Crypto developer will lead Twitter’s decentralized social media initiative
A former software engineer for Zcash and blockchain firm Skuchain, Jay Graber, will be in charge of the Bluesky decentralized social media initiative following an announcement on Twitter.

Jay Graber, a former software engineer for Zcash and blockchain firm Skuchain, will be leading the anticipated decentralized social media initiative first announced by Twitter in 2019.

In a Twitter announcement on Monday, Graber said that they would be in charge of the Bluesky project after working closely with “a group of thinkers and builders” from the decentralized social ecosystem. They plan on hiring for the Bluesky team and “partnering closely with Twitter and other companies” as part of the next steps towards fulfilling the decentralized social media plan.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be leading @bluesky, an initiative started by @Twitter to decentralize social media. Follow updates on Twitter and at https://t.co/Sg4MxK1zwl August 16, 2021

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced in December 2019 that Twitter would be funding a dedicated team to develop a decentralized standard for social media, and for the company to ultimately be a part of this standard. He said the challenges social media networks faced included “centralized enforcement of global policy to address abuse and misleading information,” shifting away from content hosting and removal to recommendation algorithms directing users’ attention, and content that sparks controversy and outrage rather than healthy and informative conversations.

“New technologies have emerged to make a decentralized approach more viable,” said the Twitter CEO, at the time. “Blockchain points to a series of decentralized solutions for open and durable hosting, governance, and even monetization.”


Alibaba launches NFT marketplace for copyright trading
Alibaba has launched an NFT marketplace for trading tokenized trademark rights, with its first auctions slated to take place next month.
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Chinese multinational e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding, has launched a new nonfungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace allowing trademark holders to sell tokenized licenses to their intellectual property.

The new NFT marketplace, dubbed “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset-Trade,” can be accessed via Alibaba's Auction platform. NFTs launched via the platform will be issued on the “New Copyright Blockchain” — a distributed ledger technology platform centrally operated by the Sichuan Blockchain Association Copyright Committee.

According to an Aug. 17 report from the Alibaba-owned news publication, South China Morning Post (SCMP), the marketplace hopes to target writers, musicians, artists, and game developers.

The marketplace is already live, hosting several NFTs that are set to be auctioned next month. Bidders must post a deposit of 500 yuan (roughly $77) to participate in auctions. Each upcoming auction has set a reserve price of $15 each. Buyers can view their collections via crypto portfolio application, Bit Universe, which is integrated into WeChat.

Commenting on the new marketplace, SCMP reporter Josh Ye tweeted that “although the technology itself does not prevent unauthorised copying. Sales include complete ownership of works purchased through the platform.”


US State Department offers up to $10 million in crypto rewards to white hat hackers
The U.S. government is offering up to $10 million in crypto rewards in exchange for reliable information on state-backed hackers and suspected terrorists.

The United States government is offering rewards in cryptocurrency for information relating to the operations of enemy state-backed hackers or suspected terrorists. The U.S. State Department's new “Rewards for Justice” platform allows informants to submit anonymous tips and information in return for rewards in digital assets.

The platform was promoted at the Black Hat USA event — which ran from July 31 to August 5 in Las Vegas — with users able to submit tips via an unsecured Wi-Fi network called #Rewardsnotransoms. The open network was purposely set up to encourage attendees to log in and access the RFJ website, according to CNN.

Rewards of up to $10 million are being offered in exchange for info on various terrorist suspects, extremists, and state-sponsored hackers. Informants elect whether they wish to receive compensation in the form of crypto assets.

Informants provide sensitive information via a secure portal on the dark web — the layer of the internet that is not publicly accessed by commercial companies and search engines. Former Director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, described the initiative as the U.S. government’s most public foray into crypto assets ever made.


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