This Week in Blockchain 10.19.18

Crypto in Boom and Bust

This week’s New Yorker cover story is a must-read deep-dive in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency. RChain Board of Directors member Vlad Zamfir is the first person to speak in this long-ranging piece, discussing proof-of-stake:

Zamfir was showing the others some rough equations he’d worked out to address one of the thousands of riddles that need to be solved. This particular effort was an attempt (jargon alert) to optimize the incentive structure for proof-of-stake validation—that is, how best to get enough people and machines to participate in a computing operation essential to the functioning of the entire system. “We’re trying to do game theory here,” Zamfir said. The others pointed out what they thought might be flaws. “It doesn’t seem reasonable,” Zamfir said. “But the math works out.” This summarized much of what I’d encountered in crypto.

This excellent summation dives into the history of blockchain, governance, key players, and anecdote, including this wonderful quote by Etehreum founder Vitalik Buterin:

Obviously, I think Deepak Chopra’s crazy.

Sums it up.

Getting Into the Game

Another major financial company has come on chain: Fidelity Investments is offering cryptocurrency custody and trading services. With $7.2 trillion in client assets, Fidelity is one of the top five largest financial service providers on the planet. And once again, their decision comes down to trust:

In our conversations with institutions, they tell us that in order to engage with digital assets in a meaningful way, they need a trusted platform provider to enter this space. These institutions require a sophisticated level of service and security, equal to the experience they’re used to when trading stocks or bonds.


On the Supply Chain

Supply chain management is one of the biggest potential uses for blockchain. A new report predicts that revenue from SCM on chain will reach $10.6 billion by 2023. With Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle all getting in on the game, we’re about to see a major shift in how goods are transported around the world. API Research research director, Michela Menting, lays it out:

The success of blockchain in financial tech has prompted significant investment in deploying the underlying infrastructure for application development and testing in other industries


Civil Unrest

Fidelity might be on the rise, but Civil Media Company published some bad news this week. The burgeoning journalism-on-blockchain company is returning the $1,435,491 worth of CVL tokens they raised over the last few weeks. Their ICO was attempting to raise between $8 – $24 million. The company recently inked deals with the AP and Forbes, making them the leader in this new journalistic platform. Once again, media struggles to find funding in the age of “free” content.

Wozniak On Chain

Steve Jobs will forever be the original face of Apple, but Steve Wozniak is the man who designed and developed the Apple 1 alongside Jobs in 1976. Leaving Apple in 1985, his impact continued: he designed the first universal remote in 1987; in 2001 he founded Wheels of Zeus, a wireless GPS technology company; his philanthropic work, especially in schools, is legendary. And now he’s setting his sights on blockchain.
As co-founder of venture capital fund, EQUI, which has released EquiToken, Wozniak expressed his excitement about entering blockchain:

I get ideas pitched to me every single day in fact dozens and I always say no. Since I co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, this is about the second time in twenty years that I actually said yes, I want to be a part of this.

Wozniak is among the featured guests at next week’s Crypto Invest Summit in downtown Los Angeles.