Bitcoin $3,000? Ex-fugitive cybersecurity legend sees ‘enormous momentum’

   What could go wrong?

The sixth win in a row for the S&P 500, that is. Not even OPEC disappointments seem able to derail U.S. stocks, with early gains for HP helping the mood. Oil has been on a wild ride so far, check out our chart of the day for that. That other march higher — the rally for bitcoin BTCUSD, +11.14%, and other cryptocurrencies — is also still going strong. A single bitcoin is fetching more than $2,700. Some out there seem to have no doubt that $3,000 is not far off. Our call of the day comes from John McAfee, the colorful founder of the antivirus software company, former fugitive and now CEO of MGT Capital Investments MGTI, +30.71%. “Bitcoin has enormous momentum,” McAfee says. And MGT is stepping up its bitcoin mining.

“Today’s announcement is transformational for MGT. Not only does it vastly improve our financial profile, but it positions us as the only public company in the space,” says McAfee, of the former video gaming company turned cybersecurity firm. Others say there is plenty of reason to believe a crash could be coming for the currency that still baffles many. But McAfee’s enthusiasm comes alongside growing respect for bitcoin investors right now.

IG’s Chris Weston has this to say: “I genuinely can’t wait to see young tech heads driving down Collins Street in a new Aston because they had the stones to be able to hold their exposure through what has been an exponential move without ever having taken profit.” (The Aussie is referring to a major Melbourne thoroughfare). Bitcoin is the “mother of all FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) trades,” Weston writes. “Perhaps the fact I am putting so much focus on bitcoin suggests a top has been seen and I am the taxi driver contrarian indicator. We shall see, but our flows in bitcoin have been huge,” says the big brokerage’s strategist.

And check out the advice that Reddit Bitcoin community member TotalMelancholy gave a fellow trader who made a bad move recently: “The key to trading altcoins is to set targets of 10-15% profit after buying into an altcoin, instead of the X00% people try to chase. 10% is very easy during a bull market like this, and it’s fairly low risk. It doesn't sound like much, but consistent +10% trades add up very quickly! Diversify, rinse and repeat and you’re pretty much sitting on a money tree.”

The Dow DJIA, +0.40%, S&P SPX, +0.47%   and Nasdaq COMP, +0.59%  are all higher at the open. That’s as the dollar DXY, +0.09%  is slightly lower and gold GCM7, +0.11%   is moving up. Check out our chart of the day to see what oil’s been up to on OPEC day. Tesla TSLA, +0.74%  factory workers have suffered injuries at a higher rate than the industry average over the past two years, says a new study by a California nonprofit. And those workers also spent more days away from work due to injuries than the auto industry average. HP HPQ, -2.37% is climbing after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. HP boosted by a double whammy of PC and printer growth Best Buy BBY, +18.09%, Dollar Tree DLTR, +2.86%  and Hormel HRL, -5.68%  all reported.

Facebook FB, +0.45%  has reportedly signed deals with BuzzFeed, Vox Media and others to create shows for its video entertainment service, say sources quoted by Fortune. President Trump is sitting down with EU leaders for the first time on Thursday. You know it’s OPEC day when…you get a swan-dive chart like this one.

  

That roller coaster of a meeting in Vienna

has been batting oil prices around, with crude below $51 as the Saudis ruled out deeper output cuts. More to come on that as the meeting is ongoing.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
TCC-Bitcoin.

7 Steps To Getting Started With Trade Coin Club

*These instructions were written at the very beginning of the pre-launch of TCC with limited information available about the program and while some of the website was still in Portuguese and Spanish. So please be lenient on the accuracy of my instruction steps. Also, keep in mind that website updates and program changes may occur which could also change the process. As needed, I will make updates to this document and make it available here.  [7 Steps Version 1.4, Updated on 3-11-17]

This is a written reference to accompany the Youtube video playlist found here:

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc3WvQz66K-spYcsdlNBLg

Covered in this manual:

TCC Step 1: How To Sign Up Correctly In Trade Coin Club

TCC Step 2: How To Obtain Bitcoin To Purchase A Trade Coin Club Plan

TCC Step 3. How To Select And Buy A Plan In Trade Coin Club

TCC Step 4: How To Complete Your Trade Coin Club Account Profile

TCC Step 5: Trade Coin Club Back Office Dashboard Overview

TCC Step 6: How To Transfer Your Earnings & Commissions In Trade Coin Club

TCC Step 7: How To Introduce Other People To Trade Coin Club

TCC Step 1: How To Sign Up Correctly In Trade Coin Club

Step 1 Video: 

How To Sign Up Correctly In Trade Coin Club

  • Use the referral link from the person who invited you. It should look something like mine: https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/chuck212 or if they’ve shortened the invite link to a forwarding link, then the final landing page URL should still look like the URL above. (The last word or letters after the last slash is your sponsor’s personal invite code. “chuck212” in my case.)
  • Fill out all of the information on the form
  • Use your main email address! (You can only sign up for one spot in TCC, so make sure you take your time and do it right the first time. It is virtually impossible for the TCC tech support staff to make corrections and changes in the position of people in the network. You are only allowed one account.)
  • In the “Type Your Log In” field, you can set it to whatever invite code you want. (It will automatically set it to your first initial and last name if not customized.)
  • In the ID space, type your driver’s license number or your passport number
  • IMPORTANT: At the bottom where it says “Click here to accept the terms stated in the contract” you need to click on it, then review the terms and conditions and scroll all the way to the bottom of it and type in your name in the signature field and click I Accept.
  • After you’ve filled out all of the form, click submit (Save).
  • You will then be sent an email from TCC. Check your email inbox and open the email. Copy your login credentials at the bottom, along with the login URL (back office) and past them to a notepad or word document. Keep them safe and secure. Then click the confirmation link inside the email and this will confirm your account.
  • You can now log into the back office with the credentials you created.

Learn more about the process of how to join Trade Coin Club here: http://TheCryptoCoinExchange.com/how-to-join-trade-coin-club/

 

TCC Step 2: How To Obtain Bitcoin To Purchase A Trade Coin Club Plan

Step 2 Video:

Obtaining Bitcoin:

In order to purchase a trading plan in Trade Coin Club, you need to be able to pay for it with Bitcoin. There are several different websites and services that offer an online Bitcoin wallet. I use Coinbase. It is one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets.

To open a Coinbase account, sign up here: http://bit.ly/CoinbaseAcct

However, Coinbase only allows a maximum of a $250 deposit per weeks for new accounts. Click Here and I will fund your account.

You will need to verify your account and add a payment method such as an online bank account and/or a credit card number. When I started mine a couple of years ago, I used a bank account since I didn’t have a credit card at the time. Back then at least, it took a few days for the Bitcoin to show up in my wallet after making the transfer from my checking account.

However, if a credit card (not a debit card) was used, then the Bitcoin wallet would be funded right away. So if you want a quick transfer of funds, then I suggest using a credit card to make your initial deposit.

Another service I’ve used is CEX.io. You can open an account with CEX.io here: http://bit.ly/joinCEXIO

One of the advantages with CEX is that you can use a debit card and still fund the account right away. (Although they charge a higher fee than Coinbase.)

Blockchain.info is another popular Bitcoin wallet. You can sign up for an account there by visiting: https://blockchain.info

Another route to take is using a Bitcoin ATM. I understand that you don’t even need an online wallet for this type of transaction. For example, you could simply create a hash in Trade Coin Club to fund the account to buy a plan, (Step 3) and create a hash for it, then go to a Bitcoin ATM and deposit your local currency in cash and send it to the Bitcoin hash you created in TCC. (Of course, you would still need to eventually open an external online wallet in order to verify your TCC account and be able to withdraw funds.

You can find local Bitcoin ATMs and learn how to use each brand of them on the Coin ATM Radar website: https://coinatmradar.com/

 

TCC Step 3. How To Select And Buy A Plan In Trade Coin Club

Step 3 Video:

To Purchase A Plan In TCC:

  • Log into your TCC back office
  • Click on Plans -> Buy on the top of the page
  • Enter the value of Bitcoin you will be depositing (Or click on one of the three plans to select one.)
  • *Make sure you take into account a 0.05 Bitcoin registration fee (for any package) and add that amount to the amount being deposited. (TCC will automatically deduct 0.05 BTC as a registration fee when you purchase your first plan.)
  • Confirm the amount
  • Generate Hash
  • Copy that hash number onto a notepad
  • If I’m funding your account and paying your hash, then send that hash to me in a message.
  • If funding the hash yourself: Sign into your external Bitcoin wallet (Coinbase, etc.)
  • Choose to Send Funds
  • Enter the total amount of Bitcoin you will be sending to TCC (including the 0.05 registration fee)
  • Send that amount to the Hash you just created
  • Then go back to TCC and click “Confirm Payment”
  • *Your account should be upgraded. If your plan isn’t actually purchased yet and the Bitcoin were just sent to your main “Funds” wallet, then you’ll need to go to Plans -> Buy, then select a plan and when it asks from which wallet you want to take the Bitcoin from in order to pay for it, you can select the Funds wallet, and type in the amount you want to use underneath it in the field, and pay with it.

There are actually a couple of different ways to complete the task of buying a plan. You can also go to the “Deposit Funds” link under Plans and generate a hash there. Then you would need to send Bitcoin to that hash from an external source: Coinbase, Blockchain.info, Bitcoin ATM, etc. and send the funds to the hash you created. The Bitcoin would then be deposited to your Funds wallet, where you can use them to purchase a plan or upgrade your current plan.

The idea is to get familiar with how to move funds around within TCC. You need to understand what the Counter Sign code is, (next step) and what Tokens are, (next step). You will need to use these as security measures when transacting in TCC.

Moving funds may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get familiar with how the system works, and what to do when moving funds, it’s fairly easy to use.

*After buying the plan: Another important thing you need to do in order to begin trading is to select your trading risk level. This needs to be done sometime between Sunday at 4PM PST / 7PM EST and Monday  at 4PM PST / 7PM EST.

On the dashboard section, on the right side of the page, is the risk level section. Make sure to choose your level, (I always recommend High risk) and set the trading to automatic. You simply want to make sure that your account is turned on and actively trading. (The yellow gear icons in that section will be turning if everything is turned on and the trading is going.)

 

TCC Step 4: How To Complete Your Trade Coin Club Account Profile

Step 4 Video:

*NOTE: This step is not necessary at first. You can still do the daily trading and also refer people to earn commissions without completing it. The only time this step needs to be finished is when you go to extract profits out of the system and send them to an external bitcoin wallet.

There are 4 main steps to completing your TCC account profile.

  1. Buy a package

This process was covered in the last step

  1. Enter an address

Click on the “My Profile” link at the top of the page, then scroll down to the bottom of the page, under the Address section and enter your physical address and your phone number.

  1. Send a Document

This is a picture you need to take and send in. It has instructions on the page, but I will cover it here as well. You need to take a clear, high-resolution photo of yourself holding up a government issued ID next to your face that has your picture and address on it. You can use your driver’s license or passport, or state-issued ID card.

I used my driver’s license and held it up next to my face and took a selfie with my phone. Since my driver’s license address matches the address I have on file in TCC, and the picture was clear and able to be zoomed in on, they accepted it right away. This way is fine, but don’t take a picture in the mirror. (The image of your ID would be backwards.)

However, if you have a separate address from your driver’s license or if you go by your middle name for example, then you’ll need to send in supporting documentation to prove your ID and address. If this is the case, then just contact TCC support and email them a couple good photos of yourself holding up each supporting document so they can easily tell everything is legitimate. And make sure to explain the situation and each document in the email, so that everything is crystal clear to them.

  1. Add your BTC wallet

This is simply your deposit hash for your external Bitcoin wallet. (Every Bitcoin wallet, (Coinbase, Blockchain.info, etc.) has a unique hash number assigned to your account. (Similar to an online checking account number). You can easily find this in the back office of your chosen external Bitcoin wallet. Just copy that Hash number and paste it into TCC in the BTC wallet section

And that’s it. After completing these simply steps, your account will be verified and you’ll be able to withdraw funds when you want.

 

TCC Step 5: Trade Coin Club Back Office Dashboard Overview

Step 5 Video:

Take a tour of the TCC back office dashboard and get familiar with all of its sections and functions.

Here you’ll learn about the platform’s back office dashboard and what all of its sections do. Watching the video for this step is the easiest way to take the tour. But here are written summaries of each section that you can use as a reference:

Dashboard

The Dashboard section gives you a quick snapshot of the balances of your 5 wallets. It also shows you where your profile is at in the stages of profile verification. It also shows you where you’re at within the cycle of your agreement (how many trading days have been completed) and lets you set your risk level and manage the trading settings.

My Network

The My Network section consists of 4 areas: My Network: this shows your overall network downline on your left and right legs. Matrix Network: Shows your 3X12 network of the people on your teams. Unilevel Network: Allows you to search specific members and view the points earned there. Qualification Plan: Shows you where you’re at in the number of cycles completed and what benefits and bonuses you’ve earned.

Financial

The Financial section shows records of your transactions and allows you to move funds. The Financial Extract section shows where you’ve moved money within TCC. The Pay Hash section allows you to search for a pre-generated hash and pay it with one of your wallets. And the Request Withdraw section allows you to extract funds from TCC and send them somewhere.

Plans

The Plans section allows you to Buy Plans and Deposit Funds. The Buy Plans process was covered in Step 3. (It’s where you choose a plan to purchase or upgrade your existing plan). And the Deposit Funds page lets you generate a hash to deposit Bitcoin into TCC from an external wallet.

Tools

The Tools section contains 4 pages: News, Videos, Downloads and Tutorials. Each page’s content is self-explanatory with the title and will be fleshed out with more content as time goes on. (Some of those pages are completely empty at the time this manual was created.)

My Profile

The My Profile section allows you to manage your Profile and Password. The instructions on how to complete your profile and verify it were covered in Step 4. Make sure this information is accurate and up to date.

Language

The Language section allows you to select your language. As time goes on, more languages will be available.

Support

This is where you contact support. Currently, it is simply an email address to use.

Sign Friend

This link opens in a new window and brings you to your sign up page with your personal invite code already embedded in the sponsor field of the form. This is the link you give others to sign up with.

Account

In the top right of the site, you can access the main aspects of your profile and log out.

TCC Step 6:
How To Transfer Your Earnings & Commissions In Trade Coin Club

How to make your first transfer, How to make other transfers after your first. One of the most powerful concepts of this opportunity is the concept of earning compound interest. So the idea is to transfer your daily trade earnings (and referral commissions if any) into your Exchange Wallet so you are trading with a higher and higher amount of funds every day throughout your 8 or 12-month agreement.

Here are the steps to transfer earnings within TCC wallets:

Step 1: Update your Countersign password if needed and make sure you have it handy. (This only needs to be done once. You do not need to do it every time you transfer your earnings.)

Step 2: Go to your Dashboard and look at your wallets and write down the amount of BTC you want to move. If you are moving BTC from more than one wallet, (example: your trading account plus your commission account to send into the exchange), then you need to add the totals and write down the sum.)

Step 3: Go to the Plans section, and then select the Buy link.

Step 4: Generate Hash. Type in the total amount of Bitcoin you want to move. (Remember if it is less than one Bitcoin, then you need to put a zero and then a decimal point, and then the amount.) Make sure the amount is correct and then click Generate Hash. And copy it to a clipboard. (Make sure you only copy the exact hash and not any spaces or other characters.)

Step 5: Go to the Financials Section and select Pay Hash. Paste in the hash code into the field and click the search button. (This will make TCC search its system and locate that hash transaction.)

Step 6: Enter the amounts under each Wallet that you want to move. (They should total the amount that you summed earlier.) Once you’re satisfied that all the numbers and amounts are correct, then click Pay.

Step 7: Then you’ll need to enter your “X-Pass”. This is your Counter Sign code that you set earlier. You may also need to confirm at Token. (A token for the transaction may need to be sent to your email.) So you may need to confirm the transaction with a Token also. (Check your email for a token number and paste in I the token field in TCC.) After you’ve confirmed the transaction, the funds will be moved and you will see that the totals in your Wallets are updated.

TCC Step 7:
How To Introduce Other People To Trade Coin Club

This step is of course optional. You are never required to introduce other people to TCC. You can simply deposit your Bitcoin in order to passively gain trading earnings. However, since the trading alone is so powerful and profitable, many people eventually tell others about their own success and offer an invite to their friends. This section of the 7 Steps will definitely be updated and improved as time goes on, but in this early stage, I thought it was important to at least have some rudimentary structure or outline for a basic process of how to introduce other people to TCC.

Step 1: Show them this short Introduction Video:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_hAYr3pjt4

Step 2: Show them a recording of an official TCC webinar Video: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTVUq-3om9s

Step 3: Give them your invite link and have them sign up and create a free TCC account.

Step 4: Give them the 7 Steps To Getting Started With Trade Coin Club page:
http://thecryptocoinexchange.com/trade-coin-club-tutorials/7-steps-getting-started-trade-coin-club/

Step 5: Show them how to buy a plan and start trading. (Make sure they actually buy a plan and get started trading.) If you need to help them obtain Bitcoin and follow the 7 Steps, then coach them along the way. Touch base regularly and help them with each step until they have funded their account and are actively trading.

Step 6: Follow up with them regularly, helping them along the way. Once their account is active and trading, stay in touch. Make sure they have studied the 7 steps and know how to use their TCC account. Make sure they know how to move funds within TCC. Make sure they know the importance of transferring their daily trading earnings into their exchange account each day in order to maximize their profits. The important thing here is to keep the communication line open, so they keep moving forward and never get stuck.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
TCC-Bitcoin.

Toyota pushes into blockchain tech to enable the next generation of cars

   

On the same day that Ford officially ousted its chief executive

in a bid to remake itself as a future-focused vehicle manufacturer, Toyota announced its own steps to embrace technology’s next wave. Andwhile Ford is looking to catch up to the leaders in autonomous and electric vehicle manufacturing, Toyota (through the Toyota Research Institute) appears to be taking the next fork in the road toward enabling that autonomous and electric future.

Together with MIT’s Media Lab, Toyota has enlisted a series of partners that specialize in different aspects of blockchain technology (the distributed, encrypted ledger technology that powers the cryptocurrency bitcoin) to explore how the technology may be applied to the car industry. Toyota unveiled a number of projects that aimed to address how software will help people become comfortable with autonomous technologies. That means monitoring and distributing information about the safety of individual vehicles, the way owners use the cars and cut down on fraud. “Hundreds of billions of miles of human driving data may be needed to develop safe and reliable autonomous vehicles,” said Chris Ballinger, director of mobility services and chief financial officer at Toyota’s research institute, in a statement. “Blockchains and distributed ledgers may enable pooling data from vehicle owners, fleet managers, and manufacturers to shorten the time for reaching this goal, thereby bringing forward the safety, efficiency and convenience benefits of autonomous driving technology.”

Initially, the research is focusing on sharing data on every trip that an autonomous vehicle takes; on developing tools that users can have to make ride-sharing easier; and to create new insurance products that are usage-based for customers who may prefer that coverage. “I’m excited Toyota is spearheading this initiative that uses blockchain technology to create an open platform where users can control their driving data,” said Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, in a statement. “Our hope is that other industry stakeholders will join this effort to bring safe and reliable autonomous vehicles one step closer to reality.”

TRI isn’t just working with MIT on the initiative, but also with a few choice startups and smaller companies big in the blockchain space. Berlin-based BigchainDB, a startup which raised over $3 million to develop a flexible, scalable blockchain-based ledger; is helping develop the kind of architecture Toyota will need to roll out to have growth and scale it wants. Meanwhile, Oaken Innovations and Commuterz, from Dallas and Tel Aviv, respectively, are working to develop blockchain apps for car sharing, vehicle access, and payments and carpooling. Finally, Toyota is tapping the Los Angeles-based blockchain application developer, Gem to port the applications it has been developing for the healthcare insurance industry to car insurance. The company provides a ledger for distributed inputs from a number of different sources that can then be used to automate much of the insurance claim process.

With Toyota, Gem will specifically work on usage-based insurance products tied to the telematics coming off of a users’ vehicle. TRI’s partners include: Berlin-based BigchainDB, which is building the data exchange for sharing driving and autonomous vehicle testing data; Oaken Innovations, based in Dallas and Toronto, is developing an application for P2P car sharing, vehicle access and payments with a newly created mobility token; Computerz, a startup from Israel, is working with TRI on a P2P carpooling solution; Gem, from Los Angeles, is working with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS) – Toyota’s joint venture telematics car insurance company – and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services on the usage-based insurance platform.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about –
TCC-Bitcoin.

Artificial Intelligence Is Changing SEO: Get Ahead Or Fall Behind

    

The AI revolution is upon us, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

It seemed like yesterday when things like automated social media posts, blog content, and chatbots were something laughable, not fully able to compete with human intelligence. However, these algorithms have accelerated almost to the point of reaching human logic, making marketers both excited and scared.

On one end, the idea of having our content and customer data be delivered to us in a way that’s way more efficient than ever before is incredibly enticing to content distributors. On the flip side, this is making content providers/writers nervous about whether their jobs are going to become obsolete. In spite of the ongoing debate, certain innovations are going to be here to stay, with SEO being one of the focus on the forefront. As quick as AI has been shifting the world of marketing in general, SEO has been following suit in a big way. Not only are things like keywords, metrics, and targeted ads going to become increasingly automated, but the possibilities of real-time data aggregation solutions are going to change the game for good. And luckily for you, below we’ve listed a few key points on how this will happen.

With AI, Marketing is Already Shifting Directions

Marketers have been salivating over the potential AI could have for years. As we’ve noted before, the opportunities are endless, ranging from programmatic systems for PPC and SEO to streamlining our sales pipeline more efficiently. Yes, AI and marketing are going to be inseparable in the near future, with many CMOs already taking notice. However, even with all these innovations, there’s plenty more on the way regarding how AI will impact SEO.

Automated Content Means Improved Keywords

It’s been predicted that AI will one day take over the content industry. In fact, a lot of this development is already underway, with the Associated Press reportedly deploying algorithms to write over 3,000 articles every quarter. These algorithms have now expanded into the realms of social media as well, with content marketing heavily in the targets.To some businesses, this is a pipedream, as suddenly they’re going to be able to hire a content generator that can spit out articles and posts much quicker than human capabilities. Moreover, algorithmic developments will be able to handle numerous types of articles spanning a variety of industries. When you factor in the potential breadth of these systems, including the obsolete cost of hiring actual writers, and the increased accuracy of keyword inclusion and optimization, the new industry of SEO and AI will be immensely powerful.

While some folks are still going to want a human voice powering or refining their content, these algorithms are going to be able to point out the best keywords to use in real time. Even though this technological development sacrifices human perspective and insight, the return is going to provide content providers with articles that could potentially lead to the top of search results almost every time. The jury is still out on the actual details as to how this type of content will be handled from the first draft all the way through publication, but it is expected that the impact of improved keyword strategy will make a significant difference.

Real Time Data is Going to Be Huge

One of the biggest impacts that AI will have on SEO is the speed that it offers to universal marketing efforts. As we mentioned above, not only will AI be able to aggregate and organize keywords and search terms, but it will additionally be able to pinpoint how to use these terms as well. Imagine being able to run tests on what terms will work best based on location, service, or even timing. Additionally, marketers will also be able to use these algorithms to use predictive models on how the response will turn out. This means that updating automated responses and search terms will occur instantaneously — cycling through which ones will achieve the highest ROI in a matter of seconds. The results of this fast-paced development will likely alter search term strategy and analysis for years to come.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Inbound Marketing.

Coinbase Hopes For Cryptocurrency's 'Netscape Moment' With New App, Token

“Digital currency right now is having its Netscape moment” declared Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong at the Ethereal Summit, in Brooklyn, in a presentation about the cryptocurrency company’s most recent product, Token, “a messaging app with money baked in.” Speaking at the Ethereum-focused day-long conference featuring players in the decentralized web, Armstrong said that the Ethereum-based Token, in developer preview and unveiled a month ago, has four main features that show off the potential for innovation in blockchain-based products. First, it enables payments “in every country in the world from day 1,” he said. Plus, the payments are international. The users themselves, as opposed to financial institutions, are in control of the money they put in it. And the platform has its own reputation system, which Armstrong compared to a FICO score, “so you know who and which applications and people you can trust.”

Finally, Token can be used to make payments to apps. For instance, a Mechanical Turk-type app could enable users to do discrete tasks for small payments, but the workers could then be paid in actual money instead of in Amazon gift cards, which is how non-U.S. workers on Mechanical Turk are paid. Armstrong also envisions that Token, which is based on Ethereum, will host apps ranging from currency exchanges to marketplaces, remittance services to lenders,

advice services to cell phone top up providers.

Armstrong’s bold comparison of Token to Netscape,

the first widely popular web browser indicates the company’s hope that Token gains widespread consumer adoption. To begin, Coinbase, which so far has offered its services in developed countries such as the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Singapore, plans to promote Token in the developing world. Later this year, Armstrong will travel to Nigeria to foster development on the platform.

The comparison to Netscape also suggests Armstrong’s hope that Token ushers in a new stage of evolution in the industry, to a phase in which more consumers interact with blockchains and cryptocurrency but are not necessarily aware that they are doing so. Coinbase’s timing has historically been right. The startup began attracting a following in 2012 in what was then the tiny bitcoin community for making it safe and simple to buy bitcoin with your bank account. In 2015, responding to growing institutional interest in cryptocurrency, it launched Coinbase Exchange since renamed Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX), for professional traders.

Now the company is trying to help the industry mature beyond these basic building blocks of a blockchain-based world to have more consumer-facing offerings. In its development of Token, the company created a new protocol called Simple Open Financial Application that makes it easier for developers to build apps for a platform such as Token. In the past, a well-known bitcoin developer who attempted to build a simple bitcoin app spent eight months to get it to work, whereas a developer using SOFA got an app up and running in eight hours. “If it’s that much easier to build these applications, we’re going to see several orders of magnitude more applications being created,” he said, comparing SOFA to the development of simple web programming languages like html and Javascript. He then invited developers to participate in a hackathon beginning June 3 to build applications for Token.

Because Token is more like a web browser than an app store, Armstrong says Coinbase will not be vetting apps that list on Token, though it will be choosing which ones to feature. When asked how the company would deal with apps that are, say, stealing people’s money, he compared it to how the web browser Google Chrome will warn a user if it thinks a site they’re trying to visit has malware or otherwise looks suspicious. “I’m not saying we have zero responsibility,” he told Forbes, adding that Token is not like an app store. “We want to educate users about what they’re using, and if they’re going to do something dangerous, make sure they really know what they’re doing.”

The company, which has raised $110 million from investors incumbents such as the New York Stock Exchange, USAA and BBVA, does not currently have plans to make money from Token though Armstrong said it could lend itself to some possible business models down the line, such as charging for pro features or for usage above a certain number of transactions a month. In his presentation, referring to a popular Chinese messaging app, he called Token “a WeChat for the other 180 countries in the world” and said that it would be like putting a bank in the pockets of every person in the world, which, according to McKinsey, said that financial services on mobile phones could add $3.7 trillion to the GDP of emerging economies within a decade. It's an ambitious goal, but a fitting one for a company whose mission is to "create an open financial system for the world."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Price Breached $2,000, Pundits Coin-Flip What Comes Next

  

Bitcoin price finally breached the much anticipated $2,000 line,

sending excitement throughout the burgeoning global cryptocurrency community. As early as five a.m. GMT+2 on Saturday, CoinMarketCap listed the pacesetter of digital currency for $2014 with almost $34 mln Market Cap. The $2,000 lane has been expected for some time now but it intensified three days ago when Satoshi Nakamoto's brainchild stabilized at the $1,800 range. On Friday it made it to the $1,900s further increasing the $2,000 price obsession. As much as it is good news for the whole community, what does this mean for all of us? What is in it for the ecosystem? Experts and community members differ on what’s ahead.

Lingham: not healthy

Bitcoin Price Pundit Vinny Lingham is not excited about the current price trend and sees it as very deleterious for space. "Not healthy in my opinion, but clearly everyone else knows best," he noted. "I'll just wait and see."

Malcolm Macleod: problems remain

More so, Gulden Wallet Developer, Malcolm Macleod's concern is that the price has been pushed too high, without the fundamentals to back it up and ultimately it is damaging to the ecosystem. He cites particularly the ongoing transaction queue problems. "These things are always a mixed bag, so probably some good and some bad things come from it," Malcolm stated.

More flow from fiat

But Alexandro Colorado of Bitcoin Mexico believes otherwise. For him, even though Bitcoin certainly has the availability issue but the rally has merits. "It makes sense as there is more money coming into the system," Alexandro explained to Cointelegraph. The Chief Cat Herder of Cryptopulco, the annual cryptocurrency conference in Acapulco, Mexico, Nathan T. Freeman had this to say:

"BTC increases in value relative to USD because people are willing to give up more fiat currency in exchange for Bitcoin. If you try to explain why they are willing, you are projecting a motive for their subjective value, and you're most likely full of shit. Even if the motive you ascribe is correct, you can't prove it. It's just an unfalsifiable claim in a sea of individual choices. It's all good."

Bitcoin Bubble to burst in 2019?

Though the network is growing impressively, hitting pass $2,000 seems like an impending doom for some experts. Whilst others point to some nagging fundamentals, many are optimistic it will keep growing without any blemish.

Alexandro Colorado says:

"A bubble is some sort of manipulation but actual growth is another thing. Companies grow billions in months, why crypto shouldn't? The Mexico-based Bitcoin enthusiast pointed out that a lot of the world still don't know or trust crypto but it doesn't mean we are heading into a bubble.”

When Cointelegraph asked Vinny Lingham if there is an impending bubble,

this was his answer:

"Yes, but people who called the bubble in 2011 were wrong. It took two years to burst."

Coin-flipper

Malcolm MacLeod is unsure if there is going to be a burst, but it is unclear to him what fundamentals if there are any behind the latest price growth. "I think there is a high chance that it is a bubble of some kind but I hope to be wrong," he indicated. Absorbingly, this is Nathan T. Freeman's take on whether it is a bubble and

Will it burst soon:

“There's only one major event in Bitcoin itself that could shape the future, and that's the outcome of the block size debate. All other factors are outside the purview of Bitcoin itself and therefore could shape out. Anyway, you're talking about predicting the simultaneous global effect of huge political shifts.”

"Predicting a bubble is a dice roll, and anyone who claims to know those outcomes is a coin-flipper," he added.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Dirty Politics Responsible for Confirmation Queues on
Bitcoin Blockchain

  

As the number of unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions keeps increasing,

a lot of users are left frustrated either by paying very high fees or experiencing protracted delays in their transactions. Most users are seeking ways to facilitate their already delayed transaction. Some patronize online services that claim to accelerate transaction confirmation, while others engage platforms that they believe would offer the opportunity to broadcast such transactions to the miner’s community.

Reasons for confirmation delays

In order to find a solution, the root cause of any given problem must be identified. With a market capitalization of over $32 bln, and a daily trading volume of almost $1 bln it is obvious that there is a significant increase in the adoption of Bitcoin. This is reflected by the cryptocurrency reaching a new all-time high of $1,960 in price. Despite the increased adoption and volume of transaction, the sudden hike in the rate of unconfirmed transaction raises interest from certain quarters. While advising users on ways to effectively achieve a transfer of value without frustrations, Blockchain Consultant, Timothy Suggs notes the possible reasons for the increased delays in the transaction.

Suggs tells Cointelegraph:

"Bitcoin transaction times are lagging right now for various reasons, one being exponential growth and acceptance of the platform and another being political reasons. By political I mean, there are actors in the system sending thousands of transactions to themselves in order to add leverage to the block size debate.”

How to speed up a transaction

However, Suggs notes that to speed up their transaction time users can increase their fee or engage in what can be referred to as a round trip. For example, if you are using an exchange like Poloniex or Bittrex, simply trade your Bitcoin for an asset like Expanse and send it to your destination. “If Ethereum wasn't having similar transaction queues as Bitcoin I'd recommend that as an alternative as well, however, a couple of days ago the transaction backlog of ETH was over 3000 TX", he says. Robert Kucharski, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trader, upholds his confidence in Ethereum as an alternative. “The easiest way, in my opinion, to solve the issue by the community is to sell Bitcoins and use Ethereum,” says Kucharski.

Dynamic fees

For Jason Cassidy, President at Crypto Consultant, the only way users of Bitcoin can receive faster confirmation times for transactions all boils down to paying a fee. Cassidy notes that from the miners perspective, higher fees for the service they offer acts as an economic incentive to include a given transaction in an upcoming block.

Cassidy says:

“One way to ensure this takes place is to send transactions from a Bitcoin wallet that uses dynamic fees. If the priority on a certain transaction is high then you may wish to manually set a fee to ensure the miners pick up your transaction in the next block. In the end, it all comes down to your satoshi/byte fee ratio per Bitcoin transaction.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

Can Applications Communicate Over Blockchains?

  

The author Benedikt Herudek pushes the frontiers of decentralized systems in describing how Turing Machines can communicate over Blockchains.

We will suggest introducing Turing Blockchain Machines, using Blockchains as a Turing Tape. Turing Machines are a simplified yet powerful Model for Computability and the every-day life programs we design and use. We introduce them as a ‘Gedankenexperiment’ on an abstraction of Blockchains as Turing Tapes with specific features to try to answer the question, if applications could communicate over the Blockchain.

This endeavor is connected to the question, how far we can push Software Decentralization and with them human relations and society organized by them? Decentralization is a promise because the Implications of using Technology in the way Bitcoin does, suggest it is possible to defeat large cartel-like organizations, which sit right and accepted in the middle of society.

Technology does have a liberating power if designed right: kicking out ‘middle-’ or ‘highwaymen’ is one of them.

The question raised here (we are not ready to give an answer) is a connected precursor to the vision to endow Blockchains with a ‘Turing Complete Language’. Such Blockchains, foremostly Ethereum aim to have ‘programmable money’ and want to allow decentralizing any application logic, (not ‘just’ money). The approach suggested here aims to have any kind of signal (not ‘just’ money) exchanged via Blockchains, such that it is clear ‘what it means’. Both approaches have in common to attempt to generalize Bitcoin‘s Blockchain approach.

Ingredients of decentralization

If you purchase a good or a service from someone, who doesn’t happen to be your neighbor or a family member, you typically need these three ingredients.

  1. ‘Money’ and an accepted way to pay, like cash or electronic payment
  2. A common nomenclature as a basis for agreeing what you buy and the seller sells
  3. A governance framework to ensure you get what you ordered, you pay what you received and can dispute if appropriate

One form of trade trading over the Internet, private-public key cryptography and browsers are practically indispensable but taken as a given here. When you want to decentralize trade in this sense you need

Regarding (1):
Bitcoin. Bitcoin solves the double spending problem with a distributed System and a ‘hardened’ Ledger based on the proof of work mechanism

Regarding (2):
We can solve this problem if we can prove that Turing Machines can teach each other languages over a Blockchain. This is the focus here.

Regarding (3):
Turing Complete Blockchains, e.g. Ethereum. If we can establish

Smart contracts which are distributed, verifiable and ‘unstoppable’ we have a good chance to digitalize and decentralize important and relevant parts of governance Above listed ‘smart contracts’ realm is sometimes referred to as ‘Internet of law’ as opposed to ‘Internet of money’ referring to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. In the digital realm you can easily imagine one get music files delivered, based on cryptocurrency payment was done or certain conditions (amount of clicks on your post) are fulfilled. Where conditions and delivery lap over into the real world (like delivering a book after you successfully ran a marathon) currently it takes a bit more imagination (and IoT, sensors and maybe even Artificial Intelligence) to imagine the general working of such smart contracts.

Note that questions like ‘Can Machines teach languages’ or ‘Can Machines understand each other’ are rather ‘fuzzy’ questions. They can easily lead astray into questions like ‘Can Machines Think?’ With Chomsky and others, it is important to realize that these questions are ultimately questions as to which metaphor one wants to choose. A better way is to reuse Alan Turing’s approach and try to formalize the question such, that it can be answered.

Half way decentralization

Imagine you ‘don’t mind’ a translation layer as described above in (2). You only mind (1) the decentralized payment and (2) a Turing complete language as part of the Blockchain. Then, you set out to build a new kind of marketplace, a ‘decentralized eBay’ on top of it. Your infrastructure and your payment are decentralized, still, you will end up with a ‘large monolithic application’.

Even on decentralized platforms, for applications, some kind of organization has to define the rules, e.g. how to offer and purchase goods, which data formats they need to use and so on.

Everyone will have to abide the rules that ‘decentralizes eBay’ set up. Even if the founders have best intentions to not monopolize the process, centralization will have to happen because of the basic architecture of the System. A typical answer to this centralization on the Turing complete Blockchain is the so-called ‘Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The idea is essentially the organization defining all rules needed to run the applications, is itself democratic and decentralized.

But however well intended and efficient a Decentralized Autonomous Organization would be, it is still an institution to force parties into agreements on how applications should be set up. The more successful a DAO is the less an individual voice will count, the less autonomy there will be and the more centralized the DAO will look to the individual.

Seeking Decentralization in rich applications on top of a decentralized turing complete platform will lead to centralization on the Blockchain. The ‘trick’ to avoid this ‘successful DAO dilemma’ is to not place entire Applications on an immutable Blockchain. Rather, only the transactions that concern Communication between two parties should go to the Blockchain and only on those (but not on the entire Application Logic) should parties have to agree. To allow innovation you need to give autonomy to their applications and force them under agreements on the shared Blockchain, only where absolutely necessary. You want to keep your network dumb, allow autonomous edges to run innovation.

With ‘decentralization’ we foremostly target towards certain effects on power and social relations we would like to see in the real world, like e.g. making banks unnecessary for payment traffic and central banks obsolete for monetary (specifically inflationary) policies. Technology is an enabler only and technically, decentralization these days is typically implemented by a Distributed System with a consensus system, to ensure there is just one truth in spite of many copies of the shared database. If you stress values like ‘autonomy’, ‘resilience’ or ‘simplicity’ in your system you could with some right also claim that paradigms like ‘Service Oriented Architecture’ or ‘Micro-Architectures’ should be seen as part of the Decentralization Paradigm. Those are architecture patterns, describing how Systems can communicate while being decoupled. They are typically mentioned in an enterprise context and do not have the privilege of carrying the sub-service odor of Bitcoin but they certainly are architectures carrying the possibility to not build ‘huge monolith blocks’, which is really just another expression for ‘not Centralizing’. Some describe Microservice as Service Oriented Architecture without the so-called ‘Enterprise Service Bus’. This is the Integration Layer, which tends to take over a lot of logic like routing and translating different nomenclature. How ‘smart’ you want to design your network and how much logic you want to put into it, is a recurring theme in designing Systems and can have surprising effects, what power relations Systems can implicate.

Of course, there are legitimate usages of a turing complete Blockchain, e.g. for the Internet of Things. Nothing stops one (e.g. if one prefers DAO’s over conventional companies and that does hold a lot of promises) to rewrite known applications on a turing complete Blockchain. However, for the context we are looking at it, turing complete Blockchains main usage would be to – one fine day-(semi-) automate governance with smart contracts.

Automating Translation

Here is why you should care about (2), the translation layer: Your main reason, why Amazon or Ebay has a website you go to, is that it allows you get in touch with the creator or owner of something you would like to have. It allows you to pay (1) and when you paid, it gives you a governance framework (3) to ensure the process (like shipping) works for you because there are legal frameworks behind both the platform and the vendors offering their goods. Somewhat hidden is the fact that the platform delivers a significant (2) ‘translation exercise’ for you. That would be obvious if a Spanish person offers a good offered over eBay by a Chinese person and both only speak English. The platform just sets a common standard (English), how these people can interact. But that would be just the UI surface, the platform itself sets all kinds of standards that enable interaction: The vendor has to accept a certain User Interface and with that, a certain data format prescribing, how the article pictures and descriptions are rendered. That Data format to offer goods then works perfectly with the data format prescribed by eBay to purchase goods, which is the format working ‘under the hood’ when you press the order button. Ebay, in fact, acts as your translator, you have to pay for that. This might be more obvious if we think through this situation in a B2B context where companies would offer and order good via message Systems, automated and without a User Interface. The messages to offer goods would need to be matched with the messages wanting to buy goods. Someone needs to translate these messages into each other.

Typically this just happens via the man in the middle setting a standard. This is the common way these days to establish common terminology allowing applications to talk: per definition. In a typical enterprise, if you want two applications to talk to each other, you make a design, where both parties agree with which messages eg in formats like JSON or XML they will communicate. Whoever went through this, knows this can be a painful process and doesn’t make your projects ‘exactly agile’. On a broader scale, you will have entire bodies with the goal to set standards, like eg the World Wide Web Consortium. Many have good intentions, but the necessary effort and time for meetings and achieving agreements is not a healthy environment for fast innovation. Worse, there are ‘information-cartels’, whose business model eventually depend on establishing and dominating standards allowing people to connect. Ebay and amazon would dominate, even if we would all pay with Bitcoin and even if they were rebuilt on ethereum and ran as a DAO. But all they do is make sure technically people get in touch with each other.

Establishing a common nomenclature per definition is not only stifling innovation it also opens up the backdoor for monopolists and decentralization.

A different way of establishing communication could be to use an approach similar to how we translate natural languages with machines like google translate, essentially we just have a look at how so far parties communicated and draw our conclusion for the future. One could easily imagine building a general machine translation ‘google translate for apps’: all kinds of messages connecting different Systems would be fed in, working translations (typically initiated by humans via above described ‘definition’ approach) would be used to bootstrap the engine and then a self-learning ‘google translate for apps’ would be set up to translate message formats into each other. With the size and clumsiness of the Application Integration Business, it is a surprise, enterprises didn’t use Neural Networks to widely automate this part of the Application Integration Business, just as a decade ago cloud computing started automating (in the sense of ‘hiding from the client’) hardware setup.

Even more so because you don’t have to come up with fancy neural networks to predict, how some Systems will communicate. You could just say if two applications are part of the same industry, they probably use standard XYZ, if they are from the same vendor they probably use standard ABC, if similar Systems have used message formats 123 before for similar cases these two fellows might need just the same, maybe you can parse an XML and reassemble it with some other names and the target system will ‘eat it’. Sometimes a ‘nice & long if then statement’ is just about right.

But doing trade predicting future terminology based on the past just isn’t good enough in many circumstances. Sending Bitcoin over the Blockchain and establishing smart contracts on platforms like ethereum is a binding agreement, which absolutely cannot or should not be changeable: immutability leaving no room for disputes is the cornerstone of such use cases. If you inject now a level of uncertainty as to what your terminology was really supposed to mean, you open the backdoor for irrefutable disputes Imagine Application A sends a message, B takes the translation from an Integration layer, reasoning (‘messages XYZ usually mean in other contexts ABC for applications like me’) and delivers an expensive good. Now, A can always claim ‘well, you misunderstood me. The fact that in cases before the message XYZ translates into ABC doesn’t hold here. I want my money back.’

Predicting future translations based on past successful translations isn’t good enough for Blockchains and the level of trust and binding agreements to base smart contracts on them.

Another way of thinking of this is the following thought experiment. Imagine, a Mars-UFO lands in Amsterdam, Central Station. It’s an unmanned ship, but there is a pretty smart Computer inside. We want to communicate with this device. Connect it to the best and super-trained machine Language Integration layer. It will deliver no results, because saying that our ‘earth-machines’ communicate in ways XYZ, doesn’t mean anything for ‘mars-machine’. Even if we think we ‘understand’ the machine (with an assumption as ‘there are only so many ways how digital systems can operate’), we never really know, if we understand the machine correctly. Now, if ‘setting standards’ stifles innovation, fosters centralization and ‘predicting based on the past’ isn’t a safe enough bet, one way out of the deadlock could be machines teach each other the language, unambiguously and retraceable over an immutable Blockchain, with which they will transact.

Talking Turing Machines

A ‘Blockchain Turing Machine’ is a conventional Turing Machine with the following specifics:

  1. The Blockchain is the shared Turing Tape. There is one machine sending, while the receiving machine is attempting to detect the state machine table of the sending machine
  2. More general, in a Blockchain Turing Band, we will have several participants talking to each other. For our purposes, we will just consider one pair of sender and receiver
  3. Machines can never erase fields, that is for one direction when they move they can only read but not write. This is reflecting the Blockchain immutability feature.

State Machines would be any Applications behind an address, which write transactions onto the Blockchain to communicate with other Applications. There would be no Turing Complete Language, the endpoints, however, could have any Turing Complete Language and any rich features they like. The logical translation and communication layer would be connected to layers for payment and governance, the latter potentially turing complete.

Here is a simple example, Bit Inversion.

The Sender holds a State Machine with the Following State Table. So we write a 1 and move the tape right by one square. The symbol being read is now 1, so we write a 0 and move the tape right by one square Similarly, the symbol read is a 1, so we repeat the same instructions. If, in any case, the Receiver can ‘figure out’ the state table of the sending Turing Machine only if the Sender presents ‘all he got’ (operations, symbols) within a fixed time limit. With that in mind, our question is:

Can we describe a Blockchain Turing Receiver Machine, that is capable of noting down any Blockchain Turing Machine Sender state table unambiguously while watching all the Senders operations and symbols on a shared Blockchain Tape?

If this is the correct question, then one way of investigating is going over the numerous theorems proven over Turing Machine to see what they can contribute. Some other interesting questions to investigate could be:

  1. Are Blockchain Turing Machines (no erase possible) useful
  2. Do we need to restrict the language types (e.g. along the Chomsky hierarchy) sending Machines can use to make translation for the receiver possible
  3. Are there languages or certain statements that can in principle not be translated unambiguously?

We will not discuss those but ask, how we could interpret a ‘yes’ to the question we ask. My conjecture: It means ‘quite a bit’. Take a Computer Program that essentially ‘figured out’ what another Application does, of which it ‘just sees’ some messages. It means this program ‘knows’ what these signals mean and can, therefore, initiate appropriate action. Now, it’s a quite a leap from the Turing Machine sparse notation towards a full Web or Enterprise Applications sending JSON or XML message (‘Clients want a uber- ride Berlin Brandenburger Tor to Tiergarten right now’). But that’s the beauty of Turing Machines, they are simple but can simulate essentially ‘anything’ you need in the digital world. Note also that Applications absolutely do not need to know everything about each other, lots of the typical application logic (how the app works to order an Uber ride, what internal states are saved, how the UI works) is entirely irrelevant to the trading partner (the individuals offering the ride application): Only the transactions counts and that is often much simpler than the entire application producing the message.

Having such a Blockchain Turing Machine Translation Mechanism (transforming a Blockchain into a ‘Babel-chain’ if you will), would have considerable advantages over the above-listed Mechanism to connect Application. The Mechanism wouldn’t offer any ‘wiggle – room’ and no room undue transaction fees. Take the approach, where we assume Application ABC ‘probably meant that’ because similar applications ‘meant that’ in ‘similar cases’. You can’t base important transaction on that unless a human checked it. Because whoever ordered, could always argue there was a misunderstanding, and in this case, the machines cannot just conclude from the past to the future. If you involve humans to review Machine translations or simply set standards for communication from the beginning, you will have all the disadvantages that ‘middlemen’ bring along, best studied with the example of Banks: They will want a share of your transaction, even though they add little value other than facilitating a transaction. They tend to inflate their importance beyond their due position.

If you can automate the translation between Machines and run this over a public and immutable Blockchain, you leave no room for misunderstandings no backdoors as to what ‘was meant’. Everyone can check the ‘understanding handshake’ and the language the two machines agreed upon for their transaction. There is no place for humans or organizations taking an undue tax on your producers and consumers transactions.

After the terminology is agreed, the transaction itself goes into an immutable and verifiable Blockchain, payments and governance can be processed. If we can’t make turing machines teach their language we need to revert to one of the two other ways to make machines talk. Agreements can work, the internet, for example, is widely build on accepted standards like http and smtp – it works, but it is hard to imagine how you could get monopolists agree to standards today. Making a prediction based on past experience can take us far but also only so far as to the binding character we would like to see on Blockchains. A hybrid approach could be another interesting option, where you agree for example on an algorithm to generate translations based on past working translations. And the agreement is that whatever a certain algorithms spits out, will be the agreed message format.

Request for Comment

Decentralization is the task of relieving us of the ‘middle-man’ tax. Gain and fame should be with the producers of goods and much less with cartels dominating trade – just like banks should have a serving, not a dominating role in the economy. Technology allowing true peer2peer transactions with no room for centralisation can play a liberating role. Avoiding centralisation in Networks implies placing the rich application in autonomous endpoints of the network. Doing this requires making ‘Applications talk’ such that there is no human intervention required and certainty over common nomenclature. Asking the question, if Turing Machines can communicate over Blockchains is a way of trying to push the frontiers of Decentralised Systems.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about TCC-Bitcoin.

IoT and Blockchain Technology Collide in the Payments Industry

  

The Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain-based advancements

in the payments industry were among the many themes explored at TRANSACT, a tech-centric, payments industry conference held on May 10–12 in Las Vegas. A panel discussion entitled “How IoT is Revolutionizing Payments” included a brief discussion regarding the emerging intersection between the Internet of Things and blockchain technology in this industry.

On a similar trajectory as the blockchain, much attention has been given to the future of IoT, defined as an ecosystem of physical devices — from mobile phones to wearable tracking sensors — that gather and share electronic information with one another. Research firm IHS Markit estimates that 30.7 billion IoT devices will be communicating with one another by 2021. This complements a global blockchain technology market that’s expected to grow from $210.2 million in 2016 to $2.3 billion by 2021 according to Market Reports Hub.

The collision between the IoT and blockchain worlds portends some important payments industry developments around the efficient tracking of device payment history, all supported by a ledger of secure data exchanges among devices, web systems, and users. Further, this technological convergence also shows promise in terms of the use of smart devices that are programmed to conduct a variety of transactions such as the automatic issuance of invoices and payments. Dan Loomis, vice president and director of mobile product management at the business and financial software firm Intuit, is firmly entrenched in this evolving IoT/blockchain conversation through his work in creating payment experiences for businesses that operate on a global scale and brought this expertise to the TRANSACT panel discussion.

In an exclusive interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Loomis remarked that for the small, emerging business clients he works with, cash is king. “For our team at Intuit, it all comes down to how we can help these businesses create immediate operating capital. The ability to quickly onboard clients into a payment service and to get paid quickly is really important. Their mantra is often ‘Pay me, pay me faster, and how can we as a business accept all methods of payment?’” Loomis says that at his company and for the payments space in general, the thought of leveraging the blockchain’s immutable, permanent, auditable features is fascinating on a variety of levels. He notes that specific to Intuit, there is a lot of investigation going on into blockchain technology and how it may be applied to their payment models.

“We facilitate a lot of invoices, payable and receivable experiences for our clients. Aspirationally, being able to track these logistics in a manner that’s clear and transparent via blockchain [technology] would be very appealing. It has a high level of integrity as a technology and cannot be questioned in terms of its functionality.” Healthcare is one vertical market that Intuit is targeting. Loomis says that in this industry there is always a trail of information that’s important to unravel and look at, from medical record information to who the patient’s service provider is. “I think that blockchain [technology] can help wrap this together and be a critical vehicle for a healthcare space that’s somewhat arcane and at the same time leading edge.”

When asked about the immense possibilities around blockchain technology and IoT in terms of it being fully leveraged at Intuit, Loomis remarked, “I have no doubt that a developer in our company ecosystem is at least thinking about this closely.” Loomis believes that IoT and blockchain technology will emerge at Intuit when these technologies have a strong, demonstrated fit that can actually be matched with end user value. “I think market deploy in this space is one of those things we’ll see come to fruition when the time is right and it meets our customer benefit.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about
TCC-Bitcoin.

Signs that you're addicted to Social Media

         

A new survey reveals that Instagram

is the worst social media site in terms of its impact on the mental health of young people. A survey of 1,479 youngsters aged 14 to 24, found Instagram was positive in terms of self-expression and self-identity but the #StatusofMind survey found that the photo-sharing app can negatively impact people's body image, sleep and fear of missing out.

Celebrity ‘selfies’: (clockwise from top left) Miley Cyrus, Conan O'Brien and Ricky Gervais, Helen Flanagan and Tom Hanks. In addition, many youngsters today say they feel “panic-stricken and physically sick” if they do not post dozens of ‘selfies’ a day on Facebook. In fact, Facebook addiction shows up in brain scans of those who can’t stay off the site, affecting the grey matter in a similar way that cocaine does.

Here are 12 signs that you too could be addicted to social media.

  1. You can’t get beyond the main course in a restaurant before you get out your phone and Instagram the duck confit. In fact, you are itching to snap away by the time the first course arrives. Ideally, you would chronicle the bread basket within three minutes of arriving. Because, frankly, a romantic meal for two isn’t a romantic meal for two unless you have shared it with all your followers. Course by course.
  2. The very first thing you do when you wake up is in reach for your phone (always by the side of your bed, in fact — usually under your pillow) and check how many times your witty comment from the night before has been retweeted or liked. You do this before you have left the bed, let alone rolled over and kissed your loved one.
  3. Your children catch you trying to post Facebook updates while reading their bedtime stories. You know it’s seriously bad when you agree that you will pay them 20p every time they bust you. It has got out of control when they can buy an XBox with the proceeds.
  4. You greet friends at a party by their Twitter handle. “Hey, @bobcat100, how are you?” It’s really bad when, after the second Aperol Spritz, you forget their real name. Do they even have a real name? Who knows?
  5. You can not visit the lavatory without using the 23 available seconds to investigate how many people have liked your photo. Snapchatting a selfie while sitting on the loo is a proof you have stopped understanding basic decent behaviour. Rather sadly, social media has killed off the immensely valuable and intrinsically British “loo book” market. We now swipe, tap, scroll, wipe.
  6. Brian from accounts, on a Monday morning, asks how was your weekend. And your first reaction is “What? did you not see all the amazeball photos I posted on Instagram? How can you not know that I had a *totes* great time?” You say: “Er, it was nice. Thanks.” And then think, I must unfollow Brian, the ungrateful idiot.
  7. You “like” your own updates on Facebook. You “favourite” your own Tweets. You “like” your own Iinstagram pics. You “pin” selfies on Pinterest. Stop it. Now.
  8. You “check in” at tube stations on the way to work. You “check in” when you go out to get your lunchtime Pret salad, you “check in” at the pub after work. You want to “check in” when you get home, but you suddenly realise that though you have remembered your phone (of course), you have forgotten your keys.
  9. The first thing you do on hearing that someone famous has died is to Wiki their career and urgently, in a panicky rush, find the most obscure fact you can find about them so that you can post an update. “So sad about David Frost. Of course, his greatest achievement was being offered a contract at Nottingham Forest FC. #RIP”
  10. Someone tells you a joke, and instead of laughing out loud, you use the phrase “lol”. As in, you actually open your mouth and instead of uttering the purest, most instinctive proof of humanity, you say “lol.” And then you laugh at your own cleverness.
  11. Watching the Great British Bake Off/Game of Thrones/X-Factor your anxiety levels rise to almost unbearable levels as you desperately try to be the first person on your timeline to tweet “Soggy Bottom/Jon Snow's Eyes/Has Simon had too much work done?”
  12. You use the phrase “hashtag” in normal conversations. #fail. Or rather “Hashtag fail”.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about Inbound Marketing.