ITWC Morning Briefing, August 17, 2020 – Ethereum turns 5, plus the latest news

To keep up with the firehose of news and press releases, we’ve decided to deliver some extra news to you on the side every Monday and Thursday morning. Some of it is an extension of our own reporting that didn’t make its way into a story, while others might be content we’ve bookmarked for later reading and thought of sharing with you. We’re doing a similar thing at Channel Daily News – check it out here. You can also view our previous ITWC Morning Briefing here. Today’s briefing is delivered by ITWC editorial director Alex Coop.

What you need to know, right now

It’s what you need to know right now in the world of IT and tech – ’nuff said.


From IT World Canada – Thousands of government service and CRA accounts hit by credential stuffing attack [FULL STORY] 

The Government of Canada says thousands of GCKey service and Canada Revenue Agency income and business tax accounts have been slammed with multiple credential stuffing attacks.


From Forbes – Oracle And Salesforce Hit With $10 Billion GDPR Class-Action Lawsuit [FULL STORY]

Class-action lawsuits filed in the UK and Netherlands will accuse tech giants Oracle and Salesforce of breaching GDPR in the way they process and share personal data to sell online advertising.

A 1-on-1 with Ether Capital CEO Brian Mosoff

Ethereum turned 5 years old July 31. We spoke with the CEO of Ether Capital Brian Mosoff to uncover what the milestone means.

It was at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami where Russian-Canadian programmer Vitaly Dmitriyevich “Vitalik” Buterin first revealed his early concept for Ethereum. Shortly after, a group of Bitcoin enthusiasts attending the conference from Toronto rented out a beach house with Buterin and began to flesh out his idea. After the success of his Miami reveal, Buterin dropped out of his computer science course at the University of Waterloo. Then Ethereum quickly started to take shape.

Two weeks ago, the Ethereum platform celebrated its fifth birthday.

“It’s battle-tested,” says Brian Mosoff, CEO of Ether Capital, a Canadian-based technology company focused on becoming the central business and investment hub for the Ethereum ecosystem. “As someone who’s been in this space since 2012, it’s kind of unfathomable to imagine how far blockchain, as a whole, has come only eight years later.”

But it’s not just the simple fact that Ethereum is turning five that’s got Mosoff and the rest of the Ethereum community excited. Ethereum 2.0, the shift in Ethereum’s underlying consensus mechanism from proof of work – the original consensus algorithm run by miners in a blockchain network used to confirm transactions and produce new blocks to the chain – to proof of stake, is expected to launch sometime this year.

Here’s the issue with proof of work. The blockchain validators, or miners, who invested in hardware and infrastructure end up selling their tokens to “holders” to finance their mining operations. Over time, the token-holders and miners become two distinct groups of people, sometimes with competing interests. With proof of stake, Mosoff explains how the mining resources are invested in the cryptocurrency tokens themselves, meaning the token-holders are the miners.

A popular narrative around Bitcoin, says Mosoff, is that it’s a form of digital gold. According to a Medium article by Ether Capital, Ether – the cryptocurrency generated by Ethereum miners as a reward for computations performed to secure the blockchain – is like digital oil, in that Ether is used as fuel to run applications on the Ethereum platform. If Bitcoin is digital gold and Ether is digital oil, then staked Ether is a digital bond, says Mosoff.

Mosoff likened the upcoming launch of 2.0 to the iPhone. Up until the iPhone’s launch, the market was flooded with awkward-looking cell phones sporting a clunky internet browser. Once the iPhone was launched, people realized there was no going back.

“The light bulb is going off around the world, and people are realizing that it [Ethereum] is looking like the standard,” he said.

Where’s the talent?

Despite its strong Canadian roots, the Ethereum community, and the blockchain community, in general, is not as strong as it once was in the Great White North.

“The innovation is not happening here,” Mosoff said, citing Berlin, Silicon Valley, and other parts of the world.  He says Canada’s financial institutions have been too timid to adopt public blockchain.

But Canada is not totally devoid of progress. Canadian online investment management service Wealthsimple, for example, recently announced it has obtained regulatory approval for Wealthsimple Crypto. This means that Canadians can safely trade and hold Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In case you missed it

The recent news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing. Sometimes we’ll also feature awesome stories from other publications.

From the Register – Oracle Commerce Cloud devs laid off as platform struggles to gain traction, move to modern architecture [FULL STORY] 

A bunch of Oracle developers supporting its Commerce systems are being let go as Big Red seeks to downsize the struggling platform.


From IT World Canada – Big cat swims: Intel details Tiger Lake and SuperFin transistors [FULL STORY]

Intel revealed details of its upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processor, along with its associated Willow Cove core, at its Intel Architecture Day event on Aug. 11.


From IT World Canada – Meeting the challenges of remote working during the pandemic [FULL STORY]

At first glance, when Ontario’s waste recycling regulator told its staff to start working from home March 17 due to the COVID-19 crisis, it didn’t appear to be a problem for CIO John Pinard.

After all, the staff had corporate-issued laptops, so there wasn’t a rush to buy PCs.

But, he told a webinar on Tuesday, “it was an eye-opener” with a range of challenges. Some staff didn’t have a desk in their residences. Others didn’t have a safe enough router for protecting their home computers from a cyberattack, let alone protect their organization-issued computer.


From IT Business Canada – Ontario government seeking input from the public to improve privacy protections [FULL STORY]

The Ontario government is seeking public input concerning the collection, use and safeguarding of personal data online, to improve the province’s privacy protection laws, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services noted in an Aug. 13 press release.

Bookmarks of the week

A few bookmarked Tweets that we think are worth sharing with you.

A Twitter thread after those nasty credential stuffing attacks were made public


That’s some monster engagement.


Not gonna lie, I did not read through them all to see if these indeed were the accurate terms of services. But still a strong visual.


You can always rely on Corey to drop a good quote.


When the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security says something, you should listen.


Not sure about the term “balancing” – just get them both right before you launch any app.

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