40% Companies of UK's Sandbox to Use Blockchain

Companies use distributed ledger technology for different goal, from debts to API
04 July 2018   1091

The Office of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of Great Britain published a list of 29 companies that will become participants of the fourth group in the "sandbox" of the regulator. 40% of these companies use distributed registry technology, Cointelegraph reports.

FCA Sandbox is an initiative that helps companies test their products and services on a "live" market. At the same time, the regulator assumes the protection of consumers and, at the same time, does not limit the company. "Sandbox" was part of the initiative called "Innovate", which was launched in 2014. Since then, applications for participation in Innovate have been submitted by more than 1,200 companies, and about 500 have received support.

For the fourth round of participation in the "sandbox" 69 applications were submitted, of which 29 companies were selected. Interestingly, more than 40% of them use distributed ledger technology in their activities, with six companies using it to automate the issuance of debt or capital. In addition, two companies use a distributed registry to calculate insurance, and the rest - for geolocation, API or artificial intelligence.

The regulator also noted that a "small number" of firms approved for participation in the "sandbox" have a relationship to "cryptoassets". Companies, taking into account the risks, should assess how their solutions are suitable for customers.

Cohort Four has seen a large increase in the number of firms testing wholesale propositions including firms that are aiming to increase the efficiency of the capital-raising process. Alongside these we can see significant use of [DLT], some experimentation with cryptoassets which will help inform our policy work and propositions aimed at helping lower income consumers.

Christopher Woolard

Executive Director of the Strategy and Competition Department, FCA

In March this year FCA, after the success of the British "sandbox", launched a similar initiative for the global market. Woolard then stressed that the regulator sees the need for a global sandbox for those companies that "grow at real scale and pace." He noted that 90% of companies from the first group of the sandbox participants entered the real market.

Potentional Vulnerabilities Found in ETH 2.0

Least Authority have found potentional security issues in the network P2P interaction and block proposal system
26 March 2020   965

Technology security firm Least Authority, at the request of the Ethereum Foundation, conducted an audit of the Ethereum 2.0 specifications and identified several potential vulnerabilities at once.

Least Authority said that developers need to solve problems with vulnerabilities in the network layer of peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction, as well as in the block proposal system. At the same time, the auditor noted that the specifications are "very well thought out and competent."

However, at the moment there is no large ecosystem based on PoS and using sharding in the world, so it is impossible to accurately assess the prospects for system stability.
Also, information security experts emphasized that the specifications did not pay enough attention to the description of the P2P network level and the system of records about Ethereum nodes. Vulnerability risks are also observed in the block proposal system and the messaging system between nodes.

Experts said that in the blockchains running on PoS, the choice of a new block is simple and no one can predict who will get the new block. In PoS systems, it is the block proposal system that decides whose block will fall into the blockchain, and this leads to the risk of data leakage. To solve the problem, auditors suggested using the mechanism of "Single Secret Leader Election" (SSLE).

As for the peer-to-peer exchange system, there is a danger of spam. There is no centralized node in the system that would evaluate the actions of other nodes, so a “malicious" node can spam the entire network with various messages without any special punishment. The solution to this problem may be to use special protocols for exchanging messages between nodes.