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“Rewards are one of the best use cases for Blockchain” says Bill Ottman, CEO of Minds.com

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Minds.com CEO Bill Ottman believes in the true American spirit. The one that is at the root of all American Values: Free Speech.

It is not just a belief, though, it is his vision. He is taking that vision forward with the help of his abled team at Minds.com
Highlight and Share any textHe believes in open source so much so that he made Minds.com, the entire social platform, open source that anyone can replicate to create their own social media network.

You read that right, you can create a fully developed social network by just using a ready built Minds.com code.

Minds.com paving the way for open communication

Bill has been behind this project since 2011, and his relentless contributions to space are well known. He was recently recognized as one of the top influencers in the Crypto space.

Speaking about the move from a fiat model to a blockchain and crypto model, Bill said: “it just made sense for us to move to Blockchain and make our rewards crypto tokens.”

Bill is a big proponent of open source platforms.  He believes people will take control back from the giants from misusing their data using open source platforms.

“We did not have these companies a few decades ago, we will not see the same control they exercise today in the next 10 years, the solution to taking control back will be found in open source platforms,” says Bill.

An open platform is the antidote to hate speech

Talking about the ineffectiveness of censorship against hate speech, Bill shared an incredible example. “Daryl Davis who joined KKK group and befriended them, and engaged them in conversation and he got them all to leave the KKK.  That’s because more information gives the ability to change their minds, not less information,” Bill concluded.

Many times the hatred is based on the suffocation people feel when they cannot speak up and have their views heard.

If you create a platform where everyone’s views can be expressed, may be, none of these situations would have transformed into hatred.

When you share your contacts with social media, you are breaching their trust

Bill has been working behind Minds for close to 8 years now.

“One of the reasons we do not go viral is because we never ask people to share their contacts with us so we can send invites,” said Bill.

InviteMost social platforms will ask you to ‘invite’ your friends when you join them. The way they do this is by asking you to send invites to contacts on your phone or email.

When you hit “allow”, you are breaching the trust of those that are on your contact list, because, they never gave you permission to share their contact information.

“Network effects love surveillance, because more data you can get to launch the network effect and go viral,” he opined talking about how it is extremely difficult to be ethical in respecting privacy and achieving virality, at the same time.

Blockchain and GDPR are not compatible

GDPRTalking about the “right to be forgotten” aspect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Bill thinks that “Blockchain and GDPR are really not compatible.”

Referring to the implementation of Blockchain aspects on Minds.com, he stated that the platform allows for both on-chain and off-chain entries.  When someone is posting information to on-chain, there is a checkbox that confirms their understanding of the information being posted to Blockchain.

“We believe in total transparency, users are making a conscious choice”, said Bill further clarifying “Users can choose their activity to on-chain or off-chain, so they have to voluntarily go on-chain and with wire peer-to-peer transaction, it’s just the transaction itself that is public, not user information.”

There may never be a good solution to this, in general.

Users of these platforms will have to make a conscious choice of whether they want to post information to on-chain or off-chain, ultimately, it comes down to personal freedom of choice.

Rewards are the best use case of Blockchain

Bill is a fan of decentralized systems.  He is working on Ethereum based solution to integrate and coil Blockchain solutions into Minds.com platform.

Talking about Blockchain adoption, Bill talked about how usage determines adoption.

“More social platforms are going to be tokenizing their platforms.  I think rewards are a very good use case for Blockchain to encourage people to take part.  Bringing value to users using tokens is a good model.”

He hopes that by rewarding social engagement in a meaningful way, you bring more users.

One of the better ways to make Blockchain adoption a reality is to integrate the technology seamlessly onto existing platforms and then make the rewards meaningful so that people can use it to boost their social profiles or spend it however they deem fit.

Minds Exclusive Interview 01CryptoTapas: You might not know this, but I was one of the 1500 funders you had during crowdfunding on WeFunder.  I have your Minds.com coffee cup at my desk.

Bill: That’s amazing man, I am especially excited, so you are now a shareholder!

CryptoTapas: I got excited when you guys made the decision to move from fiat to Crypto.  Then recently I saw you on the Top Crypto Influencer list, congratulations by the way, and that prompted me to ask you to do this interview, which you graciously agreed, so thank you.

Bill: Glad to be here.

CryptoTapas: To get things rolling, please tell us about yourself, how you started Minds and what got you started in the Crypto space?

Bill: I came into Tech in sort of an unexpected way. I did not study computer science, I went to University to major in English but I started in the event space and my original incarnation was bringing people together in the physical world, we would do these events.  Then I started realizing that bringing people together is not a scalable business.

I was skeptical about Facebook and social media in general.  Then I started learning about free open source tools, centralized vs. decentralized applications, and then there was important work to be done on the virtual world.

The internet is a beautiful thing, it is like a central nervous system of humanity and the fact that there is more transparent technology vs. secretive, I understood there is much good work to be done using the internet.

I got very interested in free and open source software and that’s how it happened.  If you see the history of the internet, you see this battle raging between open and closed platforms, some open platforms are winning. Look at Bitcoin, Wikipedia, WordPress, look at all open source enterprise tools from docker to different databases, language frameworks, so open source obviously works, so we know that this is going to inevitably going to happen to social media, so we wanted to be part of that movement, that’s how we got started.

CryptoTapas: You have been in the space since 2011, so tell us how you translated Minds from a traditional blog format to a crypto model?

Bill: When we launched our first mobile apps in 2015, we had a digital currency on them that was just a point system that was internal, it was not blockchain.

It was very popular. Users would earn the points for various activities on the app, like engaging interaction.  They could then use those points to boost their post or send them to other users as a tip.  This rapidly became very popular as it gave people the ability to get exposure to their content that was lacking on other platforms.

Then we started running into some problems with the point system because it was getting gamed and it lacked transparency. 

We saw so many benefits of moving from a point system to a token system and realized if we used Ethereum ERC20 tokens we can be totally transparent and users can store their tokens on their own wallets instead on our platform.  The reasons were just too many to move to Blockchain.

Way back in 2013, we actually had Bitcoin wallets but it was not really a good implementation so we took it out, so, I have always been interested in Blockchain as a cultural phenomenon, and we ultimately want to support the cryptocurrency and Blockchain movement.

The main reason we switched to a crypto-based model is to create more transparency and give users more control.

CryptoTapas: Every time I listen you talk on media, I feel like you are a guy who is all about free speech.  There were even few memes circulating on Whatsapp and other social media asking people who support free speech to switch from centralized Facebook to decentralized Minds.com; with that in mind, what is your vision for Minds.com as it relates to enabling free speech.

Bill: We have much more liberal policies than major social networks.  As long as it is lawful in the US, and they are not abusing the platform spamming or creating targeted harassment campaigns that are overly malicious, it can be on the platform.  We have good filtering tools for explicit content.  It allows the conversation to occur.

We don’t want to be making subjective decisions about content and its ability to be heard. 

In terms of centralization vs. decentralization aspect you brought up, we are not fully decentralized, yet.  We use certain decentralized services and we are now working on a project called NoMad which will interface with Minds and is fully decentralized.  It uses Ethereum wallets and DAT protocol which a peer-to-peer torrent based network which is not in our servers.

We want both of these networks to co-exist and coil together, that is where ultimately we want to go.  We do not want to be in the middle of someone’s ability to communicate with the world, its sort of an awkward position to be in.  We have an open content policy which is one step in the right direction.


CryptoTapas: In terms of traction since you started 2011, can you tell us a little bit about statistics?

Bill: We are now at 1.5 million registered users with a quarter million active monthly user activity.  We do not spend money on marketing or shady practices that plague some major networks.   People are looking for places that respect their privacy.  We are growing very organically.

We sometimes make it difficult for ourselves to grow.  Way some of the major networks grow is by tricking you to give your contact information to them who they go out and ask to join the network.

Unfortunately, when you share your contact information, you are in breach of privacy.  Your contacts never gave you permission to share their contact information.

We are struggling to create network effects without compromising privacy.  It is not easy to do both at the same time.  Network effects love surveillance because more data you can get to launch the network effect and go viral.

We are very happy with our organic growth while sticking to our core values.

CryptoTapas: What are you doing to bring more awareness to the Minds.com platform?

Bill: Lots of interviews, lots of podcasts, and a lot of work just making the Minds platform better every day.  We are also working with the influencers to bring them on to the platform, ultimately, the influencers really are the most powerful when it comes to social media and more of them we can get, the better it is for the platform.

CryptoTapas: Since you promote free speech, have you come across any locations where Minds.com was viewed as something that they wouldn’t allow?

Bill: Yes, in Vietnam we got banned by one ISP but interestingly we got 150,000 users from Vietnam about 6 months ago, within just about a week because there is a lot of censorship and surveillance, so some big journalist from there came to Minds and wrote about us.  So, yes, we have had issues in some jurisdictions and also problems with Google, Facebook, and Apple.

CryptoTapas: When Minds.com moves to use more Blockchain feature, how are you planning on addressing the GDPR policy aspects, especially ‘right to forget’?

Bill: We do not force any users to post any information to Blockchain. Users can choose their activity to on-chain or off-chain, so they have to voluntarily go on-chain and with wire peer-to-peer transaction, its just the transaction itself that is public, not user information.

When you boost, there are some checkboxes to confirm posting to on-chain. Blockchain and GDPR, in general, are not really compatible and that is a real issue.

CryptoTapas: Do you have disclaimers about that aspect?

Bill: There is a disclaimer, however, we will have to make it more clear to expand it to GDPR

CryptoTapas: What have you learned being in this space for so long, what would you have done differently if you were to start again today?

Bill: I would focus much more on the development and finding full stack developers, right away, and more of them, to build the product better from the get-go.

We were focusing on the content at the beginning but it is as important for the startups to focus on the product itself as much as virality itself. Bringing a full team of full-stack developers who are committed, communicate well and vested in the project would be my priority. It’s very hard to find great developers who are really invested.  Developers are your most powerful asset.

CryptoTapas: Do you think we will ever get back the control of our own data and privacy from giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook?

Bill: YES, I do.

It will probably take more time, like 10 years, but we will see some major open source alternative to Facebook or Google.  I think it is inevitable. There is a natural human instinct to achieve control of our own data. 

Remember, this is all new, a few decades ago, we did not have these companies, so in 10 years, we will find a way to take it back.

CryptoTapas: Do you have a personal agenda behind your free speech vision (or rhetoric), what drives it?

Bill: No. Only in the sense that humanity will understand itself well only when you have full access to the full spectrum of data. 

If you don’t have free speech then you are denying the community information about itself which is needed in order for us to be able to evolve.  I consider it as a basis for knowledge.

Data supports this, empirical studies have shown that censorship doesn’t even work.  Even if you want to eliminate hate speech, censorship is the wrong way to go about it.  If you want to eliminate hate speech you should create a communication platform that allows the debate to occur in a clear way, otherwise, you are just forcing the ideas and conversations to happen somewhere else, where it is likely to become more radicalized.

We see evidence of this, there was a man named Daryl Davis who joined KKK group and befriended them and engaged them in conversation and he got them all to leave the KKK.  That’s because more information gives the ability to change their minds, not less information.

That is the rub here. 

We do not have an agenda to have billions of users in our control.  We want to enable billions of users to be able to be in control of their own data and information they share.  That’s the internet that we need to create.


CryptoTapas: Since you started using Ethereum Network and bringing in more blockchain to Blockchain, what in your opinion is the biggest hurdle for Blockchain to become mainstream and touch lives of the general public?

Bill: More social platforms are going to be tokenizing their platforms.  I think rewards are a very good use case for Blockchain to encourage people to take part. 

Bringing value to users using tokens is a good model.

The more useful blockchains are and the more useful tokens are, more and more people will come into the space. That’s why we are focusing on giving tokens to the users so that they can advertise their own content using the tokens, creating an immediate value for the tokens they earn.

CryptoTapas: How much exposure does one Minds Token give its users?  Where can one get tokens?

Bill: One token will give you 1000 impressions. We sell tokens to fuel our services. We did not have ICO and we use token to organically grow the token usage.  We do not sell more than 30,000 in a 6 month period.

CryptoTapas: How big of the team is behind Minds at the moment?

Bill: We are about 13 of us. 

One thing important to mention here is that anyone can take our code base and start their own social network.  We also help people to launch their own social platform, you can use tokens to avail those services.

We can set them up or you can do it yourself, its all open source and free.

We can integrate token economies of different economies and allow users to federate between networks, etc., although all of this is at its infancy, we are working on it daily.

CryptoTapas: How long does it take for someone to launch their own social network using your open source code?

Bill: If you are using our developers it depends on the customization that customer wants. But if it is a standard launch including apps, it can be done within a day.

CryptoTapas: How have Minds impacted you both personally and professionally?

Bill: It made me understand how difficult it is to run a successful company.  Starting a software company in the social world is incredibly challenging.  We have had some successes, but it has challenged me to understand how to better work better together as a team, it has taught me how to deal with failures.

It has also given me real inspiration around what people want from the internet.  Everyone wants this to happen, they want alternatives, they want to be respected, but most people do not know how.

Freedom is not convenient, freedom is hard.

Every day, I am simultaneously discouraged by the challenges but also inspired by how many people do want this.  It also has taught me the value of patience.

It takes time to change the world, patience is probably the number one quality you need if you are looking to change.

You need discipline and urgency but patience is at the core.

We want to compete against Google and Facebook, which as you can imagine, is the hardest thing in the world to do, because they control the majority of social presence.

It is funny that it is impossible yet inevitable that change will happen, whether it is us or somebody else. The resilience of open source and decentralized projects is far greater than proprietary centralized interests. Just from the information access perspective, its open, so more people will have the ability to work on it.

CryptoTapas: How do you achieve work-life balance in life?

Bill: No phones in bed. That’s an important one, the bedroom is a sacred space.  Read more books. Exercise more. 

I want to integrate ‘less usage’ of the app so that users can find incentives to actually living life outside of the smart devices.

On weekends, I do my best to stay away from screens except when watching a movie with the family. It takes a lot of discipline and I create barriers between work and family life. 

One of the challenges working on the social app is sometimes you are not working but you are using Minds, because I like it and I am using it for personal use. It is difficult to convince my family that I am not working.

It’s a constant challenge when you love your job so much that you enjoy it in leisure time, but its difficult to convince your family that you are disconnected.

CryptoTapas: What is your elevator pitch for Minds.com?

Bill: It is a social platform that respects your freedom, rewards you for our contribution and protects your privacy.

CryptoTapas: What excites you to work on this project and take the vision forward?

Bill: I like this idea, as a company, constantly migrating our operations to open tools.  For example, we left Github and moved to Gitlab. 

What excites me is purifying my use of apps, on a personal level and on a corporate level.  Building things that we as a team want to use for ourselves. 

We also cannot we cannot solve all the problems but for the problems we can solve we want to be able to use them ourselves.  This constant process of making your personal and corporate stack pure, that really excites me because making progress and when a company uses all these tools, it’s a good sign for the market in general.

Thank you for reading this article.

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.

CryptoTapas does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

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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 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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