The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names

Although the term blockchain might sound like a torture device, you might know it from another source: Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is the foundation and principal innovation of bitcoin, the dark web’s infamous cryptocurrency. Blockchain is also the foundation of Ethereum, which some see as a successor to bitcoin.

So this quick decoding not only reveals that The DAO is a venture capital fund that tracks its money via a blockchain technology — a database — named Ethereum. It also shows how the meanings of these three names are at best confounding and at worst unnerving, evoking big government, immateriality and darkness both individually and as a group.

Source: The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names. – Recode

AVC: The Golden Age Of Open Protocols

screen-shot-2016-02-24-at-10-42-13-am-728x369Open protocols are at the heart of many of the most important systems that we have. The Internet works because of TCP/IP. The web works because of HTTP. Email works because of SMTP. These are open systems that developers can build applications on top of. There are plenty of proprietary protocols out there too. But proprietary protocols tend to lock in users and drive value to the owners of the proprietary protocol, like Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.

One of the problems we have had in tech is that there aren’t large monetary incentives to create and sustain open protocols. If they are open they cannot be easily monetized by traditional means. However, that is changing with the emergence of blockchain technology and crypto-tokens.

Source: The Golden Age Of Open Protocols – AVC

Breaking: “Pause Ether, DAO Trading”, Ethereum Founder Buterin Tells Exchanges 

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has asked digital currency exchanges to “pause” ether and DAO activity following a hack of the DAO smart contract address.

The ongoing hack and possible theft, deemed as an “attack” on the DAO by Vitalik Buterin, has the co-founder of Ethereum issue a plea seeking digital currency exchanges to pause ether (ETH) and DAO transactions.

Source: Breaking: “Pause Ether, DAO Trading”, Ethereum Founder Buterin Tells Exchanges – CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News

The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum

Over the last two years, as Ethereum has evolved from concept to code, so too has the mystery surrounding Buterin. The resounding chorus of the people working on Ethereum is that he is to be admired and adored, and they are more than willing to contribute to Buterin’s colorful, often hilarious hagiography. I’ve been told by various people that Buterin learned to speak fluent Mandarin in just a few months, that he’s an autistic wunderkind, that all of his worldly possessions fit into one suitcase, that he once ate an entire lemon without removing the rind, that he’s an android powered by the Ethereum network.

Even those who have worked closely with Buterin seem mystified by him, as though this person is meant to be observed but not really understood.

Source: The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum — Backchannel

Blockchain’s big opportunity for lawyers

Technology lawyers say the growth of Ethereum, a public blockchain platform upstaging Bitcoin, could change how lawyers operate and force them to widen the breadth of their skills. But blockchain’s distributed ledger system also offers infinite opportunities for growth in an industry seeking stimulus.

Ethereum’s key attraction is its ability to go beyond virtual currency to facilitate transactions and binding financial agreements or smart contracts purely using applications and without the need for human intermediaries.

Source: Blockchain’s big opportunity for lawyers |

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to add ether currency to trading platform | Reuters

The addition of ether comes given the surge in interest in the digital asset among major financial institutions such as Barclays and UBS as well as other enterprises worldwide like IBM, which are trying to explore the Ethereum network.

Ether is the digital currency for the Ethereum platform, a blockchain, or public ledger that can create decentralized applications. Ethereum, which uses ether to execute peer-to-peer contracts automatically without the need for intermediaries, was co-founded and invented by 22-year old Russian Canadian programer Vitalik Buterin.

Source: Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to add ether currency to trading platform | Reuters

Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, eBay: How Blockchain Can Break Data Monopolists

Blockchains can be extended beyond the database paradigm towards a general application platform. These platforms work very differently. For example, they have shared virtualized databases, micropayments and consensus mechanisms, from common on-premise or on-cloud platforms that they have the potential to re-implement the named examples while not allowing one party to monopolize the platform.

The main Blockchains like Bitcoin are an example for a distributed autonomous organization. These are organizations centered around code as their ‘constitution’ and have as its main players users, developers, miners (those that render the infrastructure) and evangelists.

Source: Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, eBay: How Blockchain Can Break Data Monopolists

Looking To Integrate Blockchain Into Your Business? Here’s How 

Companies in financial services, healthcare, energy and other industries are sprinting to begin adopting blockchain — the technology behind Bitcoin that promises to improve efficiency in numerous processes, plus create new business opportunities. But many are doing so simply because of fear of missing out, without a clear understanding of how it can be useful and when it should be applied.

As executives scramble to educate themselves while also leading their companies into what many acknowledge will be a blockchain future, one place to start could be “The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and the Application of the Next Internet Technology,” (Wiley, April 26, 2016) by William Mougayar, a venture capitalist at Virtual Capital Ventures and advisor to some of the more well-known blockchain organizations such as the Ethereum Foundation, which supports the development of a Bitcoin competitor, and peer-to-peer marketplace OpenBazaar.

Source: Looking To Integrate Blockchain Into Your Business? Here’s How – Forbes

For Blockchain VCs, the Time for Ethereum Investments Has Come

Just a few months after the platform’s production launch, the first Ethereum startups are already receiving interest, and in some cases, undisclosed investments, from digital currency-focused VC firms.

Interviews with four of the leading blockchain and digital currency industry investors revealed that many are already performing due diligence on startups utilizing the decentralized application platform. Announced in 2014, Ethereum has gained significant traction of late following a successful hard fork and testing from major financial institutions.

Source: CoinDesk

Microsoft Adds Ethereum to Windows Platform For Over 3 Million Developers

Millions of Microsoft developers are now able to build decentralized applications using the Ethereum blockchain thanks to a collaboration between the software giant and ConsenSys, announced today.

By building Ethereum’s Solidity programming language for writing smart contracts directly into Mircosoft’s Visual Studio platform, developers will be able to build, test and deploy decentralized applications, or dapps, within an integrated environment they already know how to use.But don’t think this is a money play for either ConsenSys, or Microsoft, at least not yet.

Source: CoinDesk

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