Microsoft To Fight Piracy With Ethereum, Introduces Project Argus

When it comes to software piracy platforms, the top performers remain for the office productivity suite and Windows operating system. So it’s not a surprise that the developer of the two products, Microsoft, takes its moves in creating Ethereum backed anti-piracy measures.

Microsoft’s research department released a recent document involving contributions of other researchers from Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University.

The document revealed that the software giant engaged in a blockchain-based reward system to fortify its anti-piracy campaigns.

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The research has a title, Argus: A Fully Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy Campaigns. This implies that Microsoft will depend on the transparency of blockchain technology for its new system.

Argus is a protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain that proposes to give a trustless incentive mechanism. Also, it will secure data from any open unknown or hidden population of piracy reporters.

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Here’s How Ethereum Powered Anti-Piracy Program Will Run

The document states that this should be taken as a shared system issue. Furthermore, it reveals that in the real application, there are unavoidable obstacles that need surmounting. It’s only the finished aspect that would ascertain the desired security irrespective of full transparency.

Argus allows tracing pirated content back to its source while giving a watermarking algorithm as contained in the document.

Furthermore, every report of leaked content, known as proof of leakage, has a procedure that hides the information. Hence, only the informer can report the exact watermarked copy without taking possession of it.

There are incentive-reducing precautions in the system that deter an informer from repeating the exact leaked content using different aliases.

The report from the paper believes in the security and functionality of Argus to achieve anti-piracy campaigns in real-world situations. It states that a shift to an incentive mechanism that is transparent is the expected solution.

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Explaining the challenge of fees in the Ethereum network, the document records the team’s optimization of many cryptographic operations.

Microsoft To Fight Piracy With Ethereum, Introduces Project Argus

Microsoft To Fight Piracy With Ethereum, Introduces Project Argus


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This helps reduce the piracy reporting cost equitably for running 14ETH-transfer transactions on Ethereum’s public network. However, the expanded form represents thousands of transactions.

There is now a global concern from technological companies to protect intellectual property and combat digital piracy. For example, there’s a recent report of piracy combating move from the IT subsidiary of Indian Conglomerate Mahindra Group, Tech Mahindra.

The company launched its new platform that runs on blockchain-based digital rights and contracts. The platform operates on IBM’s Hyperledger fabric protocol, and it’s meant to boost the entertainment and media industry.

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Nigeria to pilot central bank digital currency in October

For much of 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been in the headlines for its anti-cryptocurrency measures. Yet, the institution has this week redoubled its investment and research into crypto’s underlying technology, blockchain, and has set a clear date for the pilot scheme of its blockchain-powered central bank digital currency (CBDC).

On October 1, CBN will reportedly launch a pilot scheme for “GIANT” – a CBDC project in development since 2017, which runs on the open-source blockchain Hyperledger Fabric.

Rakiya Mohammed, CBN’s information technology director, said the bank might conduct a proof-of-concept before the end of 2021. In a webinar this week with stakeholders, CBN representatives reportedly emphasized that the institution could not afford to be left behind while the vast majority of central banks worldwide make headway with their own CBDC research and development.

Among the motivations cited for the project, CBN has noted that a CBDC would be beneficial for macro and growth management, cross-border trade support, and financial inclusion.

Potential benefits could still extend further, in CBN’s view, ranging from higher efficiency for payments and remittances, better monetary policy transmission, improved tax revenue collection, and the facilitation of targeted social policies.

Related: Nigeria’s comms minister links blockchain to national digital innovation efforts

Alongside CBN, the Bank of Ghana has this summer been moving rapidly towards the pilot stage for its own central bank digital currency. The country has positioned itself as a pioneer in CBDC development on the continent and considers central bank-issued digital currencies to be superior to and less risky than decentralized cryptocurrencies.

However, Ghana’s wariness of crypto is overshadowed by Nigeria’s more aggressive measures, which include a ban on commercial banks and other financial institutions from servicing crypto exchanges. Despite this, Bitcoin adoption and BTC peer-to-peer trades have remained high in the country.