🎤 Interviews Alexander Goborov

Excavating the Crypto Truth: Interview with the Trade's Top Gun, Eugene Loza aka EXCAVO

🎤 Interviews
In the times of the crypto crisis, we talk with one of the industry’s top traders, Eugene Loza, who is sharing his thoughts on the current market and its future
Excavating the Crypto Truth: Interview with the Trade's Top Gun, Eugene Loza aka EXCAVO
Contents

In the times of uncertainty in the fintech sector, U.Today sat down with Eugene Loza, known by many colleagues and followers as EXCAVO, to have a thorough chat. Being one of the most sought-after experts in the field of crypto trading, we wanted to get the man’s perspective on today’s situation and attempt to excavate some of the deeper buried layers of the crypto truth.

On Becoming a Trader

U.Today: You are the top trader on TradingView and a big expert in the field. Can you please give us your backstory? How did you find yourself trading cryptocurrencies?

EXCAVO: It all started when I got to attend one of Bill Hubbard’s lectures, which made me very interested. After that, I started working at a brokerage firm where I was able to formulate more questions, and my desire to learn how the whole industry works multiplied. I left the company two years later and―having promised myself to spend at least half my life learning the market inside out―entered the Kiev Institute of International Relations.

By then, I already knew quite a bit and started to publish graphs on gold and oil trade, as well as on some American and European indices. At one point, when I was working as a portfolio manager for one Canadian client, he paid my commision using Bitcoin. This is how I first got acquainted with the world of cryptocurrencies and subsequently started to delve into it, which led to where I am right now: running my own analytics company and crypto academy.

EXCAVO
Excavating the Crypto Truth: Interview with the Trade's Top Gun, Eugene Loza aka EXCAVO

U.Today: What should one keep in mind in order to stay sane and not lose one’s earnings in the process? Basically, what are the do’s and the don’ts of cryptocurrency trading?

EXCAVO:

You have to be disciplined and self-organized. Sticking to your own trading plan no matter what is an absolute must. The worst thing one can do is start jumping on a bandwagon following market trends. You need to always stay cool-headed and think twice before acting.

U.Today: What is your advice for anyone wishing to enter the market in the capacity of a crypto trader?

EXCAVO: The most important thing is how you treat the whole process: you must be serious and diligent. And, of course, experience is vital. You need to spend at least 10 000 hours learning the trade before starting to approach an expert like level.

There is such a thing as the “pickle effect”, as it is known where I come from. Everyone is born a fresh cucumber, so to speak, but if a cucumber is put into a jar with pickles and left marinating there, sooner or later, that cucumber will, too, become a pickle. Like the others in the jar. The question is how good of a pickle you are going to be. Find a decent fund or a trading company, roll up your sleeves, and soak in as much juice as you can.

Interpretations of Price and Market Cap Values

U.Today: We have recently covered a research study published by computer scientists from University College London who concluded that Reddit markers could be used to predict cryptocurrency rates. As someone whose very job is to predict crypto movements, can you share your thoughts on this?

EXCAVO: First of all, the market is comprised of people with different emotions and goals, and certainly each one with their own strategy. The crucial thing here is not to let the ground slide from under your feet in the times of hype.

In terms of Reddit, it can definitely be used to predict crypto rates. To my mind, the obvious reason is that shared information is prone to influencing one’s decision making. When large chunks of data are thrown at those involved in the crypto trade, it is bound to affect what is happening in the market.

Consequently, not only can Reddit be used to predict prices, but it can be used to actually change prices. And this is indeed what some individuals do in order that their agendas be pushed forward.

Normally, calendars are used to structure such targeted news―in case of Reddit, the so called sub-reddits―which come out at certain times to meet certain outcomes, including changes in rates, quite similar to, say, how my graphs may influence the others on TradingView.

U.Today: A seemingly trivial question, yet the one many do ask. Why is there often such a big divide between market cap and price values of cryptocurrencies? Some coins occupy virtually the same positions market cap- and unit price- wise, e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, etc. But this isn’t the case with all altcoins. For instance, Maker is currently second only to Bitcoin in terms if its unit value, but it’s not even in the top twenty by market cap. In contrast, some companies like Ripple or IOTA are among global leaders by market cap, yet the coins are valued at around 50 US cents a pop. Why so?

EXCAVO: Well, first of all, we need to understand that most of these statistics are very subjective. Arguably one of the most popular sources is CoinMarketCap, and it is a very one-sided source.

Huge sums of money that flow outside the “official” market, for example Bitcoin to local fiat exchanges on LocalBitcoins, which are often humongous amounts, are not even taken into consideration by CoinMarketCap, since these transactions are not performed by professional traders. So, official stats may not be a good indicator of how things really are.

In terms of why there is such a big divide, well, we are dealing with different parameters. Market cap figures essentially show how much has been invested into a particular currency, how much trust is in it. Price, on the other hand, reflects a) how many coins of a particular brand there are on the market, and b) how it relates to that coin’s market cap representation.

In other words, Bitcoin and Ethereum have high market cap values and high prices because much has been invested into them, and there are not too many of these coins around, comparatively speaking. With Maker, there are also not many coins around, but simultaneously not that much has been invested, hence the high price but the low market cap. With Ripple, it’s the other way around: a lot has been put into the coin by investors, hence its very high market cap figure, but at the same time there are very many coins around (100 billion in total), so the price is not high, nor was it ever planned to be.

Adoption and Latest Developments

U.Today: Are cryptocurrencies going to be widely traded for anything other than fiat currencies any time soon, e.g. gold, oil, bonds, etc? Also, when will mainstream adoption be seen outside the trading circles, as far as readily available crypto payment systems go in public places like hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, etc?

EXCAVO: In terms of trading, yes, it is possible, of course. But the real question is whether the people who are trading gold and oil need it right now. First of all, it’s not even gold, let’s not forget, it’s gold futures, i.e. future prices of gold, that’s how much confidence and capital these folks have. And they are not likely to move away from what they are comfortable with and leap into something unfamiliar and volatile unless they see that there is more opportunity for them in cryptocurrencies. When they see it for a fact, they will surely move in for the kill.

As for oil, it’s a different story altogether. These business sharks―namely Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and City Bank―also trade futures, and they are all working under the Federal Reserve system. And, of course, oil trade is based on the USD and USD alone, by its very definition, thanks to Henry Kissinger. So this is a political issue.

The US government simply won't allow any other, non-USD type, exchanges unless these exchanges begin to serve the government’s own interests. So, yes, crypto traders are ready to incorporate other commodities, be it metals or oil, into their exchanges, but it’s mainly the other side that has to reciprocate at this point. Sooner or later, it will probably happen, but not just yet.

As for adoption of crypto payments all across the board, this will absolutely happen, and it is happening already as we speak, as more places are offering crypto payment options in Europe and Asia. Similar to how we all use credit cards and mobile banking, crypto wallets are being incorporated into our lives as well. It is as easy and convenient as traditional banking, but it’s also much safer. In the centralized banking sector, you are likely one day to be told that you cannot withdraw your funds, for one reason or another, as it happened in Greece during their last big financial crisis when you could not take out more that 300 USD of your own money in one go.

With decentralized banking and crypto options, no one can ever tell you how much you can or cannot withdraw, or indeed what you do with your money and how you do it.  This is crypto’s main advantage by far.

U.Today: Can you single out any strong newcomers to the market, be it cryptocurrencies or platforms? Anyone or anything to watch out for?

EXCAVO: I am reluctant to name any particular players, as I am not here to advertise, but I can tell you that security tokens will go a long away. With most altcoins, there is no auditing and hence no dependability, while most big players, understandably, do not want to roll the dice and invest into a black hole.

With a security token, there is much more stability, and it is much more stringently regulated. It is essentially a more secure version of your regular altcoin. As a result, the business is a lot more transparent, and your chances of being swindled are minimized greatly. One platform that specializes in security tokens that I can single out is Polymath, but that’s as far as I am willing to go with dropping names and brands.

To this I can add that information waves are always at play. Right now not too many people know about these security tokens, but as soon as enough people learn about their existence, there will be a rush, surely.

U.Today: You have recently attended the Blockchain Life Forum in St Petersburg, Russia. Were there any memorable moments for you during the event, any highlights?

EXCAVO: Generally speaking, I was very pleased to attend the forum and speak there. I must note that the standard was very high, both the official part and the unofficial after party. There were many decent speakers and experts. One panel I was on voiced an array of different opinions and methods, all with a very high level of professionalism.

Networking was ever present at the forum, which was great, of course. I, for one, even ran into one of my subscribers from TradingView―a fellow Brazilian trader from a Swiss fund―entirely by accident. This just shows how international both the forum and the crypto community at large have grown.

Insights into the Ongoing Bitcoin Crisis

U.Today: What are your predictions as we’re starting to slowly approach the New Year? We are currently going through a crypto crisis with Bitcoin’s price way down. What’s going to happen next?

EXCAVO: I was actually expecting the crisis, to tell you the truth, so to me this didn’t come as a shock. The technical analysis I do and other market pointers were good indicators that this was coming. The cycle was nearing its end.

Make no mistake, this crisis was man-made, like any other one. Certain individuals and companies with vested interests wanted the price of Bitcoin to plummet. When the price is down, you buy cheap and later sell for more when the price climbs back up, which it will at some point. For a big player all that matters is the long term, three to five years, sometimes even ten. As Rockefeller once said: “The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets”.

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As for other cryptocurrencies, before the end of this year other, somewhat smaller players will emerge victorious, and mini bubbles will probably pop up. Those that have proven themselves on the market already, especially the ones with their own blockchains, are more likely to succeed, followed by the previously mentioned security tokens a little ways down the road.

Ripple will grow, surely. So will Japanese NEM. Ethereum is currently down but for reasons very different from Bitcoin’s collapse: they are restructuring and cutting out the unneeded players on its massive platform. Once it’s done, the company will recover briskly.

Bitcoin Cash is in a state of utter mess: this second fork has made the company lose all its claim to the “real Bitcoin” ambition it had previously laid out. It’s still unclear what’s going to happen next, as it is not a financial issue anymore. One thing is clear to me though: Roger Ver must be kicking himself right now.

The Future of Blockchain and DLT

U.Today: What is the future of Blockchain in general? Whereas initially Blockchain was realized in terms of finance mostly, first Bitcoin and then other altcoins, now the tendency has partially shifted toward decentralized social networking sites? What do you think the future will bring?

EXCAVO: Blockchain and DLT will appear in many parts of our lives, from politics to medicine. Imagine, I have to go to a hospital in another country, for argument’s sake. There, they have no idea who I am, what my medical history is, my state of health as a child, etc. All that information is somewhere on the other side of the world, and in another language, with no access to it, let alone instant access. With the Blockchain technology today, this problem is no more. My medical history, universally available, can be accessed and made use of as easily as ordering a cab on your phone.

Of course, the other side of it is privacy, which we will see less and less of. Ironically enough, Blockchain’s decentralized nature from the technical standpoint is more centralized than anything else from the social standpoint, as everything about you is floating there in public space. But that’s the price we have to pay for progress, and it’s pretty much inevitable.

You get an iPhone, let’s say. It’s flashy and new, and you can unlock your screen with a finger tip. Great. But folks at Apple now have your fingerprint along with all your other personal information. We surrender our privacy for the sake of convenience. There are no two ways about it. So, where we ultimately end up is up to whoever is at the steering wheel, be it policy makers or company directors.

On the plus side, once again, it is making and will continue to make our lives easier. Companies like Mars, which are Blockchain’s patent bureaus, are gaining in strength, so the whole game is becoming better organized, more comprehensible to a non-geek, clearer and fairer.

In terms of decentralized social networks, yes, they may be on the rise. Any business works via crests (highs) and troughs (lows). If there is a trough with centralized networks, it can lead to a crest with decentralized ones. Binance, for instance, has come a long way, because at the time it had no real competitors as such. Everyone else was in a downward spiral, so people came to Binance to find a feasible alternative. Likewise, if users find themselves dissatisfied with, say, Facebook, and there is another, decentralized option on the table, they will surely give it a try, and if the new platform lives up to their expectations, they will stick to it, naturally.

All in all, financially, socially, and politically, we are at a crossroads, and more signs point to the fact that, one way or the other, we are going to take the Blockchain/DLT route, or at the very least we aren’t going to drive in the opposite direction, nor head for an early exit.

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Trust Arms Race in the Age of Cryptography: Max Borders Interview

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Future can be viewed as a positive-sum game if brain creativity is accommodated by smart contracts and greed is leveraged by prosocial ends: Max Borders
Trust Arms Race in the Age of Cryptography: Max Borders Interview
Contents

Cyril Gilson, Evgeny Konstantinov.

Futurist Max Borders is author of The Social Singularity: A Decentralist Manifesto. He is also Executive Director of Social Evolution, a non-profit dedicated to solving social problems through innovation, a widely published writer and co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit.

UToday discusses with Max Borders the future of communities in the age of the coming technological singularity, a new big thing after the attention economy, the failures and hopes of the US as a project, decentralization, FAGMA and the crypto market as a non-zero sum game.

UToday: Could trust economy be the next big thing, after the attention economy?

Max Borders: That is the optimistic vision of The Social Singularity, I think, though I did not put it specifically in those terms. If we can program incentive systems and networks that give rise to trust, people will almost always prefer those and will migrate to them where possible. I don’t want to overstate my optimism, however.

This is a long game. Big companies and big governments have lots of sticks and carrots at their disposal. And they will use them.

Many people have a deep inner urge not only to believe in the promises of central authority but to submit to it. So whatever the alternatives are, they must be robust and far more attractive than the status-quo system. Migrating between systems must be a simple, low-cost proposition on the part of the defectors or those who are ready to move out onto the frontiers of the network age.

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Incentivizing trust

UToday:  Do you think trust can be monopolized by the Leviathan (state/corporations) as it almost happened with attention?

Max Borders: Certainly not. Trust is more or less the product of repeated positive interaction among people. In the former Soviet bloc, people developed clever and systematic ways to evade the state’s panopticon, relying heavily on bonds of trust that amounted to winks, nods and robust black markets. Paradoxically, people in the former Soviet bloc also developed cheater's mores, but I’ll leave that for now. But people imagine they can trust central authorities, and some generally regard the state as generally trustworthy, as they are under the spell of thinking that angels are meant to be in power.

So, in the age of cryptography and connection, I worry there will be a trust arms race between central hierarchies and prosocial networks. But I hope trustful networks will prevail over attempts to create third-party leviathans that promise trust.

The hypothesis is that if positive interactions are rewarded and negative interactions are not, then trust will be more likely to be a happy by-product. But that hypothesis could be wrong.

UToday: Game theory says that trust (as in trust between people) can only evolve in a non-zero sum game. Do you agree?

Max Borders: This strikes me as at least intuitive (unless the game is a negative sum of course). It’s certainly a good heuristic for designing incentive systems. But those systems will compete in a kind of evolutionary fitness landscape, which we hope will generate the most prosocial systems while the anti-social systems die off.

That said, I don’t want to give the impression that all systems should be “trustless” in the way that some distributed ledgers are designed to disintermediate. I think some systems can and should hypermediate, which means that they involve more participants with different perspectives and subjective points-of-view.

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Subversive innovation USA

UToday: The US pretty much started as a utopia attempt (and a voice & exit thing). What place do you think the US has in this subversive innovation that's currently happening?

Max Borders: The US project, a constitutional order, was a valuable and instructive one. But it is essentially dead. The processes of institutional corruption, like power in collusion with money (obscured as it is by the spectacle of electoral politics), has created a system that basically trundles along but has lost its way. So it’s time for an upgrade.

That upgrade won’t happen by the reflection of legislators in deliberative bodies. It will happen by entrepreneurs and innovators offering alternatives that are just too tempting to pass up.

Such is not to say that there are no subversive innovators here in the US. We are everywhere. It is rather to say that the US’s social operating system is getting buggy. And that is true for most of the Westphalian nation states whose people are temporarily trapped in old nationalisms, and whose leaders aren’t coming to grips with the decentralization that is now unfolding before our very eyes. The days of central power are numbered. The forces of change can only be stopped if the world’s leaders agree to be way more totalitarian than they are. But even totalitarianism can only work for a time.

UToday: Is voting based on Blockchain (as in presidential elections) outside of the scope of change?

Max Borders: If it’s not, it should be. Blockchain-based voting rather misses the point of what’s possible with these new systems. And to be fair, I don’t care a jot about voting in the sense of majoritarian rule. The worship of democracy that is so pronounced in Western nations like the US strikes me as a failure of imagination coupled with an implicit bias to vote oneself goodies or to express one’s values without having to do the hard work. The hard work is to build participatory communities that attract and retain members.

My hypothesis is that this new market in governance forms will challenge all of these older ideas about the relationship between the government and the governed- not to mention they’ll challenge the idea that jurisdictions should be attached to terra firma.

Let us, therefore, pluck our governance from the cloud. Let a thousand experiments bloom. Then let 80 percent of those experiments die or evolve- over and over, ceaselessly. There will be no end of history. There will only be new governance systems that emerge victorious for a time until something better comes along- where “better” is in the eye of the beholder.

UToday:  During your 2017 Burning Man speech, you said: "Bitcoiners are extremely ultra left-brained." Could you expand on this?

Max Borders: ”Left-brained” is shorthand for logical, rational- with a tendency to view the world through a systems lens. Many of the early adopters of Bitcoin were geeks and coders, for example. This is a good thing on the net.

We need armies of Vitaliks rewriting humanity’s source codes.

But the next phase will be how to accommodate the creatives, the artists, and those with insights that are not always translatable into stark on/off binary thinking exemplified by smart contracts.

UToday: Any ideas on how right brain creativity can work with Blockchain algorithms? Would you say that Steemit does it in a way?

Max Borders: This is a hard question, particularly for me because I am not a software developer. Tentatively, I would suggest that it depends on which level of description you’re talking about. So on the one hand, you might get very left-brained systems at the protocol level, but these systems can give rise to forms of interaction that are a lot fuzzier and distinctively human.

On the other hand, it’s a bigger challenge to think about how one builds fuzziness in at the protocol level. Such questions are admittedly beyond my ability to answer. However, I think creatives and coders will discover new ways to interact in complementary ways that will generate amazing opportunities for human flourishing.

Steemit is an interesting early effort, but I think there is a lot more to come. A simple current example might be improved UX/UI, guided by more intuitive minds. So much of what we have to deal with now is neither simple nor terribly secure (such as keeping up with goddamn private keys, or a thousand passwords).

I would like to see society’s most vulnerable people using cryptocurrencies, for example. But that will happen only to the extent that we can make interfaces for human beings instead of just Vulcans.

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Prosocial greed

UToday:  The crypto market has some characteristics of a non-zero sum game. With more money flowing into crypto, more people are going to get rich. So greed, in a way, is fuelling the move to decentralization. Do you agree?

Max Borders: Yes. Greed, or at least self-interest, will almost always be the primary driver of progress. My organization, Social Evolution, is currently working on a system of mutual aid that attempts to harnesses both self-interest and altruism within a single system. I hope this will become a “killer app” because we are both greedy and altruistic creatures by shades. But I’m under no illusions: you have to get the incentives right. The very idea of incentives imbeds the idea of our basic self-interest. It’s in our bones as a species. Greed cannot be jettisoned. It must be leveraged. But hopefully, we can leverage it to prosocial ends.

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FAGMA

UToday: But generally, isn’t it too much hype about decentralization? Is it becoming a myth, with FAGMA (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon) putting whole industries out of business?

Max Borders: We shall see. FAGMA has massive network effects, which will be hard to overcome. But they’ll only be able to stick around if they are able to match the powerful incentives these new systems will soon offer potential defectors. Whether or not decentralization is or is not a myth will turn on whether the innovations A) reduce transition costs and B) offer benefits to the degree that the value of the old systems can be replaced as people defect.

To be honest, I am currently a slave to FAGMA. And I derive a lot of value from those relationships. I wrote The Social Singularity using a Mac, on Google docs, promoted on Facebook and sold via Amazon. I guess that makes me a shitty decentralist, despite having written the book.

That fact notwithstanding, we’re still in the DNA and single-cell stages of what will become a Great Barrier Reef of technological change. When the developers get the products right, we might just get to a tipping point.

AI beating humanity?

UToday:  Could AIs beat the humanity in decentralization, growing their own Mycelial Network?

Max Borders: Egad! It makes my head hurt to consider this possibility. But it is a possibility. My hope is that we are able in some sense to merge with AI before it comes to regard us as a competitor or a cancer. I hope it thinks of us as a companion or a continuation of its being. Can AI evolve empathy? Love? Will it feel at all? Or will it evolve into something more insidious and unstoppable?

My hope is that as we upgrade our collective intelligence (CI) we will co-evolve with AI and form common “mycelial” networks that give rise to something far greater than we can currently imagine.

And I gather that such wild predictions loop back to the first question above about life on earth viewed as a positive-sum game. We really don’t have a choice but to be optimistic. Because CI and AI are going to push us into a future that is not really of our choosing. And as CI and AI weave together, we will be as demigods operating in the form of expanded consciousness and intelligence that is right now the stuff of dreams.

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Put Your Hookup on Blockchain: Adryenn Ashley Brings Responsible Sexy Back

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Adryenn Ashley’s dating app Loly is out to solve the dating crisis and heal the #MeToo epidemic
Put Your Hookup on Blockchain: Adryenn Ashley Brings Responsible Sexy Back
Contents

America is experiencing a dating crisis, and it’s about time cutting edge technology was harnessed to address it. Even prominent venture capitalist Tim Draper agrees that modern dating is a problem that needs a solution.

Adryenn Ashley, the CEO and founder of dating app Loly, is the woman getting close to providing that solution.

Loly implements all the hottest technologies– Blockchain, cryptocurrency, augmented reality and digital identity– to make the dating experience safe, secure and completely natural.

More than that, putting trust and consent on an immutable ledger has the potential of encouraging people to take responsibility for their choices, in personal relationships and elsewhere. Improving humanity through a better dating experience? Sign us up.

Katya Michaels: How did you first discover Blockchain?

Adryenn Ashley: I've been in Bitcoin for almost 10 years. I'm a startup consultant, now an ICO consultant as well, and I was asked to take my consulting fee in crypto. That was 2009, and if I could ever recover those Bitcoin, I would never have to work again.

KM: What do you find most exciting about Blockchain technology?

AA: Blockchain is an un-****-with-able register of what actually happened. That means there's no go-backsies, you have to own your words and your choices. Blockchain is going to force society into a role it has not been in since the fifties, and I think that's going to be one of the unsung blessings of this technology.

There are things that need Blockchain and there are things that don't– 99 percent of businesses do not need Blockchain. However, the ones that do, voting records, health records, will be changed significantly. I cannot wait until people are no longer dying because of prescription conflicts because nobody bothered to look at their medical record. That will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

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Never break the Blockchain

KM: How does your dating platform Loly implement Blockchain?

АА: There are two different reasons why we need Blockchain. One is digital identity.

If you're like most women, you get hit on by men who are married and if you're like most men, you get hit on by women who aren't real– they’re bots or scammers.

From both sides, it is difficult to ascertain that people are who they really say they are, and we use a digital ID product to verify that.

Your sexual preference data is held in your own device and it's encrypted. Your data is your data. It's not held in our servers. We have security protocols, but even if we are hacked, all they’re going to get is a username and encrypted password. We don’t hold a database which could reveal sensitive information.

The other way we use Blockchain is sexual consent.

We have this #MeToo epidemic, people on both sides not owning their choices, not owning their decisions. But decisions cannot be edited retroactively. Verified consent gives women the safety, security and certainty that they need to say yes, and it gives men the insurance that the yes that they heard last night stays a yes tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, a decade from now.

That's a key piece of Blockchain– that it's immutable. You can't go back and change the records.

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Compos mentis: owning your choices

KM: How does the consent mechanism work in real time? People tend to be emotional in intimate situations and prone to changing their mind unexpectedly.

AA: What our consent does is it opens a consent window, so when you have your fun, then you check out. To verify that this whole experience was consensual, you're agreeing up front and then you are agreeing that you agreed, at the end. It's like a post-nup.

At any time during that encounter, you can change your mind. I factor that in because sometimes, all of a sudden, you can freak out– maybe you're doing it for the wrong reasons, maybe something comes up that changes the encounter. You can still use the app to check out successfully.

Another piece of this revolutionary protocol is about getting people to really understand what they want and to be honest with themselves. You can change your preference data and what you’re looking for in real time. If it’s 2:00 in the morning in a Las Vegas Hotel room and you just want some company, that's very different than “at this moment in time I’m searching for my soulmate.” If you're looking for a long-term relationship at 2:00 in the morning, you're not going to find the right people.

When you sign up for the platform, you enter an ethical contract that basically says– things happen, people change their minds and everybody's going to agree to be kind. I call it the “no douchebags/no crazy chicks” policy.

We're trying to weed out the problem people and create a community.

Seventy percent of the women on existing dating apps have been celibate for more than a year, not by choice but because they cannot find an appropriate match. When you're swiping through these apps, all you have is a photo. People match thousands of times, but the way it works is just not in the moment. The way that we have set it up is as organic and natural as bumping into somebody at the grocery store.

KM: You mentioned Blockchain putting people in situations of taking responsibility for their decisions and choices. I feel there's a question of how ready people are for taking that responsibility.

AA: Oh, we’ve turned into lemmings. We’ve told every woman that she's a victim, that she's got this glass ceiling and that she's not responsible because someone is victimizing her and someone else is to blame. That culture has got to end.

We have to get back to the point where we own our choices, our handshake is our word. Because then and only then are we actually going to move forward as a society.

The trajectory that we have been on is not good for women— the victim mentality and the Violence Against Women Act. I created the California Alliance for Families and Children with a core group of people and we did a large study which showed that domestic violence in the United States, it's 50/50: 30 percent man on woman, 30 percent woman on man and 40 percent mutual. Nobody ever wants to admit that. You these narratives created for power that do not serve the people. That's a problem.

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Beyond the #MeToo bandwagon

KM: I'm getting a sense that you're going to have a unique perspective on the women in Blockchain discourse. Do you feel that the space has changed in the past 10 years in terms of opportunities for and treatment of women?

AA: I have a very skewed perspective, you're right. I'm the only female ever in the cigar room with the Titans who have never asked me out in 30 years. Why? The answer was – I’m a valuable asset, not a female.

Certainly, there are men who are predators and they needed to be called out. The tech industry is similar to the entertainment industry. Everybody knows who the predators are, but nobody's talking about it. And I think that's the problem.

I did have some issues with #MeToo, with the pile on, because I have a friend who got thrown under the bus, I feel unjust. In this case, I was there, I saw that the woman started it and then jumped on the #MeToo bus.

And yet, it's OK in our society for women to behave like that. I think that is actually going to be the downfall of women if we don't hold each other accountable to better behavior and owning our choices.

The women who are dressed properly, have a business pitch, no flirtation, not leaning on their femininity–  those women getting hit on, that has to stop. I don't think everybody has to lose their femininity and vulnerability, but it's hard to create a safe place for everyone. Because of that, the fact that we have women in Blockchain and women investing in women allows us to focus more on creating opportunity in a safe pipeline, a safe funnel for women that need the extra support.

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A Blue Ocean amidst bro culture

AA:

If we create the infrastructure and the environment where women feel safe, they will thrive. We already know that women are a better investment. They're a better long-term risk. They're gonna make more money, they're going to fail less, they're going to work harder, they're going to put more into it.

We already know this, so women should be getting more investment, but they're not– just because of the way the system is designed. Unless you’re a 25-year-old Stanford grad, Asian male, you can't write something on a napkin and get a $5 mln seed round.

In addition, with this whole #MeToo thing, we now have the blowback which is men not taking any meetings with women. That's going to take a while to settle down. It's up to the women in Blockchain, the women in tech to create that safe place for the men to come in who will support women. When these men end up making a lot more money, that's where we get to have our “I told you so” moment. Then the industry will shift. We have to create our own breaks.

Instead of trying to change the existing bro culture, we have to do a Blue Ocean Strategy from scratch where we go– here's what we're doing over here. Blockchain gives women the opportunity to do it and democratizes the entire investment field with ICOs, token sales.

Normally, we would have to pitch a VC, and in my case, they wouldn’t touch a dating app– even though the only apps out there are mostly built by men and they don't address what women need, to feel safe, secure and certain to say yes.

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Omnipotence addiction

KM: Many people feel that technology has infringed too much on human interaction. We have apps to help us communicate, take care of each other, spy on each other. Now Blockchain introduces a kind of technology-assisted trust. Do you feel that’s something that might be difficult for people to accept? Or are we tired enough of ambiguity to be ready for it?

AA: I'm tired of being asked out by married men. I’m tired of going out to dinner with men that I think are single and available only to find out that they are not. I'm definitely ready to only date available, eligible, appropriate people, and I need technology to do that.

What's interesting is it's already in our everyday life. Our phones are listening to us all the time. I've sold my soul to Google and Apple, and I'm OK with that, it makes my life easier. I have tried to function without them. I go on cruises where they don't have internet and it's frightening– I’m on shore in Turkey, trying to figure out how to type on the Turkish keyboard in an internet cafe.

Is there an addiction? Yes, I have an omnipotence addiction. I am omnipotent when I have my phone and my laptop, I can find or do anything I need to. There's no escaping technology.

I think that you would have to convert to be Amish if you want to avoid it and that is backbreaking labor, I'm not sure I'm up for it.

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Bitcoin, Blockchain and love

KM: Any predictions about Bitcoin and mass crypto adoption, when is that coming?

AA: So there are several apps coming out, mine being one of them, that are mainstream and understandable. We're calling them apps, not wallets. These are projects that everyone can adapt and learn to use. People will create digital identities in order to use these products.

That will help with mainstream adoption. We're at five percent now– it's the tipping point. I expect we’ll be 30-35 percent by the end of 2019. I think Bitcoin is going to hit $30,000 by the end of the year.

I said $10,000 by the end of last year and it hit $20,000, it was $10,000 in November. I said that when it was $800 and my friends thought I was crazy. It's math, and I majored in math, so I'm pretty sure I can read the algorithm.

Because it’s diminishing supply, proof of work gets harder– Bitcoin is designed to increase in value, so it will.

KM: Your token generating event is coming up. Do you think regulations are going to impede token offerings in general?

AA: I think there will be laws passed that will make it easier. I think that every prosecution so far should have been prosecuted, in the same way, had they been stocks, not tokens. Fraud, Ponzi, misrepresentation– that's already illegal. That should continue to be illegal in the token economy. Do the right thing, own your choices.

I prefer to run token sales like a Kickstarter for subway tokens– full utility. I check with the SEC first. We're running a fully compliant utility token. If you want to buy in bulk, you're going to have to get a reseller agreement, but it's not for investment purposes.

It’s for love. Who doesn't want to get laid?

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🤷 Opinions Urvashi Verma

Daniel Hyman of SingularDTV: Blockchain Will Revolutionize $2.3 tln Entertainment Industry

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A new kind of funding relationship between the artist and fan is imminent.
Daniel Hyman of SingularDTV: Blockchain Will Revolutionize $2.3 tln Entertainment Industry
Contents

Blockchain technology is revolutionizing a $2.3 tln global media and entertainment industry, making artists into economies and putting artists, producers, and the audiences on a level playing field for the first time.

After international DJ and artist Gramatik raised $2.25 mln in 24 hours using a Blockchain-based platform called Tokit developed by SingularDTV last November,  the world took notice.

The Tokit platform enables artists to embed their intellectual property rights, revenue, and royalties into digital tokens that run on a decentralized Ethereum Blockchain.  

Gramatik became one of the first artists to "tokenize" , or launch a digital token which could be purchased by investors and fans who shared a common goal of supporting and funding his projects.   In return, those who bought his token could now have equity in the artist himself and profit from the revenue generated directly from his work.

In an exclusive interview with CryptoComes, Daniel Hyman, ‎vice-president of Entertainment Finance & Development of ‎SingularDTV, says:

“After the convergence of streaming and blockchain, it was imminent that a new kind of funding relationship between the artist and fan was going to emerge.”

Hyman says that Gramatik’s success will translate into a higher token price for his fans and investors because for the first time the industry and audiences have a transparent and trackable means of measuring value through Blockchain.

To understand how we got to this point, Hyman says it's important to take a step back.

SingularDTV started as an initial token launch of the Ethereum-based Blockchain test projects including a decentralized television show and documentary, and evolved into a new frontier of digital distribution.

Today the US- and Swiss-based company offers the entire infrastructure for artists to tokenize their intellectual property and an in-house studio, enabling entertainment industry professionals to finance, develop, produce and distribute content worldwide.

The Digital Revolution  

As the world’s mass adoption of mobile devices, tablets, and computers dramatically increased, digital streaming emerged as a new method of transmitting or receiving data, especially video and audio.

Digital streaming led a cataclysmic change in the way people consumed media.

The success of YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify allowed artists to connect with millions of people across the globe; however, a means of monetizing that momentum was missing. The emergence of Blockchain and digital tokens solved that problem, says Hyman.

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The Artist

A digital technology like Tokit gives artists a direct portal to their viewers and people who want to consume their content, allowing them to circumvent traditional gatekeepers and maintain their authenticity.

“In the past, artists have relied on traditional gatekeepers to launch themselves, which often came with the huge cost of sacrificing their vision. Artists can come to our platform and say I want to fund a music video, a short film, and offer equity participation to their audiences which empowers them to continue to produce the kind of content they and their audience desires.”

Introducing equity participation can serve as a regulator of piracy, a big issue for the entertainment industry.  If fans and audiences are invested in the success of an artist through equity investment, they are far less likely to commit piracy and may also sheriff others.

The Audience

Streaming allowed audiences to select when, where and what to watch and listen to. Audiences today are far more discerning about the artists they support and are getting smarter in the way they spend their money.

“The aim for us is to be a platform that really connects the audience to their artists.  I would be thrilled to know that money I am spending will directly go to the artist and towards creating more content that I want.”

The best way to understand what the audience wants is to establish an instantaneous and direct relationship, which is exactly what Blockchain has enabled. Today’s audiences want to participate in the process, and it’s reflected in the kind of content that is emerging.

“There are less happy endings and more open endings, and subjects are left to the audiences interpretation. Less of the canned act 1,2,3, start to finish content. There are forums, discussion platforms.”

Card

The  Industry

Perhaps the most significant impact of Blockchain-based technologies like Tokit is that they bring a level of transparency and efficiency to the industry which just did not exist before.

Transparency

Investors can now track and assess everything at the transactional level which provides a considerable advantage compared with the past. Blockchain technology puts all moving parts into one place and simultaneously shares the information throughout the production process.

“This kind of transparency wasn’t accessible in the past. Today, investors can know exactly where the money is being spent, how it's being used and can track areas of impact in real-time.”

Instantaneous Feedback

Blockchain enables investors to track investments and returns instantaneously and use the information to capitalize on opportunities in real-time.

“In a world where an artist’s content can be streamed in seconds, it takes six months to get a report about how much they have earned.  It takes a year to get a report on how your film is doing. We want to compress the timeline and make it immediate.”

Paving the  Road to Middle Markets

Investing in the entertainment industry has always been regarded as high-risk. For this reason, the majority of the investment is channeled either into ultra-low budget productions, or people put money behind safe big mainstream projects. Transparency reduces the risk for investors and can invigorate middle market film and music projects that are often overlooked, says Hyman.

No One Is Being Left Out

As artists and audiences connect more directly using Tokit like platforms, Hyman says that there will be even greater need for people to facilitate scaling and distribution and in the end, no one will really be left out.

“No one will be left out.  All we want to do is help everyone share information and streamline the process. If you don’t innovate technologically, you will lose, that’s why film investment has fallen."

Hyman says the response from the community has been tremendous, after SingularDTV featured its platform at the Tribeca and several other film festivals.

“Everyone is really excited. We have seen interest from talent, producers and tech folk who all want to work together to solve industry problems.”

As far as upcoming projects, Hyman says that SDTV plans to dive deeper into the Sci-Fi space and is rallying a few unnamed disruptors, which it intends to disclose soon.

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🎤 Interviews Katya Michaels

Vinny Lingham On Bitcoin Future and Next Crypto Star: Exclusive to CryptoComes

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The Bitcoin Oracle remains bullish on the cryptocurrency market: exclusive interview with Vinny Lingham
Vinny Lingham On Bitcoin Future and Next Crypto Star: Exclusive to CryptoComes
Contents

 

Vinny Lingham Talks to CryptoComes About the Aggressive Market, the Next Crypto Star, and Personal Data Security.

CryptoComes will surprise no one by confessing that we have been waiting for a turn at Vinny Lingham’s dispensary of uncanny cryptocurrency wisdom, especially given the market turmoil of the last few months. We got the chance at last week’s StartEngine ICO 2.0 Spring Summit in Los Angeles. Over a hurried breakfast between a panel on “The State of ICO Regulation” and his flight out to the next destination, Vinny shared some industry insights which we dutifully pass on to our readers - until the next encounter with the Bitcoin Oracle…

Katya Michaels: You are known for your predictions. So, are you always right?

Vinny Lingham: No, but you only need to be right half the time to be an oracle.

KM: Still, how do you do it? Is it just common sense?

VL: It’s more fundamental base, market timing, psychology, and so on. I'm not always right about it. I do also think that the market's been a bit too aggressive lately. But things can't go up forever, that quickly, it doesn't work that way.

Bitcoin Cash

KM: In any case, your predictions about Bitcoin Cash are being confirmed. Is there something inherent that makes it grow?

Vinny Lingham:

The network effect around Bitcoin Cash is growing faster than Bitcoin. It's a smaller currency, so it will grow faster, but the question is - can it catch up to Bitcoin. That still remains to be seen. Bitcoin has a network effect that is second to none.

KM: How far do you think Bitcoin Cash will go this year? Do you have a figure in mind?

VL: I don't, we'll see how it goes. It depends on whether or not it decouples from Bitcoin. Right now it trades in the range of Bitcoin, and it needs to decouple significantly, which might take a long time.

KM: Most cryptocurrencies seem to follow Bitcoin’s movement in the market. Do you think this can change?

VL: Yes, once you have stable coins and security tokens, they will be able to move on their own.

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Next big Crypto star

KM: Who is the next big star in Crypto - Cardano? EOS perhaps?

Vinny Lingham:

The next star is Filecoin, when it goes live eventually, later this year maybe. I invested in 2014 and I’m a big believer in the technology, the team and what they are doing.

KM: Are you still critical of Litecoin?

VL: I still don't understand Litecoin enough. I don't know how it's different from Bitcoin, except that it's a little bit faster. I still don't get it - maybe I'll never get it.

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Personal data security

KM: Your own project, Civic, addresses the security of identity and personal data. In the aftermath of Cambridge Analytica, how can Blockchain help users regain control of their information? Do you think there are any viable Blockchain based challenges to Facebook right now?

Vinny Lingham:

I don't think that Facebook has any challenges right now because it's just too big. Two billion people onboarding to something else is not going to happen anytime soon.

I do think that you can enhance user privacy by moving to solutions like Civic where people can control their own data and authorize who can see it and who can use it. But replacing Facebook right now is impossible, you can just build something different.

KM: Do you think people are ready to own and be in control of their data?

VL: I think a lot of people are ready and they want it, it's just not there for them yet.

KM: What are the main challenges to the adoption of identity-management platforms like Civic?

VL: The biggest challenge right now is that the current regulations don't really force companies to be cognizant of the use of data that they are storing. Now GDPR in Europe is coming in next month, and I think US regulations are coming as well. Adoption will happen when we have government regulations forcing companies to be responsible and they have to look at solutions like Civic.

Adoption

KM: What do you think is the best platform right now for decentralized applications and smart contracts?

VL: I think EOS.

KM: It seems that people misunderstand Blockchain applications and smart contracts a lot at the moment.

VL: Very much so. Everyone says “we can do all these cool things,” but no one is actually doing anything with it, there are no use cases.

KM: Why do you think that is?

Vinny Lingham:

It's early stage technology, that's always the case. The dream is there, the reality is a nightmare.

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KM: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are some of the most exciting technology developments now. What is the big next influence or application of that in crypto?

VL: I think it's just about finding use cases, a way that we could use this technology, something really cool. And it needs to be used at scale, it can't be five transactions a day. Even if use cases are there, adoption takes time - adoption takes longer than scaling. You can always scale things if you have enough adoption.

KM: And what is the key to encouraging adoption?

VL: Focusing less on the technology and more on the use cases. Also, getting companies to buy into it - companies aren't using blockchains right now, .01 percent maybe.

KM: Are the costs of transition too high?

Vinny Lingham:  

It's going to take a while. Look at the internet, it took 30 years to adopt, starting in the 70s and 80s. Why do we think it's going to be different this time? I'm not bearish, I'm bullish on it, but these things don't happen overnight, it takes time.

KM: But will the market climb back or is this it?

VL: I think I'm expecting one more big dip, then it'll come back and we’ll see how it goes.

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How to Prevent Attackers From Hacking Blockchain Nodes: Professor of Cryptography Opinion

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“It looks like no one really tackles this problem right now- but they should”
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Sebastian Gajek is Professor of Cryptography and Information Security and founder of Weeve, a startup in the Berlin ecosystem that brings IoT and Blockchain together. We talk with Mr. Gajek about cybersecurity and vulnerabilities in crypto industry and community.

Cyril Gilson: What can be done to prevent from happening someone hacking nodes in Blockchain, the problem similar to what happened with EOS?

Sebastian Gajek: The recent attack against EOS is about using vulnerabilities in their software that allows to hack the nodes. The consequence was that the attackers could extract secret key material and this allows them to fully control the nodes. It is the worst thing that can happen to any consensus protocol.

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We have developed a very special operation system called the WeeveOS. It is an open-source project available on our GitHub. The operating system leverages cutting-edge security and privacy technologies. So, for example, we use a technique in order to isolate the secret keys from the rest of the operating system. This means in the case of EOS if WeeveOS operating system had been in place when the attacker compromised the nodes, they had got control over the nodes but were unable to extract the secret keys.  

This way you have more security and more trust in the network. We are going to release our operating system officially at Ethereum Dev Conference. A pre-release of the WeeveOS is already available through our GitHub.

We believe a lot of Blockchain technologies like EOS, like Ethereum, like HyperLedger really need to secure the nodes. It looks like no one really tackles this problem right now. This is bad because consensus protocols only work when one can trust the nodes. But for this you really need some super strong security technologies, otherwise, you will not get the trust by the quorum.

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Other vulnerabilities

CG: What other vulnerabilities do you see lately?

Sebastian Gajek: It’s like the general problem with cybercrimes: nodes are just some kind of programs, programs are written by humans and humans make mistakes. It’s natural right? Otherwise, humans would be machines.

Making mistakes is part of our genes. It looks that programming, for example, smart contracts, is like a new art.

People are now trying to understand what it really takes in order to program a proper smart contract. This is one main source where I see a lot of attacks and where devs really have to do better due diligence, take more care and verify whether the smart contract makes sense.

For example, ICOs might have fragile smart contract tokens and could be subject to those attacks.

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False smart contracts

CG: Could you give some examples of this?

Sebastian Gajek: The number one running example is the DAO. That was the greatest example, showcasing what happens if you design the smart contract in a false way. The result was clear, a lot of coins have been shifted differently than expected.

This is a canonical example showcasing you have to put a lot of care in designing smart contracts, and the same holds now for designing the programs that implement nodes. The attack I described against EOS is based on a similar problem. One where developers develop just design some kind of code and have not been careful enough.

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CG: Is there a way for individual investors in crypto to find out how secure is the system? Some indicators?

The point is the whole Blockchain technology is still  young in comparison to other IT industries. I see now first consulting companies building up exactly a kind of business to figure out whether a smart contract is vulnerable. Similar services have to be applied, for example in order to verify whether the nodes are also free from vulnerabilities.

Again this is ongoing work because people first of all have to learn how to properly program and then other people will build up services on top of that in order to verify whether the programming was correct.

Blockchain will change the Internet. It’s just a matter of time until these consulting companies will figure out there’s a huge cake, so they will hire specialists that do have the right skills, in order to give you a better understanding of what’s good or bad.

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CG: Before deciding whether to take part of ICOs or not, investors check the team, go over some lists, but I don’t think security is even in the top three points to check. What shall they do?

Sebastian Gajek: You are totally right, if I were an investor, I would really go through the points you mentioned, but I would also look who designed the contract. Because in the end, it’s all about reputation.

You really need to choose a smart contract design team that has a lot of credibility. That was one of the reasons why we have chosen to work together with ConsenSys because they have the leading experts in Ethereum development.

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