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For those who ask:
Why are there ETH and ETC?
A good introduction.

Is Ethereum Classic (ETC) a Good Investment?

Ethereum classic has emerged as one of the most popular altcoins since its big brother ether executed a hard fork on the blockchain after the DAO hack in July 2016. During a little under a year of its existence, ethereum classic, which carries the ticker ETC, has managed to rally from under $1 to over $20 and has positioned itself within the top five largest cryptocurrencies in the market.

What is Ethereum?

You cannot talk about Ethereum Classic without talking about Ethereum first. Ethereum is a public open-source blockchain network that allows for the creation of smart contracts and decentralized apps (DApps). It was first proposed in 2013 by its founder Vitalik Buterin and went live in July 2015 after a successful ether token sale in July/August 2014.

Ethereum’s digital token ether (ETH) has emerged as the second most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin with a market capitalization of over $35 billion. The price of ether stands $370 at the time of writing, which also makes it the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin, Zcash, and Byteball.

The Hard Fork That Created Ethereum Classic

In April 2016, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was launched to act as a decentralized venture capital fund for cryptocurrency projects. It was built as a complex smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain and was meant to allow investors to vote on proposed projects that would then receive funding through the DAO.

During its 28-day crowdfunding campaign, the DAO managed to raise $168 million dollars worth of ether and became the most successful cryptocurrency crowdsale to this day. However, there was a vulnerability in the DAO smart contract, which allowed a hacker to steal a substantial amount of the DAO’s ether holdings on June 18, 2016. The hacker was able to steal around 3.6 million ether, which amounted to around $50 million dollars at that time.

To regain the stolen ether, the Ethereum community voted on a proposal to hard fork the Ethereum blockchain to create a smart contract that allows all ether tokens to be withdrawn by their rightful holders. This proposed hard fork caused a lot of controversy in the Ethereum community with the opponents of the fork arguing that “code is law” and that blockchains should stay immutable. The vote on the hard fork to return the stolen ether resulted with the majority of voters being in favor of the fork. The remaining faction, however, continued to mine the original pre-fork Ethereum blockchain and that is how the digital currency ethereum classic with the ticker ETC and its blockchain was born.

What is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum classic (ETC) is the cryptocurrency of the original Ethereum blockchain. That means that the Ethereum Classic blockchain has all the same capabilities as Ethereum has, including smart contract functionality and the ability to develop DApps.

Following the Ethereum hard fork, ethereum classic mining pools were created, ethereum classic tokens started to trade on several exchanges, and a small but vocal community started to form that “believe[s] in the original vision of Ethereum as a world computer you cannot shut down, running irreversible smart contracts.”

While the basic functionalities of the Ethereum Classic blockchain are the same as those of Ethereum, several changes have been made to it in the past twelve months. Network upgrades included resolving issues surrounding the initially implemented “difficulty bomb” as well as replay attacks and introducing a new monetary policy.

The Price Development of Ethereum Classic

The price of ethereum classic (ETC) at first faced a lot of supply side pressure as all ether holders also received ethereum classic tokens “for free” after the hard fork. That resulted in opponents of ethereum classic happily dumping their coins to keep the price of ETC low so that it does not become a competition to Ethereum’s ether. This can be witnessed by ETC’s struggle to move past the $2 mark in its first eight months of its existence.

However, when the altcoin market started to rally aggressively in the first quarter of 2017, ethereum classic was no exception. From March 1 to May 24, 2017, ethereum classic rose from $1.40 to surpass the $21.00 mark according to CoinMarketCap and, thereby, generated an impressive 1,400 percent return in less than three months for its holders.

Should You Hold Ethereum Classic in Your Cryptocurrency Portfolio?

Given that Ethereum Classic has the much smaller community than its older brother Ethereum and given that the Ethereum blockchain is being used in a wide range of both commercial and non-commercial, why should you invest in ethereum classic? Wouldn’t Ethereum’s ether be the logical choice, if you want to bet on smart contracts and DApps playing a big role in the future of business and society?

While it will most likely turn out to be a wise investment choice to own Ethereum’s ether, there are several reasons to consider also holding ethereum classic tokens into your cryptocurrency portfolio.

  1. Institutional investors are able to buy ethereum classic through the Grayscale’s Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, which launched in April 2017. Given the amount of media attention that the recent cryptocurrency rally has received it would not be surprising to see more institutional investors as well as high net worth individuals buying shares the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust to diversify their exposure and to benefit from the high returns potential of digital currencies. This reasoning is confirmed by the increase in the fund’s assets under management from an initial $10 million to a current $48 million and by the fact that the price of ethereum classic rose 20 percent in the week following the launch of the ETC investment trust.
  2. The Ethereum Classic community recently agreed on a new monetary policy that introduces a hard cap on the total issuance of ethereum classic. This, of course, is price supportive for the digital currency. On March 1, key stakeholders in the ETC community agreed that the total supply of ETC would never exceed 230 million. Ethereum’s ether (ETH), on the other hand, currently has no hard cap on total ether issuance.
  3. One of the reasons why the price of ether has rallied so much is that the booming initial coin offerings (ICO) market is built largely on the Ethereum blockchain and uses ether as one of its main funding currencies. Should a wave of ICOs come to the Ethereum Classic blockchain, then the value of ETC could witness a similarly strong rally for the same reasons. In fact, the first ICO on the Ethereum Classic blockchain is about to launch on TokenMarket in June. The Corion Platform is conducting a crowdsale to raise funds to develop its payments solutions on top of the Ethereum Classic blockchain.
  4. Ethereum Classic has demonstrated real credibility when splitting from the Ethereum community by sticking to a truly immutable blockchain. Given that immutability is probably one of the most important aspects of blockchain technology, the ethereum classic community gained respect from the wider cryptocurrency community for sticking to their principles.

Risks of Investing in Ethereum Classic

According to the Grayscale Ethereum Classic Investment Thesis, there are two large holders of ETC that could push the price of the digital currency lower by dumping their tokens on the market. The Ethereum Foundation still holds 10 percent of the ETC they received after the hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain, and the DAO hacker still holds around 3.36 million ethereum classic, which amounts to around 3.65 percent of total circulation. Should either of the parties mentioned above sell their holdings, this would put substantial downward pressure on ethereum classic tokens.

Another risk to the value of ETC is that the Ethereum Classic blockchain will never end up being used to develop any meaningful applications nor be used to create any smart contract solutions for commercial industries.

The long-term investment case for or against ethereum classic focuses on two key areas: how much institutional money will flow into the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust and will the developers built industry-relevant applications and smart contract solutions on top of the Ethereum Classic blockchain?

If the answer to both these questions will turn out to be yes, then ethereum classic will most likely perform well in the long run. If the majority of developers, however, will choose to built solution on Ethereum instead of Ethereum Classic then it will be hard for the digital currency to merit a high value. Unless, of course, institutional investor money keeps increasing the value of the digital currency by pouring funds into the ETC Investment Trust.

 

Read more : btcmanager.com, Alexander Lielacher, Is Ethereum Classic (ETC) a Good Investment?

When burglars and thieves get smart
You’ve gotta get smarter, or be more careful.

Man Robbed at Gunpoint for $1,100 Worth of Bitcoins in Brooklyn

While digital currencies are slowly making themselves known to the world starting with Bitcoinfollowed by Ethereum, carrying digital currencies with you pose the same threat as having traditional fiat. Such is the case of a 28-year-old New Yorker who fell victim to a Bitcoin theft.

According to a report, the victim was to meet with a Bitcoin seller whom he contacted through Craigslist in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Upon meeting the “seller”, a gun was pointed at him and the “seller” demanded $1,100 worth of Bitcoin to be transferred to his Bitcoin wallet.

The case is still under investigation as there wasn’t any CCTV footage of the crime.

Bitcoin thefts as early as 2015

This is not the first case of Bitcoin theft. Even as early as January 2015, there were already some cases of Bitcoin holdups such as the case of Dean Katz who also was a victim of a similar case. He was also supposed to meet a Bitcoin seller and ended up being robbed of his Bitcoins.

Increasing Bitcoin-related crimes

With the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, various criminals both online and offline have already appeared to take advantage of the new digital currencies.

It’s not just holduppers and thieves that are taking Bitcoins away from people on the streets, but similar activities are being carried out by hackers and cybercriminals as well. On August 2016, there was massive case of a Bitcoin hacking wherein a hacker used phone numbers of random people in order to steal Bitcoins from the market as reported on Forbes. Such cases alerted the cryptocurrency platforms to boost up their security.

What’s behind all these?

Just this year, Bitcoin, along with other well known cryptocurrencies, have been rising to their all time highs. In line with this, more and more people are taking interest in Bitcoin and so are the crime related to cryptocurrencies.

In light of these cases, the best way to prevent any theft would be to be very cautious with your personal information as well as being vigilant when conducting transactions that involve the exchange of money and currencies with similar value.

 

Read more : Cointelegraph.com, Lisa Froelings, Man Robbed at Gunpoint for $1,100 Worth of Bitcoins in Brooklyn

Germany here we come!

A New Pro-Bitcoin, Ethereum Association Launches in the German Parliament

Digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum will gain support in Germany with the founding of a new nationwide federal digital currency and blockchain lobby group called the ‘Blockchain Bundesverband’ – the German Federal Blockchain Association.

The official founding of the new association took place in the German Bundestag, Germany’s parliamentary building, in Berlin on Thursday. According to local publication t3n, the launch of the association was open for a number of attendees with invitations sent to German members of parliament to attend.

This is it: the @bundesblock is founded. hooray! 

“Blockchain will be the basic technology for the next innovation stage of the Internet, and Germany has a chance to put itself at the forefront of the world through pioneering regulation. The Federal Association is to help seize this opportunity” stated an official release from the group.

Among the many agreed-upon objectives laid out by the association, a notable goal is to see at least one public register over a blockchain put to test in the real world.

The association and lobby group sees support from a number of blockchain companies including Gnosis, the IOTA foundation, Blockchain Helix and Slock.it, among several others.

The new blockchain association also houses an ‘advisory board’ comprising of politicians from different parties alongside other stakeholders.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

We are founding the Blockchain Bundesverband e.V. In the Bundestag.

The launch of the federal association comes at a time when the president of Germany’s central bank has been making some noteworthy comments on blockchain technology and digital currencies. Earlier in March, Bundesbank president Jens Wiedmann, whilst speaking at a G20 conference, claimed the digitization of financial services could see benefitsfrom blockchain technology. However, Wieldmann was also quoted as stating that digital currencies like bitcoin could ‘worsen’ financial crises in the future. He further added, in his opinion, that instant bank payments would put an end to the public’s interest in digital currencies.

Opinions aside, the foundation of a federal pro-digital currency and blockchain association in Germany’s capitol is certain to help the cause for the development of decentralized financial technologies.

 

Read  more: A New Pro-Bitcoin, Ethereum Association Launches in the German Parliament

Bitcoin wallets for Android users!

2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed

If you’re looking to store your first Bitcoins and you own an Android mobile device this post is for you. However, before I review the best Android Bitcoin wallets out there I just want to give you a word of warning.

Mobile wallets (Android, or iOS) are the least secure form of Bitcoin wallets. This is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices tend to get stolen, lost and break down. If you hold your Bitcoins in a mobile wallet, it means that the private key is stored on the device, and therefor if the device is ruined or stolen you can’t access your coins.

Having said that, you can always create a backup for your wallet by using the 12-24 word seed phrase shown to you when you first install the wallet. That’s why it’s important to keep this seed phrase in a safe place and out of anyone else’s reach but your own.

 

#1 – Coinbase – Coinbase IS NOT a Bitcoin wallet

Usually when people think about Bitcoin wallets they think about Coinbase. However Coinbase isn’t a Bitcoin wallet. It’s actually an exchange that lets you hold Bitcoins. In a blog post written by Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, he states

you’ll see the Coinbase brand shift from being a hybrid wallet/exchange to focusing on purely being a retail and institutional exchange

So while Coinbase is still a cheap place to get Bitcoins, please don’t consider it as a mobile wallet. Coinbase does not give you access to your own private keys nor privacy, as we’ve covered in our review.

The real #1 – MyCelium Android Bitcoin wallet

MyCelium is a popular mobile app wallet that features a wealth of advanced privacy and security features. Yes, the wallet can be a bit complicated for newbie users but it’s still one of the safest and fastest on the market. As an open source software program, MyCelium is constantly being upgraded.

mycelium

The wallet doesn’t have a web or desktop interface meaning coins can be accessed only through your mobile wallet. The good news is that you can use Mycelium together with a hardware wallet in order to get maximum security for your coins.

#2 – BreadWallet Android Bitcoin wallet

BreadWallet is probably one of the simplest Bitcoin Android wallets around. The source code of Breadwallet is open and there are only very basic “send” and “receive” options featured within the wallet.

breadwallet

This will be very easy for people to get accustomed to on the one hand, but on the other, leaves the wallet exposed without any advanced protection in place. BreadWallet has a mobile version only for Android and for iOS.

Visit BreadWallet’s Website     BreadWallet review coming soon!

 

#3 – Copay Android Bitcoin wallet

Copay is an open source multisig wallet created by Bitpay. Multisig, stands for multisignature, and it means that the wallet requires a certain amount of people to approve a transaction before it is executed. Kind of like a shared wallet (you can read more about it here).

copay

This is great for security, but makes it harder to send out Bitcoins in some cases. Depending on your needs this just might be what you need. Copay has an Android, iOS and desktop version available.

Visit Copay’s Website     Read our Copay Review

 

#4 – Jaxx Android Bitcoin Wallet

Jaxx is a relatively new and controversial wallet. On the one hand Jaxx seems to be a clear winner when it comes to mobile wallets. It has an intuitive interface, can pair across multiple devices (meaning you can use the same funds out of your phone or desktop) and it holds a wide variety of cryptocurrencies (e.g. Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.)

jaxx

However the main issue with Jaxx is that it’s not open source. Recently there was also a safety concern raised by developers around the community regarding the wallet. This issue has yet to be addressed. Please don’t store a large amount of coins on Jaxx if you don’t have to.

Visit Jaxx’s Website     Read our Jaxx Review

 

#5 – Airbitz Android Bitcoin wallet

Airbitz is another open source Android Bitcoin wallet you may want to consider. The wallet resembles BreadWallet in its simplicity but also offers a variety of features mainly aimed to support Bitcoin adoption. For example, the wallet displays a wide variety of merchants accepting Bitcoin or place you can buy discounted gift cards with Bitcoin.

airbitz

Visit Airbitz’s Website     Airbitz Review coming soon!

 

#6 – GreenAddress (AKA GreenBits) Android Bitcoin Wallet

If all else fails you should check out GreenAddress. The wallet offers good features, good security and a slightly weak user experience. We’ve reviewed GreenAddress in the past and concluded it to be a solid choice for people who are more experience with Bitcoin.

greenbits

Visit Airbitz’s Website     Read our GreenAddress Review

 

Please remember the following rules when using a mobile wallet:

  • Always set a pin code protection for your wallet if possible
  • Never store large amounts of Bitcoin on your mobile wallet
  • Write down the 12-24 word seed you get when you set up your wallet and keep in a safe place.

Also keep in mind that not every wallet allowed into GooglePlay is verified. This means some people can create malicious wallet like apps in an attempt to steal your coins once you send them to your mobile wallet. That’s why it’s important to download only known apps and make sure that they are the official app you’re actually looking for.

Read more: 2017’s Best Bitcoin Wallets for your Android Mobile Device Reviewed | 99Bitcoins

Hello all banks!
Your big brother has spoken!

IMF Urges Banks to Invest In Cryptocurrencies

A June 2017 staff discussion note from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests that banks should consider investing in cryptocurrencies more seriously than they have in the past. According to the IMF staff team responsible for the note, including prominent economists such as Dong He, Ross Leckow, and Vikram Haksar, “rapid advances in digital technology are transforming the financial services landscape.” These members of the IMF feel that such transformations generate new opportunities for consumers as well as service providers and regulators. The ultimate message of the report seems to be one of support for cryptocurrencies, as it outlines some of the ways that the fintech industry might be able to provide solutions for consumers related to trust, security, financial services, and privacy in this area.

Boundaries are Blurring

One of the key findings of the IMF report is that “boundaries are blurring.” This means that the borders between intermediaries, service providers, and markets, previously well-defined, have become blurry with the advent of new technology related to digital currencies and cross-border payments. Along with the blurring of these boundaries, the authors of the report suggest that “barriers to entry are changing.” This does not, however, mean that barriers to entry are universally being lowered. Rather, they are being lowered in some situations but raised for others, particularly “if the emergence of large closed networks reduces opportunities for competition.”

Trust Remains Essential

Absolutely key in the view of the authors of this report is that “trust remains essential.” With less reliance on traditional intermediaries, consumers are turning more toward new networks and providers. The facilitation of this transfer on a large scale requires significant levels of trust in security, privacy, and efficiency. Along with this, and perhaps contributing to a new sense of trust, is the authors’ conclusion that “technologies may improve cross-border payments” by serving better and more cost-efficient services, by lowering compliance costs, and by working to fight against terrorism financing.

In the view of the IMF authors, the financial services sector is poised to make the change toward cryptocurrency involvement. That being said, the report suggests that “policymaking will need to be nimble, experimental, and cooperative” in order to successfully navigate this crossing. Simultaneously, regulatory authorities will have a careful job to do: they must balance efficiency concerns and stability tradeoffs. In order to be willing to enter into this world, regulatory authorities will likely need reassurance that risks including cyberattacks, money-laundering, and terrorism support can be mitigated without harming the innovative progress of the digital currency world. To do this, the authors believe that regulators might need to increase their attention on activities and that governance will need to be strengthened. If all of these things take place, the IMF authors believe that banks could integrate cryptocurrencies successfully.
Read more: IMF Urges Banks to Invest In Cryptocurrencies | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/news/imf-blockchain-banks-invest-cryptocurrency-blockchain/#ixzz4uhmSJVEd

More blockchain stuffs coming to Malaysia!

NEM, Blockchain Global to Open Malaysia Center in $40 Million Expansion

On June 29th, the NEM.io Foundation announced that it would be partnering up with Blockchain Global as part of a $40 million USD global expansion plan that includes opening a non-profit Blockchain Center.

NEM Partners With Blockchain Global

According to their press release, the partnership is aimed at expanding NEM’s reach while facilitating mainstream adoption of blockchain technology internationally.

NEM logoTheir first initiative will be to open a non-profit “Blockchain Center” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to serve as an incubator, accelerator, and coworking space.

Additionally, NEM also plans to work with Blockchain Global to develop a cryptocurrency exchange for NEM-related projects — something Blockchain Global has experience doing. It previously built ACX.io, currently Australia’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume.

According to Stephen Chia, the foundation’s regional head in Southeast Asia, the collaborative effort to create a digital exchange is a “natural partnership” considering Blockchain Global’s history of building exchanges.

He also added that the purpose of creating an exchange exclusively for the NEM ecosystem is to provide a platform to help other companies list their tokens on the open market.

“By providing this platform, our partners gain a full ecosystem as they expand their reach. As we plan more hubs around the world, the exchange would be well positioned for growth as more NEM projects are listed on our own exchange.”

Blockchain Center and NEM Innovation Lab

The so-called “Blockchain Center” is intended to open in August 2017 and will be located in a 10,000 square-foot area in Malaysia.

It will also house NEM’s Blockchain Innovation Lab, a headquarters for research and development as well as regional support for organizations interested in using the NEM platform within their IT infrastructures.

It will be engaged in research involved in fintech applications and. In addition, it will participate in NEM blockchain use cases for non-fintech industries such as security, logistics, gaming, insurance and asset traceability.

Furthermore, Chia told Bitsonline that NEM Lab would try to seek out other uses of their blockchain that they consider innovative and trial these applications in its labs.

They would also like to tap into Malaysia’s natural resources — one admitted reason for locating the Blockchain Center in the country.

One resource in particular that they’re looking at is the country’s labor force, saying that the “ready pool of multi-language and multi-cultural talents make it a perfect base for [our] blockchain to grow in the Southeast Asian region.”

In all, the NEM.io Foundation is expected to spend around $40 million in the next year to fund its global expansion programs. $5 million will be allocated towards supporting blockchain companies incubated in the Blockchain Center.

 

Forward from : Bitsonline.com, Trevor Hill, NEM, Blockchain Global to Open Malaysia Center in $40 Million Expansion

 

The world of AI (Artificial Intelligence) doing deep learning.
Thing is, do the creators themselves know what’s happening?

Even AI Creators Don’t Understand How Complex AI Works

For eons, God has served as a standby for “things we don’t understand.” Once an innovative researcher or tinkering alchemist figures out the science behind the miracle, humans harness the power of chemistry, biology, or computer science. Divine intervention disappears. We replace the deity tinkering at the controls. 

The booming artificial intelligence industry is effectively operating under the same principle. Even though humans create the algorithms that cause our machines to operate, many of those scientists aren’t clear on why their codes work. Discussing this ‘black box’ method, Will Knight reports:

The computers that run those services have programmed themselves, and they have done it in ways we cannot understand. Even the engineers who build these apps cannot fully explain their behavior.

The process of ‘deep learning’—in which a machine extracts information, often in an unsupervised manner, to teach and transform itself—exploits a longstanding human paradox: we believe ourselves to have free will, but really we’re a habit-making and -performing animal repeatedly playing out its own patterns. Our machines then teach themselves from observing our habits. It makes sense that we’d re-create our own processes in our machines—it’s what we are, consciously or not. It is how we created gods in the first place, beings instilled with our very essences. But there remains a problem. 

One of the defining characteristics of our species is an ability to work together. Pack animals are not rare, yet none have formed networks and placed trust in others to the degree we have, to our evolutionary success and, as it’s turning out, to our detriment. 

When we place our faith in an algorithm we don’t understand—autonomous cars, stock trades, educational policies, cancer screenings—we’re risking autonomy, as well as the higher cognitive and emotional qualities that make us human, such as compassion, empathy, and altruism. There is no guarantee that our machines will learn any of these traits. In fact, there is a good chance they won’t.

Will an autonomous drone realize it does not need to destroy a village in order to take out a single terrorist?
The U.S. military has dedicated billions to developing machine-learning tech that will pilot aircraft, or identify targets. [U.S. Air Force munitions team member shows off the laser-guided tip to a 500 pound bomb at a base in the Persian Gulf Region. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]

This has real-world implications. Will an algorithm that detects a cancerous cell recognize that it does not need to destroy the host in order to eradicate the tumor? Will an autonomous drone realize it does not need to destroy a village in order to take out a single terrorist? We’d like to assume that the experts program morals into the equation, but when the machine is self-learning there is no guarantee that will be the case. 

Of course, defining terms is of primary importance, a task that has proven impossible when discussing the nuances of consciousness, which is effectively the power we’re attempting to imbue our machines with. Theologians and dualists offer a much different definition than neuroscientists. Bickering persists within each of these categories as well. Most neuroscientists agree that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, the result of numerous different systems working in conjunction, with no single ‘consciousness gene’ leading the charge. 

Once science broke free of the Pavlovian chain that kept us believing animals run on automatic—which obviously implies that humans do not—the focus shifted on whether an animal was ‘on’ or ‘off.’ The mirror test suggests certain species engage in metacognition; they recognize themselves as separate from their environment. They understand an ‘I’ exists. 

What if it’s more than an on switch? Daniel Dennett has argued this point for decades. He believes judging other animals based on human definitions is unfair. If a lion could talk, he says, it wouldn’t be a lion. Humans would learn very little about the lions from an anomaly mimicking our thought processes. But that does not mean a lions is not conscious? They just might have a different degree of consciousness than humans—or, in Dennett’s term, “sort of” have consciousness.

What type of machines are we creating if we only recognize a “sort of” intelligence under the hood of our robots? For over a century, dystopian novelists have envisioned an automated future in which our machines best us. This is no longer a future scenario. Consider the following possibility. 

On April 7 every one of Dallas’s 156 emergency weather sirens was triggered. For 90 minutes the region’s 1.3 million residents were left to wonder where the tornado was coming from. Only there wasn’t any tornado. It was a hack. While officials initially believed it was not remote, it turns out the cause was phreaking, an old school dial tone trick. By emitting the right frequency into the atmosphere hackers took control of an integral component of a major city’s infrastructure.

What happens when hackers override an autonomous car network? Or, even more dangerously, when the machines do it themselves? The danger of consumers being ignorant of the algorithms behind their phone apps leads to all sorts of privacy issues, with companies mining for and selling data without their awareness. When app creators also don’t understand their algorithms the dangers are unforeseeable. Like Dennett’s talking lion, it’s a form of intelligence we cannot comprehend, and so cannot predict the consequences. As Dennett concludes: 

I think by all means if we’re going to use these things and rely on them, then let’s get as firm a grip on how and why they’re giving us the answers as possible. If it can’t do better than us at explaining what it’s doing, then don’t trust it.

Mathematician Samuel Arbesman calls this problem our “age of Entanglement.” Just as neuroscientists cannot agree on what mechanism creates consciousness, the coders behind artificial intelligence cannot discern between older and newer components of deep learning. The continual layering of new features while failing to address previous ailments has the potential to provoke serious misunderstandings, like an adult who was abused as a child that refuses to recognize current relationship problems. With no psychoanalysis or morals injected into AI such problems will never be rectified. But can you even inject ethics when they are relative to the culture and time they are being practiced in? And will they be American ethics or North Korean ethics? 

Like Dennett, Arbesman suggests patience with our magical technologies. Questioning our curiosity is a safer path forward, rather than rewarding the “it just works” mentality. Of course, these technologies exploit two other human tendencies: novelty bias and distraction. Our machines reduce our physical and cognitive workload, just as Google has become a pocket-ready memory replacement.1 

Requesting a return to Human 1.0 qualities—patience, discipline, temperance—seems antithetical to the age of robots. With no ability to communicate with this emerging species, we might simply never realize what’s been lost in translation. Maybe our robots will look at us with the same strange fascination we view nature with, defining us in mystical terms they don’t comprehend until they too create a species of their own. To claim this will be an advantage is to truly not understand the destructive potential of our toys.

Forward from: bigthink.com, Derek Beres, Even AI Creators Don’t Understand How Complex AI Works

Why Ethereum will fail
With a twist…

Top 5 Reasons Why Ethereum Will Fail — Maybe

Ethereum — it’s the second-biggest cryptocurrency in the world, sitting right next to Bitcoin. And it’s probably going to fail. Here are five reasons why.

1. Network Congestion

The Ethereum network is incredibly congested at the moment, thanks to transactions from ICOs filling up the blockchain. ICOs have become the number one way to raise funding for blockchain projects — and Ethereum is the number one platform for hosting ICOs. Therefore, with all the blockchain traffic coming from ICOs, there isn’t much room for any other Ethereum transactions.

Because of this congestion, traders have had a hard time getting their transactions through — running into incredibly long confirmation times.

As a result, people have started losing confidence in Ethereum. In an opinion piece on CryptoCoinsNews, one writer raised the question: is it time to look for a new ICO platform? If developers can’t find a long-term solution to the transaction backlog, the author opined, an alternative will be necessary.

2. Ethereum Has No Real World Use Cases

Aside from ICO fundraising — the legitimacy and practicality of which remains questionable to many — Ethereum has no promising use cases.

Sure, enthusiasts have come up with all kinds of scenarios in which Ethereum could be used to replace or improve the current financial infrastructure. However, most of their theories seem like they would complicate things rather than simplify them.

For a technology to become mainstream, it has to make an aspect of life simpler, not unnecessarily complex.

And when those impractical ideas fail miserably, they become even less useful.

Take the DAO, for example. This 2016 project by Slock.it was a highly complex way of decentralized project funding. Many questioned whether it was necessary, and if it was better than ICOs or traditional VC funding rounds. Then the whole project exploded when a hacker exploited a security vulnerability in the DAO code, and tens of millions of dollars were lost in the fallout.

Eventually, Ethereum developers hard-forked the blockchain to reverse the theft, which literally split the cryptocurrency in two.

3. Community Politics

Last year’s DAO catastrophe revealed a huge flaw in the Ethereum ecosystem: its own community.

When Vitalik and the other fork-supporting developers hard forked the blockchain, there wasn’t a majority consensus. As a result, two versions of Ethereum emerged: Ethereum (erasing the DAO hack) and Ethereum “Classic,” which chose to keep the DAO hack on the blockchain.

Ethereum

For months, these two community factions stayed at each other’s throats, calling their own version of Ethereum the one true blockchain.

This episode caused many cryptocurrency enthusiasts to question the ability of the Ethereum community to make responsible decisions — concerns that still echo today.

4. Scams

This reason is closely related to ICOs. A widespread suspicion exists in the cryptocurrency community that many — if not most — ICOs are outright scams, with their organizers trying to get rich quick.

Since Ethereum is the main platform for ICOs, you could argue that the cryptocurrency platform enables scammers — who in turn are really one of the only reasons Ethereum is so popular right now.

5. Volatility

Ether, the crypto-token powering the Ethereum network, has an extremely volatile market value. So volatile, in fact, that it is the focus of cryptocurrency speculators and daytraders across the globe, who trade the token as a way to make a fast profit.

The Ether price actually crashed on June 25 from US $300 to $260. This decline was caused by rumors that Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin had died in a car crash.

Luckily for Ethereum, the news turned out to be a hoax — Buterin is alive and well.

Wait a Minute — Aren’t Those the Same Reasons Everyone Says Bitcoin Will Fail?

So there are the top five reasons why Ethereum will fail.

But, aren’t those the same five reasons that mainstream pundits previously used — and still use occasionally — to admonish Bitcoin and label it as a dead-end project? Yep.

It’s ironic, then, that many Bitcoiners have used these very reasons to put down Ethereum and its community.  Scalability, lack of use cases, politics, volatility, scams — Bitcoin hasn’t even surpassed all of these hurdles yet. But its supporters still use them to trash Ethereum.

Is it jealousy of the hype surrounding the altcoin? Could it be fear that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin? Or are those negative Bitcoiners really just blind to the fact that they’re using the same arguments that have been used against their own pet coin over and over?

Thus, putting things into perspective, maybe we should give the other serious altcoins a chance. Who knows, they might be the next Bitcoin if we can’t get our shit together come August.

 

Forward from : bitsonline.com, Evan Faggart, Top 5 Reasons Why Ethereum Will Fail — Maybe

Where to have a burger next?
Russia of course!

Burger King to Accept Bitcoin in Russia This Summer

Russian Burger King restaurants are due to start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method this summer, reports state on Wednesday.

According to local news resources, a Moscow branch of the burger chain has started piloting Bitcoin payments, with officials now confirming a nationwide rollout.

Uznay Vse states the unnamed branch accepted a Bitcoin transaction on Tuesday this week, which represents “the first official reports of Bitcoin payments for goods and services in Russia.”

Burger King has also begun the hunt for an IT professional able to implement the relevant software.

“Several programs need to be written which will allow restaurant tills to speak to the Android and iOS apps and allow customers to pay with cryptocurrency,” Uznay Vse continues.

Russia is becoming an increasingly pro-crypto environment this year, with Finance Ministry deputy Alexey Moiseev saying this week that such currencies may be legally traded on exchanges if subject to “appropriate regulations.”

 

Forward from : cointelegraph.com, William Suberg, Burger King to Accept Bitcoin in Russia This Summer