SingUlarity Darryn Pollock

False Sense of Decentralization May Distort Public View of Cryptocurrencies

SingUlarity
84 percent of cryptocurrencies are not really decentralized: report
False Sense of Decentralization May Distort Public View of Cryptocurrencies
Contents

One of the main pillars of cryptocurrencies and their Blockchain technology is the decentralized nature of the tokens. Bitcoin has been heralded as a financial system that has no central leadership and thus is fully decentralized.

However, this effort to be decentralized is not a black and white issue, more of a sliding scale which allows many cryptocurrencies to claim decentralization while being predominantly centralized and controlled.

A recent report has pointed out that as little as 16 percent of all cryptocurrencies are truly decentralized in the manner in which Satoshi Nakamoto intended when he created Bitcoin. There are other questionable examples, such as XRP under Ripple Labs, but there is also a host of cryptocurrencies that are falsifying their decentralized nature.

The issue is, much like the exchanges that dominate the cryptocurrency space, there is this false belief in decentralization while behind the scenes, developers and other leaders are controlling the way in which these Blockchains operate. As an emerging ecosystem that is supported by the notion of decentralization, this is problematic as it is being built on a lie.

Surprising facts

Cryptocurrency research firm CryptoCompare released its annual Cryptoasset Taxonomy Report and revealed that 84 percent of cryptocurrencies across the market are not really decentralized. Some were either fully centralized or only semi-decentralized.

It is a sign of the times that there is the case in the cryptocurrency market as things have changed a lot since Bitcoin was created as a defiance against the centralized banking system in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Now, the trend is largely driven by the rapid growth of new utility tokens running on private servers. Only nine percent of all utility tokens were found to be sufficiently decentralized. Cryptocurrencies that function primarily as a means of payment, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Stellar, and others, are among the most decentralized types of crypto assets.

But, there are also those that are well known to not be decentralized, such as XRP — and now also EOS which has shown that only 100 addresses contain 69 percent of the network’s native tokens.

The problems with not being decentralized

Bitcoin and the rest of the emerging cryptocurrency market are still incredibly new, yet its rally to $20,000 made it also very interesting, propelling it into the mainstream. This has led to a boom in new cryptocurrencies and Blockchains being built, but it has also led to a desire to control.

Ripple Labs is one such company that has not shied away from the centralized control of its tokens, wanting to be the master of the XRP and where it can and cannot be used. However, other companies have used the decentralization as a selling-point, while maintaining control over the asset.

Really, the world has moved on enough where the direct need for decentralized tokens is not as pressing and in many respects has been met by the 16 percent which are considered fully decentralized.

Additionally, those that are considered fully decentralized are either well-regarded or have been around long enough to be considered stable and safe.

But those coins that are entering the market with little more than a dream and a white paper, spouting off about decentralization when it is clearly not present, are causing a fictitious trap.

Honesty and integrity

The principle behind decentralization is obviously important and big in the cryptocurrency space, but it does not necessarily need to be the only option. There is no problem with companies bringing out centralized tokens if they believe they can run it correctly, but there really needs to be more honesty.

The cryptocurrency space is still rife with scams and unknowns, as well as hidden agendas and get-rich-quick-schemes, thus to lie about decentralization is again damaging the perception of this emerging space as much as major hacks on exchanges are.

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🎤 Interviews Katya Michaels

How We All Go Into Space: Aliya Prokofieva Has Mission Under Control

🎤 Interviews
U.Today spoke with Galaktika’s CEO about why it’s worth reclaiming our passion for space travel
How We All Go Into Space: Aliya Prokofieva Has Mission Under Control
Contents

Aliya Prokofieva doesn’t look like the usual suspect for the founder of a private space initiative, but upon closer inspection, it’s evident that this destiny was inevitable. Having grown up among the astronauts, engineers and sci-fi writers who were part of the community at the famous Pulkovo Observatory, she caught the space fever as a child and carried it, with purity and dedication, to the establishment of her company Galaktika.

In the last few decades, the incredible advances of technology are showing us more and more than anything is possible, but it seems we tend to be over-focused on the way new tech can improve our screen resolutions and scrolling speeds. Aliya intends to shift that focus where it belongs– space, the final frontier. U.Today spoke with Galaktika’s CEO about why it’s worth reclaiming our passion for space travel, not only for the opportunities it will create in the space cities but for the way it can change human society here on Earth.

Drops of Jupiter in her hair

U.Today (Katya Michaels): Aliya, in the last couple of years you have become a prominent player in the private space development industry, but I wanted to start at the beginning – both your mother and your aunt were astrophysicists?

Aliya Prokofieva: Yes, that’s correct. My mom was not only an astrophysicist, she was also chief constructor for the Pulkovo Observatory, one of the biggest and oldest observatories in Russia. She also worked on the observatory in Norway’s Spitsbergen and many others.

UT: That must have been a strong influence on your path as a woman in tech, having these amazing role models.

AP: Of course, although as a child I didn’t dream of being a scientist or an engineer. I am more interested in culture and society, specifically the way scientific discoveries can serve humanity. From the beginning in this industry, I have been more focused on creating something that will help people, that will endure after I’m gone and contribute to sustainable solutions that will be applicable all over the world.

UT: Did your mother also believe that it was possible for humanity to colonize space in your lifetime?

AP: You know, it’s interesting – my mother was born, grew up and worked in the Soviet Union. When she was 19, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.

It was 1961 and everybody really thought, both in the Soviet Union and the US, that people would be living in space by the millennium.

There was this absolute confidence that the next decades would see massive and fully scaled space development. Not only my mother, but many scientists and engineers in the Soviet Union thought that this would be a reality. If you were to ask some of the old NASA guys who remember those times, they would say the same. So, my childhood impressions were a melding of the engineering facts of space exploration and the romantic-scientific idea of the imminent reality of life in space.

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The nearness of stars

UT: I feel like the archetype of the romantic scientist is a uniquely Soviet phenomenon, in many ways exemplified by the sci-fi works of Strugatsky brothers, and that it doesn’t really have parallels in other cultures… Do you think that’s true?

AP: I don’t believe it’s unique, because international sci-fi authors like Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke were at that time writing the same kinds of stories as Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. However, what really is different about the Russian approach to space is the background philosophy.

Space was first explored not for the explicit purpose of scientific discovery but approached as a source of spiritual development for humanity.

The philosophy is called Russian Cosmism. It’s a phenomenon that appeared at the end of the 19th century, counting among its proponents such distinguished writers as Dostoyevsky. It was not about technology – Cosmist thinkers explored what space could mean for the human soul and eternal life, in a metaphysical way. In fact, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, one of the founders of cosmonautics and space travel, was inspired by the philosophy of Russian Cosmism to work on his scientific and engineering discoveries.

Swapping space travel for VR

UT: What do you think happened since the 1950s to the way space travel is viewed? It seems that humanity was dreaming of flying cars and space cities, and instead got smartphones and virtual reality. Kids used to dream of being astronauts and now they want to be Instagram influencers.

AP: I think that the main reason for the change is the fashion for particular heroes – what we are shown in social media, in films and so on. Although I don’t agree with you that kids don’t dream about being astronauts. I know lots of young people, both in the US and in Russia, who are really passionate about space and would like to have access to more information and opportunities.

I suppose what I’m trying to do is create a fashion for space – for going there and being connected with it. That’s why I decided to create this community and this space movement.

It’s not so much about technology, but about creating a real community of people who will be supportive to each other to make space real. That’s my mission.

Space playground

UT: Do you meet with a lot of skepticism? How well informed are people generally in terms of the realities of modern space technology?

AP: Generally, people think that space is something that is very far and not relevant to them. They are taken by surprise when I tell them that we are actually all living in space, already. We have the technology, but it doesn’t have the mass reach of cars or airplanes. There isn’t enough information out there, and it’s part of my mission to educate people. I mean, if you and I were chatting in the 1950s and I’d tell you that it would be possible to converse on video from any location, over any distance – you’d think I was crazy. The same thing is happening with space development, it’s just a question of greater scale.

UT: A big part of what you’re doing to make people more aware of the possibilities of space is an educational initiative here on Earth. Could you elaborate on that?

AP: That effort is in two parts. One is a virtual community platform which is a combination of social networking, project collaboration, an incubator, and a funding structure. It will also give users access to lectures, educational materials, films.

The second part is a space city prototype on Earth, an edutainment format that will be a mix between Universal Studios and the Guggenheim Museum. We are currently creating multimedia and interactive materials for the project. The goal is to make visitors really feel what it would be like to live in space.

UT: Where would this center be located?

AP: Currently we are thinking Switzerland, a location with an area of about 30,000 square meters. We would also have an area nearby for a Mars or Moon safari theme, where visitors could test real equipment. Hopefully, this kind of science center will demonstrate that space is not something distant or fearful, but engaging and fun.

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Off-world equity

UT:  Private space initiatives get investments from the big players, but when will it be possible for everyday, small-scale investors to get into the space game? What kind of returns could they hope to see and in what kind of time frames?

AP: We are in the process of creating tools that will make that possible. It’s something that I have often faced during my space journey – the financing problem in the market. Space companies are either very small startups or established giants like Space X and Blue Origin.

As a result, many great minds don’t have access to financing because most investors think space technology is really remote and risky.

In fact, space investment can be less risky than many IT startups or real estate projects.

Space technologies can be used both in space and on earth– to name just one example, solar panels were originally a space technology and are now a major part of sustainable solutions on Earth.

In our project, the fund structure is a combination of classical venture capital and investment capital instruments, accessible for institutional and large private investors, with a cryptocurrency crowdfunding framework. I discovered that there are so many people who are interested in making their impact on the future of space exploration, whether through intellectual contribution or financial investment.

We also feature different investment categories, with short-term returns within three or four years, midterm returns in five to seven years, and the long-term over ten years. Our management team can work with investors, linking different projects and bringing stable returns of at least 25-30 percent within two years, and those are conservative figures. We are implementing Blockchain and smart contracts to make these investments safe and transparent.

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May the forces be with each other

UT: We’ve been discussing private companies, but of course there are government space programs as well. Do you think private and government sectors will combine efforts? How will they work together?

AP: I believe everyone will join forces. Even now, NASA and the European Space Agency are very supportive of private space initiatives. The future will favor projects that join together public and private efforts–  governments can provide the infrastructure, and private companies contribute a solid business approach since they are understandably motivated by returns on investment.

UT: What about collaboration between nations? When you talk about your project in Russia and in the US, do you feel that there’s a remaining competitive feeling left over from the Cold War? Or is that completely in the past?

AP: I think that in general it’s gone – as you are well aware, what you read in the newspapers is usually someone’s biased agenda. In the space technology, everybody understands that countries should be supportive of each other. What I find interesting is that people are really prepared to collaborate and create joint projects, such that every country’s and every company’s competence is employed to the fullest for the common good.

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Making Marvel comics real

UT: One of the most fascinating questions about space colonization is how it will change human society, both in space cities and here on Earth. You have written about relative autonomy of space colonies as the variable that will determine community development. The first stage is a very demanding survival mode– do you think modern residents of developed countries, used to comforts, are ready for those kinds of sacrifices?

AP: I see that people are searching for something interesting, and their reaction depends on how information is presented to them. If you focus on details of technology development, financing issues and challenges that astronauts face, that can get boring and seem like it’s very far away. When you show how space directly affects people’s lives, show them space as a source of inspiration– their eyes light up.

This is especially true when they realize that they can influence this process– intellectually, financially or by direct participation. It’s like making Marvel comics real! If they can be a part of it, they are eager to step up to the challenge. The space colonization endeavor is really a new, unprecedented type of collaboration.

I think people are tired of the emptiness of social media. What’s the point of showing off and getting a few thousand followers, if that’s all that will be left after you’re gone? What they really want is to make an impact on the future of humanity and the planet, something that will last for generations.

The space city itself is more than a technological challenge. On the one hand, it’s a new economy that will provide a unique professional opportunity for every field– medical, engineering, technical, entrepreneurial, cultural. On a different level, it’s a metaphor for a new era in human evolution, a new purpose for people’s lives.

Independence from Earth

UT: You wrote that at the later stages of increased space city autonomy, these city-states will gain independence from Earth governments. Do you believe this will be a seamless process? Won’t the mother countries fight to retain their space colonies?

AP: I believe, and this is one of my goals as well, that there will be a shift in the mindset. We are still living in a very competitive society, but transitioning to a contributing society. We are used to saying, ok, these 100 acres are mine and these are yours. It’s amusing when people try to apply this dealing to space, which clearly belongs equally to everyone.

I hope that countries will be united in space, regardless of religion and politics, but the way this will turn out depends on us  – whether we’ll be entrenched in colonies separated by borders, or sharing space as human beings who are citizens of one community.

Don’t panic

UT: What is your personal dream of space?

AP: My personal dream is to inspire every human with the vision of life in space and to build the first space city. I want to make space travel as easy and approachable as buying a ticket from New York to London.

UT:  What are your favorite portrayals of space life in books or movies? Something that really reflects the way you imagine space.

AP: Actually, I am currently writing a script for my own space film, as well as a fiction book about a girl’s space journey. What I don’t like about most sci-fi movies is that they portray space as a harsh and hostile environment, while it’s a source of great inspiration and value for humanity. My favorite ones are still Star Wars and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. They are closer to my idea of how life in space could be – not always friendly, but exciting and adventurous.

Here, you can listen to the Technotopia talk with Aliya Prokofieva.

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Decentralization and Social Platforms: ONO’s Bashir Modanov Exclusive

SingUlarity
The newly established social network ONO promises to stay out of its users’ lives
Decentralization and Social Platforms: ONO’s Bashir Modanov Exclusive
Contents

U.Today is bringing you an exclusive interview with Bashir Modanov, Global Marketing Director of the recently established decentralized social platform ONO. A native of Kazakhstan, Modanov is now based in Beijing, China, where he was working as a business executive for a number of high-tech firms before joining a startup company with a very particular vision. Our journalist Maria had a chance to catch up with him in person.

Behind the Doors

U.Today: You are defining ONO as a decentralized social network. How did the idea of putting a user “at the epicentre” of it all come to you? What’s the background of this idea? You specifically listed diversity as one of the distinct features of your social network. Can you expand on this?

Modanov: We are a social network based on the Blockchain technology. The reason we came up with this concept is that when you look around, all you see is heavily centralized platforms that make profits from their users by selling their data without any regard for the law. As a result, many platforms today make the headlines mostly due to their ignorance and neglect. What ONO offers is different. We provide features similar to other social networks, but ours is a unique concept that has introduced self-governance and a reward system for its users by allowing them to tap into their own net worth. It should also be noted that ONO is, first and foremost, a decentralized platform, and, as such, offers the benefit of data protection, since the platform is not capable of withholding any of its users’ information.

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U.Today: Back in June, you announced that you were going to be an EOS BP Candidate. What are your current aspirations? Are you aiming to make it into the top 21?

Modanov: Yes, that’s right, we were an EOS block producer candidate, but our strategy has shifted, because we feel that EOS is not a platform. The costs of integrating it are sky-high, while the benefits are meager. So, we came up with our own main network that we simply call the “mainnet”, with the view to create our own chain, which is currently in progress.

U.Today: You say that you have Super Partners, and their main job is content management. Is there a possibility for collusion?

Modanov: There was this possibility before. It actually happened with EOS. But we’ve since decided to use a different track: there will be a totally different voting system, and possibility of collusion will be completely eliminated.

The Super Partners are a group of individuals from all walks of life who moderate the network independently. What happened with EOS pushed us to use a different type of scheme, so as to avoid potential problems.

We have set up a voting system different from what EOS offers, such as 70% of the work is done in an automated manner, while 30% of what we do goes through machine learning. In the future, our aim is to develop this capacity, that is, have 90% of the work done using machine learning and only 10% of it done manually.

Function

U.Today: Are your AI and Machine Learning algorithms running on your servers? Or are they decentralized?

Modanov: Actually, we are already cooperating with some AI-focused companies in regards to the KYC process, content research, and targeting. As soon as our mainnet is launched, we’ll be ready to move everything from our servers onto the Blockchain.

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U.Today: What are the main functions of the platform: describe what I can do there and how it promises to change my life?

Modanov: The basic functions are similar to those of Twitter and Instagram, so, naturally, you can share pictures, articles, and short videos.

However, the difference is that ONO comes with a reward program. For each engagement, you can earn tokens, called ONOT, which you’ll be able to change to fiat currencies. This unique ecosystem is gaining recognition worldwide.

By the time we launched in August, we offered our first 300 000 users 300 tokens each for registration. We now have a growing community of 3mln+ users: the registration reward is 50 tokens, as is referring a friend. Another way to earn tokens is to publish posts, since this mechanism also works for post-based calculations. Frankly speaking, right now most of the users are already using the decentralized App, sharing their moments and earning coins, but in the future there’s going to be a feature which will also allow them to exchange those coins for fiat money.

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U.Today: You are actively participating in various events, among them Consensus. What are the future plans for the Asian roadshow?

Modanov: There are a bunch of conferences happening all over Asia. One of our next stops will be Cointelegraph’s Block Show, a huge event hosted in Singapore.

U.Today: How is user identification going to be handled? And how are you going to fight the Sybil Attacks?

Modanov: The KYC option allows users to have their identity verified, and as such your user power is increased compared to a non-KYC-verified user. As a verified user, you can write really long posts (more than 500 words), and you can share your photos. For non-KYC users, we’re implementing AI-solutions, but these users will indeed have limited power on ONO and won’t be able to share as much information.

In terms of Sybil Attacks, I don’t think there’ll be a huge problem with that: the Blockchain is one of the most secure cyber spaces we have seen so far.

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What’s Next

U.Today: In 2018, everybody in the crypto industry understands that massive user adoption of decentralized systems will not happen unless UX is on par with centralized systems. This is especially true of social networks. What is your solution to ensure that the user gets the best possible experience while using a decentralized platform?

Modanov: Many users haven’t been able to experience the best of the Blockchain as most decentralized systems are poorly built, and, as a result, aren’t offering their effective solutions to the public. That’s what we’re looking to change. You can try our App, which is available on Google Play and the Apple store, to see it for yourself. Currently, we’re working on adding fun, useful features unavailable elsewhere on the market, and one of the upcoming features we’ll be introducing soon is a wallet for users to buy, exchange, and transfer coins.

U.Today: You mentioned POC (Power of Contribution) in your white paper. What are the principles behind it, apart from it being the incentive for users on your platform?

Modanov: The power of contribution is something more than just registration: we’re using it to evaluate content and reward users with tokens, so that the users also become contributors.

U.Today: For a social network, getting a critical mass of active users with valuable content in the first stages is crucial for creating the much needed snowball effect. What is your strategy to make it happen?

Modanov: We are trying to attract more and more creative individuals, creative users, and top writers on Steemit to deliver decent content. I think a lot of people will be coming to our App for high-quality content and fair interaction, as it offers many more benefits compared to many other currently available platforms.

U.Today: In your white paper, it’s written that for the starting phase you launch ONO on the Ethereum network in order to gain a limited number of initial users and you later plan to migrate to EOS once all has been properly launched. When exactly then is the migration to EOS scheduled?

Modanov: The white paper hasn’t been updated for quite a long time, and so there are some facts on it that have since been modified accordingly.

We’re planning to launch our token system on the Ethereum network, but not the App, and we are creating our own main chain, called the ONO chain. The first testing phase is taking place this December, while the main chain is due to be made available at the beginning of next year.

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Blockchain As a Lingua Franca: A Thing to Consider

SingUlarity
Dictionaries refuse to include crypto definitions of words
Blockchain As a Lingua Franca: A Thing to Consider
Contents

As with any new technology entering the public space and gaining traction, there’s a certain degree of word coinage and change in meaning which is above average. This indicates an interest in the field.

Communities forming around nascent technology create a common language in order to reduce communication obstacles enabling effective interaction in the process.

The human language is extraordinarily economical—we often tend to use as few words as possible to communicate our message—but at the same time it’s both flexible and adaptive. When a new concept is introduced, it goes through a word coinage or meaning change process, and there’s always a degree of fuzziness to it.

Crypto outside the Blockchain

When talking crypto, the word “blockchain” is a prime example of ambiguity. Not everything you see in the crypto space is actually “blockchain”, e.g. there are directed acyclic graph (DAG) based projects, which have little to do with the Blockchain, as there are proprietary code products that you can get involved in by purchasing their coins but still not know what’s inside the actual technology.

And while Merriam-Webster gives the same disemanticized definition of the word “blockchain” that’s currently dominating the space, the word “trustless” has not yet entered the domain of most dictionaries. This is a curious fact as “trustless” in its current linguistic norm—that is, outside of the crypto space—means an almost polar opposite to the way it’s used when talking about the Blockchain.

Learn More

What is trustless

The more broad, public definition for “trustless” is “not deserving trust.”

In contrast, the Blockchain-related definition of “trustless” is “not requiring trust.”

The concept of trust is a vast topic to cover, and there’s an equally vast amount of literature on it. It’s also the concept that’s been of greater than usual interest in the past few years, which indicates a major shift in how we operate as a society.

But first, a few words about lingua franca, which today is the English language.

English is the language of the all-encompassing Internet. It’s the language we speak when communicating across cultures. It’s global. It’s international. It’s the common denominator for the prevailing number of communities that are connected and operating in the digital space. It’s what makes the communication possible. And it belongs to us, the people.

The language is decentralized in this sense, no single authority can really control it: attempts have been made in the past, to no avail. A good example of this is Merriam-Webster’s inability (or unwillingness) to catch up with the Blockchain’s definition of the word “trustless”. Incidentally, the word itself is doing just fine without the centralized dictionary.

The world is connected, and the number of Internet users is only growing. In 2018, we hit the 4 billion mark of total users with nearly 250 million new users coming online for the first time in 2017.

And while lingua franca is very much alive and (un)happily decentralized in the digital space, the other key thing indispensable for our communication is not. The backbone of digital communication and home to many international communities are centralized platforms. Platforms with proprietary code, algorithm obfuscation, and pretty much zero transparency.

Does that make sense, to possess the natural means of communication, the lingua franca that brings us together, only to make it containerized on platforms with unclear, or at least not immediately evident, objectives?

When you go online and interact with the multitude of communities and equally invested individuals, should you be doing so on the, to use Jaron Lanier’s term, “behavior modifying” platforms that only see you as numbers in the crunch, as figures that translate into money? Isn’t that counter-productive to what this digital space is all about?

We are yet to see the true shape and effectiveness of this as it pertains to the decentralized nature of lingua franca. The technology should not be turning us into prey, this much is clear.

The technology accommodating language should be decentralized.

Join U°Community today and be one of the first to use this platform as the backbone of your decentralized online communication.

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What is Noiseless Marketing and How Blockchain Helps Products With Real Value

SingUlarity
Marketing is evolving to a point where it is becoming noiseless, it is getting back to its roots, and the value of the product wills out
What is Noiseless Marketing and How Blockchain Helps Products With Real Value
Contents

Marketing is a major factor in every single business and every single market, and plays a huge role in the success or failure of products and services. As such, it is a dynamic and ever-evolving space that is filled with competition and cut-throat ambition.

Marketing has also been driven by technology and with that, the likes of Above the Line marketing have come to the fore and become very much a part of the mass media. With that space growing exponentially, it has been a massive fight for those marketers to push theirs above the line agenda.

Above the Line at its peak

But, big Above the Line marketing, in a competitive environment, has meant that the marketing is more important than the product.

Marketing has entered a space where the product is secondary, and the fine margins between a good and great product can be determined more about how they are marketed.

But as times have begun changing, and even technology shifting, there is a change in the wind for marketers as well. Marketing differentiators have shifted to Below the Line to try and prove their products worth, but now, there is a layer even lower than that needs to be figured out.

People have started to grow tired with flashy Above the Line marketing and are more intent on knowing what their fellow users think. Communities are forming and their power is being felt, more so, communities are also becoming transparent thanks to technology like Blockchain.

Companies can't press the communities with the perceived value anymore. The information spreads from one community member to another, and hence the need for noiseless marketing.

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Below the Line

The popularization of mass media and things like television, radio, and other such platforms for Above the Line marketing saw a boom in advertising for products and services, applying to a mass market.

People were convinced that certain products were a must have and that they were superior to other competitors, simply because they had a bigger advertising budget and could push a perceived value down people’s throats.

As marketing helped consumerism boom, so it exponentially made the product market and the advertising market that much more competitive. The barrier to entry for people creating a range of products was far less, and the market became flooded for choice in different products.

The only way to really differentiate oneself from the competitor was through advertising. The value being advertised or spurted through marketing was not necessary as high as it stated, but it was perceived that way.

Above the Line was soon being challenged as the market was no longer faceless and voiceless. Suddenly, through the Internet and social media, the customers could speak out and interact with the product creators. They had a voice, and it became just as important to advertise Below the Line again.

Below the Line advertising allowed the products to demonstrate themselves, put other marketing spins on, and try and add extra value rather than forcing a perceived value. The customers would no longer lap up everything that was said, and they could see the value and would let others know where that value began and ended.

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The new horizon

Still, as marketing continued to move with the times, social media and the Internet was used as a tool, and the perceived value of things was also manipulated through marketing. Ratings, star reviews and other forms of comments are easily forged, and so, the market differentiator may have shifted, but the products were still being defined by new forms of internet marketing.

Marketing's reputation has become sleazy and the perception is that every advert or marketing strategy is trying to get the most out with the least in. People are no longer falling for it.

This has led to what is seen as a new standard in marketing that can be considered “noiseless marketing.”

Noiseless marketing is essentially letting the product do the talking, and not wasting people’s time with unnecessary fluff on trying to push a product.

Silent marketing rather listens than shouts, and takes in what is needed by being intuitive, and creating exactly what is wanted.

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Community transparency

As new technology comes forward, such as Blockchain, marketers again have to adjust, just like they did to television and the Internet. The thing is, with Blockchain, the steps in marketing are already being made with this phenomenon of noiseless marketing.

Blockchain supports the idea of community transparency and the relationships and connections of real trust. Companies willing to market their product will have to offer something of real value, invest less in marketing as it will be of much lesser use than it is today.

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.

Communities that are formed in Blockchain will be the judge, jury and executioner of a product, and they will not be spoken to through marketing to be swayed one way or another. The trustless and transparent nature of the Blockchain and the communities present on it will also make it difficult for marketing to get around this core.

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A Blockchain way of life

The creation of Bitcoin and Blockchain came out of a changing in global sentiment to move away from corporations and centralized control. It is Blockchain and its decentralized nature that is so important and tempting for the new generation.

In this way, noiseless marketing is also a reaction to a desire to be less reliant on centralized authorities- this time in advertising. Blockchain is the means on which a global desire can be played out, and down the line it will be the end of centralized control over the population.

To this end, noiseless marketing needs to become the future. Although it will be tough and a lot of players will become extinct, the ones with value will win. And the community will only win too.

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SingUlarity Evgeny Konstantinov

On Connecting Users and Devs And On Tapeworms: Opinion

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Each and every in crypto space is selfish. But what about the customers?
On Connecting Users and Devs And On Tapeworms: Opinion
Contents

When I think of the current crypto space  — I call it crypto to include the various Blockchain technology (some of which is not Blockchain by definition), communities and everything that comes with it  —  I am invariably reminded of John Updike’s quote on the New York literary scene and Hemingway. “Hemingway describes literary New York as a bottle full of tapeworms trying to feed on each other,” John Updike wrote.

Everything that is united today under the umbrella term of Blockchain  —  from cryptocurrencies to DAGs and Hyperledger frameworks  —  is a vast territory of the life-shifting technology. This space, with all its turmoil, trials and tribulations, is fantastic because every part of it has a straightforward and thus elegant solution to the idea of how to have a trusted ledger in a trustless environment. And that it’s even possible. This very solution,  first proposed by Satoshi and implemented in Bitcoin ,  has sprouted in a great variety of approaches to real-life applications.

And that we all are still very far from having it all leveled off and fallen into place : The prospects of what we yet have to see excite me.

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In The Spotlight

However, when trying to chart this impressive space, I can’t help observing that we are currently in a very similar position to the one described by Hemingway — the New York literary scene of the past — and recounted by Updike.

Today there are developers, entrepreneurs of all sorts  —  which is not inherently bad as the presence of a high number of venturers of all shades and colors is always a reliable indicator of explosive growth  —  individual investors and speculators, real businesses and enterprises as prospective customers.

I am not going to linger over each of these figures in detail as they all are too familiar for anyone who’s been in crypto for at least a few months, but instead, I’m going to do a little charting.

Developers develop. That’s what they do and in the majority of cases they like doing  it —  getting to the core of the tech, optimizing and coming up with new approaches.

Entrepreneurs are here to make something of themselves:  be the first, make money, help bring ideas to life — many times, it’s the ideas they believe in.

Individual investors are curious both about the tech and making some wealth. They are often autodidacts.

Speculators are  here to make money.

Real businesses: These are here to stay with roadmaps, thorough planning and traditional budgeting approaches (as in not riding the high of the Ethereum price all the way to the ceiling and then dumping in panic when everybody else starts doing so). Real businesses. Businesses that had their prospective customers pretty much signed up before they started an ICO (if they ran one at all).

And finally, enterprises ,  the most lucrative ones on this chart. Big names that give heart palpitations to every crypto asset holder. The enterprises that are going to use the Blockchain solutions developed by indie devs or real businesses will come to the exchanges and buy coins in droves. That’s what every speculator, individual investor and entrepreneur is hoping for and this is what’s driving them.

So it’s enterprise adoption , which is slow though it is justifiable, versus everyone else. There’s no room in this space: Iit’s devs, speculators, entrepreneurs and enterprise adoption expectations are all trying to feed on each other.

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But What About The User?

For the first time in a very long period, the user,  assisted with Blockchain, can no longer be treated as the consumer sheep. The user can become a full member of any platform they choose to join; they can be a real customer of any dApp with real value  —  not a perceived market differentiator value   but the real one.

The user is not your ICO fuel. The user is the one who makes all that Blockchain tech adoption possible. The user needs an easy and frictionless onboarding  —  not the marketing slang type “onboarding”, which often means hooking up an unsuspecting consumer to hidden regular payments, but real onboarding to the world of Blockchain and dApps where the user has equal rights with everyone else; where the user is always a full member, an equal citizen, instead of a tied up sheep for marketeers.

The user is what’s important today. All the dApp devs would love to let the user try out their product. The majority (if not all) of the Blockchain protocols would love the user to become a part of them, use the protocols in their daily lives like they do with all the other centralized tech.

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