An Economist Identified the Corporate Behavior That Led to Our Staggering Inequality

This post first appeared at Capital & Main. Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on December 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) There are many gauges of the depth and breadth of economic inequality, and they often measure what middle-income […]

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Eris Industries: Decentralize Any Application or Organization

Eris Industries

“Our goal at Eris Industries is to empower developers to embrace participatory software architecture via distributed computing and smart contract systems.”

– Casey Kuhlman Eris Industries CEO

In 2014 early bitcoin pioneer Olivier Janssens awarded a $100,000 bounty to coders. The goal was to replace the Bitcoin Foundation with software applications, and there were two winners. Recently we put the spotlight on Mike Hearn’s Lighthouse, the project that won the lion’s share of this bounty. Few people have noticed the other winner, Eris Industries, despite its very impressive entry.

Eris industries began as Project Douglas, “Although it ended up being structured in response to the Bitcoin Foundation Bounty, we had been working on the idea before the Bounty was announced. The original idea we had was to build a forum on smart contracts as a way of putting precision on some of the ideas we had been thinking through” explains Kuhlman.

Smart Contracts can be written to execute their own conditions, eliminating the risk of relying on someone else to follow through on their commitments.

The platform Eris Industries created is an open source suite of applications, free to anyone. The applications are designed to create fully working and legal Distributed Applications (Dapps) and Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

“We were early in the forum development process when the Bounty was offered. At that time, Preston came on board as he was also interested in the capacity of smart contracts to build automation into organizations, but he was also very interested in the harmonization of both the real world legal entity and the DAO system of contracts we were building. Over the course of the month we finalized the original Eris concept and released it.”

– Kuhlman

Preston Byrne is COO of Eris Industries, and his interest in the legalities of smart contracts and DAOs has become a core focus for the company, “Data-driven interactions are not exempt from legal norms and procedures, and platforms capable of operating within existing legal frameworks will be profoundly useful to businesses and individuals alike.” states the Eris Industries website.

Dapps and DAOs have a key advantage over legacy, centralised alternatives. Current server-based solutions are expensive to operate and administer. As they scale, they become more expensive.

Eris Industries is targeting this barrier to entry for the production, distribution and maintenance of applications. This is achieved by asking users to participate in the management and scaling of an application, a software design paradigm Eris Industries refers to as participatory architecture. “Peer-to-peer technology should enable application developers to enlist their users in scaling an application, by lending use of their hard drive space and their processing power.” explains Byrne

“Designing software using a participatory architecture paradigm, developers are able to focus on providing users with pure utility from the application and control over their data rather than attempting to leverage that data for the developers’ sole benefit.”

– Byrne

Spotify, for instance, initially allowed users to cache files locally. The service then used a proprietary technology, very similar to BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, to enlist the assistance of users in distributing the content available within the application. Byrne believs that even though Spotify is moving away from a peer-to-peer paradigm, “when revenues of that application were lower, the peer-to-peer technology greatly reduced costs over the course of the application’s development toward a mature platform with stable, sustainable revenue.”

To facilitate this goal Eris Industries has two core tools for building Dapps and DAOs; The Distributed Application Server, Decerver; and The Makers’ Blockchain Design, Thelonius.

The Decerver is the application server for our Distributed Application Software Stack. Using the Decerver, developers can build distributed applications which easily interact with a diverse set of blockchain and peer-to-peer protocols, all of which have been harmonized in an interactive layer that can be accessed via a JavaScript runtime. The Decerver empowers blockchain technology to become usable in a fully legally-compliant context for the first time.

Thelonious is Eris Industries’ customizable, smart-contract enabled, smart-contract controlled blockchain design and one component of the Distributed Application Software Stack. Derived from the Ethereum protocol, but built to meet differing design goals, Thelonious gives developers the control to define their own state-of-the-art blockchain. Unlike Etherium, Thelonious blockchains do not require the use of Altcoins like Etherium’s Ether. In fact, Thelonious is not meant to be one blockchain, but millions of them, each made for specific applications.

The full platform also includes two supporting tools, the Smart Contract Package Manager, and a tool for Putting the Contract Into Smart Contracts.

The Eris Package Manager (EPM) allows smart contract developers to deploy and test packages of smart contracts to their blockchains, and interact with them once deployed. EPM is both a tool for smart contracts and for blockchain management. It is the first developer tool explicitly built for the Distributed Application Software Stack and can be most easily analogized as git, but for blockchains.

The Eris Legal Markdown system (ELM) is the backbone of the Distributed Application Software Stack’s legal compliance strategy. When combined with EPM and the Decerver, ELM provides an ability to link real world contractual provisions to smart contract architecture. Users will be able to benefit from the enforceability of real world contracts, as well as the automation of smart contract frameworks.

Kuhlman and Byrne, two of the three primary team members at Eris, are lawyers who appear to be taking a very careful approach to how they make DAOs not only function, but exist as fully legal entities that are recognized in a court of law.

“Data-driven interactions are not exempt from legal norms and procedures, and platforms capable of operating within existing legal frameworks will be profoundly useful to businesses and individuals alike.”

– Eris Industries website

To create a fully distributed application or organization with these tools, a developer needs to download the relevant packages from ErisIndustries.com, add the desired parameters, and then set up the first few computers that make up the network.

“When you look at the blockchain as an application-specific data structure which is designed to be administered, most of the problems with public, unadministered, fully-decentralised systems can be designed away. The key word here is design.”

– Byrne

According to Byrne, Eris Industries have applied the tools to create a streaming-video application with a bitcoin payment module; a marketplace for developers and software purchasers to negotiate agreements; and an employee shift-management platform.

As a software stack for developers, Eris Industries is not focused on producing services. Byrne elaborates, “Obvious other applications we’ve thought about, but haven’t spent much time on for various reasons are version control and collaborative working, clearing and settlement, front-end consumer banking, and social networks and other P2P communications. IoT is also in play”

With these tools, Eris Industries has created a platform that both allows for the creation of new decentralized apps and services, as well as enabling legacy institutions to re-tool with Blockchain solutions. As the Eris website states, “We are working with a number of corporations to discuss how our technology can improve their businesses.”

Bank of England praises Bitcoin and reveals investigation to issue digital currency

The Bank of England believes electronic currencies like Bitcoin could fundamentally change the payments industry across the world.  According to The Telegraph, the bank has been analysing cryptocurrencies and the results are now part of its One Bank Research Agenda. One of the main conclusions unveiled is that Bitcoin has the power to revolutionise the way Britons …

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AirBITZ launches Android App

AirBitz BannerIn October 2014, Airbitz announced their iOS version of the Airbitz wallet using BLE, or Bluetooth Smart. Compared to Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range.

In the 4 months since Airbitz launched their wallet and directory, they report to have over 3000 accounts and about 600 active users per day. “It’s a small number but very steadily growing,” says Paul Puey, co-founder and CEO at Airbitz.

“In general, Airbitz has received VERY positive response from the public. People love the full functionality provided by the wallet and our commitment to decentralization & privacy, combined with grandma friendly ease of use has been well received,”

– Puey

Airbitz delayed the release of the Android wallet, as iOS was more mature. Puey explains, “We first implemented BLE on iPhone as Apple hardware and software was further along in their BLE support.” Initial development of the Android app was promising, “But right before Google launched Android 5.0, they kill[ed] support for a BLE mode called Peripheral Mode which allows a device to broadcast a BLE message,” says Puey

“For what reason did they kill the support? Was it to force user upgrades? Hardware incompatibility? We don’t know, but we do know that it upset a lot of developers,”

– Puey

Puey, explains that BLE works in areas where QR codes fall short. “We particularly like using BLE in personal group transactions. ie. a group dinner where one person pays the bill and several people pay that person back. That person can have a single payment request that several people pay without having to move a phone around.”

Originally designed for industrial uses, QR codes have become common in consumer advertising. Puey explains that although a lot of hype surrounded QR code use in peer to peer data transfer, they have some issues. “BLE excels in areas of bright, reflecting light which can cause maddening glare for QR codes.”

By delaying the release Airbitz has had time to focus on development, “After rolling it out and getting initial feedback, we started working on Android and hit quite a number of roadblocks including lack of documentation, poor device support, and incompatibilities with our iPhone protocol.”

With the Airbitz implementation of BLE a user requesting bitcoin broadcasts their nickname (optionally), and a prefix of their public address. “The sending user then sees a list of requests when they choose to send. They simply tap the request that matches the nickname and address prefix of the user that is requesting funds. This creates a connection and the full public address info is then transferred to the sender just as if they had scanned a QR code. The sender then transmits the transaction as normal using the bitcoin network,” says Puey

The functionality of the Android wallet could see Airbitz adoption gain further traction, Puey describes a core issue the Company has faced. “Our challenge has been the communication of our very strong privacy model that accomplishes strong anonymity without compromising ease of use,” Puey firmly believes that “true bitcoin autonomy and privacy is available for everyone”

JPMorgan, Still On 2-Year Probation, Under Scrutiny in Gold Fixing Probe

JPMorgan, Still On 2-Year Probation, Under Scrutiny in Gold Fixing Probe By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 24, 2015  The financial press is reporting this morning that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating at least 10 of the biggest […]

JPMorgan, Still On 2-Year Probation, Under Scrutiny in Gold Fixing Probe is a story from: BitcoinWarrior.net

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Tim Draper Outlines Three Key Areas Of Interest

 DFJ Re Edit

Second Generation Venture Capitalist Tim Draper has a raft of successful investments under his management, including Skype, Overture, Baidu, Tesla, Theranos, Parametric Technology, Hotmail, Digidesign, and Twitch.tv. As Founding Partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) he has over $4Billion USD under management, and is well known in the Bitcoin Industry.

Draper is probably best know, in Bitcoin circles, for his purchase of the Silkroad Bitcoins. On June 27, 2014, Draper purchased nearly 30,000 Bitcoins which had been seized by the US Marshals service. With his experience for recognising the potential in business ideas, and resources in the Billions, turning his sights on the Bitcoin Industry could indicate a bright future for the disruptive technology.

“There are so many inefficient forms of money. This will be the most efficient available. Finance and banking are changing. Bitcoin, electronic shares, networked accounting, crowdfunding, and second market trading are all going to change the finance fields,”

– Draper

Draper is clearly pro Bitcoin, with investments in a range of companies. “Draper Associates is making some interesting advances to drive the new world of finance forward. Bitcoin is now the best way to send money overseas, to store value, to cover a credit payment, and to pay out a large group of people when there is an event. All media (including journalists) will most certainly be using Bitcoin to be paid (or tipped) for their content,” says Draper.

From his list of industry sectors Draper picked out three key areas that are likely to be disrupted by bitcoin over the next 24 months. Being a Venture Capitalist, Draper has backed his predictions with investments in companies within each sector.

The first sector Draper names is Payments, and the company he’s focused on is Coinbase. Draper Fisher Jurvetson invested early with coinbase, going on to lead The Series C funding round, raising $75 million. At the time it was the single largest venture-capital fundraising by a bitcoin-related startup.

Founded in 2012 and based out of California, Coinbase aims to make it easier for non-technical users to send and receive Bitcoin payments by offering an online wallet service for storing, sending, and receiving bitcoins. The company also provides merchant services that enable businesses to accept bitcoin payments online. They currently have over 2,500,000 wallets, are supported in over 24 countries, with 38,000 merchants onboard and 6,000 developer applications. They have raised over $106 million USD from the investors.

“Finally, bitcoin is being recognized as a great vehicle for banking. It is clear that not only can bitcoin be used for remittances and stored value, but also for banking efficiency and credit-card transactions.”

– Draper said at the time.

The second sector Draper has focused on is stored value and commodity trading, having invested in Vaurum, which was incubated by Tim Drapers son Adam Draper, through Boost VC.

Vaurum, recently rebranded as MirrorX, describes itself as “akin to a 21st century clearinghouse with a core mission to provide trustworthy settlement of assets […] combining the best of traditional institutional finance with emerging crypto finance.” Mirror works with U.S. based escrow accounts to ensure that trades are settled and cleared through licensed escrow attorneys. The company also provides over the counter sales of Bitcoin, for larger clients.

“With the help of Vaurum […], we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies,”

– Draper said in the statement.

The third industry sector Draper believes is poised for Bitcoin disruption is contracts. Draper is invested in Hedgy, again through Boost VC. Hedgy is a smart contract platform built on top of the Bitcoin block chain. They sell commercial hedging tools that help eliminate one of Bitcoin’s most significant problems, volatility.

“We believe the future of finance is more open, accountable and distributed, which is why we are committed to building Hedgy right on top of the Bitcoin block chain.”

– Hedgy

Drapers wide range of investments in Bitcoin enterprises has shown he is bullish on Bitcoins future, but he firmly believes that innovation has just started. We asked if there were any specific tools he feels are missing from the ecosphere he replied, “Yes. Many, and some I haven’t thought of yet, but entrepreneurs will. One obvious one is the ability to have media talent payments become automatic. Another is in transparency. Another in insurance. So many possibilities.”

“ Some of the brightest people in the world are working to develop this new financial system. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is happening even faster than I originally imagined.”

– Draper

German Fidor Bank teams up with Bitcoin.de to offer instant Bitcoin transactions

Some banks fear Bitcoin, some even try to prevent its clients from dealing with cryptocurrency, but not Fidor Bank. The Munich-based bank has partnered with the German Bitcoin exchange Bitcoin.de to offer a new “Express Trade” option to its customers. This feature will allow the bank’s customers to buy and sell BTC instantly on the exchange. Fidor customers with a …

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BTER Stolen Funds Are Moving – Exchanges Please Advise

BTER Stolen Funds Are Moving – Exchanges Please Advise

We had a rough month, with multiple hackings from BTER to CAVITEX and other exchanges as well. So  1.680.000$ million dollar of Bitcoin has been stolen from BTER.com, it passed 9 days and the hacker is on the move again! We first tough it was a node (our mistake), now we know it’s a very […]

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Coin Magi – Dream Transformed In Reality for CPU Miners

Coin Magi – Dream Transformed In Reality for CPU Miners

Coin Magi is a peer-to-peer global currency that facilitates instant payments to anybody in the world. Magi is decentralized and operates with no central authority or banks, this is very general attribute to all cryptocurrencies. But Magi has something special, is an M7M PoW/PoS-II hybrid coin. There are some issues in the community which faces […]

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