1,000 Universities: IBM’s Ambitious Plan to Fill Vacant Blockchain Jobs

There's a staffing problem in the blockchain industry: simply, there are too many open positions and too few blockchain specialists.

Now, to help meet that rapidly increasing demand, IBM is partnering with Baruch College, Fordham University, University of Arkansas, University at Buffalo and the University of British Columbia to establish a series of grants, design blockchain curricula and more.

In addition, IBM has added new blockchain resources to it's IBM Academic Initiative, an ambitious effort that opens resources from the global tech giant to 1,000 universities.

But while unique in its sheer scope, IBM's new push is just the latest in a series of efforts around the world to train new blockchain industry talent.

Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain, described the results of a beta release of the program to CoinDesk:

"We’ve already gotten some very, very positive responses."

Hands-on learning

Wieck also revealed details about how the programs will leverage IBM's technology.

To start with, IBM Blockchain Platform, the firm's proprietary distributed ledger technology, will form a part of the university curriculum, and will be made accessible for students.

Further, universities that participate in the projects will receive six months access to IBM Cloud and use of the IBM Blockchain cloud sandbox.

And it's becoming increasingly easy to see how such skills would be put to use by graduates of the courses.

The announcement comes on the same day that IBM formally launched its IBM Blockchain Platform, a food supply chain consortium with Walmart and other major firms on board, and revealed the first ever startup accelerator aimed at investing in startups building with Hyperledger Fabric.

Student lockers image via Shutterstock

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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No it is not New Years Eve but here is a promise I am making

What is it with working online that is so great … the possibility of flexible hours, working on cutting edge technlology projects, meeting thousands of people spread across the globe ???

frustrated at working online

That of course does happen but at what cost to your sanity?

I have met some amazing people online, that is a fact, but I have also met some real assholes and snakes too. From unfilled promises, to downright abuse of trust is the tip of the iceberg.

I vow this; if I ever get to the point where any one of my ventures gives me enough capital to hangup my coding gloves, I will do it big time. 

By this I mean, I will delete all my social media accounts, terminate my online phone numbers, terminate all my website domains, terminate all my hosting accounts, close my Skype account etc etc… You get the picture.

I will then go live away from it all, next to a beach or lake and say goodbye to the 'new era of technology'. Maybe it is coming sooner that I could hope for.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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Thieves target tourists in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Unfortunately, on 2 separate occasions this week, myself and my girlfriend have fallen foul of this. First time, 2 guys drove past the girlfriend and snatched her handbag .. luckily she was not hurt. She lost her phone, ATM cards and her Thai ID card. Second time, I was waiting outside a food takeaway place with my phone in my hand, waiting on an Uber taxi to turn up. A guy came from behind, snatched my phone and started running down the street. He then jumped on to his friends motorbike and sped off. I tried to give chase but fell over and grazed my hand.

The locals on both occasions just stood by and did nothing to help. If this happened in Thailand, they would have surely helped.

Ho Chi Minh City high crime rate

After more than 30 years of travelling the world to maybe 30 countries, this is first time I have experienced something like this. I do not feel safe and have cut my trip short and will return to Thailand in 2 days time.

My advice to others wanting to travel to Vietnam, is do not. There are plenty of other countries who are happy to take our tourist dollars without having to look over our shoulders 24/7.

Here is a quote from a government website: –

Despite the high crime rating for Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), most visitors feel relatively safe. Random violent crime against foreigners is relatively rare, and the level of crime is comparable to other cities of a similar size throughout Asia. Visitors regularly fall victim to property crimes, which are usually non-confrontational crimes of opportunity. Pickpocketing, purse slashing, bag snatching, and the theft of valuables is a common occurrence, particularly in areas frequented by tourists and business travelers. Maintaining an extremely high level of 360 degree situational awareness and alertness is critical to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of petty street crime.

Theft by motor scooter is a popular modus operandi wherein thieves grab bags/purses from victims while speeding by. This approach can cause serious injury to victims if they are unable to quickly release themselves from the straps of the bag, leaving them to be dragged by the motor scooter at high speeds. Carrying bags on the arm opposite the road and walking away from the edge of the curb can discourage potential motor scooter thieves. Smart phones, particularly iPhones and Androids, are very popular with thieves and are snatched out of victims’ hands by passing motor scooter thieves.

….End Quote….

Please share and make others aware the dangers of this country. I do not think I will ever come back.

Bitcoin Break $3,000 Do Not Miss This

The price of bitcoin topped $3,000 for the first time in history today, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

If you want to double your bitcoin every 40-50 days then we have a platform for you that you do not want to miss. [Ckick Here] or copy and paste in your browser http://hivepush.com/ekjxanbwtw/1096

After spending much of the last week seeking direction in the $2,700 to $2,900-range, the average price of bitcoin across major international exchanges edged up over this threshold finally at roughly 17:00 UTC.

The new record comes at a time when alternative digital assets are seeing robust inflows, with ethereum's ether token setting a new all-time high of more than $300 today as well.

Indeed, analysts spoke to the ongoing broadening of the cryptocurrency market as a tide that is benefitting bitcoin.

"The inflows into 'alts' are greater than those into bitcoin. In other words, bitcoin is growing at a very nice pace, but non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are growing even faster," cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking told CoinDesk.

Jehan Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Jen Advisors, agreed, noting that bitcoin is likely benefitting from new investor interest and the surging interest of "cryptos like ether".

Still, Arthur Hayes, founder of Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange BitMEX, stated that bitcoin is still the "most talked-about cryptocurrency", even as returns become more substantial in other areas of the market.

Hayes told CoinDesk:

"As investors marvel at bitcoin's historical returns and the returns of altcoins, their natural first purchase is bitcoin. Bitcoin has under performed other coins this year, it is now playing catchup."

Investor Sean Walsh largely agreed, pointing to bitcoin's growing price as a sign of its place in the market as the first stop on a road to other assets.

"Bitcoin still seems like the dominant gateway to [alternative digital assets]. So, many first purchase bitcoin in order to then trade their bitcoin for altcoins," he noted.

The development coincides with signs that the cryptocurrency market is maturing to support new inflows and increasing interest.

As noted by CoinDesk research analyst Alex Sunnarborg today, the cryptocurrency exchange market has never been more globally diverse or buoyed by such an array of possible inflows.

Such tailwinds have combined in recent weeks to bring new investor attention to bitcoin, with expectations for bitcoin's growth becoming more and more exuberant. Danish investment firm Saxo Bank went so far as to publish a forecasting report in which it placed the possible value of bitcoin at $100,000 in the next 10 years.

Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive Inc

Charts on mobile device via Shutterstock

America’s Cup 2017: Great Britain eliminated by New Zealand

Ben Ainslie's Great Britain are out of the America's Cup after New Zealand earned a 5-2 semi-final win.

americas cup 2017

Leading 3-1 overnight in the best-of-nine contest, New Zealand won the first of Thursday's three scheduled races to take them to the brink.

And although Britain won the next race, New Zealand took the third.

"Three and a half years ago a few of us were sitting around a table in London – what we have we have achieved is incredible," said Ainslie.

"I was really proud of the way the team sailed today. We will be back next time and we will be stronger."

It was a victory to savour for New Zealand after their catamaran capsized during racing in high winds on Tuesday.

After Wednesday's races were postponed because of high winds, New Zealand made a strong comeback to go 4-1 up on Thursday.

Great Britain had a 26-second lead at the first mark before their opponents came back to secure a 31-second victory.

Britain managed to hang on with a near-perfect win in the next race after getting off to a strong start and, this time, maintaining their lead and matching their opponents for speed.

However, New Zealand's class shone through as they put Tuesday's troubles behind them.

"We struggled coming into this with a lack of speed but everyone has dug so deep to get us more competitive," added Ainslie.

The Kiwis will take on Sweden or Japan in the play-off final. Sweden need just one more win after a dramatic comeback.

They trailed Japan 3-1 at the start of the day but won all three races on Thursday to take a 4-3 lead.

Analysis – 'Hugs, tears and cheers'

BBC Sport's Tony Husband in Bermuda:

There were hugs, tears and cheers as Great Britain sailed back into the dockyard for the final time. They were facing up to the realisation that this 21st British challenge for the 'Auld Mug' had gone the same way as the others.

Britain's wait to bring sport's oldest trophy home goes on for at least another two years. Amid the despondency, there was a positive message from Ben Ainslie.

The man on whom so much rested certainly isn't the type to hide. He strode up to BBC Sport to give his first interview, despite the obvious pain that this deeply personal challenge had failed only minutes before.

"We will be back," was the emphatic message. In reality, he had probably known this moment was coming for a while.

Since the high of winning the World Series pre-qualifying event, it's been evident that the British bid was behind its rivals. Boat speed and control was often cited as an issue; practice races hadn't been encouraging.

They were also inconsistent throughout this regatta. Ainslie had proved almost unbeatable in the starts, but too often their rivals would reel them in.

The Kiwis are the strongest challenger, and despite dropping one race to Great Britain on Thursday, they showed no outward scars after Tuesday's dramatic capsize.

The inquest will be thorough and probably painful for Britain, but Ainslie seems far from done with the America's Cup.

What happens next?

Holders Oracle Team USA await the winners of the challenger final in the America's Cup.

The first to seven points wins the America's Cup, or the Auld Mug as the trophy is known, with a possible 13 races to be sailed on 17-18 and 24-27 June.

The America's Cup, the oldest competition in international sport, was first raced in 1851 around the Isle of Wight and has only been won by four nations.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
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Cryptocurrency Investment Manager Seeks $400 Million for New Fund

Cryptocurrency investment manager Tim Enneking is seeking to raise as much as $400m for a new fund.

cryptocurrency new fund for investment

New filings from the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Enneking is launching the "Crypto Asset Fund", registered in the state of Delaware. CNBC first reported the news. According to that filing, no equity sales in the fund have been made. The minimum amount required by outside investors to gain a stake is $5,000, the filing notes.

Enneking told CNBC that the fund will be aimed at investing in a broader subset of digital currencies and blockchain assets. He also said that, as it stands, he has been fielding interest from institutional investors looking to gain a stake in the market.

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EU Commits €5 Million to Fund Blockchain Surveillance Research

A group of government agencies, law enforcement groups and academic researchers are partnering on a new digital currency surveillance project.

EU Titanium Project

Backed by €5m in funding from the European Union, the initiative, dubbed "Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets", or TITANIUM, will be conducted over the next three years.

Participants include Interpol, Interior Ministries from Spain and Austria, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, and University College London, among others.

In statements, the project's backers cited a recent wave of ransomware attacks around the globe, pointing to the event as a justification for beefing up the ability to track cryptocurrency payments.

At the same time, those involved pledged not to violate user privacy rights.

"The consortium will analyse legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy," said Ross King, senior scientist for the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, one of the research institutions taking part.

That the EU would take this approach – let alone fund one – is perhaps unsurprising, given past efforts and statements from leaders and officials of the economic bloc.

The EU's executive branch, the European Council, began pushing aggressively for greater oversight of digital currency users in early 2016, with the European Parliament following suit earlier this year.

According to a press release published by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the European Union funded a three-year project investigating the criminal use of virtual currencies and the darknet. Fifteen members from seven European countries are participating in the project. The solutions developed in the research are intended to prevent criminals and attackers from using the blockchain technology for criminal purposes while at the same time preserving the privacy rights of legitimate users.

Blockchain technology makes it possible to organize records in a distributed network without central control and thus presents new challenges for investigating authorities, the press release says. The best-known application of the blockchain technology is Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency currently on its all-time high at almost $2,500, which offers legal use, however, the virtual currency could be also used for criminal purposes. The press release stated that BTC’s illicit use most happens on the dark side of the internet, for example on darknet marketplaces or hacking forums. Since the dark web could not be accessed or crawled via common search engines, such as Google, and provides more anonymity to its users than the clearnet (the normal part of the internet everybody knows), criminals often take advantage of these perks and decide to conduct their illegal activities on the darknet. The press release emphasized that the WannaCry attackers, who locked computers in approximately 150 countries on May 12, 2017, also demanded the payment of the ransom in bitcoins.

The aim of the TITANIUM (Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets) project is the development of technical solutions for investigating and combating criminal and terrorist acts on the internet, which are carried out with the help of virtual currencies and underground marketplaces. The three-year project, worth a total of EUR 5 million, is funded by the European Union.

The tools developed and implemented by the partnership (including four law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL) are intended to support the forensic analysis of criminal transactions, identify anomalies in their application and identify money laundering techniques. In addition, the researchers will carry out training courses in order to “anchor” the corresponding know-how and knowledge to the law enforcement authorities of the EU helping officers in preventing and prosecuting cybercrime more efficiently. Furthermore, the tools and services developed in the project are to be tested and validated on site by the law enforcement authorities in order to check the project results for their success and effectiveness.

“Criminal and terrorist activities related to virtual currencies and dark net markets are developing rapidly and vary widely with regard to technical maturity, resilience and targeted goals,” Project Coordinator Ross King, Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), said in a statement.

In order to counteract these activities, according to Dr. King, the development of efficient and effective forensics tools is a must, which can use different types of data from different sources, including virtual currencies, online forums, peer-to-peer networks on darknet marketplaces, and on electronic equipment, which law enforcement authorities seized from the suspects. Dr King emphasized that the development of the tools within the framework of the TITANIUM project is an important focus on the protection of the personality and fundamental rights of the users.

“The partnership will analyze the legal and ethical requirements and develop guidelines for the storage and processing of data, information, and findings from criminal investigations without affecting the privacy of citizens, Dr King said.

In addition to the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the following partners are part of the TITANIUM consortium: the Federal Criminal Police Office from Germany (BKA), Coblue Cybersecurity from the Netherlands, Countercraft SL from Spain, Dence GmbH from Germany, University of Innsbruck from Austria, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany, Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria, Ministry of Interior of Spain, National Bureau of Investigation from Finland, TNO from the Netherlands, Trilateral Research Ltd. from the United Kingdom, University College London from the United Kingdom, VICOMTECH-IK4 from Spain.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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EU Commits 5 Million Euros to Fund Blockchain Surveillance Research

A group of government agencies, law enforcement groups and academic researchers are partnering on a new digital currency surveillance project.

EU Titanium Project

Backed by €5m in funding from the European Union, the initiative, dubbed "Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets", or TITANIUM, will be conducted over the next three years.

Participants include Interpol, Interior Ministries from Spain and Austria, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, and University College London, among others.

In statements, the project's backers cited a recent wave of ransomware attacks around the globe, pointing to the event as a justification for beefing up the ability to track cryptocurrency payments.

At the same time, those involved pledged not to violate user privacy rights.

"The consortium will analyse legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy," said Ross King, senior scientist for the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, one of the research institutions taking part.

That the EU would take this approach – let alone fund one – is perhaps unsurprising, given past efforts and statements from leaders and officials of the economic bloc.

The EU's executive branch, the European Council, began pushing aggressively for greater oversight of digital currency users in early 2016, with the European Parliament following suit earlier this year.

According to a press release published by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the European Union funded a three-year project investigating the criminal use of virtual currencies and the darknet. Fifteen members from seven European countries are participating in the project. The solutions developed in the research are intended to prevent criminals and attackers from using the blockchain technology for criminal purposes while at the same time preserving the privacy rights of legitimate users.

Blockchain technology makes it possible to organize records in a distributed network without central control and thus presents new challenges for investigating authorities, the press release says. The best-known application of the blockchain technology is Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency currently on its all-time high at almost $2,500, which offers legal use, however, the virtual currency could be also used for criminal purposes. The press release stated that BTC’s illicit use most happens on the dark side of the internet, for example on darknet marketplaces or hacking forums. Since the dark web could not be accessed or crawled via common search engines, such as Google, and provides more anonymity to its users than the clearnet (the normal part of the internet everybody knows), criminals often take advantage of these perks and decide to conduct their illegal activities on the darknet. The press release emphasized that the WannaCry attackers, who locked computers in approximately 150 countries on May 12, 2017, also demanded the payment of the ransom in bitcoins.

The aim of the TITANIUM (Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets) project is the development of technical solutions for investigating and combating criminal and terrorist acts on the internet, which are carried out with the help of virtual currencies and underground marketplaces. The three-year project, worth a total of EUR 5 million, is funded by the European Union.

The tools developed and implemented by the partnership (including four law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL) are intended to support the forensic analysis of criminal transactions, identify anomalies in their application and identify money laundering techniques. In addition, the researchers will carry out training courses in order to “anchor” the corresponding know-how and knowledge to the law enforcement authorities of the EU helping officers in preventing and prosecuting cybercrime more efficiently. Furthermore, the tools and services developed in the project are to be tested and validated on site by the law enforcement authorities in order to check the project results for their success and effectiveness.

“Criminal and terrorist activities related to virtual currencies and dark net markets are developing rapidly and vary widely with regard to technical maturity, resilience and targeted goals,” Project Coordinator Ross King, Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), said in a statement.

In order to counteract these activities, according to Dr. King, the development of efficient and effective forensics tools is a must, which can use different types of data from different sources, including virtual currencies, online forums, peer-to-peer networks on darknet marketplaces, and on electronic equipment, which law enforcement authorities seized from the suspects. Dr King emphasized that the development of the tools within the framework of the TITANIUM project is an important focus on the protection of the personality and fundamental rights of the users.

“The partnership will analyze the legal and ethical requirements and develop guidelines for the storage and processing of data, information, and findings from criminal investigations without affecting the privacy of citizens, Dr King said.

In addition to the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the following partners are part of the TITANIUM consortium: the Federal Criminal Police Office from Germany (BKA), Coblue Cybersecurity from the Netherlands, Countercraft SL from Spain, Dence GmbH from Germany, University of Innsbruck from Austria, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany, Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria, Ministry of Interior of Spain, National Bureau of Investigation from Finland, TNO from the Netherlands, Trilateral Research Ltd. from the United Kingdom, University College London from the United Kingdom, VICOMTECH-IK4 from Spain.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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Introduction – What is an Online Community?

Social networks are booming – and not just Facebook! Thousands of niche communities have been created over the past few years, filling up the holes that Mark Zuckerberg's all-encompassing giant has created. While over a billion people are speaking to everyone they've met about everything they do, many are looking for focus. They want to connect with other like-minded individuals around the particular passions that inspire them, without all the extra “noise” that Facebook generates.

online community

Affordable social networking applications, allow users to create that niche social network easily, and thousands of people are doing it right now.

Online communities are being built by artists and schools, by thought leaders and by local communities. They're being set up by individuals and by groups and by anyone who wants to bring together people who share an interest and a passion.

Businesses, too, are building brands, creating loyalty and discovering valuable intelligence on what customers want and expect. And they're earning from it. When a company gives space to its customers to gather and talk, it stops being a place where people go when they need to make a purchase. It becomes a pillar of the community, the only place where people go when they want to buy something related to their interests.

And today, building those online communities is easier than ever.

The Internet means that anyone can now create their own community.

They can build a website that gives their customers all the tools they need to easily hold discussions, meet like-minded people and form strong bonds.

They keep people coming back day after day, month after month, providing a virtual and valuable forum for people who share an interest.

Built right and maintained properly, a community website hugs customers close, strengthens a business and advances an activity.

But having the right kind of software to create that community isn't enough.

You also need the right strategy to make your community grow steadily and organically, without spending millions.

This book will cover everything you need to know to create a successful online community, from the essential first steps to proven strategies for growth and engagement. Once you finish reading, you will have a clear understanding of what you should — and shouldn't — be doing to get your social network moving in the right direction.

We'll look at the right way to build an online community, but not just any community; a community that remains active and thriving. A community whose members don't register, look and leave but one whose members come back again and again, post comments and contribute to discussions.

A community that people don't just want to join but want to be a part of.

Building that kind of community may mean taking steps that can feel counterintuitive. We'll explain why you should be taking those steps anyway.

We'll start by talking you through the process of launching a community.

This can feel like the worst time for a new social site. There are few members, few discussions and little reaction to the content that’s being posted — not that there’s much content either. We'll explain how to find those all-important first members and discuss why it's better to engage a small number of highly dedicated early users than attract a large number of users who don’t return.

We’ll then talk about building on that foundation. We’ll discuss the importance of forming a group identity and show you how you to do it. We'll talk you through the role of the community manager; and describe the best strategies you should be using to increase participation.

Finally, we'll talk metrics and money.

Although communities don't have the same monetizing process as other forms of online marketing it is possible to turn a community into cash and online communities do generate figures.

You should know how to find those figures, how to read them and what to do with them.

While so many businesses and community leaders focus on building their Facebook pages or fret about their Twitter content, others are having a ball discussing their favorite topics with people who genuinely care about them and who return day after day to their website to see what’s new.

Building that website is easy. Building that community is a little harder but with a little effort, it's an option available to any business owner and any community leader.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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