Bitcoin Unlimited, Hard Fork, New ICOs, Satoshi in London Scene Roundup

Our own correspondent Nick Ayton, aka the Sage of Shoreditch, reports on the Turing Award winner, HoneyCoin, perspectives of Bitcoin hard fork, new ICOs and the tokenization of everything during a rather somber week in London.

Oh, and Satoshi leaving a trace at Gatwick.

And the Turing winner was

MIT professor Silvio Micali was the co-winner of this prestigious accolade, the Turing Award. His theory “ALGORAND,” a new consensus model that apparently scales, has received what is considered the Nobel equivalent of computing.

I remain a big fan of zero-knowledge proofs and zk-SNARKs where Silvio has added a lot and I have to agree that Blockchain will struggle to move on to phase two without a rethink.

There are no standards and the Blockchain stacks vary depending on who you speak with.

Unlike the ISO and TCP/IP stack, Blockchain is different. In my view there are five layers:

  • Consensus
  • Mining or Forging
  • Propagation
  • Semantic
  • Physical Internet

Consensus drives Blockchain defining everything about design and operations; dictating the underlying performance, scalability, governance, data capacity, security and redundancy which remain the core attributes of the technology, with other aspects dealing with crypto economic rewards and incentives around token management and supply.

Time will tell and I look forward to learning more about ALGORAND that looks at vested economic interest as a means to effectively rank the nodes and define how things get done.

ICO booming

This week saw the Qtum ICO secure more than 90 percent of its funding in the first few hours, the Internet of Coins steaming ahead, Matchpool and Cosmos starting very soon and the 21Million project confirmed that they are planning for May.

There is no doubt that ICOs are gaining pace and quality and are rapidly becoming the preferred choice for crypto-entrepreneurs. And, of course, we assume you have purchased your share of ChocoholicCoin and MothersCoin for this coming Mother’s Day weekend.

Satoshi spotted again

I couldn’t believe it, there I was in the queue at Gatwick Airport to board a plane to Dublin and there it was, two people in front of me that familiar rucksack ‘Bitcoin Sold Here.’

Cointelegraph: Hey Vittalark what are you doing here?

He turned around looking very surprised to see me.

Vittalark Buttering: I found out he is in Dublin you know.

CT: How do you know?

VB: I spoke to Victor at the foot spa who said Satoshi had told him he was off to Dublin, he may even be on this flight.

With that, he showed me his boarding pass and was off down the gangway to the plane.

CT: What seat have you got?

VB: 21B, of course. I always try to get this seat because it is what Satoshi would choose.

CT: Does that mean he is not on the flight then?

VB: You know Dublin is where the secret stuff is being worked on, you know the new Bitcoin code. I can’t say anymore I think I am being followed. See that lady, she keeps looking at me and then talking on her phone.

CT: Do you think Bitcoin will fork, ending up with BTC and BTU (Bitcoin Unlimited)?

But Vittalark had moved on and was already sitting down and I went to my seat at the back of the plane.

No sign of Satoshi, with Dublin to look forward to.

Tokenizing everything

It is likely that every asset on the planet will be tokenized, which will not only allow all value to be programmed and exchanged simply and easily but will also signal the changeover from today’s capital markets to crypto capital markets which have already started.

I love crypto-economics because it redefines how value is created and exchanged and why stock exchanges, in particular, are starting to wake up to the opportunity to create and trade entirely new asset classes.

Until now, the majority of ICOs were for software developers to build things - e.g. the Qtum project - while others may have the beginning of a Blockchain platform they will build out or for ConsenSys, adding another spoke to the ConsenSys Ethereum core platform.

Later this year we will see new emerging types of ICO, both specifically asset-backed for land and real estate, and also content-based.

With 21MCoin for the film and entertainment industry representing an entitlement to a royalty that moves it away from being seen as a financial product.

Then there is ERCoin with an ICO planned for June/July that is fully asset backed by land and property, that can be part of an ETI (exchange traded instrument) opening it up to institutional investors and where a strip of cryptocurrency sits as part of a broader performing fund.

Many altcoins plummet in value after launch but in the cases of 21MCoin and ERCoin, the token is supported by assets that generate an income stream as the value of the underlying asset increases.

A token of entitlement, rewards, royalties and benefits that will accelerate ICOs to become a go-to place for mainstream institutional cash looking for a home.

SEC decision does not matter

The big news this week is the state of Bitcoin following the SEC ruling, another move by China to control movement and concerns over the technology scaling.

My take on theBitcoin ETF SEC ruling is that it matters not.

If the US wants to place draconian rules on Bitcoin, the activity will simply get up and move to regions that remain open and favorable.

People forget that Bitcoin is a movement - it is a packet switched protocol that lives in the ether with Bitcoin the first smart contract that works autonomously.

Bitcoin isn’t owned by anyone, it crosses borders and jurisdictions and cannot be regulated.

Like TCP/IP, they tried and failed.

Bitcoin hard fork

The fork is a real issue though as for some time there have been concerns over fundamental scaling that has lifted trading volumes of large-scale selling and then buying. As commentators see it through their capital markets lens, traders predict Bitcoin price will settle below $750 creating a new resistance level. But then I don’t get this or see it that way.

If Bitcoin forks you end up with Bitcoin BTC and Bitcoin Unlimited (BTU) that exposes holders of Bitcoin to uncertainty and possible losses. And a choice of which way to fall, the process remains unclear. Then there is the mining community that is significantly invested in BTC and some in the crypto press have predicted everything will get legal and nasty as two sides fight and argue, as value is disturbed.

US agenda

Comments no doubt are driven by a US agenda to pull the rug from under Bitcoin.

But with miners spread globally, huge pools in China and Asia with the majority operating beyond sovereign control, the community remains largely anonymous, autonomous and economically insulated from reprisals and also mine several cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin.

Lawyers still don’t understand how it works and there is no court in the land that could adjudicate. So I struggle to see the legal fight anytime soon.

The issue of China stepping in is not a negative for Bitcoin at all. It is, however, predictable as the Chinese economy would take steps to secure money flows and currency, remembering they are a hybrid capitalist economy as the bulk of the land remains under sovereign control.

But then again, does old-fashioned supply and demand, market forces and economic models apply to cryptocurrencies. I would suggest it is this thinking that is contributing to volatility, as once again the few try to spike the market for quick gains.

HoneyCoin launches in Somerset

CT caught up with beekeeper Norman Snitch to discover more about his plans for HoneyCoin and find out of if there is a sting in the tail.

Cointelegraph: So Norman what is the idea behind this?

Norman: Unlike other commodities, Honey is technically different as it is owned by the birds and the bees. It doesn’t need expensive refining or production process in a factory.

CT: So what do investors in HoneyCoin get?

Norman: They get two things really. They own some bees, they are entitled to a dividend from the honey we sell and we throw “sting and hay fever insurance” in for good measure.

CT: So how much does one HoneyCoin cost?

Norman: Well it is difficult to say because we don’t accept money or Bitcoin. We accept only flowering plants that provide the environment for the bees to get pollen and do their stuff.

We own the land already and we make our money from selling the purest, fair trade honey on the market, and we record who has given us plants, and where they are planted on the Blockchain. The number of flowering plants matter and Smart Contracts work out the yield of flowering buds versus number bees visits and allocate coins and royalties on this basis.

CT: Sounds brilliant Norman, real eco-friendly Honey produced in a libertarian way.

Norman: Exactly. Do you want to taste?


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