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Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Losses 7.26% After Hard Fork

Two days ago, the bearish market made an intense landing on all cryptocurrencies, today the market is looking slightly buoyant, although not enough to keep some tokens afloat. Bitcoin Cash happens to fall into this unfortunate category. Shortly after the hard fork which took place in the last few hours, the token has dropped by 7.26% today. The decline in trading price can be linked to the halt in both withdrawals and deposits of BCH due to the fork, however, prior to the fork, the token was impressively crawling up from the $500 mark to break resistance levels at $550 to $600. On the 15th of November, the token opened up at $511.63 and moved slightly upwards to hit a trading price of $525.27, just as soon as it bounced up, it fell back to 421.20 and closed up slightly higher at $439.31. BCH was certain to continue its bullish run that would’ve pulled the token to as high as $600, this was evident in the consistency in its trading price for the past six days when the token stabilized at a $500 level. In fact, on the 7th and 8th of November, the token was trading at $616 to $630 with a daily all-time high of $619 to $638 respectively. Before Bitcoin Cash was hard forked, trading volume was around $979.24 million, as of this writing, the token is trading at a volume of $746.92 million with a trading price of $407.10. One cannot help but question the future of Bitcoin Cash, especially considering that it’s hard fork was birthed out of a feud that may have contributed to the intensity of the bearish market. Some traders are already suggesting that the hard fork would lead to a downfall of the token, as such, some are interpreting the decline as a rock bottom movement. Binance’s infant token BNB has also dropped by 0.04% even after its listing on the Ugandan fiat-crypto branch. Although Ugandans warmly received Bitcoin and Ethereum upon its listing, Ugandan traders are yet to show any form of pronounced interest in BNB. The post Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Losses 7.26% After Hard Fork appeared first on ZyCrypto.

4 days ago

Ethereum [ETH/USD] Technical Analysis: Bearish trends to witness a reversal?

The cryptocurrency market is in hibernation mode as the cold wrath of bear goes unleashed. At the time of writing, ETH was up by a mere 0.22%, trading at $177.5 with a market cap of $18.32 billion. The 24-hour trading volume is recorded at $2.45 billion. 1-hour: ETHUSD 1-hour candlesticks | Source: tradingview In this scenario of the ETH candlesticks, the downward trendline stretches from $203.9 to $176.9. A major support breach also occurred during the collective bearish downturn of the market, wherein the current support is set very low, at $165.2. The Parabolic SAR appears to be bullish on the Ether price trend. The dots are providing support to the candlesticks by aligning themselves below the candles. The Awesome Oscillator has turned red as of now. The indicator is bearish on the market, contrary to the above prediction. The Chaikin Money Flow has adopted a neutral approach towards the price speculation, as the reading line continues to travel in a horizontal fashion. 1-day: ETHUSD 1-day candlesticks | Source: tradingview In the 1-day time frame, the downtrend extends from $465.5 to $209.1 wherein the candlesticks have broken multiple supports. The earlier support set at $182 was breached by the current support that is fixed at $177. This shows that Ether has been dunking further below with the onset of the bearish crypto-market. The Bollinger Bands are widening the gap to welcome an increased volatility in the market. Greater price fluctuations can be expected in the ETH price. The Klinger Oscillator made a bearish crossover by the signal line to project downward price trend. However, the indicator is now approaching upwards to indicate hope for a better future. The RSI has dunked to hit the rock bottom. The indicator is currently traveling in the oversold zone, which is a bullish sign as trend reversal can be predicted. Conclusion: In this technical analysis, it can be observed that a trend reversal is evident by the nature of multiple indicators. The market is also expected to be highly volatile during this price run. The post Ethereum [ETH/USD] Technical Analysis: Bearish trends to witness a reversal? appeared first on AMBCrypto.

4 days ago

Without SWIFT, Iran turns to crypto

On November 5th, the United States put into effect the harshest round of sanctions on Iran to date, scaling back Tehran’s ability to do business with foreign entities significantly. As a result of these sanctions, and mounting pressure from the U.S., Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the international payments facilitator, has cut off services to the country’s Central Bank. Though SWIFT is a Belgium-based company, some of its biggest clients are in the United States, making it exceedingly difficult not to take American threats seriously. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained that SWIFT’s move was “the right decision to protect the integrity of the international financial system.” The sanctions, which were part two of the U.S. campaign stemming from the withdrawal from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have been met with criticism from other world powers. China and Russia, for their part, have stated that they will continue to do business with Tehran, buying and selling goods in euros instead of dollars. European countries, however, are largely reliant on SWIFT, and without it, lack a sustainable means to make or receive payments from Iran. Leading up to the latest round of sanctions, however, both the European Union and Iran had proposed two wildly different solutions to this conundrum. A New SWIFT Germany has been the most vocal about the new sanctions, with Heiko Maas, German foreign minister saying: “Europe should not allow the US to act over our heads and at our expense. For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system.” France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, joined the call to action, stating: “With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions, adding “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.” Though little progress has been made towards a SWIFT alternative, it’s clear that the European Union is getting fed up with U.S. overreach in the geopolitical space and getting more aggressive in its plans to move away from the U.S. dollar and U.S. controlled payment instruments. Germany is also facing off against the U.S. over Russian plans to build a new natural gas pipeline, which the U.S. has repeatedly threatened to sanction, suggesting instead that the EU purchase more expensive LNG from American sources. Iran Turns To Crypto On the other side of the table, Iran is scrambling for its own solutions. Despite its harsh stance against bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the past, Tehran has announced that it will be moving forward with plans to create its own state-sponsored cryptocurrency, much like Venezuela’s el petro. The Informatics Services Corporation (ISC) has already developed the country’s new rial-backed currency, however hurdles still remain. Due to the complexity of the endeavor, the still-unnamed digital rial requires the approval from the country’s Central Bank. Seyyed Abotaleb Najafi , CEO of the ISC explained: “In order to realize renovation and create new infrastructure in our banking system, banks’ back end processes which is still in paper and traditional way should be changed and evolved.” Conclusion The value of the Iranian rial has already plummeted, along with its crude oil production, leaving both the citizens of the country and buyers of Iranian crude caught between a rock and a hard place. The need for a solution is palpable and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. is unwilling to back down from its sanctions ploy. While the EU scrambles to figure out its own solutions on the matter, Iran is rushing to complete and approve its state-sponsored cryptocurrency, which still requires a willingness from other parties to accept. Iran risks running into the same problems as Venezuela’s el petro in this regard. President Maduro’s coin has yet to have any real impact on global trade, and due to its numerous failures, is unlikely to ever truly take root. The post Without SWIFT, Iran turns to crypto appeared first on Crypto Insider.

5 days ago

Willy Woo: ‘Bitcoin is balancing, I’m curious to see where everyone is at on the eve of the next breakout’

Willy Woo, an early Bitcoin investor, and popular cryptocurrency personality have reaffirmed his stance on where Bitcoin is headed in the nearest further. The investor has joined a few other analysts to reveal that although the bearish market may be in total control at the moment, Bitcoin is gathering enough momentum to enable it to attain a massive breakout. He made this known after a twitter poll which was recently conducted resulted in around 30% of individuals agreed that Bitcoin is soon to hit rock bottom, while 40% believed the market is undergoing a bearish crisis and the 30% remained undecided. Woo disclosed his stance in a tweet, saying : So 30% think the bottom is in, 40% think more bear, and 30% are undecided. People asked what I think. To me, nothing has really changed, apart from some sideways nail biting. Woo explained that Bitcoin’s network momentum still needs to climb further, in order to put a bottom to the bear market. He continued : BTC balancing, balancing, next more will be defining. Super curious to see where everyone is at on the eve of the next breakout... In agreement with Woo’s beliefs, Vinny Lingham, Ceo of Civic Key retweeted Woo’s post with a tag “I concur”. This is quite an interesting development, considering the fact that Lingham had recently engaged in a Bitcoin bet with cryptocurrency trader Ronnie Moas. In late October, the two rounded up the World crypto con in Las Vegas as Moas staked $20,000, predicting that Bitcoin is certain to hit $28,000 as a roundup price in 2019. Lingham who stood at the other end of the spectrum was quick to accept the challenge saying “I can’t lose”. Although Lingham is not Anti-Bitcoin, his response suggests that Bitcoin is in its early infancy and has not wielded enough momentum to skyrocket that far. He concluded by saying “If BTC goes that high, happy to pay it”. The post Willy Woo: ‘Bitcoin is balancing, I’m curious to see where everyone is at on the eve of the next breakout’ appeared first on ZyCrypto.

6 days ago

Bitcoin and Ethereum stumbles, Ripple (XRP) Unshaken

The top two crypto-dogs are stumbling with each passing day. Some days a peak, other days a significant decline. The last 24hrs happen to be one of the latter days with Ethereum losing as much as 1.48% while Bitcoin suffers a 0.52% decline. On the 12th of November, Bitcoin opened at a promising trading price of $6411.76, in mid-day, the bull hit an all-time high of $6434.21, expected to topple the $6,450 to $6,500 resistance level, but hit rock bottom in split seconds and dropped way down to $6360.47 then it finally closed at $6371.27. Bitcoin’s trading volume on BitMex exchange against the USD reached 18.71% and with the South Korean won backing it up on Coinbit to further fuel its volume to hit 5.49%, giving it a total of $4.45 billion in trading volume. As of this writing, Bitcoin’s volatility manages to descend in small units whilst trading volume swells upward to reach $4.49 billion with a current trading price on the $6,300 level. Will Bitcoin shiver a lot harder and birth a bearish crisis? The next 24hrs will tell. Ethereum has in the very same fashion been pulled by the bearish market affecting its trading price with up to 1.61%. Ethereum traded at $211.51 yesterday and reached a daily all-time high of $212.62. An unexpected low of $208.92 and struggled to balance its momentum with a closing price of $210.42. Today, Ethereum trades at $207.98. Meanwhile, XRP stands tall, fearless and unshaken with a rise of $2.77. Ripple opened at $0.507833 and closed at $0.517165 in a span of 24hrs. Trading volume surged from $605 million to 667 million. Trading volume against Bitcoin hit 15.41% to birth its current trading price of $0.519298. The post Bitcoin and Ethereum stumbles, Ripple (XRP) Unshaken appeared first on ZyCrypto.

7 days ago

Cryptocurrencies to Target for the Next Bull-Run (OAX, XLM, HOT)

Cryptocurrencies OAX, HOT, and XLM are worth looking into if you’re looking for coins with the best chance to outperform Bitcoin price in Q4 2018. Small Cap Vs. Low Price Cryptos (A Trader’s Mindset) The mindset of a cryptocurrency trader in a bull vs. a bear market is vastly different. During the last bull-run, two types of cryptocurrencies had a tendency to ‘pump.’ Ones with very low market caps on big exchanges and those with very low prices. The coins with low market caps, dedicated teams, with the network to get listed on top exchanges should be acquisition targets heading into the next bull-run vs. the alternative of buying low priced coins. A very low market cap coin with major unknown quarter four events: OAX, should perform exceptionally well in the short term. The market sentiment has continued to shift from the summer of 2018 through the beginning of quarter four. With crypto personalities and technical analysis pointing to a December bull-run, the question becomes fairly obvious: How does one take advantage of the shifting of market sentiment and the possible impending moonshot? The last bull run which concluded 2017 had two main types of cryptocurrencies that saw significant pumps. These two types included very low cost per coin cryptocurrencies regardless of their market capitalization. The other type were coins that had a very low market cap. Coins with a low market cap are the coins which should be targeted vs. the ones that the price seems “cheap” on. Most individuals who are not accustomed to cryptocurrencies do not realize the importance of market capitalization vs. actual price. For example: consider 2 cryptocurrencies, one is trading at $0.50 the other at $2.00, the first has a market cap of $100 million, the second has a market cap of $5 million. Which is the better investment if both are about to have $1 million in demand of the cryptocurrency generated by an announcement? The answer is the second, with a $5 million market cap and $2.00 price. The reason for this is if $1 million of demand is generated for a cryptocurrency with a $5 million market cap the total market cap will increase to $6 million. This 20% increase in market cap will be reflected by the price increasing by 20%, from $2.00 to $2.40. The first coin with a market cap of $100 million would now have a market cap of $101 million and the $.50 crypto would have increased to $0.505. If you purchased the cryptocurrency with the lower market cap you would make 20% compared to 2% for the coin with the higher market cap. With all else equal it is always a better idea to target a lower market cap cryptocurrency vs. one with a ‘lower price.’ OAX has one of the smallest market caps on Binance and is my #1 acquisition target for this reason, along with many others. For those wanting a lower price coin with a significantly higher market cap HOT and XLM are fantastic options. OAX OAX 00 is one of the lesser known and discussed cryptocurrencies, which is a great reason to begin targeting it before the Twitter personalities and “whales” begin their accumulation. OAX is also listed on the highest volume exchange, Binance, which is notorious for solely listing tier 1 projects. So what is OAX’s project that impressed Binance enough to list? I had the pleasure of discussing with the OAX team many aspects about their project during a recent interview. According to Wayland Chan who is the Technology Lead of the OAX Foundation, by the end of 2018 OAX will “deliver a stand-alone DEX using the work done building a scalable layer 2 solution.” This very significant event is not listed on cryptocurrency calendar websites nor is it commonly known in the space. What is most impressive about OAX’s decentralized exchange (“DEX”) is that they plan to have an “off-chain order book, off chain order execution, as well as no custody of user assets.” OAX could be the scalable solution that DEX’s have sought for years. The OAX project is very ambitious but having secured a Binance listing their legitimacy should not be challenged. The first prototype of the DEX was delivered in June and since the developer have been finalizing the layer 2 solution using off-chain solutions to solve the performance problems of blockchains. According to OAX’s Technology Lead, We’ve made huge strides...and expect to soon announce some big news that will definitely rock the boat. As much as I pressed I was unable to get an inside glance at what this ‘breakthrough’ was. This year, OAX was trading as high as $2.28, having dropped to under $0.35 since. With their platform becoming a reality, now is the perfect time to acquire a position. The future of OAX looks very bright. OAX plans to have a layer 2 working prototype by the end of 2018. Their DEX has the potential to revolutionize the exchange community and the scaling difficulties they face. ICOs were all the craze at the end of 2017, DEXs are becoming the next craze with looming regulations and government crackdowns alread

10 days ago

Ditch Ethereum At Your Own Peril: DApp Founder

Ethereum (ETH) has had bad press lately. Erstwhile Ethereum dApps are moving onto other networks; prices are at rock bottom. At a conference not too long ago, one cryptocurrency trader described ether tokens as “practically dogshit.” But through all of the trials and tribulations, some projects are rallying around to defend the grand old lady from mounting hostility. Ethereum is far from perfect, they say, but it is better than the other platforms out there. Uriel Peled is the co-founder of Orbs, an application for well-known consumer brands to use blockchain technology. Orbs is based on the Ethereum network; its principal purpose is to offer the technological equipage and infrastructure for big firms to build their own decentralized applications that are scalable, effective and secure. The project raised $118m in its ICO, which concluded in May this year. Speaking to Crypto Briefing over the phone, Peled explained how he had previously harbored deep-seated concerns about the platform: he didn’t think Ethereum had a future, due to crippling scalability issues which sapped confidence. “The network simply didn’t work,” he said. “It was a good proof-of-concept but my initial view was that it would be superseded by the next generation of platform networks.” “Now I think that the Ethereum network isn’t going anywhere”, he added. The network offers Ethereum dApps security Peled thinks of Ethereum as the basic technological standard for the sector. There are hundreds of active ERC20 tokens (of varying quality) in the space. Most projects originally launched their public sales on the network, and ether tokens were the moneta franca during last year’s ICO boom. “People and projects are simply more familiar with it [Ethereum] than they are with other projects”, he said. “I still haven’t seen a single network which can directly challenge them on this.” Further, and more importantly, it’s a secure network. Ethereum dApps can’t be compromised by the platform itself. Peled thinks this is often an overlooked factor by projects which fix their attention on scalability. He explains that Orbs has been able to create a scalable network while still being based on Ethereum. “Projects themselves can look at improving throughput, sure,” he said. “But the key factor is you can’t add security retrospectively. If the network itself isn’t that secure, then hackers and bad actors will have a backdoor into your dApp. To my knowledge there’s very little you can really do if that happens.” The community should see Ethereum as the ideal base layer, says Peled. It’s secure and familiar to most people, but projects can add their own features, like scalability or privacy, as additional layers. Essentially Ethereum will become the best-decentralized network if it’s treated as a foundation or base that other projects can layer-up on. “Do we need an entire blockchain for privacy payments?”, says Peled. “No, we don’t. Projects like Zcash and Monero are good at what they do for sure; privacy is important, but it’s overkill to construct an entire network for what is practically one feature.” “You could build a privacy payment layer just as well on Ethereum,” he adds. The best of the blockchain platforms? Ether prices, which are all-too-often the only metric for a project’s value, have been on a downward trajectory since the high of around $1350 at the beginning of the year. Some hope the $200 mark is the project’s floor price and that any move above represents a bullish signal. Could it ever return to its former glory? Who knows. Some suggest Ethereum could be one of the big winners in 2019, with a 300% surge in value. Still there are numerous predictions to the contrary that still think the price of ether will drop to $0. Price is always given pride of place, but what Peled says is different. In the long-term, it won’t so much be the price itself that will matter, but rather the network’s utility. In this framework, attributes such as security will matter far more. The EOSIO (EOS) mainnet launch was dogged by security concerns. At one point hackers managed to access Block.One’s email address and send thousands of spammy emails out to EOS holders. The community likes EOS because of its feeless transactions and scalability. But if the foundational layer is compromised, then it will always be limited. Dapps running on EOS could be fundamentally compromised. The grand old lady has been dealt a couple of substantial body blows over the last year. But security could help protect her from any further harm, and the Ethereum dApps are running to the rescue. The author is invested in ETH, which is mentioned in this article. The post Ditch Ethereum At Your Own Peril: DApp Founder appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

11 days ago

Ethereum [ETH/USD] Technical Analysis: Bulls are ready to the rock the cryptoboat

The market has returned to its mild movements with a hint of a sideways trend. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, is also showing a slight downturn in its price at the moment. At press time, ETH was down by 0.73%, trading at $212.46 with a market cap of 21.9 billion. The total 24-hour trading volume was recorded at $1.73 billion. 1-hour: ETHUSD 1-hour candlesticks | Source: tradingview In this timeline, the uptrend extends from $207.36 to $210.34 while the downtrend ranges from $219.59 to $215.2. A possibility of trend breakout is not visible as of now, as the prices have comfortable space to move. The Awesome Oscillator is flashing green on the ETH chart, depicting a healthy outlook on the market prediction. The Klinger Oscillator made a bullish crossover with the signal line and is currently traveling above it. Hence, the indicator is bullish on the Ehereum market. The Chaikin Money Flow agrees with the two above indicators. The reading line is approaching the bull’s land, pointing at an imminent positive price run. 1-day: ETHUSD 1-day candlesticks | Source: tradingview In this scenario, the downtrend and the uptrend are ranging from $456.44 to $202.42 and $183 to $188.35 respectively. However, there is still time for a breakout in the price trend to occur as the price does not appear concentrated enough. The Bollinger bands are not indicating much volatility in the Ethereum market as the bands are still running a narrow pattern on the chart. The Parabolic SAR is bullish on the Ether price. The dots are floating below the candlesticks, establishing support for the trend. The RSI is also bullish on the ETH market. The reading line is showing a consistent climb to side with the bull. Conclusion In this technical analysis, it has been observed that the majority of the indicators are bullish on the Ethereum price trend. However, the upturn could be mild as the Bollinger bands are depicting low volatility in the market. The post Ethereum [ETH/USD] Technical Analysis: Bulls are ready to the rock the cryptoboat appeared first on AMBCrypto.

11 days ago

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12 days ago

Figureheads Or Figments: Decentralizing Blockchain Leadership

At press time, over 930 cryptocurrency projects have been pronounced deceased, riddled with malware or hacks; parodies; or just outright scams. What was the failure point of these projects that are no longer with us? Was it a lack of leadership? Too much control? Poor governance? Speed of implementation? For that matter, what has made Bitcoin successful for the past 10 years, where other projects have failed? According to crypto analyst Murad Mahmudov, the long and patient approach has been beneficial for Bitcoin’s resilience. “Governance of Bitcoin is not formally defined,” Murad Mahmudov said on Anthony Pompliano’s podcast Off the Chain. Mahmudov went on to say Bitcoin’s governance has a lot to do with its improvement process, which is a “very conservative, extremely meticulous process.” Something he considers to be a strength of Bitcoin, as altcoins are “much more centralized in relative terms,” and easier to change. An example of patience and pace demonstrated by Bitcoin’s meticulous processes includes the segregated witness (or SegWit) debates, which wouldn’t be implemented until 95% of Bitcoin miners signaled support. The upgrade implementation was introduced to the network in October of 2016 (6 months behind schedule), and took effect in August of 2017. Since Satoshi’s departure from the project, Bitcoin’s decentralized governance and improvement processes have not only allowed the cryptocurrency to survive, but have continued to strengthen the cryptocurrency. Even after many potentially project-ending events such as the Mt. Gox hack, the closing of the Silk Road, or a massive “civil war.” Centralized leadership: the good, the bad, the ugly. With regards to governance and leadership, the author examined Tezos, Cardano, and Tron, to examine how scandals and potentially project-ending events have been handled. Tezos, the world’s first self-amending platform, “aims at avoiding hard-forks by allowing the network to upgrade itself.” The blockchain platform raised $232 million in its initial coin offering (ICO), the second highest ICO raised in 2017. Following its ICO, founders Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, became embroiled in a legal battle with the Tezos Foundation president, Johann Gevers. Whereas the Bretimans owned the intellectual property through a Delaware corporate entity, Gevers held control of the funds raised until he stepped down from his role with the Tezos Foundation. Despite the lawsuits from the SEC and community dissatisfaction with the collection of KYC/AML information in June of 2018, Tezos launched its MainNet in September of 2018 and is now a community run blockchain. Then there’s Cardano, a project with a $2 billion marketcap and no clear product. Its leader, Charles Hoskinson, an intelligent individual qualified to steer the Cardano ship, has also faced issues with Cardano leadership. Cardano’s governance model distributes oversight among three entities - IOHK, Emurgo, and Cardano Foundation - established to provide a check-and-balance structure to ensure one entity’s failure won’t cause the entire project to implode. In an open letter to the Cardano community this past October, Charles and Ken Kodama (CEO of Emurgo), asked the Cardano Foundation’s chairman, Michael Parsons, to step down. In effect, Parsons had “been acting as the Foundation’s de facto sole decision-maker in respect of the day-to-day business of the Foundation and ruling its staff like a monarch.” The project has yet to launch a platform, but continues to release research papers. Tron’s ICO took place in September of 2017, and within four months was hit with a scandal that its whitepaper had been plagiarized. CEO and founder, Justin Sun, blamed translators for the blatant copy-paste job. Shortly after, a report released by TrustNodes in January of 2018 called Tron founder and CEO, Justin Sun, a “marketing wiz” and stated “little lives on promises alone.” Since then, the Tron project has grown to over 200,000 active accounts and those users have elected Sun as one of 27 super representatives who act as consensus nodes and validate blocks. Strong leadership can help or hinder. Justin Sun’s star power has helped Tron to successfully overcome significant hurdles in the quest for adoption; Charle Hoskinson’s intellectual prowess may have solved one of blockchain’s biggest problems, but Cardano’s infighting will not help the project. And Tezos, perhaps the most unlikely candidate for a positive and successful mainnet launch, is enjoying a smooth ride for once, despite bitter and acrimonious leadership issues. Vitalik Buterin vacillates regularly between having more input to the Ethereum project, and walking away. Satoshi Nakamoto pulled the ultimate anti-leadership stunt, and Bitcoin hasn’t suffered much. It seems that the blockchain space is divided between the unifying power of a clear leader, and the decentralized ideals for which cryptocurrency is famous. Neither model is obviously stronger than the other, at this

12 days ago

The Daily: Crypto Game Developer Raises $15M, Bitcoin Pioneer Faces Lawsuit

In today’s edition of The Daily, we look at a successful funding round for a developer of a popular cryptocurrency-powered game. We also report on a famous early entrepreneur in the Bitcoin space who has been accused of stealing money to buy Maserati cars, big powerboats and luxury real estate. Also Read: Lawyer Invests $300 Million to Build Crypto City in the Nevada Desert Google and Samsung Invest in Crypto Kitties Developer Dapper Labs — the developer behind Crypto Kitties, the game that famously clogged up the Ethereum network — has announced that it has raised $15 million in a financing round led by Venrock. The investment arms of Google and Samsung also participated, bringing the total funds raised by the Canadian company to $27.85 million. Additional investors in the round included Coin Fund, Animoca Brands, June Fund, HOF Capital, GBIC, John Pfeffer, and Matt Bellamy, the lead singer of the rock band Muse. Previous investors in Dapper Labs also participated, including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Digital Currency Group, William Mougayar, Hex Capital, and Rising Tide Fund. Dapper Labs will use the funds to expand both locally and globally, and has already revealed plans to establish a U.S. subsidiary. In addition, the investment will help the Vancouver-based company to accelerate the build-out of its technology. “This round of financing was about getting the right partners around the table to bring compelling content to the blockchain — and make sure usability and infrastructure allow for adoption by mainstream consumers,” explained Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs. Charlie Shrem Accused of Stealing Funds Charlie Shrem, who is known for running the company Bitinstant during the early days of Bitcoin, has only been out of prison for a little over two years, but is already facing new legal issues again. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the founders of the Gemini exchange, have accused Shrem of stealing about 5,000 BTC from them. The crypto-pioneer was hired by the two entrepreneurs in 2012 to acquire a large amount of coins. The twins have also claimed that Shrem used the funds he allegedly stole to go on a recent luxury spending spree, which included purchases of two Maserati cars, two boats, and multiple homes. This was enough for a federal court to order the freezing of Shrem’s accounts on Coinbase and Xapo, which a private investigator hired by the Winklevoss twins linked to the allegedly stolen BTC. “The lawsuit erroneously alleges that about six years ago Charlie essentially misappropriated thousands of Bitcoins,” Shrem’s lawyer Brian Klein told the New York Times. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Charlie plans to vigorously defend himself and quickly clear his name.” Google CEO’s Son Is a Miner Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, revealed at a recent conference that his son has been mining cryptocurrency on the family’s home computer. If this sounds familiar it’s because back in July, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that he had started mining to improve his son’s knowledge of cryptocurrency. He then got hooked himself. “Last week I was at dinner with my son, and I was talking about something about bitcoin, and my son clarified what I was talking about was Ethereum, which is slightly different. He’s 11 years old. And he told me he’s mining it,” Pichai said, as quoted by Business Insider. “I realized he understood Ethereum better than how paper money works. I had to talk to him about the banking system, the importance of it. It was a good conversation.” What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from The post The Daily: Crypto Game Developer Raises $15M, Bitcoin Pioneer Faces Lawsuit appeared first on Bitcoin News.

15 days ago

Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

The following opinion piece on Holacracy was written by Max Borders, director of Social Evolution and author of The Social Singularity. Imagine turning on your mobile device one morning to find only two apps: Red and Blue. It’s bad enough that these are the only two choices. Only one works at a time-and not very well. Also read: Markets Update: Traders Play a Lower Range After Cryptocurrency Prices Dip And yet this is more or less the social operating system upon which most of the developed world runs. The Madison-style Constitution was a great innovation, but it’s still built atop the 2000-year-old DOS (Democratic Operating System). “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government,” Winston Churchill remarked, “except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Really? Is this the best we’ve got? Such a fatalistic view gives us an excuse to accept the status quo, but it is a failure of imagination. It’s time to rethink governance. Changing Our Relationship to Power The strongest candidate for a new global-scale social operating system is Holacracy. Never heard of it? Holacracy is a organization management system Brian Robertson developed to help businesses run without bosses. HolacracyOne’s mission is to “change our relationship to power” and the system does just that, which is exactly why some are skeptical. After all, command-and-control systems have been working for blue chip companies and standing armies for centuries. But now, more than 1000 companies worldwide have adopted Holacracy, jettisoning the traditional firm structure. If you’re into cryptocurrencies, you already know that command-and-control hierarchies can be destructive and inhumane. Satoshi Nakomoto, for example, wanted both to help us escape the inflationary Skinner box of central banking and build bitcoin in a decentralized way. The idea was to work with a growing team of coders and miners to build out the ecosystem, but no one would control the network. Satoshi changed our relationship to power — for both developers and users. Holacracy provides a governance framework that is decidedly holonic — roughly, systems within systems. In this way, a holacratic organization approximates a living organism as opposed to a machine to be “run.” Practitioners aren’t arranged by managers as cogs within a traditional org chart, but rather define their own functional roles within wider spheres of activity, or “circles”. Just as cells make up organs within organisms, people have roles within teams within organizations. And though certain cells and roles might hustle themselves into an “executive function,” both the organism’s and the holacratic organization’s brains are self-organizing. How Holacracy Works Holacracy makes an organization a complex adaptive system. Unlike command-and-control hierarchies, complex adaptive organizations respond with relative autonomy to stimuli that are, for lack of a better way of putting things, not quite right. Practitioners call these “tensions.” Every part of the organization wants to get things flowing, following constructal theorist Adrian Bejan. To resolve tensions is to get things flowing-that is, towards realizing the mission. At the risk of oversimplification, let’s break it down: Mission. Why the organization exists at all and the end all roles serve. Holacracy Constitution. Sets out the relatively fixed protocols and fundamental rules that make up Holacracy’s (open source!) social operating system. Tactical Meetings. A group process for addressing one-off, operational issues in a formalized way, relevant to some functional sphere of activity. Governance Meetings. A group process for creating roles, making policies, or assigning ownership of responsibilities. Data management. The inputs and output of meetings gets recorded so that anyone can see the rules, roles, policies and system interconnections at any time. The devil is of course in the proverbial details. And learning the system is rather like learning a team sport: You can’t learn the game from the rulebook. You have to get out there and practice. But in doing so, practitioners can become Holacracy pros-increasing organization efficiency while scaling. But how far up can Holacracy scale? Teams within Teams (within Teams) Complexity scientist Yaneer Bar-On warns of the coming breakdown of the current order: Why should governments fail? Because leaders, whether self-appointed dictators, or elected officials, are unable to identify what policies will be good for a complex society. The unintended consequences are beyond their comprehension. Regardless of values or objectives, the outcomes are far from what they intend. But Bar-on suggests a solution. It begins with widespread individual action that transforms society — a metamorphosis of social organization in which leadership no longer serves the role it has over millennia. A different type of existence will emerge, affecting all of us as individuals and enab

19 days ago

Coming In Hot And Fast: The New XRP Text Instant Payment System Lets You Transfer Cryptos Via Text Message

XRP continues to rock the crypto world as various blockchain and crypto products pop up in its favor. The latest entry is a rather revolutionary system that could spell BOOM for XRP. The name of the new instant payment system is XRP Text, and it works just as the name suggests. Of late, Ripple has been super active in developing new and better financial solutions products to add to its RippleNet. By all accounts, RippleNet has already attracted quite a following. Over 100 banks and other finance-related institutions from across the world are already members of RippleNet. These include large banks both in the US and Asia. The recent launching of xCurrent, XPring, and xRapid has made even more difference in attracting more clients for Ripple. That means more acceptance for XRP since the transfers are done with XRP as the base currency. Now, the advent of XRP Text is bound to make the campaign for its mass adoption a whole lot easier. XRP Text: What Is It? Basically, the new crypto transfer system uses text messages as transaction triggers. In better words, users can initiate token transfers by just keying in specific commands as text messages on their phones. The user first initiates a token transfer to their personal crypto wallet, from where the tokens are then transferred to the recipient. The fund transfer is instant, and everyone likes that. To make it more user-friendly, the system requires no registration. All it needs is the users’ phone numbers. Also, the recipient doesn’t even need to have used the system before. Below is a sample text screen showing some of its text commands: Below is another screen-grab showing how the transfer works: Besides the text-based transfer, there’s also a Telegram version that does just the same. Here is a screen-grab showing the commands usable on the Telegram-based XRP Text version: The system was developed and launched by an independent developer entity known as WeitseWind. The developer has warned that the system is currently in its beta phase and that there may be some glitches. However, such glitches are easy to fix to perfect the system during the said testing period. As expected, XRP Text will greatly contribute to the mainstream adoption of XRP as a credible and reliable means of fund transfer. That could very possibly drive its price up. Ripple Mocks Banks Meanwhile, Ripple has released a hilarious ad depicting banks as too slow and outdated to serve money transfer requests in the digital age. Attaching the ad video in a tweet, Ripple opined that given the sluggish nature of the traditional banking system, banks could as well use aircrafts to move money from senders to recipients. In a sense, the ad drives a very important point in respect to the fast transaction speeds available on the XRP network. The post Coming In Hot And Fast: The New XRP Text Instant Payment System Lets You Transfer Cryptos Via Text Message appeared first on Ethereum World News.

20 days ago

Are Decentralized Social Networks the Only Hope for Free Speech?

TL;DR The Internet has increasingly become a less tolerant place for radical ideas Large social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube enforce censorship based on protecting their users’ right not to feel ‘uncomfortable’ Decentralized social networks are the only possible solution to this problem. However, the current class of crypto platforms - Steemit, Minds, BitTube face significant challenges in convincing people to migrate away from these social media giants. Decentralized social networks will need to offer much more than the ability to express ideas freely. Over the past 10 years, the Internet as we know it has changed rapidly. What was once a free and unfiltered space for people to share radical ideas has now become commoditized and controlled. This is an unfortunate byproduct of a once-fringe technology becoming mainstream. This is not to say that we aren’t experiencing the best the Internet has to offer. It has never been easier to access unlimited quantities of information on any topic, connect with friends, earn degrees, and find jobs all through the click of a button and the help of the most advanced search algorithms ever produced. However, this progress has proven to be a double-edged sword, as the more comfortable people get with calling the Internet their ‘home’, the more uncomfortable they become when things they dislike intrude into that home. This phenomenon is no more evident than on social networks like Facebook, which has captured the loyalty of billions around the world due to its ability to allow us to personalize the Internet in ways that have never been done before. On Facebook, I get my own profile, I can create my own network of friends, receive my own tailored recommendations. I can earn validation the more I share my content, everything about it leads me to believe that the Internet is a vast cyber world built just for me. The same personalized features extend across virtually all social media platforms, creating a level of comfort that ensures that, as users, we remain glued to our screens for several hours a day. It’s easy to see how the constant push from Google, Facebook, and Twitter for more personalization and comfort over a span of 10 years has led people to believe the Internet should be a ‘safe space’, and that ideas you don’t agree with are somehow a threat to your existence. Worst of all, these same tech companies have now taken it upon themselves to be the arbiters of what is considered good or bad speech, censoring users with large followings simply for making a vocal minority feel uncomfortable. The word ‘responsibility’ is critical when assessing the case of free speech online. Depending on how one interprets that word, it shapes their opinions about the current climate of Internet censorship: Who is responsible for fake news? The publishers or the platform? If a fake news piece causes someone to act in a criminal way, who is responsible? Is it the fake news publisher? The platform? Or the person who reacted without first verifying if the news was true? Who is responsible for responding to an offensive joke? The platform? Or the person who deemed it offensive? How many people need to be offended by a post before the platform labels it offensive? A thousand? One hundred? One? The fundamental question of responsibility is what drives the current debate over Internet censorship. Yet the answers seem very clear when we consider how social media companies have worked to strip away the feeling of control people online once had to dictate who they could be, what they could consume and how they could react to it. Ultimately, the raw, anonymous, and unfiltered nature of millions of free people connected around the world has been suppressed for the sake of bringing mainstream access and increased profitability to Internet companies. Fortunately, blockchain technology is giving us a chance to hit the reset button on this grand cyber social experiment we call the Internet. New platforms like Steemit, Minds, and BitTube are emerging as decentralized alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Their operating model is simple; a social network free of censorship, where users can monetize their content by earning cryptocurrencies when people upvote their posts. In many ways, these platforms aspire to take what we value most about our highly advanced social media apps while bringing us back to a time when interactions were peer to peer, anonymity was cherished, and corporations were unable to impose their will as intermediaries or advertisers. Unsurprisingly, many have jumped onto these platforms to discover better ways to earn a fair wage for the content they produce, escape the threat of data exploitation (as seen in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal), or simply share ideas that may be deemed to be ‘unsafe’. After only 2 years, Steemit has acquired over 1 million users and is ranked as one of the top 1,500 websites on Alexa. Minds has been ar

22 days ago

Crypto Volume in South Korea Rises, Will it Boost Global market?

The conducive developments in South Korean crypto space have boosted fiat influx into the market, reveals this month’s data. eToro eanalyst Mati Greenspan pitted Korean Won against the most volumed bitcoin-quoted assets, including the US Dollar, Euro, the Pound and also Tether. The comparison revealed a dramatic surge in the BTC/KRW trading volume compared to other instruments that remained mostly stable throughout this October. SOURCE: CRYPTOCOMPARE.COM Japanese Shift Theory While the Korean Won volume surges against Bitcoin, the one that fell in response is that of the Japanese Yen. At the beginning of October, the KRW volume covered 3.39 percent of the Bitcoin market, while the BTC/JPY - at the same time - covered 11.96 percent. By mid-October, the KRW trades had gone up to as much as 41 percent while the JPY toppled to as low as 1 percent. Australia’s Finder theorized that Japanese investors could be moving their Yens into the South Korean Bitcoin market over security concerns. Japanese crypto exchanges this year had gone through a few high-profile hacks, in which swindlers stole $600 million of cryptos. The yuan trading volume is on its way to the south ever since the hack at Zaif exchange in September. The October Yen volume on BitHumb, nevertheless, has attained its initial value already and is now covering 12 percent of the overall Bitcoin market. Korean Won yet remains the leading fiat currency by volume in October, beaten only by Tether that is not state-backed. USDT Volume Depleting BitFinex still has a lead over other exchanges in Bitcoin-to-dollar trades. It is further reflective in the dominance of Tether’s USDT - a BitFinex-supported stablecoin - over the bitcoin volume charts. Nevertheless, the coin is losing its sheen after being criticized for non-disclosure of US reserves. A considerable number of traders has shifted to other stablecoins. Many have parked their crypto assets in fiat also, which explains a volume shift towards the Won. The deviation between USDT and Won volume is visibly more than the divergence between Yen and Won on half-yearly charts. BTC/KRW Price The high volume did not reflect upon the way Bitcoin is trading against the Korean Won. Another chart sourced from BitHumb and reveals that the BTC/KRW pair is trending sideways on daily charts for quite a time. It could mean that while trading on the exchanges has increased, the Bitcoin demand is in equilibrium with its supply. It further explains that the high volume does not specifically signify South Korean investors’ interest in the crypto. The overall bias in the Bitcoin market is turning bullish after the extension of its stability action. Especially in times when the mainstream stocks are underperforming, Bitcoin is rock steady compared to its volatile swings in the past. The post Crypto Volume in South Korea Rises, Will it Boost Global market? appeared first on NewsBTC.

22 days ago

Here’s Why the Bitcoin Community is Viciously Attacking Blockstream’s Bank 2.0 Liquid Network

Today we begin with three questions: Is Blockstream building solutions such as Liquid which rely on the government for protection of the fulfillment of contracts? And: Is Blockstream intentionally crippling the throughput on the base layer so that most traffic has to go through their second for profitability? And: "Just Use Fiat" — CoinSpice (@CoinSpice) October 26, 2018 The case of Blockstream There is nothing to be taken away from Blockstream. Thing is, Blockstream can be commended for their wonderful and as a “global leader in Bitcoin and blockchain technology whose products and services form the foundations for the financial infrastructure of the future”. They have developers in their payroll and after receiving $151 million, commentators argue that the company is out to mint money to pay back the investors. Therefore, their recent announcement of Liquid Network, a layer two solution, is noteworthy. Of Liquid network and “speed” Blockstream describes Liquid Network as an “Inter-exchange settlement network linking together cryptocurrency exchanges and institutions around the world, enabling faster Bitcoin transactions and the issuance of digital assets”. What this means is that with Liquid Network, Blockstream development team acknowledge that Bitcoin though the most valuable and dominant coin in the sphere is highly illiquid, slow and there is a need to overcome the technical and market dynamics hampering its performance as a remittance and cross border solution. This dip in performance is mostly because of the high latency time and the simple fact is that Bitcoin is tied to several exchanges and brokerage environments. Add this to privacy needs and the cost of transaction becomes high spikes and become illiquid especially for those who need to move in local currencies. Therefore, in an attempt to circumvent this obvious weakness, participants try other means but in the process introduce other weaknesses which are point of failures. Liquid Network Functionaries, Is this Centralization? Therefore, the team behind Blockstream is coming up with a quick fix: take out a large chunk of Bitcoin transactions off the main chain and settle them in a second layer by introducing a trust network in Liquid. Liquid Network is not full decentralized and depends on trust. In fact in this new arrangement, the network shall appoint a fixed number of trusted institutions—Functionaries, to validate and later transfer this chunk of Bitcoin transactions back to the main chain. Basically, a Functionary acts as inter-banks in a normal banking set up because all they do is pool and redistribute liquidity while acting as payment gateways. What’s worse? Well, these Functionaries are exchanges who the community doesn’t really trust. This is the full list of exchanges and other institutions participating in Liquid (from Blockstream’s press release): Altonomy, Atlantic Financial, Bitbank, BitFinex, Bitmax, BitMex, Bitso, BTCBOX, BTSE, Buull Exchange, DGroup, CoinOne, Crypto Garage, GOPAX (operated by Streami), Korbit, L2B Global, OKCoin, The Rock Trading, SIX Digital Exchange, Unocoin, Xapo, XBTO and Zaif. BitFinex CTO, Paolo Ardoino, chipped in saying: “If there’s one thing our traders need, it is speed. Liquid delivers that in spades. Liquid’s instant settlements will allow our traders to achieve faster Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, more efficient arbitrage, and even better pricing through tighter spreads” Reasons why Bitcoin Community is against Liquid Network But, this is where the problem is: Zaif was recently hacked, BitMex has been accused of trading against their customers, BitFinex is just another story—wash trading, USDT debacle and OKCoin accused of wash trading. And all of them are centralized exchanges. Here’s what one Reddit commentator had to say about this arrangement: “The exchanges are points of failure who bear responsibility, and Liquid is a trust based network, so effectively BS shifts power to the authorities since a much bigger percentage of the coins will be held by them out of convenience - see what BS announced: “The high latency of the public Bitcoin network requires Bitcoin to be tied up in multiple exchange and brokerage environments, while its limited privacy adds to the costs of operation.” Besides, by creating a network of “strong Federation of Luminaries” they are intentionally starving miners off their network fee further discouraging miner participation weakening the network in the process. There again there is a potential conflict of interest. Blockstream is Bitcoin’s custodian and are creating a solution that doesn’t promote the development of the main chain throughput. Do you think Liquid Network will be successful? The post Here’s Why the Bitcoin Community is Viciously Attacking Blockstream’s Bank 2.0 Liquid Network appeared first on Ethereum World News.

24 days ago

Are Elon Musk and Blockchains LLC Cooperating to Build a Blockchain Smart city?

Twisted speculations have swirled for months as to the moves and motives of a Nevada-based blockchain-focused company named Blockchains LLC. The latest one being an imminent announcement of a pilot Smart City Project in collaboration with Elon Musk, inside the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, the largest industrial Park in the U.S. In fact, only a few people have heard about Blockchains LLC so far. The handful of information made public by the company does not seem to give any detailed description or straight-to-the point explanation on its scope of work or future plans. The latest public appearance made by the company’s CEO, Jeffrey Berns (a California trial attorney, known for having won big class-action lawsuits in the past) was on October 9 of this year. Back then, Berns was invited to take part of a Tech Summit held inside the Tesla Gigafactory, at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), organized by Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval. Alongside him were Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as top executives from Panasonic and other tech firms in the TRIC. Below is a timeline of the events that developed throughout the nine previous months, and led to rumors of potential involvement of Blockchains LLC in a Smart City project with Elon Musk. Land Acquisition and Offices Renovation Back in January 2018, Blockchains LLC purchased a massive 67,125 Acres piece of land on the TRIC and started constructing offices on it. Six months later, the company unveiled to a group of local news reporters its new office building. Channel 2 reported on June 21st, that Blockchain’s LLC completely renovated an existing facility, leaving only the shell of the building. The new building which will serve as the company’s future headquarters is reportedly highly secured, hosts a developer room, public and private conference rooms, and a dedicated area for ETHNews. It is worth mentioning that ETHNews, is a cryptocurrency focused online news outlet and magazine owned by Blockchains LLC. In fact, the first concrete revelation about the company’s business intent came from Sarah Johns, the PR Director at Blockchains LLC, who revealed to Channel 2: “We want to be seen as an incubator not just for Blockchain technology but also, A.I., 3D printing and nanotechnologies”. Speaking of what the company will be doing with the remaining 60,000 acres, she said that Blockchains LLC have the capacity and the space to change the world. Filling for a Fiber Optic Application In late August 2018, the company submitted a telecommunication service application with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. The document defines Blockchains LLC as a company that will develop proprietary blockchain applications, incubate blockchain-powered ideas, ventures and businesses, and would showcase Blockchain’s “real-world uses cases in TRIC and Painted Rock,” (Painted Rock is an adjacent land to the TRIC the company has also purchased, located East of Reno, NV). The application documents read: “Blockchains Communication [A new entity formed in May 2018 and fully-owned by Blockchain’s LLC] seeks to build operate and maintain a new fiber optic network to provide telecommunication services to commercial businesses located in TRIC and the future residents of the surrounding area”. Furthermore, under the Exhibit 6, Section Potential Projects, the application states that Verizon Wireless (the giant U.S. Telco), has engaged with the company in talks to build a cell tower that Verizon intends to construct on Blockchain’s LLC property. “The tower will contain telecommunications equipment, which will provide a wireless solution that aligns with Blockchains’ Communication’ efforts on, commitment to, transforming the telecommunication industry”. Tech Summit With Nevada Governor and Elon Musk The Tech summit of October 9, organized by the Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, where Jeffrey Berns spoke next to Elon Musk, was the major event that caused rumors to swirl about a potential collaboration between the two. In fact, so far nothing would explain Blockchains LLC’s acquisition of land the size of New Zealand, a five million people country. During a discussion panel at the Tesla Gigafactory, Gov. Sandoval gave a proclamation to Blockchains’ CEO and named the company “one of the big chapters” in Nevada’s future. Speaking of his company, Berns held that Blockchains LLC is planning to build a “sandbox” for blockchain technology that has never been seen before, without giving further details. He reiterated the same slogans of his company being the one to change the entire planet. He also claimed that Blockchains LLC would employ “10,000 to 20,000” during the next decade. Elon Musk Tweet The tweet Elon Musk wrote on October 22, was another piece of the puzzle to understand what makes people think about the Smart City collaboration. As a reply to a question about Tesla account 2-factor authentication, Musk wrote an obvious tongue-in-cheek answer. However, the reference to cryp

25 days ago

Cardano (ADA) Hits Rock Bottom, Eyes Trend Reversal

Cardano (ADA) is trading at the lower half of the pitchfork on the ADA/BTC chart above. This means that the cryptocurrency has already completed its correction and formed a bottom. RSI conditions for ADA/BTC still show price action to be in downtrend even as it trades under oversold conditions. The VIX profile for the same ADA/BTC weekly chart also shows a strong sign of a bottom formation. The four consecutive green bars visible on the above chart confirm that Cardano (ADA) has formed a strong bottom and is now ready for a trend reversal. Cardano (ADA) has so far respected lower limits of the pitchfork it is trading in. The price entered the lowest half of the pitchfork in June and is expected to continue to trade in this half until a trend reversal kicks in. Cardano (ADA) has a history of weak price action against Bitcoin (BTC). However, this time around it seems to be close to completing a full market cycle. Investors’ interest in Cardano (ADA) has been on the rise but it still is not as hyped up as cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP) or Litecoin (LTC). Coinbase recently expressed its intent to add Cardano (ADA) to its platform sometime in the future. A recent poll conducted by Coinbase on Twitter also showed that majority of Coinbase users would want the next coin to be Ripple (XRP). However, if Coinbase would not list Ripple (XRP) then Cardano (ADA) would be something they want to invest in via Coinbase. Charles Hoskinson and IOHK are two well respected names in the crypto community. Anything and everything they support has an extra level of credibility added to it. However, Cardano (ADA) is different because it is not just a project supported by IOHK and Charles Hoskinson but it is also their brainchild. IOHK and Charles Hoskinson (Cardano Founder and Ethereum Cofounder) have dedicated most of their efforts to the development and adoption of Cardano (ADA). The team has been actively working on Ouroboroughs, Plutus and Prometheus solutions to enhance the blockchain and further increase its functionalities. Charles Hoskinson and his team is also focused on sophisticated side chain solutions and aims to make Cardano (ADA) one of the most user-friendly blockchain solutions available to Dapp developers. ADA/USD daily chart above for Cardano (ADA) shows that it the price is yet to break out of the downtrend. The resistance line has been rejected three times but it has not been breached once. Since the beginning of the year Cardano (ADA) has been on one of the steepest declines and has lost most of its gains to the correction. Interestingly, Cardano (ADA) has broken the downtrend on its daily RSI which could be a strong signal that Cardano (ADA) is likely to break out of the weekly downtrend in the near future. Wave trend analysis for ADA/USD hints at a slow but steady rise in the days ahead. Cardano (ADA) has fallen down to significantly lower levels in the short term but long term the price seems ready to break out of the triangle to start another cycle north of $1. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1538128067916-0'); }); The post Cardano (ADA) Hits Rock Bottom, Eyes Trend Reversal appeared first on Crypto Daily™.

a month ago

CoinGeek’s Public Mining Pool Opens for Bitcoin Miners

SVPool, the public mining pool for miners on the Bitcoin BCH network, announced that it has opened for business on Monday, Oct. 22. The public pool is managed by CoinGeek Mining and claims to be following the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto, which helps miners in generating long-term revenue. The mining pool is an initiative by nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig S. Wright. A Mining Pool for Hardcore Satoshi Believers SVPool, or Satoshi Vision Pool, is dedicated to the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto for his Bitcoin blockchain. It is a Bitcoin Cash mining pool and is dedicated to helping users in generating long-term revenue. The pool will open with zero fees for miners. It will launch with initial Pay-Per-Last-N-Shares (PPLNS) and is also planning to add Pay-Per-Share Plus (PPS+) options for users next month. The pool claims to have added hundreds of mining groups and individual miners through pre-registration. The registrants come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Africa, Germany, India, China, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and other countries. The first BCH block was mined on the pool on Oct. 10. Then it entered an invitation-only beta period during which it mined more than 50 blocks. And as of Oct. 21, SVPool already accounts for about 3 percent of BCH blocks mined, as per data. Fulfilling Nakamoto’s Vision SVPool runs Bitcoin SV full node for mining activities. Other BCH implementations, like Bitcoin ABC, experiment with “unnecessary” technical changes. On the other hand, Bitcoin SV follows the original Satoshi protocol and allows the BCH network to scale while professionalizing Bitcoin. The SV implementation is designed for business users that want to build bigger projects and require scalability and stability. Dr. Craig S. Wright commented that the original Satoshi Bitcoin protocol “does not need to be fixed.” He said that it already has all the features that BCH needs for it to massively scale, including smart contracts, tokenization, and other features, which could help it become the “only global public blockchain.” Wright added: “Just like the Internet has a stable protocol, Bitcoin needs a stable protocol so businesses can build upon a rock solid foundation rather than constantly moving sand. That is why we are restoring the Satoshi Vision through BCH, and I ask miners of the world to join me in SVPool.” SVPool likewise supports Bitcoin SV’s huge scaling plan, which includes setting the maximum block size to 128MB. CoinGeek Mining CEO Taras Kulyk reiterated his faith in Bitcoin SV, Dr. Wright, and SVPool, saying that BCH is the “only true Bitcoin that fulfills the Satoshi Vision.” CoinGeek’s Public Mining Pool Opens for Bitcoin Miners was originally found on [blokt] - Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

a month ago

Cryptocurrency Market Update: A New Brave Browser Boosts BAT

FOMO Moments Another flat Saturday as markets are stagnant; Only BAT and DGTX heading higher. The weekend has brought no joy to crypto markets which have remained immobile for the past few days. The slow downward slide seems to have halted just below $210 billion market capitalization where things remain for another day. Bitcoin is at the exact same place it was on Friday, $6,480 and there is no sign of a breakout just yet. A similar story is being played out in the Ethereum camp during Asian trading this morning. ETH is immobile again today at around $204. Alcoins are nearly all in the green but gains are so small they are hardly worth mentioning. The biggest movement in the top ten is Stellar which has inched up 2.2% to $0.244 this morning. The rest are static with small upwards movement of around one percent on the day. The top twenty is a little more mixed with more red creeping in. Zcash is also up 2.2% trading at $120 right now but the rest have moved less than a percentage point in either direction. Interest in altcoins is at rock bottom this month. Today’s big pump is BAT which has jumped 16% to $0.240 on the day. A new Brave browser release with BAT integrated for tipping websites was launched a couple of days ago which is driving momentum now. Trade volume has quadrupled from $6 to $24 million, over 60% of which is on Binance. New Brave desktop browser available for download at This latest milestone on our way to 1.0 is Chromium-based, has 22% faster load time than our previous Muon-based version, & unveils Brave Rewards beta (previously Brave Payments). — Brave Software (@brave) October 18, 2018 Basic Attention Token has made 33% since this time last Saturday and is also up over 50% on the month. Digitex Futures is also in pump mode, adding 15% to its price levels over the past 24 hours and Aeternity is looking strong with a 10% gain. Getting the red end of the digital stick is Polymath, as yesterday’s pump predictably dumps today. POLY has dropped 11% of its previous gains in this tired pattern of ups and downs. Komodo is also shedding some today with a 7% decline. Total crypto market capitalization has not moved since Friday morning and is still at $208 billion. The daily lows are getting shallower though so it could get back over $210 billion during Euro and US trading today. Since last weekend markets have climbed 3.5% but they are still very flat. FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 altcoins during the current trading session and analyses the best performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals. The post Cryptocurrency Market Update: A New Brave Browser Boosts BAT appeared first on NewsBTC.

a month ago

BP says oil at $80 a barrel is “unhealthy for the world”

“The oil prices in the world are too high and it’s unhealthy for the world,” said Bob Dudley, the chief executive officer of British oil-and-gas giant BP. Some emerging market economies such as South Africa, India, and Turkey were suffering from their highest-ever prices of gasoline because the market price of oil—which is traded in US dollars—has been rising while their currencies depreciated rapidly, Dudley said. “There’s a healthy price for oil and energy and I believe that balances producing countries and consuming countries,” he added. “In my mind, it’s somewhere between $50 and $65 a barrel. The world can live with this.” The price of Brent crude, the European benchmark for oil, has increased by nearly 20% this year. Earlier this month, it topped $86 a barrel. Economic and geopolitical tensions, such as the US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela’s economic collapse, are among the reasons for the appreciation. It has prompted analysts to speculate that oil prices could return to $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014 (paywall). Dudley was speaking yesterday (Oct. 18) at the One Young World summit in The Hague, a gathering of nearly 2,000 young people from all over the world who are working to drive social change, such as ending sexual violence, improving access to education, and holding governments accountable for human rights abuses. Execs from BP and Shell are here to speak about how they planned to increase access to energy. In a Q&A session with attendees, Dudley said that oil prices were “artificially high” thanks to Venezuela “defying economic gravity” and the Iran sanctions. If these forces retreat, and the oil price is determined by fundamental measures of supply and demand, then the price should return to between $60 and $65 a barrel, Dudley said. But right now, he said that the Iran sanctions were affecting everything. On the sidelines of the conference, Dudley added that BP wasn’t considering being part of the special purpose vehicle that the European Union, China, and Russia are setting up to circumvent US sanctions on Iran. The arrangement would allow payments with Iran to avoid touching the US financial system. “We aren’t going to try [it],” Dudley said. “I think it’s full of risk.” At the summit, Dudley spoke mostly about the energy transition that was required to meet a low-carbon future, less than two weeks after a major UN report said there was only 12 years to avoid a climate-change catastrophe. Dudley is currently the chair of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a collection of oil companies that are responding to climate change. Dudley told the young people at the summit that the most important thing was to squeeze coal out of mix and replace it with natural gas. Coal still makes up about a third of the world’s energy supply. Natural gas emits far less carbon emissions but produces methane, a greenhouse gas. BP is working to find the right technology to reduce methane leaks. He also said fracking, a process that uses high pressure water and sand to extract gas from shale rock, has “been turned into the myth of the monster beneath.” After a seven-year hiatus, fracking has restarted in the UK amid local protests. Dudley argued that there was still so much coal usage in the world because of government policy and economics. Governments need to put a price on carbon, he said, especially because renewable energy “can’t do it alone” when it comes to reducing emissions. “Even optimistic projections only see renewables making up around one third of the energy mix by 2040,” he said. That means a combination of oil, natural gas, and renewables will feature in the future energy mix. Dudley said he expected oil demand to peak in 2042. “But when it does peak, it’s a long plateau,” he added. Technology will be the key to cutting carbon emissions down to zero at that point, and not just relying on renewable energy, he added.

a month ago

Our lineup for an alternate Super Bowl show Rihanna could headline

Rihanna reportedly could have performed at next year’s Super Bowl halftime show, one of the most-watched events in television, but said no. According to Us Weekly, Rihanna turned down the opportunity to show her support for Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who has says he has been blacklisted by the league for spearheading the players’ movement to kneel during the national anthem. (Kaepernick sought to spotlight police brutality and racial inequality in the US.) “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance,” Us Weekly quoted a source as saying. Or as Vulture put it, “Bitch better keep your money!” No Rihanna, but viewers will get Maroon 5. Yet it doesn’t mean the world should be deprived of a dazzling RiRi performance on Feb. 4, 2019, which is Super Bowl Sunday. A New York Magazine contributing editor suggests an alternate half-time show, featuring stars who have expressed their support for Kaepernick. if I were a TV executive, I’d counter program an alternate half-time show to go live at the exact same time, with every act who’d perform in support of Kaepernick, starting with Rihanna — Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) October 18, 2018 The proposal from the novelist and writer is smart, considering the advertising potential around Kaepernick, and could also make for a spectacular 30-minute concert. Here’s one proposal for what the line-up for such a show could look like: Rihanna Rihanna, of course, could lead the show. At a half hour, Super Bowl Sunday slot would gives the seven artists in this list maybe one song each, with room for Rihanna to headline and perform at least two (or maybe a shorter medley of four). The Barbados-born star has been outspoken about racial inequality, whether that’s offering to play a free concert in Baltimore after Freddie Gray was killed by police, or even in the truly inclusive design of her Fenty Beauty line. Jay-Z Shawn Carter is a long-time supporter of Kaepernick and would be sure to draw eyes (especially if he brought Beyoncé). In 2017, Jay-Z appeared on Saturday Night Live wearing a custom NFL jersey, with a number seven on the front and “COLIN K” on the back. JAY-Z wears a custom Colin Kaepernick jersey during his performance on Saturday Night Live — Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 1, 2017 Earlier last year, Jay-Z dedicated a song to Kaepernick during a concert at Citi Field in New York, and he reportedly turned down a chance to perform at the Super Bowl. too. (Lyrics from “APES**T”—his hit song with Beyoncé—include the lines: “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.”) Jay-Z also called Kaepernick an “iconic figure” in an interview with CNN this year. John Legend I wrote about why the NFL players' protests are patriotic. — John Legend (@johnlegend) September 24, 2017 John Legend publicized his support for the NFL players’ protests by penning an op-ed for Slate. “The kneeling players are asking America to do better on criminal justice. If I could, I’d take a knee and join them,” Legend wrote. In another show of solidarity, the popular singer songwriter has also been kneeling during his concerts. Stevie Wonder During a performance at the Global Citizens concert in New York last year, Stevie Wonder made it clear where he stood—or knelt. After an impassioned speech against hate and bigotry, Wonder and son Kwame Morris made their move. “Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” Wonder said. “But not just one knee—I’m taking both knees.” Pearl Jam American rock band Pearl Jam has never played at the Super Bowl (even though some think they should). Eddie Vedder and the band have also been outspoken about supporting Kaepernick and “everyone’s constitutional right to stand up, sit down, or #takeaknee for equality.” We support @mosesbread72, @Kaepernick7, and everyone's constitutional right to stand up, sit down or #takeaknee for equality. — Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) September 24, 2017 J. Cole J. Cole, a Grammy Award nominee with five number-one albums, has taken to social media to state his support for the NFL players’ approach. He also understands the power of shifting viewers’ eyes away from the NFL. In a Twitter thread last year, Cole pointed out that not watching games NFL would deprive the league of advertising money, and “boycotting sponsors who don’t support the cause” could also make an impact. He has also praised Kaepernick’s resolute stand in interviews. God bless every player that finds courage to kneel today. But the real power comes from you deciding to not watch. — J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017 Roger Waters Roger Waters is a founding member of Pink Floyd, is known for speaking out on political issues, and will likely help rev up buzz for an alternate halftime show. In fact, in the first half of 2018 alone, Waters generated $60.7 million in tour earn

a month ago

Female guitar heroes have long played among us

The realm of guitar gods is not just a man’s world—even if the media has made it seem that way. In Rolling Stone’s most recent list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists,” of all time, there are only two women, and in Guitar World’s compilation of the top 30, there are none. And yet, a new study by guitar maker Fender found that 50% of new players are female. Fender’s report also notes that black and Hispanic players now represent a significant and growing share of new guitarists, but “Women continue to define the emerging guitar market...begging the question, is the future of guitar female?” Earlier this year, LA Magazine also ran a story with the headline “women are saving the electric guitar,” noting that females are boosting sales and hype in an otherwise flailing industry. Gibson, the maker of the classic Les Paul electric guitar, filed for bankruptcy this year after falling revenues and at least $100 million in debt obligations. Fender had to scrap its public offering in 2012, and Guitar Chain, the biggest retailer of music instruments in the world, struggles to restructure $1 billion in debt. The reasons for this vary, from the decline of rock music to the rise of electronic dance music and hip hop. The increasing number of women beginning to play guitar, however, might change that. Fender CEO, Andy Mooney, told Rolling Stone that the study’s findings suggest that the “Taylor Swift effect,” where more girls want to play guitar after seeing the strumming pop star, was more than just a fad. But Fender’s optimistic view of women’s role in the industry’s resurgence shouldn’t be the only reason female guitar legends rock our minds. The likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards are household names, but female guitar heroes deserve widespread recognition too. Here, we pay our dues. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the godmother of rock and roll “Rock ‘n’ roll was bred between the church and the nightclubs in the soul of a queer black woman in the 1940s named Sister Rosetta Tharpe,” NPR writes. Rightly recognized in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Tharpe was a trailblazer as a young, gay, black woman making music in a male-dominated industry. She preceded icons like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry, many of which praised Tharpe for being a major influence. Her fusion of gospel, jazz, blues, and rock, helped define the genre. Joni Mitchell, far beyond folk Standing at number 75 on Rolling Stone’s most recent top 100 list, Joni Mitchell was a respected rhythm-guitar player who had a knack for tuning the instrument any way she wanted. Numerous musicians from different genres, including Prince, Chaka Khan, and Neil Diamond have cited Mitchell as an influence. With hits spanning different genres and featuring both acoustic and electric guitars, Mitchell has been called a more sophisticated musician than Bob Dylan. Her 1971 album, Blue, has been called a turning point in 20th century music, and tops NPR’s list of the greatest albums made by women. Bonnie Raitt, playing Americana blues This 10-time Grammy Award winner is known for her blues and roots music influences, and her hits include ballads such as “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” from 1991. Raitt ranks number 89 on Rolling Stone’s most recent list of top 100 guitarists, and she is one of only two women on the list (the other is Joni Mitchell.) Musician David Crosby, writes for Rolling Stone: “Raitt rolled out a fearsome repertoire of blues licks, fingerpicking with the best and wielding a slide like an old master. Most of all, she set a crucial precedent: When guitar was still considered a man’s game by many, Raitt busted down that barrier through sheer verve and skill.” Joan Jett, still rocking on Joan Jett is best known for founding the Runaways, and later performing as frontwoman for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. (Jett’s former bandmate, Lita Ford, the lead guitarist of the Runaways, is also an ‘80s rock icon whose expert guitar playing deserves recognition.) A documentary of Jett’s life and career, “Bad Reputation,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Jett was featured as one of the world’s 100 greatest artists by Rolling Stone in 2010, and praised for her all-or-nothing style of playing rhythm guitar. Jett is a long-time activist for equality in music, she sure loves rock ‘n’ roll, and is quite formidable when she plays it too. St. Vincent, the new school of rock History might be filled with many legendary female guitarists, but, as Fender’s report shows, that trend will hopefully continue to grow. Women are making some of the best rock music today, including Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast, Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail, and of course, Annie Clark who plays as St. Vincent. In 2016, Clark designed a custom guitar with Ernie Ball Music Man, which has been a success with both male and female players. But Clark’s work has been recognized before this: She won the 2015 Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, the first femal

a month ago

Adults ingest 2,000 pieces of plastic in table salt on average each year

There’s microplastic in that table salt. A study published Tuesday (Oct. 16) in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found microplastics in more than 90% of the packaged food-grade salt—also known as table salt—for sale in stores. The team, from South Korea’s Incheon National University and Greenpeace East Asia, sampled 39 brands of salt harvested in 21 countries. Only three of the samples had no detectable microplastics. Microplastics are virtually everywhere. Sea salt and lake salt are made by evaporating water and harvesting the salt that remains. Plastic waste flows from rivers into those bodies of water, so it’s no surprise that the salt contains traces of it too. Scientists have been finding microplastics in salt for years, including in salt from China, Spain, and eight countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa. But the latest study goes a step further, finding that looking at where the salt was produced is a good indicator of how much plastic pollution is coming from that particular region. Highest plastic content in Asia-made salt The 39 samples came from Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, the US, and Vietnam. Of these, 28 were sea salts, nine were rock salts, and two were lake salts. Only three of the samples were microplastics-free: a refined sea salt from Taiwan, a refined rock salt from China, and an unrefined sea salt in France. Salt made in countries in Asia had by far the most microplastics of all the samples, which correlates with where plastic most often enters the ocean. Nine of the top 10 sea salts sampled with the highest amount of microplastics came from Asian countries. This chart shows where salts were sampled, with the height of the bars indicating the number of pieces of microplastic per kilogram of salt found in each sample. “The results indicate that not only is Asia a hot spot of global plastic pollution, as previous studies have suggested, but also that sea salt can be a good indicator of the magnitude of [microplastics] pollution in the surrounding marine environment,” the researchers write. Gulping down the plastic Based on their results, the researchers estimate that the average adult ingests about 2,000 pieces of microplastic in salt per year. But, they write, that still only represents a fraction of the microplastics a person is likely to consume. Previous research revealed that microplastics have also been found in tap water, mollusks, and both indoor and outdoor air. All together, those four pathways add up to an average 32,000 pieces of microplastic ingested per year per person. Inhaling microplastics in the air is by far the largest contributor—people ingest roughly 80% of the microplastics that enters their bodies through this route. Given those other sources of exposure, microplastics in table salt amounts to about 6% of a person’s total microplastics ingestion, the researchers write. Microplastics have also been found in beer and fish.

a month ago

VeChain Price Should Bounce Back Courtesy of new Major Partnership

The cryptocurrency markets are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Although some tokens see a massive pump right now, the vast majority of them are either in the red or slowly gaining value again. In the case of VeChain, the current price momentum doesn’t reflect the ongoing developments behind the scenes. VeChain Price is Bound to Rise Looking at the current VeChain momentum, it is evident things are not looking too great. With this slightly negative trend in place, it is interesting to see if and when the altcoin can recover in the coming days. It is evident altcoins are facing a bit of a struggle right now, primarily because of Bitcoin seemingly being unable to make up its mind as of right now. Over the past 24 hours, the VeChain price has dropped by just under 1.5%. That is not necessarily the biggest setback in history, yet it shows the uneasy momentum remains in place for the time being. There is also a minor decline in the VET/BTC department, although it is a neglectable deficit, for the time being. There is one major bit of VeChain news which needs to be highlighted. VeChain has forged a partnership with DNV GL to build new solutions using the project’s blockchain ecosystem. This is a pretty big development which further shows how powerful blockchain can be, especially when it comes to developing new services or enhancing existing products. It is also another validation of what VeChain and VeChainThor bring to the table. ノルウェー王室の国王ハーラル5世とソニア王妃が「#DNVGL と #VeChain のデジタル低炭素エコシステム」の署名セレモニーを視察されました。#VeChainJapan #vtho #vet — VeChain Japan Community (@VeChainJapan) October 17, 2018 It would appear a lot of people have high expectations of the VeChain price moving forward. Some investors even go as far as claiming the VET price is destined to turn very bullish in the near future. Although that is a possibility, it will mainly depend on what happens to Bitcoin in the coming days and weeks. VeChainThor looks bullish.. #VET by trader CryptoInvesTR published October 17, 2018 — BitcoinAgile (@bitcoinagile) October 17, 2018 There is also a community effort to get VET added to the Hoard mobile wallet and associated decentralized exchange. VeChain is one of the options users can vote for, this is it of the utmost importance other community members cast their vote accordingly. Although it remains to be seen if and when this addition would occur exactly, it certainly offers another option worth exploring. I just voted for $VET. Cast your vote today and help get #VET listed on the @Hoard mobile wallet and DEX #HoardTheVote @Hoard — HOLO hodler (@rience_schurman) October 17, 2018 Based on the current market circumstances, it seems to be a matter of time until the VeChain price gets another healthy nudge. At the same, the current price trend looks anything but interesting, thus anything can happen before the day is over. Behind the scenes, VeChain continues to get a lot of attention, which should have a positive impact down the line. The post VeChain Price Should Bounce Back Courtesy of new Major Partnership appeared first on NullTX.

a month ago

5 Big Takeaways from the Security Token Launch Event

Earlier this month, the Security Token Academy held their Security Token Industry Launch Event. Bringing together industry experts to celebrate and discuss this emerging sector of the blockchain space, the event was intended to be a watershed moment for the tokenized security space. From STOs to discussions on the future of tokenized securities, the Security Token Industry Launch event was an introduction to tokenized securities for the world to see. If you haven’t heard about it, it worth checking out the long list of speakers at the event which included the likes of David Weild, the former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ, and Fabian Vogelstellar, the creator of the ERC-20 token standard. So, let’s delve into the top five takeaways from the event called “the launch of the token industry” by its many fans and participants. #1 - On-chain Compliance and Regulation Right off the bat, many of the speakers spoke frankly about the future of the regulatory environment. One aspect many seemed to agree on is that on-chain compliance and regulation is the future, as mentioned by Howard Marks, CEO of StartEngine, and others. Rather than having regulation be some overhead imposition, regulation and compliance can instead be cooked into smart contracts. This would in effect mean that compliance would be tokenized, represented on-chain, and integrated into the data stored on the blockchain. It’s an idea that is quickly gaining steam and will likely be integral to the success of the tokenized securities space. #2 - Existing Industries Will Change The tokenized security industry will undoubtedly produce new businesses, but just as important is the transition of existing firms to tokenizing their assets and operations. For example, Jeremy Allaire, CEO, and founder of Circle spoke about Circle’s recent acquisition of Seedinvest: “Seedinvest has built a very nice business helping hundreds of businesses to raise capital over the internet ... We’re kind of a made for each other, security tokens and crowdfunding...” Seedinvest is just one example of a platform that was will be migrating to a tokenized system. #3 - The Security Token Industry Is Barely Known Carlos Domingo, CEO, and co-founder of Securitize emphasized at the conference how early we are in this new industry. In regards to tokenized securities, “we went from 100% of people not knowing what it is to 99% of people not knowing what it is.” #4 - Tokenization Allows for New Ways to Monetize Markets that have historically not been as liquid, such as the real estate market, will benefit most from tokenization since assets will be able to be traded and moved almost instantly. Jason Myers, partner of Clifford Chance, spoke about how tokenization could bring in new ways to monetize and provide liquidity to real estate and other assets. #5 - “Tokenized Securities Will Rock the Financial World” Alex Molé, Investor Relations Manager at Neufund, put it simply: “STOs will begin in Q4 of this year... this is a major, major revolution that will take years to play out.” 2019 is definitely shaping up to be the year that tokenized securities become a central part of the cryptocurrency space. What are your thoughts on the Security Token Launch Event? Have a takeaway from the conference that wasn’t mentioned here? Leave a comment down below and let us know. Image courtesy of The post 5 Big Takeaways from the Security Token Launch Event appeared first on The Tokenist.

a month ago

The Age of ICOs is Over. The Time of STOs Has Come

Much of the financial world today is involved in the trading of securities — from stocks to bonds to equity, the law on securities has been made clear over the decades. However, the emerging cryptocurrency market has reached a ceiling in its accessibility due to the legal ambiguities that currently exist. It’s time for us to acknowledge the emerging importance of compliant, tokenized securities. The Inevitable Future of Tokenized Securities Although the SEC has already made clear that Bitcoin is a commodity rather than a security, the future of most ICOs and tokens remains on shaky footing. Most tokens today would better be classified as securities, and will officially be so in due time. Although still a new concept, it seems inevitable that, as cryptocurrencies continue to form a larger and larger portion of the fintech sector, asset-backed tokenized securities will form a large portion of this new market. Tokenized securities have a high chance of replacing much of today’s financial infrastructure, since not only do they provide ease of access, but they are also more secure than existing data systems. Most importantly, however, they allow for more liquidity in markets that historically lack it, like the real estate market. Much of the financial and tech world is opening up to this simple reality. Just recently, Rob Nance, the CEO of CityBlockCapital, spoke clearly about the importance of tokenized securities stating, “security tokens will drive the adoption of cryptocurrency for mainstream investors.” CityBlockCapital is an emerging venture capital firm that is looking to tokenize early-stage funding for startups. Ultimately, however, many pieces need to come together for tokenized securities to be an everyday reality for the financial world. Firstly, there needs to be custodial services and secure markets for larger institutions who want to purchase cryptocurrencies. Secondly, there must exist clear stablecoins which would be traded against tokenized securities. Some firms are already developing such as idea, such as the Gemini Dollar and Dollar Coin. Thirdly, the legal situation still must be made clear: this requires significant effort on the cryptocurrency community to appeal to lawmakers to make this a reality. Finally, the community should consider adopting an altogether different token standard or consensus method for securities since the criteria is different. Once the tokenization of backed assets reaches critical mass and becomes the standard, we will finally begin to see the cryptocurrency space become synonymous with the actual financial world. At first, tokenized securities will seem sparse and far in between, but within the next few years we will certainly see a massive amount of financial assets be token-based. Boasting many proven advantages over existing financial data-storage and processing systems, blockchain will certainly rock all of our traditional asset classes. Tokenized securities seem to be the next logical step. Where do you see the future of securities heading? Do you believe that eventually most of our assets will be tokenized? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Image courtesy of Listing Maniac. The post The Age of ICOs is Over. The Time of STOs Has Come appeared first on The Tokenist.

a month ago

#nexus is about to ROCK the #smartcontract world! Find out h...

#nexus is about to ROCK the #smartcontract world! Find out how and more in #Octobers #monthly #newsletter! #nxs…

a month ago

Teslaquila is actually a pretty good idea

Tequila and Twitter might just mix for Elon Musk. Last week CNBC reported that Tesla had filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the brand name “Teslaquila,” an idea Musk came up with on Twitter The whole thing started as an April Fool’s joke in which Musk, Tesla’s CEO, tweeted that the company was filing for bankruptcy and that he was drowning his sorrows in Teslaquila. Unlike some of his other Twitter musings, like when he contemplated about taking Tesla private and got fined $20 million by the SEC as a result, Teslaquila could actually turn out to be a solid idea. Visual approximation — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2018 In 2017, George Clooney, sold Casamigos, the tequila brand he and his long-time pal and drinking buddy Rande Gerber started, to the international spirits giant Diaego for a billion dollars. The Rock has also indicated that he will soon be launching his own brand of tequila, called Mana. Sean Combs owns half of the brand DeLéon. Justin Timberlake’s Sauza 901 Tequila launched with a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign in which JT plays a dried up lime who can’t find work because of the supremely smooth new tequila on the market. Celebrity booze in general is booming: Bob Dylan sells whiskey now, Ryan Reynolds owns a stake in Aviation Gin, and everyone, seemingly, has a rosé. Tequila though, is an especially sweet spot in the market, having become prominent, along with mezcal, on menus at the types of bars and restaurants that make frequent cameos on Instagram. Fortune reports that overall, tequila sales grew 8.5% from 2016 to 2017; exports of pure tequila from Mexico to the US grew nearly 200% in the past decade; and sales by volume of high-end tequilas that cost $100 a bottle or more have increased by close to 350% since 2002. There’s no need to actually have any knowledge of agave farming, distilling methods, or any of the details of production to put your name on a bottle. While Clooney and Gerber claim to taste every batch, Reynolds and Diddy admit they simply decided to pony up large investments in companies that really spoke to their taste buds. This is a game you can buy your way into. A ready audience, an affluent market—Teslaquila seems ready-made for Musk. Some of his Twitter fans even have some notes on the idea. Doesn't quite roll off the tongue. How bout tequila's artisanal cousin? — cryptograffiti (@cryptograffiti) October 14, 2018 When can we buy Tesla weed — Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) October 12, 2018

a month ago

Here’s what the stark gender disparity among top orchestra musicians looks like

This fall, the world’s great symphony orchestras will open their 2018-19 seasons. And just as they have for decades, many of them will be sharply segregated by gender. Men will again make up the majority of brass, woodwinds, and percussion players, and most harpists will again be women. Quartz at Work examined the instruments played by the musicians of the world’s 20 greatest orchestras, as ranked by the UK’s Gramophone magazine, to understand how gender shapes their composition. Where we could, we looked at the individual musician pages to determine each musician’s gender, and excluded one orchestra that didn’t list individual musicians: The Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan. When musicians didn’t have their own pages, we searched for their images. If only had their name, we determined if the name was more likely male of female. (We weren’t able to account for non-binary gendered people.) We also added three of Gramophone’s “up-and-coming” orchestras, the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, for a total of 22. Data were gathered in August 2018. The results are stark. Of the 2,438 full-time musicians we looked at, 1,677 (69%) were men. But in many instruments, men were even more disproportionately represented. Bassoon (86% male), double bass (95%), and timpani (96%) players are predominately men. Just one of the 103 trumpet players in the 22 orchestras is a woman, and there are no women among the 99 trombonists and 26 tuba players. Only the harp, which is 94% female, is as skewed in the other direction. The clustering of instruments by gender reflects prejudices that date back to the 19th century, or earlier. Women were discouraged from playing instruments that might distort their facial features (ie., flutes and horns), as well as instruments that required supposedly unladylike postures (like cellos, which are held between the knees), or that were heavy or powerful, says Amy Phelps, a cello instructor who wrote her PhD dissertation about gender discrimination in orchestras. “The instruments they identified as male are the louder, bigger instruments,” she tells Quartz at Work. “Our society does not want women to be loud.” There are other reasons for the disparity, rooted in tradition and history. Brass instruments, for example, have a long association with military and industrial bands, particularly in Europe. Those worlds explicitly excluded women. Jesse Rosen, the president of the League of American Orchestras, says that he and his fellow trombone students in the 1970s “had no use of women playing trumpet or trombone.” “We thought low brass was the pinnacle of masculinity,” Rosen said. “We thought brass had to be loud and strong, and I doubt we were unique.” Rosen’s attitudes have changed with the times, and he is now an advocate for gender parity. While elite orchestras are predominately male, the 703 orchestras—professional and amateur—represented by the League of American Orchestras are more evenly divided, with 48% of the players women. But even if an orchestra is gender balanced, there are still consequences when certain instruments are identified with only men or women, says Rosen. “To the extent that people are meant to feel in anyway bad about their choices, that matters,” he said. When women are shut out of certain instruments, all of classical music suffers, he said. A woman with the potential to be a great trumpet player may be languishing on the flute because she was steered away from her ideal instrument. “Why should the world of brass playing be denied the talent that’s out there?” Rosen said. There are economic costs as well. Since principal musicians—who head the various instrument groups—are paid more, the more instruments available to women means the more access they have to the orchestra’s higher-paying jobs. If most women in orchestras play the violin (393 in our survey do, by far the most in any instrument), it means most will be relegated to lower-paying positions. Professional players often pick up an instrument at a young age, when they are particularly vulnerable to pressure from music teachers, parents, and society’s expectations. Girls who want to play instruments deemed unfeminine often have had to persevere in the face of resistance, well meaning or otherwise. As a girl in Surrey, UK, Sarah Willis was given the option of the harp, flute, or clarinet, but—inspired by the performance of a visiting instructor—she wanted to play the French horn. As she told, “The teacher at school said, ‘Well we have a horn, but that’s not for you because that’s something for the boys.’ So I said I wanted to play that.” Willis’s persistence paid off. She’s now the sole female brass player at the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra. Anne McAneney of the London Philharmonic Orchestra is the only female trumpet player in our survey. She began playing the instrument after her school in Northern Ireland split into separat

a month ago

Here’s a map of all the Sears and Kmart stores closing in the US

Sears filed for bankruptcy in New York’s federal court early Oct. 15, announcing the closure of their remaining 142 Sears and Kmart stores (you can read the bankruptcy court filing here (pdf)). After years fighting decreases in sales at its once ubiquitous department stores, the company announced a chapter 11 bankruptcy to provide restructuring and financial relief for the organization. As part of the restructuring plan, Eddie Lampert will vacate his CEO post and become chairman. What started as a catalog company in 1893 changed the American landscape through its once innovative big-box store approach to retail. Sears grew hand in hand with the expansion of the post-war US middle class. As families moved out of the cities and into the suburbs, Sears was there, with its big-box stores offering furniture, kitchen appliances, and home and auto repairs. Innovative in its day, Sears offered a one-stop shop allowing patrons to browse goods ranging from the latest fashion trends to cleaning contraptions, giving suburban customers a retail experience without driving into the cities. In recent years, Sears failed respond effectively as buyers moved from the malls to their monitors. Declining foot traffic in malls, and the rise in popularity of online marketplaces like Amazon scuttled Sears’ sales and stock value. An acquisition by Kmart in 2004, which formed the Sears Holding Corporation, briefly re-energized the brand, but didn’t do enough for its long-term chances. In addition to 46 shop liquidations earlier this year, the company has announced that 142 Sears and Kmart stores will close their doors before the end of 2018. The map below shows the locations of all these stores, according to court filings: The closing of so many physical stores likely signals the end of the iconic department store, though in court proceedings, the company’s chief financial officer, Robert Riecker, issued cautionary hope: “Will Sears be relegated to the dustbin of history, and will 68,000 Americans lose their jobs, or will Sears enter the next chapter of its life as an iconic American company?” Store Number Debtor Address 4455 Kmart Corporation 3955 S W Murray Blvd Beaverton, OR 97005-2316 3982 Kmart Corporation 215 W Hanford/Armona Rd Lemoore, CA 93245-2302 3978 Kmart Corporation 400 Crosstown Road Peachtree City, GA 30269-2915 3713 Kmart Corporation 6239 Turner Lake Road Covington, GA 30014-2064 3808 Kmart Corporation 1530 East Broad Street Statesville, NC 28625-4302 9438 Kmart Corporation 720 Clairton Blvd/Rte 51 Pleasant Hills, PA 15236-4517 7209 Kmart Corporation 15891 State Rt 170 East Liverpool, OH 43920-9633 2225 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 703 N Berkeley Blvd Goldsboro, NC 27534-3444 1646 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 11033 Carolina Place Pkwy Pineville, NC 28134-8370 2600 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 3401 S Us Highway 41 Terre Haute, IN 47802-4154 4433 Kmart Stores of Illinois, LLC 3701 Broadway St Quincy, IL 62301-3721 4150 Kmart Corporation 528 W Plank Road Altoona, PA 16602-2802 3820 Kmart of Michigan, Inc. 06600 M-66 North Charlevoix, MI 49720-9505 2584 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Rt 394 & Hunt Blvd Lakewood, NY 14750- 7229 Kmart Corporation 600 C W Stevens Blvd Grayson, KY 41143-1190 2963 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 400 N Center St Westminster, MD 21157-5140 1405 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 400 Cross Creek Mall Fayetteville, NC 28303-7244 9354 Kmart Corporation 430 W Ridge Rd Griffith, IN 46319-1095 3097 Kmart Corporation 2803 E Kanesville Blvd Council Bluffs, IA 51503-1004 9222 Kmart Corporation 1111 N 2Nd Cherokee, IA 51012-1287 3361 Kmart Corporation 1502 South Fourth St Allentown, PA 18103-4949 3807 Kmart Corporation 835 Solomons Island Rd N Prince Frederick, MD 20678-3912 2306 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 1001 Rainbow Dr Gadsden, AL 35901-5376 7169 Kmart Corporation 400 South Broadway Salina, KS 67401-4005 2124 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 5522 Shaffer Rd Ste 129 Dubois, PA 15801-3304 2341 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 701 Se Wyoming Blvd Casper, WY 82609-4213 7223 Kmart Corporation 7000 Veterans Memorial Metairie, LA 70003-4497 2335 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 2801 Wilma Rudolph Blvd Clarksville, TN 37040-5011 9409 Kmart Corporation 1000 Nutt Rd Phoenixville, PA 19460-2200 2546 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 2625 Scottsville Rd Bowling Green, KY 42104-4477 2311 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 3201 W Main St Norman, OK 73072-4847 1287 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 6600 Menaul Blvd Ne Ste 700 Coronado, NM 87110-3447 1080 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 2605 Preston Rd Frisco, TX 75034-9434 1403 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 1235 Worcester Rd & Natick, MA 01760- 1112 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 12431 Wayzata Blvd Minnetonka, MN 55305-1925 1844 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy Columbia, MD 21044-3341 1318 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 3001 Ming Ave Bakersfield, CA 93304-4145 1115 Sears, Roebuck and Co. 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd Chattanooga, TN 37421-6006 3941 Kmart Corporation Northrid

a month ago

BitPay Adds Settlement in Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Circle Coin (USDC)

In a press release today, Bitpay - the largest bitcoin payment provider - announced that they are now supporting settlement in two more currencies: Circle (USD) Coin, and Gemini (US) Dollar. The decision to add settlement in stablecoins makes perfect sense during these volatile periods. It allows merchants to avoid any market volatility by converting payments received in BTC or BCH to a stablecoin. Stephen Pair, co-founder and CEO of BitPay said: “The introduction of the USDC and GUSD stable coin offers BitPay customers a new alternative to holding Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash by offering a stable coin option.” One factor to keep in mind is the fact that it was already possible to avoid volatility using BitPay, merchants just had to settle all incoming payments straight to a bank account. With the new addition, those merchants that could only settle in Bitcoin can now receive GUSD or USDC deposits, essentially hedging Bitcoin. Another advantage to receiving deposits in cryptocurrency vs a bank wire is the fact that BitPay processes crypto settlements 365 days year, including weekends. About GUSD As you might have guessed, the Gemini dollar (GUSD) is native to the Gemini exchange. Launched in September 2018, you can deposit GUSD into Gemini and instantly convert it to USD at any time. GUSD is an ERC20 token and is also listed on a few other exchanges. You can find GUSD/BTC trading pairs on: Bibox, HitBTC, and The Rock Trading and more. The current supply of GUSD sits at roughly $1.2 million, and each Gemini Dollar is backed by a real dollar which is held in a State Street Bank and Trust Company. About USDC Similar to GUSD, USDC is an ERC20 token. It was also launched in September in 2018, but has much more coins in circulation, currently at $12 million. Other than being accepted on Circle, USDC’s trading volume comes from Poloniex, LATOKEN, and KuCoin. As a money service business, Circle is fully regulated and has a BitLicense. Each Circle dollar is backed by USD deposited into an accredited bank. Those funds get regularly audited to ensure a 1:1 ratio with USDC. About BitPay Founded in 2011, Bitpay is the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Last year, BitPay reported that they are on track to process over $1 billion in volume for the year. In addition to being a payment provider, BitPay also has products such as the BitPay Wallet and the BitPay Prepaid Visa® Card. The post BitPay Adds Settlement in Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Circle Coin (USDC) appeared first on NullTX.

a month ago

New Trading Platform for Cryptocurrencies Will Help Solve Liquidity Problems

Volume on crypto exchanges has taken serious hits this year. Most cryptocurrencies have declined by at least 50 percent, while the volume on exchanges has decreased by at least 80 percent in 2018. Most people who invested in cryptocurrencies are either HODLing out of personal choice or have no other option but to hang on to their holdings because of liquidity issues. Now a new crypto trading platform is helping solve the problem. Called the Liquid Network, the platform offers faster and more secure digital token settlements. Handling Settlement Issues With Ease Cryptocurrency settlements can be difficult and may not always be as fast as expected. San Francisco based Blockstream Corp. is helping change the crypto narrative. Its trading platform Liquid Network promises faster settlement to users by connecting financial institutions, brokers, and cryptocurrency exchanges. Over 20 companies have signed up for the platform, including crypto exchange giants OKCoin, Bitmex, and Bitfinex. Chief Strategy Officer at Blockstream Samson Mow explained how the platform could improve liquidity in the global crypto markets. He said: “Liquidity across exchanges is definitively not there yet. With the advent of Liquid — with faster settlement times — we should be able to improve it by making it faster and easier to transfer.” Liquidity a Huge Issue The problem with liquidity on cryptocurrency exchanges was cited by the New York attorney general’s office in a recent report in which mentioned explicitly how trading volumes on exchanges could be manipulated. There are questions related to the transparency and integrity of these exchanges. The report suggests: “Customers face the risk that the availability of liquidity in those assets could change, without notice and at any time.” As the price of Bitcoin started experiencing a frenzied bullish run late last year, several crypto exchanges opened their doors to investors. However, with the price hitting rock bottom this year, receding by over 60 percent in a matter of months, these exchanges started experiencing volume problems, and liquidity hit a low. Over 500 crypto exchanges are in operation as of now, and many of them could be inflating volume, making it difficult for individual investors to trade. Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Mike McGlone spoke about the importance of liquidity in exchanges, saying: “Liquidity is almost always related to volume, and there are so many exchanges, and that’s a bit of a problem. [Liquid Platform] is trying to get liquidity from that overall volume measure in a single execution point.” New Trading Platform for Cryptocurrencies Will Help Solve Liquidity Problems was originally found on [blokt] - Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

a month ago

A 28-year-old MacArthur winner still doesn’t think he’s good enough

Matthew Aucoin is a composer and conductor who, at 25, was heralded as “opera’s great hope” and, last week, was awarded a MacArthur genius grant at age 28. Aucoin was the year below me at college (though we didn’t meet at the time), and the day he was officially anointed a genius, I was congratulating myself on remembering to bring a packed lunch into work. Clearly, it was time to re-assess. Twenty-something geniuses tend to make everyone else feel woefully inadequate, and I wondered how it felt to be such a recognized talent. Is a lifetime of self-doubts immediately banished once you’ve achieved so much, so young, or are you still wracked with insecurities? I called Aucoin to see how the MacArthur grant had affected his work, his goals, and his sense of self. Throughout our conversation, Aucoin emphasized that though he was delighted to receive the grant, he couldn’t take it as a sign that he had achieved what he set out to. Though his operas have been met with great critical acclaim, he still isn’t quite satisfied. The conversation below has been lightly condensed and edited for clarity. Quartz: Did you have any sign that a MacArthur grant was coming? Aucoin: Zero. They do a very good job doing their work in total secrecy. I thought it was a hoax when they called. I was at the farm house that I just bought with my boyfriend in Vermont and it was exactly a month before the public announcement. I was very close to finishing the draft of a new piece and I didn’t want to be distracted, so I missed the call the first time. I assumed it was spam. It took a second try for me to pick up, wondering who this very insistent spammer was. What did they say? They don’t waste any time. They said, “we’re calling from the MacArthur Foundation, this is the deal.” It’s really incredible. They read you a description of your work and ask if it sounds accurate. What I said—accurately—is that it sounds like what I’m trying to do, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t done that yet. Has it changed how you think of yourself or what you’re doing? It doesn’t change how I think of myself. I know that I’m nowhere near the artist I want to be yet and so I’m going to keep my head down and work. The thing it does change long term is the issue of creative control. I’ve been very lucky to have commissions pretty steadily for as long as I’ve been a professional composer, but the whole nature of commissioning gives a lot of power to the commissioner. And when you’re a composer, sometimes the music that’s boiling in your brain is wildly impractical. Maybe you want to write for twelve trombones and a bunch of percussionists or something that’s really wild, but that’s what the music means. So I’m really thinking of this as a gift of time to write the music I need to write without worrying too much about how and when it will first be played. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment so far? I’m proudest of two things. One is a few smaller scale pieces of music piece for violin and piano. I’m actually not satisfied with my operas, which are the things that have gotten me the most public attention. And the other thing I’m proudest of is this ensemble that I’ve just founded called AMOC, which stands for American Modern Opera Company, and it’s really an opera company on the model of a rock band or a touring theater troupe. It’s a collective—we have 17 singers and instrumentalists and dancers—and I’m really proud to have created this artistic space and to find all these people that inspire me and bring them together to make new work. What’s the path that you’ve taken to get where you are, and how much work did you put in to get here? It was an enormously scary leap to say “I’m going to be a composer,” because there’s no set path. It’s not like you start out as junior composer and eventually you make partner. I also perform, I conduct, and I play the piano, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to make a living as a performer. So, I think one of the most important steps for me was just saying, “I have to put composing first, I have to clear out the time to just sit there with the empty page and wrestle with it.” And I’ve never regretted that decision. When did you first become interested in music? I fell in love with music when I was six years old or so, but I was not touring the world as a prodigy pianist. There were plenty of kids who were more skilled at playing the piano than I was. That’s been the case for my whole life. I think that when you’re very young, the only image you have of being successful in this field is being a dazzling virtuoso pianist. And so there was a real danger for me that I might have turned away from this path because I didn’t know that composers still existed, and I didn’t think I could make it purely as a pianist. It wasn’t until college that I realized there is totally a place for me in this world and I’ve got to do it. Now that you’ve got this grant, do you think you’ll ever again question whether you’ve achieved enough? If

a month ago

The 90 best stories from Quartz at Work’s first year

Quartz at Work is a guide to navigating the modern workplace. When we launched in October 2017, we were obsessed with eight topics, including the delicate arts of managing others and ourselves, the shifting purpose of companies, and the sometimes exasperating challenge of juggling work and parenthood. While pursuing deeper understanding of these topics, we laughed, we cried, and—in one case—we ate a lot of pastry. To celebrate our first anniversary, we’ve combed through the archives to compile the very best of the resulting stories. Managing Being the boss can be as terrifying as it is rewarding. Our 10 best stories about managing people address tough questions about the best way to give feedback, how to build career paths for those who don’t want to manage, and, importantly, the difference between a snafu, a shitshow, and a clusterfuck. Productivity and creativity Managing yourself is no less of an art than managing other people. Our 10 best stories on productivity and creativity include guides for getting your email in check, an invitation to consider whether you’re on “event time,” and evidence in support of taking a break—as well as (of course!) input from the The Rock and Questlove. The purpose of companies Companies and individual employees alike are, perhaps more than ever, seeking a “sense of purpose.” Our 10 best stories on the purpose of companies cover socially conscious policy changes at companies like Amazon, Weight Watchers, and Walmart; qualms about established norms like the Harvard Business School case study; and the debate over whether there can even be such a thing as “conscious capitalism.” The lives of working parents Kids change everything, including our work lives. Our 10 best stories on the lives of working parents include resources for new parents, a look at the economics of childcare, and research-backed reassurances that it really is all going to be OK. Identity and inclusion As Quartz at Work editor Heather Landy put it, “The HR-office definition of diversity probably doesn’t reflect the whole story of what happens when people from different genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, countries, political persuasions, or economic backgrounds come together to work.” Our 10 best stories on identity and inclusion include explanations of privilege and emotional labor; a call to end “mompreneurship”; and an explanation of why your company’s Slack is probably sexist. The office How and where people come together to work is changing quickly. Our 10 best stories on the office examine how everything from cheesy posters and snacks to time and god are handled in the workplace. Careering Careers no longer look like paths: Jungle gyms, dotted lines, and portfolios are probably better metaphors. Our 10 best stories about what we call “careering” help navigate the changing resume, LinkedIn etiquette, and career jumping. And also, whether you should get a dog (yes). Leaders and leadership What does it mean to be a good leader? Our 10 best stories on leaders and leadership explore this question through leadership profiles, trends, and lessons. Contributors In our contributors section, we’ve heard from CEOs, recruiters, HR professionals, researchers, and a Buddhism expert. In our 10 best stories from contributors, experts share how to make work more equitable, efficient, and better for parents; personal experiences with everything from harassment to parenting a child with special needs; and advice on both the big and small dilemmas in our modern workplace. Thanks for reading Quartz at Work. Find us on Twitter or email us at (subject line: Quartz at Work).

a month ago

After a seven-year hiatus, fracking is back in the UK

In 2011, all fracking in the UK was suspended after evidence suggested it had caused minor earthquakes in the northwest of England. Seven years later, it’s back. Cuadrilla, a British oil and gas company, ended its long-running legal battle this week, allowing it to restart fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, in the UK. Activity was supposed to begin today (Oct. 13) but has been delayed until Monday because of bad weather. The fracking process involves pumping water, sand, and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to release hard-to-extract natural gas. In 2011, Cuadrilla stopped the tests of fracking it was doing in Lancashire after the area experienced two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude. In October 2016, despite local resistance, the UK government approved the plan for Cuadrilla to begin fracking again in Lancashire, and the company went ahead and drilled two wells. This was to be the first instance of horizontal fracking in the UK. Campaigners blocked the work from going ahead with an interim injunction that temporarily delayed work. On Friday, the High Court dismissed the application for a longer injunction and wider judicial review. While there’s believed to be enough shale gas deposits to supply the UK for 25 years, fracking is a controversial practice in the country. Scotland is looking to ban it. The UK government’s support for fracking has been denounced by many, including climate scientist James Hansen, who told British paper the Observer that fracking would undermine the UK government’s efforts to meet climate obligations. The move comes after a major report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned that more drastic and faster action needs to be taken if the world wants to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

a month ago

Newly Launched Liquid a Bitcoin Sidechain By Definition, Says Samson Mow

Blockstream on Wednesday announced that Liquid Network — its first Bitcoin sidechain — is now online. This announcement comes after more than a year of beta testing the sidechain on the core Bitcoin network. Liquid ‘A Sidechain Based on a Two-Way Peg’ Blockstream CSO Samson Mow reacted to criticism that the Liquid network cannot be considered a real Bitcoin sidechain. Blockstream CSO Mow explained to Bitcoinist: I’m not sure by what basis it’s possible to make a claim that Liquid is “not an actual Bitcoin sidechain.” Your technical clarification that “a sidechain is a blockchain that has a two-way pegged currency and can validate the data contained in other blockchains,” is fully satisfied by the mechanics of how Liquid functions. Furthermore, the concept of a federated peg was not introduced last year, but was specified in Appendix A of the 2014 Blockstream whitepaper, “Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains.” Liquid is not a facsimile of a two-way peg system, it *is* a sidechain based on a two-way peg. Mow also addressed a few concerns raised by Danny Brewster who asked whether Liquid could have a negative effect on the integrity of the Bitcoin network. Noting the tradeoff between transfer speeds and the security benefits of sending bitcoin on-chain, Liquid, nevertheless, does not prevent anyone from ‘hitching’ their own sidechains to Bitcoin, he explained. Liquid concerns TL;DR: — Aaron van Wirdum (@AaronvanW) October 13, 2018 Furthermore, Mow explained that Liquid has a failsafe “emergency withdraw feature” that returns bitcoin in the event of network failure. “Funds are SAFU,” he said. ***original article*** Liquid Network Goes Live The San Francisco-based Blockstream announced the news via a blog post on the startup’s website. According to the company, Liquid ensures speedy and secure transactions suited to the specific needs of high trading volume entities like brokers, exchange platforms, and financial institutions. The @Blockstream team is excited to announce the #LiquidNetwork is now live with 23 members! Liquid enables fast, secure, and confidential transactions, along with digital asset issuance on the world's first production #Bitcoin #sidechain. — Blockstream (@Blockstream) October 10, 2018 Blockstream revealed that the Liquid sidechain went live at the end of September 2018. The company also said that there are already 23 participants on the Liquid Network, all of whom are major stakeholders in the Bitcoin market. According to the announcement, the 23 participants are: Altonomy, Atlantic Financial, Bitbank, Bitfinex, Bitmax, BitMEX, Bitso, BTCBOX, BTSE, Buull Exchange, DGroup, Coinone, Crypto Garage, GOPAX (operated by Streami), Korbit, L2B Global, OKCoin, The Rock Trading, SIX Digital Exchange, Unocoin, Xapo, XBTO, and Zaif. Blockstream first announced Liquid in 2015. The network works by participants first converting Bitcoin to Liquid Bitcoin (LBTC). Each LBTC is tied to actual Bitcoins, but instead of running on the main network, LBTC is moved within the secure Liquid Network sidechain. Thus, transactions can occur at a faster rate inside the Liquid Network sidechain. Apart from enabling faster transactions, Blockstream is also pursuing a raft of other expanded upgrades and enhancements to the Liquid Network. According to the blog post, the company plans to include features such as third-party wallet support for Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets, a GreenAddress wallet and an open-source wallet client. Liquid Network - Not an Actual Bitcoin Sidechain While Blockstream touts Liquid Network as a sidechain, it functions less like an actual sidechain and more like a mashup between Green Addresses and Multisig Permissioned Blockchain. Technically, a sidechain is a blockchain that has a two-way pegged currency and can validate the data contained in other blockchains. Last year, Blockstream released an updated white paper for the Liquid Network which introduced “Federated Pegs,” a somewhat pseudo-decentralized facsimile of a two-way peg system. So, while not an actual Bitcoin sidechain, the company still believes that the Liquid Network can render altcoins obsolete. The announcement blog post also reiterated the desire to cause a paradigm shift in the digital asset issuance space. Earlier in the year, the company released an explainer video showing how users could tokenize anything on the Liquid Network. Will Bitcoin sidechains like Liquid Network make altcoins obsolete? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Image courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@Blockstream). The post Newly Launched Liquid a Bitcoin Sidechain By Definition, Says Samson Mow appeared first on

a month ago

Newly Launched Liquid a Sidechain By Definition, Says Samson Mow

Blockstream on Wednesday announced that Liquid Network — its first Bitcoin sidechain — is now online. This announcement comes after more than a year of beta testing the sidechain on the core Bitcoin network. Liquid ‘A Sidechain Based on a Two-Way Peg’ Blockstream CSO Samson Mow reacted to criticism that the Liquid network cannot be considered a real Bitcoin sidechain. Blockstream CSO Mow explained to Bitcoinist: I’m not sure by what basis it’s possible to make a claim that Liquid is “not an actual Bitcoin sidechain.” Your technical clarification that “a sidechain is a blockchain that has a two-way pegged currency and can validate the data contained in other blockchains,” is fully satisfied by the mechanics of how Liquid functions. Furthermore, the concept of a federated peg was not introduced last year, but was specified in Appendix A of the 2014 Blockstream whitepaper, “Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains.” Liquid is not a facsimile of a two-way peg system, it *is* a sidechain based on a two-way peg. Mow also addressed a few concerns raised by Danny Brewster who asked whether Liquid could have a negative effect on the integrity of the Bitcoin network. Noting the tradeoff between transfer speeds and the security benefits of sending bitcoin on-chain, Liquid, nevertheless, does not prevent anyone from ‘hitching’ their own sidechains to Bitcoin, he explained. Liquid concerns TL;DR: — Aaron van Wirdum (@AaronvanW) October 13, 2018 Furthermore, Mow explained that Liquid has a failsafe “emergency withdraw feature” that returns bitcoin in the event of network failure. “Funds are SAFU,” he said. ***original article*** Liquid Network Goes Live The San Francisco-based Blockstream announced the news via a blog post on the startup’s website. According to the company, Liquid ensures speedy and secure transactions suited to the specific needs of high trading volume entities like brokers, exchange platforms, and financial institutions. The @Blockstream team is excited to announce the #LiquidNetwork is now live with 23 members! Liquid enables fast, secure, and confidential transactions, along with digital asset issuance on the world's first production #Bitcoin #sidechain. — Blockstream (@Blockstream) October 10, 2018 Blockstream revealed that the Liquid sidechain went live at the end of September 2018. The company also said that there are already 23 participants on the Liquid Network, all of whom are major stakeholders in the Bitcoin market. According to the announcement, the 23 participants are: Altonomy, Atlantic Financial, Bitbank, Bitfinex, Bitmax, BitMEX, Bitso, BTCBOX, BTSE, Buull Exchange, DGroup, Coinone, Crypto Garage, GOPAX (operated by Streami), Korbit, L2B Global, OKCoin, The Rock Trading, SIX Digital Exchange, Unocoin, Xapo, XBTO, and Zaif. Blockstream first announced Liquid in 2015. The network works by participants first converting Bitcoin to Liquid Bitcoin (LBTC). Each LBTC is tied to actual Bitcoins, but instead of running on the main network, LBTC is moved within the secure Liquid Network sidechain. Thus, transactions can occur at a faster rate inside the Liquid Network sidechain. Apart from enabling faster transactions, Blockstream is also pursuing a raft of other expanded upgrades and enhancements to the Liquid Network. According to the blog post, the company plans to include features such as third-party wallet support for Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets, a GreenAddress wallet and an open-source wallet client. Liquid Network - Not an Actual Bitcoin Sidechain While Blockstream touts Liquid Network as a sidechain, it functions less like an actual sidechain and more like a mashup between Green Addresses and Multisig Permissioned Blockchain. Technically, a sidechain is a blockchain that has a two-way pegged currency and can validate the data contained in other blockchains. Last year, Blockstream released an updated white paper for the Liquid Network which introduced “Federated Pegs,” a somewhat pseudo-decentralized facsimile of a two-way peg system. So, while not an actual Bitcoin sidechain, the company still believes that the Liquid Network can render altcoins obsolete. The announcement blog post also reiterated the desire to cause a paradigm shift in the digital asset issuance space. Earlier in the year, the company released an explainer video showing how users could tokenize anything on the Liquid Network. Will Bitcoin sidechains like Liquid Network make altcoins obsolete? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Image courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@Blockstream). The post Newly Launched Liquid a Sidechain By Definition, Says Samson Mow appeared first on

a month ago

The 10 best Quartz at Work stories about productivity and creativity

One of the best parts about work is that exhilarating feeling of being deep in the zone. Quartz at Work was designed from the outset to help you find that place as often as possible, which is why we’re obsessed with sharing ideas for improved productivity, and with uncovering the hidden dynamics that govern the creativity process. We’re celebrating the first anniversary of Quartz at Work’s October 2017 launch. To help mark the occasion, we’ve compiled 10 of our favorite pieces from our productivity and creativity obsession, organized by story type. The guides you need Our library of workplace guides keeps growing. Three of our favorite guides come from Quartz at Work contributing editor Khe Hy, a productivity nut who has a knack for solving common problems with easy hacks (and a few more advanced ones) available even to the technically challenged. For starters, you can eliminate a lot of the hassle and cognitive overload of email just by developing a basic understanding of its psychology and setting up simple apps that help handle the deluge. Khe walks you through the process in this step-by-step guide to managing email. Now that your inbox is under control, you have more time for other crucial tasks. But how do you decide which to do when? In this guide, Khe shows you how to structure your day better, with a fun exercise to help you prioritize your to-do list and plenty of sound advice on scheduling meetings, tapping into your energy, and making time for deep work. Lastly, Khe shares the system he devised to make it easy to retrieve information when he needs it. In his guide to making better use of everything you read, you’ll find his thoughts on skimming books, his tips on storing articles, and his recommendations for cataloging your notes. And now, read on! The reviews you loved What happened when I forced my American colleagues to take coffee breaks. Aware that there are deeply ingrained cultural forces that keep Americans pinned to their desk chairs, Lila MacLellan, the lone Canadian on the Quartz At Work staff, was eager to run an experiment on her US colleagues. Could we, for one week, embrace the Swedish art of “fika,” taking two breaks a day for a friendly chat with co-workers, traditionally over coffee and cake? The answer seems simple, but the reality was a little more complicated. I let Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson run my life for a week. Corinne Purtill is a senior writer for Quartz At Work, a mother to two young children, and a closet WWE fan who routinely shocks coworkers with her knowledge of professional wrestling. She’d also like to be crushing it more than she feels she is. In other words, she was the perfect person to test out The Rock Clock, a motivational app from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. You’ll love reading her review, just like The Rock did. The $140 productivity app that’s managed my life for the past decade. Khe is back with his top recommendation for conquering everything the information economy has to throw at you. It isn’t cheap and using it to full effect requires a good bit of legwork beforehand—you can’t just go into this thing cold. But once you properly prepare yourself to use it, you’re bound to get more done and a lot less likely to see things fall through the cracks. Something you may not have pondered before If scheduling causes you conflict, maybe you’re on “event time.” There are people who live on “clock time” and people who live on “event time” and their rhythms don’t always mesh well in the workplace. Lila explains how to know which group you’re in and what you can do if your style is incompatible with the way your office sets things like meetings and deadlines. Essential reads for creative people The habits that encourage creativity, according to Questlove. Creative Quest, the partially eponymous book by the drummer for The Roots, sets out with a simple but ambitious premise: that producing more creative work is “one way to save the world.” Let’s get on with it then. In a story that’s part profile, part book review, and part meditation on staying open to the widest possible range of influences, Lila distills the musician’s advice for maintaining a creative frame of mind. The mistake of seeing only some jobs as creative. “Before he was a MacArthur Fellow, or a Man Booker Prize recipient, or the person David Foster Wallace named the most exciting writer in America, George Saunders,” Corinne Purtill notes, “was a technical writer at Radian Corporation, crafting numbingly dull environmental impact statements that nobody read.” If it seems impossible to square the drudgery of workaday jobs with great creative ambition, read on. How to critique creative work: Lessons from a master of the craft. In reading the outpouring of appreciations of Jonathan Gold, the Los Angeles Times food critic who died earlier this year, Corinne (who is based in LA) noticed that many of the most heartfelt condolences came from the very people Gold had critiqued. She writes, “As a critic with

a month ago

The ridiculous amount of money baby-boomer rockers still make on tour

It’s no rumor: Lindsey Buckingham, former lead guitarist of Fleetwood Mac, is suing his former bandmates, declaring that cutting him out of their current tour deprived him of up to $14 million. According to the suit Buckingham’s lawyers filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, Fleetwood Mac made a deal with Live Nation for a 60-concert North American tour that would earn $12 million to $14 million for each band member. Buckingham alleges that in addition to losing this potential income, the group also broke an oral contract that no member of Fleetwood Mac could be dismissed without cause. Buckingham was abruptly dropped from the group earlier this year, and replaced with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House. The chain of events leading to Buckingham’s departure included him wanting to focus on his solo work, a supposed disagreement with Stevie Nicks during a MusiCares benefit show in New York, and other band members reportedly being cryptic and cold toward him for months. Buckingham’s suit also highlights just how much baby-boomer rock stars can make even decades after their biggest hits. Many other bands of the same vintage are still making big bucks. Pollstar, the concert-industry trade publication, published its list of the highest grossing worldwide tours for the first half of 2018. While Ed Sheeran tops the list with $213 million, there are 10 music acts in the top 30 that skyrocketed to fame decades before social media was a thing. This chart shows just how much these baby-boomer artists have made on tour this year so far, as well as their ranking on Pollstar’s list. The Rolling Stones are the top-earning rock band in 2018 (over $100 million so far), and groups like the Eagles and U2 outrank younger megastars including Jay-Z and Beyonce (no. 11), Katy Perry (no. 14), and Kendrick Lamar (no. 18). If the estimation of up to a $14-million take for each member of Fleetwood Mac turns out to be right (it was a five-member lineup when the group included Buckingham), their gross take may be within range of what the Stones are taking in.

a month ago

Indians love Bryan Adams because ‘Summer of 69’ is almost a Hindi song now

Bryan Adams is coming to India—once again. The 58-year-old rocker, who has toured the nation four times since 1994, is returning to sing his golden oldies Summer of 69, 18 Till I Die, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, among other songs. His five-city tour begins in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, before moving to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and ending in New Delhi. Adams is one of several international acts that had their heyday in the 1990s and 2000s but still enjoy immense popularity in India. Others such as the Danish soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock have played in India four times since their first visit in 1996. Poets of the Fall, a Finnish alternative rock band, too have performed here five times, and are scheduled to return this year for the Shillong leg of the NH7 Weekender Festival. The Dutch Eurodance group Vengaboys have been here twice, and are likely to be called again. So why does India get to watch these artists live, but not newer international artists? The answer may lie in an online poll by the Instagram account The Indian Music Diaries, which covers the Indian independent music scene. According to the survey, the top international acts Indians want to see here are Radiohead, Tame Impala, Tool, Gojira, Arctic Monkeys and John Mayer—almost all of whom emerged in the 1990s or the 2000s. Money money money Money plays a big role in deciding who performs in India and who doesn’t. As this column in FirstPost explains, getting an artist here depends on their “availability, affordability and inclination”—and “then there are the logistics and legalities of staging an event in our country, which lacks sufficient and suitable venues.” For these reasons and others, few red hot acts perform in India. Retro acts do not see these as problems, though. Shyam Tallamraju said the reason to bring Adams to India was market research. “Our research showed that 93% of music-related live entertainment options are catering to the 18-to-24 age bracket,” Tallamraju said. “But what’s there for those above 30?” A senior vice president at Mirchi Live, Tallamraju was instrumental in getting India added to Adams’s international tour to support his 14th studio album, Ultimate, that comprises his greatest hits and two new songs. The event has been produced by Entertainment Network India, owned by the Times Infotainment Media. Tallamraju explained that his company organises musical events as a solution for advertisers. For instance, fashion retailer Forever 21 does not advertise on radio, so they don’t find space on the Times Group’s FM station, Radio Mirchi. But Forever 21 got associated with a six-city tour of the singer Vidya Vox organised by Entertainment Network India in 2017. “For Bryan Adams, we are looking at brands targeting the 30-plus age group, like, say, automobile [brands],” Tallamraju said. Targeting affluent 30-somethings is also the game plan of Dereyk Talker. Mumbai-based Talker is the founder-owner of KCT Entertainment, a company that has been bringing pop, dance and rock acts such as Vengaboys, UB40, Boney M, Ottawan, Gipsy Kings and Mr Big’s Eric Martin to India since 2014. Talker first focused on retro acts upon realising that live music events didn’t cater to his age group. “I wanted to bring artists I liked and listened to.” With a handful of artists coming to India repeatedly, how does one keep these acts fresh? The solution, Talker said, was not to repeat cities. When he brought Vengaboys in 2015, they performed in Mumbai, Goa and Chennai. He is now planning to make them return, but this time to his hometown Mumbai, plus Pune and Bengaluru. It’s just business Cold business sense is an incomplete explanation for these acts’ return, since not all their concerts in India are runaway successes. It’s possible there is more at play here, perhaps a genuine affection for these acts. Bare Bones, Adams’s 2010 acoustic live album, did not make a dent anywhere but in India, where it was declared a hit. Michael Learns to Rock’s eighth studio album Scandinavia (2012) was released in India before anywhere else. And after Poets of the Fall found a worshipping crowd at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur on their first visit to India in 2007, the music label Saregrama released their first best-of compilation album in India. Another reason for the popularity could be the ties that these musicians consciously formed with the country from the time their career was at the peak—and not in their last days. Adams’s first Indian concert came two years after his Grammy win in 1992 that was televised on Doordarshan in India. Poets of the Fall’s first Indian gig took place in 2007, a year after the release of their hit song Carnival Of Rust, which received frequent airplay here. Michael Learns to Rock’s first Indian concert in 1996 was after two back-to-back bestselling albums and a greatest-hits compilation exclusively released in Asia and South Africa. The 2001 Indian tour of Vengaboys happened a few years after

a month ago

This is definitely the worst way to die

What is the worst way to die? There are a lot of potential answers to that question: getting eaten alive by a shark, say, or being burned at the stake. But now a group of researchers have a theory that, if true, would take the cake: That the helpless residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum died when their blood boiled and their skulls exploded during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius was a volcano that overlooked the Roman settlement of Pompeii, Italy, near modern-day Naples. It erupted in 79 AD, wiping out the entire town and preserving its populace in ash. The common historical interpretation of that horrific event was that the toxic gases and thick chunks of ash released from the volcano choked every single inhabitant to death. But in a study published in PLOS One last month (Sept. 26), researchers from Naples, Italy, argue that a segment of Vesuvius victims were likely killed by the fast-moving lava that streamed down toward Pompeii, which created temperatures high enough to vaporize bodily fluids and tissue and create explosions in the skull. The researchers analyzed 103 skeletal samples from the remains of victims who took shelter from the eruption by hiding in 12 waterfront chambers in Herculaneum, a town 11 miles from Pompeii. That didn’t help them much: According to the researchers, these people “were suddenly engulfed by the abrupt collapse of the rapidly advancing” pyroclastic surge-a fluid mass of gas and rock fragments that is ejected during some volcanic eruptions-which radiated temperatures between 400 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and descended onto them at nearly 180 miles per hour. By studying the skeletal remains, the researchers say they were able to deduce that excessive temperatures, rather than gas inhalation or lava-related accidents, was the cause of death for the victims of Herculaneum. Because the town was closer to the volcano, the heat instantly vaporized bodily tissues and fluids (including blood). One expert who was not involved with the study raised concerns about the researchers’ findings; as Neel V. Patel of Popular Science explains, “The cause of death may have been something else entirely, and the observed high-temperature effects on the blood and tissue may have been produced by post-mortem pyroclastic flows.” But the theory that extreme temperatures killed at least some of Vesuvius’s victims has been gaining traction in research circles since 2001, and the consensus seems to be that further research into the potential dangers of pyroclastic surge is worthwhile. “These kind of field and laboratory studies are of great importance,” Pier Paolo Petrone, the lead author of the study, told Popular Science, “not only from the point of view of a historical and biological reconstruction of the Roman age populations, but also because they provide fundamental information useful for the assessment of volcanic risk in densely populated areas.” In other words, research on the victims of Pompeii could be used to assess the risks of an eruption in Naples and the smaller towns near Vesuvius, which is still active. That area is home to about 1 million people today-including 12 citizens who, in 2013, sued (pdf) the Italian government at the European Court of Human Rights for not sufficiently preparing them for a possible eruption. Probably a fair concern, folks.

a month ago

Blockstream’s Bitcoin Sidechain, ‘Liquid Network,’ Goes Live

Blockstream on Wednesday announced that Liquid Network — its first Bitcoin sidechain — is now online. This announcement comes after more than a year of beta testing the sidechain on the core Bitcoin network. Liquid Network Goes Live The San Francisco-based Blockstream announced the news via a blog post on the startup’s website. According to the company, Liquid ensures speedy and secure transactions suited to the specific needs of high trading volume entities like brokers, exchange platforms, and financial institutions. The @Blockstream team is excited to announce the #LiquidNetwork is now live with 23 members! Liquid enables fast, secure, and confidential transactions, along with digital asset issuance on the world's first production #Bitcoin #sidechain. — Blockstream (@Blockstream) October 10, 2018 Blockstream revealed that the Liquid sidechain went live at the end of September 2018. The company also said that there are already 23 participants on the Liquid Network, all of whom are major stakeholders in the Bitcoin market. According to the announcement, the 23 participants are: Altonomy, Atlantic Financial, Bitbank, Bitfinex, Bitmax, BitMEX, Bitso, BTCBOX, BTSE, Buull Exchange, DGroup, Coinone, Crypto Garage, GOPAX (operated by Streami), Korbit, L2B Global, OKCoin, The Rock Trading, SIX Digital Exchange, Unocoin, Xapo, XBTO, and Zaif. Blockstream first announced Liquid in 2015. The network works by participants first converting Bitcoin to Liquid Bitcoin (LBTC). Each LBTC is tied to actual Bitcoins, but instead of running on the main network, LBTC is moved within the secure Liquid Network sidechain. Thus, transactions can occur at a faster rate inside the Liquid Network sidechain. Apart from enabling faster transactions, Blockstream is also pursuing a raft of other expanded upgrades and enhancements to the Liquid Network. According to the blog post, the company plans to include features such as third-party wallet support for Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets, a GreenAddress wallet and an open-source wallet client. Liquid Network - Not an Actual Bitcoin Sidechain While Blockstream touts Liquid Network as a sidechain, it functions less like an actual sidechain and more like a mashup between Green Addresses and Multisig Permissioned Blockchain. Technically, a sidechain is a blockchain that has a two-way pegged currency and can validate the data contained in other blockchains. Last year, Blockstream released an updated white paper for the Liquid Network which introduced “Federated Pegs,” a somewhat pseudo-decentralized facsimile of a two-way peg system. So, while not an actual Bitcoin sidechain, the company still believes that the Liquid Network can render altcoins obsolete. The announcement blog post also reiterated the desire to cause a paradigm shift in the digital asset issuance space. Earlier in the year, the company released an explainer video showing how users could tokenize anything on the Liquid Network. Will Bitcoin sidechains like Liquid Network make altcoins obsolete? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Image courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@Blockstream). The post Blockstream’s Bitcoin Sidechain, ‘Liquid Network,’ Goes Live appeared first on

a month ago

Ancient rock carvings in India hint at a 12,000-year-old lost civilisation

In the late 1980s, while exploring around the villages of Maharashtra’s coastal Konkan region, Sudhir Risbud came across a big square pattern engraved near the road to the beach town of Ganpatipule. The electrical engineer and bird-watcher had no idea at the time that it was a petroglyph, a form of rock carving associated with prehistoric people, that was one of the earliest depictions of art created by humans in the Konkan region. Nor did he know that it dated from a time that archaeologists have dubbed the area’s “dark age,” for which no historical information was previously available. Risbud and fellow explorers Dhananjay Marathe and Surendra Thakurdesai spotted a few more examples over the years, but it wasn’t until a historian accompanied them on one of their trips that they learned about the potential significance of these engravings. So, in 2012, they began to search for more in earnest. “For the earlier period of about two years, we were just groping (in) the dark. The villagers themselves, too, were not aware that such rock arts do exist in their villages,” Risbud, 45, told Quartz in an email. “But then, one day, an octogenarian from the Dhangar (shepherd) community told us about one site, and then on we trudged ahead using the thread provided by him, and hence started our mission of exploring the petroglyphs.” In April 2015, they stumbled upon a cluster of 42 petroglyphs, depicting birds, animals, and human figures. In the years since then, the trio has uncovered over 1,200 engravings at 90 different sites across Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, the latter best-known for its sweet Alphonso mangoes. Risbud and his fellow explorers have uncovered a number of human figures. “All these sites are located in remote places on (the) laterite plateau quite far away from the villages,” Risbud explained. Exposed to the elements and out of sight for most villagers, no one had yet investigated the importance of the petroglyphs nor given any thought to their preservation. “As we started exploring these sites, it dawned upon us that they were under the threat of destruction from various activities such as mining, road construction, and plantation,” he added. So, they appealed to the Maharashtra state government’s department of archaeology and museums for help. Tejas Garge, director of the department, says some of the figures had come into official records as far back as the 1990s, when a bystander had spotted a few while a road was being constructed towards the village of Nivali. But it took over two decades before the state department officially got involved in exploring and recording the sites, which it began last year. “We are documenting them scientifically, and we are trying to gather data from stone tools and other evidence which would be helpful to date them,” Garge told Quartz. The stone tools they’ve found so far are from the mesolithic era, otherwise known as the Middle Stone Age, dating back to about 10,000 BCE. Based on this, Garge and his team estimate that the petroglyphs could date from between 10,000 BCE to 2,000 BCE. “They were not done in one shot, there’s successive generations of people who were doing this,” Garge explained. “This activity may have prolonged for centuries.” So far his team has explored 45 sites in Ratnagiri, where they’ve broadly categorised the figures into fauna, human figures (often seen with their legs spread, believed to have some relation to fertility), and abstract geometric patterns that they haven’t been able to interpret yet. But what’s most interesting is that the animal, bird, and amphibian figurines include a number of creatures that aren’t found in the region today, such as the one-horned rhino, suggesting that they may have once been present in the area. While the process of documenting and analysing the figures is still in the early stages, archaeologists believe they could solve the mystery of how the Konkan region transitioned from a stone-age society to a settled one. “If you look at the cultural record of Konkan, you have the Middle Stone Age (upper Paleolithic period) and you have evidence of the early historical era,” Garge said. “In between, there is a gap of 25-30,000 years; there’s no evidence for human habituation. It was sort of the dark age of the Konkan.” Now, this dark age is starting to become a little clearer. It will take a few more years before archaeologists can accurately interpret the petroglyphs. So far, 15 of the sites have been protected, and the archaeology department wants to eventually draw tourists to the area. In the meantime, Risbud and his fellow explorers are raising awareness among the people living in the vicinity, so that the public knows they’re in the presence of the rare remnants of India’s ancient history. One of the animal figures engraved on the rocks. One of the largest engravings, located near the Kasheli village. Besides animals and human figures, some of the engravings feature abstract shapes that experts are

a month ago

Blockstream’s Liquid Network for “High Value” Bitcoin Payments Is Live

The Liquid Network is up and running.More than a year after its conceptual introduction at the Blockchain Association of Canada's Government Forum in Ottawa, Blockstream’s bitcoin scaling solution made its public debut on October 10, 2018, after going live among its partners on September 27.Described by its creators as “an inter-exchange settlement network,” Liquid is Blockstream’s complement to Lightning. However, whereas Lightning is designed for micropayments, Blockstream’s COO Samson Mow told Bitcoin Magazine, “Liquid is designed to facilitate fast and reliable high value transfers.”“Liquid allows parties to send funds to any destination, without the need to establish channels ahead of time. Funds in Lightning are ‘hot’ (private keys are online), whereas you can store Liquid Bitcoin in both hot or cold wallets. Liquid also has the ability to have Lightning added as a second layer as well, so we view these two technologies as complementary and both important for the ecosystem.”Unlike its counterpart in Lightning, which is a secondary layer, Liquid was built as a Bitcoin sidechain. Though not exclusive to Bitcoin, you can think of a sidechain as an extension of the Bitcoin blockchain. It allows users to swap coins from the main blockchain to its sidechain in a 1-to-1 parity, usually to tap into a feature that the main network doesn’t provide.For Liquid, that feature is fast transactions with a special emphasis on trading mass sums between exchanges, financiers and market makers. As such, Mow says that exchanges and members of the Liquid network will be the main providers of liquidity, since they will be the ones keeping a balance of L-BTC which, in turn, they would allow their users to swap for.This design is a bit of a spin on the original ideation of a sidechain. The concept was initially pitched as an avenue for trustless swaps, but Liquid’s iteration, which requires intermediaries to execute these swaps, may be called a federated sidechain.“The members of Liquid secure the network by running functionary servers that run the Liquid blockchain as well as maintaining the two-way peg to the Bitcoin blockchain,” he said. He drew the comparison that “Liquid functionaries are like miners” who “generate new blocks to add to the Liquid blockchain.”To leverage sidechain’s features, users have to exchange mainnet BTC for Liquid Network’s L-BTC using peg addresses.“When someone wants to move BTC to the Liquid sidechain,” Mow explained, “they send it to a unique peg-in address. When someone is ready to move their money back to the Bitcoin blockchain, they can make a peg-out transaction that will tell the [Liquid members] to send Bitcoin to the desired address.”After Launch: Looking ForwardUpon launch, the project has 23 partners lined up to serve as Liquid members, namely Altonomy, Atlantic Financial, Bitbank, Bitfinex, Bitmax, BitMEX, Bitso, BTCBOX, BTSE, Bull Exchange, DGroup, Coinone, Crypto Garage, GOPAX (operated by Streami), Korbit, L2B Global, OKCoin, The Rock Trading, SIX Digital Exchange, Unocoin, Xapo, XBTO and Zaif. Moving forward, Liquid hopes to expand its membership and build out its services. These services could include Issued Assets (IA), Mow explained, what amount to “native tokens within the Liquid blockchain.” These IA could be security tokens, tokenized commodities/real-world assets or even Ethereum. More than IA, Mow stated that Liquid has “a lot of things coming down the pipe” following its launch. These include a Liquid Testnet that is anchored to Blockstream Signet (Blockstream’s testnet for Bitcoin), GreenAddress integration, a Liquid mobile wallet for mobile platforms, a user interface for Issued Assets, a Liquid Block Explorer and hardware wallet support. He expects these features to be fully functioning by 2018, with more coming in 2019. In the short term, Blockstream will focus on building out these features to ease Liquid’s introduction to and use in the wider cryptocurrency community. In the long term, Mow said the the company hopes to see Bitcoin at the epicenter of a nexus of sidechains that allow for a seamless, interconnected exchange of the industry’s many assets.“The end game is a platform for the trustless exchange of many assets, with Bitcoin at the center,” said Mow. “We knew that having a high speed inter-exchange settlement network with privacy features would be something the market would respond well towards, but we’ve seen an incredible interest from parties interested to issue tokens and assets on Liquid as well. They’ve just been waiting for a secure and reliable solution to do so.” This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

a month ago

Netflix just nabbed Hollywood’s go-to action star—the Rock

In possibly its biggest coup since landing a film from the legendary director Martin Scorsese, Netflix has picked up a movie starring one of Hollywood’s go-to hitmakers, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Netflix won the rights to Johnson’s upcoming project, an action film called John Henry and the Statesmen that will see the Rock lead an ensemble cast of popular figures from folklore and legend, the company announced on Oct. 9. Johnson is reuniting with Jake Kasdan, director of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, for the movie, which will be similarly family friendly. The creators hope the original project, written by The Lego Ninjago Movie scribe Tom Wheeler, will launch a new franchise on the streaming service. Either way, Johnson is a great get for Netflix. The actor is one of the few stars whose name recognition alone propels fans to movie theaters, which is why Hollywood loves him. He also plays especially well internationally, with films such as 2018’s Skyscraper garnering more than three-quarters of its box office returns overseas. That global appeal is crucial for Netflix now that more than half its audience is outside of the US. Since Netflix began releasing original films in 2015, the streaming service has made a killing playing with Hollywood’s old toys. It started with megastars like Will Smith, Brad Pitt, and Adam Sandler, whose names on movie posters used to guarantee packed theaters, but who struggled to transition to the world-building, franchise-driven age of cinema. Name recognition still goes a long way on Netflix, where the barrier to getting someone to watch movies via a subscription in their living room is much lower than in theaters, where they must commit to watching and paying for the full movie upfront. The streaming service has also courted disillusioned creators like Scorsese, whose last film, Silence, was a box office letdown, and David Ayer, whose last theatrical release, Suicide Squad, was destroyed by critics. (His Netflix movie, Bright, was, too. But reviews hardly matter there, and didn’t dampen audience enthusiasm. Netflix stopped showing audience reviews this year.) Lately, Netflix been going after more of the kinds of films that Hollywood excels at. Netflix is chasing properties with international franchise potential, such as Carmen Sandiego, and big-budget action movies that would normally be considered popcorn flicks in theaters, including Netflix’s upcoming film from Michael Bay, Six Underground. Then there’s the Rock, who is basically his own genre of film now. To be sure, Johnson hasn’t turned his back on the big screen for good. He recently wrapped production on Disney’s Jungle Cruise film, based on the theme park ride. He’s currently filming the Fast and Furious spinoff film Hobbs and Shaw for Universal. And he’s set to reprise his role in Sony’s sequel to Jumanji. Johnson has worked with every major US movie studio, including Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony, Fox, and Paramount, during his more than 15 years in the movie business. Now Netflix has joined that club.

a month ago

Millennial Men Can’t Resist Crypto Investing: New Clovr Survey

In Oct. 2017, American cryptocurrency investors had no idea that they would be witnessing all-time highs in the crypto market, while the rest of the population remained oblivious to cryptos altogether. Fast forward one year and today, at least 75 percent of Americans believe that they know what cryptocurrencies are. Another 20 percent “sort off” know about cryptocurrencies. Adding the numbers up, you will find that a person would have to be living under a rock to not know about digital assets. A new Clovr survey is now detailing these statistics. Everybody Knows About Crypto Lambos While crypto Lamborghini stories are not hard to come by, a general consensus among experts is that people do not necessarily understand digital currencies. Clovr talked to 1,004 Americans between the ages of 18 and 80 on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform and proved many people wrong. More than 75 percent of Americans believe that they know about digital currencies, with more than 62 percent feeling confident that they can explain the concept to others. Despite having enough information by their side, 70 percent of the respondents described their emotions toward cryptocurrencies as uncertain. The response is appropriate for the times as the market is highly volatile and regulators haven’t yet devised a clear plan for this sector. Interestingly, 10.3 percent of respondents felt satisfied with cryptocurrencies, while 8.8 percent felt dissatisfied. Another 8.8 percent people felt “happiness” toward these currencies. Meanwhile, about 40 percent of respondents invested in cryptocurrencies because people they know are doing it. It shows a strong fear of missing out among people. The Millennial Demographic Wins It All About 75 percent of the surveyed respondents believe that people who do not invest in cryptocurrencies “play it safe.” On the other hand, almost 80 percent of respondents believe that investing in Bitcoin is positive risk taking. Forty-three percent of males and 23 percent of females have invested in digital currencies. Nearly 52 percent of people investing in cryptocurrencies are doing so because of the possibility of big returns. High earners were more likely to invest in digital coins. Forty-seven percent of people earning between $75,000 and $99,999 per annum invested in digital markets, while less than 25 percent of those earning $25,000 or less per annum took the risk. The millennials are driving the crypto investing phenomenon. They are twice as likely to be crypto investors than any other generation. Forty-two percent of urban residents and 33 percent of suburban residents want to invest in digital currencies. Millennial Men Can’t Resist Crypto Investing: New Clovr Survey was originally found on [blokt] - Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

a month ago

After two years in stealth mode, the former head of HR at Google reveals his new startup

Laszlo Bock is the closest thing the HR world has to a rock star. After a decade of running human resources at Google, a perennial......

a month ago

MacArthur “genius” Sarah Stewart and the birth of a new Moon theory

The Moon is a barren rock created billions of years ago when a planet, around the size of Mars, smashed into Earth. At least that’s......

a month ago

Gemini’s New Stablecoin Scores Listings on Bibox and BTEX

It’s only been a couple of days since Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange run by the Winklevoss twins, announced its new stablecoin, Gemini dollar, and it already scoring listings. Bibox and BTEX exchanges will list Gemini dollar (GUSD), the companies announced on Twitter. The announcement drew cheers from Twitter, with some followers wanting to know when they can begin trading the new stablecoin. The Rock Trading also hinted at a Gemini dollar listing, tweeting “markets to be open soon” and pointing to GUSD. (GT)

2 months ago

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