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| October 17, 2019

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Employees of Microsoft’s GitHub demand company cancel its contract with ICE

October 10, 2019 |

GitHub employees are calling on executives to cancel the Microsoft-owned software company’s contract with ICE.


L.A. Times – Business

TMZ

Terence Crawford to Errol Spence, ‘Take Off the Panties and Sign the Contract’

October 8, 2019 |

Another boxing superfight is on the horizon … because Terence Crawford is calling out Errol Spence, telling TMZ Sports the two sides need to cut the crap and make a deal already!!! After Spence beat Shawn Porter on Sept. 28, boxing fans have been…

TMZ.com

California has a new law for contract workers. But many businesses aren’t ready for change

September 29, 2019 |

California companies are scrambling to figure out how AB 5, a sweeping new hiring law, affects them.


L.A. Times – Business

Bitcoin Smart Contract Platform RSK Acquires Latin America’s Fourth Largest Social Network

September 27, 2019 |

Bitcoin Smart Contract Platform RSK Acquires Latin America’s Fourth Largest Social Network

IOV Labs, the parent company of Bitcoin smart contract platform RSK, has announced the acquisition of Taringa. As a result, the Hispanic social media network’s 30 million users and 1,000+ active communities will be exposed to dapps, tokenization and P2P trading. Crypto companies acquiring traditional businesses, before introducing tokenized features, is now a growing trend.

Also read: Latin American Payment App Mercado Pago Can Be Topped-Up With Crypto

RSK to Roll Out Tokenized Services to 30 Million Latin American Users

Taringa is a Spanish language social network that feels like a cross between Reddit and Facebook. It’s particularly popular in Argentina, Spain, Colombia, Chile, Peru and the U.S. Spanish-speaking community, and is the second most popular social network in Argentina after Facebook. It is now the property of IOV Labs, best known for creating RSK. Given that senior RSK team members hail from Argentina, and are looking for ways to increase the utility of their RIF token, the move makes a lot of sense.

Bitcoin Smart Contract Platform RSK Acquires Latin America’s Fourth Largest Social Network

RSK’s smart contracting solution is anchored to the the Bitcoin network, creating a secure environment in which to deploy decentralized applications. The company has recently been striving to establish itself as a leading smart contract solution for defi projects. The acquisition of Taringa will serve as a testbed for the sort of applications RSK envisions being created by third parties. There are plans to integrate a P2P token exchange into Taringa, create a decentralized marketplace for applications, and introduce incentivization for content sharing, in a move reminiscent of Steemit.

Taringa Welcomes RSK Into the Fold

Announcing the news, Taringa CEO Matías Botbol said: “We are already building our first tool to allow Taringa users to get rewarded by being active participants in their communities. Once this is in place, we envision adding more features … our ultimate goal is to create a new open, decentralized Internet that respects individual’s freedom of speech and privacy.”

Bitcoin Smart Contract Platform RSK Acquires Latin America’s Fourth Largest Social Network

IOV Labs CEO Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar said: “This acquisition puts us at the forefront of adoption in distributed ledger technologies. Having access to such a large community will also be invaluable for gathering quick feedback from users of all the RIF-powered tools and protocols we are launching in the near future. We see Taringa as the first step towards massive adoption of both RSK and RIF platforms, and a great step forward for our long term vision of empowering individuals through decentralization.”

The deal seems like a good one for both parties, giving RSK a platform for showcasing its smart contract and blockchain capabilities, while revitalizing a tired Taringa. The social network is known for welcoming crypto assets: in 2015 it paid $ 76,000 in BTC to its users, allocating a total of 195 bitcoins to content creators.

Bitcoin Smart Contract Platform RSK Acquires Latin America’s Fourth Largest Social Network

Crypto M&As of Traditional Companies Ramps Up

IOV Labs’ acquisition of Taringa bears obvious parallels with Tron purchasing Bittorrent in a reported $ 126M deal and tokenizing the file-sharing network. The price IOV Labs paid for Taringa has not been disclosed but will be significantly lower the Bittorrent. Last year, Coinbase paid a similar price as Tron when it purchased Earn.com and integrated cryptocurrency, enabling users to earn modest amounts of crypto for completing tasks. In Japan, meanwhile, messaging app LINE is attempting a similar strategy to Taringa by adding crypto features to its smartphone application. Through a deal with fraud-proof payment processor Simplex (which is also integrated with Bitcoin.com to enable BTC and BCH purchases), LINE users can now buy crypto using credit card in-app.

Do you think acquiring traditional companies is a sound business strategy for crypto companies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post Bitcoin Smart Contract Platform RSK Acquires Latin America’s Fourth Largest Social Network appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes could be in line for $200M contract extension, NFL insider says

September 26, 2019 |

Patrick Mahomes has quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in football and the next question that will surround him is how much that is worth to the Kansas City Chiefs.
FOX News

An explosive breach of contract lawsuit against former Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen has been dropped

September 20, 2019 |

Three-and-a-half years ago, a lawsuit hit the San Mateo, Ca. county courthouse that briefly attracted the attention of the worldwide venture capital community given its salacious nature. The defendant: longtime VC Michael Goguen, who’d spent 20 years with Sequoia Capital in Menlo Park, Ca. The plaintiff: a former intimate who described him through the filing as a “worse predator than the human traffickers.” She said in the filing that she would know, having become a “victim of human trafficking” at age 15 when she was “brought to America in 2001,” then “sold as a dancer to a strip club” in Texas, which is where she says first encountered Goguen.

What she wanted from the lawsuit was money that she said was owed to her by Goguen: $ 40 million over four installments that the lawsuit stated were for “compensation for the sexual abuse and [a sexual] infection she contracted from him.” According to her suit, Goguen agreed to these terms, paying Baptiste a first installment of $ 10 million before refusing to make further payments.

At the time, Goguen called the allegations “horrific” and suggested Baptiste was a spurned lover, saying they’d had a “10+ year romantic relationship that ended badly.” He also filed a cross complaint alleging extortion.

Today, that cross complaint lives on, but Baptiste’s case against Goguen was just dismissed by arbitrator Read Ambler, a retired judge who served 20 years with the Santa Clara County Superior Court and who wrote in a ruling filed yesterday in San Mateo that Baptiste’s failures to undergo medical examinations doomed her case, as did her failure to produce documents necessary in the discovery process.

“The record presented further establishes that Baptiste’s’ failures were willful,” Ambler writes. “Baptiste appears to believe that the information responsive to the discovery at issue is either not relevant, or with respect to the medical examinations, not permitted by law. While Baptiste is free to believe what she wants to believe, the orders are binding on Baptiste, and her failure to comply with the orders is unacceptable.”

Baptiste doesn’t currently have legal representation, though four sets of lawyers have represented her over time.

Patricia Glaser, a high-powered attorney who took on Baptiste’s case originally (and later agreed to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein), asked to be relieved from the case five months later, citing “irreconcilable differences.” More recently, an L.A.-based couple that operates the Sherman Law Group in L.A. filed a motion to be relieved as Baptiste’s counsel, citing “irreconcilable differences and a breakdown in communication.”

Goguen’s attorneys say he will continue to pursue his counterclaims against Baptiste and looks forward to “complete vindication.”

Though Ambler never remarked on the merits or Baptiste’s claims, Goguen’s attorney Diane Doolittle further said today in a statement that: “Amber Laurel Baptiste’s sensationalized lawsuit against Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Goguen collapsed under the weight of its own falsehood yesterday, when a judge dismissed the case because of Baptiste’s repeated, egregious and willful misconduct. Over the course of this case, Baptiste perjured herself, concealed, destroyed and falsified key evidence, and demonstrated her contempt for the legal system by systematically violating numerous court orders.”

Baptiste could not be reached for comment.

Baptiste’s lawsuit against Goguen prompted Sequoia to part ways with him almost immediately. Later the very day that TechCrunch broke news of the suit in 2016, a Sequoia spokesman told us that while the firm understood “these allegations of serious improprieties” to be “unproven and unrelated to Sequoia” its management committee had nevertheless “decided that Mike’s departure was the appropriate course of action.”

Goguen, who sold an $ 11 million home in Atherton, Ca., in 2017, has spent much of his time in recent years at another home in Whitefish, Montana, where he has seemingly been wooing locals. An August story about Goguen in The Missoulian about a separate case describes him “known locally for philanthropic ventures.”

Continues the story: “Such donations have funded Montana’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and a Flathead group teaching girls to code. Two Bear Air, his northwestern Montana search and rescue outfit free to anyone who has needed it, has performed well over 500 missions and 400 rescues, according to executive director and chief pilot Jim Pierce. Goguen has personally completed 30 rescues, the Daily Inter Lake reported in February. The Flathead Beacon reports he was honored with the Great Whitefish Award earlier this year.”

TechCrunch

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

August 30, 2019 |

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

Has anyone checked in with EOS lately, to see how it’s doing? How about Tezos – any signs of life there? In mid 2017, two of the largest token sales in history birthed two smart contracting platforms that promised to topple Ethereum and usher in an era of fast and low-cost value transfer with dApps for everyone. Two years on, news.Bitcoin.com decided it ought to perform a welfare check on the leading smart contracting platforms to look for signs of life.

Also read: How Market Makers Inject Liquidity Into the Cryptoconomy

‘U Okay Hun?’

The number of smart contract platforms, sometimes referred to as second-generation blockchains, has multiplied since the days when EOS, Tezos, and Tron were being talked up as the new Ethereum. Just to further complicate matters, there’s also been a string of layer two solutions and sidechains that connect to networks such as Ethereum, performing much of the heavy lifting off-chain, before transmitting the computed result to the mainchain. Even Bitcoin Cash has gotten in on the act, with Simple Ledger Protocol supporting ERC20-style token issuance, but with lower fees. As a result, there isn’t enough time, space or willpower to record what every smart contract platform in the industry is currently up to. The following snapshot, however, reveals the health of the main players and their new contenders. Consider it the equivalent of a kindly text to an old friend who hasn’t been heard from in days. “U okay hun?”

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

EOS

The story concerning what’s being built on EOS differs wildly depending on whether you read the narrative being peddled at eosprojects.org or the unofficial one recorded by Dappradar.com. According to the former, recent projects of note include Equilibrium, a smart contract solution for creating EOSDT-backed stablecoins, and pro-privacy market research project Insights Network. Other than that, the handful of projects listed on eosprojects.org are either dead or dying, such as Eos Time, an auction site that hasn’t been heard from since the start of February. Srsly hun, u okay?

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains
Top five EOS dApps.

Dappradar paints a far rosier picture of EOS adoption, even if its killer use case isn’t the one that Dan Larimer envisioned. It turns out that EOS is great for running gambling dApps, thanks to its free transactions and fast block times. Centralization concerns aren’t an issue here either: for gambling purposes, EOS is decentralized enough. Top dApps include Dice, Hold’em Poker King, and GP Casino. There are also a few gaming dApps in the top 10 such as Prospectors and EOS Knights.

$ 4 billion to create a cheap gambling network doesn’t seem like much to crow about, though to cut EOS some slack, gambling was one of Bitcoin’s early successes – remember Satoshi Dice? At some stage, EOS will need to start launching more than just gaming and gambling dApps if it’s to justify its existence. The EOS VC fund, with its $ 1 billion war chest, should help there. One of EOS’ problems is a lack of cohesive communication about what’s actually being built on the network. Scout around, however, and there are signs of life. Tech collective Ghostbustersx, for instance, are beavering away on some interesting EOSIO projects including a DAG for the independent nation of Liberland.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

Tron

Tron’s trajectory has proven very similar to EOS, with the difference being that Justin Sun’s ICO-funded network seems willing to embrace what it’s become: a gambler’s paradise. Moreover, having raised six times less than EOS (albeit a still significant $ 70 million), there’s been less pressure on Tron to deliver flagship products from game-changing crypto companies. As a result, Tron has quietly grown into one of the most successful dApp networks to date. Admittedly, there’s a preponderance of gambling dApps, with a few exchanges thrown in for good measure, but then not every smart contracting platform has to reinvent finance: sometimes it’s nice to throw a few tokens at a high-low betting game and see what comes back.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

Another minor success story for Tron is that its sub-tokens have gained some traction, in contrast to EOS. Most notably, the Wink token, which IEO’d on Binance last month, has done well, and cemented Tron’s reputation as the gambler’s chain of choice. Tron’s also been making progress in other areas, such as with the Sun network, a sidechain for launching dApps that provides all the functionality of the mainchain but with lower resource costs.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains
Top five Tron dApps

Tezos

After getting concerned at the milk bottles stacking up outside the door and the number of newspapers protruding from the mailbox, news.Bitcoin.com sent a series of increasingly concerned texts to Tezos. Tezos did not respond.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

RSK

Unlike the other smart contracting networks featured here, RSK isn’t a second-gen blockchain: it’s a layer two that serves as an open source smart contract solution anchored by the security of the BTC network. That’s right, the absolute madmen are building on Bitcoin. As value propositions go, that’s pretty enticing, not least to enterprises that desire the functionality of smart contract-powered products, but without dirtying their hands by dabbling with unproven blockchains.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

After a quiet start to the year, RSK has announced a detailed roadmap and begun to court developers interested in building open finance products. RSK is already being used by a number of projects, including a meat production traceability initiative in its native Argentina. In July, a major network upgrade (Wasabi) improved storage components of the RSK protocol, and a raft of other improvements scheduled for Q3 will ensure the smart contract network is enterprise-ready. After that, it’ll be time for RSK to step up and show what it’s made of.

Matic Network

We’ve left the main chains behind now, and are onto sidechains and other smart contract solutions that nevertheless compete directly with EOS and its ilk. Matic is probably the biggest breakthrough this year, from the dozens of sidechains promising to enhance Ethereum and every other network they’re plugged into. While the seed money from Coinbase Ventures and the IEO on Binance has undoubtedly helped its cause, Matic has actually built stuff too, partnering with a string of companies along the way including some known names.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

Decentraland and Makerdao are among the partners Matic can count, while on the dApp side it’s got a handful of applications up and running. Matic Network uses an adapted version of Plasma, a scaling technology originally conceived for Ethereum. It enables fast and cheap transactions, which attain finality once confirmed on the mainchain. Thanks to its broad cross-industry support, coupled with an energy that only young projects can possess, Matic looks set to end 2019 on a high.

Liquid Apps

Purpose built for hosting dApps that can operate at scale, Liquid Apps is focused on the endgame: a future in which thousands of decentralized apps are used by millions. Should that vision ever become a reality, cheap computation and storage will be essential, which Liquid Apps promises to deliver through the originally named Dapp Network.

What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains

Rather than seek to take on the leading dApp blockchains in a zero-sum game, Liquid Apps aims to work with them. Its interoperability product Liquid Link connects EOS and Ethereum, enabling developers to create dApps that work on both chains. Like RSK, Liquid Apps has its tech stack in place. Next up, it needs to attract a few more projects that can showcase what its technology can do.

Verdict: Signs of Life

For the networks described here, there are signs of life, ranging from tepid to robust. Even Tezos will probably stir at some point once it’s put its legal troubles behind it and is free to focus on building. One matter that all those involved with the above networks seem to agree on: Ethereum isn’t scalable, and won’t be application ready any time soon. “Complex dApps just don’t work on Ethereum,” Vahid Toosi of Ghostbustersx told news.Bitcoin.com. “I also think there is something different with EOSIO which allows people to iterate quickly on different blockchains … The idea was always to build platform specific chains rather than general and then have the interoperability between the chains.”

In the promised land envisioned by its architects, blockchains communicate openly with one another, dApps scale, fees are forever low and block producers never collude. It may be an impossible dream, but for the developers of today’s smart contract networks, it’s one worth clinging to. News.Bitcoin.com will return in six months for another welfare check when its entreaty – “U okay hun?” – will hopefully be met with a resounding “Yes.”

Which smart contract platforms do you think are likeliest to succeed? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Dappradar.com.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post What’s Being Built – and What’s Not – on 2019’s Smart Contract Blockchains appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Fan Who Topped 90 in Stadium Booth Wins MLB Contract

August 4, 2019 |

Nathan Patterson played baseball in high school, but, he says, “I didn’t really have a good arm then.” He didn’t play in college. Then, while attending a minor league game last summer, Patterson stepped into a pitching booth and hit 96mph on the radar gun; the average major-league fastball is…
Newser

Fox Sports West, Prime Ticket, YES dropped from Dish Network in contract dispute

July 27, 2019 |

Dish subscribers in Southern California lost access to Fox Sports West and Fox Sports San Diego, which carries the Angels and Padres. Dish’s Yankees fans in the Northeast will not get the YES network.


L.A. Times – Business

Trump expressed concerns about Pentagon cloud-computing contract

July 18, 2019 |

President Donald Trump recently demanded more information about how the Pentagon crafted a massive cloud-computing contract it’s poised to award to Amazon.com Inc. or Microsoft Corp., in order to decide whether he should intervene.


L.A. Times – Business