The popular ad blocker launched a new product called TrustedNews which tells the user if the news they’re reading are trustworthy or fake.
TrustedNews is the new Chrome extension from AdBlock Plus which spots fake news for users as they navigate the web. At the moment, it’s only available for Chrome users, but you can expect the extension to join other browsers in the future.
The company hopes to evolve its system to integrate blockchain technology and user feedback. The plan is to keep a decentralized database in the Ethereum blockchain with a built-in protocol to reward those who contribute to it.
The database will be maintained by MetaCert Protocol which will also be issuing MetaCert tokens to manage the reward system. Once the database runs on the blockchain, users will be able to vote on other people’s feedback — those who provide good feedback will be top earners, while the opposite will be true for fraudsters. For those who know Steemit, you might recognize the reward system at play here.
TrustedNews is only available in English, at the moment, and it scores websites based on their integrity and trustworthiness. Once installed, the icon will display three different colors, depending on the news you’re reading.
A green tick will be displayed every time a news source is considered trustworthy. If the TrustedNews isn’t sure, it will give you an orange ‘B’ for ‘bias. Finally, if the source isn’t legitimate at all, you’ll be seeing a blue smiley face every time you come across click-bait, malicious or user-generated content, or unknown.
The extension pulls its data from four sources — Wikipedia, PolitiFact, Melissa Zimdars’ List and Snopes. Ben Williams, TrustedNews’s director of ecosystems, explained, “For now the way that it works is that you have these sources… and what they will do is essentially give their rating on a particular site and then, basically, if everything isn’t all the same — which they usually are — then you would just go by the [majority].”
TrustNews hopes to provide a more detailed analysis of news sources in the future, with the capability of pointing out to which way a biased source fluctuates.
Williams told TechCrunch the team plans on moving the database to the Ethereum blockchain in the coming weeks — or months, in a worst-case scenario. He also stated they have no intention of profiting with the project and at the time they’re only experimenting what’s out there.
Bitcoin Educator Andreas Antonopoulos Gives a Digital Deep Dive on Blockchain Transactions
One of the ways by which the crypto industry can make significant process is through the education of those who make use of crypto and those who simply observe the industry.
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He recently uploaded a video in which he touched the process of manual construction of transactions that have multiple inputs in response to a question posed by a user about whether the process will be done by a blockchain or not. Antonopoulos explained that the process is done by a wallet and not a blockchain.“You can conduct the process with a variety of wallets that allow you to construct transactions. With multiple inputs. Electrum wallets and other web-based wallets are good examples of platforms that give you the liberty to control transactions. Just to clarify, the process is done by the wallets and not by the blockchain,” Antonopoulos said.
He also pointed out that the construction wallet is based on an algorithm and if more than one payment is needed due to small amounts the wallet will construct the transactions with payments. This process, he explained, is called coin selection and helps in the movement of various transactions.
Also, he touched on the concept of change on the blockchain and pointed out that bitcoin transaction outputs have two states in which the exist which are spent or unspent and that there is no concept of a half-spent transaction.
While this was very helpful for users, some controversy was caused when Antonopoulospointed out that the scalability problem that bitcoin struggles with will always exist and that solving one issue will inevitably bring up more.
“..and you can’t, in the beginning, solves the problem for the end there is no end and also if you prematurely optimize if you try to solve scale problems for a scale that doesn’t yet exist you shift the problem somewhere else in the case of cryptocurrencies,” he said.
The Need for an Education
While Antonopoulos might have caused some controversy, it cannot be denied that his efforts to educate the public on blockchain and crypto are highly needed, especially seeing as many of the problems faced by users can put down to a lack of education about how blockchain works.
An example of this can be seen in security as a research piece that was published recently pointed out that over 700 crypto wallets were broken into by the researchers merely guessing the passphrases which were usually weak and repetitive phrases.
In such a case, education about how wallets, blockchain, and crypto work could go a long way to prevent such issues, ensuring Industries safer for all.
Blockchain Capital Ltd Co-Founder: Release Of New Crypto Assets By Businesses Isn’t “Unreasonable”
Co-Founder Of Blockchain Capital Says That The Release Of New Cryptocurrencies From Businesses Isn’t “Unreasonable”
There is a strong possibility that multinational firms could end up creating their own cryptocurrencies. Gavin Brown, the co-founder, and director at Blockchain Capital Limited commented that this idea isn’t “unreasonable” right now while speaking at the Credit Suisse Global Supertrends Conference, hosted in Singapore. According to reports from CNBC, the director said that it would be possible to create a CNBC coin as the “democratization of money” happens.
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To further explain this concept, Brown brought up prepaid cards for Starbucks. With “over a billion dollars of assets work on their balance sheet” of people that like their morning coffee enough to buy a prepaid card, it is clear that they trust the brand to be around and that they like spending their money with the company. Considering that there are some companies with better credit than others, like McDonalds over the whole government of Ireland, there is a chance that multinational companies could easily get involved to start using crypto as something between an asset and a loyalty credit.
Brown believes that the next “big one” that could happen is most likely to be Facebook coin, even though the company has yet to actually confirm that they’re following this path. However, reports indicate that the social media platform has been working on crypto asset to tie directly with fiat currency, which will be used through their messaging app. So far, both Bloomberg and the New York Times have run this report, and Facebook still has not expanded on the work.
When asked if it would cause too much confusion to have many companies simultaneously offering their own tokens, Brown commented that the mostly likely outcome would be “groups or alliances” developing. He even called the launch of the JPM Coin by JPMorgan Chase a “really intelligent play.” However, the rise of the coin’s popularity will ultimately dictate how strong the asset becomes.
China’s Foreign Exchange Regulator Piloting Blockchain in Trade Finance
The agency that regulates and manages China’s foreign exchange reserves has developed a blockchain system aimed to address inefficiencies in cross-border trade finance.
As reported by local financial news source CNStock, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) worked with the Hangzhou Blockchain Technology Research Institute to build the open blockchain platform, which uses multi-signature technology to keep transaction content private, revealing details only to the firms involved and regulators such as those relating to customs, taxation, industry and commerce.
Traditionally, China’s import and export financing uses a manual, paper-based operation for processing a hugely complex industry and that brings low efficiency, commonplace errors, high operational risk and, thus, elevated cost of financing. Putting the financial data on a distributed network enables information to be shared transparently and in real-time, according to the report.
The forex watchdog’s blockchain platform takes a focus on export receivables – the funds owed to a company by a foreign buyer after delivery – allowing firms to enter data on financing, audits, loans repayments and so on, and manages the entire process. It further automatically verifies customs documents and calculates a final balance for the customs declaration, a factor that prevents double or excessive financing, according to the report.
With initial development now complete, SAFE will now pilot the blockchain platform in three major trading provinces – Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian – and two cities, Shanghai and Chongqing, CNStock indicates.
The pilot will run for six months and is expected to be taken nationwide going forward, with many banks said to be involved in the scheme.