Wednesday, May 23, 2018

US financial giant JPMorgan Chase seeks a patent on a blockchain system

The huge US-based financial institution, JPMorgan Chase is seeking a patent on a system that would used distributed ledgers, a blockchain system, to facilitate and reconcile financial transactions.

The patent
The patent application was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday. The original application had been filed in October of 2017. The application notes:
[0003] Distributed ledgers, such as Blockchain, provide a unique system for recording transactions and storing data. In general, distributed ledgers hold a log of transactions (events) that may be replicated across a public or private distributed network. Cryptography and digital signatures may be used to determine valid parties and transactions such that all parties/observers agree on the order and state of the ledger in real-time without having to rely on a trusted third party to hold the true "golden copy." The distributed ledger thus provides a practically immutable, verifiably true audit trail.
JPMorgan Chase
Headquartered in New York City, JPMorgan Chase & Co, is a US-based multinational bank and financial services holding company. It is the largest bank in the US. It is also the second largest bank in the world by market capitalization. As of 2017-18 the company is one the largest asset management companies in the world with $2.789 trillion under management.
The hedge fund unit is the second largest hedge fund in the US. As of 2017, the company had 252,539 employees
JPMorgan Chase is one of the four American Big Banks the others being Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.
JPMorgan explains the patent
A company statement said:"In one embodiment, a method for processing network payments using a distributed ledger may include: (1) a payment originator initiating a payment instruction to a payment beneficiary; (2) a payment originator bank posting and committing the payment instruction to a distributed ledger on a peer-to-peer network; (3) the payment beneficiary bank posting and committing the payment instruction to the distributed ledger on a peer-to-peer network; and (4) the payment originator bank validating and processing the payment through a payment originator bank internal system and debiting an originator account."
The blockchain would be an improvement on the existing system in that it would allow real-time settlement more cheaply and quickly than possible under the present system which often involves several messaging networks and clearing intermediaries before the payment can flow.
The bank had already launched an etherium-based platform, Quorum, prior to the patent application
Just a few days before filing the patent application the bank had already launched Quorum an ethereum-offshoot which is designed for the services that the patent outlines. Emma Loftus, head of global payments and foreign exchange for JP Morgan Treasury Services said: "Blockchain capabilities have allowed us to rethink how critical information can be sourced and exchanged between global banks."
The company announced the Quorum service in an article on October 16th last year.
Previously published in Digital Journal

Monday, May 21, 2018

Not a word from Yulia Skripal since her hospital release or from her father Sergei

(May  5) It is now about three weeks since Yulia Skripal was released from hospital and taken to a "safe place" after her being poisoned along with her father Sergei on March 4th in Salisbury. There has not been a word about either her or her father.

The two must have been both interviewed long ago by authorities about what happened. One would think that their testimony about the event was crucial. However, everything is being kept under wraps. If the two had implicated Russia there would not be this silence. The mainstream press seems quite uninterested in such questions as to the condition of the father now or where the daughter is and why neither has been interviewed. I discussed the issue in a Digital Journal article a week ago but since there is no information at all about them. There have been new developments that I will discuss in this article.
Czech lab synthesized tiny amounts of Novichok type agent
The Czech government
 said the agent was used to help train the army against chemical warfare. Russia had listed the Czech Republic as one among several countries that could have been the source of the agent used to poison the Skripals.
The Czech Defense Ministry admitted it had carried out a microsynthesis of several micrograms of potential chemical agents and that included Novichok and sarin gas. The ministry said that this did not represent production as understood under international law and could not have leaked.
The statement by Ahmet Uzumcu of the OPCW
Just to make sure no one might think that the Czech Republic could have been the source of the Novichok that poisoned the Skripals we have a statement by Ahmet Uzumcu, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) who said that the amount of novichok used to poison the Skripals was significantly more than that needed for research purposes which indicated it was likely created for use as a weapon.
In an interview with the New York Times, Uzumcu said that he had been told that about 50-100 grams of the nerve agent was though thought to have been used in the Salisbury attack.
The OPCW repudiates Uzumcu' statement
Some chemical experts were surprised at the Director-General's statement and this apparently included some at the OPCW because the OPCW issued a statement in fact disowning the Uzumcu's statement.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 May 2018 — In response to questions from the media, the OPCW Spokesperson stated that the OPCW would not be able to estimate or determine the amount of the nerve agent that was used in Salisbury on 4 March 2018. The quantity should probably be characterised in milligrams. However, the analysis of samples collected by the OPCW Technical Assistance Visit team concluded that the chemical substance found was of high purity, persistent and resistant to weather conditions.
So why did Uzumcu make such a statement in the first place? Surely, it was useful as showing that the Czech Republic could not have been the source of the Novichok that poisoned the Skripals. No doubt someone pressured him to make the statement in order to bolster the official narrative.
The UK government also tried to pressure the lab at Porton Down to claim that the novichok came from Russia. A Digital Journal article back in April discussed this showing that Boris Johnson a UK cabinet minister actually claimed a scientist at Porton Down told him this.
When it comes to sustaining the official narrative we have lots of press but when it comes to revealing anything about the condition of the Skripals or what they know about what happened to them we get no information at all.
No new suspects in the case
When asked by a UK MP at a Commons defence committee hearing whether the authorities knew who was responsible for the Skripal poisoning, UK National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill said they did not yet know. However Sedwill expressed no doubt about Russia being responsible and is the biggest threat to the UK. Sedwill told the committee that Russia is an existential threat to the UK: "Russia is the primary strategic threat to the United Kingdom."
Is there a D-notice about reporting info on the Skripals?
A D-notice has undergone several changes but Wikipedia describes it as follows: "A DSMA-Notice (Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice)[1] — formerly a DA-Notice (Defence Advisory Notice), and before that called a Defence Notice (D-Notice) until 1993—is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security. The system is still in use in the United Kingdom."
There may be no D-notice with respect to reporting on the Skripals but there might as well be. If Skripals supported the official narrative then this would have been reported. However, if the Skripals' would provide testimony that conflicted with the official narrative then this must be kept from the public in the interest of UK security. Not only the UK press seem to voluntarily accept that they should be silent about this but international mainstream media as well. Exceptions are Russian media such as RT and Craig Murray or Moon of Alabama but the latter two are marginal and no doubt to be characterized as dupes of a Russian misinformation campaign. When it comes to suppression of criticism of the official narrative, silence is golden.


Published previously in Digital Journal

US financial giant JPMorgan Chase seeks a patent on a blockchain system

The huge US-based financial institution, JPMorgan Chase is seeking a patent on a system that would used distributed ledgers, a blockchain ...