Aug 112017
 

The silly season continues. Speculators are piling into the cryptocurrency space in the hopes of–sometimes very literally–making money fast. As I write this Ethereum’s value has halved since June but is still 20x since January. Litecoin is up 12x since then. Even Bitcoin has tripled, again. It seems like everyone now has an opinion on, and a position in, cryptocurrencies.

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And hey, if you want to speculate, and casinos seem too sedate and controlled to you, then more power to you, jump right in. But for those of us who are interested in the technology, not the money — who think that blockchains are primarily interesting because, unlike most modern technology, they decentralize power — so far this has actually been a mostly disheartening year.

This has been the year of the ICO, in which an astonishing amount of money has been raised by the issuance of new cryptocurrencies in exchange for existing ones, the value of which is then inevitably measured in… US dollars, which says something. Tezos, which is basically “a more flexible Ethereum” (just as Ethereum was, to vastly oversimplify, “a more flexible Bitcoin”) raised ~$230 million. Bancor, which “enables anyone to create a new type of cryptocurrency,” raised ~$150 million. Status, “an open source messaging platform and mobile browser to interact with decentralized applications that run on the Ethereum Network,” raised $95 million. TenX, “Making Cryptocurrencies Spendable Anytime Anywhere,” raised ~$80 million.

Do you notice anything that these massive fundraises have in common? That’s right; they’re projects which benefit cryptocurrencies which manipulate and/or hope to supersede other cryptocurrencies. Much, if not most, of the big-money high-profile ICOs this year have been self-referential Crypto Inception. They’re built on the (often unquestioned) assumption that decentralized blockchain apps will be widespread and enormously valuable, and therefore, blockchain tooling and infrastructure will be as well.

That implicit assumption sounds nice; it even sounds plausible, if you squint the right way and accept a few uncomfortable assumptions; but — uh — tooling and infrastructure for what, exactly? Bitcoin has fought its way into a valuable and important niche as a widely recognized, fairly widely used, decentralized currency and alternative to gold, which is remarkable… although as pointed out by Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, crypto OG, and generally extremely perspicacious guy, the rise of other cryptocurrencies is arguably a threat to the whole notion of blockchains-as-currency.

When you get beyond Bitcoin, though, and more specialized currencies such as ZCash and Monero, what exactly are blockchains being used for? Where is the colossal value implied by these eye-popping valuations for ICOs for blockchain tools and infrastructure?

20 Jul

Adam Ludwin @adamludwin

Replying to @adamludwin

34/They either assume a) someone else knows the why the dapp is valuable or b) someone else thinks someone else knows why it’s valuable

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35/Bottom line, a cryptocurrency has ZERO fundamental value if the dapp has no value to a human

 

 

Well. Uh. About that.

As we will see, most of these projects are unlikely to be useful. And of those that have a chance of being useful, most don’t seem to clearly need the tokens that were sold and don’t have a clear path to provide value to the token holders, or are likely to be quickly forked into less rent-seeking forms.

That’s from a pessimistic but trenchant analysis by Lyle Cantor a whopping six weeks ago. It does not seem any less accurate today. Consider the forthcoming Filecoin ICO; then consider “the analysis Filecoin doesn’t want you to read.” Does this still seem like a healthy market to you? Does it really?

(Aside from this parenthetical I’m not even going to talk about the millions of dollars’ worth of currency that has been stolen or outright lost because of bugs and/or insecure code. I’m actually not too concerned about that in the long run. Every new technology is ridden with security flaws early in its lifespan. Think of cryptocurrencies as a technology with massive built-in bug bounties.)

Most blockchain apps we’ve seen to date which aren’t focused on the cryptocurrency space itself address the same few areas: namespaces, identity management, decentralized storage, decentralized cloud computing, and prediction markets. What concerns me is that it remains at best highly unclear whether a decentralized solution is better in any of these areas than a centralized one, for anything more than a small minority of users. As I’ve said before: when it comes to consumer apps, blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet.

The calls for a glorious fully-tokenized fat-protocol future are stirring. I want to believe. But when the rubber hits the road, and they consider concrete examples, these glorious futures tend to come to a screeching halt. They talk of value being shared among all users of the network, instead of accruing to a single company … but they tend to elide the fact that such a network would be slower, more complex, and harder to use, in exchange for very little end-user value.

Consider Facebook. Imagine that Facebook was a decentralized social network that returned fully half of its revenue (not profits, revenue) to its users. That means the average Facebook user would receive … a whole US$1 a month. That is not enough to make people want to use a clumsier, slower Facebook that innovates far less rapidly. It isn’t enough for decentralized networks to be more equitable. They have to be better. Or they have to do something that centralized networks cannot.

Note that thus far I’ve been talking about public, permissionless, fully decentralized blockchains. “Private” blockchains are a different story. Their obvious application there is to replace the multiple systems involved in any given type of financial transaction with a single shared blockchain. For instance: any given credit card transaction requires systematic coordination between five different parties, as entertainingly related in this recent videofrom noted cryptocurrency champions Andreessen Horowitz. It would be simpler, more efficient, and presumably cheaper for all concerned, to use a common shared datastore such as–you guessed it–a blockchain.

But as for new applications of the technology…

— well, thankfully, largely orthogonal to the crypto/ICO bubble, a few have in fact arisen. There is Brave’s Basic Attention Token, which is nothing less than an entirely new business model for online advertising. There is Grid+, which “leverages the Ethereum blockchain to give consumers direct access to wholesale energy markets”; it’s early days yet, but the interesting thing here is that the energy market is, when you consider the growth of home solar, also permissionless and decentralized; it seems like a natural fit.

Most interesting of all, there are multiple initiatives trying to give Ethereum’s “smart contracts” — code which runs to conditionally perform transactions, or not, depending on certain criteria — the actual force of law. OpenLaw from Consensys. The Accord Project. And Mattereum, from Ethereum release coordinator Vinay Gupta and crypto-accountant-philosopher Ian Grigg among others, which:

is the first Internet of Agreements infrastructure project, bringing legally-enforceable smart contracts, and enabling the sale, lease, and transfer of physical property and legal rights … achieved by using natural language contracts which specifically delegate legal authority to two external systems: the smart contract on the blockchain, and an arbitration association which handles disputes.

The kind of blockchain true believers who cause my eyes to roll violently are fond of saying things like “code is law,” which, um, good luck convincing a judge of that. But explicitly incorporating code as law is a far more interesting and productive approach, and opens a road to a whole new panoply of applications and possibilities. Which is supposed to be the whole ultimate point of new technology.

So speculate if you like, but don’t pay too much attention to valuation bubbles or cryptocurrency prices or even ICOs. Conversely, don’t be dissuaded by the recent surreality there into thinking that the whole blockchain sector is nothing but snake-oil Dunning-Krugerrands. Once you get past the current wave of sheer ignorant greed, I promise you, you’ll find a lot of interesting things going on.

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer Green Fire Engineered Reclamation Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Jul 122017
 

What is Ethereum?

Steven Heap/123RF

By Will Nicol — Posted on July 4, 2017 6:30 am

If you follow tech or financial news, you’ve probably seen the name “Ethereum” popping up over the last couple years, often in connection with bitcoin. Ethereum is a rising star in the world of cryptocurrencies, entirely digital forms of currency that grew in popularity after the creation of bitcoin by a person or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Demand for Ethereum is so high that it may even be driving up the price of graphics cards, as miners try to generate as much currency as they can. What is Ethereum exactly, and what does it mean for the future of cryptocurrency (and maybe society)? Here’s the rundown.

To start — what is a cryptocurrency?

People often refer to Ethereum as a cryptocurrency, but that isn’t precisely true. It is a platform that allows individuals to conduct transactions and draw up contracts, using a currency called “ether.” To understand what distinguishes Ethereum from a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, it helps to understand what a cryptocurrency is, as well as the concept of a blockchain.

A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency created through encryption. A cryptocurrency has no physical form — like a banknote or coin — and it is not issued by a central bank or governmental authority. Units of cryptocurrency exist as data on the internet, and are created and managed through something called a blockchain.

A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger, shared amongst any number of computers. When transactions occur, they are recorded in blocks; in order for these blocks to go into the ledger, they must be validated by a certain number of computers on the blockchain network. Crucially, the ledger exists, in the same form, for everyone on the network. Anyone can can look at to see a complete history of every transaction that has occurred, and any changes would be visible to everyone.

The individuals who validate the transactions — which they do by having their computers solve complex computational problems — are called miners. Mining is a surprisingly intense activity, as our guide explains, that requires powerful hardware and a lot of planning. As a reward for their help in validating blocks, miners are given rewards. This is typically a specific cryptocurrency; Bitcoin miners receive bitcoin, while Ethereum miners receive ether.

When you send someone an amount of cryptocurrency, a digital signature is created to authenticate the transaction. Your public key is essentially your “address.” When someone sends you funds, they send it to your public key. When you send funds, you use your private key, which is essentially the password that grants you access to your funds, and a transaction message to create a digital signature. Miners use this signature to verify the transaction, and a new signature will be generated for every individual transaction, so the transaction can’t be repeated.

Why is this important?

Digital transactions have, historically, required third parties, such as banks, to authorize or validate the transaction. This is because money, when digital, is essentially a file, which could be copied and reused. But these more traditional intermediaries typically don’t work for free. Banks and other authorities require individuals to play in their sandbox, and pay whatever fees they demand.

Cryptocurrencies are all about skirting around financial institutions and authorities, but they still need some way to track when and how currency moves through transactions, so as to avoid problems like double spending. The currency would be useless if anyone could just create copies of their units.

Blockchains allow for peer-to-peer transactions, with no need for a third party to participate. They are inherently secure; if any data in the block were changed, computers on the network would need to revalidate it, discouraging tampering. In theory, cryptocurrencies are safe from seizure by authorities. Because they are stored nowhere in particular, and can only be accessed by a person with the private key, it would be incredibly difficult for even a government to seize them.

The broad strokes of a blockchain apply to Ethereum just as they do to bitcoin, but the two products have different goals. As mentioned, bitcoin is strictly a digital currency, designed to function as a means of payment. Ethereum takes a grander approach; it functions as a platform through which people can use ether tokens to create and run applications and, more importantly, smart contracts.

Ethereum focuses on “smart contracts”

What is a smart contract? It is a contract written in code, which the creator(s) upload to the blockchain. Any time one of these contracts is executed, every node on the network runs it, uploaded to the blockchain; thus, it is stored in the public ledger, theoretically tamper-proof.

Smart contracts are essentially structured as If-then statements; when certain conditions are met, the program carries out the terms of the contract.

As an example, say you want to rent a car from a service that uses Ethereum. A smart contract is generated, stipulating that if you send the required amount of funds, then the service will send you a digital key to unlock the car. The process is is carried out on the blockchain, so when you send the ether tokens, everyone on the network can see that you did so. Likewise, when the rental service sends you the key to unlock the car, everyone will see it. In this scenario, the contract might state that if the service does not send you the key, the tokens are refunded.

Since every computer on the network is keeping track of this transaction through the digital ledger, there is no way to tamper with it; if someone altered the details of the contract, every copy of the digital ledger would note this.

Every program on Ethereum will use a distinct amount of processing power, and since the program must be run by the nodes, it is important to keep superfluous activity to a minimum. This is why every contract and program on Ethereum is given a cost in “gas.” Gas is a measurement of how much processing power the program will require, and the higher the gas requirement, the more ether tokens the user will need to spend.

One of the commonly cited advantages of smart contracts is that there is no need for “middlemen” like lawyers or notaries. In theory, this means that you can carry out transactions without the waiting times inherent to paper filings, and without paying fees to whomever would typically oversee such a transaction. This is particularly important for people living in countries where the legal system is corrupt, or woefully inefficient.

Of course, the automation means that, if something goes wrong — if, for example, there is a bug in the code of the smart contract — the blockchain will still carry out the terms of the contract, which could be problematic.

A scandal involving The DAO — a decentralized autonomous organization — serves as a case study in how smart contracts can go wrong. The DAO was essentially a leaderless investment fund; members invested ether, gaining tokens that allowed them to vote on how to invest the DAO’s funds. As CoinDesk explains, the DAO was built through a series of smart contracts.

However, a vulnerability in the DAO’s code allowed one user to funnel millions of dollars worth of ether into a child DAO. A writer for Forbes compares the process to embezzlement, but notes that, because the DAO’s contract allowed for it to happen, it was not illegal; the user was working within the confines of the code.

What does it mean for the future?

In its short time in the spotlight, Ethereum has cast an enormous shadow. It is trading at around $300 as of June 28, 2017, and has grown by around 3600 percent in 2017, according to Business Insider. The platform has already attracted massive corporations like JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft, who are among the more notable members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which aims to provide “Resources for businesses to learn about Ethereum and leverage this groundbreaking technology to address specific industry use cases.”

That bodes well for Ethereum’s usage in the business world, but true believers see the platform as something more than a tool for corporation; they see it as a way to decentralize the internet, and make it more democratic.

In an interview with Wired, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin lays out his view of how Ethereum will disrupt the traditional power structures of the world:

“I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent. Because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already.”

Smart contracts could free individuals from the constraints of the legal system and big business. However, technology enthusiasts often promise such utopian futures; in reality, just as social media has helped the spread of fake news, Ethereum and the automated, decentralized internet it seeks may have unintended consequences, as the DAO hacking indicates. Like other cryptocurrencies, ether is prone to wild fluctuations. While Ethereum has been riding high in 2017 for the most part, it suffered a flash crash in June, a drop which some think may have been exacerbated by false rumors of Buterin’s death. Whether Ethereum is sturdy enough to survive long term, or an ephemeral trend, remains up in the air.

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer Green Fire Engineered Reclamation Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Jun 232017
 

Why connecting all the Blockchains is the final step for mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies

Dr. Julian Hosp, 16 Jun 2017 – Development, Opinion, Protocol

Dr. Julian Hosp is the co-founder and CVO of TenX, a Singapore based FintechCompany that makes any Blockchain asset spendable instantly by offering a debit card payment system to its users on the frontend and by connecting any Blockchain at the backend.

Since the start of Bitcoin in January 2009, we have seen the introduction of a multitude of blockchains across all kinds of areas and financial markets. Today we can count hundreds of public blockchains that amount to a total market cap of almost 100 Billion dollars, excluding many more private blockchain installations.

Last year we saw the emergence of precious metal backed tokens, derivatives, entirely new asset classes representing entire ecosystems, and even ETF tokens to invest into other blockchain assets. One such example is Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token sales that are gaining in popularity. The World Economic Forum is even going as far as predicting that 10% of the global GDP will be stored on the blockchain in less than 10 years. In terms of today’s global GDP that would be $7.8 trillion.

Here a challenge arises: If we as a community do not find a way to connect blockchains, these 7.8 trillion dollars will be dispersed in such a way, that its true value is a lot lower. So what is the solution? The solution is one that we have seen in a similar way being executed around 30 years ago already:

Before the invention of the TCP/IP protocol the Internet was also dispersed in many local networks, so-called Intranets. These provided local efficiency over the more traditional point-to-point communication (such as letter, fax, telephone calls). The real breakthrough only came in 1973, when different Intranet networks realized that they could use a unifying Internetwork protocol to communicate among each other, thereby extending reach by compatibility even more.

With the requirements for an Intranet to join the so called Internet dropping to the bare minimum, it became possible to add almost any Intranet, no matter how basic or sophisticated their characteristics were.

The initial adoption by users was relatively slow, as the services offered at the beginning were limited. There was one major factor however, that eventually sped it up significantly. The same providers that were already offering mail, FAX and phone services, could now add Internet services to their portfolio giving them extra revenue streams. User adoption came easily, as a trust basis between the customers and these services providers was already established for years or even decades. Early adopters started, the late adopters followed.

Today the Internet spans across the entire world and information that used to be accessible only locally is now accessible from anywhere, even from the moon. Information is stored by servers all over the world while routers create the backbone. Internet service providers (ISP) give the average end-user easy and quick access to this vast database of information by opening a communication channel to their customers and to other ISPs, servers and routers.

Once the average user accesses the Internet through his or her communication channel with the ISP in order to gain information from the Internet, the user does not have to worry about how the information is retrieved exactly. All she has to do, is to type in the destination from where she wants to retrieve the information (URL). The ISP, to which she has the communication channel to, does not know the exact path to the destination either. However, through the TCP/IP protocol, the request is routed through from one communication channel to another using routers, servers or ISPs, who then either know the location or continue the process.

The important point is, neither one of them has to know the entire way. All they have to do, is to trust the TCP/IP protocol, which has the task of delivering packets from the source host to the destination host, solely based on the IP addresses in the packet headers. Its routing function enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet.

How does this translate into connecting blockchains? What if there was a way to connect literally any blockchain, without creating a new larger blockchain, like some companies have suggested. Creating a new blockchain would be like a large intranet, that all the other intranet would have to trust. It would be way more difficult to convince everyone. It is easier to leave everyone on their blockchain/intranet and just connect them.

With that in mind, I therefore suggested a Cryptographically-secure Off-chain Multi-asset Instant Transaction network (COMIT) at the end of 2016 and wrote a white paper on that: www.comit.network.

What does such a network look like? Just like in the Internet, we need a stable and trustworthy backbone. In our opinion any large blockchain provides exactly that. It can be any blockchain, because just like on the Internet, different modalities will be interconnected (For example: the initial Internet never foresaw mobile app messaging services, but these have been implemented without any problems). The same will be true for COMIT, where any new blockchain can be connected to an existing one through the use of the COMIT Routing Protocol (CRP).

A user today, who is using crypto-currencies, currently has to wait minutes if not hours before a transaction is accepted by the counterparty. With the adoption of payment channels, such as the Lightning Network, Raiden or many others, such users can transfer assets instantly from person A to person B. If person B then opens another payment channel to person C, person A can also transfer assets to person C via B instantaneously, as long as person B provides enough liquidity. In theory there can be an infinite chain of participants in between person A and C, as long as they all provide enough liquidity. Again, such transactions are immediate without person A needing to know which route the assets took to end up at person C. She can trust this system as the routing protocol ensures its correctness, plus the cryptographically secured payment channels, which will be described in the next chapter, ensures flawless functionality.

What we end up with, are cryptographically-secured instant payments off-blockchain that can even be transferred from one asset to another via hashed time-lock contracts (those will also be described in the next chapter). In order for this network to have enough liquidity (in the example above person B needs to provide enough liquidity to enable a transaction between person A and person C), we introduce the concept of Liquidity Providers (LP). LPs can be seen or understood as hubs or nodes in the COMIT network, that create payment channels to users, other LPs and businesses. They are a core part in COMIT. Just like servers, routers and ISPs are to the internet.

Adoption of this system will be seamless, fast and will bring great benefits to all of its participants, just like the Internet did. Some of the benefits of COMIT include:, but are not limited to:

  • Open source infrastructure
  • True instant, frictionless and cheap payments for users all over the world
  • True global access without limitations to any asset or business process connected to a blockchain
  • Cryptographically secure trustless global transactions network
  • Amazing new business opportunities for companies
  • New recurring revenue streams for banks and other liquidity providers
  • Rapid adoption based on existing networks build with new cheap and secure infrastructure

We have already checked and over 95% of all the blockchains (especially the large important ones can) can be connected. In the next article I will discuss in great detail what the 3 requirements are for such a system to work and how it looks from a technical perspective. With COMIT our vision for the world seems to become reality: Sending money as cheap and seamless as sending a WhatsApp message.

Source: Why connecting all the Blockchains is the final step for mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies » Brave New Coin

Waste Not Want Not
Mike Prettyman
Chief Information Officer
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
Member GreenFire DAO

Whatsapp only Phone:    1-602-315-1571 
Skype: mike.prettyman

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer Green Fire Engineered Reclamation Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Feb 102017
 

Social media has penetrated individual and collective lives to a huge extent and consequently modified many of our online and offline behaviors.

Public and private organizations worldwide are greatly benefiting from a better understanding of the fundamental principles governing the individual and collective behaviors of people connected through social media.

Recently, a framework  called Virtual Collective Consciousness (VCC) has been put forth. It is defined as the internal knowledge motivated by social media and shared by a plurality of individuals driven by the spontaneity, the homogeneity and the synchronicity of their online actions.

Thus, the extensive outreach of information sharing through social networking platforms can build a momentum of consensus based on converging informational contents. Ultimately, a common identifying  stance can be forged as a resulting effect of the collectively shared consciousness.

The VCC model assumes that any virtual massive-scale collective consciousness depends on transactive memory (TM). The latter can be defined as a set of individual memory systems combined with a set of individuals interacting with each other. In other words, TM can be considered as the collective memory of the online community that is afforded by social media.

So how does their collective behavior exhibit awareness, cohesion, and self-identity?

We have both the internal framework and the platform, which will produce such a mind-like process. To be explicit, we use the Mycryptoworld/Infinity Economics (MCW/IE) advanced blockchain as a paradigm based on its very recent innovations in the blockchain domain. Indeed, the blockchain protocol offered by MCW/IE and its TM operations emerges as an example on which the knowledge framework of VCC can operate.

Blockchains are based on strong cryptography and memory of operations – and illustrates peer-to-peer interaction with no central agency.

Applied to social networks, the blockchain protocol provides an explicit model for a platform that incrementally incorporates immediate experience with an integrated memory of the past, provides a global workspace, and a mechanism for consensus between participating individuals operating within a Virtual Collective Consciousness.

Blockchain protocols maintain the relatively secure identity of participants and the integrity of the records. It is this methodology of linked records that provides a proxy for a linked, on-going record of experience, which is an essential feature of idealized virtual consciousness.

Making the case for adopting a blockchain approach to a social network, the result would be a cloud based entity which might satisfy the criteria for a Virtual Collective Consciousness.

In any case, blockchain will provide the key services needed for integrating a decentralized planet wide distributed group activity.

Dec 212016
 

Cash Is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun

(ANTIMEDIA) – As physical currency around the world is increasingly phased out, the era where “cash is king” seems to be coming to an end. Countries like India and South Korea have chosen to limit access to physical money by law, and others are beginning to test digital blockchains for their central banks.

The war on cash isn’t going to be waged overnight, and showdowns will continue in any country where citizens turn to alternatives like precious metals or decentralized cryptocurrencies. Although this transition may feel like a natural progression into the digital age, the real motivation to go cashless is downright sinister.

The unprecedented collusion between governments and central banks that occurred in 2008 led to bailouts, zero percent interest rates and quantitative easing on a scale never before seen in history. Those decisions, which were made under duress and in closed-door meetings, set the stage for this inevitable demise of paper money.

Sacrificing the stability of national currencies has been used as a way prop up failing private institutions around the globe. By kicking the can down the road yet another time, bureaucrats and bankers sealed the fate of the financial system as we know it.

A currency war has been declared, ensuring that the U.S. dollar, Euro, Yen and many other state currencies are linked in a suicide pact. Printing money and endlessly expanding debt are policies that will erode the underlying value of every dollar in people’s wallets, as well as digital funds in their bank accounts. This new war operates in the shadows of the public’s ignorance, slowly undermining social and economic stability through inflation and other consequences of central control. As the Federal Reserve leads the rest of the world’s central banks down the rabbit hole, the vortex it’s creating will affect everyone in the globalized economy.

Peter Schiff, president of Euro-Pacific Capital, has written several books on the state of the financial system. His focus is on the long-term consequences of years of government and central bank manipulation of fiat currencies:

Never in the course of history has a country’s economy failed because its currency was too strong…The view that a weak currency is desirable is so absurd that it could only have been devised to serve the political agenda of those engineering the descent. And while I don’t blame policy makers from spinning self-serving fairy tales (that is their nature), I find extreme fault with those hypnotized members of the media and the financial establishment who have checked their reason at the door. A currency war is different from any other kind of conventional war in that the object is to kill oneself. The nation that succeeds in inflicting the most damage on its own citizens wins the war. ” [emphasis added]

If you want a glimpse 0f how this story ends, all you have to do is look at Venezuela, where the government has destroyed the value of the bolivar (and U.S. intervention has further exacerbated the problem). Desperation has overcome the country, leading women to go as far as selling their own hair just to get by. While crime and murder rates have spiked to all-time highs, the most dangerous threat to Venezuelans has been extensive government planning. The money they work for and save is now so valueless it’s weighed instead of counted. The stacks of bills have to be carried around in backpacks, and the scene is reminiscent of the hyperinflation Weimar Germany experienced in the 1920s. Few Western nations have ever experienced a currency crisis before, meaning many are blind to the inevitable consequences that come from the unending stimulus we’ve seen since 2008.

In order to keep this kind of chaos from spreading like a contagion to the rest of the world, representatives are willing to do anything necessary, but this comes at a cost. Instead of having to worry about carrying around wheelbarrows full of money, the fear in a cashless society will likely stem from bank customers’ restricted access to funds. With no physical way for consumers to take possession of their wealth, the banking interests will decide how much is available.

The level of trust most people still have in the current system is astonishing. Even after decades of incompetence, manipulation, and irresponsibility, the public still grasps to government and the established order like a child learning how to swim. The responsibility that comes with independence has intimidated the entire population into leaving the decisions up to so-called ‘experts.’ It just so happens that those trusted policymakers have an agenda to strip you and future generations of prosperity.

Some of the few hopes in this war against centralization are peer-to-peer technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. These innovative platforms have the potential to open up markets that circumvent state-controlled Ponzi schemes. The future development of crypto-assets has massive potential, but being co-opted is a real danger.

The greatest threat to individual freedom is financial dependence, and as long as your wealth is under someone else’s control, it can never be completely secure. Unfortunately, private blockchains are becoming increasingly popular, creating trojan horses for those just learning about the technology (in contrast, Bitcoin’s transaction ledger is public) . Without the decentralized aspect of a financial network, it is just a giant tracking database that can be easily compromised like any other.

The World Economic Forum released a report on the future of financial infrastructure. Giancarlo Bruno, Head of Financial Services Industries at WEF stated:

Rather than to stay at the margins of the finance industry, blockchain will become the beating heart of it. It will help build innovative solutions across the industry, becoming ever more integrated into the structure of financial services, as mainframes, messaging services, and electronic trading did before it.”

The list of countries who are exploring integrating blockchain technology into their central banking system is extensive. Just to name a few; Singapore, Ukraine, France, Finland and many others are in the process of researching and testing out options.

For those who appreciate more tangible wealth, diversifying into hard assets like gold and silver is a great first step. It’s not about becoming a millionaire or getting rich quickly, but rather, using precious metals as vehicles for investment in the long-term. Regardless of what events unfold over the decades to come, the wealth preserved in physical form is more secure than any other asset. Forty years ago it was possible to save your money in the bank and accumulate interest over time, but that opportunity no longer exists. Those who fail to adapt to this new financial twilight zone will likely find themselves living as slaves to debt for years.

Control and confidence are two of the most important things in the system we live in. Once these digital spider webs have been put into place, the ability for an individual to maintain privacy or anonymity will all but disappear. Only through understanding the subversive actions being taken can people protect themselves from having to put their future in someone else’s hands. The cash that allows free transactions without tax burdens or state scrutiny won’t be around much longer. There will be many rationalizations for a cashless society in the years to come, but without fixing this broken financial system first, this will only ensure that despotism gains an even sturdier foothold.


This article (Cash Is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun) by Shaun Bradley is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Shaun Bradley andtheAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

 

Dec 052016
 

Green Fire On The Blockchain

Green Fire has decided to change the world as you know it. We are moving together onto the blockchain. We have chosen “Green Fire Gold” (GFG) as the blockchain application name. GFG will be the first to take landfill mining and reclamation on to the blockchain.

GFG is designed with next generation high load blockchain protocols, utilizing a blockchain design that improves functionality with each additional user, maximizing scalability and load performance.

GFG includes your own private universal wallet that allows for immediate trading and exchange between all currencies and investment markets.

The GFG blockchain is designed by the best in cryptocurrency development to create a coin and mainstream payment network usable by everyone in the world.

The GFG universal wallet/coin combo can be used to manage your entire life and assets. Inside are a Universal Dapp store (decentralized application store), micro-services, micro-payments, smart contracts, universal exchange, universal payment system, and custom template decentralized app building, just to name a few.

Understanding blockchain

The Blockchain has become the default backbone for most new financial and business development.

In essence, blockchain is a distributed database, or "timestamp server," as it was called by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in the paper that proposed bitcoin.

The blockchain consists of blocks of data — each block is a timestamped batch of valid individual transactions and the hash of the previous block, creating a link between the two. Because each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, it forms a chain. Each new transaction must be authenticated across the distributed network of computers that form the blockchain before it can form the next block in the chain.

GFG is developing a fully decentralized, leaderless DAO*, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and a fully distributed financial platform, OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

GFG is using the MyCryptoWorld development platform to construct the GFG DAO. This platform develops on an advanced Ethereum blockchain.

For the determination phase of implementation an interdisciplinary team of cryptocurrency, marketing and software veterans/enthusiasts around the globe have already started determining the intelligence that operates GFG.

As soon the business determination is finished the whole system will be completely community/user driven and owned. From this point on the further evolution will be in the hands of all owners, using e-Governance/voting and other cutting edge tools to create consensus and run decisions.

The GFG DAO is a digital decentralized autonomous organization and a form of investor-directed venture capital fund.

The GFG DAO has an objective to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing both international commerce and social marketing. It will be on the Ethereum blockchain, and will have no conventional management structure or board of directors.

The GFG DAO is stateless, and not tied to any particular nation state. As a result, many questions of how government regulators would deal with a stateless fund are yet to be dealt with.

The GFG DAO is being crowdfunded via a token sale. A similar crowdfunding campaign in May 2016. It set the record for the largest crowdfunding campaign in history

OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT

The Landfill Pickers and the Women Informal Workers will own GFG. GFG will be governed by consensus.

Consensus in a distributed system is determined by entities checking each other's work and providing a stamp of approval as to transactions and activities allowed. This is accomplished through a distributed network, one might say, a “social neural network”.

Smart Contracts

GFG Blockchain also leverages a technology called "smart contracts," which are bits of executable code that only act when specific conditions within the blockchain are met. This allows a blockchain to automate activity like payment transfers when a task is completed, or even a partial payment when a milestone is achieved.

By providing a way to record transactions as automated trusted activity among digitally networked peers, audit and professional services firm Ernst & Young believes "blockchain technology has the potential to streamline and accelerate business processes, increase cybersecurity and reduce or eliminate the roles of trusted intermediaries (or centralized authorities) in industry after industry."

Blockchains have proven that they reduce cost and increase trust in financial transactions. It is becoming apparent that we can expect financial services firms to abandon existing transaction-processing technologies in favor of blockchain technologies.

We are developing the GFG DAO on the blockchain with a unique crypto token (coin) and its own brand of distributed manufacturing and ecommerce.

Green Fire is taking the Landfill Mining operations and the Children of the Landfill project and wrapping them in a blockchain application.

This will provide these “invisible workers” the very poorest of the poor the most unique democratic environment that is yet to prevail for them. They will be the next global cultural warriors to emerge from the shadows.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

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Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
 

Nov 162016
 

 Author Jacob Timp

The United States House of Representatives has passed a nonbinding resolution calling for an adoption of “a national policy for technology to promote consumers' access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.”

Why The Accelerated Interest?

We have seen relatively little developments in the space of federal regulation on the Blockchain technology and digital currencies. A non-profit called Coin Center reached out to United States representatives communicating their concerns on the developing bill. The letters on issue are available on their website.

In July, the declaration was introduced which calls the United State government to develop an updated domestic policy related to technology, specifically referencing cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. The bill was introduced by United States Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and is sponsored by Congressman Tony Cardenas of California.

Following statements from supporters, the resolution passed by a verbal vote earlier this week. The resolution is non-binding, which may be considered a half-measure, is a rather significant leap forward from Congress for the discussion on Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The opening remarks on the bill stated:

“The House of Representatives that the United States should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.”

The resolution occurred months after the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce debated the technology. Notes from supporters on the floor demonstrated a very real interest in the issue among the House members.

Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas, stated at the hearing:

"There’s no doubt that Blockchain innovations are on the cutting edge today."

What’s Next?

We will see what the next step is for congress and whether or not they will pursue a more substantial bill development for digital currencies and the Blockchain technology. The next session will meet after November's United States elections.

The non-leaning characteristics of the current resolution suggests that a new and updated bill may be released by Congress in the time following.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Aug 312015
 

Extracted from BBVA Research on Digital Banking.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer public ledger maintained by a distributed network of computers that requires no central authority or third party intermediaries. It consists of three key components: a transaction, a transaction record and a system that verifies and stores the transaction. The blocks are generated through open-source software and record the information about when and in what sequence the transaction took place.

This “block” chronologically stores information of all the transactions that have taken place in the chain, thus the name blockchain. In other words, blockchain is a database of immutable time-stamped information of every transaction that is replicated on servers across the globe. This technology is the foundation of bitcoin, a crypto currency.

In traditional transactions such as money transfers or foreign currency, there is usually an intermediary or a centralized entity that records the transmission of money or currency that exist apart from it. In blockchain, the token or digital coin itself is what has value, which is determined by the market. This is what makes the system a truly decentralized exchange. When people buy or sell cryptocurrency, a secret key or token is broadcast to the system. “Miners” use nodes, computers or devices linked to a network, to identify and validate the transaction using copies of all or some information of the blockchain.

Before the transaction is accepted by the network, miners have to show “proof of work” using a cryptographic hash function –a special algorithm- that aims to provide high levels of protection. Miners receive some form of compensation for their computing power contribution, avoiding the need to have a centralized system.

New protocols such as Ripple rely on a consensus process that does not need miners nor proof of work and can agree on the changes to the blockchain within seconds.

In any case, the blockchain offers an inherent level of trust for the user, eliminating the need for the middleman and mitigating the risk of human error. In this public ledger, the data is protected against tampering and revision, and individuals cannot replace parts of the blockchain as the cost of doing so is significant – hypothetically one would need to control more than half of the “nodes” to surreptitiously alter the block chain.

The Disruption

While cryptocurrency itself has received a lot of criticism, the blockchain technology is thought to offer great potential, attracting the attention of governments, businesses and venture capital at a rapid pace. Some ideas developed in recent years include a pay-as-you-go system that allows users to stream live video; a structure that allows sharing space-program information; or ways to record business information such as audits. In most cases, these options are thought to offer greater security, speed and reliability at a fraction of the cost of more traditional infrastructures.

Other ideas include the possibility to create digital identities that could substitute dozens of usernames and passwords while offering greater security features; and “smart contracts” with self-executing properties that would make the contract “unbreakable”.

In the financial industry, institutions are slow to recognize the potential of blockchain technology; however, dozens of large banks have now invested significant amounts of money in this technology.

The attention is likely the result of how disruptive this technology is to the financial sector, particularly if it allows massive simplification of banking processes and significantly reduces costs.

The first levels of disruption seem more likely in payment processing where traditional transactions such as money transfers, credit and debit card payments, remittances, foreign currency and online payments, require an intermediary such as a clearing house or a financial institution.

In these cases the transaction would occur directly between the buyer and the seller without any intermediary and the validation of the transaction would happen in a decentralized way or “distributed ledger”. This would result in significant infrastructure savings for banks by allowing them to bypass payment networks that are oftentimes slow, cumbersome, and expensive.

However, the biggest potential impact of a public ledger may extend beyond the payment system. Given that the majority of financial assets such as bonds, equities, derivatives and loans are already electronic it may be possible that someday the entire system is replaced by a decentralized structure.

In fact, the latest innovations are using tokens to store and trade assets like shares, bonds, cars, houses and commodities. These so-called “colored coins” attach additional information on the asset, generating “smart property” or the ability to record and transact these assets using “smart contracts”, which are enforced by complex algorithms, through distributed platforms without a centralized register, thereby increasing efficiency.

In this environment, the current system where financial institutions record individuals’ accounts in a centralized fashion and the banks’ reserves are stored by the central bank (i.e. Federal Reserve) would be replaced by the “Internet of money” or the “Internet of finance” – a fully decentralized financial system.

As other industries that have been transformed by new technologies and digitization, blockchain technology could reshape the financial industry well beyond the payments system.