Blockstack Announces “Ecosystem-Wide, Universal” Dapp Store

17.05.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

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Blockstack Public Benefit Corporation (Blockstack PBC) has released the first “ecosystem-wide, universal” Dapp Store with over 150 Dapps on launch.

With the growth in number of blockchain-based decentralized apps (Dapps) that are running on various networks and protocols, it is becoming increasingly difficult for users to locate and make use of these Dapps. According to the announcement, the Blockstack Dapp Store is “a discovery tool for decentralized apps built on Blockstack, Ethereum, EOS, IPFS, Steem, and more … serving as an aggregator of usable Dapps for gaming, social networking, productivity, and financial services.”

The store features decentralized counterparts to many popular applications, such as Stealthy for WhatsApp, DTube for YouTube, Peepeth for Twitter, and Graphite for Google Docs. Many of these Dapps are not yet at a 1.0 release level and, depending on the network they are running on, may require you to pay processing fees for the network, like gas for Ethereum.

The store is nicely arranged, clearly showing the category that the Dapp is part of as well as the blockchain protocol it supports, such as Ethereum or Steem. A usability feature that is currently missing is the ability to search, sort and filter, which needs to be addressed in the near future to allow the platform to scale. There is a simple form to fill in to add your Dapp to the store, but it is not made clear what the process and timeline for approval might be. According to their announcement, Blockstack uses the following criteria to evaluate if an app is in fact a Dapp:

  • Do customers own their network identity? Can anyone else revoke that identity?
  • Is private user data encrypted with user-owned keys?
  • Is customer data stored on decentralized networks with reconfigurable APIs?
  • Is the app open source? Can community members contribute or fork the software?
  • Is the app publishable and hostable by others or only a single company?
  • Is the app running client-side or on a server?
  • Does the app limit or clearly communicate the scope of data logging?

Blockstack PBC will initially curate and maintain the Dapp Store, but have plans to eventually implement user ratings for ranking Dapps across the ecosystem as it gains wider acceptance. Their goal is for wide-scale community involvement to show how a truly decentralized experience can work outside of the stranglehold of a few large corporations on software and information.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitmain Leads Circle’s $110 Million Round; Teams Up to Create Stable Coin

16.05.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

Bitmain Leads Circle’s $100 Million Round; Teams Up to Create Stable Coin

Bitmain, the largest of the Bitcoin mining operations, is putting its muscle behind mobile payments and cryptocurrency trading firm Circle by leading a $110 million Series E round of funding, the companies announced on Tuesday, March 15, 2018, at Consensus in New York City.

Several other venture capital firms, including Breyer Capital, General Catalyst and Accel, joined the round, which now pushes the value of Boston-based Circle to $3 billion, from a reported $480 million in 2016, according to a statement by Circle.  

Bitmain is also joining forces with Circle to create a so-called “stablecoin,” a cryptocurrency that is pegged to a stable asset. The goal is to eventually have lots of stable tokens, all backed by different fiat currencies, but the first will be Circle USD Coin (USDC), a coin backed one-to-one by the U.S. dollar with the fiat to be stored in an auditable bank account and redeemable by verified buyers.

The tokens will be based on Ethereum’s ERC20 standard and developed and governed by CENTRE, a foundation that will manage a collection of new, fiat-backed tokens. CENTRE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Circle, but Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said that the foundation would become more independent as other members joined.

Alongside Circle and Bitmain, other CENTRE members will be able to produce their own fiat-based stablecoins and help set rules around how the coins will operate. According to the CENTRE’s whitepaper, governance of the network will include a type of voting that will leverage a forthcoming CENTRE-specific token that is separate from fiat tokens.

The way Circle sees it, a price-stable token is critical for enabling mainstream adoption of blockchain technology for payments and supporting financial contracts built on smart contract platforms, such as those for controlling token securities, loans and property.  

Circle’s new stable token joins a growing list of stable tokens meant to ease volatility of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, which can fluctuate wildly in value over even a few hours. Tether (USDT), introduced in 2015, is the biggest of the stablecoins, with about $2.2 billion in circulating supply.

Circle made news earlier this year when it purchased cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. Circle plans to offer USDC through Poloniex. It will also incorporate USDC in its social payments app and over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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