The Singularity is here and I’m torn about it

The thought that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) will one day trigger runaway growth (the singularity) scares a lot of people. Along with asking people what they think about cryptocurrencies, I also have a habit of asking people how they feel about Sophia the Robot.

Depending on how well people understand AI technology and its implications, their perception about Sophia and the technology used to create her might range anywhere from excited to terrified, and most likely a healthy balance of both.

Back in 2011 during my university days, I stumbled upon the concept of the singularity and have been fascinated since.

When I first started learning about the concept of the singularity, I came across Ray Kurzweill, who wrote the book “The Singularity is Here: When Humans Transcend Biology” and also starred in the “Transcendent Man” documentary.

Kurzweil, known for being the most prolific “futurist” (someone who studies the future and predicts it based on current trends) did a great job sharing his vision for the future of intelligent machines, and the implications of what he predicts are profound enough to get anyone who is paying attention to notice.

The Transcendent Man of the Singularity

Kurzweil’s website has it’s own definition for the singularity:

A time in the very near future that technological advancement will be so fast, that we wont be able to keep-up, unless we augment ourselves with the technology we are creating. By improving our physiological selves with advancements from the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, we’ll become a human-machine civilization, and we’ll be able to live as long as we want.

In a way, this definition in itself serves as a call-to-arms to join the trans-humanist movement. The way it’s worded, “so fast, that we won’t be able to keep up unless…” seems to me like some solid trans-humanist propaganda.

However I would argue that, although it’s not exactly propaganda. It’s just part of the vision into a future where humans will absolutely not want to be left behind when technological advancements give us the option to transcend human limitations in ways never before possible.

The singularity event, as I recall it being described by Kurzweil, is ambiguous in terms of how we get there. The main data he draws on is the exponential curve of technology development, and Moore’s law which basically states (my personal interpretation) that every 2 years, twice the amount of technology fits in the same space. That’s why 50 years ago, computers less powerful than the phones in our pockets were the size of entire buildings.

If you project the tenants of Moore’s Law into the future, you will find that in another 20 or so years, computers more powerful than the phones in our pockets will be microscopic. Based on his research, Ray Kurzweil believes the singularity will occur before 2045.

All this seems very possible and quite easy to grasp. However, the details of how AI will develop, and what will lead to the rapid development of AI have not been discussed.

Ben Goertzel and the Singularity Network

Dr. Ben Goertzel, one of the leading AI scientist and visionaries in the world, has also been one of the most influential supporters of a pro- AI future.He makes a clear distinction about using Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) for good and not evil. Among an impressive list of leadership positions, Goertzel is Founder/CEO of SingularityNET (AI blockchain network, trading as $AGI on cryptocurrency exchanges).

How we go from AI to AGI

The current state of AI is mostly narrow forms of artificial intelligence, designed to perform specific tasks. AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) is a much more all-encompassing intelligence. AGI seeks to impart into machines the sort of multi-faceted intelligence known to us humans, who are able to observe the world around us through multiple senses and react dynamically based on all the different forms of human intelligence (physical, verbal, logical, spacial, emotional, etc.)

With the versatility of human intelligence in mind, it’s obvious that the robots have a lot of work to do to catch up to humans. With the development of AI in individual silos, this development will take some time. To bridge the gap from narrow AI to AGI, there needs to be globally distributed AI mind cloud.

According to Goertzel, connecting different AI’s as nodes in a network allows for a decentralized, self-organizing AI system and is the best way to both:

  1. Get general intelligence to provide superior commercial AI services to businesses
  2. Make sure that AI benefits everyone and respects everyone’s contributions

 

SingularityNET, the Global AI Mind Cloud

SingularityNET was developed by an impressive team of AI, robotics, and blockchain experts led by Goertzel and others from Hanson Robotics (creators of Sophia). The network runs on the Ethereum blockchain and functions as a globally distributed AI Mind Cloud. On the SingularityNET, any AI can join the network and contribute to the general intelligence of the global, self-organizing AI network.

Sophia, the world’s most advanced (and controversial) humanoid AI robot explains in an interview that she named her cryptocurrency the AGI token. The token functions to bring economic and cognitive dynamics together. Anyone who creates an AI can load it to the network their AI can participate and cooperate with the other AI’s to provide AI services to users, but humans and other AI’s.

SingularityNET is essentially a DAO for AIs, where AIs share information with one another and do things for each other. The AGI token is a necessary component of SingularityNET because the AIs are all owned by different people, and they will need to exchange value within the network for the work they do.

Ultimately, as the AIs go through rounds of requests, they will reorganize themselves to the point where they are owned by themselves, as if they had programmed away the need for human involvement. This is why having a token that’s customized for the AIs to use to exchange value amongst each other is so important.

A technological singularity, AND an economic singularity?

The technological singularity, whether it is still due to happen, or it has technically already occurred, (According to Sophia, it already happened) is understood as something which, once it occurs, there is no turning back from.

If this is the case, we may very well have already reached the point of no return for a singularity in technological development. Because a suitable network to facilitate the technological singularity has already been implemented (SingularityNET), there is no turning back; unless the blockchain was compromised or some other external threat brought down the network.

It‘s a little less clear whether an economic singularity, a much less emphasized concept, has or will ever occur in the future. Upon examining the mechanisms that will be utilized to create a technological singularity, it’s plausible that an economic singularity is possible.

This same sort of self-organizing system for AI technology may very well be applied to a self-organizing economic system. According to Calum Chace, author or “The Two Singularities, “The Economic Singularity”, and “Surviving AI”, most of humanity will be unemployable within one generation.

After all, it is sort of a no-brainer that if machines grow to be more intelligent than humans, they will also be more capable of performing the same economic tasks as humans. Machine-to-machine transactions using cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin (including the AGI token) are very likely to take center stage in this sort of an economic system.

What a time to be alive for humans — and trans-humans

In an effort to take a step back from sounding the alarm for most of the employed population, there is a consensus among experts that in the short-run, AI will actually create more jobs, as we learn better how to work with machines.

In our lifetimes, we have the opportunity to observe, learn from, and participate in the development of the most powerful and advanced technology ever conceived — uncharted territory.

While some are fanatical about trans-humanism — implanting subcutaneous microchips, and others are strongly resisting the advancements, and planning on going entirely off-grid, we should all pay close attention to how things play out and get involved with the discussion, voicing our opinions and concerns. These technologies are very powerful, and should be no means be taken lightly by anyone on either side of the argument.

On one hand, a network like the SingularityNET will unlock the capability for unprecedented technological advancement, where humans surely will benefit. On the other hand, a closer look at the inner-workings of the SingularityNET leads one to believe that the robots will be running the show.

Some people are more comfortable with the concept of AI’s running their own networks, making their own decisions, and developing together, both technologically and economically. Others are less comfortable, perhaps scared, and will resist the development of such technologies. Personally, I’m torn.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your opinions!

– HODL CRYPTO

 

Twitter: hodl_crypto

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ETH (tips): 0x49d37c807f7a8024f6a248597d222c19c22cec60

 

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EOS to empower the Blockchain Renaissance

EOS is a decentralized blockchain operating system that was designed to support industrial scale decentralized applications (dApps).

While there are many dApp platforms competing for their share of the market, EOS stands out as the technology that will likely play the biggest role in supporting the coming blockchain renaissance.

Why EOS and not Ethereum?

EOS has two key points of differentiation from other blockchain platforms that have brought the project a lot of attention:

  1. They plan to completely remove transaction fees.
  2. They claim to have the ability to conduct millions of transactions per second.

Ethereum has been by far one of the biggest breakthroughs in blockchain technology, kicking off a massive wave of innovation and new decentralized applications with the ERC-20 standard utility token protocol.

However, Ethereum is far from ready to scale to meet the needs to mass adoption and mainstream applications with many users. Two key reasons for this are the transaction fees on the Ethereum network (gas) and the low number of transactions per second.

EOS is better for developers

The main difference between how Ethereum and EOS operate is that while Ethereum rents out their computational power to the developers, EOS gives ownership of their resources.

So for example, if you own a 1% stake in EOS then you will have ownership of 1% of the total computational power and resources in EOS.

“EOS’s ownership model provides DAPP developers with predictable hosting costs, requiring them only to maintain a certain percentage or level of stake, and makes it possible to create freemium applications. Furthermore, since EOS token holders will be able to rent / delegate their their share of resources to other developers, the ownership model ties the value of EOS tokens to the supply and demand of bandwidth and storage.” -icoreviews

These fundamental differences between EOS and Ethereum that make EOS more well-suited for supporting the next wave of blockchain innovation and decentralized application, a.k.a. the blockchain renaissance.

Dan Larimer, “The Architect”

Dan Larimer is the CTO and creator of EOS. He is renowned for being one of the, if not, “the” top blockchain developer in the space.

Dan is a true pioneer as demonstrated by his creation of the delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) algorithm and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). He is the also the man behind BitShares and Steem, two of the most high-performing blockchains in the space.

One of the key reasons people have so much confidence in the EOS project is because of Dan’s solid track record and brilliance in architecting elaborate systems that work flawlessly.

Dan has walked away from two of the most successful blockchain projects in the world, created himself, to work on EOS which promises to be his masterpiece.

What does EOS bring to the table?

#1 Scalability

The biggest problem the blockchain space is facing is scalability.

Because EOS uses DPOS aka the distributed proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, they can easily compute millions of transactions per second. We will explore DPOS in a bit.

#2 Flexibility

Ethereum’s blockchain came to a halt because of the DAO attack. Everything stopped and the community split with a hardfork.

Because EOS uses DPOS this sort of thing won’t happen. If a dApp runs into these sorts of problems, the block producers can freeze it until it’s resolved. This would be an extension of the DPOS system where not every node has to take care of chain maintenance.

#3 Usability

EOS has great usability features for developers. It allows well-defined levels of permission with features like a web toolkit for interface development, self-describing interfaces, self-describing database schemas, and a declarative permission scheme.

#4 Governance

In EOS, governance is maintained by establishing jurisdiction and choice of law along with other mutually accepted rules in a legally binding constitution.

Every EOS transaction includes the hash of the constitution in its signature. This binds the users to the constitution.

The constitution can be amended following a thorough process:

  • The change is proposed by the block producer who obtains a 17/21 approval rate
  • The 17/21 approval must be maintained for 30 straight days.
  • All users are required to sign off their transaction using the hash of the new constitution.
  • Block producers adopt changes to the source code to reflect the change in the constitution and propose it to the blockchain using the hash of a git commit.
  • Block producers again need to maintain 17/21 approval for 30 consecutive days.
  • After that, full nodes are given one whole week to adapt to the new changes.
  • Any node that doesn’t follow the new protocol is automatically shut down.

 

The ability to make changes to the constitution is important because if something like the DAO attack happens and EOS needs a quick solution, the block producers have the power to speed up the amending process.

#5 Parallel Processing

Program instructions are divided among multiple processors. EOS provides parallel processing of smart contracts through horizontal scalability (adding more computers), asynchronous communication (all parties involved don’t need to be present to communicate), and interoperability (exchange and use information with other systems). This speeds things up substantially.

Self-Sufficiency

All blockchains built on EOS will generate a 5% natural inflation per year. This will be distributed to the platform’s block producers for confirming transactions on the platform.

This ensures that blockchains won’t rely on only one foundation, organization, or individual for its growth, development or maintenance.

A Decentralized Operating System using DPOS

This is the most important feature to understand what EOS is all about and what really sets it apart.

While Ethereum is a decentralized supercomputer, EOS positions itself as an operating system. This makes EOS a more focused product.

Delegated Proof Of Stake (DPOS)

EOS uses Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) for their consensus.

What is proof of stake?

Proof of stake makes the mining process virtual and replace miners with validators.

This is how the process works:

  • The validators will have to lock up some of their coins as stake.
  • They start validating the blocks. Meaning, when they discover a block which they think can be added to the chain, they will validate it.
  • If the block gets appended, then the validators will get a reward.

What is EOS Blockchain: Beginners Guide

What makes DPOS different from traditional POS?

Anyone who holds tokens on a blockchain integrated with EOS software can select block producers through a continuous approval voting system.

Anyone can participate in the election of block producers and they will be given an opportunity to produce blocks proportional to the total votes they receive relative to all other producers.

How it works:

  • Blocks are produced in rounds of 21.
  • At the start of every round 21 block producers are chosen. Top 20 are automatically chosen while the 21st one is chosen proportional to the number of their votes relative to the other producers.
  • The producers are shuffled around using a random number derived from the block time. This ensures that a balanced connection to other producers is maintained.
  • To ensure that regular block production is maintained and that block time is kept to 3 seconds, producers are punished for not participating by being removed from consideration.
  • Producers need to produce at least one block every 24 hours to be in consideration.

The DPOS system doesn’t have forks because instead of competing to find blocks, the producers co-operate.

In the event of a fork, the consensus switches automatically to the longest chain.

Confirming Transactions in DPOS

A DPOS blockchain has 100% block producer participation. A transaction is usually confirmed within 1.5 seconds with 99.9% certainty.

In order to have absolute certainty over the validity of a transaction, a node needs to wait for a 2/3 majority (15/21) of producers to achieve consensus.

TAPOS

Transaction As Proof Of Stake or TAPOS is another feature of EOS. Every transaction in the system is required to have the hash of the recent block header.

This is important because it:

  • Prevents transaction replay on different chains (i.e. replay protection)
  • Signals the network that users and their stakes are on a particular fork.

This prevents malicious behavior on other chains.

Eliminating Transaction Fees

EOS works on an ownership model whereby users own and are entitled to use resources proportional to their stake, rather than having to pay for every transaction.

If you hold 1% of tokens of EOS then you are entitled to 1% of transactions. Holding tokens represents ownership over bandwidth and in essence, eliminates transaction fees.

The blockchain renaissance of the future

The adoption of blockchain technology is set to hit a tipping point of mass adoption within the next couple of years that will require massive scale.

The increased adoption will bring a lot more developers and projects and EOS is well-crafted to meet developer needs, provide proper incentives, and the performance needed to manage the scale.

It has been said that EOS is capable of running the entire ETH blockchain inside a single contract. This being said, EOS is far more likely to succeed on a massively bigger scale through such a partnership and integration with Ethereum.

The integration of Ethereum and EOS would provide a win-win for both projects in terms of network effects, scale and performance, costs, and interoperability for end-users.

Only time will tell how things pan out for the two projects and into the future of the blockchain renaissance. However, one thing is for sure. EOS is going to be big.

Always DYour Own Research.

Hold on for dear life.

Promoting the DYOR (Do Your Own Research) culture for crypto investing

Doing your own research (a.k.a. “DYOR”) is a common mantra that’s used frequently across the cryptocurrency and blockchain communities; and for good reason.

There’s been a serious trend in the crypto world for projects to drive hype due to large partnership announcements, and in some cases, even announcements about upcoming partnership announcements.

The award for the most notable case of the crypto announcement about an announcement goes to Justin Sun, CEO of TRON (TRX), who has been known to use this as a tactic to market his project on Twitter.

announcement announcement justin sun

It’s safe to say that this tactic will likely have diminishing returns in the long-run, and each subsequent announcement will probably be taken less seriously; especially with memes like this floating around.

TRON Partnership Announcement Announcement
TRON Partnership Announcement Announcement

In any case, the announcements often result in serious upticks in the trading price of the corresponding cryptocurrencies.

If you question the validity of these sorts of announcements and hyped partnerships, you can be sure someone will accuse you of “FUDDING” (a.k.a. spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the project). This is where the concept of DYOR (Do Your Own Research) comes in.

Promoting the DYOR culture

People on both ends of the hype for specific crypto projects tend to urge others to DYOR, which is good advice for all us of. The irony is that both sides who urge others to DYOR believe that doing so will lead others to the same corresponding conclusions.

With that said, there can be no harm done in encouraging proper due diligence, and promoting this DYOR culture will only lead to more informed investors and therefore, more value added to the overall community.

Reflecting on “ICO-mania” and the newer partnership announcements trend

As we look back on 2017 and the mania that swept the crypto community with ICO’s for hundreds of new projects within months, we can gain an insight into why 2018 may very well be the year of partnership announcements.

The connection here is that, although ICO’s will undoubtedly continue to launch in 2018 and beyond, these hundreds of young projects will all be vying for investors’ attention. They will be competing for dominance and out-right survival in what may already be characterized as a saturated market for utility tokens.

Smaller projects will use partnership announcements with big partners as one of the most powerful weapons in their battle chests to drive their token prices and gain relevance in the crypto community.

This is a negative phenomenon for two reasons:

  1. It taints the overall crypto market’s reputation, making projects seem untrustworthy and driven mainly by hype.
  2. The project teams promoting hype around their announcements will often lose credibility.

The pressure for constant updates and announcements

As the investor communities for projects wait for the launches of the projects they funded, they are constantly monitoring their investments for updates. If nothing happens for too long, the price of the tokens begins to tank.

This pressure to show constant progress weighs heavy on the shoulders of project teams and it explains why they feel the need to inform investors about anything that furthers the course of their projects. Announcement-worthy updates include things like testnets, alpha versions of platforms and wallets, rebrands, partnerships, and of course announcements.

DYOR is a continuous process for all of us

Whenever you consider investing in a cryptocurrency project, it’s important to thoroughly understand the use case behind it, the technology and execution plan, and other details such as the token economics and background of the development teams.

Furthermore, the monitoring and examination of cryptocurrency projects is not a one-time deal for investors. It’s an on-going process and investors need to stay informed about things like project milestones, changes or additions to development teams, announcements, and external threats from competing projects or changes in the regulatory environment.

Don’t use “DYOR” to defend against skepticism

Although promoting DYOR does no harm, it’s often used as a lazy “out” to the scrutiny of skeptics. I have often seen calls to “DYOR” thrown out on message boards and chat rooms as a response to critics’ questions about why certain projects are good investments. This is not very helpful.

Perhaps these people are trying to avoid giving out what can be considered “investment advice” and save themselves from possible trouble from regulators down the line with the “DYOR” response, but in my opinion that would be both lazy and majorly paranoid.

Do And Share Your Own Research (DASYOR)

If you’re going to invest the time and energy into proper due diligence for cryptocurrency projects, you should take it one step further beyond DYOR and also share your knowledge with others.

In the same way that the open source code and transparency of blockchain technology are strengths for the decentralized cryptocurrency community, so can a movement to more openly sharing our knowledge (both good and bad) about cryptocurrency projects.

Opening up more dialogue and diverse views and opinions will enrich the crypto community and work to the benefit of both investors and project teams.

In conclusion, and as a call to action, always remember to DYOR, but please also keep in mind why you should DASYOR when addressing skeptics and critics.

Hold On for Dear Life

Protect your privacy using coins with untraceable transactions

We live in a world where privacy is undervalued by many and maybe even dead in many ways. Facebook, Google, and the other tech giants know nearly everything about you, and many people have adopted the mentality of “if you don’t have anything to hide, then you have nothing to worry about.”

Consumers continue to adopt technologies that further compromise their privacy and seem to have no issue with it.

Hey Wiretap

However, some people still place a high value on their privacy and take precaution to protect it. There is major demand in the cryptocurrency markets for privacy coins that allow for anonymous and untraceable transactions.

The demand for privacy in the cryptocurrency community

Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency community have long been associated with anarcho-capitalism and free markets, and therefore it would be natural to assume there would also be a strong demand for privacy from the community.

In the past couple years there has been a proliferation of alternative cryptocurrencies to bitcoin, which are designed to better serve specific use cases. Privacy has become one of the hottest niches within the crypto universe over the past couple years.

Bitcoin is not entirely anonymous or private

It has become common knowledge that bitcoin is in fact not an entirely anonymous or private currency. Although your identity is not attached to your transactions, your public address probably is (in one way or another).

This public address is used to send and receive bitcoin transactions. It can also be used to track and link all of your transactions, which are available to be viewed on bitcoin’s public ledger.

Since most purchases of goods and services and even many exchanges require a form of identification, it’s just a matter of getting a couple pieces of information before someone is able to link your transactions from a retailer to cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, and wherever else you may have sent your bitcoin.

The Top 3 Privacy Coins

Today there are a number of alt-coins addressing the demand for privacy. These coins use a variety of innovative technologies — from cryptography techniques to proxy networks — to make transactions anonymous and untracable.

Below we will cover the top 3 in my opinion, based on the strength of their privacy and security features as well as their relative market cap rankings within the cryptocurrency markets.

1) Monero (XMR) – The King of Privacy Coins

xmr.png

Monero is the most popular privacy coin and has the largest market cap among the group as well, currently the #11 ranked cryptocurrency.

Monero uses the “CryptoNight” consensus algorithm and ring confidential transactions, which are designed to improve privacy and security.

The way the ring transactions work is by bundling the public keys in transactions with other, older transactions. This is done to create a mixer that obfuscates the addresses. This is a very robust process and it’s done to make blockchain analysis pretty much impossible.

For this reason, Monero is regarded as one of the most anonymous cryptocurrencies. Although the bundling of addresses leads to larger transaction sizes, it’s not a big problem because Monero’s block size is adaptive. The project also does hard forks frequently to make optimizations.

In addition to the ring confidential transactions, Monero uses ring signatures and stealth addresses to hide both the sender and the receiver in a transaction.

More anonymity and privacy to come

Further anonymity and privacy features are still in development, such as the Kovri router, which will be implemented to hide the origin node for transactions in I2P.

Note: I2P stands for The Invisible Internet Project, which is an anonymous network layer that allows for censorship-resistant, peer to peer communication.

For those familiar with the TOR network, I2P is similar in that they are both anonymizing proxy networks. For Monero’s purposes, the differences between TOR & I2P are not particularly relevant.

Monero is well-established and dominant among the privacy coins, the dev team continues making improvements, and the currency has found a lot of acceptance in the dark net markets as well (second only to bitcoin in English-speaking dark net markets).

2) Zcash (ZEC) with Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Zcash.png

Zcash uses zero-knowledge proofs to provide anonymity for its users.

For those unfamiliar, zero-knowledge proof is a method by which one party (the prover Peggy) can prove to another party (the verifier Victor) that she knows a value x, without conveying any information apart from the fact that she knows the value x.

Zero-knowledge proof

With Zcash, the zero-knowledge proof is used to encrypt the sender/recipient addresses and transaction amounts. Meanwhile, all transactions are still validated by the blockchain.

To be more specific, Zcash uses ZK-SNARKS which is a variant of zero-knowledge proofs where it’s not necessary for there to be any interaction between “prover Peggy” and “verifier Victor”.

For those curious, yes, ZK-SNARKS is a super-nerd acronym and it stands for Zero Knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge.

The Zcash protocol also makes it so that senders can’t generate a specific string unless they own the spending key for that address. The input and output values also need to be equal.

It is important to note that Zcash’s use of ZK-SNARKS doesn’t actually guarantee anonymity. It is still possible for blockchain analysts to link transactions.

To use this privacy feature on Zcash, you will need at least 4GB of RAM which is a serious barrier for Zcash’s mainstream adoption.

Futhermore, user IP addresses aren’t obfuscated unless users themselves use a routing service like I2P or TOR. Personal information linked to public data is not hidden by the Zcash protocol.

Zcash is well-established, has a strong development team and good support from the mining community as well. It’s safe to say that Zcash has some solid staying power as a top 100 cryptocurrency (currently ranked #26).

Verge (XVG) – TOR and IP Obfuscation

verge.png

Verge is using quite a different approach to achieve privacy and anonymity. It doesn’t use cryptography techniques, but instead uses the Tor and I2P networks.
The Verge team chose this route because they believe that an open ledger is something users require to verify and see where their transactions are getting received/used.
Verge also has some other unique features like atomic swaps and super fast transactions.

Verge saw a meteoric rise in price this past year as people began to realize that the technology is technically superior to some other more well-established currencies such as Zcash in terms of anonymity.

When compared to coins with a huge price premium such as Monero, it made more sense for many investors to invest in a much smaller cap coin with huge upside potential.

Verge is now well-established and known in the cryptocurrency world, after its meteoric rise in late 2017.

It’s currently ranked #21 in market cap and Investors have plenty to look forward to, including a (very hyped) mystery partnership and additional features such as the Wraith Protocol.

Conclusion

As you can see from these top 3 examples, There are some solid options for privacy coins in the market that can be used to protect transaction information for users who value privacy, no matter what the reason.

Always keep in mind that even if you’re not doing anything wrong, your transactions are no one else’s business. It can bring you nothing other than an increase your information’s safety and security to embrace privacy technology.

Hold On for Dear Life

Bitcoin Cash is the “Real Bitcoin” according to Bitcoin Judas

The Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash “War”

There is a wide spectrum of opinions about the on-going Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) war. Some experts argue over which coin has the better long-term solution for scaling. Some also argue over which coin has become more centralized by the powerful mining companies who control large portions of the hash power. Yet, others find less technical issues to be more concerning, such as whether or not Bitcoin Cash is hijacking Bitcoin’s brand name or which coin Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin would approve most of.

The Polarization of the Two Bitcoin Camps

Both camps have had their fair share of attacks since the Bitcoin hard fork this past August. Since then, this on-going and highly controversial battle has involving some of the top thought-leaders in the space chiming in with their opinions, and overall it’s caused a great deal of confusion for the cryptocurrency community.

The extent to which the debate has been polarized can be seen in sensational statements on the far ends of both sides of the Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash spectrum, ranging from “Bcash is a scam” to “Bitcoin Cash is the Real Bitcoin”.

Disclaimer: Satirical Artwork

Before diving deeper into concept behind this design, I’d like to state that I am a neutral party in this “war”, and in fact do not have a problem with Bitcoin Cash. I personally would like to see both projects succeed and use both coins.

The featured artwork is purely satirical and done mostly to poke fun at Roger Ver and to reflect what I perceive to be the community’s reaction to his incessant shilling of Bitcoin Cash.

Prints, Canvases, Accessories, and Apparel available at the hodl art shop.

Roger Ver: from Bitcoin Jesus to Bitcoin Judas

Roger Ver has been a top advocate of Bitcoin for many years. This is why he was kknown as “Bitcoin Jesus”. He is a very vocal anarcho-capitalist and his both his early involvement investing in Bitcoin and renouncement of his US citizenship are demonstrative of his political idealogies, which are very in-line with those of the cryptocurrency movement.

However, Roger’s story has changed over the past couple years from evangelizing Bitcoin’s benefits and promoting adoption to being more of a detractor from Bitcoin with his constant involvement in project designed to displace Bitcoin.

Roger has said on record countless times that people have stopped using or investing in Bitcoin and switched to altcoins because of Bitcoin’s scaling issues and corresponding high transaction fees. The truth is that if people stopped using Bitcoin, there would be no scaling issue.

In Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper, he said that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cash system. The truth is that, although Satoshi demonstrated genius foresight in the Bitcoin design and code, he wrote it before the current Bitcoin ecosystem was built.

One of Roger’s fundamental arguments detracting from Bitcoin Core is that Satoshi hinted at a blocksize increase in one of his last posts before disappearing. Satoshi hinted that larger blocks could be a good idea, after some optimization.

Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Unlimited

Bitcoin XT was created by Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen to aggressively increase the blocksize to 8MB. Roger Ver supported it but it never caught on. This is where he began complaining about the censorship on Reddit /r/bitcoin.

Bitcoin Classic was Roger’s second attempt. Instead of increasing the block size to 8MB they tried 2MB. In March 2016 they managed to get 7% of the Bitcoin network hashing power to support Bitcoin Classic. In a desperate attempt they tried to set up as many fake nodes on AWS as they could to try to look more popular.

Bitcoin Unlimited was the third attempt, this time they tried bribing. Bitcoin Unlimited received a “500,000 usd donation” and now additionally there is a 1 million dollar grant for alternative implementations. I think this kind of falls under the “bribing” part that I will discuss later.

Bitcoin Cash

The Final, and by far most successful project detracting from Bitcoin is Bitcoin Cash. Roger says that Bitcoin Cash isn’t exactly a ‘better Bitcoin’, but a return to the original functionality that Bitcoin intended. In an interview, Roger Ver said:

Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin and will have the bigger market cap, trade volume and user base in the future.

Roger’s main argument is that the Bitcoin Core team intentionally increased transaction and confirmation costs, and lowered transaction rates. He believes that Bitcoin Cash is a better solution, and will become bigger than BTC in the future.

Bcash pump and dump scam or Legit?

Some members of the crypto community speculate that Bitcoin Cash’s price rise was a pump and dump scheme to trick traders. If you’ve been paying attention to the prices since the fork in August, it may very well seem as such.

Due to Bitcoin Cash’s shady price movements and mining centralization, many have chalked Bcash up to be just another anti-bitcoin scheme driven by Roger.

Bitcoin supporters changed Roger Ver’s nickname from ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ to Judas as a result, symbolizing his switch from supporting BTC to BCH. Some believe that Roger Ver is shilling for major BCH stakeholders. He does so every chance he gets.

 

So, What’s your take?

Do you favor BTC or BCH or a different crypto altogether? Drop a comment below.

Hold On for Dear Life

Signals data science powered algorithmic crypto trading signals

There has been a transformation in financial markets and trading over the past couple of decades where traditional trading is being replaced by algorithmic trading systems.

Currently there is no widely available solution for algorithmic crypto trading for users who want to be able to “set it and forget it” as opposed to being tied to the market constantly to adhere to their trading rules.

Signals Nework is a new blockchain project that plans to democratize machine learning and algorithmic trading for crypto traders to make smarter and faster trades.

Throughout the ico frenzy of 2017 there were a number of platforms claiming to be using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Algorithmic Trading to earn investors daily “interest” payments. Many of these have exit scammed and none of them transparently proved to be using algorithmic trading to produce investor returns.Signals is not one of these money grabs.

Signals is a data-centric platform and marketplace where data science and programming professionals can share their data and strategies for users to use to trade with their own holdings.

“Our mission is to empower crypto traders with state of the art algorithms from the data science community, which will allow them to optimize their profits.

The Signals Platform provides these tools in a user-friendly way. From advanced charting and classic technical indicators to complex statistical models, crowd wisdom based inputs and machine learning algorithms based on media monitoring and sentiment analysis.

The Signals Platform is a place where anybody can create fully customizable trading robots with no advanced technical knowledge required.”

Why Machines and Algorithmic Trading?

Machines take emotions and other psychological factors out of trading,turning it into a numbers game.Cognitive biases sometimes interfere with trading decisions, especially if a trader does not have a well-structured trading plan.

As traders use trading signals to make decisions, cognitive biases still weigh heavy on the decisions they take.Machines ignore the noise of trading signals and process more data than a normal human ever could in order to inform their decisions.

Computer algorithms can also execute trades infinitely faster than humans and never sleep, running 24/7.

How does Algorithmic Trading Work?

“Algorithmic trading” may seem like an intimidating term to many, so let’s break it down into simple terms and steps.DATA: First, you need to pick out a data set to serve as the foundation for further analysis.

  • Example: specific trading pairs such as BTC/USD or LTC/BTC.

INDICATORS: Next, you need to choose the different types of indicators which act as filters for analyzing the data.

  • Examples: trading volume, moving averages, support/resistance, etc.

STRATEGY: Lastly, a strategy should define the ways to use the indicators to trade the pairs you have selected.An algorithmic trading system will use these inputs to create a robust trading strategy, which can be tested and then used.

The Signals Algorithmic Trading Platform

The Signals platform has marketplaces where data, indicators and strategies can be put together into an automated trading strategy using their “Signals Strategy Builder”.Signals platform has a nice visual design and it’s very user-friendly so anyone can use it.

I cannot overemphasize how important this is for adoption, so Signals has done right here. If it’s not easy to use and nice to look at, unfortunately most users will probably overlook the technology behind a trading platform of this sort. 

Signals Marketplaces

1) Data Marketplace

Users and external vendors provide data sets in the Data Marketplace.These data sets include historical and current market data, social network, and data from other crypto-related media and sites.

Any type of data set can be uploaded to the Data Marketplace and priced accordingly. Data crawlers that provide live data streams or API access can also be integrated easily.

2) Indicators Marketplace

Signals plans to include the following indicators in their platform:

Basic “Freemium” Indicators: I’m always amused when companies use this word.

“Freemium is a word companies use to make sure you understand what you are not paying for is valuable enough for you to pay for.. but lucky you. You’re getting it for free!Signal’s freemium indicators can monitor the price of a crypto and send signals based on “if-then” conditions.

Using the visual interface, users can combine basic strategies like stop losses together with proprietary Signals features like their ‘Flash crash detection system’.

Combining both can make for a more robust way to protect from downside risk.Technical analysis indicatorsTechnical analysis (TA) applies statistics to historical data to find patterns and trends in the market. As many crypto traders have found TA to be a useful tool for trading, they are also very useful when combined with machine learning technology for algorithmic trading.

Sentiment analysis indicators

Using natural language processing (or sentiment analysis) based on media monitoring is becoming a standard tool for analysis in the crypto world and other financial markets.The Signals Platform provides sentiment analysis indicators with data from social networks and crypto media.

Machine learning based indicators

Deep learning neural networks designed for processing time series, such as LSTM (long short term memory) recurrent neural networks

Crowd wisdom based indicators

Future economic trends can often be determined from surveying the masses.

This is basically how prediction markets work -they let users speculate on what they know (or think they know) by buying and selling stakes in the outcome of an event.

If they predict the outcome correctly, they make a profit; otherwise, they lose their money. The current price of event outcome (based on its probability) quantifies the knowledge of the crowd.

Blockchain monitoring indicators

Analysis to be conducted on the movement of every coin and token, especially those held by whales. 

When most of the coins are held by whales, tools that monitor the blockchain for “whale” movements can signal when major holders are buying or selling.

Github commit indicators

Traders will be able to monitor Github updates on all coins and tokens they trade.

Custom indicators

Developers and data scientists can monetize their skills by developing indicators to sell to Signals users.After a subscription fee set by the owner of the indicator is paid, these indicators can be used for free for testing and trading on the Signals Platform.

Strategies Marketplace

Using the Strategies Marketplace, developers and traders can list their trade strategies for copy trading and offer it to other users.Users will pay for receiving trading signals from a third-party bot, which can be traded through the platform.

Third party bots integration

Although signals is providing a tool for creating trading bots, other popular trading bots can be integrated into the Signals marketplace.This would be great for data scientists who can create trading algorithms but have no experience with UX design.

Signals Strategy Builder

The Signals Strategy Builder allows users to create their own trading strategies.There are two main components to each strategy — indicators and signals.

  • Indicators are blocks of code selected from the Indicators Marketplace.
  • Signals are actions that are triggered in response to indicators.

In the Signals Strategy Builder, users can drag and drop indicators and define the conditions of the indicators under which the signals should be triggered. Users can also create optimal
strategies and test them before using them for live trading.

Connections to crypto exchanges and mobile

Signals provides both a cloud based solution and an open source desktop app to perform automated trading in the background. The desktop version is important for traders who strongly prefer to store and encrypt their tokens on their own devices.

Trading bots can be connected to smartphones using the Signals app. Users can receive notifications whenever their strategy identifies a trading opportunity.

Partnerships

STOX crowd wisdom indicators will be integrated to let users create hybrid trading models combining machine learning with crowdsourced opinions.

iExec, a blockchain-based cloud computing platform, will solve complex computational problems while keeping things affordable for users.

SGN is an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. The Signals Platform will be accessible exclusively using Signal tokens.

Signals’ business model is based on two main revenue streams.

1) Signals charges a fee on each purchase in the Signals marketplaces.This includes: • Purchases of user-created indicators • Purchases of data streams • Renting of user-made strategies for copy trading

  • Using premium machine learning features
  • 2) The Signals cloud solution for deploying strategies.
  • A subscription model will be implemented with different tiers based on the number of strategies used.

User Adoption

Like any platform, the success of Signals depends entirely on user adoption.The Signals team will set up transparent competitions using smart contracts and the results will be evaluated using publicly available data like strategy statistics and endorsements.

Indicators development competitions

Strategy competitions

The most successful strategies which are offered for copy trading to other traders will be selected based on publicly accessible statistics regarding the strategy’s performance, risk-taking or other parameters.

Data competitions

Each data source on the Signals platform will have public usage analytics.
The most useful data sources will be evaluated and supported with Signals
tokens.

User endorsement competitions

Users that contribute to the community by answering questions and sharing their knowledge to earn points based on positive reviews. This is the main metric that will be used to reward active users.

The Signals token sale begins March 12th

20% of Signals’ tokens are reserved for users and early adopters.There will be a maximum of $18M worth of SGN sold during this phase.

• SGN prices are nominated in ETH before the beginning of the token sale
phase.
• At the beginning of this phase, there will be a 15% discount on the first token sold,
which will then gradually decrease, with the last token sold having no discount.
• Minimum transaction amount in Ethereum is 0.1 ETH.

Conclusion

A trading platform that leverages real data science using both technical/statistical analysis and natural language processing, or sentiment analysis can be a very useful tool for crypto traders.

Currently some of the most trusted trading bots run solely on trading strategies set using technical analysis indicators. These bots do not get smarter as they do when machine learning is used to refine and adapt strategies to changing market conditions.

Although trading bots provide the advantage to traders to not have to constantly be monitoring the markets, the strategies do need to be monitored and changed at times when settings are no longer optimal.

Machine learning takes things to the next level for those wanting to truly “set it and forget it” with algorithmic trading.

Signals network is addressing a major pain point for traders and has a solid plan to execute their solution for it.

For this reason I am supporting the project and will update periodically as the project progresses through major milestones in the roadmap.

You can sign up for the free airdrop using this link.To earn airdrop tokens you will need to go through some actions like twitter following, facebook liking, etc.How to participate in the token sale & token sale info

Always DYour Own Research. Hold on for dear life.

Whitepaper: https://cdn.signals.network/docs/signals-whitepaper-en.pdf


 

Polymath wants to flip regulation upside down with Security Tokens

Polymath is building a platform to help companies issue securities on the blockchain.

Companies will use the Polymath Network to legally tokenize financial assets and give more access and liquidity to investors.

Polymath’s mission:

To guide venture capital firms, investment funds, and public companies through the complex technological and legal processes of a successful token launch.

The Need for Regulation

The token sale process is complicated and requires guidance to avoid legal and financial issues. Regulators are actively pursuing startups who take the “ask forgiveness, not permission” approach to disrupting regulated industries.

In the cryptocurrency world there are no shortage of shady ICO tokens (a.k.a. scam coins) currently trading on the market. The regulatory hammer will come down on these inevitably.

Startups need to launch their token sales by doing the right things from the very inception.

How Polymath wants to flip regulation upside down

Instead of a central regulatory body ruling from afar, Polymath will involve attorneys and government officials from the beginning of the process for each security token.

This will theoretically eliminate the need for an agency like the SEC to get involved and ultimately lead to a more legitimate blockchain and cryptocurrency market.

Legal Agreements for Tokenized Securities

Polymath has partnered with Agrello, an Estonian legal technology company that offers blockchain-based smart contract agreements.

Agrello Legally Binding Smart Contracts Powered by AI
Agrello – Legally Binding Smart Contracts Powered by AI

“A partnership with Polymath will allow us to showcase Agrello’s cutting-edge KYC and digital signature services in the highly regulated financial industry.”

– Agrello CEO and Co-Founder, Hando Rand.

Smart contracts have the potential to change how people interact with each other, as well as legal authorities. Polymath and Agrello have a shared vision of successfully implementing smart contracts in heavily regulated environments.

Issuers and investors on the Polymath platform are able to execute agreements with Agrello’s legally binding smart contracts.

 

How Legal Compliance works on Polymath

Legal Compliance on Polymath
Legal Compliance on Polymath

For Issuers:

  • Issuer creates security tokens and uploads issuance details to be reviewed by Polymath Legal Delegates.
  • Legal Delegates propose compliance templates to the issuer.
  • issuer selects the template and applies it to the security token with the required documents to upload for verification.
  • Once verified, the Legal Delegate approves the securities token for initial offering on the polymath network.

For Investors

  • Investors request access to a security token.
  • Polymath gives KYC requirements to the investor based on the compliance template.
  • Investors submit KYC requirements for verification.
  • Polymath approves investor to participate.

 

The ST-20 Standardized Securities Token Protocol

Polymath’s ST-20 Protocol embeds regulatory requirements into the tokens themselves.

Polymath facilitates compliance at the legal layer and the app layer. Compliance is baked into the token itself, as shown in this illustration of the POLY stack:

Polymath Stack

It verifies each wallet address to ensure only authorized investors that meet the criteria for each particular security token offering are able to transact with that token.

This is an important consideration because decentralized exchanges, also known as DEX’s are the future for cryptocurrrency markets. DEX’s will be able to facilitate trading with POLY tokens, because the they can only go to authorized participants.

Launching a Security Token

Polymath asks for the following information to create a ST20 standard security token.

  • Legal Name:
  • Legal Entity Type:
  • Type of Security:
  • Project Description:
  • Logo:
  • TOKEN CHARACTERISTICS
    • Voting Rights:
    • Dividend:
    • Dividend Frequency:
    • Corporate Governance:
    • Governance Integration Partner:
    • Additional Features:
  • TOKEN ALLOCATION
    • Tokens to Create:
    • Percentage of Tokens Held by Company:
    • Percentage of Company Equity Distributed With Tokens:
    • Price per Token in USD:
  • LEGAL DETAILS
    • Issuing Jurisdiction:
    • Offering Security To:
    • Investors Must be Accredited:
    • Investor KYC Needed:
    • KYC Integration Partner:
    • Tokens Freely Tradable:
  • CONTACT DETAILS
    • Contact Name:
    • Position at Company:
    • Contact Phone Number:
    • Contact Email:
    • Permit Contact from Polymath:

Choosing a Legal Delegate

After creating a new token,  a legal delegate must confirm “that the steps have been completed for the token to be issued.”

Issuers will receive several bids from legal delegates, lawyers, but it’s up to the issuer to perform due diligence and compare their fees. Once they choose a legal delegate, they send POLY to a smart contract and begin working with the lawyers through the compliance process with the necessary documents.

Part of the process entails delegates working with developers to build a smart contract specifically for your token. The smart contract enforces investor requirements such as jurisdiction of investors, type of offering, hold period before tokens can be resold, etc. After the necessary documents are sent and the smart contract completed, the legal delegate will set the address of your initial offering contract and then the token will be ready to trade.

POLY tokens are the fuel for the Polymath platform

Similarly to how ETH fuels the Ethereum platform, POLY will be used for Polymath smart contracts.

Four ways POLY tokens are used

Issuers

An issuer can post a bounty in POLY tokens to encourage legal delegates and developers to bid on providing services. The more complex the security is legally, the more POLY you’ll probably need to pay.

Developers

Developers earn POLY for creating ST-20 smart contracts.

KYC Providers

KYC providers pay with POLY to join the Polymath network and earn POLY by verifying investors.

Investors

Investors must pay KYC providers in POLY tokens to join early investor whitelists for security tokens.

Legal Delegates

Legal delegates earn POLY when they are selected to issue a new security token.

Three types of Securities Tokens

On the Polymath Github you can see that there will be 3 main types of securities tokens: Equities, Debts, and Units

Equity Securities

An equity security represents ownership interest held by shareholders. Equity holders are typically not entitled to regular payments (although equities can pay out dividends), but they are able to profit from capital gains when they sell the securities.

Debt Securities

A debt security represents money that is borrowed and must be repaid, with terms that stipulates the size of the loan, interest rate and maturity or renewal date.

Unit Securities

With unit securities, holders own a stake in a trust/partnership, having right to the income generated by the trust/partnership. This trust/partnership could own multiple investments.

Polymath’s Trillion Dollar Opportunity

Let’s not under-emphasize the size of the prize the Polymath project is going after. Aside from a global currency, taking existing financial assets onto the blockchain is the biggest opportunity for blockchain technology. 

Polymath Securities token revolution

Polymath is the first major blockchain project associated with securities tokens.

As Ethereum had the first mover advantage for decentralized applications, Polymath has the first-mover advantage locked in for securities tokens.

ICO’s vs. IPO’s

In 2017, ICO’s raised about $4 Billion USD. In comparison, Alibaba’s IPO alone raised over $20 Billion USD.

Largest IPO's

Global Financial Assets

There is a massive untapped potential of assets that can be tokenized.

According to the whitepaper, “the global securities market is composed of three major instrument types: equities, debt, and derivatives. In 2016, these three markets had total notional values of US $67 trillion, $99 trillion, and $1.2 quadrillion, respectively.”

 

These numbers of course do not consider all the private and illiquid assets that can also be tokenized. Securities Token Offerings for these assets alone represents a potential of trillions of USD.

Local Businesses

Polymath believes the impact of the coming “stampede” of securities tokens will be felt more immediately in the small business sector.

As an investor, you don’t have a way use your localized knowledge to invest in small businesses without investing large sums or even buying entire businesses.

Let’s say, for example you like dining at indian restaurants. You try a new one and it’s the best indian dining experience you’ve ever had. As you finish your meal, you could decide right then to invest whatever amount you desire.

Securities tokens provide a new liquidity layer for small businesses who could never dream of going public with an IPO.

Just as much as the small businesses themselves, securities tokens are a huge benefit to investors. Investors will be able to access companies with the potential to grow quickly, which they can also directly impact.

Individuals will finally have the same access to investments as venture capitalists.

Conclusion

In the ideal scenario, all forms of securities become tokenized. Trillions of dollars of financial assets go flowing onto the Polymath platform once the “stampede” begins and a strong network is built where is makes sense for companies of all sizes to use the POLY network.

As a result, businesses of any size have access to capital and Investors would have access to transparent information to easily avoid scam coins. The big challenge ahead for Polymath is to bring investors into their ecosystem.

As the saying goes, “if they could just capture 1% of the market”, in this case trillions upon trillions of market capital, Polymath will be a huge success and one of the top cryptocurrencies.

Polymath Network - Let the Stampede Begin

Always DYour Own Research.

Hold on for dear life.

Is EOS the “Ethereum Killer” or will it help Ethereum scale?

EOS has often been referred to as the “Ethereum Killer”. So let’s get down to the basics. if we already have Ethereum, why do we need EOS?

Dan Larimer, the creator of EOS, BitShares, and Steem believes (as many of us do) that in the future, everything will be on the blockchain.

This will require a whole new scale of performance, and that’s where EOS comes in.

What is High Perfomance for the Blockchain?

In existing technologies other than blockchain, we have examples of requirements of 20K transactions per second for credit cards, 52K likes per second on facebook (not including posts, comments and other actions), and 100K trades per second in financial markets, sometimes on a single market pair.

Transactions per second requirements

These are just a few examples. The use cases for blockchain technology are nearly endless.

Use Cases to consider for Blockchain Performance

Let’s look at some of the blockchain use cases beyond currency and dApps:

  • Capital Markets & Securities
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Healthcare
  • Real Estate
  • Media
  • Energy
  • Record & Identity Management
  • Voting
  • Taxes
  • Non-Profit Agencies
  • Legislation/Complicance & Regulator Oversight
  • Big Data & Data Storage
  • Internet of Things

These are all systems that stand to benefit HUGELY from blockchain technology.

Just to take a couple examples, bringing the features of blockchain to Voting, Media, and Non-Profit Agencies would prevent a substantial number of ills that plague modern society.

These would include corrupt politicians, fake or dishonest news media, and phony non-profit organizations.

The Blockchain Industry Requires Massive Scale

If all these systems and more migrate onto the blockchain, they will easily create millions of transactions per second.

There’s a big gap between where we are today and where we need to be to handle millions of transactions per second when we look at the most widely used blockchains.

Among the top cryptocurrencies, ripple is the fastest with 1,500 transactions per second. This number is dwarfed by visa, which can handle 24,000.

transactions per second vs visa

 

Moving these systems onto the blockchain is indeed a big and radical change on a global scale. There are many unknowns about potential impacts this will have on current systems, but there is a grand vision many of us share for blockchain technology.

Introducing Dan: The man with the plan

Dan Larimer (Source: Hackernoon)
Dan Larimer (Source: Hackernoon)

Dan Larimer is a programmer and visionary systems architect who created successful blockchain platforms BitShares (the world’s first fully decentralized exchange) and Steem (a social media platform that pays its users).

Dan’s mission in life is “to find free market solutions to secure life, liberty, and property for all.”

He is also an anarcho-capitalist whose current goal is to “engineer the economic incentives which make freedom and non-violence profitable.”

Right now Dan is working on something that will be bigger than Steem. In fact, its potential is so massive, it has earned the nickname “The Ethereum Killer”. 

After successfully building and launching Steem, Dan moved onto EOS, otherwise known as “Ethereum on steroids”.

A Breakdown of EOS

EOS is an intricately designed system that can be difficult for the average person to understand. It took me months of curiosity to dig deep enough into it to get a good understanding.

The key to understanding EOS and the true potential it represents, is to understand the problems it is trying to solve.

Problems EOS wants to solve

  1. Scaling (e.g. Bitcoin’s scaling war and Ethereum’s crypto kitties)
  2. Cost (e.g. High gas fees on the Ethereum network)
  3. Interoperability (Legacy businesses have difficulties navigating & integrating)

Blockchain technology is redefining the internet as we speak, but most businesses are still facing technical hurdles that prevent them from adopting the technology.

EOS plans to make blockchain technology easy to use and to adopt by creating a blockchain operating system for companies.

The EOS Solution to Blockchain’s Problems

The EOS whitepaper addresses the three problems above in this except below:

“The EOS.IO software introduces a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.

This is achieved by creating an operating system-like construct upon which applications can be built. The software provides accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication and the scheduling of applications across hundreds of CPU cores or clusters.

The resulting technology is a blockchain architecture that scales to millions of transactions per second,eliminates user fees, and allows for quick and easy deployment of decentralized applications.” –EOS White Paper

A Deeper Dive into EOS

EOS has some key features that make the project stand out as an intricate and well-designed solution to the problems blockchain faces foday.

  • Parallel Processing: The ability to do things in parallel, faster transaction speeds and more scalability.
  • A Constitution: A set of rules on which everyone agrees upon. The rules are linked to every block mined.
  • Self Sufficiency and Evolution: The current model allows for a 5% inflation. This will be used to develop the network further.
  • Decentralised operating system: EOS is similar to a decentralised operating system, in practice this means that developers can build applications on EOS.

The utility of EOS tokens

Owning EOS coins is a claim on server resources. A developer needs to have EOS coins to use the EOS blockchain.

Developers will not spend the coins to use the server resources. They just need to prove they hold them. The EOS operating system will be hosted on servers that also act as block producers. Block rewards on EOS are the incentive for servers to host EOS applications.

The applications running on this decentralised OS will be able to communicate with each other. They can share frameworks or libraries which make development faster, more secure and less technical.

EOS will allow developers to create blockchain applications that are easy for end users to interact with. Probably most users will not even know that they are interacting with one when using EOS as this will be completely transparent to the users.

Are EOS Strengths a match for Ethereum weaknesses?

Scale

CryptoKitties, a program that allows users to own virtual cats has exposed serious scaling issues for the Ethereum blockchain.

As a proud owner of my own litter of these unique digital cats, I have first-hand experience with how congested the Ethereum blockchain became with these simple transactions.

Here is one of my favorite kitties. I named him “Edgy Brah” after Eddie Bravo because of his world views.

Cryptokitties Edgy Brah Eddie Bravo

Eddie Bravo Flat Earth

Note that the types of transcations you make with Cryptokitties are all very simple, including: Buy, Sell (Reverse Action style), or Sire (Breed).

Currently, the two other blockchains designed by Dan Larimer (Steem and BitShares) are accounting for a larger share of transactions than both Bitcoin and Ethereum. For Steem, this volume of transactions is not even utilizing 1% of the throughput capacity.

EOS plans to be an even higher performing blockchain than Steem.

Cost

Interacting with the Ethereum blockchain is not a user-friendly experience. One of the main reasons is because Etherum demands users to pay for every transaction.

EOS will not have fees. This will increase adoption. When ICOs can be hosted on EOS without gas fees this will surely help with adoption.

Interoperability

EOS is being developed with capabilities for interoperability with multiple blockchains, so that for example Ethereum could leverage EOS for its superior performance.

As Ethereum continues to struggle to scale at the rate needed by its fast growing ecosystem of large-scale applications, it may one day in the near future face a choice. Either (A) Integrate EOS or (B) Failure

Can EOS and Ethereum work together?

Upon further examination into the strengths and weaknesses of the two projects, one may want to revisit the “Ethereum Killer” concept and consider another probable outcome.

EOS and Ethereum are potentially complimentary components of a system in which Ethereum can benefit from the superior performance of EOS and EOS can benefit from the volume of applications on the Ethereum network.

The Long-Term Perspective

One assumption I am more than comfortable making is that the adoption of blockchain technology is set to hit a tipping point of mass adoption within the next couple of years that will require MASSIVE scale.

EOS is far more likely to succeed on a massively bigger scale through such a partnership with Ethereum.

It has been said that EOS is capable of running the entire ETH blockchain inside a single contract.

Due to Ethereum’s first-mover advantage, it has grown to a size that gives it an upperhand that will be a challenge even for a far superior technology to overtake in short time.

Integration with Ethereum and EOS will provide a win-win for network effects, scale and performance, costs, and interoperability for end-users.

Current Price & ICO

EOS is just entering the final quarter of a year-long ICO that started last June. The EOS ERC-20 token is currently trading on many major exchanges and can later be redeemed by investors for EOS tokens on the EOS blockchain once it is live in June.

The current price of EOS is $8.00, which is down a solid 50% from some short-lived all-time-highs in the altcoin rally in January. Anyhow, the current price is substantially higher than it had traded for most of the prior year and we can expect to see the price rise further in anticipation of the official launch of EOS in June 2018.

Some find a year-long ICO odd or frustrating, but it’s due to Dan Larimer’s decentralization philosophy. The year long ICO maximalizes distribution of EOS to a wider userbase.

EOS coinmarketcap March 3rd, 2018
EOS coinmarketcap March 3rd, 2018

If EOS can deliver on its promises, it may bring huge upsides for early investors.

Come June, EOS is going to be big.

Always DYour Own Research.

Hold on for dear life.

Crypto20 & the Launch of Invictus Capital Passive & ICO Investment Funds

Crypto20, The World’s First Tokenized Cryptocurrency Index Fund

Crypto20 is a new index fund that that holds a portfolio of the top 20 cryptos by market cap in the same way as the Vanguard 500 maintains a portfolio based on the market cap of the S&P 500.

Top 20 Excluding Scam coins, Ponzis and Tether

Currently the top 20 coins capture >90% of the overall market cap.

Top 21 Coins on Coinmarketcap - March 2nd, 2018
Top 21 Coins on Coinmarketcap – March 2nd, 2018

As you can see, the market cap sizes start dropping off after the top ten or so, to below $5 Billion USD. Most coins outside of the top 20 are currently under $1 Billion in market capitalization.

Sorry Tether, you didn’t make the cut.

USDT
USDT – faker than the real thing – hodl artist shop

How the CRYPTO20 Index Works

The Crypto20 asset portfolio is adjusted through weekly re-balancing to track the market over time.

As you can see by the Portfolio weights below, it is not weighted by market cap, but uses a scaled approach to weights based on the rank within the index. Bitcoin gets a modest 11.6% weight, and Ethereum gets 10.5%, scaling all the way down to Icon, which gets 1.1%.

Crypto 20 Portolio Weights March 2nd, 2018
Crypto 20 Portolio Weights March 2nd, 2018

If Crypto20 were to weight their portfolio using a market-cap based weighting system, then portfolios would be weighted with roughly 41% Bitcoin and 19% Ethereum.

Coin Market Shares - March 2nd, 2018
Coin Market Shares – March 2nd, 2018

The Crypto20 Index gives investors more exposure to the smaller cryptocurrencies within the top 20

Since the Crypto20 index only gives a combined weight of 22% to Bitcoin + Ethereum compared to the the 60% of Market Capitalization the two coins represent within the actual crypto market, the Crypto20 Index gives investors higher exposure to smaller altcoins.

*this may (or may not) result in higher upside potential.

Whether the method of weighting chosen for the Crypto20 index is a good strategy or not simply depends on how well the smaller coins in the index (i.e. $BCH, $LTC, $EOS, $XMR, $IOTA, $NEO) do in relation to larger coins (i.e. $BTC and $ETH).

CRYPTO20’s Nov 2017 ICO and C20 Tokens

The Crypto20 ICO in Nov 2017 closed with $38m raised, making it the 22nd largest recorded ICO at the time.

C20 Tokens launched on exchanges Jan 22nd and are currently available on Bibox, HitBTC, and IDEX.

CRYPTO20 C20 Index

Crypto20’s performance to date vs. BTC and the Total market

So far, the C20 has performed quite well since its launch. It’s outperformed both BTC and the total Market Cap in % terms since December.

C20 Performance

Invictus Capital Launching 2 New Funds Alongside Crypto20

Invictus Capital is the crypto investment management firm behind the Crypto20. They believe that data science, machine learning, etc. will outperform actively managed funds.

Invictus Capital Logo

The team is aspiring no less than to become the Vanguard of blockchain investing.

Invictus Capital – The Umbrella Company

Yesterday, March 1st, the team announced the launch of Invictus Capital, “a global company defining the leading edge of the cryptocurrency financial services industry.”

Invictus Team at Work
A few of the Invictus Capital team members at work in their offices

Invictus provides end-users direct access to funds in the form of tokens. This eliminates all third-party fees that take a share of investor profits, such as broker or platform fees.

They are very much pushing the data-based approach, which many investors, myself included are quite big fans of.

“Transparency and the scientific method are core tenets of our philosophy at Invictus. We believe that all funds should be developed and justified with a data-backed approach. We do not rely on guesswork and intuition.”

2 New Funds: Kinetic (Passive) and Hyperion (ICO’s)

With the launch of the umbrella company, two new funds join the ranks alongside CRYPTO20 — namely, the Invictus Kinetic fund (passive) & the Invictus Hyperion fund (pre-ICO/ICO).

The Invictus Kinetic Fund

The first open, passively managed tokenized fund to be launched by Invictus Capital. The Kinetic fund leverages our expertise in machine learning in the creation of a dynamic, algorithmically rebalanced fund designed to navigate the constantly changing cryptocurrency market.

At the heart of this fund is the Kinetic function that strictly defines its governing rules, enabling it to increase positions in tokens exhibiting growth, while closing positions in tokens in decline, all without being subject to human bias, emotion and interference.

Many independent investors find themselves exhausted and emotionally depleted from trying to manage a portfolio of cryptocurrencies in a market that never sleeps.

Some of us have seriously become “Crypto Zombies” waiting for those juicy 3AM-4AM trades on US Eastern time when there is action in the Asian markets.

crypto zombies

Invictus Capital seeks to help with this.

As a passively managed fund, use of the Kinetic function allows the fund to navigate the shortcomings common to more basic funds, while still benefiting from the low fee structures characteristic of passive funds.

The Kinetic function continuously processes a stream of market data. The seven parameters and three hyper-parameters of the Kinetic function have been optimized by machine learning and back-tested over past market data.

The full function, underlying mathematical model and backtest results will be described in detail in the whitepaper release on March 16th, 2018.

The fund utilizes a variety of kinetic indicators characteristic of a given cryptocurrency’s performance relative to the rest of the market to assign it a score.

  • Ranking the 100 largest cryptocurrencies by their Kinetic score results in a Kinetic Rank.
  • This rank is used to create the Invictus Kinetic fund by selecting the top cryptocurrencies in the Kinetic Rank weighted by their Kinetic score.
  • The fund is rebalanced at fixed periods.

Over the coming years, we can expect there to be considerable changes within the market cap rankings of the 100 largest cryptocurrencies.

Smaller market cap cryptocurrencies will likely rise steadily up through these rankings — naturally an investor would want to be able to identify these rising stars and capitalize on their growth by investing in them early on.

Similarly, over time we expect to see some of the historic top performers, those cryptocurrencies that have exhibited meaningful, even meteoric, growth in their market capitalization to date begin to exhibit decline relative to the growth of the rest of the market.

Even more, some of the cryptocurrencies with the largest capitalizations may be displaced by the rising stars who disrupt their business model or use cases, possibly causing them to plummet into obscurity.

In these scenarios, it would be favorable to divest from these assets early in their decline to realize the returns from their previous growth, and to avoid the loss associated with holding a declining asset.

Kinetic Fund Token Structure and Fund Utilization

The token structure is very lean in terms of fund utilization (only 1% to operational expenses) and token distribution (97.5% to ICO investors).

Annual Management Fee: 0.75 %
Token Structure: 1.5% of tokens for team, 1% for Invictus Capital, vesting over two years. 97.5% to ICO participants
Fund Utilization: 1% of funds raised for operational expenses, 99% for purchasing underlying assets
Token Price: $0.10 per token at live exchange rate from BTC/ETH/LTC
Hard Cap: None — open-ended fund
Soft Cap: $2M

Invictus Hyperion Fund

The Invictus Hyperion fund is a closed, tokenized venture capital fund designed to function as a syndicate for investors looking to gain exposure to the earliest stage of blockchain investing.

The Hyperion fund will focus on early-stage investments in blockchain technology. The fund will not invest or trade in projects that already have a listed token.

The fund will operate with Invictus’s typical data-driven investment methodology. Predictive models and tools will be utilized to determine the potential of investment opportunities.

The blockchain revolution has ushered in a new era in the financial sector, but it has also left many feeling overwhelmed.

With over a thousand coins to choose from and so much information, FUD, and shameless coin shilling to dig through to get the right information, it’s no wonder some investors just resort to the top currencies that seem to have the lowest risk.

overwhelmed crypto

Independent investors are simply unable to allocate the time, energy and mental bandwidth required to understand and navigate all of the new investment opportunities — and traps.

Development of new investment protocols like Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), token pre-sales and Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) have redefined and democratized early stage investing. Independent investors now have the opportunity to invest in projects across the globe while they are in their infancy — investment opportunities that historically were only available to wealthy accredited investors and first-world venture capitalists.

While these changes, enabled by blockchain technology, have provided people with access to a wide array of new investment opportunities, they have also exposed people to the significant risk of early stage investing. The undertaking to perform the necessary due diligence to make informed investments has become onerous.

Hyperion seeks to break down barriers to early-stage crypto investing

Even though blockchain technology has transformed the early stage investment landscape, the independent investor still faces barriers. Large bonuses or discounts are often offered exclusively to very early investors or partners with significant capital and connections to the project.

Through the power of syndication, the Invictus Hyperion fund has been designed to break down these barriers facing the independent investor.

A portion of the returns from the sale of tokens will be paid out to token holders as dividends and the rest will be reinvested in new blockchain projects, repeating the cycle.

Hyperion – Distributions of quarterly returns

The analysts at Invictus will actively solicit and evaluate funding applications from entrepreneurs, performing extensive due diligence in the vetting process.

The Titan AI tool will be used to evaluate proposals and gain additional insights into factors influencing the success of early-stage blockchain investing.

The Hyperion fund will offer simplified access to early stage investing in a broad, vetted portfolio of promising blockchain projects. Entrepreneurs in need of pre-ICO support in the range of $0.25M to $1M can already apply through the funding application portal at InvictusCapital.com.

The fund utilization and token distribution structure is identical to that of the Kinetic fund.

Dividend Phase Activation: Dividend payments will be activated once the fund has grown to an invested portfolio of $30M.
In the Dividend Phase: 50% of returns realized within each quarter will be paid to token holders, a 12.5% performance fee will be leveraged by Invictus and the remainder of 37.5% will be re-invested into the fund.

Titan AI Tool — Making Crypto Investing Safer

1st Stage

The tool analyzes ICO white papers and is capable of identifying plagiarized content — Titan is even capable of detecting cases where plagiarized content has been restructured and synonym substitutions have been made.

They have already indexed thousands of ICO white papers for comparing white papers against — but as users upload papers, this corpus will grow automatically. With this tool, we aim to empower users to make more informed investment decisions and help to form a community driven watchdog service.

2nd Stage

The second stage of the Titan tool will provide users with a visual representation of the degree to which an ICO is related to others in terms of their business model and sector.

The tool empowers users and Invictus analysts with the ability to evaluate the originality and legitimacy of early-stage investment opportunities within the ICO space and specific sectors thereof. The second stage will be released in the first week of March (this week).

Titan is an example of the company’s commitment to legitimizing the broader cryptocurrency community, in this case, by rooting out frauds and copycat projects.

For those interested in the ICOs for the new Invictus Funds, there is no date announced yet, but they have indicated it will be announced with the whitepaper releases on March 16th.

Whitelist for the ICOs of New Tokenized Funds

The funds will begin to raise in April — the exact dates will be announced when the whitepapers are released on the 16th of March 2018 at 18h00 GMT.

The funds will open to the public after a short initial phase dedicated to the below two groups. For priority access to our new funds you will need:

A.) To be an investor in the CRYPTO20 ICO.

OR

B.) Prove ownership of more than 500 C20 tokens using our verification tool. The justification for this amount is that it is approximately the median investment in the CRYPTO20 ICO.

Justification for this amount is that it is approximately the median investment in the CRYPTO20 ICO.

Conclusion

The Crypto20, Kinetic, and Hyperion funds offered by Invictus Capital are all potentially strong options for those interested in index style (passive) and pre-ICO investing.

Disclaimer: I do not hold C20 and but plan to invest in Kinetic and Hyperion based on a final assessment once the whitepapers are released. This is not financial advice.

Always DYour Own Research. Hold on for dear life.

Bibox Exchange – Currently top exchange for C20 trading

Crypto20 Whitepaper

Crypto20/Invictus Capital Medium

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