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Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable

Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price.
“It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.”
Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product even exists, and he thinks making the blockchain more accessible is the next big thing. Just as Google enabled (and ultimately profited) from making the internet more usable 20 years ago, its next billions may come from shining a bright light on blockchains. If Day is successful, the world will know whether blockchain’s real usage is living up to its hype.
Danish researcher Thomas Silkjaer is using Google's BigQuery to map publicly available information about XRP cryptocurrency addresses. The craters represent some of cryptocurrency's largest exchanges.
Last year Day and a small team of open-source developers quietly began loading data for the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains into Google’s big-data analytics platform, BigQuery. Then, with the help of lead developer Evgeny Medvedev, he created a suite of sophisticated software to search the data.
In spite of a total lack of publicity, word of the project spread quickly among crypto-minded coders. In the past year, more than 500 projects were created using the new tools, trying to do everything from predicting the price of bitcoin to analyzing wealth disparity among ether holders.
When it comes to cloud computing, Google is far behind Amazon and Microsoft. Last year Google pocketed an estimated $3 billion in revenue from cloud ser­vices. Amazon and Microsoft, meanwhile, generated about $27 billion and $10 billion, respectively.
Day is hoping that his project, known as Blockchain ETL (extract, transform, load), will help even the playing field. But even here Google is trying to catch up. Amazon entered blockchain in a big way in 2018 with a suite of tools for building and managing distributed ledgers. Microsoft got into the space in 2015, when it released tools for Ethereum’s blockchain. It now hosts a range of services as part of its Azure Blockchain Workbench. But while Amazon and Microsoft are focusing on making it easier to build blockchain apps, Day is focusing on exposing how blockchains are actually being used, and by whom.
“In the future, moving more economic activity on chain won’t just require a consensus level of trust,” says Day, referring to the core validating mechanism of blockchain technology. “It will require having some trust in knowing about who it is you’re actually interacting with.” In other words, if blockchain is to go mainstream, some of its beloved anonymity features will have to be abandoned.
A native of Placer County, California, Day got his first computer at the age of 5 and a few years later started writing simple programs. A fascination with volcanoes and dinosaurs turned his interest to life sciences, and he ultimately graduated from the University of Oregon with a dual degree in biology and Mandarin in 2000. From there he headed to UCLA to pursue a doctorate in human genetics and helped build a computer program to browse the genome.
It was at UCLA where Day began relying on distributed computing, a concept that is core to blockchains, which store their data on a large network of individual computers. In the early 2000s Day needed to analyze the massive amounts of data that make up the human genome. To solve this problem he hooked many small computers together, vastly increasing their power.
“Distributed-systems technology has been in my tool kit for a while,” Day says. “I could see there were interesting characteristics of blockchains that could run a global supercomputer.”
Hired in 2016 to work in the health and bio­informatics areas of Google, Day segued to blockchains, the hottest distributed-computing effort on the planet. But the talents he had honed—sequencing genomes for infectious diseases in real time and using AI to increase rice yields—were not easily applied to decoding blockchain.
Before Day and Medvedev released their tools, just searching a blockchain required specialized software called “block explorers,” which let users hunt only for specific transactions, each labeled with a unique tangle of 26-plus alphanumeric characters. Google’s Blockchain ETL, by contrast, lets users make more generalized searches of entire ecosystems of transactions.
To demonstrate how customers could use Blockchain ETL to make improvements to the crypto economy, Day has used his tools to examine the so-called hard fork, or an irrevocable split in a blockchain database, that created a new cryptocurrency—bitcoin cash—from bitcoin in the summer of 2017.
Google Cloud developer advocate Allen Day presents his early cryptocurrency work at Google's Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore in August 2018. DORJEE SUN / PERLIN
This particular split was the result of a Hatfield and McCoy “war” within the bitcoin community between a group who wanted to leave bitcoin as it was and another who wanted to develop a currency that, like cash, was cheaper and faster to use for small payments. Using Google’s BigQuery, Day discovered that bitcoin cash, rather than increasing so-called micro-transactions, as the defecting developers claimed, was actually being hoarded among big holders of bitcoin cash. “I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the legitimate use cases are for blockchain,” Day says. “Then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.”
Day’s work is inspiring others. Tomasz Kolinko is a Warsaw-based programmer and the creator of a service that analyzes smart contracts, a feature of certain blockchains that is designed to transparently enforce contractual obligations like collateralized loans but with less reliance on third parties, like lawyers. Kolinko was frustrated with his blockchain queries.
In December, Kolinko met Day at a hackathon in Singapore. Within a month of the meeting, Kolinko was using Google’s tools to search for a smart contract feature called a “selfdestruct,” designed to limit a contract’s life span. Using his own software in conjunction with Day’s, Kolinko took 23 seconds to search 1.2 million smart contracts—something that would have taken hours before. The result: Almost 700 of them had left open a selfdestruct feature that would let anyone instantly kill the smart contract, whether that person was authorized or not. “In the past you couldn’t just easily check all the contracts that were using it,” Kolinko says. “This tool is both the most scary and most inspiring I’ve ever built.”
Day is now expanding beyond bitcoin and ethereum. Litecoin, zcash, dash, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic and dogecoin are being added to BigQuery. Independent developers are loading their own crypto data sets on Google. Last August, a Dutch developer named Wietse Wind uploaded the entire 400 gigabytes of transaction data from Ripple’s XRP blockchain, another popular cryptocurrency, into BigQuery. Wind’s data, which he updates every 15 minutes, prompted a Danish designer named Thomas Silkjaer to create a heat map of crypto flows. The resulting colorful orb reveals at a glance more than a million crypto wallets, including big ex­changes like Binance and London’s crypto debit card startup Wirex, which are neck deep in XRP transactions.
“Google has been a bit of a sleeping giant in blockchain,” says BlockApps CEO Kieren James-Lubin, who is partnering with Google to sell enterprise blockchain apps. In addition to Day’s work, Google has filed numerous patents related to the blockchain, including one in 2018 to use a “lattice” of interoperating blockchains to increase security, a big deal in a world where untold millions of crypto have been stolen by hackers. The company is also pushing its developers to build apps on the Ethereum blockchain, and Google’s venture arm, GV, has made a number of significant investments in crypto startups.
The giant, it seems, is waking up.
Reach Michael del Castillo at [email protected]. Cover image by Munshi Ahmed.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2019/02/04/navigating-bitcoin-ethereum-xrp-how-google-is-quietly-making-blockchains-searchable/#5105408f4248
submitted by dForceProtocol to u/dForceProtocol [link] [comments]

Lets talk about the economy! Where is it going? Are some markets beginning to change? And what can be done about it?

First of all, this is not a request to increase drop rates. Doing so has large consequences on the economy and is bad for sellers. Incoming wall of text but here it goes.
I want to talk about the in-game economy and how it impacts the players (those who engage in the trading of expensive items as opposed to those who don't). Recently in game when I've tried to talk to players about the topic, I've been met with a lot of comments such as 'it just weeds out the casuals' but I don't know if people are really considering the future consequences of the in-game markets and how they can affect every single player and possibly the direction of future content (such as craftable ascended gear, but I'll get into that later).
First I want to talk about luxury markets (the game at this point has many of these markets to survive on at this time). In the current status of the game, luxury markets are probably the biggest driving element of the endgame. This is not only the items themselves, but also the materials required (T6 mats, ecto etc.), the services needed performing (eg, crafting disciplines) and the content required to play to obtain them (CS and EotM farming). Even though it's something that ANet would not be so easily admitting to, the market survives because of the constant market stimulation (buying and selling through the TP) which is caused by people playing the end game to get the items to stimulate the economy. If nobody was playing and farming that content then the game market would crash. When markets die it can have a large impact on the game economy as a whole, and to avoid that the only action that can be taken can be done by the developers.
So what is a dying market? It is when something is becoming traded less and less as the conditions to trade them become more difficult. How does this happen? When the supply and demand of an item become too disparate to encourage both parties. Now let's look at the market. DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT DEFINITIVE PROOF OF A COLLAPSING MARKET
For my examples, I ask to please set the window/zoom of the following items to 1 month (1m). First I would like to observe probably the best example I have found so far, charged cores over the last month. Looking at this particular market, we can see a steady flow of charged cores until September 10 where there was an affect in the market. Since then we can see some changes:DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING FIGURES ARE ONLY IN THE TP AND ARE NOT A REPRESENTATION OF THE ENTIRE MARKET
  1. The PRICE for the item has gone UP
  2. The SUPPLY of the item on the TP(listed by sellers) has gone DOWN
  3. The DEMAND of the item for that price(total buy listings) has gone DOWN
Now what does this mean? First of all, the item itself is less available. The possible market stimulation goes DOWN. Next the price goes up, which, which causes a direct negative affect on demand for the price. You can see this with the slowly increasing gap between the price lines and the demand bars.
Now, where does the market go from here? Any market has the ability to be affected by an external force, just like on September 10th another big change could affect these figures. But if the trend continues, and the gap becomes wider then the market will die.
What happens if a market dies? Nobody wants to buy the item the for current price, the cost is too great for the benefit. Economic stimulation comes to a stand-still from this market. Those with the money to invest in high ticket trading will forsake the market as there are no buyers to return on the entry price. Nobody makes money off the item, and nobody gains the item created from it. Those lucky enough to find them will have a hard time selling them (and many will simply lose on listing fees). The item then moves down right to the bottom of the list of recommended items to invest in. Nobody wins. This is BAD.
Now, because we are looking at a a crafting component, it is only realistic that this affect in the market will affect related markets as well. Let's have a look at the biggest consumer per item of charged lodestones: Mjolnir. Have a look again at the monthly figures and notice that there is also a steady flow of supply and demand (as a low trafficked item) but at September 11 (around the time of the charged core fluctuation) that there has been a slow price increase as well as a slow but gradual start to declining demand. Notice that after September 15 that not one single Mjolnir has been posted to the TP. The trading just isn't happening at the moment.
If you want to take a look at a higher trafficked item then have a look at Vials of Powerful Blood. This month we are seeing a decline in supply AND demand, as well as an increase in price (notice that since September 15 that the price has been rising as the demand has been falling and supply has dropped as well). This is not a good picture for people who want legendaries (or want to make money from them).
So what is the best thing for the economy? Well that's easy. The best thing for the economy is to make sure we have the exact same amount of supply as demand. That way an optimal price for consumers and sellers can be achieved (as even at a lower price, more will be sold) which will have the greatest impact on the global economy and do the most to increase the value of your money. The economy is best at the highest gold traffic it can manage. This is the most preferential situation.
So now we have to ask ourselves another big question? What effect does this have on the greater economy? For the Guild Wars 2 economy to survive, it needs economic stimulation. Why? It is because of the nature of the Trading Post. Every transaction that occurs within the TP has fees. This acts as a gold sink, in other words, money is being erased from the economy. This is a GOOD thing since money is also created (like printing money) from vendors and dungeon rewards. If the gold sink wasn't there, then everyone would have more and more money and as such it will be devalued (think of Bitcoin or printed money, the more that are produced, the less value they hold). So then what happens when markets die? Well that's simple, less transactions are taking place, so less money is going down the economic sink. Because other people aren't buying charged cores, lodestones or similar affected items from the Trading Post and are instead farming them outside, they are devaluing your money. So dungeon runs and vendors become less profitable for everybody, hardcore players included.
So now for the biggest questions: What can be done about it? and what does ANet do about it? Well, there are two things that can be one about this:
  1. Affect in-game statistics such as drop-rate, number required or available sources of the items (for example, material conversion or exchange).
  2. Or new markets can be created to stimulate the economy to prevent an economic crash.
So what does ANet do about it? The answer is that they are creating new markets for players to spend in the TP. The largest of these so far is the Ascended crafting which sinks a lot of gold daily and helps keep the game afloat. Since then we have seen the introduction of new backpieces and other assorted items to create (aka Mawdrey or Ambrite) to keep the game stable. So remember, ANet don't just give you new items to create for player benefit, but to keep the game alive. The same goes for gem store items, as long as it is a valid sink for gold it serves the economy well and they will keep producing more items.
There is however one sad part about all this, remember how I gave you two options for helping with the economy? Well sadly, it is that when you are only creating new markets and not maintaining current markets, you will eventually see some of those markets collapse (Mjolnir as we know it is dead as the buy listings do not cover cost and there is zero traffic in sell listings. This is because buyers do not think the value is worth 1,600g and so there is no demand because crafting costs are too high). Certain items in the game then become near inaccessible and that skin you wanted just stays as a poster on the wall.
So what does this tell you? Remember hearing about those new legendaries? Well the good news is that they will probably hit one day, although expect them to use different (or possibly new) materials to create. There is also pressure to keep adding to the game so new content probably won't stop either.
So you may ask, "why create this post?". I made this because I don't think that the economy is something that's being talked about enough at the moment. I can't think of anything I want more in this game than a revision of current markets for QoL. If you find current items interesting and want to strive towards it, then this is for you. If you make your money from these items, this is for you too.
So what can I do about it? Talk about it! Get it known! Obliterate that comment section and talk to people about it! ANet is the only one who can affect the market and if you don't tell them what you need, then they won't be able to give it to you.
Happy gaming!
We have a great point by risingashes which better explains the why this situation may currently be happening as well as an insight to the consequences to increasing drop rates. He is clearly more learned in economics than I. I still recommend to read all the comments however, lots of great input from most parties.
submitted by QWOPscotch to Guildwars2 [link] [comments]

Crypto Weekly Recap for the week ending July 20 - Enjoy

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory

General News

submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

Problems of the crypto-currency market. Mymining — Decentralized Solution.

Introduction
We would want to devote our first post to the acute issues existing in the crypto-currency market and explain the way that Mymining.pro platform allows solving these problems. Humanity lives on the threshold of a new era. The world around is changing rapidly. A few years ago, the technology of the distributed registry was a portion of the elite, and today the world leaders and the largest financial institutions overtly broadcast about it on TV screens. The magic word “blockchain” has penetrated many aspects of life. We are going to discuss the features of each of the tasks that can be solved on the way to converting the crypto-currency market into a massively accessible, understandable and secure one.
Below we will examine each of the tasks that will be solved on the way to transforming the crypto-currency market into a massively accessible, understandable and secure one.
World: Uneven distribution of resources, expensive cloud services
Аt the moment the global world problem is that information resources are distributed unevenly, whether computing or data storage power. In the future, the uneven distribution will lead to the loss of unused resources.
The decentralized distribution of computing power and the ability to use cloud storage will lead humanity to a fundamentally different paradigm for owning computing resources.
Now, a person already does not need his own computer at home, he successfully replaced the phone, TV and game console.
But what will happen in 3–5 years, when the technology of virtual reality and all the more complicated technical content from the technical point of view come to our life fully and what to do with huge computing power, when the majority of Altcoins go to POS?
The answer is simple: all calculations and storage will completely go to the cloud, and the released computing power block will be leased for cloud computing through the platform.
Society: Low audience awareness
Degree of complexity of mastering and perception of the crypto-currency market is equal to higher mathematics. It is important to be able to calculate the probability of risk, since the whole world of crypto-currency is a complex of problems and inconsistencies.
It is very difficult to delve right away into all the nuances of the functioning of the crypto-currency world. It is important to be able to calculate the likelihood of risk, since the block, as a new direction of the economy, is a whole complex of problems and inconsistencies.
Despite the high volatility of the market, people are no longer afraid of bitcoin and altcoins, an increase in the number of transactions surpasses all conceivable and unthinkable expectations of experts. Every second, up to 1000 operations are performed using crypto-currency assets on the earth. The phiatic world in which we all are accustomed to live, in a few years will not be able to compete with the new Digital Economy. Do not pay attention to this, means to lose the battle for the best, just world, which decentralization gives us the opportunity to create.
Crypto community: Insufficient liquidity
The market of crypto currency is highly volatile, and it is very risky to make an exchange service with low commissions. Companies do not want to take risks on themselves, so they are pawned either in commissions, or straight in the price of the currency. this is insufficient liquidity because the crypto-currency market is super-strong today
Crypto-services: Big costs and a lot of disparate services
In the digital currency market, there is the problem of lack of a single, flexible platform where users can use all the necessary services through a single window. Users constantly need to re-register, open wallets to pass identification, pay commissions on different services, which results in a large amount that is withheld from the user in the end, plus a constant security control of a particular service.
With such significant turnover, there is no simple entry with minimal commissions into the crypto-currency market .
Centralization and low security.
According to the Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study, prepared by the researchers of the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, 49 of the 51 exchanges covered by the study are centralized. The centralization of the exchange service encourages the stock exchanges themselves to abuse. Moreover, the explosive growth of the cryptories has been turned by the leading exchanges, and hundreds of millions of US dollars, in a desperate target for hackers.
Anyone who has at least once carried out transactions using crypto-currency was faced with mandatory registration of a cryptocurrency purse. The interested community has not yet reached the final safe decision to store crypto funds on purses. Over the past year, cybercriminals have stolen more than $ 1 trillion. Despite the global crypto-hype for several years now, users suffer from an underdeveloped security system and limited functionality of wallets and exchanges. In most of the wallets presented on the market, you can store only one currency, it can not be exchanged inside a wallet, or invested. There are two more important points: 76% of crypto-operators have no licenses, and bitcoin is the main digital currency that is supported by exchanges, purses and payment companies.
P2P services can remove the severity of the problem, but those that exist today are limited to the functions of the trading platform — they simply reduce users to each other, but do not solve the security problem of the transaction. In addition, limited use in everyday life is affected.
General description of the solution
Having identified these problems and saw the possibilities, the Mymining team decided to create a decentralized platform with a high degree of security. We decided to merge all the necessary crypto and shelter services into a single product. For the convenience of users, several current services of the crypto-currency world will be merged: social network, marketplace, free cloud-mining pool, exchange and wallet, decentralized data storage and processing center. This is how the idea to create Mymining — the same-name solution for payments, purchases, conversions, mining and storage of crypto-currencies was born. Single entry point for users — All services of blocking in one application with minimal commissions.
Decentralized multiservice Mymining is designed to simplify the use of crypto-currencies in everyday life, make cloud mining several times more affordable, and provide a convenient and secure way of storing assets in the new era of the Digital Economy. Our goal is to bring closer such a future, where everyone can independently manage and safely store savings in any of the currencies.
In the following posts, we will try to write more in detail about the functional, technical characteristics and security system.
Read more about Private Sale Company
If you have any questions, please use the contact information provided in this section in order to get consulting assistance from our specialists.
If you have an interesting offer, you can write to the head of the advertising department:
[email protected]
If you have any questions about selling tokens,
Write to our support team:
[email protected]
All complaints and suggestions you can discuss
with the head of quality control:
[email protected]
The beta version of the Mymining project https://mymining.pro
English сommunity https://t.me/mymining_en
French Community https://t.me/mymining_fr
Russian community https://t.me/mymining _rus
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mymining
Twitter https://twitter.com/mymining
Your suggestions: [email protected]
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