ShipChain competitors and what makes ShipChain different
Found this NYT article from March after doing some research which explains the genesis and development of IBM's Hyperledger. It then went on to say that using blockchain for shipping was on Microsofts radar as well.
"Rival Microsoft said this past week that it was working with JPMorgan Chase and several other corporate giants on a system that competes against IBM’s, based on the virtual currency network known as Ethereum. Many banks are concerned that IBM could push them into a version of the blockchain that would lock them into IBM’s software."
I then read else where that MS tested a shipping insurance blockchain with a startup blockchain called KSI, which sounds limited in scope compared to Hyperledger (correct me if I'm wrong). From the NYT article which could basically explain the ShipChain advantage of aligned incentives:
"The first test of the system happened last summer and tracked all of the paperwork related to a container of flowers moving from the Port of Mombasa in Kenya to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It went well enough that Maersk and IBM followed up by tracking containers with pineapples from Colombia, and mandarin oranges from California. The difficulty of making this work in the real world is that everyone at every step along the way needs to be involved, otherwise it’s unlikely to induce any more confidence than the old system. “You need to have something in it for all stakeholders, in order to get the whole chain going,” said Jakob Stausholm, the chief financial and technology officer at Maersk, who is leading the project. “That’s the difficult part.”
Possibly rhetorical question: Is IBM working on a solution to this? So I just would like to ask, since two monstrously large and powerful corporations seem to have a head start on a shipping blockchain system, how can investors feel confident that ShipChain can succeed? I'm still optimistic on ShipChain because I do see the fundamental difference, but I'd really love to hear this spelled out in more detail. So far I've just read general concepts on what SC offerers that IBM/private blockchain environents do not. And as far as I know, there is no public blockchain competitor. So anyone from ShipChain, I'd love to read a piece detailing what makes ShipChain different, and exactly how these differences make it more attractive to shippers, and how this can translate to success. Most importantly I'm worried that the IBM/MS shipping blockchain doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be an improvement and they'll shove it through with barges of cash. But maybe there's still room for ShipChain either way? IBM and MS also don't need to worry about hedging their token volatility, which may be an advantage. Essentially respond to this (from the same NYT article):
But IBM has taken an early lead. Its list of collaborators includes the likes of the London Stock Exchange and the Bank of Tokyo, and lots of companies outside the financial world like Maersk and Walmart. “This is the most well-thought-out project in the space,” said Mr. Sirer, the Cornell professor. Now all IBM has to do is get the systems out into the real world and show that they work. At Maersk, Mr. Stausholm said it could take five or even 10 years for that to happen, given all the partners — manufacturers, customs officials and farmers — that need to come together. “I really do believe in it,” he said, “but I don’t know how fast it will be able to take off.” At Walmart, Mr. Yiannas is more optimistic. His company has already completed two pilots with IBM — moving pork from Chinese farms to Chinese stores, and produce from Latin America to the United States — and he is confident a finished version can be put together within a few years. “I think this is our one best hope for getting it right,” he said.
The 5 reasons why I believe Bitcoin will continue to grow by leaps and bounds: crypto-mania and the crypto revolution, increased media coverage, flight capital, money laundering, and darknet online shopping. I elaborate on each of those here:
AlphaBay grew into a business with 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors — or 10 times the size of Silk Road — the Justice Department said Thursday. The site recently come under scrutiny because many of its vendors sell synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, which play a central role in the nationwide overdose epidemic. Even before AlphaBay went down, it had several large competitors. In the last few weeks, a site known as Dream Market has emerged as the leading player. On Thursday, Dream Market had 57,000 listings for drugs and 4,000 listings for opioids.
WSJ, NYT, Yahoo Finance, Independent (UK), Wikipedia report that Blockstream is funded by top insurer AXA, whose CEO is on the board of HSBC and *chairs* the Bilderberg Group. Blockstream President Austin Hill desperately tweets trying to dismiss these facts as "batshit crazy Illuminati theories"!
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/489ckf/austin_hill_borgstream_president_on_twitte https://twitter.com/austinhill/status/703958443141369856 https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/47zfzt/blockstream_is_now_controlled_by_the_bilderberg/ Sorry Austin Hill, but you can't have it both ways. If you accept millions of dollars from one of the biggest insurance companies in the world (AXA Strategic Ventures, investment arm of AXA Group) - whose CEO sits on the board of HSBC (one of the biggest banks in the world) - and who is also leader of the ultra-secretive financial power elite group known as the Bilderberg Group, then people are going to talk about it - and people are going to be curious and concerned about how this could influence Blockstream's corporate goals and strategies. But in a pathetic attempt to deflect public awareness and transparency about the secretive, elite Bilderberg Group investors who Blockstream now reports to, Blockstream Presdient Austin Hill austindhill is now desperately tweeting attempting to claim that sources such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Independent (UK), Yahoo Finance and Wikipedia are "batshit crazy with illuminati theories about who is involved in Blockstream"... But the Reddit post to which he is evidently referring simply quotes those reputable sources like WSJ, NYT, etc. - providing information that is part of the public record (but which Austin Hill evidently doesn't want too many people to pay attention to). No "batshit crazy Illuminati theories" here. Just simple googling and grassroots journalism which any concerned user of Bitcoin could do in a few minutes. The Bitcoin-using public is just following the money. And asking the following simple and obvious question: Could Blockstream's ongoing inexplicable attempts to cripple the Bitcoin "Core" implementation by driving people off-chain possibly be explained by the fact that one of Blockstream's co-lead investors (AXA Strategic Investments) is the investment arm of a company (AXA Group) whose CEO (Henri de Clastries) is not only on the board of one of the biggest "fiat" banks in the world (HSBC), but is also the head of the notorious ultra-secretive financial power elite Bilderberg Group? The simple facts - which Austin Hill cannot deny, no matter how much he dismissively tweets about "batshit crazy Illuminati theories" - are as follows: (1) Blockstream just got another $55 million in venture capital in recent its Series A funding round - in addition to its previous $21 million in venture capital; (2) The co-lead of this recent funding round is AXA Strategic Ventures - which is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group; (3) The CEO of AXA Group is Henri de Castries, who also sits on the board of one of the biggest banks in the world, HSBC; (4) Since 2012, Henri de Castries is also been chairman of the Bilderberg Group, one of the world's most secretive organizations composed of "the elite of the elite" from banking, finance, and government; (5) As we all know by now, the two main goals of Blockstream (and, apparently, of at least some of the investors it reports to) are: (a) to discourage people from transacting directly on the Bitcoin blockchain, and (b) to prematurely create fee markets. (6) Blockstream's two main strategies for achieving these goals are: (a) to spread FUD and lies claiming that Bitcoin cannot scale, in order create artificial scarcity of space for transacting directly on the Bitcoin blockchain by their ongoing, unjustifiable refusal to release a Bitcoin implementation supporting blocks bigger than 1 MB; (b) to steer people onto Blockstream's complicated, centralized, expensive off-blockchain transacting "solutions" such as Lightning Network - which will "lock up" more funds from users, and steal fees from miners. There are no "batshit crazy illuminati theories about who is involved in Blockstream" in anything of the above. These are just the facts, on the public record. Now, the only "theories" involve wild speculation regarding: Why is Blockstream attempting to cripple Bitcoin? But Blockstream brought these "theories" on themselves - by refusing to release any code (until maybe July 2017) which would allow blocks to be bigger than 1 MB - when research has shown that Bitcoin infrastruture and Bitcoin operators could easily support 3-4 MB blocks already, and when the Bitcoin network is rapidly becoming congested and clogged jeopardizing its usefulness for transacting. Here is the exposé which got Austin Hill so upset - the top story on /btc this past weekend:
Blockstream is now controlled by the Bilderberg Group - seriously! AXA Strategic Ventures, co-lead investor for Blockstream's $55 million financing round, is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group - whose CEO Henri de Castries has been chairman of the Bilderberg Group since 2012.
Blockstream Announces $55 Million Series A Investment Bringing Total Capital Raised to $76 Million The round is being led by Horizons Ventures, AXA Strategic Ventures, and Digital Garage, with participation from existing investors including AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Future\Perfect Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Mosaic Ventures, and Seven Seas Venture Partners.
Ex-C.E.O. of Diageo and AXA Chairman [Henri de Castries] to Join HSBC Board
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/14/business/dealbook/hsbc-board-henri-de-castries-paul-walsh.html?_r=0 If Blockstream President Austin Hill austindhill wishes to dispute any of these well-known facts, he is welcome to try. Frankly it is rather pathetic of him to think he can simply dismiss facts on the public record by trying to refer to them as "batshit crazy Illuminati theories" - in his hopeless attempt to deflect public attention away from the fact that it is solely his company Blockstream, and its refusal to let blocks grow bigger than 1 MB, which to blame for:
congesting the Bitcoin network,
suppressing Bitcoin adoption and price, and
driving people to use alt-coins
... all of which are threatening to strangle Bitcoin in its infancy. But hey, who knows, maybe that's not a "bug" - maybe that's a "feature"! In other words, maybe maybe that's what the chairman of the global banking power elite Bilderberg Group behind Blockstream really wants to do to Bitcoin: embrace, extend, and extinguish it with their apparently Straussian agenda.
What other bitcoin metric is growing exponentially besides hashrate? Institutional acceptance. ~Balaji Srinivasan
A few hours ago Balaji Srinivasan, a Stanford professor & general partner of a16z famous for this bold talk, put out the following sequence of tweets that I thought worth sharing. You can read it all on Twitter here but that can be hard to parse so I thought I would summarize his main argument here:
Remember: #Bitcoin only fully "legalized" this year. Entrepreneurs can finally build w/o threat of jail. So - patience! The apps are coming. Even as late as Nov 2013, NYT opeds predicted a Bitcoin ban. Only now clear this will not happen. Uncertainty gone. There's still regulatory risk, but vastly less than 12-18 months ago. Mainly technical risk now. Means the institutional money can come in. Obvious but...even if entrepreneurs themselves were risk tolerant, removing Sword of Damocles over Bitcoin hugely increased customer base. In 2014, institutions that are now neutral to positive on Bitcoin: Govts of US/UK/Japan/Israel, WSJ, NASDAQ, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs! The public endorsements by prominent individuals & institutions arguably more important than law per se. Provide shield for taking risk. @adamdangelo asked a good q: what's growing exponentially besides hashrate? My answer: institutional acceptance. How to quantify? Perhaps plot * # individuals * annual budget * # nuclear weapons of every institution that's now neutral-to-pro #Bitcoin Can also plot: * sum of market caps * # of users/customers for every company (Dell, Expedia, Wikipedia, Paypal, etc) accepting #Bitcoin Would also further quantify @fredwilson's intuition on Bitcoin adoption metrics: http://pic.twitter.com/SAWUmU9t9v
With some interesting replies here:
@TwoBitItdiot: forgot the "sorry, but we have decided to close your account" notices by banks to honest consumers. Bigger issue than regulation.
@cdelargy: is the opt-in utopia coming from the top down now? @balajis: Longer convo - wouldn't term it "utopia" Main pt: bottoms-up influencing top-downBitcoin started as forum postNow govts respond
@amix3k: The threat of jail has not stopped others before (ex: AirBnB/Uber). I doubt it's the reason why Bitcoin has not taken off. @balajis: You're wrong about this. Several centralized Bitcoin antecedents banned, eg: http://www.wired.com/2009/06/e-gold/all/ … "You can fight city hall" = new.
NYT: Bitcoin Price Soars, Fueled by Speculation and Global Currency Turmoil
This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 76%.
In dollar terms, a Bitcoin was going for about $1,025 on Tuesday, or about 140 percent more than what it cost at the beginning of 2016.The volatile price has led many analysts to conclude that is less similar to a currency than to a commodity, like gold, which has a value resulting from its scarcity. The recent rise has brought the price of one Bitcoin to within striking distance of the price of an ounce of gold, which was about $1,150 on Monday. After showing early interest in the currency, most big banks have moved on to make investments in the blockchain, the new type of ledger technology introduced by Bitcoin, while eschewing Bitcoin itself. The price soon crashed when one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox, which was based in Tokyo and went bankrupt, announced that it had lost most of the Bitcoins held by its customers. The Bitcoin price fell to its low - under $200 - in early 2015.Since then, the price has risen in fits and starts, in part because of continuing hacking and fraud, and because of fights over the direction of the Bitcoin network. Many Bitcoin businesses have wanted to edit the basic Bitcoin software to change the number of transactions that can move through the network every day.
NYT reports Central Bankers are considering Bitcoin technology
This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 86%.
If the central banks succeed, it would be one of the greatest unexpected twists in new technology: An invention aimed at dethroning central banks and making it harder for money to be tracked instead ends up empowering those central banks and making money more easily traceable. Most financial institutions and central banks are looking at distributed ledgers that would be maintained on the computers of all the major players in the financial system, including the central bank and the biggest financial institutions. Eric Piscini, who oversees work on blockchain by the consulting firm Deloitte, said that a year ago, central banks were looking at the technology mostly because they wanted to understand what private banks were talking about. Mr. Berndsen operated the Dukaton system for three months to see what would happen if the central bank were setting the rules and did not have the same limits as Bitcoin. The blockchain was created to allow Bitcoin transactions to be recorded communally so that a central authority, such as a central bank, would not be necessary. Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, and perhaps the most prominent champion of distributed ledgers, has said that the technology could be worth using for central banks because it would make for a financial system that does not go down even if the central bank's computer systems are temporarily taken offline.
Entidades Reguladoras Veem Valor No Bitcoin, E Investidores Se Apressam Em Concordar.
BY NATHANIEL POPPER A moeda virtual bitcoin deu um grande passo em direção a sua popularização nesta segunda-feira quando as autoridades federais sinalizaram sua disposição de aceitá-la como uma alternativa de pagamento legítimo. Um número de funcionários federais disse em uma audiência no Senado que essas redes financeiras ofereceram benefícios reais para o sistema financeiro, assim como eles reconheceram que as novas formas de dinheiro digitais haviam fornecido caminhos para a lavagem de dinheiro e atividades ilegais. "Há muitas oportunidades para as moedas digitais operarem dentro das leis e regulamentos existentes", disse Edward Lowery, um agente especial do Serviço Secreto, que é encarregado de proteger a integridade do dólar. Sinais de que o governo não iria se colocar no caminho do desenvolvimento do bitcoin, mesmo que ele venha reprimindo as redes criminosas que usam o dinheiro digital, alimentou uma forte recuperação no preço do cripto-moeda. Na segunda-feira à noite, o valor de uma unidade de bitcoin explodiu ultrapassando 700 dólares em algumas trocas. Esse excepcional montante de bitcoins - que é criado por uma rede de usuários que resolvem problemas matemáticos complexos - agora vale mais de US $ 7 bilhões. A audiência do Senado nesta segunda-feira à tarde, foi uma indicação mais clara do desejo do governo de lidar com as consequências deste crescimento, e o reconhecimento de que o bitcoin e outras redes semelhantes podem se tornar peças mais duradouras e importantes do cenário financeiro. Video: http://www.nytimes.com/video/business/100000002167289/bitcoin-has-real-world-investors.html "A decisão de trazer a moeda virtual dentro do escopo do nosso quadro regulamentar deve ser visto por aqueles que respeitam e obedecem aos fundamentos básicos da lei como um desenvolvimento positivo para o setor", disse Jennifer Shasky Calvery, o diretor do Departamento de Execução de Crimes Financeiros do Tesouro. "Ele reconhece a inovação que moedas virtuais fornecem, e os benefícios que elas podem oferecer." Ms. Shasky Calvery e os outros funcionários na audiência disseram que ainda havia questões básicas a serem respondidas sobre moedas virtuais, incluindo se elas realmente podem ser consideradas moedas ou se são mais corretamente classificados como bens ou valores mobiliários. A distinção vai determinar quais agências regularam as redes e como elas serão tratadas sob a lei fiscal. Ms. Shasky Calvery disse que a Receita Federal estava "trabalhando ativamente" em suas próprias regras para o bitcoin. A audiência seguiu outras medidas menos visíveis tomadas pelos reguladores e legisladores para trazer o dinheiro digital ao mainstream monetário. O principal regulador financeiro do Estado de Nova York, Benjamin M. Lawsky, disse na semana passada que ele iria realizar uma audiência para considerar a criação de um BitLicense para fornecer mais fiscalização para as transações. Mais cedo, a Comissão Federal Eleitoral expôs um aviso indicando que bitcoin pode ser legalmente aceitos como doações políticas. O conselheiro geral da Fundação Bitcoin, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que defende a moeda, disse em seu depoimento na segunda-feira que ele estava recebendo uma resposta muito mais amigável do governo e do setor financeiro. "Nós recentemente percebemos uma melhora acentuada no tom e ênfase tomada por ambos os funcionários do Estado e executivos de banco", disse o conselheiro-geral, Patrick Murck, disse. Bitcoin tem experimentado uma ascensão notável desde que foi criado em 2009 por um programador anônimo ou coletivo conhecido como Satoshi Nakamoto. O dinheiro, que não está vinculado a qualquer moeda nacional, tem sido popular com tecnófilos que são céticos dos bancos centrais do mundo. Apenas uma quantidade finita de bitcoin será criada - 21 milhões de unidades. Os usuários alavancaram os preços pelas casas de câmbio pela Internet, apostando que a moeda será mais amplamente utilizada no futuro. Há questões importantes sobre a sabedoria de usar o dinheiro digital como um investimento, uma vez que bitcoin não possui valor intrínseco e provou ser vulnerável a hackers. Muitos gestores de fundos têm recomendado aos investidores inexperientes para permanecerem longe. Recentemente, porém, o bitcoin tem pegando fogo em todo o mundo, com trocas na China particularmente ativas. Um número crescente de investidores americanos proeminentes também compraram participações, incluindo Michael Novogratz, diretor da gigante Fortress Investment Group¹, assim como os gêmeos Winklevoss, Cameron e Tyler. A participação cada vez mais generalizada do bitcoin deslocou a atenção para longe dos empreendimentos criminosos que usaram o dinheiro digital, mas era um foco na audiência do Senado. No mês passado, o mercado on-line Silk Road, onde o Bitcoin é a principal forma de pagamento, foi fechado e seu fundador preso depois que as autoridades o acusaram de ser usado para comprar e vender drogas, armas e pornografia. O presidente da comissão do Senado, Thomas R. Carper, democrata de Delaware, disse que poucos dias depois da prisão, um site semelhante surgiu. "Pode ser mais difícil de rastrear os criminosos que usam o Bitcoin", policiais disseram na audiência, "porque operam através das fronteiras internacionais e muitas vezes não usam instituições financeiras estabelecidas que reportem as transações”. Mas Mythili Raman, um procurador-geral adjunto do Departamento de Justiça, também disse que, porque cada transação de bitcoin era gravada em um registro público, foi possível aos investigadores rastrear a movimentação de dinheiro entre contas. "Não é, de fato, anônimo. Não está imune a investigação", disse Raman. Todos os funcionários na audiência disseram que crimes tinham sido um problema durante os primeiros dias de cartões de crédito e sistemas de pagamento online como o PayPal, e não deve ser uma razão para limitar a inovação. "É nosso dever, como aplicadores da lei de permanecermos vigilantes, reconhecendo que há muitos usuários legítimos desses serviços", disse Raman. Os defensores do bitcoin que testemunharam na audiência disseram que o bitcoin pode trazer grandes mudanças para o sistema financeiro por cortar os intermediários necessários para movimentar o dinheiro em todo o mundo. "Estou aqui para testemunhar porque eu acredito que a moeda digital global representa uma das inovações técnicas e econômicas mais importantes do nosso tempo", disse Jeremy Allaire, presidente-executivo do Círculo Internet Financial, que está tentando promover uma utilização mais difundida da moeda. Dado o apelo do bitcoin aos céticos do governo, muitos aficionados têm sido cautelosos com envolvimento de Washington. Mas os defensores na audiência disseram que a crescente cooperação com as entidades reguladoras poderiam lançar as bases para um maior crescimento. "À medida que essa tecnologia se desloca de pioneiros para a aceitação popular, é fundamental em minha opinião, que os governos federais e estaduais estabeleçam políticas em torno da moeda digital", disse Allaire. ¹http://dealbook.on.nytimes.com/public/overview?symbol=FIG&inline=nyt-org Traduzido por Sarah Alexandre Uma versão desse artigo aparece na impressão de 19/11/2013, na página B1 da edição do NewYork com o título: “Regulators See Value in Bitcoin, And Investors Hasten to Agree” Texto original em: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/regulators-see-value-in-bitcoin-and-investors-hasten-to-agree/?_r=0
Implications of Benchmark and Ribbit stake in Pantera Bitcoin
If you haven't seen the news, Pantera Bitcoin just got a capital infusion from some pretty big investment firms. As described by the NYT, Pantera Bitcoin is "a San Francisco-based hedge fund operator that buys and sells virtual currencies". The article goes on to say that "In recent months, he said, the firm’s staff of 16 has shifted its attention to work full time on investments in the virtual currency world." This is a big win for the crypto world and the fact that they're not just limited to Bitcoin means that we can benefit from this too. Now's the time to get the word out there. Getting on the radar of funds like this one can lead to huge jumps in both value and visibility. Full article here: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/fortress-benchmark-and-ribbit-buy-stake-in-pantera-bitcoin/?partner=rss&emc=rss
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