🤷 Opinions Darryn Pollock

The Fight For Democracy in the Crypto Space

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Democracy, in terms of the Blockchain protocol is supposed to be a key feature, but as it stands there is more radicalism happening
The Fight For Democracy in the Crypto Space

Democracy has been a core pillar of society since the days of the ancient Greeks, and since those days it has never abated, merely adjusted and evolved. The idea that the majority have the overall say transcends all facets of life and is an important and fair governance system.

Thus, because of its ability to quash any form of centralized and unfair control, it has also become an important part of Blockchain protocols and their decentralized nature. Governance of Blockchain, especially when it comes to Proof of Work and Delegated Proof-of-Stake, is based entirely on democracy.

However, democracy is not all in Blockchain, nor in general society, as there are a few ways in which to bend this governance system, and as such, we are seeing a new movement in the Blockchain space.

Blockchain governance and its democracy is starting to become far more radical rather than more inclusive and open as the space grows. However, for the cryptocurrency communities, the desire is now for a real working democracy on the human level welded with proper machine level. People want a fair democracy and this can happen when supported on the Blockchain protocol level.

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Breaking tradition

One of the core thoughts of Francis Fukuyama in his 1992 book "The End of History and the Last Man" was that democracy was the final form of human governance and that it was easier to see a radical converting to a Democrat than vice versa. But time proved he was wrong.

But, he also added: "What we may be witnessing … is the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government,” leading us to believe that no further improvements are left to be made upon democracy.

Now, in the Blockchain space, we have seen a rapid microcosm of democracy and its evolution. Blockchains, in their original form, such as Bitcoin and its Proof-of-Work algorithm, proved a democratic standing as crypto-anarchists worked in communities.

Anyone who supported the Bitcoin network early on was given a chance to gain more Bitcoins through the PoW algorithm. People received fair rewards for being part of the network and keeping it live. A fair reward for fair effort.

This was then later done differently, but under the same principles when Dan Larimer proposed and implemented the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (dPoS) algorithm, such as in EOS. The idea behind dPoS was voting and democracy. Also a fair system.

EOS’s developers say that by delegating the responsibility for processing transactions to just 21 “block producers,” which are to be elected by the community of token holders, the system will be able to achieve thousands of transactions per second (compared with just 15 per second for rival Ethereum).

These basic principles of democracy in PoW and dPoS are enshrined in order to enact a fair system for communities to operate democratically. However, through the nine years of Blockchain being in existence, the growth of the space has led to a degeneration to radicalism, and even in the newer dPoS system, we are already seeing a movement away from democracy, counter to what Fukuyama predicted.

Importance of democracy

Blockchain’s protocol and its democracy underlying it comes from an important key feature of cryptocurrencies in general, the decentralization and the removal of centralized authorities. Thus, it is understandable why there is such an importance placed on democracy in the Blockchain protocol.

Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin explains:

“Over the last half-decade, each of us has, in his own way, been working on a part of an alternative solution: to find ways to harness markets and technology to radically decentralized power of all sorts and shift our reliance from authority and to formal rules.”

He further continues that, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies emerged directly as a reaction to the perceived excesses of the traditional financial system.

Democracy may be an essential facet of Blockchain, but it is also key as to how it works. An easy example is provided by Josh Zerlan, VP of Product Development at Butterfly Lab:

“There are thousands of miners around the world, all collectively trying to process various transactions. Although not widely utilized currently, miners have the ability to accept or reject certain transactions. They can choose to refuse to process transactions. Let’s think about that for a moment. An individual miner can choose to not process a transaction, but someone else will, therefore that individual miner’s choice doesn’t make a lot of difference. <...> But what if more than half the miners decided to stop processing transactions from an entity they disagree with? Now the choice of those miners has an impact. If more than half of the network decides something does not belong on the network, the transactions will never make it into the blockchain, effectively being ignored by the bitcoin universe.”

While the democracy in the Blockchains may be moving towards radicalization, it is important to remember why these key democratic features are prevalent and abound.

The grassroots movement and drive is there and it’s strong — projects like Telos and UCOMMUNITY fork the EOS code to create their own consensus algorithms with the objective of fair distribution and voting rights. We are going to see more and more movement in this direction.

The want and ability to have democracy

It is dangerous for those involved in the Blockchain space to become too radical and to leave out democracy as a core concept in the space. There is indeed a fight going on for democracy in blockchain, and with this fight, people are showing that they do indeed want a fair democracy and this can happen when supported on the Blockchain protocol level.

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Anarchy and Cryptocurrency: The Relationship That Never Was

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

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

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

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

What is anarchy?

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

  • Absence of government

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

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

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

  • Absence of order

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

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

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Cryptocurrencies and anarchy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Current state of cryptocurrencies

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

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

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

Andreas Antonopoulos

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

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

Were cryptocurrencies ever meant to be anarchic?

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

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

Deeper than just “anti-government”

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

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

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

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Coinbase’s Achilles Heel: Customer Service

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In the beginning there was Coinbase and not much else...
Coinbase’s Achilles Heel: Customer Service

If you plan on going into the business of handling other people’s money, then you would better have a strong focus on customer service, because if people can’t get their money, then there will be hell to pay. I can speak from experience.

First crypto exchange

Coinbase was the first exchange that I used for cryptocurrency. It was referred to me by a friend, it was quick and easy, and most people were using it, so it was trusted. I used it for almost a year without a problem except for the Bitcoin Cash caper, that is a story for another time, until just this past week, when I made a withdraw to my bank account.

Now, let me preface the story with the following: I routinely make withdraws from my crypto wallets at Coinbase and use ACH transfers to my bank account. Since December, the time to do this has decreased from almost nine business days to one day, despite the emails saying it could take between two to four days for the transfer to complete. Therefore, I knew it would only take one day.

Transfer gone awry

I made the transfer on a Friday in the morning and I expected the money to be there in the afternoon. The afternoon came but the money did not.

I thought, well my bank is always lazy on Fridays and pending transactions never clear until Monday sometimes Tuesday, another thing to get me up on the soapbox. It was the weekend, I decided to wait it out. Monday came and went and there was nothing.

On Tuesday, I called my bank, thinking the problem was on their end; however they had no incoming transactions. The problem is coinbase. I thought to myself, great, I heard all the horror stories about their customer service. I called and was baffled that phone support does not handle issues like missing funds. When money goes missing, I am sure you want to talk to a person on the phone, am I right? I mean my transfer never arrived, I want answers and I want them now. So, I sent the email to support. To my surprise, I got an email a few hours later. It read:

Hi, Eric.

I’m very sorry for any trouble with this.

When you place a sell order or withdraw USD to a US bank account, the money usually arrives within 2-4 business days.

Again, I apologize for the trouble. Thank you for using Coinbase.

Regards,

Coinbase Support

That seemed rather copy paste. I wanted specific facts and dates. I pressed on and sent another email inquiring further. Coinbase responds, unbeknownst to me at the time it would be the last response I received:

Thank you for your message.

I sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.

Based on our records, your transaction is currently in process and it should arrive within 2-4 business [days] from the time that you have initiated the withdrawal.

Thanks for your patience.

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Poor excuse for service

So tell me something I didn’t know before? Ok, so I gave it till the end of the week and it never showed. I followed up with several emails and never received a response. Oh, I performed another transfer and it went through in one day. My money is clearly missing and Coinbase doesn’t seem to care about it one Iota.

For the time being, as Coinbase rides the wave growth they can hide behind the billion in revenue they make, but it only takes one mistake that is not rectified to lose a customer, and there are finally more alternatives to Coinbase out there. If Coinbase continues to have this terrible customer service, then it is going to lose customers to other exchanges, just as it lost me, and soon my friends, too, who stand in solidarity with me.

A word of warning

When you manage other people's’ money and you lose it, you better make good and pay it back, otherwise, you lose credibility and customers. Goodbye, Coinbase!

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EOS42 Head of Strategy David Packham: It Could Be Multiple Blockchain Models Thrive

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Blockchain is still in this discovery phase, says David Packham of EOS42
EOS42 Head of Strategy David Packham: It Could Be Multiple Blockchain Models Thrive

 

Hot sunny day in London, with its normal hustle and bustle, and I’m inside Henry’s cafe in Piccadilly. I have an interview with David Packham, Head of Strategy & Community EOS42, who’s been elusive for three days during my stay in UK. Now it’s arranged although the last moment he changed the venue.  Loud music and conversations around, glasses clinking- definitely the right place for talking about the global EOS community…

CryptoComes: What do you think of the future of EOS?

David Packham: I didn’t expect such a bumpy first month..I am happy we are where we are. I was not sure whether we would be in the top 21 for a long period of time so it’s very humbling and a huge relief for us. The team haven’t been paid in five months, I am about to get my first paycheck since January.

So yes, it’s humbling to be voted up in the top 10 right now, but it’s always challenging: with DPoS you never know where you will be. Regarding this I think these are the healthy times in the community debating in a decentralized manner- very, very complex things about the future of the network. And of course the beauty is if some people fundamentally disagree with the way the direction goes, say in governance, they can and will be able to just simply set another instance of EOS. It’s open source- so it’s not difficult to set another chain up in theory. Their big challenge will be getting the economic gravity of the community to move with them. It requires a fundamental split in creative energy. If you keep debating like we are, eventually the community should reach a form of consensus. The mainnet is always going to be king and now its established it will likely always be the most important EOSIO network of all, but there is going to be others for sure.

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Decentralized, but how?

CryptoComes: Critics often say that EOS is not, in fact, a decentralized network, but subject to control by something akin to a government. They specifically mention the recent decision by the EOS centralized body to ban transactions from the specific 27 wallet addresses. What would you respond to the critics?

David Packham: There’s a few points on that. If the system is centralized, decision making will be quick, fast and efficient and you would see no external debate. We couldn’t be less like that! You see so much continual controversy, debate and people just prevaricating between the most inane details: that’s because we are decentralized. It took us a long time to even agree the frequency of the Block Producer meetings, because you’ve got a decentralized group trying to reach consensus. So I believe we are highly decentralized. If you look at Delegated Proof of Stake, it’s decentralized but making trade offs for performance. When you look at mining pools in both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work it is far more centralised in reality; Bitcoin has got six pools, the other governance structure is the unelected core devs, they effectively run the entire Bitcoin network in a meaningful sense. Therefore our interests as elected Block Producers is a lot better in line with the token holders.

CryptoComes: You think in delegated proof of stake they can change this consensus?

David Packham:Ultimately it is governed by understanding how the real world works, in which we delegate our power. You and I in a democracy delegate our power to representatives to run the government. So in this case in EOS, the token holders delegate their power to run the network to individuals, groups- the block producers. We have very strict controls on what we are allowed to do or not. That is all found in our constitution and our code of conduct.

That is why I disagree we at least have 21 individual groups at any one time running the network. Now there is some controversy about whether or not some of those groups may be controlled by multiple parties. They are being looked into actively by the community, and if they are they will try to shut them down. This is why it’s so important to have a really involved community that care. They are looking at this and I can see some evidence of voting that makes them suspicious and they are worried about it. The community are saying we are going to try and find proof and if so try and get these BP’s taken out of the top 21.

I genuinely don’t know if that is true or not but we are in the group listening to these discussions saying yes, we need to try and find out if that is true and act if so.

Right now we have got 21 different BP’s from all around the world and another 42 paid standbys- any one of which can switch in and out the moment you as a group of token holders decide this bad actor is taking bribes or underperforming.

For example if I am sitting here with Masha right now, and Masha is giving me an envelope of money to try and behave in a certain way and it gets found out. The community would say right, your reputation is destroyed and we as a Block Producer would be gone so fast- the penalty is enormous. So it’s a powerful system in that sense as our interests are highly aligned.

Regarding the 27 accounts, they are all direct byproducts of EOS 911. What happened is that those individuals raised a case with ECAF- the default interim arbitration service - they all submitted information onto the Ethereum account that EOS42 built, which proved they can move and control the Ethereum account where the tokens were, but could not control the underlying other account and each one of those 27 accounts had escaped mysteriously by somebody lets say a hacker, potentially, hasn’t been proven yet.

What ended up happening is that ECAF, being brand new and the network brand new, is that the block producers were put in a tough position as the only elected representatives in the entire network at present. ECAF has not yet been elected, the constitution has not yet been ratified and is interim. So following the spirit of that we collectively all reached 100 percent consensus between all the block producers and all the standbys on a two hour call, and said the right thing to do is for each of the accounts to be frozen to enable ECAF to investigate. Nothing more, no judgment just enablement of the constitution to function as intended.

It has been highly controversial! It led to a lot of thought about whether or not that’s really how things should work or not. And so the community is doing what it should and is having a massive debate. Dan Larimer the chief architect of EOS has strong views, other hugely influential community members are expressing different views. We will get there, we will work out what the right constitution is and we are going to have a referendum and then we will vote on that.

Certainly amongst those accounts in question, some of the admins of the EOS 911 channel are alleged account holders that have been defrauded. One account got missed by one BP and the money was moved immediately to exchange, so they lost 3,000 EOS as a result. It shows there is strong evidence relating to those accounts. These are individuals mostly from places like Korea who registered with a fake portal.

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Governance

CryptoComes: How will you describe the EOS approach to governance, on a scale between a totalitarian state and complete anarchy?

David Packham: The best way, I think, to view EOS is it's more of a very large DAC. It’s a decentralized autonomous company in its own right. So when you put in place its governance structure, it is all hard wired, or it should be, into the code with Ricardian contracts which explain the interpretation of that into human language. So there is nothing that you and I can do, even if we were say part of the governance layer, to start making arbitrary decisions- everything needs to be constitutionally voted. Anybody can put forth an amendment to that constitution and if they get enough support for it have it voted on. So there is no sort of centralized control its decentralized governance but people look at the likes of ECAF, which looks very centralized. That actually reflects a lack of understanding of what arbitration is, and its limited role in the EOS governance and economic ecosystem.

CryptoComes: Btw this ECAF they are taking care of the same as you do at 911, for example like if there is a problem with the account, with the private keys, or they are officially the Block.one’s arbitration?

David Packham: They have nothing to do with Block.one technically. When Thomas Cox finished the draft constitution, and nominated an interim arbitration service to be created, called ECAF- that needs to be set up from scratch. Right now it doesn’t have any funding, the people working in it are working for free as volunteers and they are trying to get setup but it’s nothing to do directly with Block.one. Block.one actually deleted all the governance constitution documents in GitHub ahead of launch, it was left for those of us setting up the network to decide what we wanted to pull and restore. We ultimately as a group decided to implement the interim constitution, and decided it had been circulated widely throughout the community, debated, ratified, and agreed as best we could prior to a real referendum.

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Block.one role

CryptoComes: What is the role of Block.one now? What happens if some producers will join forces to challenge the principles ingrained by Block.one into the system?

David Packham: In theory if ,all the block producers turned hostile to Block.one, said right we are going to freeze your account so you can never move money again. Block.one would simply set up a new EOS Blockchain. Why not? Literally any,body can set one up, and with their last commercial backing and the funds they have I am sure they would pull across the economic momentum of gravity and a lot of the community with them.

It’s a hypothetical question that’s not a serious proposition, in the sense that people would never do that. You also would be able to challenge them in the constitution. Block producers cannot arbitrarily freeze an account, the rule is as soon as the constitution were enacted it would need an ECAF order or another arbitration order to freeze an account. But actually the alternative constitution proposed by Dan Larimer is that this power should not sit at the base protocol level and that it would be above at the dApp layer.

So in that vision, each app could decide “we are going to use a different arbitrator for any dispute resolution on EOS and we are not going to use ECAF.” Any customer that signs up with you has to sign the terms which agree with that. What that would mean is there is no base layer going on at all, it’s all handled in yours. Your governance can be quite different from the governance rules of another app. That’s what Daniel Larimer wants and that’s his vision, which differs quite substantially from others. It’s an interesting one, the problem with it is much of the code and support mechanisms required to support that vision do not currently exist yet. So we would have no arbitration or protections for potentially years in the interim and be equivalent to say Ethereum. The community will decide what they want in that respect, and EOS42 will honor that decision and serve the network as a Block Producer.

CryptoComes: How big is the community you are working with? How will you describe it? What are your major principles in working with your community?

David Packham: The main thing I think is very simple with regards to community: if can never lose sight of the fact that as a block producer, you literally work for the token holders. The token holders are our collective boss to serve, if you lose sight of that then you will not last very long as a block producer. You will be out of the top 21 and will become a standby or unpaid even.

CryptoComes: How many user members do you have so far in the community? Individual wallets?

I don’t actually the estimated size oof hand I am afraid.

CryptoComes: How many are involved in the your Telegram group?

David Packham: The main EOS channel has got over 65,000 in it. For EOS42 it depends if you look at EOS London or our main BP one. EOS London blurs the line with us. We haven’t got a huge, huge group because we prefer to build up the community in real life, there’s enough Telegram groups already. You know some people have got 10,000 people but half of them aren’t real community members. Ours has got about 300 or 400 but that’s fine, thats a nice number and that means the community in that are the really active ones. If you think about our meetups, we get about three-400 at EOS London events, that means quite a few of them are engaged and actively on these groups too and its nice. I am not worried about numbers, there’s more to it than that!

Crypto theft

CryptoComes: According to recent research, theft in crypto industry is booming, with the volumes stolen this year times exceeding similar numbers in 2017. What are EOS tactics on dealing with this?

David Packham: On EOS every single account potentially compromised so far, has been purely down to the the registration process. It was down to the fact that we were doing a token swap, in effect, from Ethereum on to the mainnet. So the fraud occurred off chain, it occurred because of the registration process. So no lasting effects are known, I don’t think there any new ones occuring.

What’s happening other than that is that people are losing their private keys and having accidents but that was always going to happen. To a large extent that can be in theory resolved going forward, but before that we need to confirm whether or not ECAF will be the long term arbitration service or not - we need the referendum. Hence why many EOS block producers, including EOS42, are working together building a referendum contract and interface, and making it a priority.

CryptoComes: Do you think anything can be improved in the EOS voting system? Do you think it could be more fair?

David Packham: I don’t think it can be more fair than a referendum, where its one token per vote. I think it is a pretty powerful way of representing views. Some people are concerned about whales, concerned about individuals with what they would define to be too much power. But another way to look at it is those with the most tokens are the most invested in the long term success of the network. There are few who are going to care more about the success of EOS, than those with say 10 mln tokens- you care more about its success, not less.

It’s delegated proof of stake, but at the same time you are right it’s still the one who has the stake can vote than the one who doesn’t have them. That’s the minus of it.

The guy with 10 mln tokens, has so much more money than you and I have combined.  The counter argument is they have put in all that investment, they have so much on the line, it’s not fair for them to not have a bigger say. It is directly equivalent to shares in a company. Should the person who owns $10 mln dollars in Amazon only have the same say as you, who has put down $10,000?

If you look at what EOS token is for, it buys you a percentage of the bandwidth of the computational capacity of the network as well as the ability to vote. So in effect it gives you two things: it gives you a say in how the network is run and it gives you access to the power of the network directly linked to the amount you put in. So to me that is pretty powerful as a way of saying it is fair and right, but other people may disagree.

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CryptoComes: When do you think EOS will dethrone Ethereum or it’s not on the current agenda?

David Packham: I think actually the individuals up at the top, like Vitalik and Dan Larimer, are way beyond simplistic things like EOS vs. Ethereum. I think they are true believers who are in it for the right reasons, that’s why for example Vitalik was in the EOS code base giving advice pointing out errors and things to think about right up to the EOS launch. You couldn’t see a better example of people cooperating and in it for the right reasons. They are way beyond money these guys, all of them.

I think it is fair to say they all want to see the benefits of decentralization. They are both trying different flavors of the same idea, which is they want to build a decentralized operating system and economy. No one is yet sure how best to do that. So you have to try a variety of ways, to really experiment and find out what works best. Until we try we will never know. That’s how most of the great experiments have led to discoveries. How many different chemical formulas did we try before the lightbulb. Blockchain is still in this discovery phase; we are trying different configurations and theories, and at some point we will get one that works extremely well and everyone will pursue that path. DPOS is the only scalable, proven model we have for public blockchains so far.

What we realize with Ethereum is some brilliant ideas and the concept, flaws with scalability, dispute resolution is non-existent, forking seems to be the only way they can handle and resolve. No protection comparable for current day bank accounts, if your money is stolen or you lose your private key you are left a hapless victim.

So these are problems that Ethereum is also trying to resolve by gradually upgrading the system.  In the meantime Dan Larimer’s own invention, DPOS, is taking this great idea and marrying the lessons from Bitshares and Steemit, the things that went right and wrong, to produce this third generation blockchain - EOS.

You know we may be talking again in five years time about a version 4 Blockchain project. Who knows, or it may be that EOS for example is so scalable and adaptable that unlike those before it can morph fully into a version 4 Blockchain and beyond as intended. It is designed to have every aspect of it re-coded on the move, which is something that Ethereum struggles with: you can’t do it that easily, you cannot change contracts once they are deployed. If you get one bug in them like the parity wallet hack where someone initialized the contract for the first time (as Parity forgot to do that in testing and deployment), the inadvertent hacker took ownership of the contract as the initializer of it, and then they selected to kill contract and it froze all the money in the parity wallet. Now in EOS you can actually fix that, you can go back and actually fix the problem. This is where you are getting more sophisticated models than before. It’s going to be really interesting seeing how it works.

But I do think going back to the original question these guys are not hostile to one another.

It could be multiple Blockchain models thrive and they are all part of a giant economy.

When I spoke at an EOS/Ethereum debate the core Ethereum developer and myself agreed on the same thing: we are all in this, it could very well be that EOS is London and Ethereum is NY, and they are two cities interacting economically together within the Blockchain community in the future.

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The Top Crypto Dozen by Year of Formation

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If you ever wondered whether being the first meant staying ahead of rivals, this crypto list should offer some insight
The Top Crypto Dozen by Year of Formation

We have previously brought you a fair bit of statistics, from popularity trends to age categories of Bitcoin owners. But now, why not take a step back and look at the bigger picture, as it were. ICOs come and go, prices drop and skyrocket, but who is actually leading the market? Or, more interestingly, how long have they been doing so?

Below is our latest list that offers a brief crypto history from the start of the Blockchain movement up until now:

The Top Crypto Dozen

2008: The actual, seemingly invisible starting point, the global financial crisis. Huge banking corporations, among them Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs, go bankrupt. To many, this is the glaring signal that the centralized system is failing.

2009: The crypto pioneer Bitcoin gets launched by the mystery man Satoshi Nakamoto and later adopted as the currency of choice by the infamous Silk Road. Today, with the market cap of around 111.7 billion US dollars, it is the current leader, as well as the most valued altcoin on the market (around 6 500 USD a pop).

2011: Litecoin gets launched by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee. Though the second to be featured on our list (and of very similar fintech specifications to Bitcoin), it is, actually, currently occupying the seventh position by market cap with around 3.2 billion USD.

2012: Ripple, or XRP as it is known to many, gets launched. Despite the low price of around 50 US cents per coin, Ripple is both the third one to be mentioned in our list and concurrently the third one by market cap with roughly 21 billion USD. Note that XRP cannot be mined.

2014: Dash (first called XCoin, then Darkcoin, finally getting its present name in 2015), Monero, Stellar, and Tether get launched, who are currently occupying positions twelve with 1.4 billion USD, nine with 1.85 billion USD, six with 4.8 billion USD, and ten with 1.8 billion USD respectively. The fact that four of the leading companies appear in the aftermath of the 2013 Bitcoin bubble (that continued well into 2014) is surely no coincidence.

2015: Ethereum gets launched by the Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin. In spite of formally entering the market comparatively late in the game, six years after Bitcoin, the Ethereum platform with its native coin, Ether, is in second place by market cap today with around 22 billion USD, slightly ahead of Ripple (with just around 800 million USD in excess). Ethereum futures are said to be on the way shortly.

2017: Bitcoin Cash (through the hard fork split with Bitcoin), Cardano, and TRON get launched, who are presently occupying positions four with over 10 billion USD, eight with roughly 2 billion USD, and eleven with 1.6 billion USD respectively. Once again, the fact that we have yet another three major players that emerged out of yet another crypto bubble (with Bitcoin’s price approaching 20 000 USD in December) does not look like a coincidence either.

2018: EOS gets launched. Being the latest newcomer, it is already at the very respectable number five by market cap with just over 5 billion USD. However, very recently, EOS got accused by the Ethereum-funded research companies, ConsenSys and Whiteblock, of not being a Blockchain company and instead being a cloud-like service. This could potentially affect EOS’s global standing, but the full outcome of this scandal still remains to be seen.  

We hope you found our list helpful. Stay tuned for more.

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Fashion Designer Sets Up Auction For Shirts Paying Homage to Vitalik Buterin

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Ukrainian Fashion designer, Anna K, has set up a cryptocurrency auction where the prize is a tee-shirt sporting the phrase: ‘Vitalik is my Sputnik’
Fashion Designer Sets Up Auction For Shirts Paying Homage to Vitalik Buterin

Anna K, a fashion designer at the age of only 22, is showing her appreciation for cryptocurrency, and in particular Ethereum. The Ukrainian designer is holding an open auction where anyone can bid for one of her 10 unique Buterin shirts.

The shirts say: “Vitalik is my Sputnik No I am not giving away ETH," in reference to Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, and each bears a unique number and will feature a customized inscription of the winner's name. In total, 10 T-shirts numbered from 01 to 10 will be released.

One for Vitalik

K is a famed ‘Generation Z’ advocate, and obviously keenly interested in cryptocurrencies and the new world order they promise. She will be releasing an additional two T-shirts, one for Vitalik Buterin and herself.

The designer will present Buterin with his T-shirt at the ​Forbes​ magazine ‘30 Under 30’ summit in Tel Aviv, Israel in May. K made the ​Forbes​ ‘30 Under 30’ in 2017 in two categories (Youngest, and The Arts), and Buterin was listed in 2018 in the Finance category.

Anna K. will present Buterin with his T-shirt at the ​Forbes​ summit in Tel Aviv

Changing systems

As part of her deeper message in fashion, K admits that she sees fashion as a way to merge old and new, and sees similar qualities in things like Ethereum.

"I want to change the existing fashion system. Fashion in its purest form is a medium for dialogue between the young, creative and talented; however, now the industry is based on old capital and historic brands.”

“I am convinced fashion should correspond to the current lifestyle of my generation Z: crypto is now cooler than a skateboard! Vitalik Buterin and his project Ethereum inspires me; it's a revolution! That's why I decided to create a unique and limited collection dedicated to Vitalik and will present it at auction for ETH,” Anna K says.

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10 rounds

The auction will be held in 10 rounds, one round - one T-shirt. The first round of the auction will start on April 17 with the T-shirt bearing the number ‘10,’ the starting price for this T-shirt will be set at 0.1 ETH and the auction will last a day.

The final shirt will have an opening price of one ETH.

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