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“Projects that survive this bear market could be future Apples and Amazons” says Dr. Jemma Green of Power Ledger

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Today we have the pleasure of interviewing the Rockstar of Blockchain/Crypto space.  Government grants, Richard Branson Extreme Tech Challenge Award, 34 Million in ICO, Forbes contributions, big media coverage – and much more. Crypto community endearingly calls her the BRAND behind Power Ledger. CryptoTapas sits with Dr. Jemma Green, the co-founder of Power Ledger.

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Jemma Green PowerledgerShe is indeed the brand that propelled Power Ledger in the crypto community.  She is also an eloquent public speaker.  Being one of the most popular figures in the Blockchain and Crypto space – she doesn’t carry an ounce of arrogance.

“I am a normal person,” says Mom of two, who credits much of her success to her amazing team and the great support she receives from her husband.

It was difficult to come up with questions for Dr. Jemma.  Having appeared in numerous conferences, interviews, debates, contests, TV appearances – she has practically answered all the questions that came her way.  There is something special about her responses – they all are well rounded in technical, business and personal point of views.

A bear market is good for space

Bear MarketDr. Jemma has a very different take on this bear market. “This bear market has a cleansing effect on Blockchain space, investors are demanding more from the projects beyond a colorful whitepaper and empty promises.”

The projects that survive this bear market and succeed to deliver valuable services could emerge to be “future Apples, Facebooks, and Amazons of the future in a replay of the tech crash of the millennium”, she opined.

Blockchain is not a panacea

Talking about the potential of Blockchain – Dr. Jemma was quick to point out that Blockchain cannot solve everything and that people need to show a healthy dose of skepticism before accepting a blockchain solution.

Blockchain works well in certain industries and for certain pain points but it doesn’t work in all industries and for all problems.

Crypto and Blockchain go hand-in-hand

Cryptocurrency and blockchainDr. Jemma thinks that Crypto and Blockchain will go hand-in-hand, although not all cryptos will have a use case. Commenting on India’s stance of wanting to encourage Blockchain but trying to curb cryptocurrencies, she said “you’re left with something that is about distributed ledger technology as opposed to the blockchain in the biggest sense of the word because the real power comes from not just using it as a record keeping system, but also to transact value.”

Bringing electricity to 1.5 Billion people, and doing it using sustainable practices

Electricity BlockchainDr. Jemma through the Power Ledger platform wants to unlock capital, recycle capital so that more and more energy projects are funded. “We are really interested in helping the 1.5 Billion people that do not have access to electricity at all.”

She recognizes that while providing electricity access to those that currently do not have it is important but equally important is to do it with help of sustainable energy practices.

Power Ledger will encourage people to practice sustainable energy practices – such as solar power.

Security tokens are coming to Power Ledger

Talking about Energy Asset Financing, a product that Power Ledger is launching this year – she commented “creating a token that’s a security which will be a world’s first regulated crypto energy offering and it allows everyday people to invest in and co-own Energy assets which they have previously not been able to do, which has been the domain of sophisticated investors, so far.”
Dr. Jemma hopes to bring more liquidity by making Energy Asset Financing accessible to everyone through the security tokens that will be tradable on exchanges.
CryptoTapas has been an ardent supporter of Security Tokens which will make their grand entrance this year. We predicted that there will be big brand names that will enter this space, Power Ledger will be one amongst them.

Work-life balance married with lofty societal goals

Jemma Green familyDr. Jemma makes it a priority to make time for her 3-year old daughter, Amelie, and 6 months old son, Castiel. She tries to work from home when possible so she can spend as much time as possible with kids.  She also makes it a point to switch off her electronics from 6 pm to 8 pm every day to be with the family.

Her commitment to Power Ledger in helping realize Paris climate goals a reality so that she can lead the world into a better place for her kids keeps her forging forward.

“I think if we can have made a material contribution to the Paris climate goals, I will be so proud of myself and the work of Power Ledger and if in doing so, we’ve scaled and commercialized the technology, this would be fabulous for me”, she said.


Cryptptapas Interviews Powerledger jemma green

Below is the transcript (edited) of the interview

CryptoTapas: With the experience you gathered from being in this space for around three years, if you were to start this project all over again, what would you do differently?

Dr. Jemma: Well, I think it’s good to have a healthy dose of skepticism when dealing with the blockchain because there are a lot of projects/companies that have popped up with nothing more than a white paper and an idea. I think blockchain has been used as a buzzword that often comes with a lot of hot, but also skepticism, some of which I believe is actually warranted.

There was a period where companies were putting the word blockchain in front of anything. For example, Long Island Ice Tea changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp and the hype train would go into overdrive. However, Power Ledger was incorporated in 2016 prior to the ICO craze and we had even developed our own technology for energy when there was very little understanding of blockchain being utilized for anything other than financial transactions.

I think what is happening now is that the dust is really settling in and consumers are asking more questions before blindly investing in ICOs and paying closer attention to the real world use cases and the teams involved rather than taking marketing hype and empty promises at face value.

As an industry, it is still largely unregulated.  So I think, as I said at the beginning, a good dose of skepticism is necessary. And in fact, I think in the current market in Crypto there is a healthy cleansing effect on the space in general and the companies that emerge from this wreckage could actually be the Facebooks, Apples, and Amazons of the future in a replay of the tech crash of the millennium.

CryptoTapas: I agree with you. We got started in May last year. We were victims of empty promises and shiny things, but lucky for us we learned lessons pretty quickly and we have been pretty diligent about what we post and what we share. The name and fame will follow. We’re not focused on that right now. I think the bear market has only been cleansing this whole space.

The only unfortunate thing we have been noticing is that there were some good projects with good promise but they were wiped because of liquidity issues.  Talking about liquidity issues, how are you guys doing with liquidity on your end?

Dr. Jemma: We are very well funded for piloted to continue operating its business and, scale and commercialize our technology.

CryptoTapas: What is your elevator pitch for someone who doesn’t understand what Power Ledger is all about, but they know just enough about blockchain. What is your elevator pitch?

Dr. Jemma: Our technology enables three things: energy trading, energy asset financing, and carbon market. Energy trading involves our signature product – peer to peer trading across the regulated network and power plants as well.

Energy asset financing is a product we will launch this year called Asset Germination Events, which is using the blockchain to fractionalized ownership of energy assets. So, creating a token that’s security which will be a world’s first regulated crypto energy offering and it allows everyday people to invest in and co-own Energy assets which they have previously not been able to do, which has been the domain of sophisticated investors, so far. This will bring liquidity to what’s been fairly illiquid by tokenizing and making it tradable on an exchange.

And then thirdly, carbon markets, that’s around the issuance and trading of carbon credits and tokenizing those credits, which means you can track the provenance of them, also create liquidity where it hasn’t existed before. A lot of carbon markets have traded over the counter, so that’s the business in a nutshell: energy trading, energy asset financing, and carbon markets.

CryptoTapas: In layman terms, let’s say, you have a space for setting up solar panel but they don’t know where to go to sell their energy or excess energy, how would they get to participate?

Jemma: The way that energy works is a bit different.

Energy companies need to offer their customers peer to peer and use our technology to do so. Presently we’re doing peer to peer trading here in Perth and Fremantle. We’ve also got a project that we just announced overnight in Japan. We have peer to peer trading available in Bangkok and also in the American power network, in the US, so it’s not available everywhere.

It’s only available in those places presently, but we are engaged in many other dialogues to expand the offering. But that’s for trading across the grid that anyone that has an apartment building that wants to install solar and batteries can use our platform now immediately, to facilitate energy trading within the building. It’s a long gestation period to scale across the regulated network, but we feel like we’ve made good progress in getting that many projects up in the two and a half years that we’ve been operating.

CryptoTapas: Do you think there will be resistance from incumbent companies in terms of how this technology helps broaden the decentralization of these otherwise centralized businesses?

Dr. Jemma: If you look at disruptive innovations that have occurred in the past, you can say that incumbent players may do one or a combination of three things. They could fight, flight or innovate. And they may fight and innovate simultaneously. They innovate because they want to get a piece of the new action and they may fight because they want to protect their incumbent interests.

Disruptions happen regardless, generally speaking, they may take longer with more fighting. You couldn’t fight against the motor vehicle, for example, with the horse carts forever.  I don’t feel like the work that we’re doing is really engaged in a fight at all. I think that there’s healthy skepticism. People need to understand why the blockchain is not a panacea. It can’t be used for everything. There are certain reasons why it works in the energy industry. I wrote an article last week for Mickey.com.au articulating that.

I think it takes a while in big utility for all decision makers to get across that and be interested, and want to take that risk.  Studying this market is not a quick thing but I feel like we started to get scaling. We have got just under a megawatt installed capacity trading presently in Bangkok, in Q1 this year – that will add another 4 megawatts and by Q2, 12 more megawatts. So we are starting to state aid projects ramp up in terms of a number of uses, the amount of kilowatt provided on the platform.


CryptoTapas: Is Power Ledger more apt for locations where energy is expensive or really the cost of energy doesn’t matter?

Dr. Jemma: I think it does matter, it’s weird the way margin on the network tariffs work. Thailand has just announced regulation to enable peer to peer trading with consumers. The state of UP in India just announced this as well and so you might see these countries leapfrog to these new technologies quicker than developed countries. I wrote about that in Forbes.

CryptoTapas: I’m surprised that India has taken interest in this kind of project because for the most part of India – the government has been strongly opposing the crypto but has been trying to encourage the blockchain. I think in some instances, especially for a project like Power Ledger, blockchain and crypto abilities will go hand in hand, right?

Dr. Jemma: Yes.

Well, you can do that, but you’re left with something that is about distributed ledger technology as opposed to the blockchain that ended up being a sense of the word because the real power comes from not just using it as a record keeping system, but also to transact value.

The transaction and the payment can be one and the same thing and what that provides is a real-time market trading and settlement and we know that, the more agile the market, the more liquid the market, the more value that can be created in a market. So, I think that they may want to divorce those two things from each other, but I think they may arrive at the conclusion that they need to allow both and regulate.

CryptoTapas: In terms of developing the local ecosystems so that there are people who are willing to trade excess energy and there are people who need and buy that energy. What is Power Ledger and the company as such doing in the space of developing the local ecosystems?

Dr. Jemma: Asset germination product will launch this year and we’re doing it with a demonstration of two assets at commercial scale solar system and a grid-connected battery here in Perth, but ultimately we are hoping that develop as if some of the energy projects can use this platform to unlock capital, recycle capital so that they can fund more energy projects and we’re really interested in this helping the 1.5 billion people that don’t have access to electricity at all presently.

CryptoTapas: Do you think projects like Power Ledger encourage sustainable energy practices and that this is going to be the future of encouraging people to participate in sustainable energy?

Dr. Jemma: Without a question.

I mean for the past century energy’s been at the long line of production, fossil fuel generation, coal or gas, typically transmission lines, distribution lines, bringing electricity to people’s homes and in the past decade we started to see rooftop solar popup and we haven’t got a market mechanism that enables this to really work properly.

For example, if you can put a price signal, people will put batteries in because they’ll get an economic return for it and that will start to add more supply in the peak and drive out the cost. The spikes had previously been the domain of electricity companies who said: ‘we provide electricity in the state and so we’re going to charge you significant multiples of what it costs to produce,’ but batteries could start to do that and payback sooner.

And as a result of this price mechanism, people will increase their installed capacity of batteries. I think that the agile market around the blockchain adds a level of sophistication which can reduce the need for batteries as well through demand response, but also enable citizen utilities.

CryptoTapas: If you’re going into Bangkok or other Asian countries like India for example, the common public doesn’t know what blockchain is, forget about how to use it. How do we bring these folks to use your platform benefit for trading the surplus energy? What can be done in the space to make them aware that there’s this technology that can be used and help them get out of the poverty line?

Dr. Jemma: Well, I think there’s a lot of recognition for this already. The UN sustainable development goals have many of these kinds of objectives in there. For example, in Australia that we have high electricity prices and what can we do to drive out cost from the system?

In places like Thailand and other developing countries, there’s recognition around particular matter in air quality and how fossil fuel generation is really impacting people’s health and wellbeing. I think there’s a recognition on a range of different touch points as to why the energy system needs to change. It’s more about how to do it. You got to bite the elephant one bite at a time ultimately.

Our platform is very simple to use. People don’t have to have an understanding and it’s just a digital wallet, one spark is one cent or the lowest denomination in any currency and they can just convert those to their local currency. They can just set and forget the platform optimized so I can buy the cheapest renewable energy out there or sell my energy at the highest price available in the market and then their wallet fills up with sparkz and they can transfer them back into their bank account. It’s a simple technology to use and we’re seeing that reflected in the feedback we’re hearing from customers that are using it.

CryptoTapas: Interesting. Changing the gears a little bit, being in the media, being in front of the camera, being in front of the big personalities – in your experience and opinion, what are the positive and negative impacts of media on the blockchain and crypto space in general?  

Dr. Jemma: Well, I would revert back to my original comment, which is that I think a healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing and that sometimes incumbent players may be trying to undermine the sector and you see a little bit of that going on with the investment banks kind of criticizing whatever price of Bitcoin is, but this happens every time there’s a bear market around bitcoin and ultimately the proof will be in the pudding longer term.

jemma green power ledger media updates

I’m just thinking how am I articulating this. If you think about what a currency is, it’s just a belief, whether they’re printed on paper, bars of metal or electrons on screens and it makes sense that faith is waiting after a big speculative brand that is buried.

People in this time of year people will be tax loss selling and generally, so far down there’s no reason to hold. The selling will beget more selling and the traditional voices will feel right for a while. When the world’s debt load, which is currently $270,000,000,000,000 and growing at 20 percent per year with growth in underlying GDP at three percent has to resolve. There should be a relative shift in value and I think it could be significant, time will tell on this.

CryptoTapas: Does bear market have any impact on the team dynamics within power ledger?

Dr. Jemma: I don’t think so.

I don’t look at the price of the token. I’m really focused on the projects which are going to drive the fundamental value of the POWR token and our team is really, really passionate about the blockchain.

Democratization of power, low cost, low carbon energy market, so that’s a big project and you need a mission like that to want to get out of bed every morning and make a market, but the people in Power Ledger are super motivated around these things.


CryptoTapas: What does it take to be part of Power Ledger’s team?

Dr. Jemma: We’re not hiring anyone at the moment, but the people at Power Ledger are really motivated around the mission. I don’t think working in a startup is for everyone. There was a phrase in the military, it’s called VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, and it was profiled in the Harvard Business Review and it was first used in 1987 to describe general conditions. I think it was strategies for leadership in an unsteady world. I think that’s a bit like what it is to work in a startup and certainly in Power Ledger.

jemma green poweredger team

There is a lot going on. We’re working on short-range projects, long-range projects, different countries, different time zones. You really need to be passionate and high energy to want to work in Power Ledger and to enjoy it.

CryptoTapas: Makes Sense. Moving onto your personal life. In one of the interviews, and I think this was 11 months old interview, you said you just had a baby a month ago at that point in time. So, my question is, how do you find work-life balance while managing all the responsibilities that you have on your shoulder?

Dr. Jemma: It’s a struggle every day, to be honest with you. I have a three-year-old daughter Amelia, and now I have a six-month-old son Castiel and I love them so much. I want to be around them and I bring them on trips with me and I work from home as much as I can. I have a nanny that helps, husband obviously is very involved in parenting. It’s a loosely ordered chaos and I try my best to set a good example for my kids and to lead the world into a better place for them.

CryptoTapas: How do you keep the digital noise away from your personal time when you’re with the family?

Dr. Jemma: It’s hard as well. I tend to do a lot of work in the evening after the children have gone to bed. Between 6:00 and 8:00 PM, it’s family time, so we have to really switch off all these things and I ended up doing a lot of conference calls at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, with other time zones and then going into work later, having spent some time with my children in the morning. You’ve got to constantly try and keep yourself in check and get the balance right.

CryptoTapas: Before we wrap up, I do have one question about where do you see Power Ledger in five years, both in terms of success from every sense of the word and also from a social impact, what is your vision of the Power Ledger and its social impact Five years down the line.

Dr. Jemma: I think if we have made a material contribution to the Paris climate goals, I will be so proud of myself and the work of Power Ledger and if in doing so, we’ve scaled and commercialized the technology, this would be fabulous for me.

Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you for taking the time.

______________________________________________

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About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

RK Reddy is an ardent fan of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. You can see the excitement about this new blockchain technology in every article on Cryptotapas.com. Sometimes this excitement leads to an overly optimistic view. Guilty as charged. RK Reddy says what may seem like an ‘overly optimistic expectation’ today may become an everyday norm in 5-10 years; look at the history of cars or airplanes, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies belong to a similar frame of reference.”  Of course, that is just his opinion.


Interview

“Coda is world’s lightest Blockchain,” an exclusive interview with Emre Tekisalp of Coda Protocol

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Coda Protocol Interview

What happens when the miners decide to pull out their support of a public network? What
happens when nodes find a project not-profitable and they abandon the project?

It makes the blockchain network weak and vulnerable to attacks. In theory, all public blockchain
networks that rely on network strength to sustain face this existential threat.

Coda Protocol “addresses blockchain’s scalability problem at its source by utilizing recursive zk-
SNARKs to ensure the blockchain never exceeds the size of a few tweets, making it the world’s
lightest blockchain.”

Coda wants to provide a viable scalable solution without sacrificing the decentralized nature of
blockchain.

We asked Emre Tekisalp, Director of Business Development at O(1) Labs, the team behind
Coda Protocol, a lot of questions about Coda Protocol and his answers are below for anyone
wanting to learn about Coda Protocol.

Emre spent two years at Coinbase’s Business Development team where he led a number of strategic programs during a period when the company grew 10x. Before Coinbase, Emre was a Product Manager at Intel’s wearable devices group. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Emre has an MBA degree from Columbia University.

Q&A with CryptoTapas

In a world of 1000’s of blockchain projects and protocols, how do you envision Coda
making its mark?

Coda addresses blockchain’s scalability problem at its source by utilizing recursive zk-SNARKs
to ensure the blockchain never exceeds the size of a few tweets, making it the world’s lightest
blockchain.

Legacy blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum are incredibly heavy chains from a data
perspective. The heavier the chain, the greater the data processing requirements placed on
nodes, which limits the number of nodes eligible to participate. As the pool of potential nodes
diminishes, decentralization declines, jeopardizing the strength of the network.

Decentralization is not a sacrifice blockchains should be willing to make, yet this is
precisely the danger facing blockchains that focus solely on scalability. Coda confronts this
problem by using recursive zk-SNARKs to encapsulate the entire history of the chain in a single,
lightweight zero-knowledge proof.

To ensure sufficient decentralization upon mainnet launch this summer, we launched Genesis, a
token program to prepare members of our community to be block producers. With more than
500 users joining our testnet, Coda is now one of the largest layer 1 testnets by peer count. It’s
the strength of our technology and commitment to our community that differentiates us from
other protocols.

What would you say to convince the team of a project that is already on another protocol,
say Ethereum or Tron, to move to Coda?

Coda is designed for developers and for projects to use it as an easy tool to enable value
exchange in their existing apps. It is incredibly lightweight and prioritizes decentralization and
security. Already more than half of all web traffic can be attributed to mobile, and so it is
absurd to believe any blockchain system that does not work on mobile will be able to meet
the needs of the increasingly mobile digital economy. Coda’s inclusive and lightweight approach
will allow the protocol to be useful for the existing mobile internet ecosystem.

Who is behind o1Labs.org? How big of a team is working on Coda?

Emre Tekisalp founder of coda protocolCo-founders Izaak Meckler and Evan Shapiro created Coda with the goal of solving the
scalability problems that have plagued blockchain since its inception. We now have 28 full-time employees and hundreds of dedicated community members. The first cohort of validator teams participating in our Genesis program includes Bison Trails, Figment Networks, dsrv labs, and Sparkpool.

Coda Protocol Team

[CryptoTapas Side note: Bison Trails is a Libra Network member]

How does SNARKs make Coda better than other projects, can you explain in a way that a
non-blockchainer can understand?

The basic idea of zk-SNARKs is that they allow one to verify the result of any computation
without having to redo or acquire any detailed information about said computation. For example
you can prove “you are who you say you are” to a website without sharing any sensitive
information like a password. Coda uses zk-SNARKs to enable anyone to easily connect to the
blockchain from any device just by downloading a couple kilobytes of data. In contrast,
traditional blockchains like Bitcoin require expensive desktop machines to download hundreds
of gigabytes over many hours.

In the whitepaper, we read “The resulting consensus protocol is consistent and
responsive as long as at most 1/2 of the mining power is malicious,” can you elaborate
what this means?

In order to function, blockchains require all nodes connected to the network to periodically come
to consensus regarding the latest state of the world. The way this consensus is achieved varies
from blockchain to blockchain.

Coda Consensus

Bitcoin, for example, also requires at least half of the nodes participating in consensus to stay
honest. Unlike Bitcoin, which is a Proof-of-Work network, most Proof-of-Stake networks like
Cosmos or EOS require at least two-thirds of the nodes to stay honest. This higher requirement
makes such networks less resistant to attacks. The specific consensus mechanism we use in
Coda, a variant of Ouroboros, allows Coda to stay secure as long as half of the nodes are
honest, similar to Bitcoin. This is one of the factors that allows Coda to be more decentralized
than other blockchains out there.

Will there be a token sale? What will be the maximum supply of Coda?

We have not disclosed any plans for a token sale before the mainnet release of Coda. Coda will
not have a maximum supply, as it will have ongoing inflation per our Economic Whitepaper. At
mainnet launch, Coda will have an initial supply of 1 billion tokens.

Can non-technical members become Genesis Founding members? How many of your
1000 slots are still available?

Absolutely! We see Coda as a decentralized network and currency built by its participants, and
this includes users with many different sets of skills. The majority of the 1,000 Genesis
Founding Member slots are still open, so hop on over to our website to start getting active on
our testnet.

If you were to meet all of your goals, what would Coda look like in 5 years? What kind of
clients would it have on board and what kind of social impact does Coda have in the
blockchain space?

Coda is built first and foremost for developers.

In 5 years we see Coda enabling internet users to exchange value from any app. This will allow
any developer and business owner to easily accept money and new novel types of tokens from
anyone around the world from any device. We recognize that such a future is not built just by
one company. This is why we emphasize inclusivity above all else and are encouraging people
of all backgrounds to participate at this early stage through our Genesis program. Only by
supporting diverse participation today can we be sure the system will be equipped to serve the
diverse, global population of internet users.

CryptoTapas wishes all the best to Coda Protocol.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article and if you have spare satoshis lying around – consider donating.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Interview

“The Asensys system delivers 1,000 times the throughput and 2,000 times the capacity of the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks” Says Dr. Brendon Wang, founder of Asensys

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Asensys AMA with CryptoTapas

There are over 5100 crypto projects that are listed on CoinMarketCap. This is not a complete list though, there are 1000s of other blockchain/crypto projects that are out there that are not listed on CMC yet for various reasons (one big one is they may not have their own cryptocurrency to trade). 

With 1000s of Crypto projects already existing – it is difficult to get excited about new projects.  However, when you hear about a project that is conceived and built by a Lead Researcher who lead the team at Microsoft on Distributed Systems, you want to learn more.  

Brendon WangDr. Brendon (JiaPing) Wang, along with Co-Founders Minghao Pan and David (Xiaobing) Zhang, has conceived of an idea that could increase the current transaction speeds by 1000s of times that of Bitcoin or Ethereum. The exciting part about Asensys is its performance increases with the user base. The more users who use the network the faster the network becomes.

This counterintuitive novelty could give Asensys the edge in the blockchain space.  But, is it all hype or is there mettle in this project?

We wanted to find out directly from the founder.  This exclusive Q&A with Dr. Brendon Wang is geared to provide great insight to the reader about Asensys.

best Crypto Tax Software

CryptoTapas Q&A

1) How would you describe Asensys to an already confused novice with 2000 odd projects in the market?  What sets it apart?

To understand Asensys, you first need to understand the problem we are solving. Bitcoin revolutionized finance by introducing the first peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Its brilliance lies in the fact that two individuals can exchange value without verification from a third party intermediary, upending the system we’ve relied on for centuries that gave undue power to trusted, centralized entities like banks and governments to validate transactions and provide legitimacy to currency itself. The way Bitcoin circumvents the need for trusted, centralized validators is by outsourcing verification to a decentralized web of computers, called nodes. This means that every transaction and action on the network needs to be broadcast and replicated by all nodes, a process that takes time—too much time to meet the needs of the fast-paced digital economy. This issue of how Bitcoin and all blockchain networks can scale has been one of the biggest roadblocks to adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain systems to-date.

One obvious way to improve the speed at which blockchain networks can process transactions is to decrease decentralization. The more centralized a system, the fewer nodes need to be communicated with to replicate the action. However, decreasing decentralization compromises the security of the network, making it more vulnerable to a 51% attack—when a majority of nodes collude against the whole to update the chain of transactions in their own interests (AKA: cheating). Incentives are designed to deter nodes from weakening the network, as they stand to benefit from a fully-functioning blockchain, but most members of the crypto community believe weakening security is a bad idea. Furthermore, decreasing decentralization is contrary to the spirit of cryptocurrency that drew so many of us to cryptocurrency in the first place. 

What we’ve done with Asensys is introduce a way to dramatically reduce over-redundant actions across the network (the main culprit contributing to blockchain latency). Our novel solution utilizes Asynchronous Consensus Zones to essentially “divide and conquer” all intra-network tasks into “mini” networks, which are independent and parallel zones.

Dividing workload produces substantial performance lift for the entire network, but it raises two problems: cross-zone transaction handling, which is when a user in one zone transacts with a user in a different zone, and mining power dilution. Asensys addresses the efficiency issue of cross-zone transactions with eventual atomicity and the security threat of mining power dilution with Chu-ko-nu mining.

Eventual atomicity enables transactions to be verified and executed in the zone where the transaction’s first state was initiated. Groups of operations are then conveyed to other zones in relay transactions, but the data pertaining to the transaction remains in the zone in which the initial state resided.

Chu-ko-nu mining protects each zone and the entire network against a 51% attack by incentivizing miners to create multiple blocks for different zones with a single nonce, which enforces even distribution of mining power across zones.

2) Most projects do well in a test environment but fail miserably when it comes to real world application – what factors contribute to this variance and how is Asensys going to circumvent these very issues?

We have conducted an in-house experiment to simulate how Asensys will scale as more users are added to the network and greater capacity and throughput are required. The results demonstrated that performance by the Asensys protocol increases proportionately to the community size. This means that as the user base grows, Asensys becomes even more efficient at processing transactions. In a test including 1,200 virtual machines worldwide to support 48,000 nodes, the Asensys system delivers 1,000 times the throughput and 2,000 times the capacity of the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. The below graphs are from our whitepaper.”

Linear scaling

cross zone transactions

3) Your claims are in line with companies like Credits, Hedera Hashgraph, etc., all of which have raised substantial capital to fund their projects.  How big is your team to gain traction for Asensys and how are you going to fund it?

I lead a global team working from the United States, China, and Germany. Co-Founders Minghao Pan and David (Xiaobing) Zhang are based in Frankfurt and Shanghai, respectively. Michelle Chuang leads Audience Engagement and Customer Experience for Asensys. She comes to us with over 20 years of experience in marketing and customer engagement and has led key initiatives for companies such as Starbucks, Chevron and Staples Inc. We have funding from angel investors who are also high-profile leaders in technology, news that we will be [releasing] very soon.

Best Crypto tax software

4) Will you have your native currency on Asensys?

Asensys will have its own currency just like Bitcoin and Ethereum to incentivize miners to add blocks of transactions to the chain. Ultimately, however, Asensys intends to be the underlying system powering a decentralized web of applications, each capable of issuing their own tokens.

5) Is your network designed to support micro transactions, and will it be blockchain platform (bitcoin/ethereum/ripple/etc.,) agnostic? 

Asensys is its own infrastructure layer, distinct from Bitcoin, Ehtereum, Ripple, etc.

6) How does Asensys’s unlimited scalability translate to a real world business use case, can you give an example that can be understood by a non-technical business person?

Asensys will be the system powering the decentralized web, which will be comprised of dapps for entertainment, finance, healthcare, e-commerce, education, and more. Just as developers can build on Ethereum, they will be able to build on Asensys without concern for its capacity to scale as the number of users grows. Asensys has a programming language, Parallel Relayed Execution Architecture Language (PREAL), specifically designed for blockchain systems and based on asynchronous consensus zones (just like nVidia has CUDA language to GPU programming). PREAL is based on a functional programming model that allows developers to describe transaction logic without concerning themselves with the underlying parallel blockchain system. 

7) We only saw Academy research reference on your site, is there a white-paper or document that describes Asensys and contrasts it with existing projects?

If you’d like to learn more, please refer to our whitepaper, which describes the details of our system in great detail. This research was also presented at the prestigious NSDI’19 conference. We are continuing to add to our website and build our community. Feel free to follow us on LinkedIN and Twitter channels for updates on news and developments:

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Interview

A Crypto Crimes Database Is Here, and It’s On to Something

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Crypto Crimes regulations

If you have ever seen crime shows from the 90s or early 2000s, you inevitably saw a frustrated detective wring his hands and say, “there is no record of the crimes from the other state.”

Even to this day, a national crime database is not a thing in many countries.

In the United States, there is no simple search system to scoop records from national, state, county, and federal databases. These databases operate on a different search parameter.

However, blockchain and crypto space may be able to circumvent the painful lessons from this lack of a single-source reference.

Murphy & McGonigle, a financial services law firm with a focus on blockchain and crypto litigation, has built a database to act as a single-source reference for specific case laws, verdicts, and fact patterns.

Blockchain Litigations Expected to Rise

Daniel Payne, Murphy & McGonigle

              Daniel Payne

As more and more companies are now venturing into the blockchain space, Daniel Payne, a shareholder in Murphy & McGonigle’s FinTech & Blockchain Practice expects an uptick in the number of cases in the space and for the relevance of the database to be more prominent. “As the economy drives toward a blockchain future, we think the litigations in the space will follow,” Daniel said.

The database tracks the trend line of litigations in the space. For instance, the 2017 and 2018 trend line shows a massive increase in blockchain litigations, which has subdued in 2019 as illegal and unauthorized ICO’s died down.

According to a report by Murphy & McGonigle, securities-related fraud lead the litigation list, while Texas leads the charts for the most number of blockchain-related litigations in the US. The report also notes that “the SEC issued a warning that it has put market participants on notice and is now focusing on non-fraud violations.”


Comprehensive Search Functionality

CryptoTapas had the opportunity to preview the Blockchain Litigation Database with Daniel Payne. The search criteria are quite comprehensive, with options to search for a specific case by plaintiff, lawyer, code, verdict, or any number of parameters. All the charts and statistics on the database are hyperlinked, helping to take the users straight to the details of whatever information interests them, depending on their search.

The database lets users narrow down their searches to the minutiae of a specific type of complaint. For example, if you want to see only criminal cases within a broad category, you can do that. You can further narrow down the search to a particular jurisdiction. You can even find cases by law firm or attorney. “One interesting aspect of the database is it helps you find the law firms that dealt with specific case types,” said Daniel. “One of the interesting aspects is that a particular attorney in Florida has been very active in finding plaintiffs to file a specific type of litigations.”

“Our database helps tie the incidents together that lead to a case,” Daniel said. “A case is otherwise just a case; however, learning about the incidents helps us advise our clients so that they don’t fall into the same pitfalls.”

Bitcoin and the Blockchain Litigation Database Have Common Roots

The idea behind the database came from the mortgage litigations the firm dealt with during the 2008 financial crisis. To help the clients they represented, Murphy & McGonigle started tracking all the mortgage litigation cases, whether their clients were involved or not. This database gave them the edge in terms of finding case laws and rulings to leverage in their cases.

The utility that the firm drew from tracking mortgage litigations sowed the seeds for the Blockchain Litigation Database. Bitcoin was also born during the recession, which was primarily caused by the subprime mortgage crisis.



Smart Contracts Are Legally Binding

“Smart contracts can absolutely be legally binding, and because of that, parties entering into smart contracts need to be careful,” Daniel said. “They should consider getting the legal advice they need before entering the contract.”

All the aspects of a legally binding contract are present in a smart contract. For instance, an offer, conditions, an acceptance, and an execution are all part of the smart contract’s protocol, and as such, they can be just as binding as any other contract.

“Parties should be aware of the ramifications of entering into a smart contract before they enter into them,” warned Daniel.

Education Is Needed in the Space

“I do not think that the attorneys or the courts have the full understanding of this new technology necessary to get questions right that are being presented to them in every case,” Daniel said. “However, we have seen that many of the verdicts on the cases we are tracking are absolutely correct.”

Daniel said that there is a need to educate the individuals working in the blockchain space, especially in terms of the law. “We have seen instances where failure to really understand the technology has led to the decisions that we question,” Daniel clarified.

There is no one to blame here because this technology is so new that many people do not have the required understanding. This lack of understanding is part of the growing pains that any new industry goes through. It is part of the evolution.

“Many of the undertakings of the companies within this space fall within the purview of the existing laws, while few specific aspects need some updates,” Daniel said.

Talking about the efforts made in the space by the blockchain community, Daniel said, “I am happy with the efforts by the blockchain communities in educating the Congress so that they have the background necessary for dealing with the issues that come before them.”

The database is not available for public viewing, but they do offer subscriptions for those who want access.




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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Read more about the author here.



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