Why technology entrepreneurs are fascinated with decentralization right now

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

"Centralized platforms follow a predictable life cycle. When they start out, they do everything they can to recruit users and 3rd-party complements like developers, businesses, and media organizations... (but) their relationships with network participants change from positive-sum to zero-sum. (...) The easiest way to continue growing lies in extracting data from users and competing with complements over audiences and profits. (...) Over time, the best entrepreneurs, developers, and investors have become wary of building on top of centralized platforms."

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In the passage above, Chris Dixon of Andressen-Horowitz explains drivers of the current trends in decentralization in software and financial infrastructure, and how the frustrations of independent developers with Facebook, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, and other platforms over the last 10 years are fueling the enthusiasm for platforms like Ethereum, QTUM, EOS, NEO, and Dfinity--however misguided any one of them might be.

Why decentralization matters
(Medium, by Chris Dixon)

News

CFTC offers $100,000 bounty to crypto pump-and-dump whistleblowers
(BitcoinNews)

"To eat at scammers’ anonymity at least, the CFTC is offering, 'If you have original information that leads to a successful enforcement action that leads to monetary sanctions of $1 million or more, you could be eligible for a monetary award of between 10 percent and 30 percent'."

Congress sets sights on federal cryptocurrency rules
(Reuters, by David Morgan)

"Much of the concern on Capitol Hill is focused on speculative trading and investing in cryptocurrencies, leading some lawmakers to push for digital assets to be regulated as securities and subject to the SEC’s investor protection rules."

Ethereum founder warns cryptocurrencies 'could drop to near zero at any time'
(Business Insider, by Alison Millington)

S&P: Warnings that cryptocurrency could crash the global financial system are 'much ado about nothing'
(Business Insider, by Oscar Williams-Grut)

"In a note published on Monday, the ratings agency said cryptocurrencies would have 'an insignificant effect on global financial stability if its value were to collapse' and are not a threat to banks."

Who will be the next ECB president?
(Bloomberg News)

"Whoever gets the job has some big shoes to fill. The Italian’s eight-year term has been dominated by crisis-fighting measures and his defining pledge to do 'whatever it takes' to preserve the euro. The next president, to be chosen by European Union governments, will likely have to unwind the ECB’s unprecedented stimulus and rebuild its buffers before the next downturn arrives."

Commentary

Tim Armstrong: people need to vote on net neutrality
(Marketplace, by Molly Wood, Stephanie Hughes, and Shaheen Ainpour)

"I think the single-biggest thing is that the net neutrality debate has to end up in Congress and people need to vote on it, and hopefully it ends up in the system we all vote for and we all are a part of and Congress comes out with a solution that makes total sense for consumers."

Robinhood Crypto
(Reddit thread)

"When I signed up the list was only 224,398 people; now it’s over 1.3 million. The platform is due to launch this month, so fingers crossed."

Fidelity cryptocurrency analyst comments on fees

The murky world of student loans, the national debt, and a fiscal illusion
(The Times, by Paul Johnson)

"Yesterday the Treasury select committee launched its own report on student loans. As a cross-party committee, it shies away from the high politics, but it still makes important recommendations, including reducing the interest rates charged on loans and looking again at the funding of part-time degrees after a collapse in the number of part-time students."

Technical

Sidechains: why these researchers think they solved a key piece of the puzzle
(Bitcoin Magazine, by Amy Castor)

"Andrew Miller, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Dionysis Zindros, researcher at the University of Athens, released the paper “Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work” (NiPoPoW), introducing a critical piece to the sidechains puzzle that had been missing for three years. This is the story of how they got there."

Crypto Bandwagon: buy high, sell higher experiment

"The Crypto Bandwagon is a 6-month cryptocurrency trading experiment, based on short-term momentum investing, greater fool theory and, as is ubiquitous in the cryptocurrency world, 'jumping on the bandwagon'."

Updates

Decred has been added to BitplaceE, an instant crypto exchange. Exchange 70+ cryptos to DCR. Twitter

SiaCoin releases a series of updates:

The core team continues to focus on the download overhaul, it’s nearly done and is passing the full test suite from the previous code. This overhaul improves memory management, introduces a new feature called “Overdrive” for faster downloads (at a higher price), and sets the framework for features such as partial downloads and better latency for small files. Github.

A bug was discovered in the Sia implementation of bolt that was causing corruption in a subset of Sia database files. To mitigate this the devs have migrated off the NebulousLabs/bolt package and onto the community supported coreos/bbolt package. Github.

A small capitalization bug was fixed in the API, all users who uses the storagespending API endpoint should migrate to StorageSpending instead. Both endpoints report exactly the same data, but storagespending is now deprecated and will be removed in some unknown future release. Github

Tools

Etheroscope: a smart contract visualizer
(Microsoft, by Lee Stott)

"Etheroscope is a general purpose, open-source tool to visualise historical data stored by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain in partnership with Alice. This is how and why we did it."

ColdTi: Cryptocurrency Seed Storage

"Extremely high melting point; Rust proof; Unbranded; nondescript and unassuming; Compatible with any 12- or 24-word seed in any language; Works with all hardware wallets including TREZOR, ledger nano s and KeepKey."

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