The Bitcoin Primer: Risks, Opportunities, And Possibilities

Report on Filecoin And PoC Projects

Report on Filecoin And PoC Projects
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
ABSTRACT
A Blockchain is a continuously growing record, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography such as hashing. Each block contains a hash pointer as a link to the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that turns cloud storage into an algorithmic market. The market runs on a blockchain with a native protocol token (also called Filecoin), which miners earn by providing storage to clients. The first section of report is demonstrate the filecoin which is a decentralized storage system used to encrypt files that we need to share it through blockchain platform. The second section is explain briefly blockchain Proof of Concept (POC) which is a process of locate whether a Blockchain project idea can be feasible in a real-world situation, need of proof of concept and blockchain proof of concept stages.
1.Introduction
Filecoin is a protocol token whose blockchain runs on a novel proof, called Proof-of-Space time, where blocks are created by miners that are storing data. Filecoin protocol provides a data storage and retrieval service via a network of independent storage providers that does not rely on a single coordinator, where: (1) clients pay to store and retrieve data, (2) Storage Miners earn tokens by offering storage (3) Retrieval Miners earn tokens by serving data.
Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that turns cloud storage into an algorithmic market. The market runs on a blockchain with a native protocol token (also called Filecoin”), which miners earn by providing storage to clients. Conversely, clients spend Filecoin hiring miners to store or distribute data. As with Bitcoin, Filecoin miners compete to mine blocks with sizable rewards[1].
Filecoin mining power is proportional to active storage, which directly provides a useful service to clients (unlike Bitcoin mining, whose usefulness is limited to maintaining blockchain consensus). This creates a powerful incentive for miners to amass as much storage as they can, and rent it out to clients. The protocol weaves these amassed resources into a self-healing storage network that anybody in the world can rely on. The network achieves robustness by replicating and dispersing content, while automatically detecting and repairing replica failures. Clients can select replication parameters to protect against different threat models. The protocol’s cloud storage network also provides security, as content is encrypted end-to-end at the client, while storage providers do not have access to decryption keys. Filecoin works as an incentive layer on top of IPFS [1], which can provide storage infrastructure for any data. It is especially useful for decentralizing data, building and running distributed applications, and implementing smart contracts [2].
Filecoin[2] based on IPFS[3] proposes a completely decentralized distributed storage network where customers and storage miners request services and submit orders to the storage and retrieval markets. And the miner provides a service to view matching quotes to initiate a transaction. The protocol guarantees the integrity of data storage by copying proofs and space-time certificates. The Filecoin protocol writes the order book, token transactions, and integrity challenge response records to the blockchain.
1.1 Blockchain
Blockchain is a characteristic data structure formed by combining data blocks in a chain order inchronological order[4], and cryptographically guarantees decentralized, non-tamperable, unforgeable distributed shared ledger system.
Figure 1 Blockchain Structure
1.2 Elementary Components in Filecoin
The Filecoin protocol builds upon four novel components :
  1. Decentralized Storage Network (DSN): We provide an abstraction for network of independent storage providers to offer storage and retrieval services.
  2. Novel Proofs-of-Storage: We present two novel Proofs-of-Storage,(1) Proof-of Replication allows storage providers to prove that data has been replicated to its own uniquely dedicated physical storage. Enforcing unique physical copies enables a verifier to check that a prover is not deduplicating multiple copies of the data into the same storage space, (2) Proof-of-Space time allows storage providers to prove they have stored some data throughout a specified amount of time.
  3. Verifiable Markets: We model storage requests and retrieval requests as orders in two decentralized verifiable markets operated by the Filecoin network. Verifiable markets ensure that payments are performed when a service has been correctly provided. We present the Storage Market and the Retrieval Market where miners and clients can respectively submit storage and retrieval orders.
  4. Useful Proof-of-Work: We show how to construct a useful Proof-of-Work based on Proof-of Space time that can be used in consensus protocols. Miners do not need to spend wasteful computation to mine blocks, but instead must store data in the network[2] [4].
1.3 Filecoin: Lifecycle of a File
In this section we mentioned the lifecycle for file in Filecoin, as follow:
  1. Put: Clients send information about the file, storage duration, and a small amount of Filecoin to the Storage Market as a bid. Simultaneously, Miners submit asks, competing to offer low cost storage. Deals are made in the Storage Market, on the blockchain.
  2. Send: The Client then sends the file to the Miner, and the Miner adds the file to a sector. The sectors are cryptographically sealed, with verification sent to the blockchain.
  3. Manage: Miners continuously prove they are storing all sectors they agreed to store. The client’s payment is released in installments. Additional currency is minted over time and awarded to Miners as a block reward, proportional to the storage they provide.
  4. Request: A Client requests a file with some payment in Filecoin to the Retrieval Market (off chain); the first Miner to send the file is paid. Eventually, the contract expires and the storage is once again free[5].
Figure 2 Filecoin Lifecycle of a File
1.4 Filecoin is Built with IPFS
The Interplanetary File System (IPFS) is a next-generation protocol to make the Web faster, safer, decentralized, and permanent. Since the initial IPFS release in January 2015, it has gained strong traction in a variety of industries and organizations. Today, IPFS is a foundational technology for many applications in the blockchain industry. Over 5 billion files have been added to IPFS, spanning scientific data and papers, genetic research, video distribution & streaming, 3D modeling, legal documents, entire blockchains and their transactions, video games, and more. IPFS and Filecoin are complementary protocols, and the adoption of the underlying IPFS protocol is a leading indicator of market demand for a faster, safer, decentralized storage service [6].
Some IPFS Users
Figure(3) IPFS users
1.5 IPFS Open Source Community
The IPFS Project is a large community of open source contributors driven to decentralize the web. The community is made up of thousands of developers and users who have been working together for several years, building valuable and widely used software tools. The same seasoned core developers of IPFS are also leading the design and development of Filecoin. The IPFS team has experience building ambitious sotware projects and coordinating thriving developer communities. A significant portion of the IPFS community plans to join the Filecoin network, building tools and applications on this new, exciting platform [ 7].
2. PoC PROJECTS:
2.1 What is PoC?
PoC is abbreviate of Project of Concept which is a process of determining whether a Block-chain project idea can be feasible in a real-world situation. This process is necessary to verify that the idea will function as envisioned. The best part about proof of concept blockchain meaning is that it will help you to get a clear idea of what you are doing before you even get started. Furthermore, the proof of concept in the blockchain niche isn’t for exploring the marketplace for ideas only. Moreover, you won’t determine the best way to start the production process. Instead, you’ll only work on your possible blockchain solution option and see whether it’s capable of being a reality or not. Developing a blockchain proof of concept would require an investment of time, money and resources. In reality, you’d need to get your hands on supporting technologies or even the physical components needed to get the perfect plan. Going through the process is necessary for enterprises to see whether their idea is visible before using all production level equipment for it. According to a recent Gartner survey, 66% of CIOs think that blockchain is here to disrupt the existing marketplaces. And many will spend more than $10 million on the experimentation of the technology. So, if you were confused with what is proof of concept blockchain, now you know just what it is [8]. PoC is used to demonstrate the feasibility and practical potential of any blockchain project in any field such as Energy, Communication, Services, Insurance and Healthcare. A PoC can either be a prototype without any supporting code or any MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with bare feature set. A PoC is a prototype that is used for internal organization who can have a better understanding of a particular project.
2.3 Why Companies Need a Proof of Concept?
Usually, the blockchain proof of concept is awfully popular among the startups in the market. However, proof of concept in blockchain can also be a great tool for the Enterprises as well. Mainly there are three points for needing it.
  • Test out the blockchain project before going for mass production.
  • Identify possible pain points that can make the project not useful.
  • Save an enormous amount of time and money.
Although anyone who comes up with a blockchain project idea will think that it will work, however, proof of concept in blockchain will test out your idea to ensure that you get the best version out of it, which will save up a lot of time and money in the process. Another major reason for you to use proof of concept for blockchain is to ensure that all the stakeholders love your idea and would be interested in investing in it. Whether you are just adding up a new type of feature in the existing blockchain solution or developing it from scratch blockchain proof of concept would let you take the fastest route possible. This relatively gives a different edge in the proof of concept blockchain meaning [9].
2.4 Proof of Concept Phases
Its explain as follows:
Figure (4) explains the steps of blockchain PoC
Step-1: Finding the Proper Blockchain Application Sectors That Adds Value
Let’s start with the first step of the theoretical build-up stage. Many of you don’t really know which application sectors are great for blockchain Proof of concept [10]. That’s why we are outlining some major application sector where you can use your solution. These are:
1.Finance
Let’s start with the financing sector. This sector is relatively popular among the blockchain community. Furthermore, there are many projects already that cover this sector and offer a lucrative solution for major issues. So, in that sense, this sector is quite competitive in case of blockchain PoC development. 2. Medical
The medical sector is another major blockchain application sector at present. There are count-less scenarios where blockchain can truly shine. Hospitals have to deal with a lot of falsifying reports and counterfeit drugs.
3. Asset Management
Maintaining asset in these times are relatively hard due to all the bad players in the market. Simple paper-based record keeping isn’t enough now. Moreover, due to political and other reasons, ownership management is at risk of becoming a corrupted sector.
4. Government
Many governmental institutions are falling behind in the race of digitization. Moreover, every citizen needs a better infrastructure which will give them the security they need. In reality, the government sector is unable to reserve the citizen rights properly.
5. Identity
Identity management is a big hassle when it comes to enterprises. Furthermore, many often impersonate other people’s identity and commit serious crimes. Even in trade financer, many companies have to deal with fake companies and fake documents.
6. IoT
Internet of things is a wonderful sector for proof of concept in blockchain development. Furthermore, this sector is responsible for linking all your smart applications together. Moreover, the device to device connection in a secured platform is necessary.
7. Payments
The payments sector is another awesome application point for your enterprise-grade solution. The blockchain system is more than capable of handling payments, and many of it also offer micro payments. Furthermore, it takes a really small amount of time to send money compared to the traditional banking system. Not to mention the reduction of fees in overseas payment.
8. Supply Chain
Big enterprise needs to have their eyes and ears in every step of the supply chain process. Furthermore, any minor errors could end up in a million dollars of loss. Obviously, you would not want that. Tracking where the raw materials are coming from and whether your products are truly authentic or not is one of the major pain points.
9. Insurance
The insurance industry is facing some serious problems regarding insurance claims and document authentication. Also, the enormous amount of paperwork that every single employee has to fill out is overly dreadful. Detecting fraud, managing all the documents in a secure environment is tough. So, if you introduce a blockchain framework that can solve all these issues would be a huge factor. However, the competition in this marketplace is a bit high; still, with proper blockchain proof of concept, it should be a great opportunity.
Step-2: Defining the Product
In the second stage of the theoretical build-up, you would need to think your blockchain Proof of concept just like any other product. Furthermore, you need to have a solid plan along with full support from all stakeholders. PoC Feature Requirements Define all the features that your enterprise blockchain solution needs. After deciding your blockchain application, you would probably have some idea on what features to add up.
Step-3: Investigating the Technology
After you’ve come up with the solid idea of what features to include and how to focus the road map, you would need to hand them off to the engineering team. Therefore, your team will then research the technology based on your requirements and come up with the best plat-form to develop it on.
  • Advice to make a successful Proof of Concept As we knew, a proof of concept is a project, and like any project it must be clearly defined. That means breaking down the process into these four steps in order to can manage it better.
  • Focus on a Specific Business Issue If you want to make the blockchain PoC framework a success, then you have to start with focusing your real-life problems. At the beginning of the theoretical build-up stage when you are looking for a popular sector of deployment, look for a specific issue. Furthermore, any problem that your idea can fix would be a big plus from the consumers’ end. Many blockchain proof of concept only focuses on the capabilities of the technology only. However, they just don’t resolve any new issues or even old issues.
  • Take Small Steps, Avoid Scope Creeps Another major thing that the enterprises face is the scope creeps. While choosing what features you might need for the blockchain proof of concept many go for too much from the start. However, making a flashier entrance in the market won’t mean 100% success. Further-more, get the ones that you can truly deliver, not the ones you aren’t capable of.
  • Connect All Ideas and Control Them You won’t be the only one coming up with all the ideas. As you already know you’d need to get yourself a good team that will back you up and helps you come up with a compact solution. However, not every single member of your team would agree with the same idea. Furthermore, they have different ideas and vision regarding the blockchain development too.
  • Construct a Thorough Plan Another hurdle in the way of proper proof of concept blockchain is the misinterpretation of the blockchain implementation challenges. Obviously, blockchain implementation isn’t an easy task. At the first stage, it might have many flaws that would end up in possible failure scenarios.
  • Test A Million Times After getting the design done, you’d need to go into the testing phase. However, the problem is many seem to enroll the MVP before properly testing it, which end up in failure. So, test out the MVP a lot of time before making it accessible to the end-users.
  • Collaborate With Other Parties Collaborating with other enterprises could help to take down the overall costing of the block-chain proof of concept. Furthermore, if you are a small to medium level enterprise than collaborating with other parties could help out with the production costing. It will solely depend on the feature or the type of blockchain PoC framework you want to work on.
  • The Right Amount of Staff The right amount of stuff is always necessary to pull off a blockchain proof of concept project. Furthermore, you would need to recruit staffs that have blockchain skills or have an intellectual concept of the technology. Get the necessary amount of stuff with blockchain skill set to perfect the Blockchain Proof of Concept..
3. Conclusion
This report explain a distributed storage scheme based on blockchain technology( Filecoin), and introduces the system design in detail in first part , we have studied about blockchain technology related for Filecoin(decentralized storage network), Filecoin, a highly-anticipated decentralized storage network (under development), announced that there will be more delays before its Mainnet can be officially launched. Created by Protocol Labs, Filecoin has been developed using the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), an established peer to peer data storage network. The Filecoin software will allow users to trade storage space in an open and decentralized market place.In the second part we mentioned a proof of concept (PoC), The Blockchain Proof of Concept is a demonstration to verify that certain concepts or theories have the potential for real-world application. PoC represents the evidence demonstrating that a project or product is feasible and worthy enough to justify the expenses needed to support and develop it.
REFERENCES
[1] Juan Benet. IPFS — Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System. 2014.
[2] Protocol Labs. Filecoin: A Decentralized Storage Network. https://filecoin.io/ filecoin.pdf, 2017.
[3] Benet J. IPFS-content addressed, versioned, P2P file system[J]. arXiv preprint arXiv:1407.3561, 2014.
[4] Liu AD, Du XH, Wang N, Li SZ. Research Progress of Blockchain Technology and its Application in Information Security. Ruan Jian Xue Bao/Journal of Software,2018,6,14:1–24.
[5] Protocol Labs, Inc,[email protected] , Filecoin Primer July 25, 2017.
[6] Protocol Labs, Inc,[email protected] , Filecoin Primer July 25, 2017.
[7] Retrieved from IPFS internal monitoring July 6, 2017.
[8] https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/proof-of-concept-definition.
[9] https://www.blockchainappfactory.com/poc-blockchain-application
[10] https://101blockchains.com/blockchain-proof-of-concept/#prettyPhoto
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New rule! Also are cryptocurrencies an investment, will there be a crash? Everything answered here!

This is going to be the only crypto post for now and an announcement:
Rule 6: Bitcoins & cryptocurrenies should be discussed in CryptoCurrency. Posts regarding this topic will be automatically removed.
If there's a stock correlated with cryptocurrencies, like coinbase going IPO, then that's fine, you might have to message the mods after posting to have it approved, no big deal.
Also if you're questioning whether something is an investment or not, just search for it on personalfinance. For general currency trading strategies, see forex .
If you're wondering if bitcoins are an investment or if there will be a crash, read on.

Are cryptocurrencies an investment?

This post is going to deal with bitcoins & cryptocurrencies as an investment... they're more speculative. All currencies are speculative mostly due to how the forex market works, but more because of exchange rates between countries keep currencies balanced (including inflation, country debt, interest rates, political & economic stability, etc), so you can only profit in price fluctuations.
Sure you could buy the currency of a depressed country, like Mexico decades ago, and then hold in the hopes it'll go up (which it did for Mexico), but that's also speculation (no one knew Mexico would pay off so much debt).
Bitcoins are also affected by other countries' currency values, but more so by the future expectation of legitimacy, world wide adoption, limited gains from mining, and eventual limit in supply. But at any given moment the United States could pay off more debt, raise interest rates to reduce inflation (or cause deflation), grow GDP, or even reduce the supply of USD all of which would increase the value of USD (keep in mind bitcoins can't do any of these things).
Far too many people are treating cryptocoins as an investment because currently (June 5th 2017) a lot of crypto investors are worth a lot of money, god bless you people, so this post will also help you determine if we're headed for a crypto crash and maybe you can keep those profits.

Should I invest in cryptocurrencies?

Understand that an investment is something you hope will go up in the future or provide income, both of which for the long term vs speculation which profits on short term inefficiencies.
Speculative securities are typically commodities, options, bonds, and currencies, but also stocks that are volatile enough to give you extreme returns or extreme loses.

Examples of investments:

Examples of speculation:

Reducing the risk of speculation

Typically for speculation you reduce risk by reducing your trade size and timeframe, but since you're trying to invest into something that is speculative, you can try:
Asset allocation, a strategy that reduces risk.. If you're 80% stocks, 15% bonds, 4% gold, and 1% bitcoins, if something were to happen to bitcoins, you still have 99% of your money.
But even very aggressive long term portfolios leave speculation out completely and just go 100% stocks because stocks benefit from growth while speculative securities like gold benefit from global turmoil in the short term. Only mid risk & mid term portfolios can take advantage of gold's speculative returns.
I also mention asset allocation because many crypto investors have been using this strategy on a portfolio of 100% crypto coins, but that doesn't help you reduce the overall risk of crypto coins, you're just reducing the risk of 1 speculative asset with another speculative asset. 100% crypto portfolio would face the same risks such as being made illegal, IRS aggressively hunting down crypto profits, a drop in correlated coin markets, or just a loss of popularity would all cause a sell off. Even the USD or Chinese currencies becoming more valuable would reduce the value of crypto coins.

Should I buy coins right now?

Cryptocoins are a better investment after a period of consolidation when volatility has stabilized:

Bitcoin 2013/2014 speculation, chart

Bitcoin 2015 consolidation, chart

Source Bitstamp exchange, while the volume is #2 to GDAX, Bitstamp is better to look at for historical price/data, more charts here.

RSI & MACD key for above charts and primer

Analyzing overbought signals

So the first chart above have RSI & MACD screaming that bitcoin is overbought and you shouldn't invest in 2013/2014.
The black squares in the 2nd chart show consolidation and reduced volatility, a "better" time to invest. If you were trading short term, it would be a whole different story, and there would be opportunities to buy & short, but since this is written for investing, the small overbought signals are ignored, so if you were to buy Bitcoin at $300 inside the first blacksquare (2nd chart) and then it suddenly drops to 25%, it's okay because the volatility is much lower compared to previous price movements (nothing compared to 80% loss in the 1st chart). Any investor would tell you a 25% drop is terrible, but bitcoins are speculative and that kind of drop is pretty damn good for this level of volatility.

Nothing goes straight up forever

and anything that comes near this vertical incline will eventually lose 80% to near 100%, always happens, it's usually preceded by emotions (price euphoria), attention, and increased volume, all classic signs that something is becoming riskier.
Other speculative securities gaining multiples and then losing 80% to near 100% of value:

Notable comments on reddit:

*This is just to get you guys looking at different subs on this topic, and yeah it's mostly anti-crypto, but don't let that discourage you.

Is Bitcoin going to crash?

Maybe, the signals are getting louder, you tell me: The only chart you wanted to see this entire time.
So based on the above chart, is bitcoin overbought? MACD levels are the same as 2013's crash, but the increased in value is around 4.3x or 2.4x (depending on which you look at), so maybe we'll see another spike before a crash, I don't know, it's up to interpretation right now. There's the emotional price levels of 3000 and 4000 that we might have no problem getting to in an overbought environment before a correction. And how big will the correction be? I think 80%, but it very well could be around 50% down to $1200, the previous level of resistance which would become support.
I put everything above in its own wiki here.
Well I hope that helps everyone. Sorry to anyone that may feel butthurt on classifying cryptocoins as speculation, I hope you understand the facts. Feel free to argue or agree with this. If I made any mistakes and you point them out, I'll correct them and give you credit for it in an update to this post and the wiki.
Also the automod will is just going to blanket remove posts (not comments) with the following keywords {crypto, bitcoin, btc, etherium, altcoin} (see update 4 below) (this will eventually get relaxed if Coinbase ever IPOs) and then it'll send the user this message:
"Sorry your post[link] was removed in stocks because of rule 6: Bitcoins & cryptocurrenies should be discussed in CryptoCurrency. You can find more information in our are-cryptocurrencies-investments wiki. If you're trying to discuss a non-OTC stock related to cryptocoins like Coinbase IPO, or this was just a mistake, message the mods and they'll approve your post, thanks."
Update: Created wiki, added relevant websites and sub reddits. Also turned on automod reply.
Update2: those relavant websites and subreddits I put into the wiki, thanks u/dross99 for recommending ethereum

Relevant websites/wikis

Relevant subreddits

  • CryptoCurrency - main sub to learn about all bit & altcoins
  • ethtrader - trading eth
  • ethereum - for more eth information
  • btc - the place to have bitcoin discussions or r/CryptoCurrency; while Bitcoin does have a lot of information on Bitcoins in general, you'll find many reddit subs completely opposed to Bitcoin for heavy censorship of discussions, especially those critical of bitcoins, so you're better off reading the sub's wikis and discussing bitcoins in btc & r/CryptoCurrency
  • personalfinance
Update3: Shoutout to the mods on CryptoCurrency
Update4: Updated auto mod keywords, it's not a blanket catch all, a little completed to understand if you don't know regex but it looks like this
"crypto ?(trading|investing)","(should(| I)|could(| I)|can(| I)|how to|is it worth) (buy|sell|mine|min)(|ing) (btc|btcs|bitcoin|ether|etherium|eth|litecoin|ripple|altcoin)" 
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Mimblewimble in IoT—Implementing privacy and anonymity in INT Transactions

Mimblewimble in IoT—Implementing privacy and anonymity in INT Transactions

https://preview.redd.it/kyigcq4j5p331.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=0584cd96378f51ead05b447397dcb0489995af4e

https://preview.redd.it/rfc3cw7q5p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2b10b33defa0b354e0144745dd20c2f257812f29

The years of 2017 and ’18 were years focused on the topic of scaling. Coins forked and projects were hyped with this word as their sole mantra. What this debate brought us were solutions and showed us where we are right now satisfying the current need when paired with a plan for the future. What will be the focus of years to come will be anonymity and fungibility in mass adoption.
In the quickly evolving world of connected data, privacy is becoming a topic of immediate importance. As it stands, we trust our privacy to centralized corporations where safety is ensured by the strength of your passwords and how much effort an attacker dedicates to breaking them. As we grow into the new age of the Internet, where all things are connected, trustless and cryptographic privacy must be at the base of all that it rests upon. In this future, what is at risk is not just photographs and credit card numbers, it is everything you interact with and the data it collects.
If the goal is to do this in a decentralized and trustless network, the challenge will be finding solutions that have a range of applicability that equal the diversity of the ecosystem with the ability to match the scales predicted. Understanding this, INT has begun research into implementing two different privacy protocols into their network that conquer two of the major necessities of IoT: scalable private transactions and private smart contracts.

Mimblewimble

One of the privacy protocols INT is looking into is Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is a fairly new and novel implementation of the same elements of Elliptic-Curve Cryptography that serves as the basis of most cryptocurrencies.

https://preview.redd.it/dsr6s6vt5p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=0249e76907c3c583e565edf19276e2afaa15ae08

In bitcoin-wizards IRC channel in August 2016, an anonymous user posted a Tor link to a whitepaper claiming “an idea for improving privacy in bitcoin.” What followed was a blockchain proposal that uses a transaction construction radically different than anything seen today creating one of the most elegant uses of elliptic curve cryptography seen to date.
While the whitepaper posted was enough to lay out the ideas and reasoning to support the theory, it contained no explicit mathematics or security analysis. Andrew Poelstra, a mathematician and the Director of Research at Blockstream, immediately began analyzing its merits and over the next two months, created a detailed whitepaper [Poel16] outlining the cryptography, fundamental theorems, and protocol involved in creating a standalone blockchain.
What it sets out to do as a protocol is to wholly conceal the values in transactions and eliminate the need for addresses while simultaneously solving the scaling issue.

Confidential Transactions

Let’s say you want to hide the amount that you are sending. One great way to hide information that is well known and quick: hashing! Hashing allows you to deterministically produce a random string of constant length regardless of the size of the input, that is impossible to reverse. We could then hash the amount and send that in the transaction.

X = SHA256(amount)
or
4A44DC15364204A80FE80E9039455CC1608281820FE2B24F1E5233ADE6AF1DD5 = SHA256(10)

But since hashing is deterministic, all someone would have to do would be to catalog all the hashes for all possible amounts and the whole purpose for doing so in the first place would be nullified. So instead of just hashing the amount, lets first multiply this amount by a private blinding factor*.* If kept private, there is no way of knowing the amount inside the hash.

X = SHA256(blinding factor * amount)

This is called a commitment, you are committing to a value without revealing it and in a way that it cannot be changed without changing the resultant value of the commitment.
But how then would a node validate a transaction using this commitment scheme? At the very least, we need to prove that you satisfy two conditions; one, you have enough coins, and two, you are not creating coins in the process. The way most protocols validate this is by consuming a previous input transaction (or multiple) and in the process, creating an output that does not exceed the sum of the inputs. If we hash the values and have no way validate this condition, one could create coins out of thin air.

input(commit(bf,10), Alice) -> output(commit(bf,9), BOB), outputchange(commit(bf,5), Alice)
Or
input(4A44DC15364204A80FE80E9039455CC1608281820FE2B24F1E5233ADE6AF1DD5, Alice) ->
output(19581E27DE7CED00FF1CE50B2047E7A567C76B1CBAEBABE5EF03F7C3017BB5B7, Bob)
output(EF2D127DE37B942BAAD06145E54B0C619A1F22327B2EBBCFBEC78F5564AFE39D, Alice)

As shown above, the later hashed values look just as valid as anything else and result in Alice creating 4 coins and receiving them as change in her transaction. In any transaction, the sum of the inputs must equal the sum of the outputs. We need some way of doing mathematics on these hashed values to be able to prove:

commit(bf1,x) = commit(bf2,y1) + commit(bf3,y2)

which, if it is a valid transaction would be:

commit(bf1,x) - commit(bf2+bf3,y1+y2) = commit(bf1-(bf2+bf3),0)

Or just a commit of the leftover blinding factors.

By the virtue of hashing algorithms, this isn’t possible. To verify this we would have to make all blinding factors and amounts public. But in doing so, nothing is private. How then can we make a valued public that is made with a private-value in such a way that you cannot reverse engineer the private value and still validate it satisfies some condition? It sounds a bit like public and private key cryptography…
What we learned in our primer on Elliptic-Curve Cryptography was that by using an elliptic curve to define our number space, we can use a point on the curve, G, and multiply it by any number, x, and what you get is another valid point, P, on the same curve. This calculation is quick but in taking the resultant point and the publically known generator point G, it is practically impossible to figure out what multiplier was used. This way we can use the point P as the public key and the number x as the private key. Interestingly, they also have the curious property of being additive and communicative.
If you take point P which is xG and add point Q to it which is yG, its resulting point, W = P + Q, is equal to creating a new point with the combined numbers x+y. So:
https://preview.redd.it/yv0knclr6p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=9a3abccdc164e615651147141736356013e4b829
This property, homomorphism, allows us to do math with numbers we do not know.
So if instead of using the raw amount and blinding factor in our commit, we use them each multiplied by a known generator point on an elliptic curve. Our commit can now be defined as:
https://preview.redd.it/aas2wm0u6p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=c3ebb5728f755f30e878ce5f1885397f6667d4f3
This is called a Pedersen Commitment and serves as the core of all Confidential Transactions.
Let’s call the blinding factors r, and the amounts v, and use H and G as generator points on the same elliptic curve (without going deep into Schnorr signatures, we will just accept that we have to use two different points for the blinding factor and value commits for validation purposes**). Applying this to our previous commitments:
https://preview.redd.it/zf246t8z6p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=17e2e155c59002f05f38ccb27082f79a5dd98a1f
and using the communicative properties:
https://preview.redd.it/km4fuf017p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=13541d62ec3f6e5728388b7a8d995c3829364a42
which for a valid transaction, this would equal:
with ri, vi being the values for the input, ro,vo being the values for the output and rco, vco being the values for the change output.

This resultant difference is just a commit to the excess blinding factor, also called a commitment-to-zero:
https://preview.redd.it/tqnwao667p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=9da5ecab5c670024f171a441e0d2477cf8f41a56
You can see that in any case where the blinding factors were selected randomly, the commit-to-zero will be non-zero and in fact, is still a valid point on the elliptic curve with a public key,
https://preview.redd.it/19ry9i297p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=4fb6628a01dc784816e1aea43cc0f5cfb025af52
And private key being the difference of the blinding factors.
So, if the sum of the inputs minus the sum of the outputs produces a valid public key on the curve, you know that the values have balanced to zero and no coins were created. If the resultant difference is not of the form
https://preview.redd.it/71mpdobb7p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=143d28da48d40208d5ef338444b3c7edea1fab9c
for some excess blinding factor, it would not be a valid public key on the curve, and we would know that it is not a balanced transaction. To prove this, the transaction is then signed with this public key to prove the transaction is balanced and that all blinding factors are known, and in the process, no information about the transaction have been revealed (the by step details of the signature process can be read in [Arvan19]).
All the above work assumed the numbers were positive. One could create just as valid of a balanced transaction with negative numbers, allowing users to create new coins with every transaction. Called Range Proofs, each transaction must be accompanied by a zero-knowledge argument of knowledge to prove that a private committed value lies within a predetermined range of values. Mimblewimble, as well as Monero, use BulletProofs which is a new way of calculating the proof which cuts down the size of the transaction by 80–90%.

*Average sizes of transactions seen in current networks or by assuming 2 input 2.5 output average tx size for MW

Up to this point, the protocol described is more-or-less identical between Mimblewimble and Monero. The point of deviation is how transactions are signed.
In Monero, there are two sets of keys/addresses, the spend keys, and the view keys. The spend key is used to generate and sign transactions, while the view key is used to “receive” transactions. Transactions are signed with what is called a Ring Signature which is derived from the output being spent, proving that one key out of the group of keys possesses the spend key. This is done by creating a combined Schnorr signature with your private key and a mix of decoy signers from the public keys of previous transactions. These decoy signers are all mathematically equally valid which results in an inability to determine which one is the real signer. Being that Monero uses Pedersen Commitments shown above, the addresses are never publically visible but are just used for the claiming, signing of transactions and generating blinding factors.
Mimblewimble, on the other hand, does not use addresses of any type. Yes. That’s right, no addresses. This is the true brilliance of the protocol. What Jedusor proved was that the blinding factors within the Pedersen commit and the commit-to-zero can be used as single-use public/private key pairs to create and sign transactions.
All address based protocols using elliptic-curve cryptography generate public-private key pairs in essentially the same way. By multiplying a very large random number (k_priv) by a point (G) on an elliptic curve, the result (K_pub) is another valid point on the same curve.
https://preview.redd.it/pt2xr33i7p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=1785cebcc842cab19b3987d848b2029032ae1195
This serves as the core of all address generation. Does that look familiar?
Remember this commit from above:
https://preview.redd.it/w9ooxudk7p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=d94ad3ac103352aa4c9653934d61cccc25a6bf8f
Each blinding factor multiplied by generator point G (in red) is exactly that! r•G is the public key with private key r! So instead of using addresses, we can use these blinding factors as proof we own the inputs and outputs by using these values to build the signature.
This seemingly minor change removes the linkability of addresses and the need for a scriptSig process to check for signature validity, which greatly simplifies the structure and size of Confidential Transactions. Of course, this means (at this time) that the transaction process requires interaction between parties to create signatures.

CoinJoin

Even though all addresses and amounts are now hidden, there is still some information that can be gathered from the transactions. In the above transaction format, it is still clear which outputs are consumed and what comes out of the transaction. This “transaction graph” can reveal information about the owners of the blinding factors and build a picture of the user based on seen transaction activity. In order to further hide and condense information, Mimblewimble implements an idea from Greg Maxwell called CoinJoin [Max13] which was originally developed for use in Bitcoin. CoinJoin is a trustless method for combining multiple inputs and outputs from multiple transactions, joining them into a single transaction. What this does is a mask that sender paid which recipient. To accomplish this in Bitcoin, users or wallets must interact to join transactions of like amounts so you cannot distinguish one from the other. If you were able to combine signatures without sharing private keys, you could create a combined signature for many transactions (like ring signatures) and not be bound by needing like amounts.

In this CoinJoin tx, 3 addresses have 4 outputs with no way of correlating who sent what
In Mimblewimble, doing the balance calculation for one transaction or many transactions still works out to a valid commit-to-zero. All we would need to do is to create a combined signature for the combined transaction. Mimblewimble is innately enabled to construct these combined signatures with the commit of Schnorr challenge transaction construction. Using “one-way aggregate signatures” (OWAS), nodes can combine transactions, while creating the block, into a single transaction with one aggregate signature. Using this, Mimblewimble joins all transactions at the block level, effectively creating each block as one big transaction of all inputs consumed and all outputs created. This simultaneously blurs the transaction graph and has the power to remove in-between transactions that were spent during the block, cutting down the total size of blocks and the size of the blockchain.

Cut-through

We can take this one step further. To validate this fully “joined” block, the node would sum all of the output commitments together, then subtract all the input commitments and validate that the result is a valid commit-to-zero. What is stopping us from only joining the transactions within a block? We could theoretically combine two blocks, removing any transactions that are created and spent in those blocks, and the result again is a valid transaction of just unspent commitments and nothing else. We could then do this all the way back to the genesis block, reducing the whole blockchain to just a state of unspent commitments. This is called Cut-through. When doing this, we don’t have any need to retain the range proofs of spent outputs, they have been verified and can be discarded. This lends itself to a massive reduction in blockchain growth, reducing growth from O*(number of txs)* to O*(number of unspent outputs)*.
To illustrate the impact of this, let’s imagine if Mimblewimble was implemented in the Bitcoin network from the beginning, with the network at block 576,000, the blockchain is about 210 GB with 413,675,000 total transactions and 55,400,000 total unspent outputs. In Mimblewimble, transaction outputs are about 5 kB (including range proof ~5 kB and Pedersen commit ~33 bytes), transaction inputs are about 32 bytes and transaction proof are about 105 bytes (commit-to-zero and signature), block headers are about 250 bytes (Merkle proof and PoW) and non-confidential transactions are negligible. This sums up to a staggering 5.3 TB for a full sync blockchain of all information, with “only” 279 GB of that being the UTXOs. When we cut-through, we don’t want to lose all the history of transactions, so we retain the proofs for all transactions as well as the UTXO set and all block headers. This reduces the blockchain to 322 GB, a 94% reduction in size. The result is basically a total consensus state of only that which has not been spent with a full proof history, greatly reducing the amount of sync time for new nodes.
If Bulletproofs are implemented, the range proof is reduced from over 5kB to less than 1 kB, dropping the UTXO set in the above example from 279 GB to 57 GB.

*Based on the assumptions and calculations above.

There is also an interesting implication in PoS blockchains with explicit finality. Once finality has been obtained, or at some arbitrary blockchain depth beyond it, there is no longer the need to retain range proofs. Those transactions have been validated, the consensus state has been built upon it and they make up the vast majority of the blockchain size. If we say in this example that finality happens at 100 blocks deep, and assume that 10% of the UTXO set is pre-finality, this would reduce the blockchain size by another 250 GB, resulting in a full sync weight of 73 GB, a 98.6% reduction (even down 65% from its current state). Imagine this. A 73 GB blockchain for 10 years of fully anonymous Bitcoin transactions, and one third the current blockchain size.
It’s important to note that cut-through has no impact on privacy or security. Each node may choose whether or not to store the entire chain without performing any cut-through with the only cost being increased disk storage requirements. Cut-through is purely a scalability feature resulting in Mimblewimble based blockchains being on average three times smaller than Bitcoin and fifteen times smaller than Monero (even with the recent implementation of Bulletproofs).

What does this mean for INT and IoT?

Transactions within an IoT network require speed, scaling to tremendous volumes, adapting to a variety of uses and devices with the ability to keep sensitive information private. Up till now, IoT networks have focused solely on scaling, creating networks that can transact with tremendous volume with varying degrees of decentralization and no focus on privacy. Without privacy, these networks will just make those who use it targets who feed their attackers the ammunition.
Mimblewimble’s revolutionary use of elliptic-curve cryptography brings us a privacy protocol using Pedersen commitments for fully confidential transactions and in the process, removes the dependence on addresses and private keys in the way we are used to them. This transaction framework combined with Bulletproofs brings lightweight privacy and anonymity on par with Monero, in a blockchain that is 15 times smaller, utilizing full cut-through. This provides the solution to private transactions that fit the scalability requirements of the INT network.
The Mimblewimble protocol has been implemented in two different live networks, Grin and Beam. Both are purely transactional networks, focused on the private and anonymous transfer of value. Grin has taken a Bitcoin-like approach with community-funded development, no pre-mine or founders reward while Beam has the mindset of a startup, with VC funding and a large emphasis on a user-friendly experience.
INT, on the other hand, is researching implementing this protocol either on the main chain, creating all INT asset transfer private or as an optional and add-on subchain, allowing users to transfer their INT from non-private chain to the private chain, or vice versa, at will.

Where it falls short?

What makes this protocol revolutionary is the same thing that limits it. Almost all protocols, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc., use a basic scripting language with a function calls out in the actual transaction data that tells the verifier what script to use to validate it. In the simplest case, the data provided with the input calls “scriptSig” and provides two pieces of data, the signature that matches the transaction and the public key that proves you own the private key that created it. The output scripts use this provided data with the logic passed with it, to show the validator how to prove they are allowed to spend it. Using the public key provided, the validator then hashes it, checks that it matches the hashed public key in the output, if it does, it then checks to make sure the signature provided matches the input signature.
https://preview.redd.it/5u6m1eiv7p331.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=3729eb12037107ae744d15cea9f9bc1e18a3c719
This verification protocol allows some limited scripting ability in being able to tell validators what to do with the data provided. The Bitcoin network can be updated with new functions allowing it to adapt to new processes or data. Using this, the Bitcoin protocol can verify multiple signatures, lock transactions for a defined timespan and do more complex things like lock bitcoin in an account until some outside action is taken.
In order to achieve more widely applicable public smart contracts like those in Ethereum, they need to be provided data in a non-shielded way or create shielded proofs that prove you satisfy the smart contract conditions.
In Mimblewimble, as a consequence of using the blinding factors as the key pairs, greatly simplifying the signature verification process, there are no normal scripting opportunities in the base protocol. What is recorded on the blockchain is just:

https://preview.redd.it/dwhiuc8y7p331.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=69ea0a7797bc94a9766a4b31a639666bf9f1ebc4
  • Inputs used — which are old commits consumed
  • New outputs — which are new commits to publish
  • Transaction kernel — which contains the signature for the transaction with excess blinding factor, transaction fee, and lock_height.
And none of these items can be related to one another and contain no useful data to drive action.
There are some proposals for creative solutions to this problem by doing so-called scriptless-scripts†. By utilizing the properties of the Schnorr signatures used, you can achieve multisig transactions and more complex condition-based transactions like atomic cross-chain swaps and maybe even lightning network type state channels. Still, this is not enough complexity to fulfill all the needs of IoT smart contracts.
And on top of it all, implementing cut-through would remove transactions that might be smart contracts or rely on them.
So you can see in this design we can successfully hide values and ownership but only for a single dimensional data point, quantity. Doing anything more complex than transferring ownership of coin is beyond its capabilities. But the proof of ownership and commit-to-zero is really just a specific type of Zero-knowledge (ZK) proof. So, what if, instead of blinding a value we blind a proof?
Part 2 of this series will cover implementing private smart contracts with zkSNARKs.

References and Notes

https://github.com/ignopeverell/grin/blob/mastedoc/intro.md
https://github.com/mimblewimble/grin/blob/mastedoc/pow/pow.md
https://github.com/mimblewimble/grin/wiki/Grin-and-MimbleWimble-vs-ZCash
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=30579
[poel16] http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/papers2/bitcoin/mimblewimble-andytoshi-INCOMPLETE-DRAFT-2016-10-06-001.pdf
** In order to prove that v=0 and therefore the commit to zero, in fact, has no Hcomponent without revealing r, we must use Schnorr protocol:
prover generates random integer n, computes and sends point 𝑇←n𝐻
verifier generates and sends random integer 𝑖
prover computes and sends integer 𝑠←𝑖𝑏+n modq, where q is the (public) order of the curve
verifier knowing point r𝐻 computes point 𝑖(r𝐻), then point 𝑖(r𝐻)+𝑇; computes point 𝑠𝐻; and ensures 𝑖(r𝐻)+𝑇=𝑠𝐻.
[Arvan19] https://medium.com/@brandonarvanaghi/grin-transactions-explained-step-by-step-fdceb905a853
[Bulletproofs] https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/1066.pdf
[Max13] https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=279249
[MaxCT]https://people.xiph.org/~greg/confidential_values.txt
[Back13]https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=305791.0
http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/grincon/2019/scriptless-scripts-with-mimblewimble/
https://tlu.tarilabs.com/cryptography/scriptless-scripts/introduction-to-scriptless-scripts.html#list-of-scriptless-scripts
http://diyhpl.us/~bryan/papers2/bitcoin/2017-03-mit-bitcoin-expo-andytoshi-mimblewmble-scriptless-scripts.pdf
submitted by INTCHAIN to INT_Chain [link] [comments]

ICON (ICX)

ICO Verdict

ICON is a very ambitious project, aiming to become the biggest blockchain in the world. With proven track records and existing connections with top-tiered industry leaders. It is already providing services, running solid for a couple of years, with working products rather than a concept ICO. A very promising project that you should definitely pay attention to.
Reason to invest:
Hype Rate: High
Risk Rate: Very Low
ROI Rate: Very High
Potential Growth: Very High
Overall Rating: Very High

ICO Information

Date: Sep 20, 2017 (ended, 100% raised)
Ticker: ICX
Token type: ERC20
ICO Token Price: 1 ICX = 0.11 USD (0.00040 ETH)
Fundraising Goal: 42,800,000 USD (150,000 ETH)
Total Tokens: 400,230,000
Available for Token Sale: 50%
Whitelist: NO
Know Your Customer (KYC): YES Сan't participate: USA, SINGAPORE, CHINA
Bonus for the First: NO
Min/Max Personal Cap: 0.01 ETH / 30 ETH
Token Issue: 18 DEC (13:00 UTC+9)
Accepts: ETH

Full Review

At a glance

ICON is creating a massive scale ecosystem, allowing different blockchains connecting to one another through their protocol. Universities, security firms, banks, hospitals and other private blockchains can all share information through ICON's online ledger without intermediaries.
ICON can also bridge public blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Qtum, and NEO. It is a completely different blockchain at the protocol level, meaning that it is not based off of an existing protocol such as Ethereum. ICON uses its own proprietary LFT (Loop Fault Tolerant) consensus algorithm, here is a brief introduction of LFT,
LFT (Loop Fault Tolerance) is an enhanced BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerance)32-based algorithm that promotes faster consensus and ensures the finality of the consensus without the possibility of forks within the network. LFT supports faster consensus by creating a group among trusted nodes. LFT can accommodate diverse consensus structure by allowing such groups or nodes to freely determine the number of votes.
ICON is not a from scratch project, it is based off of loopchain, a distributed ledger that provides industry specific blockchain solutions. Theloop has partnered with leading financial institutions, offering services such as common authentication system, settlement systems without intermediary agencies, and trading systems that offer real time trade matching. Loopchain also works with insurance industry, to automate its insurance claims and payments. The project has been running strong and solid for well over 2 years. ICON will further expand loopchain's capabilities by bridging existing blockchains, as well as introducing its own ICX token. An ICX token can be viewed similar to ETH, in that it will be served as an utility token that can be spent and transfer value within the ICON ecosystem; furthermore, ICX tokens will eventually be used as the currency for ICON based ICOs. ICON will also provide its own DEX (Decentralized Exchange), where ICX can be used as a trading pair. It is expected to be launched Q4 of 2017.
The core of ICON called Nexus, is a multi-channel blockchain comprised of light client of respective blockchain. It is based off of loopchain, testnet is already launched and mainnet is expected to launch in Q4 of 2017. Native ICX wallets for each platform will also launch around the same time.
South Korea is ranked top 5 in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and the 11th largest economy in the world. South Koreans also have immense interest in the crypto space, where daily trading account for ~20-40% of total global volume. Most consider cryptocurrencies as an investment vehicle rather than payment solution or functional blockchain platforms. It'll be interesting to see when one of their own public blockchain introduced in the country, how sectors from different industries come up with new use cases, and actual form of payment adapted by end consumers.
If you really want to label ICON, what it is comparable to today, some think of it as the NEO of Korea, some think its a spin-off of Ark. The most accurate version, this is also mentioned by several ICON team members that it is more like a combination of Cosmos and Ethereum.
ICON ICO is hardcapped at 150,000 ETH in presale and crowdsale (~40 million USD as of this writing), a relative modest fund raise given today's ICO standards. This also account for 50% of total supply, again a fair amount given out, rest goes to reserve, team, and partners and foundation. The presale will be divided into 3 stages, where in each round a cap is set for each individual. Starting at 30 ETH, 100 ETH then finally 1000 ETH. This is to ensure smaller investors get a chance to join the network, rather than whales jumping in early to manipulate the prices. If the hardcap is reached in the presale, there won't be a public crowdfunding.

Team Pedigree

ICON team is stacked with talents, currently with around 20-30 engineers and designers who graduated from top universities in South Korea and overseas. Business development team who worked for top tier investment companies like JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. It appears that most of the team members are fluent in English, so they'll be able to collaborate with world's leading intelligence in the open source blockchain communities.
Notable advisor include Don Tapscott, co-author of international best-seller book "Blockchain Revolution", one of the most influential person in the space. Here's an example speech from one of his appearances at TED.

Company Background

ICON is a project under the legal entity Dayli Financial Group, one of the biggest FinTech companies based in South Korea, formerly named Yello Financial Group. Dayli currently offers services and owns companies in several industries,

Financial Infrastructure

Service

DAVinCI
DAVinCI is a practical artificial intelligence brand and consists of four solutions: DAVinCI Labs, DAVinCI Analyst, DAVinCI Bot, DAVinCI Big data. Each solution offers optimized features: enhanced predictive analytics, automated report generation, sales and customer service innovation, big data collection and utilization.
loopchain
loopchain is an enterprise blockchain engine consisting of distributed ledger, smart contract, and management module. Based on its own modular structure, loopchain can be optimized for variety of financial and non-financial services, including authentication, settlement, trading, and IoT.

Company

Solidware Solidware utilizes its AI-driven analytics solution DAVinCI Labs to offer various data based predictive modeling services, including credit scoring, underwriting, target marketing, fraud detection, and CRM. Leevi Leevi offers NLP based unstructured online data analysis and AI based chatbot solutions for risk management and target marketing. Heenam Heenam provides bigdata aggregation and other data-driven analytic services with proprietary scraping technologies. theloop (theloop seeks to create ‘Hyper Connected Society’ by implementing blockchain technologies in the financial industry, including distributed ledger based financial transaction, digital currencies, and IoT.) Nomad Connection Nomad Connection develops Fintech specific solutions based on bigdata and machine learning technologies, including robo analytics, chatbot builder, and non-face-to-face authentication. Neuro Associates Neuro Associates offers customized digital strategy services from data-driven real time infographics to AI strategy consulting.

Robo-advisor (AI)

Service

Robo-advisor
Quarterback Robo-advisor is an asset management service that aims for systematic and stable investment returns through big data and machine learning based global asset allocation. Quarterback currently provides optimized portfolio via top domestic financial institutions.
Life-Cycle financial planning platform
Quarterback PALMS is a customized financial planning platform that recommends optimized portfolios based on life-cycle, goals, risk profile, etc. PALMS offers asset allocation using ETF, mutual funds, and other savings & depository accounts.

Company

Quarterback Investments Quarterback Investments is robo-advisor based asset management firm that offers global asset management portfolio based on financial bigdata and automated algorithms. Quarterback Technologies Quarterback Technologies offers personalized asset management service platform ‘PALMS’ optimized for individual investment objectives.
Quarterback Futures
Quarterback Futures develops online platform and software for financial industry, including chatbot solutions. Quarterback Japan Quarterback Japan, the Japan branch of the Quarterback Group, provides global asset allocation portfolio advisory service and online asset management platform.

Financial Platform

Service

Broccoli Personal Financial Management
Broccoli is a personal financial management platform that provides account information, spending and investment analysis, and tailored financial recommendations.
LEMON Clip Integrated Insurance Management
LEMON Clip is an integrated platform to manage insurance. From searching and comparing to buying and applying for claims, LEMON Clip offers total management services.
OLLEY Debt Crowdfunding
OLLEY FUNDING is a P2P lending platform that allow borrowers to receive loans at a reasonable rate and lenders to lend for promising returns.
UCANSTART Reward Crowdfunding
UCANSTART is a reward based crowdfunding platform that connects the ‘Starters’ with the public who wants to help businesses to raise funds and ideas to grow.
GenPort & GenMarket Smart Stock Investment
GenPort is a stock based robo advisor platform. GenMarket allow investors to create algorithms and share investment strategy. NewsyRank analyzes all listed stocks and recommends investment opportunities.
UDID Payment solution for SMBs
UDID provides payment solution and O2O service to SMBs. UDID offers payment platform PayApp, SNS commerce order solution BlogPay, and delivery management solution.

Company

DAYLI Marketplace DAYLI Marketplace offers personal finance management App Broccoli and other easy-to-use financial services for everyday lives. d.Lemon d.Lemon leads the transformation of Korean insurance industry through its innovative Insurtech services, including an integrated insurance management service ‘Lemon Clip’. OLLEY FUNDING OLLEY FUNDING is a debt crowdfunding platform that offers easy and diverse investment products focusing mainly on SMEs in consumer goods industries. UCANSTART UCANSTART is a reward crowdfunding platform that help businesses in diverse fields to raise funds through collective intelligence. NewsyStock NewsyStock provides GenPort, NewsyRank, NewsyRank China, and offers an environment for individual investors to make informative investment decision and optimize returns. UDID UDID provides differentiated easy payment solutions and O2O services, including PayApp, BlogPay and delivery control solution.

Cryptocurrency

Service

Coinone Cryptocurrency Trading
Coinone operates a cryptocurrency exchange for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. With intuitive user interface and optimized trading features, it offers fast and secure services.
Cross Blockchain based foreign remittance
Cross provides foreign remittance services to China, Japan, Philippine, Vietnam, and India. Blockchain based service offers easier, faster, and 80% cheaper fees than the banks.

Company

Coinone Coinone provides various blockchain and cryptocurrency related services, including cryptocurrency exchange center and foreign remittance service ‘Cross’.

Partnership

Korean Blockchain Consortium
27 Financial Firms Form Korean Blockchain Consortium
Ripple
SBI Ripple Asia has today signed a partnership agreement with DAYLI Intelligence
theloop partners Including top security firms, financial institutions, banks, universities etc.
davinci partners Including leading tech firms, banks etc.

Useful Reading

Links

Press

Reviews

Interview

TL;DR

ICON is a very ambitious project, aiming to become the biggest blockchain in the world. With proven track records and existing connections with top-tiered industry leaders. It is already providing services, running solid for a couple of years, with working products rather than a concept ICO. A very promising project that you should definitely pay attention to.

Due Diligence

ICON (ICX)

Company

Icon Stiftung, Zug Switzerland

Team

Min Kim (Foundation Council) Jul 2017-Present | LinkedIn Profile

Github

GitHub

Product

Yes

Vesting

2 years semi-annual vesting period

Additional info

Token Allocation

Use of Proceeds

submitted by msg2infiniti to icoverdict [link] [comments]

Shades Of Grey Markets: How Government Overregulation Creates Counter-Economic Opportunities

"The basic law of Counter-Economics is to trade risk for profit. Having done so, one naturally (acting to remove felt unease) attempts to reduce the risks. If you reduce your risks while others continue to face the higher risks, you naturally out-compete and survive longer. And you profit." Samuel Edward Konkin III, An Agorist Primer.
................
In 2008, I took a software development gig at a startup in Santa Monica, CA called LP33 (lp33.tv). The company had originally been named MyAWOL (My Artists WithOut Labels). The “My” prefix was a not-so-subtle nod to MySpace, the giant (at that time) of the social media industry. Facebook had opened to the public in 2006, but was still an outlier in the space. Venture capitalists around the world, at that time, were dumping money on startups promising to create “The MySpace of X.” MyAWOL had been founded by music industry veterans and sought to become the premier social network for independent musicians - “The MySpace of Indie Artists.”
For the past several years, the most exciting label for a startup is “The Uber of X.” Unlike MySpace, Uber is seeing its market share continue to grow and is expanding into other areas. UberEats, for instance, is Uber’s own entry into the already established (and crowded) “Uber of Food Delivery.” The ubiquity of smartphones and mobile broadband connections has given birth to such startups as “The Uber Of Stylists” (TheGlamApp.com), “The Uber of Dog Walking” (Rover.com), “The Uber Of Car Rental” (Turo.com), and even “The Uber Of Car Rental For Uber Drivers Who Need To Rent A Car To Use To Drive For Uber” (HyreCar.com). It is remarkable how quickly the outlaw antics of Uber are swept aside when such antics generate profits.
It was (over-) regulation on the part of government that, ostensibly, led to Uber’s creation. It was overreaction on the part of regulatory agencies that clearly led to the creation of “The Uber Mystique.” Uber has achieved victory in the vast majority of battles it has fought with governments determined to keep the service out of certain jurisdictions. In the cases where Uber has retreated, new “Grey Market” opportunities have arisen in the space left by Uber’s absence. Uber’s brief history serves as a case study which proves that Agorist theories - put forward by Samuel Konkin in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s - give a powerful framework for a peaceful supplanting of government coercion by non-violent, market means.
Although Uber was created in San Francisco, its first significant battle was fought in New York City, the Mecca of the taxicab industry in the United States. Overregulation created the space for driver demand. Overreaction on the part of Las Vegas authorities, in their dealings with Uber, created a public relations scenario that allowed Uber to finally gain a foothold in my lucrative hometown.
In Austin, TX, overreaction by government eventually ended with Uber (and competitor, Lyft) deciding to pull up stakes and remove themselves from the municipality. The market demand created by the ensuing vacuum incubated what may turn out to be the Facebook to Uber’s Myspace. The tale of these three cities is a harbinger of the new economic paradigm that lies just on the horizon. Those who understand the paradigm will have great economic opportunity in the coming years.
The Counter-Economy is vast. Our brief study of economics tells us that this should be no surprise. The more controls and taxation a State imposes on its people, the more they will evade and defy them. Since the United States is one of the less (officially) controlled countries, and the CounterEconomy here is fairly large, the global Counter-Economy should be expected to be even larger — and it is. Samuel Edward Konkin III, An Agorist Primer
Uber launched in New York City in May of 2011, a year after the app first went live (in San Francisco). Uber arrived on the scene in the middle of the latest battle in a taxicab civil war that had already been raging for a century. Their arrival tipped the scales in favor of the Counter-Economy.
The metered cab industry first began in New York City in 1907. Immediately, grey market “illegal” cabs began plying their trade on the streets. The grey market grew alongside the white market. In Los Angeles, these illegal cabs were known as “jitneys” (a slang term for a nickel, which was their fare in the early days). By the 1930s, the grey market cabs of New York had acquired the moniker “wildcat taxis.” The wildcats were known for providing drastically reduced fares, and the licensed drivers complained that they were losing business to these illegal competitors. This claim was demonstrably unfounded, however, because by the 1960s licensed drivers (medallion holders) had a lucrative enough business that they began restricting their activities to the hub of Manhattan - refusing rides to certain “types” of people and to certain destinations. The wildcats (now known as “gypsy” cabs - a name still used today) became the primary operators in the outer boroughs - mainly Brooklyn and Queens.
In 1967, as a reaction to lobbying by medallion holders, the city ordered that medallion cabs paint their taxis yellow (gypsy cabs must paint their cars some other color) so that riders could immediately distinguish between the two. The reaction was swift. Gypsy drivers turned over or burned no less than 14 licensedmtaxis in Brooklyn. The mayor, John Lindsay, offered full police protection to medallion holders but simultaneously voiced his opposition to the law that gave birth to New York’s famous Yellow Cab.
In 1971, the city created the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). In a moment of foreshadowing that would echo through the decades, the new TLC Chairman, Michael Lazar, suggested that the gypsies could become legal by simply no longer taking “street hails” and only picking up fares who had called ahead and scheduled rides. The gypsies in The Bronx organized protests of the initiative. The protests turned violent when firefighters, responding to a blaze set by the protesters, were attacked with bottles and bricks. The initiative eventually went through - creating the livery, or Black Car, industry - but the gypsies never fully left the streets.
In 2011, New York was in the middle of the implementation of the Green Cab system. A green cab is a cab licensed only to operate in the outer boroughs where the yellow cabs do not. In other words, the green cabs (or “borough cabs”) were the city’s attempt to “license the unlicensed.” Yet another battle between the state and the grey market was in full swing. The TLC began doing undercover enforcement in the boroughs, pulling over and citing gypsy drivers. The gypsies, in turn, began forming “crews” to hold onto turf and as protection against the TLC. Puncturing the tires of TLC vehicles and chasing off green cabs became necessary crew activities. Enter Uber.
In 1987, Michael Lazar, the former TLC chairman who established the livery laws, was indicted on federal racketeering charges, fined $200,000, and sentenced to 3 years in prison. Lazar’s weapon in New York’s taxi wars, regardless of its impact in 1971, has turned out to be the “sword pulled from the stone,” that has enabled Uber to triumph. Uber’s model – pre-arranged rides – falls squarely within the boundaries of the livery system. Lazar’s weak attempt at stifling the gypsies gave Uber the foothold it needed.
The 2011 green cab program, one of Michael Bloomberg’s final acts as mayor, pushed the gypsy drivers - now in fear of losing their livelihood – right into Uber’s arms. The city tried for 5 years, unsuccessfully to oust Uber. Uber stuck to its guns and “hacked” the livery system. Now there are millions of weekly Uber rides in New York City (not to mention deliveries from UberEats and UberRush). Uber’s fleet is more than 3 times the size of the entire licensed taxi fleet. Uber drivers, many of them former gypsy drivers, are averaging between $30,000 and $60,000 per month.
Had the city simply left the outer boroughs alone, the story might have been different. A yellow cab medallion, in 2011, could only be purchased at auction (the city didn’t issue new medallions). Medallions were going, at auction in 2011, for a million dollars a piece. Had the gypsies been allowed to keep their turf unmolested, Uber would have had to fight battles on 2 fronts against the yellow cabs and the TLC in Manhattan and against the gypsies in the outer boroughs. As it happened, however, the city’s overregulation united the grey market and shifted the balance of power in a Hundred-Year War.
Everyone is a resister to the extent that he survives in a society where laws control everything and give contradictory orders. All (non-coercive) human action committed in defiance of the State constitutes the Counter-Economy. (For ease of analysis, we exclude murder and theft, which are done with the disapproval of the State. Since taxation and war encompass nearly all cases of theft and murder, the few independent acts really should be classified as other forms of statism.) Since anything the State does not license or approve of is forbidden or prohibited, there are no third possibilities. Samuel Edward Konkin III, An Agorist Primer
In October of 2014, two representatives from Uber had a meeting with Bruce Breslow, the Director of Nevada’s Department of Business and Industry. Up until that time, Uber had stayed out of Vegas, a market dominated by a cartel of politically powerful taxicab companies that some call the last vestiges of “Old Las Vegas” (aka The Mob). The taxicab lobby effectively neutered the Las Vegas Monorail (the largest, privately owned, public transportation system in the US) by preventing expansion to McCarran Airport. Instead, the end of the futuristic train’s line is across the street from the airport, at MGM Grand Hotel - ample distance to prevent it’s use by air travelers. The taxi cartel is also well known in Vegas for shaking down strip clubs – charging a per-head fee for every patron brought, by taxi, to a club. The shakedown is so noxious that clubs find it more profitable to maintain fleets of complimentary limousines and party buses than to pay off the cab drivers. The Uber representatives were meeting with Breslow to see where the state itself stood on the company’s planned entry into Sin City.
Breslow told the representatives that they could either apply with the Nevada Transportation Authority as a common carrier (like a limousine company) or they could register with the aforementioned Taxicab Authority as a taxicab company. The representatives thanked Breslow for his time and walked out of the office. Two days later, Breslow, a registered Uber user himself, received an email – sent to all registered Uber users in Nevada – with the subject line “Your Uber is arriving now, Las Vegas!”
Uber’s legal department, after reviewing Nevada’s laws, had ascertained that Uber, as a ride-sharing company, was not required to be regulated as either a limousine or taxicab company. They turned on their app and drivers hit the Las Vegas Strip. The Taxicab Authority hit back. Masked Authority agents in unmarked SUVs, armed with assault rifles, used Uber’s app to tail suspected drivers. When the drivers stopped at the passenger’s destination, the agents swarmed from their cars, like movie terrorists with a neon backdrop. Drivers were arrested. Cars were impounded. A Nevada judge issued a preliminary injunction banning Uber from Nevada.
Instead of fighting a protracted battle in the courts, Uber sent a battle-tested team of lobbyists into Southern Nevada and began to fight in the court of public opinion. Suddenly there were political fundraisers for Nevada politicians, hosted by Uber, being thrown in hip Downtown Las Vegas. Twitter and Facebook ads filled Nevadans’ news feeds. By the summer of 2015, just months after that meeting in Breslow’s office, Uber had secured enough legislative votes to begin service again in Las Vegas. Their only concession, a new 3% excise tax levied against all cars for hire – including taxis. Not only did the taxicab cartel lose market share to Uber’s grey market tactics, but Uber convinced the state to punish the cartel for fighting by stealing 3% more of its revenue. The goonish tactics of the corrupt state agencies swayed public opinion toward Uber and the grey market.
The other business is Information. The Internet explosion has led the American State — for now, at any rate — to throw up its tentacles at regulation of the Information industry. Every legislative session, however, brings new attempts to tax and control the [Internet]. But consider this well: should the Counter-Economy lick the information problem, it would virtually eliminate the risk it incurs under the State's threat. That is, if you can advertise your products, reach your consumers and accept payment (a form of information), all outside the detection capabilities of the State, what enforcement of control would be left. Samuel Edward Konkin III, An Agorist Primer
Uber arrived in Austin, Texas in 2014. Unlike Las Vegas and New York City, Austin didn’t have a highly established taxi industry. However, the growing tourist base (mainly attendees of the SXSW and Austin City Limits music festivals) created a demand for more readily accessible transportation. Uber filled the void perfectly. Austin is a young, tech-savvy town that took to Uber like a duck to water. The Uber drivers I have had in Austin have been some of the most pleasant of any with whom I’ve ridden. But…statists gonna state.
Allegations of sexual assault by drivers and (of course) lobbying by cab companies became the impetus for the city fathers to demand that Uber fingerprint all their drivers (just like the taxi drivers). Uber balked at this suggestion and raised the stakes in the gunfight. Uber funded a referendum. Were Uber to win the vote, the company would be forever exempt from fingerprinting requirements. Uber played the state’s game…and Uber lost. Austin voters did not grant the exemption. As a result, Uber (and competitor Lyft) pulled up stakes and left Austin for good. In their wake, they left 10,000 unemployed drivers and even more riders without wheels.
The vacuum created by the Uber departure, combined with Austin’s peculiar culture, gave birth to a fateful experiment. In a Facebook group called Arcade City, individual drivers and riders began arranging rides privately. Riders would make a request in a post, drivers would reply with a specially formatted driver bio (called a “collage”), and the rider would pick the driver they wanted by sending a private message. Soon, thousands of rides – and quite a bit of press – were being generated.
This grey market activity attracted the curiosity of a team of software developers working in the cryptocurrency Blockchain space. The developers saw an opportunity to combine Uber with Bitcoin, creating a completely “unregulatable” platform for ride-sharing (or house sharing, or “anything-sharing”) where the Blockchain handled both payment and reputation management. Stark differences in vision between the original Austin community and the developers saw a fracturing of the project. The Austin ride-share group has kept the Arcade City name and has launched an app that moves the functionality off of Facebook and onto their own platform. The developers started Swarm City (named after the term for the nodes on their network – “the swarm”) and have been slowly rolling out their platform. Both projects embrace the grey market ethos and provide virtually no handhold for regulatory authorities. By trying to overregulate Uber, Austin created a hydra-like, unregulatable replacement. Konkin’s vision of Agorism is not a prescription for ideological action. It is, instead, a description of the world in which we live.
The Counter-Economy is growing stronger every day as technology makes the State obsolete. Every attempt by the State to overregulate creates a niche for creative entrepreneurs to avoid that regulation. Soon, a point of critical mass will be reached. A free society is the goal of many people, not all of them agorists or even libertarians. Agorists can see nothing but a free market in a free society; after all, who or what will prevent it? Samuel Edward Konkin III, An Agorist Primer.
https://archive.is/Am9pM
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to CommunismAnarchy [link] [comments]

Hey, if you're a bitcoiner, do yourself a favor and learn at least a little bit about stock market investing

Hey, I know a lot of you guys probably have stock market experience, but for those of you who don't, I highly recommend you use this post as an opportunity to reflect on why you haven't learned more about stocks yet.
This post is a brief primer on (1) why a bitcoiner like you MAY be a good candidate for investing in stocks and (2) what steps you could take to learn more about the stock market (and about yourself, to find out if stock market trading is right for you.)
First of all, you need to understand the efficient market hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficient-market_hypothesis) which is a theoretical model which says that no one can get more than average returns out of the stock market unless they simply got lucky. The EMH model is USEFUL, but not 100% correct. In fact, you're probably living proof of its limitations: Anyone who bought bitcoins a year or more ago made such an incredible return and I would argue this return was not due to blind chance, but due to insights that early bitcoiners had that were missed by the general population.
So this is the GOOD NEWS in my post: I personally believe that a small fraction of general investors (5% maybe?) are contrarians that at times have unique insights and have the right sort of personality traits (whatever those may be is hard to say exactly) that allows them to achieve above-average returns in the market. But more impartantly, these same personality traits are also likely shared by a lot of bitcoiners!
I believe it is extremely important to ONLY invest in individual stocks if you can achieve above-average returns*. The reason for this is that there are other ways to invest that are more cost effective if you can't achieve above-average returns (index funds). However, it might take you years to know if you can do this, which leads to a conundrum: You need to invest to know if you're good at it, but you need to stop expeditiously if it's clear you aren't good at it.
*Note: Your profit needs to be corrected for risk to determine if it's above average.
My experience has convinced me that "being good at stocks" has ALMOST NOTHING to do with IQ, above a certain baseline- You can be very smart and a lousy investor. The stock market is unique among all human activity in that it ruthlessly punishes herd behavior and greatly rewards original thinking. To do well with stocks, you need to THINK DIFFERENT. The only way to know if you have the right stuff is to give it a try.
Here's my recommendation to you, if you want to give stock investing a try: Set yourself a "lifetime limit" as to how much you're willing to lose in your ENTIRE LIFETIME in the stock market: I used $3000 as a limit when I got started a long time ago. Then start investing: If you start making profit right away, you probably won't hit that limit for a long time. However, if you lose it more quickly, be willing to walk away from the table and say "stock investing is not for me. I'm not doing it anymore."
However, even if you never hit that limit, you'll need to go back after a couple years and do the math to answer the question: "Did I make more money with my trading than I would have done invest in an S&P 500 index fund, after adjusting for risk?" if the answer is "no" you should still walk away: Again, you shouldn't buy individual stocks if you can't outperform the market.
The problem of course is that you'll never know whether your failure or success at the market is due to luck or (lack of) skill, no matter how long you're in the market. (I am also not truly sure for my own investment history.) But you have to take the limited data you have about your performance and use them to make these decisions, and accept the uncertainty.
As for how to get started: Look at interactivebrokers.com, etrade.com, or ameritrade.com to see which you like best and set up an account- If you've managed to buy bitcoins, you probably won't have any trouble navigating the steps to setting up an account at these sites.
Of course there's one important reason why bitcoiners should look at the stock market that we haven't mentioned yet: Diversification. If you have 80% of your net worth (or some other insane percentage) tied up in bitcoin, you really should consider buying other assets with different risk profiles, such as stocks. The point of investing is NOT to take as much risk as possible, instead it is to achieve "regret minimization": You want to avoid saying to yourself in 10 years "boy, I wish I had sold some of those bitcoins in 2014" and maybe by just selling a small fraction of your bitcoin holdings you can greatly decrease the chance of such regrets, at only a minimal loss in profit potential. (Plus, then I can buy more cheap coins :-)
And, as I've said, as a bitcoiner you may be uniquely suited to stock investing, because there is probably an overlap in your skill set in this other arena... so just give my arguments some careful thought.
submitted by drcode to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

BITCOIN and LITECOIN NEXT BIG MOVE !?! bitcoin litecoin price prediction, analysis, news, trading The Future of Blockchain –Trends, Risks and Outlooks Bitcoin is forking: educate and prepare - Lecture by ... Opportunities vs Possibilities - Philip McKernan Crypto & Tech - YouTube

While the possibilities of cryptocurrencies are undeniable, there are also plenty of risks to consider. Read this primer to get up to speed. Cryptocurrencies may be the next major step in the internet's evolution, but they are also of a frightening level of complexity that makes the recent news flow difficult to assess and challenging for potential investors. Recent headlines have focused on ... The Bitcoin Primer: Risks, Opportunities, And Possibilities by David Seaman ! What is this? ! This is a free, expanded edition of my #1 Amazon bestseller, "The Bitcoin Primer." It is being provided as shareware which anyone is free to read, distribute, and reshare. !! The book is designed as an easy way to familiarize yourself or friends and family with Bitcoin… unless you enjoy answering ... (VCs) have gained significant traction and become an economic reality, with Bitcoin being the most dominant among over 500 VCs. 1 Their advent, beginning with Bitcoin in 2008, has quickly exploded into an emerging financial ecosystem that offers new possibilities for peer-to-peer (P2P) payment systems, money transmission and investment opportunities not only for purchasers and sellers of VCs ... The Bitcoin Primer: Risks, Opportunities, And Possibilities Kindle Edition by David Seaman (Author) Format: Kindle Edition. 3.9 out of 5 stars 33 ratings. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. Price New from Used from Kindle, November 22, 2013 "Please retry" $3.99 — — Kindle $3.99 Read with Our Free App The Bitcoin Primer is an intuitive, easy to understand, fast ... The Bitcoin Primer: Risks, Opportunities, And Possibilities 2.95 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 2013 Want to Read saving…

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BITCOIN and LITECOIN NEXT BIG MOVE !?! bitcoin litecoin price prediction, analysis, news, trading

Purchasing cryptocurrencies poses considerable risk of loss. The speaker does not guarantee any particular outcome. Past performance does not indicate future results. This information is what was ... In todays video we take a look at the Bitcoin price and what to expect the next couple of days, weeks. Also taking a look into my TOP 5 alt coins , BTCPAY and Facebook. Also sharing on which ... CRYPTO EVENT - 5 Coins To $5 Million: https://londonreal.tv/5/ SPEAK TO INSPIRE - Open Now: https://londonreal.tv/inspire/ 2020 SUMMIT TICKETS: https://londo... Investment Opportunities in Bitcoin & Tech's Global Spread (w/ John Burbank and Mike Green) by Real Vision Finance. 1:01:58. Litecoin Inventor Charlie Lee on the Creation of Litecoin (w/ Mike ... Despite the wonderful world of possibilities that this technology has opened up, most of people remain unaware about this technology and its risks. Find out more by watching the video! Find out ...

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