Amber Baldet Announces Her Startup is a DApp Store

Amber Baldet

Decentralized application development has always been harder than it should be.

That is the guiding framework behind the much awaited Clovyr, the startup just launched by two former JP Morgan blockchain employees. Clovyr seeks to provide a new layer of enterprise-driven services between blockchains and user-facing applications.

Clovyr - Start-Up Blockchain Dapp Store

Founded by Amber Baldet and crytographer Patrick Mylund Nielsen, the startup has been the subject of much speculation since Baldet announced her resignation from JP Morgan last April.

Finally unveiled today at Consensus 2018 in New York, Clovyr is a decentralized application store. It will host a selection of vetted applications alongside some in-house developer tools designed to simplify app development for enterprises.

While maintaining a “blockchain agnostic” approach to an application design, Clovyr aims to provide tooling to build on both public and enterprise versions of ethereum, specifically, Quorum, Geth and Parity clients.

The Clovyr team plans to launch a public beta later this year, and they intend to provide an initial developmental framework for enterprises looking to build on Clovyr’s tech, as well as other potentail applications, such as tooling for data analysis on private datasets, which is something Baldet anticipates will be a popular product.

“Right now there’s no way to keep data private at its point of origin and also enable big data analytics, but there could be,” Nielsen said in their press release.

Moving forward, the Clovyr team plans to launch a full tech stack for privacy-protecting decentralized application design that would achieve compliance with upcoming data protection law, the GDPR.

Clovyr believes that while the tech is available, there is a large gap in app design that has been stifling innovation. Companies looking to integrate decentralized tooling are faced with the confusion of digging through a lot of open-source development platforms. This makes it easy to miss useful new tools.

With Clovyr, devs and enterprises won’t need to go through the whole process of building the tooling from scratch that may have already been executed.

The app store will also enable the development of hybrid blockchain formats, such as enterprise chains that can link up to public network’s to publish attestations or transactions.

According to Baldet, the latter will benefit enterprises looking for the scalability and control of a permissioned system combined with the security parameters of a public blockchain.

But it will feedback into the public ecosystem as well, Baldet said.

In the future, Baldet expects that the public and enterprise-focused applications will blur into a much more user-oriented experience.

Baldet and Nielsen wants Clovyr to result in tools that can help people build in a way that protects user data.

“We want to provide very clear privacy-preserving stacks [that] we recommend you go with if you don’t know where to start,” Baldet said.

While Baldet and company have yet to fully expand on what such a privacy-preserving system would look like, Baldet hinted that such applications should be more conservative about what information is shared, and suggested using the shared ledger merely as a coordination device.

Naldet and Nielsen also hinted that such privacy-preserving features could come with data-analysis capabilities as well.

Quite notably, the startup’s applications intend to provide compliancy for the GDPR, a strict data-protection law that comes into force in Europe this month that some have worried may cause problems for public blockchain data.

Baldet added:

“Privacy isn’t just a law, it’s also just a human rights issue for users of the system.”

Former JP Morgan Blockchain Lead Hints at Startup

It looks like everyone’s waiting with bated breath for Amber Baldet’s big reveal.

Since quitting her role as blockchain lead at JP Morgan, Baldet has been rather tight-lipped on the new company she plans to launch. Her presentation at the Ethereal Summit last Friday , hosted by Consensys, may have hinted at what she wants to accomplish.

In her presentation, Baldet criticized the tribalism that typically occurs between builders of open blockchain networks and institutions, stressing the importance of hybrid technologies that can deploy verifiable, open-source code resistant to single points of failure but that can be adjusted should exceptions happen.

Hybrid blockchains have claimed the interest of many executives at major companies and Baldet’s interest comes after the two largest public protocols have been trapped in a bitter online feud.

Baldet has framed permissioned blockchains as perhaps offering a well-intentioned contrast to a model that’s seen no shortage of critiques over the years. Baldet said during the talk:

“You can change the rules of the game without fighting on Twitter for two years. So, choices matter.”

Baldet echoed the narrative of inclusion that the Ethereal Summit wanted to illustrate, while touching on the need for a better security models and poking fun at bitcoin’s strategy for its security model and its emphasis on inclusion through node ownership.

Baldet framed herself as an etrepeneur who wants to forge a path toward a “pragmatic internet of value. In other words, something that works,” she said.

And Baldet believes privacy is crucial for the future of blockchain technology.

“Fundamental strong encryption is a requirement for these systems,” Baldet said, emphasizing that such cryptography should be open source and intensely vetted.

While permissioned blockchains are often criticized for their management by central authorities, Baldet notes, public blockchains tend to put the onus on the individual, and as such, aren’t perfect solutions for users.

Though bitcoin is ideal as a peer-to-peer, censorship-resistant payment network, Baldet also thought that builders of other blockchains might need to seek alternative strategies concurrent with their visions.

Building a system that has properties of both public and private blockchains, she seemed to stress, could prove beneficial for all parties concerned.

Finally, Baldet also thinks that while interoperability is often cited as integral to blockchain adoption, Baldet said that forging connections between protocols could open up creating security vulnerabilities.

She believes that instead of chasing interoperability, blockchains should be used for simple attestations that something has occurred, with the cryptographic hashes giving a compressed, yet computationally-verifiable sequence of what happened.

Baldet finally concluded:

“We need to dumb down what it is on blockchain – fewer smart contracts and more dumb coordination.”

Five Arrested in BitCoin Robbery Plot

The Forsyth County Police Department in Georgia has arrested five men in connection with a plan to invade a Forsyth County home in the hopes of stealing $1 Million in Bitcoin.

The arrests come on the heels of a four month long investigation, following the police response to what was initially thought to be a drug investigation at a local hotel. Police detectives made contact with four males who had zip ties, latex gloves, duct tape and bandanas in their possession. However, due to a lack of sufficient evidence, the four males were released from custody.

The subsequent investigation linked the suspects to a planned robbery of a homeowner, with the men allegedly targetting the owner’s Bitcoin. After detectives were able to secure arrest warrants, they moved to arrest the four men-Trivette Adams, Matthew Schwartz, Jacob South and Michael McDermont.

Officers arrested Adams and McDermont near the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta before they were able to flee. South and Schwartz, meanwhile, were able to flee, but were captured by Major Crimes Unit detectives in Chicago and extradited.

Lastly, a fifth suspect, Justin Ellison of Illinois, was arrested on May 11 following an interview conducted by Illinois detectives in connection to the investigation.

The foiled conspiracy should serve as a reminder to all: keep not only your private keys hidden, but also keep the contents of said wallets on a need-to-know basis, for safety’s sake.

BahrainLooking into Blockchain to Help Cut Data Storage Costs

The Kingdom of Bahrain is looking into adopting blockchain tech in a bid to cut the costs of maintaining the country’s vehicle registration data.

The country’s General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) announced Thursday of last week a new plan to develop a blockchain-based vehicle registration system in the country and is now looking for a technical partner to focus on the system’s design and implementation.

Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Abdulwahab Al Khalifa, director general of the GDT, said in a statement to the press:

“This registry will be a vital advancement in reducing the overall cost of maintaining critical vehicle information, offer greater efficiency in terms of supply chain management, and ensure a high level of transparency for all stakeholders in the vehicle registration ecosystem.”

Made public during the Gateway Gulf Forum backed by the country’s crown prince, the GDT’s plan comes as part of a wider push by the Bahrain government to deliver advanced technologies through partnerships with the private sector.

Bahrain has already made inroads with it’s blockchain initiatives, with several major financial institutions pursuing projects in the country. In August of 2017, Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation has joined the R3 distributed ledger consortium in a bid to provide additional services to customers.

Earlier this year, the Bahrain government also started talks with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s de facto central bank, seeking advice it sought to deploy a national blockchain pilot, according to a local news.

Goldman Sach Exec Quits to Chase Crypto Fortune

Former Goldman Sachs banker Chris Matta shocked his former company by doing something considered inconceivable: just days after being promoted to Vice-President, he quit.

After 6 grueling years working at Goldman, the 28-year-old had made Vice-President. Matta was on the fast track for more pay and status.

But Matta had other plans in mind.

After watching Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies boom in 2017, Matta and two colleagues became intrigued and decided to create their own cryptocurrency-focused investment vehicle. in an Interview with CNBC, Matta said:

“It’s safe to say, you leave a good amount of money on the table walking away from Goldman. But I saw it as a calculated risk.”

That calculated risk actually meant that he was waving goodbye to his yearly bonus. He further explains:

“They called in the CEO of my organization, and he said, basically, ‘Are you crazy? Do you realize the risk you are taking here? You are giving up on your bonus!'”

While it sounds unconventional, the young man’s exit from Wall Street serves as an example of how the brightest and sharpest financial minds are leaving traditional financial institutions in favor of the new frontier that is cryptocurrencies.

In Matta’s cae, he and his partners and co-founders-Ali Hassan and Michael Kazley-actually spent their holiday vacation setting up their company, Crescent Crypto Asset Management, instead of catching up with some R&R. Explained Matta:

“In the crypto world, every month is like a year in the equities space. The amount of things that would change in that time, the number of funds that would come to market, it would just be a much more difficult landscape for us if we were trying to get things up and running in February.”

Despite rough goings in the first half of 2018 thus far, Matta and crew remain faithful that their new venture will work out. “It’s either going to zero, or it’s going magnitudes higher,” he told CNBC, adding:

“I don’t regret it at all. It’s been the most exciting few months of my life, honestly.”