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.
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
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.
serialize JSON, deserialize.
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:
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.
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.
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.
More Research on:
Recursive Bots and NLP
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?