🤷 Opinions Cyril Gilson

Trust Arms Race in the Age of Cryptography: Max Borders Interview

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Future can be viewed as a positive-sum game if brain creativity is accommodated by smart contracts and greed is leveraged by prosocial ends: Max Borders
Trust Arms Race in the Age of Cryptography: Max Borders Interview

Cyril Gilson, Evgeny Konstantinov.

Futurist Max Borders is author of The Social Singularity: A Decentralist Manifesto. He is also Executive Director of Social Evolution, a non-profit dedicated to solving social problems through innovation, a widely published writer and co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit.

UToday discusses with Max Borders the future of communities in the age of the coming technological singularity, a new big thing after the attention economy, the failures and hopes of the US as a project, decentralization, FAGMA and the crypto market as a non-zero sum game.

UToday: Could trust economy be the next big thing, after the attention economy?

Max Borders: That is the optimistic vision of The Social Singularity, I think, though I did not put it specifically in those terms. If we can program incentive systems and networks that give rise to trust, people will almost always prefer those and will migrate to them where possible. I don’t want to overstate my optimism, however.

This is a long game. Big companies and big governments have lots of sticks and carrots at their disposal. And they will use them.

Many people have a deep inner urge not only to believe in the promises of central authority but to submit to it. So whatever the alternatives are, they must be robust and far more attractive than the status-quo system. Migrating between systems must be a simple, low-cost proposition on the part of the defectors or those who are ready to move out onto the frontiers of the network age.

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Incentivizing trust

UToday:  Do you think trust can be monopolized by the Leviathan (state/corporations) as it almost happened with attention?

Max Borders: Certainly not. Trust is more or less the product of repeated positive interaction among people. In the former Soviet bloc, people developed clever and systematic ways to evade the state’s panopticon, relying heavily on bonds of trust that amounted to winks, nods and robust black markets. Paradoxically, people in the former Soviet bloc also developed cheater's mores, but I’ll leave that for now. But people imagine they can trust central authorities, and some generally regard the state as generally trustworthy, as they are under the spell of thinking that angels are meant to be in power.

So, in the age of cryptography and connection, I worry there will be a trust arms race between central hierarchies and prosocial networks. But I hope trustful networks will prevail over attempts to create third-party leviathans that promise trust.

The hypothesis is that if positive interactions are rewarded and negative interactions are not, then trust will be more likely to be a happy by-product. But that hypothesis could be wrong.

UToday: Game theory says that trust (as in trust between people) can only evolve in a non-zero sum game. Do you agree?

Max Borders: This strikes me as at least intuitive (unless the game is a negative sum of course). It’s certainly a good heuristic for designing incentive systems. But those systems will compete in a kind of evolutionary fitness landscape, which we hope will generate the most prosocial systems while the anti-social systems die off.

That said, I don’t want to give the impression that all systems should be “trustless” in the way that some distributed ledgers are designed to disintermediate. I think some systems can and should hypermediate, which means that they involve more participants with different perspectives and subjective points-of-view.

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Subversive innovation USA

UToday: The US pretty much started as a utopia attempt (and a voice & exit thing). What place do you think the US has in this subversive innovation that's currently happening?

Max Borders: The US project, a constitutional order, was a valuable and instructive one. But it is essentially dead. The processes of institutional corruption, like power in collusion with money (obscured as it is by the spectacle of electoral politics), has created a system that basically trundles along but has lost its way. So it’s time for an upgrade.

That upgrade won’t happen by the reflection of legislators in deliberative bodies. It will happen by entrepreneurs and innovators offering alternatives that are just too tempting to pass up.

Such is not to say that there are no subversive innovators here in the US. We are everywhere. It is rather to say that the US’s social operating system is getting buggy. And that is true for most of the Westphalian nation states whose people are temporarily trapped in old nationalisms, and whose leaders aren’t coming to grips with the decentralization that is now unfolding before our very eyes. The days of central power are numbered. The forces of change can only be stopped if the world’s leaders agree to be way more totalitarian than they are. But even totalitarianism can only work for a time.

UToday: Is voting based on Blockchain (as in presidential elections) outside of the scope of change?

Max Borders: If it’s not, it should be. Blockchain-based voting rather misses the point of what’s possible with these new systems. And to be fair, I don’t care a jot about voting in the sense of majoritarian rule. The worship of democracy that is so pronounced in Western nations like the US strikes me as a failure of imagination coupled with an implicit bias to vote oneself goodies or to express one’s values without having to do the hard work. The hard work is to build participatory communities that attract and retain members.

My hypothesis is that this new market in governance forms will challenge all of these older ideas about the relationship between the government and the governed- not to mention they’ll challenge the idea that jurisdictions should be attached to terra firma.

Let us, therefore, pluck our governance from the cloud. Let a thousand experiments bloom. Then let 80 percent of those experiments die or evolve- over and over, ceaselessly. There will be no end of history. There will only be new governance systems that emerge victorious for a time until something better comes along- where “better” is in the eye of the beholder.

UToday:  During your 2017 Burning Man speech, you said: "Bitcoiners are extremely ultra left-brained." Could you expand on this?

Max Borders: ”Left-brained” is shorthand for logical, rational- with a tendency to view the world through a systems lens. Many of the early adopters of Bitcoin were geeks and coders, for example. This is a good thing on the net.

We need armies of Vitaliks rewriting humanity’s source codes.

But the next phase will be how to accommodate the creatives, the artists, and those with insights that are not always translatable into stark on/off binary thinking exemplified by smart contracts.

UToday: Any ideas on how right brain creativity can work with Blockchain algorithms? Would you say that Steemit does it in a way?

Max Borders: This is a hard question, particularly for me because I am not a software developer. Tentatively, I would suggest that it depends on which level of description you’re talking about. So on the one hand, you might get very left-brained systems at the protocol level, but these systems can give rise to forms of interaction that are a lot fuzzier and distinctively human.

On the other hand, it’s a bigger challenge to think about how one builds fuzziness in at the protocol level. Such questions are admittedly beyond my ability to answer. However, I think creatives and coders will discover new ways to interact in complementary ways that will generate amazing opportunities for human flourishing.

Steemit is an interesting early effort, but I think there is a lot more to come. A simple current example might be improved UX/UI, guided by more intuitive minds. So much of what we have to deal with now is neither simple nor terribly secure (such as keeping up with goddamn private keys, or a thousand passwords).

I would like to see society’s most vulnerable people using cryptocurrencies, for example. But that will happen only to the extent that we can make interfaces for human beings instead of just Vulcans.

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Prosocial greed

UToday:  The crypto market has some characteristics of a non-zero sum game. With more money flowing into crypto, more people are going to get rich. So greed, in a way, is fuelling the move to decentralization. Do you agree?

Max Borders: Yes. Greed, or at least self-interest, will almost always be the primary driver of progress. My organization, Social Evolution, is currently working on a system of mutual aid that attempts to harnesses both self-interest and altruism within a single system. I hope this will become a “killer app” because we are both greedy and altruistic creatures by shades. But I’m under no illusions: you have to get the incentives right. The very idea of incentives imbeds the idea of our basic self-interest. It’s in our bones as a species. Greed cannot be jettisoned. It must be leveraged. But hopefully, we can leverage it to prosocial ends.

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FAGMA

UToday: But generally, isn’t it too much hype about decentralization? Is it becoming a myth, with FAGMA (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon) putting whole industries out of business?

Max Borders: We shall see. FAGMA has massive network effects, which will be hard to overcome. But they’ll only be able to stick around if they are able to match the powerful incentives these new systems will soon offer potential defectors. Whether or not decentralization is or is not a myth will turn on whether the innovations A) reduce transition costs and B) offer benefits to the degree that the value of the old systems can be replaced as people defect.

To be honest, I am currently a slave to FAGMA. And I derive a lot of value from those relationships. I wrote The Social Singularity using a Mac, on Google docs, promoted on Facebook and sold via Amazon. I guess that makes me a shitty decentralist, despite having written the book.

That fact notwithstanding, we’re still in the DNA and single-cell stages of what will become a Great Barrier Reef of technological change. When the developers get the products right, we might just get to a tipping point.

AI beating humanity?

UToday:  Could AIs beat the humanity in decentralization, growing their own Mycelial Network?

Max Borders: Egad! It makes my head hurt to consider this possibility. But it is a possibility. My hope is that we are able in some sense to merge with AI before it comes to regard us as a competitor or a cancer. I hope it thinks of us as a companion or a continuation of its being. Can AI evolve empathy? Love? Will it feel at all? Or will it evolve into something more insidious and unstoppable?

My hope is that as we upgrade our collective intelligence (CI) we will co-evolve with AI and form common “mycelial” networks that give rise to something far greater than we can currently imagine.

And I gather that such wild predictions loop back to the first question above about life on earth viewed as a positive-sum game. We really don’t have a choice but to be optimistic. Because CI and AI are going to push us into a future that is not really of our choosing. And as CI and AI weave together, we will be as demigods operating in the form of expanded consciousness and intelligence that is right now the stuff of dreams.

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Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

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After a week or so of good price growth, Ripple looks as if it could be in for a short bear run, so maybe it's time to take profit
Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

A look over the charts for XRP shows some good growth since last week. However, there has been a bit of a flattening out, and even an inability to hold key support levels. This is key in trying to predict the next steps of XRP’s price, and technical analysis suggests that a small bear run could be imminent.

Ripple’s price failed to stay above the $0.3250 and $0.3200 support levels and declined against the US dollar. The price also failed to hold gains and declined recently against Bitcoin. XRP/USD could slide towards the $0.3050 support before starting a fresh upward move.

Because of these predictions, it might be time for some smart trading, selling some tokens for profit taking before looking for the bottom again and buying back in.

A look at the charts

Over the last five days, XRP peaked at $0.354 on Wednesday before correcting down and rebounding to $0.352; however, it has since fallen back to $0.342. There was some fight back from the XRP token to try and pick up those gains again over the last few days, but overall it has fallen twice, unable to maintain those support numbers.

Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

After a period of trading relatively flat, and with indications showing it is struggling to hold its gains, the prediction would be that the price of the coin will face bearish tendencies in the short term.

More small drops can be expected, with undulating rises that fail to stick. It is not gloom and doom for the cryptocurrency, rather a period of correction after a good rise that set off the market growth earlier in the week.

For investors or traders, this is actually good news given that if the prediction is correct, there will be a chance for profit taking as people sell off tokens after the bull run, only to ride out the bearish run in order to buy back.

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Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

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Litecoin price forecast 2019: The coin has the chance to reach the value of $230. What are the factors contributing to LTC growth?
Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

Following Bitcoin’s path, Litecoin seems to be on the rise: it’s becoming quite popular among investors and is slowly gaining in price. There’s a very high probability that it will trade higher than $30 all year long, but what about its highest points?

Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

Focus on numbers: Litecoin’s future in 2019

Although the bearish period seems to be over, the crypto market is still highly volatile. That’s why making any short-term predictions is quite hard. However, it doesn’t discourage analytical websites and people from making their own forecasts.

Thus, according to publications on various crypto websites, Litecoin has enough potential to reach the $1,000 edge. Some articles mention the number $2,000 – it seems to be far from reality. What are these suggestions based on? It’s not clear.

However, these forecasts are on par with predictions from some experts. For example, George Tung, a cryptocurrency analyst, claims that Litecoin will reach $1,500 towards the end of 2019. Brian Kelly, the head of BK Capital Management (LLC), is sure we might witness an LTC price of $500 or even $600 by the end of this year. Though conservative, this approach seems to be close to reality.

In November 2017, Litecoin was traded at $100 and investors managed to enjoy 25x ROI. If the market is hit by the bullish wave again, the scenario can repeat: LTC might jump from its current $48 to $1,200. But what if that won’t happen?

Our guess is that Litecoin can reach the range of $150-$230 by the end of 2019. How can it crawl to such numbers? First, in August 2019, the block reward for miners will be cut by 50%, which might provoke the growth of demand for LTC.

What will kick-start Litecoin growth?

Here’s the whole gamut of factors that can make Litecoin soar separately or altogether:

  • The rate of accepting Litecoin on exchanges and online websites will gradually increase. One of the adoption examples is the Surf Air store that started accepting LTC payments.

  • Of course, Litecoin’s growth is partially defined by Bitcoin’s performance. At the moment, BTC is on the rise. However, Litecoin seems to recover from the bearish period much faster and better.

  • At the same time, while Bitcoin’s gaining in traffic, users start complaining about growing transaction fees and slow performance. That’s when their attention switches to Litecoin, with its lower commissions and better speed.

  • A big influx of traffic on Coinbase is expected – it backs three major crypto assets, including LTC.

Thus, Litecoin is getting more and more media attention, which only contributes to its growth. Some Internet users are sure that it has to reach the $50 mark to get back on track and start gaining in value. This event is definitely around the corner!

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here is not investment advice – it is provided for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of U.Today. Every investment and all trading involves risk, so you should always perform your own research prior to making decisions. We do not recommend investing money you cannot afford to lose.

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EOS Price Expected to Keep Rising After Doubling in Value Since December Lows

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EOS is one coin that has shrugged off its lows to double in value since December, with more growth expected
EOS Price Expected to Keep Rising After Doubling in Value Since December Lows

In the current climate, there is optimism returning to the market with Bitcoin pushing the $4,000 mark. However, a lot of this positivity has come from an altcoin rush of late. Coins such as Tron, Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar have played their part in boosting the market, but one particular coin has been striving since its lows in December last year.

EOS, a cryptocurrency that is currently ranked fourth by market cap, has quietly been going about its business, growing not only in price but also value as a blockchain company. It is showing some medium to long term bullish tendencies, outperforming many others.

The coin reached a low of $1.54 on December 7th, 2018, but at the moment, it is heading beyond the $4 mark, having doubled in value since that late last year low. It currently sits at $3.38.

Many are expecting the coin to keep growing, with its highest point touching $4.05. This move represents a 161% gain in only 74 trading days. If the bullish tendencies can continue across the markets, there is no doubt that EOS will cash in.

EOS Charts

More to come

EOS is seen as a rival to Ethereum, and because its intention is to improve upon the original smart contract blockchain, it will feel it has an edge in terms of adoption in the coming months.

It is a double-edged sword, as added adoption of the blockchain platform will help increase its reputation, which in turn will boost its price. Then, because EOS’ price is already starting to grow substantially, it will bring the platform to the fore for future blockchain applications.

If EOS can continue to offer a good blockchain service and the market keeps positive, there is every reason to believe that the coin’s price will continue to grow — and also outperform many of its rivals and other altcoins.

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Ripple XRP Price Prediction: Major Financial Services Group Sees XRP Exceeding Bitcoin’s Market Cap

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The president of SBI Holdings in Japan believes that Ripple will dominate global expansion and soon have a bigger market cap than Bitcoin
Ripple XRP Price Prediction: Major Financial Services Group Sees XRP Exceeding Bitcoin’s Market Cap

The SBI Group, a Japan-based financial services giant as well as a keen partner with Ripple for their bank settlement cryptocurrency, are bullish on the XRP token overtaking the current head of the market cap standings, Bitcoin.

The President and Representative Director of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, has come out and said XRP is dominating international expansion and will become global in the future. This global domination, based on XRP’s propensity to partner with major financial institutions across the globe, means Kitao sees it overtaking Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has stood at the head of the market cap standings in relation to cryptocurrency ever since it was invented some 10 years ago. Other coins have come close to knocking it off, but the decentralised coin has stood firm. But, if Kitao is right, XRP could overtake the market cap with a huge growth in price from global adoption.

International adoption

Ripple’s XRP token is as a cryptocurrency global and borderless, just as Bitcoin, because of its decentralised nature. However, Ripple has been looking to run XRP like a business with its xRapid product.

Thus, its growth is based on its adoption by financial institutions around the globe, and as this adoption grows, the worth and interest in XRP will increase, and thus its market cap will begin to rise.

“Because XRP is already beginning to become international, xRapid will be used for fund transfers in 2019. By increasing the so-called XRP’s plastic use, we anticipate that the [Ripple] market capitalization will easily exceed the market capitalization of Bitcoin,” Kiato said.

Ripple has already shown its power in growth as opposed to other major cryptocurrencies, often stealing second spot from Ethereum in the recent past. Ethereum was once a coin that was almost overtaking Bitcoin, but it is now under threat by a much more compliant and potential-full XRP token.

Better use cases

Because Ripple is trying to build XRP’s use cases for financial institutions, it has an advantage over other tokens in that it will be useful rather than just a cryptocurrency experiment. It is highly believed that once crypto finds its killer application, the price of it will skyrocket as people flock in demand.

If XRP does become more globally adopted, there will be an influx of interest in the coin and thus its price will shoot up, allowing it to overtake Bitcoin’s market cap in no time.

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EOS Price Jumps 25% as Market Flattens Out: Is There More to Come?

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The cryptocurrency market’s best performer in the last 24 hours has been EOS as the rest of the growth plateaus – what’s next?
EOS Price Jumps 25% as Market Flattens Out: Is There More to Come?

Ever since last week Friday, where there were small indications that a rally could happen, the cryptocurrency market has shown some good growth, with Bitcoin, the head of the market, topping off at just under $4,000.

What has been typical of this small rally has been the effect of some of the major altcoins in pushing the cryptocurrency market. It began with the likes of Binance Coin, Stellar and Tron, and then saw Ethereum take over, but now EOS has shown a huge 25% growth spike in the last 24 hours.

It would seem that this rally has flattened out for the moment, with a lot of the coins levelling out. It is now important to see what comes next as another rally following this levelling could be massive for the medium to long term growth of the entire market.

EOS Drive

The now-fourth biggest cryptocurrency based on market cap has advanced nearly 25 percent in the last day to reach $3.47 and is currently neck-and-neck with Litecoin, whose own value has also ballooned 11 percent since year-end 2018.

Today’s gains reflect support from the EOS community and could have something to do with Block.one, the creator of EOS, recently providing greater clarity on the roadmap.

Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer addressed some of the community concerns on social media, reminding them in a message entitled “Great Things Take Time” that there is more ahead than meets the eye.

Of course what is important to note in regards to this kind of reaction is that these altcoin projects are putting out positive news, and that is having an effect not only on the coin, but the market in general.

There is positive news being met with results which are driving the market, and this has not been seen for a long period. The bullish market tendencies being seen could be indicative of a change in the sentiment.

What next?

It is still early to call, and quite tentative, but it certainly feels like a bull run could be developing. It may be based off the altcoin news and sentiment, but Bitcoin will play a important role. The major cryptocurrency came $30 short of cracking the $4,000 mark.

If Bitcoin is able to breach that resistance, even if it is through the drive of another altcoin, it could open up a whole new level of potential gains across the market and could possibly start a new bull run.

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