I think it’s safe to say that we are in a bear market. Hopefully the fraudsters and poorly thought out projects will reveal themselves, and money will find the projects and teams creating real value.
In this bear market, Bitcoin’s dominance as risen from 32% to 42%.
EOS Engineering eclipsing Cardano Scientists?
As you know, I think that two projects, EOS and Cardano, stand a very good chance of becoming key infrastructure in our crypto future. And yes, I think the future to a large extent is crypto, meaning a lot of existing institutions will be disrupted.
For the lay person, I would summarize EOS and Cardano thus:
EOS represents engineering. It’s leader, Dan Larimer has built what I consider to be the two most finished usable crypt products, which do something other than serve as money. These products are Steemit, a social network, and BitShares, a decentralized exchange and lending platform. Both function as DAPPs – decentralized applications with democratic governance mechanisms.
With this experience behind him, Dan is building EOS, which would make it easy for other developers to build applications as sophisticated and complex as Steemit or BitShares.
Cardano represents science. It’s leader, Charles Hoskinson, has recruited some of the best academics in the world, and they’re taking a slow, peer-review approach to development.
Charles Hoskinson was closely involved with Ethereum, and worked with Dan Larimer on Bitshares before they had a falling out.
Cardano seems to be attempting to be both a medium of exchange, and a platform for Dapps.
Cardano is producing research papers that make it into prestigious conferences, youtube videos like this one about theoretic problems.
And lots and lots of positive PR.
In my opinion a lot of the PR is somewhat hollow, like this piece which is little more than a restatement of the basic value proposition.
I’m waiting for more.
There’s telegram chat has 15k users, but the content is mostly echos of their PR together with price speculation.
EOS seems to have a much bigger community of the people who matter.
The EOS governance telegram channel has daily intense debates about how voting will work.
The EOS developer channel has programmers asking about the latest releases and how to build application.
And the general EOS channel is about 38k people, and mostly features summaries of other channels and official announcements.
There are some hard feeling between Dan Larimer and Charles Hoskinson.
Dan Larimer has offered this specific criticism of the Cardano project.
After watching these products and communities for the past two months, I now believe more in EOS than I do in Cardano.
I believe in EOS so strongly in fact, that I’m maneuvering to be a part of the eco-system, both as a block producer and as a developer. (more below)
Criticism of EOS
Not everyone agrees with me, and you should read the criticism below before you decide to agree with me.
Here is an accusation that EOS is a scam, based on patterns of the token sale. (I don’t get this criticism because EOS is the only crypto I know that did its ICO as a year-long “dutch sale” which auctioned tokens every day, so that everyone in the world would have an equal shot at getting tokens.)
Back in August, Ethereum founder Vitali Buterin posted this criticism of EOS.
Recently, late night comedian John Oliver made this video ridiculing cryptos in general, and EOS specifically, mostly because of its flamboyant investor, Brock Pierce, who has since severed formal ties with the company creating EOS.
Another criticism of EOS which causes consternation is that Block One, Dan Larimer’s company building the software, is very vocal about promising absolutely nothing in exchange for the token. They insist that they are building open-source software and nothing else, and that the community will launch the actual blockchain in June, and that the distribution of EOS tokens is merely a hypothetical way to distribute the initial allocation of actual EOS tokens. This is justifiably enough to spook many people, but the reasons behind it are clear. There are completely different legal implications between a) building free, open source software which anyone can use to run a stock exchange, and b) running an actual stock exchange.
Block Producers vs Miners
Bitcoin, famously, uses “miners” to solve “proof of work” problems and build the Bitcoin ledger which is an example of a Blockchain.
To add a block to the chain, you have to outcompete the rest of the world in solving a math problem, which occurs about once every ten minutes.
EOS is different. It uses something Dan Larimer invented called “delegated proof of stake”. There are a whole bunch of servers on the internet which advertise that they want to be block producers. Holders of EOS token lock up some of their tokens as “votes”, and point them to any of the block producer candidates.
There’s no gigantic math contest consuming more electricity than the nation of Ecuador, as exists with Bitcoin. The top 21 block producers take turns writing blocks to the ledger.
I’m not part of a team campaigning to become EOS block producers: http://cryptolions.io/.
My biggest concern with this effort is that “whales” (people who hold a lot of EOS tokens) will simply create their own nodes and self-vote.
Nevertheless, the Crypto Lions team is campaigning in the hopes of gathering votes from the general community.
A really innovative “hack” on Binance
Leading crypto exchange Binance recently froze exchanges and withdrawals for several hours, terrifying the markets. In the end they reversed suspicious transactions and resumed operations, like the class act they continually prove themselves to be. They’ve also offered a reward for catching the hacker.
Here’s what happened:
A lot of people use publicly available bots to do automatic trading for them.
They give the bots access to log in to their Binance accounts. Since you can restrict fund withdrawals under a different set of security measures, a malicious bot would not be able to steal your funds. They can only trade.
So what’s an innovative hacker to do?
One popular trading bot recently went bad. Instead of withdrawing people’s money, it sold all their crypto currencies, and bought an obscure crypto currency called Via Coin. This happened simultaneously on many accounts, and so the price of Via Coin spiked, presumably allowing hackers to sell the sudden price jump.
Ve Chain kicking butt
VeChain, a logistics focused blockchain partnered with PWC continues to vastly outperform the broader crypto markets.
Here is an interview with their CEO.
He addresses a question which has been on my mind — why shouldn’t fortune 500 companies just launch their own blockchains?
His answer: Of course they can. And they can use those blockchains to transfer information, but transferring information is not the same as transferring VALUE. To have VALUE you need broad public support, and the public seems to want decentralized, transparent, fairly distributed crypto currencies.
Do I agree? Yes, to an extent, though I’m sure an Amazon coin would have value too.
And I think our crypto future is a world in which many businesses, organizations, and even some individuals will have their own money.