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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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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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