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Microsoft ID System Launches Its Beta On Bitcoin Network

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The decentralized identity network Microsoft ID System in May announced the launch of the beta version on the Bitcoin blockchain. As the Bitcoin news now show, the network named ION which was first announced in May is now moving to beta testing on the Bitcoin network.

A blog post from June 10 shows that Daniel Buchner, who is a program manager for the Microsoft Identity team, said that the new open-sourced layer 2 Identity Overlay Network (ION) had launched.

Currently, the goal of this network is to provide users with a decentralized identifier (DID) that could replace the need for usernames on the Bitcoin blockchain. The blockchain news also show that it has been developed in conjunction with the Decentralized Identity Foundation – and that ION was developed as a decentralized network to operate independently and does not rely on “special utility tokens, trusted validator nodes, or additional consensus mechanisms”.

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“The core promise of DID technology is to empower all individuals and entities with ownership and control over their identities, which aligns well with our mission of empowering every person to work, play, and achieve more,” said Buchner. “To deliver on that promise, we have chosen a different path from some of the more centralized approaches to DID technologies—and we believe ION exemplifies that choice.”

While the Microsoft ID System launches its beta, the company has not yet set a release date for the final version. However, the team said that it would be working on further developing the protocol and improving the ION reference implementation over the coming months.

As we reported earlier this year, Microsoft had announced its brand new Azure Blockchain Service along with the Azure Blockchain Development Kit for the Ethereum blockchain. The ETH news also showed that the tech giant is not the only company seeing potential in blockchain. Earlier this year, ConsenSys also announced how it is utilizing the blockchain agnostic protocol Ethr-DID for its own DID, in contrast to the Microsoft SideTree solution.

Blockchain apps are seeing increased usage lately and we can see that the Microsoft ID System is one of the projects which are now getting more views and responses as one of the most influential projects in the space.

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Source: https://www.dcforecasts.com/blockchain-news/microsoft-id-system-launches-its-beta-on-bitcoin-network/

Blockchain

DEX Volume Eclipses $5 Billion in First Half of 2020, 400% Up From Last Year

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The trading volume of decentralized exchanges (DEX) has gone past the $5 billion milestone in the first six months of 2020, which is a significant increase from the 2019 performance.

June 2020 Sets DEX Trading Volume ATH

In a tweet on Wednesday, Dune Analytics informed that the DEX trading volume for the first half of 2020 totaled about $5.1B. This figure represents a five-fold increase from the same period in 2019, providing further evidence of the significant growth of DEX platforms.

Also, statistics reveal that tokens of decentralized exchanges have a greater return on investment (ROI) compared to their centralized counterparts. At the time of writing, the Kyber Network (KNC) token is up by over 650% since the start of 2020. 

KNC is currently the best performer, with its token price surging more than 18% over the last 24-hour trading period. The token is at its highest price level in two years. 

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Other DEX tokens such as Loopring (LRC), AirSwap (AST), IDEX (IDEX), Bancor (BNT), and 0x (ZRX) also have impressive year-to-date (YTD) performances. Meanwhile, centralized tokens (CEX) like Houbi and Bitfinex (LEO) are struggling to regain their footing after the Black Thursday price crash. 

DeFi Dominating Crypto Discourse in 2020

The massive growth in DEX trading volume is only part of the decentralized finance (DeFi) ‘s domination of the crypto headlines in 2020. According to data from Defipulse, the total value locked in USD on the Ethereum-based DeFi market is more than $1.7B.

As reported by CryptoPotato in June 2020, COMP, the governance token for the decentralized lending platform, surged over 100%, with the platform crossing the $400 million mark in total value locked. A few days later, Compound overtook MakerDAO to become the number one platform by total value locked (TVL).

While Compound was still making waves, Balancer entered the fray as liquidity mining mania reached a fever pitch. The decentralized exchange launched its BAL governance tokens with its price soaring afterward. According to DeFi Pulse, Balancer is currently number four on the list with TVL at $135 million. 

Amid the growing prominence of the DeFi market in the aggregated crypto collective, CMC created a dedicated DeFi section. CMC’s top four rankings on the DeFi section are different from the log provided by DeFiMarketCap, with Kyber Network and Ox being third and fourth on the former’s reckoning. 

The DeFi explosion has not been without a few mishaps with rogue actors taking advantage of bugs to drain protocols of substantial sums. CryptoPotato reported that Balancer lost $500,000 worth of tokens after a hacker exploited a vulnerability in two of the exchange’s pools.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/dex-volume-eclipses-5-billion-in-first-half-of-2020-400-up-from-last-year/

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Bloomberg Analyst: Key Metrics Show Bitcoin Should Rocket Towards $12,000

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It’s been a slow past few weeks for the Bitcoin market. The cryptocurrency has effectively been range-bound for two months, registering no concrete trend.

Despite this, blockchain analytics firms have observed an increase in usage of BTC. Santiment reported on July 2nd in reference to the chart below:

“Just two days after ETH recorded its highest network activity since 2018, the number of daily addresses interacting with BTC also surged to a 2-year high of 1.07M yesterday! The last time BTC’s daily address activity was this high was Jan. 17th, 2018.”

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Chart from Santiment (@santimentfeed on Twitter) showing the number of daily active addresses on Bitcoin. 

That’s not all. As reported by Bitcoinist previously, an on-chain analyst observed that the number of new BTC addresses and the number of transactions also hit notable highs.

According to a Bloomberg analyst, this spike in on-chain Bitcoin usage warrants a higher BTC price.

Bitcoin Strengthening On-Chain Metrics Imply an Imminent Rally

On July 2nd, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Mike McGlone released the company’s latest crypto outlook. Entitled “A Resting Bitcoin Bull,” McGlone held his bullish sentiment that he has touted in these monthly reports since the start of 2020.

Core to his expectations of upside is the spike in the on-chain usage of Bitcoin.

Referencing similar data to that Santiment laid out, McGlone wrote:

“The number of active Bitcoin addresses used, a key signal of the 2018 price decline and 2019 recovery, suggests a value closer to $12,000, based on historical patterns. Reflecting greater adoption, the 30-day average of unique addresses from Coinmetrics has breached last year’s peak.”

The analyst added that the last time this metric exceeded its last high, Bitcoin rallied from the “depths of a bear market.”

As to where exactly this trend will take Bitcoin, McGlone implied a move towards $12,734 when he wrote:

“Unless advancing addresses abruptly reverse, history suggests Bitcoin may gravitate toward that level.”

Far From the Only Trend Signaling Upside

The strong on-chain usage of Bitcoin isn’t the only thing that has McGlone expecting cryptocurrencies to sustain a move to the upside.

The senior commodity analyst at Bloomberg identified the following confluence of trends as signals indicating BTC has room to grow:

  • From a macro perspective, BTC is still outperforming most of the “highly speculative crypto assets.”
  • The Bitcoin futures on the CME have continued to see adoption, confirming “Bitcoin’s maturation pace and higher-price tilt.”
  • Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust has seen extremely strong demand from retail investors and institutions.
  • BTC has continued to trade more like gold, suggesting a maturing market and the cryptocurrency being influenced by macro factors.
  • And finally, the “unparalleled global central-bank easing and the rising price of gold” is likely to act as a boon for Bitcoin to move higher.
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Bloomberg Analyst: Key Metrics Show Bitcoin Should Trade At $12,000

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/bloomberg-analyst-key-metrics-show-bitcoin-should-rocket-towards-12000/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bloomberg-analyst-key-metrics-show-bitcoin-should-rocket-towards-12000

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Is the future of Insurance in Blockchain?

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A study conducted last year by PwC concluded that most insurance companies would integrate Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) in some capacity by 2021. As of 2019, 81% of major insurance companies answered that they were actively looking into the technology. A fact that may sound surprising considering how conservative this sector of the economy tends to be. Yet, the potential to cut costs in an industry with high competition and low-profit margins becomes a powerful incentive. Additionally, blockchain helps insurance become more responsive to customers, and increase business volume

Right now, one of the main obstacles for insurance companies is high operational costs. In a study made by the analyst firm EY, we find that life insurance in Asia and the US has accumulated costs over 30% and 20% for each region in the past three years. A significant portion of this rise is due to increases in the price of compliance. Two examples are Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. Another major problem is that selling and servicing policies is still a complicated process.

The situation keeps deteriorating as the results show that in the United States, the life insurance market has declined by half a percentage point year by year from twenty-twelve to twenty-seventeen. A situation mirrored in the Asia-pacific region.   

Learn more about the insurance industry in Blockchain here.

Why Blockchain in Insurance?

The main driver for industries to adopt new technology is its potential to make operations faster and cheaper. Blockchain can act on both fronts, especially in the insurance industry, which has not changed fundamentally in decades.

It is a fact of life that people don’t want to have to use insurance. By definition, something bad needs to happen for a person to want to buy a policy. On top of that, costumers often have to deal with time-consuming paper forms to apply for a policy or to make a claim. The bureaucratic barriers when dealing with at a customer level are high and discourage many potential buyers.

The insurance world is a very record intensive one, and this means companies have to pay for a large and often complicated database. On top of it, the information has to be secured since many laws penalize heavily any breaches on the client’s information. 

The industry is also one where many actors need to coordinate like buyers, brokers, insurance agents, hospitals, regulators, and many more. The effect is an increase in costs that get higher as the business expands, making it difficult to scale the economic model. This restricts the growth prospect of any insurance model.

In these areas, blockchain can be deciding technology that is able to take the industry in a new direction.  

Fraud in the industry

The fraud costs on the insurance world have cost people over forty billion dollars a year. This results in a rise of four hundred additional dollars on premium for regular people. 

A dramatic reduction o fraudulent claims can be achieved by implementing a blockchain as a ledger that is shared among insurance companies, especially due to its immutability. It can stop dishonest actors from making the same claim to different companies. This is of great value when we consider that insurance remains by large as a local business.

Blockchain will facilitate coordination among insurers. By accessing a shared ledger, they can know if a claim has been paid. This will lead to better information management.

Right now, the industry is still dependent on the use of private investigators and partial information held on public records. The restrictions regarding the sharing of personal information make the job difficult and often costly and prolonged. Blockchain, being cryptographically secure, allows information to be shared across parties without compromising the information of the individual.

Claims

By recording insurance policies on a blockchain utilizing smart contracts to automate payments and deal with claims, the Property and Casualty insurance industry can radically transform its business.

The insurance a person buys for their car is a common example of this type. In the case of an accident, we have at least two parties involved, like both drivers in the collision. Now, the insurance company of each has to investigate and reach a conclusion separately. This means duplication of the work and paper trail.

In a Blockchain, information sharing could be automated. This would mean that the third party in these types of cases, the investigators, can see the information of both claimants and reach an unbiased conclusion. The process would be shortened while allowing outcomes to be reached faster.

Health Insurance

Perhaps one of the thorniest businesses. The principal ussie here is that sharing personal information is difficult and highly regulated. Here the blockchain would be able to reduce the costs and offer higher levels of security. Patient data will be able to be visible only to those legally allowed to access it. More importantly, only the necessary information would be visible. An employer would not be able to see sensitive data of a worker, like the history of heart disease on his family.   

Once a patient need health services, he has to deal with numerous doctors, hospitals, and insurers lengthening the process. The patient’s medical history is fragmented across multiple separate databases. The outdated infrastructure demands hundreds of work hours to tie together all of these dispersed pieces of information.

The encryption native to a blockchain protocol protects a patient’s data while ensuring fast and reliable information sharing. The benefits of this overhaul are so numerous that it would radically change the industry forever.

Learn about other more Healthcare in Blockchain here.

The Future of Insurance

We are in the early days of this incoming change. The industry is still at the Proof of Concept stage. Yet, the promises the technology hold are enough to incentivize all of the actors. After all, whoever succeeds first will have a considerable first-mover-advantage.

As we have seen, the gains are substantial and far-reaching. The insurance industry right now finds itself in a dead-end. The push for things to change and the need is great. As the blockchain industry matures, insurance will be one of the cornerstones of adoption. While most eyes are on DeFi, perhaps a more significant revolution is boiling in this sector of the economy.  

Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be considered as news/advice.

Your feedback is important to us!

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/is-the-future-of-insurance-in-blockchain

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