London Scene Roundup: Bitcoin’s Ups & Downs, Assange, Lightning Alpha, Satoshi, Blockchain Talents Scarce

London takes it easy with Cointelegraph exclusives: Bitcoin’s price hike and then drop in January explained, the new bOObCoin launches in Essex, Assange invents Proof of Life and Satoshi spotted selling the Big Issue outside the Bank of England.

BOObCoin to aid breast surgery

London Correspondent Nick Ayton speaks with Debbey Fulcro who owns a salon in Billericay Essex.

CT: How did you come up with the idea?

Debbey Fulcro: Plastic surgery is very expensive and unaffordable for most girls that are unhappy with their bodies so we created bOObCoin so that girls can raise money for breast augmentation surgery.

CT: Sounds like there is a lot of potential to use these coins for other procedures?

DF: Yes exactly.

We did think of linking bOObCoin to the price of silicon, but we felt the market would be distorted by larger size implants. We want people to use bOObCoin for all kinds of body enhancements.

The mind boggles the name of the next coin to come from Debbey’s salon…TodgerCoin, FaceCoin, BToxCoin, who knows what to expect.

Proof of Life (alive)

With Julian Assange revealing he is still with us, the WikiLeaks editor seems to have found a way for missing or captive people to let the world know they are still around.

Welcome to the Blockchain community Julian, we look forward to reading your green paper on Proof of Alive.

Bitcoin’s ups and downs

Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton explains the Bitcoin price hike and drop in January:

There is always speculation surrounding Bitcoin and reasons behind the volatility welcomed in the New Year, where the price of Bitcoin tested the all-time high only to drop 30 percent within days.

Many speculate the cause is the relationship with the yuan and the impact of comments by the Chinese authorities on Bitcoin, primarily The People’s Bank of China mentioning the launch of an investigation into Bitcoin.

It is noticeable that more and more people in China, India and Latin America see Bitcoin as a safe haven currency, with others using the cryptocurrency as a mechanism to move money out of the country. With a record number of wallet downloads, it is difficult to tell the total number of frequent Bitcoin users, although the magic number of 100 mln seems to be the real resilience level to test adoption.

In other recent business models - whether it be PayPal, Visa or AMEX - when these payment rails reached 100 mln regular users, they were accepted.

The doom-and-gloomers say that this proves that Bitcoin is a con.

For me, it is the exchanges that are of most concern and may actually be contributing to volatility. Alternatively, it could be the miners taking profits, selling as the New Year unfolds, with two-thirds of the larger mining pools in China, many of whom are creating exchange trading platforms and diversifying into new investment classes that may contain a strip of Bitcoin.

I like to look at it this way. A lower price is a time to buy. As many of the experts believe, it won’t be long until Bitcoin is at parity with gold, currently hovering around $1200, and then go on to $2000. A good time to buy isn’t it!

ChronoBank ICO

Don’t forget there is still time to get involved with the ChronoBank ICO that ends Feb. 14, 2017. A very exciting model and the Initial Coin Offering accepts most popular cryptos as well as some fiat. A great time to be involved in the “Uber of recruitment.”

Lightning Alpha release arrives at last

Reaction in London to the recent Lightning alpha release has been generally positive. John Corr at Blockchain-X mentions:

“The primary reason Blockchain is stuck in prototypes and proof of concepts is because the technologies struggle to scale effectively.”

Members of #TeamBlockchain launched in London in December 2016 also comment:

“Despite alpha’s release, the signs are promising but it is not clear if SegWit is needed alongside Lightning.”

John Corr explains: “It is possible to take Ethereum code and remove the restrictions, increase block size and transaction throughput, but the development costs can be tricky.”

David Edwards, the founder of ChainThat, mentioned in a recent interview with Cointelegraph: “I am looking forward to seeing the potential of Lightning, although the Ethereum version used by ChainThat had solved many of the underlying technology and scaling issues whereas they are entirely focused on insurance and reinsurance markets.”

Satoshi spotted again

Vittalark Butterring: “It was starting to snow and I was leaving the Royal Exchange near Bank station and I noticed a Big Issue seller standing outside the main entrance to the Bank of England.

I knew it was him. His head was covered by a wooly hat and he looked very cold.

He had a little sign on his rucksack that Bitcoin is accepted here. I think it was a disguise and a ploy. I think we were waiting for Mark Carney the governor to leave work and ask him why the BoE doesn’t have a cryptocurrency yet.”

Good work Vittalark, keep up the good work.

Where has the talent gone?

Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton looks at Blockchain Resources in the city of London.

London recruiters are piling into Blockchain technologies in the search for high fees to ride the wave of increasing popularity. With an expectation of high fees, with large banks hiring most people that can spell Blockchain, cryptography or have a Ph.D., every headhunter and recruiter are diving in.

However, there is a significant resource issue and scarcity of talent. The skills required for Blockchain are technology related and it seems that the current crop of coders (Java C++, Go, Python) can make the jump to Blockchain hyperspace.

The tricky bit is Ethereum – smart contracts where the lack of talent is starting to impact the progress of projects. In particular, Solidity, LL and Serpent developers with actual experience of coding smart contracts are worth their weight in Bitcoin.

Ethereum came out July 2015 and the smart contract languages are quite new with few libraries. Whilst the languages are relatively good, the key is the finesse required to write the business logic as a smart contract that is as economic as the use of gas, as things can get expensive to process.

Writing transactions to the SQL database, by comparison, is pretty simple. The equivalent on Ethereum requires experience to write efficient codes, given the restrictions of block size and the 1,500,000 gas limit.

It is quite clear that recruiters will have to find another way as Blockchain Business Architects, those who hold the requisite knowledge of Ethereum, software development, business operating models and functional expertise in a sector/industry, a very hard to find.

Time will tell and it is likely that day rates for the best Blockchain talent is likely to skyrocket as competition drives up prices. This resourcing issue is likely to have an impact on Blockchain adoption across the city of London.


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