Yuri Molchan

Manila Teams Up with ConsenSys to Pay Its Residents in ETH for Cleaning Garbage

Philippine authorities to launch an Ethereum-based decentralized app to reward Manila citizens with Ether for cleaning garbage from local beaches
Manila Teams Up with ConsenSys to Pay Its Residents in ETH for Cleaning Garbage
Contents

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who is also the head of ConsenSys, the world’s major DLT software developer, recently tweeted that the new Ethereum-based dApp (decentralized application) is going to reward people in Manila for picking rubbish from the city’s beaches.

That is going to be achieved by using ConsenSys Impact and Bounties Network, which will create a new model for cutting out the middlemen, and from now on people will be funding causes directly.

Philippines is a good starting point

Bounty is believed to be a promising dApp, since its users can receive compensation directly and on a transparent basis via a DLT network and its public ledger. The dApp is based on the Ethereum protocol, and it allows anybody to launch a bounty system and then reward those who participate with ETH coins. This is a way to support different initiatives.

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Garbage for crypto

A while ago, a subsidiary of ConsenSys, ConsenSys Impact, implemented a non-commercial blockchain-based initiative in order to urge people clean up beaches from plastic garbage. It is dubbed “Bounties for the Oceans: Philippines Pilot – Sustained, Verifiable Plastic Cleanups”.

As per the organisers of this program, pollution from plastic objects kills one million seabirds and around 100,000 sea mammals a year. Then, people themselves get to eat fish that eats plastic garbage in the ocean. So potential users of the new dApp are expected to submit a proof of them cleaning beaches that can be verified with blockchain. They will be rewarded in ETH.

More tourists – more garbage

This initiative has been launched in good time, since just recently the popular tourist resort in Boracay has been reopened. This destination is famous for its clean water, spots for diving and sand of a special white colour. Until recently, Boracay has been suffering from heavy pollution. So cleaning beaches for crypto rewards seems to be particularly handy at the moment.

This was quite easy to set up, though, since the Philippines has adopted Bitcoin and other crypto coins as an official means of settlement, which has made way for an increase in crypto adoption in this area. The local central bank has allowed Bitcoin usage as an official method of remittance, too.

There is nothing new under the moon

Earlier, U.Today reported about a similar initiative arranged by a Norwegian entrepreneur who founded a startup to encourage local citizens to clean up beaches in the country and be rewarded with the company’s own coin for that.

Among his plans was a rollout to third-world poor countries where people can sell garbage for crypto by kilos.

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🎤 Interviews Alexander Goborov

Crypto Prices Can Be Predicted, Says Science

🎤 Interviews
Research shows that Reddit can predict crypto rates
Crypto Prices Can Be Predicted, Says Science
Contents

UCL stands for University College London, a highly regarded institution with a long history of academic excellence. Located in the UK’s capital, this university is considered to be one of the finest research facilities in the world; among its alumni are such household names as Mahatma Gandhi (Indian politician), Alexander Bell (inventor of the telephone), and Francis Crick (one of the discoverers of the DNA).

Last week, we published an article about social media and its effect on crypto prices, in which we briefly examined a scientific study titled “Cryptocurrency price drivers: Wavelet coherence analysis revisited” which had recently came out of UCL. Today, we welcome Ross Phillips, one of the authors of that study, for an exclusive interview.

Behind the study

UCL

U.Today: Both yourself and your colleague Denise Gorse work for Financial Computing and Analytics Group at University College London in England. Can you please tell our readers what sort of work you do there?

Ross: While my paper with Denise has focused specifically on cryptocurrency price prediction, UCL’s Financial Computing & Analytics Group has much broader research interests, including prediction and risk modelling in a range of financial markets. Some of the work of the group, including my own work, actually overlaps significantly with the interests of the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT). The CBT is an interdisciplinary research group which brings together researchers from eight separate UCL departments, whose work falls into three categories: science and technology, economics and finance, and regulation and law.

More specifically, the work that Denise and I do, which includes the paper you covered, has focused on investigating whether online indicators, especially those relating to social media activity, can be predictive of cryptocurrency price movements.

We have explored this hypothesis through a number of separate but related experiments, including:

  1. analysis of correlations between indicators, such as relevant posts/new authors on Reddit, and prices over different time durations;
  2. repurposing a model originally designed for another field and applying it to relevant social media data to track the formation of bubbles; 
  3. deciphering relationships between the occurrence of particular discussion topics and price movements.

Predictions

Graph

U.Today: What the scientific consensus was, pertaining to crypto rate predictions, prior to the study? What did you expect to prove or disprove?

Ross: Many previous academic studies had shown that online indicators, including social media activity, do exhibit relationships with cryptocurrency prices. However, these occasionally differed on their findings, depending usually on the particular data period analysed. We noticed an interesting study using a technique called wavelet coherence which demonstrated well that certain relationships (roughly, correlations) aren’t always uniform over time–they are, in fact, changing.

We set out to revisit the use of wavelet coherence and extend that study. We wanted to validate that relationships were still present and temporally dependent, i.e coming and going over time, when looking at a larger dataset (multiple cryptocurrencies, indicators, and a larger time period). Also, we wanted to check that relationships involving the new indicators were leading, as opposed to having changes in social media lag the price.

This laid the foundations for the main aim of our paper which was to provide an understanding as to why certain social media and crypto rate relationships were appearing when they were.   

U.Today: Can you please outline your study’s fundamental conclusions in layman’s terms to those who may not be familiar with statistical analysis? What are the possible ramifications of your findings for people involved in the crypto world?

Ross: The main finding was that medium term relationships (8 to 32 days) strengthen between the online indicators considered (Google trends, Reddit data, etc.) and cryptocurrency prices during bubble-like financial regimes. As well as explaining why relationships have been observed at certain past times, this observation also suggests these online indicators could potentially be used in a predictive model for bubbles, which are of obvious interest to those looking to understand and track their changes.

A secondary finding was that sudden spikes in online indicator values have different relationships with the price at different times: sometimes there is a positive relationship (when both the indicator and the price are increasing) and sometimes a negative relationship. An example of that latter would be a hack of a system occurring causing prices to fall but related online activity to rise.

This secondary finding could be useful for those analyzing, trading, and potentially training models based on daily fluctuations of online indicator data: don’t just trade on the spikes, use them to identify the causal event.

Platforms and cryptocurrency

Reddit

U.Today: How and why is Reddit different from other social media platforms as far as crypto rate predictions go? Does it really hold more promise than, say, Twitter for those who trade cryptocurrencies and monitor their prices?

Ross: That’s a great question.  I think every social media platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, especially when for data mining. The following are some of the reasons why we chose Reddit–and why it’s promising–for data mining:

First, one interesting aspect of Reddit is its topic based structure. Different topics have their own ‘subreddit’ (area). This results in distinct but possibly overlapping communities. This division into subreddits indicates user interests clearly and enables potential research on community characteristics, not readily available on other platforms.

Second, Twitter has been reported to have an issue with spam submissions. Whereas humans may be able to determine whether messages are spam, naive algorithms may be misled. Reddit currently has less spam for a couple of reasons: that subreddits are usually actively moderated, and that each submission can be upvoted and downvoted, affecting its visibility. Spam submissions get downvoted and low visibility discourages further spam.

Third, an important consideration for all research is how reproducible the research is. That’s another reason we chose to analyse Reddit data, as complete historical and real-time data can be accessed there for free.

This easy accessibility of information on Reddit could also help those wishing to analyse social media data for their own cryptocurrency trading.

U.Today: Generally speaking, as a computer scientist, do you think cryptocurrency is here to stay and its grasp on the world is only to tighten, or is it merely a financial fad? If you believe the former, what new developments may soon come about?

Ross: I feel that both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are definitely here to stay. While prices and trading volumes may have peaked as part of a speculative bubble last December and January, much of that speculation was separate from actual technology progress. Aside from prices and online indicators, there are other important indicators for tracking the health of the ecosystem. For example, developer interest and attendance at developer/technology focused conferences hasn’t stopped increasing, and that is a good indicator that the technology will keep progressing.  

Although I feel the ecosystem is here to stay, I do feel that certain cryptocurrency projects may not be. There are now thousands of cryptocurrencies, and I feel that some projects may not necessarily need their own cryptocurrency, or even blockchain-related solution.  

The current bear market is not only a good opportunity for projects to focus on building their products, but I think the market conditions, all bubble-related euphoria aside, can also allow people to take a step back and work out what is truly needed.

Looking into the future

Crypto

U.Today: Are there any more studies in the pipeline at UCL that may give us more answers? In fact, what is the next big crypto question in the financial science?

Ross: There are so many projects going on right now, especially via the CBT, so it’s hard to keep track of all of them. One of the projects I’m excited to see the results of is UCL’s multiyear partnership with Ripple. In terms of the next big crypto question, I feel any research enabling increased user adoption is especially important, for example exploring the causes of cryptocurrency volatility and ensuring greater stability. Some adopters may be wary of using cryptocurrencies due to the reasonably high current volatility, and national governments would need to find a way to ensure stability before considering central bank involvement with cryptocurrencies.

Thus, I would view research into stablecoins, and research in the wider area of cryptoeconomics, as one of the most important areas of ongoing fintech research.

U.Today: Finally, while all scientists agree that making predictions is very hard indeed, and this endeavor can often backfire, based on the data you’ve got on your hands right now, what possible price fluctuations do you foresee over the next couple of months as this crypto year is about to come to a close?

Ross: You’re right, it’s a hard endeavor to make accurate far-reaching price predictions, and it’s a minefield to answer. What I can say is that cryptocurrency market dynamics have been seen to change frequently. A number of regimes have occurred over a short period of time this year, including bubble, bull market, and bear market states. Identifying trends within the ecosystem and understanding their implications can help predict these regimes, which is the key to foreseeing longer term price changes.

For instance, maybe the boom of the ICO market in 2017 caused the larger cryptocurrencies to more strongly exhibit one of the properties of a currency, i.e. they became a ‘medium of exchange’ allowing access to ICOs. This, with several other causes, contributed to the rising price of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

For me, actual user adoption of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, or even individual projects, is one of the most important longer term impactors from now on.

It’s not just important for those looking to speculate, but also important for the success of the ecosystem. Admittedly, widespread user adoption may not happen over the next few months, but hopefully over the next few years.

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Vaido Veek

BTC & DASH Are On the Important Level, Stellar Has Magic Price Level: Crypto Price Analysis Update, Sept. 18, 2018

Bitcoin is in the crucial area, Stellar has a magic price level, DASH shows overall strength
BTC & DASH Are On the Important Level, Stellar Has Magic Price Level: Crypto Price Analysis Update, Sept. 18, 2018
Contents

*** Please note the analysis below is not investment advice. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.Today. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Bitcoin is in the crucial area

Yesterday we mentioned that Bitcoin is on the "descending triangle" and this meant that we had a slight advantage to break downwards, well it happened. On the one-hour chart, we got a breakout from the counter trendline and we got a candle close below the April low (below all important price levels between the $6,425-$6,533). Those confirmations from the one-hour chart led us to the lower levels, to the next strong support line at $6,250.

image

Currently, BTC price has stopped in this area and the daily candle got a close above the mentioned level. This is good because if the current level holds us then we make a higher low and the price structure stays healthy with the higher highs and higher lows.

Stellar (XLM/USD) has a superstrong area

Yesterday, Stellar fought with the area which has been historically a super-strong level to beat, around $0.21. Over the two week period it has 20 (!) failed attempts to break above the mentioned levels. Previously this super-strong resistance was a support and also then we had around 20 attempts to break. So, if you want to see a bullish Stellar it has to make a breakout above the blue line.

image

Currently, after the little drop, we are below the round number $0.2 and back below the trendline which is pulled from July 25th.

If BTC doesn't find the bottom from the current level ($6,250) then definitely Stellar will follow that move down and we will retest the lower levels because we had a bullish "ascending triangle" pattern. However, sadly, we made a breakout downwards.

Our nearest support lines would be the double bottom around $0.18 and below is a black trendline. This trendline has pulled from March 18 and it has already three precise touches so, this is definitely a significant level. If we break below from this trendline then we may go and touch pretty low levels.

Dash (DASH/USD) shows some overall strength

Overall, Dash has shown us that it is a pretty strong coin. The drops aren't so deep and the recoveries are faster and higher than other altcoins.

Currently, we have two triangles, one is bigger (blue trendlines) and one is smaller (orange).

image

Over the weekend, Dash has made a breakout from the smaller triangle and it found a resistance from the round number at $200. At the moment, it has started to make a throwback, the throwback is healthy if we find a support from the orange triangle upper trendline and from the counter trendline (lower blue line).

If the whole market starts to show us some positive signs then this retest area would be a perfect spot to invest into dash but watch out for what BTC' does because the current market situation is a bit risky and we could see a panic if the current level doesn't hold.

If the bounce happens again, then we go to the round number level and overall this is a pretty strong level to beat. Why? Because:

  1. $200 round number works as a resistance
  2. July low works as a resistance
  3. The trendline since July 20, 2018 works as a resistance

So, a pretty tough level but if we manage to break upwards then the triangle pattern shows us that the next nearest target would be the next 'round number' of $250 and definitely we can reach there because Dash has shown almost incredible strength compared to other top altcoins!

To give you a bearish view, it is simple- at least a four-hour candle close below both triangles will guide us to the lower levels, so watch out if the price reaches into the red box area (around $175-$180).

If we get a close around the red box then we might see a pretty heavy drop (delayed drop from Dash) because, the price is at pretty high levels compared to other altcoins, far away from the 2018 low point.

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Andrew Strogoff

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, NEM Have New Targets On The Way Up, Price Analysis, July 25

Bitcoin and altcoins resume their upside tendencies, new tops on the way
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, NEM Have New Targets On The Way Up, Price Analysis, July 25
Contents

Hello, my dear readers and subscribers! This is Andrew Strogoff again and we are going to make another interesting trip to the world of cryptos. The whole board of the top 20 is on its bullish run and my targets are very close to the current prices.

The crypto industry has positive moods in the moment of writing and I think traders and investors will preserve it for a while at least. I suppose that investors are sick and tired of plating the second role and now they have control over the market.

As for the news, I have some interesting data for you. First, I would like to introduce the opinion of Brian Kelly, famous CEO of BKCM. He thinks that Bitcoin is far from its midterm tops and is going to develop this upside tendency in the nearest future.

Another interesting news comes from McAfee. This famous ICO promoter decided to launch his own MacAfeeMarketCap.com website, which is going to compete with another famous website in this industry.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) carries the whole crypto market upwards, price analysis, July 25

Let me start with Bitcoin. BTC/USD has added almost six percent in the past 24 hours and I am far from thinking that this cryptocurrency is going to sing Jim Morrison’s famous “The End.” However, I think that BTC/USD needs to visit a gas station before developing its uptrend.

btc

The currency pair has reached my targets on Tuesday and went even higher as BTC/USD reached $8,000 and overcame this level. Bitcoin is currently above $8,300. The currency pair failed to reach $8,560 resistance area.

I think that BTC/USD is going to start a downside correction currently to reach the support area at $8,193 first before going higher. My targets are set at $8,824. However, Bitcoin may be even more active in the next 24 hours and hit higher aims.

Ethereum (ETH/USD) still on the way to my targets, price analysis, July 25

Ethereum makes new gains and ETH price is going towards my targets finally. The correction was a bit deeper but I have indicated on the hammer bullish pattern yesterday and those who bought after it, could have profits as well.

image

Anyway, this downside correction is done finally and Ethereum is close to $500 again. The currency pair has broken through the resistance area at $473.39 on Tuesday. I have not changed my targets as ETH price still heads towards $500.36. I think that this aim is going to be reached on Wednesday-Thursday.

Are there other scenarios? I’m far from thinking that Ethereum is going to decline and start a downtrend. However, the price may correct towards the closest support area at $473.39 before reaching my target.

Ripple (XRP/USD) the rocket flies to my targets, July 25

Ripple is another gainer of Wednesday as the currency pair added almost four percent in the past 24 hours. As you may see, XRP/USD goes straight to my target and I think it is going to reach it in the next 24-48 hours. The uptrend is confirmed as the downside correction has ended already.

ripple

Ripple has reached its lows on Monday-Tuesday but then the currency pair went upwards and is currently trading above the support area at $0.4495. I think that XRP/USD has enough fuel to develop this upside progress and to reach the closest resistance area at $0.4744 at least on Wednesday.

My targets are even higher as I think Ripple will touch the resistance area at $0.5088 in the nearest future. The downside corrections are also possible, but I am far from thinking that they are going to be deep.

EOS (EOS/USD) The biggest gainer of the day, price analysis, July 25

EOS has added more than 10 percent in the past 24 hours. This is the best results of all the cryptos I analyze. I suppose the currency pair is likely to develop its uptrend in the nearest future. EOS/USD has enough gas to reach my targets.

eos

EOS has broken through the resistance area at $8.29 and I think the currency pair is likely to reach the closest resistance at $9.03 in the nearest future. However, my targets are even higher. I suppose that EOS/USD is likely to aim at the next resistance area at $9.56.

Can a downside correction happen? This scenario is also possible as EOS had a significant momentum in the past 24 hours. However, this correction (even if it happens) will not be deep.

NEM (XEM/USD) so far so good, price analysis, July 25

NEM has added almost five percent in the past 24 hours, but the currency pair is still far from reaching my targets. The downside correction is done and XEM/USD is likely to resume its uptrend in the next couple of days.

nem

XEM/USD is trading above the support area at $0.1729. The currency pair aims at the closest resistance area at $0.1883. I think this is the closest target for Wednesday. However, as you can see, my rocket is well above this level. I believe NEM is likely to go there in the nearest future.

The correction towards the support are at $0.1729 is also possible, but if it happens, it won’t be the trend breaker. Moreover, I think that this correction has only 10-20 percent of probability.

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Crypto Canal: Women in Blockchain Put Amsterdam on the Map

BTC.com, Bitmain Technologies’ digital platform, hosts a Women in Blockchain event in Amsterdam
Crypto Canal: Women in Blockchain Put Amsterdam on the Map
Contents

One of the distinguishing traits of the crypto community is its truly global scope. The principles of decentralization and a low barrier to entry are what make Blockchain such a great tool for promoting transparency, accountability and democratic participation. Given enough awareness, initiative and an internet connection, any place in the world can become a hub of Blockchain activity.

Europe boasts quite a few crypto hotspots, including London, Berlin and, of course, Malta. The Netherlands has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture and are consistently rated as having one of the highest qualities of life in the world, so it’s not surprising to see more public crypto events in Amsterdam. The city is also home to one of the global offices of Bitmain Technologies.

BTC.com, the digital platform founded by Bitmain to provide services for Bitcoin users, miners and developers recently hosted Bitcoin Fundamentalks: Women in Blockchain Special in Amsterdam. The event featured an expert panel, assistance with the BTC.com wallet installation and a Bitcoin Cash drop. U.Today spoke to the panelists about the Netherlands’ crypto community and the way Blockchain is changing the entrepreneurial landscape for women everywhere.

The event’s speakers included: Nikol Daru– Marketing Manager of BTC.com and participant of #CryptoCanal initiative; Jana Petkanic– Blockchain consultant and co-founder of Blockchain Talks; Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt– founder of Blockchain food systems company The Fork; Berit Fuss – Blockchain consultant and speaker; Valeria Ferrari– PhD candidate at the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam working in the Blockchain&Society Policy Research Lab; and Eleonore Blanc– Content and Community Manager of BTC.com.

Blockchain in the Netherlands

U.Today: How would you compare the level of Blockchain and crypto adoption in the Netherlands to the rest of the world?

Nikol Daru: The Netherlands is a global leader in technological innovation and development, reflected in the active and vibrant Dutch cryptocurrency community. There are also many well-known crypto companies located in Amsterdam, that's why we use the term #Crypto Canal.

Valeria Ferrari: The interest is high within the public– big and small firms are not hesitating to invest in Blockchain expertise and implementation. Being a country that is responsive to new opportunities for economic and societal growth, the government of the Netherlands is promoting the industry and exploring the adoption of Blockchain for administrative purposes.

Berit Fuss: I am seriously impressed by the amount of organizations in the Netherlands that are exploring the technology. We also have a government that has a very proactive attitude towards Blockchain technology, something that you only see in a few other places in the world.

Jana Petkanic: Emerging economies have a real need for Blockchain, due to highly corrupted governance entities. However, R&D is more advanced in developed economies, so I think we shall be spreading the knowledge to those poorly facilitated regions.

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Welcoming women

UT: How has Blockchain changed the circumstances for women entrepreneurs in your experience?

Berit Fuss: I am not sure a lot has really changed, but all the developments and attention surrounding Blockchain technology have created a bigger stage for women who are also entrepreneurs to shine. I think that in a field as new as Blockchain technology, where there are few experts, it might be easier to claim a spot and get attention for the great work you (as a woman) are doing than in an established male-dominated scenario.

Valeria Ferrari: As a technology that has profound implications on the way information, wealth and thus power are managed and distributed among the members of a community, Blockchain inspires the disruption of established financial and business models, which are the heritage of centuries of white-male-dominated economies. In the Blockchain space, women contribute in defining how Blockchain can beneficially change some areas and aspects of an economy, but the number of women in this industry is still low– I hope to see a growing number of initiatives fostered by feminine-thinking.

Jana Petkanic: Blockchain itself hasn't changed anything, but I envision more women entering this industry in the future because Blockchain naturally reinforces principles of fairness, democracy and common good– features that women are more attentive and sensitive towards.

Nikol Daru: I don't think that Blockchain has specifically changed the overarching position of women to start or scale their own companies. But because of its open protocol, Blockchain is blind to gender-bias and allows any entrepreneur to kickstart their project given the possibility of crowdfunding via ICOs.

UT: What are some of the most important takeaways from the Bitcoin Fundamentalks: Women in Blockchain special?

Nikol Daru: We had a huge amount of interest, the event filled up in less than two days, and the turnout was great. The talk attracted over 100 women, and they said they felt invited here in a way they wouldn’t have at a regular Blockchain event.

Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt: We were very surprised that some women apparently feel more welcomed by having “women” in the title of an event.

Valeria Ferrari: The presence of so many ladies at this event was surprising for those who regularly attend crypto-related events in Amsterdam. In my opinion, this highlights that women are interested in the topic, but scared away from regular meetups by other circumstances such as fear of not being informed enough or encountering a closed community.

Berit Fuss: Many attendees said that they needed that little nudge of a women’s event to actually attend a tech-focused meetup. It was interesting to see that there were so many beginners on the topic, but a lot of these women had really interesting profiles. Lawyers, creatives, designers, UX-ers, entrepreneurs– these are all people we need to not only mature the pure tech itself but to create applications and experiences that people will be able to use.

Valeria Ferrari: It was amazing to see how everyone was interested in discovering not only how cryptocurrencies work but also how Blockchain could be used in their domain of expertise. 

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Stepping out of the Blockchain bubble

UT: What kind of initiatives would you like to see more of in the crypto community, both in Amsterdam and globally?

Nikol Daru: There is a large and critical population that is being underserved by the current meetup landscape: beginners. We need more knowledge bootcamps and meetups with a focus on practical learning. With the Fundamentalks series, we aim to bring everyone up to speed, so they can have a foundation from which to develop a critical understanding of the space. There is a serious need for content that helps people orientate themselves within this chaotic and fast-paced industry.

Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt: There's currently an overdose of free/sponsored (hence biased) content. We hope the sector will mature this year with high-quality content supply and an informed demand, not just gold diggers seeking for easy return.

Valeria Ferrari: I believe that the Blockchain community should step out of its bubble, and interact more with other tech hubs in Amsterdam and in the rest of the world. For instance, I would like to see the young, vibrant startup environment of Amsterdam joining forces with the crypto community to create approachable, mainstream Blockchain-based solutions in fields such as the art and the food industry.

Jana Petkanic: We need more involved parties outside the community- cryptocurrencies will concern everyone in the near future, and I would appreciate if the mainstream media and public institutions showed a real interest in promoting non-biased information about this field.

Berit Fuss: We need to keep adding people with a variety of expertise to our Blockchain/crypto family in order to make applications practically usable. We need to create more tools for developers to build better applications. We need to keep bridging the gap between large organizations, governments and startups.

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Technology by people, for people

UT: Do you find that people who are new to the industry find it difficult to place their trust and business in the hands of new technology? How can they be convinced?

Berit Fuss: One of the early things I usually talk about with any person or organization I work with is that any technology is created by people and used by people. There is not some magic wand that will solve the world’s problems. This also means that people quickly understand that they have a role to play, whether that is to contribute, to collaborate or to voice their needs as a user. For me, it is not so much convincing people to put their faith fully in technology but letting people see the possibilities of technological development, and help them figure out how they can contribute and benefit.

Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt: The fact that technology needs to be demystified is nothing new and not Blockchain specific. Of course, the majority of people are tech-illiterate, hence also Blockchain-illiterate and require initial guidance.

Valeria Ferrari: Companies work for the logic of profit and this will not be disrupted by technology. What the technology does is allow us to think about new models of managing value and information, cutting costs in some domains, improving transparency in others, and potentially mitigating the capitalistic and secretive accumulation of data by tech-giants and finance firms. These kinds of improvements, however, can only be fostered if the awareness of people about existing problems is strong enough to force businesses to change.

Jana Petkanic: My greatest interest is not to convince, but to inspire. I believe everyone will understand the potential of Blockchain at the right moment.

Nikol Daru: I have no doubt that global adoption will happen because of people who are passionate about crypto and share their interest with others. Our community is very social and most people learn about crypto from a friend. We hope that people who attend our events will continue the butterfly effect and share their new knowledge with their friends.

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Blockchained China: Ban or No Ban, the Crypto Sun is Refusing to Set

Opinions
While China has indeed imposed a ban on ICOs and crypto exchanges, its relationship with the Blockchain is far from over
Blockchained China: Ban or No Ban, the Crypto Sun is Refusing to Set
Contents

With the population of 1.4 billion people, the largest of any in the world, and GDP of 12.5 trillion USD, China is, without doubt, one of the major global players. Nevertheless, there have been talks about the Chinese government’s unwillingness to accept the many benefits of the Blockchain technology, which culminated in China’s official crypto ban last year.

Does it mean that China’s romance with the Blockchain is bound to wither? The answer is not even close: this is a gross misreading of what has been actually happening.

The Ban

China banned ICOs in September of last year and soon after outlawed all cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Incidentally, that did not stop the price of Bitcoin from skyrocketing, but it did make many think that it would be China’s Blockchain finale.

As a matter of fact, this is not what the Chinese government had in mind. Their goal was not to prohibit Blockchain per se, but rather to combat ICO fraud which was ubiquitous on the mainland. Paradoxically enough, China is making a centralized effort to develop a decentralized phenomenon; after all, the Blockchain technology did make a mainstage appearance in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for IT Development in December 2016.

In addition, the chairman of People’s Bank of China (China’s central bank), Zhou Xiaochuan, said earlier this year that digital currencies were, in fact, an inevitability, including those backed by nation-states, giving his reasons for the imposed ICO ban:

“For Blockchain projects with technological potentials, they should conduct thorough testing before rolling out services. Otherwise, a reckless expansion may incur serious security and financial stability issues.”

The Situation Right Now

The fact that the Chinese government acted decisively to fight fraud and instability (which was to be expected) by pushing the ban on ICOs and crypto exchanges does not mean that China’s relationship with the Blockchain is finished. Not by a mile.

Lest we forget that, to this day, three of the major crypto exchanges are de facto Chinese. The giants HitBTC and Bitfinex are based in Hong Kong. Sure, Hong Kong is not mainland China, so a different set of rules applies; however, it still is an administrative region of People’s Republic of China and has been since Hong Kong’s transfer from the UK in 1997. Most definitely, the Chinese government were well aware of what this ban would (or rather, would not) mean for Hong Kong’s crypto industry when they finally put their foot down.

Another huge player in the game is Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, whose founder Changpeng Zhao is Chinese. Binance started out in Shanghai and later moved to Japan to avoid the ban, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that both the company and the Chinese government were well aware of each other intentions, well in advance. It is also quite possible (and even probable) that Binance maintains some ties with China to this day, since the company’s predecessor, Fusion Systems, is still operating from within China.

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Crucially, according to the most recent statistics by Datalight, today 56% of all patents in the world related to the Blockchain come from China. Furthermore, this year 47% of all attracted venture capital globally has also been Chinese. The month of January alone saw over 100 million USD in Blockchain-related projects in China.

The Future

Evidently, China’s affair with the Blockchain is not going anywhere; instead, the government wants to turn China into a global centre of innovation by adopting the Blockchain technology at the national level, including state commerce, government, and academia, as opposed to letting the ICO scammers roam free.

It has also been reported that China is extending its hand to Venezuela in their support of the latter one’s switch to the state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, and DLT. This, too, must be indicative of something.

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In May of this year, China’s president, Xi Jinping, made it clear what direction the country is set to take in relation to the Blockchain, having declared:

“A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications.”

Ban or no ban on ICOs and crypto speculators, it appears as though China is planning to make good use of what the Blockchain technology has to offer, and it has proceeded to do so already.

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