Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus
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Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus
Covering Blockchain, Ethereum, Smart Contracts and Decentralized Consensus Topics at large in both english et en français, notamment pour le compte de LaBChain et de ses 23 partenaires.
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In 360° VR : Robert Bosch Venture Capital Forum - Philippe Dewost Blockchain Keynote for Caisse Des Depots and #LaBChain

Nadia & myself were invited in Stuttgart for the 7th RBVC workshop that was focusing this year on Blockchain and AI. I delivered the opening keynote yesterday and recorded it in 360° thanks to a Giroptic IO camera. Here is the result, best experienced with the Youtube mobile app or any compatible VR headset.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This is probably the first immersive 360° VR Blockchain Keynote, as well as my very last one for @CaisseDesDepots

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Bitcoin’s Price Was Artificially Inflated Last Year, Researchers Say

Bitcoin’s Price Was Artificially Inflated Last Year, Researchers Say | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
SAN FRANCISCO — A concentrated campaign of price manipulation may have accounted for at least half of the increase in the price of Bitcoin and other big cryptocurrencies last year, according to a paper released on Wednesday by an academic with a history of spotting fraud in financial markets.

The paper by John Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, and Amin Shams, a graduate student, is likely to stoke a debate about how much of Bitcoin’s skyrocketing gain last year was caused by the covert actions of a few big players, rather than real demand from investors.

Many industry players expressed concern at the time that the prices were being pushed up at least partly by activity at Bitfinex, one of the largest and least regulated exchanges in the industry. The exchange, which is registered in the Caribbean with offices in Asia, was subpoenaed by American regulators shortly after articles about the concerns appeared in The New York Times and other publications.

Mr. Griffin looked at the flow of digital tokens going in and out of Bitfinex and identified several distinct patterns that suggest that someone or some people at the exchange successfully worked to push up prices when they sagged at other exchanges. To do that, the person or people used a secondary virtual currency, known as Tether, which was created and sold by the owners of Bitfinex, to buy up those other cryptocurrencies.
“There were obviously tremendous price increases last year, and this paper indicates that manipulation played a large part in those price increases,” Mr. Griffin said.

Bitfinex executives have denied in the past that the exchange was involved in any manipulation. The company said on Wednesday that it had never engaged in “any sort” of market or price manipulation. “Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of Bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex,” Jan Ludovicus van der Velde, Bitfinex’s chief executive, said in a statement.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Confusion between a public token based infrastructure and an exchange market for such token can go both ways. You shall invest only in what you understand. And for me it is still a Hold.

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Amazon is moving into blockchain with a new partnership

Amazon is moving into blockchain with a new partnership | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
  • The tech giant's cloud computing arm is partnering with a start-up called Kaleido to make it easier for customers to put their services on blockchain.
  • "Introducing Kaleido to AWS customers is going to help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves," Amazon Web Services says.
  • Founder of Ethereum blockchain Joseph Lubin calls it is a "heavy duty" move by the tech giant to get into blockchain.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

BaaAWS = Blockchain as an Amazon Web Service ?

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Here is the breakdown of the $7.4 Bn ICO market for Q1 2018

Here is the breakdown of the $7.4 Bn ICO market for Q1 2018 | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Right now, based on preliminary assessments, it can be said that more than $7.4 billion has already been collected, which is more than during all of 2017, and this despite a threefold fall in the entire cryptocurrency market over the first quarter. The total funds collected in 2017 equaled around $6.9 billion.

 

The growth in collected funds in 2018 took place despite the introduction of a number of changes and restrictions in this area related to regulation processes and the types of tokens being issued (for example, regulation of the issue of tokens by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and restrictions on security tokens).

 

Despite the ban on initial coin offerings in certain countries (China, South Korea), and the need to perform KYC (Know Your Customer) verification procedures, some ICO projects have established mandatory preregistration, limitations on the minimum and maximum amount of tokens purchased, a digital queue for the right to purchase tokens, etc.

 

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Figures vs (bad) buzz

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Telegram has already raised an initial $850M for its billion-dollar ICO

Telegram has already raised an initial $850M for its billion-dollar ICO | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

A document submitted to the SEC earlier this week states that the money was raised “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.” The security is described as “purchase agreements for cryptocurrency” and the filing is signed by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov.

 

This initial sum is most likely the pre-sale stage of the ICO which, as TechCrunch reported on extensively and in detail last month, was targeted at venture capital firms and top figures in the investment community who were given deep discounts to buy Telegram’s Gram token. The pre-sale was originally targeted at raising $600 million, but demand pushed the figure up to $850 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

 

Telegram initially planned to raise a further $600 million to develop its TON project via a public sale that starts in March, according to documents seen by TechCrunch, but it remains to be seen whether that figure will be adjusted. Bloomberg previously suggested the public sale component would expand to $1.15 billion, bringing the total raised to nearly $2 billion if successful.

 

Telegram CEO Durov did not reply to an emailed request for comment at the time of writing.

 

Either way, the sale promises to be the largest ICO seen to date. The pre-sale figure alone tops all other ICOs held by some margin.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

ICOs look more and more like the tool of choice when it comes to fund a network effect driven project or platform ; yet Telegram's is unprecedented in many ways and here is why #TheScalabilityEffect

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Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency crashed hard today

Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency crashed hard today | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Bitcoin has been on a tear this past with the value of the cryptocurrency jumping from $8,000 to nearly $20,000. Well that run hit an abrupt end today as the price crashed as much as 23 percent on Coinbase. The price briefly dipped below $12,000 on some exchanges at around 7:30 am London time.The drop — which wiped more than $4,000 from the value of bitcoin at one point — was the highest percentage loss of value that bitcoin has seen this year. The cryptocurrency was valued at just $998 on January 1 2017 and it soared to a record high of nearly $20,000 on some exchanges earlier this week.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Most interesting is that nobody really knows either why today’s 23% crash nor why this year’s 15x rally... and the article footnote is hilarious per se.
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No, Bitcoin Won't Boil the Oceans

No, Bitcoin Won't Boil the Oceans | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

A recent report suggests that at current prices, Bitcoin miners will consume an estimated 8.27 terawatt-hours per year. That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually less than an eighth of what U.S. data centers use, 1 and only about 0.21 percent of total U.S. consumption. It also compares favorably to the currencies and commodities that bitcoin could help replace: Global production of cash and coins consumes an estimated 11 terawatt-hours per year, while gold mining burns the equivalent of 132 terawatt-hours. And that doesn’t include armored trucks, bank vaults, security systems and such. So in the right context, bitcoin is positively green.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Bitcoin energy consumption, in context.

Interesting to read to form your opinion instead of relaying uninformed clickbait amplified by the #Kommentariat

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A clever Tesla owner is using his Model S to mine cryptocurrency for free

A clever Tesla owner is using his Model S to mine cryptocurrency for free | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Building a cryptocurrency miner that doubles as a heater is cool, but one inventor has taken the concept of mining to a whole new level. A creative Tesla owner managed to fit a legitimate mining rig inside the trunk of his shiny Model S.But here is the best part: all the electricity needed to keep the mining rig running is coming from Tesla’s free Superchargers – or so the inventor says. The quirky setup went viral after the inventor took to Facebook group Tesla Owners Worldwide to share images of the Model S-fitted miner.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Model S, meet AntMiner
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Money is a social construct and that’s why you should run a #bitcoin full-node

Money is a social construct and that’s why you should run a #bitcoin full-node | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Bitcoin is a system with many strict rules but without any rulers. This is made possible because the rules are enforced by each and every user of the system. Changing the existing rules is nearly impossible, but new rules can be added if consensus is achieved.

The enforcement of rules without rulers may perhaps be the biggest innovation behind bitcoin.

But this doesn't mean that no one is trying to become the ruler…

For this reason, the users of bitcoin must defend their position as the rule enforcing part of the ecosystem.

Rules-without-rulers is a feature that distinguishes bitcoin from all other monetary systems, and this feature alone may represent the main reason why bitcoin has obtained value in the first place.

Unfortunately, bitcoin is a bit difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain…
So let’s start with a simplification of the bitcoin ecosystem:

- Miners are the supply.
- Users are the demand.
- Nodes specify what the users are demanding.
- Miners work to fulfill that specification.

To understand how bitcoin can hold value, we must first take a step back and ask:

What gives money value?

Money is first and foremost a social construct, so let’s have a look in the dictionary:

Source: Social construct

While remembering that money is just a social construct, ask yourself the following:

Where is the value in the below illustration?

Money is a social construct

Answer:

The value is the quality of the service performed by the plumber and in the tastefulness of the bread produced by the baker.

These are values with a clear demand from the market.

The money in this illustration is not the value.

But if the money is not the value, then what is the money?

The money is just a tool that is used by the plumber and the baker:

- To communicate the value of the service and the bread.

- To exchange with each other the values they are producing

- To store (save for later) the values they have created.

- To account for the value of the service that is delivered by the plumber in comparison to the bread produced by the baker.

An interesting question would be:

If the plumber performs a service that takes one hour to finish; how many breads must the baker produce to deliver a corresponding amount of value?

Money is a tool that allows for a measurement of different values so that the above question can have a satisfying answer.

All of the above features applies to bitcoin in exactly the same way as they apply to the dollar (or to any other form of money)

(Note: for simplicity I will use the word dollar instead of “fiat currency” or “government controlled currency”)

Money is not inherently valuable but becomes valuable as a social construct (as a useful tool)

Money is given its value from the perception of its users. The act of accepting money as a medium of payment for something of actual value; gives value to the money.

Put simply:

- Users of money give money its value.

With this understanding in mind there are two very important differences between the dollar as a social construct and bitcoin as a social construct:

#1: The acceptance bitcoin is completely voluntarily, while the acceptance of dollar is not.

The dollar has the advantage of legal tender status. This means that when offered the dollar as payment, the plumber and the baker are required by law to accept this medium of payment.

In other words; they are required by law to give the dollar value

#2: The dollar has an inherent authority (the state) that enforces the rules of the dollar.

When the plumber and the baker receives the dollar in their bank accounts, they can know with a high degree of certainty; that those are valid money in compliance with the rules that is enforced by the inherent authority.

 

Anyone who accepts bitcoin as a medium of payment does so entirely voluntary. This means that users voluntarily choose to give bitcoin its value.

But since bitcoin does not have an inherent authority, the acceptance of bitcoin comes with a special responsibility:

It is the responsibility of the user to independently check the validity of an incoming bitcoin transaction.

To do this, the user must be connected to a fully validating node that is owned and controlled by the individual user.

This is the only way to use bitcoin in a completely trustless manner without reliance an any third party.

The rules of bitcoin are enforced by the users through their act of validating

The users are practicing enforcement because they will only accept bitcoin as valid payment if;

The bitcoin-transactions they receive: 
are valid transactions as specified by the personal nodes they are running.

Users are enforcing the rules of bitcoin by only giving value to the coins that are valid in the eyes of the user.

No validity = No value given

This is why the miners must comply by the rules that are enforced by the users.

If the miners don’t comply; then they will end up wasting large amounts of energy to mine coins that are worthless in the eyes of the users.

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BREAKING: Russia Issuing ‘CryptoRuble’

BREAKING: Russia Issuing ‘CryptoRuble’ | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia will issue its own ‘CryptoRuble’ at a closed door meeting in Moscow, according to local news sources. The news broke through Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov.

According to the official, the state issued cryptocurrency cannot be mined and will be issued and controlled and maintained only by the authorities. The CryptoRubles can be exchanged for regular Rubles at any time, though if the holder is unable to explain where the CryptoRubles came from, a 13 percent tax will be levied. The same tax will be applied to any earned difference between the price of the purchase of the token and the price of the sale. Nikiforov said:

 

“I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after 2 months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”

Embracing and rejecting

While the announcement means that Russia will enter the cryptocurrency world, it is in no way an affirmation or legalization of Bitcoin or any other decentralized cryptocurrency. On the contrary, Putin quite recently called for a complete ban on all cryptocurrencies within Russia.

The statement from Putin seemed apparently to contradict the earlier commentsfrom other ministers who seemed pro-crypto, but only with regulations, as well as Putin’s recent meetings with Buterin and others. Now, with the issuance of the CryptoRuble, the apparent contradiction has been made clear.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Did Vitalik convince Vladimir ?

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SweetTalk Video: The Ultimate Gupta vs. Nelson Blockchain + Supply Chain Throwdown in London

SweetTalk Video: The Ultimate Gupta vs. Nelson Blockchain + Supply Chain Throwdown in London | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
We are proud to announce the first (and though we’ll try to outdo ourselves, possibly the best ever) episode of SweetTalk — the Sweetbridge show featuring leading blockchain experts and futurists…
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What does Google want with HTC's smartphone business?

What does Google want with HTC's smartphone business? | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Google is acquiring a $1bn chunk of HTC’s smartphone arm, including 2,000 employees and access to intellectual property, as it bets big on hardware.
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Russia Makes U-Turn on Cryptocurrencies After Backing From Putin

Russia Makes U-Turn on Cryptocurrencies After Backing From Putin | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Russia Makes U-Turn on Cryptocurrencies After Backing From PutinRussia is drawing up rules about how to conduct initial coin offerings, breaking ranks with China after President Vladimir Putin signaled his approval for digital currencies.While China slapped a blanket ban on ICOs this month, the government in Moscow plans to regulate cryptocurrencies like securities rather than outlawing them, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Friday. That marks a full reversal from his ministry’s proposal last year to punish people who use digital currencies with up to seven years in jail.Appetite for the new instruments has been growing ever since Putin met in June with the founder of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin and gave his blessing for Russia to develop blockchain, the technology underlying bitcoin. A consortium of lenders including Sberbank PJSC is now seeking to use the technology to cut costs, while a presidential aide last month announced plans for an ICO.By contrast, China’s central bank has ordered all fundraising efforts related to ICOs -- which have raised at least $1.25 billion globally so far -- halted immediately, a decision that may have an impact on investors who had participated in at least 65 of the projects by mid-July. Chinese regulators have also decided to close domestic trading cryptocurrency platforms, Caixin reported, citing unidentified people close to the nation’s Internet financial risk prevention team.“The state certainly understands that cryptocurrencies are a reality, there is no point in prohibiting them,” Siluanov told reporters in Moscow. “It is possible to regulate them, so the Finance Ministry will draw up a bill by the end of the year.”Putin’s EmbraceThat reality wasn’t always apparent in Russia. Before Putin’s meeting with Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian founder of Ethereum, the legal status of cryptocurrencies was unclear.Since then, a company co-owned by the president’s internet ombudsman, Dmitry Marinichev, has announced a plan to raise $100 million in an ICO to fund a domestic digital currency-mining operation. Herman Gref, Sberbank’s Tesla-driving chief executive, has put the weight of Russia’s biggest bank behind a modified ethereum protocol dubbed Masterchain to make interbank money transfers safer and faster.Not all Russian officials are believers, however. Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina warned Friday at the same forum that there was “gold fever” surrounding digital currencies and said that they shouldn’t be used as a surrogate for money.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Russia's U-turn on cryptocurrencies shows us that 1/ it is about control 2/ it is about influence 3/ it is about geopolitics and ultimately sovereignty.Speaking of influence, it looks like Vitalîk Buterin has some on Vladimir Putin...
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David Marcus moves from Messaging to Blockchain @Facebook

David Marcus moves from Messaging to Blockchain @Facebook | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

David Marcus who was Vice President, Messaging Products, becomes Head of Blockchain  (news posted on September 5).

 

The organizational chart of Facebook displays its 206 main executives including Mark Zuckerberg, David Wehner, Sheryl Sandberg and Sue Taylor

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Given what he did with Messenger, we can expect a bold commitment. 

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HTC is launching a blockchain-powered phone

HTC is launching a blockchain-powered phone | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
HTC is developing a new android phone that will be powered by blockchain technology. The phone, named Exodus, will feature a universal wallet and a built-in secure hardware enclave to support cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

I thought cryptocurrencies and Blockchain were powered by hardware and not the opposite ... #StupidTitle

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Andreessen Horowitz is preparing to launch a separate fund for crypto investments

Andreessen Horowitz is preparing to launch a separate fund for crypto investments | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Andreessen Horowitz, one of the leading venture capital firms when it come to investing in digital currencies, is preparing to launch a separate fund to buy and sell crypto assets, Recode has learned.

The move could be a significant broadening of the high-profile firm’s mission, and would serve as another big industry moment as investors seek to capitalize on the flurry of activity in cryptocurrencies, which some see as the next wave of innovation. Andreessen Horowitz has invested in blockchain companies like Coinbase, in crypto-specific funds like Polychain Capital and in initial coin offerings, but as a fund, it has not yet publicly traded the actual assets like bitcoin.

Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment.

Two job listings posted on Andreessen’s website say that the firm is hiring for a “separately managed fund focusing on crypto assets.” Andreessen has so far only invested out of two types of funds: One for early- and late-stage startups, the latest closed in 2016 totaling $1.5 billion; and one for bio investing, which last year equipped the firm with $450 million to invest in a specific class of companies.

The job postings did not specify how much this fund would gather under management, or when it would begin investing. Andreessen Horowitz also doesn’t define “assets” in the job postings, so it’s possible that the firm could choose to run its token- and blockchain-related startup investing out of this pool of capital, as well. Plus, the industry could look very different in just a few years.

But the listings for a legal counsel and for a finance and operations manager do spell out some details:

  • The lawyer would be responsible for making sure Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto investments are SEC-compliant. The firm acknowledges that this person would need to “operate in an area where the regulatory, legal and business climate remains largely unsettled.”
  • The finance manager would help Andreessen Horowitz collect money from its limited partners — a “capital call,” in the parlance of the industry. One key challenge for this role, according to the posting, would be to help the firm assign a valuation to its crypto assets, which isn’t easy given how volatile some cryptocurrencies have proven to be.

Venture capital firms have been generally skittish about investing in cryptocurrencies directly, with some saying that their limited partners could very well do so without their help (and avoid the fees that they’d have to pay to the venture capital firms to do it for them). Other conservative limited partners are worried about the regulatory risks of the entire sector.

But few funds have a track record in this space like Andreessen Horowitz, which is one of the most active venture capital firms in cryptocurrency investing, under a team led by general partners Chris Dixon and Alex Rampell, who are looked to in Silicon Valley as guiding lights for understanding the asset class. Andreessen Horowitz investments in addition to Coinbase range from well-known companies like Ripple to newer deals like CryptoKitties.

That being said, some investors believe there’s a lot more money to be made and faster in the currencies themselves than in the companies that are merely organized around them.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Marc Andreessen once said : "In the fight between the bear and the alligator,the outcome is determined by the terrain.". Andreessen Horowitz is now getting prepared to enter the crypto asset terrain.

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IBM Is Finally Getting Serious About Cryptocurrency

IBM Is Finally Getting Serious About Cryptocurrency | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

It wasn't long ago that your average enterprise wouldn't even mention bitcoin, ethereum, or any number of cryptocurrencies in public.

Instead of using the cryptographically secure tokens to streamline workflows - or even talking about doing so - some of the most recognizable enterprises in blockchain have largely confined themselves to uses of blockchain as a new decentralized database, absent any digital assets.

Slowly however, over the past several years that has started to change. Executives at large corporations have shown themselves to be increasingly willing to take public stances both for (and against) what is now a $300 billion token market.

But if 2017 was the year that companies began talking about crypto, it wasn't until recently that enterprises have been willing to publicly use cryptocurrencies in both early-stage prototypes and live applications.

Now, it would seem the floodgates are prepared to open, with the $140 billion IBM revealing to CoinDesk that it has been meeting with executives from commodities trading platforms, large corporations, and perhaps most importantly, central banks, to explore how cryptocurrencies can help save them money and generate revenue.

"We're seeing tons of demand for digital asset issuance across the board," said IBM's new head of blockchain development Jesse Lund, who was hired from Wells Fargo earlier this year to help develop the computer giant's cryptocurrency strategy.

At the moment, that work is largely being pursued using the public Stellar platform, and its native cryptocurrency, the lumen (XLM), a partnership made public last October.

But in interview, Lund said IBM is interested in expanding the business applications of cryptocurrencies in a number of ways.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Thou shall not separate... Big Blue is breaking from enterprise blockchain norms by publicly working with cryptocurrencies in a wide range of projects.

 

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Bitcoin Laundering Less Than One Percent of All Transactions

Bitcoin Laundering Less Than One Percent of All Transactions | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Fewer than 1 percent of bitcoin transactions involve money laundering, according to a new report. FDD and Ellicit, a bitcoin forensics company, claim that money laundering through bitcoin is not the widespread problem some critics of the cryptocurrency believe. “The amount of observed Bitcoin laundering [is] small and darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road and, later, AlphaBay are [generally] the source of almost all of the illicit Bitcoins laundered through conversion services,” the report states. The researchers also claim that illicit bitcoin transactions are five times more likely to happen in Europe than North America
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Bitcoin also has its fake news
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MIT Media Lab’s response to "A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built to Outperform Bitcoin" shows entanglement with MIT Technology Review around IOTA

MIT Media Lab’s response to "A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built to Outperform Bitcoin" shows entanglement with MIT Technology Review around IOTA | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
On Friday, MIT Technology Review published an article on the cryptocurrency IOTA. However, we at the Media Lab have issues with the story. Like for « no fees transactions » : Bitcoin has miners who can perform the proof of work for you, while IOTA users do the proof of work on their own devices, per transaction. However, a Bitcoin user can also mine their own block to get their transactions accepted into the blockchain without paying fees. To put it another way, most people wouldn’t be interested in buying a refrigerator operated by a hand crank, even if the advertisement said “No electricity required!”
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
When MIT Media Lab & MIT Technology Review differ by a Iota
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Man wants to dig up landfill site after he ‘threw away’ bitcoin haul now worth over $80m

Man wants to dig up landfill site after he ‘threw away’ bitcoin haul now worth over $80m | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
A British man says he accidentally threw away over $80 million worth of bitcoin. James Howells, an IT worker from Newport, claims to have unintentionally dumped 7,500 bitcoin in mid-2013. He is now planning to find them, but isn’t sure how, as he believes the hard drive he saved them to is currently buried in a landfill site.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Adding a zero does not make a ditched hard drive story new, only more dramatic. With cryptos you are your own bank. Time for a Ledger Nano maybe ?
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Deloitte Reports More Than 26,000 Blockchain Projects Launched in 2016

Deloitte Reports More Than 26,000 Blockchain Projects Launched in 2016 | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Professional services major Deloitte claims that over 26,000 new Blockchain technology-based projects were launched on the code repository GitHub in 2016. GitHub is a development platform that houses codes for more than 86,000 Blockchain programs, including large projects such as Bitcoin.

 

In its report titled “Evolution of Blockchain Technology: Insights from the GitHub Platform,” Deloitte claimed that the number of Blockchain projects by both organizations and individual users at the development platform in 2016 is the biggest so far.

 

By comparison, there are less than 15,000 initiatives that were launched in 2015. Meanwhile, in the first half of 2017, there were almost 25,000 projects that were recorded on the platform.

According to Deloitte, the majority of the projects, however, have become inactive in the long run and only eight percent are active so far.

 

"The stark reality of open-source projects is that most are abandoned or do not achieve meaningful scale. Unfortunately, Blockchain is not immune to this reality. Our analysis found that only eight percent of projects are active, which we define as being updated at least once in the last six months."

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Of 26000 Blockchain projects launched in 2016, it seems 92% have been dropped and are now dead in water.

Many will shortcut and conclude it is/was a fad. My view is that we are now realizing Blockchain is way more complex than expected, yet with a way larger potential than anticipated.

Let"s continue exploring and investing !

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Blockchain Just Became Obsolete. The Future is Hashgraph

Blockchain Just Became Obsolete. The Future is Hashgraph | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Swirlds is a software platform that has developed the hashgraph consensus algorithm: an entirely new distributed ledger technology that is much more cost-effective (no proof-of-work), 50,000 times the speed, safer (Byzantine), more efficient (no stale blocks) and mathematically fairer than the blockchain.This is the future of the internet and decentralized technology.What is Blockchain Technology?Considered the greatest technological innovation since the internet: Blockchain technology emerged in response to the collapse of several banking institutions in 2008 with the release of a whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto titled: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”“…blockchain technology facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without any intermediary such as a bank or governing body …” – Don TapscottBlockchain is simply a database that is public (no one owns it), distributed (no centralized server), is continuously updated, and is secured by the art of cryptography.This is why Jamie Dimon is freaking out. Banks will soon be obsolete.What is Hashgraph and Why is it Better?Hashgraph is a superior distributed ledger technology system that eliminates the need for massive computation and unsustainable energy consumption like those of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Most importantly, it is able to reach a consensus. (I’ll explain why this is so critical)50,000 Times Faster: limited only by bandwidth – 250,000+ Transactions Per Second (Pre-Sharding)As of now Bitcoin is limited to 7 transactions per second. More Fair: mathematically proven fairness (via consensus time stamping) meaning no individual can manipulate the order of the transactions. In the blockchain world, a miner can choose the order for which transactions occur in a block, can delay orders by placing them in future blocks, even stop them entirely from entering the system.Consensus time stamping prevents an individual from affecting the consensus order of transactions.Once an event occurs, everyone knows about it within a couple of minutes. Only the effects of the transaction are necessary in storing, everything else can be discarded. This shrinks the amount of storage currently needed (Bitcoin: 60GB) to a fraction of 1GB, allowing a smart phone to now act as a node. Improved Security: Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant: No member can prevent the community from reaching a consensus, nor can they change the consensus once it has been reached.With Byzantine, a consensus can be reached, whereas in the blockchain world, it is only a probability that increases over time. If no consensus is ever reached, conflicts will always occur. This is why hard forks that result in alt coins, such as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold are occurring. 100% Efficient: No mined block ever becomes stale. In the blockchain, transactions are put into containers (blocks) that form a single, long chain. If two miners create two blocks at the same time, the community will eventually choose one and discard the other.In hashgraph, every container is used and none are discarded.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
News of public Blockchains like Bitcoin & Ethereum being « hashbeen » have often been greatly exaggerated ...
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IMF Head Christine Lagarde Foresees the End of Banking and the Triumph of Cryptocurrency

IMF Head Christine Lagarde Foresees the End of Banking and the Triumph of Cryptocurrency | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
In a remarkably frank talk at a Bank of England conference, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has speculated that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have as much of a future as the Internet itself. It could displace central banks, conventional banking, and challenge the monopoly of national monies. Christine Lagarde–a Paris native who has held her position at the IMF since 2011–says the only substantial problems with existing cryptocurrency are fixable over time.In the long run, the technology itself can replace national monies, conventional financial intermediation, and even "puts a question mark on the fractional banking model we know today."In a lecture that chastised her colleagues for failing to embrace the future, she warned that "Not so long ago, some experts argued that personal computers would never be adopted, and that tablets would only be used as expensive coffee trays. So I think it may not be wise to dismiss virtual currencies."
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Christine Lagarde has it all. Finally a relevant official position from a former Finance Minister ion cryptocurrencies ! #MustRead
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Renaud Munier's curator insight, October 17, 2017 11:55 AM
Ohoh...the next dimension?
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Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Co-Authors Plan for Interactive ICO Protocol

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Co-Authors Plan for Interactive ICO Protocol | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
A new white paper, co-authored by ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, seeks to tackle challenges in the fast-moving market for initial coin offerings.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
ICO 2.0 : this could be a real game changer
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AXA launches first Insurance Blockchain Product

The product, called ‘Fizzy’ is being trialled for air passengers between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and the United States and is expected to come to the UK early next year.The insurance premium and agreements are all detailed on a smart contract and the flight is tracked in real time through global air traffic databases. Fizzy automatically pays compensation into the customer's bank account if the flight arrives more than two hours late. Compensation of a loss is not based on a customer claiming for it and insurance experts assessing the loss, but on data stored on the AXA blockchain.Laurent Benichou director of R&D at AXA GIE says: "Through Fizzy, the independent smart contract, rather than the insurer, triggers consumer indemnification. I believe this is a new element of insurance architecture that will become mainstream in future offers”
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
Well done AXA, a Blockchain pioneer and early #LaBChain supporter !
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The promise of managing identity on the blockchain

The promise of managing identity on the blockchain | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Blockchain, the secure distributed ledger technology first created to track bitcoin ownership, has taken on a number of new roles in recent years tracking anything of value from diamonds to real estate deeds to contracts. The blockchain offers the promise of a trusted record that can reduce fraud. Some industry experts say that over the coming years, it could be used to control identity information in a more secure fashion.

As we have seen, just last week with the massive Equifax hack, our personal information is highly vulnerable in online databases in their current form. The fact is that whenever we have to identify ourselves, we are forced to present a variety of information to prove we are who we say we are, whether that’s to register for an online service, to cross a border or even prove you are old enough to drink at a bar.

The argument goes that if our identity were on the blockchain, it would give us more control over this information, and with proper applications allow us to present just the minimum amount of information a given party needs to identify us. That could be your date of birth at a bar, your credit score at a bank or a unique identifier to access an online service.

It’s unclear if the blockchain can be that identity panacea that some have suggested, but there are a range of opinions on the matter.

Yes, it’s happening

Of the experts we contacted, only one was fully enthusiastic about blockchain as an identity tool. Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow and VP of blockchain technologies, sees blockchain already having a big impact as people demand more control of their identities. He says that we are constantly being asked to share personal information to access places or information or to do business with companies — and that each of these actions puts us at risk for identity theft. He believes the solution to this problem could lie on the blockchain.

“Imagine a world where you are in direct control of your personal information; a world where you can limit and control how much information you share while retaining the ability to transact in the world. This is self-sovereign identity, and it is already here. Blockchain is the underlying technology paving the path to self-sovereign identity through decentralized networks. It ensures privacy and trust, where transactions are secure, authenticated and verifiable and endorsed by relevant, permissioned participants,” Cuomo explained. In fact , he says that he’s already seeing businesses and governments beginning to establish and use these networks to meet citizen demand and deliver the promise of self-sovereign identity.

No, probably not

It sounds pretty good to hear Cuomo describe it, yet not everyone is enthusiastic as he is, seeing many obstacles to using the blockchain for identity purposes. Steve Wilson, an analyst at Constellation Research, who has studied the blockchain extensively has serious reservations about it as an identity management system.

“Identity is not going to move to the blockchain in any big way (not as we know it). Blockchains were designed to solve problems quite different from identity management (IDM). We need to remember that the classic blockchain is an elaborate system that allows total strangers to nevertheless exchange real value reliably. It works without identity and without trust. So it’s simply illogical to think such a mechanism could have anything to offer identity,” Wilson explained.

He adds, “The public blockchains deliberately and proudly shirk third parties, but in most cases, your identity is nothing without a third party who vouches for you in some way. Blockchain is great for some things, but it’s not magic, and it just wasn’t designed for the IDM problem space.”

Eve Maler, who works at identity management firm ForgeRock, which landed an $88 million investment last week, also finds the possibility highly unlikely for a variety of practical reasons. “Identity will not move to the blockchain if this means personal data will be put on a public permissionless blockchain (distributed ledger technology in its purest form), as this is now widely considered bad practice,” she said.

She added, “The “distributed nodes” element of the technology is valuable for architectures where trust in a central authority is difficult or undesirable to establish, but can be challenging where it is desirable to record sensitive information because of the increased attack surface (every node has a copy of everything) and resulting increased privacy considerations.”

It depends

Then there are those who fall somewhere in the middle. They aren’t ready to write it off, but they see a lot of obstacles along the way to implementing it, or see it as a part of a broader ecosystem of identity tools, rather than a full replacement to what we have now.

Charles Race, president of worldwide field operations at cloud identity firm Okta, which went public this year, thinks it’s possible blockchain will emerge. He envisions a similar set of use cases as Cuomo, but sees a lot of obstacles that stand in the way of using the blockchain to implement identity management broadly moving forward.

“A trusted entity will need to establish some legal and enforceable rules and policies for how it all works, they’ll need to make it easy for the average person to use securely, and they’ll need to convince a critical mass of people and service providers to adopt and trust the ID — all while finding an economically viable business model. Some institutions are uniquely positioned to solve all of these chicken-and-egg issues at once and bring this big idea to life — first among them are our citizen-facing government agencies,” Race explained. But he adds, “The trouble with this idea is that a universal ID poses risks to privacy and hence [could] encounter significant political opposition.”

Andre Durand, CEO at Ping Identity, an identity management firm that was sold for a reported $600 million to Vista Equity Partners last year, says it’s not likely to happen as a full replacement over the next five years, but it could begin to play a role in identity. “What is much more likely is that the things Distributed Ledger Technology is uniquely designed for, keeping accurate records in a distributed system, will become part of the identity management ecosystem and help improve aspects of it,” he says.

Ian Glazer, an identity industry expert says it really about choosing the right tool for the job, but he doesn’t necessarily see there ever being one answer that fits every identity scenario including blockchain.

“To ask if identity will move to blockchain is not the right question. Better to ask will use cases emerge that blockchain-related technologies are uniquely qualified to solve. Likely there will be some. But just like relational databases, LDAP and object databases, no one storage/retrieval mechanism has proven to be the single “right” tool for the job,” Glazer told TechCrunch.

Like any emerging technology, there are going to be a range of opinions on its viability. Using the blockchain as an identity management system is no different. It will probably begin to take on some role over the next five years because the promise is just so great, but how extensive that will be depends on how the industry solves some of the outstanding issues.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Answering the "Who did What When (with Whom) ?" question in confidence makes no sense if the "Who" question is left open.

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