🤷 Opinions Katya Michaels

Generational Crypto-Investment Gap: Why Warren Buffett Just Doesn’t Get It

Opinions
When it comes to crypto, old-school investors like Warren Buffett may not be the best guides
Generational Crypto-Investment Gap: Why Warren Buffett Just Doesn’t Get It

Investment in cryptocurrency is becoming more accessible to both experienced and novice investors, but professional guidance for trading the new asset is not readily available. The abundance of contradictory information in the media leads to further confusion, especially when well-known and respected investors like Warren Buffett voice vehement objections.

In truth, cryptocurrency is an exciting investment opportunity that shouldn’t be missed– nor should it be undertaken in ignorance. To understand how cryptocurrency investment can be approached for a safe and profitable outcome, CryptoComes spoke to Bob Loukas of Bitcoin.live, a cryptocurrency trading platform that provides expert advisement and training to its community, launching today.

Katya Michaels: How did you become interested in cryptocurrency trading and educating investors about this market?

Bob Loukas: I'm a trader going back 25 years– trading futures, forex, gold, stocks. More recently a new booming asset class has emerged where a lot of people are making a lot of money, and losing money as well, though that's probably a story that's not told too often. There is a lot of excitement, and as a trader, you want to be a part of the new asset class, the new opportunity.

From Bitcoin.live’s perspective, it’s about helping people who don't have the experience that the analysts on our platform have. They understand that trading this asset class is in many ways no different to trading other asset classes that exist today because there are the same underlying principles.

It’s such a new industry and I'm seeing a lot of younger people, a lot of millennials, getting involved, drawn in by the potential and the excitement, but they aren’t all necessarily profiting like the media may lead you to believe. With Bitcoin.live we want to bring more of a balanced, experienced voice to the cryptocurrency space, and provide the tools and help that they need to succeed.

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A steady voice for guidance

KM: What kind of media coverage and advice do you think is missing from this space?

BL: I think what's missing is a steady and experienced voice.

You've got a new breed of investors coming in and with that, some social media influencers– people in the trading space who are hiding behind the immunity that social media provides. They are coming across as professionals when they're really not.

They were able to provide trading advice in a bull market when it wasn't so much their expertise, but the fact that all ships were rising and all prices were going up.

Now it’s been exactly five months since December when the market peaked. A lot of people are losing money and those social media personalities either disappeared or they just don't have a clue on how to provide guidance to people.

Our analysts have been through the dot-com boom and the gold boom and the stock boom of 2008 and in some cases, like Peter Brandt, well before that. We want to provide the professional guidance that is lacking today.

Trading crypto vs. investing in the space

KM: Do you think for this particular asset class it is more important to understand the technology behind it or to understand the mechanisms of market trading?

BL: That's a good question because often traders who are looking at price movements over a few days or weeks fall into the trap of trying to understand and align technology, making an argument for buying something on a long-term fundamentals perspective. But really, they are going to be in and out within a week or two. Those two just don’t gel.

You need to understand if you’re a trader and you're trading price movements or if you're an investor who is looking at a coin and trying to understand whether this is a technology that's going to survive the next crash or regulatory overhead.

As an investor, you need to figure out whether it's going to be the one that gets adoption, which eventually results in utility, which eventually obviously means more of a long-term profit. So, for trading? No, it's not important to understand technology. It's about how the price is moving. If you're an investor, you really should know what you're investing in.

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Horses for courses: old and new investment strategies

KM: What do you think prevents investors like Warren Buffett from being Bitcoin enthusiasts despite their extensive experience? How can they be wrong?

BL: They’re not wrong. I think it's just a matter of someone's comfort zone and what's worked for them. Why get into another realm where they don't have the expertise? It's just too far removed from what they’ve known and what they’re best at doing.

Back in the nineties during the dot-com boom, Berkshire Hathaway stock was grossly underperforming the market because Buffett also didn't understand that technology and he basically said, I can’t invest in something I don't understand. It's a similar thing, it’s a similar dynamic. Even his investments in Apple and IBM only came very recently because they now fit his fundamental, Graham philosophy on stock investing– with cash flows, profits and a better understanding of valuation.

It's just a matter of horses for courses. People need to feel comfortable with where their money's going, and they should. If they don't understand crypto, I actually recommend that they don't make that leap of faith.

It's better to be in a world where you understand what you're investing in and why, as opposed to being completely lost.

KM: What about Bill Gates? He understands technology and was a big part of the Internet innovation period. Why is he so vehemently against crypto?

BL: I feel as if this is more of a one-off case– Microsoft was often behind the curve on technology adoption. They were very good at acquiring companies when they were falling behind and staying relevant in that sense, but they weren’t necessarily known as a forward innovator.

I think Gates doesn't really represent that group of past-generation innovators and early adopters. There are a lot of old-school tech gentlemen and founders who really embrace Bitcoin today.

I feel that Gates really adopted the Buffett mindset, and describes him as a mentor, as well.

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Investment for novices: setting specific goals

KM: With that in mind, what are the most important things that potential investors need to know and understand about cryptocurrency to help them make informed decisions?

BL:

It comes down to the question I always ask: what is your goal? Are you a trader? Are you active? Or do you just want to get some overall exposure to a new industry and not be left behind from a portfolio standpoint?

Let's take the investment side. You may just want to have about five percent of the portfolio as an investor in Blockchain. You want to be with the blue chips of crypto– obviously, Bitcoin is number one by far. Then, you also want understanding what Bitcoin is, get an overview of the technology, read the white paper. There are plenty of resources out there to understand what Bitcoin and the Blockchain technology is all about.

If you’re trading, it's about understanding risk management, trade management, the psychology of trading. There are fundamental trading skills that I feel everybody should learn if they are going to buy and sell any security or any asset class.

There are a lot of free resources out there for learning the basics. Bitcoin.live is different in that we are more analyst driven and much more tailored to crypto. We are talking about what Bitcoin is doing this week, and why, and how you could have traded the move, and what you should look out for from a risk standpoint.

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Regulatory stability will help mitigate risks

KM: How will clarity in regulation change the conditions for investment in the space? Will it legitimize crypto in the eyes of institutional investors and maybe even old school investors like Buffett?

BL: It’s two parts, in my mind. First of all, I’m more of a libertarian when it comes to regulation. I'm a capitalist, so my philosophy is very few regulations, but the ones that are implemented should make sense and should be enforced.

Second, I think we do need clarity across the board with all the agencies on what regulations are going to be put in place, and we need to get to that resolution quicker. Then, the capital markets can feel a little more confident that there's some stability in regulatory space where they can risk that capital. Right now they're concerned about making significant investments in this space because they don't know if their investment is going to get shut down by the SEC or some other regulatory body. And that's not good for the industry as a whole.

Without the lack of regulation today, there is rampant ICO scamming taking advantage of people’s gullibility. It happens in every big bull market – they're getting in as fast as they can, throwing up white papers over a weekend and raising in some cases millions of dollars.

Scams aside, some ICOs are legitimate, but they just really don't have any chance of coming to fruition over time. The intention is potentially good, but it's just not going to happen for 99.5 percent of those companies.

The more ICO failures we get, the more the Buffetts of the traditional investing world will look down on the space as being too immature for them to be seriously engaged and involved. That's just not good for the long-term viability of the industry.

Clearly defined Bitcoin cycles

KM: What are the Bitcoin’s trading cycles telling us about the asset?

BL: I've been mapping out Bitcoin cycles over the last couple of years.

I'm actually not surprised, but what we are seeing in the Bitcoin space is a very clearly defined 60-day cycle.

Of course, there are going to be shorter cycles and certainly, there will be long cycles over time, but I think we're still a little early in this technology for those to really shine and be very evident.

Right now we're near a 60-day cycle low, during which you normally get this really big “this is the end of Bitcoin as we know it” sell off. That happens every cycle low, and then you get this big reversal and swing in sentiment. Unfortunately, the cycles are telling me that we're still in a downtrend.

Even though after the cycle low we can get a really sizable rally over a month where the price can go up by $2,000 or $3,000, until I see real evidence that we’re broken out of a downtrend, I have to assume that the bear market is still in control.

That's where I see us right now– on the verge of another cycle rally, then probably another turn over the summer and into a cycle low, with maybe the end of the bear market coming in August.

But I don't know. I trade what the market is telling me as opposed to hoping and guessing where it could be.

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Bridging the crypto-generational gap

KM: A lot of people are shocked by the volatility of the crypto market as compared to the traditional stock markets. Has there been anything similar in terms of volatility, or is this the most volatile asset ever?

BL: Yes, I think it might be the most volatile, but volatility is actually decreasing pretty sharply from 2012-2014. As you get a wider adoption and you get more experienced participants from traditional markets, then you expect volatility to come down.

You also have to realize when you look at something like Bitcoin, it's not traditional in every way. Coins came on the market suddenly in 2009-10 and were traded for pennies. Nobody knew what these things were.

Gold doesn't have intrinsic value, we know that, but at least it has a couple of thousand years of relevance. This technology is just so different and new it just makes absolute sense that it’s got this type of volatility.

KM: When do you think crypto trading will become the new normal? When will we hit do you the tipping point when most people will be owning and trading cryptocurrency?

BL: There is a big divide out there. If you ask a room full of 20 and 30-year old traders, you're going to find that a big portion of them are trading cryptos only, have never traded a single stock in their life and have no interest in trading those stocks.

Then you've got the more traditional Schwab and TD Ameritrade accounts who go “Bitcoin? Crypto? What is that? Let me go onto Coinbase and try this out with my credit card.” I don't know if that divide will necessarily get bridged.

Certainly, once we get more clarity from the SEC and get more ETF product out there that can be bought and sold through a traditional broker– then I think you'll get wider adoption and more mainstream traders buying and selling crypto.

KM: It's interesting that this kind of contentious, volatile asset may actually serve as an entry point into the traditional markets for the younger traders.

BL: Exactly. The traditional brokers know that if they can offer a platform to trade crypto, they will have a customer base for decades after. And if they don’t get into this space, they're going to age with the boomers and generation X’s. So they need to get in and I think they will also put pressure on the regulatory bodies to allow them to start trading these cyber securities because they'll lose out if they don't.

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Adult Industry on Blockchain: Leah Callon-Butler Changes State of Play

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Applying Blockchain in the adult industry might just be the use case to drive mass adoption.
Adult Industry on Blockchain: Leah Callon-Butler Changes State of Play

While the adult industry has proven to be the driver of tech innovation and adoption - such as VHS and streaming - in the past, there is also a great deal of social stigma attached to both working in the industry and consuming its products, even when those activities are perfectly legal.

Among Blockchain developers and investors, too - few give serious thought to the disenfranchisement of adult business entrepreneurs and the lack of data security for users and providers. Just ask Verge, whose announcement of a partnership with Pornhub seems to have done irreparable damage to the asset…

But Leah Callon-Butler, co-founder and Chief Impact Officer of Intimate, a cryptocurrency and platform aiming to facilitate payment and trust for the adult industry, believes this to be an ideal use case for Blockchain - here’s why.

 

Social impact

 

Katya Michaels: Could you give me a brief story of how you became a Blockchain entrepreneur?

Leah Callon-Butler: I've always worked in emerging technologies and helping really early stage companies figuring out how they were going to find their first customer, across lots of industries but focused on sales and business development. When I was doing my MBA, I found that I had a real passion for the social impact.

It led me to work with a lot of really cool companies and startups, including the renewable energy industry. With that, I could see that it was completely centralized and I couldn't really see how that was ever going to change if we couldn't actually change the way that power was produced and shared with people across the markets.

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A few years later, my mentor introduced me to this case study, the Brooklyn Microgrid, which was essentially peer-to-peer energy trading between neighbors. And this had never been done before because for energy markets were always centralized power plants.

When I discovered this technology, it blew my mind. I couldn’t imagine a world where we weren’t controlled totally by centralization.

When I started to look into it, I saw that everyone was trying to apply Blockchain to everything because it was so hot right now, but at the same time it was kind of infantile and a needed really smart people around it to be able to apply it to an industry use case that really needed it.

So I got a bit obsessed with trying to find the right use case that needed decentralization. What I learned was that there was actually a lot of parallels between the issues that exist in the adult industry and what I've been working on with other projects around social impact. Particularly with things like gender equality, power inequality in the greater world, developing economies and concepts around identity and micropayments.

Actually, this is the perfect use case for blockchain where we can enable transactions, but at the same time empower people who have been neglected and stigmatized by society.

Mass adoption

KM: The adult industry has always been a driver of innovation and technology. Do you think that Blockchain for the adult industry is the key to mainstream Blockchain adoption?

LCB: There's probably no other industry in the world where you would see such a cross section of all walks of life - from workers to consumers to business operators.

This is a basic human need that is relevant to pretty much everyone across the world. Don't take it from me - one of our biggest investors, which is a large crypto fund called Alphabit, they put in over a million dollars into Intimate and they said that they were very inspired by this because this was the project that crypto had been waiting for in terms of a real use case and possibly the first to drive mass scale adoption.

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Pseudonymous reputation

KM: Cryptocurrency itself promises to provide privacy, transparency and ease of payment. What does the Intimate token do for the adult industry that cryptocurrency cannot?

LCB: This is one of the most common questions that we’re asked and I never tire of answering it, because I think we should actually ask this question of every single coin on the market. We should always be asking, in the first place, is Blockchain needed? And secondly, do we need another coin?

A lot of people confuse us with being a privacy coin. We are highly concerned about user’s privacy, but what we offer is pseudo anonymity. Where we go beyond something like Bitcoin or Monero or even just cold hard cash, is that Intimate has a reputation system.

Consumers want to be able to transact privately, but service providers and business operators need to be able to establish trust through data disclosure. How do you solve this? Through pseudonymous reputation.

Peer to peer networks are changing who we trust and why we trust them, but those existing systems, like Uber or AirBnb, despite their merits, are still centralized and controlled. There is no system that allows you to port your reputation from one platform to another.

What Intimate is doing is creating right from the start a reputation system that is industry wide. So no matter where you are transacting with various entities, you can build that reputation in one place and port it to another, but also be in control of that data.

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Voluntary disclosure

KM: One thing that I find continually fascinating about Blockchain is that it promises absolute privacy and absolute transparency at the same time. How do we make sure that what needs to be private stays private and what needs to be transparent stays transparent and not the other way around?

LCB: That's why we’re really clear about the fact that we don't provide anonymity. We've taken a really hard line on this and obviously you can't be the solution for everything.

Some people feel that cryptocurrency is designed to hide things and to help people hide their tracks. There was a certain point in time where that was true, but today some of the biggest proponents of Blockchain technology are banks and governments because they've seen what it could do to improve efficiency and transparency.

How can we take this technology and apply it to industries that people have traditionally thought of as “bad” because they've been run by underground shady characters? If we can start to bring some transparency and accountability to these industries while still applying the benefits of privacy, that is really powerful.

The point is that no one should have control over your information. So the key for me is voluntary disclosure, that you own your data and only you get to choose if and when to disclose it.

Trust and responsibility

KM: I feel like Blockchain is not just a technology, but a social construct. Do you think that people are ready to put their trust on the Blockchain, but also to take ownership of their data and take responsibility for their decisions?

LCB: That’s such a massive question. If I can relate it to what's happening right now, Mark Zuckerberg is in a lot of hot water because of the Facebook debacle. That’s actually been great for us because it makes very clear that data privacy is important to everyone, not just sleazy men who want to cover up something they were doing online.

It's great that we're having this conversation right now, because a lot of people are saying, “Hey, do you really have to right to own my data and who gave you that right and what are you going to do with it?”

But your question was, are people ready? I'd say no, they're not because Blockchain also puts all of the onus back onto the individual and that's what makes it so difficult. It seems great to get rid of trusted intermediaries, but they also provide a level of insurance and protection. If you lose your banking password, we can give you a reset button. If you lose your private key, sorry, you’re screwed.

There is also things like governments - a lot of people get upset about paying taxes, but taxes go toward paying for things that we take for granted in our everyday life, like schools, garbage trucks and police. That's why we need solutions that are gonna come in kind of halfway, take the benefits of what's there and take baby steps towards what the future could be.

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The state of play

KM: I just wanted to finish up by saying congratulations on the Golden Token nomination! What does it mean, to be nominated in that category, as Female Leader of the Year?

LCB: It means everything!

I got into this space because I saw that this technology had far greater power to be able to reimagine the state of play.

I guess I'm relatively new to this space and sometimes it's hard because you think - if I'm not a computer scientist or an engineer or a mathematician or a cryptographer, then maybe I shouldn't be here.

But I have different skills that I bring to the space and the social impact is something that I'm really passionate about - seeing more women in technology, more women recognized for what they do. Diversity and inclusion is one of the most powerful mechanisms of competitive advantage that we have.

Blockchain is a space where it's all about decentralization, it’s about giving power to the least represented and the most vulnerable.

To be nominated for an award like that is powerful for me because, let's be honest, I work in a controversial industry. Some people will not agree with what we're trying to do, but we push on despite that and we have a vision to change the world for the better.

I guess I was never one to really kind of take the road more traveled. The more that people want to push back on me and tell me that this industry shouldn't be respected and that there isn't a place for it, it only drives me more to keep doing exactly what we're doing. There's a big opportunity to do a lot of good here and that's what makes me leap out of bed every day.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

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Volatility, scams, legality: those are just a few issues that face investors in Bitcoin and altcoins. Remember, invest only what you can afford to lose.
10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and other altcoins have been making big headlines over the past few years, laced with stories about incredible gains and devastating losses. It’s the losses that are a hard pill to swallow. Many people ask, is Ethereum a good investment or Bitcoin? Let’s look at the top 10 reasons why you should not invest in Bitcoin and other cryptos. Remember, only invest what you can afford to lose.  

1. Volatility

Bitcoin and altcoins are very volatile, meaning that you could lose your shirt and your trousers if you buy high and sell low. In December 2017, Bitcoin hit its highest price at about $20,000. Fast forward to April 2018, when one Bitcoin is worth about $6,700, a 66.5 percent decrease in value. If you bought in the hype of December 2017, you would be out about $14,000 and for many people, that’s big money.

2. Security

In many countries of the world, banks are backed by the government. In the US the FDIC will ensure your bank account up to $250,000. Many exchanges do not insure your funds in crypto. If they are hacked and your proceeds are lost, you just lost all your money, unless the exchange can reimburse affected users.

3. Value or lack thereof

Bitcoin and cryptos are not backed by anything except belief. But then again, fiat currencies are backed only by the belief in the government that controls it, but at least cash is accepted everywhere. Crytpo derives its so-called wealth from mathematic formulae that are only understood by few.

4. Legality

Crypto is still very new, especially to governments. They are not sure how to regulate it or how to tax it. In some countries, there is a call to have it banned. Imagine being vested heavily in crypto and then finding out it is banned. How can you get your money back? Will you face fines and penalties for owning it? It’s not safe to own in a country that is about to place a ban on crypto.

5. Environmentally unfriendly

The power required to run mining rigs draws so much electricity, that it has become an environmental issue, that consumes valuable resources, pollutes the earth and even disrupts time. In China, Bitcoin mining is estimated to use up to four gigawatts of electricity, equivalent to three nuclear reactors' production levels.

6. Scams

Nothing is worse than being scammed out of your hard-earned cash. Scams and Ponzi schemes abound on the Internet with fake exchanges, fake ICOs, and other ways to steal your money. Whatever seems like an amazing way to double, triple, or quadruple your money in a short time, it probably is. You might also face long withdrawal periods to get your gains out of a rigged system. These are all part of Bitcoin investment scams and should be avoided.

7. No understanding of what crypto is

Many people ask if they should invest in Ether because it is not Bitcoin. Yes, it has a different function other than a store of value, but what makes it different is that it has smart contracts which are fuel and executed by “gas” another sub-set currency of Ethereum. Confused yet? As the old adage goes, don’t invest in something you don’t understand. “Can I invest in Ethereum?” you might ask, and sure you can, but don’t do it unless you understand it. More about Ethereum.

8. Decentralization: who do you trust?

Would you give your money to some guy on the street, who is touting a Bitcoin investment plan? I doubt it. Then why would you place your money into a system that has no central authority to regulate the inner workings of your investment and where your money is going? Could a state-backed cryptocurrency be the answer?

9. Anonymous or not

While Bitcoin is supposed to be anonymous, wallets are transparent. For some types of sales, especially in real estate, your funds need to be verified, it is a bit tricky to do with Bitcoin. Also, the US government is working with a firm to try to identify the individuals who may owe capital gains taxes on sales of Bitcoin. If the government can find you, then the promise of anonymity is false. Better not to get caught up in this trap.

10. Use on the dark web

The dark web is a place where all sorts of online crime take place, such as selling drugs, information, human trafficking, etc. Since Bitcoin is an incorruptible ledger system, that coin could be traced back to illegal dealings and might connect you to a crime: dirty money in other words.

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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

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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Сreative Сommunities in Space and Crypto Give Shape to Future Social System

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Equality based on trust and mutual respect is a viable prototype of democracy 2.0
Сreative Сommunities in Space and Crypto Give Shape to Future Social System

Aliya Prokofieva is founder of the international space company “Galaktika,” space exploration visionary and active public speaker. She writes for U.Today on the cutting edge tech and disruptive projects that may change the life of billions of people.

Whatever sociologists say about the growing popularity of individualism in the modern world, man was, is and will be a social being. Without denying the importance of individual genii, it is necessary to recognize: it is collective actions that ensure the progressive development of our civilization.

A notable phenomenon of modern social life is communities, the new forms of social groups that Thomas Hobbes defined as "a certain number of people united by a common interest or common cause." Compared with formal teams, they are much more effective and mobile, more focused on the outcome, and reveal the individual capabilities of participants better. It is communities that have all the chances to become a link between the traditional forms of social order that prevail today and those that will replace them in the future.

Working in various projects, I was able to observe the activities of such communities and identify the criteria that they must meet in order to become successful.

image

What makes communities effective

Here are the conclusions I came to:

1. The community needs a goal.

It does not matter what it will be: taking care of homeless animals or finding solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations. The main thing is that

a) it is clear and concrete,

b) it had high value for a certain circle of people.

Communities without a goal or with unclear targets are not viable- this is easily seen from the example of today's Internet. Instead of interested participants, they attract a crowd of trolls, ready to kill any idea. The exchange of views on such sites quickly gets sidetracked from the means of achieving the goal itself. The result is a massive outflow of capable members and the sudden end of the community.

2. Community members should be associated with joint activities.

Groups, united by the exchange of information or the discussion of common interests, have the right to exist, but they look like blank cartridges: from what they are, the surrounding world is neither hot nor cold. Here everything is simple: if nothing is done, nothing will happen.

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3. Community activities should be of public benefit, i.e. not limited to solving the personal problems of its participants, but to project the result into an external society.

The more people outside the community that feel the positive effect of his work, the higher is his social value.

For example, the social significance of a group of volunteers who decided to equip the courtyard of an apartment building will be limited to the circle of its tenants. However, if after this, volunteers take care of neighboring yards, attract new participants, embrace other areas, they will soon become a significant public force citywide.

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4. The task of a result-oriented community is not to suppress, but to promote the individuality of participants.

Equalization in such social groups is similar to death: it sharply reduces the level of responsibility of members of the collective. As a consequence, the effectiveness of joint activities will be zero. The maximum benefit to the community will come from a participant who can say to himself: this is mine, here I will be able to realize my abilities to the maximum and get a worthy reward (not necessarily material).

5. Full participation in decision-making is a distinctive feature of a properly organized community.

Social groups built on a tight vertical of power have no future. In the modern world, fewer people are ready to be content with the role of a pawn in another's game. A joint search for the right solution; the ability to listen and adequately assess points of view that are different from one's own; the willingness to accept a collective verdict, even if it does not agree with their ideals, is a consistent step on the road to a new type of democracy.

6. Trust is the ultimate catalyst for any community.

Communities in the past had to live, and many still do, on platforms that are not transparent in how they operate and the commoditization is obfuscated. Decentralization and the Blockchain technology are changing that. Blockchain transparency is what will shoot communities to the next level. The essence of the immutable ledger is that your every action is always yours. The Blockchain is for you, the individual. This forms trust. There are projects like U°Community that build a transparent community platform with dynamic reputation.

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The "Ether" orbital city

These considerations were fully taken into account when forming a group of like-minded people united by the idea of ​​creating the orbital city "Ether.” The result was a project that met all the criteria of a successful community, which could well become the prototype of a new model of social structure.

First, it has a well-defined goal, understandable to the participants and having a significant value for them. The idea of ​​creating a city in orbit with a population of several tens of thousands, equipped with an autonomous life support system and its own biosphere, is a powerful unifying force.

Secondly, the "ethereal" community is capable: it includes many high-level professionals competent with various fields of knowledge. But even more enthusiasts, keen on the grandiosity of the goal and ready to learn in the process of achieving it, improve themselves and make a feasible contribution to the common cause.

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Thirdly, the community's activities have a high social value: its result will be a breakthrough not only for the participants but for the entire population of the Earth. The engineering and social technologies obtained in the process of working on the project will become the property of not a narrow group of people, but all of mankind, and will bring the day when we begin to consider outer space as our second home closer.

Fourth, the scale and level of complexity of the tasks to be solved are such that there is space for self-realization for everyone. The theoretical physicist and engineer-designer, power engineer and biotechnologist, space designer and city manager- practically any professional experience multiplied by the ability to generate non-trivial ideas, will be in demand and appreciated.

And, finally, at all stages of joint activities, from the development of the concept to the full settlement of the station, key decisions affecting the future of the "Ether" are done collectively. Each member of the community has the right to vote, and every voice will be heard. Equality based on trust and mutual respect is a viable prototype of democracy 2.0.

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EOS Security Vulnerabilities: David Moss of Block.one Responds to 360 Report

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The claims made by Qihoo 360’s Vulcan team regarding EOS security may be exaggerated and unsupported
EOS Security Vulnerabilities: David Moss of Block.one Responds to 360 Report

The opinions expressed in this article are strictly David Moss’s own and not to be interpreted as speaking on the behalf of Block.one or any other entity.

As the planned June release of EOSIO 1.0 approaches, expectations and tensions are heating up.

Most recently, Monday’s news of possible security vulnerabilities detected by Chinese Internet security giant Qihoo 360 elicited strong responses from EOS supporters and opponents alike.

According to the Weibo post published by Qihoo 360 on Monday, high-risk security vulnerabilities in the EOS platform could enable remote attacks through the deployment of arbitrary code and insertion of malicious smart contracts into new blocks.

Such a security breach may give the attacker full control of the network’s nodes, affecting thousands of computers and accounts.

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The discovery of the security issues was made by Qihoo 360’s Vulcan team, and the wording of the report seems to suggest close collaboration by the Chinese security company with EOS to resolve these issues ahead of the EOSIO launch, but this may not be the case.

David Moss, senior vice president of Tech Operations at Block.one, the open source software publisher responsible for the EOSIO launch, provided comment to CryptoComes on the Vulcan findings

“The allegations were greatly exaggerated by Vulcan 360, as was their involvement with Block.one. They are only to want publicity for themselves and to create the impression they are working with Block.one. They are not. They also have no documentation to back up any claim they made.”

As always, investors and developers are responsible for doing due diligence when it comes to platform security.

The crypto media environment is as susceptible as mainstream media, if not more, to conflicting reports, sensationalism and news cycles used as marketing tools.

The release of EOSIO software has been one of the most eagerly expected events in the crypto community and the next few weeks are certain to put increased pressure on the EOS team to provide commentary on arising questions.

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