TR 18.01

// TECH TITANS TARGET TOKENS

Zuckerberg posted his annual personal challenge this week. It is an incredibly honest post, “facebook has a lot of work to do… making sure that time spent on facebook is time well spent… we currently make too many errors”. However, I quote the blockchain relevant section for you here in full:

one of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs decentralization. A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people's hands. (The first four words of Facebook's mission have always been "give people the power".) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force.

But today, many people have lost faith in that promise. With the rise of a small number of big tech companies — and governments using technology to watch their citizens — many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it.

There are important counter-trends to this --like encryption and cryptocurrency -- that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people's hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.

Facebook, along with the private pre-sale of Telegram happening now (>$600m), are two mammoth players that could begin to impact blockchain and the world from a consumer perspective this year.

Telegram will have inbuilt payments from the off - and with a technology that is already consistently suspended in several countries around the world by governments unable to track the messages being sent, the prospect of having an uncontrolled Telegram currency embedded (and being sent) at its heart is potentially one of the most important token issuance - no, events - to happen this year.

Telegram is the messaging platform of choice for the blockchain community and there is an assumed values match. And telegram does want to be a force for good. But Telegram does intervene - and every time that occurs it pulls the decentralised dream back to one of centralised control. Just not a government, but a company.

What a year 2018 is already shaping up to be.

// MUST READS

// DISASTER OF THE WEEK

Visa has revoked Wave Crest’s access to its payment network. Wave Crest provides card services to Cryptopay, BitPay and Bitwala, who have all had to - with immediate effect - return funds to customers and stop offering their card service. These cards allowed cryptocurrency holders to spend their cryptocurrency across visa’s payment network. You can read Bitwala’s and BitPay’s announcement covering the event.

A timely reminder of the control the old world still has over, well, everything.

// TRACTION

// ROAD TO REGULATION

// ICOS

Last week highlights:

  • Lamden raised $10m for enterprise blockchain development tools.

  • Covesting raised $22m for a copy-trading platform for cryptocurrencies.

  • Trade.io raised $31m for a blockchain trading platform.

Upcoming:

  • Skara - January 23, 2018 - A multi-award winning game with a token at its heart.

  • Fic Network - January 8, 2018 - A blockchain for loans.

  • Scorum - January 14, 2018 - A blockchain based sport media platform.

// OTHER

Bitcoin ATMs have increased foot traffic to stores by 7.6%.

// EVENTS

Dubai International Blockchain Summit - Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 8, 2018

d10e Exploring the Future - Cayman Islands - January 27-30, 2018

World Crypto Economic Forum - San Francisco, USA - January 15-16, 2018

CoinFestUK 2018 - Manchester, United Kingdom - April 4, 2018

James Roy PoulterComment