#USA In-car commerce startup Cargo extends Uber partnership to Brazil

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Cargo, the startup that brings the convenience store into ride-hailing vehicles, is making its first international expansion through an exclusive partnership with Uber in Brazil.

Uber drivers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will now be able to sign up for Cargo and potentially earn additional income by selling products to passengers during their ride.

Cargo, which launched in 2017, provides qualified ridesharing drivers with free boxes filled with the kinds of goods you might find in a convenience store, including snacks and phone chargers. Riders can use Cargo’s mobile web menu on their smartphones (without downloading an app) to buy what they need.

The expansion into Brazil includes a relationship with am/pm convenience stores. In Brazil, about 2,500 am/pm stores are operated and located in Ipiranga gas stations. Uber drivers that sign up with Cargo will collect their boxes of products at these stores.

The announcement is an extension of a partnership with Uber that began last July in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cargo and Uber have added more U.S. cities to the partnership, including Boston, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C.

The move will give Cargo access to the more than 600,000 Uber drivers in Brazil. It also signals the beginning of what will be a broader global expansion for the company. Some 20,000 U.S. drivers have used the Cargo service. 

In October, Cargo announced it had raised $22 million in a Series A round led by Founders Fund. The Series A round included additional investment from Aquiline Technology Growth, Coatue Management and a number of high-profile entertainment, gaming and technology executives such as Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Twitch’s former CSO Colin Carrier, media investor Vivi Nevo, former NBA commissioner David Stern, Def Jam Records CEO Paul Rosenberg, Steve Aoki, Maria Shriver and Patrick and Christina Schwarzenegger.

To date, Cargo has raised $30 million in venture funding.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2JxfsD4

#Blockchain Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) protocol and infrastructure continue to see relentless development. The Electron Cash Cashshuffle implementation has enhanced bitcoin cash fungibility by providing users with the ability to shuffle coins. Now a developer has announced the launch of the Interwallet transfer tool, an Electron Cash add-on that allows for privacy-minded transfers using the light client.

Also read: Last Will Platform Allows Your Loved Ones to Inherit Your BCH

Interwallet Transfer Increases Bitcoin Cash Fungibility

This week, software engineer Karol Trzeszczkowski announced the launch of a new plugin called the Interwallet Transfer. The tool works with the Electron Cash (EC) wallet and allows individuals to transfer funds from one wallet to another without compromising anonymity after using tools like Cashshuffle. Trzeszczkowski revealed the EC plugin on May 17 and thanked the developers Emergent Reasons, John Moriarty, and Calin Culianu (Nilac the grim) for help with the review process.

“[Interwallet Transfer] is a simple plugin that allows you to specify a destination wallet (represented by its xpub extended public key), and transfer coins from the source wallet to destination one-at-a-time at random intervals,” Trzeszczkowski said during the launch announcement. “Compared to the simplistic method of transferring everything in one big transaction, this method preserves privacy to a much higher degree: no longer are all your coins linked in that one transaction.”

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

The Interwallet Transfer is open source and located on Github, while the project’s documentation details how the add-on works and how to install the plugin. The platform sends your coins to unused addresses from another wallet at random times over a selected time period and these coins are sent in one-in-one-out transactions. In order to install the platform, download the latest Interwallet Transfer and you can verify the integrity of the software using Trzeszczkowski’s public key. After the download is complete, you can open the wallet and click the Tools section from the drop-down menu. From here simply click Installed Plugins and press Add Plugin which will prompt a warning and the install window. After these steps are complete, the Interwallet Transfer add-on will be available to process transfers.

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

Transfer Shuffled BCH at Randomly Selected Intervals

The Github documentation also teaches people how to transfer using the newly added plugin. In order to get started, simply paste the receiving wallet’s Master Public Key in the first dialogue box in the plugin tab. At this point, simply enter the amount of time you want the randomized transfers to take. “Within that amount of time, all funds will be transferred to the receiving wallet at randomly selected intervals,” read the Interwallet Transfer Github specifications. Once the process is complete you can press the Transfer tab and the Electron Cash wallet will begin processing the transactions within the set timeframe. The Interwallet Transfer developers note that the wallet must be open and running in order to complete the transfers.

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

The BCH community was pleased to hear about Trzeszczkowski’s plugin for the EC wallet. “Ok, this might be the first plug-in for Electron Cash I might use — I can also use it to relocate a cold wallet without linking everything,” a BCH supporter stated on the Reddit forum r/btc. Another commenter remarked that “[Interwallet Transfer] makes it much easier to have a shuffle wallet and a separate mobile spending wallet.” Trzeszczkowski is also the creator of the open source Last Will platform, a smart contract program for the inheritance of bitcoin cash.

What do you think about the Interwallet Transfer plugin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company, software or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Github, Twitter, Electron Cash, and Cashshuffle logos.


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The post Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2HuErVr Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

#USA MIT and U.S. Air Force team up to launch AI accelerator

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The Pentagon is one of the largest technology customers in the world, purchasing everything from F-35 planes (roughly $90 million each) to cloud services (the JEDI contract was $10 billion). Despite outlaying hundreds of billions of dollars for acquisitions though, the Defense Department has struggled to push nascent technologies from startups through its punishing procurement process.

The department launched the Defense Innovation Unit a few years back as a way to connect startups into the defense world. Now, the military has decided to work even earlier to ensure that the next generation of startups can equip the military with the latest technology.

Cambridge, MA-based MIT and the U.S. Air Force announced today that they are teaming up to launch a new accelerator focused on artificial intelligence applications, with the Air Force committed to investing $15 million per year into roughly ten MIT research projects per year. The accelerator will be called the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator (clearly, the Pentagon hasn’t gotten better at naming things).

The accelerator will be housed on campus at MIT’s new computing college, which received a $1 billion commitment last year, including $350 million from Stephen A. Schwarzman. The college is expected to officially launch later this fall.

This will not be the Air Force’s first foray into accelerators. The service also built out an accelerator with TechStars that is directly targeted at solving the Air Force’s problems. It’s not yet clear whether the TechStars accelerator, which is also based in Boston, is being merged into the MIT accelerator or will remain a separate entity.

While MIT has had close relationships with the military going back decades, concerns have increased among some technologists about working on frontier tech like artificial intelligence and drones within a military context, especially an offensive military context. Last year, employees at Google blocked the tech giant from signing a cloud agreement with the Pentagon related to Project Maven, which would have applied AI and “algorithms” to battlefield applications.

In the announcement for this accelerator, MIT said that, “In addition to disaster relief and medical readiness, other possible research areas may include data management, maintenance and logistics, vehicle safety, and cyber resiliency.” It also highlighted that it hoped the projects entering the accelerator would be “addressing challenges that are important to both the Air Force and society more broadly.” Whether there are any limits on the types of projects that will be allowed on campus is not clear.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2WhWmXr

#USA Why startups need to be careful about export licenses and the Huawei ban

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America is the land of free trade … precisely until it is not. Through a thicket of laws and regulations, the U.S. government has broad control over what can get exported to whom, particularly in areas with sensitive technology or national security concerns. In general, those restrictions are loose, which is why startups mostly haven’t had to think about export laws.

That open world is rapidly closing though, and startups could well be the most harmed given that they have limited resources to handle these sorts of bureaucratic processes and the potential large penalty fines.

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order requiring that the Department of Commerce initiate a review of regulations and enforcement practices to ensure that U.S. entities (people and companies) don’t provide “information and communications technology or services” to a “foreign adversary.” That term was read as describing China, although nothing in the order prevents its expansion to cover other countries in the future.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2EjIfa0

#USA Agtech startup Agrilyst is now Artemis, raises $8M Series A

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Artemis, the ag-tech startup formerly known as Agrilyst, today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series A funding round. The round was co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital, with participation from iSelect Fund and New York State’s Empire State Development Fund. With this, the company, which won our 2015 Disrupt SF Battlefield competition, has now raised a total of $11.75 million.

When Agrilyst launched, the company mostly focused on helping indoor farmers and greenhouse operators manage their operations by gathering data about their crop yields and other metrics. Over the course of the last few years, that mission has expanded quite a bit, though, and today’s Artemis sees itself as an enterprise Cultivation Management Platform (CMP) that focuses on all aspects of indoor farming, including managing workers and ensuring compliance with food safety and local cannabis regulations, for example.

The expanded platform is meant to give these businesses a single view of all of their operations and integrates with existing systems that range from climate control to ERP tools and Point of Sale systems.

Compliance is a major part of the expanded platform. “When you look at enterprise operations, that risk is compounded because it’s not just that risk across many, many sites and many acres, so in 2018, we switched to almost entirely focusing on those operations and have gained a lot of momentum in that space,” Kopf said. “And now we’re using the funding to expand from mainly focusing on managing that data to help with profitability to using that data to help you with everything from compliance down to the profitability element. We want to limit that exposure to controllable risk.”

With this new focus on compliance, the company also added Dr. Kathleen Merrigan to its board. Merrigan was the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama administration and is the first Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University . She is also a venture partner at Astanor Ventures .

“Technology innovation is rapidly transforming the agriculture sector. Artemis’ approach to using data as a catalyst for growth and risk management provides the company a significant advantage with enterprise-level horticulture operations,” said Merrigan.

Cannabis, it’s worth noting, was not something the company really focused on in its early years, but as the company’s CEO and founder Allison Kopf told me, it now accounts for about half of the company’s revenue. Only a few years ago, many investors were also uncomfortable investing in a company that was in the cannabis business, but that’s far less of an issue today.

“When we raised our seed round in 2015, we were pitching to a lot of funds and a lot of funds told us that they had LPs that can’t invest in cannabis. So if you’re pitching that you’re going to eventually be in cannabis, we’re going to have to step away from the investment, ” Kopf said. “Now, folks are saying: ‘If you’re not in cannabis, we don’t want to invest.’”

Today, Artemis’s clients are worth a collective $5 billion. The company plans to use the

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2YCtPJI

#Blockchain How to Check Median BTC and BCH Transaction Fees

Transaction fees are the cost that cryptocurrency users have to bear in order to keep the system going. Fees can vary significantly between networks and it is important to be able to check this before you decide which cryptocurrency to use for making your digital payments.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Upgrade and 30K Stores Accepting BCH in the Weekly Update From Bitcoin.com

Transaction Fees Differ by Orders of Magnitude

Bitcoinfees.cash is a website which tracks the median transaction fees for both bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH). The site displays the current median transaction fees alongside one another as well as a graph of historical median BTC and BCH transaction fees.

The median fees listed on the site are based on the past week of transaction data sourced from a few API providers. The live fee data is updated about every 10 minutes and the historical charts are updated weekly.

How to Check Median BTC and BCH Transaction Fees

Note that each coin has a different reference point as BTC fees are orders of magnitude more expensive than those for BCH. For example, the current median fee for BTC is $1.72, which is over 1,500 times higher than the current median fee BCH of just $0.0011.

The website offers an explanation for anyone out of the loop as to why BTC fees are so expensive compared with BCH and examines why they can skyrocket during times of congestion, as has happened in the past when many new users entered the market and were daunted by BTC’s high network fees.

What do you think about current BTC and BCH transaction fees? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post How to Check Median BTC and BCH Transaction Fees appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2HGUs9n How to Check Median BTC and BCH Transaction Fees

#UK Google invests in Cambridge open source venture

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Google lowRISC ETH Zurich Cambridge

Global technology giant Google has injected unspecified investment into and joined the board of Cambridge UK open source system on a chip innovator lowRISC C.I.C.

The University of Cambridge Computer Lab spin-out is also hiring fast to expand its engineering team to underpin rapid scale-up of its technology.

lowRISC C.I.C. tells Business Weekly that Professor Luca Benini (ETH Zurich), Dominic Rizzo (Google) and Ron Minnich (Google) have joined its board and that the announcement coincides with a new phase of hiring with the goal of significantly increasing the size of its ideaSpace Cambridge-based engineering team during 2019.

Google said it believes that open source is “good for everyone” and adds that “to further our commitment we are investing both capital and engineering resources to create a sustainable open source hardware ecosystem.”

lowRISC is a not-for-profit, community-driven organisation working to provide a high quality, security-enabling, open SoC base for derivative designs. 

The organisation is lowering the barrier to producing custom silicon, enabling research and FPGA experimentation and establishing a vibrant ecosystem around open silicon designs. lowRISC supports a core engineering team who collaborate with industry partners, academic groups, and the wider community to drive the open source silicon ecosystem.

Alex Bradbury, CTO and co-founder of lowRISC CIC, said: “We are very pleased to welcome new board members from Google and ETH Zurich who share our excitement about the future of open-source hardware. Their commitment will accelerate our roadmap for delivering high-quality open-source system-on-chip designs.” 

lowRISC also revealed that Google are providing support and funding to further their mission and that Prof. Benini’s group at ETH Zürich are contributing their Zero-riscy processor core. lowRISC, in collaboration with Prof. Benini’s PULP team and Google, will continue development of the core as Ibex.

lowRISC emerged from the University of Cambridge Computer Lab, where its early work was supported by a private donation and a grant from Google. It continues to work closely with the University of Cambridge, as well as other academic and corporate partners, and the wider open source community.

ETH Zurich is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Like its sister institution EPFL, it is an integral part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain.

Google engineers Ron Minnich and Dominic Rizzo are long-term supporters of open source. Minnich is a well known figure in the High Performance Computing field and inventor of LinuxBIOS, now known as coreboot, the firmware used in all Chromebooks. Rizzo leads efforts in open source silicon and security fobs at Google.

Open source silicon promises new challenges and opportunities for both industry and the open source community. To take full advantage of open silicon the world will need new design methodologies, new governance models, and increased collaborations between industry, academia, and not for profit organisations. 

Rizzo and Google colleague Parthasarathy Ranganathan, said: “A vibrant free and open source software community has been vital to both Google and our customer’s success. We look forward to supporting the new domain of open source silicon to similarly benefit all participants.

“Besides enabling and encouraging innovation, chip designs derived from a common, open baseline will provide the benefit of implementation choice while still guaranteeing software compatibility and a set of common interfaces.

“With regards to security, the transparency of an open source approach is critical to both bug-finding and establishing implementation trustworthiness.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: lowRISC board members (L to R) – Dominic Rizzo (Google), Alex Bradbury (lowRISC), Gavin Ferris (lowRISC), Dr Robert Mullins (University of Cambridge), Prof. Luca Benini (ETH Zürich). Missing from the picture is Ron Minnich (Google).

from Business Weekly http://bit.ly/2VwXNgk

#USA DNA Script picks up $38.5 million to make DNA production faster and simpler

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DNA Script has raised $38.5 million in new financing to commercialize a process that it claims is the first big leap forward in manufacturing genetic material.

The revolution in synthetic biology that’s reshaping industries from medicine to agriculture rests on three, equally important pillars.

They include: analytics — the ability to map the genome and understand the function of different genes; synthesis — the ability to manufacture DNA to achieve certain functions; and gene editing — the CRISPR-based technologies that allow for the addition or subtraction of genetic code.

New technologies have already been introduced to transform the analytics and editing of genomes, but little progress has been made over the past 50 years in the ways in which genetic material is manufactured. That’s exactly the problem that DNA Script is trying to solve.

Traditionally, making DNA involved the use of chemical compounds to synthesize (or write) DNA in chains that were limited to around 200 nucleotide bases. Those synthetic pieces of genetic code are then assembled to make a gene.

DNA Script’s technology holds the promise of making longer chains of nucleotides by mirroring the enzymatic process through which DNA is assembled within cells — with fewer errors and no chemical waste material. The enzymatic process can accelerate commercial applications in healthcare, chemical manufacturing and agriculture.

“Any technology that can make that faster is going to be very valuable,” says Christopher Voigt, a synthetic biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, told the journal Nature. “There is no Nobel prize that needs to happen,” Emily Leproust, chief executive of the synthetic-DNA firm Twist Bioscience says. “It’s just hard engineering.”

DNA Script isn’t the only company in the market that’s looking to make the leap forward in enzymatic DNA production. Nuclear, a startup working with Harvard University’s famed geneticist, George Church, and Ansa Bio, a startup affiliated with Jay Keasling’s Berkeley lab at the University of California, are also moving forward with the technology.

But the Paris-based company has achieved some milestones that would make its technology potentially the first to come to market with a commercially viable approach.

At least, that’s what new investors LSP and Bpifrance, through its Large Venture fund, are hoping. They’re joined by previous investors Illumina Ventures, M. Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, Kurma Partners and Idinvest Partners in backing the company’s latest funding.

The company said the money would be used to accelerate the development of its first products and establish a presence in the United States.

“As we announced earlier this year at the AGBT General Meeting, DNA Script was the first company to enzymatically synthesize a 200mer oligo de novo with an average coupling efficiency that rivals the best organic chemical processes in use today,”  said Thomas Ybert, chief executive and cofounder of DNA Script. “Our technology is now reliable enough for its first commercial applications, which we believe will deliver the promise of same-day results to researchers everywhere, with DNA synthesis that can be completed in just a few hours.”

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2JrjoVX