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Blockstream Raises $55 Million to Build Out Bitcoin’s Blockchain

Blockstream Raises $55 Million to Build Out Bitcoin’s Blockchain | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Blockstream has raised $55m in Series A funding to continue its work expanding the bitcoin code base for commercial use.

With the news, Blockstream's total funding rises to $76m over two investment rounds. To date, the company's signature technology has been its sidechains offering, currently in testing, which enables the creation of blockchains that can validate data from, and transfer assets to, other blockchains.

Blockstream’s round was led by venture capital firms AXA Strategic Ventures, the venture capital arm of French multinational insurance firm AXA Group; Digital Garage, the Tokyo-based online payments firm co-founded by Joi Ito; and Hong Kong venture capital firm Horizons Ventures.

AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital and Future\Perfect Ventures were among other investment firms that participated in the deal.

Given the recent interest in private and permissioned blockchains, Blockstream sought to underscore the versatility of its technology as well as its early efforts to bring added functionality to the bitcoin network through interoperable blockchains.

Blockstream CEO Austin Hill told CoinDesk:

"We were one of the first companies that painted a vision for interoperable blockchains, that there wasn’t going to be one blockchain, but many of them, all building off the bitcoin codebase to deliver the technology."

Still, Hill said the company remains dedicated to developing technology for the open-source bitcoin blockchain, which it called the "most mature, well-tested and secure" infrastructure for blockchain services.

"What we would hate to see happen is the most robust and secure blockchain protocol getting left by the wayside if people moved on to different protocols and tech stacks that bitcoin isn’t designed for," Hill continued, adding:

"We believe there is a benefit to society to have all these blockchains be interoperable."
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting as :

1/ Money continues to flow towards decentralized consensus companies (disclosure : AXA is one of CDC Blockchain Initiative member)

2/ Corporates intensify their presence in either projects or investments

3/ The debate between the Bitcoin Blockchain and other Blockchains is far for being closed despite what consultants or half journalist try to explain

So in-between, let's experiment further ! And together.

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, February 16, 2016 9:05 AM

Interesting as :

1/ Money continues to flow towards decentralized consensus companies (disclosure : AXA is one of CDC Blockchain Initiative member)

2/ Corporates intensify their presence in either projects or investments

3/ The debate between the Bitcoin Blockchain and other Blockchains is far for being closed despite what consultants or half journalist try to explain

So in-between, let's experiment further ! And together.

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The Blockchain Might Be The Next Disruptive Technology

The Blockchain Might Be The Next Disruptive Technology | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

To process a transaction, you need first to make sure the sender owns the asset he wants to transfer, and make sure he will not trade it twice.


In the blockchain, information is stored in blocks that record all transactions ever done through the network. Hence, it allows validating both the existence of assets to be traded and ownership.


To avoid double spending, the technology requests several nodes to agree on a transaction to process it. A validation is also artificially difficult to achieve: miners leverage computer power to solve complex cryptographic problems (the proof-of-work). Every time a problem is cracked, a block is added to the chain, and all the transactions it includes are thus validated. The updated chain, including the new block, is shared with other nodes and becomes the new reference; this process leverages cryptography to prevent duplicate transactions.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Very clear summary of Blockchain's principles, potential and pitfalls as seen by a financial institution's strategic venture arm. Must read if you are allergic to tech.

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, October 4, 2015 1:33 PM

Very clear summary of Blockchain's principles, potential and pitfalls as seen by a financial institution's strategic venture arm. Must read if you are allergic to tech.

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Software is Eating Hardware - Lessons for Building Magical Devices

Software is Eating Hardware - Lessons for Building Magical Devices | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
“Software is eating hardware.”
That might sound counterintuitive given all the innovative hardware plays in the mix today — from Android Wear, SmartThings, Sproutling and Nest to the hotly anticipated iWatch. But Adam MacBeth, an advocate of the software-first approach, would argue that those products are only as compelling as the end-to-end experience that sets them alight.
“People think that they can build a game-changer with some really great industrial design and packaging, but that’s not the case anymore,” says MacBeth, whose work has helped shaped the iPod, Jawbone’s wristbands and FiftyThree’s Pencil. “Incredible industrial design is increasingly non-optional, what really matters is an equally beautiful software system that spans mobile, desktop, and more. It’s something that takes a lot of thought to get right.”
As technology accelerates, with companies like Dragon Innovation making manufacturing, supply chain and distribution cheaper and easier than ever before, tons of hardware startups are coming out of the woodwork. In this exclusive First Round Review interview, MacBeth offers tactics for how these companies can capture people’s imagination and create truly world-class products.

Via Yves Caseau
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Isn't everything "Software Defined" nowadays ?

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Yves Caseau's curator insight, June 1, 2014 12:34 AM

Great set of principles to add magical user experiences to our digital lives

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La CDC réunit la finance française pour plancher sur la technologie « blockchain »

La CDC réunit la finance française pour plancher sur la technologie « blockchain » | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
L’institution publique a  rassemblé 11 partenaires pour créer un groupe de travail de place sur la  technologie derrière le Bitcoin.

Vous avez dit «  blockchain  » ? Cette technologie ouverte et libre, qui  permet aujourd’hui la circulation de monnaies cryptées comme le Bitcoin, est loin d’avoir livrée  tous ses secrets. Mais elle suscite un engouement inédit dans le secteur  financier qui y voit le moyen de repenser complètement la manière dont il gère  et authentifie les transactions. Surtout visible outre-Atlantique, cet intérêt  se matérialise désormais aussi en France. Ce mercredi, ce sont des banques (BNP  Paribas, le groupe BPCE, le Crédit Agricole), des assureurs (CNP Assurances et  AXA), le Pôle de compétitivité « finance innovation », l’association Croissance  Plus, le conservatoire national des arts et métiers et plusieurs start-up spécialisées dans  cette technologie (Blockchain Solutions, Cellabz, Paymium) qui se sont  rassemblés sous l’égide de la Caisse des Dépôts pour lancer un groupe de travail  de place sur le sujet.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Fier d'avoir pu contribuer à cette initiative de place et enchanté de la mobilisation qu'elle suscite et va continuer de susciter !

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AXA conditionne un avantage santé à un objet connecté

AXA conditionne un avantage santé à un objet connecté | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Aurez-vous encore votre liberté lorsqu'il faudra choisir entre payer cher sa mutuelle santé, ou accepter de voir son comportement scruté par des machines au service de l'assurance ? Pour le moment sous forme d'un jeu donnant droit jusqu'à 100 euros de médecine douce, AXA montre l'avenir de l'assurance santé liée aux objets connectés et à la médecine personnalisée...

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Article à mon avis un peu biaisé ex ante, et qui a mon sens omet deux enjeux que sont : la fidélité de la mesure (j'aimerais savoir de combien un Pulse, un FitBit, et une appli comme Moves divergent en moyenne) d'une part, et l'intégration de ces mesures ou non dans le champ de l'hébergement des données de santé.

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