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Wellington Blockchain Breakfast

December 7, 2017
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The Blockchain Association of NZ hosted the second Wellington executive blockchain breakfast this morning at the Bolten Hotel. We had a diverse range of people from Kiwibank, MBIE, lawyers from Bell Gully and Wakefield law, blockchain company founders and a few independents as well. It was a great chance to network and connect more on a professional level in a more intimate session and also at a different time of the day. Half way through we played musical chairs and everyone got around to meet and connect with everyone else. It was a buffet breakfast and the private room at the Bolton Hotel was fantastic. Thanks to everyone who turned up and special thanks to Wendy for helping to organise! See you all next year!
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Wellington December Blockchain Meetup

December 7, 2017
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We had a wonderful turn out for our last Wellington Blockchain meetup of the year. About 65 people attended and we even had pizza’s and drinks as well! The speakers were great. First we had Steve Lowe from Standards New Zealand talking about TC307. Blockchains will get it’s own ISO number soon!!! Geoff Ward-Marshal from DLA Piper shared the regulatory aspects of ICOs. There was a lot of information to consider. If you think you can raise $5M in 5 minutes and run away with your lambo, think again! Finally we had Jason and David from the NEM who are based in Melbourne and doing a tour of NZ promoting NEM and raising awareness of what NEM can do in the blockchain space.   Thanks to all that came, thanks to the speakers and wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas!
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Being Schooled in Digital Signatures

December 3, 2017
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I’ve read so much about digital signatures but still didn’t truly understand what they were. I managed to get a one on one with an engineer cryptographer called Weiwu and it was amazing. It goes something like this: Start of with a message. eg “I own this piece of land at 21 To The Moon Avenue” Hash the message. Let’s call this e. Generate a set of keys. ie a public and private key. Let’s call the private key d Generate a random number k. Sign the message with the function sign(e, d, k). That is pretty much it. To get hands on, try these commands: In OpenSSL – create private/public keys, sign and verify: openssl ecparam -name secp256k1 -genkey -out private.pem openssl ec -in private.pem -pubout -out public.pem echo|set /p=”ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ012345″ > message.dat openssl dgst -ecdsa-with-SHA1 -sign private.pem -out signature.dat message.dat openssl dgst -ecdsa-with-SHA1 -verify public.pem -signature signature.dat message.dat Ref: https://github.com/kmackay/micro-ecc/issues/89
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Sydney Blockchain Hackathon Round Up

November 29, 2017
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I had never been to a hackathon before so when I found out one was being held in Sydney I was super excited. It was called Blockathon: The Biggest Blockchain Hackathon in Australia and it was held this past weekend from the 24 -26 November 2017. The great Bokky ran several workshops leading up to the hackathon exploring lots of potential projects. I found it very useful. It was like a pre-hackathon hackathon. Most of us didn’t know each other, had never participated in a hackathon before and were all looking to understand how it worked and if our ideas were even worthy of entering. In the workshop we discussed ideas, some people pitched theirs and some “fluid” teams were formed. We also chilled out and ate pizza too. It really was a pre-hackathon hackathon. Then came the big day. Getting to the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre at the University of New South Wales was a little tricky but not impossible. It is a fabulous space though. Its concept is centred around a presentation space, a manufacturing space and a working space. Very clever! A pull up banner would have been nicer than a whiteboard but I can understand why the whiteboard […]
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Sydney Blockchain Day 2 & 3

November 26, 2017
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Day 2 started with delicious waffles (there was more than 4!), and then the teams were right back to it. The mentors wondered around helping teams and experts helped with technical questions. At lunch time there were talks from Gazecoin and NEM. On Sunday, waffles were on again and everyone was building up to the pitch at 4pm. There were 13 teams and each team was given only 4 minutes with a hard stop. It was literally mid sentence hard stop! After the presentations 54 boxes of pizza’s were served with a mix and mingle session while the judges deliberated. When the judges came back everyone waited with anticipation for the results. The winners? CryptoCats. Digital assets on the blockchain. The first runner up was JOE, Javascript On Everything and third place was Strata Blocks. It was an amazing event and was very well organised. After the prize giving there were all sorts of offers of funding and sponsorships offers all round. Congrats to everyone involved.
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Sydney Blockathon Day 1

November 24, 2017
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I have never been to a hackathon before so thought I’d volunteer and see what they are like. This one was pretty neat. It started on Friday at 5pm at the University of New South Wales at the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre. After the welcome and  introduction to the mentors and rules it was pizza time! After dinner, it was time to head up stairs and start hacking. All the teams found a space to claim their own and started putting a plan together. Some teams had an idea already, others formulated ideas late into the night. This is Daniel Bar who put this whole amazing event together.  
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Jelurida, Nxt, Ardor, Ignis, Mumbo Jumbo

November 22, 2017
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When you first come across new words and logo’s in the crypto space it feels so confusing. It’s also difficult to understand especially when you come across something like this: “The token sale itself will be conducted on the Nxt blockchain platform. JLRDA tokens are not transferable or tradable between accounts and for 1 JLRDA, the crowdsale participant will receive 1 IGNIS at the time of Ardor Genesis Snapshot. For 1 JLRDA token the participants in the IGNIS crowdsale will receive 1 IGNIS coin at the time of the Ardor Genesis Snapshot. The last batch of 100 M JLRDA tokens will be reduced by up to 20 M tokens allocated by Jelurida for promotional and marketing use.” What the heck? Then read this summary here. Even Arthur Penzl who provides updates from the Nxt community states: $NXT, $IGNIS, $ARDR — picking the right one to invest in IS complicated. Hopefully the picture below will help. Jelurida is the over arching corporate identity that owns the IP rights of Nxt. Nxt is a platform written in Java and is it’s own blockchain. Ardor is like Nxt 2.0. It incorporates the fundamental features of Nxt but has extra features such as messaging and voting […]
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Sydney Tyro FinTech Hub Ethereum Workshop

November 18, 2017
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It’s Friday night and a bunch of us gather at the Tyro FinTech Hub in the heart of Sydney to talk Ethereum, Hackthons and Crypto. The Tyro FinTechHub opened in March 2015 to act as an exchange for ideas and to provide a place for the country’s most ambitious fintech entrepreneurs to meet and work. It’s basically a shared co-working space in the day time and a place for meetups in the evenings. Bokky is the main driver sharing his experience on Ethereum and on this occasion others contributed by sharing ideas for the Hackathon being held next weekend. There was wine, beer, snacks and of course pizza. The neat thing is that if you have any questions, it’s a good place to come and ask and learn from others more experienced than you. There is another session coming up on Monday where Bokky will be talking about Ethereum wallets and signing and possible a BTT audit.
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Double booked Blockchain Event In Sydney

November 15, 2017
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It was unfortunate but a few days ago (the 14th of November) there were 2 huge events on at exactly the same time. First there was a Future of Bitcoin, Ethereum, ICOs & the blockchain panel discussion with special guest Dr Craig Wright beamed in from London which drew ~250 people and then there was the ConsenSys $50M Blockchain Fund + Community Pitches 2 blocks down the road that also drew 250+ people. I ended up going to the panel discussion because I wanted to hear from the self proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto. The panelist comprised of Dr Craig Wright (Bitcoin Guru), Bok Khoo (Ethereum Guru), Rob Allen (PWC), Lasanka Perera (Independent Reserve) and Tobias Abbey (Investor). Craig was really the main person everyone came to see. He is very polarising and didn’t swear at all this time compared to his talk in Arnhem. He is definitely very knowledgable and despite what people may think, the community is better with him than without. One highlight was when Bokky asked Craig to transfer 0.001 bitcoins from block #1 to him and he would send 10 times more in ether back. Craig declined saying he doesn’t want his money. Craig was generous with his time […]
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CryptoWars: Bitcoin v BitcoinCash

November 11, 2017
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It was Friday the 10th of November at 10pm. By accident I checked my Coingecko dashboard and saw BitcoinCash hit $700USD, then $750, then $800. It was crazy. Something was up. I proceeded to jump on the various reddit channels, check the #bitcoincash hashtag on twitter and read the various online forums. There was excitement in the air. Something was up. BitcoinCash hovered just below $900 before I went to bed but then on Saturday morning it broke the $1000 barrier. It really was like a roller coaster. Shooting up and then coming slightly down, then shooting up again. It just kept going up as Bitcoin went down. It was a zero sum game. For one to win, the other had to lose. The crypto war is on. Very sad to see #Bitcoin v #BitcoinCash. It should be #Crypto v #Fiat. The human drive for money and power transcends all realms. #SadToSee pic.twitter.com/IhSEFkDkFL — Sean (@seandotau) November 12, 2017 For me, I thought all along that it was Crypto versus Fiat. Us versus them. Guess this is what happens a group of people who have control over large amounts of wealth (in the crypto space) and access to large amounts […]
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Melbourne Blockchain Centre

November 7, 2017
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I had the opportunity to visit the Blockchain Centre in Melbourne that I had heard so much about. It’s in the heart of Melbourne in South Bank, not far from the Crown casino. It offers co-working space in the day time and a meetup space in the evening time. The other times are spent expanding the Blockchain Centre franchise model. There’s a “museum” of bitcoin miners but the neatest part for me was Satoshi’s whitepaper enlarged  and hung on the wall. That was cool! The space is very new and officially opens this week.    On this particular evening there was also a packed (photo below was pre-arrival) Crypto Traders meetup which was absolutely fascinating. The presenter introduced all these Japanese terms, eg Kijunsen, and how to trade purely from looking at charts and understanding. It was an amazing learning opportunity. There are several meetups each week where generally Monday is for cryptotraders, Tuesday Ethereum, Wednesday Blockchains and Thursday privacy and security related. One benefit is that all these meetups converge at this one place. It provides a great consistency with a menu of evening learning & education and connecting & sharing which is great to see.
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Why you should give one IOTA about IOTA

November 3, 2017
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IOTA is a public distributed ledger technology that instead of using a blockchain, uses a tangle of blocks. The diagram below shows how this tangle of block is usually represented. Taking this one step further, these blocks only have one transaction within so infact, it’s not really a tangle of blocks but a tangle of transactions. Hence IOTA quotes “As such it has no Blocks, no Chain and also no Miners.” Wait, no miners? How are transactions confirmed? How is consensus achieved? Each transaction that is made on the network has to confirm 2 previous random transactions in a process called “tip selection”. This effectively means the users are the miners and this removes the power struggle that is seen in Bitcoin where different parties are motivated by different factors leading to lots of infighting and disagreements. This also means there is no need for transaction fees. Let’s take a step back and learn about the name. What does IOTA mean? IOTA is the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet. It means a small or tiny amount. As an acronym, IOT represents the Internet Of Things. The “A” could mean Architecture, Array, Application, take your pick. Because IOT devices are […]
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SydETH: Plasma and Programmable Money

October 30, 2017
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The Sydney Ethereum meetup is bordering on a being a full on event. The meetups are scheduled but RSVPs are closed until 3 days before and when it opens at 6pm, the slots fill up fast. It was held at Optiver this time around which is a trading house with an amazing atrium!    The meetup was capped at 150 with 74 people on the waitlist. Everyone had to sign in and take an elevator to the 7th floor. There were drinks and pizzas that were sponsored and a mix and mingle session prior to the start.    There were two talks at this meetup.  Jeremy Lam, product lead from OmiseGO gave a great non-technical explanation on plasma. He spoke slowly and clearly and gave great analogies. One example was an explanation of sharding which is a way of splitting up data so that different computers can process them in parallel. This is like taking a dictionary and splitting it into 26 dictionaries dedicated for each letter of the alphabet. Nick Addison, co-organiser of the meetup and CTO of AgriDigital gave an overview of programmable money and has written a neat smart contract that distributes 1000 SydEth token to each member. Nick […]
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1st Lisk Australia meetup at USYD

October 26, 2017
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I tagged along with a friend of mine Sanjev to the first Australian Lisk meetup at the University of Sydney a few days ago. I had heard of the basics of Lisk and read the whitepaper but getting in front of people and asking a whole bunch of questions meant that I could 10x my knowledge in 2 hrs rather than 2 days of reading. Daniel Vassilev is the Australian ambassador for Lisk and has spent some time in Berlin to discuss the future of the project and learn more about the team. There was an open bar tab and of course the obligatory pizza offering which always brings the crowd. In a nutshell, Lisk is a platform that has it’s own blockchain allowing anyone to create their own blockchain called a side chain and run their own applications. Blockchain designers and architectures can customise any facet of the blockchain such as the consensus algorithm, the confirmation time, create their own tokens, their own “ICO” and a whole bunch more. It is very flexible.   Lisk ICO’d last year in Feb for $5.7 million US and will release their SDK next month. They ICO’d at $0.07 and now its$5! Below […]
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Is there a right way or a wrong way to write ICO whitepapers?

October 24, 2017
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I’ll never forget the first whitepaper I read in the blockchain space. No chocolate fish for guessing which one. It was the Bitcoin whitepaper of course! I was procrastinating mainly because I was scared. Scared because the 9 pages felt like hieroglyphics. In the end I bit the bullet and when my daughter was born in September 2014 I took 4 weeks off to read the whitepaper that I had mentally prepared myself for. Oh, I also helped my wife out as well :). The 9 pages to 2 hours to read but 2 months to digest. I knew the words I was reading but couldn’t understand what I was reading. Fast forward 3 years and I never thought I would be reading 2-3 whitepapers a week. Anyone can read whitepapers and the average length these days ranges from 10-30 pages. They come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the traditional academic 1 or 2 column with an abstract whitepaper such as Siacoin, IOTA and Augur. These are characterised by including lots of mathematics and black print. Storj lived a little dangerously and added colour to the traditional academic paper. This was only to the diagrams though. Humaniq expanded on this and put […]
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Leemon Baird – Inventor of Hashgraph

October 23, 2017
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An interesting concept of achieving consensus. No blockchain is required. This is the second no blockchain concept I’ve come across. The first one being IOTA.  
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Sydney Around the Blockchain Showcase

October 19, 2017
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I had the opportunity to be part of the Sydney Spark Festival blockchain event that combined a showcase, a talk and a meetup all in 1 day from 2pm through to 8pm at a co-working space called the Fishburners. The showcase consisted of startups Bitfwd, Blueshyft, Block8, Dappbase, Devery, Flux, Incent sharing what they are doing in the blockchain space. At the same time upstairs were a range of talks on: Peerism: The Skill Token Economy for Post-capitalism – Nathan Waters ICOs and the Law – Hannah Glass Todd’s Crypto Bag of Tricks – Todd Byrne Pizza’s arrived at 6pm and let’s say there was enough to go around! The evening meetup was actually an ICO announcement of Solara. A sensor that will measure the amount of electrons generated from the sun and allow the owner to monetise it in siloed communities initially. They want to raise $15M from 100M tokens initially for phase 1. The vision is huge and will take 5-10 years to come to fruition but could be a game changer. The community is vibrant. There’s lots of innovation happening and there are seriously talented people around.
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Roger Ver , Max Keiser , Charles Hoskinson on Nexus Conference 2017

October 16, 2017
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Some good discussions and thoughts on all things crypto!  
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Wellington Blockchain Meetup Oct 2017

October 5, 2017
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As Christmas draws near, the Wellington community came out in force for another blockchain meetup. This month we had a number of speakers from the community sharing their experiences in the blockchain world. I kicked things off with a talk on how I put my land title on the blockchain. Jose Higino shared his experience with Steemit, the blockchain platform where content creators can paid and the content is locked on the chain. Find Jose’s presentation notes, on Steemit of course, here. Tim Goggin talked about his experience of seeing how the state of Illinois are promoting grassroots communities and collaboration in the blockchain space with the launch of the Chicago Blockchain Center. See: US Government Supports Launch of New Chicago Blockchain Center Our final speaker Hamish MacEwan gave a hands on demonstration on an array of hardware wallets. In particular, Hamish show how paper wallets and the ledger nano works. Afterwards, we had the usual networking session also. Thanks to Jose, Tim and Hamish for contributing. I’m sure everyone managed to find something to suit their taste and walked away learning something new. Thanks again to BizDojo for hosting and see everyone next month.
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How to get your bitcoin cash from your Jaxx bitcoin wallet?

October 4, 2017
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The Jaxx team currently are still trying to get native support for bitcoin cash. See the update here. What this means is that you can either continue to wait until this happens or follow Jaxx recommendation here. To grab the keys, follow: We can’t provide a step by step guide on how to import your keys into another wallet. You have the Backup Phrase: MENU > Tools > Backup Wallet > View Backup Phrase and you also have the keys to the BTC addresses: MENU > Tools > Display Private Keys > (I UNDERSTAND) > Display Bitcoin Keys Any wallet you install and that allows you to pair a previously created wallet, you can use those to “port” your Jaxx Wallets to that one. Keep in mind that the Jaxx Backup Phrase (mnemonic) follows the BIP39 standard. There really isn’t anything more we can provide on this process. ref: https://www.reddit.com/r/jaxx/comments/6vbet0/jaxx_where_is_bitcoin_cash/ Then import this into a bitcoin cash wallet. Follow the instructions here but use electron cash instead so you don’t have to download the entire blockchain.
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