//BLOCKCHAIN WARS WEAPONISE
Bitcoin split this week, creating Bitcoin Gold, which aims to decentralise mining ability (and therefore control of the blockchain) by allowing GPU in the devices you own to be able to profitably mine bitcoin. Bitcoin in contrast requires an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (you don’t have one), to mine, and has encouraged the proliferation of huge, expensive, mining farms, and centralisation of control.
Blockchains aren’t that decentralised (currently), and aren’t free of politics or governance issues. Last week’s Tezos disaster is just one example of the back-room battles that are happening around the governance of every blockchain in existence.
It’s the same game, the same rules - just different players. And it's clear that talking isn't enough - politics isn't enough - there is war. Just the weapons are digital. As our disaster of the week shows - with power and wealth at stake, much like in the world blockchains seek to replace, those weapons will be deployed.
It seems a considerable number of the libertarian technical community are having to learn - that the politics, centralisation, control (and corruption) of the world they are seeking to replace is (1) very difficult, because, (for the moment) people and therefore politics are still making the decisions, and (2) the systems we have in place are very good, and protect people. For example, securities regulation that stops - amongst other things - fraud, money laundering, and consumers being burnt.
As an aside, following on from my comments around Bitcoin’s market cap last week - it still is exceptional that with just months of work, Bitcoin Gold currently has a ‘market cap’ of over $2 billion. But is that really surprising, when, from the off - partly due to the in-built network effects - it will have millions of users, and hundreds of key organisations supporting it?
// MUST READS
Bitcoin split in two, creating Bitcoin Gold
Blockchain in review: trends and opportunities by CB Insights
A deep dive into distributed ledger technology
// DISASTER OF THE WEEK
Bitcoin Gold was attacked immediately after the fork in the Bitcoin main chain. Their website came under a sustained DDOS attack, which has impacted its early price ascendancy - futures are trading nearer $150, down from $500. These attacks involve a network of compromised computers, known as a botnet, which flood a website's servers with page view requests, leaving legitimate traffic unable to get through.
In this case, 10 million requests per minute rendered Bitcoin Gold’s site unusable.
The Centre for Disease Control teams up with IBM Watson to research the use of blockchain for storing and exchanging medical data.
Singapore aims to trial its own cryptocurrency next year.
IBM, Microsoft and Amazon and offers in an overview of blockchains as a service.
Singapore and Hong Kong’s Central banks signed a Fintech deal for mutual collaboration on blockchain.
Yetta announces ICO of European Commission funded blockchain.
Big VC firms are investing $4.7m in Orchid lab, a blockchain Tor internet service.
Wirex partnered with SBI and will launch a japanese cryptocurrency payment card.
// ROAD TO REGULATION
Vladimir Putin orders to release a ICO regulatory framework by July of 2018.
Last week highlights:
Mingo raised $1.2m for a gamified cryptocurrency education platform
Blockv raised $21m for smart virtual goods on the blockchain
Unikoin Gold raised $33m for decentralized esport gaming tokens
Cryder - Active - Decentralized taxi platform for freelance drivers
Dmarket - November 3, 2017 - Decentralized marketplace to turn virtual items into real commodities
Crypterium - October 31, 2017 - Aiming to be the leading cryptobank
Paycent - November 2, 2017 - Bridging the gap between fiat and cryptocurrency
Confideal - November 2, 2017 - A smart contract management service
Crypto Affiliate Conference - Prague, CZ - October 30-31, 2017
Marketforces 3rd annual “The Blockchain Summit” - London, UK - October 31, 2017
Decentralized Insurance developer Conference - Cancun, MX - October 31, 2017
Blockchain Economic Forum 2017 - New York, U.S.A - October 31-November 1, 2017
#FS17: Rethinking Financial Services - San Francisco, U.S.A - November 1, 2017
Ethereum DevCon 3 - Cancun, MX - November 1-4, 2017
Decentralized 2017 - Limassol, CY - November 2-3, 2017
Scaling Bitcoin - Stanford, U.S.A - November 5, 2017