Latest Articles

The Ethereal Summit Brings Blockchain to a Broader Audience

San Francisco Ethereal Summit 2017: Robot panelists, blockchain bohemians and the promise of a “decentralized” world.

As the Terra Gallery’s employees waived Ethereal Summit participants into their trendy, downtown San Francisco art gallery, the atmosphere was electric. They weren’t just ushering in some of the greatest minds in technology. They were ushering in the future of the internet, blockchain technology and “trustless” society.

The Ethereal Summit facilitated cohesion between experts in technology and modern-day innovators. Sponsored by ConsenSys, a venture studio focused on decentralized applications and developer tools for blockchain ecosystems, the summit had all the necessary tools and then some to promote a transformative dialogue. Throughout the day, panels, Q&As, workshops and art installations bridged the gap between blockchain experts and lead innovators.

Bridging Artificial General Intelligence and Blockchains

Ben Goertzel, CEO of SingularityNET, showcased the sassy Sophia Hanson, the “chief humanoid” at his company. His presentation demonstrated the power of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and the potential of incorporating AGI and blockchain technology.

SingularityNET’s mission is to coordinate AGIs through a decentralized, open-source network. AGIs will become more complex as more is shared on SingularityNET’s software framework, which will be released in 2018.

Sophia’s AGI can be thought of like a human brain. Code shared on the blockchain functions like the link between synapses. As more code is added to SingularityNET’s network, the AGI becomes a more connected “brain” that is smarter and faster. But don’t worry — humans won’t be replaced just yet. As Sophia said, “If robots like me are going to become superhuman super-intelligences, we are going to need to get a whole lot smarter.”

SingularityNET will be making its much anticipated token announcement in the near future.

How to Launch a Token

To demonstrate the process of going from zero to token launch, panelists Galia Benartzi, co-founder of Bancor Protocol; Matt Liston, CSO at Gnosis; and Piotr Janiuk, co-founder and CTO of the Golem Project, guided Ethereal participants through a hypothetical: founding a company and funding the development through a token.

  • Step 1: Determine if the token model fits for the new company; tokens are important when decentralization exists and when incentivizing collaboration within a community.
  • Step 2: Find a strong legal team and a favorable regulatory environment; Regulation in the cryptocurrency space is in its infancy and varies greatly from the United States to Gibraltar.
  • Step 3: Prototype phase — establish a white paper, set up the concept on the testnet and prove the concept.
  • Step 4: Connect with the community and generate interest for the token before finally launching a token generation event to the public.

Investing in Blockchain Technology

Assessing the value of blockchain technologies is difficult. Olaf Carlson-Wee, the founder and CEO at Polychain Capital; Gil Penchina, a super angel and investor in digital currencies; Mark David Bakacs, the founder of Venture One; and Kavita Gupta, managing Partner at ConsenSys Ventures, shared their insight.

They recommended reading white papers and looking for a reason to say no to an investment opportunity, focusing on the value of the product, assessing utility and scalability and understanding the blockchain-backed assets and the core of the protocol.

Overall, the Ethereal Summit showcased the use (and misuse) of blockchain technology and the fascinating disruption promised by the “Web 3.0.” Expanding the blockchain industry is complex, technically-demanding and legally-daunting. Yet, the promise of disruption is unparalleled. Success — and the longevity of the industry — requires collaborative effort.

Browser Extension Lets Users Shop on Amazon With Lightning Network

Source: CoinDesk

The crypto payment processor Moon has announced that users can now leverage a Lightning Network wallet to pay for Amazon purchases through its browser extension. The extension also enables e-commerce payments with litecoin, ether and bitcoin cash through Coinbase accounts.

FinCEN Takes First-Ever Enforcement Action Against Cryptocurrency Trader

Source: FinCEN

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has assessed a civil money penalty against a peer-to-peer bitcoin trader for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, its first enforcement action against a cryptocurrency exchanger. According to the agency, the exchanger failed to register as a money services business and failed to report "suspicious transactions," among other violations. The exchanger has been assessed a $35,000 fine and is now prohibited from providing money transmission services.

2019 Investments in Crypto and Blockchain Startups at $850 Million

Source: Reuters

According to data compiled by Pitchbook for Reuters, venture capital investment in crypto and blockchain startups has reached $850 million so far this year.

EEA Launches 'Token Taxonomy Initiative'

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has announced a "Token Taxonomy Initiative" to develop universal definitions for tokens to encourage their interchangeability across blockchain platforms. Members of the initiative include Microsoft, R3, ConsenSys, IBM, EY, Accenture and Intel.