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British Virgin Islands Bolsters Emergency Plan with Crypto Wallet

British Virgin Islands Bolsters Emergency Plan with Crypto Wallet

British Virgin Islands Bolsters Emergency Plan with Crypto WalletThe British Virgin Islands has inked a partnership with LifeLabs, a crypto startup that builds on the Ethereum blockchain. | Source: Shutterstock Get Exclusive Analysis and Investing Ideas of Future Assets on Hacked.com. Join the community today and get up to $400 in discount by using the code: “CCN+Hacked”. Sign up here. Get Exclusive Analysis and Investing Ideas of Future Assets on Hacked.com. Join the community today and get up to $400 in discount by using the code: “CCN+Hacked”. Sign up here.By CCN: An official announcement from the British Virgin Islands says that the island protectorate has entered a partnership with a blockchain company. The company, LifeLabs, makes a wallet and has a token called LIFE on the Ethereum blockchain. The wallet supports Ethereum, Bitcoin, and the firm’s own crypto tokens.In Case of Emergency: Use BlockchainThe British Virgin Islands believes blockchain could help the local government better manage emergencies. | Source: ShutterstockThe partnership mainly regards the facilitation of emergency funding for the British Virgin Islands as well as payments between islands. Andrew A. Fahie, Premier and Minister of Finance for the British Virgin Islands, says:“It is of utmost importance that our citizens receive immediate and proportional response in the midst of emergencies. LIFElabs’ innovative financial technology comes at a pivotal time for our people and our economy, while the memory of recent natural disasters remains fresh in our minds and hearts, and the pressure for increased economic efficiency keeps mounting. It is with high expectations that we enter into this unprecedented partnership, together, building a better BVI for the future.”The British Virgin Islands is home to thousands of global corporations, which has in the past led to accusations that it is a haven for money launderers. The country has recently made changes to its reporting and registration requirements, which, for one thing, led to a restructuring of Telegram’s corporate interests.The idea behind the partnership is that when disaster happens, and traditional means are disrupted, British Virgin Islanders will be able to use LIFEWallet to receive government assistance. The government will also utilize blockchain technology in such an event.“The LIFElabs.io implementation for the BVI will allow island residents to download the LIFEwallet® app on either Apple iOS or Google Android mobile devices, accessing an account that can have funds deposited into it whenever a disaster strikes. For users who do not currently have smart mobile devices LIFE will provision for digital currencies to be sent and received via SMS. The wallet app can also be used for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, or in daily commerce, purchasing essential goods and services from local businesses. LIFElabs.io pioneering blockchain technology is a major advancement over traditional banking, where ‘bricks and mortar’ locations can be damaged or destroyed, and thereby preventing access to much needed funds during an emergency or humanitarian crisis.”Big News for Blockchain (and Crypto) this Side of the AtlanticWhile the partnership is limited, it’s an important step forward for the crypto industry. | Source: ShutterstockThe partnership doesn’t go much beyond that. There doesn’t seem to be a requirement that local merchants start accepting cryptocurrencies, or anything of that nature, but the announcement is unique in terms of government adoption of cryptocurrency.Governments have been slow to accept and embrace cryptocurrencies, with Ohio being the first to allow people to pay certain taxes in Bitcoin. Such an initiative has long been sought-after by certain Bitcoin enthusiasts, who have pushed for New Hampshire to enable similar rules for years.Hopefully, disaster will not have to strike the British Virgin Islands for them to expand their partnership. The announcement also mentions that Fahie will be initiating blockchain conferences and the like.The country could quickly become a blockchain hub on this side of the Atlantic, with tiny countries like Malta and Estonia playing host to significant blockchain companies on the other side. About The AuthorP. H. MadoreP. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014 and is currently Head of Crypto. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to [email protected] His website is http://phm.link
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Register Lecture: Hidden heroes of Alan Turing’s Enigma

Live code-breaking and beer A curse follows Enigma, the cryptography device deployed by Adolf Hitler’s military during the WWII to protect their Morse communications from the Allies. That curse? Invisibility. Alan Turing has – now – become intrinsically linked with cracking Enigma, a machine of fiendish complexity capable of 159 million, million, million (1.59×1020) settings…

Register Lecture: Hidden heroes of Alan Turing’s Enigma

Live code-breaking and beer

A curse follows Enigma, the cryptography device deployed by Adolf Hitler’s military during the WWII to protect their Morse communications from the Allies. That curse? Invisibility.

Alan Turing has – now – become intrinsically linked with cracking Enigma, a machine of fiendish complexity capable of 159 million, million, million (1.59×1020) settings that demanded the perfect marriage of mathematics and engineering to break. Turing’s work would blow open secrets that helped alter the war – for example, alerting the RAF to Luftwaffe raids during the Battle of Britain. And yet, Turing received little by way of the recognition he deserved for decades – quite the opposite, in fact.

But Turing is not the only one to have suffered Enigma’s curse of invisibility. Join The National Museum of Computing on June 26 for a special Register lecture journey back 80 years to the eve of the Second World War, to hear the stories of those behind Turing.

Hear about who provided a critical leg-up to the struggling English in cracking Enigma and who helped build the Bombe – the device to mechanise the mathematics of code breaking. Eight decades after the start of the War, TNMOC will go inside the pioneering work of the Polish General Staff Cipher Bureau in Warsaw and shine a light on the roles of Gordon Welchman and Doc Keen, the long-overlooked Bombe engineering team lead, at Bletchley. Together, they helped put code-breaking at Bletchley Park on an industrial footing.

Your guide for this crypto history trip will be Paul Kellar MBE, a leading member of the Bombe Rebuild project – based at TNMOC as a working tribute to those who contributed to breaking the Enigma.

Starring with Paul will be a working Enigma to help demonstrate “knowing your enemy” and illustrate how the Bombe could attack and break the Enigma on a daily basis. You will get the opportunity, too, to participate in a live code-cracking exercise with Checking Machine – the last stage in recovering the Key of the Day after the Bombe had found the crucial settings.

Join fellow Reg readers with the TNMOC crypto historians and their machines at the Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James St, London, WC1N 3ES. Doors open at 18:30 BST with Paul taking the mic at 19:00. An audience question-and-answer session will follow a break to re-charge mind and grey matter. Get your ticket here. ®

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Breaking Up Facebook ‘Won’t Be Enough,’ Says Morgan Stanley Boss. Here’s His Proposal.

Breaking Up Facebook ‘Won’t Be Enough,’ Says Morgan Stanley Boss. Here’s His Proposal.

New York City’s just-concluded “blockchain week” was palpably more subdued than it has been in years past. (Or maybe I was just not invited back to the parties after my 2018 travelogue.)
In any case, I took a brief break from the madness of the Fortune 500 issue close to drop by the Consensus conference, the week’s marquee event, where I moderated a security-themed panel on Monday. My panelists were Tom Glocer, the lead board director of Morgan Stanley and former chief executive of Thomson Reuters, and Nadav Zafrir, the CEO of startup foundry Team8 and former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Cyber Command and Unit 8200, Israel’s equivalent of the U.S.’s National Security Agency. (For a recording, see video No. 15 here.)

Below are some soundbites from our conversation. I asked Glocer about a post he had published in the fall on his excellent personal blog in which he pondered who, or what, should own people’s data. His response imagined a world in which people might own their own information and where they would, using individual digital wallets, license the rights to corporations.

Rather than the current situation where we just weren’t paying attention and Google and Facebook, etc., built up huge caches of our private information, you would have the choice to sell Google your search history in return for a micropayment. Or you would sell Apple your photos in return for a micropayment, etc. I think it’s an interesting way of turning the current model on its head. But we’re not going to get there without some very significant government intervention along the lines of the debate that’s been raging about Facebook. Tech alone won’t achieve this jiu-jitsu move.

Since he brought it up, I asked Glocer for his thoughts on breaking up Facebook.

Just breaking up Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp won’t be enough. Facebook has over 2.5 billion folks. If you really wanted to go after them, I think you would have to go deeper and essentially declare a date by which they’d have to erase all of the data they’ve achieved to date and start fresh with what I’d call an informed consent and maybe, yes, micropayments. There’s no intrinsic reason why it’s awful that [Facebook] owns Instagram and WhatsApp…. If Mark [Zuckerberg] came out and just declared that on June 30th of next year we’re going to wipe out our histories—here’s your chance to download your own, in case you want to keep it, and here are the new rules of the road that you get to explicitly opt into—I would leave all those companies in his world.

The audience tended to agree. When I asked them whether Facebook should get the Sherman Anti-Trust treatment, only about a third of the crowd raised their hands.

Facebook, through the malicious hijacking of its targeted marketing machinery, has greatly contributed to an erosion of faith in traditional institutions. Nadav Zafrir summed up the predicament well. When I asked him what is the most pressing, most frightening threat the world faces, he replied without hesitation.

In one word: Trust. We are now in a world where it’s very hard for us to trust the simple things that, as my generation grew up, we were accustomed to trusting—our democracies. Our voting systems…. The irony is that the blockchain has a great potential to offer that [trust], yet it has become synonymous almost with the opposite…. At the end of the day attackers are human. They’re ROI [return on investment]-driven. They’re not super-ninjas or super-humans. They have their limitations. They have their vulnerabilities…. It’s an asymmetric battle when the attackers only need to find one single point of failure in the whole system and it’s game over. Hence, if we take that single point of failure and distribute it in a way where attackers need to hack everybody simultaneously and get everybody’s consensus, we’re flipping the asymmetry and taking control of the situation.

Of course, retaking control of the situation is no simple task, even with the advent of blockchain technology. Zuckerberg is, for his part, exploring how he might reestablish the foundations of his media empire on the footing of blockchains, cryptography, and private messaging. With all the consumer backlash and heat from regulators, it will no doubt take expert jiu-jitsu to pull off.
May the groundwork commence.
A version of this article first appeared in Cyber Saturday, the weekend edition of Fortune’s tech newsletter Data Sheet. Sign up here.

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