Bře 08

Amazon Shares Drop 2.6 Percent As Centralization Alienates Suppliers

Amazon suppliers received a lesson in centralization on March 7 after the e-commerce giant abruptly began canceling huge numbers of orders in a profits push. 

Amazon: We ‘Saw Opportunity’

As Bloomberg reported, quoting a statement from Amazon, the company wants to increase returns at the heart of its e-commerce operations. This has involved fundamentally altering the supply line, forcing even long-time sellers to sell products directly on its marketplace instead of using Amazon as a middleman.

This, reports say, results in reduced costs, as suppliers themselves foot the bill for issues such as storage and shipping. Amazon also takes a commission from each transaction.

“We regularly review our selling partner relationships and may make changes when we see an opportunity to provide customers with improved selection, value and convenience,” the statement reads.

The knock-on effect for suppliers, perhaps predictably, has already touched a nerve. As Bloomberg notes, given purchase orders agreed months in advance, seismic changes from Amazon can easily trigger chaos.

“If you’re heavily reliant on Amazon, which a lot of these vendors are, you’re in a lot of trouble. If this goes on, it can put people out of business,” the publication quoted Dan Brownsher, CEO of a consultancy counting around 50 Amazon vendors among its clients, as saying.

At press time, Amazon’s share price was down by close to three percent on the day.


Can Decentralization Tackle Monopolies?

As Amazon has grown to achieve a practically worldwide monopoly, the perils of relying on a giant centralized partner will ring true for those businesses which have adopted an alternative ethos.

Nonetheless, decentralized marketplaces have yet to achieve widespread popularity. Efforts to take on the e-commerce giants have so far seen little progress, with highly-anticipated offerings such as OpenBazaar failing to dent consumer habits.

“You should be able to buy and sell using cryptocurrency… if you get crypto, you should be able to spend it… you and buy whatever you need for your daily activity,” the platform’s founder, Washington Sanchez, told cryptocurrency advocate Tatiana Moroz’s podcast the Tatiana Show in January.

Sanchez is overseeing a diversification of OpenBazaar’s core offering, branching out into related software as part of parent company OB1.io.

What do you think about Amazon’s change of strategy? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Lis 04

Bitly Blocks 200 Links From Andreas Antonopoulos’ ‘Mastering Ethereum’

Bitly (bit.ly) has come under fire from cryptocurrency circles after the business appeared to block all the links from Andreas Antonopoulos’ new book.

Bitly Silent On Surprise Block

Antonopoulos, who is weeks away from publishing his latest guide, ‘Mastering Ethereum,’ publicly took issue with the URL shortening service and link management platform on social media after a tip-off about it preventing around 200 of the book’s links from opening.

“I’m about to publish my 4th book and it has about 200 http://bit.ly links in it,” he wrote on Twitter November 3.

“If you are going to block links, I will need to remove all 200 and replace them with a competitor[.]”

Bitly has existed since 2008 and currently sees monthly traffic of around 600 million link shortenings.

As of press time, officials had not responded to Antonopoulos’ tweet, and the cause and future status of the block remains unknown.

‘Not Your Shortener, Not Your Link’?

In the absence of an explanation from Bitly, Twitter users were swift to call for a “decentralized” alternative to private link shorteners, identifying them as a bottleneck.

“Don’t rely on bitly or ANY shortener service. They are all a single point of failure,” one response read.

Not your keys, not your bitcoin? Not your shortner (sic), not your link.

The tone echoes recent calls among some cryptocurrency figures to abandon the traditional stalwarts of the online ecosystem, Bitcoinist previously reporting on an increasing distaste for Twitter itself in favor of decentralized open source alternative Mastodon.

Antonopoulos Bitcoinist

The Bitly episode is the latest headache for Antonopoulos on the road to publishing Mastering Ethereum, the celebrated educator previously defending his choice of subject material in the face of fans who appeared confused about a refocusing away from Bitcoin 00 to altcoins.

Mastering Ethereum is due for publication within the next four weeks, Antonopoulos further confirmed.

What do you think about Bitly blocking links from ‘Mastering Ethereum’? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Kvě 31

Bobby Lee: 95% of ICOs Are Database Projects

· May 30, 2018 · 9:30 pm

China-based cryptocurrency exchange BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee continued the persisting narrative on centralized blockchains May 30, likening them to “databases.”

‘Complete Intellectual Dishonesty’

In a series of tweets, Lee echoed recent comments by cryptocurrency speaker and educator Andreas Antonopoulos on the lack of appeal of blockchains which are not decentralized.

“People don’t realize that Blockchain should be distinct & different from Databases, invented decades ago!” he wrote.

Bitcoin’s real Blockchain was only invented in 2009. Everyone using a digital ledger is calling it Blockchain, (without) regards to functionality. Complete intellectual dishonesty!

Criticism of blockchain has become a current topic of debate since last month. Speaking at a Polish conference, Antonopoulos had said that the technology without decentralized principles was a “very bad database.”

“Bitcoin is the future and Blockchain is bullshit,” he summarized.

95% Of ICOs Are ‘Database Projects’

A month later, Bitcoin developers Jimmy Song and Johnathan Corgan both took issue with the inability of cryptocurrency users to differentiate between blockchain “buzzwords” and genuine innovation, Song bringing the topic to the stage at Consensus 2018 in New York.

“…Because so many people are new, or because they’re not confident in their assessment of what was just shown, they think they’re missing something. And so they politely clap and ignore the nagging doubts in their mind,” he commented on the problem.

Bobby Lee

Lee meanwhile more closely paraphrased Antonopoulos, adding that “95%” of ICOs “claim to be (Blockchain) projects, when in fact, they’re just (database) projects.”

“All data going into the Blockchain needs to be independently & publicly verifiable, and thus insertable by anyone,” calling such database projects “lame.”

This week, even the Chinese government weighed in on the providence of blockchain “projects,” claiming 92% had already vanished and that their average lifespan amounted to just over one year.

The findings, however, appeared not to include China’s own blockchain offerings.

What do you think about Bobby Lee’s perspective? Let us know in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Čvc 01

Smart Guns on the Blockchain, Introducing Blocksafe

Source: bitcoin

Smart Guns Blocksafe

ATLANTA, July 1, 2016 — Blockchain-based startup, Smart Defense Technologies, has announced the introduction of Blocksafe, the first ever “smart gun” system that utilizes blockchain technology.

Also read: FBI Overstepped Boundaries Again in Silk Road Investigation

The Blocksafe infrastructure works for smart devices and locks that mount on guns, allowing gun owners to effectively monitor and control the use of their weapons.

Blocksafe Chairman and CEO Kevin Barnes is a military veteran and blockchain developer who saw a problem with the adoption of nascent “smart gun” technologies, which the government could eventually monitor and control.

Enter Blocksafe, the world’s first blockchain-based system to manage smart gun functionality on the blockchain, adding unsurpassed security and privacy to every type of smart gun hardware. Blocksafe has already garnered strong interest from blockchain and gun industry leaders, and is currently embarking on a crowdsale at www.smartdefense.tech to raise a goal of $55,000 USD to build the first phase of this valuable technology.

“Having a network to support the next generation of smart defense hardware technologies is essential,” said Barnes. “We foresee numerous use cases for this blockchain-powered smart gun system, and are eager to bring it to market.”

When the technology goes live, police chiefs could use the Blocksafe network to manage, locate, control, and view activities of their employees’ firearms in real time, 24 hours a day. Firing range instructors could use Blocksafe to train in safer environments, analyzing shooting patterns and tracking inventory. Any gun owner could use Blocksafe to locate stolen guns, access a real-time count of how many rounds are left in a magazine, and protect themselves from being overpowered.

What is a Smart Gun?

Kevin Barnes of Blocksafe

Smart gun technology is probably an unfamiliar concept to many, even to gun enthusiasts, considering it is a fairly new and untested technology.

Basically, a smart gun is considered a personalized gun that includes security features that makes it so the gun fires only when triggered by an authorized user — keeping  unauthorized users from using any gun with these features.

CEO, Kevin Barnes, gives a more expansive definition, but describes smart gun technology in a similar way, saying:

“Smart gun technology is any component that has a processor and circuitry to enhance the capabilities and management of the device such as a lock, a magazine or scope.”

The whole idea behind Blocksafe and using blockchains alongside smart gun features is to decentralize digital information storage associated with the features. Blocksafe is a dispersed database, as with any other blockchain, however unlike other blockchains it is not intended to store and transmit personal information. Instead, Blocksafe is meant to securely store and transmit any device-related information produced by any smart gun related tech.

“It is not needed to store personal information,” Barnes explains. “[The] Blocksafe network only stores device relevant information encrypted on the ledger. The network enables the transmission of data to be synced to the network and the owner’s Blocksafe app on their smartphone for remote management.”

Is Blocksafe More Than Just a Gimmick?

So, what kind of use value does a smart gun system utilizing blockchains bring to people? Well, according to their website, smartdefense.tech, the Blocksafe network could offer features such as logging discharges on the Blocksafe ledger, and being able to track the location of your weapon in real-time.

However, there are still some questions still left unanswered. Is there a reason why consumers would want these kind features? Is there a market for any of these things?

After all, Blocksafe essentially amounts to building experimental technology on top of more even more experimental technology. Should people even be confident in the idea at all?

Barnes believes that there is good reason to be bullish about about both Blocksafe and smart gun technology. He believes many lives will be saved by blockchain-enhanced smart gun technology. One way he thinks it could save lives is by limiting a potential killer’s ability to kill people with a stolen gun by allowing the gun owner to track them in real-time. The technology could also stop a gun owner’s gun from being used against him with the tech’s user authentication feature.

Additionally, the technology allows smart devices to send SMS notifications to the gun owner, such as a magazine that needs to be reloaded or an unauthorized discharge.

Furthermore, smart gun technology has also been gaining attention in the political realm as a way to keep track and regulate gun ownership. In any event, the decentralization and encryption of information could wind up being useful by keeping information about a privately-owned gun out of the hands of a centralized database.

 What do you think of Blocksafe? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Press Release

Images courtesy of Geekwire.com, gadgets.ndtv.com.

The post Smart Guns on the Blockchain, Introducing Blocksafe appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Smart Guns on the Blockchain, Introducing Blocksafe

Kvě 11

Swarm Decentralizes Storage and Bandwidth Through Ethereum

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_File Storage

A new distributed storage platform has been announced, called Swarm. What is even more interesting is how this project is a native base layer of the Ethereum web three stack. Additionally, Swarm could also be used as a content distribution service, which opens up exciting opportunities.

Also read: Bitcoin.com Launches Bitcoin Casino with Over 1000 Games and Free Bitcoin Bonus

Ethereum-Based Swarm Has Been Released

Similar to every project in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, Swarm has one clear objective: creating a decentralised and redundant store of Ethereum’s public record. Or to be more precise, the company wants to focus on storing and distributing Dapp code and data, as well as blockchain data necessary for a wide variety of Ethereum community members.

In the true nature of decentralised and distributed solutions, Swarm allows participants to pool their storage and bandwidth capacities to provide this service. This draws some parallels to what Storj is trying to achieve on the Bitcoin blockchain, as bringing new peer-to-peer storage solutions to consumers and enterprises is an important area worth exploring.

What makes Swarm different from the World Wide Web is how there is no specific server in place when uploading data. This allows the project to offer DDoS-resistant and fault-tolerant solutions, which are also self-sustaining due to a built-in incentive system for all platform users. Trading computer resources for payment will offer a way for users to earn money, as well as decentralise file storage on a global scale.

But there is more, as Swarm has been designed in such a way that it integrates with the devp2p multi-protocol network layer of Ethereum. Additionally, this project uses the Ethereum blockchain for domain name resolution, ensuring content is available at any given time, and service payments. As far as content distribution goes, the Swarm platform wants to serve as a platform that promotes collaborative editing, including reputation and an endorsement system.

There is a dedicated development roadmap for Swarm as well, which includes the release of orange paper series at a later date. As one would come to expect, the network itself will need to undergo thorough testing, which will start on a private net before being released to the public. By the look of things, it will take several more months before this project will be available to the masses as there is still a lot of work left to do.

What are your thoughts on this concept? Will it be a successful take on decentralising storage and bandwidth? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Swarm-Gateways

Images courtesy of Ethereum, Shutterstock

The post Swarm Decentralizes Storage and Bandwidth Through Ethereum appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Swarm Decentralizes Storage and Bandwidth Through Ethereum

Dub 20

Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar

Source: bitcoin


Now that the openBazaar project has been launched, various cryptocurrency enthusiasts all over the world have set up their shops. Duo Search is a new search engine to help Bitcoin users find whatever they are looking for among OpenBazaar offerings. This valuable tool will go a very long way in the world of decentralized marketplaces.

Also read: Bitcoin Core 0.12.1 Released, Focus on Block Size Scalability

Duo Search For OpenBazaar

One thing people have to take into account with projects such as OpenBazaar is how it is rather difficult for consumers to find particular items unless they know the exact store details.  Unlike traditional commerce, where people can search for just about anything through a search engine or centralized platform, the world of decentralized marketplaces is something entirely different.

But that search has become a lot easier now that Duo Search has launched, as this platform is a dedicated search engine for OpenBazaar stores. Users can select from different categories on the left-hand side, or just enter a search term and see what comes up.

What makes Duo Search so important is the way users can distinguish between item listings. For example, users might look for physical goods, digital items, or even services. In the case of physical products, the condition will matter, as well as where the item is shipped from. Plus, some sellers offer free shipping, which is another important filter across the OpenBazaar protocol.

Even though there are still the very early days of the OpenBazaar initiative, it is invaluable to have Duo Search available to users already. Rather than wait until this concept comes to full fruition, more people will be enticed to open up their shop knowing that Duo Search will include them in the results.

Last but not least, users can communicate with the Duo Search team directly through a chat option on the website. This will help with providing customer support to novice users, and makes the project more approachable in general. Moreover, this is a valuable service to the OpenBazaar team as well, as it goes to show there are lots of people interested in exploring the boundaries of this project.

Have you bought or sold anything on OpenBazaar yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Duo Search

Images courtesy of OpenBazaar, Shutterstock

The post Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar