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News Bytes for May 1, 2018

Welcome to news Bytes with BlockExplorer, your daily cryptocurrency news roundup. Today we will discuss Caltech using Blockchain technology to share research data, Morgan Stanley moving into the crypto market, the FTC holding a ‘crypto scam’ workshop, and Oscar Mayer launching ‘Bacoin’.

Caltech Uses Blockchain Tech to Share Cell Biology Research with Public

Caltech’s Jensen Lab has announced a new initiative using blockchain technology that allows cellular biologists to share their research with other academic institutions as well as the general public.

Morgan Stanley Allegedly Accelerating Move in to Crypto Market

Big brokerage firms are racing to start trading cryptocurrencies. Insiders share Morgan Stanley may be trying to beat them all to the punch, creating a specific desk for institutional traders, ICOs, and arbitrage quickly.

Federal Trade Commission Holding ‘Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams’ Workshops

The FTC is launching a crypto workshop in hopes to protect consumers using new financial technologies, according to their press release. The free June 25 workshop will be held at DePaul University in Chicago, and the event will also be available over a webcast.

Oscar Mayer Launches Cryptocurrency for Bacon— Enter Bacoin

To file in the “Because. Bacon.” category this week, hot dog maker Oscar Mayer has launched a cryptocurrency called Bacoin, redeemable for packs of bacon. It’s “the first ever cryptocurrency backed by the gold standard of Oscar Mayer bacon,” the company declares in their press release. Oscar Mayer also warns that, “similar to other cryptocurrencies, the value of bacoin can be volatile.”

The Jensen Lab at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has announced a new initiative that uses blockchain technology to allow cellular biologists to share their research with other academic institutions as well as the general public.

The initiative, which was unveiled on Tuesday, will see the Caltech release thousands of electron tomography datasets acquired in the more than 15 years since the Jensen Lab began pioneering high-resolution electron microscopy images of cells in 2002.

Due to the complexity and expenses associated with this academic frontier, few academic institutions are able to create these three-dimensional datasets themselves.

However, the datasets are still extremely valuable to outside researchers, which is why the Jensen Lab decided to create the world’s first blockchain-based electron tomography database (ETDB), which will allow universities with access to this technology to easily publish their tomograms and universities that do not with the ability to use the datasets to build their own applications.

Caltech’s ETDB was built using the Open Index Protocol (OIP) on the Proof-of-Work-secured (PoW) FLO blockchain — which stores the database’s metadata index — and tomograms are stored in the IPFS network.

“The permissionless design and proof-of-work security of Open Index Protocol on the FLO blockchain are key to the system’s ability to ensure open & transparent information access,” added Bitcoin Center NYC founder Nick Spanos. “It’s great to see the Jensen Lab at Caltech using this system to make their research data available to the public.”

The Jensen Lab chose a blockchain solution for its ETDB for several reasons. Since the data will be distributed, Caltech will not be responsible for storing datasets that other institutions contribute to the project. Moreover, the data will remain available to the public even if funding issues force the Jensen Lab to allocate its resources elsewhere in the future.

“The compound effect of standardized data and open access creates a powerful network effect — it’s an open index that anyone can use, no one can change, and it can be used for any kind of public data,” concluded Devon Read James, inventor of OIP and founder of Alexandria.io. “Plus, the system’s access persistence and enforcement of terms of use open a marketplace where the data can be powerfully leveraged while respecting the rights of the data owner.”

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