CryptoTrends

This article is about what hasn’t been in the headlines in the crypto space.

By crypto space I mean: cryptographic currencies, decentralized ledgers, distributed consensus protocols and thee / a blockchain protocol.

It is fast pace, riveting, real-time, global; it never sleeps.

From the highly anticipated Halvening, to the Rise of Ethereum and the Fall of the DAO, to the next big anticipated ICO; this year has arguably been the most exciting for this global phenomenon.

I haven’t posted in awhile, it still feels like the wild west times of cryptographic state transition machines. Lots has changed but governments still do not know how to classify it, exchanges have trouble securing it, people still can’t get enough of it; a true computational advancement growing before our eyes into a new global digital layer.

You have computing nodes around the world opting in to share the concurrent state of ownership of digital entities coupled with an arms race of specialized chips consuming immense amounts of energy incentivizing the search for a mathematical proof that secures and enables a robust cryptographic monetary system.

A truly born global and open enabler of immediate value transfer.

Clearing and settlement that relies purely on the underlying cryptographic stacking of blocks full, and I mean completely full, of digital cryptographic signatures.

On the Surface

Someone can securely hold digital entities of value, they can be exchanged and used anywhere in the world, there is no one that tells them how much they can send or spend; the rules are written in computer code.

One can engage in instant digital arbitrage and use a physical proxy for food at a restaurant or a means of transportation. This is the current reality we live in, or in other words:

There is a digital layer that not everyone in the world knows about. This layer is operated in p2p cryptography. It has already arrived, but is not evenly distributed yet.

One could leverage this layer in reality if they know the way to access it:

One way is to use Shapeshift to exchange one alt for another, set the withdraw address to a web wallet, send the alt from a web wallet a global digital exchange, sell for Bitcoin, withdraw to a wallet associated to a Bitcoin debit card then go to the nearest ATM for cash effectivo.

This could take maybe 15-20 minutes.

In real time using a variety of mediums, pure decentralized digital arbitrage. A seamless flow of taking a non-tangible digital unspent transaction output and turning it into cash.

At any point, regardless of location in the entire world, you can buy, sell, short, swap, any digital entity of any magnitude via a computer in your pocket and then go and use it IRL.

It’s unfathomable.

What other asset class can you trade digitally and globally at any time then immediately exchange for cash? That has this type of volitility?

Now if buying dinner or booking a flight is the first step, this is only going to become more and more prevalent as more asset classes are put on the blockchain. If I can spend coins on the blockchain, why can’t I earn coins on the blockchain?

On the Machine Layer

Machines do not need a UI in order to interact with the blockchain.

You don’t have to be there for a machine to interact with your endpoint.

If right now I can do all of the above, trade, sell, spend, crypto, pull out money, then I should have just an easy a time earning the above via some digital mechanism.

This is what the 21 computer enables – one’s machines to earn bitcoin per http request.

This still really doesn’t encompass the profound implications of being able to directly interface with a global value transfer network at the command line or by writing a consumable API. Tapping into the network should be easy, creating a closed loop once in should be even easier.

Something I thought is fitting is it comes down to input vs output. The analogy is equivalent to one Elon Musk mentionend recently in that as humans our input sensors are incredible, however the output is very inefficicent ( I have been typing on the train as fast as I can for the last half hour and I am barely at 800 words). It’s even worse when we are on a phone. We have two thumbs. Two measly thumbs to try and explain. Nueral lace is a way’s out but I think being able to incentivise machines for output is a step in a indirect but somehow related path.

I need to make it more of a habit to code in Python on my 21.co computer.

__init__ method   | Flask 

Bots

I haven’t been writing as much because I have been building bots. I have been using Howdy.ai’s BotKit to create a number of Slack bots.

Following tutorials online and eventually creating the conversations handlers, and connecting them to various APIs using a combination of npm packages, node.js, and heroku.

The platforms that are driving the new shifters Slack, Facebook Messenger, Microsoft. The big differentiator is that Slack was made enterprise team first. They have the most momentum and a great indicator of this is their growing appexchange.

As an operating system for teams of any size, there is a huge upside to bringing in the various tools one would use on a daily basis into one place.

Being able to leverage /commands, Webhooks, and bots will enable new levels of productivity and ultimately drive business outcomes.

I will have a post soon on how to build these integrations to Slack.

The next bots I make will be with Microsoft botbuilder and Azure.

OAuth

serialize JSON, deserialize.

Callbacks

ICO’S and CryptoArbitrage

There has been a recent increase in the number of Initial Coin Offerings.

Lisk was a solid one. Despite the DDOS on the web wallet at launch, overall the coin has given strong returns, has gotten some great backing, and a has accumulated a relatively high market capitalization.

There have been a few other ones ICOs recently that I have not participated in. The big thing here is your looking at the the tech, the team, are devs going to build on the platform, what is the main differentiator, what exchanges are going to list it and last but definitely not least; follow the whales and traders on Twitter.

There is no question whether or not you can profit off Alts, you’re hedging a quick come up versus a platform and community that contributes to growth and continued innovation.

Don’t Just Hold

From an immediate coin flipping for profit point of view I would make sure that you have a few different mediums you could use to exchange the altcoin into BTC in a relatively fast way, within at least an hour. Confirmation times and amounts do vary by exchange and by the level of identity verification you have on the exchange but ultimately you want to make sure that if you are going to be investing in an alt that you know that it can be converted back into Bitcoin with out jumping through too many hoops.

When making an exchange in the crypto world it comes down to liquidity and security. If you want to you can completely trade via your phone, log into your various wallets via web browsers, and refresh and count blocks until your money has moved. Not really recommended for various security reasons but it does work.On the flip side you can get a device for an offline wallet or create, print, and send a multisig paperwallet.

Just a side note I would make sure when trading that you send a little bit first to an address verify it got there and then send the rest, just good practice. On the flip side if you are cashing out from bitcoin to a bank account make sure that the card / account your are withdrawing the money to is not closed or inactive.

Definitely keep an eye on:

coinmarketcap.com

WhaleClub, twitter feeds

check what time it is in China, NY, and SF.

On the Protocol

I often forget that the code that operates all of this can be directly interfaced with. Actually sending the raw transaction data.

Actually piecing together EVM assembly.

Review the code of the protocol. In a sense if you find a bug the bounty could be millions.

On Nodes

The number of nodes that keep a copy of the blockchain needs to be increased. This also means that the number of nodes running the same version of a protocol needs to be increased as well. A network of Raspberry Pis can create a interactable global digital layer if you know how to directly interface with the Bitcoin Protocol or a high level level language that does so.

I don’t think that Ethereum should soft fork or hard fork, disclaimer: did not throw DAOn.

Conclusion

Overall I think that there is a bigger trend in play that is the same way that everyone learned typing, cryptography will be the same way. Everyone will be learning / using cryptography.

Think about that you have this entirely new layer that not that much has been built on yet.
Look around, nothing really is running on the blockchain yet.
Think about what the Internet as a communication layer between people looked like.
What if cars ran on a P2P blockchain mesh network. Each stored a copy of the blockchain.
Would it make sense for cars to be connected via a blockchain layer vs an Internet layer?
Or better yet is a easier for to achieve the outcome by calling directly it from a blockchain?

 

More Research on:

Seg Witness

OP Return

Recursive Bots and NLP

Questions:

A big question was whether or not Bitcoin was going to be the first or the last cryptocurrency. It’s definitely not the last, but will the alts stick?

Which of the big 5 tech companies will make the first major Bitcoin acquisition?

 

MicroSaas

This post is from my time at the Consensus 2016 Hackathon a few months ago.

The consensus from the 2016 Hackathon was that smart contracts and decentralized applications will drive blockchain innovation and businesses into the future.

This year’s hackathon was held in the heart of Times Square at Microsoft’s Technology Center. I would say the event had about 4x as many devs compared to the hackathon last September. Out of the 25 different teams that presented on Sunday, about 15-20 were built on Ethereum; a huge increase from the 3 of 15 teams at last year’s hackathon. A few of the applications including the winning one, Decentralized Energy Utility, were built using Hyperledger on IBM’s Cloud and Tierion was used by several teams as well to embed data at scale into the blockchain.

Though the majority of the focus from a development standpoint was not focused on the Bitcoin blockchain, there were exciting  announcements by 21 around the Machine-Payable web and Bitcoin as the 3rd layer to the Internet. They have now open sourced the 21 libraries which effectively could make any computer a Bitcoin computer. This could spur a whole new set of financial innovation webs with different P2P escrow and lending models, micropayments and connected blockchain technology stacks.

Another huge launch was the Bitcoin Market Open Bazaar. This is a next generation open market built on Bitcoin. This is the first of many of these types of markets and platforms or even business models that will be completely recreated using blockchain technology. In order to support these types of new business there needs to be a scalable backend .

One of the biggest takeaways from the hackathon was that Cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and AWS are partnering with various Smart Contract and blockchain companies to build consortiums and spark blockchain innovation. This could be by listing the app on the platform, running POCs or sponsoring / hosting hackathons.

These huge cloud companies have started a chains race to attract the best developers and the newest most innovation companies in an effort to “make blockchain real”. By leveraging the cloud infrastructure of these different platforms, blockchain applications can be rapidly deployed and scale. With this notion in mind, I knew going into the Hackathon the I wanted to build using the Azure platform.

We built MicroSaas using Blockapps, the best-in-class blockchain application platform that enables developers to quickly build and scale applications on Microsoft Azure.

So what is MicroSaas?

MicroSaas is a enterprise software platform and marketplace to aggregate micro-consumable APIs across multiple cloud software vendors and service providers. Through Ethereum Smart Contracts, we enable vendors to be paid on a per transaction basis in real time as API calls are made by users. As the calls are made by the user, ether is deducted from the smart contract and paid to the vendor. If the user wants to switch vendors or do some other business function, they can buy a different contract from the market.

This new model frees users from the Per-User-Per-Month SaaS model, provides a verifiable proof of vendor service level, and it enables early stage startups in developing markets to access these critical SaaS functions. The platform also allows users to switch vendors on the fly depending on the use case, performance demands, or cost.

MicroSaaS is the name of new age of enterprise computing; it enables Business-to-Business micropayments on a global decentralized network facilitating value transfer and state transition for SMBs. Businesses around the globe will grow on the MicroSaaS platform. The traditional model for enterprise SaaS software will continue to thrive at the commercial and enterprise level but MicroSaas enables new markets and businesses where a per user per month model is not feasible to grow the business.

Instead these businesses will use micropayments to make API calls embedded within JavaScript components running the commands that drive business growth; creating a contact in a database, sending an eSignature, appending a general ledger.

MicroSaas was the winner of the Microsoft’s hackathon award; 3 years of full access to software, services, support and $750 a month of credits to build on the Azure platform via the Micosoft Bizspark program.

This is the beginning of entire new business platform built on the world’s first decentralized virtual machine. We use Smart Contracts in Solidity to store the variable state and functions of traditional objects or entities in cloud business platforms such as Account’s, Opportunities, etc.  This completely new transaction and payment model also enables other software vendors to build their businesses with Ethereum smart contracts creating an entirely new range of decentralized software applications.

It enables new forms of data verification and automation using cryptographic hash functions at each stage of the revenue driving business process.

Companies can now operate under the assumption that both parties have cryptographic representation of every deterministic property of a process. The price of the API, the outcomes of the transaction, are completely based on met or unmet inputs that are cryptographically locked into smart contracts and active on the Ethereum blockchain. The amount of ether it is going to cost to deploy the contract plus the charge for using the SaaS application can be set in the properties and shared as fact in the state of the abstract virtual computer.

This is a revolutionary concept. Shared state, distributed consensus, validity; all properties derived from Bitcoin now applied to the enterprise software world.

Individual software vendors, system integrators, and partners will leverage this technology with their customers creating an immutable history of every transaction made between the service providers.

Check out MicroSaas on Devpost.