Uber Gets Early Bitcoin Advocate As New CEO

Uber Gets Early Bitcoin Advocate
As New CEO

Dara Khosrowshahi has been appointed as the new CEO of Uber,
which has been without a CEO since the resignation of Travis Kalanick in June 2017. Would this result in Uber's stance on accepting Bitcoin changing?

An early Bitcoin advocate

Dara Khosrowshahi, who became the CEO of Expedia in 2005, is seen to be an inspired choice for the job of Uber CEO. He built Expedia into one of the world's leading travel and technology companies. Expedia had announced that it would accept Bitcoin as a means of payment in 2014, which made it one of the earliest companies to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. In 2014, Bitcoin was yet to become an established means of payment. The Mt.Gox fueled bubble of 2013 and the subsequent crash had made companies wary of Bitcoin.

While it was possible to book air tickets using niche Bitcoin players like CheapAir and BTC trip, mainstream companies largely ignored Bitcoin. Expedia though took a brave decision to accept Bitcoins and other companies ranging from Dell to Rakuten joined the bandwagon.

Natural fit

Bitcoin enthusiasts have always felt that Uber and Bitcoin had a natural fit and it was strange that Uber was resisting the adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method. Uber was started in 2009 (a year after Bitcoin was created) and has grown to become a global behemoth. Uber operates in multiple geographies and is dependent on credit card processors for a majority of its payments. If you use your credit card while traveling in Uber in a foreign country, you will incur a host of charges including charges for international usage, currency mark up, etc. If Bitcoin were accepted, all these could be avoided.

Uber not new to Bitcoin

While Uber does not directly accept Bitcoin in its ride hailing app, users have been able to use payment processors like Coinbase to pay for rides using Bitcoin in the past. Uber had also switched to accepting Bitcoin (through Xapo and other debit cards) in Argentina after the government decided to ban the app and asked local credit card processors not to service it. There have been periodic rumors in the past about Uber planning to accept Bitcoin, but the company has been quick to squash them.

Uber’s worries

Adding Bitcoin as a payment option would not result in significant addition of new customers to Uber, given that Uber already has significant penetration in its existing markets. It would only be a symbolic gesture to indicate support to the crypto community and to keep payment processors on their toes. Dara has far bigger problems to worry about at Uber, more particularly allegations of a culture which supported gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Moscow Stock Exchange Plans Trading of Cryptocurrencies

Moscow Stock Exchange Plans Trading of Cryptocurrencies

The Moscow Stock Exchange plans soon to begin the trading

of digital currencies. The exchange will also list derivatives and exchange-traded funds (ETF) based on different cryptocurrencies. The exchange is currently creating an infrastructure to trade Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as of August 2017. The move comes after Russia seemingly banned ‘ordinary people’ from buying cryptocurrency. Based on a report by Russian state-owned news agency Tass, the exchange has claimed that a platform for the post-trading of cryptocurrency assets is already in the works.

Part of the exchange’s statement reads:

“We are already working on creating an infrastructure for such [cryptocurrency] trades, in particular, a platform for post-trading services for crypto assets.”

The exchange’s plan is in line with the announcement by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev that the government plans to regulate Bitcoin as a financial asset.

Brief background of the exchange

The Moscow Stock Exchange is the biggest exchange group in Russia. Its operations include trading markets in equities, bonds, derivatives, the foreign exchange market, precious metals, and money markets. The exchange is also the operator of Russia’s central securities depository and the biggest clearing service provider in the country.

Other digital currency developments in Russia

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing positive developments in the country. Among them is the plan by another stock exchange, St. Petersburg Stock Exchange, to add digital currency trading to its platform. The exchange is the third-most active exchange in the country in terms of volume, and the biggest exchange outside of the country’s capital. Meanwhile, the Russian government is advancing efforts to regulate the use of digital currencies in the country. A draft regulation for cryptocurrencies, including how to define them, is reportedly being created.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

This Twitter Bot Monitors Neo-Nazi Bitcoin Donations

This Twitter Bot Monitors Neo-Nazi Bitcoin Donations

Earlier this month, a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia,

turned deadly after an extremist rammed his car into a group of protestors. In the rally’s aftermath, various tech companies, including GoDaddy and CloudFlare, decided to stop servicing the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, temporarily banishing it into the deep web.

The website now struggles to maintain its presence on the surface web, but its staff still manages to raise funds through bitcoin donations. A quick look at an address believed to belong to The Daily Stormer reveals that the website raised over $74,000 since it was set up. According to Motherboard, the website started accepting bitcoin back in 2014, and has received over $200,000 in the digital currency since then. It isn’t the only extremist website using bitcoin to raise funds.

To help reveal just how much these websites make, and in an attempt to tackle their funding campaigns, security researcher John Bambenek set up a Twitter bot that monitors a handful of bitcoin wallets associated with neo-Nazi organizations, and tweets whenever a donation is made. Occasionally, it also tweets updates on the amount of money these bitcoin wallets have. Speaking to Motherboard, Bambenek stated that he created the bitcoin-tracking Twitter bot because he rarely has a chance to “code interesting short-term things with impact,” and because he doesn’t like neo-Nazis. By bringing attention to the amount of bitcoin these websites are being able to raise, the security researcher hopes he can pressure organizations not to accept it.

He stated:

“I want to make it difficult for them to raise it, store it, and spend it”

On Opening New Bitcoin Wallets

Bitcoin’s nature allows anyone, including extremists, to simply open new bitcoin wallets, pass received donations through a mixing service, and freely use the money. According to Bambenek, however, this isn’t a problem, as most neo-Nazi sympathizers can barely use cryptocurrencies. As such, if these websites do open new addresses, they’ll struggle to get them out there and receive donations.

Earlier this month, a Twitter account believed to belong to The Daily Stormer tweeted that popular wallet and exchange Coinbase deleted accounts who tried to send them bitcoin. As many bitconers rely on services provided by Coinbase, this means a lot of donations can be stopped. Bambenek modeled his Twitter bot on similar ones created to track wallets associated with WannaCry’s global ransomware campaign. Eventually, he plans on releasing the code behind it so it can be modified to help track other groups collecting funds through bitcoin donations. However, given the cryptocurrency’s nature, these bots won’t do much from stopping it from happening.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Why Miners Are Mining Bitcoin Cash – and Losing Money Doing It

Jimmy Song is a bitcoin developer and principal architect

at blockchain technology startup Paxos. In this opinion piece, Song discusses mining patterns on the bitcoin cash blockchain, theorizing on what they might indicate about the incentives powering the new cryptocurrency. Over the weekend, the bitcoin cash blockchain experienced a notable technical change. Like the bitcoin blockchain from which it forked, bitcoin cash is hard-wired to adjust how hard it is for miners to claim its rewards, and on Saturday, it saw such a change. As a result, bitcoin cash was made 300% more difficult to mine.

This, in turn, caused the profitability of the coin to decrease dramatically. Many miners left for bitcoin, and for about 10 hours only a few blocks were found. As a result, emergency difficulty adjustments (a technical mechanism unique to bitcoin cash) were triggered, causing the difficulty to drop enough for miners to begin switching back.

What's interesting, however, is that at the time, bitcoin cash was still less profitable to mine than bitcoin by about 20%. Still, many miners, including those using pools like BTC.Top, ViaBTC and AntPool continued dedicating computing power to the blockchain. This means these miners were likely giving up profit that they could have earned had they been mining bitcoin. So what gives? And why are miners mining at a loss? This is not an easy question to answer and my analysis here is speculative. But, here are some possibilities:

Miners are committed to fork

Miners may be committed to making the new cryptocurrency work, as they may have now accrued a large bitcoin cash position. Armed with this vested interest, they may believe slow blocks will cause bitcoin cash to tank, so they may be mining to keep the network working smoothly. The argument against this is that during the 10-hour window after the non-emergency difficulty adjustment, many of the same miners left. If consistent blocks were the major concern, there should have been more mining power on bitcoin during that interval.

Miners think the price will rise

The miners mining now may be thinking that the bitcoin cash price will increase in the near future to make mining worthwhile. A 30–40 percent increase in the bitcoin price relative to bitcoin would certainly make their mining profitable, and they may be waiting until then to sell. These miners may have insider information about a large buy order or may be just hoping for larger fluctuations of bitcoin cash price.

Miners are getting subsidies

Another theory is that there may be bitcoin cash supporters that are subsidizing mining in some way, behind the scenes. This could be something like an over-the-counter market for bitcoin cash where buyers are paying a higher price than the exchanges to incentivize mining. If the buyers demand freshly minted bitcoin cash, this would effectively make it so miners were the only supply that could satisfy this particular demand. Similarly, bitcoin cash supporters could simply be paying pools to point hash power the blockchain network.

Conclusion

Ultimately, there are now more questions than answers. We don't really know why miners are mining bitcoin cash instead of bitcoin. But, we know that at the very least, they aren't making as much money as they could, and this means these miners are paying some opportunity cost in order to mine bitcoin cash.

 

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Rally Despite Sluggish Market

Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Rally Despite Sluggish Market

Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Rally Despite Sluggish Market

Bitcoin and ethereum continued to rally on Wednesday, pushing the total value of all cryptocurrencies higher even as the wider markets were mostly red. The bitcoin price punched through $4,500 to set a new all-time high, while the ethereum price looks poised to make a record-setting run of its own.

The total cryptocurrency market cap climbed as high as $167 billion Wednesday morning, continuing its August bull run. At present, however, the crypto market cap has tapered to $162.6 billion.


Chart from CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Price Targets $5,000

The bitcoin price spent the latter half of August stuck between $4,000 and $4,400. As the month waned, it did not appear bitcoin was going to be able to break past this level. However, the bitcoin price defied many investor expectations by spiking from $4,400 to $4,600 at about 12:30 UTC on August 29, posting a new CoinMarketCap average record of $4,627. On some individual exchanges, the price rose even further. The bitcoin price has not yet found solid support for $4,600, which has caused it to pull back to $4,501 this morning. Nevertheless, this represents a daily gain of 3% and gives bitcoin a $74.4 billion market cap.

Bitcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Now that bitcoin has broken through the $4,500 wall, many analysts predict it will cross the $5,000 threshold in short order. RT host Max Keiser, for instance, stated that he believes it will probably reach that level this week.

Ethereum Price Inches Closer to All-Time High

All eyes were on bitcoin as it set a new all-time high, but ethereum made impressive progress on Wednesday as well. Bolstered by increases in ETH/KRW and ETH/CNY, the ethereum price climbed to $389 on August 30, its highest level since June 14. At present, the ethereum price is $367, resulting in a market cap of $36.6 billion.

Ethereum Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

 

Altcoin Markets Take a Hit

Bitcoin and ethereum may have been posted solid gains on Wednesday, but traders dealt the altcoin markets a blow.

The bitcoin cash price fell to 2% to $573, continuing its week-long decline. The Ripple price managed to climb 1%, thanks to news that the FinTech startup had given a presentation on blockchain trends to officials from the central bank of China. The litecoin price was mostly stable, holding at about $62, while Dash and NEM each made minor advances.

Altcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

This is where the chart starts to turn red. IOTA dipped 2% to $0.828, while the Monero price fell 6% to $128, despite strong volume from Bithumb’s newly-opened XMR/KRW market.

Monero Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

The hardest hit cryptocurrency in the top 10, however, was NEO. The “Chinese Ethereum” plunged by 17% to about $31. This reduced its market cap to $1.5 billion and gives it just a $41 million edge on 11th-ranked ethereum classic.

7-Day NEO Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Outside of the top 10, the majority of cryptocurrencies engaged in a retreat. That retreat included Qtum and Hshare, which had just entered the $1 billion club on August 29. Unfortunately, these tokens had their membership cards revoked on Wednesday as they experienced declines of 19% and 27%, respectively.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 30/08/2017

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an investor alert intended to warn the public about companies using claims about initial coin offerings (ICO) to manipulate their stock prices.

SEC: Avoid ICO-Related Microcap Scams

The alert, which was published by the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, specifically focuses on publicly-traded companies who claim to be involved with or investing in ICOs. They allege that companies use the lure of cutting edge technology like ICOs to manipulate their stock price and facilitate pump-and-dumps.
 

From the alert:

Fraudsters often try to use the lure of new and emerging technologies to convince potential victims to invest their money in scams. These frauds include “pump-and-dump” and market manipulation schemes involving publicly traded companies that claim to provide exposure to these new technologies.

 

The SEC had previously issued an investor alert regarding direct ICO participation, but they have found that companies may be “publicly announcing ICO or coin/token related events to affect the price of the company’s common stock.” This is particularly a problem with microcap companies, whose stock price can be manipulated in the same way that traders can artificially pump up the price of a cryptocurrency with a small market cap and then dump their coins to secure a profit.

SEC Cracks Down on Public Bitcoin Firms

The Commission says this type of fraud is often rampant within the emerging technologies sector. For this reason, they have been cracking down on publicly-traded bitcoin firms in recent months. In August alone, the SEC has suspended securities trading for CIAO Group (OTC: CIAU), First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (OTC: BITCF), and Bitcoin Crypto Currency Exchange Corporation (OTC: ARSC). All of these companies had seen dramatic increases in the price of their stock, leading the SEC to want to take a closer look at their operations.

According to the release, the SEC issues trading suspensions due to the following occurrences:

  • “A lack of current, accurate, or adequate information about the company – for example, when a company has not filed any periodic reports for an extended period;
  • Questions about the accuracy of publicly available information, including in company press releases and reports, about the company’s current operational status and financial condition; or
  • Questions about trading in the stock, including trading by insiders, potential market manipulation, and the ability to clear and settle transactions in the stock.”
  • A suspension does not necessarily mean a company is acting nefariously, but the SEC warns investors to take caution when considering an investment in a company whose stock has been suspended.

The SEC has been monitoring the cryptocurrency industry with an increasingly watchful eye. Last month, they issued a report concluding that DAO tokens are a security, which implies that smart contract tokens may also fall under securities regulations. This is one reason why Filecoin restricted its record-setting $250 million ICO to investors willing to submit to SEC accreditation.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 29/08/2017

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepereneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Swedish Programmer Becomes Rich After 2013 Bitcoin Investment

Swedish Programmer Becomes Rich After 2013 Bitcoin Investment

Swedish computer programmer Alexander Bottema has multiplied

his life savings over one hundred fold in the last four years. He first invested in Bitcoin in 2013, when the digital currency was priced at only $30. Bottema realized that Bitcoin had huge potential and sold all his stocks and liquidated his savings in order to purchase as much of the digital currency as possible.

Bottema has not sold any of his holdings, even as the price of Bitcoin has flirted with $4500 in recent days. In an interview with Business Insider, the Bitcoin investor says: ”I consider it a retirement insurance. I’m not thinking about buying any more, since I can never get the same return on investment again. I could consider selling some of my assets should the price hit 100,000 dollars.”

Brief profile of Alexander Bottema

Bottema was raised in a small community near Stockholm in Sweden and learned to program on his family’s Apple II computer. He studied computer science at Uppsala University in 1991 and went on to earn his PhD. He returned in Stockholm where he began working in data security and encryption for consultancy Upec Industriteknik. When his employer was bought out, Bottema and his two colleagues established their own company called Polytrust. Today, Bottema is living in the US and working at Massachusetts-based Mathworks, a provider of data analysis and simulation for industrial applications.

How Bottema discovered Bitcoin

According to Bottema, he encountered Bitcoin for the first time in 2010. At first he wasn’t interested in the digital currency, believing it to be infeasible. However, he changed his mind after the price of Bitcoin crashed and eventually rebounded.

Bottema says:

”I rejected it as something uninteresting. Seeing that I had a long track record in data security, I was certain that it wouldn’t be possible to build safe servers that are open, and envisioned a crash. The following year, I was sitting on the subway and read in the Metro newspaper how Bitcoin had recovered after a crash. I couldn’t understand how a currency that is built on trust could recover. That piqued my interest.”

Bottema is just one of the many so-called “Bitcoinnaires” who now have a high net worth due to their early investment in Bitcoin.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

India: Bitcoin is Used Mostly for Speculation While Government Lacks Focus

India:
Bitcoin is Used Mostly for Speculation While Government Lacks Focus

While the Indian government continues to advance

initiatives to study the regulatory environment for Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the awareness and use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency continues to grow within the Asian country.

Bitcoin users growth

Acclaimed fastest growing Bitcoin exchange in India, Bitxoxo has reached a milestone of 100,000 users on its platform. In a press release, the company claims to have been consistently adding between 10,000 to 20,000 users every month, and this has led to their current amount of users.

Elaborating on the growth, Hesham Rehman co-Founder & CEO, Bitxoxo says,

“We have been relentlessly working towards creating awareness around Bitcoin investments. India is very much ready to accept a currency revolution as it is moving towards technology acceptance. This will be one more stud to the same portfolio. The growing number of users reflects that Bitcoin is gaining popularity and trust. We are sure figures are further going to climb up.”

Mixed reactions

The Indian authorities have exhibited mixed reactions towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies especially in 2017. Earlier in the year, the finance ministry recommended that the Indian government discourages the use of Bitcoin. On the other hand, a proposal for the regulation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is being drafted. Apparently, India is showing some real interest on matters that concern digital currencies.

Blockchain speaker and influencer, Kumar Gaurav tells Cointelegraph that the Indian government is aiming to end corruption and move forward with digitization, with projects like UPI and Aadhar. Yet, given that Indian banking and payment systems are advanced, cryptocurrencies are not seen as a payment tool that is required to solve any existing problem.

Speculation

Gaurav notes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are used by Indians mostly for speculation and money making. Gaurav explains that in India, betting or any kind of investment that is not regulated is illegal. India as a nation has capital controls, so the finance ministry will discourage the use of digital currencies.

Gaurav says:

“The Indian government is trying its best to understand the system and technology behind Bitcoin. It will still take some time to before a decision can be reached where it can be declared safe. Also, the Bitcoin ecosystem in India is not at a stage where the government has to take bold action for it and declare it completely illegal.”

Technology growth

India state governments are experiencing tremendous growth on Blockchain application sectors where it is creating clear value. Recently, Auxesis Group moved 53 mln people on the Blockchain network for the State Government of India, and are now working on issues which arose due to such large scale implementation. Gaurav does not expect so much short term value creation due to Bitcoin in the Indian ecosystem. He notes that the government deserves to be given enough time to work it out and come up with a final decision on Bitcoin investments. Meanwhile, people can enjoy the speculation.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Cash – The New King of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Cash - The New King of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Cash – The New King of Cryptocurrency

Less than a month ago, a few new lines of code and a verbal agreement forked the Bitcoin blockchain, creating a newer, more nimble version called Bitcoin Cash. Since its arrival on Aug. 1, the infant cryptocurrency has more than doubled in value from $300 to a price north of $600, and investors are now wondering if its popularity poses a serious threat to the Bitcoin throne.

Bitcoin Cash is essentially a clone of the existing Bitcoin blockchain​ with one important feature: additional block size capacity (more on that later). Those who owned Bitcoin before the split now own an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash, meaning Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin each now have 16.5 million units in circulation. Multiply Bitcoin Cash’s recent price of $607 times 16.5 million units, and you arrive at a market cap of $10.8 billion, making it the third-most valuable cryptocurrency​ at around 16% of Bitcoin’s $69 billion market value. An asset with the same value as streaming-music service Spotify or social media giant Twitter was born overnight.

Bitcoin Cash - The New King of Cryptocurrency

Source: Coinmarketcap.com

Bitcoin Cash got off to a slow start but sprang to life as the cryptocurrency’s mining algorithm self-corrected to attract profit-seeking computers, known as miners. These super-computers are the beating heart of the blockchain responsible for verifying and embedding transactions in digital ledgers, called blocks. Once the market noticed a rise in the rate at which blocks were being produced, known as the hash rate, investors bid up the price of the resulting tokens.

Bitcoin Cash - The New King of Cryptocurrency

Source: Tradingview.com

An Answer to a Years-Long Dispute

When Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009, block sizes were unlimited. To buy and sell Bitcoin, wallets required users to keep a record of the entire blockchain. It was as if one had to download the entire history of Google searches to find something on the internet. This led to an abundance of Denial of Service (DOS) attacks as hackers stuffed blocks with meaningless transactions making it difficult for users with slower computers to transact. To alleviate this problem, the Bitcoin community moved to limit block size to one megabyte (MB)

Currently, the 1 MB block size limits transaction speeds to four to seven per second, which can’t compete with Visa's and Paypal’s 2,000 transactions per second. Newer, innovative wallets permit an increase in block sizes, and the introduction of Bitcoin Cash is necessary to scale for mass adoption as a payment platform.

The new cryptocurrency attempts to solve the scaling problem by increasing existing block sizes from 1 MB to 8 MB, thereby increasing the amount of transactions processed per day and improving transaction speed.

Critics argue that larger block sizes will lead to the centralization of mining operations, as larger blocks require professional hardware. This would run counter to the idea of a decentralized network of miners, and limit oversight of the Bitcoin network to a few large miners and nodes.

What Has Happened Recently

To run a cryptocurrency, miners must confirm and account for recent transactions and mine new blocks. Their profitability is the spread between the value of the block reward (price of the coin x # issued per block) and the amount of resources needed to mine the block (known as the “difficulty”). The hash rate is the speed at which blocks are created. Higher hash rates make mining coins more lucrative as it increases the opportunity of mining the next block and receiving the reward.

The blockchain contains an important, self-correcting mechanism that can either speed up or slow down the hash rate when necessary. Essentially, the mathematical formula at the heart of the blockchain goes through a difficulty adjustment every 2,016 blocks. The difficulty is set so that 2,016 blocks will be mined just about every two weeks. If the pace is too slow, the difficulty adjusts downwards; and if the pace is too quick, the algorithm becomes more difficult to solve.

As Bitcoin Cash struggled out of the gates to attract miners, its difficulty adjusted sharply downward, making mining an extremely lucrative proposition. Accordingly, Bitcoin miners chased the easy money and shifted capacity to Bitcoin Cash. Hash rates subsequently skyrocketed, and this caused havoc to the original Bitcoin network. In just the past few days, the Bitcoin hash rate has been halved—slowing down the network and raising transaction prices.

Bitcoin Cash - The New King of Cryptocurrency

Source: Blockchain.info

Reports on social media say that Bitcoin transactions are taking hours or even days to confirm. However, the slower hash rate means that Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment will be lowered for the next cycle and lead to an increase in miners.
 

The Bottom Line

Blockchain miners are now shifting capacity to Bitcoin Cash’s larger block-sized network, which is temporarily troublesome for the Bitcoin network. However, the difficulty adjustment for both networks will ensure that Bitcoin remains the king cryptocurrency—at least for now.

 

Author: Ian King August 28, 2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepereneur

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

How Blockchain Is Reinventing Your News Feed

How Blockchain Is Reinventing Your News Feed

New blockchain platforms are trying disrupt the traditional news feeds.

 59% of Americans get their news from Twitter. Screenshot by Omri BarzilayThe decline of the print press is well documented as the internet and the power of online news sources have forever changed the way we consume news. To put things in perspective, recall the sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015 for the stunning price of $50 million — effectively a purchase of the paper’s real estate holding – a whopping decline from the paper’s estimated $1 billion value in 2004.

This radical shift was spurrednew on by the rise of new technology: The internet created an instant, cheap, and mobile delivery vehicle for news content. News writing has continued, but the shape of news distribution has been changed forever. During the newspaper era, the gatekeepers were large corporations that delivered the news to the people based on what they determined was newsworthy. The internet revolution sought to remove those gatekeepers and make news more public and democratic.

However, instead of removing the gatekeepers, the internet revolution simply gave us new ones in the guise of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and whoever owns the online news portal. These entities can filter or influence the news communicated to their readers, filling the shoes of the print media giants of the past. However, in a fitting twist of fate, what the internet did to the print newspaper gatekeepers may already be on the horizon for today’s digital media outlets. New technologies are seeking to again disrupt the industry by decentralizing control, genuinely removing the gatekeepers from public news access, thus ensuring censorship and bias-free news and social media.

Blockchain Tech Seeks to Decentralize News

The biggest issue with news sources in the digital age is verifiability. How do consumers know what is true, and how do they trust what gatekeepers feed them? Just look at the war of words between the major media outlets seeking readership during the last American election. Accusations of bias were everywhere, and the public has grown sick of the lack of clear and unbiased journalism. Startups like Snip has noticed this opportunity and develop solutions to decentralizing control through blockchain-based mechanisms. These solutions may be the cure for today’s news and social media ills. Blockchain-based delivery of news can empower consumers to verify and promote news, thus changing the way we digest news, whether on social media or mainstream media feeds.

How Blockchain Tech Can Fix Mainstream Media

In the corporate realm, organizational news has become something of a joke around the proverbial water cooler. Trump recently labeled CNN as the "Clinton News Network," and it’s no secret that Fox News leans far right. The public has sought a source of news that is quick to digest, easy to find, and verified by users rather than by centralized publishers. Blockchain and the power of decentralization can produce just such a system. Snip has sought to bring these aspects of news consumption to the public. It has created a distributed system wherein writers can offer snippets — concise summaries of news articles — and the public can choose the topics they want to read about, whether sports, technology, medicine, etc.

While this is certainly nothing new, the incentive system is. The company has built a verification and reward system wherein the writers can earn SnipCoin (Snip’s version of a cryptocurrency token) by writing excellent snippets. Advertisers can pay Snipcoin to increase visibility. Readers can tip writers with tokens and, if they choose, clear their feeds of advertisements for a small Snipcoin payment.

The whole system within the Snip ecosystem of news connects writer to reader directly, removing the risk of censorship and bias inherent in traditional news. Readers can control what they read and encourage writers they like. Meanwhile, writers can make legitimate income from generous readers. Additionally, Snip writers are tasked with making news quickly digestible, or a TLDR format if you will. Each story is limited in word count, so that readers can gain quick information on a variety of topics from one source. Rather than long-winded articles, Snip simply communicates news summaries, saving time for readers. Snip also has a machine learning algorithm that learns you and your preferences so the end result is highly relevant personalize genuine news feed.

Blockchain Can Also fix Social Media

According to a recent survey, as least 44% of Americans use Facebook as their main news source, and a stunning 59% get their news from Twitter. With this dependence on social media, consumers have witnessed a massive amount of fake news being indiscriminately spread on social media. The American and French elections gave rise to huge amounts of fake news publication, political mudslinging, and propaganda.

During election season, social media users are often inundated with fake news links from relatively upstanding sounding publication names, many of which prove to be false. Whether voters were right wing or left wing, they found their social news feeds full of articles they either disagreed with, or simply didn’t want their friends to know they had read. This systemic issue drove some forward-thinking technology buffs to consider possible solutions through the blockchain. The distributed nature of blockchains means that for news to be affirmed on a social site, it must be verified. Without verification, the fake news would simply cease being news and disappear, while real news would gain more readership.

A method to verify the news was the issue, of course, and technology teams have found new and interesting ways to do so. onG.social, for example, has created a social media dashboard that rewards real news with digital tokens (similar to cryptocurrency, think of these as rewards), given by users to other users who post the real news. Cryptocurrency can then be exchanged for fiat currency — dollars, pounds, euros, etc. Users can realistically make money by curating and sharing real news and rejecting fake ones. In today’s world, you don’t have rights to your own content and images. On.G Social’s mission is to change the paradigm to a state which social network users actually own their own data and get a chance to monetize it.

Giving Control Back to the Users

The main goal of social media was initially to provide users a platform for sharing, and as a better way of communicating directly with each other. In the final analysis, however, the major social media outlets have reneged on this promise, choosing instead to censor users and invade our privacy by collecting and selling our data to advertisers. Blockchain technology solves this issue through a censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer platform where users are able to share what they like, when they like, without centralized interference.

Through blockchain-based platforms, users have freedom in the content we share and how to share it, with the added ability of monetizing content through sharing. The work does not end there, however. Innovative companies are now raising capital in order to fight back against the broken system. onG.social, for one, is conducting an ICO to raise money to build on its technology and platform. Such digital crowdfunding activities are an emerging way to raise capital outside of the usual venture capital route.

What is the Future of Social and News?

Will Facebook, Twitter, Google and the online news gatekeepers go the way of print newspapers? Probably not in the near future, though few would’ve guessed the rapid decline of print newspapers. Regardless, though, Blockchain technology is already making inroads into both social and institutional news sources, creating new and better ways for consumers to find and enjoy content. The future of news consumption could one day be peer-to-peer, with a complete removal of centralized news gatekeepers. The die is certainly cast for just such a disruption.

Chuck Reynolds


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