Excitement Continues To Build For Monetary Unit – MUE: An Overview

There’s been a fair amount of action in the MUE trading pits lately with Monetary Unit seeing gains of as much as 500% over the last couple of weeks.  We

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There’s been a fair amount of action in the MUE trading pits lately with Monetary Unit seeing gains of as much as 500% over the last couple of weeks.  We decided to take a look at this (what turns out to be an incredibly exciting) cryptocurrency.

MUE IS A Fairly Old Coin

Monetary Unit MUE is a cryptocurrency that was launched on the 27th of July 2014 as yet another attempt to democratize the usage of cryptocurrency and truly build a modern financial platform accessible to everyone.

Monetary unit cryptocurrency MUE imageThe official name of the cryptocurrency is Monetary Unit, with MUE being the abbreviation it is referred by, similar to the United States Dollar and USD.

Key Features of Monetary Unit MUE

The first stand out feature of MUE that immediately screams out at you is the total number of coins that were originally going to be available.

1 Quadrillion units. You read it right, that’s one followed by fifteen zeros. (the total number of coins has since been reduced to 4 Billion) – (see the Bitcointalk thread here)

… and see the latest Developer’s interview over on Investitin.com Here:

( a quote from the above mentioned article regarding the coin supply at rate of distribution/mining compared to other alt coins)

Total coin circulation will be 4,000,000,000, down from a current essentially infinite supply.

People balk at the number of coins, until I put that into perspective.  Firstly, it will take about 130 years for all coins to be mined.

Secondly just look at the current number 4 coin, Ripple.  37 Billion coins. In 130 years MUE will still only have a coin circulation of about 10% of Ripple!

The emission rate is 40 MUE per block and a 40 second block time.

 

Planned For The Long Term

The developers behind the currency believe that this large number is essential for people to be able to get behind the currency as long term and protect its stability. With so many coins available there is very little chance of a group of miners getting a large chunk of the currency available and then manipulating the price.

It will take close to 130 years to mine all the coins available in the currency!

Price Chart October 2016

monetary unit MUE price chart


MUE Price Chart March 19, 2017 – below +500%!

Monetary Unit $MUE price chart March 2017

Monetary Unit really started to take off to the upside in March 2017.

Developer’s Thoughts

The developers have repeatedly stated that they are not gearing this currency towards any one specific group, ie. investors, miners or traders.  By making such a large number available over a long period of time, they are ensuring that MUE retains a small easy to spend value without the need to divide it into fractions.

What About The Huge Price Increase Starting In March 2017?

Re. the price rise… I think there are numerous factors.

1) we’re a well established well respected project

2) we are delivering our objectives

3) Dash price rise has gotten people looking for “cheap dash” equivalents

4) the profitability of mining is getting is consistent exposure in the top 1-3 slots of coin warz etc

5) people want Masternodes post migration and so demand for the 500k MUE per MN has also increased     demand

Recent Developer Comments From Bitcointalk Thread

For your information, MUE will be transitioning to X11 as soon as possible, as it will be relaunched based on Dash code with all kinds of MUE tweaks and adjustments…

… know we are still active and finishing off the code base for the public beta testing of X11/MasterNodes.

We’re a little delayed granted, but we’re still busy putting things together in the background which should all be very interesting once they come together.

Why MUE? (full document HERE)

  • Fast near instant transactions
  • Self funding
  • Decentralised governance allows stakeholders to vote democratically
  • Efficient mining hardware can be used
  • No ignored or delayed transactions
  • Foundation team www.MonetaryUnitFoundation.org
  • Development team
  • Well established, launched July 2014
  • Consistently growing price & network security
  • Road map & objectives
  • Development budget
  • Committed team
  • Commercial arms & affiliates www.MUEX.io
  • Growing portfolio of apps & services
  • Long term low inflation rate ~3% promotes use
  • Utility focused so MUE can be used to purchase goods & services
  • Great support from a friendly community https://mueslack.herokuapp.com/

More reading

Our first press article:

https://www.investitin.com/mue-secure-fast-near-instant-transactions-self-sustainable-cryptocurrency-project-long-term-goals/

The MUE Advantage https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PGz5qRQ2SPN98PBuT6rPXkgzXbjF-Ma2FhsaWNUQjO0/edit

MasterNode ROI projections

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14AVDtxfYAnIVtzbCSONO5MBQ948eVCcGChUcmpPBGWA/edit#gid=0

MUE inflation rate

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wLkorAmWrWyX2omwxzCbYHqsd-FjfJsp6jknQJH3x3Y/edit?usp=sharing

 

Quark Fork Originally

MUE is based on the programming language behind the Quark cryptocurrency, however, differs from it in various technical aspects. One of the big advantages of basing MUE on Quark was to adopt a similar 8-way random hashing algorithm that is both secure and long term viable.

Recent news (October 2016) is that it will soon be changed over and be based on the Dash code.

X11

In the short term, though, MUE is migrating to the X11 Proof of Work algorithm that is rated very highly and is being adopted by a number of cryptocurrencies.

Employing X11 will help MUE attract miners since the algorithm is very efficient and requires low levels of hardware power. It also helps keep the original directive of making this currency accessible to the largest number of people possible alive.

Monetary Unit Video ( from the MUE Youtube Channel )

Meant For Slow Growth?

The way in which MUE coins are released is also an interesting departure from most coins. There is no halving the block reward and that encourages people to get involved at any point of the life of the coin. The reward number of coins is also kept low to discourage speculative mining.

The developers released 40,000 blocks every 18.5 days, terming it as one stage for a total of ten stages. After that the number of coins released per block was fixed at 40 and each block would be released every 40 seconds.

This totals one coin released every second.

How To Mine Monetary Unit MUE?

MUE’s can be mined by downloading the MUE software from the MonetaryUnit.org website, which is basically a wallet that allows you to store, transfer and spend your earned coins. Wallets are available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, and Linux. There are options to use internet services for storing and transfer of coins to allow other phones to participate as well.

Exchanges

MUE is listed on Bittrex, Cryptopia, Bleutrade, and a couple of other smaller exchanges where it can be exchanged or traded with other cryptocurrencies.

written by: dhruvgupta

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Gcoin Update 2017: Gcoin Changes Name To GCN

We’ve been following the Gcoin cryptocurrency for at least a couple of years now – see article #1 here, article #2 here, and article #3 here, and we recently hit up the developer

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We’ve been following the Gcoin cryptocurrency for at least a couple of years now – see article #1 here, article #2 here, and article #3 here, and we recently hit up the developer for his thoughts on what’s going on these days (quite a bit actually) after we heard that the coin name had changed from Gcoin to just GCN.

gcoin changes to GCN image

Gcoin cryptocurrency has changed their logo as well as their name.

What’s Up With Gcoin Changing To GCN?

The following is a direct quote from the GCN developer Greg G. 

Hi Guys,

This is the update story on GCN (which was GCoin)

Late last year we were approached by a group from the USA. They have purchased the rights to the GCoin name, logo and all website URL’s.

We are now GCN only. We have no idea who the company is.

We now have enough funding to keep GCN developing for a very long time.

The new main website is www.gcn.zone

We also have just launched www.gfile.us. We reckon it’s the easiest and fastest file transfer system out there. No email address needed. No Links. Just the file and a password that you make up. It works on iPhones, Android phones, laptops, notebooks and computers. Type gfile.us into Safari or Chrome etc. It’s a free service. Maximum file size is 5GB. You get GCN 10,000 free when you download your file. There are some charges for additional services. For example if you want to store files etc for more than a week.

Most of the original GCN 31.5 billion to be distributed through the games from 2014 is gone. There is GCN 3 billion left. We will provide the free GCN for www.gfile.us

Our GCar android app for car sharing is complete and working.We haven’t launched it yet as we’ve been distracted with the GCN change and www.gfile.us We intend to launch it soon and integrate GCN at a later date.

World of Electronics sales are going well too. You can spend your GCN there to buy electronics. They will ship worldwide so spend spend spend.

Other than that it’s business as usual.

All the best
Greg


The above ends the direct quote from the GCN developer and we have to say that all of this makes us more than ever big believers in the future of this coin.

Whenever you see active development, open and honest discussion – (check out nearly 3 years of discussion over on Bitcointalk), new developments, and increasing trading activity (GCN is one of the top traded coins on a daily basis in the Dogecoin market over on Bleutrade – See Here – it also trades over on Cryptopia) , you can figure there’s an excellent chance for lots of money to be made buying low and selling high.

When Trading – Patience Is A Virtue (usually)

We’ve been buying (and occasionally selling) Gcoin/GCN for nearly 3 years ourselves – this is (currently) a very low risk coin (in our opinion) and lots of fun to buy millions and millions of something at an incredibly low price.

As of today (March 6, 2017) you can buy about 5 million GCN for right around $1 USD (or 20 cents per million coins) when using Dogecoin to buy it over on Bleutrade.

 

 

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The “World Computer” Is Born

by David Siegel – writing at Decentralstation.com In 2009, I wrote a book called Pull, on how things would be different once everything is online and interconnected. That vision is

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by David Siegel – writing at Decentralstation.com

In 2009, I wrote a book called Pull, on how things would be different once everything is online and interconnected. That vision is finally coming to life.

the world computer imageThis short essay is my attempt to describe the fast-moving world of decentralization: blockchains, cryptocurrency, triple ledgers, distributed apps, and more. Here is the one-minute summary:

Blockchain technology is a shared ledger that everyone trusts to be accurate and permanent.

By sharing a single reliable database, we can:

Eliminate trillions of dollars of wasted effort in coordination, market functions, and clearing.
Record data – including ownership rights to anything of value – permanently, in a way that can’t be hacked or stolen.
Eliminate middle men – companies that bring buyers and sellers together and charge high fees (everything from banks to insurance companies to ecommerce to Uber)
Eliminate data centers, which are targets for hackers.
Eliminate IT departments, which are expensive, sluggish, and prevent companies from being agile.
Radically transform government services to be far cheaper, faster, and better.
In addition, we can now add programming to blockchain-based assets, which makes them programmable and “smart.” We are actively creating new data ecosystems that allow many real-time innovations, from remote surgery to fleets of drones to programmable music rights to tracking blood diamonds and minerals. While it’s still in its infancy, blockchain technology has tremendous promise. Our estimate is that by 2030, more than $10 trillion and possibly as much as $20 trillion of world GDP will be on the blockchain.

To unpack this, I’m going to start using eBay as an example.

Decentralizing eBay

Today, eBay is a public company with 165 million active users, 35,000 employees, $18 billion in revenues and net income of $530 million. Around the world, eBay owns and operates huge buildings full of servers — to make sure all the information is backed up and available. If any one data center is attacked or destroyed, the other locations will take the load.

eBay is a centralized system with its own infrastructure, controlled by its executives. It’s expensive and profitable: by the time you get paid, you’ll lose about 10% of the price to the various intermediaries in the eBay ecosystem. It’s also vulnerable: it can be hacked, not least by its own employees, and credit card numbers and account information can be stolen.

There’s another way to build that system now. In a decentralized system, we could design an application similar to eBay that doesn’t use central servers and control. We could store data on anyone’s computer who wants to store it. These aren’t volunteers — we pay them a few cents for their computing power. At the scale of eBay, there would be tens of thousands of such computers, and all of them store a full copy of the system, creating massive redundancy. Since thousands of computers have a copy, no “bad actors” can disrupt it.

This is what the blockchain does. A blockchain records an encrypted, permanent record of every transaction; hardware+software nodes on the network called “miners” verify and store that information for a small price. This creates a distributed system that expands as necessary and can’t be hacked.

Ethereum

Ethereum, which was first described in a white paper in 2013, is the operating system that adds programming to blockchains, effectively turning the network of “miners” into the world’s largest computer.

Ethereum can be programmed just like any general-purpose computer, and apps built on Ethereum can grow to any size, are incredibly secure, preserve anonymity, are auditable, and provide the same service at the same scale for less than 1% of the centralized price.

We can now do everything eBay does with a fraction of the people, no hardware, secure payments, and at least 90 percent cheaper. Decentralized marketplaces are already fully functional and growing fast.

While blockchains manage transactions (think of blockchains as ledgers), we’ll use a similar scheme to store our content (web sites, images, videos, etc.) and pay for computing power from tens of thousands of people who offer these services.

Some of them will be in huge data centers, others will be in people’s basements — it won’t matter. Systems will expand and contract easily, and payments may be made in microseconds, seconds, or minutes – depending on the system. Your encrypted data will go onto thousands of verified servers, so it can’t be destroyed.

An Ethereum “node” is a computer willing to offer the entire suite of services Ethereum provides as a service. These nodes will provide storage, processing power, and transactions on the blockchain.

eBay on Ethereum

If you forget marketing and customer service, a system that scales securely to the size of eBay could be created in a few months by a small team and left online as open-source software with no extra charges at all. It wouldn’t have to be a company or have any employees. It would cost just a few pennies to list anything, from a matchbook to a car. It could rely on community-based methods of policing, reputation, arbitration, and resolving problems.

Think about that. If this kind of service took off, something on the order of $200 billion in annual recurring revenues from eBay, Craigslist, job boards, and other classified systems would be reduced to … almost zero. The only real cost would be for the “miners” who provide storage and processing power for pennies.

Is that really possible, you ask? It’s already been built.

Smart Contracts

Because Ethereum has its own currency, it lets us write smart contracts. You program business logic into a smart contract and let it execute automatically. Now the system will make sure that only allowed actions can take place, whether it’s escrow, payment for services, scheduling an appointment, heating a building, landing an airplane, checking out at the grocery store, harvesting potatoes, etc. Renting or using a shared car in the future will involve no human contact. No need to check in at the hotel – just go straight to your room. Software makes most of the decisions using sensors and event-driven data feeds as input.

Definition for business people:

A smart contract is software that runs on every computer in the Ethereum network. It is unambiguous, can transfer asset ownership, and the results are recorded by all nodes in the network. It may be made up of subcontracts and have unknown dependencies. It cannot be revoked except according to predetermined conditions.

The software will execute as written regardless of any legal frameworks.

Because smart contracts are networked code, they are not private. In most cases, this is a good thing. Groups are working on creating libraries of code/contract modules that will form an active “smart” infrastructure that eventually will tie into smart legislation and existing legal frameworks worldwide.

Let’s say you want to deposit some money and have it earn interest. You would use a smart contract to specify exactly what you want, and enter it into a peer-to-peer lending ecosystem. If someone is willing to give you the terms you are looking for, they would accept your offer and begin a smart contract. Or, you could look at the offers and accept one. The person on the other side could be one, or even several people, or an institution, but there’s no “bank” in the middle, no escrow service, no set-up fees, and no recurring fees. The smart contract handles 100% of the execution.

Imagine setting up a decentralized poker game. You would program it in some popular programming language and run it on the Ethereum platform to manage schedules, poker tables, tournaments, deal hands, etc. Each bet would be a smart contract, and at the end of each hand, the money would transfer automatically from person to person — not to the house and then back out. Both the house and the mining community would get their cut – a far smaller cut than a normal poker site would charge.

Imagine a group of people who come together and make a movie, or a band, or a company. They can create a smart contract that says who will be paid royalties under what conditions, and then the incoming money flows are automatically routed to each recipient.

Think of it as programmable money – we couldn’t have smart contracts before, because there was no automated way to settle. Permanent, reliable, fast, automatic settlement will be a game changer, not just for how we use money but for how we use people.

The Decentralized Stack

Ethereum is the new operating system of the Internet. Here are the parts so far:

Bitcoin: A cryptocurrency whose central mechanism, the blockchain, is being used for other purposes.

Blockchain: A permanent, time-stamped record of encrypted transactions & data.

Ethereum: An open-source virtual machine that allows programmers to build dapps using blockchain. Includes ETH, its own native currency.

Smart contracts: Business logic encoded to run on Ethereum blockchain, using new contract-building languages that are similar to existing programming languages.

Dapps: Distributed apps – applications that use blockchain storage and computing power through Ethereum. Generally, dapps look and feel like existing apps you know and use every day.

Tokens: There are already many tokens to represent value inside various systems. There will be many more, and some of these tokens will bridge systems to make them interoperable.

Miners and Nodes: Machines that store blocks, maintain the chain, and provide storage and computing power.

Gas: The small amount of money you pay for each transaction that rewards nodes for providing their services.

Decentralized storage: Lets us store as much content “off chain” as we like on computers around the world and pay a small fraction of what we would pay Dropbox or Amazon.

Decentralized processing: Similar to “Folding at Home” and other large-scale processing projects, we will use thousands of small computers to do supercomputing “off chain” and pay each one a bit of gas for the service.

Extras: There will be plenty of APIs, gateways, exchanges, security, authentication, and other decentralized services to facilitate communication between ecosystems, especially for highly regulated industries and products.

Web 3.0 browsers: New browsers are being built that help you manage your cryptocurrency, keys, passwords, blockchain, identity, permissions, etc. In general, they will use the familiar web front-end toolkits: JavaScript, AJAX, HTML, etc.

Features of this new stack:

Robust: Ethereum runs redundantly on thousands of machines with no off-switch, no central control, and no chance to destroy the network. Unlike other networks and systems, the Ethereum network can’t go “down” any more than the Internet can.

Trustless: There is no third party in the middle to manage the transaction, and you don’t have to trust the miners who do this work for you – you pay a bit of gas for each transaction and every miner gets a copy of your record in the blockchain. High redundancy and confirmations ensure that bad actors can’t steal your money.

Cheaper: It takes far fewer people to write distributed applications and smart contracts than it does to build and maintain infrastructure. There is far less to maintain, and most of the details are handled in software.

Latency: It can take up to ten minutes to confirm a transaction and have it replicated on thousands of computers managing the blockchain. This is by design. It’s meant to ensure that the cryptography can’t be hacked by super-fast machines. Many companies are working to add “sidechains,” tokens, and other software to reduce confirmation time, which is essential for certain markets.

Scalability: The system scales out efficiently, since millions of people paying a bit of gas is a strong incentive for thousands of miners to provide services. The more transactions, the larger and more efficient this market gets.

Throughput: The goal is to upgrade this trustless system to process tens or even hundreds of thousands of transactions per second, at the level of today’s large-scale proprietary systems, like Visa and SWIFT. We are not there yet. Even though security is built into the system at the lowest level, time scalability will be a challenge as more people want to use dapps. Many people are currently working on this problem, with different types of solutions for different needs.

The Pay-as-You-Go Economy

It helps to understand that a decentralized economy is a pay-as-you-go economy, with smart contracts transferring cryptocurrencies at each step. So if you want to store your video collection, you’ll have to pay the market to store, serve, and possibly maintain it.

This is the gas payment, and it’s why many of the new services come with their own “coin” (currency), so you can pay for what you use.

One way to do this is to use tokens. Think of tokens as poker chips: you exchange some cash for tokens, you use the tokens in the system, then later you can cash any remaining tokens back out.

Tokens are used in a single system, like airline miles, phone minutes, or “points” in games. They’re a way of keeping score within a single system.

At the moment, people are inventing digital tokens to do all kinds of jobs. For example, the Internet of Things is likely to use tokens rather than currency to manage billions of sensors and devices.

A smaller system, like Filecoin, is trying to create their own currency for storing data, and we’ll see whether the market wants another currency for that, or whether Filecoin will have to become more of a token.

Some tokens carry intrinsic value – if you lose them you lose money – while others are just for keeping score.

You wouldn’t want to learn that your poker chips have lost value in the last hour because the market for them has changed. So tokens are going to play an important role in decentralized ecosystems. In some cases, like Ethereum and DASH, the token is also the currency and can be traded openly.

There is clearly a need for cryptocurrencies (and tokens) that are directly pegged to international currencies (Dollars, Euros, Reminbi, Yen), precious metals, and possibly other stores of value, like diamonds.

At the moment, we’re seeing several races to see which coins/currencies will become valuable and which will be forgotten or subsumed. Within a few years, those races should settle out – which coins and tokens will win is anyone’s guess.

The pay-as-you-go economy will have huge implications for the way we do accounting. In general, smart contracts will settle immediately, getting rid of most short-term credit, payables, and receivables.

We will have to invent new ways of trusting, exchanging, returning, and providing warranties for goods and services traded with smart contracts and no 800-number to call in case something goes wrong.

In the coming years, entire departments could be wiped out as transactions handle their own record keeping and reports generate themselves.

More Use Cases

Let’s say you invent something or write a song or a movie script. For a few pennies, you can put a special code into the blockchain that references your creation and locks in the date forever, allowing you to show definitively what you created on that date. This leads to various digital notary and validation services, most of which will be automated.

Much more is coming. Each year, people remit over $500 billion in transfers from person to person using systems that charge outrageous fees from bank to bank.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency will transfer all that value from wallet to wallet at close to zero cost.

The list of businesses that are about to be disrupted is very long.  It’s the list of ecommerce companies, banks, lending institutions, insurance companies, registrations, tickets, online markets, and other gated communities.

This technology is already reshaping government. Imagine a robust voting system for everyone on the planet, systems for reducing government paperwork by 90%, automatically paying your taxes as you buy things, a smart energy grid, contracts for connecting budgets to income, auctions that can’t be gamed, incredibly low commission stock markets, a bond market that operates with almost no human intervention, and smart, machine-readable laws that feed into an ecosystem of smart contracts, and more.

Managing records can be done with no storage infrastructure and few clerks. Creating and selling bonds will be done without investment bankers.

The cost of enforcing regulations will come down dramatically, as we regulate the markets themselves, rather than the people who run them. These are the burgeoning areas of cryptolaw and cryptolegislation – both very exciting areas to watch in the next few years.

Decentralized systems are already showing huge advantages in managing the Internet of Things, where billions of autonomous sensors and devices create mesh networks of measurements, decisions, and actions, with no central point of control or failure.

Much of this will run by itself, operating and monitoring systems that control everything from aircraft to heat and light and appliances.

Buildings and traffic systems will automatically adjust to the weather forecast and other data. Farms will water and harvest using data, and will buy their own insurance as necessary.

You’ll be able to rent any number of cars sitting on the street, simply by putting out a request.

Factories will automatically order their own supplies and time output to projected demand. Oil wells will respond to market price. Robots will talk to the things they are manipulating.

The blockchain and smart contracts will enable agility and progress at a pace most people can’t imagine today.

Soon, we will harness the power of expert systems and crowd forecasting to power smart contracts.

There are already several blockchain-based prediction markets, where you can bet on various future outcomes. This lets us plug dynamic forecasts into decision making and execution.

Here’s an example from the world of market monetarism: Instead of forecasting inflation, unemployment, and GDP (and usually doing the wrong thing), the Fed could create a smart contract for managing the money supply.

By creating a blockchain-driven NGDP futures market, the Fed could use current market expectations of NGDP to automatically manage interest rates, interest on reserves, reserve requirements, bond purchase programs, and more.

This does away with the Fed chairman carrying briefcases, sending wacky signals to the markets, and making bad calls on interest rates that send the economy lurching this way and that.

Everyone can count on the smart contract to execute with full transparency. People at the University College of London are busy designing a central-banking coin that any government can use to build their own contract-based systems for monetary policy.

Any company will be able to write smart contracts to connect their business logic to the machinery of payments and the ecosystems they serve.

People are already building decentralized systems for setting up, governing, and managing organizations, from nonprofits to large corporations. Smart contracts and probabilistic reasoning will do a far better job than humans for tasks we haven’t even invented yet.

e-Governance

This whole smart-contract thing has gone further than you may have imagined.

People are designing and creating organizations using smart contracts to manage the structure, decision-making machinery, and payoffs.

In a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), there aren’t any directors or officers – the software handles these roles and allows for people to participate according to the rules. This includes equity, dividends, payments, tax issues, etc.

One goal is to create meritocracies, where people are rewarded with small bits of equity as they contribute, and can even lose that equity as the rules dictate.

In many of these scenarios, the corporation or organization exists fundamentally as software, with people playing the software’s game according to the software’s rules. This is no different from the way Bitcoin is managed today.

One group, BitNation, has already launched a blockchain-based constitution (you can create your own virtual country and sign up your citizens), a blockchain-based passport, and more.

We will see cryptocurrency designers and constitution consultants as this movement ramps up.

Vitalik Buterin, the originator of Ethereum, has written an excellent overview of these new decentralized organizations I highly recommend.  A DAO crowdsale is taking place now (Feb/Mar 2016) at Digix. You will hear the term DAO in the future – be prepared!

The Energy Problem

The blockchain is a brilliant solution to the problem of expensive, unsafe intermediaries and bad actors, but it is not without its costs.

The Bitcoin system today requires around 250 megawatts to run – the power required to run about 20,000 average American homes.

This energy powers “mining” machines around the world (mostly in China, where energy costs are artificially low) doing calculations, called proof of work, that will all be thrown away after each block is confirmed on the chain. Clearly, this isn’t going to scale to fulfill the vision of decentralized computing for everyone.

On the other hand, centralized electronic money (banks, Visa, SWIFT, etc) isn’t exactly green, either. Today, data centers in the US consume more than 17 gigawatts. Google alone uses over 2 gigawatts worldwide. A gigawatt is the amount of energy used by a city the size of San Francisco.

Computer scientists around the world are working on an alternative method to keep the blockchain running without any trusted intermediaries. This approach is called proof of stake, which we hope will provide the same security and trustless transactions, without the huge energy costs.

The switch to proof of stake will change the ecosystem and the economics. Several companies are already trying various approaches, but so far the jury is still out on how the problem will be solved.

As this world expands, we expect practical solutions to emerge. Eventually, we hope Ethereum and other decentralized systems will be overwhelmingly less expensive and more energy efficient than centralized servers.

Risks

Are there risks to a system that has strong cryptography, redundancy, permanent unalterable records, and trustless ownership at its core? Yes, but we probably don’t know what they are.

While most of today’s databases add cryptosecurity on top, the blockchain starts with every single entry encrypted into the ledger using encryption so strong it can’t be guessed. This is a very different approach. There are no vast lists of credit card numbers or bank accounts.

Bad actors have to try to trick people into giving their passwords, and they can only get so many of those. The system doesn’t have the passwords, so it can’t give them up. In contrast, today’s data centers disgorge their contents like a free buffet once you crack the back door open. The risks of not decentralizing are probably far higher.

It’s not for Everything

Ethereum may be a “general purpose world computer,” but it isn’t going to replace your email system or word processor any time soon.

Ethereum is generally best for applications where …

There is a financial interest – cash or assets are being managed or trading hands.
There are many actors, who don’t trust each other.
There are dependencies, creating an ecosystem of conditions under which money transfers.
People prefer to set their own rules, rather than conforming to the rules of institutions.
Saving money and ease of use are valued over speed.

These requirements will change as the blockchain world evolves, but for now most companies are doing experiments and getting familiar with blockchain apps. Building a business case takes the kind of expertise only a few people have today.

Business people have to become more familiar with the opportunities and work closely with practitioners to find viable opportunities. Simply “sprinkling blockchain dust” onto existing applications is a helpful exercise, but it probably doesn’t solve any customer’s problems.

The Next Phase

Every new leap forward starts by imitating old solutions with the new technology.

Today, the reasons to recreate existing systems using Ethereum are cost and security. But that’s just the beginning.

I haven’t mentioned Facebook yet, because I hope we never have a social network on the blockchain. We can do better than that.

We’ll see Web 3.0 when we start to build ecosystems of interoperability and commerce.

Using blockchains and cryptocurrencies, we can now build a scalable market site like eBay at a fraction of the cost, but still we have to get buyers and sellers to come to it. And there could be dozens of similar projects, so if you want to sell a used iPad you may need to look at all those different sites, get accounts, and coordinate your listings and bids. To the end user, it won’t look much different from eBay today, but it will be safer and cheaper.

Next, we will use all these new tools to turn the tables on the model: rather than building social networks similar to those we know today, we could let each person build a personal data locker.

The personal data locker is a fully secure way for people to store and control their own data, including all their relationships, news, photos, resumes, legal contracts, and much more. This is what my book, Pull, was about, and we finally have the technology to build it. Please watch this short video:

To me, this is the promise of Web 3.0 — when we break down the silos and each set up our own personal “node” in the network, the ecosystems that flourish will become the basis for a new kind of borderless society.

We’ve been trapped by apps, web sites, vendors, and marketplaces for so long we don’t yet have a view to the possibilities. Once the decentralized model “crosses the chasm” to mainstream adoption, we will have a chance to create new, exciting opportunities we haven’t even begun to imagine.

Summary

There are alternatives to Ethereum. Think of these as operating systems – we may end up with several flavors, with different systems having different strengths and weaknesses.

Tokens and sidechains will help bridge several gaps. Eventually, ecosystems will sprout and we could easily use different systems in different ways seamlessly. We’re still working most of this out.

These new operating systems will likely change our society more than the Web itself has.

At the same time as we will be able to provide affordable world-class computing resources to every person on earth for pennies, we may witness a dramatic reduction in the size of the white-collar workforce.

The development of Ethereum has made Ray Kurzweil’s singularity event much more possible, and probably safer, than I would have thought a couple of years ago. It is a world I have been envisioning for 15 years.

The “world computer” has been born. It is just waking up.

by David Siegel – writing at Decentralisation.com

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