Category Archives: decentralization

6 Questions to Ask When Considering Blockchain Solutions for Enterprise

ConsenSys Chief of Staff Jeremy Millar poses the foundational queries innovative developers and IT managers must ask when looking to integrate blockchain technology into enterprise.

Blockchain is one of the most promising technological innovations in recent memory, and has captured the attention of innovative startups and legacy institutions alike. The list of industry-leading enterprises building on the blockchain spans tech leaders (Microsoft), financial institutions (JP Morgan, Santander), and even national governments (Singapore, Dubai, Brazil). But as with any emerging technology, there are some particular and unique quirks and obstacles that all early adopters will face along the way for which even the savviest business leaders considering blockchain solutions should be prepared.

In the coming weeks, we’ll dive deep into the key challenges that enterprises face when implementing blockchain tech. To begin, here’s a quick walkthrough of some of those problems…

  1. How do you plan blockchain projects that provide the greatest utility?

Blockchain technology is still nascent. It is more expensive and time consuming to build a blockchain application than a traditional cloud app in many situations. Successful applications will not only create efficiencies, but also have a sufficient impact on the status quo. That is to say: You have to find the right problem before you can build the right solution. There are use cases that can create incredible value, but it’s important to make sure you’ve selected the right ones to demonstrate the real capabilities of the technology.

Before we build anything at ConsenSys, we evaluate the blockchain use case to make sure there is a return on investment. We do this by mapping the business process and use case to specific blockchain capabilities: digital signatures, distributed immutable ledgers, smart contracts, tokenization and decentralized identity. We only pursue applications where we can demonstrate how these basic blockchain building blocks provide significant benefits to an application and solve a real problem.

A key element for success is to ideate the future state. What can the business process look like as a decentralized network? Often times, these networks look radically different — and radically better — than the current business processes, with many fewer steps, intermediaries and costs, releasing capital and improving user/customer experience.

2. Which technology should you use? What are the standards?

Today, clients tell us there are predominantly two technologies emerging as ‘de facto standards’ for building enterprise blockchain applications: IBM Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. At ConsenSys, we build applications on the Ethereum blockchain; both the larger public network, and private Ethereum blockchains.

We use the Ethereum blockchain for three main reasons:

  • Ethereum is the only decentralised smart contract platform designed to be general purpose and global from the offset
  • With Ethereum, you can deploy private chains, public chain decentralized apps (DApps), and consortium chains, both on premise and in the cloud
  • Ethereum has the largest developer pool globally, which is advancing the platform rapidly, and also provides enterprises choice in terms of implementation partners

Later in this series we’ll dive further into the differences between Fabric and Ethereum and the distinction between the public Ethereum blockchain and private implementations.


The full ecosystem of ConsenSys hubs and spokes

3. How do you put together a blockchain development team?

The bad news is that there simply aren’t enough blockchain developers to meet the growing demand. The good news is that the majority of blockchain application development falls in line with typical web development (the blockchain aspects are only a portion of the overall application). However, you’ll still need to have an experienced blockchain architect on your team to guide a project to fruition.

At ConsenSys, we’ve developed a program — ConsenSys Academy — to train developers around the world to become blockchain developers. We will make this program available to enterprises in Q4 this year. Later in this series, we’ll talk you through how to build your team, what it takes to become a blockchain developer, and our impending training services for enterprises.

4. What support and services are out there for Enterprise?

For enterprises, simply building the app isn’t enough. Applications need to be deployed into production and supported. ConsenSys is focused on providing an ecosystem of support services and products ranging from developer support to system health checks and monitoring.

Developer support includes; i) curated knowledge bases for blockchain technology, core components and developer tools ii) community support through forums iii) live support from technical support engineers including break fix.

Systems support is offered to ConsenSys Enterprise customers on production systems and is being developed for ConsenSys applications, including Viant.io (our asset track and trace product).


A partial membership list of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

5. What infrastructure is available to build atop?

Until recently, developing an enterprise blockchain solution required you to build from the ground up, but that is beginning to change. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a worldwide consortium of leading organizations from across numerous fields investing in blockchain tech, was formed to tackle these issues.

The EEA is building the industry standard, open source, free-to-use blockchain solutions that will be the foundation for businesses going forward. Working groups are looking at legal aspects of blockchains and smart contracts, industry areas such as banking and supply chain, and of course core technology issues such as privacy, permissioning and networking standards.

6. What tech stack and tools should your developers use?

We run many hackathons and training programs around the globe. One of the major hurdles we see in the learning curve is the ‘developer stack’. Developers can struggle choosing their tools and configuring their environment optimally. This is an area ConsenSys in particular and others through the ecosystem have focused on. In our series, we will take you through the layers of the blockchain stack and explain how the emerging tools can be integrated into existing development environments and frameworks, such as continuous integration, testing frameworks, automated deployment and devops.

Start giving thought to these issues now if you’re considering implementing blockchain at your organization. Stay tuned to hear more about the ConsenSys perspective on each of these pivotal issues. Together we can build your vision of a better way.

Want to learn more? Check out ConsenSys.net, the ConsenSys Media blog, and our weekly newsletter.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author above do not necessarily represent the views of Consensys AG. ConsenSys is a decentralized community with ConsenSys Media being a platform for members to freely express their diverse ideas and perspectives. To learn more about ConsenSys and Ethereum, please visit our website.



6 Questions to Ask When Considering Blockchain Solutions for Enterprise was originally published in ConsenSys Media on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

TheBeeToken TL:DR Version

As an investor in Quantstamp I follow Richard Ma as if my life depends on it, so I came across TheBeeToken, a decentralized platform for short-term housing rentals, where Richard is an advisor. Here are my thoughts:

Do we need such a thing

In one word — Yes. There are a few issues with the existing solutions today, and a blockchain platform has the potential to solve them all.

Centralized benefits — you can ask why would that be a problem? From the perspective of the platform itself there are 2 very good reasons:

  • Zero loyalty — I book a lot of nights, both for work and for vacation and its always a price game. AirBnB notably is showing you prices that are not adjusted for the number of lodgers and exclude service and transaction fees. I’m here to book a vacation, not to do math?! I like the interface of a platform so its my go-to place, but as soon as something better comes along its “so long”
  • No virality — sure when a new cool thing like AirBnB or Couchsurfing comes along you talk about it to your friends and send referrals here and there, but staying cool for a long time is an uphill battle

Giving back the benefits makes a lot of sense to tackle those two above, but more-over its good for the customers. When your user base is also HODLing your token there is a very clear alignement of incentives, plus you can leverage that sense of belonging that cross-fit has been banking on. A lot of banks in Europe started as cooperatives, and this is not by chance.

Transaction fees — don’t even get me started here. Its no wonder almost every hotel where I have stayed slides me a business card and says “call us directly next time”. In long term rentals the fees are apparently between 10 and 22% which is ridiculous! And lets face it remittance is a blockchain killer app and in blockchain terms can already be considered mature application.

But will people use crypto to save 5–10% on accommodation — heck yeah! Ok, I spoke too quickly, obviously this depends on the ease of interface and the wallet integration and a ton of other UX and UI aspects, but other things equal, for sure. Furthermore this saving will add a very tangible component to the community aspect discussed above and fight the skeptics saying this is a utopian view of “the company”…its not utopia, its more likely the next step in corporate evolution, but that’s a topic for another time.

Security and Trust — existing logging “marketplaces” hoard all type of customer information, from government IDs to credit card data. Trusting a centralized platform to handle a wealth of my personal data is becoming increasingly challenging in light of Uber news.

Another issue pertaining to trust is the quality of reviews. There is risk on both sides of the table — platforms like Yelp have reserved the right to remove and/or alter reviews, while providers of accommodation (or any other service at that matter) have sometimes faced blackmail by consumers under threat of bad reviews, especially early after joining a platform, when each individual rating is heavier.

Blockchain companies providing identity validation and payment verification have proven the capacity of the technology to tackle those issues. On top of that TheBeeToken adds immutable feedback and most importantly a clever and sophisticated dispute resolution mechanism.

So we established that blockchain has the capacity to tackle some of the challenges faced by long-term rentals and other service marketplace platforms — the opportunity is there.

Can TheBeeToken succeed

I sure hope so as I will be investing in the project! On paper the team seems to have a wealth of relevant experience both in the access economy and in bringing consumer products to the market. Coming with ample technical power and strong advisors I am quite optimistic. Really looking forward to having my more technical co-investors take a look at the beta prototype due later this year.

More

TheBeeToken’s whitepaper is pleasantly comprehensible for a non-tech guy like me. Unfortunately it introduced me to the concept of access economy, so I spent a lot of time reading about that, otherwise you would have enjoyed a longer and probably better article. For more:

Claps are appreciated!

TheBeeToken TL:DR Version

As an investor in Quantstamp I follow Richard Ma as if my life depends on it, so I came across TheBeeToken, a decentralized platform for short-term housing rentals, where Richard is an advisor. Here are my thoughts:

Do we need such a thing

In one word — Yes. There are a few issues with the existing solutions today, and a blockchain platform has the potential to solve them all.

Centralized benefits — you can ask why would that be a problem? From the perspective of the platform itself there are 2 very good reasons:

  • Zero loyalty — I book a lot of nights, both for work and for vacation and its always a price game. AirBnB notably is showing you prices that are not adjusted for the number of lodgers and exclude service and transaction fees. I’m here to book a vacation, not to do math?! I like the interface of a platform so its my go-to place, but as soon as something better comes along its “so long”
  • No virality — sure when a new cool thing like AirBnB or Couchsurfing comes along you talk about it to your friends and send referrals here and there, but staying cool for a long time is an uphill battle

Giving back the benefits makes a lot of sense to tackle those two above, but more-over its good for the customers. When your user base is also HODLing your token there is a very clear alignement of incentives, plus you can leverage that sense of belonging that cross-fit has been banking on. A lot of banks in Europe started as cooperatives, and this is not by chance.

Transaction fees — don’t even get me started here. Its no wonder almost every hotel where I have stayed slides me a business card and says “call us directly next time”. In long term rentals the fees are apparently between 10 and 22% which is ridiculous! And lets face it remittance is a blockchain killer app and in blockchain terms can already be considered mature application.

But will people use crypto to save 5–10% on accommodation — heck yeah! Ok, I spoke too quickly, obviously this depends on the ease of interface and the wallet integration and a ton of other UX and UI aspects, but other things equal, for sure. Furthermore this saving will add a very tangible component to the community aspect discussed above and fight the skeptics saying this is a utopian view of “the company”…its not utopia, its more likely the next step in corporate evolution, but that’s a topic for another time.

Security and Trust — existing logging “marketplaces” hoard all type of customer information, from government IDs to credit card data. Trusting a centralized platform to handle a wealth of my personal data is becoming increasingly challenging in light of Uber news.

Another issue pertaining to trust is the quality of reviews. There is risk on both sides of the table — platforms like Yelp have reserved the right to remove and/or alter reviews, while providers of accommodation (or any other service at that matter) have sometimes faced blackmail by consumers under threat of bad reviews, especially early after joining a platform, when each individual rating is heavier.

Blockchain companies providing identity validation and payment verification have proven the capacity of the technology to tackle those issues. On top of that TheBeeToken adds immutable feedback and most importantly a clever and sophisticated dispute resolution mechanism.

So we established that blockchain has the capacity to tackle some of the challenges faced by long-term rentals and other service marketplace platforms — the opportunity is there.

Can TheBeeToken succeed

I sure hope so as I will be investing in the project! On paper the team seems to have a wealth of relevant experience both in the access economy and in bringing consumer products to the market. Coming with ample technical power and strong advisors I am quite optimistic. Really looking forward to having my more technical co-investors take a look at the beta prototype due later this year.

More

TheBeeToken’s whitepaper is pleasantly comprehensible for a non-tech guy like me. Unfortunately it introduced me to the concept of access economy, so I spent a lot of time reading about that, otherwise you would have enjoyed a longer and probably better article. For more:

Claps are appreciated!

Building on Origin – Announcing our partnership with Bee Token

At Origin, our vision is to enable marketplace buyers and sellers to meet and transact freely on the blockchain without any intermediaries. We’re motivated by a deep desire to eliminate excessive transaction fees, reduce censorship, and reward early participants in the community with a voice and stake in the network.

To get there, we’re hard at work creating easy-to-use developer tools (our soon to be released javascript library) and user interfaces (our homegrown DApp) to effortlessly interact with the Ethereum blockchain. This will lay the foundation so that both individual suppliers and established businesses can quickly do business with potential buyers without centralized middlemen.

Of course, no platform is complete without its partners and developers. Today, we are pleased to announce that we will be working with The Bee Token as our first announced DApp partner. The Bee Token will be building on the Origin platform to pursue one of the most commonly talked about use cases for the blockchain, decentralized short-term rentals.

Josh and I first met Jon and Tony from The Bee Token a few months ago and quickly realized we were on the fast track to working together. We were impressed by the caliber of their team and their ambitious vision to dethrone market incumbents like Airbnb and HomeAway. Going forward, we’re looking forward to collaborating on challenging projects like identity, reputation, reviews, listing discovery, and more. Through our partnership, we hope to build the decentralized home-sharing marketplace of tomorrow.

We’re thrilled to announce this partnership (and many more) in the coming months!

Check out The Bee Token at www.thebeetoken.com. Learn more about Origin Protocol at www.originprotocol.com.

If you are a developer looking to build a decentralized marketplace or a traditional business that wants to migrate to the blockchain, get in touch at info@originprotocol.com.



Building on Origin – Announcing our partnership with Bee Token was originally published in OriginProtocol on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Simplifying Omega One

Simplifying the Omega One Whitepaper

Here we’ll quickly breakdown what Omega One is and the system’s consensus protocol, potential vulnerabilities, and projected future state — all straight from the white paper in a way we call can understand!

Note: You can access my annotated version of the white paper here. These notes have been compiled from the most crucial descriptive aspects of Omega One’s technical stack/environment.

What is Omega One?

Omega One is a decentralized exchange platform that strives to solve the problems of crypto market illiquidity, fragmentation, trade cost inefficiency, and security. Omega One solves these problems by providing traders, investors and institutions with a decentralized automated trade execution system that intelligently implements their trades across the world’s crypto exchanges, shielding them from counter-party risk and reducing their costs of trading.

Problems of Crypto Trading Markets

  • A lack of liquidity, causing realized costs of trading to be often many times higher than published commissions and fees. Liquidity is the ability of a market to absorb transactions without a change in price. The total value of even the BTC and ETH asset classes are still much lower than traditional markets and are considerably fragmented.
    across many exchanges. Here’s an example:

For instance, buying $1m worth of EUR vs USD tends to move the price by ~0.01%, while buying $1m of ETH vs BTC will move the price by 1%-10% depending on conditions, or 100-1000 times the most liquid traditional markets. This can cost traders up to 25 times as much as the published exchange fees, but since the extra costs are hidden in the price of the purchased asset they are often not fully accounted for. (Omega One White Paper)

  • A lack of security, in which the most liquid transparent venues come with risk of loss due to hacking. All production exchanges are centralized, and open to hacking.
  • A lack of transparency into the actual costs of trading. Until there are trading services that provide transaction cost benchmarking and analytics to these institutions, they will be obstructed from trading in this asset class, hindering the maturation of crypto markets.

Omega One Architecture/Features

The Omega One Architecture is compartmentalized into the following 6 components

  1. User Interface/API of the platform
  2. Omega One Wallet — Holds members funds in a decentralized, trustless and non-custodial portfolio and locks member funds within the wallet when making trades on the platform
  3. Omega Private Exchange — Internally matches parent orders. Such matching is a part of an automated trade execution service that matches our member’s orders, offloads unmatched liquidity onto public exchanges via a trading engine, and settles directly onto multiple blockchains.
  4. Trading Engine — Assesses overall liquidity across exchanges given the net order its received from the private exchange. Based on zed assessment, it will break chunks of the “Net Order” into “Child Orders” that represent a timeslice of executable liquidity demand for each pair at a given moment. That “Child Order” is then further broken down into “Street Orders” that are the actual orders executed on each exchange (these can be placed as limit orders, market orders, or other order types depending on how the trading logic can best optimize market liquidity).
  5. Balance Sheet Manager — Omega One requires a significant balance sheet in order to harvest liquidity from the marketplace and trustlessly serve it up to our members in the Omega Private Exchange. At a minimum, Omega One needs to keep at least enough funds on all exchanges, across all assets, in order to perform the trades required to satisfy all open Net Orders.

Additionally, here are some standout aspects of the platform:

  • High level of interoperability between blockchains (and their respective overlying tokens)
  • Protocol is mediated by the Omega Token (OMT), a cryptographic token that provides membership access and can be used to pay trading fees.
  • Higher OMT balances correlate to preferential liquidity treatment and discounted trading fees.
  • Omega One will provide enhanced security by intermediating between blockchain wallets and on- or off-chain exchanges with our own balance sheet, shielding our members from risk.
  • Omega One will provide enhanced transparency by providing benchmarking and analytics of transaction costs to our members, to allow them to audit the market impact of their trading.
  • Liquidity transaction flow of Omega One (pg. 9):

The Omega One Token Economy

  • OMT is an Ethereum (ERC20) tradable asset.
  • Tokens will be sold to members initially in a token auction, and then after launch on an ongoing basis.

Economic Model

  • NEO has two native tokens, NEO (abbreviated symbol NEO) and NeoGas (abbreviated symbol GAS).
  • Total Token Volume: 100 million tokens (represents the right to manage the network). Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes, and so on. The minimum unit of NEO is 1 and tokens cannot be subdivided.
  • GAS is the fuel token for the realization of NEO network resource control, with a maximum total limit of 100 million. The minimum unit of GAS is 0.00000001.
  • Token distribution follows decay algorithm in about 22 years time to address holding NEO.

Omega One Token/Gas Distribution Mechanism

  • NEO’s 100 million tokens is divided into two portions. (1st 50M to token sale supporters of NEO, 2nd 50M goes to NEO Council to support NEO’s long-term development, operation and maintenance and ecosystem w/ 1 year vesting period)

GAS Distribution

  • GAS is generated with each new block. The initial total amount of GAS is zero. With the increasing rate of new block generation, the total limit of 100 million GAS will be achieved in about 22 years. The interval between each block is about 15–20 seconds, and 2 million blocks are generated in about one year.

Omega One Consensus Protocol

  • Velocity Engine — The Velocity Engine takes the NetOrder (6) in each Pair.Direction and manages how fast it is traded (size/time).
  • Execution Engine — While the Velocity Engine is responsible for deciding how much size s of a given NetOrder should be traded in a given time t, the Execution Engine is responsible for trading that slice of the NetOrder most efficiently within that time.

Potential Vulnerabilities

  • Velocity Engine is developed poorly and project’s trades cannot scale
  • Execution Engine is developed poorly and project’s trades cannot scale
  • The functionality of the exchange is dependent on the centralized exchanges it is placing orders on. So if credible exchanges get hacked that Omega One uses — it has less liquidity to pull from
  • Omega One’s broker accounts on centralized exchanges (so that it can settle trades more quickly without transferring your money all the way to the many exchanges your trade is settling on) will be subject to attacks and have limited security (limited to the exchange team’s security practices)
    This is a huge technical obstacle to overcome when it comes to Omega’s risk management and protocol centralization — fronting costs on centralized exchanges to ensure the security of trader funds is risky at this stage (see pg.12 in white paper)
  • Most of funding going into counterbalance funds for trading (pg. 33)

Simplifying Omega One

Simplifying the Omega One Whitepaper

Here we’ll quickly breakdown what Omega One is and the system’s consensus protocol, potential vulnerabilities, and projected future state — all straight from the white paper in a way we call can understand!

Note: You can access my annotated version of the white paper here. These notes have been compiled from the most crucial descriptive aspects of Omega One’s technical stack/environment.

What is Omega One?

Omega One is a decentralized exchange platform that strives to solve the problems of crypto market illiquidity, fragmentation, trade cost inefficiency, and security. Omega One solves these problems by providing traders, investors and institutions with a decentralized automated trade execution system that intelligently implements their trades across the world’s crypto exchanges, shielding them from counter-party risk and reducing their costs of trading.

Problems of Crypto Trading Markets

  • A lack of liquidity, causing realized costs of trading to be often many times higher than published commissions and fees. Liquidity is the ability of a market to absorb transactions without a change in price. The total value of even the BTC and ETH asset classes are still much lower than traditional markets and are considerably fragmented.
    across many exchanges. Here’s an example:

For instance, buying $1m worth of EUR vs USD tends to move the price by ~0.01%, while buying $1m of ETH vs BTC will move the price by 1%-10% depending on conditions, or 100-1000 times the most liquid traditional markets. This can cost traders up to 25 times as much as the published exchange fees, but since the extra costs are hidden in the price of the purchased asset they are often not fully accounted for. (Omega One White Paper)

  • A lack of security, in which the most liquid transparent venues come with risk of loss due to hacking. All production exchanges are centralized, and open to hacking.
  • A lack of transparency into the actual costs of trading. Until there are trading services that provide transaction cost benchmarking and analytics to these institutions, they will be obstructed from trading in this asset class, hindering the maturation of crypto markets.

Omega One Architecture/Features

The Omega One Architecture is compartmentalized into the following 6 components

  1. User Interface/API of the platform
  2. Omega One Wallet — Holds members funds in a decentralized, trustless and non-custodial portfolio and locks member funds within the wallet when making trades on the platform
  3. Omega Private Exchange — Internally matches parent orders. Such matching is a part of an automated trade execution service that matches our member’s orders, offloads unmatched liquidity onto public exchanges via a trading engine, and settles directly onto multiple blockchains.
  4. Trading Engine — Assesses overall liquidity across exchanges given the net order its received from the private exchange. Based on zed assessment, it will break chunks of the “Net Order” into “Child Orders” that represent a timeslice of executable liquidity demand for each pair at a given moment. That “Child Order” is then further broken down into “Street Orders” that are the actual orders executed on each exchange (these can be placed as limit orders, market orders, or other order types depending on how the trading logic can best optimize market liquidity).
  5. Balance Sheet Manager — Omega One requires a significant balance sheet in order to harvest liquidity from the marketplace and trustlessly serve it up to our members in the Omega Private Exchange. At a minimum, Omega One needs to keep at least enough funds on all exchanges, across all assets, in order to perform the trades required to satisfy all open Net Orders.

Additionally, here are some standout aspects of the platform:

  • High level of interoperability between blockchains (and their respective overlying tokens)
  • Protocol is mediated by the Omega Token (OMT), a cryptographic token that provides membership access and can be used to pay trading fees.
  • Higher OMT balances correlate to preferential liquidity treatment and discounted trading fees.
  • Omega One will provide enhanced security by intermediating between blockchain wallets and on- or off-chain exchanges with our own balance sheet, shielding our members from risk.
  • Omega One will provide enhanced transparency by providing benchmarking and analytics of transaction costs to our members, to allow them to audit the market impact of their trading.
  • Liquidity transaction flow of Omega One (pg. 9):

The Omega One Token Economy

  • OMT is an Ethereum (ERC20) tradable asset.
  • Tokens will be sold to members initially in a token auction, and then after launch on an ongoing basis.

Economic Model

  • NEO has two native tokens, NEO (abbreviated symbol NEO) and NeoGas (abbreviated symbol GAS).
  • Total Token Volume: 100 million tokens (represents the right to manage the network). Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes, and so on. The minimum unit of NEO is 1 and tokens cannot be subdivided.
  • GAS is the fuel token for the realization of NEO network resource control, with a maximum total limit of 100 million. The minimum unit of GAS is 0.00000001.
  • Token distribution follows decay algorithm in about 22 years time to address holding NEO.

Omega One Token/Gas Distribution Mechanism

  • NEO’s 100 million tokens is divided into two portions. (1st 50M to token sale supporters of NEO, 2nd 50M goes to NEO Council to support NEO’s long-term development, operation and maintenance and ecosystem w/ 1 year vesting period)

GAS Distribution

  • GAS is generated with each new block. The initial total amount of GAS is zero. With the increasing rate of new block generation, the total limit of 100 million GAS will be achieved in about 22 years. The interval between each block is about 15–20 seconds, and 2 million blocks are generated in about one year.

Omega One Consensus Protocol

  • Velocity Engine — The Velocity Engine takes the NetOrder (6) in each Pair.Direction and manages how fast it is traded (size/time).
  • Execution Engine — While the Velocity Engine is responsible for deciding how much size s of a given NetOrder should be traded in a given time t, the Execution Engine is responsible for trading that slice of the NetOrder most efficiently within that time.

Potential Vulnerabilities

  • Velocity Engine is developed poorly and project’s trades cannot scale
  • Execution Engine is developed poorly and project’s trades cannot scale
  • The functionality of the exchange is dependent on the centralized exchanges it is placing orders on. So if credible exchanges get hacked that Omega One uses — it has less liquidity to pull from
  • Omega One’s broker accounts on centralized exchanges (so that it can settle trades more quickly without transferring your money all the way to the many exchanges your trade is settling on) will be subject to attacks and have limited security (limited to the exchange team’s security practices)
    This is a huge technical obstacle to overcome when it comes to Omega’s risk management and protocol centralization — fronting costs on centralized exchanges to ensure the security of trader funds is risky at this stage (see pg.12 in white paper)
  • Most of funding going into counterbalance funds for trading (pg. 33)

We are developing an open public permissioned blockchain platform for managing IP rights in music…

We are developing an open public permissioned blockchain platform for managing IP rights in music and ICO platform for musicians and authors

It allows artists to tokenize their tracks, sell music tokens to fans and investors, grant commercial licenses for their music via integrated licensing marketplace and automatically receive royalties, distributed among all holders of track tokens via smart-contracts.

Users of the platform can invest in music and become co-owners of tracks by purchasing track tokens, thus being entitled to receive a share of all royalties from track licensing and to participate in track governance by voting with their track tokens.

All of the transactions in the system are made in Musereum tokens — ETM — that will be available for purchasing at selected exchanges, via fiat gateway from our website or directly from us during the token sale.

Artists and other platform users will be able to get necessary services from third-party providers (rights-clearing, promotion, video production, etc.) that can be paid for with ETM.

In order to gain public recognition, as well as to attract artists to our platform, a streaming solution — Soundchain — will enable private users to stream music from the platform free of charge, while every time the music is listened to, holders of track tokens will receive remuneration in ETM from the platform.
Our project will operate on a five-sided market, uniting artists, investors, service providers, business users and listeners in one ecosystem.

Why are we doing this?

We can help music industry overcome several major problems.

It is difficult to find information on who owns what — and that makes it harder to use music without infringing someone?s copyright.

Our blockchain being a unified database with the immutable history of all transactions will provide automatically updated information on the attribution of rights.

Transactions of all kinds (money, rights, licenses, etc.) within the industry are rarely transparent — and that creates incentive for fraudulent behaviour.

A blockchain solution makes it possible to make all of the transactions transparent and verifiable — and that makes fraudulent behaviour unreasonable.

Lots of interconnected intermediaries with complex relations between them makes it hard for rights holders to manage and control their IP.

Use of smart-contracts and automation eliminates some of the links in the value while providing a unified and versatile tool for rights holders to

Since the structure is complex and obscure, a lot of value is lost — undistributed royalties end up in black boxes, uncleared rights can be neither assigned not licensed.

With the databases of the granted licenses and of the rights holders entitled to royalties from these licenses, distributing royalties and clearing rights will become a routine task.

Complicated value chains make monetizing music hard, because distribution of royalties can take years — so those who are able to pay advances obtain power over artists.

Smart-contracts automatically and instantly distributes royalties among all the token holders, eliminating the monetization lag inherent in the current system.

Furthermore, the crowdinvesting option enables artists to raise funds by sharing their rights with fans and investors — similar to record label deals, but on artist?s conditions.

The market power of the majors make for an oligopolic market, where individual artists are forced to enter into highly restraining deals in order to get paid and be promoted.

By creating a marketplace for service providers accepting ETM tokens, we enable artists to directly request only the services they need — be it promotion, video production or managerial advice — and stay independent from majors until they make a free and informed choice to ask for a specific service.

Most of the players in the industry utilize ancient approaches to every aspect of the business — endless approvals and tons of paperwork make negotiations lengthy and expensive.

Although the structure of relations may remain as complex as participants choose it to be, traceable transactions and unified voting mechanics facilitate negotiations among network participants and provides for easier governance experience.

Thus we believe that our project can greatly increase efficiency for most music industry participants, re-enabling competition in the music market and, as a side effect, creating secondary market for IP rights.

How does the system operate?

On the technical side we have a separate blockchain based on Ethereum that utilize a Proof-of-Authority consensus mechanism similar to that implemented by Oracles.org. We use technology developed by Parity and by Oracles Network, as well as our own developments.

Two types of tokens exist within the system — the main token, ETM, that is used as an internal currency for all of the transactions within the system, and track tokens that represent shares in IP rights for a specific track.

Track tokens will be generated for each track uploaded to the platform and will be distributed among rights holders according to the metadata provided by the uploader. These tokens can be further distributed by the rights holders, who will thereby assign a proportional share of the IP rights belonging to them to the new token holder.

A token holder or a group of token holders that own 100% of tokens for a specific track constitute a DAL — a decentralized autonomous label. All of the royalties paid through the system are automatically distributed among DAL members according to the number of track tokens they hold at the time the royalty is being paid. If a member of a DAL license the music through traditional channels and the royalties are paid in fiat money, he is legally obliged to transmit a share of the royalty proportional to a share of the track tokens held by the other members of the DAL to the bank account of the Musereum operating company, that will use this money to buy ETM tokens and will distribute them among all of the other holders of track tokens. Members of the DAL can vote for specific use of the track and possible licensing terms via the Voting Dapp with the number of votes proportional to the number of tokens they hold.

ETM token will be used as the main internal currency — to buy music tokens and invest in music ICOs, to pay for licenses at the licensing marketplace and to pay industry professionals for the services they render.

A fixed amount of 250,000,000 ETM tokens is generated with the launch of the platform, and additional 25,000,000 ETM will be generated every year. ETM tokens will be initially sold to the public during the token sale, and will be traded at selected cryptocurrency exchanges after that. A fiat gateway will be introduced later for the network participants (corporations mainly) who are unwilling to deal with the crypto stuff.

How to find out more about the project?

If you are interested in the Musereum project, please visit our website, join our Telegram community and Q&A chat, subscribe to our Twitter and Facebook.

Feel free to read our White Paper and FAQ and stay tuned for the further news!

We are developing an open public permissioned blockchain platform for managing IP rights in music…

We are developing an open public permissioned blockchain platform for managing IP rights in music and ICO platform for musicians and authors

It allows artists to tokenize their tracks, sell music tokens to fans and investors, grant commercial licenses for their music via integrated licensing marketplace and automatically receive royalties, distributed among all holders of track tokens via smart-contracts.

Users of the platform can invest in music and become co-owners of tracks by purchasing track tokens, thus being entitled to receive a share of all royalties from track licensing and to participate in track governance by voting with their track tokens.

All of the transactions in the system are made in Musereum tokens — ETM — that will be available for purchasing at selected exchanges, via fiat gateway from our website or directly from us during the token sale.

Artists and other platform users will be able to get necessary services from third-party providers (rights-clearing, promotion, video production, etc.) that can be paid for with ETM.

In order to gain public recognition, as well as to attract artists to our platform, a streaming solution — Soundchain — will enable private users to stream music from the platform free of charge, while every time the music is listened to, holders of track tokens will receive remuneration in ETM from the platform.
Our project will operate on a five-sided market, uniting artists, investors, service providers, business users and listeners in one ecosystem.

Why are we doing this?

We can help music industry overcome several major problems.

It is difficult to find information on who owns what — and that makes it harder to use music without infringing someone?s copyright.

Our blockchain being a unified database with the immutable history of all transactions will provide automatically updated information on the attribution of rights.

Transactions of all kinds (money, rights, licenses, etc.) within the industry are rarely transparent — and that creates incentive for fraudulent behaviour.

A blockchain solution makes it possible to make all of the transactions transparent and verifiable — and that makes fraudulent behaviour unreasonable.

Lots of interconnected intermediaries with complex relations between them makes it hard for rights holders to manage and control their IP.

Use of smart-contracts and automation eliminates some of the links in the value while providing a unified and versatile tool for rights holders to

Since the structure is complex and obscure, a lot of value is lost — undistributed royalties end up in black boxes, uncleared rights can be neither assigned not licensed.

With the databases of the granted licenses and of the rights holders entitled to royalties from these licenses, distributing royalties and clearing rights will become a routine task.

Complicated value chains make monetizing music hard, because distribution of royalties can take years — so those who are able to pay advances obtain power over artists.

Smart-contracts automatically and instantly distributes royalties among all the token holders, eliminating the monetization lag inherent in the current system.

Furthermore, the crowdinvesting option enables artists to raise funds by sharing their rights with fans and investors — similar to record label deals, but on artist?s conditions.

The market power of the majors make for an oligopolic market, where individual artists are forced to enter into highly restraining deals in order to get paid and be promoted.

By creating a marketplace for service providers accepting ETM tokens, we enable artists to directly request only the services they need — be it promotion, video production or managerial advice — and stay independent from majors until they make a free and informed choice to ask for a specific service.

Most of the players in the industry utilize ancient approaches to every aspect of the business — endless approvals and tons of paperwork make negotiations lengthy and expensive.

Although the structure of relations may remain as complex as participants choose it to be, traceable transactions and unified voting mechanics facilitate negotiations among network participants and provides for easier governance experience.

Thus we believe that our project can greatly increase efficiency for most music industry participants, re-enabling competition in the music market and, as a side effect, creating secondary market for IP rights.

How does the system operate?

On the technical side we have a separate blockchain based on Ethereum that utilize a Proof-of-Authority consensus mechanism similar to that implemented by Oracles.org. We use technology developed by Parity and by Oracles Network, as well as our own developments.

Two types of tokens exist within the system — the main token, ETM, that is used as an internal currency for all of the transactions within the system, and track tokens that represent shares in IP rights for a specific track.

Track tokens will be generated for each track uploaded to the platform and will be distributed among rights holders according to the metadata provided by the uploader. These tokens can be further distributed by the rights holders, who will thereby assign a proportional share of the IP rights belonging to them to the new token holder.

A token holder or a group of token holders that own 100% of tokens for a specific track constitute a DAL — a decentralized autonomous label. All of the royalties paid through the system are automatically distributed among DAL members according to the number of track tokens they hold at the time the royalty is being paid. If a member of a DAL license the music through traditional channels and the royalties are paid in fiat money, he is legally obliged to transmit a share of the royalty proportional to a share of the track tokens held by the other members of the DAL to the bank account of the Musereum operating company, that will use this money to buy ETM tokens and will distribute them among all of the other holders of track tokens. Members of the DAL can vote for specific use of the track and possible licensing terms via the Voting Dapp with the number of votes proportional to the number of tokens they hold.

ETM token will be used as the main internal currency — to buy music tokens and invest in music ICOs, to pay for licenses at the licensing marketplace and to pay industry professionals for the services they render.

A fixed amount of 250,000,000 ETM tokens is generated with the launch of the platform, and additional 25,000,000 ETM will be generated every year. ETM tokens will be initially sold to the public during the token sale, and will be traded at selected cryptocurrency exchanges after that. A fiat gateway will be introduced later for the network participants (corporations mainly) who are unwilling to deal with the crypto stuff.

How to find out more about the project?

If you are interested in the Musereum project, please visit our website, join our Telegram community and Q&A chat, subscribe to our Twitter and Facebook.

Feel free to read our White Paper and FAQ and stay tuned for the further news!

De Ultieme Introductie tot Blockchain

Click here for the English version of this article


bron: cointelegraph.com

De afgelopen weken krijg ik steeds meer vragen van familie en vrienden over blockchain en cryptocurrencies, al helemaal sinds Bitcoin overal in het nieuws is. Het is nogal een ingewikkeld onderwerp en erg lastig uit te leggen, dus ik heb besloten om erover te gaan schrijven.

Voor de komende weken zal ik korte artikelen schrijven over blockchain technologie en haar praktische toepassingsmogelijkheden. Dit eerste artikel uit die serie dient als introductie tot de basisconcepten, dus ik heb het zo simpel mogelijk gehouden.

“Deniz, wat is blockchain? Kan ik het eten?”

Nee, je kan blockchain niet eten maar het is wel één van de grootste technologische innovaties sinds de komst van het internet, met de potentie om vele sectoren te transformeren. De eerste toepassing van blockchain technologie was Bitcoin; wat bestaat sinds 2008 en bedoeld was als een elektronisch betaalsysteem zonder centrale autoriteit (zoals een bank). Bitcoin was een revolutionair concept, maar de potentie van de achterliggende technologie gaat veel verder dan alleen geld en betalingen. Tegenwoordig zijn er duizenden projecten die gebruik maken van blockchain technologie, veel daarvan een stuk interessanter dan Bitcoin.

“Oké, maar welk probleem lost het op?”

Het probleem dat blockchain probeert op te lossen is digitaal vertrouwen. Met het internet kunnen we alles met iedereen delen, maar op dat moment sturen we elkaar eigenlijk een kopie van het originele bestand. Dit is prima als het gaat om familiefoto’s of kattenfilmpjes, maar wat als ik je iets wil sturen dat niet gekopieerd mag worden? Als ik jou een concertkaartje stuur; hoe garandeer ik jou dat ik het digitale bestand daarna niet meer bezit? Momenteel gebruiken we daarvoor betrouwbare derde partijen, die garanderen dat we niet dubbel kunnen uitgeven. Banken beheren bijvoorbeeld onze rekeningen, zodat ik exact dezelfde €100 niet twee keer kan uitgeven, net zoals Ticketswap voorkomt dat ik mijn verkochte concertkaartje niet alsnog kan gebruiken.

“Maar waarom zouden we het huidige systeem willen veranderen? We hebben toch al die bedrijven om ons hiermee te helpen?”

Het antwoord op je vraag is elke dag in het nieuws te vinden; Derde partijen kunnen frauderen, kunnen fouten maken, kunnen worden gehacked en zijn ten slotte erg inefficient. Wat als we alles onderling zouden kunnen regelen — zender en ontvanger — zonder al die tussenpartijen? Dat is één van de beloftes van blockchain: een gedecentralizeerde samenleving.

“Blockchain klinkt best interessant! Maar waar hebben we het eigenlijk over? Is het een nieuwe smartphone?”

Een blockchain is een datastructuur. Zie het als een soort wereldwijde databank zonder centraal eigenaarschap en zonder centrale servers. In plaats daarvan bezit iedereen op het netwerk een kopie van de data en kan iedereen aanpassingen aan de data voorstellen. De data wordt alleen aangepast als de meeste gebruikers op het netwerk de wijziging goedkeuren. Verschillende blockchain platforms kunnen deze “globale databanken” op verscheidene wijzen gebruiken. Een van de meest eenvoudige toepassingen is die van Bitcoin; die “databank” is niets meer dan een eeuwig-groeiende lijst van transacties (een soort digitaal grootboek).

“Dus iedereen bezit een kopie van de hele databank? Is dat niet super inefficient en kostbaar?”

Goede vraag! Dit is waarom men— voor nu — niet alles op een blockchain op wilt slaan, maar alleen de “gevoelige” data (data die eigenlijk onveranderbaar zou moeten zijn zonder dat alle belanghebbenden hiermee instemmen). Gevoelige data kan bijvoorbeeld te maken hebben met identiteit, eigenaarschap, geldtransacties, herkomst, etc.

In de nabije toekomst wordt het misschien alsnog mogelijk om grote bestanden te kunnen verwerken met blockchains, zoals grote filmbestanden en online videogames. Er zijn momenteel allerlei ontwikkelingen gaande omtrent de schaalbaarheid van blockchain technologie, maar ik zal hier niet in detail treden.

“Oké, ik begin het langzaamaan te begrijpen! En veiligheid dan? Waarom is een blockchain veiliger dan een normale databank?”

Zoals ik al eerder aangaf: Iedereen op een blockchain netwerk beschikt over een kopie van de data. Wanneer iemand binnen het netwerk een verandering wilt aanbrengen — bijvoorbeeld door een nieuwe transactie aan te maken — wordt deze verandering naar alle andere partijen op het netwerk verzonden, maar alleen geaccepteerd als de meerderheid de verandering als valide beschouwt. Hierdoor wordt het heel moeilijk om frauduleuze aanpassingen door te voeren, omdat het een afwijking met de rest van het netwerk veroorzaakt.


Ja; het is ingewikkeld. (bron: BT global services)

Hier is ook waar “block” in blockchain naar voren komt. Om de paar minuten worden alle nieuwe veranderingen gebundeld in een blok, welke wordt beveiligd met cryptografie. Dit blok wordt — middels cryptografie — gekoppeld aan het vorige blok, welke weer is verbonden aan het blok daarvoor, etc. Dit creeërt een ijzersterk en eeuwig-groeiend register van wijzigingen in de databank. Des te langer deze “blok-ketting” is; des te moeilijker het wordt om te knoeien met de gegevens.

“Klinkt veelbelovend allemaal! Ik snap alleen nog niet hoe cryptomunten in dit verhaal passen… Waarom zou iemand in godsnaam duizenden euro’s betalen voor een bitcoin?”


bron: themerkle.com

Net zoals de “fiat valuta’s” die wij allemaal kennen en dagelijks gebruiken, zijn cryptomunten een ruilmiddel. Elke cryptovaluta kan geprogrammeerd worden om zijn eigen intrinsieke waarde te hebben binnen haar eigen netwerk. Je hebt bijvoorbeeld Ether (ETH) nodig om gebruik te kunnen maken van de rekenkracht van de Ethereum blockchain en banken hebben Lumens (XLM) nodig om gegevens uit te kunnen wisselen via de blockchain van Stellar. De hoeveelheid cryptomunten is ook programmeerbaar. In het geval van Bitcoin zullen er bijvoorbeeld nooit meer dan 21 miljoen bitcoins bestaan, waardoor sommigen het ook wel aanprijzen als “digitaal goud”.

Door een cryptovaluta te bezitten, ben je in zekere zin eigenaar van een deel van het achterliggende netwerk en kun je investeren in haar potentie. De marktwaarde van de meeste cryptovaluta’s zijn momenteel echter niet representatief voor de daadwerkelijke waarde van de projecten, omdat er enorm veel wordt gespeculeerd door handelaren. In een later artikel zal ik verder ingaan op cryptovaluta’s en het investeren hierin.

Wauw; je hebt het tot het einde volgehouden! Hopelijk helpt dit artikel je om de basisconcepten van blockchain technologie te begrijpen, want ik geloof oprecht dat deze technologie één van de drijvende transformatieve krachten binnen onze samenleving zal zijn. Ik hoor graag wat je van dit artikel vond; ookal is het alleen maar door op de “clap” knop hieronder te drukken.

Dit is het eerste artikel van een serie over blockchain technologie en cryptocurrencies. De komende weken zal ik schrijven over potentiele toepassingen en interessante projecten binnen het domein.

Mocht je vragen of onduidelijkheden hebben; voel je vrij om contact op te nemen. Ik help graag!

Peace and love.

Deniz

De Ultieme Introductie tot Blockchain

Click here for the English version of this article


bron: cointelegraph.com

De afgelopen weken krijg ik steeds meer vragen van familie en vrienden over blockchain en cryptocurrencies, al helemaal sinds Bitcoin overal in het nieuws is. Het is nogal een ingewikkeld onderwerp en erg lastig uit te leggen, dus ik heb besloten om erover te gaan schrijven.

Voor de komende weken zal ik korte artikelen schrijven over blockchain technologie en haar praktische toepassingsmogelijkheden. Dit eerste artikel uit die serie dient als introductie tot de basisconcepten, dus ik heb het zo simpel mogelijk gehouden.

“Deniz, wat is blockchain? Kan ik het eten?”

Nee, je kan blockchain niet eten maar het is wel één van de grootste technologische innovaties sinds de komst van het internet, met de potentie om vele sectoren te transformeren. De eerste toepassing van blockchain technologie was Bitcoin; wat bestaat sinds 2008 en bedoeld was als een elektronisch betaalsysteem zonder centrale autoriteit (zoals een bank). Bitcoin was een revolutionair concept, maar de potentie van de achterliggende technologie gaat veel verder dan alleen geld en betalingen. Tegenwoordig zijn er duizenden projecten die gebruik maken van blockchain technologie, veel daarvan een stuk interessanter dan Bitcoin.

“Oké, maar welk probleem lost het op?”

Het probleem dat blockchain probeert op te lossen is digitaal vertrouwen. Met het internet kunnen we alles met iedereen delen, maar op dat moment sturen we elkaar eigenlijk een kopie van het originele bestand. Dit is prima als het gaat om familiefoto’s of kattenfilmpjes, maar wat als ik je iets wil sturen dat niet gekopieerd mag worden? Als ik jou een concertkaartje stuur; hoe garandeer ik jou dat ik het digitale bestand daarna niet meer bezit? Momenteel gebruiken we daarvoor betrouwbare derde partijen, die garanderen dat we niet dubbel kunnen uitgeven. Banken beheren bijvoorbeeld onze rekeningen, zodat ik exact dezelfde €100 niet twee keer kan uitgeven, net zoals Ticketswap voorkomt dat ik mijn verkochte concertkaartje niet alsnog kan gebruiken.

“Maar waarom zouden we het huidige systeem willen veranderen? We hebben toch al die bedrijven om ons hiermee te helpen?”

Het antwoord op je vraag is elke dag in het nieuws te vinden; Derde partijen kunnen frauderen, kunnen fouten maken, kunnen worden gehacked en zijn ten slotte erg inefficient. Wat als we alles onderling zouden kunnen regelen — zender en ontvanger — zonder al die tussenpartijen? Dat is één van de beloftes van blockchain: een gedecentralizeerde samenleving.

“Blockchain klinkt best interessant! Maar waar hebben we het eigenlijk over? Is het een nieuwe smartphone?”

Een blockchain is een datastructuur. Zie het als een soort wereldwijde databank zonder centraal eigenaarschap en zonder centrale servers. In plaats daarvan bezit iedereen op het netwerk een kopie van de data en kan iedereen aanpassingen aan de data voorstellen. De data wordt alleen aangepast als de meeste gebruikers op het netwerk de wijziging goedkeuren. Verschillende blockchain platforms kunnen deze “globale databanken” op verscheidene wijzen gebruiken. Een van de meest eenvoudige toepassingen is die van Bitcoin; die “databank” is niets meer dan een eeuwig-groeiende lijst van transacties (een soort digitaal grootboek).

“Dus iedereen bezit een kopie van de hele databank? Is dat niet super inefficient en kostbaar?”

Goede vraag! Dit is waarom men— voor nu — niet alles op een blockchain op wilt slaan, maar alleen de “gevoelige” data (data die eigenlijk onveranderbaar zou moeten zijn zonder dat alle belanghebbenden hiermee instemmen). Gevoelige data kan bijvoorbeeld te maken hebben met identiteit, eigenaarschap, geldtransacties, herkomst, etc.

In de nabije toekomst wordt het misschien alsnog mogelijk om grote bestanden te kunnen verwerken met blockchains, zoals grote filmbestanden en online videogames. Er zijn momenteel allerlei ontwikkelingen gaande omtrent de schaalbaarheid van blockchain technologie, maar ik zal hier niet in detail treden.

“Oké, ik begin het langzaamaan te begrijpen! En veiligheid dan? Waarom is een blockchain veiliger dan een normale databank?”

Zoals ik al eerder aangaf: Iedereen op een blockchain netwerk beschikt over een kopie van de data. Wanneer iemand binnen het netwerk een verandering wilt aanbrengen — bijvoorbeeld door een nieuwe transactie aan te maken — wordt deze verandering naar alle andere partijen op het netwerk verzonden, maar alleen geaccepteerd als de meerderheid de verandering als valide beschouwt. Hierdoor wordt het heel moeilijk om frauduleuze aanpassingen door te voeren, omdat het een afwijking met de rest van het netwerk veroorzaakt.


Ja; het is ingewikkeld. (bron: BT global services)

Hier is ook waar “block” in blockchain naar voren komt. Om de paar minuten worden alle nieuwe veranderingen gebundeld in een blok, welke wordt beveiligd met cryptografie. Dit blok wordt — middels cryptografie — gekoppeld aan het vorige blok, welke weer is verbonden aan het blok daarvoor, etc. Dit creeërt een ijzersterk en eeuwig-groeiend register van wijzigingen in de databank. Des te langer deze “blok-ketting” is; des te moeilijker het wordt om te knoeien met de gegevens.

“Klinkt veelbelovend allemaal! Ik snap alleen nog niet hoe cryptomunten in dit verhaal passen… Waarom zou iemand in godsnaam duizenden euro’s betalen voor een bitcoin?”


bron: themerkle.com

Net zoals de “fiat valuta’s” die wij allemaal kennen en dagelijks gebruiken, zijn cryptomunten een ruilmiddel. Elke cryptovaluta kan geprogrammeerd worden om zijn eigen intrinsieke waarde te hebben binnen haar eigen netwerk. Je hebt bijvoorbeeld Ether (ETH) nodig om gebruik te kunnen maken van de rekenkracht van de Ethereum blockchain en banken hebben Lumens (XLM) nodig om gegevens uit te kunnen wisselen via de blockchain van Stellar. De hoeveelheid cryptomunten is ook programmeerbaar. In het geval van Bitcoin zullen er bijvoorbeeld nooit meer dan 21 miljoen bitcoins bestaan, waardoor sommigen het ook wel aanprijzen als “digitaal goud”.

Door een cryptovaluta te bezitten, ben je in zekere zin eigenaar van een deel van het achterliggende netwerk en kun je investeren in haar potentie. De marktwaarde van de meeste cryptovaluta’s zijn momenteel echter niet representatief voor de daadwerkelijke waarde van de projecten, omdat er enorm veel wordt gespeculeerd door handelaren. In een later artikel zal ik verder ingaan op cryptovaluta’s en het investeren hierin.

Wauw; je hebt het tot het einde volgehouden! Hopelijk helpt dit artikel je om de basisconcepten van blockchain technologie te begrijpen, want ik geloof oprecht dat deze technologie één van de drijvende transformatieve krachten binnen onze samenleving zal zijn. Ik hoor graag wat je van dit artikel vond; ookal is het alleen maar door op de “clap” knop hieronder te drukken.

Dit is het eerste artikel van een serie over blockchain technologie en cryptocurrencies. De komende weken zal ik schrijven over potentiele toepassingen en interessante projecten binnen het domein.

Mocht je vragen of onduidelijkheden hebben; voel je vrij om contact op te nemen. Ik help graag!

Peace and love.

Deniz

EVACOIN BLOCKCHAIN BI SOLUTION POWERED by CROWD INSIGHT

EVACOIN — invest your money and experience to expand modern and fully transparent business with a three-year history and management system powered by blockchain.

Using insight of our partners-investors and fully transparent streamlined business system we follow simple and rational way to increase a production efficiency to get a powerful competitive edge.

PREFACE

We have built our business based on our beliefs, ethics and philosophy. Transparency is the foundation of our business.
Every member of our team has unique background and skills which boost your business to new achievements on a daily base.
We do not have a “star team” which could “solve all the troubles”. We are ordinary hard-working people with ambitious plans. We know exactly what we want and how to achieve it.

Evabonbons Team

AMBITION

  • We create a modern business model. Transparent efficient and flexible.
  • Think about it, that every token holder will be able to monitor and control all business processes, including production and financial flows online, and participate in the solution of any raised issues.
  • We selected our own business operated in the restaurant industry for the implementation of the idea into reality.
  • Our model is a fundamentally new level of confidence in business and the opportunity to realize the most daring and inovative ideas.
  • We belive that future will be built on trust.

Build this future with us!

What is EVABONBONS:

Today we are the pastry business and brand with a three-year history, a spacious modern confectionery manufactory, own production of modern confectionery products according to the author’s recipes of the founder and pastry-chief Vera Osinina / operating pastry café in Moscow region / sweet delivery in Moscow.

Tomorrow — international pastry chain, managed by thousands investors from over the world through blockchain technology.

What is EVACOIN project

We are going to expand business and the experience of founders to the international markets using the principles of absolute transparency through financial and intellectual investments.

In fact we are going to develop financial management tool with a decentralized registry based on Ethereum blockchain which will be used in operating business.

To implement the project, we are going to create EVACOIN token through ICO on the Etherium platform, invest raised funds to expand business in local market, return funds by paying dividends to investors and initiate additional issue of tokens to expand business to the international markets. All token holders from the first round will get a bonus payment as a pleasure.

100% of the business operating profit will be used to pay dividends monthly through a smart contract.

EVACOIN offers you a chance to build with us useful and profitable business through innovation.

CHALLENGES

Just think about all the decisions that need to be made on a daily basis when operating a restaurant. And now think of how much uncertainty, guesswork, distorted information is behind almost every restaurant management routine.

POOR INFORMATIONAL SUPPLY

Investors are divorced from production and cannot correctly assess the state of affairs in business using only financial reports.

ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION

Usually, Investor do not have chance to influence business decisions because ideas could not be heard by CEO or other investors.

LACKING TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST

Mistrust between investors and management in conditions of non-transparent cash flow.

SMART INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT TOOL

Business development and management will be implemented through
the tool of group decision making (or Smart Investment Management Tool).

PRINCIPLES OF SIMT OPERATION:

  • All the information about the chain operation (cloud cash boxes, OPEX, purchase of ingredients, banks’ commissions, salary fund, taxes and levies, rental fee, utensils, promotion expenses, etc.) is available for analysis in SIMT
  • Access to SIMT will be provided to holders of EVACOIN tokens
  • Strategic Project roadmap of the chain with a high detalization degree in presented in SIMT
  • Investors (holders of EVACOIN tokens) can assess every item of Strategic Project roadmap, make their own alternative proposal/amendment and lobby proposals of other SIMT users
  • Decision making at the risk of your own capital is the guarantee of making a responsible, well considered decision
  • On condition a proposal made an investor is approved by a big number of users (holders of EVACOIN tokens), it is brought for consideration of CEO and the Company’s management
  • The sum-total of assessments of items of Strategic Development Plan of the Chain of Pastry Cafes form the integrated assessment of CEO and Company’s management activity every reporting period (one month). This will be an internal index of approval of the Company’s management operation
  • Key financial and management data is written to Ethereum based registry daily

With the help of SIMT an investor will get the opportunity to see all the processes from the inside, correctly evaluate the business potential, team’s operation and, most importantly, at any moment, impact the development of the business by proposing their alternative solution to a task after the support of the majority of users has been obtained. The IT tool, developed within the framework of the Project, is a “consigliere” in the business with opportunities of collective intelligence, diffusion of investors into the Project. Through this
tool, one SIMT user has the voting right and the opportunity to be heard by the majority. On condition there is transparency of internal technological and business processes, SIMT will not only allow to correct the faults made within the shortest possible period of time, but also suggest weighed strategic decisions for further development.

Applying SIMT, the level of trust to the Project will be equal to 100%, that will allow to raise therequired amounts in order to achieve the set targets, and the rate of development of the Project will be sweepingly fast.

EVACOIN is the foundation of a new business model with transparent financial, production and management processes powered by the great collaboration of investors and management as a team.

Returned loan will give you a trust you can’t buy.

We plan to fundraise in 3 steps, like a venture investments. We’re going to have a traction between all of them and everyone can see, that we make revenue and everyone will receive dividends monthly. That’s why we don’t try to get $5M right now. We don’t need this amount of money now. This money is necessary for further development of the business and we’ll get it when we’re going to scale.

ICO would be launched in a few steps:

Pre-sale (Dec 2017)

You can now apply to our PRE-SALE WHITELIST by email: tokensale@evabonbons.ru

Sales of only 4% from the total number of tokens. Cap — $25,000. Price 1EVA=$0.33
Conditions of investment at Pre-Sale stage: 100% bonus. Minimum amount of investment is 1 ETH.

The funds raised will be spent on advertising campaingh and marketing of the main round of ICO and EVABOBONS brand promotion.

ICO (Feb 2018)

Sales of 81% from the total number of tokens. Cap — $750,000. Price 1EVA=$0.33
Conditions of investment during the period of ICO: No bonus. Minimum amount of investment is 0.01 ETH.

The funds raised will be spent on construction of the chain consisting of 7 pastry cafes located in RF. Primary development of SIMT. EVABOBONS brand promotion.

Additional issue of EVACOIN (April 2019)

Cap ~ $5,000,000.

The funds raised will be spent on expanding the business, entering international markets and sales of franchises, development of SIMT.

EVACOIN ECONOMY

  • Investment payback period is equal to 20 month. For pre-ICO or early ICO investers estimated period is less than 20 months.
  • Annual dividends from operational activity can reach up to 100% after a planned rate of the revenue is reached.

THE FORECAST OF FINANCIAL EFFICIENCY IS MADE ON THE BASE OF THE ECONOMIC MODELING
Model incorporates market research and statistical data obtained over the years of work on the Project


Video has been made for Forbes in 2016. We are going to translate it as soon as possible

Join us at

1. ICO website http://en.tokensale.evabonbons.com
2. Pastry cafe website http://evabonbons.ru
3. Franchaise website http://franchise.evabonbons.ru/
4. Digital economic model https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bcgPvEsdjhpxw..
5. Instagram https://www.instagram.com/evabonbons/
6. Telegram chat https://t.me/evabonbons
7. Ru bitcointalk thread https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2238096.0
8. En bitcointalk thread https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2497254.0

Articles:

https://medium.com/@skvortsovim
https://golos.io/@skvortsovim

DESCROW Sebuah Revolusi Escrow Yang Terdecentralisasi

Halo bertemu lagi dengan saya Bangkecol. Kali ini saya akan mereview mengenai sistem rekber atau escrow yang menggunakan teknologi baru yang sangat simple namun sangat membantu, Descrow namanya.

Descrow adalah sebuah sistem escrow(rekber) pihak ketiga untuk membantu transaksi anda secara aman dan terkendali. Sistem escrow muncul untuk menghindari penyalahgunaan hak dan juga mengamankan resiko dari penipuan. Hal ini sangat dibutuhkan untuk zaman sekarang, dengan sistem yang lebih bagus terlahirnya sistem yang dinamakan DESCROW dengan sistem teknologi terbaru yaitu teknologi blockhain.

Misi dari Descrow sendiri iyalah untuk melindungi pemegang saham yang ikut tergabung dalam sebuah ICO agar lebih aman,ini dimaksudkan untuk menghilangkan rasa ketidak percayaan bagi peserta yang ingin mengikuti sebuah ICO.

Bagaimana Sistem Descrow Bekerja ?

Aspek utama dari descrow iyalah untuk mengumpulkan dan menyimpan sejumlah dana yang akan digunakan untuk pendstribusian token dengan aman dan hal ini juga untuk menghindari kerugian yang tak terduga.

Platform akan terbagi menjadi tahap demi tahap dan dana yang sudah terkumpul akan dibekukan sementara waktu sampai batas waktu yang sudah ditentukan.

Investor berhak membeli token dari sebuah proyek ICO yang sudah terdaftar dengan Descrow dan investor akan mendapatkan token dari Descrow sejumlah yang dia beli, tanpa melalui developper sebuah proyek tersebut.

Semua dana yang belum diinvestasikan akan dibekukan dari pembatalan startup. Dana cadangan dalam platform Descrow digunakan untuk kompensasi parsial dana investor yang disumbangkan selama ICO berjalan.

Perjalanan Dan Perencanaan Proyek Descrow Di Masa Mendatang

Seperti yang sudah terlihat bahwa sistem ini dimulai pada bulan Mei tahun 2017 ini. sebagai model baru dan lebih mengutamakan tentang pengamanan sistem ICO di masa mendatang Descrow akan menjadi salah satu proyek yang akan menjadi proyek bagus di masa mendatang. Hal ini dikarenakan belum ada yang mempunyai konsep escrow menggunakan sistem blockhain yang terdesentralisasi.

Info Token Descrow

Saat ini Descrow sudah memulai menjual tokennya melalui ICO tepatnya mulai 29 November 2017 kemarin dan berakhir pada tanggal 27 Desember 2017 akhir tahun ini.

Symbol Dari Token Descrow adalah DES

token sistem yang digunakan menggunakan ERC2 standart,sistem yang sangat kompatible untuk banyak sistem lain jadi bukan hanya digunakan untuk satu jalan saja.

target dari ICO sebesar 66.666 ETH

Harga yang dipatok Descrow per token sebesar 0.001 ETH atau setara $0.30 per DES

Setiap minggu harga Ico akan naik sebesar 25% dan flatnya berada dikisara 0.00175 ETH per DES atau setara $0.525 untuk mendapatkan token tersebut.

Info lebih lanjut mengenai Descrow bisa dilihat disini

ANN

WEBSITE

WHITEPAPER

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Artikel ini dibuat oleh : Bangkecol

Profile Bitcointalk : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=924628

Contact Me :

email : arifnewbie39@gmail.com

Twitter : @agathafx

telegram : @bangkecol

A beginner’s guide to Zcash

What is Zcash?

According to the Zcash website,

“Zcash is the first open, permissionless cryptocurrency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography.”

Bitcoin is an open and permissionless cryptocurrency but there is a common misconception that bitcoin transactions are anonymous. A history of every bitcoin transaction is displayed on a public ledger called the blockchain. Sophisticated software can be used to determine who is responsible for a significant number of these transactions. In response to this lack of privacy, there have been a number of cryptocurrencies that have focused on adding privacy functionality. This post should help those who are new to Zcash to understand how it is different than other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Similarities and differences from Bitcoin

Zcash (ZEC) uses a new technology involving zero-knowledge proofs which allow one to prove something (e.g. prover owns greater than 10 ZEC) without requiring the prover to reveal any sensitive information (e.g. the total number of ZEC owned by prover). It gets its name from the fact that zero knowledge is revealed to the verifier in the process. The anonymous transactions produced from this technology are referred to as shielded transactions in Zcash.

This is in sharp contrast to Bitcoin where if your bitcoin address is ever shared publicly, anyone can view your balance and all other bitcoin addresses you have ever transacted with. Even if you don’t share your address publicly, companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic have built software that can de-anonymize your address if you have transacted with other addresses that are not anonymous. Imagine if everyone you knew, and even strangers, could know how much money you had in your bank account, and how you spent your money. Despite perfectly legitimate transactions, you likely do not want the entire world to know this information.


Bitcoin analysis provided by Elliptic. The image shows a web of transactions between tagged bitcoin addresses. Figuring out who made a specific bitcoin transaction is like finding a missing puzzle piece, it becomes easier as more of the puzzle has been put together.

Zcash and Bitcoin both have a total supply of 21 million units and are released through a process called mining. One unique aspect of Zcash is that the corporate development team (the Zcash Company, CEO Zooko Wilcox) and the non-profit Zcash Foundation (Chair of the Board, Andrew Miller), are funded directly from the blockchain. To achieve this, 20% of the mining reward for Zcash for the first 4 years goes to the stakeholders of the Zcash company (founders, employees, advisors, investors) resulting in 10% of the overall total supply. This “Founders’ Reward” provides funding and incentive-alignment for the continued support and improvement of Zcash.

Technology

Zcash uses a specific cutting edge form of zero knowledge verification called zk-SNARKs (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). This technology was pioneered by a number of researchers including professors Eli Ben-Sasson and Alessandro Chiesa.

Zcash allows for public and private transactions with the option for the user to selectively disclose information about their private transactions. Optional transparency can be beneficial for situations where an entity needs to be audited or submit information for tax purposes.

A user can share a “view key” with others to allow transaction details to be selectively viewed by certain individuals. This “view key” is separate from the “spend key” used to spend funds. This separation into two different keys ensures that one may allow a third party to view transaction details without allowing the viewer to spend all of their funds. Drawing an analogy to the existing financial system: the bank login information needed to access your funds is similar to a spend key while accessing a copy of your bank account statement is similar to a view key.

Zcash also provides encrypted memo fields, which allows a secret message to be sent from the sender to receiver. This can be compared to writing a note on a check but instead of anyone handling the check being able to see it, only the holder of the view key is able to. This can be used for a variety of purposes such as including a payment code or sending a message to the recipient.

Future Work

Zcash’s technology isn’t without limitations. Future work aims to address the main two limitations of zk-SNARKS — setup and computation.

The tradeoff to zk-SNARKs is that it requires the generation of public parameters where a group of individuals must perform a multi-party computation ceremony as part of the initial creation of Zcash. To maintain an accurate total of the Zcash monetary base you need to trust that at least one member in the group has successfully completed their part without being compromised. Note that this parameter does not affect Zcash privacy guarantees. Given this tradeoff, there is already research happening with a newer technology called zk-STARKs that enables privacy but doesn’t require a trusted setup.

Generating shielded transactions in Zcash requires a relatively significant amount of computer memory and time which makes it inconvenient for regular use. As a result currently not all transactions are shielded in Zcash which affects fungibility. This means that some coins may be more valuable than others because they don’t have a tainted history associated with it. However, the team has focused on performance improvements in a future update which will significantly reduce the amount of time and memory required. Even mobile phones will be capable of generating proofs. This means that a greater percentage of Zcash transactions will be shielded, increasing overall privacy. The development team has even alluded to a future plan for deprecating transparent addresses altogether.


Zcash’s upcoming Sapling update will reduce the time and memory requirements for generating each zero-knowledge proof.

Resources

Zcash, founded in Oct 2016, is a relatively new cryptocurrency with powerful technology and a strong focus on development. Below are some links that may help you understand Zcash further and keep up with the development.

Understanding Zcash

Keeping up with Zcash

Thank you to Will Warren, Jordan Clifford, and Linda Lee for reviewing this post.

A beginner’s guide to Zcash

What is Zcash?

According to the Zcash website,

“Zcash is the first open, permissionless cryptocurrency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography.”

Bitcoin is an open and permissionless cryptocurrency but there is a common misconception that bitcoin transactions are anonymous. A history of every bitcoin transaction is displayed on a public ledger called the blockchain. Sophisticated software can be used to determine who is responsible for a significant number of these transactions. In response to this lack of privacy, there have been a number of cryptocurrencies that have focused on adding privacy functionality. This post should help those who are new to Zcash to understand how it is different than other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Similarities and differences from Bitcoin

Zcash (ZEC) uses a new technology involving zero-knowledge proofs which allow one to prove something (e.g. prover owns greater than 10 ZEC) without requiring the prover to reveal any sensitive information (e.g. the total number of ZEC owned by prover). It gets its name from the fact that zero knowledge is revealed to the verifier in the process. The anonymous transactions produced from this technology are referred to as shielded transactions in Zcash.

This is in sharp contrast to Bitcoin where if your bitcoin address is ever shared publicly, anyone can view your balance and all other bitcoin addresses you have ever transacted with. Even if you don’t share your address publicly, companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic have built software that can de-anonymize your address if you have transacted with other addresses that are not anonymous. Imagine if everyone you knew, and even strangers, could know how much money you had in your bank account, and how you spent your money. Despite perfectly legitimate transactions, you likely do not want the entire world to know this information.


Bitcoin analysis provided by Elliptic. The image shows a web of transactions between tagged bitcoin addresses. Figuring out who made a specific bitcoin transaction is like finding a missing puzzle piece, it becomes easier as more of the puzzle has been put together.

Zcash and Bitcoin both have a total supply of 21 million units and are released through a process called mining. One unique aspect of Zcash is that the corporate development team (the Zcash Company, CEO Zooko Wilcox) and the non-profit Zcash Foundation (Chair of the Board, Andrew Miller), are funded directly from the blockchain. To achieve this, 20% of the mining reward for Zcash for the first 4 years goes to the stakeholders of the Zcash company (founders, employees, advisors, investors) resulting in 10% of the overall total supply. This “Founders’ Reward” provides funding and incentive-alignment for the continued support and improvement of Zcash.

Technology

Zcash uses a specific cutting edge form of zero knowledge verification called zk-SNARKs (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). This technology was pioneered by a number of researchers including professors Eli Ben-Sasson and Alessandro Chiesa.

Zcash allows for public and private transactions with the option for the user to selectively disclose information about their private transactions. Optional transparency can be beneficial for situations where an entity needs to be audited or submit information for tax purposes.

A user can share a “view key” with others to allow transaction details to be selectively viewed by certain individuals. This “view key” is separate from the “spend key” used to spend funds. This separation into two different keys ensures that one may allow a third party to view transaction details without allowing the viewer to spend all of their funds. Drawing an analogy to the existing financial system: the bank login information needed to access your funds is similar to a spend key while accessing a copy of your bank account statement is similar to a view key.

Zcash also provides encrypted memo fields, which allows a secret message to be sent from the sender to receiver. This can be compared to writing a note on a check but instead of anyone handling the check being able to see it, only the holder of the view key is able to. This can be used for a variety of purposes such as including a payment code or sending a message to the recipient.

Future Work

Zcash’s technology isn’t without limitations. Future work aims to address the main two limitations of zk-SNARKS — setup and computation.

The tradeoff to zk-SNARKs is that it requires the generation of public parameters where a group of individuals must perform a multi-party computation ceremony as part of the initial creation of Zcash. To maintain an accurate total of the Zcash monetary base you need to trust that at least one member in the group has successfully completed their part without being compromised. Note that this parameter does not affect Zcash privacy guarantees. Given this tradeoff, there is already research happening with a newer technology called zk-STARKs that enables privacy but doesn’t require a trusted setup.

Generating shielded transactions in Zcash requires a relatively significant amount of computer memory and time which makes it inconvenient for regular use. As a result currently not all transactions are shielded in Zcash which affects fungibility. This means that some coins may be more valuable than others because they don’t have a tainted history associated with it. However, the team has focused on performance improvements in a future update which will significantly reduce the amount of time and memory required. Even mobile phones will be capable of generating proofs. This means that a greater percentage of Zcash transactions will be shielded, increasing overall privacy. The development team has even alluded to a future plan for deprecating transparent addresses altogether.


Zcash’s upcoming Sapling update will reduce the time and memory requirements for generating each zero-knowledge proof.

Resources

Zcash, founded in Oct 2016, is a relatively new cryptocurrency with powerful technology and a strong focus on development. Below are some links that may help you understand Zcash further and keep up with the development.

Understanding Zcash

Keeping up with Zcash

Thank you to Will Warren, Jordan Clifford, and Linda Lee for reviewing this post.

MADnet Data: A Decentralized DMP

Solving Ad Tech’s Data Leakage Problem

The ad tech industry is broken in many ways. The most obvious is the “disappearing ad tech dollar” phenomenon, which results from the many intermediaries who separate advertisers from publishers.

Yet there is another deep flaw in ad tech: Data leakage. Data within the ad tech supply chain “leaks” in ways that benefit middlemen and harm advertisers and publishers.

This is the problem that MADnet Data, a decentralized data management platform within the MAD Network, is designed to solve.

Data and the Ad Tech Supply Chain

Data is central to ad tech. Advertisers use data to plan ad campaigns and determine which types of users to market to. Ad tech platforms rely on data to match ads with websites and other outlets. Publishers collect data that can help assess the effectiveness of ads and prove to advertisers that their adspend has paid off.

Yet the problem with data within the ad tech supply chain is that it is not always used to serve the interests of advertisers and publishers. These are the groups that most need data in order to operate efficiently and fairly, but their access to reliable data is curtailed by ad tech middlemen, who exploit data leakage in ways that harm advertisers and publishers.

There are many sources of data leakage, and the technical mechanisms that enable ad tech intermediaries to benefit from leaked data are not always clear, because most existing ad tech platforms are proprietary and, therefore, impossible for outsiders to monitor.

However, in all cases of data leakage, advertisers and publishers suffer because the value in the data that they acquire when leaked is sold to competitors, consequently diluting its value.

Data Leakage Example: Advertising Glasses

As an example, consider what would happen if a web user visits a LensCrafters website. An ad tech platform knows about the visit because it tracks the online activity of the user. The platform uses the visit to deduce that the user is interested in purchasing new glasses.

Given this information, the ad tech platform might go on to display ads for Warby Parker glasses to the user the next time he logs into Facebook.

In effect, data that originated from the LensCrafters website was leaked to an ad tech platform, which used the data to serve ads for a LensCrafters competitor.

The only real beneficiary in this scenario is the ad tech company that serves ads. It is able to use leaked data to serve more ads. Warby Parker also benefits in the short term from the advertisements, but because the same type of data leakage could be used against it, there is no durable benefit for either eyeglass company.

Breaking the Data Leakage Cycle with MADnet Data

MADnet Data is designed with this sort of scenario in mind.

MADnet Data is a decentralized data management platform that is being built as part of the MAD Network. MADnet Data’s core functionality will consist of capturing data from the MAD Network and allowing peers on the network to exchange it.

What makes MADnet Data different from traditional ad tech data collection practices is that, on MADnet Data, data is exchanged in a secure and transparent way.

Because all of the data on the MAD Network is recorded on the blockchain in read-only fashion, it is virtually impossible for members of the network to hide the existence of data or manipulate it.

In addition, by encrypting the data, MADnet Data ensures that if information is leaked from a data source, it cannot be used by a third party without that party’s consent, because the data would not be viewable without the right encryption keys.

Thus, in the example above, if LensCrafters adopted MAD Network as its ad tech solution, data about its web traffic could not be used to deliver ads for a competitor’s products, unless LensCrafters had agreed to allow its data to be used in such a way.

In short, MADnet Data prevents data leakage by enabling advertisers to retain ownership of their data and maintain visibility into how their data is used within advertising campaigns.

MADnet Data and Publishers

MADnet Data also provides a distinct advantage to content publishers. It allows them to generate additional revenue by collecting data about ad’s performance — such as the number of times a digital ad was viewed or where viewers were located — and sell that data to advertisers in a direct, transparent and secure way.

Traditionally, this has not been possible. In most cases today, ad tech middlemen collect data about ad performance, then sell it to advertisers. The advertisers obtain the data at a high markup, and the data may be modified before it reaches them.

With MADnet Data, however, a website owner can sell relevant data directly to advertisers. The website owner will earn more money from the data because no revenue is lost to middlemen, and the advertiser benefits from less expensive, more reliable data.

Making data leakage within the ad tech industry a thing of the past is a core part of MAD Network’s mission. When development of MADnet Data is complete, advertisers and publishers will enjoy the ability to share data across a decentralized network in a way that restores full value of the data to them, while eliminating the need for middlemen to manage the data.

We’re Giving Away Free MADtoken!

We recently announced the MAD Network Free Sale, a new bounty program designed to increase our community engagement. Community members can reserve $50 worth of MADtoken by registering on CoinCart.

Join us on Telegram, Twitter, subscribe to our newsletter and read our white paper!



MADnet Data: A Decentralized DMP was originally published in MAD Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Today’s global problems in HR (and how Blockchain can solve them)

Today HR specialists have to deal with the uncertainty in resumes, the reliability of recommendation letters and overall problem with the trustworthiness of candidates. Most of the time people can’t get the position in the company because of their poor pitching skills even if they are great at the job. This situation has to change, and blockchain has a potential to create the new ecosystem where achievements can speak for themselves.

The definition of «a good candidate» is not well-defined. How qualified he/she is? What was the assessment scale? How well did he/she perform to fulfill the plan? What was the overall performance? What is his/her talent? To date, there are two core difficulties in recruitment and job hunting processes:

  1. There is no confidence in candidates who come to a company for a job interview. Their level of professionalism can be confirmed only by the recommendations from previous employers. And they may not be considered as reliable as they should be.
  2. Recommendations are too general or very subjective. They do not convey the real professional competencies of a candidate. They are often written just to observe formalities and do not provide with objective information.

People are fundamentally important for developing any business. It is a good and healthy team that helps a company to grow and succeed in business. In any business area, the people make all the difference and create the basis for company growth and development.

Blockchain technology has possibilities to solve all of these problems. Decentralized power of Blockchain makes it possible to create a reliable and transparent reputation system.

What is blockchain technology?

The blockchain is a unique technology for storing data in which there isn’t one aggregate server. The information is stored on the devices of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people (this depends on the particular blockchain). Blockchain has two core advantages: publicity and reliability. Records can’t be forged since they are stored by all participants in the system.

Financial operations are one of the most common direction for the blockchain technology these days. It is confirmed by hundreds of startups who develop their products in the niche of the fintech. Nevertheless, it’s important not to forget that blockchain can change people’s lives not only with the help of cryptocurrency.

Personnel selection is the next direction that can be improved by the blockchain technology. It is possible that the next breakthrough in the hrtech market will occur precisely through decentralization. Relations between companies and people is the place that now lacks transparency.

How blockchain will help people and companies

Personnel selection is the area where the blockchain will give a new leap in the development of relations between businesses and people. A unified system of verification of and performance indicators will open new opportunities for recruitment. It will help:

  1. Employees with a perfect reputation to find work faster.
  2. Companies to save time and money by hiring employees.
  3. Quickly assess the competence and professionalism of people.

In this case, such system has to meet the following conditions:

  • Data transparency. Anytime any participant can have access to the initial data to make sure that they are right.
  • Data reliability. Not any company or person can change the data to their advantage.
  • Automation of processes. The system should work on mathematical algorithms without intermediaries to exclude or reduce to a minimum the human factor.
  • Independence. Do not belong to any company to maintain objectivity.

All these conditions are met by the technology of the blockchain, which is the base for Aworker platform. The goal is to create a global system for assessing professional skills and integrating this information to build the good reputation for employees from all over the world.

Blockchain allows people to be more open about themselves. In this case, employees will be able to receive additional compensation for the use of their data. All this is possible because of the Ethereum smart contracts. With the help of blockchain technology, the labor market will become more transparent and understandable for all parties.

Originally published at Tech Talks

Today’s global problems in HR (and how Blockchain can solve them)

Today HR specialists have to deal with the uncertainty in resumes, the reliability of recommendation letters and overall problem with the trustworthiness of candidates. Most of the time people can’t get the position in the company because of their poor pitching skills even if they are great at the job. This situation has to change, and blockchain has a potential to create the new ecosystem where achievements can speak for themselves.

The definition of «a good candidate» is not well-defined. How qualified he/she is? What was the assessment scale? How well did he/she perform to fulfill the plan? What was the overall performance? What is his/her talent? To date, there are two core difficulties in recruitment and job hunting processes:

  1. There is no confidence in candidates who come to a company for a job interview. Their level of professionalism can be confirmed only by the recommendations from previous employers. And they may not be considered as reliable as they should be.
  2. Recommendations are too general or very subjective. They do not convey the real professional competencies of a candidate. They are often written just to observe formalities and do not provide with objective information.

People are fundamentally important for developing any business. It is a good and healthy team that helps a company to grow and succeed in business. In any business area, the people make all the difference and create the basis for company growth and development.

Blockchain technology has possibilities to solve all of these problems. Decentralized power of Blockchain makes it possible to create a reliable and transparent reputation system.

What is blockchain technology?

The blockchain is a unique technology for storing data in which there isn’t one aggregate server. The information is stored on the devices of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people (this depends on the particular blockchain). Blockchain has two core advantages: publicity and reliability. Records can’t be forged since they are stored by all participants in the system.

Financial operations are one of the most common direction for the blockchain technology these days. It is confirmed by hundreds of startups who develop their products in the niche of the fintech. Nevertheless, it’s important not to forget that blockchain can change people’s lives not only with the help of cryptocurrency.

Personnel selection is the next direction that can be improved by the blockchain technology. It is possible that the next breakthrough in the hrtech market will occur precisely through decentralization. Relations between companies and people is the place that now lacks transparency.

How blockchain will help people and companies

Personnel selection is the area where the blockchain will give a new leap in the development of relations between businesses and people. A unified system of verification of and performance indicators will open new opportunities for recruitment. It will help:

  1. Employees with a perfect reputation to find work faster.
  2. Companies to save time and money by hiring employees.
  3. Quickly assess the competence and professionalism of people.

In this case, such system has to meet the following conditions:

  • Data transparency. Anytime any participant can have access to the initial data to make sure that they are right.
  • Data reliability. Not any company or person can change the data to their advantage.
  • Automation of processes. The system should work on mathematical algorithms without intermediaries to exclude or reduce to a minimum the human factor.
  • Independence. Do not belong to any company to maintain objectivity.

All these conditions are met by the technology of the blockchain, which is the base for Aworker platform. The goal is to create a global system for assessing professional skills and integrating this information to build the good reputation for employees from all over the world.

Blockchain allows people to be more open about themselves. In this case, employees will be able to receive additional compensation for the use of their data. All this is possible because of the Ethereum smart contracts. With the help of blockchain technology, the labor market will become more transparent and understandable for all parties.

Originally published at Tech Talks

Business problems in travel industry

What does an average people spend the most money on other than housing mortgage or health care?

The answer is: On travelling.

Travelling has become the world biggest expenditure last year which tourism covered more than 60%. Consumers are more concerned about making decision related to travelling than deciding on taking a loan, buying a new fridge or fixing their car. We understand that everyone wants a getaway to unwind but worries about stress associated with long and tedious planning.

Unbiased statistic shows that 35% of the tourists spend 3–5 months deciding on their destination before the trip, another 19% spend half a year or even more. We can imagine how much work it takes for the marketers to satisfy all kind of needs of their customers during the long process of purchases. Moreover, spoiled with the speed of Internet, customers demand for quick decision making. Everyone wish to plan their journey as fast as booking a cab.

And how long will you spend on planning your own trip?

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Steemit | Telegram | Questions

Why we want to reinvent the social network on the Blockchain

Exploring the backstory of Sapien and reflecting on our founding principles with the help of a few memes


Source: Kelly Sikkema

Motivations

Nobody just wakes up one morning and decides:

Hmm…today is a fine day to challenge the status quo.

Most of us already have enough on our plates to just get through the day — be it work, school, or taking care of others.

Disrupting any system takes a deep understanding of the current state of affairs, some accumulated technical knowledge, and a bit of intrinsic motivation. A genuine purpose also helps convince others to come along for the ride — after all, the only real difference between a leader and a crazy person is the # of followers.

One of the most important lessons I learned during college was to never be satisfied. Always question things. Spend each and every introspective opportunity you get to ask how you can make the world a better place and what to do to maximize your probability of success.

As freshmen, my friend, Rob, and I would discuss and debate continuously for hours, with topics ranging from Human Rights, Intelligence, Free Speech, to what defines a “sandwich.” If you cut one in half, do you have two sandwiches? Are there infinite sandwiches? Could you model it with a decay function whose integral converges since p > 1?

We were nerds.

Over the years, these conversations would lay the foundation for the decentralized social platform, Sapien.

Reflecting on our democratic ideology

Facebook today has a market cap of $519,000,000,000. That’s billions. For context, that is more than the GDP of 87% of the countries in the world.

With that much fiscal power and societal influence, it begs the question of how much of a voice social media users have in this monolithic incumbent.

Watch out, the answer may surprise you: zero.

Facebook has a serious problem aligning values between its users and shareholders, with a fiduciary obligation to always please the latter. These operations have had averse affects on users as seen with the controversial Free Basics program or the influence on the 2016 campaign through ads paid by Russian operatives.

Expect minimal accountability from these corporations.

These are not democratic ideals.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote:

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Countries and their governments are marked by their somewhat arbitrary geographical lines, yet we can also view Internet users as citizens of larger online communities, each with their own set of laws. From this perspective, Facebook would be the largest country in the world.


World Economic Forum

What is most alarming is that this virtual country is missing any sort of representation by its users. Ironically, the valuable time and “goods” users produce is exactly what drives the “GDP” of this online economy.

Try to imagine a nation where citizens spend nearly an hour each day creating value and receiving nothing in return.

Content creators are exploited by existing centralized platforms. A true online democracy should distribute wealth created to its citizens, instead of hoarding all of the profits.

We have a responsibility to continually scrutinize large entities with the power to influence the masses.

Particularly those that use social engineering on human psychology to maximize the attention users have committed to their product or service.

Users must have real, transparent power over the direction of the platform and organizational decisions.

Later we will discuss how the invention of the Blockchain offers a unique opportunity to better adhere to these core, democratic principles.

Let’s talk privacy…before it’s too late

A mere 45 days after New York’s twin towers crumbled to the ground, the Patriot Act was signed with virtually no discussion. The infamous act authorized the government to suspend all constitutional rights with the extremely elastic and ever-expanding idea of “domestic terrorism.”

Just like most decisions made by President Bush, the reckless nature of the Patriot Act trampled a fundamental right. A right that protects individualism. A right that aught to be protected by the government:

Privacy.

Privacy in the context of a social network, however, plays a more tangible impact on our lives but has been consistently brushed aside. With the emergence of social media, users began voluntarily providing pieces of their lives, hoping their privacy would be protected. We were comfortable sharing our personal data as long as all our friends were doing the same.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves.

Even a cow on a farm gets free food, shelter, & healthcare.

Social Media users get milked dry for their personal data. As Data Farmers, Facebook and Google are experts at gathering browsing history, preferences, and app behavior. Using this scraped data, companies like Facebook are able to monitor and target users on behalf of advertising agencies.

Sure, go enjoy the amenities of the farm. Just remember if something is free then you’re the product. Needless to say, stop being a cow.

Am I allowed to say this?

Free speech is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental rights we have as humans. It grants us the ability to express our opinions, critique one another, and have meaningful discourse.

Speech enables us reflect on the quality of our thoughts and actions. And when we are exposed to contrary evidence, we are given an opportunity to reassess our morals and even amend our understanding of reality.

No other right has more power to alter the moral clarity of an individual or the collective wellbeing of a species.

And it is evident that our generation is struggling with Free Speech.

In the United States, we are perhaps experiencing one of the most divisive times in our history. The left accuses the right of outright fascist motives, while the right points out the deceptive identity politics of the left.

On college campuses from Middlebury to NYU, divisive speech had incited violent riots, personal injury, property damages, and hundreds of arrests.

As a UC Berkeley student, the 2017 riots were disheartening to say the least. Many of my friends struggled internally between providing a public forum for self-proclaimed trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos or compromising a core value that had been held steadfast since the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s.

However difficult, we must choose to protect Free Speech.

In the case of Whitney v. California, Whitney was convicted for helping the Communist Labor Party of America, a group that was charged with planning to overthrow the government. Despite the verdict, scholars credit Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis with perhaps the greatest defense of Freedom of Speech ever written in high court:

Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. To justify suppression of free speech, there must be reasonable ground to fear that serious evil will result if free speech is practiced. There must be reasonable ground to believe that the danger apprehended is imminent. There must be reasonable ground to believe that the evil to be prevented is a serious one.

Enforced silence is not an option. The remedy is almost always more speech.

In the context of a social platform, speech, in the form of a post or a comment, defines the user experience. Large corporations shouldn’t be arbitrarily deciding what constitutes Free Speech.

Facebook routinely suppressed conservative news from the Trending section.

Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman, once modified user comments that he didn’t agree with on the website. Regardless of the context, this is too much power wielded by too few.

An online community needs to decide what content should be permitted or disallowed. A platform has an obligation to empower users to cultivate the community that they want to be a part of.

What’s the difference between me and you?

🎉 Onto a much lighter subject 🎉

As our team was building Sapien, we identified another unmet need as a result of disagreements on site design, components, and usage.

Each of us is unique.

Different aspects of a platform appeal to different people.

Right now, there’s just no way to tailor a social experience to a user. Bob might want to use the platform as a podcast aggregator. Alice might want setup the site as a blogging site similar to Medium. Charlie could make it into a gaming platform via integrations with League of Legends, Call of Duty, etc.

Just as we grow as individuals, the platform should be able to evolve as well. We shouldn’t be subjected to the stagnant nature of current incumbents. Every element on the application should be highly customizable by the user, perhaps even changing its appearance and functionality as the day progresses.

An open, decentralized marketplace will enable developers to build and distribute a variety of components and features of a social platform. This will provide users with an unprecedented, precise control over various layouts, customizations, themes, and integrations.

The only limit of the platform would be the collective ingenuity of the community of users and developers.

What’s next?

I hope you all enjoyed a gentler, memified discussion about our intentions.

The next article we will go over exactly how we intend to materialize these motivations into a tangible product.

If you enjoyed this article please clap and share :)

Join our vibrant community!

We will be consistently releasing information on our blogs. More details to come for the token sales terms, registration, and purchase processes. In the meantime, we invite you to join our community:



Why we want to reinvent the social network on the Blockchain was originally published in Sapien Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Descentralización de Procesos

Si bien es cierto que el capitalismo es el modelo económico más exitoso en la historia de la humanidad, habiendo permitido la extracción de cientos de millones de personas de la pobreza, garantizando con ello mejoras sin precedentes en la calidad de vida y gestionando desarrollos económicos sin parangón, también es el mismo capitalismo quien ha permitido el encarecimiento de muchos procesos debido a la aparición de intermediarios. Estos, aprovechando en la mayoría de ocasiones fallas de mercado, han creado modelos de negocio que les han permitido ser indispensables en muchas de las cadenas de valor operativas a nivel mundial.

Estas fallas de mercado pueden tomar diferentes formas. En muchos casos se deben a falta de confianza entre partes, problemas de optimización sectorial, bajas rentabilidades para determinado actor que pueden ser optimizadas por otro, etc. De esta forma el coste de los productos crece a nivel mundial y son trasladados al consumidor final. Es decir, pagamos justos por pecadores en un mundo regido por las ineficiencias industriales, gubernamentales y administrativas.

Hasta el día de hoy, la mayoría de estos modelos de negocio se convertían en sistemas centralizados, pues está, resultaba ser la primera opción para desarrollar y abordar situaciones de alta complejidad (muchas veces es la única que conoce el empresario convencional) debido a que la centralización inicialmente brinda cierto orden y un aparente menor coste que la descentralización, pues al existir un control central permite reducir duplicidades y hasta cierto punto aumentar la velocidad en la toma de decisiones . Sin embargo, si el costo de la descentralización baja (gracias a la evolución tecnológica y económica), y el costo de la centralización sube (mantenimiento de un sistema centralizado así como el riesgo de corrupción o la inflación en los modelos financieros ), migrar a un modelo descentralizado se vuelve una evolución clara.

Actualmente podemos asegurar que está figura de intermediación y sistemas centralizados tiene sus días contados. Con Blockchain se puede garantizar la seguridad y confianza entre las partes que interactúan en una cadena de valor (por ejemplo uno de los costes más elevados en las cadenas de abastecimiento global es el de la desconfianza entre las partes, lo que incrementa hasta en un 30% los costes de las mercancías), ahorrando tiempo y energía, aportando transparencia, a la vez que se optimizan procesos de tal manera que los costes de las manufacturas y el trasiego se reducen en gran medida. Esto permite trasladar los beneficios al usuario o consumidor del producto generado o transportado, y todas las partes involucradas, lo que deriva en muchos casos en un aumento en la calidad de vida.

Si ademas de utilizar Blockchain, agregamos a este modelo un token (permitiendo, dicho sea de paso, la tokenización del proceso) podremos generar un sistema de incentivos a través de teoría de juegos que nos permita influir en los componentes de la cadena de valor. Podríamos también buscar las conductas más beneficiosas para la red (primando los beneficios grupales antes de los personales, para ello se deben establecer una serie de incentivos para premiar este tipo de conductas) obteniendo con ello un equilibrio y una maximización de beneficios.

Si se desarrolla un sistema de incentivos o modelo criptoeconómico eficiente, que sea sostenible y sustentable en el tiempo, es muy posible que logremos la gestión autónoma de la cadena de valor, sin interferencia de entes centrales que influyan en los comportamientos de los players (habremos entonces crackeado el modelo económico-administrativo actual). Además, de la mano con la eficiencia del modelo cripto vendrá la defensa de la red por parte de los mismos participantes de posibles ataques, tanto externos como internos, que busquen corromper o desestabilizar su funcionamiento.

Desafíos y Problemáticas

Desde el punto de vista ideológico: algo maravilloso. Desde el punto de vista racional: quizá algo descabellado. Lo cierto es que en el estado actual de la sociedad encontramos muchas dificultades para poder llevar a cabo este tipo de procedimientos. Estas dificultades vienen de diversos sectores que en la mayoría de los casos gobiernan las industrias y los modelos económicos tal como los conocemos. Estos sectores buscarán luchar siempre por permanecer vigentes, a pesar de que su modelo de negocio este en la obsolescencia. Lo anterior puede ahogar la innovación y la aparición de modelos disruptivos mediante presiones que pueden tomar las formas menos esperadas.

Desde mi punto de vista, estas problemáticas pueden agruparse en tres lineas principales :

  1. Políticas: La mayoría de industrias ejercen fuerzas sobre los entes gubernamentales, permitiendo el tráfico de influencias con el fin último de allanar el camino o extender los beneficios a determinado sector, sea manufactura, procesos, transporte, etc. Es bien sabido que quien intente romper el status quo corre el riesgo de enfrentarse a los gobiernos, las regulaciones y los intereses de muchos intermediarios.
  2. Administrativas: Las gestiones administrativas se vuelven un tanto más controlables en sistemas centralizados que cuando se trabaja en una comunidad abierta donde las ideas abundan y donde el valor es creado por todos-para todos.
  3. Educacionales: Sistemas educativos y de enseñanza que incentivan la verticalidad y la centralización de procesos tanto económicos como sociales, generando sesgos cognitivos en el imaginario social.

Recomendaciones Para Descentralizar o Tokenizar un Proceso

Todo proceso tiene una estructura tanto económica como social, es decir, su existencia se debe a que ha sido social y económicamente aceptado. Esto conlleva a que su transformación no pueda darse de golpe, pues acarrearía externalidades que pondrían en riesgo el éxito de la iniciativa transformadora. Por ende, todo cambio debe realizarse de manera paulatina, tomando en cuenta los intereses de los jugadores o entidades afectadas y establecer una estrategia de transformación que toque a cada uno en el momento adecuado.

Para llevar a cabo lo anterior, sugiero que se deben considerar los siguientes aspectos:

  1. Conocer a fondo el proceso: Porqué, cómo, cuándo, quién, a quienes.
  2. Comprender a fondo las conductas, motivaciones y roles que cumplen todos los individuos o entidades que componen o forman parte del proceso.
  3. Entender las fuerzas que interactúan en dicho proceso y cómo puede afectar sus interrupciones.
  4. Estudiar a fondo las externalidades derivadas del proceso en sí. En este caso es sumamente importante tanto las actuales como las que surgirían con el nuevo modelo.
  5. Comprender las variables socio-económicas que intervienen.
  6. Cuáles son las conductas esperadas o deseadas para el funcionamiento del nuevo modelo.

Una vez mapeados los aspectos anteriores, se debe analizar los pros y contras con que cuenta el proceso actual y qué valor agregaría (tanto económico como social) el nuevo modelo o proceso a implementar. De esta forma, tendremos una idea profunda de cuál es la problemática y cuál será nuestra solución. También podremos medir, o al menos deducir, el grado de aceptación que tendrá la idea, lo que resulta inversamente proporcional al grado de éxito en la tokenización o descentralización del proceso.

El paso final sería tomar la información y emular (hasta el cansancio y un poco más) el nuevo modelo, con el fin de obtener un modelo criptoeconómico y de incentivos que permita a la red o el proceso funcionar de manera autónoma o con la mínima interferencia humana, garantizando su integridad y seguridad en el tiempo.

No es un proceso simple pues requiere de bastante estudio y en muchos casos emulaciones tediosas. No obstante, vale la pena restituir algunos valores que se han perdido, empoderando a algunos elementos que han sido relegados a un segundo plano con el paso del tiempo, generando sociedades más equitativas con una mejor distribución de las decisiones.

La oportunidad esta en la mesa, queda en manos de la sociedad hacerla valer.

Descentralización de Procesos

Si bien es cierto que el capitalismo es el modelo económico más exitoso en la historia de la humanidad, habiendo permitido la extracción de cientos de millones de personas de la pobreza, garantizando con ello mejoras sin precedentes en la calidad de vida y gestionando desarrollos económicos sin parangón, también es el mismo capitalismo quien ha permitido el encarecimiento de muchos procesos debido a la aparición de intermediarios. Estos, aprovechando en la mayoría de ocasiones fallas de mercado, han creado modelos de negocio que les han permitido ser indispensables en muchas de las cadenas de valor operativas a nivel mundial.

Estas fallas de mercado pueden tomar diferentes formas. En muchos casos se deben a falta de confianza entre partes, problemas de optimización sectorial, bajas rentabilidades para determinado actor que pueden ser optimizadas por otro, etc. De esta forma el coste de los productos crece a nivel mundial y son trasladados al consumidor final. Es decir, pagamos justos por pecadores en un mundo regido por las ineficiencias industriales, gubernamentales y administrativas.

Hasta el día de hoy, la mayoría de estos modelos de negocio se convertían en sistemas centralizados, pues está, resultaba ser la primera opción para desarrollar y abordar situaciones de alta complejidad (muchas veces es la única que conoce el empresario convencional) debido a que la centralización inicialmente brinda cierto orden y un aparente menor coste que la descentralización, pues al existir un control central permite reducir duplicidades y hasta cierto punto aumentar la velocidad en la toma de decisiones . Sin embargo, si el costo de la descentralización baja (gracias a la evolución tecnológica y económica), y el costo de la centralización sube (mantenimiento de un sistema centralizado así como el riesgo de corrupción o la inflación en los modelos financieros ), migrar a un modelo descentralizado se vuelve una evolución clara.

Actualmente podemos asegurar que está figura de intermediación y sistemas centralizados tiene sus días contados. Con Blockchain se puede garantizar la seguridad y confianza entre las partes que interactúan en una cadena de valor (por ejemplo uno de los costes más elevados en las cadenas de abastecimiento global es el de la desconfianza entre las partes, lo que incrementa hasta en un 30% los costes de las mercancías), ahorrando tiempo y energía, aportando transparencia, a la vez que se optimizan procesos de tal manera que los costes de las manufacturas y el trasiego se reducen en gran medida. Esto permite trasladar los beneficios al usuario o consumidor del producto generado o transportado, y todas las partes involucradas, lo que deriva en muchos casos en un aumento en la calidad de vida.

Si ademas de utilizar Blockchain, agregamos a este modelo un token (permitiendo, dicho sea de paso, la tokenización del proceso) podremos generar un sistema de incentivos a través de teoría de juegos que nos permita influir en los componentes de la cadena de valor. Podríamos también buscar las conductas más beneficiosas para la red (primando los beneficios grupales antes de los personales, para ello se deben establecer una serie de incentivos para premiar este tipo de conductas) obteniendo con ello un equilibrio y una maximización de beneficios.

Si se desarrolla un sistema de incentivos o modelo criptoeconómico eficiente, que sea sostenible y sustentable en el tiempo, es muy posible que logremos la gestión autónoma de la cadena de valor, sin interferencia de entes centrales que influyan en los comportamientos de los players (habremos entonces crackeado el modelo económico-administrativo actual). Además, de la mano con la eficiencia del modelo cripto vendrá la defensa de la red por parte de los mismos participantes de posibles ataques, tanto externos como internos, que busquen corromper o desestabilizar su funcionamiento.

Desafíos y Problemáticas

Desde el punto de vista ideológico: algo maravilloso. Desde el punto de vista racional: quizá algo descabellado. Lo cierto es que en el estado actual de la sociedad encontramos muchas dificultades para poder llevar a cabo este tipo de procedimientos. Estas dificultades vienen de diversos sectores que en la mayoría de los casos gobiernan las industrias y los modelos económicos tal como los conocemos. Estos sectores buscarán luchar siempre por permanecer vigentes, a pesar de que su modelo de negocio este en la obsolescencia. Lo anterior puede ahogar la innovación y la aparición de modelos disruptivos mediante presiones que pueden tomar las formas menos esperadas.

Desde mi punto de vista, estas problemáticas pueden agruparse en tres lineas principales :

  1. Políticas: La mayoría de industrias ejercen fuerzas sobre los entes gubernamentales, permitiendo el tráfico de influencias con el fin último de allanar el camino o extender los beneficios a determinado sector, sea manufactura, procesos, transporte, etc. Es bien sabido que quien intente romper el status quo corre el riesgo de enfrentarse a los gobiernos, las regulaciones y los intereses de muchos intermediarios.
  2. Administrativas: Las gestiones administrativas se vuelven un tanto más controlables en sistemas centralizados que cuando se trabaja en una comunidad abierta donde las ideas abundan y donde el valor es creado por todos-para todos.
  3. Educacionales: Sistemas educativos y de enseñanza que incentivan la verticalidad y la centralización de procesos tanto económicos como sociales, generando sesgos cognitivos en el imaginario social.

Recomendaciones Para Descentralizar o Tokenizar un Proceso

Todo proceso tiene una estructura tanto económica como social, es decir, su existencia se debe a que ha sido social y económicamente aceptado. Esto conlleva a que su transformación no pueda darse de golpe, pues acarrearía externalidades que pondrían en riesgo el éxito de la iniciativa transformadora. Por ende, todo cambio debe realizarse de manera paulatina, tomando en cuenta los intereses de los jugadores o entidades afectadas y establecer una estrategia de transformación que toque a cada uno en el momento adecuado.

Para llevar a cabo lo anterior, sugiero que se deben considerar los siguientes aspectos:

  1. Conocer a fondo el proceso: Porqué, cómo, cuándo, quién, a quienes.
  2. Comprender a fondo las conductas, motivaciones y roles que cumplen todos los individuos o entidades que componen o forman parte del proceso.
  3. Entender las fuerzas que interactúan en dicho proceso y cómo puede afectar sus interrupciones.
  4. Estudiar a fondo las externalidades derivadas del proceso en sí. En este caso es sumamente importante tanto las actuales como las que surgirían con el nuevo modelo.
  5. Comprender las variables socio-económicas que intervienen.
  6. Cuáles son las conductas esperadas o deseadas para el funcionamiento del nuevo modelo.

Una vez mapeados los aspectos anteriores, se debe analizar los pros y contras con que cuenta el proceso actual y qué valor agregaría (tanto económico como social) el nuevo modelo o proceso a implementar. De esta forma, tendremos una idea profunda de cuál es la problemática y cuál será nuestra solución. También podremos medir, o al menos deducir, el grado de aceptación que tendrá la idea, lo que resulta inversamente proporcional al grado de éxito en la tokenización o descentralización del proceso.

El paso final sería tomar la información y emular (hasta el cansancio y un poco más) el nuevo modelo, con el fin de obtener un modelo criptoeconómico y de incentivos que permita a la red o el proceso funcionar de manera autónoma o con la mínima interferencia humana, garantizando su integridad y seguridad en el tiempo.

No es un proceso simple pues requiere de bastante estudio y en muchos casos emulaciones tediosas. No obstante, vale la pena restituir algunos valores que se han perdido, empoderando a algunos elementos que han sido relegados a un segundo plano con el paso del tiempo, generando sociedades más equitativas con una mejor distribución de las decisiones.

La oportunidad esta en la mesa, queda en manos de la sociedad hacerla valer.

A Decentralized Design Practice

Experiment 1: Design Jam

What does a design practice look like at a decentralized organization?

Around here we’re trying to walk the walk—the future is decentralized and we are shedding the rigid hierarchies of the past. We’re helping to ideate, shape user experiences, and define visual communication for dApps built on Ethereum. What does a design culture look like when each designer is an autonomous node in the mesh? How do things get done when there are no command and control methods to fall back on, when no one has a manager, when designers are across almost every timezone—and yet we must create and maintain the first-rate user experiences critical to adoption of blockchain?

No pressure.

We started by asking “What makes a great design culture, and in turn, great products?” What we’ve found so far is an organic body of cross-pollination, friendship, growth, challenges, methods, tools, transparency, constructive criticism, inspiration, and unwavering support. Although we’re still learning, we’ve begun to experiment with and iterate on ways to foster such a culture.

The following is a glimpse into our first experiment, a design jam. Traditionally, design jams are a way spend time with colleagues and let off some creative steam by working on low-stress and fun design prompts. How might a design jam facilitate shaping a great culture of design in a decentralized and remote environment?

Experiment 1: Decentralized Design Jam

We kicked off a 24 hour period with 4 teams of 4–5 people.

The Design Prompt

How might ephemeral tattoos be used by Mesh Members to construct the (message of the) future?

Rules and Constraints

  1. You have 24 hours, plan your time with your team accordingly across timezones
  2. Take the design prompt any way you want — no further explanations
  3. Your users: ConsenSys Mesh members. Interview at least two users about their needs prior to design and user-test your solution afterward. Your research plan is up to you
  4. Final output: vector file(s) sized to 2”x2”, 2 minute presentation on your process, what you learned, and feedback you got from users to share in the closing ceremonies
  5. Stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test
  6. Skills: Project management, User research, Ideation and iteration, Sketching, Visual Design, Remote collaboration

Results

Team Eternally Ephemeral:
Celine Park, Andrew Cohen, thessy.mehrain, Carl Fairclough

“We started talking and realized pretty quickly we had no idea how to approach this. So we opened up a Mural and started throwing in a bunch of information for structure, and then immediately made a few action items. We talked about going outside the box and did a few different creative exercises.


Ideating in Mural

We came up with interview questions with the intention to just see where they took us — it was interesting to see what people thought about their relationship with the Mesh. People we talked to had interesting thoughts about how we will relate to each other in the future.

We started talking about generative art and wondering how far we can abstract this idea. Does it have to be a tattoo? Does it have to be 2×2 inches? How far can we push these constraints? We broke down concepts and what the words in the prompt really mean—tattoos are often a signifier of a life event or related to one’s identity for instance. Identity could also mean an Ethereum address.”


A tattoo as generative art and interactive experience from an Ethereum address.

Team Rick and Morty:
tj blanchflower, Sandra Song, Laura Giron, Christian Jeria

“We weren’t really focused on user research and wanted to have a wholly irresponsible design activity where we were selfish and egotistical. We did get some interesting responses from our interviews, but we didn’t use any of them.

We had discussions around far-future ideas (augmented reality) to near-future ideas (QR codes and uPort), but ultimately landed on the value of humor and the way it allows you to think differently.


Early ideation

What will Ethereum give you? ETH is the future and it’ll be so well understood that, yeah, of course you’ll be able to buy burritos with it!”


“You can easily replace the taco with any everyday item to communicate the message.”

Team 5tat:
Saraswathi, Jonny Howle, Yunyun Chen, Bill Bodell, Victorjoshua Done

“Our first plan of action was to jump into generative research. What came out of the interviews was this problem of getting to know new Mesh members and how to facilitate getting to know one another and the culture here.

We refactored the brief in this discussion: we decided the message of the future was decentralization, and that decentralization brings with it certain hurdles, such as getting to know one another and building relationships.


Remote “Exquisite Tats”

The idea we came up with is “Exquisite Tats”: During remote coffee chats of ideally 3 people, participants can use a collaborative drawing app to conduct an Exquisite Corpse exercise. This would automatically output a 2×2" tattoo for the group to share that commemorates their meeting in a unique way.”


“That’s it, we made a monster-tattoo-generation-as-a-service.”

Team Eight Silver Nuggets Forever:
Nguyet Vuong, Jeff Silva, Octavian Todirut, Eva Shon

“We kicked it off immediately; it was critical to build off the energy from the first call. We did a lot of slacking since we had such a wide range of timezones—it was the thread between our group.

When our survey results came back, some of the words that stood out were: abstract, intrigue, curiosity, transformation. If people were at a conference, what would they want the tattoo to evoke? A lot of people said they wanted it to be an invitation to come talk to them about Ethereum. Decentralization empowers people and emphasizes the individual, while still being part of a whole.

We took these concepts to make a modular tattoo system, emphasizing each element, but that can be layered with additional tattoos to create a story.”


Tattoo systems

Conclusion

“When is the next one?”

Designers reported in a feedback survey that they had fun and got to know their colleagues better, and most learned something new. They also discussed the difficulty of working across timezones and noted which tool combinations worked best—many cited simultaneous use of Slack, Zoom, and Mural.

Overall, teams noted that while they diverged and converged quite naturally (designers amirite), they iterated faster when they had clear roles and next steps. Communication and having the tools to fit different styles of communication was paramount.

We all noticed some themes that might be indicators of the culture at the intersection of Ethereum and design—rule questioning, considering the individual within a whole, pushing for a better way, experimentation, openness, community-mindedness, thinking in systems and experiences.

In the end we printed the temporary tattoos and had them available at events like Ethereal and Devcon3.

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DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by the author above do not necessarily represent the views of ConsenSys AG. ConsenSys is a decentralized community with ConsenSys Media being a platform for members to freely express their diverse ideas and perspectives. To learn more about ConsenSys and Ethereum, please visit our website.



A Decentralized Design Practice was originally published in ConsenSys Media on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

On Tokens 1.0 vs. Tokens 2.0 and Fundamental Blockchain Innovations

What if (almost) everything we are seeing today with token projects were merely part of the first generation, and will bear only little fruit compared to what the second generation might bring?

This isn’t a far-fetched scenario from reality.

Truth is,- many ICOs projects have lost the meaning of the token function, in favor of the crowd-funding carrot.

Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 Analogy

When the web came along in 1993, and we were entering its first phases of applications development, we certainly didn’t see nor were able to implement everything that we are benefiting from today. That was in part due to early technical limitations, and in part to the naturally required evolution for progressing from basic to advanced usages based on experience and learnings. In essence, you can’t get from ground zero to the summit in one straight shot, but rather via a series of gradual ascents from one level to another.

When something new comes along, we typically try to emulate the old ways before we invent new ways that we didn’t know of before. For the Web, the native uses of the Internet turned out to be two-way channels where users produced the work (as opposed to broadcast channels that were most of the Web 1.0 era). So, it took until 2002–2005 for most entrepreneurs to understand that and to build apps that took advantage of it.

With many token projects, it looks like we are copying what we already see versus inventing what we don’t discern yet.

Sadly, for several token projects, there is more token and less blockchain. There is more currency, and less tokens that represent utilitarian work. There is less organic relationships between blockchain functionality and token capability, and there is more hyperbolic claims about these linkages than substantively demonstrable capabilities.

If you hear of a project that is going to “do X on the blockchain”, and it looks like anything another startup or company is doing, you need to ask what the role of the token is in relation to the blockchain capabilities. And you need to ask: what would happen without the token? Why do you need a blockchain? What is the blockchain enabling that could not be possible before?

These observations are based on my insights into the market activity, complemented by the recent flurry of projects that are landing in my Inbox, some of which are being frenetically funded with little scrutiny. The token itself is not the innovation, and we tend to forget that.

Many token projects are proposing to use the blockchain’s currency feature as a linchpin, but that is a very limited use case, in the grand scheme of blockchain capabilities. Internal cryptocurrencies are good, but they only target value transfer efficiencies. Efficiency improvements are useful, but where is the magic?

The ICO was novel in its multiple currency creation, via the ERC20 standard, which is merely about that. But we are not doing so well in terms of implementing more creative usages for a token.

Revisiting Blockchain Fundamental Innovations

Let’s revisit the fundamental blockchain innovations. Bitcoin gave us native mining, basically a way to boot-up a blockchain out of connecting computers together, and it gave us a blockchain that rewards work and workers. The Ethereum ICO was innovative in that it popularized the concept of paying for running business finance logic (smart contracts) on top of the blockchain, and it gave us the promise of a universal, general-purpose software development framework for creating decentralized applications, ones that don’t rely on a spoke-and-wheel, top-down, command-and-control or counterparty-heavy governance scenarios.

Today, I feel we are in a lull of Token 1.0 bottom, where we are “doing tokens” with a loose interpretation on blockchain capabilities.

Not only is Token 1.0 attracting the wrong types of projects, it is also attracting the wrong types of people who see opportunistic gains from spinning a currency, raising from the crowd and promising the moon, with little accountability to be held against.

We must ask what is the role of the blockchain, and sometimes, it is not that obvious.

When Bitcoin and Ethereum were in their infancy, their success was not assured, while still full of uncertainty. But that is the nature of how great innovations occur. It is when things are not so obvious that they can get the most interesting later.

How do we get out of this rut?

First and foremost, we must revisit and apply the basic innovations of the blockchain. Then we need to assess token functionality critically, without over-engineering the token capabilities.

Remember that token functionality is a hypothesis that remains to be proven in the market.

So, what are the basic and fundamental innovations that must be reflected in a token usage?

For one, it is about the removal or disappearance of a counterparty (or intermediary) who is no longer needed for the successful completion of a given transaction or interaction. For example, blockchains are really good for automatically executing the consequences of certain actions, conditions, logic or whatever “state” comes their way.

Second, it is about using the token as a reward for a type of work that is provided, whether it is computational or human work. This is also called incentive, but that word has been misused as a carrot for enticing users to try something, and that is not the same as a genuine work reward. The blockchain can be a good rewards engine for automatically dispensing tokens to those who do the work, as evidenced by Bitcoin, Ethereum and Steemit who function that way.

Third, blockchains can help us get to decentralization in a given process or organizational construct, whether it is along an architectural, political, logical or technical dimension. However, decentralization for the sake of decentralization is not the goal. Decentralization must bring with it given features such as increased security, better decision-making, co-operative sharing of benefits, fault-tolerance in network resiliency, or other ones where there is a visible outcome improvement to the non-decentralized way.

Finally, blockchains hold the promise of decentralized organizational governance, a theme that continues to percolate in blockchain circles as a sort of nirvana end-state. Decentralized governance is an ambitious goal and comes with various degrees of feasibility, but it can only be achieved gradually, and not suddenly. Here too, the 1.0 models will most probably fall short or fail, especially if they attempt to airdrop DAO-like beliefs on their communities. Decentralized autonomy is a step-wise function that we get to gradually, and we still have much to learn about implementing it.

I recently started to use the contrast Native vs. Grafted to depict a simple classification of token roles. If the token is native to the blockchain, app or protocol, it means that the blockchain, decentralized protocol or application cannot function without it. In contrast, grafting functionality later is more tricky. Not only the resulting outcome may or may not be that innovative or useful, the chances for success will certainly be lower because it will be harder to achieve sustainable user engagement when users don’t have “blockchain skin” in the game.

For example, the Rarepepe project (despite its racist roots) is a good example of a truly native blockchain application across many dimensions: with Rarepepe, the assets can only be issued on the blockchain and they are linked to specific tokens; the Rarepepe token supply is limited, creating a scarcity; Rarepepe collections cannot be faked or copied, but they can be transferable peer-to-peer; and authenticity is inspected by trusted parties (Rarepepe scientists) that function like trusted decentralized nodes.

We need to challenge ourselves to create Token 2.0 projects. Token 2.0 will be achieved in part via a return to applying more creatively the fundamental features of a blockchain, and in part by erasing the mediocre Token 1.0 projects that are currently polluting the environment.

We need to put the blockchain back into the equation, and not the token.

If the token is a propeller head, its impact must be felt like a rocket. Make sure it is not looking like a set of rowing oars.

Note: We will discuss Tokens 2.0 vs. Tokens 1.0 at the upcoming Token Summit in San Francisco, December 5th. You can register here.

[Thanks to Vitalik Buterin for inspiration (during our panel chat at ETHWaterloo), and Fred Wilson for reviewing a draft and beefing-up the Web 1.0/2.0 analogy.]

(Republished from original on StartupManagement)

Blockchain Reputation — Promoting Good Actors In A Free Society

In a free society we will use blockchain based reputation systems to promote good actors, and because of this centralized third party intermediaries will cease to exist.

If you think about it, every human interaction has potential for conflict, and as the relational distance between two parties broadens, the potential for conflict grows. The more you know the person you’re interacting with, the easier it is to negotiate, because you have a better chance of intimately understanding the goals and trappings of that person.

For instance if you’re married, the person who you know best and who best knows you is most likely your spouse, and every day the two of you interact dozens of times or more. If your relationship is at least moderately strong, chances are you are able to do so in, if not a loving way, a civil way.

How is this achieved? Well, because the both of you have spent so much time getting to know each other; you share a household, memories, finances, intimacy, and perhaps children, you have earned a tremendous amount of mutual reputation. This reputation causes you to be empathetic with each other. You understand what brings each other joy. You understand what leads to conflict.

So you can use this knowledge to engage each other in ways that maximize respect, sovereignty, compassion, trust, and productivity, and reduce uncertainty and stress. Because of your close relationship, it is massively important that you have a solid reputation in the eyes of your spouse. That drives your motives, and incentivizes you and your spouse to make sure the majority of your interactions are win-win.

What is reputation?

Reputation is the sum of all your interactions with another person in a specific context. For example, if you have a history of calmly talking about finances with your spouse, you can both be reasonably confident that any future financial issues that come up will be discussed calmly. Context is key because it defines the nature of an interaction.

We all value different things, and so the way someone interacts in some contexts matters more to us then how they interact in others. For instance, if you plan on having children, the way your partner interacts with a child now is an important indication of how they will interact with your children in the future. A negative interaction might signal that they are not the right person to be in a relationship with. For you the context “interactions with children” carries more weight than it would with someone not interested in having children.

Circles of trust

There are concentric circles of trust that exist in societies. The people closest to you, perhaps your spouse and children, exist in the innermost circle. These are the people you have built the most reputation with. The next circle contains people who are still deeply close to you — maybe your parents, siblings, and best friends, but the further outward from center, the less reputation you have built with the parties each circle represents. Interactions with people in the furthest circles have the most risk, and that means if you do choose to interact with them you will need systems in place to account for that risk.

For most of human history building reputation was a slow process, and often times there were serious repercussions if you trusted the wrong person. Bad actors will always exist, and to trust one could imperil your livelihood or even your life.

But we are social creatures who need to cooperate with each other in order to survive and thrive. Think about it, no one is an expert at everything, so we must band together to build the best possible outcomes for ourselves, our families, and our communities. For this reason, there has always been a pull between the risk of trusting someone you do not know, and the reward that comes from cooperation. Over time we have figured out ways to limit our exposure to bad actors while maximizing our ability to cooperate. This has been extraordinarily productive for us as a species, but it’s far from ideal.

Reputation organizations


Photo by Julia Caesar

With limited technology people in our past created organizations as intermediaries to help solve the problem of reputation. There are many examples of this, from escrow services, to dispute resolution services, to credit reporting agencies. Even government is no more than an intermediary trying to protect its population from those they consider bad actors.

In our more recent history, the rise of the internet has allowed an exponential growth in ways for humans to collaborate, but it also created more risk because we end up dealing with people outside of our trust spheres. However, we now can easily connect with people all over the world, which is a remarkable achievement towards cooperative building, since it’s the people with the most differences in experiences that can offer skills and insights the people in our circles of trust most likely cannot.

People who are the most different from you, may have the most unique perspective relative to you, and perhaps can offer tools, knowledge, and products you would never even consider. But while interactions with people farthest away from your trust center might provide the greatest reward, they definitely come with the most risk.

To counter this risk, companies were created to act as intermediaries between parties who don’t know each other, and therefore have no reputation built between each other.

These companies provide a platform for users to find each other, communicate, and transact value, and because of this users separated by distance and culture can securely interact. The idea is, if the users trust the intermediary, they do not have to trust each other.

This is quite obviously very valuable, as some of the largest companies in the world are simply intermediaries. Companies like Amazon and Uber, who act as intermediaries in commerce interactions are worth billions each. And companies like Facebook and Twitter, who act as intermediaries in information interactions are also worth many billions. Then there are banks and governments. These types of centralized intermediaries affect the most people globally.

So you see, reputation matters. A lot. It’s clear that companies and states who offer reputation protections provide a valuable service. When humans are safe to interact and exchange, they create amazing things together, and by removing the risk of intervention by bad actors, humans can feel safe to reach out beyond their nearest circles of trust.

But organizing this way has a cost. Third party intermediaries, while effective to a certain extent, create unintended costs for users, and I group these costs into two categories: practical and philosophical.

The practical costs of third party intermediaries

In order to solve the issue or reputation, intermediaries like Amazon and Uber create significant infrastructure. In an online world this means hard costs like servers and buildings to house them, and soft costs like employee salaries and benefits, and payment processing. This ends up costing these organizations a lot of money, which in turn gets passed down to the end user.

For instance, each Uber ride costs the user upwards of 30% of each transaction. Amazon is a bit better, but users will still pay around 15% or more. The cost to create and run the infrastructure of a third party intermediary is very high, and users bear the brunt.

The second cost has to do with personal security. Centralized companies like the ones I mentioned above as well as state actors, all require a certain amount of sensitive user data in order to provide their services. They use identifying information to prove that users are who they say they are, and have what they say they have. For example, Amazon might need your banking information, address, social security number, business ID, date of birth, and more, and in return for knowing it they vouch for your character. They use the same information to vouch for the character of anyone you decide to do business with.

In a pre-blockchain world, these were necessary evils. The upside of being able to do business with billions of people around the world was worth giving up a bit of privacy. However, privacy isn’t the only concern. Data is valuable, and because these organizations hold a ton of data in central locations, they become targets for hackers looking to profit from stolen information.

The more information they store, the more of a target they are, and EVERYONE gets hacked eventually. Your information has likely been stolen a few times already, from Anthem, Target, Equifax, or any number of other large companies. They all lose their battle with hackers. It’s only a matter of time.

The philosophical cost of third party intermediaries

The financial and privacy costs of using centralized third parties are quite large, but in my opinion the philosophical cost is more interesting to ponder. If a third party is allowed to have authority to grant or refuse reputation to the people involved in an interaction, ultimately that third party intermediary can prevent the interaction from happening. The third party intermediary has all the power, while the transacting parties have traded their power for security.

As an example, even if a buyer and seller on Amazon both agree to a deal (which means they vouch for each other), Amazon has the authority to veto it. This is true every time. If Facebook or Twitter doesn’t approve of how you interact with your peers, they can kick you off or censor you, even though individual users have the ability to unfriend and block people they don’t want to associate with. If banks, credit cards, or payment processors take action against a person or organization they don’t like, they can prevent that person or organization from surviving.

The same is true with government actors. If a law exists prohibiting an interaction from occurring, regardless of whether both parties want it to happen, the state can take steps towards preventing it.

In my opinion, any voluntary interaction should be able to occur. If two people want to exchange value, be it knowledge, goods, or services, as long as the exchange is consensual, no one should prevent it from happening. But while reputation is controlled by centralized third party actors, voluntary interactions will be prevented. States can also effectively cancel a person’s identity by revoking residency, or even denying SWIFT access, so that a person can no longer operate in the global financial system.

The answer is blockchain technology

In Swarm City we are building a platform that allows people to find each other, communicate, and exchange value in a decentralized way. People will be able to build marketplaces, and form communities of like-minded individuals. For example, users will create their own buy/sell marketplace like Amazon, and communities of retailers will form to provide products in that marketplace. And drivers will band together as communities to provide services in rideshare marketplaces.

The Swarm City platform is decentralized because, although individual marketplaces and communities will be able to disallow certain members, or certain transactions to an extent, the Swarm City platform itself cannot censor interactions. And what’s even more critical, the Swarm City platform cannot prohibit any marketplace, or community from forming.

This allows communities to build naturally around like-minded values, and any voluntary interaction may take place. This is a novel approach to organizing, and I believe it will have tremendous impact on how humans exchange value.

However, what makes Swarm City truly revolutionary is the idea of “tokenizing” reputation, which means applying reputation to a blockchain. In my opinion, if you break Swarm City down to its primary function, at its core you’ll find a blockchain based reputation system.


(Photo by Juan ignacio Tapia)

Reputation on the blockchain

Every interaction in Swarm City takes place in a marketplace. We use hashtags to signify a marketplace — for example #needaride might be a rideshare marketplace, and #needtobuy might be a retail marketplace. When people successfully trade value in a marketplace by exchanging a product, service, or information, each party earns reputation tokens for that marketplace.

A marketplace is powered by a smart contract which can do all sorts of things like act as an escrow service, but its most powerful ability is generating non-spendable reputation tokens for every successful interaction. Also, each smart contract is unique to each marketplace, which means the reputation tokens they create are contextually unique to the type of transaction that occurs there.

These tokens get affixed to the user’s public key, are non-transferable, and live in perpetuity on the Ethereum blockchain. So when a user is deciding whether or not to interact with another user, they can see how much reputation that user has earned. It’s public and irrefutable, but just as important, it shows in which marketplaces that user has earned their reputation, which provides context to their reputation. For instance, a user may have thousands of reputation in #needaride as a driver, so it’s highly likely they can be trusted over someone with no driver rep in #needaride.

But perhaps that same driver with no #needaride reputation does have plenty of #NHRideshare driver rep and charges considerably less for their rides. The reason they don’t have any #needaride rep is simply because they haven’t participated in that marketplace yet, but they are clearly a reputable rideshare driver. Riders have all this context to ponder when deciding who to interact with. And so do drivers.

Riders earn their own unique reputation tokens, and this will let drivers know if their potential rider is a good actor. This is the power of blockchain based reputation. It gives immutable, public, contextual information about anyone you’re considering interacting with. Also, since reputation exists on a distributed ledger, it can follow a person from location to location. A rideshare driver doesn’t need to start from zero reputation in a new location if they use the same marketplace to give rides.

Voluntary societies

A free society is a voluntary one, where individuals may interact in any consensual way they choose. But for a free society to work optimally, it must have tools to solve the issue of reputation. Prosperity comes from interacting outside of your most trusted circles, because the pool of human ingenuity transcends the bounds of your close relationships. Genius exists everywhere, and it would be foolish to not seek it out. However, we must protect ourselves from bad actors. That is why blockchain based reputation is so critical. It gives us all the rewards of interacting with people we don’t know by providing irrefutable reputation, without the risks that come with using centralized third party intermediaries.



Blockchain Reputation — Promoting Good Actors In A Free Society was originally published in Swarm City Times on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Blockchain Reputation — Promoting Good Actors In A Free Society

In a free society we will use blockchain based reputation systems to promote good actors, and because of this centralized third party intermediaries will cease to exist.

If you think about it, every human interaction has potential for conflict, and as the relational distance between two parties broadens, the potential for conflict grows. The more you know the person you’re interacting with, the easier it is to negotiate, because you have a better chance of intimately understanding the goals and trappings of that person.

For instance if you’re married, the person who you know best and who best knows you is most likely your spouse, and every day the two of you interact dozens of times or more. If your relationship is at least moderately strong, chances are you are able to do so in, if not a loving way, a civil way.

How is this achieved? Well, because the both of you have spent so much time getting to know each other; you share a household, memories, finances, intimacy, and perhaps children, you have earned a tremendous amount of mutual reputation. This reputation causes you to be empathetic with each other. You understand what brings each other joy. You understand what leads to conflict.

So you can use this knowledge to engage each other in ways that maximize respect, sovereignty, compassion, trust, and productivity, and reduce uncertainty and stress. Because of your close relationship, it is massively important that you have a solid reputation in the eyes of your spouse. That drives your motives, and incentivizes you and your spouse to make sure the majority of your interactions are win-win.

What is reputation?

Reputation is the sum of all your interactions with another person in a specific context. For example, if you have a history of calmly talking about finances with your spouse, you can both be reasonably confident that any future financial issues that come up will be discussed calmly. Context is key because it defines the nature of an interaction.

We all value different things, and so the way someone interacts in some contexts matters more to us then how they interact in others. For instance, if you plan on having children, the way your partner interacts with a child now is an important indication of how they will interact with your children in the future. A negative interaction might signal that they are not the right person to be in a relationship with. For you the context “interactions with children” carries more weight than it would with someone not interested in having children.

Circles of trust

There are concentric circles of trust that exist in societies. The people closest to you, perhaps your spouse and children, exist in the innermost circle. These are the people you have built the most reputation with. The next circle contains people who are still deeply close to you — maybe your parents, siblings, and best friends, but the further outward from center, the less reputation you have built with the parties each circle represents. Interactions with people in the furthest circles have the most risk, and that means if you do choose to interact with them you will need systems in place to account for that risk.

For most of human history building reputation was a slow process, and often times there were serious repercussions if you trusted the wrong person. Bad actors will always exist, and to trust one could imperil your livelihood or even your life.

But we are social creatures who need to cooperate with each other in order to survive and thrive. Think about it, no one is an expert at everything, so we must band together to build the best possible outcomes for ourselves, our families, and our communities. For this reason, there has always been a pull between the risk of trusting someone you do not know, and the reward that comes from cooperation. Over time we have figured out ways to limit our exposure to bad actors while maximizing our ability to cooperate. This has been extraordinarily productive for us as a species, but it’s far from ideal.

Reputation organizations


Photo by Julia Caesar

With limited technology people in our past created organizations as intermediaries to help solve the problem of reputation. There are many examples of this, from escrow services, to dispute resolution services, to credit reporting agencies. Even government is no more than an intermediary trying to protect its population from those they consider bad actors.

In our more recent history, the rise of the internet has allowed an exponential growth in ways for humans to collaborate, but it also created more risk because we end up dealing with people outside of our trust spheres. However, we now can easily connect with people all over the world, which is a remarkable achievement towards cooperative building, since it’s the people with the most differences in experiences that can offer skills and insights the people in our circles of trust most likely cannot.

People who are the most different from you, may have the most unique perspective relative to you, and perhaps can offer tools, knowledge, and products you would never even consider. But while interactions with people farthest away from your trust center might provide the greatest reward, they definitely come with the most risk.

To counter this risk, companies were created to act as intermediaries between parties who don’t know each other, and therefore have no reputation built between each other.

These companies provide a platform for users to find each other, communicate, and transact value, and because of this users separated by distance and culture can securely interact. The idea is, if the users trust the intermediary, they do not have to trust each other.

This is quite obviously very valuable, as some of the largest companies in the world are simply intermediaries. Companies like Amazon and Uber, who act as intermediaries in commerce interactions are worth billions each. And companies like Facebook and Twitter, who act as intermediaries in information interactions are also worth many billions. Then there are banks and governments. These types of centralized intermediaries affect the most people globally.

So you see, reputation matters. A lot. It’s clear that companies and states who offer reputation protections provide a valuable service. When humans are safe to interact and exchange, they create amazing things together, and by removing the risk of intervention by bad actors, humans can feel safe to reach out beyond their nearest circles of trust.

But organizing this way has a cost. Third party intermediaries, while effective to a certain extent, create unintended costs for users, and I group these costs into two categories: practical and philosophical.

The practical costs of third party intermediaries

In order to solve the issue or reputation, intermediaries like Amazon and Uber create significant infrastructure. In an online world this means hard costs like servers and buildings to house them, and soft costs like employee salaries and benefits, and payment processing. This ends up costing these organizations a lot of money, which in turn gets passed down to the end user.

For instance, each Uber ride costs the user upwards of 30% of each transaction. Amazon is a bit better, but users will still pay around 15% or more. The cost to create and run the infrastructure of a third party intermediary is very high, and users bear the brunt.

The second cost has to do with personal security. Centralized companies like the ones I mentioned above as well as state actors, all require a certain amount of sensitive user data in order to provide their services. They use identifying information to prove that users are who they say they are, and have what they say they have. For example, Amazon might need your banking information, address, social security number, business ID, date of birth, and more, and in return for knowing it they vouch for your character. They use the same information to vouch for the character of anyone you decide to do business with.

In a pre-blockchain world, these were necessary evils. The upside of being able to do business with billions of people around the world was worth giving up a bit of privacy. However, privacy isn’t the only concern. Data is valuable, and because these organizations hold a ton of data in central locations, they become targets for hackers looking to profit from stolen information.

The more information they store, the more of a target they are, and EVERYONE gets hacked eventually. Your information has likely been stolen a few times already, from Anthem, Target, Equifax, or any number of other large companies. They all lose their battle with hackers. It’s only a matter of time.

The philosophical cost of third party intermediaries

The financial and privacy costs of using centralized third parties are quite large, but in my opinion the philosophical cost is more interesting to ponder. If a third party is allowed to have authority to grant or refuse reputation to the people involved in an interaction, ultimately that third party intermediary can prevent the interaction from happening. The third party intermediary has all the power, while the transacting parties have traded their power for security.

As an example, even if a buyer and seller on Amazon both agree to a deal (which means they vouch for each other), Amazon has the authority to veto it. This is true every time. If Facebook or Twitter doesn’t approve of how you interact with your peers, they can kick you off or censor you, even though individual users have the ability to unfriend and block people they don’t want to associate with. If banks, credit cards, or payment processors take action against a person or organization they don’t like, they can prevent that person or organization from surviving.

The same is true with government actors. If a law exists prohibiting an interaction from occurring, regardless of whether both parties want it to happen, the state can take steps towards preventing it.

In my opinion, any voluntary interaction should be able to occur. If two people want to exchange value, be it knowledge, goods, or services, as long as the exchange is consensual, no one should prevent it from happening. But while reputation is controlled by centralized third party actors, voluntary interactions will be prevented. States can also effectively cancel a person’s identity by revoking residency, or even denying SWIFT access, so that a person can no longer operate in the global financial system.

The answer is blockchain technology

In Swarm City we are building a platform that allows people to find each other, communicate, and exchange value in a decentralized way. People will be able to build marketplaces, and form communities of like-minded individuals. For example, users will create their own buy/sell marketplace like Amazon, and communities of retailers will form to provide products in that marketplace. And drivers will band together as communities to provide services in rideshare marketplaces.

The Swarm City platform is decentralized because, although individual marketplaces and communities will be able to disallow certain members, or certain transactions to an extent, the Swarm City platform itself cannot censor interactions. And what’s even more critical, the Swarm City platform cannot prohibit any marketplace, or community from forming.

This allows communities to build naturally around like-minded values, and any voluntary interaction may take place. This is a novel approach to organizing, and I believe it will have tremendous impact on how humans exchange value.

However, what makes Swarm City truly revolutionary is the idea of “tokenizing” reputation, which means applying reputation to a blockchain. In my opinion, if you break Swarm City down to its primary function, at its core you’ll find a blockchain based reputation system.


(Photo by Juan ignacio Tapia)

Reputation on the blockchain

Every interaction in Swarm City takes place in a marketplace. We use hashtags to signify a marketplace — for example #needaride might be a rideshare marketplace, and #needtobuy might be a retail marketplace. When people successfully trade value in a marketplace by exchanging a product, service, or information, each party earns reputation tokens for that marketplace.

A marketplace is powered by a smart contract which can do all sorts of things like act as an escrow service, but its most powerful ability is generating non-spendable reputation tokens for every successful interaction. Also, each smart contract is unique to each marketplace, which means the reputation tokens they create are contextually unique to the type of transaction that occurs there.

These tokens get affixed to the user’s public key, are non-transferable, and live in perpetuity on the Ethereum blockchain. So when a user is deciding whether or not to interact with another user, they can see how much reputation that user has earned. It’s public and irrefutable, but just as important, it shows in which marketplaces that user has earned their reputation, which provides context to their reputation. For instance, a user may have thousands of reputation in #needaride as a driver, so it’s highly likely they can be trusted over someone with no driver rep in #needaride.

But perhaps that same driver with no #needaride reputation does have plenty of #NHRideshare driver rep and charges considerably less for their rides. The reason they don’t have any #needaride rep is simply because they haven’t participated in that marketplace yet, but they are clearly a reputable rideshare driver. Riders have all this context to ponder when deciding who to interact with. And so do drivers.

Riders earn their own unique reputation tokens, and this will let drivers know if their potential rider is a good actor. This is the power of blockchain based reputation. It gives immutable, public, contextual information about anyone you’re considering interacting with. Also, since reputation exists on a distributed ledger, it can follow a person from location to location. A rideshare driver doesn’t need to start from zero reputation in a new location if they use the same marketplace to give rides.

Voluntary societies

A free society is a voluntary one, where individuals may interact in any consensual way they choose. But for a free society to work optimally, it must have tools to solve the issue of reputation. Prosperity comes from interacting outside of your most trusted circles, because the pool of human ingenuity transcends the bounds of your close relationships. Genius exists everywhere, and it would be foolish to not seek it out. However, we must protect ourselves from bad actors. That is why blockchain based reputation is so critical. It gives us all the rewards of interacting with people we don’t know by providing irrefutable reputation, without the risks that come with using centralized third party intermediaries.



Blockchain Reputation — Promoting Good Actors In A Free Society was originally published in Swarm City Times on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

5 Reasons I am Bullish on Zcash

TL:DR— there are plenty of reasons why I think Zcash will be around for the long-haul.

 Full disclosure: I am an advisor to Zcash (ZEC) and hold some coins.

Readers of this blog will often ping me asking for advice on ICOs, tokens, Ethereum, and Bitcoin. Obviously (or maybe not obviously), I can’t give investment advice. As you know, the whole crypto world is full of volatility and risk. Please keep that in mind.

Background

I recently had the opportunity to spend 2 days in deep conversations with the extended team responsible for driving the Zcash protocol.

I am fairly certain that I have never been in a room with as much cryptographic horsepower as the one I was in with them. And I’d doubt that many others have either.

At a certain point in the conversations, I had to “tap out” because I couldn’t totally understand all the nuances of elliptical curves, gates, and zk-Snarks (though I tried to hold my own).

The discussions were enlightening, empowering, and exhausting. With the team’s permission, I am sharing some of the reasons why I am even more excited now than I was before (and I was pretty excited).

Before we jump in though, I want to call your attention to this podcast about Zcash which describes the elaborate and serious extent to which the team went to in order to ensure your security and the integrity of the system.

It’s a drama in the vein of the “Serial” podcast that will have you on the edge of your seats (in a good way).

The Needs and Wants You May Not Yet Realize You Have

Wayne Gretzky famously said “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” (I don’t care if the quote is over-used, it’s still good).

That’s what Zooko and team are doing.

They are skating to where the puck is going.

Zcash is pretty much what people who really, really get the power of blockchains (both good and bad) designed so that we get the good without the bad.

#1: You’re going to want a truly digital version of cash

What makes cash so useful?

It gives you a simple, easy way to conduct a transaction without anyone else knowing about it, if you don’t want them to. What’s more, you know you have it because it is right there in your hands. Afterwards, the other party to the transaction similarly knows s/he has it ….quickly (the so-called “shielded” transactions that give you total privacy take about 40 seconds to generate the transaction).

While every crypto-asset gives you the ability to control your coins, Zcash is the closest thing out there that is blockchain-based to replicate the functionality of cash. Bitcoin (you know I’m a fan) is great, but it’s totally traceable. Remember, the blockchain tracks everything.

Cash and Zcash give you tremendous flexibility and speed combined with privacy.  You don’t want everyone to know everything you are buying all the time, do you?

Sometimes, you may not care, but it would be nice to have the option at your disposal if you want it.

#2: You want others to have privacy, too.
There’s a larger societal good that comes with Zcash and it’s one that should appeal to liberals and conservatives alike.

By creating a system that favors privacy as the ultimate goal, you not only protect yourself, but you protect the rights of others.

Imagine living in a totalitarian state where your phone calls, expenditures, messages, and votes (among other things) were subject to surveillance.

If you knew that everything was being watched all the time, how comfortable would you feel to freely express your opinions or vote your conscience?

You wouldn’t.

Similarly, you don’t want others to feel throttled either. A technology that is private-by-default gives you a better chance of having the society you really want.

Need #3: You want businesses to have privacy

It’s not just individuals who need privacy.  It’s companies as well.

The benefits of the blockchain have been well documented on this blog.

But, imagine you are in a highly competitive industry and you are making an acquisition or a purchase of any kind.  Do you really want others to know how much you have paid for something?

No, you don’t.

If businesses can’t keep anything a secret from their competitors, you’re going to have a less dynamic market. This will lead to fewer goods and services and prices will not be as competitive (or low) for you.

Need #4: You want to know people are behaving honestly

The transparency and immutability of blockchains are what enable you to trust someone without actually trusting them. You know for a fact that they have possession of the coins they are sending you and are authorized to spend them.

But, total transparency and total privacy don’t really go together.

That’s where the super cool zk-Snarks technology comes in. Understanding the inner workings of the technology requires a PhD from MIT, Technion, or Johns Hopkins. But that’s not important.

ZK stands for “zero knowledge” and the basic concept is that you just need to be able to assess the veracity of a statement without knowing the details of the transaction.

One great example used a grocery store receipt with 50 items on it.

If I give you a receipt, you can inspect everything that I purchased. I have no privacy.

However, what if there were a way to know that I spent $178 at the grocery store, but you have NO idea exactly what I purchased? (that’s the “zero-knowledge” part)

And you were 100% confident that, in fact, the $178 was spent? (that’s kind of the “proof” part)

There you go, now you get zk-Snarks.

Need #5: Know that the monetary system in which you are participating is secure

If you ask anyone in the crypto-business who has the absolute “best in the business” when it comes to cryptography, there’s only right answer.

Take a look at this list. Any sophisticated investor will tell you, “it’s all about the team.”  The combination of the “7 scientists” as they are known (I like to call them the “Zeven Zamurai” or “Magnificent Zeven”) is unparalleled.

Then, look at the advisors and investors.

It’s pretty much the “Crypto-Dream Team.”

If there is a group of people that is going to figure out how to keep the system integrity where it needs to be, I believe in this one.

Zcash’s Forward Path: Overshooting

In The Innovators’ Dilemma, Clayton Christensen describes a concept called “overshooting”:

Disruptive technologies, though they initially can only be used in small markets remote from the mainstream, are disruptive because they subsequently can become fully performance-competitive within the mainstream market against established products.

This happens because the pace of technological progress in products frequently exceeds the rate of performance improvement that mainstream customers demand or can absorb. As a consequence, products whose features and functionality closely match market needs today often follow a trajectory of improvement by which they overshoot mainstream market needs tomorrow.

And products that seriously underperform today, relative to customer expectations in mainstream markets, may become directly performance-competitive tomorrow.

In my mind, Christensen is describing Zcash perfectly.

The products out there (e.g. Visa, PayPal, etc.) whose features match the needs of today’s customer are going to follow a trajectory, I believe, that will overshoot mainstream needs tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Zcash is already being used in small markets remote from the mainstream. It underperforms relative to customer expectations (most people don’t understand why they need something like Zcash yet), but with the pace of technological progress, combined with changing customer needs (see Gretzky), I expect Zcash to become performance competitive.

The post 5 Reasons I am Bullish on Zcash appeared first on Never Stop Marketing.

Decentralized Applications and Lending on the Blockchain

ETHLend is a ”fully decentralised P2P lending platform build on top of the Ethereum Blockchain using Smart Contracts”. So what does this actually mean? That is a great question, so lets break it down.

Decentralization refers to the degree of which power is taken from a central entity and, in case of blockchains, how this power is distributed into a network. In theory this means that there is no single entity that has decision making power, instead the whole network is responsible for the development of the project. This is a completely new paradigm shift, which is going to disrupt many industries and create completely new eco-systems with their own economics.

ETHLend will aim to be as decentralized as possible. This means that we are focused on building our community and not making all the decision by ourselves. Our goal in the long term is to shift our governance from the ETHLend Foundation to the community. In the blockchain space this is known as a DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization. This means that we will build in a governance model into the platform that will give our users the possibility to vote on new developments.

P2P, peer to peer, means that all exchanges of value happens directly between two people. In a normal environment, when we exchange value we want to have a 3rd party as a middleman to ensure ”safety and security”. With the blockchain this model becomes obsolete. We call this a trust-less environment, where any two people can transact with each other without trusting each other. The reason for this is that the blockchain will take care of the ”trust” part. We can always trust that the code works the same way and this way we do not need to trust the other party, just the fact that the blockchain will work.

ETHLend is a lending platform. We offer a platform that is accessible through you internet browser (Google Chrome + Metamask plug-in) and where you can request a loan in digital currencies. There are many use cases for this platform. One would be a speculative use case where traders want to increase their liquidity or swap in between tokens e.g. if your getting short squeezed.

But the bigger vision for our platform is to offer a financial service for the 2 billion unbanked people in the world. Especially in places where the government is oppressing people, corruption is present in the governing bodies, using unsuccessful monetary and fiscal policies and creating huge inflation. The list goes on and on… With the help of cryptocurrencies we can transact directly with each other in a democratic and decentralized manner. There’s no need for people to trust their banks and in some countries you most definitely shouldn’t. If we look at the interest rates between developed and developing countries, the differences are huge. Our goal is to offer a global and fair marketplace that gives everyone access to capital. Democratizing lending markets with the help of the blockchain.

The Ethereum blockchain. We’re building on top of the Ethereum blockchain. But we should probably start of by giving some kind of definition of what a blockchain is.

” A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.”

This pretty much summarizes what a blockchain is, but this description is more fitting for Bitcoin. What makes Ethereum different is that we can do Smart Contracts. This is a computer protocol that is specifically designed to facilitate, verify and enforce contracts. Negotiations and performance indicators will be specified in the code and the contract will execute when certain parameters are met.

In our use case we want to put the loan data on these smart contracts and this way ensure a secure and safe lending environment. There’s no involvement from third parties and there’s no way for anyone to ”hack” this system. Our loans are safe and secure by design and also democratic by nature.

This pretty much summarizes what ETHLend is. Stay tuned for updates or check out our social media for more details on the project. Doing lending in a decentralized environment and creating a credit rating or history is a big challenge. Our solution is already working, but this is only the beginning.

Br,
Martin Wichmann, Head of Token Sale, ETHLend

As usual, all insights and exclusive content on Telegram.

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White Paper: https://github.com/ETHLend/Documentation/blob/master/ETHLendWhitePaper.md

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Decentralized Applications and Lending on the Blockchain was originally published in ETHLend Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.