for new startups and big Indian companies are investing in digital,” Ram Sarvepalli, partner emerging markets at EY told Indian daily The Economic Times. “The government is heavily investing in digital from a citizen services perspective. Many of the traditional customer-oriented industries are trying to find models which allow access to customers to tier-two, tier-three towns from a digital perspective. There are regulatory changes like… e-filing and automation of central and state govt departments … all of this is triggering a massive opportunity and the need for hiring digital talent.”
Private capital platform Capbridge Pte. has announced that it has received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to run its new 1exchange (1X) as a recognized market operator. The company is working with Consensys to build a fully compliant private securities
exchange on the public Ethereum blockchain. The developers promise that, “in due course,” the regulated exchange will offer services that include the listing and trading of security tokens.
Johnson Chen, founder and CEO of Capbridge commented: “We can now offer an even more integrated suite of private capital services to deserving companies seeking growth capital and sophisticated investors looking for alternative growth options.”