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BULLISH CRYPTO REGULATIONS FROM SEC & OCC - Brian Brooks Banks Stablecoins - Bitfarms Bitcoin Mining

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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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[OC] If the regular season ended today, who would make your All-NBA 1st team? And 2nd team? And 3rd team? And 4th team? And 5th team? And 6th team? And 7th -- uh oh -- I think I lost my marbles... but let's keep going... 8th team? 9th team? 10th team?

Getting named as an NBA All-Star is a high honor, but being named to an All-NBA team is even rarer air. After all, only 15 players in the entire league earn that distinction. The fact that it's such an exclusive club makes it so important, so the idea of adding more players to the list would devalue it by nature. It'd be a silly, fruitless exercise, and a complete waste of time.
That said... it sure beats "reality" right now. And in the interest of escapism, let's entertain that hypothetical. Who would make your 1st team All-NBA? Your 2nd? Your 3rd? Your 4th? The challenge is get all the way up to the 10th if you can handle that test of your sanity.
For my own, I include a few caveats:
--- The NBA breaks down All-NBA spots more traditionally with frontcourt and backcourt, but I find that outdated. For mine, I'm going to include 1 "lead guard," 2 "wings," 1 "big," and 1 "flex" that can be any position. To me, that's reflective of the modern game. Most teams play with 1 guard, 3 wings, and 1 big, but there are teams that use 2 lead guards, or 2 bigs, etc.
--- The nature of basketball statistics tends to break down by game, or by minute, or even by play/possession. In the process, we tend to overlook players who are durable and add aggravate value over the course of a season. Personally, I'm going to factor in "games played" more than most would.
--- The advanced stats I'm listing are true shooting percentage and ESPN's estimated "wins added" based on their real plus/minus metric.
With all that said, let's get to the madness.
1st TEAM
GUARD: James Harden (HOU). 34.4 points, 7.4 assists, 62 TS%, +10.4 wins added
You can tell when a player has reached an historic level of greatness when no one seems to care when they're averaging over 34 points per game (on awesome efficiency.) Ho hum.
WING: LeBron James (LAL). 25.7 points, 10.6 assists, 58 TS%, +11.0 wins added
After last year's disappointment, LeBron James has come back leaner and meaner, with much better effort on D. He hasn't been attacking the paint and drawing fouls quite as well as he did in his youth, but he's adjusted his playing style and racked up a career high in assists.
WING: Giannis Antetounkmpo (MIL). 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, 61 TS%, +11.2 wins added
The Greek Freak's struggles at the free throw line (down to 63%) have lowered his efficiency from last year, but he's still clearly in contention for another MVP season. His point total nearly matches his minutes (30.9).
BIG: Nikola Jokic (DEN). 20.2 points, 6.9 assists, 60 TS%, +6.0 wins added
The Joker LOOKS like he should be a complete liability on defense, but the stats haven't born that out (he's +1.8 on that end in RPM.) And given that, his transcendent passing ability assists (get it???) his 1st team candidacy.
FLEX: Anthony Davis (LAL). 26.7 points, 2.4 blocks, 61 TS%, +5.2 wins added
The Lakers have vaulted into the top 3 in defense, largely due to Anthony Davis' ability to wreak havoc on that end. And keep in mind, he's leading his team in PPG as well.
2nd TEAM
GUARD: Damian Lillard (POR). 28.9 points, 7.8 assists, 62 TS%, +4.9 wins added
If it wasn't for Steph Curry and James Harden, Dame would be looking at a lot more first-team All-NBA seasons. This hasn't been Portland's best by any stretch, but it's hard to fault him for that.
WING: Luka Doncic (DAL). 28.7 points, 8.7 assists, 58 TS%, +5.9 wins added
No doubt, Luka Doncic is our toughest exclusion from the 1st team and the one I figure will be the most unpopular pick (so far.) The reason he slipped off the 1st team for me is the injury; he's played 10 less games than Nikola Jokic.
WING: Kawhi Leonard (LAC). 26.9 points, 5.0 assists, 59 TS%, +5.7 wins added
Similarly, it's always going to be tough for me to justify Kawhi on a 1st team as long as he takes off games (he's missed 13/64 so far.) Still, he should be rested and ready to go for another title campaign.
BIG: Rudy Gobert (UTA). 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 70 TS%, +4.5 wins added
I wonder if Rudy Gobert's coronavirus issues will hurt him in media votes in the future. Personally, I'm just going to keep rewarding him and recognizing him as one of the most impactful players in the league.
FLEX: Jimmy Butler (MIA). 20.2 points, 6.1 assists, 58 TS%, +4.1 wins added
Jimmy Butler's struggled to score from the field this year, but his ability to draw contact and get to the line (9.1 FTA) keeps his efficiency above average. And therein, his passing and defense help boost him into this range.
3rd TEAM
GUARD: Chris Paul (OKC). 17.7 points, 6.8 assists, 61 TS%, +5.5 wins added
An incredible year all around for CP3, who has turned 35 years old this month.
WING: Jayson Tatum (BOS). 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 56 TS%, +4.6 wins added
We all know him as a deadly scorer, but Jayson Tatum's added strength has helped him hang at the 4 spot on defense, which is a boon for the Celtics' small-ball/wing-ball approach.
WING: Khris Middleton (MIL). 21.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 62 TS%, +3.7 wins added
Giannis is the engine that drives the Bucks, but having shooters like Middleton around him is key.
BIG: Pascal Siakam (TOR). 23.6 points, 3.6 assists, 56 TS%, +4.8 wins added
Without Kawhi Leonard soaking up attention, Pascal Siakam's not getting as many easy baskets (his 2-point FG% has dropped from 60.2% to 50.6%.) Still, he's a hugely valuable player on both ends of the floor. Is he a true “big?” No. But I think that term is broad enough to extend past centers and can include PFs as well for our purposes.
FLEX: Russell Westbrook (HOU). 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 54 TS%, +6.0 wins added
I've never been a big Westbrook fan, but I give him credit for keeping his activity level and productivity up in a new role. He's gotten better and better as the season has gone on as well.
4th TEAM
GUARD: Ben Simmons (PHI). 16.7 points, 8.2 assists, 61 TS%, +4.2 wins added
Shooting? Still a problem. But fortunately, Ben Simmons does virtually everything else well. He can also step up his game when needed (like when Embiid is out.)
WING: Donovan Mitchell (UTA). 24.2 points, 4.2 assists, 56 TS%, +2.1 wins added
I don't know if Donovan Mitchell is truly any better than any high-scoring SGs like Devin Booker or Zach LaVine, but we have to reward him from being on a winner.
WING: Brandon Ingram (NO). 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 59 TS%, +2.4 wins added
A candidate for Most Improved, Brandon Ingram helped carry his team early in the season. He'll still have to figure out his chemistry with Zion Williamson, but it's safe to say he made himself a lot of money this year.
BIG: Bam Adebayo (MIA). 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 61 TS%, +3.1 wins added
Bam's ability to move the ball on offense (5+ assists) and move his feet on defense is key to the team. The scary part is: he may have another level to his game to reach.
FLEX: Devin Booker (PHX). 26.1 points, 6.6 assists, 62 TS%, +3.5 wins added
It's getting hard to blame Devin Booker for Phoenix's W-L record. He's just a flat-out stud scorer.
5th TEAM
GUARD: Trae Young (ATL). 29.6 points, 9.3 assists, 60 TS%, +3.2 wins added
Like Devin Booker, Trae Young is an offensive savant. Unfortunately, his defense is even more of an issue. He graded at -3.1 in RPM on that end, one of the worst in the entire NBA.
WING: Bradley Beal (WAS). 30.5 points, 6.1 assists, 58 TS%, +1.8 wins added
You expect Trae Young to be bad at defense, but Bradley Beal has graded surprisingly bad there as well (-2.8 RPM.) Of course, starting alongside Isaiah Thomas doesn't make that easy. Nevertheless, we had to downgrade him a few spots for the inconsistent effort there.
WING: Jaylen Brown (BOS). 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 59 TS%, +3.3 wins added
Coming out of Cal, some scouts questions Jaylen Brown's feel for the game. Right now, it's hard to find many things that he doesn't do well.
BIG: Joel Embiid (PHI). 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, 59 TS%, +2.8 wins added
Embiid would rank higher at full strength, but he's missed about 1/3 of the season so far.
FLEX: Kyle Lowry (TOR). 19.7 points, 7.7 assists, 59 TS%, +3.2 wins added
Now age 34, Kyle Lowry continues to play very well on both ends. He's the little engine that could -- or perhaps more appropriately, the caboose.
6th TEAM
GUARD: Eric Bledsoe (MIL). 15.4 points, 5.4 assists, 58 TS%, +2.9 wins added
Eric Bledsoe gets more flak than credit, but he's still one of the best players on the best team in the league.
WING: Zach LaVine (CHI). 25.5 points, 4.2 assists, 57 TS%, +4.3 wins added
If the Bulls had a better record, Zach LaVine could have been a few spots higher. His defense isn't quite as bad as advertised either.
WING: C.J. McCollum (POR). 22.5 points, 4.3 assists, 54 TS%, +3.7 wins added
This must be the "all flak" team, because C.J. McCollum also gets blamed a lot for Portland's struggles to get over the hump. To me, Dame+CJ isn't the problem; the complete mess at the SF-PF position is to blame.
BIG: Domatas Sabonis (IND). 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, 59 TS%, +1.5 wins added
Arvydas' kid also has some baby Joker to his game, as his 5.0 assists are a huge part of Indiana's offense.
FLEX: Paul George (LAC). 21.0 points, 3.9 assists, 58 TS%, +2.5 wins added
Again, I'm factoring in games played more than most, and Paul George (42 GP) has missed quite a bit of time.
7th TEAM
GUARD: Kemba Walker (BOS). 21.2 points, 4.9 assists, 57 TS%, +2.5 wins added
Kemba Walker doesn't have the same workload in Boston as he did in Charlotte, and the stats reflect that. Still, he's safely one of the top 10 PGs in the league.
WING: Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA). 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 60 TS%, +2.6 wins added
Here we're talking BOJAN (from Utah) and not BOGDAN (from Sacramento), although they're both good. Bogey's delivered on the three-point shooting for Utah, hitting 41.4% on 7+ attempts a game.
WING: Danilo Gallinari (OKC). 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 61 TS%, +2.8 wins added
Perpetually underrated, it may be time we stop acting shocked when Gallo's teams (LAC last year, OKC this year) are better than people expect.
BIG: Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN). 26.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 64 TS%, +2.7 wins added
KAT was among the hardest to rank for me. Offensively, he's historically great -- arguably the best shooting center of all time. The defense is an issue, of course, and the workload is what doomed him on my list. His 35 games played is our lowest total so far.
FLEX: Jrue Holiday (NO). 19.6 points, 6.9 assists, 54 TS%, +3.5 wins added
It's fitting that Jrue Holiday is listed at "flex," because he's gone from a pure point guard to a jack of all trades.
8th TEAM
GUARD: Ja Morant (MEM). 17.6 points, 6.9 assists, 57 TS%, +1.6 wins added
As the lead guard of a team, you expect Ja Morant to put up good raw stats. However, his efficiency and steadiness is remarkable for a rookie making the leap from Murray State. He also gets a boost for leading Memphis into playoff position (for now, until the NBA decides to snatch that away.)
WING: Evan Fournier (ORL). 18.8 points, 3.2 assists, 60 TS%, +2.1 wins added
Quietly, Evan Fournier is having a good season for Orlando. If you don't believe me, google it.
WING: Robert Covington (HOU). 12.8 points, 1.5 steals, 57 TS%, +2.8 wins added
Every team would love to have a low-usage 3+D forward like RoCo. Except for Philly and Minnesota, I guess.
BIG: Hassan Whiteside (POR). 16.3 points, 14.2 rebounds, 64 TS%, +2.1 wins added
This may be a controversial pick because Whiteside has become a punching bag for fans, but he may have made the rare transition from underrated to overrated (and overpaid) and back to underrated again.
FLEX: Tobias Harris (PHI). 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 56 TS%, +2.1 wins added
Speaking of overpaid... Tobias Harris hasn't lived up to his giant contract yet, but he's undoubtedly a good starter to have on your team.
9th TEAM
GUARD: Spencer Dinwiddie (TOR). 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, 54 TS%, +3.0 wins added
Nothing raises your bitcoin valuation more than that sweet, sweet All-NBA 9th team trophy.
WING: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC). 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 57 TS%, +2.1 wins added
Like Jrue Holiday, SGA is a point who can play "up" a position. In fact, he’s been working effectively at both SG and SF this year, as illustrated by that nice rebounding rate.
WING: Duncan Robinson (MIA). 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 68 TS%, +3.0 wins added
This may be high for a one-trick pony, but that trick happens to be quite a valuable one. The unknown Robinson is hitting 44.8% of his threes (at 8.4 attempts per game.) He's a huge part of Miami's offensive gameplan.
BIG: Kristaps Porzingis (DAL). 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 54 TS%, +3.9 wins added
Too high? Too low? I can't figure out Porzingis' season in Dallas so far. Still, any big who can block shots and hit threes has an inherent value.
FLEX: Dennis Schroder (OKC). 19.0 points, 4.1 assists, 57 TS%, +5.4 wins added
Perhaps the biggest surprise to OKC's success this season has been a career year for Dennis Schroder off the bench. He's even played well when paired with CP3 and SGA in the same lineup. The stats suggest that Schroder should rank even higher than this, but I'm still trying to wrap my mind around him becoming such an efficient player all of a sudden.
10th TEAM
GUARD: Lou Williams (LAC). 18.7 points, 5.7 assists, 55 TS%, +3.6 wins added
Sweet Lou has a little less to do now that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are in town, but he's still one of the best scorers off the bench.
WING: Buddy Hield (SAC). 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 57 TS%, +3.0 wins added
A NEW addition to the "scorer off the bench club," Buddy Hield deserves kudos for accepting that role as the Kings try to find a spark. He hasn't been as red-hot as he had been last season, but he's still one of the best SGs in the league.
WING: Gordon Hayward (BOS). 17.3 points, 4.1 assists, 59 TS%, +1.9 wins added
Gordon Hayward has quietly been working his way back into top form, with his ball movement and BBIQ two real feathers in his cap. He's dinged a few spots here based on missed time (he's only played 45 games.)
BIG: Montrezl Harrell (LAC). 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 61 TS%, +3.6 wins added
Fittingly, Montrezl Harrell will join Lou Williams' team here. It'll be interesting to see whether Doc Rivers rolls with the two of them in crunch time during the playoffs.
FLEX: Nikola Vucevic (ORL): 19.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 54 TS%, +2.0 wins added
It's debatable how valuable Vucevic's 20-10 seasons are because he's not a good defender and he's not a terribly efficient scorer. That said, I'm giving him credit for a high degree of difficulty here as the go-to scorer on a team that doesn't have a lot of weapons offensively.
just missed the cut
If you'd like to sub in any other players, here are some notable names:
PG FredVanVleet (TOR), PG Devonte' Graham (CHA), PG Malcolm Brogdon (IND), PG Jamal Murray, PG Lonzo Ball, PG De'Aaron Fox (SAC), PG/SG Marcus Smart (BOS), PG/SG Kendrick Nunn (MIA), SF Joe Ingles (UTA), SF Will Barton (DEN), SF DeMar DeRozan (SA), SF/PF Davis Bertans (WAS), SF/PF Aaron Gordon (ORL), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (SA), C Myles Turner (IND), C Steven Adams (OKC), C Andre Drummond (CLE), C Jarrett Allen (BKN), C Derrick Favors (NO), C Jonas Valanciunas (MEM), C Brook Lopez (MIL). And of course, we need an obligatory Zion Williamson (NO) mention, although his 19 games played is a tough hurdle to overcome.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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A Look at DCG & Bitfury's Incestuous Ties With the U.S. Government

Peter Todd Tweet in 2014: https://archive.is/vKZ9C
[email protected] I gotta say, looks really bad legally how Austin Hill's been negotiating deals w/ pools/etc. to get control of hashing power.
Board of Digital Currency Group
Glenn Hutchins
Advisory Board
Larry Summers
DCG of course is an investor in both Blockstream and BTCC.
DCG's money comes from:
DCG also owns Coindesk.
BTCC and Bitfury are the only two large mining pools who are outspoken in their support of Bitcoin Core.
The Bitfury Group Leadership to Present at Clinton Global Initiative (https://archive.is/MWKee)
Full Video (Begins at 32:00)
“The Bitfury Group is proud to be the world’s leading full service Blockchain technology company, we are deeply honored to represent this innovation to an audience of extremely dedicated game-changers, and we look forward to highlighting our company’s groundbreaking ‘Blockchain for global good’ work at such an important event, said Smith. “From the White House to the Blockchain, I know this technology has the power to deliver inclusion and opportunity to millions, if not billions, of people around the world and I am so grateful to work for a company focused on such a principled vision.”
Bitfury Lightning Implementation
  • In partnership with a French firm called ACINQ (http://acinq.co)
  • ACINQ is a subsidiary of the larger ACINQ Financial Services
  • CoinTelegraph: Bitfury Lightning Network Successfully Tested With French Bitcoin Company
  • TEAM: https://archive.is/Q5CNU
  • ACINQ’s US Headquarters is in Vienna, Virginia, a small town of only 16,000. Why would a global financial firm choose to locate here? -- Feeder community into Washington, D.C. Has an orange line metro stop. -- Located in Fairfax County, VA. -- The US Federal Government is the #2 largest employer -- Booz Allen Hamilton (NSA front company) is #6 largest employer -- In fact, most of the top employers in Fairfax County are either US Federal Gov’t or companies that provide services to Federal Government -- The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Chairman: Avinash Vashistha
CEO: Chaman Baid
CSO: Nandan Setlur
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/nandansetlur https://archive.is/wp3L0
  • From 1986-1993 he worked for Information Management Consultants (imc) Ltd as a Technical Consultant with various federal government agencies. McLean, Virginia
  • 1993-2000 Technical Consultant for Freddie Mac, in McLean Virginia
  • From 2000-2007, President of InterPro Global in Maryland
  • From 2011-2012, Director of VibbleTV in Columbia, Maryland
  • From 2008-Present has been Executive Director at ACINQ and Managing Partner at Vine Management, both in Vienna, Virginia.
BitFury Enhances Its Advisory Board by Adding Former CFTC Chairman Dr. James Newsome and Renowned Global Thought Leader and President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy Hernando de Soto (Businesswire)
Bitfury Board of Directors
Robert R Dykes
The other board members include two Bitfury founders, and an investor.
Bitfury Advisory Board
James Newsome
  • Ex-chairman of CFTC
  • Dr. Newsome was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to be at first a Commissioner and later a Chairman of CFTC. As Chairman, Newsome guided the regulation of the nation’s futures markets. Additionally, Newsome led the CFTC’s regulatory implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). He also served as one of four members of the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets, along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and the SEC. In 2004, Newsome assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) where he managed daily operations of the largest physical derivatives exchange in the world. Dr. Newsome is presently a founding partner of Delta Strategy Group, a full-service government affairs firm based in Washington, DC.
Hernando de Soto
  • Hernando de Soto heads the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, named by The Economist one of the two most important think tanks in the world. In the last 30 years, he and his colleagues at the ILD have been involved in designing and implementing legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by granting them access to the same property and business rights that the majority of people in developed countries have through the institutions and tools needed to exercise those rights and freedoms. Mr. de Soto also co-chaired with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, and currently serves as honorary co-chair on various boards and organizations, including the World Justice Project. He is the author of “The Other Path: the Economic Answer to Terrorism”, and his seminal work “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.”
  • Frequent attendee at Davos World Economic Forum
  • Frequent Speaker @ Clinton Global Initiative http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ytfrs https://archive.is/MWKee
  • Criticisms: -- In his 'Planet of Slums'[104] Mike Davis argues that de Soto, who Davis calls 'the global guru of neo-liberal populism', is essentially promoting what the statist left in South America and India has always promoted—individual land titling. Davis argues that titling is the incorporation into the formal economy of cities, which benefits more wealthy squatters but is disastrous for poorer squatters, and especially tenants who simply cannot afford incorporation into the fully commodified formal economy. -- An article by Madeleine Bunting for The Guardian (UK) claimed that de Soto's suggestions would in some circumstances cause more harm than benefit, and referred to The Mystery of Capital as "an elaborate smokescreen" used to obscure the issue of the power of the globalized elite. She cited de Soto's employment history as evidence of his bias in favor of the powerful. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/sep/11/imf.comment http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2005/01/the_de_soto_delusion.html
Tomicah Tilleman
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomicah_Tillemann
  • Dr. Tomicah Tillemann is Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative. The initiative brings together a variety of long-term investors, with the goal of committing 1% of their assets to social impact investment and using investments as leverage to encourage global good governance. Tillemann served at the U.S. State Department in 2010 as the Senior Advisor on Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy. http://live.worldbank.org/node/8468 https://archive.is/raDHA
  • Secretary Clinton appointed Tomicah Tillemann, Ph.D. as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.
  • Mr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.
  • Mr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado. http://m.state.gov/md160354.htm https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/tomicah-tillemann/ https://archive.is/u2yF0
  • Director of “Bretton Woods II” initiative at New America Foundation Bretton Woods was an international summit that led to the creation of the IMF and the IBRD, one of five members of The World Bank
Jamie Smith
Jason Weinstein
Paul Brody (no longer appears on site, and his LinkedIn has no mention of Bitfury, but he is mentioned in a Press Release
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/pbrody
  • Ernst & Young since 2015 as “Americas Strategy Leader”, “Global Innovation Leader”, and “Solution Leader”
  • Prior to E&Y, he was an executive at IBM since 2002
New America Foundation
Muskoka Group
[note: this is worthy of much more research]
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-29/blockchain-s-backers-embark-on-campaign-to-improve-its-image
  • Don Tapscott, co-author of the book “Blockchain Revolution,” hosted the meeting with his son and co-author Alex Tapscott at his family’s summer compound in Lake of Bays, Ontario. The group included some of blockchain’s biggest backers, including people with ties to IBM and JPMorgan. They considered ways to improve the governance and oversight of the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin as a way to fuel the industry’s growth. They included Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation; Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, a blockchain supporter group that includes International Business Machines Corp., Airbus Group SE and JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Ana Lopes, board member of the World Wide Web Foundation. Participants with blockchain industry ties include former deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, now chief global communications officer of BitFury Group Ltd., and Joseph Lubin, founder of startup Consensus Systems.
Blockchain Delegation Attends Democratic National Convention https://archive.is/k16Nu
Attendees:
Jamie Smith — The Bitfury Group & Blockchain Trust Accelerator Tomicah Tillemann— New America Foundation & Blockchain Trust Accelerator Alex Tapscott— co-author: Blockchain Revolution Brian Forde — MIT, Digital Currency Initiative
Brian Forde
  • Was the founding director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative -Left his 4 year post as White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation to go directly to the MIT DCI
  • Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the ten most influential people in bitcoin and blockchain. https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianforde https://archive.is/WjEGU
Alex Tapscott
World Economic Forum
  • Strategic Partners: https://www.weforum.org/about/strategic-partners
  • Includes Accenture (See Avinash Vashistha), Allianz, Deloitte (Scaling Bitcoin platinum sponsor, Blockstream Partner), Citigroup, Bain & Company (parent of Bain Capital, DCG investor), Dalian Wanda Group (working on blockchain technology), Ernst & Young (see Paul Brody), HSBC (Li-Ka Shing, Blockstream investor, used to be Deputy Chairman of HSBC), IBM, KPMG International, Mastercard (DCG Investor), PwC (Blockstream partner, also sponsor of Scaling Bitcoin)
  • Future of Financial Services Report [PDF] The word “blockchain” is mentioned once in this document, on page 23 (http://i.imgur.com/1SxyneJ.png): We have identified three major challenge areas related to innovation in financial services that will require multi-stakeholder collaboration to be addressed effectively. We are launching a project stream related to each area, with the goal of enabling tangible impact.... Decentralised systems, such as the blockchain protocol, threaten to disintermediate almost every process in financial services
  • The Steering Group who authored the report is a who’s who of the global financial elite. (Pages 4 & 5) http://i.imgur.com/fmYc1bO.png http://i.imgur.com/331FaX6.png
Bitfury Washington DC Office
Washington DC Office 600 Pennsylvania Avenue Suite 300 Washington, D.C. 20003
http://bitfury.com/contacts https://archive.is/ugvII
Bitfury Chosen for Ernst & Young Blockchain Startup Challenge
Deloitte Unveils Plan to Build Blockchain-Based Digital Bank http://www.consultancy.uk/news/12237/deloitte-unveils-plan-to-build-blockchain-based-digital-bank https://archive.is/UJ8Q5
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Chance a Chinese Internationals student born in Spain (Maths)

I am applying to Syracuse, Stony Brook, Umass Amherst, Purdue, Binghamton, Uni of Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia Tech.
If you want to suggest any Uni pls Do so. I am interested in Math and CS. I want to have a traditional US college experience based on the East Coast.
Hook: Entrepreneurial extracurriculars
BAD Childhood: Father deceased when I was 9 years old.
GPA:​ Unweighted: 9.4/10 Single SAT:​ 1230 -Math: ​680 -Reading and Writing:​ 550
Single Toefl ibt​: 94 -Reading:​ 24 ​-Listening: ​25 -Writing: ​ 23 ​-Speaking: ​22
Extracurricular Experience
-Social Media Marketing Agency Online Affiliate Marketing Business Creation, Promotion, and Brokerage of eCommerce Assets ​(March 2017-June 2019) ● Developing B2C web marketing campaigns via Shopify and blogging platform WordPress. Made €​2,000 from multiple streams of online income. ● Estimated 25,000 unique web-visitors from multiple sites ranking for competitive search terms● Developed various business connections with people from across industries such as Canada and Dubai. Acquiring, Managing, and Selling Domain Names (March 2017-January 2018) ● Bought and managed around 20 various domain names. ● Acquired teachingrubikscube.com domain for an affiliate website. ● Data mining through RegisterCompass for valuable expired or expiring domains. ● Bid, competed and won various domain auctions on GoDaddy, SnapNames, and NameJet.
Web Development and SEO Education at Marin Web Design ​(March 2017-June 2018) ● I spent long hours after school conversing and working with the CEO Chanuka and the team at CashfloeCEO, a six-figure dollar web and social media marketing firm in Australia and many virtual offices based in Hong Kong.
● Learned fundamentals in domaining, customer service, web development, Facebook, and Instagram advertisement, SEO, and industry.
Bitcoin Investment ​ (January 2018) ● Learned and Educated from sources such as tailopez.com about cryptocurrency, mainly Bitcoin. ● After learning for 6 months, I invested 200​€ on it and lost everything after the bitcoin crash. I learned big lessons about getting rich quick and easy.
Created and managed FBA: Fulfillment by Amazon stocks (2016) ● Starting second-semester Freshman at my new school, I started to buy 5 euro second books, toys, and technological devices and resold them on Amazon. ● I persuaded my sister to lend me 300euros to buy a Spanish Amazon FBA online course where it teaches you all the basic knowledge that you need to operate this business. ● I only earned enough to pay my sister back but had a great experience. That was my first time trying to do business online and making my own money. Advertisement and social media management for restaurants (December 2017- February 2019)
School clubs and activities
-President of the Math Club (September 2017-Present) ● Tutoring classmates and students from other classes on Mathematics levels such as Algebra, Calculus, and Geometry. Since my Sophomore year until the present. ● Helped them to pass the classes as well as tutoring them to go from 6 grade to 9 grade out of ten. ● The best part of these experiences is when I created my own methods to teach students about the system of equations, derivatives, and Integrals.

Created my own Social Media Brand called “Teaching Rubik’s cube” (February 2018-February 2019) ● Due to my love with Rubik’s cube, I started my Business Instagram account about how to solve the Rubiks Cube. ● The photos and videos have reached a total amount of 250.000 people and It has 7.000 followers and engagement over 50%. ● With the Instagram Brand, I joined into a private group online allowed for Instagram Influencers over 5.000 followers in the Rubiks industry. At the time, there were 20 people.
-Leadership and Community
CEO of the School Café ​(September 2017- April 2018) ● Elected to be the CEO for School Café out of numerous other competitive high school applicants. ● The business was established by the school counselor and principal in order to earn money to pay our Final year Cross-Europe cruise. ● Run the Café on Christmas festival dates and school Sport Olympia dates; There were a total amount of 1000 people including children, and parents. ● Established the new school record for the highest gross and net revenue since 1995.
Founder and president of Rubik's cube club (2016- Present) ● Organized over 20 Rubiks cube events, club activities, and competitions. ● Currently, there are over 30 students at the club and with the help of other students, the motivation of learning how to solve the Rubiks cube has increased ever since
Founder and president of the Robotics Club ● Held many robotics events and activities. Introduced to the club Programming skills such as Arduino. Build and taught many Freshman students about how I Arduino work and functions. The most successful project is the Arduino car that avoids objects with a sensor.
-​Family Responsibilities Work at the restaurant/bar ( January 2012- October 2018)
Work at the souvenir shop ( October 2019- Present)
Honors ● Highest class rank​, Schoolwide (9th,10th,11th, and 12th grades). ● Leadership Award​, Schoolwide (9th,10th,11th, and 12th grades) ● Rubik's Cube Championship Semifinalist​, Nationwide (9th grade) ● MMA Canary Island Champion​, Local/7 Island recognition (11th grade) ● Most Entrepreneurial Student Of The Year​, Schoolwide (9th, 10th, 11th grades) Proficiencies ​ Languages ● Mandarin (Native). ● ​Putian dialect( Native). ● Spanish (Fluent- I have been living in Spain for 17 years ). ● English (Fluent). ● German ( High Intermediate level). ● French ( Basic).
EdX and Coursera Courses on C++ programming language (January 2019 - June 2019)
MIT Open Courseware on Artificial Intelligence. (June 2019- December 2019)
Tai Lopez, Tonny Robbins, Grant Cardone, Sam Ovens social media, real estate and personal development courses.

Books (2014-Present) ● I have read over +150 books about Business, Fiction, Philosophy, Biology, Psychology, mathematics, physics, leadership, personal development, and biographies.
● My favorite authors: Stephen Hawkings, Will & Ariel Durant, Dr. David Buss, Sigmund Freud, Richard Dawkings, Dale Carnegie and Ashlee Vance.

Thanks
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Cryptocurrency Weekly Recap

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Four Bitcoin Miner Arrested from Lahore How to Mine Monero in Intel and AMD CPU, Earn While Watching Movies - Telugu HashBit Mining ltd How to Buy Bitcoins with Debit Card Chris Jones, Creator of IPAS Returns for Bitcoin Mining Project

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Four Bitcoin Miner Arrested from Lahore

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