BitcoinExpo London 2015 Will Focus on Start-ups and ...

The Sun Exchange raises $3M for crypto driven solar power in Africa

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South Africa based renewable energy startup Sun Exchange has raised $3 million to close its Series A funding round totaling $4 million.
The company operates a peer-to-peer, crypto enabled business that allows individuals anywhere in the world to invest in solar infrastructure in Africa.
How’s that all work?
“You as an individual are selling electricity to a school in South Africa, via a solar panel you bought through the Sun Exchange,” explained Abe Cambridge — the startup’s founder and CEO.
“Our platform meters the electricity production of your solar panel. Arranges for the purchasing of that electricity with your chosen energy consumer, collects that money and then returns it to your Sun Exchange wallet.”
It costs roughly $5 a panel to get in and transactions occur in South African Rand or Bitcoin.
“The reason why we chose Bitcoin is we needed one universal payment system that enables micro transactions down to a millionth of a U.S. cent,” Cambridge told TechCrunch on a call.
He co-founded the Cape Town headquartered startup in 2015 to advance renewable energy infrastructure in Africa. “I realized the opportunity for solar was enormous, not just for South Africa, but for the whole of the African continent,” said Cambridge.
“What was required was a new mechanism to get Africa solar powered.”
Sub-Saharan Africa has a population of roughly 1 billion people across a massive landmass and only about half of that population has access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.
Recently, Sun Exchange’s main market South Africa — which boasts some of the best infrastructure in the region — has suffered from blackouts and power outages.
Image Credits: Sun Exchange
Sun Exchange has 17,000 members in 162 countries who have invested in solar power projects for schools, businesses and organizations throughout South Africa, according to company data.
The $3 million — which closed Sun Exchange’s $4 million Series A — came from the Africa Renewable Power Fund of London’s ARCH Emerging Markets Partners.
With the capital the startup plans to enter new markets. “We’re going to expand into other Sub-Saharan African countries. We’ve got some clear opportunities on our roadmap,” Cambridge said, referencing Nigeria as one of the markets Sun Exchange has researched.
There are several well-funded solar energy startups operating in Africa’s top economic and tech hubs, such as Kenya and Nigeria. In East Africa, M-Kopa sells solar hardware kits to households on credit then allows installment payments via mobile phone using M-Pesa mobile money. The venture is is backed by $161 million from investors including Steve Case and Richard Branson.
In Nigeria, Rensource shifted from a residential hardware model to building solar-powered micro utilities for large markets and other commercial structures.
Nigeria’s Rensource raises $20M to power African markets by solar
Sun Exchange operates as an asset free model and operates differently than companies that install or manufacture solar panels.
“We’re completely supplier agnostic. We are approached by solar installers who operate on the African continent. And then we partner with the best ones,” said Cambridge — who presented the startup’s model at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in Berlin in 2017.
“We’re the marketplace that connects together the user of the solar panel to the owner of the solar panel to the installer of the solar panel.”
Abe Cambridge, Image Credits: TechCrunch
Sun Exchange generates revenues by earning margins on sales of solar panels and fees on purchases and kilowatt hours generated, according to Cambridge.
In addition to expanding in Africa, the startup looks to expand in the medium to long-term to Latin America and Southeast Asia.
“Those are also places that would really benefit from from solar energy, from the speed in which it could be deployed and the environmental improvements that going solar leads to,” said Cambridge.
Vaya Africa launches electric ride-hail taxi network

submitted by tonnie_taller to Tonnie_Taller [link] [comments]

IamA High School drop out that had a million dollar bet with his parents that if I made a million before I'm 18. I did not have to go to college! I won! AMA!

Hello Reddit!
You may have seen me at the top of /technology the other day and I got a lot of messages telling me to do an IAMA about this article on CNBC so here I am!
So I made a bet with my parents that if I turned 18 and was a millionaire, my parents wouldn't force me to go to college. I’m proud to say I won that bet! Thanks to some clever investments, making money from projects, and as is the case with everyone who has any kind of success (or even failure) a little bit of luck.
Here’s the story of how it happened:
When I was 12 years old in May 2011, my older brother showed me this technology that I fell in love with and found fascinating. The technology was called Bitcoin.
At that stage in life I had a $1000 saved up, solely a gift from my Grandma to use for my scholarship fund. It did not go to my scholarship fund. I asked my brother to help me put it into Bitcoin at $12 because I knew it would be huge in someway. At that point I had about a 100 bitcoins.
I continued to do ‘day trading’ buying low and selling high over the coming years as well and reinvesting the money.
Fast forward to when I was 14 in high school I was not enjoying school. I was in a small town in Idaho living on a llama farm. So the quality of the school system, was let’s say, not the highest grade. I found the classes to be boring, valuable to some people, but at least for me boring and teaching me in a way that didn’t make sense to me. Lessons that did not seem applicable in my life.
My teachers would constantly criticize people in the classroom. Especially me.
One teacher told me to drop out and work at McDonald's because that was all I would amount to for the rest of my life.
Another would force us to read other student’s grades out to the rest of the class to shame them for failing.
Another roasted me (me in particular) for the full hour of class. No teaching. It was literally the “Roast of Erik Finman”. Which now seems kind of funny actually but still very bad to do.
I went to a summer program to prepare me for the next year and found the best teacher ever in my life that changed my life who was from the UK. I got an A+ in advanced physics when I got a C- in basic physics the previous year.
With that knowledge. Since I didn’t have access to good teachers in my small town in Idaho. I wanted to fix it. So I learned how to code and created an educational website that would allow you to connect with Tutors/Teachers/Mentors online over video chat to teach you any subject you wanted to learn. You could search for Spanish. And find someone to teach you from Ecuador. You could type in programming and you’d find a CS college student that is trying to pay tuition by doing this on the side. Or a retired expert who is a veteran in his field that just wants to impart his knowledge onto others.
It became very popular in the local community! I told my teachers about it, but they did not like it because it felt like competition. Maybe they thought they might have to do better?
At this point I was 15 and this got some initial traction and I was using it to teach myself.
I asked my parents to let me drop out of High School to focus on this because I was miserable in school.
They agreed and were supportive, but they made a bet with me that I can drop out of High School, but I have to go to college if I don’t make a million dollars by the age 18.
I agreed and I dropped out of High School to work on this. A little bit after I dropped out of High School, and I had traction with my project. Bitcoin was shooting up! It was going big! $800! $900! $1000!!!!
So I sold a lot of my Bitcoins which resulted in me gaining a $100,000.
I used that money to put into my business so I could hire more professional programmers and I moved to Silicon Valley.
I even caught the attention of Alexis Ohanian of Reddit because his book at the time Without Their Permission is what got me started. He helped me in many ways!
Fast forward to early 2015. Eventually I found a buyer for the companies code & technology in January 2015. The investor offered either $100,000 or 300 bitcoin, which had dropped in value at that time to a little more than $200 a coin. I took the lower cash value bitcoin deal because I believed it was the next big thing and an official buyout would’ve been very difficult for someone under 18 and it was good tax planning to use Bitcoin. Also continuing to do day trading on a daily basis.
I used some of that money in the coming years to travel the world. Going to London, Dubai, Australia, and more!
I used that to start a VR company using crowdfunding and that did well. I shipped all those out. It was incredible!
Now I’m doing a satellite as part of a NASA award which is launching in November out of New Zealand! I'll probably do another post about this soon because it's so cool.
Elon Musk has always been hero of mine. He's such a talented guy changing the world with Tesla and SpaceX. I'm a great admirer of his and respect him immensely. He's the closest we have yet to a real life Iron Man. But who knows maybe I'll beat him one day haha ;-) After all we stand on the shoulders of giants right? haha that's a big goal though and I say it as such.
It’s been a fantastic few years! I’ve used that money to learn how to do a business, invest, and learn about the world! I didn’t do investing all the time and I used that money to build things that I thought were important! I haven’t done everything perfectly, no one has! I’ve made some humbling mistakes, but had lots of exciting successes! I’ve really launched my career in exciting ways and have met mentors that help me and advise me along the whole way! Which I’m so thankful for!
I’ve learned so much outside the education system and have been so much happier. Although I’m unique, I’ve met many many people that weren’t satisfied and unhappy — ranging from students with the lowest and highest GPAs. My GPA was a 2.1 in school!
And I’m happy I’m not going to College! College wasn’t for me but it was the ‘life path’ you are supposed to go on and I did not want to go nor felt it would’ve helped me too much in life — especially the $250,000 in debt! Or $249,000 with my scholarship fund if I had not used it on Bitcoin and my projects ;-)
I really believe the education system needs to be reformed and I think technology is the way to do that. I think it’s wonderful how society allows you to be a ‘student’ so that you can learn for many years and that’s your full time job. The infrastructure would just ideally be much better so you could do that without being in sometimes a bad environment and crippling debt.
I can say today that I own 403 bitcoins which is currently valued at $1,092,678.08 with the price per Bitcoin being at $2,711.36 plus some other money invested in other things. Can’t have all your eggs in one basket! So I won the bet!
If you have any questions let me know! And if you want any advice on cryptocurrency or your own educational route, or anything else let me know!
Also on reddit! People have made Pepe memes of me! I feel like I've finally made it: http://imgur.com/gallery/06dWK
If you want to keep updated with everything I’m doing! Follow me on twitter!
Proof:
Proof of the bet: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/erik-finman-botangle-after-100k-bitcoin-score-15-year-old-creates-startup/
Travel proof: http://imgur.com/a/kvlzR
Proof: I went through rigorous proof verification and fact checking with CNBC as you can see with this article. I keep my Bitcoin is super secure places spread out across multiple wallets across multiple machines. I'm so paranoid after all this media attention someone is going to steal it all! haha
Proof of growing up on the llama farm: http://imgur.com/gallery/6scF5 ---- ASK me about the time the llama came into my house!
Proof of the 100k initially made: http://mashable.com/2014/06/10/botangle/
Proof it's really me: http://imgur.com/a/zc3eu
Edit: Wow! Thanks for the gold guys!
Edit: Was on for the first few hours of the AMA and had a meeting to go to and I just came back now to see all these great questions! Questions I all have answers to! I will respond to them tomorrow as it's midnight here now.
Edit: That's it for me! A lot of great questions and a lot of great feedback.
submitted by erikfinman to IAmA [link] [comments]

Unibright will Present with Digital Asset at Synchronise 2019

Unibright will Present with Digital Asset at Synchronise 2019

https://preview.redd.it/pnh5zr91cp431.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=eb1ef2e66987d659a1b9941cfab4a20d257c79a6
Who are Digital Asset Holdings LLC?
Digital Asset was founded in 2014 by Sunil Hirani and Don R. Wilson with former JPMorgan Executive Blythe Mastersnamed as CEO in March 2015. Digital Asset has raised over $107M in funding from fifteen key investors; ABN Amro, Accenture, Australian Securities Exchange, BNP Paribas, Broadridge, Citi, CME Group, Deutsche Börse Group, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, Goldman Sachs, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, NEX, PNC Financial Services, and Banco Santander. The company has strategic business relationships with Accenture, Broadridge, GFT, Google, IBM, IntellectEU and PwC to help scale and accelerate the adoption and deployment of its technology. The company has grown and expanded over time and now has offices in New York City, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Zurich and Budapest and currently employs over 170 people.

https://preview.redd.it/qnpejocxbp431.png?width=1002&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f798400ccd9650f2b8db62cd90a115d1280a170
Digital Asset help companies design, create, and run the next generation of business applications. They combine deep industry expertise with software development tools and have built up an ecosystem of technology partners to help their clients orchestrate multi-party processes and attain more control over their data. As you can see from the graphic, they have partnered with some big names, such as Deloitte and Google Cloud Services.


https://preview.redd.it/esltvonzbp431.png?width=1583&format=png&auto=webp&s=aa71ea2430253893612a96ab5bc4cbc6ac124bd8

Digital Asset might be best known for their part in Hyperledger, but at the core of their offering is DAML, which has unsurprisingly is already integrated into Hyperledger Sawtooth as of April this year. DAML is an intuitive smart-contract programming language used to digitize multi-party agreements and automate transactions in a precise and secure manner. DAML aims to focus developer time on programming business processes rather than needing to deal with the innards of Blockchain and encryption.

Why partner with Unibright?
Unibright have developed a framework for the visual creation of workflows and the deployment of smart contracts for enterprise, on any Blockchain. After pilot testing, the framework was announced as product ready in late March 2019, and since then the team has been working on various solutions for clients, such as Real Estate tokenization and Batch Tracing solutions. Clearly the framework and the types of businesses that Unibright are targeting, as well as their Blockchain agnostic and visual workflow approach to smart contracts, has caught the attention of Digital Asset. When you look at both companies, there is definitely a certain synergy between the two companies approaches to Blockchain and DLT technology.
https://preview.redd.it/78cewbu9cp431.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=736e0b8334ebd4c8747c03cfee7cc14c57d0d38d
Earlier this week Stefan Schmidt, the Unibright CTO, shared that the team will be presenting at Synchronise Europe 2019 in London alongside Digital Assets. Synchronize is the leading conference dedicated to enterprise and institutional applications of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Blockchain technology and smart contracts within financial services. A full list of attendees can be seen on their website, but Synchronize Europe 2019 will play host to an impressive delegation of senior financial services executives (Such as The Bank of England, Goldman Sachs, London Stock Exchange and several other major Banks) from across the buy-side, sell-side, financial market infrastructures, Fintech startups, consultancies, vendors as well as regulators and policymakers. Attendees will learn the most effective ways to evaluate and deploy DLT for their business, how it fits into the existing market structure and what the business requirements of the technology actually are.

During this event Unibright will showcase how the Unibright framework can be used to visually model DAML without writing any code and automatically set up the smart contracts for enterprise integrations. Exposure at this level is significant for a startup like Unibright, and the fact that Digital Asset are willing to work with Unibright means that they stand out as a leading service provider in the Blockchain for enterprise space.

Full article:https://www.altcoinbuzz.io/crypto-news/partnerships/unibright-will-present-with-digital-asset-at-synchronise-2019/
submitted by staifih to Unibright [link] [comments]

Unibright will Present with Digital Asset at Synchronise 2019

Unibright will Present with Digital Asset at Synchronise 2019


https://preview.redd.it/gsijuz0ey2531.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=1de350e5e1fcf4b8aa9b8158e89d48e1e7c084f8
Who are Digital Asset Holdings LLC?
Digital Asset was founded in 2014 by Sunil Hirani and Don R. Wilson with former JPMorgan Executive Blythe Mastersnamed as CEO in March 2015. Digital Asset has raised over $107M in funding from fifteen key investors; ABN Amro, Accenture, Australian Securities Exchange, BNP Paribas, Broadridge, Citi, CME Group, Deutsche Börse Group, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, Goldman Sachs, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, NEX, PNC Financial Services, and Banco Santander. The company has strategic business relationships with Accenture, Broadridge, GFT, Google, IBM, IntellectEU and PwC to help scale and accelerate the adoption and deployment of its technology. The company has grown and expanded over time and now has offices in New York City, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Zurich and Budapest and currently employs over 170 people.

https://preview.redd.it/971qgl6fy2531.png?width=1002&format=png&auto=webp&s=55a02d1c2a84b13f86a88deb2cacf4fbfce50986

Digital Asset help companies design, create, and run the next generation of business applications. They combine deep industry expertise with software development tools and have built up an ecosystem of technology partners to help their clients orchestrate multi-party processes and attain more control over their data. As you can see from the graphic, they have partnered with some big names, such as Deloitte and Google Cloud Services.

https://preview.redd.it/hef1kgcgy2531.png?width=1583&format=png&auto=webp&s=a67e697dd4e231ad05637eb3b72e34f6e1bff918
Digital Asset might be best known for their part in Hyperledger, but at the core of their offering is DAML, which has unsurprisingly is already integrated into Hyperledger Sawtooth as of April this year. DAML is an intuitive smart-contract programming language used to digitize multi-party agreements and automate transactions in a precise and secure manner. DAML aims to focus developer time on programming business processes rather than needing to deal with the innards of Blockchain and encryption.

Why partner with Unibright?
Unibright have developed a framework for the visual creation of workflows and the deployment of smart contracts for enterprise, on any Blockchain. After pilot testing, the framework was announced as product ready in late March 2019, and since then the team has been working on various solutions for clients, such as Real Estate tokenization and Batch Tracing solutions. Clearly the framework and the types of businesses that Unibright are targeting, as well as their Blockchain agnostic and visual workflow approach to smart contracts, has caught the attention of Digital Asset. When you look at both companies, there is definitely a certain synergy between the two companies approaches to Blockchain and DLT technology.

https://preview.redd.it/a9jlsc4iy2531.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=300bf1704065239c2604d19f175b5c341c3571d3
Earlier this week Stefan Schmidt, the Unibright CTO, shared that the team will be presenting at Synchronise Europe 2019 in London alongside Digital Assets. Synchronize is the leading conference dedicated to enterprise and institutional applications of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Blockchain technology and smart contracts within financial services. A full list of attendees can be seen on their website, but Synchronize Europe 2019 will play host to an impressive delegation of senior financial services executives (Such as The Bank of England, Goldman Sachs, London Stock Exchange and several other major Banks) from across the buy-side, sell-side, financial market infrastructures, Fintech startups, consultancies, vendors as well as regulators and policymakers. Attendees will learn the most effective ways to evaluate and deploy DLT for their business, how it fits into the existing market structure and what the business requirements of the technology actually are.

During this event Unibright will showcase how the Unibright framework can be used to visually model DAML without writing any code and automatically set up the smart contracts for enterprise integrations. Exposure at this level is significant for a startup like Unibright, and the fact that Digital Asset are willing to work with Unibright means that they stand out as a leading service provider in the Blockchain for enterprise space.

Full article:https://www.altcoinbuzz.io/crypto-news/partnerships/unibright-will-present-with-digital-asset-at-synchronise-2019/
submitted by staifih to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

MeWe: A trip report

Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein.
As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations.
This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.

Leadership

Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein.
Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company).
Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books.
His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.

Advisory Board

Ownership & Investment

MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016.
Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041
Crunchbase Profile.
Founded: 2012 (source)
Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014.
2016 valuation: $20m (source]
Backers:
Despite the business address, the company claims to be based in Los Angeles County, California and is described by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a Culver City, CA, company.

Business

Policy

In an August 6, 2018 Twitter post, Weinstein promotes MeWe writing:
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
Highlights of these follow.

Privacy

The privacy policy addresses:

Terms of Service

The ToS addresses:
Effective: November 6, 2018.

FAQ

The FAQ addresses:

Values

This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy.
Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.

Privacy Bill of Rights

A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
  1. You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
  2. You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
  3. You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
  4. Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
  5. You control who can access your content.
  6. You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
  7. Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
  8. Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
  9. Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
  10. You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.

Press

There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.

Self-reported articles

The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.).
There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.

Other mentions

A DuckDuckGo search produces several other press mentions, including:

Technology

This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.

Mobile Web

The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.

Mobile App

There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.

Desktop Web

Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button.
The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.)
The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.

Onboarding

The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.

Interface

Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site.
Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.

Features

Among the touted features of MeWe are:

Community

A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.

Size

Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter.
The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members.
This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.

Active Users

MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.

Groups

MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest.
"MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ.
The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here.
A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories.
The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5.
Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.

Google+ Groups

The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.

Political Groups

It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
  1. Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
  2. The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
  3. Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
  4. Drain The Swamp (4978)
  5. Libertarians (4528)
  6. United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
  7. The Right To Self Defense (3757)
  8. Alternative Media (3711)
  9. Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
  10. Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
  11. Return of the Republic (2509)
  12. Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
  13. Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
  14. Berners for Progress (1963)
  15. Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
  16. The American Conservative (1839)
  17. I Am The NRA (1704)
  18. Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
  19. We Love Donald Trump (1611)
  20. MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
  21. Q (1396)
  22. ClashDaily.com (1384)
  23. news from the front (1337)
  24. Basket of Deplorables (1317)
  25. Payton's Park Bench (1283)
  26. Convention of States (1282)
  27. Britons For Brexit (1186)
  28. MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
  29. MeWe Free Press (1119)
  30. The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
  31. Libertarian (1097)
  32. WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
  33. AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
  34. #WalkAway Campaign (894)
  35. ALEX JONES (877)
  36. The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
  37. We Support Donald Trump! (810)
  38. The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
  39. TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
  40. Official Tea Party USA (749)
  41. Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
  42. Yes Scotland (697)
  43. "WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
  44. Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
  45. Anarcho-Capitalism (658)
  46. Ted Cruz for President (650)
  47. No Lapdog Media (647)
  48. Q Chatter (647)
  49. Daily Brexit (636)
  50. Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
  51. The Trumps Storm Group (600)
  52. QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
  53. 100% American (569)
  54. Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
  55. Deep State (560)
  56. In the Name of Liberty (557)
  57. Material Planet (555)
  58. WikiUnderground (555)
  59. Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
  60. Magna Carta Group (520)
  61. Constitutional Conservatives (506)
  62. Question Everything (503)
  63. Conspiracy Research (500)
  64. Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
  65. Conservative Misfit's (479)
  66. Canadian politics (478)
  67. Anarchism (464)
  68. HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
  69. Deplorable (450)
  70. Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
  71. UK Politics (430)
  72. Bongino Fan Page (429)
  73. Radical Conservatives (429)
  74. RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
  75. The Deplorables (409)
  76. America's Freedom Fighters (401)
  77. Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
  78. CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
  79. Political satire (383)
  80. RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
  81. UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
  82. The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
  83. End The Insanity (349)
  84. Coming American Civil War! (345)
  85. Constitutional Conservatives (343)
  86. United Nations Watch (342)
  87. A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
  88. The New Libertarian (335)
  89. Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
  90. DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
  91. American Conservative Veterans (331)
  92. Anarchism/Agorism/Voluntaryism (328)
  93. America Needs Donald Trump (326)
  94. The UKIP Debating Society (321)
  95. Coalition For Trump (310)
  96. Egalitarianism (306)
  97. FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
  98. 2nd Amendment (287)
  99. Never Forget #SethRich (286)
  100. Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:

Conclusion

Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects.
Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.

Updates

submitted by dredmorbius to plexodus [link] [comments]

Coinbase và Barclays đường ai nấy đi. Người dùng Anh sẽ bị ảnh hưởng?

📷
Barclays, ngân hàng toàn cầu có trụ sở tại London, gần đây đã ngừng giao dịch với sàn giao dịch Coinbase có trụ sở tại Hoa Kỳ. Ngay sau đó, Coinbase thông báo đã tìm thấy một ngân hàng thay thế khác cũng có có trụ sở tại Vương quốc Anh, ClearBank. Xem thêm: ieo bittrex
Trong khi Barclays kết nối với Coinbase thông qua Chương trình thanh toán nhanh hơn (FPS) của Vương quốc Anh cho phép rút và gửi tiền ngay lập tức bằng đồng bảng Anh tại sàn giao dịch thì phải ít nhất đến cuối quý 3/2019 ngân hàng ClearBank mới có thể cung cấp dịch vụ tương tự. Trước đây, các khách hàng chỉ mất vài giây để gửi và rút tiền bằng bảng Anh tại Coinbase thì hiện tại phải mất nhiều ngày để xử lý.
Trước quyết định liên quan đến Coinbase của Barclay, ngân hàng Santander của Tây Ban Nha đã chặn khách hàng Anh gửi tiền fiat vào sàn giao dịch. Người phát ngôn của Santander khẳng định nguồn tin này không đúng sự thật:
“Chúng tôi không chặn thanh toán của bất kỳ công ty hợp pháp nào. Tuy nhiên, trong một số trường hợp nhất định, chúng tôi sẽ yêu cầu kiểm tra bảo mật bổ sung khi có dấu hiệu rủi ro gian lận cao hơn”.
Việc kinh doanh diễn ra như thường lệ? Không hẳn là vậy…
Trước khi có quyền truy cập vào FPS, sàn giao dịch có văn phòng tại Dublin và London đã chuyển bảng Anh sang Euro thông qua ngân hàng LHV Pank có trụ sở tại Estonia hiện vẫn còn hợp tác với Coinbase. Được biết, ngân hàng LHV sở hữu và quản lý tài sản lớn nhất tại Estonia dường như có cách tiếp cận cởi mở hơn đối với blockchain so với Barclays. Chủ tịch hội đồng giám sát Cozel Lõhmus của LHV phát biểu vào năm 2015:
“Blockchain Bitcoin là mật mã khóa công khai lâu đời nhất, được kiểm tra và bảo mật tốt nhất. Do đó phù hợp với các ứng dụng hiện tại của chúng tôi”.
Nhưng LHV lại không thể cung cấp cho Coinbase những dịch vụ ‘xa xỉ’ như Barclays.
CEO Zeeshan Feroz của Coinbase tại Anh phát biểu ngay sau khi Barclays lần đầu tiên hợp tác với sàn giao dịch: Xem thêm:
“Sử dụng dịch vụ thanh toán GBP trong nước của Barclays giúp giảm chi phí, cải thiện trải nghiệm của khách hàng … và giúp giao dịch nhanh hơn”.
Ông cũng cho biết sàn giao dịch đã rất cố gắng và mất nhiều thời gian để kết nối Barclays với Coinbase, vì trước đó họ đã tìm cách đảm bảo thực hiện các thủ tục chống rửa tiền (AML) thích hợp. Coinbase là một trong những công ty blockchain đầu tiên được Barclays cho phép truy cập FPS.
Feroz nhấn mạnh “có rất nhiều sự hiểu biết và quản lý rủi ro cần thiết”. Ông lưu ý vào thời điểm đó rằng Liên minh châu Âu đã tăng trưởng “nhanh gấp đôi so với bất kỳ thị trường nào khác trong năm 2017” và Vương quốc Anh là thị trường lớn nhất trong khối.
CEO Joshua Scigala của sàn giao dịch vàng – Bitcoin Vaultoro trích dẫn các quy định về hoạt động ngân hàng có thể buộc Barclays phải đóng tài khoản của Coinbase. Cụ thể:
“Ngành công nghiệp ngân hàng trước đây đã lập ra hàng loạt quy định quá khó để các startup cạnh tranh, gây gánh nặng pháp lý. Rõ ràng là ‘gậy lưng đập lưng ông’ bởi vì chính các hàng rào quy định này lại khiến họ không thể cải tiến”.
Barclays muốn đưa Bitcoin vào cuộc chơi
CEO Ashok Vaswani của Barclays trả lời phỏng vấn của CNBC rằng ngân hàng và các nhà quản lý đã cùng bàn bạc về tiền điện tử, nhưng không tiết lộ chính xác chi tiết của cuộc đàm phán với Cơ quan Tài chính Anh (FCA). Tại một cuộc phỏng vấn khác với CNBC sau hội nghị fintech Money 20/20 ở Copenhagen, Đan Mạch năm 2017, ông khẳng định cuộc họp chủ yếu nói về phương thức đưa Bitcoin vào cuộc chơi và cách làm cho nó an toàn. Xem thêm: rút tiền từ coinbase
Vào năm 2015, công ty đa quốc gia của Anh đã điều hành một cuộc thử nghiệm với sàn giao dịch Bitcoin Safello trên PoC. Trong năm 2016, ngân hàng xác nhận đã liên kết với Circle Internet Financial, là công ty chủ quản ứng dụng Circle Pay do FCA quản lý chuyên sử dụng Bitcoin để chuyển tiền miễn phí. Barclays nhận tiền gửi khách hàng thông qua Circle.
Năm 2019, ngân hàng tài trợ cho một cuộc thi hackathon blockchain. Mặc dù thừa nhận các ngân hàng lớn có vẻ rất quyết tâm nhưng Scigala không chắc họ sẽ đi đến cùng với blockchain:
“Barclay cũng giống như một số người chơi lớn khác nói rất nhiều nhưng không có hành động thực sự liên quan đến tiền điện tử. Rất nhiều trong số họ ‘khua chiêng múa trống’ về blockchain trên các phương tiện truyền thông để nghe có vẻ hiện đại và giống như họ đang đổi mới nhưng khi nói đến hành động thực tế, họ chặn hoặc thậm chí tẩy chay tất cả các doanh nghiệp nghiêm túc làm việc trong không gian công nghệ mới. Và tất nhiên, Barclays không ngoại lệ”.
Các nhà phân tích của Barclay xem Bitcoin là virus truyền nhiễm
Mặc dù trao đổi với cơ quan quản lý về việc làm sao để giúp Bitcoin trở nên an toàn hơn nhưng các nhà phân tích của Barclay đã từng so sánh BTC với bệnh cúm. Joseph Abate bị cáo buộc thông qua một ghi chú viết cho khách hàng: “Giống như bệnh truyền nhiễm, lây truyền – đặc biệt là đối với những người mắc chứng sợ bỏ lỡ – là từ cửa miệng, thường thấy qua blog, tin tức và các câu chuyện cá nhân. Tuy nhiên, một khi các ngân hàng hoàn toàn chấp nhận BTC thì suy giảm giá trị sẽ xảy ra đều đều và thậm chí còn giảm nhiều hơn”.
Mô hình của Barclay đã chia dân số toàn cầu thành 3 phần, bao gồm những người dễ mắc bệnh, những người dễ bị tổn thương nhưng không bị nhiễm bệnh và những người miễn dịch. Những người bị “truyền nhiễm” là những người mua 0.1% tiền điện tử trong lần đầu tiên. Trong khi đó, có 25% dân số dễ bị Bitcoin làm lung lay ý chí do sợ bỏ lỡ. Một số người miễn dịch thì sẽ không bao giờ mua Bitcoin.
Barclays lưu ý Bitcoin thường được ưa chuộng ở các nền kinh tế yếu kém. Theo ông Abate, “tiền điện tử có thể là nơi trú ẩn an toàn ở những nền kinh tế ít được người dân tin tưởng. Việc chấp nhận rộng rãi các công nghệ tiền điện tử phải đối mặt với những thách thức to lớn và những người đương nhiệm quyết liệt”.
Lo ngại nạn rửa tiền?
Nhiều người tin rằng Barclays đóng tài khoản Coinbase do lo ngại về AML. Các chính phủ đã đánh thuế 17 tỷ đô la tiền phạt liên quan đến AML kể từ năm 2009 và các giao thức AML của EU, Hoa Kỳ tiếp tục trở nên khó khăn hơn. Ngân hàng Danske hiện đang phải đối mặt với mức phạt từ 6 đến 8 tỷ đô la do vi phạm AML mà theo một số nhà phân tích thì đó là vụ bê bối rửa tiền lớn nhất từ ​​trước đến nay.
Các cơ quan quản lý cũng đã điều tra hoặc phạt Commonwealth Bank of Australia, chi nhánh tại Anh của Ngân hàng Canara Ấn Độ, Ngân hàng Standard Chartered, Ngân hàng Deutsche, Tập đoàn tài chính Mitsubishi UFJ và Goldman Sachs.
CEO Jason Blick của ngân hàng kỹ thuật số toàn cầu EQIBank dành cho doanh nghiệp và các cá nhân có giá trị ròng cao cho rằng các quy định về AML và Hiểu khách hàng (KYC) là lý do tiềm năng buộc Barclays phải đóng tài khoản của Coinbase.
“Các hệ thống nội bộ của ngân hàng truyền thống không được thiết kế để đối phó với các ngành công nghiệp đột phá hoặc sáng tạo. Nhiều ngân hàng đang phải đối mặt với mức phạt kỷ lục do vi phạm AML và KYC. Hầu hết các ngân hàng truyền thống chỉ đơn giản là không hiểu cách quản lý rủi ro tài sản kỹ thuật số và tiền điện tử”.
Ngoài các thách thức AML, KYC và nhu cầu về công nghệ mới của người tiêu dùng, Blick lưu ý một số ngân hàng đương nhiệm không thể duy trì dịch vụ online. Ngân hàng toàn cầu HSBC chỉ là một trong những ngân hàng lớn phải đối mặt với sự cố ngừng hoạt động trực tuyến khiến khách hàng không thể truy cập vào tài khoản và các dịch vụ khác thông qua mạng internet. Khách hàng của Bank of America, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland và NatWest đều phải chịu đựng những vấn đề tương tự. Cụ thể:
“Họ không thể đáp ứng các hoạt động ngân hàng có nhu cầu ngay lập tức như các khách hàng và ngành công nghiệp tiền điện tử mong đợi… Nhưng thế giới đã thay đổi. Chúng tôi di động và trực tuyến. Chúng tôi hy vọng có thể sử dụng các giao dịch thời gian thực và truy cập vào các dịch vụ tài chính suốt ngày đêm. Nhưng đáng tiếc các ngân hàng lớn, như Barclays, không thể theo kịp”.
Ngoài ra, Blick cũng nhắc đến các ngân hàng dám đương đầu với thách thức như ClearBank. Họ đổi mới từ gốc rễ và sử dụng các phương pháp phân tích hành vi để nhận biết KYC và AML. Ông khẳng định “những người chấp nhận thách thức là những người đi đầu trong việc thúc đẩy công nghệ kỹ thuật số và định hình tương lai của ngân hàng. Scigala nói thêm: “Các tổ chức lớn như Barclays sẽ tự làm mình trở nên lỗi thời nếu họ không nắm bắt toàn bộ tài sản kỹ thuật số khan hiếm và tiền lập trình”.
submitted by NguyenHuy89 to u/NguyenHuy89 [link] [comments]

What I'd tell myself about startups if I could go back 5 years.

(I'm not the author)
This is, in no particular order, what I'd tell myself about startups if I could go back in time to when I first got involved. Which is probably the same as what I've learned. This is most definitely not advice, the "you" here is directed at me. So is "I". Grammar is hard.
  1. You're definitely going to end up building too much and shipping too late. Be obsessive about avoiding this
  2. Someone's always already working on the same idea and that's not a bad thing
  3. Always refuse if someone asks you to sign an NDA before hearing their idea
  4. Like it or not, most networking in London is focused around drinking. Find a way to deal with that without having a constant hangover
  5. The people who are really getting somewhere aren't the people who are always out for drinks
  6. Linear growth can be worse than no growth
  7. Most people who talk about failing fast, aren't actually practicing this
  8. It's really easy to kid yourself that you're "doing customer development" when actually you're finding ways to make what your customers are saying fit with what you want to build
  9. Everyone has a hidden stash of domains they've never used
  10. It's really easy to become hyper-critical and respond to every idea with "yeah but that won't work because of x". This is lazy, don't do it.
  11. Be especially careful to avoid the above when talking to people who are new to the scene. Call out other people who do it
  12. It's really hard to listen to someone pitching an idea you've seen fail several times already and focus on working out if there's something slightly different and interesting there
  13. Someone being a technically competent developer does not mean they know how to ship things. I'd always rather work with someone who ships over someone who's technically brilliant
  14. The programming language/ framework wars are great fun in the pub, but of limited value in real life
  15. A good developer can pick up any language or platform in a few weeks
  16. I still don't know any real investors
  17. Constantly exaggerating how well you're doing can be very tiring. It makes it harder to publicly celebrate the real victories
  18. It's really hard to build a product if you don't have a big personal investment in the problem it solves
  19. Falling in love with a product (rather than the problem) is really dangerous
  20. You can get away without knowing how a hash table works, but it's really satisfying when you eventually learn it
  21. Same goes for Big O notation
  22. Overnight success isn't a thing. The Social Network is still a great movie
  23. I still don't understand PR
  24. Most technical solutions are trivial compared to how you get the product into peoples hands
  25. Make something people want is probably a less useful heuristic than make something you want
  26. But you wanting it doesn't mean enough people want it for it to be a business
  27. If you don't have first hand experience of an industry, you're probably wrong about how it works, what problems they have and so how they should be solved. Talk to people
  28. "Ads" are where business models go to die
  29. "We'll monetize the data" is the new "Ads"
  30. The people you end up wanting to work with (and help) are the ones who always try and work out how they can help you. Be more like them
  31. But get really good at asking for things. Most people will give you a discount for no reason other than you asked. If you see someone important and influential, introduce yourself
  32. Get good at saying no to things, from people asking you for discounts to interesting projects you really don't have enough time for
  33. Think hard about a pivot which makes good business sense but leads to a product you no longer care about
  34. Writing (blogging, books, journaling) is a really positive experience
  35. Don't pay too much attention to internet comments about something you've written, there's always someone who didn't like one particular sentence (see point about trolls below)
  36. One troll can wipe out a hundred positive interactions, be ruthless in keeping them out of your communities
  37. If you end up pitching to someone over coffee, ask to hear their pitch afterwards
  38. Only say you're going to introduce someone or send them something if you're actually going to do it. People quickly get a reputation for never following through
  39. Show don't tell. "I'm going to build this amazing thing" is a LOT less interesting than "I've built this slightly crappy thing that actually does something". EVERYONE is GOING to build something, most people never do
  40. Building things is awesome, don't get too caught up with the whole "Lean Startup Landing Page" mindset
  41. Lean Startup is awesome, but it's a pamphlet not a book, read the first few chapters and you'll get the idea. Four steps to the epiphany is more technical and probably a better book
  42. Most startup advice is terrible and the good advice is usually obvious. Everyone will give different advice, trust your gut
  43. Except when it comes to what your customers want, then ignore your gut and trust them
  44. No-one has ever used a Bitcoin ATM for practical reasons
  45. Do back of napkin financial forecasts for every potential business model you come up with, just to see if it's in the right ballpark to a couple of orders of magnitude
  46. It's really easy to automatically dismiss everyone who starts a conversation with "I'm looking for a technical co-founder". Doing this means you miss talking to some interesting people. But be upfront that you're not that co-founder so no-one feels like their time is wasted
  47. Trying to raise money and apply to accelerators is a full time job. You're probably either building or fund raising. Not both. If in doubt, choose building
  48. The solution to many, many problems, is not technical. That won't stop people trying solve them with apps
  49. Facebook is the Facebook for X
  50. The idea you laughed at when you saw them pitch at a hackathon may well be the one that's still alive and kicking long after whatever you pitched fails
  51. If there are people who genuinely like failing, I've never met them
  52. That was not "your idea" unless you shipped something, otherwise I invented Facebook, Nest and Oculus Rift
  53. People don't steal ideas. Tell as many people as possible. Never ask someone to sign an NDA before hearing your idea, you'll instantly lose all credibility
  54. Being friends with somebody is not the same as being able to work well with them
  55. Small teams can move VERY fast, be really careful getting extra people involved in any project where agility is important
  56. Multi-tasking isn't a thing, switching costs are huge, do one thing at a time and do it really well. Find a way to block out interruptions
  57. Read every essay Paul Graham has written
  58. Tech news (and news is general) has a very low return on time invested. Prefer books and conversations
  59. Read Founders Stories, Fooled By Randomness and The Four Steps to the Ephiphany
  60. The logo doesn't matter at the start, find a simple text based logo you can re-use for different projects
  61. If you possibly can, open source and write up any side project. Every now and then you'll meet somebody really interesting as a result
  62. Regularly working 12 hour days is probably never a good idea. If this is happening a lot, find a way to optimise
  63. Talk to everybody
Source
submitted by wdpttt to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Transcript of AMA with Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave & Basic Attention Token, creator of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla & Firefox (Dec. 20th, 2017)

Here is the transcript from today's (Dec. 20th, 2017) AMA with Brendan Eich. Some incredible insights and information:
 
bat-jennie Admin 12:58 PM Hello everyone! Welcome to our first AMA here on the Basic Attention Token (BAT) Rocket Chat! Rocket Chat is one of our verified publishers, so if you’re participating in this AMA through your Brave browser, you’ll be seeing BAT’s utility in action.
Today’s featured guest is the creator of JavaScript, co-founder of Mozilla & Firefox, and CEO of Brave Software and Basic Attention Token himself, Brendan Eich!
For those tuning in, please feel free to ask your questions in the #ama-questions channel on Rocket Chat, which will be active for the duration of the AMA today. Please remember: this is a friendly environment; please be kind and be respectful of our guest and of one another! 🙂
This purpose of these AMAs is to provide a platform for members of the community to ask relevant questions directly to featured guests, and to satisfy any curiosities one may have about our guest’s thoughts, projects, plans and endeavors!
With that, I turn the floor over to our guest. Welcome, Brendan! Maybe you can start by giving a quick update on progress with BAT and Brave!
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 12:59 PM Thanks @bat-jennie.
As people know we're deep into Mercury phase, with a few people working on Gemini (user-private ads, anonymous revenue share to user). We did the first batch of UGP grants last month and will do more in January. We're working on creator referral awards, to pay YouTubers and site owners who bring new users to the platform as measured by 30 days uptime in Brave.
We had a successful pair of bizdev trips to NYC and London over last two months' time, getting close to announcing an ongoing partnership with a top-3 NYC media co.
The tide is turning fast with publishers. Three years ago when I was thinking a lot about brave and studying problems in ad tech, I met with publishers and ad tech people in NYC. Some fear of ad blocking but mostly business as usual, even as programmatic plays launched in previous few years were hitting what now look like peaks (and trying to exit via M&A).
Two years ago I met as Brave founder and pubs were mostly "you're an ad blocker, we hate you" but a few got the larger play. At that point I was thinking about Bravecoin and met with Stephan Tual and co. at Ethereum's London office; helpful but also clear it was too early to do "Bravecoin".
Last year publishers started turning, because their revenue was going down y-o-y, partly from ad blocking but also from G and FB eating the best programmatic ads and owning the user. This year the worm has turned, so to speak -- no one discounts ad blocking and everyone is talking about GDPR + ePrivacy in Europe next year requiring consent for tracking, so with this as background I think we are well-positioned to move into Gemini phase of the BAT roadmap in 1H2018.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:06 PM Wow, what an update! This is all very exciting news! I’m sure people are just dying to ask you their questions now! Let’s move onto those 🙂.
Our first question comes from Modernity from Rocket Chat:
Why use a separate cryptocurrency (BAT) instead of just using ETH or a more established cryptocurrency?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:08 PM Thanks, @modernity -- the answer is twofold: 1, to raise funds for the project (no shame in that); 2, to precreate the User Growth Pool before the sale to stake users with tokens, gratis. With ETH or other existing cryptocurrencies we would need a rich benefactor to endow the UGP and none were forthcoming. UGP+reserves wallet present notional value is $122M. I don't know of anyone who was willing to give us that much ETH.
When I met with Ethereum folks in July 2015 and talked Bravecoin, I was inspired by "Social Credit" money theory. Give people tokens just for being citizens.
That's the UGP.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:10 PM @Robert.clark from Rocket Chat asks:
How do you envision the 'moat' of your startup being built? Is it about digging deep into the BAT reward system and creating truly better and more profitable ad experiences for the consumer as well as the advertiser, or more about the privacy focused / decentralized internet browsing experience?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:13 PM Thanks @robert.clark -- we aim to standardize what we can and hope to work with Apple and Mozilla in W3C on anti-tracking specs in new year, so that's not the moat. The moat is attacking Google's main revenue source directly, while using as much chromium code as possible.
That is a durable strategy as Google cannot diversify fast enough, and faces anti-competitive scrutiny in Europe that limits its ability to use MS-like tactics against us. If other browsers want to join in the platform, we will bring them on -- after we have built Gemini phase and specified endpoint as well as on-chain rules.
In this light it is crucial we neutralize Chrome in every area where we do not differentiate by blocking by default. Note: blocking invisible trackers as well as all third party ads (and some 1st party that place with Google DFP), this gives 3-7x speedup on Android vs. Chrome, and Android Chrome has no extensions which means no adblockers.
Google's "ad filter" is cosmetic and doesn't touch trackers or the ads its core business and public stock price depends upon (they'd be bad fiduciaries if they did hurt their revenue materially; I'd join the class action suit!).
My view is G (and FB) are both "stuck"; they have limited ability to disrupt themselves, even ignoring usual big-company and innovator's dilemma problems. When thinking about moats and strategy, I find Mr. Spock's remark that "Military secrets are the most fleeting of all" helpful.
Tech alone isn't a moat. Remember when Steve Jobs was rumored to be considering buying Dropbox? Then a bit later he said "that's just a feature" (meaning OS icloud integration)? The durable strategies go against deep conflicts of interest, in Google's case between Chrome users and G's ad business.
Btw the latest on G's ad filter makes me think they'll get in legal and possibly antitrust trouble, the way they require verification. But we shall see!
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:18 PM @Irak from Rocket Chat asks:
Brave is an obvious buyout target for the major browsers and ad revenue companies. What do you believe would happen to BAT if a buyout occurs?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:21 PM Good q, @irak. I think we won't get bought without proving the Gemini phase at least. If we did get bought, it would be self-destructive to abandon BAT or mess with Brave's terms of use or privacy policy. We're the GDPR or "user privacy by default" option the bigs need. To the extent they cannot move their large-share attention apps toward BAT, they need separate apps.
I can't speculate much more, but I think BAT is safe -- etherscan shows lots of addresses, last I looked, and volume is up. The UGP would be the asset to protect and as we bring on other apps to the BAT ecosystem, we will put it under shared governance.
For Brave and BAT, GDPR looks like the perfect storm along with bad privacy and dopamine-piracy complaints against the big two.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:22 PM @Coke from Rocket Chat asks:
What are the Brave team's top three priorities at the moment?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:24 PM @Coke, thanks. The BAT ones are 1/ more UGP grants, with sybil attack resistance; 2/ creator referral awards; 3/ publisher onboarding (the top-3 nyc media co. and others). For Brave we have 1/ bug fixes; 2/ performance and memory work; 3/ extension support on laptop/desktop.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:26 PM @Steve-1 from Rocket Chat asks:
What’s the likelihood of BAT transitioning to its own independent blockchain at some point?
Will BAT switch to an alternative Blockchain due to ETH scaling issues?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:26 PM @steve-1 We have thought about this enough to view it as an option -- no token or coin of value should ever be marooned unless the human element goes wrong. For now we are confident in Ethereum scaling but we're keeping an eye (and will help if we can, as we grow).
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:27 PM @Decisive from Rocket Chat asks:
Is the UGP script locked in any way to prevent a mass sell off, or developepublisher payout via the smart contract, or is it to the discretion of the BAT team?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:28 PM Hi @decisive: Currently locked in a wallet with keys held only by trusted/high-integrity founder-level people.
We don't like fancy smart contracts; I'm skeptical of on-chain governance as right move for upgrading contracts; we're keeping it simple and vetting keyholders who are known and deeply invested in Brave.
Only a few such people; I am one.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:30 PM A user from Reddit asks:
How is the BAT browser extension planned or being developed?
You have mentioned in the past that he heard Mozilla might be interested in integrating Brave into Firefox. Have there been any updates on that front?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:31 PM First question may be about the idea of a BAT extension for other browsers, but that is premature. The big problem with UGP grants and Gemini-phase ad revenue shares to users is fraud. Just user-funded contributions has a fraud problem too: as with buy widgets, stolen CC identity => $20 charge to buy BAT => contribution at scale via sybils/mturk-users/bots-with-enough-work => settlement to colluding but verified (small blog) publisher. That's why I mentioned sybil-resistance above.
So we can't just make a wish and try monitoring Basic Attention Metrics from an extension, and attributing BAT flows and creating user wallets, from extensions. There can be other problems, which I've noted elsewhere: lack of extension APIs to do all we do for the BAT platform to work (block ads/trackers, HTTPS Everywhere, Fingerprinting Protection, BAM and the ledger), extensions run in JS sandboxes with API limits.
So to put first things first, we will build in Brave while keeping our code as separable from chromium (or the mobile webview on iOS) as possible. After we have those endpoing and on-chain specs I mentioned in pretty good shape, we can assess extension feasibility.
On Mozilla, I can't speak for them. The friend who contacted after the BAT sale signaled interest but said it would take time, to which I said "same here" (per roadmap). I hope that answers the two reddit questions.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:35 PM @badgamer5000 from Rocket Chat asks:
I've worked in the industry on both the publisher and advertiser side. Conceptually the model is fantastic. Cut out the costly middlemen, better rewards the publisher and the user.
I'm struggling to see how online advertising moves into a permission-based model. Isn't there great risk of a sharp drop in available inventory for both publishers and advertisers?
How do you see this transition period work? Maybe sites use a hybrid during this time?
TLDR - How do you avoid short-term pain for publishers - who are already struggling massively - as they transition to BAT? Especially if Brave market share as a browser increases faster than people think.
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:35 PM @badgamer5000 I thought about that for over a year before founding Brave, so good q.
Publishers already face ad blocking cohort of size. E.g. I've heard from CN that Wired and Pitchfork see 30% ad blocker cohort tempting to try to turn around, as Page Fair, Sourcepoint and others wanted to have a go at a couple years ago: 3/7 is ~43% lift if you can convert all those users, but you can't.
Any on tech sites use a strong ad/tracking blocker such as uBO (which we admire and collab with where we can). They don't react well to hostile dialogs to "whitelist, subscribe, or get lost". Every site that tries that loses Alexa share, lol.
So the pitch from us to pubishers is: you lost a large and valuable fraction of your readers -- we can win some back to a paying relationship, pure upside. Make it a positive sum game.
On the ad side, we see such garbage, race to bottom, spray-and-pray deals that we don't worry about getting top brands and agencies doing trials next year; we are warming them up rn. The idea of user-private, low frequency (one a day), long-form/high-CPX video+landing page, personalized ads is strong.
The local machine learning users get when they consent to the BAT ads can see everything: search queries, Amazon queries and consummations, click logs/tab constellations, absolute above the fold and Z-order visibility and viewability. All together we hope this can notice great opportunities for advertiser and user.
E.g. you are shopping for a car, have not quite decided, have tabs open on BMW and Mercedes. You've even set a BMW dealer visit up for 1pm Saturday. Mercedes will pay ~$70 gross for a lead that will take a test drive at their home two hours ahead; 11am Sat we will give the user 70% = $49 in BAT.
This is kind of a best-case and we haven't locked this deal down, so take it as a for-instance. But I'm not worried about getting ad trials, and moving to paying deals as we tune the local machine learning agent.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:42 PM A user from Reddit asks:
We know that earning BAT isn’t supposed to constitute a full income, but how much money can a user realistically expect to earn per month watching ads?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:45 PM I don't know. If you assumed every user could get a fixed piece of the ~$80B ad spend on digital in US this year, you might see $80B / 250M (people of age to act on ads) x .2 (programmatic share outside G/FB) x .15 = $9.60 per person year. But that is way low for our users, and take it as a lower bound.
Brave's principles are: 1/ consent-based always (user, and publisher if they want to participate); 2/ no tracking data in clear off device to any servers; 3/ revenue share to inventory owner (ad slot owner; "inventory" on "supply side" means ad space) should be 70% (industry standard); 4/ as much or more rev share to user as to Brave, to align interests.
So for user private ads, we will give 70% to user via BAT. If we do programmatic ad slots with pub as partner (recovering some of that revenue lost to ad blocking; positive sum game) we will give pub 70% and 15% to user, 15 to us.
So suppose our users are more valuable than average (early adopters, web and tech and even crypto savvy); take that $320/person-year figure from above ($80B/250Mppl). 70% of 320 is $224. That is a notional upper bound.
My BMW vs. Mercedes lead gen example suggests higher outliers but you don't by a new car every month, lol. Still, attention has not been fairly priced by deep/transparent markets. Let's find out how much users could make. I hope this helps.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:49 PM @Tyler from Rocket Chat asks:
What was your reaction to the UGP being claimed so quickly?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:49 PM Thanks, @tyler. I expected it to go fast and it suggests both high interest, and growth opportunity -- esp. as we add creator rewards for referring users who stick around 30 days.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:50 PM A user from Reddit asks:
How does the BAT system differ from Patreon?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:53 PM Great q, anonymous Reddit person! 1/ we are a user agent so work with any verified creator, whether they sign up with another site or not; 2/ we don't censor first parties (whether sites, accounts on YouTube, Twitch, etc.,) as a browser, beyond things like antiphishing/antimalware protection that all browsers use -- if you can verify you own the payable resource (domain name, account) by challenge/response and/or OAuth APIs, you get verified and your fans can support you.
There are still censor risks in (2) at the moment, of course. DNS registrars, account systems, even Brave so we will move toward decentralized and anonymous operation over time -- that is the Apollo phase of the roadmap.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:54 PM @Jscrypto89 from Rocket Chat asks:
Will there be function to donate/tip creator on the spot instead of waiting for the monthly payment?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:55 PM @jscrypto89 That is timely, as our team thinks the ANONIZE2 protocol we use may support such spot contributions without loss of anonymity.
The other challenge there is blockchain scaling, of course. With Bitcoin in the beta test, and with BAT on Ethereum now, the fees can add up. We're looking at this but the best anonymity and fee amortization is via the 30-days-of-uptime, private-on-device ledger reconciliation => settlement process.
 
bat-jennie Admin 1:56 PM @Frosty from Rocket Chat asks:
What is the most interesting thing you’ve encountered so far, and how has it affected your direction?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 1:58 PM @frosty i have to say that learning about tokens (from GNT on, as ERC20 was standardized) and realizing I could do "Bravecoin" without having to set up a new blockchain, that was huge (obv. in terms of the token sale but also the UGP).
Another interesting win was ANONIZE, created by CS profs who wanted to anonymize their class surveys. We were looking at randomized response and other techniques in 2015, but ZKP won. We look forward to the evolution of blockchains (zCash already has them; Ethereum hot topic) to absorb this area of research and put it into practice for everyone (ZKP = Zero Knowledge Proof).
 
bat-jennie Admin 2:00 PM @apertus from Rochet Chat asks:
When will BAT be implemented on mobile browsers specifically Android /iOS?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 2:02 PM Thanks @apertus, and yes: Android ledgeBAT support is hot 1Q2018 initiative and we shall see about iOS. We have good relations with Apple and do not want to have a bad rejected-app day, so stay tuned.
 
bat-jennie Admin 2:02 PM @badger from Rocket Chat asks:
How does the BAT team plan to engage with and foster ease of use for non-technical user audiences?
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 2:04 PM @badger Great question, and we have been a bit short-staffed before 2nd half of this year to answer it well. All new browsers start from what E. von Hippel calls lead users, those who switch browsers fastest and even innovate on web stuff (as web devs, back end pros, power users, etc.). Even for a small-share browser appealing to lead users, we need to smooth out more UX and support more chromium extensions, and we will move fast to do so in 1H2018.
For the non-tech users we aim to keep the defaults right and relieve them from having to learn about crypto. Rn funding the user wallet requires crypto -- but we want to make it easy to use a debit or credit card to do small monthly budget out of goodwill (people do $5-20/month).
With UGP grants and then BAT ads, we really want the more average-at-scale/non-lead user, every user really, to have the option to let their wallet self-fund via UGP up front and then recurring BAT ad revenue and let it drain to their pinned and automatically-designated-by-BAM creators and sites.
That's the steady state we think has simplest user model, no crypto in most users faces unless they want it, etc.
 
bat-jennie Admin 2:07 PM Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful answers, Brendan! To our dear viewers, we are just about to wrap up today’s AMA! But before we do… Brendan, we have one last question for you:
Burnerman from Rocket Chat would like to know:
What color should my lambo be black like Batman or purple like a rapper? 😉 🚘
 
bat-brendaneich Admin 2:08 PM Black like Batman, of course 👍.
Thanks @bat-jennie and everyone! :dancing-penguin:
 
bat-jennie Admin 2:09 PM Thank you so much to everybody that tuned in for today’s AMA! Brendan, it has been an honor having you on! 🙂
We apologize if we didn’t get around to your question today, but stay tuned for more AMAS in 2018! You can find more information about the BAT project here:
BAT subreddit community: https://www.reddit.com/BATProject
BAT Twitter: https://twitter.com/attentiontoken
BAT Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/attentiontoken
submitted by CryptoJennie to BATProject [link] [comments]

What I'd tell myself about startups if I could go back 5 years.

From /entrepreneur
(I'm not the author)
This is, in no particular order, what I'd tell myself about startups if I could go back in time to when I first got involved. Which is probably the same as what I've learned. This is most definitely not advice, the "you" here is directed at me. So is "I". Grammar is hard.
  1. You're definitely going to end up building too much and shipping too late. Be obsessive about avoiding this
  2. Someone's always already working on the same idea and that's not a bad thing
  3. Always refuse if someone asks you to sign an NDA before hearing their idea
  4. Like it or not, most networking in London is focused around drinking. Find a way to deal with that without having a constant hangover
  5. The people who are really getting somewhere aren't the people who are always out for drinks
  6. Linear growth can be worse than no growth
  7. Most people who talk about failing fast, aren't actually practicing this
  8. It's really easy to kid yourself that you're "doing customer development" when actually you're finding ways to make what your customers are saying fit with what you want to build
  9. Everyone has a hidden stash of domains they've never used
  10. It's really easy to become hyper-critical and respond to every idea with "yeah but that won't work because of x". This is lazy, don't do it.
  11. Be especially careful to avoid the above when talking to people who are new to the scene. Call out other people who do it
  12. It's really hard to listen to someone pitching an idea you've seen fail several times already and focus on working out if there's something slightly different and interesting there
  13. Someone being a technically competent developer does not mean they know how to ship things. I'd always rather work with someone who ships over someone who's technically brilliant
  14. The programming language/ framework wars are great fun in the pub, but of limited value in real life
  15. A good developer can pick up any language or platform in a few weeks
  16. I still don't know any real investors
  17. Constantly exaggerating how well you're doing can be very tiring. It makes it harder to publicly celebrate the real victories
  18. It's really hard to build a product if you don't have a big personal investment in the problem it solves
  19. Falling in love with a product (rather than the problem) is really dangerous
  20. You can get away without knowing how a hash table works, but it's really satisfying when you eventually learn it
  21. Same goes for Big O notation
  22. Overnight success isn't a thing. The Social Network is still a great movie
  23. I still don't understand PR
  24. Most technical solutions are trivial compared to how you get the product into peoples hands
  25. Make something people want is probably a less useful heuristic than make something you want
  26. But you wanting it doesn't mean enough people want it for it to be a business
  27. If you don't have first hand experience of an industry, you're probably wrong about how it works, what problems they have and so how they should be solved. Talk to people
  28. "Ads" are where business models go to die
  29. "We'll monetize the data" is the new "Ads"
  30. The people you end up wanting to work with (and help) are the ones who always try and work out how they can help you. Be more like them
  31. But get really good at asking for things. Most people will give you a discount for no reason other than you asked. If you see someone important and influential, introduce yourself
  32. Get good at saying no to things, from people asking you for discounts to interesting projects you really don't have enough time for
  33. Think hard about a pivot which makes good business sense but leads to a product you no longer care about
  34. Writing (blogging, books, journaling) is a really positive experience
  35. Don't pay too much attention to internet comments about something you've written, there's always someone who didn't like one particular sentence (see point about trolls below)
  36. One troll can wipe out a hundred positive interactions, be ruthless in keeping them out of your communities
  37. If you end up pitching to someone over coffee, ask to hear their pitch afterwards
  38. Only say you're going to introduce someone or send them something if you're actually going to do it. People quickly get a reputation for never following through
  39. Show don't tell. "I'm going to build this amazing thing" is a LOT less interesting than "I've built this slightly crappy thing that actually does something". EVERYONE is GOING to build something, most people never do
  40. Building things is awesome, don't get too caught up with the whole "Lean Startup Landing Page" mindset
  41. Lean Startup is awesome, but it's a pamphlet not a book, read the first few chapters and you'll get the idea. Four steps to the epiphany is more technical and probably a better book
  42. Most startup advice is terrible and the good advice is usually obvious. Everyone will give different advice, trust your gut
  43. Except when it comes to what your customers want, then ignore your gut and trust them
  44. No-one has ever used a Bitcoin ATM for practical reasons
  45. Do back of napkin financial forecasts for every potential business model you come up with, just to see if it's in the right ballpark to a couple of orders of magnitude
  46. It's really easy to automatically dismiss everyone who starts a conversation with "I'm looking for a technical co-founder". Doing this means you miss talking to some interesting people. But be upfront that you're not that co-founder so no-one feels like their time is wasted
  47. Trying to raise money and apply to accelerators is a full time job. You're probably either building or fund raising. Not both. If in doubt, choose building
  48. The solution to many, many problems, is not technical. That won't stop people trying solve them with apps
  49. Facebook is the Facebook for X
  50. The idea you laughed at when you saw them pitch at a hackathon may well be the one that's still alive and kicking long after whatever you pitched fails
  51. If there are people who genuinely like failing, I've never met them
  52. That was not "your idea" unless you shipped something, otherwise I invented Facebook, Nest and Oculus Rift
  53. People don't steal ideas. Tell as many people as possible. Never ask someone to sign an NDA before hearing your idea, you'll instantly lose all credibility
  54. Being friends with somebody is not the same as being able to work well with them
  55. Small teams can move VERY fast, be really careful getting extra people involved in any project where agility is important
  56. Multi-tasking isn't a thing, switching costs are huge, do one thing at a time and do it really well. Find a way to block out interruptions
  57. Read every essay Paul Graham has written
  58. Tech news (and news is general) has a very low return on time invested. Prefer books and conversations
  59. Read Founders Stories, Fooled By Randomness and The Four Steps to the Ephiphany
  60. The logo doesn't matter at the start, find a simple text based logo you can re-use for different projects
  61. If you possibly can, open source and write up any side project. Every now and then you'll meet somebody really interesting as a result
  62. Regularly working 12 hour days is probably never a good idea. If this is happening a lot, find a way to optimise
  63. Talk to everybody
Source
submitted by wdpttt to startups [link] [comments]

Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable

Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price.
“It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.”
Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product even exists, and he thinks making the blockchain more accessible is the next big thing. Just as Google enabled (and ultimately profited) from making the internet more usable 20 years ago, its next billions may come from shining a bright light on blockchains. If Day is successful, the world will know whether blockchain’s real usage is living up to its hype.
Danish researcher Thomas Silkjaer is using Google's BigQuery to map publicly available information about XRP cryptocurrency addresses. The craters represent some of cryptocurrency's largest exchanges.
Last year Day and a small team of open-source developers quietly began loading data for the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains into Google’s big-data analytics platform, BigQuery. Then, with the help of lead developer Evgeny Medvedev, he created a suite of sophisticated software to search the data.
In spite of a total lack of publicity, word of the project spread quickly among crypto-minded coders. In the past year, more than 500 projects were created using the new tools, trying to do everything from predicting the price of bitcoin to analyzing wealth disparity among ether holders.
When it comes to cloud computing, Google is far behind Amazon and Microsoft. Last year Google pocketed an estimated $3 billion in revenue from cloud ser­vices. Amazon and Microsoft, meanwhile, generated about $27 billion and $10 billion, respectively.
Day is hoping that his project, known as Blockchain ETL (extract, transform, load), will help even the playing field. But even here Google is trying to catch up. Amazon entered blockchain in a big way in 2018 with a suite of tools for building and managing distributed ledgers. Microsoft got into the space in 2015, when it released tools for Ethereum’s blockchain. It now hosts a range of services as part of its Azure Blockchain Workbench. But while Amazon and Microsoft are focusing on making it easier to build blockchain apps, Day is focusing on exposing how blockchains are actually being used, and by whom.
“In the future, moving more economic activity on chain won’t just require a consensus level of trust,” says Day, referring to the core validating mechanism of blockchain technology. “It will require having some trust in knowing about who it is you’re actually interacting with.” In other words, if blockchain is to go mainstream, some of its beloved anonymity features will have to be abandoned.
A native of Placer County, California, Day got his first computer at the age of 5 and a few years later started writing simple programs. A fascination with volcanoes and dinosaurs turned his interest to life sciences, and he ultimately graduated from the University of Oregon with a dual degree in biology and Mandarin in 2000. From there he headed to UCLA to pursue a doctorate in human genetics and helped build a computer program to browse the genome.
It was at UCLA where Day began relying on distributed computing, a concept that is core to blockchains, which store their data on a large network of individual computers. In the early 2000s Day needed to analyze the massive amounts of data that make up the human genome. To solve this problem he hooked many small computers together, vastly increasing their power.
“Distributed-systems technology has been in my tool kit for a while,” Day says. “I could see there were interesting characteristics of blockchains that could run a global supercomputer.”
Hired in 2016 to work in the health and bio­informatics areas of Google, Day segued to blockchains, the hottest distributed-computing effort on the planet. But the talents he had honed—sequencing genomes for infectious diseases in real time and using AI to increase rice yields—were not easily applied to decoding blockchain.
Before Day and Medvedev released their tools, just searching a blockchain required specialized software called “block explorers,” which let users hunt only for specific transactions, each labeled with a unique tangle of 26-plus alphanumeric characters. Google’s Blockchain ETL, by contrast, lets users make more generalized searches of entire ecosystems of transactions.
To demonstrate how customers could use Blockchain ETL to make improvements to the crypto economy, Day has used his tools to examine the so-called hard fork, or an irrevocable split in a blockchain database, that created a new cryptocurrency—bitcoin cash—from bitcoin in the summer of 2017.
Google Cloud developer advocate Allen Day presents his early cryptocurrency work at Google's Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore in August 2018. DORJEE SUN / PERLIN
This particular split was the result of a Hatfield and McCoy “war” within the bitcoin community between a group who wanted to leave bitcoin as it was and another who wanted to develop a currency that, like cash, was cheaper and faster to use for small payments. Using Google’s BigQuery, Day discovered that bitcoin cash, rather than increasing so-called micro-transactions, as the defecting developers claimed, was actually being hoarded among big holders of bitcoin cash. “I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the legitimate use cases are for blockchain,” Day says. “Then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.”
Day’s work is inspiring others. Tomasz Kolinko is a Warsaw-based programmer and the creator of a service that analyzes smart contracts, a feature of certain blockchains that is designed to transparently enforce contractual obligations like collateralized loans but with less reliance on third parties, like lawyers. Kolinko was frustrated with his blockchain queries.
In December, Kolinko met Day at a hackathon in Singapore. Within a month of the meeting, Kolinko was using Google’s tools to search for a smart contract feature called a “selfdestruct,” designed to limit a contract’s life span. Using his own software in conjunction with Day’s, Kolinko took 23 seconds to search 1.2 million smart contracts—something that would have taken hours before. The result: Almost 700 of them had left open a selfdestruct feature that would let anyone instantly kill the smart contract, whether that person was authorized or not. “In the past you couldn’t just easily check all the contracts that were using it,” Kolinko says. “This tool is both the most scary and most inspiring I’ve ever built.”
Day is now expanding beyond bitcoin and ethereum. Litecoin, zcash, dash, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic and dogecoin are being added to BigQuery. Independent developers are loading their own crypto data sets on Google. Last August, a Dutch developer named Wietse Wind uploaded the entire 400 gigabytes of transaction data from Ripple’s XRP blockchain, another popular cryptocurrency, into BigQuery. Wind’s data, which he updates every 15 minutes, prompted a Danish designer named Thomas Silkjaer to create a heat map of crypto flows. The resulting colorful orb reveals at a glance more than a million crypto wallets, including big ex­changes like Binance and London’s crypto debit card startup Wirex, which are neck deep in XRP transactions.
“Google has been a bit of a sleeping giant in blockchain,” says BlockApps CEO Kieren James-Lubin, who is partnering with Google to sell enterprise blockchain apps. In addition to Day’s work, Google has filed numerous patents related to the blockchain, including one in 2018 to use a “lattice” of interoperating blockchains to increase security, a big deal in a world where untold millions of crypto have been stolen by hackers. The company is also pushing its developers to build apps on the Ethereum blockchain, and Google’s venture arm, GV, has made a number of significant investments in crypto startups.
The giant, it seems, is waking up.
Reach Michael del Castillo at [email protected]. Cover image by Munshi Ahmed.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2019/02/04/navigating-bitcoin-ethereum-xrp-how-google-is-quietly-making-blockchains-searchable/#5105408f4248
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Ether Thief Remains Mystery Year After $55 Million Digital Heist

Ether Thief Remains Mystery Year After $55 Million Digital Heist 2017-06-13 08:00:18.224 GMT
By Matthew Leising (Bloomberg Markets) -- Summer colds are the worst, and Emin Gün Sirer had caught a wicked bug from his 1-year-old son. So it was with watering eyes and a stuffy nose that the associate professor of computer science at Cornell found himself working from his sickbed on Monday, June 13, 2016. Gün—everyone calls him Gün—couldn’t tear himself away from his laptop. He had another type of bug in his sights, a flaw in a line of computer code he feared put $250 million at risk of being stolen. It wasn’t just any code. It was the guts of the newest breakthrough in software design related to blockchain, the novel combination of decentralized computing and cryptography that gave life to the virtual currency bitcoin in 2009. Since then, the promise of blockchain to transform industries from finance to health care has captured imaginations in corporate boardrooms and governments alike. Yet what the Turkish-born professor was exploring that Monday was the next leap forward from bitcoin, what’s known as the ethereum blockchain. Rather than moving bitcoin from one user to another, the ethereum blockchain hosts fully functioning computer programs called smart contracts—essentially agreements that enforce themselves by means of code rather than courts. That means they can automate the life cycle of bond payments, say, or ensure that pharmaceutical companies can authenticate the sources of their drugs. Yet smart contracts are also new and mostly untested. Like all software, they are only as reliable as their coding—and Gün was pretty sure he’d found a big problem. In an email sent to one of his graduate students, Philip Daian, at 7:30 p.m., Gün noted that the smart contract he was looking at might have a problem—on line 666. (They say the devil is in the details.) Gün feared the bug could allow a hacker to make unlimited ATM-like withdrawals from the millions, even if the attacker, who’d have needed to be an investor, had only $10 in his account. This staggering amount of money lived inside a program called a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO. Dreamed up less than a year earlier and governed by a smart contract, the DAO was intended to democratize how ethereum projects are funded. Thousands of dreamers and schemers and developers who populate the cutting edge of computer science, most of them young, had invested in the DAO. This was real money, a quarter of a billion dollars, their money, meant to build a better version of the world, and every cent was at risk. Gün, who wears his dark hair short and looks a decade younger than his 45 years, had already been tracking and publicizing flaws in the DAO’s design. A few weeks earlier, on May 27, along with two colleagues, he’d urged investors to stop buying into the DAO until security issues could be fixed. It had been too late, however, and the program went live the next day. Smart contracts such as the DAO are built to be entirely reliant on their code once released on the ethereum blockchain. That meant the DAO code couldn’t be fixed. Other blockchain experts—including Peter Vessenes, co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation—had also pointed out security flaws in the smart contract, but Gün appears to be the first to pinpoint the flaw that put the money in jeopardy. The problem was the code was so new that no one knew what to ­expect—or even if there was actually a problem in the first place. Gün had his doubts, too. This wasn’t even his job. He does this for fun. Daian didn’t think they’d found anything either. Over email, he said, “We might be up the creek ;).” Later, when Gün pointed to the error in line 666, Daian replied, “Don’t think so.” Gün says, “We don’t sound the alarm bell every time we find a bug that seems suspicious.” Instead, he went to bed to try to kill his cold—the one bug he knew to be real. “I was too miserable to sort it out,” he says. Four days later, Christoph Jentzsch lay on the floor of his home office, taking deep breaths, trying not to panic. It was Friday morning, and software developers all over the Western world were waking up to the news that the DAO, which Jentzsch had created, was being attacked. Gün had been right. Jentzsch, who has dark hair and a perpetual five o’clock shadow, lives with his family in the Mittweida region of Germany, a rural spot not far from the Czech border. Mornings in the Jentzsch household are a whirlwind as he and his wife get their five children—age 2 to 9—fed and off to school. Yet today, after his brother Simon woke him with a call that the DAO was being hacked, Jentzsch had to ignore his familial duties. “You’ve got the kids,” he told his wife. “I have an emergency.”
This is the story of one of the largest digital heists in history. And while you may have heard last year that hackers breached Swift, the bank-to-bank messaging system, and stole $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank, the DAO attack is in a different category altogether. It played out in front of anyone who cared to watch and couldn’t be stopped. Just as the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May laid bare weaknesses in computer operating systems, the DAO hack exposed the early frailties of smart-contract security and left many in the community shaken because they hadn’t found the bug in time. The aftermath would eventually pit good hackers against bad ones—the white hats vs. the black hats—in the strange and futuristic- sounding DAO Wars. The roots of the DAO belong to an idea Jentzsch borrowed from another internet-fueled phenomenon: crowdfunding. The 32- year-old Jentzsch, a theoretical physicist by training, and a few colleagues started Slock.it in 2015. As they considered how to fund the company, Jentzsch approached it as many had—sell a digital currency, effectively a token, to raise cash. But why should each new startup have to program its own initial coin offering? Jentzsch wondered. What if one huge fund ruled them all? He introduced his idea to the world at DevCon 1 in London in November 2015. “What is the blockchain way of creating a company?” Jentzsch asked his audience. “Of course, it has to be a DAO.” It would work like this: Ether, a virtual currency like bitcoin, would be used to fund and develop applications on the ethereum blockchain—things such as making a music app similar to iTunes or a ride-sharing service along the lines of Uber. Investors would buy DAO tokens with their ether; the tokens would allow them to vote to fund projects they liked. If the app they backed made money, the token holder shared in the profit. In the six months he spent creating the DAO, Jentzsch thought it would raise $5 million. From April 30 to May 28, the DAO crowdfunding pulled in $150 million. That’s when ether traded just below $12. As the price of ether rose in the following weeks to $20.75 the day before the attack, so too did the value of the DAO, putting a $250 million target on this thing Jentzsch had unknowingly brought into the world with a fatal, original sin. “Our hope was it would be the center of a decentralized sharing economy,” says Jentzsch, who now regrets not capping the amount raised. “For such a big experiment, it was way too early.” In the weeks after the attack, Jentzsch and the rest of the ethereum community would come to grips with their own crisis that, writ small, echoed the bank bailouts and government rescues of 2008. “It became too big to fail,” he says. But why would anyone invest in the DAO in the first place? It has something to do with the strain of digital libertarianism at the heart of the ethereum community, much like the set of beliefs that led to the birth of bitcoin. Think of bitcoin as the first global currency whose use can’t be stopped by governments or corporations; on top of that, bitcoin is almost impossible to hack. Ethereum, then, is another level beyond. It’s an uncensorable global computer. As amazing and unprecedented as that is, it’s also a bit terrifying. Brought to life, the DAO ended up staggering off the table and turning on the community that wanted it so badly. Accustomed to working into the night to stay in touch with colleagues in North America, Jentzsch blows off steam by jogging or kayaking on the nearby Zschopau River. Yet on that Friday morning, he had the more pressing task of pulling himself up off the floor and dealing with the attack. “I went into emergency mode: Don’t try to save the DAO,” he says. “No, it’s over.”
It was far from over. Several hours later and half a world away from the Jentzsch household in Mittweida, Alex Van de Sande was waking up in his apartment in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. The baby-faced ethereum developer had been born in the small fishing village of Santa Cruz Cabrália in the Bahia region of Brazil and moved with his parents to Rio when he was about 3 years old. These days he’s known as “avsa” on Reddit and Twitter. After reaching for his phone to see why it was blowing up with Skype messages, he turned to his wife and said, “Remember when I was telling you about that huge unhackable pile of money?” She nodded. “It’s been hacked,” he told her. His first thought was to get his DAO tokens out. He owned about 100,000 of them, valued at about $15,000 at the time. He’s the lead designer of the Ethereum Wallet app, a program that allows him and anyone else to interact with the blockchain. Van de Sande scrambled to log in to it, but his password didn’t work. It was glitching, and as he worked to fix it, his panic subsided. He realized he shouldn’t be bailing on the DAO but trying to save it. And to do that, he needed Griff. Griff Green, who’s worked variously as a massage therapist in Los Angeles and a community organizer in Seattle, is one of only a handful of people in the world who holds a master’s degree in digital currencies. He got it online, natch, from the University of Nicosia. A self-described “dreamer,” the 32-year- old is the closest thing Ethereumville has to a mayor. Green knows everybody; in fact, he’d been the first to relay word of the attack to Simon, Jentzsch’s brother and a co-founder of Slock.it. Green had been working for Slock.it for about six months by then and woke up that morning in the house belonging to Jentzsch’s mom in Mittweida. Jentzsch is one of nine children, so his mother had a spare bedroom where she could put Green up for a few days. Using his extensive contacts, Green started identifying as many people as he could who were interacting with the DAO—going so far as to ask strangers to send pictures or scans of their IDs—in an attempt to sort friend from foe. And then something strange happened: The attack stopped working. In the six hours since the attack began, the thief had managed to steal 30 percent of the DAO’s 12 million ether—which that day equaled about $55 million. “We don’t even understand why the guy had stopped,” says Van de Sande. Now Green raced to protect the remaining 70 percent of the DAO the attacker hadn’t stolen. Once Van de Sande got in touch with Green in Germany, along with two or three others, the foundation was laid for what would become known as the Robin Hood group—white hat hackers who’d devise a bold good-guy plan to drain the remaining DAO. To save the DAO, they’d have to steal the remaining ether, then give it back to its rightful owners. And yet as they scrambled that Friday, qualms emerged within the group. “What does it even mean to hack something?” Van de Sande asks. No one knew if what they were about to do was legal. Also, wouldn’t their hack look just as bad as the theft they were trying to stop? Then there were the practical issues. “Who pushes the button?” he remembers wondering. Doing so would initiate their counterattack and alert the community. “Someone has to push the button.” The price of ether the night before the attack had hit an all-time high of just above $20. News of the hack sent it tumbling to $15 by the end of Friday, wiping out almost a half- billion dollars in market value. At that price, the DAO still held $125 million, and the Robin Hood group worried the attack would resume. They might be the only line of defense if it did, so Van de Sande agreed to use his DAO tokens to fuel their counterattack, thereby becoming a public face of the group. At this point, it might help to think of the DAO as the spacecraft in Alien after Ripley initiates the self-destruct sequence. To flee, she’s forced to use an escape pod. DAO investors had to initiate a similar sequence to deploy escape pods that would allow them to get their ether out of the DAO. The code that dictated the escape pods’ behavior is where the bug lived, so to steal the remaining DAO funds the Robin Hood group would have to be in a pod to exploit the flaw—and because of the way Jentzsch wrote the DAO, they had only a short window of time and just a few pods to choose from. A few minutes before launching the attack, Van de Sande joked on the group’s Skype chat, “Let’s go rob a bank!” No one laughed. “Not everyone really appreciated the humor,” he says. In his Copacabana apartment, Van de Sande readied to push the button on his laptop. Then, suddenly, he lost his internet connection. His router was down. “I was like, What the f--- is going on here?” he says. He had less than 30 minutes left to execute the Robin Hood hack. He frantically called NET, his Brazilian internet service provider, but couldn’t get past the automated customer ­service experience. He says the robotic voice told him, “We see there’s an internet issue in your neighborhood.” The irony was not lost on him: Here he was trying to steal millions of dollars from a robot but was being waylaid by another robot. “Then we missed,” he says. The window closed. He went from the high of feeling like they were about to come to the rescue of the vulnerable DAO to the crushing low of having their international connection severed by NET’s breakdown. He took his dog, Sapic—named after the one in Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother—for a walk, then crawled into bed, defeated. The next morning was Saturday, and Van de Sande tried to reconvene the Robin Hood group to infiltrate ­another escape pod. But folks were busy and couldn’t get together. “We felt like the worst hackers in history,” Van de Sande says. “We were foiled by bad internet and family commitments.”
Who, exactly, were they at war with? No one really knows, but there are some clues. One address the attacker used is 0xF35e2cC8E6523d683eD44870f5B7c C785051a77D. Got that? Like everything else in a blockchain, a user’s address is an anonymous string of characters. But every address leaves behind a history on the blockchain that’s open for examination. Not that it makes sense to 99.9 percent of humankind, but Green gets it. To pull off his heist, the attacker needed to create a contract that would interact with the DAO. He did so on June 15 and deployed it in the early morning hours two days later, according to Green. Once activated, the attack contract started sending about $4,000 worth of ether through the attacker’s account every three or four minutes to drain the DAO. But where did the original money to fund the attack come from? To interact with the ethereum blockchain, every contract must be funded by an amount of ether. This attack contract was funded by two addresses, but tracing it further back becomes tricky. That’s because the second address used an exchange called ShapeShift to send 52 ether into its account on June 14. ShapeShift doesn’t collect any information on its users and says it turns one virtual currency, such as bitcoin, into another, like ether, in less than 10 seconds. While there are valid reasons for using ShapeShift, it’s also a great way to launder digital assets and ­cover your tracks. After the attack contract stopped working, the thief needed to deploy it again, says Green. He tried but failed, and after a few more transactions, the hack whimpered to an end. (One possible reason the attack stopped, Green says, is that the hacker’s tokens became corrupted, which means he had no way to exploit the bug.) We know this limited amount of one-sided information from the blockchain’s public record. Digital asset exchanges see both sides. An internal investigation by one such exchange concluded that the DAO attacker was likely part of a group, not a lone wolf, based in Switzerland, according to an executive there who wouldn’t speak on the record or allow the company’s name to be used. ­Exchanges are in the unique position of being able to analyze the trading activity of their customers because they know who they are, even if they’re anonymous on the blockchain. The executive says the exchange shared the analysis with the Boston office of the FBI, though there’s been no further contact since October of last year. Cornell’s Gün says he also spoke to the Boston office of the FBI—and to agents in the New York office and to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. “It’s very difficult to coordinate an attack of this kind without leaving breadcrumbs behind,” Gün says. He encouraged the FBI to look at the ethereum testnet, where programmers can run their code in a safe environment to work out kinks. The attacker wouldn’t just launch such a complicated hack without testing it, Gün says he told federal officials, and the feds might be able to get clues to his identity there. Gün says he also pointed them to addresses linked to the attacker, such as the one described above, that were listed by his grad student Daian on his blog. (The FBI declined to comment.) “I’m absolutely amazed. Why has no one traced this back and found out who did it?” asks Stephan Tual, the third co-founder of Slock.it. “It still bugs me to this day, because what that person has done is incredibly unethical.”
On Tuesday, four days after the initial attack, the hacker returned and somehow resumed the heist. The Robin Hood group had feared this moment would come and was ready. Early Sunday morning they’d finally managed to convene online and successfully infiltrate an escape pod, but had held off their counterattack. Now they had no choice. One strike against the group was their distance from one another—one in Rio, others scattered about Europe. (Some of the group’s members didn’t want to be identified for this story.) It was important that they coordinate their activities because, like in Charlie’s Angels, they all had different specialties: Green the community organizer, Van de Sande the public face, others who wrote the Robin Hood group attack contracts. So Van de Sande needed to be walked through the step-by-step hacking process they were about to unleash, because that wasn’t his area of expertise. “I’ll be honest, I was excited,” Green says. “This is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me. This is the craziest thing that’s almost ever happened to anyone.” Whether it was legal remains an unanswered question. “You literally have cyber ninjas warring on the blockchain,” says Vessenes, the programming expert. “What they’re doing is almost certainly illegal, but they’re claiming it’s for the greater good.” And now it was Van de Sande’s job to let the community know that the Robin Hood group counterattack was benign. He took to Twitter, where he wrote “DAO IS BEING SECURELY DRAINED. DO NOT PANIC.” A nod to the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, his plea to not panic was met with all the snark and real-life concern Twitter can handle. “NOTHING SAYS DO NOT PANIC LIKE ALL CAPS,” one user responded. “#RealLife is more exciting than

MrRobot !!” tweeted another. Yet as the Robin Hood group attack

gained steam, they noticed something strange and worrisome—the attacker was with them in every escape pod. “We escaped the mother ship, but now we’re alone in space with the alien we were trying to escape,” says Van de Sande. This was a big problem. Because of how Jentzsch wrote his code, the Robin Hood group would have to wait several weeks before they could secure the ether they recovered. Yet if the attacker was in that escape pod with the group, he could just follow them—what’s known as a stalking attack. If the hacker stalked the Robin Hood group, the ether wasn’t really safe after all. “The game only ends when one of these parties doesn’t show up to fight,” Van de Sande says. This, in essence, is the heart of the DAO Wars, the never-ending battle that would have to be waged to keep the recovered ether safe. If only there were a way to reverse the theft once and for all.
What happened next is one of the strangest and most contentious episodes in blockchain’s early history. The morning of July 20 dawned cool and clear in Ithaca, N.Y., the home of Cornell. A weeklong ethereum boot camp on campus had brought developers and programmers from all over the world to town. The mood was anxious, but not because the workshops were about to begin. This was the day the ethereum community would decide to rewrite the past. The weeks since the DAO hack had been filled with acrimonious debate as developers, coders, investors, and other community members considered their options to undo the theft. As the Robin Hood group battled the attacker mostly in private, a public debate was raging. The white hat hackers weren’t the only ones trying to save the DAO. Jentzsch worked almost around the clock, fielding hundreds of requests from DAO investors on what they should do. Vitalik Buterin, 23, who created the ethereum blockchain before he was 20, became a focal point as he led the community through their options. In short, what they could do was change the ethereum blockchain to fix the DAO, but only if they got a majority of computers running the network to agree to a software update. Pull that off, and it’s as though the attack never happened. This is known as a hard fork. The decision stirred such strong reactions that it remains controversial a year later, both within the ethereum community and with bitcoin users who insist a blockchain’s history is never to be tampered with. In an interview in October, Buterin was unapologetic about pushing for the change. “Some bitcoin users see the hard fork as in some ways violating their most fundamental values,” said Buterin, who didn’t respond to requests to speak specifically about this story. “I personally think these fundamental values, pushed to such extremes, are silly.” Within the ethereum community, at least, Buterin’s views won the day, and computer nodes all over the world accepted the fork. Contained in block 1,920,000, the fix to the DAO was simple and did only one thing—if you had ether invested in it, you could now get it out. But why hadn’t the attacker made off with his money? It had been more than a month. The same code that exposed the DAO to the theft, in the end, enabled the ether to be returned. Everything to do with the DAO is a parameter: rules, if-then statements, and more rules that are all finalized before the program is set loose. One of these parameters stated that anyone wanting to get their ether out of the DAO had to wait a certain amount of time—27 days after the initial request, then another seven days. This fail-safe, written by Jentzsch, applied to the attacker as well. So even though somebody had effectively robbed a bank, he then had to wait 34 days before crossing the street to make his getaway. While he was waiting, the money was stolen back. A month after the original heist, the ether thief now had nothing to show for his caper. Back on the Cornell campus, ethereum boot camp attendees celebrated. The next day, Gün brought Champagne to the session he was teaching. He’d pasted makeshift labels on the Chandon bottles with a picture of the utensil that said, “Congratulations on the successful fork.” Then something else unexpected happened. The original ethereum blockchain, the one with the DAO attack in it, kept growing. Imagine a hard fork is a branch of a tree that sprouts in a different direction at the end of the main limb. The end of that limb is supposed to wither after a hard fork, but here it continued to grow as a small group of users continued to process transactions on that version of the blockchain. Instead of dying, this became a second form of ethereum, quickly dubbed ethereum classic, complete with a digital currency that now had value. Even in the ­science fiction world of blockchain, this was an unprecedented turn of events. It meant the DAO attacker suddenly had about 3.6 million ethereum classic coins in his DAO account, known as the DarkDAO, which were slowly gaining in value. The Robin Hood group held about 8.4 million, because in this parallel universe they still controlled 70 percent of the DAO funds they had recovered. The Robin Hood group couldn’t believe it. “We did everything to avoid this, but now we’re being dragged back into this fight,” Van de Sande says. Now, the bitcoin supporters who viewed the hard fork as a violation of the core values of blockchain could back up their belief by buying ethereum classic. That’s exactly what entrepreneur Barry Silbert, a heavyweight in bitcoin circles, did. “Keep in mind, the original chain is ethereum classic,” he says. “The fork is ethereum.” Putting his money where his mouth is, Silbert’s firm, Grayscale Investments, recently issued an investment thesis outlining the benefits to ethereum classic over ethereum. A section heading sums up the rationale: “The DAO and the Death of Principles.” Alexis Roussel, co-founder of Bity.com, a digital currency broker in Switzerland, still marvels at the aftereffects of the hard fork and the wild world of the blockchain. “This is something that doesn’t happen in traditional finance,” he says. “If something happens with Apple, you don’t suddenly have a clone of Apple.”
It’s been about a year since the DAO attack, enough time to take stock of what went wrong. Van de Sande is eager to move on. “It was really just a blip,” he says. “We are ready to move past it and leave the DAO story behind us.” Green, who’s organizing an ethereum conference at this summer’s Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, has kept a sense of humor about it. “The Robin Hood group was just a s--- show,” he says with a laugh. “I hope the movie portrays it better than it actually was.” As for the bug itself, apparently many smart people looked at the code before Gün but missed one major flaw. The order of commands in the code allowed DAO token holders to withdraw any profit they’d made from their investments. It reads “withdrawRewardFor(msg.sender)” and adds, almost improbably, a note to anyone reading the code that says, “be nice, and get his rewards.” That’s line 667—let’s call it “The Neighbor of the Beast Bug.” If the withdraw line had come after these lines:
totalSupply -= balances[msg.sender]; balances[msg.sender] = 0; paidOut[msg.sender] = 0; return true;
the attack wouldn’t have been possible, Jentzsch says. But if the code had been in the correct order, the reward parameter wouldn’t have worked. As for the note, this line of code was meant to allow investors to withdraw any profit—“Reward”—their investments had earned. Instead it became one of the biggest backdoors in hacking history. It would have been better to not pay rewards during the split function from the DAO, what we’ve been referring to here as the escape pods, according to Jentzsch. Another decision he made when he had no idea of the bug shows how quirky and unforgiving code can be. “If the capital ‘T’ in line 666 had been a small ‘t,’ that would also have prevented the hack,” he says. Jentzsch has many regrets but insists no one was aware of the specific problems in lines 666-667 (other observers had pointed to flaws in other lines, just not here). Had more people looked, “it would have made no difference at all,” he says. “If you don’t know what to look for in a security audit, you won’t find it.” Even Gün, who had it in his grasp, let it go. “I still missed it,” he says. Green’s emotions are still raw related to Gün. “I actually got really pissed at him about this,” Green says. “He started bragging about how he found the bug.” He adds that it was “very irresponsible of him to not tell anyone of his inkling.” Still, Green “respects the hell out of Gün” and says they’ve since made amends. Asked to recount that night last June as he lay sick in bed, Gün says, “I came away from this thinking there’s potentially an issue.” But he’d consulted Daian, his grad student (“whom I trust”). Daian had said it’s “not exploitable.” Gün says that had he been certain of the danger, “I would have told people.” In a blog post that explained the mechanics of the DAO heist Daian published the night of the attack, he gave a shoutout to his professor in the acknowledgments. “Gün, we were so damn close—sorry it wasn’t quite enough this time :),” Daian wrote. As for the attacker (whoever he or she or they are) and the ethereum classic booty, Gün says, “Great, wonderful, he should cash out.” The hard fork proved it wasn’t just the DAO that needed to be fixed, but the ethereum blockchain itself. He says: “The fault lies somewhere on the system side as well.” But the fear that smart contracts are too clever by half and that by extension so is the ethereum blockchain itself—prevalent in the days following the DAO attack—has dissipated. At least that’s the market’s verdict, judging by the price of ether. After the attack, it traded from $10 to $12 for about nine months. Then in March it took off; it’s valued at $341.19 as of June 12. (That would have valued the DAO at $4.1 billion, but let’s not even go there.) Ethereum classic has risen as well, and it now trades for $18.71. Both versions of ether remain viable, in other words. The thief holds one; the revisionists, the other. Going forward, the choice is really: Whom would you rather believe? Since the hard fork, the attacker ended up making off with his ethereum classic. That means he got away with about $67.4 million, assuming the stash hasn’t been sold. Not too shabby, 0xF35e2cC8E6523d683eD44870f5B7cC785051a77D.
Leising covers market structure at Bloomberg News in New York.
To contact the author of this story: Matthew Leising inNew York at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joel Weber at [email protected]
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London Real - YouTube Startupbootcamp FInTech London 2015 Demo Day How to Earn BitCoins Fast and Easy (bitcoin2048.com) 2015 CoinSummit London 2014 - Start-up Showcase - 37 Coins Bitcoinist.net - YouTube

After a previous success of Central European Bitcoin Expo Vienna, BitcoinExpo 2014 Shanghai and Bitcoin 2 Business Congress Brussels, the CryptoEvents team brings BitcoinExpo London 2015 to you. Conference will take place in the capital of United Kingdom on 24 – 25 January 2015. The event brings value speeches, debates, networking, exhibitions and this time also startups show. BitcoinExpo 2015 will take place in London on January 24-25, 2015 and will focus on young entrepreneurs and investors. Of all the startups in the bitcoin ecosystem, Coinbase is probably most prominent. Early in 2015, i t closed a $75 million funding round — the largest ever for the industry at the time — at a ... Das 2015 in London gegründete Startup bietet „Blockchain für Finanzdienstleister (Financial Services)“ an, indem es die Blockchain-Technologie mit den existierenden Standards im Finanzwesen kompatibel macht, etwa dem Nachrichtenprotokoll von SWIFT. Dazu benutzt SETL einen „hocheffizienten“ Konsens-Algorithmus, der ohne den hohen Energiekonsum des Bitcoin-Minings auskommt, aber mehr ... A great way to start next year is to have a Bitcoin conference jumpstart 2015 on the right note. BitcoinExpo London is set to take place on Jan. 24 and 25.

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London Real - YouTube

Before You Start Mining Bitcoins in 2015[Things to Know] - Duration: 8:10. ... Imperial College London Recommended for you. 18:39. Building a Bitcoin Miner - Duration: 3:02. phreneticdotnet ... 15 Businesses You Can Start For Cheap (or even FREE) Sunday Motivation SUBSCRIBE to ALUX: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNjPtOCvMrKY5eLwr_-7eUg?sub_conf... London Real is the curator of people worth watching. Our mission is to promote personal transformation through inspiration, self-discovery and empowerment. W... Inside Bitcoins Berlin 2015 Play all. 23:59. Inside Bitcoins Berlin 2015 - Day 1 - Chris Odom - Duration: 23 minutes. Bitcoinist.net. 961 views; 5 years ago; 41:31. Inside Bitcoins Berlin 2015 ... Taavet Hinrikus of TransferWise at TechCrunch Disrupt London. Subscribe to TechCrunch Today: http://goo.gl/eg167 TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the most antici...

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