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Research: More companies turning to mainframes for blockchain initiatives

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New research suggests mainframe technology is a key part of many business’ blockchain plans 

Go by the standard cliché, and mainframe technology is legacy and for the past, whilst blockchain is cutting edge and the future. Never the twain shall meet. But the reality is very different, with fresh research revealing that the two are crossing over more and more. In fact, a hybrid approach is a trend that’s set to continue for some time to come.

Forrester Consulting undertook said research, which was commissioned by hybrid IT services firm Ensono and global information experts Wipro Limited. 153 IT decision makers of director level and higher were questioned across America and Europe, and the results suggested a union of traditional and emerging technologies.

A quarter of firms questioned are using mainframe installations to help in the emergence of new technology innovations. Thus, on the one hand, legacy applications are running on mainframes as always. But also containerised microservices, mobile applications and blockchain projects are running on them too.

This hybrid approach is seeing a growing number of firms using a mainframe for business-critical and on-premises applications, such as finance, human resources and enterprise content management, whilst moving other services to cloud hosting. What’s surprising therefore is that the mainframe is being seen as a pertinent technology for the likes of blockchain, although its strong security and parallelization features are clearly compelling and perhaps make that less of a surprise.

Ensono’s Brian Klingbeil, the company’s executive vice president of technology and strategy, isn’t surprised by the findings though. “Everything that made mainframe great in the past – security, reliability, versatility, performance – is still true today, and the latest generation of mainframe technology will now run the same cutting-edge applications and services as cloud infrastructure”, he said.

He argued that “organisations don’t modernise in a vacuum”, and that “the research supports what we see in our work with clients, where many larger organisations are settling on a hybrid best-of-breed approach”. The upside of that is flexibility for IT decision makers, who can choose the right tool for the right job.

This is not a trend in decline, either. One further finding of the research is that 50% of organisations questioned were looking to continue and expand their use of mainframe technology over the next two years, with just 5% of firms going the other way.

“We believe modern mainframes will have a significant role to play in the hybrid future of infrastructure”, argued Wipro’s Kiran Desai (its senior vice president and global head of cloud and infrastructure services), noting too that “mainframe modernisation is central to a long-term holistic hybrid IT strategy for enterprises leveraging mainframes”.

The full research – going by the name ‘Old Workhorse for New Tech’ – can be read in full here. 

The post Research: More companies turning to mainframes for blockchain initiatives appeared first on CryptoNewsReview.

Source: https://cryptonewsreview.com/research-more-companies-turning-to-mainframes-for-blockchain-initiatives/

Blockchain

Analysis: Are CBDCs a Threat For Bitcoin or The Opposite?

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Ever since Facebook announced its plans to create a digital payment currency dubbed Libra, central bankers have tried to counter it with an invention of their own.

While Libra is facing regulatory troubles, a BIS report indicated that over 80% of the world’s central banks are currently developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The idea and purpose of a CBDC are fundamentally different than everything Bitcoin stands for. As such, the community has been speculating on possible consequences for the primary cryptocurrency. Will a government-owned digital currency harm BTC’s role in the online world, or will it simply set the stage for its grand entrance?

Scenario A: CBDCs Are Bad For Bitcoin

The CBDCs will represent the cash bills that we use every day, but, as the name suggests, they will be digital-only. There’re still many unknown factors regarding their developments. Which country will be first, what technology will they use, will CBDCs be for retail payments or not?

These questions will eventually receive their answers. However, most people fear that the introduction of a CBDC will give governments absolute control to track, approve, or suspend all future payment transactions.

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Authorities have justified this potential constant surveillance by claiming that they will be able to reduce and even eliminate illicit activities, such as money-laundering.

On the other hand, concerns have emerged within the community that the inevitable launch of a CBDC will harm the industry and its most-well known representative – Bitcoin.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently predicted that a well-designed CBDC could “become a threat” for the first-ever cryptocurrency. He highlighted that most such currencies will be very centralized and won’t provide the same freedom as Bitcoin.

Consequently, world governments will push their own inventions further while be inclined to reduce the role of something as decentralized as BTC.

Bitcoin’s whitepaper described it as an “electronic peer-to-peer cash system.” However, having tons of competition backed by the world’s superpowers could indeed decrease its role. It could be especially harmful if the CBDCs enable cheaper and faster transactions than BTC.

Additionally, their value won’t fluctuate as much as Bitcoin’s. This may be another reason why people would prefer sending or receiving a currency that won’t lose any value by the time the transaction is complete.

Scenario B: CBDCs Will Help Bitcoin As A Payment Tool

On the other hand, there’s the narrative that when CBDCs arrive, they could only open the door for Bitcoin. Major cryptocurrency manager Grayscale Investment recently argued that when launched, CBDCs may “accentuate Bitcoin’s role in the global digital economy.”

This is partly because people would have to become familiar with the digital payment infrastructure, which hasn’t been necessary so far. By educating themselves on the matter, people would be able to find the significant differences between Bitcoin and the government-owned digital currencies.

“Bitcoin is special not because it is digital, but because Bitcoin is a scarce, uncompromising, apolitical currency that is open for anyone to use.”

Scenario C: CBDCs To Help BTC As A Store Of Value

If one assumes that the first scenario comes into reality and Bitcoin stops serving as an electronic peer-to-peer cash system, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have no value to society.

Instead of being used to transfer funds from one address to another, BTC may become what many others have argued for years – a store of value.

After all, Bitcoin shares several similarities with the most-widely accepted store of value asset – gold, such as scarcity. The two assets’ price performance has also resembled each other lately. The COVID-19 financial crisis only accelerated their increased correlation.

Even the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell compared the two and noted that both are a speculative form of a store of value.

Another believer in this thesis is Fidelity’s cryptocurrency arm – Fidelity Digital Asset. In a report compiled earlier this year, the company named Bitcoin an “inspirational store of value.”

So, If BTC is indeed to fail as an online payment resource because of CBDCs, it’s unique setup could prompt it to another, perhaps even a more critical role in today’s (digital) world.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/analysis-are-cbdcs-a-threat-for-bitcoin-or-the-opposite/

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Bitcoin Just Had Its Highest Weekly Close Since Jan-18 While ETH Eyes $400 (Market Watch)

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After marking two consecutive yearly highs in the span of a few days, Bitcoin has calmed but still hovers over $13,000. Most alternative coins have remained relatively stable, and the market cap is yet to break above $400 billion decisively.

Bitcoin Stays Above $13k

Although Bitcoin started the weekend with apparent stagnation, the asset entered Sunday on a roll. BTC was trading at $13,100 but sharply exploded to a fresh 2020 high of above $13,350.

Shortly after, though, the cryptocurrency tanked in value, resulting in its intraday low of $12,900. Nevertheless, the bulls intercepted the price drop and drove BTC higher.

It’s worth noting that this was the highest weekly close of Bitcoin since January, 2018.

weekly_close
BTC/USD Historics Chart. Source: Twitter

In the past 24 hours, Bitcoin has been relatively stable. It reached a daily high of about $13,150 and has slightly retraced since then to $13,050. To continue its recent bull run, Bitcoin has to overcome the first resistance at $13,200. Further ahead, BTC could encounter obstacles at $13,400 before having a chance to challenge the 2019 high at nearly $13,900.

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Alternatively, $13,000 serves as the first support in case of a price break down. The following ones are at $12,700 and $12,500.

Market Cap Challenges $400B

The recent price increases have pushed the cumulative market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies to about $400 billion. The metric even surged above that level briefly yesterday but so far struggles to overcome it decisively.

Cryptocurrency Market Capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap
Cryptocurrency Market Capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap

Most alternative altcoins haven’t assisted in surpassing the $400 billion level in the past 24 hours. As the graph below demonstrates, most of them have displayed low fluctuations and even some retracements.

Ethereum spiked to about $420 a few days ago but has been gradually decreasing since then. ETH now trades just above $403. Despite a minor increase, Ripple is still around $0.253.

Bitcoin Cash (-0.9%), Chainlink (-2.7%), and Cardano (-1.7%) have lost value from the top 10.

BitcoinSV (5%) and Monero (4.7%) are the most impressive gainers from the larger-cap altcoins.

heatmap
Cryptocurrency Market Overview. Source: Quantify Crypto

Further gains are evident from Velas (20%), Filecoin (16%), and Quant (10%). In contrast, Ocean Protocol (-12.5%), ABBC Coin (-9%), Energy Web Token (-7.3%), Crypto.com Coin (-7%), and Ampleforth (-6.5%) have lost the most on a 24-hour scale.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-just-had-its-highest-weekly-close-since-jan-18-while-eth-eyes-400-market-watch/

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Alibaba Founder Jack Ma: Digital Currencies Can Create Value

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Founder and former executive chairman of the multinational technology conglomerate Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, believes that world regulators need to improve the legislation around digital currencies as they could create value.

Ma: Digital Currencies Could Create Value

In a recent speech reported by Bloomberg, the Chinese billionaire criticized the current global financial regulatory framework for its lack of innovation. He claimed that watchdogs are primarily focused on risk control, which has driven them away from pursuing any developments, and they rarely “consider opportunities for young people and developing countries.”

According to Ma, the Basel Accords are a “club for the elderly” that solves issues only for financial systems operating for years. Countries like China, which are still considered a “youth,” require more innovation to “build an ecosystem for the healthy development of the local industry.”

One area where regulators could increase their focus is digital currencies. Should the world’s watchdogs indeed improve their approach, virtual currencies could play an essential role in building a financial system that will be used in the next 30 years, he added.

“Digital currency could create value, and we should think about how to establish a new type of financial system through digital currency.”

Jack Ma. Source: Nikkei
Jack Ma. Source: Nikkei

He’s (Probably) Not Talking About Bitcoin

Although Alibaba’s founder didn’t specify what exactly he had in mind when using the term “digital currency,” his history suggests that it probably wasn’t Bitcoin. A few years ago, Ma warned people to be careful and said that he’s staying away from the primary cryptocurrency as it could “be a bubble.”

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However, he was significantly more favorable towards Bitcoin’s underlying technology – blockchain. The company he founded has been involved in numerous blockchain-related projects in the past few years. Alibaba even launched two DLT subsidiaries in Shanghai last year.

Additionally, a recent report highlighted that Alibaba is the firm with the most blockchain patents.

So, if Ma’s not referring to Bitcoin as the digital currency with value, he’s perhaps talking about the upcoming China CBDC. Alibaba has partnered with other giant Chinese organizations, such as China Merchant Bank, Tencent, and Huawei, to develop the nation’s central bank digital currency.

Besides, the world’s most populated country has also been openly pro-blockchain while reaffirming that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are officially banned within its borders.

Featured Image Courtesy Of CNBC

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/alibaba-founder-jack-ma-digital-currencies-can-create-value/

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