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Decentralized storage wars. Storj v Sia v Filecoin v Maidsafe

October 3, 2017
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If you have an interest in decentralized storage you would have heard of the likes of Storj, Siacoin, Maidsafe and Filecoin. There are numerous articles comparing various ones to each other which I’ll highlight below but won’t go over. This article focuses on the token supply, circulation and rate of issuance of Storj, Siacoin and Filecoin. First of all, to get a background on Sia, Storj, Maidsafe and IPFS/Filecoin read the links below: Nov 2015: Although a bit dated this link is a great read from Taek, a Sia core developer/founder, writing about Sia v Storj v Maidsafe. What’s also neat is Shawn Wilkinson (super3) the co-founder of Storj joins in and provides constructive counter arguments in favour of Storj. Mar 2016: Taek provides a view of Sia v IPFS here. Apr 5 2017: Bitcointalk discussion on Storj v Sia May 19 2017: Here is a background into Storj providing a useful 1 paragraph comparison to Sia and Maidsafe. May 31 219: A good discussion on Sia v Storj. Can they work together long term? Jul 4 2017: This brief article pitches Sia and Storj head to head. Jul 8 2017: Another article comparing Sia v Storj v Maidsafe Aug 4 […]
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How to run a second ICOs and keep the supply* the same

September 28, 2017
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Storj is developing a next-generation cloud storage solution. They ICO’d on 19 May 2017 but they actually did one prior on the 18th July 2014. This is a summary tracking the supply of the old tokens to the new tokens. Executive Summary Total initial supply 500M *The supply was actually reduced in the second ICO by ~75M as a sweetener. Current total supply: ~425M Distribution model? They’re working on it. A closer look. Here is a link to the original “crowdsale”. Total Supply: 500,000,000 Distribution: 70% bitcoin sales, 15% for developers, 15% for the community They accepted bitcoins and used Counterparty to create and manage the SJCX tokens. Note that in their second ICO they did a conversion to ERC20 tokens. ie they used the Ethereum platform instead. Reasons for  this change: 1)  Bitcoin fees were too high. 2) long transaction confirmation times. The conversion from SJCX to STORJ was done on a 1:1 ratio. They ended up receiving 910 bitcoins to this address 132aBrspLgL54cm9eQfGNFLGqXwBRQrugc worth ~$460,000USD. Bitcoin back then was around $500USD! This meant that 910 btc x 38,500 stjx/btc = ~35M tokens created. There were a lot of people on bitcointalk wondering what would happen to the rest of the […]
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Oops, I sent bitcoins to my bitcoincash address. Now what?

September 25, 2017
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I’m normally very careful and have no idea how I let this happen but it did. I accidentally send fractions of bitcoins to a bitcoin cash address. The background was that I have been helping a few friends claim their bitcoin cash and exchanging it back to bitcoins for them. There’s a bit of a process but it’s not too bad. Then one day, I beamed the coins to an address that I had thought was the right one but it wasn’t. I thought I had lost the 30 odd dollars until I did some searching and discovered that as long as you have the private keys you can still recover the coins. This is because the address formats are still the same but it’s just that the wallet won’t know how to display it. (But it’s still there). What you need to do is to get the private keys of the bitcoin cash wallet and import them into a bitcoin wallet. The coins will appear and you can then continue on your merry way. Whew. Another crisis averted!
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Scanning ICO contracts on Etherscan

September 22, 2017
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When you see announcments like Monaco ICO final stats: 71,392 ETH raised (~US$25m), 8752 investors, average price paid per MCO: US$2.88, MCO created: 9,476,400  or The Bancor TGE attracted 10,885 buyers with more than 15,000 transactions sent to the address for purchases during the event  do you ever wonder where the numbers come from? Do you ever wonder how you could cross check these numbers if you had a spare 5 mins in your day? I did and here is how. Because money is being poured into smart contracts in the form of ether to the Ethereum network, you need to grab the Ethereum blockchain in order to query or inspect it. Online service such as Etherscan are great as well. In fact, I’ll be using Etherscan in my examples here. The first step is to find the ICO smart contract address. Etherscan provides an easy way to search for a particular ICO. The tricky part is that the initial ICO contract address might not be readily apparent. It takes a bit of digging around. For example the Monaco ICO deposit contract address is 0xacE62F87aBE9F4eE9fd6E115D91548DF24ca0943. For Bancor, it’s 0x1f573d6fb3f13d689ff844b4ce37794d79a7ff1c Once you have the contract address, in the case of Monaco […]
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Making Money with Monaco (ICO)

September 19, 2017
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My interest in crypto debit cards comes from the desire to be able to buy my groceries. That would definitely be one measure of success in the utility of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. However, companies like SpectroCoin can be quite expensive in terms of fees and lately have been reducing their limits based on “the change in European Union Regulation 648/2012, known as the 4th Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), which will take force on June 26, 2017” and in the latest news “will no longer maintain or issue Visa Prepaid Cards to cardholders outside of the European territory.” The Monaco project certainly looked interesting on the outside. That was until I dug a little deeper and it didn’t start well. The Whitepaper Accessing it A whitepaper is usually the first point of call when trying to understand an ICO but it was no where to be found on Monaco’s website. Googling it revealed a copy though. Why would the whitepaper be removed? Apparently: “Whitepaper was a Token Sale document and the Sale finished in June. We will replace it with a more updated research paper soon that includes new information.” Should I rephrase the above to: “We don’t have actually […]
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The Inaugural Wellington Executive Blockchain Breakfast

September 15, 2017
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The tag line was “We couldn’t let Auckland have all the fun!”, so this morning the Blockchain Association of NZ (BANZ) hosted an executive breakfast in Wellington CBD. It turned out to be an amazing opportunity to get together at a different time and under different circumstances…. breakfast, the most important meal of the day! BANZ had been hosting breakfast events in Auckland for ~6 months if not more, but as awareness, education and adoption continues to grow, the idea is to take this concept to other cities around NZ. The audience was certainly different, the conversations more intimate and discussions deeper. There were 10 of us there at Trade Kitchen which had a private room for the occasion. There were a great mix of people with backgrounds in law, business development, IT, students and representation from government also. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’m sure the next one will even bigger and better. Stay tuned!  
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Why do you think Satoshi used a Japanese name?

September 13, 2017
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This was a great question at the end of Craig Wrights rant presentation at The Future of Bitcoin conference on 30th June 2017 in Arnhem, Netherlands. Ken Shishido, one of the organizers of the Tokyo bitcoin meetup asked a very simple question. “Why do you think Satoshi used a Japanese name?”.  Does his answer convince you? The background is that Craig met with Gavin Andresen in April 2016 where Craig apparently proved to him that he was Satoshi Nakamoto.
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The Cluetrain Manifesto

September 10, 2017
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An interesting book where Rick Levine, Chris Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger posted 95 theses on the web, asserting that there was a new reality of the networked marketplace. This was written in 1999 and many of the points still resonant today. There are so many wonderful quotes such as: “Just because you’re not seeing a revolution — or what Hollywood has told you a revolution ought to look like — doesn’t mean there isn’t one going down.” “A useful expert is not someone with (containing) all the answers but someone who knows where to find answers. The new experts have value not by centralizing information and control but by being great “pointers” to other people and to useful, current information.” “The most important lesson Linux hackers teach is that whole markets can rapidly arise out of conversations that are independent not only of business, but also of government, education, and other powerful but hidebound institutions, thanks in large measure to something hackers helped invent precisely for that purpose: the Internet.” “The Internet is inherently seditious. It undermines unthinking respect for centralized authority, whether that “authority” is the neatly homogenized voice of broadcast advertising or the smarmy rhetoric of […]
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Greg Maxwell: A Deep Dive Into Bitcoin Core 0.15

September 4, 2017
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A good deep dive from a core developer.  
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Christchurch bitcoin meetup

August 30, 2017
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I had the opportunity to visit the Christchurch bitcoin meetup and met some wonderful people from all sorts of backgrounds each with their own perspective of this crypto world. On this crisp, cloudless evening, around 15 devoted crypto enthusiast gathered to share everything from ICO ideas and potential bitcoin mempool manipulation to fine tuning Nvidia mining cards and Austrian economic theory. Kirk has been running these meetups for about a year now taking over from a previous organizer and is doing a great job. The amazing thing I love about these meetups is everyone you talk to has a story. There was a lady who had  heard of bitcoins and gathered enough courage to take her first step and come along which was great to see. (I remember my very first meetup in Auckland, walking into a local pub not knowing anyone. Daunting for an introverted geek like me!) Another person had been reading Austrian economics since he was a teenager, someone else brought charts of the hash rate of bitcoin v bitcoin cash and talked about the gamification of the two coins against each other, another floated ideas of a treecoin ICO, the topics go on. There are pockets […]
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Understanding the basics of Bancor

August 27, 2017
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Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to figure out what Bancor is and how it works in 5 mins? Unfortunately with anything new, it takes a little longer. Follow me on my journey of figuring out how Bancor really works. Lets start with the obvious I went to their website and found a neat definition. Bancor Protocol is a standard for a new generation of cryptocurrencies called Smart Tokens Ok. So it’s a new way to create cryptocurrencies but, what is it really? It’s like defining a plane as “A mechanism to travel the world and realise your dreams”. Sure but again, what is it really? A bit further down there’s more meat. The Bancor protocol enables built-in price discovery and a liquidity mechanism for tokens on smart contract blockchains. These “smart tokens” hold one or more other tokens in reserve and enable any party to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens, directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula which balances buy and sell volumes. The funny thing is, I actually understand this definition and it’s pretty accurate, but only after spending 3 days reading the […]
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Claiming your bitcoin cash with Electron Cash Desktop Wallet

August 25, 2017
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In my previous experiment I used Bitcoin ABC to claim my fractions of my bitcoin cash. This involved downloading the entire blockchain which took over 4 days. The Electron wallet is obviously much faster because it does not need to download the entire blockchain. If you have an Airbitz wallet, the instructions at https://medium.com/airbitz/how-do-i-get-my-bitcoin-cash-from-airbitz-e97982e3fc4c are very good. It takes a bit of time but it works. If you see this error, it just means you are using the wrong address. The software is fine, your BCH are fine and all is well. Just figure out the right address to claim your bitcoin cash from. The most difficult part is the manual typing out of your private key from the Airbitz wallet mobile app. Everything else is straight forward.
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“No inputs found. (Note that inputs need to be confirmed)” error when claiming your bitcoin cash

August 23, 2017
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If you are trying to redeem your bitcoin cash and you come across this error message in Electron Cash, it means that you are redeeming from an address after 1 August 2017. Check the address of the private key you are importing and back track to a transaction that dates prior to 1 August 2017.    
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Sweeping your Bitcoin paper wallet for Bitcoin Cash

August 20, 2017
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If you have a paper wallet, and you haven’t yet claimed your free Bitcoin Cash then read on. There maybe easier ways but I wanted to experiment with the Bitcoin ABC Wallet. You can download the latest release from https://www.bitcoinabc.org It is recommended to install this onto a new machine that hasn’t previously had any bitcoin wallet client installed. This is because of the potential conflict of the data directory. Once installed, the next step is to let the software do it’s thing. ie download the blockchain. For me it took about 4 days! Once done, I then had to run a very simple command. Navigate to Help > Debug window and type in > importprivkey TypeYourPrivateKeyHere What happens next is that you have to wait some more. Bitcoin-Qt will re-scan the entire blockchain. This time it only takes a few hours. After it has finished, you should see your expected balance, ie the equivalent number of how ever many bitcoins you had appear as bitcoin cash.   If you have a mobile wallet and have a seed (12/18/24 words) as a backup, download this code: https://github.com/iancoleman/bip39. What it does is convert BIP39 mnemonic phrases (the 12/18/24 words) to addresses […]
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Multibit bitcoin wallet is no longer supported

August 15, 2017
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If you haven’t already heard, the bitcoin wallet MultiBit is no longer supported. Check out the announcement here. I was having issues back in late May and tried to move some funds out. It took just over 2 weeks for the transaction to be confirmed using the default fee setting! This blog link provides instructions on how to move to an Electrum wallet. Electrum was a good wallet for a while. It then started getting buggy and I had to keep going to Manage wallet > Repair wallet just to get the correct amount showing. You need the seed in order to move the funds to Electrum. If you DO NOT have the seed but you still have access to the wallet, create a new wallet in MultiBit, write down the seed and then empty the funds from the first wallet to the second wallet. Here is how: Create a new wallet using the Create button on the Unlock screen when you first open the wallet. Make sure you write down your wallet words and date stamp as usual Unlock the new wallet and wait for sync to finish Rename the wallet to Wallet2 for example. Create a new receiving […]
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Signing up at Cryptopia from a newbie’s perspective

August 10, 2017
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I decided to sign up with Cryptopia today in an effort to understand more about how trading platforms work. The experience was ok but the messaging could be improved to make it more accurate and consistent. Mixed messages Registering on the site is easy. In order to buy cryptocurrencies with New Zealand dollars though, I had to make a bank transfer. One also has to know that you are actually “buying” NZDT, otherwise known as a New Zealand Dollar Token. It’s a 1 for 1 swap which you then use to purchase other cryptocurrencies. There is a warning at the top of the deposit screen saying: But then at the bottom it says: So it’s contradicting information. Not a good thing for a newbie. So I click on the “here” link to apply for level 2 verification and get this screen here (I’ve only screenshot the top part): Now, I’m thinking I’m confirmed for a withdrawal limit of $5000 NZD. I don’t need Level 2 verification because the message there says “Users that have provided evidence of their identification have daily limit of $50,000.00 NZD”. I won’t be anywhere near $50,000 so I’m thinking Level 1 is fine. My bank […]
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Wellington Blockchain Meetup August 2017

August 9, 2017
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After an interesting couple of weeks where the invention of another bitcoin, BitcoinCash or BCH arrived on the scene, the Wellington community turned out to talk bitcoin and blockchains again. It was another good solid turn out where just under 50 people participated with around 70% of them first timers which was great to see. Sean presented a project where he learnt how to write “stuff” to the blockchain and read data back out. This was put into a use case in the accounting concept where if transactions are done on the blockchain, which means the data is on the blockchain, then why don’t we do accounting on the blockchain? Next, Paul from BlockchainLabs shared the work they are doing with Xero and bitcoin integration. Then our main speaker was beamed in from Palmerston North. Bruce Thomson gave a great entertaining and humorous talk about his crypto adventures much of which you can read here. His talk was met with laughter at some of the crazy things he did. Depositing money for “furniture”, getting stuck between a rock (Inland Revenue) and a hard place (his accountant), and sleeping on the floor on the night bus from Auckland back down to […]
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Meeting Bruce Thomson

August 5, 2017
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In preparation for next weeks meeting where we’ll be beaming in Bruce Thomson as a guest speaker to the Wellington Blockchain meetup we pre-tested the technology and connectivity. What was suppose to be a short 10 minute test ended up as an amazing 60 minute conversation where Bruce talked about his background working as a contractor in his earlier years and being prudent enough to buy gold as part of his portfolio, his ah ha moment when he saw the shift from using slide rules to a 4 function calculator and his interest in Singularity. Bruce talked about the 6 D’s of technology distruption. Digitization, deception, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization, and democratization and how cryptocurrencies follow the same pattern. Bruce also shared some amazing stories trying to convert his gold to cash in order to buy crypto and how he actually bought the crypto. Here is his article for some background reading: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/92329364/palmerston-north-retiree-makes-a-mint-ditching-gold-for-cryptocurrency Look forward to his talk next Tuesday. If you are in the area, feel free to drop by. Details at: https://www.meetup.com/Blockchain-Wellington/events/242044728/  
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Revolutionizing Accounting on the Blockchain

August 1, 2017
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A small project I’ve been working on. I’ll be presenting this at the Wellington Blockchain meetup on the 8th August 2017. https://www.meetup.com/Blockchain-Wellington/events/242044728/  
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Accounting on the blockchain for SME

July 24, 2017
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I had an idea to give the accounting industry a little tickle up so did a bunch of some research and found out there wasn’t much on accounting on the blockchain. There’s a lot of fluff from the “big four” that uses big words like “hash” and “consensus algorithms” along with mentions of single, double and even triple entry accounting but nothing of real substance. What do accounting applications such as Xero, MYOB, Sage and Intuit actually do? Fundamentally they take transaction data as an input (manually entered, scanned receipts with optical character recognition or bank feeds) and produce nice pretty reports and the ability to create invoices and perform reconciliations as well. Many of them have wonderful extra features such as payroll and inventory management but let’s just keep things simple and ignore this for now. Accountants use these applications to perform tasks such as submitting tax returns and understanding the financial health of a company. Again, a simplistic view and we’re talking SMEs here. (Small to Medium Enterprise). Now imagine the day when your local supermarket accepts bitcoins or any other form of cryptocurrency. Imagine getting paid in bitcoins and paying your suppliers in bitcoins. Current thinking and […]
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