Apr 15, 2019
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Some norms change gradually, then all at once. In a recent essay, Tony Sheng puts cyber-surveilliance into a pantheon of historical privacy violations which spurred revolution or reform. Will our modern Web panopticon prompt citizens to defect to privacy-oriented networks? Read on to decide for yourself.
Three "privacy moments" in the United States and the Unstoppable Panopticon
"Three things are happening simultaneously: (1) we are generating personal data at a rapid and accelerating pace, (2) leaking these data to a growing number of sources through intentional and unintentional means (e.g. hacks) and, (3) developing and improving technologies that can make sense of these vast pools of personal information. These three things enable an Unstoppable Panopticon. Data about individuals and groups are plentiful, readily available to many organizations, and easy to process and use to make decisions."
Cosmos In Vogue for Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Model
"The highly anticipated Cosmos Hub promising blockchain interoperability went live onto mainnet last week seeing over 80% of the validator slots picked up with the network now being secured by over $300Mn. The staked total so far places Cosmos in the top three Proof-of-Stake networks whose overall delegated or masternode engagement stands at nearly $4Bn."
Pan-Stablecoin Risks Highlighted as Tether Diversifies Reserves
"After quiet on the Tether front, the company managed to stir things up once more after it was found that sponsor of the largest stablecoin had updated their terms of service to indicate that the greenback is no longer the only asset supporting the outstanding tokens. But other dollar-collateralized stablecoins are also only one-degree of separation to similar risks. Meanwhile, thin opportunistic volumes are throwing Dai off its peg."
Why Bitcoin Matters
"This is the article version of a talk I gave to kick 2019 off for a few Bitcoin meet-ups in and around Australia. ... If we’re going to have a chance at creating a more open society, that resists censorship & the moronic attempts by the state (or the bureaucrats that run them) to centrally govern society via “theoretic” models that don’t work in practice, then Bitcoin Matters."
Deepfakes are Becoming Scarily Realistic. Cue Blockchain
"The blockchain is going to be going to dramatically impact standards for data in the next five to 10 years,” he says. 'And, maybe with a bit of a lag, the public is going to begin to be concerned that when they’re watching a video of the president’s address, the data handlers are all doing their job and are not editing or censoring or modifying it.' ... 'I believe that the concern for deepfakes is going to rise after some sort of monumental event,' he says. 'Maybe some stock can be manipulated by putting words into a financial leader’s mouth, like the chairman of the Federal Reserve or a big investor like [Warren Buffett]. Maybe billions of dollars are gained or lost. Maybe that will be the impetus.'"
Money as an Evolving Social Contract
"Framing money as an evolutionary social contract provides a window into the dynamics that develop within a market and between investors and regulators. Fundamental to the healthy development of the monetary social contract, and the game of exchange more broadly, is respect for property rights and freedom to innovate. Violations of the rules of the game by regulators are, as a simple matter of fact, integrated into the strategy of participants who bear the consequences of policies implemented by these regulators. Likewise, innovations by entrepreneurs are often integrated into the legal framework even after being practiced in legal ambiguity. Both of these types of actors continually reorient their approach to a changing environment, legitimating the contract through ongoing participation."
ICO Fundraising Trending to Zero a ‘Healthy’ Sign, Says Fundstrat
"'We believe 2019 is a year of repair, setting up for a strong recovery in crypto prices broadly in 2020. Any improvements in supply/demand dynamics is positive for prices and hence, the slowdown in ICO funding is a net positive. Sentiment is also quite muted, which is positive.' The lack of utility and value creation continues to be a major criticism of many ICO projects. While Bitcoin continues to find greater adoption across the world, many ICO tokens have failed to make any significant impact on the market."
IBM Signs 6 Banks to Issue Stablecoins and Use Stellar’s XLM Cryptocurrency
"Announced Monday, six international banks have signed letters of intent to issue stablecoins, or tokens backed by fiat currency, on World Wire, an IBM payment network that uses the Stellar public blockchain. The network promises to let regulated institutions move value across borders – remittances or foreign exchange – more quickly and cheaply than the legacy correspondent banking system."
Bitcoin Bear Market Diary Volume 9 with Nic Carter
"Appreciating Bitcoin takes a lot of humility and restraint. The natural urge is to tear it down and build a better version. To nitpick and suggest a more modern alternative. To launch a new version where you just so happen to own 10 or 20 percent. But there’s a reason it is the most popular and beloved cryptocurrency. Because the circumstances of its birth are unique, and cannot be recaptured. Because the founder walked away from his/her billions. Because its UTXO set has been forged in a 11-billion-dollar cauldron of costliness (that’s the rough amount that miners have spent mining Bitcoin, all time). Bitcoin shuns leaders, can’t be easily governed, and is extremely difficult to co-opt and twist in a direction favorable to special interests. All of this is by design. Loving Bitcoin takes a sublime humility. Shatter your ego and submit!"
A Lightning API for Bitcoin Futures Data Has Launched
"Launched by Suredbits Monday, the application programming interface (API) allows developers access to information about available futures contracts, specifically, according to CEO Chris Stewart: “You will be able to subscribe to market data from those two exchanges with a payment over the lightning network.” ... Suredbits thinks lightning will play a big role in the future of developer APIs because the payment network allows for smaller payments (often called “micropayments”), making it easier for developers to buy small amounts of data – maybe even less than a cent’s worth at a time."
Education and Science Giant Elsevier Left Users’ Passwords Exposed Online
"Elsevier, the company behind scientific journals such as The Lancet, left a server open to the public internet, exposing user email addresses and passwords. The impacted users include people from universities and educational institutions from across the world. It’s not entirely clear how long the server was exposed or how many accounts were impacted, but it provided a rolling list of passwords as well as password reset links when a user requested to change their login credentials."