Blockchain to disrupt the music industry and make it change the tune

As per the experts in modern technology, the Blockchain technology is the future technology for technology lovers in various fields. The Blockchain technology is making its presence felt in the music industry as well. The intermediaries have always dominated the music industry, and artists often have to compromise on this factor. However, the streaming platforms are booming in the current scenario, and blockchain technology helps creators come in direct contact with the audience.

How is Blockchain affecting the music industry?

It has the potential to eliminate the intermediaries from the system, and creators can get direct benefits from the sales of music and live streaming of music channels. In this way, artists are able to get a royalty for their work, and this is also becoming a good alternative to piracy. The current situation favors artists who have a good following, and they will continue to earn a major share of revenues from the industry.

On the other hand, the conditions of emerging artists are not so good, and they will hugely benefit from a decentralized system. In this regard, the P2P network for sharing and storing music will help such artists to avoid intermediaries and make good money.

Opus is using IPFS for this purpose, and it has the potential to change the industry in a big way, especially for many emerging artists. Ethereum network is used as a payment layer, and this uses smart contracts to provide royalty to artists. In this way, content distribution becomes easy even for small artists, and they need not have to depend on intermediaries to promote their work.

Artists get up to 90% payment

In this situation, artists are likely to get up to 90% of the earnings, and only a small percentage will go towards the distribution and storage network. This is huge, considering the fact that the conventional system provides very little for the original artists.

Mediachain, eMusic and Musiclife platform

These platforms are trying to change the game by providing independent artists a good share for the money earned from the sale of music. New York based Ujo is providing a decentralized database of ownership for artists, and this can help them earn direct money from the sales of their work.

The US-based Open Music Initiative project is also using Blockchain technology to identify creators’ rights, and they have partnered with Netflix, YouTube, and Soundcloud for the distribution of music.

Coinbase users top 35 million as the exchange continues on the growth pattern

The paper or metal currency is being replaced by virtual currencies, and more users have started accepting them as per the latest information from the market. However, the trend is yet started and will last for some more years, according to experts in virtual currencies. In a short span the same will be on peak in the market.

Coinbase is zooming in recent months as its user base hits 35 million. It has users in more than 100 countries, and the cryptocurrency exchange is seeing tremendous growth in this year. It is now the third-largest crypto exchange in the world, and the average daily trading volumes exceed $500 million on most days.

Coinbase and its regulatory approach

Unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase is known for its stringent regulatory norms, and some users have even criticized the company for this strategy. However, this strategy has worked in favor of Coinbase over the years as new users feel confident about investing in such exchanges. This year alone, it has added over 5 million new users, and this is good growth considering the fact that the global economy is not in good shape due to the pandemic.

Demand coming from institutional investors

The advantage of Coinbase is that it has a good blend of retail as well as institutional investors. The demand from institutional investors in recent years has been very encouraging for the company. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt the global economy, more and more institutional investors are looking at alternate options, and the crypto industry is gaining a lot in this situation.

Acquisitions of Coinbase

Coinbase is also going aggressive with its approach, and it has recently acquired Tagomi, which is one of the leading brokerage institutions in the crypto industry. It was earlier rumored that Coinbase had offered $150 million to acquire Tagomi. However, company officials discarded such rumors even though they did not disclose the exact figure of purchase.

Considering the growth of Coinbase, it is not surprising to see that more and more investors are getting attracted towards this exchange. There are rumors that the company is planning an IPO issue this year. If this happens, it can further stabilize the base of the exchange in the industry. This will be the first big company to enter into the public market in recent years, and it can set the trend for many such IPOs in the near future.

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Anyone who’s into cryptocurrency, stock market, banking, and investing has probably heard of the term ‘blockchain’. So, what’s this technology that is called blockchain? Why is it used for storing various kinds of digital information?

If you go by its literary meaning, the word ‘blockchain’ is made of two words, ‘block’ and ‘chain’. So its meaning could be derived as a chain of blocks. But, there’s more to the blockchain network. It is a technology that serves as a database used to store several types of digital information. Each ‘block’ contains information and has specifically three parts-

  1. It stores details such as date, amount, and time of the transaction. For example, your recent transaction from eBay also gets recorded in such a ledger.
  2. Blocks also store details about the participants in a transaction. So the block that records your transactions on eBay will also record your name and the name of the website, i.e., eBay. But instead of using your name, the block uses a distinctive ‘digital signature,’. It is kind of like a ‘digital ID.’
  3. Now, each block is different from any other block. And, what differentiates a block from another is a unique code known as ‘hash’. These are cryptographic instructions or codes, developed by complex, specialized algorithms. So, even if you make a similar transaction with the same details, each block can be differentiated since each transaction’s hash is different.

While it might look like, in the above points that a block can only store one transaction, but in reality, a block can store digital information up to 1 Mb. It means that the details of thousands of transactions can be stored in one block. 

Hash

When we talk about a block storing information, it must also be known that the block has a certain hash assigned to it. A hash is a unique code consisting of numbers and letters that are generated by the block. The basic functioning of a hash involves taking a variable number of characters and converting it into a set of constant characters. So, even a change that might appear to be negligible creates a new hash. 

Also, every hash in a blockchain is similar to the hash of the previous block. So, to tamper with the hash of a block, the hashes of all the previous blocks have to be changed. After the block has been hashed, it gets added to the blockchain. Now, every block that is added to the blockchain is in the public domain, and anyone can choose to view it.

Nonce

‘Nonce’ or ‘a number only used once’ is a number that is used after the hash of a block. Its function, primarily, is to secure a block. If a blockchain miner wishes to solve a hash, this is the number they must discover. It is not easy to find and identify nonce, and this is why they get added to each encrypted hash, to eliminate the competition of less-talented blockchain miners.

Nodes

Nodes or master nodes are computers that ensure the privacy and validity of any transaction. So, whenever a transaction takes place, it has to be approved by all nodes involved. After each of the nodes has verified the transaction’s validity, there’s a virtual ‘electronic vote’ between the nodes. The validity of the transaction is decided in such a vote.

Every node contains a copy of the blockchain. If the majority of the nodes that are checking the validity of a transaction approve it as original and valid, it gets added to the ledger or blockchain. It ensures a blockchain’s safety, security, and privacy as the nodes would not let any fraud or fake code enter the blockchain network.

Summarizing Blockchain

  • A block is a spreadsheet that contains digital information regarding transactions. A Blockchain is a family of such ‘blocks’. 
  • Each block can store a fixed number of approved transactions. Once this number is attained, no more transactions can be stored in the block, and a new block is developed. 
  • The blockchain technology is in-built with a sophisticated algorithm that updates the system every ten minutes. 
  • Once the blockchain or the distributed ledger has been updated, you cannot tamper with the data stored in it. You can only new blocks with new data.
  • The ledger or spreadsheet gets updated on every network and computer.
  • Each block in a blockchain generates a hash that is a code unique to the block. 
  • Hash contains a fixed number of symbols and characters. 
  • Transactions are added in chronological order in a blockchain. 
  • The hash depends on the hash of the previous block.
  • Nodes are computers that verify and validate each transaction. It secures each block and ensures privacy. 
  • A blockchain network updates itself on every system in the 10-minute period. 

South Korea Will Air a Crypto-Themed TV Series in October

Pulsating Web Series of South Korea

South Korea plans to air its first-ever crypto-related TV series in October 2020. This crypto themed series will be broadcasted in the drama genre and aspires to gain immense popularity because of the thrill and excitement embedded script and storyboarding, direction, and acting.

A K-Drama Series with Romantic Flavour

A Korean Drama or K-Drama series titled “Romantic Hacker” is all ready to stir the South Korea media space in October, this year. It will be a web-based series, based on crypto and blockchain-centric subjects, linked to a sweet romantic story. Infused with love and drama, this thriller TV series will entice and attract an audience of all kinds and is expected to be an epic blockbuster of the K-Drama series. The story will showcase the drudge of a crypto trading portal known as the Jeju International Crypto Exchange. The lead actor will combat a group of highly expert hackers that effort to snip the cash from the exchange.

Cast and Crew

A well-known talent agency is responsible for bringing actors and actresses on board for the series. The superbly talented and popular K-pop star Kwon Hyun-bin will be seen in the series as the male lead character, ‘Jaemin.’ He will contest the gang of fraudsters and expose the chain of fraudulent transactions of cryptocurrencies. This is an action-packed drama, with romantic and comedy elements in bits and pieces. As a whole, the web series will make up for a fascinating recreation and entertainment stuff for all. Kwon has a tremendous fan following, and the agency has hired Kwon very intelligently to assure the admiration and adoration of a sprawling young fan base. Kwon Hyun-bin is also well known for being a supermodel and a talented actor. His filmographic trajectory specifies that Kwon had acted in three leading TV series, such as JTBC’s ‘Don’t Let Go of Your Mind’ and Netflix’s ‘Part-Time Idol’. Before signing as a lead actor in “Romantic Hacker”. Those who had already seen these series are well aware of his acting skills, dialogue delivery, and confidence. Other important actors are Viini. Jae Min, Jo Hyun Young. Hye Soo and I are Na Young. Joo Hee.

Romantic Hacker is designated as the first-ever crypto-themed web series, to be aired in South Korea. People have gathered a lot of expectations towards this action-romantic comedy and can’t wait to enjoy this in October.

Most Music Listeners Would Pay for Music with Crypto to Help Artists

Music enthusiasts and passionate patrons back up and support all kinds of music genres and support and back up the budding and vintage artists and musicians to keep up their talent and expertise. They act as lifelong patrons and help a lot to keep up the music genre alive and flourishing universally. However, a realistic and constructive survey has displayed that many music patrons and buffs use cryptocurrency to support music and musicians.

The Survey by eMusic Store

eMusic was launched in 1998 and is globally known for being one of the pioneer websites to sell DRM-free MP3 music recordings. A survey executed by the pioneering digital music store eMusic displayed that most of their patrons and customers were in agreement paying with crypto if it permitted artists, performers, and musicians to earn more. The survey results also showcased that 65% of eMusic clienteles would use cryptocurrency if it was for the betterment and motivation of the musicians. It is important to note that a meagre 8% of the target audience had used Bitcoin or any other crypto in previous times. The Survey also displayed that about 65% of eMusic patrons would use cryptocurrency if those permit musicians to receive a promising music revenue portion.

Survey data analysed by eMusic revealed that approximately 40% of music enthusiasts overrate the number of royalties that musicians receive when their music is bought or telecasted. Nearly 87% assumed that a “decent and impartial share for the performers would be a higher value, with the most popular reply being a perfectly half divide between the marketing company and the artists.

The survey report published in May by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry exhibited that music streaming enhanced music profits to over $20 billion in 2019. Still, an analytical breakdown by Soundcharts, the popular music news website, evaluates that artists are paid only $0.00318 per streaming session. 

The Role of eMusic in Providing a Fair Platform

The pioneering eMusic is raising a devolved music distribution arrangement to lessen the cost of ineptitudes and link the performer’s pay with their music purchase. Which means, more their fans and patrons purchase and stream their music; higher is their royalty. This gives them a fair and unbiased podium to showcase their talent and earn unswervingly from it.

The idea of offering an impartial and fair-minded platform to all musicians have helped eMusic to earn a lot of accolades, respect, and acclamation from the various music niches. It is indeed a great platform to motivate musicians and rejoice their exceptional talents.

PayPal to reportedly offer crypto trading through Paxos partnership

For those who use PayPal, there is one more good news as this platform has also entered the segment of Virtual currency which is the Bitcoin System. PayPal is all set to get into the crypto trading platform through its partnership with Paxos. This is great news for cryptocurrency supporters as it will provide a good platform for them to trade Bitcoin and other currencies. Paxos is a stable coin operator, and it offers brokerage service. PayPal will now use this platform to push crypto trading. Hence it will gain some more users on its platform then the present user base.

Paxos launches crypto brokerage

With this move, Paxos will enable other entities to integrate the trading options for cryptocurrencies. The new service will be used by PayPal to provide crypto trading facilities for its users across the world which will facilitate many users. It will help both entities as PayPal will get to add new services for its growing customer base, and Paxos will also get the brand association of PayPal. In this way, it can boost the overall growth in the cryptocurrency market.

PayPal’s association with the digital currency market

PayPal is actively involved in the cryptocurrency market in recent months, and it has also hired various experts to develop cryptocurrency capabilities within the organization. It was initially not so keen on this platform as it can contradict its original business. But after seeing the huge demand in the digital currency segment, they have taken the plunge into this market. It was an earlier member of the Libra Association which was planning to introduce stablecoin through Facebook. However, it did not go down well with regulators, and PayPal had to step back from the association in 2019.

After this, PayPal has started to work on its own platform where it can provide cryptocurrency trading options, and this new partnership with Paxos will only be a big boost for this cause. This is good news for PayPal users as they will not get to use cryptocurrencies along with the regular payments, and this will be very useful for international transactions. There is no need to use the regular currencies when you can easily process various transactions at lesser fees. The charges for processing cryptocurrencies are far lesser than the regular currencies in most cases, and users will prefer Bitcoin and other currencies while dealing with international transactions.

Prosecutors Expect Guilty Plea from Alleged $7m Crypto Fraudster

Finance is a world full of ups and downs. For every penny earned, there is always the risk of losing five more of them. Now, finance has had a drastic facelift with the introduction of Crypto-currency. Altcoins like bitcoin cash and Ethereum have entered the game and are playing well. Innovative technology like blockchain and peer to peer transparent networks have brought a newer and stronger level of security. But the problems such as price volatility and value fluctuation become major issues. And the worst happens when greed and human error mix to produce disastrous outcomes. Such a case has come into the eye of the media where a fraudster has duped its clients of 7 million dollars in crypto-currency.

Details of the case

The deed was done by one crypto-currency based firm. He operated phony monetary exchange services. The firm was responsible for duping its clients of millions of dollars (seven million dollars to be exact). Two of their unfortunate customers found themselves in these crypto tangles, which have sued the firm. The accused is going to plead guilty and is looking at years of prison time. The firm is said to accept a plea deal that is going to be carried out in September of the year 2020. The prosecutors are looking to finalize and implement proceedings on this date.

The prosecution letter indicated that the disposition of the case is sought by both parties, and the request for a decision date in the next two months of this year has been sent to the courthouse. The last update by the accused’s lawyer has assured that all groups involved have substantially gravitated towards a mutually agreed upon disposition.

Counts of fraud

The conman was arrested in early September of 2019. The financial services provided through his company have been embroiled in four cases of dishonesty claims related in its crypto-currency dealings. The allegations entailed that Thompson had acquired three million dollars by a client to purchase bitcoin cash and had wired the sum to a separate middle-man without receiving the crypto-currency beforehand. This had apparently resulted in the accused losing the money, which had started the whole conflict.

This action was repeated by the accused when he again acquired four million dollars from another firm by lying about the previous transactions. These four million dollars was again given to another middle-man with the client’s intent to exchange it for bitcoins. But the funds were lost similarly to the previous transaction.

All these shady businesses had accumulated two claims of illegal finance practices, which each entails ten years of prison time while also committing two claims of illegal monetary transfer. These two additional counts each cause two score years of prison time.

The accused thus faces more than fifty years of incarceration but presently has been released on bail of five hundred thousand dollars after being arrested in Pennsylvania.

The official financial claims department has charged the accused’s company for the frauds committed. An Irish firm by the name of Symphony FS has also filed a separate lawsuit against Thompson, who had given him the second four million dollars that had been duped.

Crypto-currency has been a new avenue full of possibilities and opportunities to blaze the finance industry with the new light of security and safe investments. Exceptions like this should not be the reason to lose hope. The Crypto-currency industry is set to be the next big thing in various spheres of business and services. As with any such ventures, serious steps should be taken in caution, and investments should be made carefully.

Philippine SEC Raises Concerns Over Proliferating Crypto Ponzi Schemes

The Philippines have seen a growing number of crypto-related crimes in the past, and now the Philippines are taking note of it. On July 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines published a Press Release on its website to create awareness of the fraudulent crypto investment schemes going around in the country.       

The SEC also has names three companies that are operating illegally and offering unsanctioned investments. SEC has not provided these companies licenses to operate or to offer any investment products. The three companies are Forsage, RCashOnline, and also the Saint John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta Foundation of the Philippines Inc. Forsage is a crowdfunding company that offers income based on the memberships and referrals through its participants. According to the SEC, the company needs to have prior approval before offering any smart contracts to the public. Even RCashOnline offering similar contracts should be offering any investment product without obtaining the necessary licensing.

The Saint John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta Foundation of the Philippines Inc does have regulatory approval, but they are not complying with the requirements provided to them. It has led them to have their license revoked, but still, they continue to defy the rules and operate illegally for 17 years. Forsage and RCashOnline both operate on pyramid schemes where the participants have to recruit other people to earn money. Saint John, on the other hand, is defying SEC rules and operating even after revocation of its license. Even though SEC has not made any arrests till now, it has issued a warning to them that anyone who violates their rules will face a huge fine and 21 years in prison or both. In the Press Release issued by SEC, anyone caught acting as a broker, salesperson, agent, or dealer with these three companies would have to pay a maximum fine of P5 million or face imprisonment up to 21 years or both.    

It seems that the Philippines are fighting off a number of crypto scam efforts in the past years. In April 2020, the SEC has warned about another crypto company with the name The Billion Coin. It has been operating for a few years in the country and was the third company that was flagged by the institution that month. Then, the next month the Filipino Ministry of Finance alerted its citizens about Bitcoin Revolution, another fraudulent Ponzi scheme that used the Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez III to promote themselves. The company claimed that the government created the assets and urged citizens to invest in them.

The statement issued by SEC further stated that any unauthorized and illegal investment schemes, like the ones mentioned above, are being monitored by them and is ready to take legal and regulatory action against them. It has been doing its part to prevent citizens from falling into the traps of these Ponzi schemes. It also asked the citizens to be more alert and avoid quick-money schemes as most of the people end up losing their hard-earned money due to them.

Vulnerability found in popular crypto wallets like Ledger and others

For the world economy development of cryptocurrencies is a new dimension, and that is why every facet of the same need to be strong and perfect. Though many users have started using this virtual currency, there are still some questions that haunt many aspirants, and there is also news that may increase the worry of such potential users. As per some experts, the crypto wallets are not technically sound, and their security can be a big question for the data and privacy of users. A survey was done by some of the leading companies, and they have found improper security to these wallets. Many vulnerabilities were recently found in popular crypto wallets like Ledger, BRD, and Edge by the startup company ZenGo which works in the mobile crypto wallet sector. These vulnerabilities are often used by attackers and malicious users to commit fraud and other activities. It is the time when these issues need to be fixed by the developers as users will lose confidence about the overall security of the blockchain currency if these continue for a long time. There is no response from the promoters of these blockchains regarding these vulnerabilities, and it would be interesting to see their reaction in this situation.

BigSpender Vulnerability

In this situation, the balance is not shown correctly in the wallet. It can create a lot of confusion, and users may believe that they have received some money while it is still in process. The reason this happens is that the unconfirmed transactions are taken into account while calculating the total balance in the user’s wallet. In this way, the attackers who usually target vulnerable people revoke the transactions before they can be confirmed, creating a lot of confusion about the total balance. Many users are reporting such frauds happening in Craigslist and other marketplaces.

How does this work?

The attackers are using a Bitcoin feature known as Replace by Fee. in this option, users have the option to cancel an earlier transaction with low transaction fees with a new transaction with higher transaction fees. In that case, the original transaction gets canceled, and it is replaced with a new one. This loophole is used by fraudsters who initially send payment and later on cancel it after receiving the goods or services from the other person. Earlier, such methods were used with PayPal transactions, and attackers used to send fake PayPal transactions.

Fake transactions in crypto

Some crypto wallets have this vulnerability wherein they consider the transactions that are not yet confirmed into the total account value. Attackers usually send some Bitcoins and quickly cancel them or replace them with another transaction. In this way, the earlier balance may still reflect in the account, and this can be used to process a new purchase. When multiple such transactions are processed in a quick time, it can lead to large amounts of fraud. Although there are some methods to correct the balance by clearing the app cache, it may not be done in every case, and attackers may use such vulnerabilities in the long run.

ZenGo discovered vulnerability

ZenGo, a mobile crypto startup, recently figured out these loopholes and mentioned them in their publication. It has led to a huge sensation in the crypto world, and BRD and Ledger have even handed over rewards to this company for discovering such loopholes. While BRD has announced that they have fixed the issue, there is no confirmation from Ledger. It may take some more time before such crypto wallets are completely secured from all sorts of vulnerabilities. Till then, users have to limit their transactions and monitor them carefully.

Russia’s Blockchain Voting System Malfunctions Soon After Going Live

With a global implementation of Blockchain in various fields, it is also gaining popularity in political applications. Russia is the use case of this technological application. Earlier this month, Russia allowed its citizens to vote by using blockchain.

Soon after the launch of the blockchain-enabled voting system, it crashed. The voting held at Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. The remote web portal that was handling the voting crashed when the traffic increased beyond the limits.

According to the reports, the constitutional amendments were disturbed as it was the first time the officials were using blockchain for presidential elections. Although the government is using blockchain for many other solutions such as remote plenary, this initiative was a failure.

The official website to vote using blockchain technology was developed by the Moscow Department Of Information Technologies. The blockchain platform developed by Bitfury is known as Exonum. It was used to make constitutional changes in Russia.

The online voting was set to made available from June 25 to June 30. However, offline voting was held on July 1. Central Election Commission member Anton Lopatin explained that the citizens of Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod immediately joined the website to vote. It crashed due to the peak load on the official voting website.

Otkritiye Media had another report on the Russian voting. According to the media report, there were only 494 residents from Moscow who voted for the election. Russian news agencies also reported that the results mismatched in some regions.

Troitsky Administrative Okrug, for instance, had 7,300 people who registered to vote online. But when the locals tried to vote to their respective choice, there were only 2,358 residents eligible to give their vote. This was a technical malfunction according to the election commission officials.

A local journalist, Pavel Lobkov managed to deceive the voting system by successfully filing his vote twice on the same day. First, he voted offline at a local polling station and an hour later he was again able to vote through the online voting website. This can be a quite intolerable flaw in a voting system.

The website was restored soon after the crash but the head of Public Headquarters for Monitoring and Observation of All-Russian Voting in Moscow, Ilya Massukh was dissatisfied with the voting platform. There should have been a solution to handle the peak number of voters at the start and end of online voting, the head said.

Why Blockchain And Remote Voting Is Needed?

To curb the virus outburst, it is essential to keep people distant. But since voting cannot wait there has to be a system that allows the residents to vote online. There are some pros and cons of online voting. Hackers can hack the votes and there can be an unwanted consequence of online voting.

But if the blockchain technology is used for online voting, there are absolutely no chances of tempering with the submitted votes. It is impossible to hack a vote in a blockchain system because the blockchain doesn’t have a single server. It can provide transparency and security that is needed in any election.

There is also a possibility to anonymize and encrypt the votes at a certain level. Since every vote will be masked the election can take place safely and no one can change the votes. The blockchain technology ensures there are no inconsistencies in the election whatsoever.

Putin’s Term And The Constitutional Amendments

The constitutional amendments have already allowed Putin to serve for 12 more years. That is until 2036. But if Russian people are against this amendment and vote against it, he can only serve the country for two years. It means he will have to leave his presidential designation in 2024.

Although he has been issued many deadlines to adopt the crypto framework in Russia. But still, the Russian President has failed to introduce crypto legislation in the country. Russia is still at the top in cryptocurrency exchanges among every other country in the world.