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Moneyconf 2018: Crypto Wallet CEOs on Why Decentralization Matters

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At a panel hosted this week at fintech conference Moneyconf, executives from LedgerBlockchain.info, and VC firms Mosaic Ventures and FuturePerfect Ventures discussed if and why decentralized systems are truly necessary.

Crypto Wallet CEOs Speak at Moneyconf 2018

Moderator Joon Ian Wong referred the panelists to a survey indicating that given the hypothetical choice to have a paid version of Facebook that doesn’t harvest data or display ads, the majority of people would opt to use the free version and trade their data instead.

Wong put it to the panel that perhaps people don’t really want decentralized platforms after all. The panelists all had a lot to say, with founding partner Jalak Jobanputra of VC capital firm FuturePerfect Ventures citing lack of public understanding as the reason for the lack of mainstream interest, referring to election fraud and identity theft as major problems stemming from centralized data systems.

“I have a fund invested in several companies that are building decentralized identity platforms and once that becomes the norm we’ll wonder why we gave all our data away for free and allowed ourselves to be exposed in such ways.”

Toby Coppel of Mosaic Ventures pointed out that the inability of centralized leadership to arbitrarily change rules and alter agreements made decentralized platforms hugely attractive to investors.

Éric Larchevêque, Ledger CEO, pointed out that censorship was a major use case for decentralized platforms while Blockchain CEO Nick Cary said that opaque business practices, trade manipulation, and corruption were all factors in supporting decentralization.

Why Decentralization Matters

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Source: Shutterstock

While the panel each had a different answer ready to go for that question, the next one left them all a bit stumped: how will decentralized systems make money?

There was a big pause from the panel over this question, with no one seeming to want to take it on first. The investors seemed to agree that at this time the jury’s still out on how exactly these platforms will generate revenue, although they did refer to the fat protocol theory as well as layering solutions that could work for revenue generation as well as advertising, etc.

Larchevêque boldly stated that speculation was currently the method used by decentralized projects to generate revenue.“The biggest investment model of decentralization right now is speculation. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s very early. A lot of the money is done by mining and an ICO is the objective… for that to work, you need infrastructure and then you have a few business models which are really working.”

“I think it may be a while before we see the real business model of the use cases for the platforms that are being built now,” he added.

Nick Cary of Blockchain agreed, saying that the ability to invest in project tokens, as well as the businesses themselves, was a valuable aspect of the crowdfunding market, although he did have some choice words to say about ICOs.“Just because you do an ICO tomorrow and raise a tonne of money does not mean you will inevitably have some sort of incredible business. In fact, it may misalign your incentives to grind through the challenges in the early days.”

Cary went on to clarify that building infrastructure and hiring talented people costs money and that the model allowing people to invest in tokens and businesses was an interesting and useful one, agreeing with Larchevêque that the final business model allowing for decentralized revenue generation may be as of yet undecided, saying that the decentralized platforms pose a huge threat to their centralized platform.

“If I were to try to kill Facebook, what I would do is launch a social network with tokens that would allow all people that participate to earn income from the ad sales,” he concluded. “There’s some clever entrepreneur out there that’s going to figure this out.”

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November BCH Upgrade Discussion Heats Up After Bitcoin SV Full Node Announcement

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Blockchain development firm Nchain has announced the company’s plans to launch a new Bitcoin Cash full node client called ‘Bitcoin SV.’ Lead developer Daniel Connolly has published the specifications for re-enabling old opcodes for the November 2018 BCH upgrade. So far the unpublished codebase has seen vocal support from the mining pool Coingeek, but right now some members of the BCH community are concerned that if no other miners switch to Bitcoin SV, the proposed upgrade could cause incompatibilities.

Also read: Fivebucks.com: Meet the Freelancer’s Marketplace Powered by Bitcoin Cash

Will Bitcoin SV’s Proposal be Compatible With Bitcoin ABC?

November BCH Upgrade Discussion Heats Up After Bitcoin SV AnnouncementOn Thursday, August 16 the firm Nchain revealed they are releasing a new BCH full node client that’s claimed to be based on Bitcoin ABC v0.17.2, but with a few different upgrade changes added. Bitcoin SV will include restoring more Satoshi opcodes, removing the opcode per script limit, and raising the block size to 128MB. Further, the leading BCH mining pool Coingeek have stated they will be backing the new client. However, since this announcement, some BCH supporters are concerned about the upgrade coming this November. Issues could occur if groups of miners choose Bitcoin SV’s finalized consensus change proposals, which could be entirely different than the finalized Bitcoin ABC 0.18.0 version. Moreover, depending on the upgrade releases stemming from Bitcoin Unlimited, and other implementations, the Bitcoin SV client could be incompatible with any one of them.

November BCH Upgrade Discussion Heats Up After Bitcoin SV AnnouncementSo far the Bitcoin ABC team hasn’t responded to the latest Nchain announcement, and the ABC client release for testing hasn’t arrived. According to the ABC roadmap, after they announced the client’s upgrade changes the codebase was supposed to be delivered by August 15. Instead, the team published an article on the benefits of canonical transaction ordering with help from articles written by the Bitcoin Cash miner Jonathan Toomim, and Joannes Vermorel’s study on the process. So at the time of writing the latest 0.18.0 Bitcoin ABC version is two days late. Furthermore, if v0.18.0 contains canonical transaction ordering, the enforcement of minimum transaction size, and the activation of OP_CHECKDATASIG and OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY, it will not be compatible with SV’s framework for November.

Bitcoin SV’s Lead Developer Publishes Re-Enabling Old Opcode Specs

The Bitcoin SV client’s lead developer, Daniel Connolly, has published a document of specifications concerning the SV clients’ re-enabling old opcodes. The Bitcoin SV version 1.0 document details that in May of 2018 a few disabled opcodes were re-added to the Bitcoin Cash scripting engine, and this November SV will introduce four more opcodes.

“The scope of that change was limited in order to focus developer attention rather than attempting to reintroduce all of the disabled opcodes at once,” explains the Bitcoin SV spec sheet published on August 17.

This specification expands upon that change by reintroducing additional opcodes — The specifications describe the opcodes that will be added in the November 2018 protocol upgrade.

The re-enabled opcodes will include:

  • OP_MUL — Multiplies two numbers
  • OP_RSHIFT — Right shift b by n bits
  • OP_LSHIFT — Left shift b by n bits
  • OP_INVERT — Bitwise NOT

The Ultimate Decision Will Be Made With Hashpower

Essentially the ultimate decision making will be in the hands of the miners if they want to upgrade the block space to 128MB, or follow through with ABC’s plans. At the moment there are many different takes on this situation from a wide variety of BCH supporters. Some agree with Coingeek and Nchain and want to raise the space available in blocks, while others believe there isn’t a need for the increase, because current 32MB blocks are not yet being filled. Discussions concerning the matter have increased exponentially on BCH-centric Slack and Telegram channels, Twitter, and Reddit forums.

A lot of BCH supporters believe that ultimately those who have hash power will have the final say in this debate and miners will choose which client they plan to use. Some BCH proponents are not too concerned with the possibility of incompatible clients just yet, because as far as ABC v0.18.0 and SV 1.0 are concerned, neither client has finalized plans for November’s upgrade. As mentioned above the ABC code is not ready yet and the SV 1.0 codebase plans to launch this September.

November BCH Upgrade Discussion Heats Up After Bitcoin SV Announcement
A lot of BCH supporters believe ultimately it will be the decision of the miners on whether or not they support changes like canonical transaction ordering and OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY, or re-enabled opcodes and a 128MB block size increase.

News.Bitcoin.com briefly spoke with Bitcoin XT developer Tom Harding about the recent Nchain announcement and he explained the XT client will follow the majority hashrate.

“XT hasn’t been a driving force behind any of the forking change proposals this time around —  We’ve been focusing on non-consensus 0-conf work,” Harding explains.

Regarding consensus changes, our intention is to support what the majority of hashpower wants to do — We’re also thinking about how best to know what BCH miners actually want.

What do you think about the Bitcoin SV client and the possibility of it being incompatible with Bitcoin ABC’s November upgrade? Which upgrade proposals would you like to see finalized? Let us know your opinion on this subject in the comment section below.  

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Bitcoin Permabull Pantera Capital Details $175 Million Crypto-Fund

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Cryptocurrency- and blockchain-focused investment fund Pantera Capital is aggressively pursuing its belief in the burgeoning asset class as it seeks a mammoth $175 million in investments from institutional investors for its third crypto venture.

Pantera’s Cryptocurrency Push
According to TechCrunch,  the technology-turned-blockchain investment group is forming its third investment fund in five years, following a $13 million debut effort in 2013 and a larger, $25 million fund in 2016.

Pantera partner Paul Veradittakit noted the enormous amount represents the “fast-moving function” of the digital asset sector, citing tremendous opportunities, talent and late-stage investments coming in the space. The multi-millionaire investor also highlighted that Pantera wishes to “move with the market.”

While the investment is not capped at $175 million, Pantera has raised $71 million from 90 different investors at the time of writing, according to an SEC filing.

Contrary to the panic investing most amateur cryptocurrency investors succumb to, Pantera follows a traditional venture fund approach to the cryptocurrency space–which chalks out a 10-year investment period, clearly defined economics and several rounds of background checks before purchasing equity.

However, in 2017, Pantera deployed a risky ICO fund to capture the turbulent market’s most volatile asset class. At the time, founder Dan Morehead called the move a “discount” purchase when the project is “just a team and a white paper.”

Morehead added Pantera helps provide the “right connections, whether in terms of marketing or recruiting or business development” to deserving ICO projects.

Ease of Investments
Meanwhile, Veradittakit said the Pantera fund has an indefinite fund life, meaning investors are free to exit their investments without affecting the fund’s operations.

Pantera’s cryptocurrency gamble has evidently paid off. As reported by CryptoSlate, the fund amassed returns over 10,000 percent throughout the years by investing in and trading bitcoin. In addition, the incubator arm of Pantera leads investments in altcointrading on high-volume exchanges, utilizing an algorithmic trading approach.

As Veradittakit puts it:

“If you aren’t sure that Bitcoin will remain the dominant cryptocurrency, or you’re interested in other use cases that may arise, or you just want to build a diversified portfolio of assets that have asymmetrical returns as bitcoin, or maybe return even more because they feature lower valuations.”

Although Pantera’s investment approach is risky given the origin of the cryptocurrency market and a stark lack of regulations, the companies it selects after careful vetting have become some of the sector’s biggest names.

Pantera’s investments include Ripple Labs, bitcoin vault service Xapo, payments application Circle and bitcoin wallet Abra, among others. The fund refers to its investment portfolio as “coinbases of different geographies, in enterprise-related blockchain companies.”

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s ron [TRX]’Justin Sun announces big things in store for the fourth quarter

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Justin Sun, the CEO and Founder of Tron Foundation spoke about Project Atlas, the Foundation mission and its role in the development of Tron, during an interview with Forbes.

The Founder stated that initially, the top priority of the Foundation was to get content online. But since Tron has established as one of the major public chains, the Foundation is stepping towards building a healthy ecosystem than limiting itself to incentivizing content. The main of the Foundation is to decentralize the web.

Moreover, they are also working towards providing top-notch services to all the consumers of the platform. The Foundation’s mission also includes providing desktop and mobile products which are fast, safe and reliable.

Justin Sun spoke about the Project Atlas. He said:

“Currently, we are actively working on Project Atlas, a major step toward a fairer Internet. The project is in collaboration with BitTorrent, and will extend the lifespan of their torrents’ swarms, offer rewards to peers who seed torrents, infuse resources into the torrent ecosystem, and establish financial rewards in return.”

The Founder of the Foundation claims that the project is going to reform the way content is shared and consumed by the people and is working towards re-shaping the industry for the better.

Justin also spoke about the Foundation’s plan of incorporating the decentralized services in BitTorrent. BitTorrent, the largest torrent serving application in the world, was acquired by Tron Foundation in the month of July 2018. The acquisition is led to Tron becoming one of the largest decentralized Internet ecosystems in the world. The network is set to have an approximate of 100 million active users.

Justin said that with Project Atlas, they will be able to incentivize users on the BitTorrent ecosystem in order to make them participate and contribute to the network by offering TRX. Moreover, BitTorrent and uTorrent were recently elected for the Tron Super Representative elections. He said:

“We have more exciting news coming out in the fourth quarter as well.”

During the revelation of their secret project, Project Atlas, Justin had announced that the details of the project will be unveiled at the end of August while launching the Tron Virtual Machine.

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