Dub 10

Full Blocks ‘Only Way’ For Bitcoin to Stay Trustless, Say Seoul Meetup Founder

Bitcoin blocks will ultimately fill up and fees will increase accordingly, another community figure has warned as a spike in volume continues.


Somsen: Make ‘Smarter Use’ Of Block Space

In a series of tweets April 10, Ruben Somsen, podcast host and long-time convenor of the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup, argued that despite fees increasing, they are part of Bitcoin’s overall transformation into a global payment system.

The impact, he argued, does not have to be a negative one.

“Blocks WILL be full sooner or later. We’re not making smart use of block space, so we’re likely to experience a bumpy fee ride until people adjust their behavior,” he wrote.

…It costs miners virtually nothing to add a transaction. Block space is given to the highest bidder – if nobody bids, it’s practically free. If you think mass replicated immutable blockchain data is at least worth something, then it logically follows that blocks WILL be full.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees Surpass $1 For First Time Ever

The topic of Bitcoin transaction fees has returned to the spotlight over the past week after Bitcoin price shot up to $5300 in a matter of days.

A surge in network activity followed, with fees rising as blocks suddenly became fuller. As Bitcoinist reported, the change led to criticism of certain players, such as wallets which are not helping decrease network load. Somsen agreed.

“Wallets need to get smarter,” he continued.

Fee estimates aim for the next block by default. The result? A bidding war. Better to use Replace-By-Fee (RBF) + under-bidding and automated fee bumps to get a cheaper confirmation within a user-defined time limit. This smooths out the fees.

Off-Chain No Magic Bullet?

He added upcoming technological improvements, in the form of Schnorr signatures, Taproot, MAST, MuSig and SigAgg, would also help keep fees under control, but that the wholesale rollout of these tools was still a long way off.

On the topic of off-chain scaling, something many believe will ultimately avoid the need to pay significant network fees, Somsen also gave cautionary advice.

“…All off-chain solutions, whether it’s third party services or Lightning, do NOT make you immune to on-chain fees,” he countered. “When there are issues, people have to go back on-chain. If you can’t afford to pay the fee, you are stuck and won’t be able to exit from misbehavior.”

He concludes:

There’s simply no other way for Bitcoin to stay trustless. If you personally don’t need trustlessness, you can always transact cheaply off-chain via third parties. But if we sacrifice trustlessness on the base layer, it’ll be gone forever.

Lightning itself remains a technology in its infancy, despite mounting publicity from well-known figures from both within and beyond cryptocurrency.

Considered an experiment on a technical level, Lightning currently contains capacity for just under 1100 BTC ($5.79 million) in transactions, a figure which has nonetheless shot up 40 percent over the past month alone.

What do you think about Ruben Somsen’s prognosis? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of

The Rundown

Share
Dub 09

More Than Half of All Companies Will Use Blockchain Tech in 3 Years, Says Oracle VP

The blockchain has become something of a buzzword over the past year or so, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable solution for many businesses. In fact, one expert believes the made-famous-by-Bitcoin technology will be used by upwards of 60 percent of companies. 


This projection comes from Oracle’s group vice president of blockchain product development, Frank Xiong, who told Forbes CIO Summit that he predicts “between 50% and 60% of companies will use blockchain in the next few years.”

Xiong knows what he’s talking about, too, since Oracle has more than 100 customers using its blockchain platform for the purpose of tracking items.

That said, the company vice president is also realistic in his assessment of the technology when he notes that it really isn’t the be-all-end-all solution for business. “We’re past the stage that blockchain can cure everything,” he told the American business magazine, “so people are becoming more realistic about what’s good for their business model.”

blockchain

Blockchain: Not For Everyone

Samsung SDS vice president in blockchain, Ted Kim, agrees that the nascent-but-growing technology isn’t for everyone. He told Forbes:

At the end of the day blockchain makes multipart collaboration more efficient, whether it’s having a consortium to track data on counterfeit getting into supply chains, or how much inventory you need to create a better forecast. There is tangible ROI in the blockchain.

Kim’s bullishness on the future of blockchain is more reigned in than Xiong’s. The former expects 20 percent of companies to use blockchain technology in three years.

amazon

Keeping The Status Quo

Of course, the possibility exists that decentralized blockchain technology will essentially just get co-opted by centralized companies, and the promise of freedom will be forgotten. Noted Bext360 CEO Daniel Jones:

People are predicting that the blockchain will allow people to be decentralized, that everyone will have distributed trusted networks. I don’t think that’s possible—I think what we’re going to see is companies vertically integrating, the Amazons of the world are going to continue to vertically integrate to the farm level.

Hence, Bitcoin.

What do you think about the future of blockchain technology in the business world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Share
Dub 02

Augur Prediction Market Platform May Have Design Flaws

An analysis of irregularities discovered in the Augur decentralized prediction market platform has identified a number of design flaws. Namely, it identified a potential attack vector based on discrepancies between a market’s expiry date and its outcome date.


How A Prediction Market Works

A prediction market would seem an ideal use-case for blockchain, harnessing the trustless nature and lack of centralized control. Augur uses the Ethereum blockchain, and allows an individual to create a prediction market based on any definable event.

The market creator defines the topic, end date, and potential outcomes, plus an adjudicator if so desired. Trading (denominated in ETH) continues until the event-end, at which point Augur token holders (or designated reporter) determines the outcome. Token holders stake their Reputation (REP) on the outcome and receive settlement fees.

Houston, We Have A Problem (or Two)

Aside from potentially-illegal markets, covering topics such as assassinations and terror attacks, there are some key fundamental issues.

Owing to its steep learning curve, many Augur users rely on various web interfaces, which offer non-standard features and are open to manipulation. In particular, many users gravitate towards markets which appear trustworthy to others. This creates a feeding-frenzy around the few markets with reported volume, which the market creator may well have manipulated.

Disputed outcomes go to a voting procedure, with users staking REP, and receiving rewards if they choose the winning outcome. This incentivises users to vote for the most popular outcome, regardless of whether it is the true outcome. On top of this, the validity bond, which is lost if a market is deemed invalid, remains fixed, so bad actors can continual create bogus markets.

Potential Attack Vector

A recent example of how this system can be manipulated, was based on the ‘general price of Ethereum’ at the end of the day on March 31st (UTC). The market expired at 01:59 on April 1st (UTC+8), which is before the outcome date, which could cause this contract to be deemed invalid.

By creating multiple outcomes, one of which was unrealistic (ETH over $1000), and one seemingly easy to achieve (ETH between $100 and $1000), it just required a bit of wash-trading to lure punters in.

The attacker would then send a limit sell order for the ‘easy’ outcome, for a quote which is above the reward for an invalid result, but below that of a supposed ‘good deal’. Thus users will fill the order, unknowingly being potentially stuck in an invalid market.

An invalid market results in an equal amount of ETH going to shares of each outcome. In a three outcome market (the final outcome being ETH < $100), each outcome would be marked at 1/3 value. With the majority of participants backing the ‘easy’ outcome, a disproportion return would go to the ‘unrealistic’ backers.

Fixing A Hole Where The Rain Comes In

Whilst Augur has already identified several of the concerns, there has been no official announcement of improvement implementation. Meanwhile, users are still exposed to this kind of attack.

Indeed, the same creator has already made a new market with the same flaw called ‘Ethereum Price at End of April’. There are also copycat markets springing up to catch users unawares.

Until these flaws are fixed, users should probable consider Augur, ‘buyer beware’.

Will blockchain-based predictions markets realize their potential? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

The Rundown

Share
Bře 28

These Investors Are Betting Big on the Future of Blockchain Gaming

Supply chain, trade finance and digital identity have all been touted as potential “killer apps” for blockchain. Blockchain solutions in each of these areas continue to attract significant investment. However, there is one use case for blockchain which has the potential to trump all others – gaming.


Gaming is already a double-digit growth sector, with a global market value of nearly $135 billion in 2018. Fortnite is currently one of the most popular games worldwide, with 200 million players. Gaming channels feature heavily among the top influencers on YouTube, with heavyweight gaming vlogger PewDiePie clocking up over 90 million subscribers.

Blockchain technology is making strides, but it still needs a killer app to appeal to a mass user base. However, blockchain has much to offer the gaming industry.

Is Gaming Blockchain’s Killer App?

As gaming becomes more high-stakes, with users investing serious cash into their online profiles, account theft is becoming more prevalent. Hackers have been reportedly stealing accounts from games such as League of Legends, with the goal of selling the accounts online to others who prize the accrued in-game assets. Blockchain offers the potential for immutable ownership of unique digital assets, making it an attractive proposition for game developers.

Although blockchain games are among the most popular decentralized applications, scalability has been a barrier for developers. Games typically require a high transaction throughput, and Ethereum has struggled to live up to the job ever since the mania around CryptoKitties strangled the network back at the end of 2017. Newer blockchains such as EOS and Tron are addressing the scalability challenge, opening up the possibilities for dApp game developers.

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising, that the convergence of blockchain and gaming is now attracting significant investment. Here, we look at three separate instances where investors are betting big on blockchain gaming.

Ripple/Forte

Ripple has made its name predominantly in the financial sector; however the company also has an investment arm, called Xpring. Xpring is partnering with Forte, a blockchain gaming company founded in February by executives from the gaming industry and backed by big names such as Andreesson Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures. The partnership between Xpring and Forte launches a joint plan to help integrate blockchain into the gaming industry.

As part of the plan, Forte will oversee a $100 million fund, held in XRP and released to game developers or designers for incorporating Ripple blockchain services into existing games which have over 50k daily users.

The move represents an opportunity for Ripple to expand its offerings beyond messaging software for the finance sector. Forte will be using Ripple technology, including the Interledger protocol which enables transactions across different blockchains. A smart contract service called Codius will also be available.

Mangrove Capital/DreamTeam

Mangrove Capital is a Luxembourg-based venture fund with team members who have previously been involved in successful tech startups such as Skype and Wix. Late last year, the company announced it was putting a $5 million investment into DreamTeam, a blockchain-based all-in-one eSports platform.

For the uninitiated, eSports is the billion-dollar industry of professional gaming. Competitors from different teams or leagues compete professionally in games such as Counter-Strike. Gameplay is streamed in real-time to fans all over the world. For this reason, the eSports industry is growing fast, as ever more brands and sponsors look to capitalize on the marketing potential.

The founders of DreamTeam recognized that there’s a gap in the eSports market for a platform that connects a fragmented industry and helps to reduce incidences of fraud and non-payments. DreamTeam will serve as a gateway for connecting the various players, leagues, agents, sponsors and tournament operators. Their DREAM token will also be used to receive the advertised prize money when winning these tournaments.

The eSports market is set for rapid further growth, with revenues forecast to reach $1.65 billion by 2021. Therefore, it’s easy to see why Mangrove has chosen to invest in a company like DreamTeam, which is aiming to corner this burgeoning section of the gaming market.

Tron

Last year, Tron announced that it was establishing a blockchain game fund called Tron Arcade. The fund aims to build the foundation for a blockchain gaming ecosystem on the Tron platform, with Tron providing up to $100 million in funding over the next three years.

The Tron Arcade website points to the potential of tapping into engaged users and the limited selection of dApp games currently available. The fund is aimed at providing developers with distribution, funding, advice, and potential access to partnerships through the Tron network.

Tron is making rapid headway among dApp platforms, with fast transaction speeds of up to 2,000 tps. Founder Justin Sun is ambitious about his vision, which is for Tron to “decentralize the web.” This vision was a driving force behind Tron’s acquisition of peer-to-peer filesharing service BitTorrent for $150 million. According to its blog, the Tron Foundation is also venturing into other blockchain use cases including charity, consumer internet, and social media.

Bottom Line

The double-digit growth of the gaming sector shows no signs of slowing. However, the convergence of blockchain and gaming could be a massive turning point, enabling even more significant growth in the future. The influx of investment capital from the big blockchain platforms and venture funds certainly seems to indicate that we can expect far more to come from this combination.

Share
Bře 25

Paris Blockchain Week Summit Shows French Regulatory Climate Beginning to Thaw

The Rundown

France isn’t at the forefront of blockchain adoption–at least, not yet. However, all that could be about to change. Paris Blockchain Week Summit from April 16-17, will be one of Europe’s largest events dedicated to blockchain professionals. It’s also the first of its kind to be held here, backed by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.


Paris Blockchain Week Takes Place April 13-19

April 2019 won’t only be a good time to visit Paris in full bloom as the thousands of trees that line its famous boulevards burst into shades of pink and white. This year, PBW organizers are dedicating an entire week to furthering the blockchain scene in France.

Just a few weeks after the updated PACTE law to aid innovation in the country, the event will showcase the French regulatory framework, one that takes a lighter, more flexible approach to emerging tech.

Paris is one of the world’s most expensive cities currently. But it’s also now vying for its place as a blockchain hub. One of the goals of the PBW is to encourage international blockchain projects to put down roots here.

Throughout the week there will be a series of events. These include workshops, hackathons, keynotes, and of course, fancy cocktail parties to showcase the country’s fine champagne as well as burgeoning tech scene.

Some of the highlights of the week include a €10k prize for the first team to create an entire blockchain and UI on the Cosmos mainnet. There will also be a gathering of the world’s top French-speaking CEOs, entrepreneurs, and investors organized by FrenchFounders.

The flagship event of the week, however, is the Paris Blockchain Week Summit, which organizers expect to attract some 1,500 attendees.

What to Expect from the Paris Blockchain Week Summit

The Paris Blockchain Week Summit (PBWS) is a two-day long conference taking place at Station F. The event will gather some of the most influential thought-leaders, decision-makers, and movers and shakers in the blockchain space.

Among the speakers are Tezos co-Founder Arthur Breitman, MyEtherWallet’s CEO Kosala Hemachandra, and Ripple’s Global Head of Banking Marjan Delatinne. Ledger’s President Pascal Gauthier will, of course, be delivering a keynote as well, as will eToro’s CEO Yoni Assia.

President at France Blocktech Describes His Way to Success

Speakers on the main stage will discuss EU regulation, decentralized exchanges, stable coins, scalability issues, advances in consensus mechanisms, governance, PoW vs PoS, sharding, the integration of AI in distributed algorithms, and many other topics besides.

With Switzerland, Malta, and even Lichtenstein gathering all the attention, this is Paris’ chance to show the world that the country is open for blockchain business–and that France is a contender in the race.  

France is one of the few G20 countries to have drafted a framework for blockchain entrepreneurs over the last year. Its regulators are open-minded and advised by the likes of industry heavyweights Ledger and La French Tech. France is definitely beginning to show that the climate is thawing for blockchain businesses here.

Cryptocurrency Adoption in France

Some of the largest companies in the industry have come out of France. However, while Bitcoinist reported on the efforts of French protestors and street artist Pascal Boyart to spread the word on Bitcoin, France hasn’t been a major contender so far.

With the Paris Blockchain Week Summit backed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as well as the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, it looks like while other G20 countries are falling behind, France is getting serious.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Bře 12

Paul Brody: Bitcoin Has No Practical Use

Paul R. Brody, the Global Blockchain Innovation Chief at Ernst and Young (EY), says he sees no practical application for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This statement comes amid a growing rate of adoption of virtual currencies in both developed and developing nations. 


Tokenized Fiat (Not Bitcoin) is The Future of Money

Speaking to Forbes India, Brody opined that he hardly sees any practical application for Bitcoin (BTC) or any of the other over 2,000 cryptocurrencies currently in existence. According to the EY executive, crypto-fiat and not Bitcoin is the future of money.

Commenting on the matter, Brody declared:

Most people and companies earn their revenue and spend their money in local currency; we believe the future of business transactions on the blockchain are tokenized fiat currencies-basically blockchain-linked dollars, euros, yen, rupees and so on. Transacting on a day-to-day business in a foreign currency just adds foreign exchange risk to all your transactions.

For Brody, Bitcoin’s deflationary currency model makes it a poor form of money for widespread global adoption. Instead, Brody maintains that the modern-day fiat model is still the best bet, claiming that hyperinflation is at best a minute probability.

Bitcoin Accepted Here

Global BTC acceptance is up by more than 700 percent in the last six years. More than 140,000 retail avenues across the world now accept Bitcoin as a means of payment.

The top-ranked cryptocurrency continues to see increased usage — from remittance payments in Africa and Southeast Asia to public transportation in Argentina.

As a store of value and an investment asset, BTC continues to outshine mainstream markets despite going through multiple high percentage price plummets. Bitcoin (BTC) has outperformed the S&P, DOW, and NASDAQ over the last ten years.

Saying cryptos, in general, have no practical use would be akin to calling the attention generated by the industry as little more than a fad. Such a characterization seems at odds with the increasing level of institutional adoption of cryptocurrency-based investments. Public pension funds, stock market operators, and other multi-billion-dollar corporations are investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. That hardly seems like an asset class with “no practical use.”

Blockchain is Boring

While declaring Bitcoin’s supposed lack of real-world utility, Brody believes that Blockchain, despite being the “most boring revolution in technology,” has the potential to affect many aspects of the global business process. However, the EY exec says that blockchain isn’t a one-stop shop solution for every type of business. Elaborating further, Brody declared:

One must carefully choose the kinds of business applications to run on the blockchain. Even though blockchains are getting faster, they are never going to be cheaper or faster than existing banking payment systems or stock exchange platforms.

Speaking during the interview, Brody predicted that blockchain would eventually become like the Internet but with a visible lack of centralization. In the end, Brody believes that the different approaches in the industry will condense into a uniform set of principles that would drive the technology moving forward.

What are the other practical Bitcoin cases that you know? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 


Image courtesy of Bitcoinist archives.

Share
Bře 01

KPMG Survey: Half of Tech Execs Say Blockchain Will Change Their Industry

Big Four auditor, KPMG, has released the results of its seventh annual Technology Industry Innovation Survey. The survey, of 740+ global tech leaders across twelve countries, shows an increasing belief that blockchain will change the industry.


Don’t Mind The Disruption

Nearly half of the respondents (76 percent of whom are C-level executives) thought that blockchain was ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to change their business within three years.

24 percent of respondents were neutral, and 27 percent felt this was “not likely” or “not at all likely.”

For comparison, in last year’s survey, a similar 28 percent of participants said blockchain was unlikely to disrupt their business within three years, or were unsure. However, last year 42 percent of respondents were neutral on the matter, with only 30 percent thinking this was “very likely.”

So while it seems that hardcore blockchain naysayers are still saying “nay,” a large chunk of the neutrals have swung. The belief in blockchain’s potential to disrupt the tech industry is clearly growing.

Disruption? What Disruption?

On the question of which areas of business the blockchain was most likely to disrupt, the spread was very similar to last year.

27 percent of respondents foresaw most disruption in internet of things (IoT) processes, such as software upgrades, product refills, and warranties. 22 percent thought the most disruption would be to trading (through platforms for small businesses).

There was a slight swing away from “reduction of risk” (20 percent) towards disruption of contracts (18 percent). The latter gained 4 percent of the total respondents from the former, compared to last year.

According to Damien Ducourty, Co-founder of B9lab:

There are possible use cases in everything from supply-chain (where IoT features heavily) to entertainment.  The supply chain use case is one of the most obvious ones because of blockchains’ supposed immutability, and the ability to verify transactions in a trustless environment.

Challenges And Benefits

Key challenges highlighted in adopting blockchain technology included unproven business cases, complexity of the technology, and lack of capital for investment.

However, the perceived benefits of implementing blockchain centred around improved business efficiency and cost reduction.

There was an additional belief that blockchain implementation would differentiate their company’s product and/or service. And almost 10 percent of respondents cited business insight gained from incremental data as their top benefit.

Jehan Chu, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Kenetic and Co-founder of Social Alpha Foundation, summed up:

In the 9 years since bitcoin was invented, blockchain experiments launched a thousand ships. In 2019, we are seeing the first of those ships land, and we expect waves of successful proofs of concept to demonstrate true value and utility from payments to data security to supply chain which will turn the tide towards mainstream adoption.

Do you agree with the KPMG survey that blockchain will disrupt business models? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, KPMG

Share
Led 16

You Can Now Buy Tokenized Apple Shares With Bitcoin and Ethereum

A Belarus-based startup has launched a tokenized securities trading platform enabling investors to buy into traditional markets with bitcoin and ethereum.


Tokenized Securities

Blockchain tech company Currency.com has announced the launch of its trading platform for tokenized securities. The Belarus-based platform is intended to enable investors to trade and invest in common financial instruments such as equities, commodities, and indices directly, without having to convert their cryptocurrencies in fiat.

According to the official release, it will eventually issue over 10,000 tokenized securities but will start with over 150, including everything from popular stocks to silver, oil and natural gas.

Users will be able to purchase tokens, which mirror the performance of certain conventional assets such as Apple shares listed on NASDAQ. It will cost the same price as an actual Apple share and can be bought with BTC or ETH.

Currency.com is the very first blockchain-based business licensed by Belarus’ High Technology Park (HTP) under the country’s Decree No. 8 “On The Development of a Digital Economy.”

Apart from being compliant with local legislation, the platform imposes strict KYC and AML requirements aided by blockchain intelligence services such as Elliptic, Chainanalysis, and Coinfirm. In other words, blockchain tracking software will be used to monitor transactions.

Additionally, Currency.com is going to use its FCA and CySEC regulated sister platform to offer access to the tokenized versions of a contract for the exchange of a specific index, commodity or equity.

Tokenized Assets: A Trend in The Making?

Earlier this month, Bitcoinist reported that an Estonian-based platform called DX Exchange would offer users to trade big-name stocks using tokens on the Ethereum blockchain through smart contracts.

Meanwhile, back in 2018, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) – the country’s de-facto central bank, teamed up with major firms like Deloitte, Anquan, and NASDAQ, to develop solutions for simultaneous exchange and settlement of tokenized digital currencies and security assets.

It appears that the tokenization of traditional assets like stocks is becoming a growing trend as the number of platforms enabling this is increasing with each day.

What do you think of token-based traditional assets? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Led 15

XRP Overtakes Ethereum Despite Looming ‘Constantinople’ Upgrade

XRP has reclaimed the position of the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap from ETH just days before Ethereum’s ‘Constantinople’ hard-fork upgrade. 


Pre-Fork Drop

On January 16th, Ethereum is scheduled to undergo a network-wide system update called ‘Constantinople’. Among other things, the implementation of the upgrade will reduce the block reward from 3 ETH/block to 2 ETH/block.

Days before the event, however, Ethereum’s (ETH) 00 price experienced a notable decline.

In a matter of minutes, ETH price dropped by about 8 percent.

The movement caused ETH to fall behind Ripple (XRP), which reclaimed its spot as the second largest cryptocurrency by means of market capitalization, less than two weeks after Ethereum regained the number two spot from XRP.

In fact, the two have been neck and neck over the past few months in cryptocurrency market cap rankings.

XRP 00 also experienced a decrease around the same time, but the cryptocurrency experienced a relatively smaller loss of 2.5 percent against the USD.

Ethereum’s ‘Constantinople’

Constantinople is a system upgrade scheduled for implementation at block 7,080,000. Given the current average block time, the event should take place on January 16th, 2019.

One of the most discussed changes that the upgrade will cause is the reduction of block reward from the current 3 ETH/block to 2 ETH/block. This is also referred to as the “thirdening.” It’s the second time Ethereum’s block rewards have been reduced.

The first one was called “Byzantium” and it took place on October 16th, 2017. Back then, ETH surged by about 6 percent during the day, followed by the cryptocurrency’s late 2017 rally to an all-time high of about $1,400.

In total, the upgrade will integrate 5 Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which are geared toward tackling cost, speed, functionality, and mining issues.

Support For ‘Constantinople’

Several cryptocurrency exchanges have announced their support for the upcoming network upgrade.

Binance, HitBTC, Huobi, Bittrex, OKEx, CEX.IO, Cryptopia, and Poloniex, have all announced that they will support the Constantinople hard-fork.

Most of them advise users to give sufficient time for their deposits to be processed prior to the upgrade.

At the time of writing this, Gemini, Coinbase, and Bitfinex, haven’t yet declared their support for the upgrade.

What do you think about Constantinople and its impact on Ethereum? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock; TradingView

Share
Led 13

Our Man At CES 2019 – Part One: Finding Crypto

Where better to check out all the latest crypto-tech than the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Actually, as it turned out, finding crypto at CES wasn’t as easy as first expected.


Technology Unveiled at CES 2019

The Sunday before the show hosts a media event called CES Unveiled, featuring the Best of Innovation awards.

After three hours feigning interested in a whole range of tech startups latest offerings, I was beginning to lose hope. The closest I’d come to anything blockchain related was a point-of-sale device, which the exhibitor said: “could develop to include cryptocurrency payments in the future.”

CES

Just as the event was finishing I stumbled across the Archos booth, where they were showing a new hardware wallet, the Safe-T touch. I arranged to meet them again during the show proper, with the possibility that they might be able to source a review model.

On exiting the hall I was sequestered by a youth holding a sign saying CoinAgenda. Apparently there was a crypto-afterparty a short bus ride away. A quick straw poll of the guests suggested that nobody really knew what the party had to do with crypto. But there was an open bar, so nobody seemed overly concerned.

Conference Tracks

Monday was spent exploring Vegas, but I did chance upon this Bitcoin ATM in a Love Boutique.

Then Tuesday saw a full day of hosted panel-type discussions in the ‘Digital Money’ conference track. Access to these conference tracks required the purchase of an additional pass over and above the registration for the main event. Whilst I hadn’t found much to report from the Unveiled show, there was a rich vein of cryptocurrency and blockchain, playing a prominent part in events.

A diverse range of speakers and panel guests included Brock Pierce, Tim Draper, Michael Terpin of Transform group, and the Prince of the Netherlands. Sessions covered topics such as security, blockchain in the entertainment industry, regulation, and decentralization.

Last on the schedule was ‘The Second Annual Token Slugfest’, in which six companies gave four-minute pitches for their ICOs. This concluded with a clap-o-meter type judging of the pitches, and the crowning of an eventual winner.

Having spent the day bathed in the warm fuzzy glow of all things crypto, my spirits were rejuvenated. I planned to hit the show floor the next day to continue my search. Actually the (many) show floors. I hadn’t realized quite how big this CES thing was.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist

Share