- Microsoft plans to integrate blockchain technology to establish anti-piracy measures.
- The tech giant released a paper, which relies on the transparency aspect of blockchains.
- Microsoft’s new system, Argus, would use the Ethereum blockchain.
NEW DELHI (CoinChapter.com) — Microsoft plans to up the ante against software pirates.
The tech giant released a research paper describing a blockchain-based piracy reporting system named Argus. In addition, the Washington-based software company intends to use the transparency offered by blockchain systems to implement an incentive system that rewards informers.
Microsoft will use the Ethereum blockchain to build Argus. In addition to the US firm, researchers from Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University also participated in the study.
Piracy To Walk The Plank?
Between 2015 to 2017, the software industry lost $46.3 billion to piracy. Moreover, Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Office productivity suite are favorite targets for digital pirates. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft is adding blockchain-based solutions to its anti-piracy arsenal.
According to the paper, the proposed system stands on four pillars – ‘full transparency, incentive, information hiding, and optimization.’. However, Microsoft researchers note that Argus does not treat these fundamentals as four different problems. Instead, it integrates them in one coherent design.
Argus aims to incentivize informers, people who report acts of piracy.
The protocol would reward informers while keeping their identities a secret. However, people may misuse the system by ‘creating multiple identities to make multiple reports,’ also called a Sybil Attack.
Microsoft claims Argus has a Sybil-proof incentive system as it disincentivizes Sybil attacks, decreasing the rewards gained by people using dishonest means.
The use of public ledgers means Argus is fully transparent to everybody.
However, it is important to prevent misuse of this transparency. For example, an informer should be unable to report a piracy instance already submitted by someone else. Argus report submission ensures this by using a ‘Multi-period Commitment Scheme.’
As such, the request indicates that an informer knows about a piracy incident without disclosing other information.
Microsoft’s Argus uses a probabilistic argument to ensure an arbitrarily small probability ‘φ’ bounds any false accusations, which means actual infringements are hard to refute.
In the research paper, Microsoft highlighted its optimization of cryptographic operations so that the cost of piracy reporting remains economic. Hence, piracy reporting incurs a ‘negligible on-chain cost equivalent to sending 14 ETH-transfer transactions/report on the public Ethereum blockchain.‘.
Microsoft’s Argus is still a research project. However, the idea that a mainstream software giant is considering blockchain technology to solve a problem may also help cryptocurrencies. Moreover, if implemented, the project would be a very strong fundamental for Ethereum, and subsequently, its token Ether (ETH).
Meanwhile, Ethereum Prices Are Moving Horizontally
Ether prices have exhausted their uptrend momentum and are moving horizontally, consolidating above the $3,200 price level. Additionally, ETH’s prices are trading above its Moving Average trendlines, which means the Ethereum token is still bullish in the short and long-term ranges.
Ether has support at $3,138.87, followed by support at $2,982.96. Also, the 26-Day (Red) Exponential MA trendline supports the Ethereum token at $2,820.
Once Ether catches some winds in its sails, an upswing will see ETH test resistance at $3,418. After that, further push from the bulls would make resistance at $3,509.5 the next target. After that, however, the Ethereum token would require a sustained upwards rally to bring resistance at $3,654 into play.
The MACD for ETH is displaying some warning signals. MACD uses the difference between the MACD line (12-day and 26-day difference of EMA) and the MACD signal line (9-day EMA of MACD) to indicate if an asset’s momentum is bullish or bearish.
Bars on the MACD histogram, which charts the difference between the MACD line and the MACD signal line, are still positive. However, the bars are decreasing in height. Thus, t the MACD line may soon cross below its signal line, resulting in a bearish crossover.
The relative strength index for Ether is uncomfortably close to the overbought regions, with a value of 69.76. However, the RSI trendline is moving downwards, which may calm the bulls a bit.
At the time of writing, Ether was trading at $3,279, down 0.94% on the day.