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Blockchain Startups Take Aim at Counterfeiting of Luxury Products

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

This post is by Krystle Vermes​.

The cryptocurrency industry has delivered new technology to the world of luxury commerce, and it’s helping weed out the fakes.

It may seem like a frivolous concern, but counterfeit goods are big business. Stopping them is a significant business cost for manufacturers of the real thing. And for consumers who pride themselves on owning luxury goods, getting the real thing is essential to a way of life.

That's where Bitcoin comes in.

“By linking digital certificates to purchased goods, we are able to provide a much higher degree of confidence to buyers, especially when purchasing from online or second-hand retailers,” says Guy Halford-Thompson, founder of Blockchain Tech Ltd.

The company uses blockchain technology to create a secure registry, tracking who owns designer products. In turn, the database has everything a consumer needs to determine whether the product in hand is actually what it’s supposed to be.

With blockchain technology, individuals can track the entire journey of the item from assembly to vendor.

“While some consumers may be looking to purchase more affordable 'look-alikes,’ the concern comes from consumers who are looking to purchase genuine items, but because of the advances in manufacturing processes, it can be very difficult to distinguish between real and look-alike,” Halford-Thompson continued. “This is not a large concern when purchasing from known high-street stores, but it becomes a huge issue when consumers are looking to purchase new or second-hand items off online marketplaces.”

Although obtaining luxury goods is seemingly easier than ever before thanks to the Internet, not every seller is playing by the rules. Halford-Thompson says that watches, handbags and sunglasses are the most counterfeited items he’s seen on the market. However, he has confidence in blockchain and “smart tagging.”

“Smart tagging will provide consumers with a better brand experience, and a higher degree of confidence in the items they are buying,” Halford-Thompson adds.

And he isn’t the only one who feels this way.

“In five years, encrypted chips will be in all of your luxury consumer goods,” says Ryan Orr, CEO of Chronicled. “It’s not ‘if,’ but ‘when.’”

Similar to Blockchain Tech Ltd., Chronicled is a company that uses smart tags to track authentic sneakers that hit the market. With the Chronicled mobile app, shoe shoppers can scan the smart tag of the product and get all of the information about its authenticity in a matter of seconds.

As of right now, Orr claims that Air Jordan 11s and Yeezys are the most commonly counterfeited shoes. He adds, however, that his company is raising the stakes for counterfeiters by providing even more security to consumers.

“By combining blockchain technology and smart tags, undetectable forgery becomes impossible, and wearing fakes becomes socially risky,” Orr said.

But is doing the “uncool” thing by counterfeiting goods going to be enough to persuade people to stop? In the end, the answer may be “yes” for a majority of consumers.

“Trusted sneaker sellers earn at least a 20 percent premium, and it’s not just the ‘buy’ side of the transaction that affects consumers,” Orr points out. “Most of us don’t even consider trying to sell our authentic used luxury goods on the Internet because we know we won’t get fair value.”

However, there’s no doubt that counterfeiters are getting better.

“Wait until they start 3-D printing,” Orr warns.

Counterfeiters might always have a new trick, but blockchain technology will now be chasing the bad guys. Maybe, in the foreseeable future, it can even get ahead of them.

The post Blockchain Startups Take Aim at Counterfeiting of Luxury Products appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Price In Narrowing Trading Range

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin price continues drawing sideways in a narrowing range. Will it return to decline? This analysis is provided by xbt.social with a 3-hour delay. Read the full analysis here. Not a member? Join now and receive a $29 discount using the code CCN29. Bitcoin Price Analysis Time of analysis: 15h30 UTC BTCC 1-Hour Chart From […]

The post Bitcoin Price In Narrowing Trading Range appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

US Bankruptcy Court Set to Weigh In on Bitcoin's Currency Status

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A California bankruptcy court is set to weigh in on when or if bitcoin should be considered a currency in a dispute over a HashFast payment.

Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Blockchain Project Announces New Members and Governance Structure

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

In December Bitcoin Magazine reported that a group of top tech and finance companies are joining forces with the Linux Foundation to develop a new open source blockchain separated from the Bitcoin blockchain. Digital Asset Holdings, the fintech startup headed by the financial superstar Blythe Masters, contributed its Hyperledger mark.

Last week, IBM started to reveal some details of its blockchain projects and strategy. John Wolpert, IBM’s blockchain offering director, said that Hyperledger code will become an open source industry standard, and developers will be able to build applications on top of Hyperledger. At the forthcoming Block Chain Conference on February 10 in San Francisco, Wolpert will give a keynote presentation titled “How to Make Block Chain Real for Business.” The address will focus on IBM’s point of view in this space and its contribution to the open source community led by the Linux Foundation.

Things are moving fast in the Hyperledger space. The Linux Foundation is announcing new members from across the industry, technical updates to the new Hyperledger Project and a formal open governance structure. “Think of it as an operating system for interactions,” says the new Hyperledger Project website. “It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of getting things done.

“The Hyperledger Project has ramped up incredibly fast, a testament to how much pent-up interest, potential and enterprise demand there is for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “Working on its own, even the largest global corporation could not match the speed at which our new members are moving blockchain technology forward. Such a broad effort and investment is sure to have a great impact on our personal and professional lives.”

A board of directors will guide business/marketing decisions and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members of the Hyperledger Project. Technical contributions to the project are welcome at any time, from anyone, and will be reviewed by the newly formed Technical Steering Committee (TSC), which is composed of industry-leading technical experts. Nominations are currently open for TSC members.

The announcement notes that the Hyperledger Project is a collaborative effort to focus on an open platform that will satisfy a variety of use cases across multiple industries to streamline business processes. Peer-to-peer in nature, distributed ledger technology is shared, transparent and decentralized, making it ideal for application in finance and countless other areas such as manufacturing, banking, insurance and the Internet of Things (IoT). “By creating a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers, virtually any digital exchange with value, such as real estate contracts, energy trades or marriage licenses, can securely and cost-effectively be tracked and traded,” says the Linux Foundation.

The Hyperledger Project has received proposed contributions from several companies, including Blockstream, Digital Asset, IBM and Ripple. Other community members are contemplating contributions of their own.

“The formation of Hyperledger marks a milestone in the advancement of distributed ledger technology,” said Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters. “Digital Asset believes that it is vital for shared infrastructure to be open to critical inspection and collaboration, and this initiative will be pivotal in driving the global adoption of solutions to real-world problems.”

The updated list of Hyperledger founding members consists of 28 top companies in the technology and financial services space: ABN AMRO, Accenture, ANZ Bank, Blockchain, Calastone, Cisco, CLS, CME Group, ConsenSys, Credits, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, Digital Asset Holdings, Fujitsu Limited, Guardtime, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, J.P. Morgan, NEC, NTT DATA, R3, Red Hat, State Street, SWIFT, Symbiont, VMware and Wells Fargo.

“The development of blockchain technology has the potential to redefine the operations and economics of the financial services industry,” said Richard Lumb, chief executive of Accenture’s Financial Services. “It emerges at an important time, as the industry strives to be leaner, more efficient and more digital. Open source development will accelerate the innovation and help drive the scalability of this technology, and we are proud to support the Hyperledger Project.”

Other statements by Hyperledger founding members focus on the non-banking applications of blockchain technology.

“We at Fujitsu are confident that blockchain technology will accelerate disruptive change, not only in the financial industry, but also in many other industries where it will be put to active use,” said Fujitsu Senior Vice President Takahito Tokita.

“We believe blockchain will quickly mature and spread to more industries,” said Masayoshi Ogawa, President of Hitach’s Financial Information Systems Division.

Other statements are available in the Linux Foundation press release. It appears that the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project is moving very fast and is on its way to become a leading force in the blockchain technology development space.

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation wants to be the organization of choice for the world's top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption.

Photo Drupal Association / Flickr(CC)

The post Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Blockchain Project Announces New Members and Governance Structure appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Blockchain Project Announces New Members and Governance Structure

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

In December Bitcoin Magazine reported that a group of top tech and finance companies are joining forces with the Linux Foundation to develop a new open source blockchain separated from the Bitcoin blockchain. Digital Asset Holdings, the fintech startup headed by the financial superstar Blythe Masters, contributed its Hyperledger mark.

Last week, IBM started to reveal some details of its blockchain projects and strategy. John Wolpert, IBM’s blockchain offering director, said that Hyperledger code will become an open source industry standard, and developers will be able to build applications on top of Hyperledger. At the forthcoming Block Chain Conference on February 10 in San Francisco, Wolpert will give a keynote presentation titled “How to Make Block Chain Real for Business.” The address will focus on IBM’s point of view in this space and its contribution to the open source community led by the Linux Foundation.

Things are moving fast in the Hyperledger space. The Linux Foundation is announcing new members from across the industry, technical updates to the new Hyperledger Project and a formal open governance structure. “Think of it as an operating system for interactions,” says the new Hyperledger Project website. “It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of getting things done.

“The Hyperledger Project has ramped up incredibly fast, a testament to how much pent-up interest, potential and enterprise demand there is for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “Working on its own, even the largest global corporation could not match the speed at which our new members are moving blockchain technology forward. Such a broad effort and investment is sure to have a great impact on our personal and professional lives.”

A board of directors will guide business/marketing decisions and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members of the Hyperledger Project. Technical contributions to the project are welcome at any time, from anyone, and will be reviewed by the newly formed Technical Steering Committee (TSC), which is composed of industry-leading technical experts. Nominations are currently open for TSC members.

The announcement notes that the Hyperledger Project is a collaborative effort to focus on an open platform that will satisfy a variety of use cases across multiple industries to streamline business processes. Peer-to-peer in nature, distributed ledger technology is shared, transparent and decentralized, making it ideal for application in finance and countless other areas such as manufacturing, banking, insurance and the Internet of Things (IoT). “By creating a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers, virtually any digital exchange with value, such as real estate contracts, energy trades or marriage licenses, can securely and cost-effectively be tracked and traded,” says the Linux Foundation.

The Hyperledger Project has received proposed contributions from several companies, including Blockstream, Digital Asset, IBM and Ripple. Other community members are contemplating contributions of their own.

“The formation of Hyperledger marks a milestone in the advancement of distributed ledger technology,” said Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters. “Digital Asset believes that it is vital for shared infrastructure to be open to critical inspection and collaboration, and this initiative will be pivotal in driving the global adoption of solutions to real-world problems.”

The updated list of Hyperledger founding members consists of 28 top companies in the technology and financial services space: ABN AMRO, Accenture, ANZ Bank, Blockchain, Calastone, Cisco, CLS, CME Group, ConsenSys, Credits, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, Digital Asset Holdings, Fujitsu Limited, Guardtime, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, J.P. Morgan, NEC, NTT DATA, R3, Red Hat, State Street, SWIFT, Symbiont, VMware and Wells Fargo.

“The development of blockchain technology has the potential to redefine the operations and economics of the financial services industry,” said Richard Lumb, chief executive of Accenture’s Financial Services. “It emerges at an important time, as the industry strives to be leaner, more efficient and more digital. Open source development will accelerate the innovation and help drive the scalability of this technology, and we are proud to support the Hyperledger Project.”

Other statements by Hyperledger founding members focus on the non-banking applications of blockchain technology.

“We at Fujitsu are confident that blockchain technology will accelerate disruptive change, not only in the financial industry, but also in many other industries where it will be put to active use,” said Fujitsu Senior Vice President Takahito Tokita.

“We believe blockchain will quickly mature and spread to more industries,” said Masayoshi Ogawa, President of Hitach’s Financial Information Systems Division.

Other statements are available in the Linux Foundation press release. It appears that the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project is moving very fast and is on its way to become a leading force in the blockchain technology development space.

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation wants to be the organization of choice for the world's top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption.

Photo Drupal Association / Flickr(CC)

The post Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Blockchain Project Announces New Members and Governance Structure appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Blockchain Project Reveals Code Proposals & New Members

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The Hyperledger Project, an open-source blockchain working group overseen by the Linux Foundation has announced several new updates in a press release today. They include the announcement of 30 founding members, code proposals from several participating companies, a new technical committee to oversee the group’s technical direction and a new open governance structure, fitting that […]

The post Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Blockchain Project Reveals Code Proposals & New Members appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Business Schools Partner With Citi, MasterCard In Digital Currency Frenzy

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Imperial College Business School in London has teamed with Citigroup Inc. to explore digital currencies, following similar partnerships between other schools and MasterCard and Santander, according to BusinessBecause, a news site for business schools. Imperial College is among those teaching MBAs about cryptocurrency and has also announced the opening of a center for global finance […]

The post Business Schools Partner With Citi, MasterCard In Digital Currency Frenzy appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Chilean Bitcoin Exchange SurBTC Secures $300,000 Investment, Will Address Remittance Market

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

SurBTC.com, Chile’s largest bitcoin exchange, recently secured a $300,000 USD investment which will allow the company to improve its customer experience and serve the remittance market in addition to other services, the company announced. The investors include Digital Currency Group (DCG), which has funded more than 60 bitcoin companies in 25 countries. The new investment, which complements […]

The post Chilean Bitcoin Exchange SurBTC Secures $300,000 Investment, Will Address Remittance Market appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Group Delays Stock Exchange Float for the Sixth Time

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Australian bitcoin miner Bitcoin Group has delayed its public float on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), yet again. The revelation comes soon after a disappointing IPO that fell well short of the miner’s expectations. Melbourne-based mining firm Bitcoin Group has now revealed another delay in its intention to float its stock in the open market […]

The post Bitcoin Group Delays Stock Exchange Float for the Sixth Time appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Tendermint to Unveil UI, Demo First Blockchain Apps

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Press Release: Vancouver, B.C. — Attendees of the San Francisco Block Chain Conference at Mission Bay Conference Center will be witness to the unveiling of a blockchain-building architecture modelled for the world of enterprise software development. San Francisco-based Tendermint is behind a novel architecture allowing for the creation of blockchain technologies through a simple and […]

The post Tendermint to Unveil UI, Demo First Blockchain Apps appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Leak: Valve Is Bringing Bitcoin Payments to Steam

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

   New translation strings in Steam’s Translation Server – a project to localize Steam in 26 languages –  suggest that game developer and digital distributor Valve will soon begin to offer bitcoin as a payment option to the world’s biggest PC gaming distributor and store, Steam. A leaked string from Steam’s translation project has revealed […]

The post Leak: Valve Is Bringing Bitcoin Payments to Steam appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

BitHope Leverages Bitcoin For Non-Profit Donations

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin, by its very nature, carries an association with wealth for private gain. Vladislav Dramaliev, founder and director of BitHope.org, wants to remind people that bitcoin has an equally important role raising money for non-profit organizations. And judging from the response to the website in a few months, a lot of people agree with him. The […]

The post BitHope Leverages Bitcoin For Non-Profit Donations appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

The Rise of User-Monetized Actions: Bitcoin's Killer Application

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

This article is an op-ed by Andrew DeSantis and the views expressed are those of the author.

On January 9th, 2007 the world as we know know it was forever changed. Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs, took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and introduced the world to the iPhone.

Nine years later, many have trouble remembering what life was like before the rise of mobile. The average smartphone today is more than one million times smaller, one million times more affordable and one thousand times more powerful than a $60 million supercomputer was 40 years ago. As a result of successive radical innovation, we have truly changed the world, but more importantly the world has forever changed us.

In 1998, when asked what keeps him up at night, Bill Gates had a surprising answer. As the CEO of Microsoft, one might have expected him to say Apple, Oracle, or even Netscape. Instead he stated: “I worry about someone in a garage inventing something that I haven’t thought of.” Unbeknownst to Gates, at that very moment Larry Page and Sergey Brin were hard at work in a garage in Menlo Park. The fruit of their labor would go on to become Google.

Gates, like many of us, has accepted that change, particularly technological change, is one of the few constants in life and even the smartest among us can be caught be caught by surprise.

On January 3rd, 2009, less than two years after Jobs unveiled the iPhone, Satoshi Nakamoto sent an email to the renowned “Cryptography Mailing List” titled “Bitcoin v0.1 released.” The email contained a SourceForge link to the first bitcoin reference client and the following statement:

“Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double spending. It’s completely decentralized with no server of central authority”

Nakamoto then went on to give a brief summary of Bitcoin’s implementation and explicitly add a disclaimer stating that the included software was still alpha and experimental.

When Jobs introduced the iPhone he had the attention of the entire tech world. Everyone knew the device would be a game changer, but no one could have predicted that five years later the iPhone would catalyze the creation of a ride hailing application called Uber. Today Uber has an estimated worth of $62.5 billion, higher than that of car markets GM, Ford and Honda, and could very well go on to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

Nakamoto’s announcement on the other hand went relatively unnoticed by the public, but a handful of dreamers immediately realized the ramifications of Satoshi’s vision. The first to respond to Nakamoto’s email was cypherpunk legend Hal Finney. Three days later on January 12, Nakamoto executed the first Bitcoin transaction, in block 170, sending 50 bitcoins to Finney.

In May of 2010 roughly a year and a half after Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined by Nakamoto, two members of the BitcoinTalk community forum executed the first real-world purchase. 10,000 BTC for a $25 pizza. Five and a half years have since passed and with a near six-billion dollar market capitalization it is safe to say that Bitcoin come a long way, but there is still a ways to go.

Bitcoin Today

Since 2013 the Bitcoin industry has somewhat operated in stealth mode. Companies like 21 Inc, BitGo and Blockstream have been hard at work in collaboration with the Bitcoin Core developers to ready Bitcoin for the next and brightest stage of its life thus far. In the words of software legend Joel Spolsky, “Good software takes 10 years. Get used to it.”

21 Inc’s CEO, Dr. Balaji S. Srinivasan stated the following in a lecture at Stanford University prior to founding 21:

“A good founder is capable of anticipating which turns lead to treasure and which lead to certain death. A bad founder is just running to the entrance of (say) the ‘movies/music/filesharing/P2P’ maze or the ‘photo sharing’ maze without any sense for the history of the industry, the players in the maze, the casualties of the past, and the technologies that are likely to move walls and changes assumptions.”

So what about Bitcoin is likely to “move walls” and “change assumption?” While user-monetizable data is of significant importance to Bitcoin’s future, the concept of “user-monetizable actions” is of far greater importance.

The DARPA Network Challenge

At 10 a.m. EST on December 5th, 2009 (this date was picked to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Internet) the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), known for creating the ARPANET, a precursor to the Internet and contributing to the onion protocol used by the Tor network, launched 10 red balloons in undisclosed locations across the continental United States. A month earlier DARPA proposed an open challenge to teams across the nation. The first team to locate all 10 balloons and report their findings to DARPA would receive a $40,000 reward. What happened next exceeded the researchers wildest expectations.

Less than nine hours after DARPA launched the balloons a team from MIT won the competition. How did they do it? By embracing the concept of user-monetizable actions.

In 2005, Jon Kleinberg of the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University and Prabhakar Raghaven of Yahoo! Research published a paper titled “Query Incentive Networks.” In it they write:

“The concurrent growth of online communities exhibiting large-scale social structure, and of large decentralized peer-to-peer file-sharing systems, has stimulated new interest in understanding networks of interacting agents as economic systems. Here we formulate a model for query incentive networks, motivated by such systems: users seeking information or services can pose queries, together with incentives for answering them, that are propagated along paths in a network. This type of information-seeking process can be formulated as a game among the nodes in the network, and this game has a natural Nash equilibrium. In such systems, it is a fundamental question to understand how much incentive is needed in order for a node to achieve a reasonable probability of obtaining an answer to a query from the network.”

Building off the ideas presented in Kleinburg and Raghavan’s research, the team from MIT came up with the following strategy:

“We’re giving $2000 per balloon to the first person to send us the correct coordinates, but that's not all -- we're also giving $1000 to the person who invited them. Then we’re giving $500 whoever invited the inviter, and $250 to whoever invited them, and so on.

"It might play out like this. Alice joins the team, and we give her an invite link like http://balloon.media.mit.edu/alice. Alice then e-mails her link to Bob, who uses it to join the team as well. We make a http://balloon.media.mit.edu/bob link for Bob, who posts it to Facebook. His friend Carol sees it, signs up, then twitters about http://balloon.media.mit.edu/carol. Dave uses Carol’s link to join … then spots one of the DARPA balloons! Dave is the first person to report the balloon’s location to us, and the MIT Red Balloon Challenge Team is the first to find all 10. Once that happens, we send Dave $2000 for finding the balloon. Carol gets $1000 for inviting Dave, Bob gets $500 for inviting Carol, and Alice gets $250 for inviting Bob. The remaining $250 is donated to charity.”

In essence the MIT team designed a recursive algorithm executed by willing participants by redistributing the prize money to the participants in such a way that a power incentive structure came to life.

While the MIT team’s accomplishment is significant, particularly from the perspective of academia, it wasn’t the only major insight derived from the DARPA Network Challenge. Hacker George Hotz, known as geohot, in 2007 was the first person to carrier-unlock an iPhone. Hotz later went on to jailbreak Sony’s PlayStation 3. Hotz recently made headlines when he and a writer from Bloomberg Businessweek took a drive around the San Francisco Bay area in a self-driving car he built alone in just a month. An hour prior to the start of the DARPA Network Challenge, Hotz tweeted to his then roughly 50,000 followers asking for their assistance in locating the balloons. Through his network Hotz located four ballons, he was then able to trade information with other teams ultimately bringing his balloon count to eight.

The approach taken by the MIT team displays the raw power that a properly designed algorithm can have outside as well as inside the confines of Silicon. Hotz’s approach, on the other hand, allows us to contrast the academic perspective with that of a single hacker wielding influence over a network of individuals.

If one combines the two approaches, by using Bitcoin to send microtransactions to their own network of followers, what you end up with is a variant of Kleinberg and Raghavan’s Query Incentive Network model that allows one to execute MapReduce-like operations over a large network of willing participants.

End-User Monetization

We can change our perspective, yet again, and view things through the eyes of an end user performing tasks on behalf of another individual. While this sounds like a new concept it really isn’t. Celebrities have monetized their actions on Twitter and Facebook for years. The musician Jared Leto and socialite Kim Kardashian have reportedly received payments as high as $13,000 per tweet for promoting products that fall in line with their personal brand.

Until now, it hasn’t financially made sense for a user with a few thousand followers to receive payments for endorsements. Additionally, most celebrities tend to rely on agents who cut deals with sponsors on their behalf. Even if the average user put in the effort to build a network of sponsors, it is highly unlikely that a sponsor would want to deal with a user who’s follower count is below 100,000. As with most scenarios that rely on the ability to perform microtransactions, the pre-bitcoin banking system isn’t designed to handle small, fast, and international transactions.

Earlier this week Srinivasan presented his thoughts on the future of user-monetizable actions. After presenting scenarios such as the Twitter covered above and derivatives such as a Bitcoin-based, decentralized version of Fiverr, he left two questions to ponder:

  • What would life be like if even while you were asleep an autonomous agent handled requests that earned Bitcoin on your behalf?
  • What would you do with your own personal army of willing, waiting, able and ready individuals?

Final Thoughts

The Bitcoin Engineering class at Stanford University has gone tremendously well. Likely because a majority of the students enrolled in the course have little to no previous knowledge about Bitcoin, they will be able to leverage the abstractions provided by the 21 Bitcoin Computer’s two1 Python3 library and quickly rhapsodize applications into existence without the burden of knowledge (fatigue) many of us have accumulated over the years.

A computer science student named Axel Ericsson hacked together his own tunneling protocol allowing him to securely communicate with his 21 Bitcoin Computer from a web browser. While a future release of the two1 library will likely support browser-to-machine BitTransfers triggered by 402 requests, today the 21 Bitcoin Computer is being used for machine-to-machine transactions. Most likely, Axel executed one of the world’s first 402 request transactions initiated from a web browser in exchange for user-monetizable data.

The post The Rise of User-Monetized Actions: Bitcoin's Killer Application appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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