AI Beixi Xu

One-to-One 3D Service: How Meituan’s AI Product “B-BOX” Serves Customers

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Chinese group buying website Meituan is going to launch their full scene AI product “Better-Box” to serve customers by the end of this month
One-to-One 3D Service: How Meituan’s AI Product “B-BOX” Serves Customers

Chinese group buying website Meituan is going to launch its first full scene AI product “Better-Box” to serve customers by the end of this month.

The new product combines AI, Cloud Big Data, machine vision and 3D photographic projection technologies to provide virtual characters to serve users. The name came from Meituan’s “eat better live better” business mission.  

What “B-BOX” looks like?

B-Box is shaped like a cube, with an AR optical see-through projector on the top. Also, there is a 10mm-AI-chip inside called M1000 to support its operation, apart from that we cannot see other holes outside the box.

Photo via Sohu

One-to-One Service: improve user’s shopping experience

Recently most merchants are paying more attention to consumer’s consumption experience to win profits. The launching of B-Box aims at helping customers make a better choice.

“If you open Meituan’s mobile app, you can talk to the 3D virtual character,” said Renjie Yu, Meituan’s AI technician. “B-Box uses Cloud Computing technology to analysis consumers’ shopping preference, that’s why you can talk to the virtual person in the real time.”

The product will be widely used in all entertainment places such as karaoke, restaurants, bars and hotels. Besides that, B-Box can also help vulnerable populations such as speech handicapped people to better communicate with Uber drivers.

Talking to a 3D virtual character, Photo via China Scitechnology Business
Talking to a 3D virtual character, Photo via China Scitechnology Business

“I am really surprised at their AR Magic Sensor system,” said Siyu Wang, a Meituan user who studies in Shanghai. “ I don’t like making choices; I prefer someone recommend dishes for me especially cater to my taste, that makes me special.”

B-Box not only provides customers better service but also helps merchants know their customers and find solutions to the existing consumer market. As one of the largest retail platforms in China, there are two million merchants registered on Meituan, the company said B-Box is the start of applying AI to customized service.

Now the product is going into the production process and will be put into use on the Meituan platform on April 31.

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The Case for a Bullish Q4 Across the Cryptocurrency Markets

There are history and charts and general optimism to go on, but there is also a good case for a bullish Q4 in the cryptocurrency markets
The Case for a Bullish Q4 Across the Cryptocurrency Markets

2018 has been a tough year for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, especially for those who joined at the conclusion of last year on the hopes that the massive rally would continue ever upwards. The market has been decidedly bearish as it has stripped a lot of its value.

However, the pessimism seems to have abated as many believe that Bitcoin, and as such the majority of the cryptocurrency market, has reached its bottom. Thus, the belief is the only way for Bitcoin now has to be up.

This belief is also being strengthened by other factors in and around the cryptocurrency market which could well lead to a Bullish Q4 for the digital currencies. Things such as potential regulatory approvals, oncoming global market war can lead to smaller but still meaningful advancements.

Google has lifted its ad ban, Coinbase is expanding its offerings, ICE’s Bakkt is launching soon, and even history puts Q4 in a good light.  

Positive Q4 news

There is a host of good news approaching the cryptocurrency market in Q4 that could help catalyze a resurgence in the price of cryptocurrencies across the market. It has often been seen that a positive piece of news has a big effect on an upward trend.

Some of the things which could lead to a stronger and more engaging cryptocurrency market include things like Ripple’s xRapid product. The XRP token is often shunned by the purist cryptocurrency fans as it has a centralized nature, but the manner in which the space is heading dictates that a level of compliance is needed, as well as solutions for banks and other institutionalized entities.

Ripple hits these notes and could well be the starting point for an uptake in institutionalized interest for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, Bakkt will provide a Bitcoin Future’s platform that also serves as an all-in-one consumer marketplace to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. Microsoft and Starbucks are supporting this endeavor and Bakkt could help crypto become mainstream.

But still, the biggest piece of institutionalized news that both sides of the equation are waiting on is the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF. The SolidX ETF could very much catapult the market to a new stratosphere. The next decision date deadline is Dec. 29, 2018, but the SEC can issue a delay into February 2019.

Still an issue of volume

But, despite all the positive news, the real underlying issue for Bitcoin’s price and growth has to be its low volume. Any news that has come Bitcoin’s way recently, that in the past would send it rallying, has quickly died down because of lack of trading volume.

Naeem Aslam, Chief Market Analyst at ThinkMarkets, explains that the biggest thing lacking for Bitcoin to break through some real levels of resistance is participation from its community.

“As it has been the case recently, Bitcoin’s upward momentum is lacking one critical element: participation from the wider community. Remember, last year’s move towards $20,000 was supported by the retail client. It was the masses going crazy about the cryptocurrency thinking that buying Bitcoin is the shortcut to acquire the Lambo they always wanted,” he said.

“No matter which exchange you look at, there is one common theme: no volume. A lot of questions are being raised in regards to the opening of new accounts at various different exchanges and the key problem continues to be the lack of a reliable third-party auditor.”

So, as Aslam explains, the cryptocurrency market needs an influx of new money and participation, and for him and foe many others, that will potentially come if an ETF is granted by the SEC.

“Bitcoin needs some sort of a blessing to revitalize the rally. This could come in the form of an ETF approval from the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). To date, the SEC has rejected nearly nine applications in this space. But there is still hope. The department has invited parties and public people to share their views on Bitcoin ETFs. The date set for this is Oct. 26, 2018,” Aslam added.

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Monero Price Prediction 2018\20\25: How Much Will XMR Cost?

💡 Cryptotips
How much will Monero coin cost in 2018/20/25?
Monero Price Prediction 2018\20\25: How Much Will XMR Cost?

As major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are continually growing in popularity, other minor altcoins follow their suite. Being enlisted in the top 20 world cryptocurrencies, Monero is now considered to be a good investment. But what makes it so attractive for traders and investors? It’s time to reveal key advantages of this coin and read Monero price prediction for the short and long terms.

Let’s start with the explanation of Monero’s origin and nature.

What is Monero?

In July 2012, the world witnessed the implementation of CryptoNote application layer protocol that was designed to work with different decentralized currencies. Although it is similar to the application layer used for Bitcoin, there are some principal differences, as well. Initially, Bytecoin was the first implementation of CryptoNote layer, but since about 80 percent of coins have already been published, it was decided to make a fork for a new chain and new coins. This chain was called ‘Bitmonero,’ and eventually turned into ‘Monero.’ In this chain, a new block is mined and added every two minutes.

benefits

Advantages of Monero

The fundamental principles of this cryptocurrency are total privacy and transparency. When creating Monero, the team was striving to make a fully decentralized and private electronic currency. Therefore, Monero has five important merits:

  1. 100% privacy. Only you can manage your XMR coins and see the details of transactions.

  2. Great fungibility, which means the asset can be easily exchanged for goods or other assets.

  3. Dynamic scalability. While Bitcoin has imposed a one Mb block size limit on users, Monero has no pre-set size limits but reduced the amount of reward depending on the block size. Blocks lighter than 60 Kb are free from reward penalties.

  4. Resistance to ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit).

  5. It uses multiple private and public keys for a higher security level.

Monero vs other currencies

Before we proceed to Monero prediction, let’s underline the basic differences between XMR and other coins:

Monero

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Total supply– 18.4 mln XMR + 0.3 XMR/minute

21 mln BTC

72 mln ETH

Proof-of-work protocol

Proof-of-work protocol

Proof-of-work protocol (will be changed to proof-of-stake)

CryptoNote algorithm

SHA-256 algorithm

Ethash algorithm

Block time– 120 seconds

Block time– 10 minutes

Block time– 15-45 seconds

Monero price prediction 2017

Just like it happened with many other top 20 cryptocurrencies, Monero caught the wave of popularity and Monero crypto prediction was not justified– it was outperformed. At the beginning of 2017, the currency was worth $15 and started growing in Spring 2017. People thought it would reach $35-40 by Autumn, and gain maximum $100 by the end of the year.

Surprisingly, XMR crawled to $41 in July 2017 and soared in price by December. It reached the maximum price of $431 on Dec. 12 2017, and fells as quickly as it rose during the following month. Therefore, Monero prediction 2017 was not as optimistic as things turned out to be– no one could predict the global crypto price explosion.

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Monero price prediction 2018

At the beginning of the year, Monero 2018 prediction was more optimistic: investors hoped it to at least stay at the level of $200-300. However, Monero shared its lot with other altcoins and nosedived to $140-150 with eventual price fluctuations in Spring. Another unexpected turn we couldn’t foresee.

What about the second half of the year? Monero prediction 2018 is contradictory. The rumor goes that investors can contribute to artificial deflation to increase momentum and push the price down to around $120 in the following months.

At the same time, if Monero doesn’t become a victim of speculators, the rising demand for it will make XMR price soar to $350-400 by the end of the year. The same Monero 2018 price prediction is provided by some experts.

What about technical analysis? Monero price prediction in 2018 varies from source to source. While longforecast.com predicts it to fall to $107 within the next month, WalletInvestor.com displays it can grow to $300 within a year (which means it can reach about $200 by the end of 2018).

Monero price prediction 2020

The further, the better: when it comes to long-term forecasts, the vast majority of online predictors agree with one another. Providing information from different sources, WalletInvestor gives us the following numbers:

  • Google - $637

  • PayPal - $419

  • Smartphone analysis - $319

  • Internet users - $612

  • Data increase - $279

All that means that Monero coin price prediction may be different, but the vast majority of Internet users stake on its growth. Even longforecast.com displays that XMR can grow from $150 to $30 during 2020.

Monero in 2025– your chance to compensate investments?

Want to make a long-term investment? Think twice before choosing Monero for that. Although websites show appealing prices as $1,500, $6,000, and even higher, you need to take the real value of coin into consideration. Is Monero technologically more advanced than Bitcoin and Ethereum? Yes, but slightly. Although the Internet community is concerned about security and privacy of transactions, Monero isn’t the only platform that offers it– it can be easily outperformed by competitors if the team will not introduce new unique features.

What the forecast depends on?

When it comes to Monero difficulty of prediction is conditioned by the fact that investors’ actions are hard to foresee, and the number of competitors offering some unique and cool features is also growing. Among the benefits that contribute to Monero popularization are the following:

  • It ensures unbeatable privacy.

  • Transactions cannot be linked or traced.

  • There’s no block limit, and XMR is dynamically scalable.

  • When all XMR is mined, there will be extra coins to incentivize the miners.

  • There’s a strong team behind Monero.

At the same time, some people don’t rush to make too optimistic price prediction for Monero because it doesn’t have enough wallet compatibility yet, not beginner-friendly, and the amount of encryption involved is too huge. Time will show whether Monero can live up to our expectations.

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With the Cryptocurrency Frenzy Over, Blockchain Experts Focus on Expanding the Technology in 2019

The downturn in the financial side of cryptocurrencies has given a lot of breathing room to expand and grow the underlying blockchain technology
With the Cryptocurrency Frenzy Over, Blockchain Experts Focus on Expanding the Technology in 2019

There is no doubt 2018 has been a rough time for those involved in cryptocurrency, and even those trying to utilise blockchain to disrupt certain sectors as a new technology. The market has gone from massive highs in late 2017 to gut-wrenching lows a year later.

However, there is a clear divide in the space as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, so interlinked, are also operating on different paths. The cryptocurrency sphere has permeated the financial markets and become part of the mainstream, but this has led to damaging speculation taking it up, and then down.

However, the underlying technology itself has managed to keep progressing in the background of the hype of cryptocurrencies. But, now that they hype has died down, some breathing room has developed for blockchain companies to focus on expanding the usefulness and application of the technology, devoid of the financial demands of the associated tokens.

A number of blockchain company leaders have come forward and predicted how they see 2019 playing out across the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, and for a lot of them, there is a clear focus on strengthening and bettering the application of blockchain before pushing for the value of the token.

The expansion of blockchain

2019, as predicted by a number of blockchain companies, will be about pushing the boundaries of adoption of the technology, as well as how blockchain can integrate with other technologies to improve itself, and push for a fourth industrial revolution.

Brent Jaciow, Head of Blockchain Affairs at Utopia Music, explains:

“Throughout 2019, we will continue to see an increased use of AI and machine learning to improve customer experiences, whether it is the use of enhanced chatbots to facilitate quicker client assistance, or the use of imaging recognition software to provide hyper-targeted marketing based on age, sex, and even temperament.”

Robertas Visinskis, Founder of Mysterium Network, also commented:  

“As 2018 draws to a close, a highlight for blockchain is how the wider space succeeded in differentiating itself from strictly being associated with cryptocurrency. In 2019, we will see privacy and personal data protection trends continuing to grow in importance.”

He also went on to address how the cryptocurrency market needs to change in order to bring back investors.

“Traditional investors have watched as the bear market took hold of the crypto space in 2018. A more stable crypto market, regulators creating infrastructures within different jurisdictions, as well as emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity could see more traditional investors moving into the blockchain space in 2019.”

“For companies that utilize blockchain heading into the next year, especially if a bear market continues, product-driven companies will have more stability to withstand the turbulence over hype-driven companies.”

Nydia Zhang, Chairman and Co-founder of Social Alpha Foundation, a not-for-profit grant making platform focusing on social impact initiatives and projects, believes 2019 will see big institutions using blockchain for good, not profit.

"2019 will be the year blockchain hits the big time with organisations like the UN, World Bank, and major global philanthropies taking major stakes in using blockchain technology to anchor their initiatives. The price crash in crypto has created a window of focus on the underlying technology that will drive opportunity for billions of unbanked and excluded lives,” Zhang said.

“Expect to see projects ranging from supply chain, identity, transparency, and governance rolling out of the world’s biggest aid organisations, proving the true value of blockchain.”

“While a crypto market rebound may not return us to previous highs, we should see record blockchain adoption from the world’s biggest banks, internet companies and even smaller governments.”

Need to better the space

The indication from those involved in the blockchain space is that there really needs to be a stronger and more pronounced focus on shoring up the cryptocurrency market to make it less of a “wild west”, but also a strengthening of the blockchain technology and how it can offer real value to traditional companies and institutions. Vinny Lingham, the CEO of Civic, told Forbes that Blockchain is only going to be important when it actively adds value, not just potentially or hypothetically.

“A lot of the speculators are getting their hands burnt,” Lingham said. “I have been on about how we need to have real use cases, driving adoption of blockchain. You can't have a situation where it is just purely speculative and about future value."

“People don’t care about Blockchain, per se. I mean who cares?,” Lingham added. “It is more about what can it do, what is its utility? I think we need baby steps, for now, let's get people comfortable with the technology and what it can do, and why it is better.”

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CryptoNews: A Platform That Brings All Cryptocurrency News in One App

CryptoNews is another player that has recently emerged in the sphere of cryptocurrency news, having all major crypto news editions as its partners
CryptoNews: A Platform That Brings All Cryptocurrency News in One App

Now that cryptocurrency and DLT are getting wider adoption around various spheres of social life, commerce, etc, crypto news becomes essential to follow for many, not only investors. There are a lot of simply curious people who are potential investors apart from those who are already spending their money on crypto assets.

News aggregators offered by mobile apps have been popular for a long time already and are rivalling to get as much of user attention as possible. One of the recently emerged apps like these is CryptoNews, which claims to offer ‘unbiased’ cryptocurrency news.

This app is available on Android.

What the app offers

CryptoNews aggregates articles from all major resources, including Coindesk and U.Today. It also offers podcasts. Therefore, it covers general and specific news on crypto and blockchain technology.

It has a separate directory for articles that came out over the last 24 hours. Another main menu will notify how many unread stories you have. You can also collect all the materials you found most interesting in a separate folder called ‘Favorites’. As for the number of news sources the app brings together for users, it is currently 30, which is quite a wide choice for such an app.

By clicking on any of the news providers you can navigate along the list by just scrolling it upward and downward. To return to the main menu, you need to tap the three lines menu at the top left-hand corner.

What the app offers

However, the app offers intrusive ads that emerge at inappropriate moments when you are enjoying a piece of news or are only about to start on reading one and covers the whole screen.

Otherwise, it is a simple-to-use and convenient app that prevents you from browsing all over the Internet in search of the hottest and most recent news from the world of crypto.

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3 Major Paradigm Shifts in Crypto Space: Bitcoin, Smart Contracts, Social Layer

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What is Shift Three in crypto space and who are the main players
3 Major Paradigm Shifts in Crypto Space: Bitcoin, Smart Contracts, Social Layer

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are all the rage these days. What was once discussed only among dark-web dwellers and financial anarchists has now become a hot topic of discussion for billion-dollar conglomerates.

Over the last five years, cryptocurrencies have gone through a major evolution which is characterized by three specific paradigm shifts. Let’s go through these shifts one-by-one and see how these have and will change the crypto space for better or for worse.

3 Paradigm Shifts in Crypto Space

Fiat to Bitcoin

The first shift was definitely the birth of Bitcoin. People still don’t realize how important this event was. For years, people have been trying to develop a digital currency which was not owned by a single central entity. However, in order to achieve decentralization, developers were forever falling to the “double spending” trap. Basically, they were finding it hard to make each and every transaction unique.

Along came an unknown programmer by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. He published the whitepaper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” We finally had a digital currency which was truly decentralized and solved the double spending problem! The way Nakamoto achieved this was by leveraging Blockchain technology. Blockchain technology has two truly amazing features (among many others):

  • Immutability
  • Transparency

Immutability means that all the data inside the Blockchain is tamperproof. So once you have put some data inside the chain, you can’t change it. You can imagine how desirable this property is for a payment system since this will prevent any type of financial fraud.

Transparency basically means that anyone who is part of the Bitcoin network can look into the Blockchain and see all the past transactions. This property keeps everyone accountable for their actions.

Bitcoin gave people a currency which they completely own. They can send it to anyone without getting the bank involved in it. Every person is their own bank. As of writing, Bitcoin has a market cap of $111 bln.

Blockchain technology, which is the backbone of Bitcoin, became a subject of interest for many people. They soon realized that Blockchain technology had far more use cases than just being a means of powering a payment system. This was when a 19-year-old Russian-Canadian prodigy helped the crypto space evolve from Shift 1 to Shit 2.

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Cryptocurrency to Blockchain infrastructure

In 2013, Vitalik Buterin (the afore-mentioned prodigy) published the Ethereum whitepaper which transitioned the world from the first generation of Blockchain technology (i.e. Bitcoin) to the second generation. While Ethereum can be used as a cryptocurrency, its greatest use is as a smart contract platform.

Smart contracts are self-executing agreements between two parties. It gives users a lot more control and flexibility over their transactions than what Bitcoin allowed. Ethereum enabled developers to use its environment to execute smart contracts. Think of it as a global supercomputer which could rent out its computational powers for developers around the world to create their own decentralized applications aka dApps.

This property is directly responsible for the sudden growth of the ICO industry which has raised billions of dollars. The fact that developers had an environment where they can make their projects and raise millions of dollars in a crowdsale with relative ease saw adoption go through the roof.

However, for all its good, second-generation Blockchains have their own issues. For a long time, the crypto-space has been plagued by scalability and general interoperability issues.

To make this as short and succinct as possible, lack of scalability means that as the number of users increases in the network, the network performance gets worse. For a Blockchain-based platform to become truly mainstream, it is critical that it addresses this issue.

Interoperability, on the other hand, is a network’s ability to interact and communicate with other networks. In the future, multiple dApps could be up and running on multiple Blockchains. How do we make sure that they can seamlessly communicate with each other without any point of weakness?

To address these issues, a whole new generation of Blockchains are being developed as we speak. These third generation Blockchains include projects like Cardano and EOS which uses specialized consensus mechanisms to achieve faster transaction speeds and hence higher scalability. They have also worked extensively on improving interoperability. While they do promise quite a lot, we will need to wait and watch how their implementation pans out in the future.

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From machine-maintained Blockchain to people layer

Martti “Sirius” Malmi is well-known in the crypto community as the only active developer to have worked with Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. His project “Identifi” along with some other projects are spearheading Shift 3. The idea of this shift is to move on from a purely machine-based Blockchain infrastructure to a social one.  

So, why is this shift needed?

One of the most fundamental components of a successful cryptocurrency is a strong community. Ethereum is a perfect example of this. However, most of the newer cryptocurrencies simply don’t maintain a good community. They mostly use messaging applications like Telegram where the members are not really incentivized into contributing anything of their own.

Because of this reason, members are not really that invested into the projects and they don’t stay loyal and have a high tendency to speculate about the token’s value instead of actually learning about the project and have a more realistic expectation.

This is why, every single time the market fluctuates and the token loses value, the users immediately leave the project. This is the biggest reason why, some truly incredible Blockchain projects have lost steam simply because of the user loss rate. In fact, this is so bad that according to a Deloitte Insights report published in November 2017, Blockchain projects’ failure rate is as high as 92 percent, mostly due to “the lack of actual application scenarios and the quick loss of community members.”

The idea of this shift is to establish a strong user growth scheme which is integrated within the Blockchain itself. These projects utilize a reputation system, wherein each and every community member is incentivized to act in the best interest of a project.

Think of how Uber operates. The star ratings of the drivers and the passengers incentivize both the participants to be on their best behavior.

Along with Malmi’s Identifi, the other projects who are spearheading this shift are DREP by the founders of Google X and U°Community.

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Final thoughts

There you have it, the three shifts that have defined and are going to define the evolution of the crypto space.

So, are these all the phase shifts that we are going to have? The crypto space is constantly evolving after all and we invariably going to see more shifts. However, as of right now let’s focus on the data we have instead of speculating. We hope that you have gained immense value from this article.

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