All about Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Digital Transformation

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

    Reputations:
    1,912
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    2,908
    Trophy Points:
    181
    bitcoin you say? Bah, humbug!
    https://thefinanser.com/2018/03/bitcoin-say-bah-humbug.html/
    I’m not saying I’m always right. In fact, I love it when someone points out I’m wrong, and shows me why, because I learn something. So, I was particularly interested when in Sunday’s Guardian, I saw the headline Blockchain: hype or hope.

    It’s quite a good article, and talks about use cases in voting, provenance and finance. But in the middle was a quotation from author David Gerard stating that he hasn’t seen any real use cases for blockchain. This intrigued me as he’s written a book about it: Attack of the 50-foot Blockchain, and so I downloaded a sample of the book and scanned it to see what he was talking about. It seemed to be just a general rant against bitcoin. This doesn’t surprise me as most people are anti-bitcoin as they see it as anti-establishment, which it is in many cases. I’m personally neither for or against bitcoin. I don’t personally believe in its long-term viability and regularly say that I am waiting for bitcoin 4.0, whatever that may be. That version will have low energy usage, high volume scalability and will be incredibly cheap. Those three features are what current bitcoin lacks and, until it overcomes those technical challenges, it will never succeed.

    However, does David really believe that the underlying technology has no use? And does he truly believe that the massive number of cryptographers, technologists and libertarians who believe in Puertopia, won’t work hard to overcome these technical drawbacks?

    As people know who read my blog I think blockchain or, more correctly, distributed ledger technology (DLT) has massive potential to transform our planet but:

    (a) it has to do it in a way in which the technology is robust and not experimental (most of today’s DLT is research);

    (b) we have to work out what the cart looks like before we attach the horse, by which I mean that most DLT use cases that will have major impact such as digital identity schemes, require government to business to finance agreements of standards and structures before we apply the technology, not after; and

    (c) there are almost 2,000 cryptocurrencies out there, along with several million more developers involved in proof-of-work and ICOs; it is obvious that so many developments and launches will not succeed, but many are doing work with great pride, focus and honour. The fact that a few bad actors exist – maybe 1 in 10 of the millions involved – is because where there’s money, it attracts greed (the FOMO mob) and crime so yes, of course there are a few Ponzi schemes and underworld players involved, but it’s not everyone.

    In fact, this last point is the one thrown and the whole bitcoin community all the time, yet it is not true. Most criminal activity goes on with cash or other cryptocurrencies, as bitcoin is not anonymous, and most bitcoin activity is clean and honourable. In fact, a recent study found that a grand total of 0.61% of all Bitcoins around the world are used for any sort of criminal activity with Europe having an unusually high rate of illicit transactions, at 0.77%, while North America had a much smaller rate, sitting at 0.26%.

    Equally BBC’s Panorama recently dedicated a whole programme to bitcoin, with the best bit being this bitcoin explainer which, for me, is one of the best I’ve seen to date:

    What I think we’re seeing is just a lot of grumpy old folks who don’t like change dissing cryptocurrencies general, and bitcoin specifically, without really understanding it well enough. In fact, in another article in the weekend’s Guardian about the boomerang generation, who are children that have left home to go to university and then, god forbid, come back home afterwards because even though they’re working, they are overloaded with student debit and cannot afford to rent or buy a home as it’s so expensive these days.

    The article mentions research on the brain by two American psychologists, Mara Mather and Susan Turk Charles, involving tests on people up to the age of 80. Results indicated that as we get older our fight or flight-dictating amygdala reacts less to negative information. In other words, we some more good in everything. Young people are the opposite, they see more negatives in the world. That is why younger people want to change the system, whilst older people want to keep the system just as it is.

    I’ve referred to this often as, when I’m looking at the future, I always look to teenagers and the under-30s to see what they think is right and wrong with the world. Equally, I often talk about FinTech as being like a parent-child. Finance wants strong and stable institutions and systems; technologists want to change the systems so that they are always progressing to the next generation and, particularly with technology, they believe they democratise everything.

    This friction of strong and stable and challenge and change is exactly what I see with FinTech, with cryptocurrencies and with technology overall. The young are changing the world with technology and the old don’t like it. Tough.
     
  2. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

    Reputations:
    1,912
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    2,908
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Bitcoin
    https://medium.com/opacity/bitcoin-1537e616a074

    [​IMG]
    It may fail but we now know how to do it
    Foreword to the book by Saifedean Ammous

    Let us follow the logic of things from the beginning. Or, rather, from the end: modern times. We are, as I am writing these lines, witnessing a complete riot against some class of experts, in domains that are too difficult for us to understand, such as macroeconomic reality, and in which not only the expert is not an expert, but he doesn’t know it. That previous Federal Reserve bosses, Greenspan and Bernanke, had little grasp of empirical reality is something we only discovered a bit too late: one can macroBS longer than microBS, which is why we need to be careful on who to endow with centralized macro decisions.

    What makes it worse is that all central banks operated under the same model, making it a perfect monoculture.

    In the complex domain, expertise doesn’t concentrate: under organic reality, things work in a distributed way, as Hayek has convincingly demonstrated. But Hayek used the notion of distributed knowledge. Well, it looks like we do not even need that thing called knowledge for things to work well. Nor do we need individual rationality. All we need is structure.

    It doesn’t mean all participants have a democratic sharing of decisions. One motivated participant can disproportionately move the needle (what I have studied as the asymmetry of the minority rule). But every participant has the option to be that player.

    Somehow, under scale transformation, emerges a miraculous effect: rational markets do not require any individual trader to be rational. In fact they work well under zero-intelligence –a zero intelligence crowd, under the right design, works better than a Soviet-style management composed to maximally intelligent humans.

    Which is why Bitcoin is an excellent idea. It fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it has now a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right.

    For other cryptocurrencies to compete, they need to have such a Hayekian property.

    Bitcoin is a currency without a government. But, one may ask, didn’t we have gold, silver and other metals, another class of currencies without a government? Not quite. When you trade gold, you trade “loco” Hong Kong and end up receiving a claim on a stock there, which you might need to move to New Jersey. Banks control the custodian game and governments control banks (or, rather, bankers and government officials are, to be polite, tight together). So Bitcoin has a huge advantage over gold in transactions: clearance does not require a specific custodian. No government can control what code you have in your head.

    Finally, Bitcoin will go through hick-ups (hiccups). It may fail; but then it will be easily reinvented as we now know how it works. In its present state, it may not be convenient for transactions, not good enough to buy your decaffeinated expresso macchiato at your local virtue-signaling coffee chain. It may be too volatile to be a currency, for now. But it is the first organic currency.

    But its mere existence is an insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object establishment could control, namely, the currency, is no longer their monopoly. This gives us, the crowd, an insurance policy against an Orwellian future.
     
  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    5,067
    Messages:
    17,781
    Likes Received:
    21,812
    Trophy Points:
    931
    There’s a currency miner in the Mac App Store, and Apple seems OK with it
    Popular Calendar 2 app mines Monero by default, but at least it discloses it.
    DAN GOODIN - 3/12/2018, 11:15 AM

    "[​IMG]
    A version of Calendar 2 downloaded on Sunday from the Mac App Store.

    Resource-draining currency miners are a regular part of the Google Play market, as scammers pump out apps that covertly harness millions of devices, in some cases with malware so aggressive it can physically damage phones. A popular title in the Mac App Store recently embraced coin mining openly, and so far Apple gatekeepers haven't blocked it.

    The app is Calendar 2, a scheduling app that aims to include more features than the Calendar app that Apple bundles with macOS. In recent days, Calendar 2 developerQbix endowed it with code that mines the digital coin known as Monero. The xmr-stack miner isn't supposed to run unless users specifically approve it in a dialog that says the mining will be in exchange for turning on a set of premium features. If users approve the arrangement, the miner will then run. Users can bypass this default action by selecting an option to keep the premium features turned off or to pay a fee to turn on the premium features.
    Feels like the first time
    If Calendar 2 isn't the first known app offered in Apple's official and highly exclusive App Store to do currency mining, it's one of the very few. The discovery comes as sky-high valuations have pushed the limits of currency mining and led to a surge ofwebsites and malware that surreptitiously mine digital coins on mobile devices,personal computers, and business servers. Calendar 2 is slightly different in the sense that it clearly discloses the miner it runs by default. That puts it in a grayer zone than most of the miners seen to date.

    "On the one hand, using the user's CPU for cryptomining has become extremely unpopular," Thomas Reed, director of Mac offerings at antimalware provider Malwarebytes, told Ars. "The fact that this is the default is something I don't like. I would want to see a legit app informing the user in advance or making it an option that can be turned on but is off by default. On the other hand, they [the developers] do disclose that they are doing it and give other options for people who don't like it. My personal feeling on this is that, given the disclosure, I think the user should be allowed to make their own choice. Some people might be perfectly willing to let an app like this mine cryptocurrency so that they can use it for free."

    Apple representatives didn't respond to emails asking if the recently updated Calendar 2 violated App Store terms and services. Almost 24 hours after Ars alerted them to app, it remained available for download. Patrick Wardle, a researcher specializing in macOS security, has a detailed analysis of the miner here.

    In an email, Qbix founder Gregory Magarshak said the rollout of the currency miner has been complicated by two bugs that prevented it from working as intended. The first flaw caused the miner to run indefinitely, even when users changed the default setting. The second bug caused the miner to consume more resources than planned. Developers programmed the miner to use 10 percent to 20 percent of a Mac's computing power, depending on whether the machine was plugged in. The new miner has been using much higher percentages.

    Magarshak wrote:

    In short, as you can imagine, these two bugs caused issues for many of our users. We got a lot of messages saying "I love your app and used it for many years, but this version is kicking my computer into overdrive! Please fix it ASAP." (Paraphrased.) And so forth. What started out as a well-meaning option to just let people try out a new way to get all features unlocked became an option that made many people associate "mining" with huge CPU consumption.

    The miner—or at least the bugs found in the one released—has generated plenty of criticism on social media.

    @SGgrc @QbixApps Calendar 2 for Mac (from the App Store) launched a cryptocurrency miner without my permission. Then it ate 200% CPU until I found it and killed it. I didn't expect a miner infection from an App Store vendor. Wow. It runs the xmr-stak Monero miner.
    — Fred Laxton (@fredonline) March 12, 2018


    Qbix is in the process of publishing an update to fix the bugs. Magarshak went on to note that he has long criticized what he says is an "arms race to waste electricity to solve hashes." Such arms races are created by currency mining based on what's known as "proof of work" computing. He said he's considering removing the miner altogether from Calendar 2. For now, it's still there, and there's no indication Apple has any plans to change that.
    Update: In an e-mail sent about 90 minutes after this post went live, Magarshak said he has decided to remove the miner from future versions of Calandar 2. He explained:

    We have decided to REMOVE the miner in the app. The next version will remove the option to get free features via mining. This is for three reasons:

    1) The company which provided us the miner library did not disclose its source code, and it would take too long for them to fix the root cause of the CPU issue.

    2) The rollout had a perfect storm of bugs which made it seem like our company *wanted* to mine crypto-currency without people's permission, and that goes against our whole ethos and vision for Qbix.

    3) My own personal feeling that Proof of Work has a dangerous set of incentives which can lead to electricity waste on a global scale we've never seen before. We don't want to get sucked into this set of incentives, and hopefully our decision to ultimately remove the miner will set some sort of precedent for other apps as well.

    Ultimately, even though we technically could have remedied the situation and continued on benefiting from the pretty large income such a miner generates, we took the above as a sign that we should get out of the "mining business" before we get sucked into the Proof of Work morass of incentives.


    Apple representatives have yet to return requests for comment."
     
    Dr. AMK likes this.
  4. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

    Reputations:
    1,912
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    2,908
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Your guide to understanding digital transformation
    Dear Members,
    I want to share with you an interesting resource produced by the Technology Excellence (TEX) Week editorial team “The Technology Excellence Glossary

    In the build up to the upcoming TEX Week, taking place in Nashville (4-6 June 2018), The team has put together a concise and informative glossary designed to help you understand digital transformation terminology impacting the tech industry.

    Technology has changed the landscape of how we operate and do business, with ‘innovate or die’ being the mantra of most. New, agile companies entering the market are adopting fresh technologies to push the boundaries of innovation, leaving those who fail to adapt in the dust.

    The Glossary direct download:

    In today’s tech led industry, there are many terminologies and technologies that all have separate uses and intertwine with operational excellence in different ways.

    In this exclusive technology excellence glossary you will discover the tech and techniques that make up the technology excellence space.

    >> What is TEX? – Discover why TEX is so relevant in today's markets
    >> From Adaptive Case Management to CRM Systems this glossary shows you all the terms impacting digital transformation
    >> From Cloud Services to Machine Learning, this glossary covers the top tech terms you need to know to succeed

    The Glossary direct download:
    G.PNG
     
  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    5,067
    Messages:
    17,781
    Likes Received:
    21,812
    Trophy Points:
    931
    Cryptocurrencies: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
     
    Dr. AMK likes this.
  6. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

    Reputations:
    1,912
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    2,908
    Trophy Points:
    181
    This is really a nice video.
     
    hmscott likes this.
  7. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    5,067
    Messages:
    17,781
    Likes Received:
    21,812
    Trophy Points:
    931
    John Oliver has lots of good shows like this, covering a subject really well, and making it real for connecting to the subject. Been a fan for years. Sometimes their take on it isn't mine, but often it is, either way it provides details, insights, and access to feedback from real people not available elsewhere.
     
    Dr. AMK likes this.
  8. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

    Reputations:
    1,912
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    2,908
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Same as you, I'm following him from a long time, sometimes agree with him sometimes disagree but most of the time he is doing a god job. I just want him to use a diversity of information sources to be as balanced as possible.
     
  9. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    5,067
    Messages:
    17,781
    Likes Received:
    21,812
    Trophy Points:
    931
    Above all it's good to remember it's an entertainment, or at best an infotainment show, and no matter how clever the writers are that week, there isn't enough time to give a completely balanced view, but they do try, erring on the side of what's funniest while being balanced and fair. :)
     
    Dr. AMK likes this.
  10. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    5,067
    Messages:
    17,781
    Likes Received:
    21,812
    Trophy Points:
    931
    bitcoin continues falling like a rock 5.JPG
    https://www.coinbase.com/charts?locale=en
    march 14 2018 all crypto currency down continuing the downward trend.JPG
    Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations
    https://coinmarketcap.com/
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    Dr. AMK likes this.
Loading...
Similar Threads - Blockchain Cryptocurrency Digital
  1. Dr. AMK
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    247

Share This Page