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SportsCastr Uses Emerging Technology to Rebuild Sports Media

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The times are changing. Generation gaps are getting larger. New technology is arriving at an accelerating pace, with the younger generations adopting it with open arms.

Starting with Cable

Cable isn’t what it used to be. Nowadays, people are turning away from traditional TV. Cable used to be the one-stop-shop for all news, entertainment, and sports related content. Subscription numbers are at an all time low as people are turning off their sets and subscribing to cheaper services. With the advent of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and all the ever increasing availability of on-demand content, Cable Television seems to be losing ground to what the internet can bring to the table: Endless, immediate, and personalized content.

The younger the viewer, the steeper the decline. To Millennials and Gen-Xers, flipping through channels hoping to land on something interesting is antiquated. To them, YouTube and Netflix can offer quality, personalized content right at their fingertips, for a fraction of the cost. One thing is becoming clear: The younger generation is leading the way to becoming an internet-based society.

The younger the viewer, the steeper the decline. To Millenials and Gen-Xers, flipping through channels hoping to land on something interesting is antiquated. To them, YouTube and Netflix can offer quality, personalized content right at their fingertips, for a fraction of the cost. One thing is becoming clear: The younger generation is leading the way to becoming an internet-based society.

Televised Sports appear to be traditional TV’s saving grace

Sports have become the biggest draw to traditional television. Among last year’s 50 most-watched telecasts, 44 were football, basketball, baseball, or the Olympics. Especially in America, televised sports is still among the leading genres on primetime TV programming, with Super Bowl 50 being the leading single telecast TV program in 2016. Unfortunately, this does not mean that Pro-Sport viewership is doing well. It is simply just doing not as bad than the rest of the Cable Television, comparatively. Traditional television has been losing reach. Over the past five years, viewership among millennials has plummeted by more than 40%, according to Nielsen data. Among older millennials (25 to 34) and Gen Xers (35 to 49), it is down 28% and 13%, respectively. Only over-50s are sticking with their clickers.

The streaming of pro sports has not yet made it onto the internet, and is the likely the reason why pro sports viewership has been on a steady decline for the past 5 years.

Cord-cutters have ushered in a new era in which streaming services and social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon are becoming sources of live sports and replacing cable TV. Traditional cable broadcast networks, such as ESPN, are seeing revenue from flagship programs decline, and are losing substantial numbers of subscribers.

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Stratis Announces New Blockchain Identity App

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The London-based blockchain company Stratis announced on Thursday that its Stratis Identity mobile application is available to download for iOS devices.

According to the announcement, the free Stratis app allows users to manage their identity and imprint it upon the Stratis blockchain, allowing for secure and verifiable sharing experiences without compromising sensitive personal data. Stratis Identity will also open up the potential for enterprises to securely manage customer identities using cloud-based or internet login services, Stratis stated.

Stratis is a modular platform designed to make blockchain easy, providing simple and affordable end-to-end solutions for development, testing and deployment of native C# blockchain applications (dApps) on the .Net framework.

“Mass adoption of blockchain will only come through simplicity, and Stratis Identity offers a streamlined way to verify one’s identity through popular social media accounts, using pre-existing Microsoft, LinkedIn or Google account information,” explains Stratis CEO Chris Trew. “Once one’s true identity is established through our app, a Stratis Identity can be shared securely without ever exposing any specific user’s sensitive personal data.”

Stratis explained that its app works by creating a permanent, unique record of a person, company or organization’s identity while simultaneously providing layered, permission-only access to the information. Each online social media profile has information linked to it (username, e-mail, job title, etc) stored by the account provider.

Two things happen on the Stratis blockchain when a user creates credentials with Stratis Identity, the company stated:

“First, a unique, immutable address belonging to you is created on the Stratis blockchain. Second, any confirmation of your information is encoded as a custom, hashed transaction,” Stratis stated. “Only a string of numbers and letters is placed on the blockchain, no personal information is stored – just metadata linking to your Stratis Identity.”

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Wanchain CEO Jack Lu: Why 2.0 is a Milestone for the Entire Blockchain Industry

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Wanchain CEO Jack Lu Why 2 0 is a Milestone for the Entire Blockchain Industry

The world’s first interoperable blockchain was launched today by Wanchain in Amsterdam. At the pre-launch, in London on Thursday, Blockchain News caught up with Wanchain’s CEO, Jack Lu, to find out why this is such a significant milestone not just for the company, but for the industry as a whole.

Blockchain News: Wanchain has an ambitious event schedule lined up, what are you trying to achieve? 

Jack Lu: I have an engineering background and I’ve been focusing on the product for, at least, the past six months. After we launched Wanchain 1.0 and went live in January this year, we were very focused on developing the product for 2.0, which is our biggest milestone–a cross-chain– and we’re ready to launch our mainnet in just a few days. We’ve been doing pre-launch events, touring the world, telling people we are the first ones in the world to reach this milestone. This milestone is huge, not only for our project but also for the industry. So that is why we have been doing this world tour—to promote our own chain and, at the same time, to bring all these projects—the ecosystem of Wanchain—with us. The Wanchain ecosystem is very, very important. That’s why, in the past few weeks, we’ve visited three cities in Asia. This is my fourth city in this world tour. After this, we’ll go live and I’ll go back to development and the team will continue the tour.

Blockchain News: Please tell us a little about how you became involved in blockchain and how you started Wanchain. 

and just followed their project. I became the developer of their community in Austin, Texas. At the same time, I was also introduced to the opportunity to be the co-founder and CTO of Factom. At the time, I made a decision to invest all my Bitcoins into Ethereum and invest all my time into the Factom project. Luckily enough, both these projects were a huge success after a couple of years. As you know, the price of Ethereum went up through the roof and so did Factom. 

In 2016, I decided to pursue my own dream, I wanted to launch my own project and I set up a company called WanGlue China and started looking at what space I wanted to be in and what I wanted to do. It just fitted really well, this Wanchain idea. It slowly matured. I had an idea but I wasn’t sure it could be done. I had a research team and we looked into this for a long time. Finally, we found a solution—a very generic solution—to enable us to connect or integrate with any blockchain with one single mechanism or design. The technology is called secure multi- party computation and also threshold key sharing technology. This technology allowed us to connect with pretty much any blockchain, including private chains, which is very important because a lot of traditional financial organizations, enterprises, would rather use enterprise solutions—private consortium chains—and these assets will be like the intranet of the old days. It’s just a set of computers which are connected, they are not interconnected with the rest of the world. Once we get these blockchains connected with the outside world… to really make this an internet, that’s how the old internet evolved–that’s the path we have to get across. So, I saw that requirement and we basically picked the solution that will allow us to interconnect not only with the public chains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also with private chains. We found a way. In 2016 we found a solution and we started incubating the solution called Wanchain. 

WAN stands for Wide Area Network, anyone who studied computing will know, it’s trying to connect a bigger network, connecting all theses intranets and creating something called the internet of blockchains, connecting all these siloed islands. Private chains are siloed islands and also Bitcoin and Ethereum. It seems like they’re global but actually they’re islands. Each one of them speaks different languages and they don’t talk to each other. So, we need to have some kind of generic solution that will interconnect with all these private chains and also public chains, and that is very powerful. 

At the same time, I found that getting them connected may not be the whole solution, we need something more than that. Because I was a strong believer in Ethereum, I figured to create something called a “programmable digital economy” is so important. I wanted to create smart contracts that can extend to all these blockchains; smart contracts that can be executed across different blockchains. 

In any economic activities–we call them digital economies–privacy is the most important thing because there are a lot of violations in privacy, including big companies like Facebook and Google. A lot of blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, don’t have privacy features, they have something like pseudo-anonymity, users activities can be still be traced. For enterprise businesses, privacy is just a must-have. I saw that and that’s the future for any blockchain, you must have privacy protection. At the same time, the government, or any other authority, will be able to audit private transactions. So, we created privacy protection that will allow the authority [to do this] as long as the transacting parties agree. They can provide something called the “view key” that will allow the authorities to audit private transactions.

Blockchain News: You’re working, then, towards a future where there will be regulation?

Jack Lu: Certainly.

Blockchain News: What sort of timeframe are you working towards? When do you think it will happen?

Jack Lu: Pretty quickly. I think that as long as we are connecting with the private chains, the governments can come and say, “Well, first you have to do KYC/AML [Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money-Laundering], you have to have your identity verified in order to conduct certain transactions, like trading certain assets and getting certain financial access”. But the thing is, even with their real identity, people want to have privacy, they don’t want anyone to trace or track their transactions, their activities. But once the government wants to audit, you want to provide proof that “Here, I conducted all of these legally, I pay my taxes”. So, we need to create an infrastructure that is capable of complying with all these regulations. 

With all these requirements in mind, we came up with a solution. The solution’s just three key technologies: privacy protection, cross-chain and smart contracts. We think they will be able to fulfill all these requirements. Earlier this year, we completed two of them; we implemented private smart contracts. Now, in July, we’ve implemented the third one, it’s called cross-chain. So we’ve basically got the three key technologies, for all the requirements that we’ve talked about for the digital economy, and we think that these three technologies will solve pretty much all the issues. And now we are here, we’ve accomplished all the things we have promised to the community. Voila, we are here and ready to launch our key pillar. 

Blockchain News: That’s impressive. Are you keeping to schedule?

Jack Lu: Pretty much on schedule. I’ve been in IT, in the software development business, since the late 90’s, more than 20 years. I know things are never right on time, there are always some problems here and there. For blockchain, security is most important, we want to make sure there are no security flaws and, since we launched [1.0] in January, there are zero problems so far. And we’ve heard of so many issues for many blockchains. I hope that the issues won’t come for us. 

Blockchain News: What steps have you taken to avoid these kinds of problems?

Jack Lu: We take extra steps. Before we launched in January, we took two months to test the environment. It took us one month to do alpha testing and before that our community teams had already conducted vigorous testing—internally first, before we released to the public. It’s the same thing for 2.0. Actually, our alpha test network was ready two months ago. And the beta network was ready a month ago. We’ll just try our best. I’m sure that no problems will happen. 

Blockchain News: You have an incubator, WanLabs, now, as well. There’s been some questioning that maybe you’re focussing too much on that at the expense of the technology. How would you answer these criticisms? 

Jack Lu: To create our infrastructure, which I call Wall Street 2.0, if nobody comes, then it’s useless, right? So we’ve got the infrastructure ready, the basic technology is ready–that’s not enough. For this Wall Street 2.0 infrastructure to succeed, we’ve got to have a lot of buildings and a lot of people come here and create all these applications, to create real use cases. So that’s why were want to have the WanLab program and bring all these projects with us and grow the community together. The project team owns the core technology but we don’t own the network, the community does. We need to bring all these community members into the ecosystem. We own this ecosystem together and we need to build it together. It’s a natural process. If nobody comes, then we’ve failed. So we have to build this together. 

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Five ICOs to Watch: Hero Node, The Abyss, VideoCoin, TTC Protocol and ATN

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By the end of Q2 in 2018, blockchain will still be soaring in popularity despite the recent plunge of Bitcoin and other mainstream cryptocurrency. There are increasing numbers of new blockchain projects launching, varying from gaming to artificial intelligence.

There are five projects worth mentioning. They are ATN, TTC Protocol, Hero Node, The Abyss and VideoCoin.

ATN, a global artificial intelligence project, has not set a ICO goal, while The Abyss, a gaming project, and TTC Protocol achieved 85% and 90% of their ICO goals, respectively. HeroNode and VideoCoin are the only two projects to get 100% to their ICO goal. Three of them are not rated, whereas HeroNode and TTC Protocol are rated as Medium Interest.

Among those projects that started a month ago, HER is worth highlighting. HER token was issued by Hero Node, a next generation decentralized Blockchain fog computing platform. At press time, the HER token price is $0.0226232 (+0.24%), equal to 0.0000428901 ETH or 0.00000333 BTC. Its 24-hur volume is $55,177 with a market cap of $9,153,646.

IcoDrops reported that HeroNode has generated $21,765,720 of its goal $21,800,000 (100%) during the ICO.

What is Hero Node? A new approach to DApp development…

Hero Node is a cross-blockchain, cross-platform development solution for DApp. It is based on the hero protocol and its vision is to integrate different public blockchains, somewhat akin to the Alibaba Cloud in the blockchain industry.

Hero Node introduces a new generation of decentralized computing based on what we call “fog computing,” and the HER token paves the way for developers to build on top of this platform. By building a cross-chain and cross-platform solution, Hero Node empowers developers to build DApps without needing to be experts in smart contracts.

Guoping Liu, the CEO and founder of Hero Node, summarized this opportunity and gaping hole in the market, saying, “The blockchain company who solves the tricky task of DApp development will dominate this next decade.”

How does this actually work on HeroNode? Developers can build a DApp based on Qtum, Ethereum IPFS or other DApps linked to public chains and they can be run on iOS, Android and HTML5. Developers can use this interoperability to build DApps without needing to delve deep into the highly-specialized architecture of blockchain development.

A Technical Guide to HeroNode

Hero Node’s development framework and underlying blockchain technology allows developers to pack applications into hash addresses and ensure the immutability of transactions. There are a few core elements at play:

• Public chain service: The Hero protocol integrates various public chains (ETH, QTUM, EOS) into a consistent API interface, allowing developers on Hero Node to develop their new business DApps without any understanding of these underlying blockchains.

  • Storage service: Hero Node aims to create a node ecosystem on IPFS. In this ecosystem, data is generated by development, and applications are broken down and stored in various places on the Internet. This model for decentralized storage is like a drop of water poured into the sea: as long as the Internet exists, that data cannot be lost. Once a user wants to extract their data, Hero Node selects the nearest node to process that data and then promptly returns it to that user.
  • Decentralization: Most blockchain applications still use domain names, calling into question how ‘decentralized’ they really are. Hero Node will help developers create their applications on distributed networks and run these applications by applying torrents. When an application becomes a torrent, neither the data nor the public chain are revocable, which allows the application to exist on the network forever. It is completely different from this arguably centralized, existing software (mode) life cycle (even for existing DApps).•Cross-platform application development tools: Blockchain applications will eventually come to grips with ordinary users who have no exposure to the technology and ecosystem. The experience must be seamless, and it will require blockchain applications to be installed and used on a user’s mobile phone, just like other existing common applications on iOS and Android. With its modular tools, Hero Node facilitates this seamless experience. By making the actual development process more streamlined across platforms, both developers and end users can experience decentralized applications without the clunky and siloed interface of existing platforms.This is a paid post provided by U.S. Blockchain.

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