Dan Middleton is the head of technology for Intel’s blockchain and distributed ledger program, a position that gives him firsthand knowledge of how the technology can change the business world on nearly every level.
“Intel believes strongly in the advancement of open source projects,” he said. “We’re excited to be part of solving the hard problems necessary to make blockchain useful to business.”
But Middleton pays particularly close attention to these obstacles in his role at the Hyperledger Project, where he is a member of the technical steering committee and governing board. As the maintainer of Hyperledger’s Sawtooth Lake distributed ledger, Middleton oversees its exploration of scalability, security and privacy in the blockchain space.
Among its novel approaches, Sawtooth Lake utilizes a proof of elapsed time (PoET) consensus mechanism and a “Transaction Families” contract logic, allowing for a range of policies and the creation of safe smart contracts. Its progress makes him optimistic about a changing landscape for the future.
“We think the lasting benefits [of blockchain technology] will be not just the efficiencies that are commonly pointed out,” he said. “But if you properly architect the solutions so that businesses are comfortable engaging in a shared database with shared state, then new business models can arise from the availability of that shared information.”
The crypto payment processor Moon has announced that users can now leverage a Lightning Network wallet to pay for Amazon purchases through its browser extension. The extension also enables e-commerce payments with litecoin, ether and bitcoin cash through Coinbase accounts.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has assessed a civil money penalty against a peer-to-peer bitcoin trader for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, its first enforcement action against a cryptocurrency exchanger. According to the agency, the exchanger failed to register as a money services business and failed to report "suspicious transactions," among other violations. The exchanger has been assessed a $35,000 fine and is now prohibited from providing money transmission services.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has announced a "Token Taxonomy Initiative" to develop universal definitions for tokens to encourage their interchangeability across blockchain platforms. Members of the initiative include Microsoft, R3, ConsenSys, IBM, EY, Accenture and Intel.