Vera Thornpike

Aeron, Blockchain Startup For Aviation Safety, Celebrates 1-year Anniversary

Aeron Blockchain aviation project celebrates 1-year anniversary
Aeron, Blockchain Startup For Aviation Safety, Celebrates 1-year Anniversary

It’s been a year since the Aeron Blockchain project was announced to the public, and the team has already managed to make a significant progress towards its goal to contribute to improvement in aviation safety. A few crucial roadmap milestones were reached successfully bringing the company acclaim from partners and supporters.  

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Aeron serves as Blockchain-based flight log and aircraft maintenance data platform. With its deployment, private pilots, aircraft operators, flight schools, and aircraft owners can get access to up-to-date and reliable information, including pilot’s experience record. Aviation enthusiasts and the general public can search for curated flight and training offers.

In August 2017, the Aeron project was presented for the wide audience: the team stepped up with an innovative Blockchain-based solution for flight data management. Successful Aeron (ARN) utility token sale in September-October 2017 helped the initiative to gain momentum and leverage some advanced technologies.

During this year, Aeron has been successfully following the roadmap steps, such as:

  1. Launch of aerotrips.com web portal.
  2. Release of mobile applications for Android and iOS.
  3. Blockchain integration in mobile applications.
  4. Lobbying with aviation authorities, publication of the unified log format.
  5. Integration of Blockchain into aerotrips.com.
  6. ARN token enabled as a mode of payment.

All that helped Aeron to get established and have its ARN token supported by multiple platforms, including the leading Ethereum ERC2o compatible wallets and instant exchanges (Changelly, Coinomi, imToken, SimpleSwap, Lumi etc) and be present in over 16 cryptocurrency exchanges, including the world’s largest (Binance, HitBTC, Bit-Z, Coinrail, KuCoin, DDEX and others). Aeron Pilot log application is already available in Google Play and Apple App Store.

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The rate of adoption is pretty quick: 100-150 flight schools join Aeron monthly, and the number of Aeron Pilot application installations has achieved tens of thousands. The application has already helped to record over 10,000 flight logs and is continuously being improved.

Besides, a number of important partnerships have been announced this year, including leading aviation academies and aviation training centers.

Aeron joined National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and European Business Aviation Association (EBAA)– their expertise and support will enable further growth and development.  Also, the team took part in international aviation conferences and shows, such as EBACE Geneva and Aviation Festival Asia in Singapore which was organized recently. The concept introduced by Aeron was welcomed by major representatives of the aviation industry– that means the team is on the right way.

Being a Blockchain-based solution Aeron promotes transparency and trustworthiness of data. However, in the past year, the project scope was limited to aviation professionals and general aviation enthusiasts. Not anymore– Aeron opens up to bring benefit to anyone who flies, including passengers of commercial airlines. With Aeron-powered bonus miles (loyalty) platform to be deployed later this year– anyone can get crypto rewards and take participation in major airline loyalty programs. That is new to the Aeron roadmap. Therefore, from now on, the platform targets not only aviation professionals– the public can reap benefits from it, too.

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As an early adoption of Aeron (ARN) token takes its foot, anyone interested in the aviation industry can visit the online shop at aerotrips.com to purchase aviation supplies and branded items payable with cryptocurrencies and ARN token.

The next year promises to be rich in advances. Human factor and lack of data integrity are the major aspects putting flight safety in danger. Blockchain is a cost-effective solution that allows reducing the impact of all these problems at once. Aeron project raises the bar for aviation safety standards and continues its work to make flying more fun for everyone.

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Fidelity’s Foray into Cryptocurrency an Important Bridging Exercise for Bitcoin and Banks

Financial services giant Fidelity is taking a huge step into cryptocurrency and in doing so could be building a big bridge to adoption
Fidelity’s Foray into Cryptocurrency an Important Bridging Exercise for Bitcoin and Banks

Fidelity, the financial services giant that administers more than $7.2 trillion in client assets, announced a new and separate company called Fidelity Digital Asset Services yesterday in what must be considered a major move.

In terms of adoption, the likes of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have hit a bit of a lull as the excitement of massive price spikes have abated, and there are still big barriers to entry for institutionalized investors.

But, this latest move by Fidelity is an important one as they state themselves it is about trying to entice these institutionalized investors into this new market and new asset class. Fidelity is also going after big money with this product because of a lack of regulatory clarity for the every-day investors which is another important aspect to consider.

Still, it is an unsurprising move as CEO Abigail Johnson has always been a Bitcoin believer and really it was only a matter of time before this financial giant crossed the threshold into cryptocurrencies.

What has Fidelity created?

The new company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, will firstly handle the custody of the cryptocurrency assets of its clients. This is much the same as how companies like Coinbase and Gemini hold onto users’ cryptocurrencies.

It will also execute trades on multiple exchanges for investors such as hedge funds and family offices, but these clients will be high level and sophisticated investors for the time being as for a retail product there are still too many regulatory hurdles to get through.

In addition to storing cryptocurrencies, Fidelity Digital Assets will use an existing internal crossing engine and smart order router for trade execution. This order router will allow Fidelity institutional customers to execute trades for Bitcoin, Ether and other assets at multiple market venues.

A step towards bridging the gap

While this type of crossover from traditional financial services into the cryptocurrency space is not totally unheard of, Fidelity represents the first true Wall Street incumbent to make such a service available for traditional investors.

This is vital in Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies’ move to mainstream adoption as the belief is the barrier to entry for big money investors getting into cryptocurrencies is the unknown. There is a lot of money waiting to join this nascent market, but these investors are unsure of the space and how to negotiate it.

So, with a company like Fidelity offering services and a trusted name, there is a much easier path for these institutional investors to join. Many are still holding out for a Bitcoin-backed ETF to open the floodgates of new money into space, but projects like this from Fidelity are another avenue.

Driven by a believer

Part of the reason that this product has come to fruition in this way is that of the CEO of Fidelity Abigail Johnson and her belief in Bitcoin stemming back to 2014.

Fidelity has a few existing cryptocurrency projects: It started bitcoin mining in New Hampshire when the digital asset's price was around $180. It has a partnership with Coinbase that allows Fidelity customers to check their cryptocurrency balances on the Fidelity app, and in 2015, started facilitating charitable donations in Bitcoin.

“Johnson is very interested in this and stays up on developments in the space in quite a significant way,” said Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets.

The news has also been received well across cryptocurrency Twitter who are mostly astounded that a company that works with so much money is entering the cryptocurrency market in such a way.

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What Lightning Network Means for Bitcoin Scalability

Bitcoin’s developers are pinning their scalability hopes on an off-chain solution called Lightning Network.
What Lightning Network Means for Bitcoin Scalability

Bitcoin’s developers have been investigating scaling solutions for several years, and when they finally settled on a combination of SegWit and Lightning Network, the community was bitterly divided. With the fork of Bitcoin Cash and the death of the potential SegWit2x fork, it seems like the majority of “big blockers” have left the community, leaving the path open to implementing Lightning Network (LN).

Payment channels

LN uses a concept called “payment channels” which enable transactions to be made outside of the Bitcoin Blockchain. All these “off-chain” transactions are eventually aggregated, and the net changes are posted to the Blockchain. To make this easier to understand, consider what happens if you are trading on an exchange.

Let’s say you start with 10 BTC, then you earn 2 BTC by trading, then you earn 4 more BTC from another profitable trade, and finally you lose 1 BTC in a bad trade. The exchange doesn’t actually make three Blockchain entries; instead, the exchange waits until you decide to withdraw your funds and then creates only one transaction on the Blockchain. Instead of making three entries on the Blockchain for +4 BTC, +3 BTC and -1 BTC, the exchange would send you +6 BTC in a single transaction.

This is also similar to what happens when you use your credit card. Banks don’t actually send each other millions of small transactions each day. Rather, at the end of the day, banks aggregate the total debits and credits and settle their accounts with each other in a single transaction.

Criticisms

Lightning Network has its critics, though. Some have argued that the use of LN defeats the purpose of the Blockchain. By taking most transactions off-chain, you no longer have a universal, auditable ledger. Supporters argue that LN is an optional feature, so nobody will ever be required to use it. People who want to send Bitcoin to each other in the same way as before, directly on the Blockchain, can still do it.

Other critics think the idea won’t really allow Bitcoin to scale that much, because payment channels won’t save that much space on the Blockchain. They contend that most people don’t regularly transfer value back and forth between the same parties multiple times. If Bob sends Alice 1 BTC, and the two parties never transact with each other again, then the use of LN would not have saved any space on the Blockchain. LN only really shines when two or more parties transact with each other repeatedly.

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Cryptocurrencies’ Fall From ATHs Shows Some Trends

Most Cryptocurrencies hit their all time highs only a few months ago, but are now a long way from those impressive numbers, revealing a couple trends
Cryptocurrencies’ Fall From ATHs Shows Some Trends

The cryptocurrency market has gone from one of its strongest positions, ranging between Dec. 17 and Jan. 13, to one of its worst first quarters ever. Many of the top-rated, and most notable coins, hot their all-time highs over the December to January period, but now, those same coins are down as much as 88 percent in some cases.

There are some trends to note in this fall from their impressive numbers, especially considering the dates of the highs, the percentage drop, and the different types of coins.

From hero to zero

It is always important to take Bitcoin, as the most influential, and the biggest coin by market cap, as a leading example of the movements of the markets. The markets are again down, seeing Bitcoin go as low as its 2018 low of $6,600.

Bitcoin’s high was reached on Dec. 17 last year with some exchanges registering it as high as $20,000. However, according to Coinmarketcap, its high was $19,535. Now, with this latest drop, Bitcoin has shed $12,700 for a loss of 65 percent.

This loss is actually one of the better performances from the rest of the coins in the top 10, as well as some more notable and familiar ones that fall outside of the top 10 in terms of market capitalization.

Alternative arrangements

Cardano is the worst performer in terms of how much it has shed from its all-time high when it comes to a top 10 coin by market capitalization. Cardano reached a high of $1.24 on Jan. 4, but at time of publication, it was down to $0.14; a loss of 88 percent.

Outside of the top 10, but still with established coins, NEM mirrors Cardano in that it is also down 88 percent. January 4 saw the coin at $1.90, but it is now sitting at $0.22, a loss of $1.68, which also could have something to do with the massive hack at Coincheck.

Better performers

Other than Bitcoin, the other better performers include Litecoin with a loss of 64 percent from its all-time high. Litecoin's price tipped $331 but is now down to $118.

EOS has also fared relatively well having reached a high of $18.16 on Jan. 13, but it is now down to $5.67, a fall of 68 percent.

What's the pattern?

In terms of similarities between the worse performing coins, or even the best performing with regards to these losses, there is not much correlations. However, one can pick out how the altcoins have fared in their timings.

With Bitcoin reaching its all-time high ‘first’ that is to say on Dec. 17, it started a wave that flowed to altcoins. Other coins that reached their all-time highs early include established ones such as Litecoin, and Bitcoin’s closest rival, Bitcoin Cash.

Then the altcoins caught up as Bitcoin backed down, indicating an obvious ‘altcoin season.’ Bitcoin dropped to near on $13,000 in the new year but through early January the altcoins spiked.

Jan. 4 had four notable altcoins in the top 10, and just outside, spike to their all-time highs while the rest all occurred between the beginning of the year and Jan. 13.

What is next?

The entire market seems to be slowly dropping, taking some spikes upward only to drop further along the road. However, the outlook is still positive and historical patterns seem to the point that quarter two will be better for the entire market.

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US Lawmakers Worried Digital Currency Burst Lead to Global Financial Contagion, Experts Disagree

While some lawmakers are becoming nervous about Bitcoin’s possible effects on the world economy in the event of a crash, experts think the concern is overblown
US Lawmakers Worried Digital Currency Burst Lead to Global Financial Contagion, Experts Disagree

 

Earlier today, CryptoComes reported that Congressional Republicans are increasingly diverging from their anti-regulatory stance, and are beginning to support efforts by Democrats to regulate Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Some lawmakers have attributed their shifting views to the possibility of a cryptocurrency collapse threatening the global financial system.

Republican Congressman Dave Brat of the House Freedom Caucus, a staunchly conservative group, said:

I‘m a total free-marketer, so I don’t want to regulate. But if it’s a currency that could destabilize the whole economy, you’re going to have that conversation.

Size matters

Concerns about the crypto market tanking the economy seem overblown in light of the relative size of each. The global crypto market cap currently stands at $500 bln, according to Coinmarketcap.com. On the other hand, the global capitals market (stocks and bonds) exceeds $118 tln, according to McKinsey. Meanwhile, the US GDP stands at $19.7 tln.

By comparison, the dot-com bubble peaked at around $3 tln, according to CNN Money. In inflation-adjusted terms, that would be equivalent to $4.4 tln today. While the $500 bln crypto market cap is undoubtedly huge, it’s barely a tenth the size of dot-coms in their year 2000 heyday. The dot-com bubble was large enough to tank the entire market, and did, but it’s unlikely that a digital currency bust could do the same.

Systemic risks?

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Richard Turnill does consider the cryptocurrency market a bubble, saying “I look at the charts, and to me, that looks pretty scary.” But he doesn’t think it rises to the risk of a systemic threat:

There’s no evidence that if that price went to zero tomorrow that there’d be any broader financial implication over time.

Garrick Hileman at the University of Cambridge agrees, telling Business Insider:

There haven't been enough people who hold them [cryptocurrencies] or institutions that own them or enough credit or leverage used. Having said that, I can imagine scenarios, although I'm not predicting this, where they do become systemically important.

In fact, a survey from London’s Center for Macroeconomics reported that 75 percent of top European economists do not think Bitcoin poses a threat to the financial system’s stability, according to Fortune.

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EOS Mainnet Network Freeze Points to Bigger Problems on the Horizon

EOS’s mainnet launch was stymied over the weekend as the network simply froze, this indicates that there could be a lot more issues at play
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EOS has garnered a pretty big reputation since its $4 bln ICO which was the largest in history, however, with its growth and move to the new mainnet, a major glitch occured showing a few big cracks in the facade that is EOS’s entire so-called decentralized system.

The mainnet suffered a glitch which saw it freeze over the weekend, which paused the Blockchain and stopped all transactions.

This has seen many either slate, question or mock EOS for such a calamitous fault, but it has also led to many issues that need addressing about a company which is meant to be a success story of ICOs.

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The big freeze

The freeze of the EOS network was announced by the development team who were alerted to a bug on the network. A few hours later, the development posted an update that the problem had been identified. Block.one, the creator of EOS, was able to develop a software patch for the bug.

The problem was a bug in the code that controlled how deferred transactions were handled. The disruption has not really affected the price, upon the news of the freeze, EOS token prices fell about five percent.

This move to the mainnet and the lead up to this switch has been greatly anticipated as EOS price has seen some big spikes in the past few weeks around such news.

Additional issues

This latest freeze is another compounding issue as the mainnet continues to stumble around its launch.  Voting has been other issues affecting the company. It was necessary for 15 percent of the EOS community to vote Block producers, but the voting was slow with it only reaching just past three percent last week.

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Questions of decentralization

There have been questions put forward on the level of decentralization of EOS as research shows that 50 percent of the tokens belong to the top 10 wallets. This makes things complicated, especially with the need for voting to advance the mainnet.

Basically, the necessary voting could all be done by big wallets within minutes, and their owners could choose the Block Producers they want. However, it is not happening.

Among the  Block Producers candidates there is one that remains anonymous and some most active members of the community are warning against voting for this candidate until it identifies itself.

Shitcoin

The crypto community has not reacted well to the way in which EOS has gone about its business with the mainnet move. The freeze, and the supposed-decentralized nature of the project, has led many to question if EOS is even a viable cryptocurrency.

 

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