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Do you have a revolutionary blockchain solution? Pithia is looking for Blockchain Realists



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DISCLAIMER: CryptoTapas has no affiliations with Pithia and this is NOT a promotion. This is an effort to bring more awareness to the blockchain space, not only on technology but companies that are funding this technology’s progress, and directly helping blockchain space grow through their investments.  In our opinion, Pithia is one of them.
Highlight and Share any textICOs are dwindling down. We know Security Token Offerings (STO) are coming, they are not here in full swing but they are coming.

The bear market has made investors more aware and they are in a skeptic’s mode right now. Although that is good for the broader space, it is not a desirable situation for those who can truly bring life to revolutionary blockchain solutions.

That’s the central theme of this article.

There are companies that are continuing to fund the blockchain revolution, irrespective of the bear winter. Pithia is a Seattle based venture company that touts itself as “Blockchain Realists.”

Interested in scalable blockchain solutions? Pithia got you…

From the Pithia website [We invest in] “companies providing scalable business solutions to develop, grow, and drive blockchain adoption.”

Even if you are a traditional company that is looking to broaden your presence by bringing your solution onto Blockchain, but lack funding to do just that, Pithia wants to hear you out.

Their website states “we invest in those developing blockchain-native businesses as well as software and enterprise companies who are extending their products and business models with blockchain.”

We immediately got interested to learn more because we believe information like this helps blockchain space as a whole.

We reached out to Pithia’s Tamara Rogers, General Counsel, who graciously agreed to help answer our questions.

Team’s proven record of execution is key

Pithia’s primary focus is filling the gap between talent and investment.

In other words, if you are a team of truly talented individuals with know-how, experience in executing similar projects, can articulate the problem statement and solution, have clear goals (milestones) and technical expertise to pull it off, but lack funding, Pithia will hear you out.

Company’s focus right now is to find scalable blockchain-native solutions with a team that has what it takes to see the project through.

Women are on equal footing as men in blockchain space

Tamara at panelTalking about women’s role in blockchain space, Tamara said: “A young woman entering the space may find herself on the exactly the same footing as someone who is a 40-year veteran of technology because they both have the same level of education about blockchain.”

We have personally observed this welcoming change.

The executives are we lining up for future interviews and the interviews we did in the past confirm Tamara’s statement.

New technologies are great equalizers of gender biases.

Tamara commented, “I think that because blockchain is a new industry it’s not yet overpopulated with established players who happen to be male.”

We agree.

Special note: Tamara was going through the flu when we contacted her and then there was a family emergency, however, she continued to stay in touch and got us the responses to us.  In our view, that says something about the commitment Tamara (and Pithia) has to space.

If you are in the blockchain development space, you will get a lot from this interview. Let’s begin.

Thank you, Tamara, we appreciate your time and your relentlessness in spite of all the hurdles you have come across recently.

CryptoTapas: Tell us a little bit about your personal and professional background, and how did you get involved with Blockchain space?

Tamara: Prior to working at Pithia, I did a stint working for the Washington State legislature as a Legislative Assistant, and a year working as a consultant mostly detailed to Microsoft, assisting with language around their internal change from a product to a services company. I spent a small amount of time working with Azure developing internal training materials.

I then put out my own shingle as a contract lawyer trying to focus on technology contracts.

I had known Lawrence Lerner, the Pithia CEO, for about 4 years and when he brought me on board to do some due diligence it was a good fit and I ended up staying, and getting really excited about blockchain.

CryptoTapas: What type of companies would you (Pithia) typically consider as a good fit for your investment in the blockchain portfolio?  What is a well-defined problem in Pithia’s definition?

Tamara: Our first fund was strongly focused on backbone application uses of blockchain like wallets and identity.

Going forward we’re opening it up and looking at a much broader selection. Ideally, we want to work with companies that are solving a significant pain point: be it for consumers or small business or Enterprise level companies.

We want a well-defined problem statement and a reason why blockchain is actually the best solution for the problem.

Their technical solution must be sound, but that’s the thing I can speak to the least as I am not well versed in technology.

We want to see that they’ve done a good market analysis and know who their target customer will be and why their particular blockchain-based solution is the best solution to the identified problem.

We like to see a good strong 18-month road map with milestone deliverables and their plan for execution.

The team needs to have a history of executing on business and preferably have people who are extremely knowledgeable in the market space they’re attempting to enter.

It’s great when someone wants to solve what they perceive as a problem, but if they have no experience or knowledge of the space they’re trying to enter it usually ends being a flop.

I specifically look to see where their product intersects with legal or regulatory boundaries, whether they’ve done their homework, know what hurdles they need to clear and what prep they need to do, and whether they have appropriately budgeted money for that legal work.

If they’re planning an ICO or STO we really need to see proof that that’s the best route for them to raise funds. We only accept equity in exchange for our contribution to the company. If they are planning an ICO, we want to see that they have either sufficient existing funding to pay for the legal and regulatory disclosure requirements, or that they are planning a private sale in order to generate those funds. ICO and STO’s need to be treated as if they require the same regulatory disclosure and legal work as a traditional IPO.

We also aim to be Hands-On as active advisors and take a board seat.

CryptoTapas note: For those interested in seeking funding from Pithia, you can go to their site, download their guide before trying to make your first contact.

CryptoTapas: That is amazing.

Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about the legal aspects of the Blockchain technology itself.  What is your opinion on Smart contracts?  Are they contracts?  Are they legally binding and if not, what in your opinion needs to happen to make them legally binding?

Tamara: Right now, I see smart contracts as more of a piece of self-executing software.

I think some of them will become legally binding if they meet the definitions of a contract and are properly written. For the most part, the contract is a misnomer because they aren’t executing legal functions, they are simply executing functions.

I would say that, in their current state, they’re not contracts any more than you are forming a contract with the vending machine when you enter money and expect to receive your product at the other end.

To become legally binding they would need to be put together in conjunction with both lawyers and technologists and best targeted at very specific use cases.

CryptoTapas: Past 18 months, we are hearing a lot about ICOs and STOs. The liquidity of several of these companies is impacted due to crypto winter.  Are you seeing such companies going back to traditional funding sources like VC / PE etc.?

Would Pithia be interested in such companies?

Tamara: Yes, a lot of companies are going back to traditional VC and PE, and since we only take equity, those are our target companies. A lot of companies who initially funded themselves via ICOs or token sales are seeing themselves falling cash-poor with the drop in the crypto prices.

CryptoTapas: In your opinion, how can Law be an enabler for blockchain?

Tamara: I think the law can be an enabler by making sure that it is fully taking into account the aspects of crypto that it is attempting to regulate.

There are certain problems that blockchain is seeking to solve that are currently blocked by either a lack of enabling regulation/laws or that simply are in contravention to existing regulation. The regulations either need to be changed or created to allow these functions to take place.

Many non-regulatory bodies and lobby groups are working to create model legislation to enable these functions.

Here in Washington we currently have house bill 5368 that proposes the establishment of legal definitions for “blockchain” and “distributed ledger technology” and provides clarification on the legal status of records created and stored using distributed ledger technologies.

Excluding the ongoing discussion of the legal status of tokens (though we are seeing significant changes in the US with the SEC Chairman’s recent definitive statements around security/utility tokens) there will need to be a continuing series of upgrades to laws to enable some of the solutions blockchain proposes.

Another example would be placing wills, trusts, and living wills on to the blockchain. At current, the law does not allow for this because most states require a wet-ink signature in the presence of two or more witnesses to render a will or power-of-attorney valid. Allowing a testator to digitally sign their will and place it on the blockchain would render it immutable and theoretically as valid as one witnessed by other humans, but as yet this is not legal in most states.

That means that people knowledgeable about the crypto space need to work side-by-side with lawmakers to ensure that they are getting laws made that are well-formed.

Continue transparency and proactive legislation, opinions, and administrative rulings from regulatory bodies. To my knowledge, the IRS has still not answered the questions on the taxation of crypto and that’s a huge pain for just about everybody.

CryptoTapas: How will Blockchain address ‘right to be forgotten’ clauses of the law (like GDPR)?

Tamara: This one is tricky, and I remember reading a paper a while ago presented by a French agency looking at this problem.

The answer to this question turns on whether a participant is a controller or a processor, as such terms are defined under the GDPR, and is fact dependent based on the blockchain architecture and the types of users engaging with it. The greater the ability of the participant to intervene with and influence the blockchain transaction, the more likely they will need to comply with GDPR. An individual who meets the requirements of a “processor” will be subject to the GDPR. So, this becomes a very typical lawyer-like answer, “it depends.”

CryptoTapas: From a regulatory compliance standpoint, where does the US stand today and where would you like it to be?  We personally think countries like Malta, Switzerland, and Japan are pushing their position in Blockchain while the US has not come out with clear guidance.

Tamara: The US is taking a wait-and-see approach which I think is smart. 

Rather than outright banning crypto, they have made small concessions as to what they think is legal, and then carefully watch the repercussions.

They’ve taken strong steps against what they are identifying as really bad actors, like scam ICOs, but since we have a larger country with a much heavier bureaucracy and a long history of regulation than some of the small countries who are able to move forward more rapidly and flexible, I think the US is taking a measured approach and is sometimes being sidelined by all the other political crap that the US is loading itself down with at the moment.

The SEC has recently made a decision better outlining the difference in security token and a utility token, positing that a security token may at some point change to become a utility token if the underlying technology reaches a point of utility where it no longer meets the definition of an investment contract under the Howey test (i.e. when the platform becomes usable and functional).

CryptoTapas: We couldn’t have articulated it any better.  Thanks. What BIG questions should companies ask before thinking about Blockchain or Crypto?

Tamara: I think those companies really need to ask themselves if blockchain or crypto is the best solution to their problem.

It’s not the best solution to everything, it’s not better than a lot of databases, and implementation presents unique challenges.

Switching to a blockchain based solution requires a fair amount of technical knowledge which might include bringing on an outside team, plus integrating into an existing business solution will take time. It does honestly become used case dependent.

CryptoTapas: Token compensation, we are seeing companies that are considering to issue tokens to employees as an incentive for services and performance. Any recommendations that issuer and recipients need to keep in mind from a legal compliance stand-point

Tamara: I think on this one the bigger question may be whether or not those tokens will retain value and whether those employees should have the option to receive equity instead.

The fact that the taxation on tokens hasn’t been firmly established can be a bit of a catch-22, with equity you have options to help minimize your future tax burden but I don’t think we have that yet for tokens.

Just like accepting stock, there is always a question of whether or not that stock or token will retain or appreciate in value. There is a separate question over whether or not tokens offered as equity to employees may someday fall under a different legal status than stock, but that so far hasn’t been viewed as a potential issue. Largely it comes down to the same determination any employee needs to make when accepting non-monetary compensation.

CryptoTapas: Do you have any advice for Women out there about the opportunities in Blockchain and what they can do to make their mark?

Tamara: I think that because blockchain is a new industry it’s not yet overpopulated with established players who happen to be male.

I think women entering the space are at an equal level playing field with men in the space because it’s new to everyone.

A young woman entering the space may find herself on exactly the same footing as someone who is a 40-year veteran of technology because neither of them knows anything about blockchain. (This is a repeat of above. Without saying “here’s how I did it,” you can make some examples and allude to yourself.)

The blockchain community also seems to be pretty open to new and fresh voices.

Want to learn more about Pithia? Check out this link for Founders 

Thank you for reading this article.

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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 technology in every article on 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.


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



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

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

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 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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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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“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



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.

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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.

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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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Check out our exclusive interviews with blockchain/crypto luminaries.


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



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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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.

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