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Oracle wants to bring blockchain to the masses through a crypto-secure data offering

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While blockchain is known for bringing trust and transparency to multi-party workflows, it can also ensure the immutability of business-critical data. Realizing this potential, technology giant Oracle has announced a crypto-secure data management offering that will be provided as a free feature for Oracle converged database users. 

Juan Loaiza, executive vice president, Mission-Critical Database Technologies at Oracle, told Cointelegraph that it’s become apparent that customers deploying blockchain solutions often do not require the full capabilities of these implementations. Loaiza also pointed out that the complexity of introducing a completely new technology stack into an IT environment can be burdensome.

Blockchain is useful for protecting data

As such, Oracle has created a crypto-secure data management offering that leverages “blockchain tables” within the Oracle database. This feature is different from Oracle’s blockchain platform, which is built on Hyperledger Fabric and is often used for supply chain management. Rather, Oracle’s blockchain tables are immutable tables specifically meant to protect enterprise data from illicit changes.

As noted in Oracle’s recent blog post, this is made possible through a series of cryptographic hashes. Immutable tables organize rows of data into several chains. Each row — except the first row in the chain — is chained to the previous row, much like that of a cryptocurrency blockchain network. The hash is then automatically calculated on the insert based on that row’s data and the hash value of the previous row in the chain. Timestamps are also recorded for each row upon data insertion.

According to Loaiza, blockchain tables enable customers to use the Oracle database when they require highly tamper-resistant data management but do not wish to distribute a ledger across multiple organizations. In addition, blockchain tables do not rely on a decentralized trust model. Loaiza said:

“We are not trying to solve a decentralized multi-party problem, but rather, we are releasing a new technology that integrates the idea of blockchain into an Oracle database. This ensures that mainstream enterprise applications only require minimal changes. We are trying to combine blockchain with all of the functionalities Oracle offers today to bring blockchain to the masses.”

Specifically speaking, Loaiza explained that the purpose of Oracle’s blockchain tables is to protect business-critical data from being modified or deleted. “This feature protects against those who may gain access to the database legitimately (corrupt insiders, criminals using stolen credentials) or illegitimately (hackers),” said Loaiza. He further commented that this offering serves as an additional layer of protection on top of conventional data security features provided through the Oracle database.

A solution such as this can be especially useful considering the fact that database security breaches are an ongoing problem. According to a 2020 report from the data company Risk Based Security, around 36 billion database records were compromised between January and September 2020.

Concerns to be considered

Loaiza noted that Oracle blockchain tables are currently being utilized by customers leveraging the “Oracle Database 19c,” which is the version most commonly used today. He explained that customers are using the blockchain tables to protect contact information, property titles, payments, transfers, ledgers and account statements.

“These tables allow customers to leverage the tamper-resistance and non-repudiation properties of blockchain in use cases that do not involve multiple organizations or the necessity to deploy a decentralized trust model,” he remarked.

While this may be, there are some downsides to consider when using a blockchain to store business-critical data. Lior Lamesh, CEO and co-founder of GK8 — a blockchain security company — told Cointelegraph that organizations storing sensitive data on a blockchain must be aware of the vulnerability of the endpoints, adding:

“Once you own an organization’s private key, all of its blockchain-based assets are in your hands. So, migrating a corporation’s internal database to the blockchain has its benefits — as long as its endpoints are protected with the highest cybersecurity standards.”

To Lamesh’s point, Loaiza remarked that this risk is evident when migrating from a database to a distributed ledger or a decentralized trust model. However, he clarified that Oracle isn’t recommending customers do this when leveraging blockchain tables. “We are providing the tamper-resistance and non-repudiation properties of blockchain inside the Oracle database,” he said.

Loaiza added that Oracle’s security capabilities include transparent data encryption, a database firewall, database vault, label security and data redaction. “You can think of it as an extra layer of security within the Oracle database, not a mechanism to replace the database,” said Loaiza.

However, enterprise customers may still be curious about how to delete data once it gets inserted into the blockchain tables. According to Loaiza, organizations can set a time limit for how long data needs to remain immutable. “By default, it’s forever, but there are business cases where after three months or a year, it’s okay to delete data, as it’s no longer valid or necessary. Users can’t delete the data in a blockchain table until the time limit expires,” he remarked.

Is this how enterprise blockchain will look?

While Oracle’s blockchain tables demonstrate a clever way to leverage the benefits of blockchain within a secure database, the offering is much different from typical enterprise solutions that focus on decentralization across multiple entities. 

This could very well be a good thing, though, as some enterprise blockchain offerings have failed recently. If Oracle’s new solution proves to be effective, enterprises may start leveraging blockchain more as a middleware rather than as an entire implementation.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/oracle-wants-to-bring-blockchain-to-the-masses-through-a-crypto-secure-data-offering

Blockchain

Real Estate Giant Teams up with Gemini to Buy Bitcoin and Allow BTC Rent Payments

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Caruso, one of the largest estate companies in the US, has entered the BTC space with an undisclosed investment. The organization also revealed it will begin accepting bitcoin as payment for rent following a partnership with Gemini – the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins.

Pay Rent with Bitcoin

Without specifying the precise amount, Caruso announced earlier that it had made a “significant initial investment” in the primary cryptocurrency as part of its treasury management strategy. The move has made the company “the first to adopt the technology in the real estate industry.”

The firm completed the purchase through a partnership with Gemini, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodian. The innovation reinforced the company’s confidence in the digitizing space.

Additionally, the firm enabled its tenants to pay rent with bitcoin, should they choose to do so.

Rick Caruso, founder, and CEO of the company weighed in on the topic:


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”We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that bitcoin is the right investment for us. We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital market into bitcoin.”

The billionaire went further and stated crypto is a long-term resolution and ”it’s not about the next year or five years”.

”We are thrilled to partner with Caruso as they continue to push the real estate sector to new heights by embracing cryptocurrency for the benefit of both their customer experience and their own business operations. We are excited to help them execute their digital asset treasury strategy and advise them more broadly throughout their cryptocurrency journey.” – commented Gemini’s CEO Tyler Winklevoss.

The Los Angeles-based company has become a part of the growing institutional adoption of bitcoin around the globe. According to experts, companies like MicroStrategy, MassMutual, Tesla, and more are a vital factor behind BTC’s recent price increase.

Bitcoin as a Form of Payment

While Caruso may be the first firm from the real estate industry to adopt BTC as a payment method, companies from other sectors have well preceded it. Most recently, the popular NBA team Sacramento Kings said it will give the option to its players to receive their salaries in the primary cryptocurrency.

Another fresh example is the UK private jet company – PrivateFly. The organization revealed that nearly 20% of its yearly payments were paid in bitcoin.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/real-estate-giant-teams-up-with-gemini-to-buy-bitcoin-and-allow-btc-rent-payments/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin Bull Mike Novogratz Predicts Existential Crisis Unless the US Creates a Digital Dollar

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Mike Novogratz, a veteran investor, and a huge Bitcoin supporter noted the U.S. is currently in a good economic position. Still, the nation can face a major competitive disadvantage unless it engineers a digital dollar soon.

The Importance Of An E-Dollar

Novogratz, chief executive of digital merchant bank Galaxy Digital GLXY, underlined the value that a digital dollar could bring to the US. In a Friday interview with MarketWatch, he stated:

”To me it is an existential crisis, we need a digital dollar.”

Furthermore, the investor expressed his view over the current COVID pandemic and the negative impact on the U.S. market and the world, in general. He referred to the trillions of dollars of monetary and fiscal spending done to help eliminate the worst of the economic aftershocks the disease caused:

”If our fiscal and monetary policy starts looking like it’s from a Banana Republic…you are going to run into some Minsky moment where confidence breaks down.”

With his statement, Mike Novogratz referenced Hyman Minsky, who exposed a view in the recent past that a period of distortions in the financial system eventually ends very badly.


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The existence of a digital dollar sounds even more important after some stock-market investors have been warning about a surge in US inflation in the past weeks.

The Competition With China

During the interview, Novgorotz claimed that while in the U.S., the development of an e-dollar is still under question and researches, China has fired the first salvo on the digital currency front.

The biggest economy in Asia conveys great support to its digital yuan. According to some experts in the field, its new currency is a weapon that the country can use to compete with the U.S. and other developed economies.

As CryptoPotato recently reported, PayPal CEO Peter Thiel said that Bitcoin could be used as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.

In the meantime, Novogratz said that there is ”zero evidence of the Chinese government buying Bitcoin” much less weaponizing it, referring to the comments made by Peter Thiel:

”Sometimes he likes to say things that are provocative.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-bull-mike-novogratz-predicts-existential-crisis-unless-the-us-creates-a-digital-dollar/

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Blockchain

Canadian Broker Enables Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple Payments

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The narrative that cryptocurrencies are not used as payment methods continues to be debunked, with numerous companies enabling such transactions lately. One of the largest Canadian brokers, Matrix Mortgage Global, is the latest to introduce payments with Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and some stablecoins.

Mortgage Payments with Crypto

Founded in 2008, Matrix Mortgage Global enables customers to receive financing on housing that has carried out over $1.5 billion in mortgage originations. The company has “championed alternative lending” since its inception, and its latest announcement could be regarded as another step in that direction.

Through a partnership with the US-based crypto service provider BitPay, Matrix Mortgage Global will enable all customers to pay for goods and services with some of the most popular crypto assets. Namely, those Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ethereum, and several dollar-pegged stablecoins. However, the announcement didn’t specify which stablecoins the firm will implement.

The introduction of digital assets aims to expand the company into international markets where “accepting credit cards is not practical.” Furthermore, the addition will increase payment transparency, speed, and efficiency, while reducing high fees.

Matrix Mortgage Global’s initiative works in line with the Canada Revenue Agency’s views saying that crypto assets “can be used to pay for goods and services and shall be treated as a barter transaction.”


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“As an innovator in the mortgage industry, we decided to accept cryptocurrency to better align ourselves with the shift towards the global adoption of digital currency. Blockchain technology with the use of smart contracts is going to change the way mortgages are processed.” – commented MMG Founder Shawn Allen.

Increased Acceptance

Matrix Mortgage Global’s introduction of crypto payments comes amid a growing trend among other companies to do the same. Perhaps the most well-known name to do so since the start of the year is Elon Musk’s Tesla. After a massive BTC purchase, the electric vehicle giant said it will allow bitcoin payments for its cars.

The US has been at the forefront of this trend, including some of the country’s most popular sports leagues. The National Basketball Association has at least two representatives that accept crypto payments.

The Sacramento Kings do so since 2014, and the club’s chief said earlier this week that all employees could start to receive as much of their salaries as they like in BTC. On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks went in another direction and enabled merchandise and ticket payments with the popular meme coin – Dogecoin.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/canadian-broker-enables-bitcoin-ethereum-and-ripple-payments/

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