Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don’t call back when asked for evidence • The Register

applications | blockchain | critique | Research Notes

Blockchain has been wildly mis-sold, but underneath it is a database with performance and scalability issues and a lot of baggage. Any claim made for blockchain could be made for databases, or simply publishing contractual or transactional data gathered in another form.Its adoption by non-technical advocates is faith-based, with vendors’ and consultants’ claims being taken at face value, as Eddie Hughes MP (Con, Walsall North) cheerfully confessed to the FT recently.”I’m just a Brummie bloke who kept hearing about blockchain, read a bit about it, and thought: this is interesting stuff. So I came up with this idea: blockchain for Bloxwich,” said Hughes.As with every bubble, whether it’s Tulip Mania or the Californian Gold Rush, most investors lose their shirts while a fortune is being made by associated services – the advisors and marketeers can bank their cash, even if there’s no gold in the river.For example, Fujitsu offers fast-track consulting services starting at £9,900 to tell you if blockchain is appropriate for your project (that’s something we can confidently tell you for nothing: no, it isn’t).And the magic B-word enabled doomed tech quango Digital Catapult to conduct a Houdini-like escape.Now that’s magic.A modest proposalPerhaps technology consultancy and marketing should be as tightly regulated as financial consultancy, where mis-selling can (in theory) lead to a lifetime ban from the industry, something the US Securities and Exchange Commission can do for people who violate securities law, like Michael Milken.

Source: Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don’t call back when asked for evidence • The Register

NYTimes: Alas, the Blockchain Won’t Save Journalism After All

applications | blockchain | critique | opinion | Research Notes

Still, a problem remains: People don’t buy into blockchain applications unless they can make money. There is no evidence that people want to use it to “fix” journalism. There is also no evidence that anyone really understands how that would even work.
For now, Civil is essentially just another media operation with venture capital funding. The money underwriting it, from ConsenSys, remains, you know, regular money. The company uses some blockchain technology underneath the hood, including a plugin for its publishing software. But the technology remains difficult to comprehend, and, for any news consumer’s purpose, irrelevant.

Quality Magnet Coin

applications | blockchain | copyright | Research Notes

The goal of Quality Magnet Coin QMC for short, is to build a large torrent magnet index that’s impossible to take offline, censor, or block.

The core idea is fairly straightforward. The application uses the blockchain to create a decentralized database of torrent magnet links which doesn’t rely on a hosting service or domain name, making it virtually impossible to take down

Cryptocurrency Startup Creates a Decentralized ‘Pirate Bay’ Alternative

Cryptoeconomics: Can blockchain reinvent justice systems? | Answers On

applications | blockchain | justice | law | Research Notes

Kleros co-founder and CEO Federico Ast explores the role of blockchain, cryptoeconomics, and collective intelligence in building the future of justice.

Human communities of every era have had to solve the problem of social order. For this, they developed governance and legal systems. They did it with the technologies and systems of belief of their time.

Athenians of the Classical period believed that all citizens had the right to participate in the lawmaking process and as jurors in popular trials. They used a sophisticated piece of civic technology called kleroterion for random selection of jurors and avoiding manipulation of the system. Modern justice systems were created in the 17th and 18th centuries, at a time of consolidation of nation states.

These systems worked fine for many years, providing rule of law for industrial development and economic prosperity. But in early 21st century, they started to reach their complexity limits. The advent of the Internet and the creation of a global, digital, real time economy started to show the cracks in legal systems built in an era of paper contracts, horse transportation and national jurisdictions.

In today’s global economy, a large and increasing number of transactions are conducted online across jurisdictional boundaries. Clients from different countries hire contractors from all over the world for building software and other services. Investors from different countries participate in crowdfunding campaigns from everywhere. In their book Digital Justice (2017), experts Ethan Katsh and Orna Rabinovich-Einy estimate that disputes arise in 3 to 5% of online transactions, totaling over seven hundred million in 2015 alone.

Existing dispute resolution technologies are too slow, too expensive and too unreliable for an online real-time world. Even alternative methods like online dispute resolution (ODR) have failed to address this problem. ODR promised to bring resolution to this new type of disputes, but in the end it just streamlined existing court procedures, without really bringing an innovation.

Cars, not faster horses

Henry Ford famously said (although some people doubt the veracity of this): “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” A better justice system may not come from further streamlining existing processes but from fundamentally rethinking them from a first principles perspective.

In the last decade, we have witnessed how collective intelligence could be leveraged to produce an encyclopedia like Wikipedia, a transport system like Uber, a restaurant rating system like Yelp!, and a hotel system like Airbnb.

These companies innovated by crowdsourcing value creation. Instead of having an in-house team of restaurant critics as the Michelin Guide, Yelp! crowdsourced ratings in users.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention of Bitcoin (and the underlying blockchain technology) may be seen as the next step in the rise of the collaborative economy. The Bitcoin Network proved that, given the right incentives, anonymous users could cooperate in creating and updating a distributed ledger which could act as a monetary system. A nationless system, inherently global, and native to the Internet Age.

Cryptoeconomics is a new field of study that leverages cryptography, computer science and game theory to build secure distributed systems. It is the science that underlies the incentive system of open distributed ledgers. But its potential goes well beyond cryptocurrencies.

Kleros is a dispute resolution system which relies on cryptoeconomics. It uses a system of incentives based on “focal points”, a concept developed by game theorist Thomas Schelling, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics 2005. Using a clever mechanism design, it seeks to produce a set of incentives for randomly selected users to adjudicate different types of disputes in a fast, affordable and secure way. Users who adjudicate disputes honestly will make money. Users who try to abuse the system will lose money.

Kleros does not seek to compete with governments or traditional arbitration systems, but provide a new method that will leverage the wisdom of the crowd to resolve a large number of disputes of the global digital economy for which existing methods fall short: e-commerce, crowdfunding and many types of small claims are among the early adopters.

Political institutions are the result of trying to solve the practical problems of social coordination. Human communities of all times developed the institutions better suited to their problems, their technologies and beliefs. Athenians of the Classical period built their court system on their belief of citizen participation and the technology of kleroterion for random selection. The founding fathers of the United States built American courts based on the best knowledge of the political theory of their time.

In a time of globalization and digitalization, cryptoeconomics may become the pillar for building the institutions of the Internet Age.


Learn more

This article was written by Federico Ast, co-founder and CEO of Kleros. Kleros is a current member of the Thomson Reuters Incubator, part of Thomson Reuters Labs.

The perfect storm: building a crypto-utopia in Puerto Rico – video | US news | The Guardian

applications | bitcoin | critique | issues/conflicts | Research Notes

In a time of vulnerability, crypto investors are moving to Puerto Rico, attracted by lucrative tax incentives. They plan to regenerate the island using blockchain technology. But not all of the locals support their bold plans

Source: The perfect storm: building a crypto-utopia in Puerto Rico – video | US news | The Guardian

Crypto Tokens: A Breakthrough in Open Network Design

applications | decentralization | discourse | governance | justice | opinion | Research Notes

The cryptocurrency movement is the spiritual heir to previous open computing movements, including the open source software movement led most visibly by Linux, and the open information movement led most visibly by Wikipedia.1991: Linus Torvalds’ forum post announcing Linux; 2001: the first Wikipedia pageBoth of these movements were once niche and controversial. Today Linux is the dominant worldwide operating system, and Wikipedia is the most popular informational website in the world.Crypto tokens are currently niche and controversial. If present trends continue, they will soon be seen as a breakthrough in the design and development of open networks, combining the societal benefits of open protocols with the financial and architectural benefits of proprietary networks. They are also an extremely promising development for those hoping to keep the internet accessible to entrepreneurs, developers, and other independent creators.

Source: Crypto Tokens: A Breakthrough in Open Network Design

The Crypto Governance Manifesto – Amentum – Medium

algorithms | applications | blockchain | governance | papers | Research Notes

If a miner controls an economy of scale (i.e. PoW hardware manufacturing), they ultimately control the liquidity/velocity flow of the State/Federal level cryptos that are derived from those root chains, given a lack of market competition. Therefore, direct influence over said monopolistic entities are then tightly-coupled to future tokenized cities/states, which means that entire political-monetary interfaces, globally, if adopted and built upon, could be centralizing governance in ways many might not immediately realize — until it’s too late.

Source: The Crypto Governance Manifesto – Amentum – Medium

BITNATION Yearly Summary 2017-2018: The Most Productive Year Yet — Steemit

applications | blockchain | data protection | identity | related_projects | Research Notes

Summary of previous years, for those of you who are new to Bitnation:Year 1 – 2014-2015: Bitnation was launched on 14th of July 2014, and the first Whitepaper was published in October 2014. The first few months we focused on conducting various pilots, including the world’s first blockchain marriage, world citizenship ID, land title and birth certificate. By July 2015 we had released the first version of the Pangea Jurisdiction on the NXT testnet. We built a worldwide Ambassador Network consisting of +50 individuals organising meet ups and hangouts and hundreds of volunteer developers and technologists. Read detailed yearly summary for Year 1 on Medium.

Source: BITNATION Yearly Summary 2017-2018: The Most Productive Year Yet — Steemit