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'Crypto' Director Addresses the Skeptics: "Reserve Judgment. Watch the Movie"

‘Crypto’ Director Addresses the Skeptics: “Reserve Judgment. Watch the Movie”

By Mark Yarm 04.11.2019
When the trailer for Crypto , a new film starring Kurt Russell, came out in March, the internet tore it apart. “Kurt Russell’s New Crypto Thriller Will Probably Be Bad, and Not in a Good Way,” opined BREAKERMAG’s own David Z. Morris, while Motherboard’s Jordan Pearson offered an only slightly more sanguine take: “Kurt Russell’s New Bitcoin Crime Movie ‘Crypto’ Looks So Awful I Must See It.” Meanwhile, Slate’s Tamara Evdokimova snarked, “ Perhaps the greatest highlight of the trailer involves [lead actor Beau] Knapp hacking the villains’ computer to discover neatly organized folders labeled ‘Bitcoin payouts,’‘Feeding information,’ and ‘Kickbacks.’”
To that last point: It turns out the trailer is confusing. Those folders were not created by some idiotic, overly obvious bad guys, but by one of the film’s heroes, who’s documenting the cyber crimes at the heart of the movie. “People were splitting hairs over the marketing materials of a thing and trying to reverse engineer what the meaning was behind it,” Crypto director John Stalberg Jr. tells BREAKERMAG. “But they didn’t have the right data set to get to that conclusion.”
Stalberg’s message to the haters is simple: “Watch the film.” Everyone will get their chance to see Crypto tomorrow, when it’s released in select theaters and on demand.
How much did you know about cryptocurrency going into making this movie? I was a little bit interested, to the point where I was reading some articles. The day before they sent me the script—I had no idea it was coming—I was reading these articles about the Winklevoss twins, and how they had become crypto billionaires, and the fact that in about one day both brothers had lost $700 million . I was so staggered by that number and that entire concept of becoming a billionaire with cryptocurrency one day and losing $700 million the next. I jotted down the word “crypto.” It evoked cryptography and World War II and code-breaking. And then I started reading about blockchain technology. Crypto director John Stalberg Jr.
And then just coincidentally—it was complete kismet—they sent me the script. It wasn’t titled Crypto . Originally it was called The Return . And my first reaction was, “Why don’t we call it Paint Drying ?” Because The Return sounds like a very boring title. Although Kurt Russell disagrees with me; he thinks The Return ’s a better title. And maybe it is, I don’t know. I said, “Does some of the stuff in the film involve cryptocurrency?” They said, “Yeah, it does,” and I said, “Why don’t you guys call it Crypto ?” and they liked it.
Then I read the script, and I said, “Actually, this word is appropriate, just in terms of the metaphor for what is going on in the story.” The central character, he’s lost in this kind of mystery. He’s trying to solve the puzzle of this world that he gets inserted into, and also himself. He has to figure out who he is and how he fits in with his family.
Did you do further research after that initial burst? David Frigerio, a producer and a writer of the film, built his own mining machines. He’s really deep into that world, and a lot of his friends are, so I was hanging out with them. And they were showing me the mining machines and how they operated. They explained blockchain. And then they helped me open up a Coinbase account, and I had a crypto wallet. I was getting into it for a little bit, as I was doing preproduction. I was really obsessed with the notion of the blockchain and that it’s trustless. The ledger essentially verifies all these transactions, and you never have to look somebody in the eye, you never have to gauge if they’re trustworthy or not, shake their hand. I was like, “Wow, that’s an incredible contrast to the small town, Old World way.”
There’s a bit of a bitcoin rally starting now. Does it feel good to be releasing the film as that’s happening? Yeah, it feels like it’s in the news cycle again. People are talking about it. There was a pretty long bear market stretch. It’s an interesting cosmic coincidence that our movie’s coming out on Friday, and people who were holding cryptocurrencies the entire wave are feeling good. They’re feeling like they’re holding something that’s valuable.
It’s like John McAfee —I don’t know if you follow him. But he tweeted the trailer for Crypto . And he said, “Guys, this is going to be good for the space .” Because it’s this idea of it going mainstream. There was this debate, where I saw people online saying, “This is good regardless of what it is. All ink is good ink.” And other people were saying, “No, it’s being portrayed in a negative light. This is bad.” And all of a sudden, the week of the release, the markets are up. So McAfee seems to have been either prescient, right, or lucky.
He’s probably a combination of all three. When the movie’s trailer came out, there was a lot of skepticism in the crypto community, including on the part of one of our own writers. What do you say to the skeptics? I say, “Reserve judgment. Watch the movie.” Anybody who understands movies knows that trailers are commercials. They’re literally the equivalent of a car commercial selling a car. People were so painstakingly stripping apart, frame-by-frame, every aspect of the trailer. The marketing department out in England did a really good job cutting a trailer to make it seem exciting and whatnot. They’re taking things completely out of context, and shifting things all around to seem snappy.
“People were saying, ‘Well, what about this one freeze-frame [in the trailer], where there’s a “Kickbacks” folder, and this and that?’ And they were completely taking it out of context.”
People were saying, “Well, what about this one freeze-frame here, where there’s a ‘Kickbacks’ folder, and this and that?” And they were completely taking it out of context. That’s not the bad guys’ folder. People were splitting hairs over the marketing materials of a thing and trying to reverse engineer what the meaning was behind it. But they didn’t have the right data set to to get to that conclusion. So I would say to the guy, whoever it was over there, and others who are skeptics, “Watch the film.”
Jeremie Harris, who’s a Juilliard-trained actor, plays this character Earl in upstate New York who mines crypto in this liquor store in his cold storage [backroom]. He’s a massive proponent, and he’s one of the heroes of the movie. In fact, that kickbacks folder, that’s his folder where he’s been taking all this information in. He was really written as an extension of David Frigerio; he put himself into this character. And you’ll see, this guy’s one of the heroes of the movie.
Once the movie comes out, do you think that you’re going to win over the crypto community? They can be a little surly. [Laughs.] No, I can’t make that promise. I can’t say I’m going to win them over. Because the degree to which they were splitting hairs with the trailer, it was honestly like—in the movie we talk about this—”weaponized autism.” And I get that. But what they don’t understand, and maybe they never will, is the heroes in the movie represent them. I think, if they see it that way, these people will will change their tune. I do.
Were any of the stars of the movie into crypto? Like, is Kurt Russell a bitcoin guy? He’s not. He grows wine grapes, he makes wine . And [his character, a potato farmer] represented the other world. The future is cryptocurrency, and the past is sort of “look the guy in the eye,” you’re growing stuff in the earth, and you rely on the stuff you can see and you can feel. Kurt was sort of perfect for that.
Did you have any crypto advisers on the film or was that all David? It was it was a pretty much all David. David worked with the art department to build the mining machines. When it came time to do the FBI stuff and handling weapons and all that, we brought in an FBI specialist, but otherwise, David was the guy.
How do you think this will go over with the general audience? Crypto scares some people. That’s good. Most of the time in movies, they say, “Sit back, relax, and enjoy.” I think the best way to enjoy this movie, honestly, is in the very comfortable environment of your home or a safe movie theater, where you can project all of your fears and anxieties about the financial world and the world at large onto the screen. Sit forward, put your thinking cap on, and enjoy it that way. So if it scares some people, I think that’s good. Because the film is supposed to be an intense, anxiety-filled experience, in a cathartic way.
Was there anything else you want to add about the film or cryptocurrency? I wanted to make the audience for this people who appreciated cinema and to use the notion of cryptocurrency as a story thread and also a theme and a metaphor. I wanted to have a high degree of verisimilitude within the space. Like I always do. I figured out how potato farmers potato farm, you know? You don’t want to just bullshit it. You want it to be real and cinematic and interesting.
I realized we were going to have this audience that has a lot of skin in the game. These are people invested in the space, and I won’t be coming in and just taking a giant shit on it. I have to do my homework, I have to make this hold water for these people. And now they’re all debating this notion of “Is this good? Is this bad?” If you want to be part of the debate, you have to watch the movie. You can’t really have an opinion on it without watching it. I feel like a lot of these people are going to be pleasantly surprised when they do.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Photos courtesy of Lionsgate. Related

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Cryptocurrency- Everything you should know Before Investing

The crypto market is a funny one. Over the past year, it has really taken the world by storm, yet people actually know very little about it. Despite this though, there are investors who have seen their money rapidly increase in some cases in such a short space of time, whilst others the opposite. Some financial experts have stated that investors should be careful. Many expect the bottom to drop and the prices will fall drastically. In this Course we are not going to predict the Future of Cryptocurrencies but learn the facts that one should know before making your first Investment in Cryptocurrencies.

These facts should help you decide if investing in a cryptocurrency is right for you. 

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If you want to learn what cryptocurrency is, why it’s attracted immense hype and how you can benefit from it, you will love this Udemy course!

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The knowledge you will get from the course like how to identify the best cryptocurrencies, how to invest at the right time, how to analyze the market, and how to make smart investment decisions… might someday earn you a great amount of money, or might save you from losing them. For this reason, I find this idiom appropriate: “the price you pay, the value you get”. Remember that Warren Buffett states his best investment was buying a book on investing which still guides his investment decisions, even after 70 years.

At the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand all aspects and best practices of cryptocurrency and ICO investing

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  • Earn Certified Professional Cryptocurrency Investor (CPCI) certificate and make your status official

  • Have lifetime access to the online valuation spreadsheet with dozens of the best cryptocurrencies already identified according to 100+ valuation criteria

  • Confidently engage in conversations with portfolio managers, venture capitalists, angel investors, etc.

  • Ace the cryptocurrency investing job interview!

Why should you study cryptocurrency investing?

Cryptocurrencies and ICOs are one of the most profitable investing instruments in the entire financial markets history. Today, there is no other asset class that can even come close to the Return on Investment (ROI) made from cryptocurrencies. If you don’t believe me, trust the data:

NXT Platform (NXT): Initiated in 2013; reached 12,857,043% ROI in January 2018.

You didn’t read this wrong. If you had invested in this project you would have gained almost 13 million percent over your investment in 5 years. In the stock market, you would even be fascinated if you could double your money in the same period of time. And there are other cryptocurrencies like this:

IOTA (MIOTA): Initiated in 2015; reached 1,309,416% ROI in January 2018.

NEO (NEO): Initiated in 2015; reached 618,925% ROI in January 2018.

Ethereum (ETH): Initiated in 2014; reached 460,012% ROI in January 2018.

Amazing, aren’t they? And if you add up to those ROIs the possibility of having invested in those cryptocurrencies during their ICOs, which would have provided you with additional discounts in price, that would have boosted your return on investments even more.

But how can one invest in cryptocurrencies? It is not something you can study in school and there isn’t a major for it except for a few visionary universities in the world. That’s why until now, people like me had to teach themselves, trying to acquire knowledge through any means possible. It wasn’t easy… unfortunately… and the available resources were misleading and incorrect. Now, I assure you that I have prepared the most comprehensive course on cryptocurrency and ICO investment out there.

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In fact, this course involves enormous amount of information in the form of video, quizzes and additional resources that covers all aspects of cryptocurrency investment from beginner level to advanced level. Plus, you don’t need to have any previous knowledge on either cryptocurrencies or investing.

What exactly are you going to learn?

As this course doesn’t require you to have any previous knowledge, first of all, we will start with learning the basics to make sure everyone is on the same page. We will learn what investing is, why there is huge potential of profits in cryptocurrency investing, what value investing is, what an ICO is, the risks of ICO investment, reasons of ICO failures, and how to calculate and use Return on Investment Ratio with examples.

Then, we will continue with learning about the cryptocurrency valuation framework that I developed which can point us to the best cryptocurrencies or ICOs to invest in. In fact, this framework rates and ranks cryptocurrency assets with regard to over a hundred topics related to categories such as product, market, project, team, community, activity, token mechanics, ICO parameters, and legal compliance. Some examples to the topics assessed under these categories are product phase, business model, scalability, audience size, competitors, developer activity, token utility, token distribution, inflation, SEC compliance and dozens of others. I assure you this valuation framework is the most advanced tool available today to evaluate cryptocurrencies and ICOs and to identify the best assets for investment so I am sure it will help you a lot. And the best thing is that I have already applied this framework to analyze dozens of great assets that I handpicked, and I will share with you the link to this spreadsheet on which all my ratings exist.

Anyway, after learning about these subjects, I will then start teaching you about portfolio management concepts while also sharing several great investment strategies I personally use which will certainly help you improve the rate of your successful investments and increase your potential profits. Then, we won’t leave the topic theoretical of course and will create an example portfolio together which you can copy and invest effortlessly. Next, we will proceed with building up your knowledge in the stuff you need to use to start investing right away. For instance, you will learn what wallets and exchanges are, how to store your cryptocurrencies safely on Ledger hardware wallets, how to open an account on MyEtherWallet and transfer cryptocurrencies, how to open an account on Binance exchange and buy, sell, transfer cryptocurrencies, and how to invest in an ICO.

You can check the ‘What will I learn?’ section for the list of contents covered in this course.


This course does NOT focus on cryptocurrency trading or technical analysis. In this course, you will learn all aspects of cryptocurrency investment including trading and technical analysis but the information you will receive on these particular topics will be limited to a basic introduction of the concepts. In fact, although trading and technical analysis knowledge are essential for any short-term cryptocurrency trader, the main objective of this course is to teach you how to invest for the long-term, which differs a lot from trading that aims to take advantage of short-term price fluctuations. For this reason, although you will be provided with materials to go deeper in these concepts, they will not be covered in detail within the course.

This course does NOT guarantee profits. Even becoming the best portfolio manager, the best fundamental analyst or the best technical analyst can never guarantee you 100% success rate in your investments. In fact, it is always possible to lose money from your cryptocurrency and ICOs investments, no matter how good you are, or no matter which assets you pick. In this context, by taking this course, you accept that cryptocurrencies and ICOs are high-risk investment instruments, and you alone will be held accountable for any profits or losses you make from cryptocurrency and ICO investment.

This course is not associated with the following keywords although some of them show up when searched: Mining, How blockchain works, Cryptohopper, Bitcoin trading, Blockchain programming, Blockchain development, Blockchain developer, Blockchain bootcamp, Ethereum, Solidity, Smart contract, Hyperledger, Corda, George Levy, Suppoman, Blockchain A-Z, Colt Steele, Machine learning, Artificial intelligence, Software, Programming, Web developer, WordPress, Ethical hacking, Phyton, AWS, Angular, Java, Unreal Engine, React, C#, Unity, Phyton, Javascript, XML, SQL, NoSQL, MySQL, Node.js, iOS, Swift, Android, Docker, Django, UI, UX, Digital marketing, Drawing, 3D modelling, Photography, Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Tableau, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram marketing, Social media marketing, MBA, PMP, TOEFL, IELTS, Stocks, and Life coaching.

About me

You may be wondering whether I’m fit for the job of teaching you cryptocurrency investing so I’d better tell you more about me.

  • I am the instructor of the highest rated blockchain course on Udemy, called Become a Blockchain Expert.

  • I have several years of active experience in blockchain industry as an expert, researcher, advisor, investor and trader.

  • I have 10+ years of professional experience in various industries including multinational companies such Deloitte and KPMG.

  • I have 8 years of trading and investing experience in several financial markets and instruments including cryptocurrencies, ICOs, stocks, precious metals, commodities, funds, derivatives, etc.

  • I have a master’s degree in international business and management, and countless certificates in various fields such as Project Management Professional, Professional Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Product Owner, Android Developer, etc.

  • Before I prepared this course, I absorbed 5.000+ hours of information on top of this experience via reading and watching through thousands of separate resources including books, articles, videos, news, webinars, meetups, online & offline courses, whitepapers, and others.

Moreover, it wasn’t just my experience and interest in cryptocurrencies that pushed me towards creating this course but it was also the emotions that the word cryptocurrency creates in my heart. As you might already know, the objective of this technology is to give power back to the hands of the people and let the people be in control of their freedom, privacy and governance. This is a cause that I really care about and it led me to discover the reason behind why I love teaching blockchain and cryptocurrencies so much: “to take an active role in the creation of a brighter future for us!”

Last words

If you take the course, I promise you that I will do anything in my power throughout the course to help you become a cryptocurrency investor that can actually make profits. I will share your goal and will be with you during the entire process.

Also, with the 30-days refund guarantee, you won’t take any risk when enrolling to the course. As you will be able to get your money back anytime in the first 30 days, you can always leave with lots of exciting information you will have learned for free.

So feel comfortable and take your first action in learning cryptocurrency and ICO investment by enrolling now! You will actually be investing in yourself. I look forward to seeing you inside!

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23 highlights from the Ethereum core developer Q&A at EDCON 2019

23 highlights from the Ethereum core developer Q&A at EDCON 2019

Andrew Munro 15 April 2019 NEWS Watch now {“data”:[{“id”:”HQhj8DlMfMs”,”title”:”EDCON 2019 – Interview with Ethereum Foundation of the future of Ethereum”,”publishedAt”:”2019-04-14T00:54:29.000Z”,”thumb”:””},{“id”:”j7MeJionPMA”,”title”:”EDCON 2019 – Vitalik and Ethereum Foundation dance and rap”,”publishedAt”:”2019-04-12T03:47:43.000Z”,”thumb”:””},{“id”:”O8SIM6SBjBc”,”title”:”Bitcoin SVu2019s Metanet explained by nChain | The Daily Exchange”,”publishedAt”:”2019-04-05T05:34:41.000Z”,”thumb”:””},{“id”:”K4VrcU-XO-g”,”title”:”Investing in Bitcoin SV? Understand nChain first! Patents, Craig Wright, & Metanet explained”,”publishedAt”:”2019-04-05T05:33:52.000Z”,”thumb”:””},{“id”:”uO8KMFhh8i8″,”title”:”Bitcoin SV Mining & Economics explained by nChain | The Daily Exchange”,”publishedAt”:”2019-04-05T04:57:15.000Z”,”thumb”:””}],”layout”:{“direction”:”vertical”,”theme”:”light”,”splitTitle”:true,”showArrows”:true},”active”:{“index”:0,”start”:0,”end”:null,”thumb”:null,”thumbAnimation”:null,”smallTitle”:null,”mainTitle”:null},”playerOptions”:{“autoplay”:false,”captions”:false,”mute”:false,”popup”:true},”subscribe”:{“url”:” “,”title”:”SUBSCRIBE”,”visibleOnPopup”:true,”visibleOnMain”:true}} Why is Vitalik Buterin watching BCH? How about those zk-Snarks? Where’s Ethereum going next?
EDCON 2019 in Sydney, Australia, featured a Q&A panel with Hsiao-Wei Wang, Vitalik Buterin, Virgil Griffith, Danny Ryan and Justin Drake.
The forty-five-minute session brought a range of insights. 23 lessons learned
The highlights are distilled here, but make sure you watch the video to get the complete picture. 1. It took years to figure out whether proof of stake was even theoretically possible
As far as anyone knows, the first public reference to proof of stake was in a 2011 Bitcoin Talk thread . But no one was sure the concept was even feasible. Vitalik Buterin started really diving into it in 2014 and came up with a solution… which didn’t work.
“The first version of proof of stake I came up with… it technically was not even secure. It had liveness failures.” Buterin said. “Since then, we’ve just done a huge amount of research and figuring out that proof of stake actually is possible, and with what trade-offs.”
It crystallised a lot over the coming year, and in 2015, Buterin suggested a more workable model that was much closer to what Ethereum ended up going with.
“In 2015, I wrote this big, huge paper on scalable blockchain design which ended up being pretty close to what we’ve implemented at a super high level, but there are a lot of details we needed to figure out.” 2. Ethereum’s proof of stake has only really been at the pointy end of development in the last year
The precise design for proof of stake has solidified a lot in the last year, in part because Ethereum’s other developments such as sharding affected the final form it would have to take.
“We’ve spent years trying to make Casper FFG work, make sharding work on top of Ethereum chain, so we’ve definitely gone through at least four or five iterations since the basic idea,” Buterin said. “But especially over the last year it’s solidified a huge amount.”
This highlights how complicated Ethereum development is. You’re not just building a single thing to certain parameters and a set deadline. Rather, it’s more like trying to assemble a complex, highly-precise machine made of interconnected gears, even while each gear itself is still under construction and subject to change.
“A lot of things seem to be three steps forward and two steps back,” Griffith added. “I guess that’s common for most scientific enterprises.” 3. What bear market?
Hodlers gonna hodl, but more importantly buidlers gonna buidl.
The Ethereum team’s experiences in the bearish market have been the same as many others who are experiencing crypto from the inside. Despite some of the headaches and downsizing associated with a crypto funding crunch things have, if anything, gotten more productive rather than less .
“There’s definitely been a reduction of interest in just all blockchain products because… people who are just following cryptocurrencies for the price… stop following because the price stops moving in a happy direction for a while,” Buterin said. “In general, people that are building things and have been building things for a long time are just continuing to build things.” 4. Practical Ethereum applications are hitting a tipping point
The blockchain world was dapp-happy in 2018, but it wasn’t dapp-ecstatic . That might be changing with the evolution of tools available to Ethereum developers.
“Right now there are more things to build with and build on top of than there ever have been before,” Buterin pointed out, “and I expect there to be even more over the next few months. For a developer, the experience is becoming more and more interesting very quickly.”
You don’t have to look far to find examples of this change in the real world.
“For example, at the [ EDCON 2019 ] Sydney hackathon, you start seeing, instead of people trying to build components to build things with, you start seeing relatively sophisticated projects coming out of a two-day hackathon because there are so many building blocks you can start piecing together to do interesting things,” Ryan observed. “So I think in production we’re… definitely hitting an inflection point in respect to the applications we’re seeing.” 5. It’s not all institutional. Viable indie blockchain projects abound
“The most interesting stuff right now that’s really hitting people might not be the institutional stuff at the beginning,” Buterin said. “For example, these smart contract parametric insurance projects that are starting to pop up. Like, there’s HurricaneGuard … there’s one out of Sri Lanka , they’re basically just using smart contracts to give people the simplest kind of insurance. So if there’s a flood, here you get a payout. If there’s not enough rain, here you get a payout.”
In the case of HurricaneGuard, for example, the idea is that claims can be automatically filed and paid in the event of a government weather station detecting hurricane-force winds within a set distance of the insured property. As long as the financials can be made to work, there’s little reason why you can’t automate away much of the middle office.
“There’s a specific kind of product that just seems really easy to build using a blockchain and smart contracts, and possibly much easier than it is now, and it seems like people are starting to actually use it,” Buterin said.
Insurance is one example, but others are more ambitious. Elsewhere in Ethereum-land, people are seeing if they can use smart contracts to automate the rideshare companies out of the rideshare businesses .
Griffith also points out that algorithmic stablecoins might be old news in blockchain, but they’re still extremely novel.
“Has there ever been an algorithmically stable thing?” he asked.
He also cited SpankChain as a great example of real-world Ethereum use. 6. The oracle problem isn’t unsolvable
The oracle problem is seen as one of the major challenges for smart contracts.
Smart contracts are immutable contracts, and oracles are the things that feed smart contracts their information. So in the case of HurricaneGuard, it would need an oracle to say whether the hurricane occurred, whether someone was insured and so on.
The oracle problem is basically the problem of feeding shoddy data into smart contracts. On the one hand, smart contracts are just oracle problems all the way down. Smart contracts aren’t immutable if you can tamper with their data inputs.
On the other hand, this isn’t an entirely unsolvable problem, and Buterin gives some examples of how oracles are improving.
” Oraclize is interesting,” he muses. “They’ve managed to extend their system and make it more secure by adding trusted hardware components in a couple of places. So they have a nice security model that basically means in most cases there are several things that need to break for the oracle to stop working, which is really cool.”
Rhombus Network is another example of a group focused on solving the oracle problem to the extent necessary to make smart contracts more usable, Griffith adds.
7. Legally binding smart contracts are still a very fuzzy area
Smart contracts are a legal grey area , and there’s still a big gulf between smart contracts, and smartness and contracts .
While it’s easy to say that smart contracts are immutable, the fact remains that unless it’s legally recognised as such, it’s not actually immutable. In the event of a discrepancy between the legal state of an object and the blockchain state of an object, the law says the legal state is the correct one.
And while the panel said Ethereum team members had been in discussion with regulators in various places, there’s nothing solid yet. This has necessitated some interesting solutions from startups that want to actually use blockchain.
Griffith gives the example of Mattereum , which basically realised it had to actually put lawyers on the blockchain, so to speak.
“So if you want to have there be an interface between the smart contract and the physical world… you transfer the physical asset to a legal firm, and then the legal firm signs a contract saying “whatever the blockchain says we will do. So if the blockchain says we will transfer it, they’ll transfer it. So, it’s that way you kind of make the legal firm’s actions kind of like an appendage grafted on to the smart contract.”
So, in this example, would the law firm be extraneous to the blockchain or would blockchain be extraneous to the law firm?
Fortunately, Australia is looking ahead at this kind of eventuality, and solving this problem of legally binding smart contracts is actually one of the key goals of the Australia National Blockchain project . 8. Don’t expect private transactions in Ethereum any time soon, zk-Snarks notwithstanding
zk-Snarks caught the imagination of the Ethereum community recently. While the system is usually more closely associated with privacy coins , Ethereum developers were quick to realise that they can also serve as a potentially highly effective scaling solution for Ethereum .
Privacy is still very much on the backfoot though.
“There’s definitely quite a way to go before strong privacy can really work well, and part of it is just the inherent limitations of the Ethereum 1.0 chain,” Buterin said. He gave the example of a smart contract coin mixer, where the parties would inevitably re-identify themselves by paying the mixer gas costs.
“It’s definitely not a very short-term thing at this point,” Buterin said. Although “there definitely are teams that are working on it,” he added. 9. zk-Snarks currently have a lot more to offer than privacy
“The existence of the technology [of zk-Snarks] was definitely a surprise to me. I’m like ‘wow, you can do that?’,” Buterin said.
It was first introduced as a privacy solution, and it’s taken some time for the Ethereum community to digest the potential applications since then, Ryan noted.
“A few years ago, it was pushed as a privacy thing. It’s taken time for the community to digest that, and then digest the fact that you can do other things with it, specifically scalability,” he said.
“I’d say scalability is still underrated, privacy overrated,” Drake agreed.
zk-Snarks for scaling are very much still part of the plan for Ethereum as an accoutrement for other scaling solutions like sharding.
Sharding alone won’t realistically be enough for the needed scalability, Drake pointed out. 10. No, there is not a partnership between Tron and Ethereum
Recently Tron founder Justin Sun alluded to a partnership between Tron and Ethereum . This apparently came as something of a surprise to the Ethereum core developers, none of whom were sure what Sun’s going on about this time.
“It’s possible we’ve committed some collaboration with Tron,” Griffith suggested.
“I don’t think we have,” Ryan said.
“I don’t think we have either,” Buterin added.
“You’re the media,” he told the assembled reporters. “You’re the one who’s supposed to be telling us these things.”
But the panel still took time to compliment Sun’s marketing prowess.
“If Justin Sun was a less-compromised asset, I would love to have him as chief marketing officer for Ethereum,” Griffith said. 11. There’s a move towards more regular forks
On the social side of things, Ethereum is aiming to normalise hard forks a bit more.
“There’s definitely movement on the 1.0 chain to do more frequent and smaller hard forks to kind of get into a rhythm,” Ryan notes.
The idea is to normalise more consistent and smaller updates. But on the Ethereum beacon chain (the still-more-experimental Ethereum 2.0 chain), the objective is still to move fast and implement larger changes. But if all goes well, this will likely settle into a rhythm of its own in the future. 12. Ethereum’s developers are envisioning a multi-chain future
In an increasingly competitive world, Ethereum’s key developers aren’t too concerned.
The Ethereum developer community is still by far the largest and most active of any blockchain in the world, Ryan pointed out. But that doesn’t mean it’s functionally going to be the best at everything.
We don’t need to eat everything.”
“Ethereum errs on the side of maximum flexibility. If you just want to send tokens around, Ethereum is kind of overkill,” Griffith says. On occasion, he’s even advised people to look at other chains such as Stellar for their needs.
“We don’t need to eat everything,” he said. 13. IEOs?
The decline in ICOs has given way to a new rise in IEOs (initial equity offerings) among companies that want to raise funds. These are similar to ICOs, in that they are token sales, but different in that the tokens actually represent equity and in that they are usually sold through a single exchange.
The decline of ICOs is more than welcome, Buterin said, but he’s still not sold on IEOs.
“Having that hype reduction is definitely a good thing for people that actually want to build,” he said. “IEOs I’m more down on. Basically they seem just like ICOs but more centralised.” 14. It’s tough to be worried about ASIC miners
In response to a question around whether ASIC miners are a concern, Buterin explained that the network is going to proof of stake anyway. Even if Bitmain wanted to release an Ethereum ASIC miner, he said, he doubts whether it would be a sensible business strategy.
On the whole, it’s just really tough to be overly concerned with ASIC miners coming to Ethereum, despite all the noise around it.
This has been borne out fairly well to date. Buterin’s opinions on this issue haven’t changed too much , and previous Ethereum ASIC miners have already decisively failed to change the world . 15. Things could get interesting for the old chain after the PoS fork
When people start migrating to the new proof-of-stake fork, things could start getting interesting for the old proof-of-work fork.
The old proof-of-work chain could very well be 51% attacked someday once people start abandoning it, Buterin says. It won’t really matter though.
Although from one angle, this has already happened . 16. There’s a lot of development and discussion happening in the background
Although the development of Ethereum is certainly much more transparent than most other blockchains as well as most businesses, that doesn’t mean everything happens in plain sight.
There’s a lot of discussion preceding each new development of Ethereum, Ryan says, and much of this is invisible outside of the actual development circles. New developments go through several rounds of proposing, discussing and feedback before being thrust into the public eye.
“Even though it is radically transparent, the iterative process helps us manage the complexity rather well,” he says. 17. The community is more unified than it might seem
“Almost all changes that are technical improvements that are good for Ethereum just pass through uncontroversially,” Buterin notes. “Governance has so far only been a problem for a relatively small set of controversial issues.”
He mentioned the DAO fork, of course, as well as two issuance reductions, but also said that in all cases there was a relatively clear community consensus on which way to go.
Even the most devastating split following the Ethereum Classic fork was clearly a small minority going its own way, rather than a devastating fracture.
While Ethereum’s governance situation isn’t perfect, it’s difficult to imagine a situation that really does effectively split the community, Buterin says.
“It’s definitely possible that there will exist some kind of wedge issue that will divide the community in some way,” he says, but it’s tough to see what that could be. 18. Ethereum Classic is in the past, but its developers are still pushing the envelope
No one on the panel that day had any doubt that proof of stake was the correct direction for Ethereum to go.
“Proof of stake is great, man”
“Proof of stake is great, man,” Griffith said.
Although this does raise questions around why Ethereum has partnered with Ethereum Classic if both chains are so set on radically different directions.
In response to them, Griffith noted that there’s still a lot for Ethereum to learn from its estranged sibling chain, and he emphasised that the split was always about ideology more than technicalities.
“They have a bit more purist sensibilities,” Griffith said, “but they’re not incompetent. When they publish software, 30 or 40% of the time I’m like ‘hey, that’s really handy’.”
Ideology notwithstanding, there’s still a lot of value in the relationship. That said, ideology is sometimes a luxury for projects that don’t have to worry about the real world as much as Ethereum does.
“I do think Ethereum Classic would probably have a little more trouble if they get larger. The larger you get you have to get more pragmatic because the real world impinges on you more,” Griffith suggests. 19. There may be room for improvement in Ethereum’s marketing
Ethereum has never been about self-aggrandisement to the same extent as other projects, but the panel concedes that it might have its place.
“We can certainly do better in communication,” Ryan noted. “There are some internal efforts to communicate our successes a bit better.”
But maybe it doesn’t really need to. There are plenty of people happy to shill it with or without prompting, the team agreed. 20. Bitcoin’s value is meme value
“The meme value of Bitcoin is very high,” Ryan said. “People definitely bought into the meme of, whatever it is, because it was the first of what it is… the store-of-value meme, the king-of-crypto meme, the first-and-thus-better meme.. the gold thing.”
Its brand cachet is through the roof, and that might be all the value it needs .
As for Bitcoin’s obvious unsustainability in the face of falling block rewards , all the panellists seemed in agreement that it wouldn’t break the 21-million rule. That is, after all, part of its meme value.
Some kind of hybrid proof-of-stake system seems the most likely outcome for Bitcoin, Griffith suggested. But it’s not necessarily competition, he added.
“When I first joined the foundation, I thought of Bitcoin as the opponent, and thought it was kind of zero sum. I no longer think that,” he said. “It’s kinda surprising how quickly when you think someone’s your opponent, they turn out not to be.” 21. The Bitcoin Cash team really knows what it’s doing
“Things I’m watching? One of them is Bitcoin Cash. It seems to have recovered a lot from its slump recently, but also technology-wise, it seems like they’re beating Bitcoin to integrating Schnorr Signatures , which was just like super out of the blue surprising.”
“Maybe two years ago, you might have thought that it’s just, like, jokers, but there seems to be some real technical talent there.” 22. Nothing’s set in stone
The exact reward numbers for Ethereum’s impending proof-of-stake mode are still well and truly up in the air – as are many other elements. Nothing’s set in stone yet, and there’s a lot of testing to go still. 23. There is no revenue. The Ethereum Foundation’s time is limited
The Ethereum Foundation does not have revenue. It only has runway, and that runway is designed to eventually run out.
It’s extended in tiny bits and pieces by selling T-shirts and event tickets, but it’s getting shorter every year.
Where it goes in the future is anyone’s guess, but the general consensus is that the clock has a lot of time left on it, but it’s definitely ticking.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for consulting, but as a non-profit, the Ethereum Foundation will continue to operate as such,” Ryan said.
And although there were some thoughts of how to fund projects in the future, it’s still too early to start seriously considering another DAO, Buterin said.
Eventually, when the money runs out, the party will be over and we’ll get real jobs.”
“We only go red. That’s all we do,” Griffith said. “We want the foundation to eventually have an expiry date. Eventually, when the money runs out, the party will be over and we’ll get real jobs.”
“I’ll probably write my blog more,” Buterin mused.
And you can judge for yourself whether Ethereum core developers should bank on a musical career after all of this. Daily cryptocurrency news digest and breaking news delivered to your inbox. I agree to the Privacy & Cookies Policy , Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and to receive emails from Finder Sign me up!

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Litecoin Hash Rate Hits Record High: Is It a Crucial Sign of Confidence?

Litecoin Hash Rate Hits Record High: Is It a Crucial Sign of Confidence?

Litecoin (LTC) hash rate hits record high: is it a crucial sign of confidence? Joseph Young · 1 min ago · 3 min read Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Telegram
According to and the data published by BitInfoCharts, the hash rate of Litecoin (LTC) achieved a new all-time high on April 8 at 359 terahash.
The rapid increase in the hash rate of the Litecoin blockchain network, which represents computing power that protects and secures the protocol, comes amidst the demonstration of a strong performance of LTC in recent months. The hash rate of the Litecoin network hits a new all-time high (source:
Year-to-date, since January, LTC has recorded a 160 percent increase in value against the U.S. dollar as one of the best performing cryptocurrencies in the global market alongside Binance Coin (BNB), Enjin Coin (ENJ), and Augur (REP). Potential Factors of the Rise of the Price and the Hash Rate of Litecoin
While a noticeable increase in the hash rate of any blockchain network is generally considered a positive indicator of confidence, arguments are often made that improvements in hardware and mining equipment can lead the hash rate to rise.
The recent surge in the hash power of the Litecoin network was likely affected by the momentum of the short-term price trend of LTC. But, it is possible that the overall improvement in the efficiency of mining equipment may have fueled the network’s hash rate.
Franklyn Richards, an early Litecoin team member who operates said :
“Another potential explanation for the recent rise, besides price, may be more efficient mining hardware being issued /used. If this were the case we are not expressly aware of it.” Why LTC Price Seems to be Going Up
In 2017, JP Vergne, a professor at Ivey Business School, discovered in a study that developer activity is the most accurate predictor of the price movement of a cryptocurrency.
The study released by Vergne entitled “Buzz Factor or Innovation Potential: What Explains Cryptocurrencies’ Returns?” noted that while new cryptocurrencies consistently emerge, if they are not backed by active development, investors may lose confidence. The study read :
“Besides, a new cryptocurrency may look more appealing than its older competitors at the time of introduction, but if it is not backed by a solid team of developers who continually improve its underlying software, over time it will be unable to maintain its initial technological advantage.” “We found that the best predictor of a cryptocurrency’s exchange rate is the amount of developer activity around it.”– @PirateOrg
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) July 5, 2017
Although it can be claimed that there could be cryptocurrencies that are more sophisticated than Litecoin, the activity of the open-source developer community of Litecoin in implementing solutions such as Confidential Transactions and Mimblewimble may have led to the rise in the confidence of investors.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, said on January 28:
“Fungibility is the only property of sound money that is missing from Bitcoin & Litecoin. Now that the scaling debate is behind us, the next battleground will be on fungibility and privacy. I am now focused on making Litecoin more fungible by adding Confidential Transactions.” Can it be Sustained?
If the activity of the open-source developer community of Litecoin is the primary driver of the price and the hash rate of the cryptocurrency, then it is likely that as long as the objectives set forth by Lee and other developers are met in the medium-term, the momentum of the asset could be sustained.
In the past several hours, as the bitcoin price recovered beyond $5,100, LTC recorded a slight increase by 1.4 percent against the U.S. dollar, hovering at $79 in major markets. Updated: Apr 14 at 2:40 pm PDT $79.69 2.33%
Litecoin , currently ranked #5 by market cap, is up 2.33% over the past 24 hours. LTC has a market cap of $4.89B with a 24 hour volume of $2.02B.

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