Blockchain and Tech for Good

Sally Eaves is a Chief Technology Officer, Professor of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, Founder and Global Strategic Advisor, and a specialist in the application of emergent technologies for business and societal benefit. In this presentation she speaks about Tech for Good.

Eaves notes that trust in business, media, government and NGO’s is at a 17 year low and contrasts that with the idea that blockchain can facilitate trust.

She discusses creating shared value alongside profit and doing meaningful work by creating sustainable business models that combine profit and purpose.

She notes the need for opportunities that exist in the technological convergence of blockchain and AI in partner with the Internet of Things (IoT).

She touches upon the need for making applications of blockchain accessible and everyday.

Eaves also points out her belief in the needs for arts and tech to work hand-in-hand.

What is Coindesk?

CoinDesk, located in NYC, bills itself as “The world leader in news, prices and information on bitcoin and other digital currencies.”

They cover news and analysis on the trends, price movements, technologies, companies and people in the bitcoin and digital currency world.

Their per-minute Bitcoin Price Index, a derived measure of bitcoin’s value based on an agreed set of criteria, also serves as a point of reference for those involved in the bitcoin industry.

CoinDesk hosts its annual Consensus summit, an annual blockchain technology gathering in New York City. It also hosts Consensus: Invest, an event designed to showcase the new crypto asset class to institutional investors across the globe.

CoinDesk publishes The State of Blockchain, and important analysis on the growth of blockchain technology.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum describes itself as “a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.”

The term “smart contract” refers to computer code that can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value. When running on the blockchain a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when specific, defined conditions are met.

Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer and launched in 2015.

The platform is also the basis for its own virtual currency, Ether.

Ethereum is not just a platform.  It’s also a programming language, helping developers to build and publish distributed applications.

As an example for comparison and contrast, Bitcoin is also a distributed public blockchain network.  Although there are important technical differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum, Bitcoin solely exists to offer one famous application of blockchain technology: a peer to peer electronic cash system that enables and tracks online Bitcoin payments.

Conversely, the Ethereum blockchain focuses on running the programming code of any decentralized application.

In fact, Ethereum is also being used as a platform to launch other cryptocurrencies

In the Ethereum blockchain, instead of mining for bitcoin, miners work to earn Ether, a type of crypto token that fuels the network. Beyond a tradeable cryptocurrency, Ether is also used by application developers to pay for transaction fees and services on the Ethereum network.

There is a second type of token that is used to pay miners fees for including transactions in their block, it is called gas, and every smart contract execution requires a certain amount of gas to be sent along with it to entice miners to put it in the blockchain.

Visit the following link to see what types of Dapps are being built on Ethereum.

PWC Blockchain 2018

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a multinational professional services network headquartered in London. PwC ranks as the second largest professional services firm in the world behind Deloitte.

In PwC’s 2018 survey of 600 executives from 15 territories, 84% say their organizations have at least some involvement with blockchain technology.

Additional highlights:

  • 45% believe trust could delay adoption
  • 30% see China as a rising blockchain leader
  • 28% say interoperability of systems is a key for success

Furthermore, they outline four strategies for blockchain success:

  1. Make the blockchain business case: evolution, not revolution
    Strategic clarity will ensure that your blockchain initiative has a business purpose around which you and other participants can align.
  2. Build an industry ecosystem
    Blockchain may call for competitors to collaborate in a new way, as they come together to solve industry-wide problems.
  3. Design deliberately
    Every blockchain will require rules and standards, particularly around what various participants will be able to access and how they can engage.
  4. Navigate regulatory uncertainty
    stay agile to meet regulatory requirements as they evolve in the years to come

What is Binance?

Binance is a crypto exchange for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Some of the factors that have made it attractive to crypto traders include its availability in multiple languages, fast order processing and the fact that it transacts numerous digital currencies.

Binance is only for trading cryptocurrencies, and does not handle fiat currencies.

Due to evolving global regulations, Binance moved from China, where it was established, to Japan and then Taiwan and as of March 2018, relocated to Malta (Island country south of Italy).

Coinbase to List Additional Assets

Coinbase is a U.S. crypto exchange which supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin, which of course represent a fraction of the global digital currencies available.  To become more globally competitive Coinbase will begin listing new crypto assets which are in line with local regulations. This is a significant change for Coinbase.

For more info, visit this link: Coinbase’s New Asset Listing Process.

Blockchain and The Promise of Value to Users and Developers Instead of Shareholders

Brendan Blumer, the CEO of Block.one, presents his keynote speech on Sept 26, 2018 in Olympia, London for the Blockchain Live 2018 conference.

Blumer outlines a cogent overview of blockchain and its transformative promises.  He notes that it is a technology that welcomes everyone with no prerequisites and which will inevitably become part of our future.

Blumer offers this definition: Blockchain is simply a mutually agreed set of standardization of data storage and transmission. It’s a set of constraints that developers agree to abide by in order to obtain security, auditability and interoperability.

He suggests an analogy that blockchain is to data in some ways what regulation is to society.

He describes blockchain as a social and economic movement that offers the promise of a more transparent, efficient and interoperable world.

Blumer notes it includes a promise that, over time, it will allow our governments to better represent all of us.

He highlights how blockchain can transform centralized platforms, like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, GitHub, insurance institutions and banking, into decentralized networks, where the profits of such networks would be minimal to non-existent and any excess value could be driven back to those who contribute to the prosperity of the project.

Blumer further elaborates: “Shareholders, as we currently understand them, are in many cases beginning to represent pricing inefficiencies and we may yield them less competitive to projects with perfectly priced goods and services.”

As an example, he describes a social network that rewards users with tokens for content creation, and requires advertisers to purchase those tokens, which drives value to the users, as opposed to traditional shareholders.

He remarks upon the democratization of blockchain with the idea that transparency may usher in a new era of equality and accountability.

Blumer describes blockchain tokenization as an opportunity that allows consumers to store value in projects they know and understand, which they can also engage in for their own prosperity.  In such a tokenized economy the activity of early discovery and evangelism can and will be a career in itself.

Bitcoin and the CBNC Circus

CNBC calls this a “documentary,” but it’s merely sensationalist entertainment. Although it’s not a sincere look at the world of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, it does touch upon different perspectives, presumably to offer a hint of gravitas to a circus sideshow presentation.

When one contemplates the decline of journalistic standards, this serves as an apt example, replete with a clown, whom they feature as their expert character, versus a few serious characters whom are used primarily for sound bites.  The main circus act is the female “finance journalist” who permits herself to be patently objectified.  No #MeToo message here.

The Advance of Litecoin

Charlie Lee is a computer scientist, best known as the creator of Litecoin. He serves as the managing director of the Litecoin Foundation and he also works for Coinbase.

The above video is Lee’s keynote presentation at the 2018 Litecoin Summit on September 14, 2018.

Lee preceded his presentation with a brief talk about the controversy surrounding the sale of his Litecoin holdings in December 2017 at the top of the crypto market.

As part of his primary talk, Lee discussed the energy use in Proof of Work mining as that which makes Litecoin and Bitcoin secure.

Lee compares Litecoin to Bitcoin as an analog to silver to gold, where Litecoin is silver and Bitcoin is gold.

He notes that we live in a fiat currency world and that’s not going to change for a while.

He describes the end game of Litecoin and Bitcoin as sound money that is also being used by merchants.

Lee presents a variety of graphs that show Litecoin has gone up exponentially, but the creation of blocks is unchanged at every 2.5 minutes and notes that the Litecoin blockchain has been working almost flawlessly.

He noted that Litecoin is adopted and supported by almost all exchanges and is already accepted by lots of merchants.

Lee also discussed future development, which includes the importance of sound money, as well as scaling and the desire to increase fungibility and privacy of Litecoin.

He described Litecoin as decentralized money and “people’s money,” referring to it as money that can’t be devalued or taken away.