SingUlarity Evgeny Konstantinov

A Machine Gun for Zombies: Opinion

SingUlarity
How to ditch your inner zombie at the cluttered crypto space?
A Machine Gun for Zombies: Opinion

Chuck Klosterman, a popular essayist, wrote a very entertaining piece on zombies for The New York Times back in 2010.

Titled My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead, the article takes an off-the-wall perspective on the popularity of the zombie culture and how it can be both a reflection and an evidence of our day-to-day lives.

I suggest reading the entire article because it’s just a lot of fun, but the important bit that I’d like to focus on is the one I’m quoting in full:

A lot of modern life is exactly like slaughtering zombies.

If there’s one thing we all understand about zombie killing, it’s that the act is uncomplicated: you blast one in the brain from point-blank range (preferably with a shotgun). That’s Step 1. Step 2 is doing the same thing to the next zombie that takes its place. Step 3 is identical to Step 2, and Step 4 isn’t any different from Step 3. Repeat this process until (a) you perish, or (b) you run out of zombies. That’s really the only viable strategy.

Every zombie war is a war of attrition. It’s always a numbers game. And it’s more repetitive than complex. In other words, zombie killing is philosophically similar to reading and deleting 400 work e-mails on a Monday morning or filling out paperwork that only generates more paperwork, or following Twitter gossip out of obligation, or performing tedious tasks in which the only true risk is being consumed by the avalanche. The principal downside to any zombie attack is that the zombies will never stop coming; the principal downside to life is that you will never be finished with whatever you do.

The Internet reminds us of this every day.

It’s been eight years since the publication of the article, but the digital world —  surprisingly — hasn’t changed much for the better.

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Collective knowledge VS individuality

When we think crypto — as in the Blockchain and crypto space — the way the information is structured (or, rather, completely unstructured and cluttered) is even lagging behind the rest of things.

There are various Blockchain courses — both entrepreneurial and from established institutions, and there are scattered wikis that are entirely dependent on the volition of those who run (or abandon) them. The sense of decentralization that flairs this space and community-centrism are a contributing factor to the information chaos that holds sway. This is not inherently bad, as this shows that community does rule this space, and every community is individual members.

And the individual members possess and spread and share the information. They also do information exchanges and this way move the crypto space forward.

Community members are knowledge bearers. At the same time, they are individuals, and individuals have their own agenda that ranges from complete selflessness for the common good to being driven by lacking knowledge to the no-holds-barred money making.

There’s an enormous amount of collective knowledge in the crypto space, but there’s an overwhelming amount of individuals. In your search for the knowledge, you very often have to rely on what complete strangers say, and you listen to what they say because they are a part of that subreddit that you are following, or a forum where you can see their badges and past messages, or a member with a weird name (and thinly veiled shill tactics) of a telegram group of a project that you support.

There’s almost always a group of people that you trust, but in your search for knowledge — and because you want to be early in the new projects and developments — you wander out of your safe closed circle and investigate and research. And when you wander out, there’s always an onslaught of zombies — people that you don’t know and can’t check their agenda or how trustworthy they are. You start going through them one by one, and you are killing off those that are suspicious or — to use the zombie terminology — braindead. The process is time- and resource-consuming, exhausting, and not incredibly effective, but it’s pretty much the only one possible right now.

Imagine if — before taking a part in a conversation with a stranger, before fishing out the information that you need from them — you were able to decide if the interaction would be constructive and of benefit for you at all. Imagine if you could immediately see how trusted they are and if they have weight and what their agenda was before they got your full attention and it was all transparent and immutable?

Time and trust are as important to an individual as they are for all the communities because these are the factors that move this space forward.

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Past-ICO Review: CPChain

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IoT is hot and growing industry, but this token’s offerings are far from special, in fact, it appears not to serve much of a purpose
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Cyber Physical Chain, in case you are wondering what CP stands for, wants to be the new killer app for the Internet of Things (IoT) in China and abroad. According to their website, “CPChain is a new distributed infrastructure for next-generation IoT. CPChain intends to build a fundamental data platform for IoT system in combination with distributed storage, encryption computation and Blockchain technologies, providing the whole process solution from data acquisition, storage, sharing to application.”

Financials

CPChain ran an ICO for what appears to be one day on Jan. 24, 2018, where it raised $30 mln. The initial token entry price was $0.32 on Jan. 30. At the start, the token price was rather volatile with many ups and downs within the first seven days of trading. After the seventh day, the token price fell to a low, where it continued downwards to the current price, at the time of writing of $0.037. The market cap is still a healthy $14.3 mln and the circulating supply is 376 mln out of a total supply of one token shy of one bln.

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Team

The team does not have profiles on LinkedIn. The short notes listed about them are taken from CPChains website.

Chengnian Long- CEO & Founder

“Dr. Long is a full professor and has many years of experience in the fields of cyber physical system security, Internet of Things, distributed intelligent system with Blockchain technology. He has published more than 80 papers in internationally renowned journals and conferences, and has more than 10 patents for invention.”

Bin Zhao- Co-Founder & CTO

“Dr. Zhao has more than 12 years research and development experience on communication, Internet of Things and fintech. Extended experience in management of R&D team. He has three patents on inventions in Internet of Things.”

Qingwei Shi - Co-Founder & COO

“Founder of the shared finance and HPB, participated in the preparation and investment of many projects.”

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IoT, Big Data, and more, oh my!

So what is Big Data and IoT all have to do with CPCHain? Well According to the website,

“The core feature of the CPChain is to realize the transmission of the value of cyber-physical systems. The main technology contribution is to propose a systematic scheme to address the scalability and real-time problems of Blockchain technology in IoTs from the perspective of data storage and computation, and consensus protocols, including parallel distributed architecture, two-layer hybrid consensus mechanism and lightweight side chain consensus protocol.” Looking at the roadmap, CPChain is still a ways away from getting its mainnet online, according to roadmap, we can expect a fourth quarter 2018 release of the mainnet. However, full implementation of the system will not be until 2020 if at best.

IoT, IDK

While IoT has a lot of potential, and we are seeing it more and more in industrial applications and at home, CPChain does not seem to offer anything that really sets them apart from the competition, nor anything that is groundbreaking. There is a token, but there are no details of how it will function or what purpose it serves. While the company has potential, there is just nothing that is standing out and it just falls flat.

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Think Crypto is a Bubble? What About Silicon Valley Startups Then?

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Many feel that the cryptocurrency and ICO model is a bubble, but they should look at Silicon Valley startups, in the same manner, more closely
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Many have come forward and said that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is a bubble, and a big part of that has to do with the way in which the ICO sector has operated, mimicking the Dot Com boom that was seen in the early 2000s.

However, those same commentators should probably look a little closer to home if they are looking for a bubble, especially one predicated on promises of equity and growth in user base.

ICOs and startups follow a very similar model in terms of capital raising. The biggest deviation, however, is the inclusivity of an ICO whereas startups look to major investors for their funds, and then turn their user base into the commodity.

This play from startups is much more open to collapse whereas the ICO model of individual and open investing allows individuals to become members, rather than a commodity, of the project.

The Silicon Tech Bubble is hitting its peak

Many think that the tech bubble popped in 2000, however, it has emerged as a slightly different beat. We are seeing instances of overvaluation creeping back into the space, especially when successful startups are being taken to IPO.

Venture Capital-funded companies, some reaching the status of unicorns, are dying all the time as they enter the market. These companies are severely overrated when they reach the billion dollar mark, as much as by 50 percent- according to research conducted by Will Gornall at the University of British Columbia and Ilya Strebulaev of Stanford.

Of those 135 unicorns examined, the researchers estimate that nearly half, or 65, should be more fairly valued at less than $1 bln.

This is already a huge indicator of a bubble brewing in Silicon Valley. Keith Wright, instructor of accounting and information services at the Villanova School of Business, explains the way in which this overvaluation occurs.

“Investors focus on growing the unicorn customer base, not turning a profit. New regulatory conditions, including wildly separate share classes, which give some shareholders significantly more rights than others, have resulted in a danger of widespread overvaluation,” Wright said in an interview to CNBC:

“Some shareholders have voting rights to assets, rights to dividends, rights to inspect records.”

ICOs and their similar model

People will argue that at its core, ICOs are often overvalued as well, but while there is a similar model between startups and ICOs trying to raise capital for the company, there is also one major difference.

Startups will go to venture capitalists and other sources of major resources in order to gain capital, and in exchange, as Wright states, these shareholders get huge rights. However, the situation with an ICO is that there is no barrier to entry for individuals to ‘invest’ in the company- it is accessible to everyone.

Essentially what this allows is any person who invests in an ICO becomes a member of the company and thus has big and powerful rights over the way in which the company functions.

If, for example, a Blockchain project attempted to raise funds through an ICO by saying they will have complete control of their users and user data once the product launches, it would be considered ridiculous and the project would fail without even starting.

However, with startups, only the wealthy investors have members rights, and those who utilize the project become the commodity with their data and information.

A change in scene

Venture capitalists are starting to become dinosaurs, and the entire startup space is being reworked with the advent of Blockchain and ICOs. But it is not only the startups that are looking at new disruptive technologies.

“Large incumbent companies are learning how to adopt emerging and disruptive technologies faster than ever. Companies such as Actesy.com from St. Gallen have recently perfected and piloted new software that enables Fortune 500 companies such as Porsche, Roche and BASF to quickly and easily adopt emerging technologies while maintaining their existing highly expensive, entrenched legacy solutions,” Wright adds.

“Previously, it may have taken 10 or more years to replace enterprise-wide global systems. When large companies learn to sustain their competitive advantage through disruptive technologies, the unicorn game is limited.”

Trust is the ultimate catalyst for any community. There are projects like U°Community that build a transparent community platform with dynamic reputation. Users could create content, interact with people, direct their own communities, run businesses, and even build dApps without having to leave the ecosystem.

The shift at the top is happening as the incumbent companies look further afield than those big, and overvalued, unicorns in Silicon Valley. And at the grassroots level, individual investors, such as those being seen in ICOs are starting to become as big and as important as your traditional heavy investor.

The exclusivity of backing a project no longer fits the mark, rather the crowdfunding, ICO model is what is working in today’s world, and as such Silicon Valley startups that are still pursuing becoming unicorns and gaining too much funding to become overvalued, are blowing up that tech bubble all over again.

A personal touch

The real crux of the matter between a startup using Venture Capitalist money and that of an ICO using funding from individuals who back the project is the support. Major companies fund projects hoping to mold and control them for their own gains, and they have little to no worry about the company and its users needs or wants.

At the same time, when it comes to an ICO, the people investing in it, have a vested interest in the success of the project, they are supporting it and wanting it to succeed.

When it comes to defining a bubble, overvaluing a project just to pick up users and without looking at the potential and growth of the company, it becomes quite apparent which is more of a bubble.

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VC firms are acutely aware of the potential of Blockchain to transform our world. While many companies will build solutions; which ones will succeed?

Two venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz (Andreessen) and Union Square Venture (USV) may have cracked the formula of how to make future bets on Blockchain.  Both have been investing in blockchain-based technologies and cryptocurrencies since 2013, according to CB Insights.

Factors Fueling Growth in Blockchain Market Cap

The demand for blockchain technology solutions is expected to increase rapidly due to the growing adoption of its distributed ledger technology. Global blockchain market size is expected to grow to 7.6 bln by 2022 from 411.5 mln last year, according to a report from Research and Markets.

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VC Investment Trends To Watch: Decentralized Apps

Investors have been pouring funds into decentralized applications (dApps).  

CryptoKitties, a decentralized app crypto-collectible digital cats raised $12 mln Series A at the end of March.  CryptoKitties, built using Ethereum, are digital pieces of content that are unique, have a fixed number that someone can own, buy, sell, trade.  USV described CryptoKitties, as digital collectibles that could not have existed before the emergence of Blockchain.

The company said in its blog post:

“We think digital collectibles and all of the games they enable will be one of the, if not the first, big consumer use cases for blockchain technologies.”

Andreessen recently invested in Dfinity a startup that plans to create a decentralized cloud capable of competing with Ethereum and other smart contract platforms. The company received  $61 mln in Feb. and intends to use them to incentivize developers to build on its cloud, according to CB Insights.

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Startups Taking on Bitcoin

USV’s 2018 investments target cryptocurrency startups like Algorand and Chia that are capable of building products that take direct aim at the existing limitations of Bitcoin. Algorand, a startup which is building a high-speed blockchain-based payments protocol raised $4 mln in its seed funding round in Feb.

Chia is a new cryptocurrency, which garnered $3.4 mln in seed funding at the end of March. The company says it uses a more energy-efficient mechanism than Bitcoin’s Proof of Work. While Bitcoin has a much more substantial market presence at this time; these companies are poised to challenge Bitcoin’s new Lightning Network, experts say.

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The digital currency community has seen a malaise sweep across it, as the value of crypto assets continues its steep descent. Bitcoin is down 66 percent from its 2017 high of $20,000, and is down nearly 40 percent in the past week alone. Bad news seems to come from every side, as regulators increasingly rattle their sabers and banks cut off credit card purchases of crypto.

Not just crypto

The good news, if you can call it that, is crypto isn’t alone. Last Friday, Feb. 1, saw a broad sell-off on all major stock indices. The S&P 500 experienced its sharpest drop since the fall of 2016, and the Dow suffered a 665 point drop. Today, losses continued to mount as trading reopened, with the Dow closing the day down 1,175 points. The S&P experienced its worst day since 2011, suffering a 4.1 percent single-day drop.

The stock market has seen an incredible nine year bull run, the second longest in history, but it’s finally starting to show cracks. A broad pullback may be in store as fears over interest rate increases and bond declines seize Wall Street.

Competing theories

Many have wondered whether cryptocurrency would benefit from a Wall Street meltdown, and there were two schools of thought. One group believed that Wall Street investors, seeing their losses mount, would lose faith in centralized institutions and move their money to cryptocurrencies. Others thought that investors in cryptocurrency, seeing a decline in the stock market, would move their assets away from notoriously volatile digital currencies and into safer bonds.

It looks like that second group may be right after all: stock market investors seem disinclined to put their money into an even riskier asset. CNN Money’s “Fear and Greed Index” was showing extreme greed just last week, but is now firmly pegged into “fear” territory.

What good news?

With mainstream media talking incessantly — as they have been for months — about Bitcoin's bubble bursting, many are afraid that their crypto assets will continue to tumble. While this is entirely possible, it's equally possible that a Wall Street rebound could bring cryptocurrency prices back up as well. The crypto community may not want to despair just yet, until we find out if Wall Street's bull market still has some steam.

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BTC, LTC, XMR, NEO Continue Falling as Bulls Unable to Take Initiative

Bears have full control over the reviewed cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero and Neo continue to fall
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Pessimistic moods still prevail despite the positive start of the week for Bitcoin, Litecoin and NEO. BTC/USD, LTC/USD, XMR/USD and NEO/USD have a high correlation with each other and traders can use it today when placing orders.

Bears have full control over the reviewed cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero and NEO continue to fall, breaking through new levels. All coins follow their downside scenarios as they are still under their downside trend lines. However, there are first signs of corrections, that may happen in the nearest future.

BTC/USD

BTC/USD

The currency pair continues to go downwards as the bulls were unable to take initiative in their hands. Bitcoin price tested the resistance line (9,200 area) during the American session and jumped off as we have a strong candlestick Shooting Star fakey signal (the tail of the Shooting Star was above the resistance line for a while, but then the price moved below this level).

The next support line lies within the 9,000 area. BTC price has already reached it and tries to break it through aiming at the next support area (8,900 level). This 9,000 area support holds the price and we think it will be able to provoke a correction at least. However, if bulls are unable to stop BTC/USD here, the currency pair will likely to fall further, until the 8,900 area support line.

Taking a look at the picture generally, we can state that the downside trend line is still in place and the downtrend develops as bulls still have not enough power and volumes to change the situation.

BTC/USD

The currency pair seems to change its mood on the daily chart as it breaks through the upside trend line. BTC/USD has met the support line within the 9,000 area, which coincides with the upper border of the Ichimoku cloud. Those are rather strong signals for a midterm reversal. However, if bulls are unable to hold the price there, it is likely to enter the Ichimoku cloud and to target the lower border of the Ichimoku cloud at least. The next support line lies below 7,000.

LTC/USD

LTC/USD

The currency pair develops its downtrend and LTC price unable to reach the downside trend line. We have noticed yesterday that LTC/USD fluctuated close to the 160.00 area, but during the Asian session, the situation has changed a lot as bears regain momentum and drive the currency pair lower.

If we look at the chart thoroughly, we can see two Shooting Star candlesticks close to the 160.00 area, which were signals for bears to resume the downtrend. Litecoin price is far below the Ichimoku cloud. The next local support lies close to the 147.00 area. We think that LTC/USD is likely to reach this level in a couple of hours.

There are two scenarios then. LTC/USD is either able to reverse there and to start a correction at least or to break out this line and to resume its downside tendency. We recommend looking for candlestick signals close to the 147.00 area.

LTC/USD

The upside midterm trend line on the daily chart was unable to prevent bears from driving LTC/USD downwards. LTC price continues to fluctuate within the Ichimoku cloud and is able to reach the lower border of the formation within a couple of days. If it happens, LTC/USD is likely to either develop its downside tendency until the next support line, which lies within the 120.00 area or to reverse form the lower border of the Ichimoku cloud aiming at its upper side.

XMR/USD

XMR/USD

The currency pair still goes downwards and has crossed another support line within the 219 area aiming at the next support, which lies close to the 214 area. Bulls are still unable to take the initiative in their hands as Monero price is far below the downside trend line, which started its formation in the first days of May 2018.

XMR/USD is also below the Ichimoku cloud. XMR price tested it yesterday but failed even to go inside the formation as it jumped off. We think that the next battle between bulls and bears will take place close to the 214 area. We recommend looking for candlestick signals there as XMR price is likely either to reject the support line or to break through it.

XMR/USD

Monero still follows the downtrend on the Daily chart as the price is below the downside trend line. It was rejected in the end of April and is still in place. XMR/USD fluctuates within the Ichimoku Cloud aiming at its lower border. If bears continue to press the currency pair, Monero will be able to reach the lower side of the Ichimoku cloud within several days. There Monero price will be able either to reverse upwards and to aim at the downside trend line or to resume its downtrend until the 172 area.

In general, we still have bears scenario as the Monero price is below the midterm downside trend line aiming at local lows.

NEO/USD

NEO/USD

The currency pair follows the others cryptocurrencies and develops its downside tendency. NEO price almost reached the 72 support line area. NEO/USD rejected the downside trend line during the Asian session confirming the power of bears and that they are still in control of the situation.

NEO price is far below the Ichimoku cloud and this is another sign of bulls’ weakness. There are two scenarios as usual– NEO/USD is likely to reject this 72 area and to reverse upwards. Another way for the currency pair is to develop its downside tendency until the next support line. We recommend looking for candlestick patterns as they may give alerts about a correction at least.

NEO/USD

If we take a look at the daily chart, we can see that NEO has recently had broken through the downside trend line but almost returned to it yesterday to test. In case of bears successfully break it out, midterm downtrend will come into force again. NEO price will able to reach the lower side of the Ichimoku cloud and to test it.

However, there is another scenario where this downside trend line holds the test and NEO price reverses upwards. Bulls have a chance to change the situation in this case and NEO/USD will aim at the upper border of the Ichimoku cloud.

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