Yuri Molchan

Hyperledger Creates Innovative Cryptographic Library for Blockchain Developers

Blockchain giant Hyperledger has produced a brand new tool set for developers of DLT systems – a cryptographic library that can be shared
Hyperledger Creates Innovative Cryptographic Library for Blockchain Developers
Contents

The new product of Hyperledger is called Ursa, and it is intended to make life easier for blockchain developers. It is a shared library that is going be used as a storage tank for trusted cryptographic elements. This is expected to help open ledger programmers avoid developing similar elements of a blockchain.

Shared blockchain database

The Ursa library will allow developers to maintain projects in a simpler way and decrease the amount of bugs that often emerge. Hyperledger reps assure that this will be ensured by the fact that all parts of the crypto code will be stored in one place, and experts on security will review them on a regular basis.

Developers that work on the company’s projects, such as Sawtooth, Indy, and Fabric, will also have access to it along with other cryptographers of Hyperledger.

The company’s management team commented that Ursa was developed to help all computer experts working in the community put their efforts and skills together and get all the projects moving on.

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What Ursa consists of

Presently, Ursa contains two modules. One of them is for standard, modular, and simple crypto algorithms. The other one is dubbed Zmix, and it is for smart signatures and zero knowledge basic elements.

The library is mostly composed in the Rust language. Its interfaces will be in the languages that are most frequently utilized by Hyperledger.

As per Hyperledger reps, the new shared database will enable programmers to avoid interacting with maths that the process of software development is based on and work directly with various cryptographic algorithms.

Ursa now has been officially launched as part of Hyperledger Labs.

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🎤 Interviews Cyril Gilson

Future of Blockchain Series: Vicky Barker on Mass Adoption

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Dacxi’s boss aims to bring more clarity for novice crypto users
Future of Blockchain Series: Vicky Barker on Mass Adoption

Once in a while, an exceptional technology comes to light. As everything else under the sun, those technologies have a certain cycle, almost a fruit like process. That initial seed of an idea turns into a sprout of potential, that becomes a tree giving us sweet and juicy benefits.

Vicky Barker's crypto exchange Dacxi is focused on bringing wonders of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies specifically to mainstream audiences.
We touched upon the growth of Blockchain technology, the role of team and the need for clarity for rookie crypto enthusiasts.

Cyril Gilson: Give us a brief story of how you first discovered Blockchain and what it meant for you?

Vicky Barker: I was at a conference in Hong Kong at the end of 2015 and accidentally stumbled into a breakout session that was all about how Blockchain might disrupt the beauty industry. I was really intrigued to hear about how Blockchain might have the potential to solve major issues in the cosmetics industry for both companies and consumers alike. At the time I was a beauty product manufacturer and I realized that Blockchain could be used to stop the counterfeiting of products and also provide supply chain transparency in an industry that is famous for smoke and mirrors.

From there I went down the rabbit hole and started devouring books, Ted-talks and whitepapers. Having lived through the Dotcom revolution, I realized that Blockchain had the same potential to turn the world on its head and I knew I had to get involved. I’m fascinated by the idea that our monetary system could be transformed and so create a fairer world. So my husband, myself and our investors set out to create Dacxi, the world’s first Community Exchange. Our goal is to help solve mainstream adoption of crypto assets.

CG: Tell us about your team. How did they get to the crypto industry?

VB: One of Dacxi’s strengths is our team. We have around 52 team members who are based in four offices in four different countries. They are a fantastically talented and diverse group of people with skills across the board from marketing, acquisition, community building to cryptoanalysts and also our dev and technical team. Some have been in the Blockchain world for years and act as crypto evangelists to any members of the team who are new to crypto!

CG: When in your opinion will mass adoption of Blockchain come?

VB: That’s the big question isn’t it? I think it is going to be like any new technology. At first, adoption is very slow and people question the value of the technology. We’ve seen this already. And then as Blockchain starts to spread it will follow an s-curve adoption cycle and quickly become unstoppable. When a new technology does take hold, it is very hard to stop. I think this will happen with cryptocurrency because of the network effects that strengthen and expand as more people use it. We need digital money for our digital world. That’s one of the first uses cases, and then once the more exotic DAPPs start to come online and scale there will be no looking back!

CG: Do you think your project may significantly influence Blockchain adoption? If yes, why?

VB: Yes, absolutely! Dacxi’s mission is to help solve the mainstream adoption problem. Our goal is to be the number one community exchange brand in crypto. We’re going to onboard the next wave of mainstream retail investors into crypto and that means up to 500 mln new investors and a market worth $1 tln by 2022. We’ll do this by pioneering a new category of crypto exchange, called a Community Exchange. The Dacxi Community Exchange has two key parts to it. Firstly, a user-friendly interface that is simple and intuitive to use. Secondly, it includes a dedicated community platform that provides new mainstream investors with the knowledge, tools, discussion groups and learning resources they need to engage with crypto assets in a safe and responsible way.

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CG: Name the factor that could be a major turnoff as it comes to cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. What can be done about it?

VB: The major turn off for people at the moment is they simply don’t understand it. It takes a while for people to get their heads around what Blockchain and crypto are all about. And of course, the barriers to entry are high. It’s a big challenge for new people to even get their first crypto and most people give up. Current exchanges are very technical and intimidating and not designed for mainstream users. So at Dacxi, we’re removing those barriers to entry, so new mainstream retail investors can get into crypto in a safe and responsible way. We’ll show them what they need to know and how to do it!

CG: The number of hacks is growing today along with the volumes of the sensitive data and the funds were stolen. How will you make sure that very personal user data is not going to be compromised?

VB: Yes, well obviously one of the strengths of Blockchain is that it allows users to take control of their data and keep it out of the hands of big companies that are more likely to be hacked. For us, as a crypto exchange, the security of our systems, assets and user data is one of the core principles upon which our business is built. We have best practice security protocols in place, a secure cold wallet storage facility in a remote location and our team is constantly assessing and testing our systems.

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CG: What major obstacles do you foresee for your project?

VB: One of the challenges for us in 2018 and I’m sure it’s the same for many others in the space, is the current bear market has meant that new investors aren’t ready to enter the market yet. In some ways, this has turned out to be a positive, as it has given us a longer runway to build out the Dacxi ecosystem platforms, so when the market does turn and we enter the next bull cycle we’ll be well positioned for the next wave of new investors.

CG: How big is the community you are working with? How do you describe it?  

VB: Our community is growing fast! I would describe our global crypto community as welcoming, friendly, empowering, inclusive, collaborative, credible, knowledgeable, aspirational, inspirational, entertaining, enthusiastic and positive. Because we’re global, our team is just as global and diverse as the community. We have people from over 20 different countries on the team.

CG: What is the role of women in your company?

VB: We have some great women on our team and it’s very important to me that we help encourage new female crypto people. It’s estimated that less than five percent of crypto investors are women and I find that quite shocking!

I think there are a few reasons why. Firstly, women are more risk-averse than men. And while crypto is becoming more recognized as an emerging new asset class, it has always been seen as risky. Secondly, knowledge or access to information. Bitcoin first became popular in the geekiest, nerdiest corners of the Internet. In those days you did need some technical knowledge to get into crypto, and while things are much easier now, and getting better all the time, it’s still true today.

Too many women think you need to have an economics degree or be a computer coder to be qualified to invest in crypto. That is not true! Also, did you know that woman make better investors than men? It’s true! According to research by Warwick Business School-  women’s returns on their investments were 1.2 percent higher than men. If crypto is going to achieve mainstream adoption, we must welcome more women into the space and I’m certain that we will.

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CG: What are your major principles when working with your community?

VB: We're all about our community. Our members are here to increase their crypto knowledge and learn more about how to take part in the crypto revolution. To help our community members grow in confidence on their crypto journey, we value and respect constructive contributions from anyone, regardless of where they are on their journey. We will all help each other to succeed.

Dacxi.com

Dacxi (Digital Asset Community Exchange International) is a global start-up pioneering a new category of crypto exchange, called a Community Exchange. Dacxi’s mission is to help solve the mainstream adoption problem by removing the barriers to entry that have prevented retail investors from entering the crypto market. Once these barriers to entry are solved, Dacxi estimates that up to 500 mln new retail investors will enter the crypto market by 2022.

The Dacxi Community Exchange has two key parts to it. Firstly, the Dacxi Exchange has a user-friendly interface that is simple and intuitive to use, not technical and intimidating like most existing exchanges.

Secondly, the Community Exchange includes a dedicated community platform that provides new mainstream investors with the knowledge, tools, discussion groups and learning resources they need to engage with crypto assets in a safe and responsible way. Beta versions of Dacxi’s platforms have been launched and can be accessed via dacxi.com

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

IoT Supply Chain Network Still Needs Final Test: Past-ICO Review

👁 ICO Watch
Partnered with the UN, this company has global potential
IoT Supply Chain Network Still Needs Final Test: Past-ICO Review
Contents

Ambrosus (AMB) is building a decentralized, Blockchain-powered IoT-based logistical supply chain network that will enable secure and frictionless dialogue between sensors, distributed ledgers and databases to optimize supply chain visibility and quality assurance. The network will serve industries such as agricultural, medical, commodities, and high-value products. Ambrosus is a utility token.

By the numbers

Ambrosus had a one-month long ICO from Sept. 22 to Oct 22, 2017 and raised $32.5 mln, only 33 percent of it’s $97.8 mln goal.

It has a market cap of $44.6 mln. The token entered the market on Oct. 23, 2017 at $0.19 and at the time of writing is trading for $0.31. The token hit an all-time high of $1.72 in mid-January 2018.

Ambrosus is a utility token, not an equity token. It is important to note that utility tokens provide users with future access to a product or service. Utility token ICOs, allow startups to raise funding for the development of their Blockchain projects.

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Ambrosus utility token, what is to good for?

CryptoComes was able to speak with CEO Angel Versetti via email about the latest developments and how Ambrosus is developing thus far. Concerning the use of the token, Versetti said the following: “The token serves as a unit of payment for computational power and storage required to process, record and subsequently recall data [on the Blockchain]. It furthermore serves as a unit of payment to access additional features in Dapps built on top of AMB-NET. Finally, it serves as incentive mechanism for masternodes, who use AMB to stake and participate in the network as well as having rewards paid out.”

Sensing the sensors

With logistics and IoT, many sensors need to be involved with the process. At this point in time Ambrosus is not producing its own sensors but according to Versetti, the company is  creating “designs of sensors and generating intellectual property on such features as hardware security, secure processing, network encryption, gateways, etc. (patenting it whenever there is an opportunity) and later on Ambrosus can license the production of sensors to third-party manufacturers.”

In other words, rather than making proprietary sensors that consumers must purchase to use the system, the AMB-NET has been made as flexible as possible to work with many sensors on the market. As with many Blockchain and crypto-based companies, they usually do not have a totally functional product or it is still in conceptual or developmental stages. That being said, we went straight for the kill and asked when AMB-NET would be launching.

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AMB-NET online soon

When asked about the date the network would go live, Versetti said, “AMB-NET is actually going live this summer (right now the test-nets are available for experimentation and devs). We will have a more robust, industrial grade network, AMB-NET 2.0, in December this year.”

The Team

While there are many members of the team, here are a few of the top members.

CEO - Angel Versetti

Started his own crypto investment company, in Zug, Switzerland, also known as crypto valley. He previously worked at the UN, which is also a partner of Ambrosus.

Solutions Architect- Prof. Roger Wattenhofer is a professor of computer science at ETH (technical university) Switzerland. He is also a strong proponent of Blockchain and crypto.

CTO and Co-founder- Stefan Meyer has over 20 years of research and development experience in quality assurance, ultrasound sensors and data encryption methods. Previously, Stefan led projects at Nestlé and MHM Microtechnique. He was the Managing Director of the Integrative Food and Nutrition Center at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

CPO- Dr. Vlad Trifa has spent the past ten years building industrial-grade IoT platforms and solutions used by Fortune 500 companies in numerous industries (consumer goods, luxury, logistics, retail or entertainment).

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Consensus

While the Blockchain and crypto business environment is volatile and eats up many companies, Ambrosus seems to have stood the test. It has a strong team at the helm, it has the UN as a partner, which could facilitate the adoption of Blockchain from a higher level, and its network is about to go live this quarter, which will be the biggest litmus test for the company. After the network goes live, how will it be received? How many users will come on board? These are some questions that still remain.

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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
Contents

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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Anarchy and Cryptocurrency: The Relationship That Never Was

Opinions
Cryptocurrencies in their current form are definitely not following the anarchist principles
Anarchy and Cryptocurrency: The Relationship That Never Was
Contents

When Bitcoin first entered the market nearly a decade ago, it was thought of as the perfect tool for anarchists. Several so-called crypto-anarchists groups sprung up, hailing Bitcoin as the “path” to self-reliance and getting out of government control.

However, as it turns out, cryptocurrencies, in their current form are definitely not following the anarchist principles. In fact, there is an argument to be made that cryptocurrencies and pure anarchy were never really meant to be “partners-in-crime” in the first place.

So, before we get into all that, let’s first define what anarchy really is.

What is anarchy?

Merriam-Webster defines anarchy as one of the following five states:

  • Absence of government

  • A state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority (e.g. the city's descent into anarchy)

  • A utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government

  • Absence or denial of any authority or established order (e.g. anarchy prevailed in the ghetto)

  • Absence of order

Now, that’s the dictionary definition. The word itself, however, is shrouded in a lot of negative connotations. If you put it in a positive light, the real meaning of anarchy is a society that has attained the highest order of consciousness. Members of this society have such high levels of self-discipline and empathy that they do not need an authority figure to keep them in check.

Unlike what many wrongly think, anarchy doesn’t mean getting rid of the government: it means elevating yourself up to a level where you don’t need one.

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Cryptocurrencies and anarchy

Back when Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin and opened the floodgates for decentralized cryptocurrencies, people were wondering if this was the ideal tool that anarchists had been waiting for. Think about it, finally people had a currency system which didn’t rely on a centralized entity to take care of it.

In fact, way before Bitcoin even came out, cypherpunks and old school cryptologists already identified cryptography as a method of attaining proper anarchy. Timothy May, one of the original crypto-anarchists, wrote a report back in 1994 titled, “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities.” In the report he explains:

“The combination of strong, unbreakable public key cryptography and virtual network communities in cyberspace will produce interesting and profound changes in the nature of economic and social systems. Crypto anarchy is the cyberspatial realization of anarcho-capitalism, transcending national boundaries and freeing individuals to make the economic arrangements they wish to make consensually.”

That pretty much set everything up for cryptocurrency systems and other encryption-based technologies.

Bitcoin leveraged Blockchain technology to create an ecosystem in which two people could transact with each other without getting involved with a bank. For the first time ever, you, and only you had full control over your own money.

Early adopters of Bitcoin, especially the ones who were coining themselves “crypto-anarchists”, had a big responsibility of spreading the word around to create this crypto-anarchic ecosystem; however, their attitude changed as soon as the market conditions improved, and the value of their assets swelled exponentially. They inevitably became whales, i.e. they just sat on their money and started to accumulate more wealth, failing miserably in the process at what they were originally supposed to do.

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Current state of cryptocurrencies

As cryptos have gotten more and more mainstream, it looks like they have also lost that anarchic streak that made them so desirable when they first entered the market.

To set the record straight, we still believe that cryptocurrencies have the capability of disrupting the financial sector for good. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that the entire system is becoming more and more businesslike these days, and it looks like this is not going to change any time soon.

With more and more people coming in, newer investors are getting extremely jumpy around price volatility. Concurrently, in order to protect their interests, governing bodies like CFTC and SEC have entered the fray as well. Investors have become increasingly open to regulated investment opportunities like ETFs, Bakkt, etc. Big crypto exchanges have been pressurized into adding KYC regulations; in fact, Andreas Antonopoulos recently expressed his dismay on Shapeshift opting for KYC. He sees Lightning Network, Decentralized Exchanges, and Atomic Swaps as possible future replacements:

Andreas Antonopoulos

The idea that “we will go with the government in the beginning and then branch out on our own” never really works out in the long run. Once the government has their clutches on something this disruptive, it will be hard to see them let go.

So, as you can see right now, the current crypto space is definitely not anarchic. Be that as it may, this is where we need to ask ourselves another question.

Were cryptocurrencies ever meant to be anarchic?

True anarchy is against the usage of any form of currency since money is a commodity controlled by the government. Nevertheless, even if money wasn’t under the government’s control (like with cryptocurrencies), the value that a capitalistic system itself puts on money is the biggest problem, and this doesn’t change with decentralized currency either.

The anarchist community advocates changing the money economy to a gift economy, wherein people get paid with gift vouchers in return for their services. However, there are certain schools of anarchist thinking that don’t have a problem with having currency.

Deeper than just “anti-government”

From whatever we have shown so far, one thing becomes very clear.

The cryptocurrency space has never been anarchic, in the purest sense of the word, and never will be. Sure, it offers a decentralized currency which can be used trustlessly for daily transactions; however, the concept of anarchy goes deeper than just being “anti-government.”

The core idea of anarchy is to be self-sufficient and competent enough on your own as a society that does not require government’s intervention. Old school anarchy believes that the idea of money, be it in its physical form or its decentralized cryptic form, can seriously threaten this core concept.

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Blockchain's True Value Shown in Sierra Leone’s Blockchain-Powered Elections

Beating corruption and manipulation in areas that need it most is where Blockchain can really shine
Blockchain's True Value Shown in Sierra Leone’s Blockchain-Powered Elections
Contents

While the world continues to implement Blockchain technology in seemingly endless facets of society, there are a few instances where its usage is desperately needed. Blockchain technology is being heralded as the tool to revolutionize everything from banking to economics, but politics is where it could really shine.

There is no doubting that corruption and manipulation are rife in political realms, and in countries where there are many impoverished and disadvantaged citizens, the corruption is usually at its highest.

Recently, in the poverty-stricken country of Sierra Leone, there was some positive news emanating around the use of Blockchain technology as elections in the country had a boost with the help of this distributed ledger.

Welcomed transparency

Presidential elections are underway in Sierra Leone as president Ernest Bai Koroma leaves office after serving two five-year terms.

In Sierra Leone Western District, votes cast were manually recorded by Agora, a Swiss foundation offering digital voting solutions, using a permissioned Blockchain.

The idea was simple: just like Blockchain technology helps ensure transparency with cryptocurrency transactions using public ledgers, by recording each vote on Blockchain, Agora ensured transparency with votes cast in the district.

While everyone can view entries on permissioned Blockchains, entries can only be validated by authorized persons.

Proper use case

With so many uses for Blockchain being spouted and developed through ICOs and the likes, it is difficult to envisage a use that can truly help make the world a better place, and not be one that is simply aimed at being a money grab.

Blockchain elections have been mulled over and discussed at length, but as with a lot of Blockchain applications, they have lacked the ability to be executed successfully and to full effect.

Now, by Sierra Leone opening the door to this possibility, suddenly, Blockchain can have life-changing ramifications. The power of the technology exists in its transparency, decentralized nature and anonymity, and, when it comes to elections, all of those facets are key.

Making the world better

Elections have been fraught with corruption and manipulation for ages, especially in African countries were dictatorships spring up easily, and the will of the people is brushed aside.

However, the use of Blockchain technology can easily ensure that the people’s will is available for all to see - immutable, unhackable and transparent.

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