SingUlarity Darryn Pollock

Taking Advantage of Decentralized Social Networks to Make Money as a Writer

SingUlarity
Writing and content is in the midst of a revolution and it is Blockchain which will change the way writers earn and how content is consumed
Taking Advantage of Decentralized Social Networks to Make Money as a Writer
Contents

Since the Internet reached critical mass and became an integral part of the local society, the game has changed. Data has become key, and with that, so has content, and at its base level, writing is a hugely powerful tool, but as the Internet has moved towards Web 3.0, so has writing and content.

The world wide web was also seen as a huge expanse of information that anyone could access, but the way in which that information has been consumed has changed over the years. From Web 1.0, through the social stage of the current web 2.0 and now moving towards Web 3.0, the decentralized revolution content is changing.

And, because the content is being consumed differently, it is also essential for writers to move with the times. But, what is positive is that the way in which things are moving is beneficial for writers as they are agents of a decentralized world and because there is a new opportunity to be the first in line.

There are decentralized platforms out there, run on global cryptocurrencies, which allows a writer to know how much they can earn by how much and what quality work they put forward from anywhere in the world.

The evolution of content and writing

One does not need to go back that far to see how far content creation and writing on the Internet has changed. The Internet, very much like Blockchain, took a while to reach critical mass and become something that everything wanted to be a part of.

In the days of Web 1.0, it was a very one-way system. Websites were basically posting boards that were digitally visited by masses of people, these visitors would absorb the information, and that would be the end of the connect.

Writers were expected to dish out information and spew it across the Internet, but anyone could do it with the power to build a blog or website. However, in terms of being lucrative, it was very much like finding a needle in a haystack for these individual writers who would struggle to get their content seen and read.

But, there were then centralized powers that would enlist writers to do their work for them. Major websites and news sites would hire and drain writers for their work and take advantage of the work in a traditional sense. The workers would work and the company would profit.

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Web 2.0 and today’s writing environment

The biggest edge that the Internet has gained in the last few years has been the evolution of social media. No longer is it merely a one-way interaction as users and writers now have a chance to interact and air their views.

Content on the Internet is now under constant scrutiny as any person can either comment directly on articles, or in a bigger way, take the articles to social media sites and share the content, as well as their opinions.

It has allowed writers to build their reputation online as pieces of work can go viral and the writers earn a fan base and a following. Now, writers need not even start their own websites, social media sites are open and available for information to be created, spread, and consumed at a much more rapid rate.

However, this has also allowed almost anyone to become a ‘writer’ there is no barrier to entry so the entire space is congested and convoluted. Being a good writer in today’s environment is not enough, a lot of people are losing out because of the flood in this market.

Additionally, the fact that social media platforms are centralized and monitored, means that the likes of Facebook and Twitter can control the content and install a different barrier on what can and cannot be written about.

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The new wave

Web 3.0, which is being built on the Blockchain, is a new space in which content is being created and slowly being more consumed. It is a decentralized place that allows writers a lot more freedom of content, but also a lot more opportunities to earn for their work.

Decentralized social networks are starting to establish themselves, such as Steemit, and interestingly, the thirst for content on these networks is huge. There is a demand for content that outweighs the supply as writers slowly start to explore this new wave of content and the Internet.

Web 3.0 is all about decentralized collaborative social networks where rewards for content are fairer and do not depend on a central entity running the platform. These platforms also provide stats on how much one can make and it is clear that the earlier adopters regarding this new content writing are far ahead of the rest and earning the most already.

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Being first and making money

To give a little insight into the money-making possibilities of these decentralized platforms, there is a good article about the earning capabilities of writing on the blogging site, Medium.

The writer explains how, just by repurposing his own work on a site like Medium, he has been able to make as much as $100 in 24 hours because of the collaborative and social nature of it. People can donate small amounts of money to articles they think are good, and, because of the way Web 3.0 is going, it is about group collective and crowdfunding.

But, this space is still new, and that is a double-edged sword. There is a huge demand for content and writers, and because of this, it is worth being in early to dominate the space. But, it also takes a bit of experimenting with a bunch of different decentralized social networks to make your content work for you.

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SingUlarity Darryn Pollock

Artificial Intelligence: Usurped and Trapped, But Not For Much Longer

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Artificial Intelligence has so much range and scope, and although it has primarily been aimed at making advertising revenue, it could be different in the East
Artificial Intelligence: Usurped and Trapped, But Not For Much Longer
Contents

Why AI’s true potential can be fully explored in the East, not in the West

The Internet was born out of the idea of sharing information across the planet with no constraints or controls. Yet the manner in which it has manifested itself today is no longer true to those original ideas.

In the age of social media, we have come to a point where information and data have been usurped by a few companies that allow people to use their services with an underlying, hidden cost of that data.

Facebook and Google have taken full control of data, using it for their own needs. This is starting to expand into not only people’s data but also new and emerging technologies, such as AI.

Much like how other companies in Silicon Valley began their lives with this brazen entrepreneurial spirit and slowly evolved into ones that could not survive on innovation alone, this has led them down the road of chasing ad revenue, creating new and deceivious ways in which to reach it.

The same applies to AI; such a new and potentially revolutionary technology is being sprouted by small innovative companies, only to be bought out and taken over by the Internet giants of Google and Facebook to be used as a new avenue for ad dollars.

These days, the direction of AI companies is overwhelmingly being used to target user behavior in order to extract more ad dollars, rather than advancing the technology for its much more powerful and useful needs.

It has left AI languishing in one direction when enough resources are thrown at it, and thus pigeonholed its potential — but that is only real for the West. There is a big drive coming from China, which has not taken long to catch up in terms of research to expand AI.

However, their mandate is very different to the West’s, and ad dollars are not part of the process for AI. This means its true potential can be exponentially explored in the East, and, in time, probably overtake the stymied position of western AI.

Of course, China may forge ahead, but with its governmental control and socialistic nature, it still brings its own problems when it comes to advancing a new and only possible technology like AI. For this reason, it is also worth delving into the potential of CI (Community Intelligence)

The embodiment of evil

It would be a bit harsh and dramatic to call the likes of Facebook and Google ‘evil’; however, Jaron Lanier, who is widely credited as a founder of virtual reality, has recently delivered a sobering prognosis on the spiraling corruption of these types of social networks.

“I can’t call them social networks anymore. I call them behavior modification empires,” said Lanier in Vancouver for the TED conference, adding:

“I don’t think it’s a matter of bad people who’ve done a bad thing. It’s a globally tragic, astounding ridiculous system rather than a wave of evil.”

Lanier’s point is that the Internet was built on a socialist model that everything should be free and accessible to all. But it also celebrated visionary tech entrepreneurs who made it big with their world-changing ideas: “How do you celebrate entrepreneurship when everything is free?” he mused.

This is where the crossover between these two juxtapositioned ideas was reached in the form of advertising funding. Advertising allows companies to use their innovative ideas to attract people and make money off them, and that model has been growing exponentially with a few major companies usurping all the power.

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Now, the close working relationship of these major companies and the wants and needs of advertisers see them using their innovation to maximize advertising revenue. Thus, the tech entrepreneurs and visionaries who are pushing the boundaries are often bought out and taken over by the companies which have already made their fortune.

This then leads to these ideas taking a road which is far more applicable to achieving ad revenue than expanding the boundaries of tech innovation.

AI’s dalliance with advertising

AI is one such revolutionary tech advancement which has become trapped and usurped by the likes of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants who are trying to utilize this new technology as another way to create ad revenue.

It has become so that these large tech companies are picking up AI thought leaders and developers, either out of university or worse, by buying out their small startups and steering them in the direction they need.

“In effect, tech startups are serving as stealth recruiting tools for big companies, used to gobble up young developers and researchers who don’t particularly feel like big-company careers. These young nerds sign up to work for some exciting startup, but then the startup inevitably gets sold to a big company, and they wind up cashing out to a small degree,” explains Ben Goertzel, founder and CEO of Singularity NET, a Blockchain-based AI marketplace.

“The channeling of AI expertise into big corporations has a significant impact regarding what kinds of problems AI gets primarily applied to. Advertising, for example, gets an awful lot of attention. Cambridge Analytica’s relatively crude methods of social media engineering, applied to political campaigning, got a lot of press in the last US presidential election cycle. But Google, Facebook and Baidu (among others) have vastly more sophisticated manipulation machinery, which is used not to elect candidates but rather to direct people to buy products and services,” he adds.

A new dawn rises in the East

The way things work in the West, or in the US in particular, has made it standard practice for new technology to be primarily advertising-focused. This has also only come about because of the general monopoly and power that Western companies have over the vast majority of the Internet.

No longer is the Internet totally free and socialist. Even in countries where there is socialism, that notion is an incorrect one. The Socialist Republic of China has cut itself off from the rest of the Internet with its Great Firewall, but behind that wall, it is also devoid of reliance on advertising dollars.

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Because of this, China is building up its AI development at a rapid rate, but it is also not redirecting it to be used solely as a tool for advertising revenue. China’s growth of AI has larger and far-reaching potential as they are looking to expand the technology to its full potential.

So, while there may be a division in the advancement of Westernised AI and that of the East, there is at least a base of development which is looking to drive AI forward to its full potential, offering a level of equilibrium.

Issues with China and AI alternative in CI

Although China does not have the same reliance on advertising dollars to drive its AI advancement, the strictly-controlled country is not free to explore and expand AI as it pleases. Government intervention and direction is clear and evident in advancing technologies. Thus, AI will still have some sort of agenda dictated to it by the state.

It is for this reason that Community Intelligence is a viable alternative to AI and its stymied growth.

The world is heading towards an era of true community involvement and strength. No longer is there a one-way interaction of information that was originally seen at the birth of the Internet. Furthermore, as discussed with the dangers of social media, there is now this third wave of community-powered engagement.

Thus, to have CI as an alternative is to have a group collective answer questions and process problems in order to determine the path of common acceptance.

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Dealing With Intangible Assets

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When it comes to company assets, intangible ones are dynamic and fluid, and are becoming vitally important when considering blockchain tokens
Dealing With Intangible Assets
Contents

Assets, commodities, and possessions in a business and financial setting have come a long way. From bartering crops and selling goods to stocks, bonds, and equities, the digitalizing of the globe has led to assets changing their face, and even their tangibility.

Now, companies and corporations are being valued on abstract concepts that fall under their intangible assets, and even determining that value through these intangible assets is starting to change. Company evaluations are shifting — they are no longer based just on pure equity but rather much more on their IPOs and publicly traded stock. This gives insight into a company that has a rich bank of intangible assets.

To this end, it is unsurprising that Blockchain assets for companies operating in this new space are starting to be viewed as a truer evaluation of the company. Cryptocurrencies can be viewed as an intangible asset, and as a new way of representing the value of a company. As these digital tokens grow in value and worth, they lend that growth and value to the overall stance of the business.

The way these intangible assets are shaping up and moving with the help of a new technological wave like Blockchain, it will eventually lead to a more distributed, transparent and thus truer and fairer reflection of a company's worth through these inclusive and attainable assets.

New intangible assets emerging

As a pure definition, an intangible asset is simply an asset which has no physical qualities to it. To be intangible means that one cannot touch, see, smell it, etc. But looking deeper into it, anything from goodwill, brand recognition and intellectual property — such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights — are all intangible assets.

However, even these assets are starting to be overtaken by another intangible asset that is emerging alongside a new technology. Blockchain companies are springing up, much like tech companies, with a solution to new problems, but these Blockchain companies come with their own assets.

Cryptocurrencies are the new intangible asset that is not only clearer and more transparent in terms of valuing their worth, but also generally better for the entire marketplace. The cryptocurrency worth of a Blockchain company can represent a much truer valuation than another company with traditional intangible assets.

In fact, the model of capitalism itself is in a state of flux. Tech companies have already tested its bounds in terms of equity and valuation, but as things move forward and more Blockchain companies spring up, the general idea of capital in a capital-free system will make valuations incredibly difficult and inaccurate. However, a cryptocurrency allows for market value to be attributed as a new form of intangible equity of a said company.

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A change in valuation

Companies are starting to be valued on much more than simple Assets - Liabilities basis. With this change comes the difficulty in valuing intangible assets. Putting a figure against brand identity is really an estimation and prone to purposeful inflation or deflation.

Tangible assets are easy to value, and thus easy to use to determine the equity of a company, but then there are some companies like Microsoft and other Tech giants that really own very little in the way of tangible assets. Their wealth is in intangible assets.

As Microsoft's founder Bill Gates puts it: “Products you can’t touch have a very different set of dynamics in terms of competition and risk and how you value the companies that make them.”

A lot of intangible assets are valued on the basis of public sentiment, and the metric for this is derived from things like IPOs and publicly traded stock. But the difficulties in determining the public sentiment from the excitement around stocks is equally difficult and often purposefully inaccurate.

Issues with the new standard in valuation

With IPOs and the resulting publicly traded stocks, the level of distribution and sentiment is often not a fair reflection. The system leaves the door open to big company investors like VCs and fund companies as well as big and wealthy individual investors that can use their money to move the markets.

These types of players always influence how the publicly traded companies work and how much their intangible assets are worth. Investment groups and companies can help prop up and lift companies, thereby influencing their true worth through their intangible assets in a way which can bring a swell of false public hype and frenzy.

In many ways, this is a form of market manipulation, as big money has all the power to pick and choose its own desirable companies to inflate. But, if stocks are being cherry-picked to inflate in order to grow the intangible assets of a company and thus give it a higher evaluation, the same cannot be said for cryptocurrencies.

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A Blockchain company’s desire is to distribute and include a vast and different arrangement for people to buy and invest in its cryptocurrency. Thus, if we take the same metric of a stock and use it against a cryptocurrency, the public sentiment is a far truer reflection because it is also on a market, but its price is heavily influenced by public sentiment.

And again, that public sentiment moves on an almost daily basis as this distributed group of ‘investors’ can easily buy and sell and trade their cryptocurrencies dependant on positive or negative news surrounding the blockchain company.

Inclusive, achievable intangible assets

Publicly traded stocks for traditional companies are technically open to all, but they are a lot harder to get one’s hands on as there is a level of exclusivity and exclusion that surrounds stock trading. Additionally, the model is not community oriented or decentralized, nor well distributed.

The more one looks at it, Blockchain assets are a much stronger and truer metric of company value. They are an intangible asset which is firstly easier to value as they operate on an open and transparent market, and secondly, they are a way to measure sentiment and growth in a company as they are far more distributed and liquid.

It allows these buyers of the token to be vested in the potential and possibility of the company; cryptocurrency assets often correlate strongly to the success of a company.

If a company is moving forward and hitting its targets on the way to its final goal, this is often predicated on the growing value of their token. It is also linked to an increase in interest and hype as more individuals buy the open and freely available token, which is then also well distributed.

So, if we consider these coins as intangible assets because they are not part of an asset which would determine equity, but they are a marker of success and sentiment in a company like a publicly traded stock, we can start to understand them a little more.

They do not have the difficulty of exclusivity, and thus are much more communal and therefore much truer as a metric by which to value a Blockchain company.

A decentralized community evaluation

People often call the cryptocurrency space a bubble since so many people are drawn to it and have bought into it, especially when it comes to ICOs and Blockchain companies. However, this is probably an unfair assessment of the space.

There is a creation of decentralized communities which are learning to accurately assess the intangible assets of companies. The shrewdness of a true distributed and decentralized collective is a determining metric that many mainstream tech companies cannot say they have as their basis for value.

Many tech companies may have had their value propped up by VCs and investment firms that helped kickstart them to success, but those in the Blockchain space have nowhere to hide. Their every move can be tracked and traced by the value of their tokens, which plays a part in their intangible asset worth and thus really in their total actual value as a business.

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SingUlarity Masha Beetroot

Decentralization and Social Platforms: ONO’s Bashir Modanov Exclusive

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

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

Behind the Doors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Function

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What’s Next

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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False Sense of Decentralization May Distort Public View of Cryptocurrencies

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

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

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

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

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

Surprising facts

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

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

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

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

The problems with not being decentralized

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

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

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

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

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

Honesty and integrity

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

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

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SingUlarity Evgeny Konstantinov

Blockchain As a Lingua Franca: A Thing to Consider

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

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

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

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

Crypto outside the Blockchain

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

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

Learn More

What is trustless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The technology accommodating language should be decentralized.

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

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