A day to remember: 22nd May 2017

What a day
What an event
For Blockchain technology
This is for all of you who love blockchain!

A day to remember: 22nd May 2017
The BrandLaureate Best Brands Award 2016/2017
IT Blockchain Winner:
World Blockchain Foundation
Bitcoin World Tour

When blockchain technology gets mainstream attention.
Jack Liao of Lightning Asic on stage with Bitcoin Ambassador Lee Willson to receive this prestigious Award.
A physical bitcoin was presented as a very valuable souvenir to the organisers as a token of appreciation.

Beating Buffett Series

Investors Alert!

Now not only bitcoin is down, most of the major cyptos are also down, signifying capital withdrawal from the crypto market.
So for those who have been waiting for a good chance to go in, this could be a suitable period.
Transfer your fiat into the exchanges and get ready for some good buys.

For those who are starting to learn about bitcoin
And those who are concerned about important dates
Like birthdays, Christmas, new year, Valentine’s…
Bitcoin does have its very important days to celebrate too

Celebrate bitcoin’s milestones on these holidays

Bitcoin has already begun to radically change how people transact. Wondering how we got to where we are today? Here are a list of bitcoin’s milestones to date that have helped define the ecosystem and build a new financial future for millions across the globe.

Bitcoin’s White Paper – October 31, 2008

Bitcoin’s initial round of exposure to the world was an academic paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Payment System”. Written by an unknown person or persons using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, the paper laid the groundwork for the digital currency and the peer-to-peer decentralized payment network that powers it all. It’s been speculated that Halloween was intentionally chosen as a release date.

The Genesis Block – January 3, 2009

A few months after the release of the White Paper, Satoshi mined the very first bitcoin block, which was the first evidence of activity recorded on the block chain. This activity, referred to as the Genesis Block or Block 0, is commonly celebrated as the other half of bitcoin’s birthdate; the White Paper being the initial half. Both being important milestones, Block 0 represents the genesis of bitcoin in action. The first official bitcoin transaction followed soon after, with cryptographer Hal Finney receiving a total of 10 BTC from Nakamoto on January 12, 2009.

Bitcoinween – October 31, 2014

During 2014’s spooky season, a contest dubbed “Bitcoinween” was organized by our very own Nicolas Cary. The pumpkin carving contest put the spotlight on bitcoin-accepting nonprofits, with Cary donating $500 in bitcoin to the contest winner’s nonprofit of choice. While Bitcoinween was only a one-year event, one thing is clear: bitcoin is an epic transaction medium for nonprofits.

Bitcoin Pizza Day – May 22, 2010


This holiday generates quite a bit of buzz on social media each year. Despite what a quick Google Search might lead newer users to think, this bitcoin milestone didn’t kick off because we’ve got some strange pizza fetish. The truth is that pizza was the first documented purchase of a good with bitcoin.

In May of 2010 user Laszlo posted an offer to pay 10,000 BTC to anyone who would order him two pizzas. At the time, bitcoin was still in its infancy and hadn’t been used for purchasing much of anything. On May 22, Laszlo’s offer was accepted and his bitcoin-for-pizza transaction marked the very beginning of bitcoin’s use potential as an everyday currency. The 10,000 BTC transaction was only worth $41 USD at the time, but now it holds a value of over 20 million dollars.

Fast forward to today, there are plenty of ways to buy yourself a slice of cheesy goodness, like Pizza For Coins, or through gift card e-tailers eGifter or Gyft. Thank you, Laszlo!

The Halving – once every four years

Illustration of a rocket awaiting launch with a countdown and stats on bitcoin's 2016 halving.

Halving is a part of the bitcoin mining process. In short, bitcoin miners are rewarded with bitcoin for each block of transactions they validate. How much they receive is divided in half during the halving, which occurs about once every four years (or once every 210,000 blocks). To date, there have been two halvings. The first was in November 2012, which reduced the reward from 50 to 25 BTC. Last year, gatherings around the globe celebrated the second halving event, which saw it reduced again to 12.5 BTC.

The reward halving makes bitcoin increasingly difficult to mine. As its demand and utility also rises, this creates scarcity, which can have a significant influence on bitcoin’s market value.

And there you have it, a quick and (hopefully) insightful primer on  bitcoin’s milestones that have inspired parties, fundraising efforts, and a worldwide pizza party that’s been happening on the same date for the past 7 years.


Original from: Celebrate bitcoin’s milestones on these holidays, Alyson,

A nice write-up by Mr Arthur Hayes of Bitmex:

In Defence of ICOs

The ICO mania elicits strong emotions from many market participants. Digital currency industry insiders and outsiders heap a constant stream of invective upon the ICO industry. While I believe the majority of ICO issues are worth close to zero, I do not dismiss the importance of this new mode of financing. In fact, I like many, believe the ICO phenomenon is part and parcel of the move to democratise financial services.
Professional Money Managers

The asset management industry comprised of hedge and venture capital (VC) funds began in earnest in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Labor’s victory over capital produced high union membership and demands for pension schemes in the public and private sector. That produced huge pools of investible capital worldwide, and especially in America.

In 1971 Nixon untethered the greenback from gold, and began the government issued fiat money bonanza that is still with us today. Alongside that, advances in technology produced the first commercial mainframes, which transformed financial markets and birthed many of the technology companies still in existence today.

Professional money managers were needed to allocate the vast amount of capital now available. Due to the large amount of dry powder available, VC investors could invest in companies with unproven technology and no operating experience. Traditional banks would never loan to such outfits.

Proliferation of VC funds helped provide funding for most of the technology that we enjoy today. VC funds take an extreme amount of risk, and the successful shops are rewarded with amazing returns on investment.

The vast majority of the world cannot invest in a technology firm before the company goes public. VC funds only take investments from large public or private pension funds, and or very wealthy individuals. The public markets previously were the only place regular individuals could invest. Once a company is public, the risk is lower and so is the return.

A large percentage of the world is financially repressed due to low interest rates. The scramble for yield has pushed valuations to extreme levels for private and public companies. Many small and medium investors want to get in on the VC game, but cannot due to regulations and access. ICOs will change that.
ICO or VC Funding?

Why would a talented team choose to ICO their product over selling equity in their company to a VC?

Speaking from experience, raising money is a full time job that distracts key members of a team from producing a good product. Most VC investors are sheep, which is why most firms lose money. They will only commit capital to fashionable sectors or business models. Career risk prevents most managers from taking bold risks. If you lose money with everyone else, you keep your job. If you lose money alone, you’re out on the street. If your product idea or business model is not sexy, you will not receive funding.

The ICO process is much simpler and generates more publicity for a product. Instead of selling equity in the company producing a piece of technology, the ICO sells an interest in the usage of the product itself.

Your intended user base can now own a piece of the product. That not only incentivises them to use it, but to tell others about it as well. Contrast this to VC funding, which generates a nice blurb on DealBook, but your target consumer is no more incentivised to use or talk about your product.

Because subscription for the ICO and distribution of the tokens is completely automated, it removes the investment banks from the capital raising picture. Investment banks typically charge between 3% to 7% of a traditional IPO’s deal size as a fee. That does not include payments to the hordes of lawyers needed to launch a deal.
Security or Token?

Breaking securities laws in many jurisdictions will land you in pound-me-in-the-ass prison. That is why teams issuing ICOs structure their tokens so they will not be construed as a security.

It is a token because it derives its value strictly from usage natively in an application(s) or protocol. Without properly functioning technology, the token is fairy dust. There is no ownership in the company producing the token, nor any income stream.

By lowering the barriers to obtaining funding, the masses can now participate in early stage and risky technology projects without the need for traditional gatekeepers. No gatekeepers means no fees to underperforming asset managers, banks, and most importantly regulators. Some governments will embrace ICOs, many will staunchly oppose them.

Swiss regulators are becoming relevant again by blessing the token structures of many high profile projects. However, the spineless Swiss turned rat on Americans with supposedly secret bank accounts. If the jealous American regulators start actions against high profile projects blessed in Switzerland, will the Swiss stand up and fight, or kiss the ring like they have in the past?

Teams should polish up on their soap handling skills, for some might spend a few nights in Rikers.
Shitcoin or Supernova?

Armed with a slick website, any two-bit charlatan can seduce money from desperate investors from the comfort of their parent’s basement. Early stage technology projects are inherently extremely risky. There is no proven market or use case for many of the projects coming to market.

The vast majority of tokens are worthless. However, diversification is prudent. If you hit one Ethereum, you can stomach many DAO’s.

The question is how to choose which projects will survive. The need for an expert opinion to help retail investors wade through a sea of shit will be needed. Firms that proport to conduct “research” will begin to produce ratings on projects they deem likely to survive. Many former tech analysts at banks and traditional research houses will transform into ICO analysts.
Hot or Not?

An ICO trader’s time horizon is in a matter of months. If they can get an allocation of the hot deals, they can easily flip them quickly for 50x to 100x returns.

During that time span, it is very difficult to surmise if the project will obtain mass adoption. The success of this strategy depends on a trader’s read on market sentiment, and access to favorable terms on deals.

For those who can’t feel the market well, lengthen your investment time horizon. The gyrations of the price during a less than 1 year time horizon are irrelevant if the technology is actually mass adopted.

Doing actual analysis and engaging in critical thought makes you more of an investor than a trader. Successful investors will hit 10,000x return jackpots over multi-year time frames, that traders would have exited at 100x within a few months.
Insider Trading

Being a successful trader means that you have better information and or access than the majority of the market. The digital token trading markets like traditional forex markets are not regulated, and will struggle to be. Therefore, if you can’t stomach insider trading, then don’t take on short-term positions.

Digital currency influencers and insiders are given discounts or guaranteed allocations so that they will publically lend their name to a project. Sometime exchanges are paid to list certain ICOs on their secondary markets. In other instances, exchange principles acquire a coin OTC, then list it on an exchange they control. Then they dump the shitcoin on unsuspecting newbie traders.

The existence of insider trading does not detract from the usefulness of ICO financing. The digital currency markets are the purest and freest form of trading available today. That is why I love working in this industry.

If insider trading were allowed in all asset classes, price discovery would be continuous. Otherwise the minority that trades using inside information earn above average returns because the plebes are stuck watching Jim Cramer for investment tips.
Onwards and Upwards

Unleashing the power of the 90% of the world’s population that is not served by the traditional financial services industry will be a chaotic experience. There will be booms and busts. The current exuberance borders on manic, but I wouldn’t short it.

The age of the expert is waning. Succeed or fail, adults are making free and clear decisions about how to allocate their precious wealth. If you don’t like it, I hear Bernie Madoff has a nice regulated vehicle open for investment.

After governments and banks
Now the trend has spread into messengers
Very soon more will join this crypto wave
Don’t believe? Just watch this space.

A “Kik” Forward in the Decentralized Chat World

Globally, chat continues to soar in popularity as a means of communication. Founded in 2009, Ontario, Canada based Kik Interactive, Inc., is one of many firms offering a connection to this world. The company is creator of Kik, a platform popular with U.S. teens where individuals can chat with friends and engage with chat-based services.

Recently the company announced the launch of Kin, a cryptocurrency that will serve as a foundation for a decentralized ecosystem of digital services. Kin will be curated as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and will be used on Kik as the primary transaction currency.

Digital services, like chat apps and social platforms, are capturing the world of communication, information, and commerce in new and innovated ways. For future generations, this will be a natural and core aspect of their daily lives. At the same time, growing aspects of these services are controlled by fewer and fewer companies, leading to less innovation and choice. As a result, decentralization is increasingly being seen as a sustainable way forward.

BTCMANAGER reached out to Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik, via email and he had this to say:

“Kik believes that Kin can bring together a broad group of participants to create an open ecosystem of digital services that prioritizes consumer experience and choice. As a leader in the chat space, we want to bring a fair and sustainable model for digital services to the market and fuel an alternative ecosystem for communications, information, and commerce.”

Envisioned as universal cryptocurrency for daily use in our digital lives, Kik believes that its millions of monthly active users will help drive mainstream consumer adoption of Kin, establishing demand and fundamental value for the cryptocurrency. This native integration Kin into the Kik app, positions it to become one of the most adopted and used cryptocurrencies in the world.

Via the Kin Rewards Engine, Kin will be populated into circulation as a daily reward, distributed among stakeholders by an algorithm that reflects each community’s contribution to the overall ecosystem. This foundational structure will create a natural incentive for owners of other digital services to adopt Kin and become partners in the Kin ecosystem. Over time, this Kin Engine will be employed as a fully decentralized system based on smart contract technology.

The Kin Foundation, envisioned as a non-profit governance body for the Kin Ecosystem has also been created. Its mandate is to foster an open network of digital services that consumers can easily embrace and find value in. Moreover, it will offer developers an open and sustainable platform to develop, enhance and monetize those services.

As the Kik project advances, the Kin Foundation will oversee the transition of the Kin Ecosystem to a fully decentralized model that operates with no assistance from Kik or any other entity. As a first step toward open governance, Kik will open source all of its client and server code, and will support others in building comprehensive digital services with integrated transaction economies.

“We believe cryptocurrency is the next important business model innovation in tech,” said Fred Wilson, partner at Union Square Ventures and Kik board member. “Kik will be the first mainstream application to integrate a cryptocurrency. This could be a watershed moment for the blockchain sector.”

Livingston, the aforementioned CEO of Kik, says he started the company with a small group of University of Waterloo students. “At the time, chat between Blackberry, Android and iPhone users was not possible, so we wanted to break down barriers and build a company that would allow users to chat with whoever, whenever. We thought chat would be much bigger than talking to your friends and have had the vision of becoming a chat platform since day one.”

He says that he’s always been interested in new technologies and how they can change the world. This philosophy helped him discover bitcoin in 2011. “Since then, we’ve seen digital services bring together communications, information, and commerce in new ways, and an increasing number of digital services are controlled by a decreasing number of companies. This consolidation can have negative impacts on user choice and privacy, developer monetization, and industry innovation.”

Concludes Livingston:

“The blockchain and related technologies offer the opportunity to create a fair and open ecosystem that supports diverse participation and innovation. Kin, I believe, is a first step to launching a decentralized ecosystem of digital services that’s both open and compelling.”


Original from: A “Kik” Forward in the Decentralized Chat World, Micheal Scott,

It used to be only Bitcoin
But now others are making their presence felt too
Besides Ether there are also DASH, Monero, Zcash, Litecoin, Ripple and ETC, all becoming popular.
Face it, we will be eventually live in a world of crypto currencies.

BitCart Removes “Extremely Problematic” Bitcoin, Enables Dash Only


Irish gift card platform BitCart has announced its decision to disable Bitcoin from its platform and accept Dash orders only. This comes in the wake of extremely slow bitcoin transaction confirmations and settlement speeds, which were “crippling the company’s ability to provide a 24 hour turnaround to its customers.”

BitCart CEO Graham de Barra said: “Dash is by far the best e-commerce token in the world and it completely solves the instant transaction and settlement problems bitcoin currently faces. Since we integrated Dash six weeks ago, we haven’t had a single problem. Dash is so easy to use from both a consumer and merchant perspective and since we disabled bitcoin, demand for BitCart has gone through the roof. Dash can handle incredibly high volume of transactions; in fact there doesn’t seem to be a limit, and every order is seamless.”

In some cases, Bitcoin orders were taking three weeks to verify and settle.

“From a merchant’s point of view, bitcoin is extremely problematic. The backlog is vast and transactions speeds are terribly slow. I had to wait three entire weeks to fill two customer orders, simply waiting on the bitcoin network to clear. Bitcoin as a method of payment on BitCart is simply not sustainable and it’s a nightmare from a merchant point of view; every twenty or so transactions the platform would stop working and we would have to reintegrate the API.”

Dash VP of Business Development Daniel Diaz said: “It’s a very promising sign to see Dash being used more and more for added value applications, especially in the payments space. Confirmation times and fees are very important issues in the industry right now, and Dash offers a much superior user experience than bitcoin. We expected the demand for BitCart to soar once Dash was integrated, and even more so once it became exclusive on the platform. We have a vibrant and growing community with a strong appetite for gift cards, a strong appetite for savings, and a willingness to spend in a timely and cost effective manner.”

Diaz added: “Dash is expanding at a rapid pace as the network promotes itself in ways that are only possible in a self funded decentralized organization. As more and more people learn about Dash, services like Bitcart will grow in popularity and it’s great to see companies in the ecosystem do well as this invites other businesses to also adopt Dash.”

“I love that Dash invests in its own development, and invests in the development of services that use Dash through their unique funding model. Bitcoin has a severe lack of investment into its development and merchant tools, and that’s why we are leaning towards keeping bitcoin disabled on BitCart long term. The community want Dash to be the only thing to be used on Bitcart. It’s in the name, plain and simple, its digital cash, and Dash is king,” de Barra said.


Original from : BitCart Removes “Extremely Problematic” Bitcoin, Enables Dash Only, Avi Mizrahi,

First they say it’s a scam
Then they say it’s risky
Then they advise to stay away

Now they say they want to build a better one

Russia wants to build a better bitcoin

The Central Bank of Russia has plans to introduce a national cryptocurrency of its design, according to Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova.

“Regulators of all countries have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to do a national virtual currency. This is the future. Each country will decide the issue of a specific time and maturity independently,” said Skorobogatova, speaking at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017).

Skorobogatova said testing of a national virtual currency has already taken place on the Masterchain and Hyperledger platforms.

She added that the details of the project could be revealed in two to three years.

While Russian officials have been divided on cryptocurrencies, the technology has been backed by the financial sector, most notably by Herman Gref the head of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank.

During the Forum, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Sergey Shvetsov also said that one of the Russian stock exchanges is planning to allow trading in virtual currencies.

“There is a discussion whether it is a commodity or not,” he told RIA Novosti.

Cryptocurrencies could be recognized in Russia by 2018, said Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev in April. Although he expressed concern about the anonymity of transactions.

“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain,” Moiseev said in an interview, as cited by Bloomberg. “If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations.”


Original from : Russia wants to build a better bitcoin,

Next Russia and China?
Now you know why the price of ethereum is….

Russia and China May Digitize Their Currencies With Ethereum

An increasing number of central banks and governments are working on digitizing their national currencies. China and Russia are investigating the potential of Ethereum as the base protocol for a digital Yuan and Ruble respectively.

Currently, the Royal Chinese Mint, the subordinate unit of China Banknote Printing and Minting, is testing Ethereum and its ERC 20 token standard to digitize the renminbi (RMB) or the Chinese yuan. As ConsenSys’ head of global business development Andrew Keys revealed in his blog post, the Royal Chinese Mint is at the forefront of research and exploration into digital money.

By utilizing the ERC 20 token standard, the Royal Chinese Mint is essentially considering the possibility of releasing unique tokens that are compatible with the Ethereum network; an Ethereum-compatible token would grant higher liquidity and interoperability.

The Royal Chinese Mint is currently “concentrating on the research and exploration of the forefront of digital money, taking part widely in innovation and practice in the fields such as digital currency, mobile finance, smart-city construction and Internet-based finance; it also actively promotes the application of blockchain technology in finance and related fields,” wrote Keys.

Apart from the Chinese government, Russia is also looking into Ethereum and its potential in the finance sector. Although technical specifications and details of the Russian central bank’s national digital currency project remains undisclosed, in 2016, the Bank of Russia announced the development of an Ethereum-based interbank blockchain prototype called Masterchain. Some of the largest commercial banks in Russia participated in the pilot test, and the Bank of Russia’s Deputy Governor recently expressed her optimism toward cryptocurrency.

“Regulators of all countries agree that it’s time to develop national cryptocurrencies, this is the future. Every country will decide on specific time frames. After our pilot projects, we will understand what system we could use in our case for our national currency,” said Olga Skorobogatova at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017, held over June 1-3.

In early 2017, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed that a part of the vision of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is to provide an infrastructure for large-scale commercial companies. As Ethereum evolves into a more flexible and functional network, it would allow central banks such as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and Bank of Russia to consider the actual possibility of building serious applications and even national digital currencies on top of the Ethereum protocol.

As Bloomberg reported, Putin highlighted the potential for blockchain technology to build new business models at the St. Petersburg event, “The digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business models.” Leonid Bershidsky, founding editor of Vedomosti, said that the shift toward Ethereum is part of a drive to capture a competitive advantage ahead of the West, China and Japan, diversifying Russia’s economy away from oil.

It is important to note that the PBoC and its officials have stated that Ethereum is going in the right direction in terms of vision and strategy. The PBoC is also enthusiastic toward the ICO market and intends to regulate the market in the near future.

While expressing his optimistic towards the development of Ethereum, ​Yao Qian, Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Department at the People’s Bank of China, stated:

“You can open a real intelligent business application. Because of this, smart contract technology is in rapid development.”


Original from : Russia and China May Digitize Their Currencies With Ethereum, Joseph Young,

Had wanted to say the same thing.
Am very happy indeed to enter the market in mid to late 2015 when it was just 0.0015 bitcoin per ether.
Today it just flipped close to 100 times at around 0.14btc.
Pure bliss!

Jason Cassidy :

When I introduced some of you to Ethereum last month, the price was $128 USD.

Today, one Ether is worth $347 USD and climbing. This will be one of the most important and thus valuable networks in the World.

It will continue to grow in value over Time, hitting $1000 USD. Happy to say I own a small chunk of this revolutionary network and platform.

Why Ethereum is outpacing Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is currently trading at close to its all-time high, its dominance in terms of proportion of total cryptocurrency market cap is rapidly decreasing — ground largely given up to Ethereum.

This shift is probably being driven by a few factors. Despite its recent appreciation in value, as a technology, Bitcoin has stagnated over the last three years. Two rival factions have emerged with violently opposing views on what should be done to allow the Bitcoin network to handle more transactions than it can right now. While Bitcoin has been paralysed by indecision, Ethereum has raced ahead with technology that not only does everything Bitcoin can do faster, in higher volume, and at lower cost — it does a lot more besides.

As a “hard fork” looms, which looks set to split Bitcoin into two separate currencies that will have to fight for custody of the Bitcoin moniker, anxious Bitcoin holders are increasingly divesting themselves of Bitcoin to acquire Ether — the cryptocurrency that fuels the Ethereum network.

The other side of it is that Bitcoin is really only useful as a store of value. Even then, its usefulness for actually transacting value is limited. In a world where people are used to online payments being confirmed instantly, Bitcoin transactions can take anywhere from tens of minutes to several hours, depending on how busy the network is. It’s also expensive — especially if you’re only sending small amounts. The average transaction currently costs about $1.50.

Ethereum, on the other hand, was never intended as a Bitcoin competitor. Ethereum is actually a platform for new kinds of decentralized (often financial) applications (dApps) that run on a peer-to-peer network of computers. These dApps are designed to disintermediate the kinds of relationships and transactions for which we have traditionally required things like banks, public registries, and the legal system.

For technologists, this is exciting stuff, and a vibrant community of software developers has enthusiastically embraced it. Hundreds of projects, startups, and companies at every scale — including the likes of Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung — are building software using Ethereum. And everyone who wants to use any of these dApps on the public Ethereum blockchain will need to pay a small fee in Ether each time they do so.

The utility of many of these dApps are based on network effects, so Ethereum as the underlying protocol is a network upon which other networks are being built. It is therefore a group-forming network — a much faster growing and more resilient kind of network effect than Bitcoin enjoys. In group-forming networks, even if the utility of individual groups is low, the network effect of all being part of the same underlying network can dominate the overall economics of the system. In other words, the value of the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. That’s particularly interesting in the case of Ethereum as that value is captured within the Ether price.

Platforms requiring network effects are however, famously hard to bootstrap — but here Ethereum has an ace up its sleeve. Token sales, or Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), allow Ethereum projects to sell their own native token to the crowd. A token is a cryptocurrency that has special purpose within the dApp to which it corresponds. The purpose and value of these tokens varies, but what they all share in common is that their sale not only provides funding for the dApp’s development, it also catalyses the creation of a community around the dApp that is financially incentivized to see it succeed. The more successful a dApp becomes, the greater the demand for, and therefore value of, the token required to use it.

TL;DR: Bitcoin’s dominance is slipping because its utility is limited and weakening versus other more recently developed, less politicized cryptocurrencies. Financial markets don’t like uncertainty, and Bitcoin is gearing up for a messy divorce. Ethereum was never intended as a competitor to Bitcoin, it’s something very different. But the value of Ether is underpinned by utility within the kind of group-forming network that tends to grow rapidly when it picks up steam. That’s why its value is increasing faster than Bitcoin, and why many pundits are predicting it will continue to do so long after Bitcoin’s market cap has been exceeded.

Original from : Why Ethereum is outpacing BitcoinJack du Rose is a cofounder of Colony 

Chess playing on blockchain using Artificial Intelligence?
Let’s see how iExec can get it done!

Enabling off-chain artificial intelligence for Ethereum with iExec

What is Artificial Intelligence ?

Artificial Intelligence is commonly understood as the capacity for a machine or a system to mimic a human-like intelligence through cognitive processes like “learning” and “problem solving”. In the field of computing, the technologies closest to this paradigm are machine learning and deep learning. However, more generally, AI represents the ability of a system to act with “intelligence”, that is to present a logic of resolution relatively complex and high-level to a problem in order to achieve a specific objective. Such a definition allows to integrate many other technologies that belong to the field of Artificial Intelligence, including voice recognition, natural language generation, virtual agents, biometrics and decision management. If you’re interested in AI, we recommend to read up the posts about demystifying AI by Ben Dickson.

Ethereum limitations for Artificial Intelligence

The blockchain responds efficiently to the problematics of “trusted third party” and transaction security but what about performance?

Ethereum through its smart contracts enables execution of programs on its blockchain. Solidity, the language to develop smart contracts is Turing-Complete, that is to say is able to describe any algorithm that would run on a computer. Knowing that, we may want to deploy any program or game on the blockchain. However, because the Ethereum virtual machine has limited computing capabilities, the execution of demanding processing cannot be accomplished.

Let’s take as an example a chess game. Among other things, the game needs some logic control to detect if a move is valid or not and whether a game is over or not. Even detecting the checkmate or stalemate for every move is very costly, and cannot be computed on chain. It requires too much processing to be provided by the blockchain. This blog post explains the problem very accurately.

The solution to benefit from the advantages of the blockchain while still using demanding programs is to use an hybrid solution by deporting the program execution, requiring processing power and memory the blockchain can’t provide, off-chain. In other words, the costly tasks would run on an infrastructure dissociated from the Ethereum blockchain but interacting with it and using it as the reliable canal of communication between a client and the program. That’s what iExec offers.


Stockfish is a chess engine based on Glaurung, another open source chess engine created by Tord Romstadis and released on 2004, and is considered to be one of the strongest free chess engines available today. We have deployed Stockfish on iExec infrastructure allowing interaction with it through a smart contract. The smart contract stores the game for each player but doesn’t achieve any chess processing. It simply allows communication between a client and the chess engine.


To play with Stockfish, you have two options :

  • using the dedicated web front-end
  • using Browser solidity

With the front-end

The dedicated front-end is available at

It includes a text box where you can write your moves and three buttons from left to right allowing to perform respectively the submission of a move, canceling the last moves both of the player and Stockfish engine, and starting a new game. The format used to describe the moves is long algebraic (e.g. “a2a4” means move the piece from “a2” to “a4”). Moreover, the player can only move the whites because he’s the only one currently able to initiate a game. Don’t undo a move if the chess engine hasn’t played because it would corrupt the game. When a transaction is sent, all the buttons are grayed out but if, for a reason or another, you reload the page before Stockfish has played its move the buttons will be clickable again.

With Browser Solidity

Browser Solidity is available at

The first thing to do is writing the contract in the console. You just have to copy/paste the code of the smart contract available at

Now you need to instantiate the contract. You can achieve it through the right panel clicking on the green button “At Address” underneath Stockfish. A popup should appear asking for an address and you must provide the address of the smart contract which is 0x91c545a43d09a8f6ea88320b13f26666f8109459

Be sure to choose ropsten when selecting the network.

Now you can play with Stockfish using the buttons getResult, undoMove, flushGame and setParam. They respectively allows you to get the result on the smart contract, undo your last move, start a new game and submit a new move. Be careful again not undoing your last move while Stockfish hasn’t played for the same reasons explained in the web front-end part. To use setParam, you should write between single quotes.

We would love to get your feedbacks and comments in our Slack #beta-testers channel.

Click here for more : Enabling off-chain artificial intelligence for Ethereum with iExec,  Jorge Pires Couto