Mar 102018


Bitnation is one of the oldest projects and ideas in the crypto space, and came out of a natural extension of the philosophy behind the early Bitcoin community. What would a world look like where citizenship itself is voluntary and association is by choice, not by force? Could the ideas behind Bitcoin help unleash such a world? If so, how would it look? These are some of the many questions that were answered by the Bitnation team over the last few years. Today, we take a deeper look into the project, as the team decides to do a token sale.

Blockchain and Sovereignty

Since the very days of blockchain, when Bitcoin was the only game in town, it attracted a lot of forward thinking movements that imagined the world for the better with the help of this technology. After the launch of Ethereum, a lot of these ideas actually began to take shape. Bitcoin has a limited smart contract functionality whereas Ethereum lets you write arbitrary complex smart contracts on the blockchain. This enabled Bitnation to further develop from an idea to a product.

The vision of blockchain and sovereign identity is related because blockchains give you the power to associate with groups that you wish, and not with others. Trust is intermediated by the blockchain even among distrusting parties. It lets all people involved to come to a consensus based on the ledger state.

The Bitnation Idea

Bitnation’s main idea is that people can manage their own identities and choose to associate with other people of their choosing outside the nation state. Bad actors are weeded out through the human trust network as opposed to government or law enforcement. The identity itself is usually part of a larger group of people who attest to your identity, usually through in-person meetings.

The big idea behind Bitnation is that of a ‘voluntary nation’. The only thing you need to do, pretty much, is accept the Bitnation constitution. Again, remember there is no coercion in joining this, and in what capacity. If you disagree with the Bitnation constitution, you should not join the network. It is as simple as that really.

All the usual bookkeeping that is done by centralized governments are now done on the blockchain in the Bitnation system. For example, marriage certificates are put on the blockchain for everyone to see. The deed to your house is the same. More powerfully, Bitnation is floating the idea of a ‘blockchain passport’ which is not an “officially” recognized passport, but is instead a passport to your Bitnation community. Obviously, this blockchain passport is also issued on the blockchain.

An Alternative System

The goal of the Bitnation platform, as you can see, is to create an alternative system to the existing top-down hierarchical government structures and bureaucracies. The services that the State provides and we are so used to are now facilitated on the blockchain through a common consensus of all the voluntary ‘citizens’.

You could classify Bitnation’s approaches as a ‘social libertarian’ category, or at least find some overlap. However, it is hard to categorize such a novel approach anyway. The idea is to empower individuals to come together and build voluntary institutions usually powered by technology. In this case, the technology is blockchains.

Bitnation wants to give individuals the freedom to choose their economic and governance systems as opposed to those being selected for them based on their region or birth. If you want to live in a commune or if you want to implement basic minimum income, you can. If you want to go hyper-competitive capitalist, you can. The point is to give this choice to the individuals.

Instead of the legal system adjudicating disputes, it is a reputation system that acts as an incentive for people to resolve their disputes. This reduces the burden on courts and legal systems and encourages people to work out solutions by themselves. This is just one of the ways the Bitnation system differs from traditional nation-state style of living.

The vision of Bitnation is quite grand. We shall wait and see how much of that vision the project can realize. Bitnation is having a token sale that you can participate in. This is for the PAT tokens. Check out the website and whitepaper before you invest anything. Remember that any token sale investing is highly risky and you can lose all your money. Invest only what you can afford to lose.

Photo Credit: shaire productions

Mar 062018

XYO Network

The XYO Network is building a really useful protocol on the blockchain, which would likely be used by all sorts of projects and developers – an oracle system that provides a ‘proof of location’ on Ethereum. Such an oracle system would invariably have a different set of security parameters than a blockchain itself. However, it is much more decentralized than the centralized options available today. Better still, the XYO Network, by building on Ethereum, can simply be used as an API for location data into DApps (Decentralized Applications) that run on Ethereum. This can actually provide a powerful set of tools for developers.

Developers Rejoice!

The creation of an oracle system is a powerful addition to the blockchain system, which doesn’t have any native information about anything outside the blockchain. The answer today is via an Oracle. An oracle is any program that can be queried by another program, and which returns a value that represents a current truth. For example, a DApp can query a stock market API provider like Yahoo! Finance to get the current price of Facebook, and if it is over $100 per share, do a certain task. The blockchain or DApp by itself would never know such information as the price of Facebook stock by itself without the help of an oracle.

XYO Network is building a very special kind of oracle – a location oracle. Developers will find the XYO Network easy to use in their DApps, because it provides native location data. They don’t need to rely on third-parties, even GPS, if they can get this information directly from the Ethereum blockchain. The trust properties and risk is already outlined, so depending on the level of accuracy required, this can be a powerful addition in the Ethereum developer toolkit.

Location Oracle

Now, on to the location oracle. Oracles are powerful systems. The first examples built in a decentralized way on Ethereum include the likes of Augur, which hasn’t released its product yet. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that DApps won’t be much useful without also including some real-world information in them in addition to merely using the blockchain state. Location is an obvious example of an external data point.

Location and location-based commerce are already powerful concepts. They provide a way for the blockchain to know about the ‘real world’ and its state. It lets apps know the change of this state, i.e. how the real-world is changing and evolving. Again, all of these are powerful concepts.

In the same way that Augur or Gnosis can be used to pass data about a football game results to the blockchain, XYO network can be used to pass the geospatial data about an object to the blockchain. This data can then be used in any number of ways by various DApps built on the blockchain that require a location component for their functionality.

Interested to learn more? Check out the XYO Network website and the whitepaper. There is a token sale soon. Make sure you understand the risks before participating. Token sales are highly risky and you can lose all your capital.

Feb 182018

Databroker DAO
Databroker DAO is building a DAO-framework on the Ethereum blockchain specifically for IoT sensor data to be sold globally. To some, this may appear to be very specific. However, IoT sensors will far exceed the total number of internet connected devices in use today. This means they will generate vast amounts of data. The way to correctly look at the Databroker DAO project is to imagine the world in 10 years time, not immediately. This is because due to a number of reasons, IoT sensors are still on the expensive side and not widely used.

Industry Trends

The success of a project like Databroker DAO depends a lot on the industry trends, i.e. not the current state of the world, but how the world will be in a few years. Here are some of the main trends that will be helpful for the wider adoption of a protocol like Databroker DAO.

  • The cost of sensors is dropping exponentially. This will make it easier to manufacture and ship cheap sensors all over the world.
  • Internet bandwidth continues to improve, but is still limited.
  • Storage continues to get cheaper, and will likely do so over the coming years.
  • More and more sensors are connected to the internet, forming the whole ‘Internet of Things’ connectivity framework.
  • A lot of work on self-driving cars will further reduce the cost of certain types of sensors for daily use, due to efficiencies of scale for manufacturing these sensors.

These are just some of the important trends that will drive more and more internet connected sensors. With more sensors coming online, there is going to be a vast swathe of data that is generated by these sensors.

An Alternate Revenue Stream

While the creation of data itself is quite interesting, the more interesting aspect is the use of this data in a global ecosystem. Companies are increasingly becoming global but need to think locally to stay ahead of the curve and serve their customers better. This will mean collecting local data and then working through the algorithms, like AI algorithms, to process that data to understand local markets better.

However, even for large corporations, covering every part of the planet is prohibitively expensive. How then can they get their hands on this data, which could become the lifeblood of their internal algorithms. After all, the world is moving towards a future filled with machine learning and AI algorithms, that need a huge amount of data to be trained and be accurate.

The Appeal of Databroker DAO Marketplace

In such a world, the appeal of a marketplace like Databroker DAO becomes pretty apparent. Instead of having to buy, plant, and maintain millions of sensors, companies can instead rely on existing sensors from everything from homes to cars. The companies of course will need to pay for this data, but it is cheaper than trying to do it themselves. Therefore it is a win-win really. Consumers get paid for the generated data, which can help subsidize costs of maintaining these sensors. Companies get the data that they need.

Companies here can be everything from multinational corporations to research institutes. We are moving towards a world in which data is the new oil. This will mean marketplaces for data can become globally important.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the databroker DAO website and the whitepaper.

Photo Credit: Eric Fisher

Feb 132018

Equi Crypto Venture Capital
Equi is an effort to bring the worlds of Crypto and Venture Capital together. We’ve seen several such efforts in the past, most notably Blockchain Capital that raised $10 million in its ICO. There have been several other companies like Science and Spice as well that have tried similar concepts. Then of course there are the much more well known native blockchain players i.e. ICONOMI and TaaS that do asset management and reward their token holders. The area of asset management/venture capital combined with crypto is an old one with many companies. So what is Equi doing different?

There are several things that stand out about Equi that differentiate it from the existing companies. For one, Equi is a full platform where you make investments with the EQUI token. This is different from the other projects where the token is used mostly as a means of distribution only. Then, the Equi project has different levels for holders and investors, thereby encouraging investments on its platforms.

We’ll cover the economics of this in a later section. Alignment of economic incentives and interests is of foremost importance in any crypto project. The team seems to have given that a lot of thought, and has come up with various ‘tiers’ of users of the EQUI token itself.

The EQUI Stakeholders

The Equi platform has three primary stakeholder groups:

  • Investor
  • Holder
  • Trader

Each one has a different motivation and a different benefit in using the platform.

The investors are the most committed users of the platform. This is because the investors actually use their EQUI token to make investments in the projects that are listed on the platform. It should be noted that as with any investments, there is a high risk involved and investors may lose capital. That being said, the investors class is also the one that stands to gain the most from successful investments that they make.

The holders are more akin to passive investors. They don’t vet individual projects and don’t want to do the research and take on the risk of doing this. Instead, they just hold their EQUI tokens in a passive manner. They can still have a long time horizon – they just don’t want to be in the trenches doing the due diligence and putting their money to work in risky projects.

The traders are usually the ones that provide liquidity to the underlying token. They don’t really care about the investments being done, and are not long-term holders either. They aim to buy the token at a lower price and sell at a higher price. As such, they are the least committed to seeing the platform succeed (it is not that they don’t want the platform to succeed, just that they don’t really care).

Benefits to Stakeholders

Each of the stakeholders described above has a different motivation. Now, let’s look at why they want to hold the EQUI token and why they care about the platform. First, let’s take a quick look at the design from the team’s website:

Equi Stakeholders

As you can see, Traders get the least benefit while Investors get the most. Holders are somewhere in-between. Let’s parse these out a bit:

  • Token Value Increase: This is the common component that keeps everyone on the platform. It is pretty self-explanatory – if the token value increases, you get more returns and benefits.
  • Project Investment: This is exclusively for the Investor class, who take the risk by investing in a given project that is listed on the Equi platform.
  • Direct and Indirect Project Return: Direct returns accrue to Investors and indirect returns to Holders. Direct returns refer to a specific investment that you make on the platform, which returns a profit. Indirect returns are obtained by Holders who don’t pick individual projects.
  • EQUICredit Rewards: This is a special reward that is given only to Investors, in order to encourage the use of the platform for real investment as opposed to speculation. This is created via a 5% inflation of the EQUI token supply every year. These rewards get converted directly into the native tokens.

You can see the exact distributions above. Note that the platform fee itself is 3% as management fee. This is about 50% higher than normal hedge funds that charge 2% management fee. However, you’re mostly going to pay for access to the deals.

If you’re interested to learn more, check out the Equi website. It is currently undergoing an ICO. If you decide to participate, we strongly encourage you to first read the whitepaper before making any decisions on ICO participation.

Photo Credit: Arch_Sam

Feb 132018

IPSX Crypto

IPSX is a new project that aims to become the marketplace for IP addresses. It is a crypto project with its native token called the IPSX. This token is used to make transactions and payments on the network. The IPSX platform itself is a marketplace where people who are looking to buy new IP addresses for access pay the people who have additional IP addresses to spare, in the IPSX token.

So let’s back track a little bit. Why would you want to buy an IP address? Don’t you already have one when you get online? Yes, although it is true that every internet connected device pretty much has an IP address, that IP address gives away a lot about you. Therefore, if you’re interested in preserving some privacy online, you may do worse than to browse through a rented IP address. This is one of the big reasons why people use services like a VPN for example.

Another reason is that there is a real market need for IP addresses in places that restrict the internet in some ways. Therefore, these IP proxies are used to create a more free internet access for all.

Astute readers may be thinking that this sounds a bit similar to the TOR network. That is true in some ways – TOR does provide you with the required anonymity while you’re browsing the internet by hiding your true IP and routing your internet traffic through various layers. However, the overall architecture of TOR isn’t perfect. The people who run the TOR nodes don’t get any economic benefit at all for doing so. This is a huge danger to the network because it means a lot of the end nodes are run by agencies interested in decoding that traffic flow.

With IPSX, it is a straight up marketplace. If you’ve never run a TOR node before, that’s likely because you never thought to do so – after all, you’re never going to get paid for it. With IPSX though, you have a stronger economic reason to rent out spare IP addresses to the network. This way, you can actually get paid to do so, while someone else benefits by browsing through a private connection or going to a website that may be blocked to them otherwise.

Existing services like VPNs are less of a competition and more of a customer for IPSX at least at this stage. If VPN providers integrate a service like IPSX into their service, it means their customers would be the ones who benefit the most. They can browse the internet safely through many different IP addresses, be it US or Australia or Switzerland. This power is ultimately left to the customer to decide, which is a powerful force. Also, the customers of VPN providers are already privacy conscious and would appreciate this additional service.

The duration of the rental itself can be arbitrary – it can be 1 minute or 1 year. Obviously, the payment will depend on the length of the rental that you want.

If you’re interested to learn more about IPSX, check out their website, which also has a way to download their whitepaper which has even more information.

Photo Credit: OpenMinder

Feb 102018

Cardstack Crypto
Cardstack is an interesting new project aimed at helping the entire blockchain ecosystem speed up user adoption, while helping the developers who build decentralized applications in the meanwhile. It is an ambitious project that is geared to become a ‘middle layer’ between the end user and the lower infrastructure layer. This is important because in most cases, the end user doesn’t care about the technical details of underlying technologies, instead looking for a specific experience or workflow.

The problem with traditional systems like ‘apps’ is that they are hard to communicate with. If there are several competing apps, then the only way a user can use them is by opening one app or the other. This of course isn’t a good experience from the use point of view. Instead, what Cardstack would allow all these apps to do would be to build ‘cards’ for the ecosystem that use the underlying technology that each competitor provides. Then, the user assembles these cards to their liking, without any interference, according to their own needs.

This is a powerful concept because it abstracts away the decentralized application layers. In fact, the underlying applications could be centralized apps today, like say, a Dropbox for storing files. But these can be replaced in the future with relative ease, say by IPFS/Filecoin infrastructure, or Dfinity from a cloud computing platform.

A Boon for Developers

The whole Cardstack ecosystem is a boon for developers, especially developers of open source projects. Why? Because by integrating their work into the Cardstack ecosystem, they can get paid for the usage of their product within the Cardstack system. This is a big change from the way open source development works today, which is usually in a silo. If you build a project, you need to create that application and hope someone downloads and uses it. The app itself works more as a standalone project. It is hard for the users, beyond a point, to keep installing new apps, which reduces the potential money open source developers can make.

With Cardstack though, there is a smart contract that tabulates the usage of the app and pays you automatically based on that usage. It’s a pretty neat solution really. Your app provides the user with a seamless user experience, and you can trust the smart contracts deployed by the Cardstack platform to pay you honestly.

The reason this is big is because your app doesn’t need to try and integrate into a thousand other apps, and also integrate a thousand other apps. This is because ultimately the Cardstack platform acts as that middleware layer where everything ultimately is originating from.

This means let’s say you’re building a banking application, and you need an identity solution. You can just use one of the various cards available on the Cardstack platform that is built for identity. When end consumers use your app, both your banking app and the identity app developers get paid, based on the usage. Pretty neat huh?

Cardstack Lets you Mix and Match

The above should give an indication of where we are going with this. Ultimately, the goal of Cardstack is that you can mix and match various apps and features to build that perfect product or workflow that suits you best. This is very important for the entire blockchain ecosystem as it currently stands, not just for Cardstack. Why? Because we have so many products and solutions, with each layer having its own token to work that it is a mess for the end user. The experience isn’t seamless at all.

Think of this from a user point of view. You need an identity layer like Civic and buy Civic tokens. Then, you need some storage space, so you get some Filecoin. You need some compute space, so you buy some Dfinity. The list keeps growing endlessly. As a user, you shouldn’t worry about this endlessly.

In a nutshell then, what Cardstack allows you to do is to create a single simple layer that lets users pick and choose these services, and integrate into one ecosystem. You can design your own workflow by this mixing and matching.

Cardstack’s CARD Token

The Cardstack ecosystem, mainly the suite of smart contracts we described above, are powered by the CARD token. The CARD token is an ERC20 token built on Ethereum. The CARD token is the one that facilitates the open marketplace for developers and open source content. CARD tokens and the Cardstack ecosystem enable open source developers to get paid fairly.

The CARD token is also given as a reward for ‘analytics miners’. What this means is that there are network nodes that do the heavy computation of analytics, figuring out who should be paid how much. This payment happens in the CARD token. From a consensus point of view, Cardstack is building a ‘proof of usage’ system.

To learn more about Cardstack, check out their website. Here’s a quick 10 minute video that can help you give a quick introduction to the team’s thinking. Also, don’t forget to read the whitepaper.

Photo Credit: brownpau

Feb 102018


The original premise of Bitcoin was to be used as a payment system – an alternative to the Visas and Mastercards of the world. Over time, transactions became more expensive on-chain, and the attractiveness of using Bitcoin as a payment mechanism was no longer very appealing. However, with the launch of the lightning network, that vision has again come to the forefront.

As goes Bitcoin, so goes the rest of the market, i.e. all the other crypto. The use of crypto as a payment mechanism is back on the table. As more people, especially in Asia, start using crypto, its use and attractiveness as a consumer payment means is only going to go up from here.

In fact, people may even start using crypto seriously to get away from the banking infrastructure, that is expensive and hard to obtain especially in the developing world. For crypto to succeed though, it needs to present something better than what existing payment processors can provide. Luckily, with the use of smart contracts and the right framework, it is possible to do just that.

Push vs. Pull

One basic but big difference between crypto payments and regular payments is the idea of push vs. pull payments. A push payment is when I actively send a merchant a transaction. A pull payment is when a merchant pulls money or credit from my account. Crypto is, by design, a push payment mechanism. However, we can invert that with the help of smart contracts, i.e. a user may authorize an entity to pull specific payment amounts based on defined criteria.

This is where smart contracts come into the picture, and how crypto payments can be more powerful than debit cards and the like. You can create fairly complex structures. For example, say you can code in a 2 month discount, so your smart contract will pull in $10 per month for the first 2 months, and then $15 thereafter for a period of 8 months, and then stop. You cannot really code this into the traditional financial instrument instructions, but you can on the blockchain.

Merchants can get creative in their marketing and promotion, since the billing is able to support all sorts of complex functionality.

PumaPay Economy

PumaPay is building the infrastructure required to support these complex billing and merchant point of sale tools. This will help the company capture some of the merchant volume going over crypto. PumaPay provides not only the smart contract suite but also APIs into traditional services, which are required by merchants to maintain and balance the books (at least until all the world has moved into a blockchain based payment solution!). PumaPay uses a native ERC20 Ethereum based token for this purpose.

The company also provides a standard set of suites for merchants to onboard them easily. From a merchant point of view, PumaPay integrates nicely into their existing ecommerce and point of sale systems, and just work smoothly with everything else, with proper integrations. From a consumer point of view, PumaPay has a wallet that just scans a QR code and the tokens are transferred to the merchant.

If crypto is to become a true payment processor for everyday transactions, we need more startups building the tools for merchant adoption.

Read more about PumaPay here.

Photo Credit: Dave

Feb 092018

Current Media is a new streaming platform and ecosystem. It is a blockchain-based solution, with its own native token of CRNC (‘Currency’) that creates the economic incentives necessary to sustain the whole ecosystem. The listeners are in control of how they choose to stream and pay. The value exchange that happens on the platform is facilitated by the CRNC token.

Working With Existing Players

Current Media with work with existing providers of streaming media, which is what makes it a powerful concept. The project isn’t trying to compete with the well-established incumbents. Instead, Current Media is creating an economic layer on top. From the end-user point of view, they don’t need to know anything about blockchains or crypto-assets and crypto-tokens. This is abstracted away from users. Of course, advanced users can always use the underlying Ethereum blockchain for interactions, which is the blockchain on which CRNC is built as an ERC20 token.

This is actually a bigger factor than most realize. Even with two-sided incentive structures in a marketplace that crypto enables, it is really hard to disrupt the incumbents. It is also prohibitively expensive. Imagine having to recreate a YouTube in-house. That’s tens or hundreds of millions of dollars just in the infrastructure required. Instead, the way blockchain startups can get their foothold in these industries is via a layer on top, and then try vertical integration.

Why vertical integration? Because there are lots of infrastructure projects being built on top of blockchains today, which can actually build that layer to host things like videos, aka YouTube competitors. For example, Dfinity is building a whole ‘Cloud 3.0’ idea, which can be leveraged in the future by projects like Current Media. Therefore, startups like Current Media are right in going after the low-hanging fruit and building the userbase first, and then move to a more fuller decentralized solution in the future, when the infrastructure is ready.

The Current Platform and Protocol

As described above, the Current platform itself sits on top of several service providers from YouTube to Spotify. If you think of YouTube and Spotify as the infrastructure layers in this case that deliver content, Current Platform would be the consumer facing application. It has features like discoverablility and search built into the platform, which go into all the lower infrastructure layers.

Therefore, from a consumer experience point of view, the Current Platform provides a more seamless and easy interface that gets you the best content no matter where they are hosted. Also, remember the longer-term plans that we outlined in the above section – these infrastructure layers can be disrupted by pure blockchain plays, but in our estimate that is still 5-10 years away.

The platform provides these features to customers and gives them flexibility in terms of payment. However, in return for consumers using the Current Platform and also watching ads, they get paid. This of course is very different from most other models in use today, where any revenue goes directly to the sites hosting this content and not the end users. Current platform is different in that way.

The data collection is also useful, for which users will be paid. From a user point of view, you get paid just to stream what you stream anyway! This is the great benefit of a blockchain-incentivized system like Current. If you’re selling your data, might as well get paid for it.

CRNC Token

The CRNC token is the driver of the economy inside Current. This helps both listeners and content providers. Listeners can earn free CRNC for normal streaming, and then pay their favorite artists on the Current Platform. New artists can start their careers on the Current Platform instead of places like YouTube where it is too crowded already. These crypto tokens are required to ensure an economy is sustainable, which is what CRNC does.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out their website. Also, don’t forget to read the whitepaper if you’re going to consider their token sale, which would go live soon.


Feb 072018

OnLive is a new crypto project aimed at video broadcasting. It is creating a new marketplace for such broadcasting. It has various models in the works, but we’ll discuss one such thing below. Broadcasting itself is fairly centralized today with intermediaries taking fat margins. OnLive is working to decentralize this network, which would mean unlimited scalability and availability. This would be a big win for broadcasters and viewers alike.

OnLive is also building an entire economy along with its protocol. Of course, broadcasting is very bandwidth heavy. It is not easy to route bandwidth (e.g. see Tor nodes that are in such short supply). Video particularly is a very hard problem, because video takes up too much bandwidth. Then, there are challenges of verification, i.e. how do you accurately estimate how much of network capacity has been contributed to the network, and how to reward them appropriately? How do you prevent cheating?

Well, it is hard to answer all these questions, which is why we are happy to see efforts like OnLive

The Broadcasting Economy

The idea behind OnLive isn’t just basic video broadcasting, however. It is to build an entire marketplace around this idea. This is the more challenging part, but also more lucrative. Mostly, this is because there are no limits to this process. Once you can meter the broadcasting usage, you can charge for it. That’s what OnLive aims to do with its ONL token.

So how does it work? Think of it as any regular marketplace, but instead of passively buying something, you’re actually buying expertise or someone’s time via the video broadcasting. Want to speak with a lawyer for some advice? You can use OnLive. Want to get a financial consultant teach you about how to interpret a balance sheet and income statement? You got it. want to have a video call with a piano teacher? You bet.

The whole OnLive concept is industry agnostic. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lawyer or accountant or gamer or whatever. The only requirement is that it fit into the video broadcasting framework.

OnLive Marketplace and Payments

The marketplace also sets its own price, just like regular two-sided marketplaces. Payments take place in OnLive’s native token, the ONL token. This is built on Ethereum as an ERC20 token.

The OnLive system supports two kinds of payments, both using ONL tokens. The first is a pay-per-view access. This means the app will grant you access based on the view. This is like a video recording or lecture behind a paywall. The other is pay-per-minute. This is usually more live and real-time.

The advantage of this pricing model is that you pay exactly what you use from a network resource perspective and the expert’s time. For example, if someone is helping you solve a problem, say, then you don’t need to pay for a second more than you are on the broadcast. If you drop out, then you don’t pay for any ‘extra’. There are no more ’15 minute blocks’ or ‘1 hour blocks’ that you pay for – just what you use.

Broadcasting is an interesting space. It is hard to know how this will work out in a decentralized fashion, but we see some really popular services (like Twitch, say) in the traditional space.

If you’re interested to learn more about OnLive and how it is tackling the video broadcasting space, check out their website. There are also more details in the whitepaper.

Photo Credit: The Rachel Maddow Show

Feb 062018

With the gold rush of crypto, it is no wonder that the people selling the shovels make the most money. In the Bitcoin world, this is the miners and chip manufacturers that are making a killing.

In the broader crypto world, it is the exchanges that trade these cryptos. After all, an exchange gets a small fraction of every trade, no matter whether the market is going up or down. Literally billions of dollars are traded today on crypto exchanges, with volumes rivaling those of NYSE and NASDAQ. That’s serious money, and we are no where near peak adoption.

However, one big problem with the crypto exchanges has always been trust. Decentralized exchanges are far from production ready today, and therefore have very little trading volume. However, with centralized exchanges there is always the fear and risk of something going wrong. After all, many storied exchanges have failed outright and taken user’s money with them (Cryptsy, Bter, Mintpal … the list goes on). Also, as the space matures, it needs more regulated exchanges that are doing things the right way, and not the amateurish way. Regulators are also keeping an eye out on this space, and will step in if they see too much misconduct.

Enter GBX

With this backdrop, let’s look at GBX. GBX stands for Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange. It is building a truly institutional grade crypto exchange and ICO platform.

ICOs raised over $3.5 billion in 2017. Let that sink in for a moment. This is an industry literally born a few years prior, and the amounts raised used to be in the order of a few million dollars a year. ICOs have seen an incredible amount of growth. Even as the hype grows, new ICOs haven’t really stopped much. It has become a problem of discoverability of course – it is hard to separate the signal from the noise. How do investors find new ICOs? This has become a big challenge amidst the scams.

With an ICO platform like the one GBX is building, investors can be more confident that there has been some level of due-diligence already performed. Plus, some of the basic functionalities, like keeping the funds safe, would likely be more reliable with GBX than with each ICO by themselves. ICOs will also find a one single place to list. GBX can really build up a network effect here if it can attract enough popular ICOs and investors on the same platform. This way, investors can find new ICOs new ICOs can find investors easily.

This will benefit projects in other ways too. With regulation catching up, some ICOs need to do basic AML/KYC operations (Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer) on the investors. This is hard to do for individual projects. There is also a lot of sensitive data collection and storage requirements that small teams are not very good at. If they can use an overarching service like GBX for this, they can raise money from investors without that point of friction.

Finally, GBX has its own token called the Rock Token (RKT). This is an access token, which is required for new project listings for projects and early access to ICOs for investors.

RKT is currently undergoing a token sale. If you’re interested to learn more, check out their website. If you want to invest, make sure to read their whitepaper.

Photo Credit: Agent Smith