NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – is examining blockchain technology as a means to ensure the privacy and security of aircraft flight data.
Ronald Reisman, an aero-computer engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, published a paper on Monday, suggesting that blockchain networks and smart contracts can help mitigate some security issues.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the U.S. has been mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use a new surveillance system – Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) – which will publicly broadcast aircrafts’ identity, position and other information.
That has raised security concerns among stakeholders, Reisman said in his paper, explaining that the ADS-B system “does not include provisions for maintaining these same aircraft-privacy options, nor does it address the potential for spoofing, denial of service, and other well-documented risk factors.”
Civil aircraft companies would prefer to keep some data private, he writes, for example, to counter tracking executives as part of corporate espionage operations.
Military aircraft traffic data, meanwhile, is defined by the Department of Defense as “Information that, if disclosed, would reveal vulnerabilities in the DoD critical infrastructure and, if exploited, would likely result in the significant disruption, destruction, or damage of or to DoD operations, property, or facilities.”
Considering the sensitivity of related air traffic data, the military need for confidentiality “is likely to remain decisive in their adoption and use of ADS-B,” Reisman writes.
To address these and other issues, the researcher presents a prototype in the paper, dubbed the Aviation Blockchain Infrastructure (ABI), based on Hyperledger Fabric and smart contracts, which allows control over what data is shared publicly or privately with authorized entities.
For instance, aircraft “state information,” such as altitude, indicated airspeed, heading, etc., could be kept secure via a private channel, while flight-plan information, such as aircraft type, origin, destination, filed route, etc., can be published on a public channel for access to approved members.
“We propose to use a ‘lightly permissioned’ blockchain framework to enable the ADS-B systems to meet or exceed the same levels of privacy and security currently provided by radar-based systems in the NAS [National Airspace System].”
This is not the first time that the NASA has set out to explore blockchain seeking technological improvements. Back in February, the agency granted $330,000 to a professor at the University of Akron, to support research on ethereum blockchain technology to automatically detect floating debris.
Funds Stolen From Cryptopia Frozen By Binance
Following news of the Cryptopia hack, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Binance, has frozen some of the funds which were stolen from the New Zealand crypto exchange during a hack which was reported earlier in the week.
Binance provides a platform for trading more than a hundred different digital currencies and is getting ready to support the upcoming Constantinople hard fork on the Ethereum network. Since the start of last year, Binance is seen as the biggest exchange in the world in terms of its trading numbers.
As many people know, the CEO of Binance is Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and through his official Twitter account announced that Binance had halted certain funds which were stolen from the New Zealand crypto exchange. In the message, CZ has wondered why the attackers are carrying on to send the stolen funds to Binance.
As most people will have heard by now, Cryptopia reported that there had been a hack on Monday which has resulted in ‘significant losses’. The damage amounted to Ethereum worth at least $2.4 million in several unknown wallets. On top of this, he moved to centralised management in the amount of around $1.2 million.
After CZ tweeted his message on Twitter, there was a lot of backlash from the online community. In the CEOs tweet, he advised cryptographic owners to keep ahold of their assets on stock exchanges. This is opposed to having them on personal storage devices such as hardware wallets or USB drives. As reported by AtozMarkets, some members of the community perceived CZ’s tweet as a “meaning that the risk of self-preservation is significantly higher than the risk of storing cryptocurrency on “reputable” exchanges, such as Binance, for example. However, Zhao later said that he did not necessarily advise investors to keep funds on the exchanges.”
Growth In Attacks
There seems to have been a growth in attacks on exchanges over recent years. For the first half of 2018, there were over 730 million dollars exchanges for the exchanges of hacks. Quite a lot of the loss – $500 million – occurred as a result of a Coincheck hack in January last year.
What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think down below in the comments!
Will stablecoins and security tokens lead crypto innovation?
With the start of the new year, conversations surrounding the next wave of crypto innovation have begun with discussions focusing on trends the industry is likely to thrive upon, and which will fade into obscurity.
2018 was undoubtedly the year of the stablecoin with multiple iterations being devised and created. Now we have a plethora of choice as to which fiat-backed and (relatively) stable cryptocurrencies to store our, more volatile crypto in.
Similarly, as of late security tokens, or at least talk of security tokens, have taken the limelight they carry all the benefit of a cryptocurrency with none of regulatory uncertainty. They are deemed more secure and legitimate for this standardized regulation, meaning that far more participation from traditional wall street investors is likely.
It’s perhaps understandable then, that a few propagators of the cryptocurrency industry have called both of these emerging technologies potential catalysts for the space.
In a recent interview with The Cointelegraph Luzius Meisser., a board member of the Bitcoin Association Switzerland, offered these two innovations as key proponents of the industry.
Meisser noted that security tokens are likely to be picked up by investors who want more tangible protection, instead of simply relying on an ICO to deliver assurance.
“I would say payment and utility tokens are more or less over, sometimes they make sense.”
Meisser excluded stablecoins from his calculation, stating that they manage to avoid the label of ‘security’ as they’re legally backed.
“Stablecoins are a precondition to enable average companies to bring their equity onto the blockchain, because if they issue bonds or shares they want to do so against U.S. dollars, euros or Swiss francs because those are the currencies they calculate in, not Bitcoin or Ethereum.”
A similar sentiment is shared by the Winklevoss twins who recently stated in an interview with Bloomberg that Bitcoin, stablecoins and further tokenization will lead crypto into a new era of innovation.
“I think the next wave will see the real innovation and the really interesting assets that become tokenized — like real estate, like buildings that are currently not traded in a really liquid fashion. So that’s exciting.”
Record $1 Billion in transactions for BitPay in 2018
BitPay, the blockchain payment network, saw a record $1 Billion in transactions in 2018, according to a press release. BitPay’s continued growth shows that the future of cryptocurrency lies in creating a usable financial network to bolster payments.
BitPay is the largest blockchain payment network, and last year was so successful for them in huge part to the addition of customers such as Dish Network and the State of Ohio, which has greatly expanded their reach. What BitPay’s success shows, is that the use of cryptocurrency will be most relevant to companies utilizing protocols which give security, reliability, and convenience.
Read more: Mass adoption of crypto is “3 to 5 years away” says BitPay CEO
While Bitcoin was designed originally for individual payments as a replacement for cash and fiat currency, the main niche use which looks most similar to this is the case of cross-border payments for the global network of corporations doing international business. BitPay has fit neatly into this use case, and made a business out of facilitating these transactions.
While this might not be as exciting a victory as many of the cypherpunks and Bitcoin radicals had envisioned Bitcoin achieving at this stage in its roll out, BitPay’s CEO has consistently been quite bullish on Bitcoin’s eventual future as a well-used and mainstream currency. Indeed, if efforts like BitPay introduce a network of easily usable, secure payment protocols, cryptocurrency will be all the more acceptable to the general public.