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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.

Bitcoin Now Available Through Coinstar Kiosks Nationwide

Distributed Summary:

  • Coinstar and Coinme team up to offer bitcoin-for-cash transactions at grocery stores around the country
  • Twitter users have shared photos of the on-screen process

Here Come the Three Bears

Joseph Lubin Joins ErisX

Distributed Summary:

  • The founder of ConsenSys joins the board of ErisX, a spot and futures crypto asset platform
  • Could precede additional assets becoming available on the platform
  • Signals potential optimism for 2019 crypto asset market

Legislation From Wyoming Could Enable Blockchain-Based Stock Certificates

Distributed Summary:

  • Bipartisan bill would allow corporations to use blockchain tokens as their only form of stock certification
  • Comes on the heels of other pro-blockchain legislation passed in the state
  • Successful implementation under these blockchain-friendly laws may change legislation elsewhere