#11 Internet age versus the blockchain age: 6 learnings

Would you have invested a billion USD in that website:

Bildschirmfoto 2018-01-12 um 08.07.28

Above you find the the world´s first ever published internet website. It was very basic, with zero design elements. Below some conclusions when comparing the advancement of internet (where I lost a lot of money) with blockchain technology:

  1. Blockchain will create value: Amazon killed lots of book stores and Netflix a the video rental business.  However , giant companies, like General Electric, Siemens, infrastructure, distribution, finance, etc. did not disappear. Internet helped to  create value, additively. I think  that the blockchain companies and ways of doing business will maybe kill PayPal or Western Union  but not replace Google, Facebook, Siemens, and Amazon.
  2. I expect a period with crypto market cap to continue growing exponentially. It will be over when internet companies will start joining the crypto space like Telegram plans with its own tokens and Telegram Open Network (TON).
  3. A few months after the giants join the space I expect the entire crypto market to crash about 80% and for it to recover only later. It took internet bubble 3-´5 years to recover. Assumption based on Nasdaq data taking into consideration accelerated recovery speed today.
  4. There are still tens of thousands of ICOs to come: I find this when comparing number of Internet based companies with the number of crypto tokens/coin/altcoins.
  5. I expect the blockchain cycle to be much faster than the internet cycle took. While history repeats itself it never does so perfectly. In my experience thing  are accelerating over time.
  6. Cryptocurrencies are more than money: Bitcoin for storing value to be compared with Gold, other coins compared like commodities like electricity. It definitely cannot directly compared with FIAT like some Central banks (see my article on World’s Central Banks views)

 

Source:excellent Medium Article of George Popescu,  CERN Birth of Web

#10 We did it: the First Austrian Blockchain Landscape is online!

20180109_Blockchain_Landscape_Austria_v1

Top Artificial Intelligence experts Clemens Wasner and Marcel Wasserer from EnliteAI GmbH and myself put together the whole bunch of Austrian blockchain startups, companies, initiative and organisations. 

Find the full Austrian Blockchain Landscape here

EnliteAI is currently developing an AI-powered market intelligence platform with the vision to automatically map innovation ecosystems, across industry verticals and countries.

On top of Austria being a country of music, she has some promising  excellent startups, excellent blockchain experts and true crypto enthusiasts to offer.

Would you like your company or institution to be included in future updates?
Simply send an email to blockchain@enlite.ai

Key Findings

  • Number of ICOs and total volume in 2017 was comparatively small, in 2018 we expect more activity, especially from established players
  • We see strong interest from utilities and public institutions to adopt blockchain
  • Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy initiated Blockchain Austria initiative and financially supports the institute for Cryptoeconomics at Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • City of Vienna is very active in supporting blockchain solutions, community and research, in particular the Open Government Data Initiative (OGD) on blockchain.
  • So far no clear frontrunner among startups has emerged, as many prominent Blockchainers, such as TenX or Grid Singularity, set-up operations outside Austria
  • Fortunately there are very active people managing several accelerators and incubators across the country
  • We expect 2018 to become a break-out year for the technology, with many more local initiatives and projects being unveiled to the public

Accelerators & Incubators

A healthy blockchain eco-system not only requires developers, finance experts and researchers but also mentoring and finance from seasoned entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are accelerators and incubators across the country, often linked with co-working spaces and local organizations.

Lab10Graz

factory300

WeXelerate

Blockchain Consulting & Development

Companies in this category cover a wide range of services – from developing blockchain-based solutions up to business modelling and ICO support.

IBM

Ernst & Young

zemtum

Cointed

Rotharium

Riddle&Code

Cryptouniverse

Minebox.io

Graphsense

Hackabu

Jolocom

Gelinger Media

Blocklancer

Energy

Austrian utilities were fast to implement Etherium-based smart contracts, often in cooperation with local universities or research facilities. Given the current momentum it’s just a matter of time until we will see the first fully operational energy blockchains.

Wien Energie AG

Salzburg AG

Verbund AG

Exchange, Trading, Investing

This category focuses on exchange of crypto currencies, Crypto teller machines, trading and investing in blockchain projects and ICOs.

Bitpanda

The House of Nakamoto

Coinfinity GmbH

FairCoin

Crypto Management GmbH

BitPocket

Cryptopoint

Conda

Difacturo GmbH

Gaming

Gaming company Herosphere was the first Austrian ICO ever – raising 2 Million EURO with Herocoin. Starting from April 2018 the first implementations of Herocoin should be available to the public.

Herosphere

Herocoin

Due to the high activity in the Blockchain space many law firms have experience in setting up and supporting ICOs.

Stadler VÜlkel Rechtsanwälte

ICO.YOU.Can

Enzinger Steuerberatung

BDO

Birgit Harold

Akarion

KPMG

Mining

Companies in this category offer either mining hardware or mine for cryptocurrencies.

Hydrominer

Coin Factory

Cryptounity

Apollon Core

Organisations & Communities

Austria has a very large Blockchain community with more than 10.000 Blockchainers – with local organizations in each province.

Bitcoin Austria

Blockchainers.at

Smart Blockchain

City of Blockchain

BlockchainHub Wien

IoT Austria – Blockchain

Public

Activities from public players is strong in Austria, both in form of initiatives, as well as in pilot projects like open government data.

Blockchain Austria

Bundesrechenzentrum

Stadt Wien

Handelsverband

WKO

Research

Extra-university research facilities are small in number but contribute substantially to Blockchain related science and applied research.

RIAT

AIT

SBA Research

Universities & Educational Institutions

Austrian universities conduct Blockchain both economic and technical research. At the end of 2017 Vienna’s University of Economics and Business launched the Institute of Cryptoeconomics, which will focus on new business models. In addition a number of private institutions offers education and trainings, covering blockchain basics up to investments, development and business case modelling.

University of Vienna

TU Wien

Danube University Vienna

Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

Vienna University of Economics and Business

University of Innsbruck

St. PĂślten University of Applied Sciences

Anita Posch

FinTech Academy

FINNOQ

vomtom

Disclaimer: We are not involved with any of the companies and organisations listed in this landscape.

#9 2018 is the Year of Artificial Intelligence on the Blockchain!

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Predictions:

  1. Blockchains are able to host AI and BigData analytics.
    Until now they are not.
  2. AI put on Blockchain makes contracts even smarter
  3. We will ess more AI as model for new services on the blockchain

What are the beautiful porcelain vases threatened by the ripple elephants:

 www.aicoin.io combines the pinpoint accuracy of Artificial Intelligence for trading with “Wisdom of the Crowd” to create wealth for token holders. Founder Gavin Smith

https://peculium.io/ Adam merged with Eve to avatar AIEVE – LinkedIn Account! – assisting people to manage savings. Founder Rashid Oukhai´s long term perspective: AI for scalability. Tangle material?

https://Energimine.com cutting-edge ArtificialIntelligence to procure energy and manage your data. Use AI to trawl market data for better efficiency of the energy market. Founder Omar Rahim

0xmagnus.com see themselves creator of the as world’s first robotics and AI automation token. Interesting! Founder Arshad Hisham is a top expert in AI

twitter: blockchainrobby

#8 Ten Promising Blockchain Startups 2018

Starting into 2018, it is important to realise the full power of blockchain technology. It has the potential to completely change different components of the modern economy. Many if not all industries could benefit from enhanced security, safety, transparency and the removal of unnecessary intermediaries or inefficiencies.

Below there are ten diverse blockchain companies that are all out to solve different issues in the world, whether humanitarian or private sector.

1. elastos #chineseshootingstar

Started in 2000, elastos makes up one of China’s G3 blockchain companies, along with NEO and Bitmain. With over 10,000,000 lines of code and their own blockchain, elastos is creating a secure new operating system to make digital assets scarce, identifiable and tradable. The elastos platform will be targeting decentralized applications (Dapps) that run on a peer-to-peer network with no centralized control. This will revolutionize how we access movies, images, and other digital assets.

2. UBIQUICOIN #practical

UBIQUICOIN is a new decentralized global currency for everyone, regardless of geography, income, or nationality. Backed by a financial guarantee, UBIQUICOIN has a two-coin ecosystem immune to volatility. The Transaction Coin will be stabilized and used for transactions, and the Progressive Coin used as an investment vehicle. This ecosystem is designed for revenue sharing with coin investors while drastically helping provide access, agency, and transparency to unbanked consumers globally.

3. auditchain #doyoulovenumbers

Auditchain is the world’s first decentralized accounting, audit and real time reporting ecosystem for enterprise and token statistics. Equipped with a world-class team, auditchain is also the founding member of the DCARPE alliance, a non-profit designed to gather members of the investment, accounting, audit, legal, and financial reporting community. By creating a real-time reporting protocol, auditchain could, in theory, help prevent the next global financial crisis or corporate collapse due to fraud.

4. ExsulCoin #touchesmyheart

ExsulCoin is using blockchain technology to help solve the global refugee crisis. Their fully-developed platform, ExsulChain, will drive refugee-led projects by allowing holders of the ExsulCoin cryptocurrency to nominate, vote for, and fund projects. It will also tie user reputation to identity to ensure trustworthy transactions and interactions. This means more vetted opportunities, education, and solutions for refugees around the world. All of this will be powered on the blockchain and launch later this month.

5. Puregold.io #wearegolden

Puregold is the first payment gateway (PG_PAY) using a cryptocurrency supported by gold. Established in 2010, Puregold’s team expanded a successful ecommerce gold business onto the Ethereum blockchain to create a network of gold-supported cryptocurrency. This includes Gold ATMs, payment terminals, and mobile transaction solutions. You can read more about the full scope of the project in their whitepaper.

6. FarmaTrust #letsfightthatcounterfeitbitches

FarmaTrust is using blockchain technology to solve the global counterfeit drug problem, a $200 billion industry. By using immutable records to monitor a medicine from the point of origin through the point of consumption, FarmaTrust will help save lives and eliminate inefficiencies in the pharmaceutical industry. As a regulatory agnostic platform, FarmaTrust can be used by global stakeholders who can leverage the power of artificial intelligence, blockchain tech, and big data to save millions of lives per year.

7. JoyToken #limitlessgamblingparadise

JoyToken is a blockchain-based platform and protocol that forms the foundation for a “trustless” gambling ecosystem. Smart contracts are used to reward developers for creating new games and to safely guarantee, record, and audit each transaction. JoyToken’s greater aim is to further the growth of the gaming industry by creating entrepreneurial opportunities for game developers who otherwise may not have access to a large audience. The team includes former PokerStars and Bet365 executives.

8. CoinLION #lifeisforsharing

CoinLION is building a cryptocurrency exchange that is centered around information sharing, risk management, and portfolio management. Users will be incentivized to share their trading strategies and help educate other traders. Also, for the first time traders can execute multiple cryptocurrency trades with the single click of a button. CoinLION’s focus on community engagement within the platform makes them a promising option for the wave of new traders entering crypto for the first time in 2018.

9. Sparkle Coin #onstopshopbigbusiness

Sparkle Coin is part of a three-company ecosystem that involves a currency, exchange, and online mall that focuses on the power of cryptocurrency as a real-world transaction mechanism. By connecting existing B2B and B2C businesses with blockchain technology, Sparkle Coin is improving the global cryptocurrency adoption rate and bridging the gap between traditional companies and cryptocurrencies. They are also the first ICO to have a double-digit token valuation and be tradable the day after an ICO.

10. MEVU #betonthat

MEVU is built on the Ethereum blockchain to facilitate peer to peer wagering using smart contracts and MVU tokens. Blockchain technology ensures all wagers are locked, accurate, and secure during the course of an event. Players also have the chance to set their own challenges or odds, allowing for fair and transparent transactions. One interesting aspect is that players can bet on virtually anything, eliminating the need for third party intermediaries and their associated costs.

Disclaimer:I don´t get paid by them, don´t hold any of their tokens/coins. Really not my style.

How to evaluate whitepapers:What #market problem does the ICO address? Realistic? Is the topic relevant? Convincing story? Does it touch my heart? Has the team experience in that field? Do they have an ongoing business already transferring now on the blockchain? How many competitors? And do I like the design, the packaging?

My objective: Instead of RoI => #ReturnOnSociety

I am a big NEO fan, spent some time in China, think Chinese Blockchain startups have some promising solutions to offer.

Source: Forbes.com featuring and adapted a Huffingtonpost.com /Jordan Gonen article

Robby Schwertner

cryptorobby on Twitter

#7 Popular Chrome extension ArchivePoster is secretly mining cryptocurrency!

A very insidious case of cryptojacking by Chrome has been reported by Troy Mursch.

Have you heard of cryptojacking? It’s the practice of secretly using your computer’s resources to mine cryptocurrency without the user’s permission.

Typically, you’ll see the practice on shady websites — popular Bittorrent site The Pirate Bay appears to have experimented with it at one point — but a cryptojacking program has recently been found in a popular Chrome extension.

BleepingComputer reports that Archive Poster, a Chrome extension that helps Tumblr users reblog and repost from other blogs, also runs Coinhive, a cryptojacking program that secretly mines the cryptocurrency Monero using your CPU.

This is noted in several user reviews in the Chrome web store.

“Do not use this extension as it comes loaded with a cryptocurrency mining script. Once installed it makes requests to coinhive which eats up your CPU time and slows your computer down massively. Avoid,” one user wrote.

Archive Poster appears to be quite popular with a total of 105,062 users. Unfortunately, despite recent negative reviews the extension still has a very good overall grade.

While cryptojacking software is not as dangerous as common malware — it typically doesn’t do damage to your computer or files — it’s annoying as it uses your CPU time and potentially slows down your computer considerably.

On the other hand, while mining cryptocurrency on your home computer isn’t very lucrative lately, having tens of thousands of computers mining can be very profitable for the extension’s developer (or the hacker who had managed to infect the extension with the cryptojacking software).

What can you do?

First close your browser and still see whether CPU in task manager shows activity. If yes, delete ArchivePoster completely.

What can you do more?

Top security expert and ethical hacker Jorge Rodriguez founded with me the anti hacking initiative HackerTracker.io. We trace cryptojacker, support ICOs in pre-phase and during launch, check systems and help in emergency cases of system breakdowns. Tell us about attacks, we are ready to provide advice. Blockchain technology is too precious to let it be damaged. It shall bring Return On Society!Bildschirmfoto 2018-01-06 um 20.25.40

#6 How can blockchain technology bring RoS: a Return On Society ? 

Let´s our true North be humanity.  We need stable societies! How can blockchain technology bring RoS: Return On Society? 

My brother Klaus Schwertner, Caritas Austria, fights anti-muslim racism. Featured in New YorkTimes with his #flowerrain (opposit to shitstorm) initiative to support a Muslim ‘New Years baby’ and his parents: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/world/europe/vienna-new-years-baby.html?referer=

We see many positive examples:  The UN Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development headed newly installed Commissioner Lawrence Cummins. They supports social blockchain projects.

Finland introduced blockchain debit cards for refugees
https://lnkd.in/e2J9jW6

Malaysia based Hada DBank blockchain project with no-interest-rates policy and a profit and loss sharing principles of Koran:
https://www.hada-dbank.com/

Myanmar:  Lala-World Blockchain network for undocumented refugees. https://lnkd.in/euwbmmA

However more to be done, to work on blockchain image beyond Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies. Any ideas, suggestions for useful decentralised apps to support humanity? Any cases to collect charity funds via cryptos?  Please post them or  reach out to me.

#5 How World‘s Central Banks deal with Cryptocurrencies

It´s more than eight years since the birth of bitcoin and central banks around the world are increasingly recognising the potential upsides and downsides of digital currencies.

The guardians of the global economy have two sets of issues to address: First what to do, if anything, about the emergence and growth of the private cryptocurrencies that are grabbing more and more attention — with bitcoin climbing above EUR 16,000. The second question is whether to issue official versions.

Following you find an overview of how the world’s largest central banks (and some smaller ones) are approaching the subject:

U.S.: Privacy Worry

The Federal Reserve’s investigation into cryptocurrencies is in its early days, and it hasn’t been overtly enthusiastic about the idea of a central-bank issued answer to bitcoin. Jerome Powell, a board member and the chairman nominee, said earlier this year that technical issues remain with the technology and “governance and risk management will be critical.” Powell said there are “meaningful” challenges to a central bank cryptocurrency, that privacy issues could be a problem, and private-sector alternatives may do the job.

The volume of cryptocurrencies could at some point “matter” when it comes to monetary policy, Powell said in answering a question at his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday. “They’re just not big enough” today, however, he said.

Euro Area: Tulip-Like

The European Central Bank has repeatedly warned about the dangers of investing in digital currencies. Vice President Vitor Constancio said in September that bitcoin isn’t a currency, but a “tulip” — alluding to the 17th-century bubble in the Netherlands. Colleague Benoit Coeure has warned bitcoin’s unstable value and links to tax evasion and crime create major risks. President Mario Draghi said this month the impact of digital currencies on the euro-area economy was limited and they posed no threat to central banks’ monopoly on money.

China: Conditions ‘Ripe’

China has made it clear: the central bank has full control over cryptocurrencies. With a research team set up in 2014 to develop digital fiat money, the People’s Bank of China believes “conditions are ripe” for it to embrace the technology.

But it has cracked down on private digital issuers, banning exchange trading of bitcoin and others. While there’s no formal start date for introducing digital currencies, authorities say going digital could help improve payment efficiency and allow more accurate control of currencies.

Japan: Study Mode

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in an October speech that the BOJ has no imminent plan to issue digital currencies, though it’s important to deepen knowledge about them. “Issuing CBDC (central bank digital currency) to the general public is as if a central bank extends the access to its accounts to anyone,” Kuroda said. “As such, discussion about CBDC revisits fundamental issues of central banking.”

Germany: ‘Speculative Plaything’

In a country where lot of citizens still prefer to pay in cash, the Bundesbank has been particularly wary of the emergence of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele said in September bitcoin was “more of a speculative plaything than a form of payment.” A shift of deposits into blockchain would disrupt banks’ business models and could upend monetary policy, Thiele said. At the same time, the Bundesbank has been actively studying the application of the technology in payment systems.

U.K.: Potential ‘Revolution’

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has cited cryptocurrencies as part of a potential “revolution” in finance. The central bank started a financial technology accelerator last year, a Silicon Valley practice to incubate young companies. Carney says technology based on blockchain, the distributed accounting database, shows “great promise” in enabling central banks to strengthen their defenses against cyber attack and overhaul the way payments are made between institutions and consumers. He has nevertheless cautioned the BOE is still a long way from from creating a digital version of sterling.

France: ‘Great Caution’

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said in June that French officials “advise great caution with respect to bitcoin because there is no public institution behind it to provide confidence. In history all examples of private currencies ended badly. Bitcoin even has a dark side — there were this data attacks.” He said “those who use Bitcoin today do so at their own risk.”

India: Not Allowed

India’s central bank is opposed to cryptocurrencies given that they can be a channel for money laundering and terrorist financing. Nevertheless, the Reserve Bank of India has a group studying whether digital currencies backed by global central banks can be used as legal tender. Currently, the use of cryptocurrencies is a violation of foreign-exchange rules.

Brazil: Support Innovation

The Banco Central do Brasil sees “no immediate risk for the Brazilian financial system” but remains alert to the developments of the usage of those currencies, it said in a statement this month. The bank pledged “to support financial innovation, including new technologies that make the financial system safer and more efficient.”

Canada: Asset-Like

The Bank of Canada’s senior deputy governor, Carolyn Wilkins, who is leading research on cryptocurrencies, said in an interview this month that cryptocurrencies aren’t true forms of money. “This is really an asset, or a security, and so it should be treated that way,” Wilkins said. As others, she viewed distributed ledger technology as promising for making the financial system more efficient.

South Korea: Crime Watch

The Bank of Korea’s focus has been protecting consumers and preventing cryptocurrencies from being used as a tool of crime. Deputy Governor Shin Ho-soon said this month that more research and monitoring was needed.

Russia: ‘Pyramid Schemes’

Russia’s central bank has expressed concerns about potential risks from digital currencies, with Governor Elvira Nabiullina saying “we don’t legalize pyramid schemes” and “we are totally opposed to private money, no matter if it is in physical or virtual form.” For the moment, the Bank of Russia prefers to delay a decision on regulating the financial instruments unless President Vladimir Putin pushes for action sooner.

The central bank will work with prosecutors to block websites that allow retail investors access to bitcoin exchanges, according to Sergey Shvetsov, a deputy governor.

Australia: Monitoring Closely

The Reserve Bank is closely monitoring the rise of digital currencies and recognizes the technology underpinning bitcoin has the “potential for widespread use in the financial sector and many other parts of the economy,” head of payments policy Tony Richards said last month.

Turkey: Important Element

Digital currencies may contribute to financial stability if designed well, Turkish Central Bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya said in Istanbul earlier this month. Digital currencies pose new risks to central banks, including their control of money supply and price stability, and the transmission of monetary policy, Cetinkaya said. Even so, the Turkish central banker said that digital currencies may be an important element for a cashless economy, and the technologies used can help speed up and make payment systems more efficient.

Netherlands: Most Daring

The Dutch have been among the most daring when it comes to experimenting with digital currencies. Two years ago the central bank created its own cryptocurrency called DNBcoin — for internal circulation only — to better understand how it works. Presenting the results last year, Ron Berndsen, who was in charge of the project, said blockchain may be “naturally applicable” in the settlement of complex financial transactions.

Scandinavia: Exploring Options

Like the Dutch, some Nordic authorities have been at the forefront of exploring the idea of digital cash. Sweden’s Riksbank, the world’s oldest central bank, is probing options including a digital register-based e-krona, with balances in central-database accounts or with values stored in an app or on a card. The bank says the introduction of an e-krona poses “no major obstacles” to monetary policy.

In an environment of decreasing use of cash, Norway’s Norges Bank is looking at possibilities such as individual accounts at the central bank or plastic cards or an app to use for payments, it said in a May report. Denmark has backtracked somewhat from initial enthusiasm, with Deputy Governor Per Callesen last month cautioning against central banks offering digital currencies directly to consumers. One argument is that such direct access to central bank liquidity could contribute to runs on commercial banks in times of crisis.

New Zealand: Considering Future

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, once a pioneer on the global stage with its early introduction of an inflation target, said Wednesday it’s considering its future plans for currency issuance, and how digital units may fit into those strategies. “Work is currently underway to assess the future demand for New Zealand fiat currency and to consider whether it would be feasible for the reserve bank to replace the physical currency that currently circulates with a digital alternative,” the RBNZ said in what it termed an analytical note.

Morocco: Violating Law

Representing one of the more stringent reactions, the country has deemed that all transactions involving virtual currencies as violating exchange regulations and punishable by law. Cryptocurrencies amount to a hidden payment system, not backed by any institution and involving significant risks for their users, authorities said in a statement this month.

Bank for International Settlements: Can’t Ignore

The central bank for central banks has said that policy makers can’t ignore the growth of cryptocurrencies and will likely have to consider whether it makes sense for them to issue their own digital currencies at some point. “Bitcoin has gone from being an obscure curiosity to a household name,” the BIS said in September. One option is a currency available to the public, with only the central bank able to issue units that would be directly convertible to cash and reserves. There might be a greater risk of bank runs, however, and commercial lenders might face a shortage of deposits. Privacy could also be a concern.

Agustin Carstens, the incoming head of the BIS, told Bloomberg that bitcoin deserves close scrutiny. “Anything that grows in price as fast as bitcoin has done it, without having a real clear understanding of what is behind it, should at least raise some eyebrows,” he said.

Sources: adapted from BBC, AFP bloomberg.com / Eric Lam