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Blockchain Might Be a Silver Bullet for Fighting Deepfakes

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Blockchain Might Be a Silver Bullet for Fighting Deepfakes

In an era of scams and fake news, so-called “deepfakes” are the latest assault on our relationship with reality.

If you’re unfamiliar, deepfakes are videos generated with help from artificial intelligence that show a recognizable figure (like Barack Obama or Mark Zuckerberg, for example) saying things that they’ve never actually said. By putting false words in the mouths of prominent, powerful people, deepfakes are a perceived threat purportedly true information.

But if there’s one thing we know about blockchain, the database technology that props up popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, we know that it excels at verifying and confirming what is real. Did Alice actually send Bob $100 of crypto? That’s an easy confirmation to make with access to an open blockchain.

Now a 72-page report issued by Witness Media Lab goes in depth on the tools that stand a chance to push back against the threat of deepfakes, and blockchain is one of them. It’s not the first time this idea has been floated, but it’s certainly one of the more thoughtful explanations we’ve seen.

The general idea goes like this: images, videos, and audio can be cryptographically signed, geotagged, and timestamped to establish their origins. This kind of “verified capture” calls for applications to perform a number of checks, ensuring that transmitted data conforms with the source material. That media can be assigned a cryptographic hash based on the image or audio data it contains — comparing that source hash to another in search of any mismatches will easily tell you if the media has been manipulated or not.

In other words, blockchain can verify source media against copycats or outright manipulations the same way it verifies crypto transactions. But this isn’t a totally bulletproof approach — it effectively calls for us to put trust in a technical system without considering its limits. The report cites media forensics expert Hany Farid saying that any finished blockchain solution for fighting deepfakes is still years away due to the complexity involved here.

Blockchains are still vulnerable to sophisticated attacks against their governance structures, or the notorious 51% attacks that have caused problems for the crypto community in the past. But there’s enough promise here that people are taking note. We got in touch with Corin Faife, senior coordinator for Witness, who offered a useful analogy:

When we buy food from a supermarket, we generally expect it to be packaged in such a way that it can’t be tampered with — sealed plastic, stickers over the wrapper, and so on. It doesn’t guarantee the food will be perfect: it still might not taste good, and we can’t prevent it from spoiling if you leave it out too long, but what you do know is that the package hasn’t been interfered with on its way to you.

Faife continued: “These authenticity measures propose something similar for video: it’s not an ultimate guarantee of truth and shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of the content itself, but it does allow you to confirm that a media item hasn’t been tampered with on its way to you from the original point of capture.”

At a time when deepfake technology seems to only be improving, it’s good to know that we have tools left in our figurative toolbelt for pushing back against them.

Published at Mon, 16 Dec 2019 13:58:00 +0000

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QAN Raises $2.1 Million in Venture Capital to Build DeFi Ecosystem

QANPlatform has successfully closed a $2.1 million funding round and it looks to build a quantum-resistant DeFi infrastructure.

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QANPlatform – a project that is on a mission of building a quantum-resistant hybrid blockchain protocol, secured investment from various venture capital funds to build a DeFi ecosystem.

QAN Successfully Closes a Funding Round of $2.1 Million

The question of whether or not existing blockchain-based PoW networks would stand the test of a quantum computer is one that’s been discussed for quite some time. To this date, many believe that a quantum computer is the most serious threat to Bitcoin as it would be able to solve math problems a lot quicker compared to traditional mining machines.

In any case, in an attempt to tackle these issues, along with others, QANplatform has raised $2.1 million to fund the development of an ecosystem where developers would be capable of building various software applications within DeFi quicker.

Leading the round were the likes of DeltaHub Capital, BlackDragon, Insignius Capital, Fairum Ventures, and so forth.

Speaking on the matter was Johann Polecsak, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at QANplatform, who said:

“Our key mission is to lower the entry barriers for developers so startups and enterprises can build their Proofs-of-Concept (PoC) and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as fast as possible to reach mass adoption. We stick to this view and let only community-driven VCs invest in this strategic pool”

Quantum Computing and its Threats

According to a well-known report from one of the largest auditing and security service companies in the world – Deloitte, quantum computing does pose a threat to Bitcoin.

Of course, it’s important to factor in the possibility of such a computer being created and used for this particular purpose, but, in theory, it could cause damage, according to the experts.

For instance, there are around 4 million bitcoins that are potentially vulnerable to a quantum attack. Yet, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when thinking about this. For instance, it’s important to note that these are mostly p2pkh addresses, and only those which have never been used to spend bitcoins are safe because their public keys are not yet public. In other words – if one transfers their BTC to a new address, they should not be vulnerable to a quantum attack.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/qan-raises-1-8-million-in-venture-capital-to-build-defi-ecosystem/

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Balancer V2 is Live Promising Lower Fees and Improved Experience

Balancer V2 goes live today and it promises users lower fees and substantially improved user experience.

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The automatic market maker (AMM) running on top of Ethereum, Balancer, announced that Version 2 of its platform is already live. It promises lower gas costs, a redesigned interface, and an enhanced user experience.

Balancer V2 Arrives

Built on Ethereum, Balancer is a DeFi protocol enabling users to trade ether and ERC-20 tokens in a trustless, permissionless environment. By providing liquidity to a Balancer pool, they can also earn a portion of the trading fees paid to the network for the use of their funds in the form of the native token BAL.

The team behind Balancer announced the arrival of its long-anticipated Version 2 platform in a press release shared with CryptoPotato. It comes with a new user interface, indicating that the user experience has been simplified.

The statement outlined there will be an easy-to-follow migration procedure for users to transfer their funds from Balancer V1 to V2, and it will be released as a full tutorial later.

The team believes that V1 will continue to “provide the best price until a substantial amount of liquidity migrates to V2.” At that point, Balancer expects trades to be routed through V2’s Protocol Vault resulting in “lower gas costs and better pricing.” The project’s estimations envision the fee reduction to be up to 50%.


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Multi-Sig and Liquidity Mining

The upgrade has signified Balancer Protocol’s transition to a community multi-sig for its governance execution. As a result, the new signers include Alexander Lange (Inflection), Fabien Marino (Snapshot Labs), Kain Warwick (Synthetix), Kevin Owocki (Gitcoin), Trent McConaghy (Ocean Protocol), and Mariano Conti (Ethereum).

They will be responsible for “executing all transactions passed as Snapshot as Balancer continues to be run by those who care most – the community.”

V2 will also provide a new and “more trustless program” for BAL liquidity mining. Upon its launch, liquidity providers (LPs) will be able to stake positions in different pools and receive BAL tokens.

Each pool will be assigned to one of three different tiers, with each tier slot getting a pre-determined amount of coins per week.

The team also informed that it will release further details in the following weeks on the “changing Balancer landscape.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/balancer-v2-is-live-promising-lower-fees-and-improved-experience/

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Palantir Accepts Bitcoin for Payments and Considers Adding BTC to Balance Sheet

Major software and analytics company Palantir is the latest to accept BTC and even considers adding it to its balance sheet.

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Software & analytics company Palantir has announced that they will be accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Palantir will also consider purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to store on their balance sheet.

Thiel Bets Big on Bitcoin

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Palantir (and, notably, PayPal), has been a long-standing cryptocurrency advocate. The company announced that it now accepts BTC for payments and even considers adding it to its balance sheet.

As early as three years ago, Thiel has been seen investing in cryptocurrency mining startups, exchanges, and more, making a bid on the come-up of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Earlier today, Block.one (another Thiel-backed software company) announced a bold new venture: a new cryptocurrency exchange named ‘Bullish,’ backed by a whopping $10B in funding. Thiel Capital was one of the leaders in this funding round.

A Growing Trend

The air is changing: big companies are slowly warming up to cryptocurrency. What started with a wave of small underdogs, like the Ethereum Hotel in China, has blown up this year with a flood of large new players accepting Bitcoin – even tech giants like Tesla.


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As more companies join the trend and more investors start storing portions of their wealth in cryptocurrencies, there is a very real financial opportunity cost on the horizon for archaic companies that choose not to adopt what’s coming, as they risk alienating a large section of demand.

Whereas some firms are resistant to change due to the additional hiring and costs associated with adding cryptocurrency terminals, many are of the opinion that there will soon come a point where it becomes far more expensive not to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/palantir-accepts-bitcoin-for-payments-and-considers-adding-btc-to-balance-sheet/

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eBay Now Allows the Sale of NFTs on its Platform

One of the largest online marketplaces, eBay, now allows the sale of NFTs.

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E-commerce giant eBay has become the first in its industry to catch the non-fungible tokens (NFT) mania, as the company is now allowing the sale of NFTs on its platform.

  • According to Reuters on Tuesday (May 11, 2021), eBay said that it would enable the sale of NFTs for digital collectibles such as video clips, images, or trading cards on its marketplace.
  • Meanwhile, the ability to list and sell NFTs would be open only to whitelisted sellers. This could mean that the platform may have an authentication protocol for listing NFTs.
  • The latest development comes on the heels of a recent statement made by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, who said that the company was exploring the NFT sector.
  • Commenting on the company’s upcoming plans, Jordan Sweetman, eBay’s senior vice president, and General manager for the platform’s North American market, said:

“In the coming months, eBay will add new capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to our platform.”

  • The NFTs industry continues to see increased adoption across different sectors, with celebrities and sports stars tapping into the NFT industry.
  • Meanwhile, eBay’s foray into the NFT sector is another indication of the growing e-commerce crypto and blockchain adoption. From PayPal to JD.com, online merchants are increasingly interfacing with the emerging tech.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ebay-now-allows-the-sale-of-nfts-on-its-platform/

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