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Main article: Cryptocurrency

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Nodle crowdsources IoT connectivity

15:32 | 11 December

Nodle, which is competing in the TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin Startup Battlefield this week, is based on a simple premise: What if you could crowdsource the connectivity of smart sensors by offloading it to smartphones? For most sensors, built-in cell connectivity is simply not a realistic option, given how much power it would take. A few years of battery life is quite realistic for a sensor that uses Bluetooth Low Energy.

Overall, that’s a pretty straightforward idea, but the trick is to convince smartphone users to install Nodle’s app. To solve this, the company, which was co-founded by Micha Benoliel (CEO) and Garrett Kinsman, is looking to cryptocurrency. With Nodle Cash, users automatically earn currency whenever their phones transmit a package to the network. That connection, it’s worth noting, is always encrypted, using Nodle’s Rendevouz protocol.

The company has already raised $3.5 million in seed funding, mostly from investors in the blockchain space: Blockchange, Work Play Ventures (Marc Pincus), Blockchain Ventures (Blockchain.com), Olymp Capital, Bootstraplabs and Blockhead.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t Benoliel’s first rodeo in this space. He also co-founded the mesh networking startup Open Garden, which used a somewhat similar approach a few years ago to crowdsource connectivity (and which made a bit of a splash with its FireChat offline chat app back in 2014). Open Garden, too, competed in our Startup Battlefield in 2012 and won our award for most innovative startup. Benoliel left his CEO position there in early 2016, but Nodle definitely feels like an iteration on the original idea of Open Garden.

“We define the category as crowd connectivity,” Benoliel told me. “We leverage crowdsourced connectivity for connecting things to the internet. We believe there are a lot of benefits to doing that.” He argues that there are a number of innovations converging right now that will allow the company to succeed: Chipsets are getting smaller, and an increasing number of sensors now uses Bluetooth Low Energy, all while batteries are getting smaller and more efficient and blockchain technology is maturing.

Given the fact that these sensors depend on somebody with a phone coming by, this is obviously not a solution for companies that need to get real-time data. There’s simply no way for Nodle to guarantee that, after all. But the company argues it is a great solution for smart cities that want to get regular readouts of road usage or companies that want to do asset tracking.

“We do not address real-time connectivity, which is what you can do with more traditional solutions,” Benoliel said. “But we believe IoT is so broad and there is so much utility in being able to collect data from time to time, that with out solution, we can connect almost anything to the internet.”

While some users may want to simply install the Nodle Cash app to, well, make some Nodle cash, the team is also betting on working with app developers who may want to use the platform to make some extra money from their apps by adding it to the Nodle network. For users, that obviously means they’ll burn some extra data, so developers have to clearly state that they are opting their users into this service.

[gallery ids="1922759,1922749,1922756"]

The team expects a normal user to see an extra 20 to 30 MB of traffic with Nodle installed, which isn’t really all that much (users of the standalone Nodle app also have the option to cache the data and postpone the transfer when they connect to Wi-Fi). Some app developers may use Nodle as an alternative to in-app payments, the team hopes.

The company is also already working with HTC and Cisco Meraki, and has a number of pilot projects in the works.

If you want to give it a try, you can install the Nodle Cash app for Android now.

 


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No Libra style digital currencies without rules, say EU finance ministers

13:06 | 6 December

European Union finance ministers have agreed a defacto ban on the launch in the region of so-called global ‘stablecoins’ such as Facebook’s planned Libra digital currency until the bloc has a common approach to regulation that can mitigate the risks posed by the technology.

In a joint statement the European Council and Commission write that “no global ‘stablecoin’ arrangement should begin operation in the European Union until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been adequately identified and addressed”.

The statement includes recognition of potential benefits of the crypto technology, such as cheaper and faster payments across borders, but says they pose “multifaceted challenges and risks related for example to consumer protection, privacy, taxation, cyber security and operational resilience, money laundering, terrorism financing, market integrity, governance and legal certainty”.

“When a ‘stablecoin’ initiative has the potential to reach a global scale, these concerns are likely to be amplified and new potential risks to monetary sovereignty, monetary policy, the safety and efficiency of payment systems, financial stability, and fair competition can arise,” they add.

All options are being left open to ensure effective regulation, per the statement, with ministers and commissioners stating this should include “any measures to prevent the creation of unmanageable risks by certain global “stablecoins”.”

The new European Commission is already working on a regulation for global stablecoins, per Reuters.

In a speech at a press conference, Commission VP Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Today the Ecofin endorsed a joint statement with the Commission on stablecoins. These are part of a much broader universe of crypto assets. If we properly address the risks, innovation around crypto assets has the potential to play a positive role for investors, consumers and the efficiency of our financial system.

“A number of Member States like France, Germany or Malta introduced national crypto asset laws, but most people agree with the advice of the European Supervisory Authorities that these markets go beyond borders and so we need a common European framework.

“We will now move to implement this advice. We will launch a public consultation very shortly, before the end of the year.”

The joint statement also hits out at the lack of legal clarity around some major global projects in this area — which looks like a tacit reference to Facebook’s Libra project (though the text does not include any named entities).

“Some recent projects of global dimension have provided insufficient information on how precisely they intend to manage risks and operate their business. This lack of adequate information makes it very difficult to reach definitive conclusions on whether and how the existing EU regulatory framework applies. Entities that intend to issue ‘stablecoins’, or carry out other activities involving ‘stablecoins’ in the EU should provide full and adequate information urgently to allow for a proper assessment against the applicable existing rules,” they warn.

Facebook’s Libra project was only announced this summer — with a slated launch of the first half of 2020 — but was quickly dealt major blows by the speedy departure of key founder members from the vehicle set up to steer the initiative, as giants including Visa, Stripe and eBay apparently took fright at the regulatory backlash. Though you’d never know it from reading the Libra Association PR.

One perhaps unintended effective of Facebook’s grand design on disrupting global financial systems is to amp up pressure on traditional payment providers to innovate and improve their offerings for consumers.

EU ministers write that the emergence of stablecoin initiatives “highlight the importance of continuous improvements to payment arrangements in order to meet market and consumer expectations for convenient, fast, efficient and inexpensive payments – especially cross-border”.

“While European payment systems have already made significant progress, European payment actors, including payment services providers, also have a key role to play in this respect,” they continue. “We note that the ECB and other central banks and national competent authorities will explore further the ongoing digital transformation of the payment system and, in particular, the consequences of initiatives such as ‘stablecoins’. We welcome that central banks in cooperation with other relevant authorities continue to assess the costs and benefits of central bank digital currencies as well as engage with European payment actors regarding the role of the private sector in meeting expectations for efficient, fast and inexpensive cross-border payments.”

 


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Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith accused of helping North Korea evade sanctions

18:47 | 3 December

On Friday, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced that Ethereum Foundation staff member Virgil Griffith was arrested. He faces charges of conspiracy following a trip to North Korea and a presentation at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.

In particular, he allegedly provided services to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea) without obtaining approval from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.

According to the complaint, Griffith reached out to the U.S. State Department but his permission was denied due to economic sanctions against North Korea. Griffith traveled to China and then North Korea anyway. The complaint also says that Griffith discussed “cryptocurrency technologies to evade sanctions and launder money.”

A special agent for the FBI interviewed Griffith back in May 2019. It was a consensual interview and he talked about his presentation titled “Blockchain and Peace” with the agent. He showed photos of his trip and said he would like to attend the same conference next year.

Griffith discussed his presentation with another individual via a messaging app. “Individual-1 asked, in sum and substance, what interest North Koreans had in cryptocurrency. Griffith replied, in sum and substance, ‘probably avoiding sanctions… who knows,’” the complaint says.

Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, wrote

about Griffith’s arrest. “I don't think what Virgil did gave DRPK any kind of real help in doing anything bad. He *delivered a presentation based on publicly available info about open-source software*. There was no weird hackery ‘advanced tutoring,’” he wrote.

He also says that the Ethereum Foundation has nothing to do with Griffith’s trip to North Korea. “EF paid nothing and offered no assistance; it was Virgil's personal trip that many counseled against,” Buterin wrote.

Earlier today, a judge ruled that there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial. Griffith will be released from jail pending trial.

 


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Facebook’s Libra code chugs along ignoring regulatory deadlock

00:50 | 16 November

“5 months and growing strong” the Libra Association announced today in an post about its technical infrastructure that completely omits the fierce regulatory backlash to its cryptocurrency.

40 wallets, tools, and block explorers plus 1,700 Github commits have how now been built on its blockchain testnet that’s seen 51,000 mock transactions in the past two months. Libra nodes that process transactions are now being run by Coinbase, Uber, BisonTrails, Iliad, Xapo, Anchorage, and Facebook’s Calibra. Six more nodes are being established, plus there are 8 more getting set up from members who lack technical teams, meaning all 21 members have nodes running or in the works.

But the update on the Libra backend doesn’t explain how the association plans to get all the way to its goal of 100 members and nodes by next year when it originally projected a launch. And it gives no nod to the fact that even if Libra is technically ready to deploy its mainnet in 2020, government regulators in the US and around the world still won’t necessarily let it launch.

Last month’s congressional testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was less contentious than Libra board member David Marcus’ appearances on Capitol Hill in July. Yet few of lawmakers’ core concerns about how Libra could facilitate money laundering, endanger users’ assets, and give Facebook even more power amidst ongoing anti-trust investigations were assuaged.

This set of announcements from the Libra Core summit of technical members was an opportunity for the project to show how it was focused on addressing fraud, security, and decentralization of power. Instead, the Libra Association took the easy route of focusing on what the Facebook-led development team knows best: writing code, not fixing policy. TechCrunch provided questions to the Libra Association and some members but the promised answers were not returned before press time.

For those organizations without a technical team to implement a node, the Libra Association is working on a strategy to support deployment in 2020, when the Libra Core feature set is complete” the Association’s Michael Engle writes. “The Libra Association intends to deploy 100 nodes on the mainnet, representing a mix of on-premises and cloud-hosted infrastructure.” It feels a bit like Libra is plugging its ears.

Having proper documentation, setting up CLAs to ease GitHub contributions, standardizing the Move code language, a Bug Bounty program, and a public technical roadmap are a good start. But until the Association can answers Congress’ questions directly, they’re likely to refuse Libra approval which Zuckerberg said the project won’t launch without.

 


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The Garage is a new blockchain-focused incubator based in Paris

12:10 | 13 November

Meet The Garage, a new incubator in Paris that is all about blockchain projects. Co-founded by Cyril Paglino from Starchain Capital, Fabrice Le Fessant from Dune Network and Oussama Ammar from The Family, the company will support blockchain startups, help big companies launch blockchain projects and educate engineers about blockchain development.

The Garage is a sort of puzzle made out of multiple pieces. First, it wants to create a community of startups and support those startups in different ways.

“We copy and paste The Family’s model, which means that it’s built on trust. We take 5% of equity after six months if the startup and The Garage are happy,” The Garage director Damien Daübe said during a small press conference yesterday.

In exchange for 5%, startups that are part of The Garage community get some help when it comes to product, engineering, press relations, marketing, etc. Eventually, The Garage wants to tap its network of investors to make some introductions and help them get some funding and traction.

There are already five startups participating in the program, such as Ipocamp, Ticket721 and Elite Chain. Eventually, The Garage wants to help 25 startups per year. The Family receives a lot of applications. You could imagine that The Family might recommend The Garage to some of them.

But taking some equity isn’t going to generate revenue from day one. The Garage is also going to work with Dune Network, the new blockchain from OCamlPro. According to The Block, OCamlPro was working with the Tezos Foundation but decided to part ways, create a fork and start a new blockchain.

The Garage is going to work with big corporate clients on some blockchain projects. This could generate some revenue much more quickly.

Finally, The Garage is also going to teach software engineers about blockchain development. The company will host with free lessons in the evening. There will be some online resources as well.

All of this is going to happen in a recently renovated building that looks like a hybrid between an Apple Store and a movie set. If you’re into concrete, metal and industrial design, it’s a beautiful place. It was mostly used for fashion week events until The Garage started renting it.

[gallery ids="1911098,1911099,1911100,1911101,1911102,1911103,1911104,1911105,1911106"]

 


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Dutch court orders Facebook to ban celebrity crypto scam ads after another lawsuit

15:04 | 12 November

A Dutch court has ruled that Facebook can be required to use filter technologies to identify and pre-emptively take down fake ads linked to crypto currency scams that carry the image of a media personality, John de Mol.

The Dutch celerity filed a lawsuit against Facebook in April over the misappropriation of his likeness to shill Bitcoin scams via fake ads run on its platform.

In an immediately enforceable preliminary judgement today the court has ordered Facebook to remove all offending ads within five days, and provide de Mol with data on the accounts running them within a week.

Per the judgement, victims of the crypto scams had reported a total of €1.7 million (~$1.8M) in damages to the Dutch government at the time of the court summons.

The case is similar to a legal action instigated by UK consumer advice personality, Martin Lewis, last year, when he announced defamation proceedings against Facebook — also for misuse of his image in fake ads for crypto scams.

Lewis withdrew the suit at the start of this year after Facebook agreed to apply new measures to tackle the problem: Namely a scam ads report button. It also agreed to provide funding to a UK consumer advice organization to set up a scam advice service.

In the de Mol case the lawsuit was allowed to run its course — resulting in today’s preliminary judgement against Facebook. It’s not yet clear whether the company will appeal but in the wake of the ruling Facebook has said it will bring the scam ads report button to the Dutch market early next month.

In court, the platform giant sought to argue that it could not more proactively remove the Bitcoin scam ads containing de Mol’s image on the grounds that doing so would breach EU law against general monitoring conditions being placed on Internet platforms.

However the court rejected that argument, citing a recent ruling by Europe’s top court related to platform obligations to remove hate speech, also concluding that the specificity of the requested measures could not be classified as ‘general obligations of supervision’.

It also rejected arguments by Facebook’s lawyers that restricting the fake scam ads would be restricting the freedom of expression of a natural person, or the right to be freely informed — pointing out that the ‘expressions’ involved are aimed at commercial gain, as well as including fraudulent practices.

Facebook also sought to argue it is already doing all it can to identify and take down the fake scam ads — saying too that its screening processes are not perfect. But the court said there’s no requirement for 100% effectiveness for additional proactive measures to be ordered. Its ruling further notes a striking reduction in fake scam ads using de Mol’s image since the lawsuit was announced

Facebook’s argument that it’s just a neutral platform was also rejected, with the court pointing out that its core business is advertising.

It also took the view that requiring Facebook to apply technically complicated measures and extra effort, including in terms of manpower and costs, to more effectively remove offending scam ads is not unreasonable in this context.

The judgement orders Facebook to remove fake scam ads containing de Mol’s likeness from Facebook and Instagram within five days of the order — with a penalty of €10k per day that Facebook fails to comply with the order, up to a maximum of €1M (~$1.1M).

The court order also requires that Facebook provides de Mol with data on the accounts that had been misusing his image within seven days of the judgement, with a further penalty of €1k per day for failure to comply, up to a maximum of €100k.

Facebook has also been ordered to pay the case costs.

Responding to the judgement in a statement, a Facebook spokesperson told us:

We have just received the ruling and will now look at its implications. We will consider all legal actions, including appeal. Importantly, this ruling does not change our commitment to fighting these types of ads. We cannot stress enough that these types of ads have absolutely no place on Facebook and we remove them when we find them. We take this very seriously and will therefore make our scam ads reporting form available in the Netherlands in early December. This is an additional way to get feedback from people, which in turn helps train our machine learning models. It is in our interest to protect our users from fraudsters and when we find violators we will take action to stop their activity, up to and including taking legal action against them in court.

One legal expert describes the judgement as “

“. Law professor Mireille Hildebrandt told us that it provides for as an alternative legal route for Facebook users to litigate and pursue collective enforcement of European personal data rights. Rather than suing for damages — which entails a high burden of proof.

Injunctions are faster and more effective, Hildebrandt added.

The judgement also raises

around the burden of proof for demonstrating Facebook has removed scam ads with sufficient (increased) accuracy; and what specific additional measures it might deploy to improve its takedown rate.

Although the introduction of the ‘report scam ad button’ does provide one clear avenue for measuring takedown performance.

The button was finally rolled out to the UK market in July. And while Facebook has talked since the start of this year about ‘envisaging’ introducing it in other markets it hasn’t exactly been proactive in doing so — up til now, with this court order. 

 


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Andreessen Horowitz launches free crypto startup school

18:04 | 8 November

Last month, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that the VC firm would run a free crypto startup school. And the company is officially launching its school today. Applications are now open and you have four weeks to apply.

With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the a16z has been involved in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space for 7 years, and the firm now wants to share some of its learnings with entrepreneurs.

This way, it could give a boost to the crypto community, which could create investment opportunities for a16z down the road — a16z says clearly that participating in the crypto startup school doesn’t mean you’ll receive an investment from a16z. It also positions a16z as a thoughtful investor when it comes to crypto startup investments — not just for participants of the crypto startup school but for the crypto community at large.

The a16z Crypto Startup School will be a seven-week program that starts in February 21, 2020. The program is free and a16z doesn’t take any equity.

Lectures will take place in Menlo Park, so you have to be based in Silicon Valley or willing to spend a couple of months there. a16z knows that it can be challenging to move to another country just to attend this program, that’s why the firm will also be recording all lectures. Anyone will be able to watch videos and download curriculum materials later.

Here’s a sneak peek of the course outline:

  • What are Crypto Networks, and Why Do They Matter?
  • Blockchain Computing Primitives: Cryptography and Consensus
  • Overview of Application Development Tools
  • Applications: Today and 2025
  • Crypto Business Models
  • Cryptoeconomics
  • UX, Product Development and Security
  • Go-to-Market Strategy and Developer Relations
  • Community Participation and Governance
  • Regulatory Landscape and Considerations
  • Guide to Fundraising

As you can, it’s a mix of lectures purely focused on cryptocurrencies as well as broader startup 101 lessons (fundraising, go-to-market strategy, etc.).

a16z is looking for 20 to 25 teams, which should represent approximately 40 participants. You should have prior experience when it comes to building software products, but you don’t need to be a crytpo expert. They can expect 12 to 15 hours of lectures, workshops, mentorship and networking opportunities per week.

At the end of the course, participants will showcase a project idea or a prototype during a demo day.

 


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Libra’s critics are missing the forest for the trees

23:20 | 7 November

Nik Milanovic Contributor
Nik Milanovic is a fintech and financial inclusion enthusiast, with a decade of work across mobile payments, online lending, credit and microfinance.
More posts by this contributor

It would be an understatement to say the last few months have been rocky for Libra, Facebook’s proposed stablecoin.

Since its announcement in June, eBay, Mastercard and other members of the cryptocurrency’s elite consortium have jumped ship (many due to direct pressure from legislators), a congressional hearing on Libra turned into an evisceration of Facebook’s data and privacy practices, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard assailed the project’s lack of controls and the Chinese government announced its own competitive digital currency.

Critics, though well-intentioned, are missing the forest for the trees.

In spite of Libra’s well-cataloged risks and unanswered questions, there is a massive opportunity in plain sight for the global financial system; it would be a tragedy to let that opportunity be destroyed on the basis of Facebook’s reputation or Libra’s haphazard go-to-market. 

Governments should heed the lesson of the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1970s and use the idea behind Libra, if not the project itself, in “coopetition” to build a better, more inclusive global financial architecture. 

A few key points to begin: first, Facebook is probably not the right actor to spearhead this initiative.

Mark Zuckerberg promises that Facebook will only be one board member in a governing consortium and that the project will comply with U.S. regulatory demands and privacy standards. But just as the company reneged on its promise not to integrate the encrypted WhatsApp into Facebook’s platform, it’s easy to picture Facebook pushing through standards that benefit itself at consumer expense. While Facebook would be a great platform to distribute Libra, its track record should make constituents uneasy about giving it any control.

Second, global payment systems are outdated and slow, and many businesses have been set up to extract rents from that fact. This burden disproportionately falls on the shoulders of poor consumers. People living paycheck-to-paycheck are forced into high-interest loans to smooth their cash flow due to slow settlement speeds. Immigrants sending money home pay up to 17 percent to move money across borders, costs that take a sizable bite out of some countries’ GDPs. In a ubiquitous currency regime, however, foreign exchange fees would vanish entirely .

 


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Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are having a very bad day

01:37 | 24 October

The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies tanked today, continuing a months-long slide that has seen the value of the digital currency slide by more than $2,000 from highs of above $10,000 earlier in the year.

Investors are still speculating about the cause of the crash, but hopeful cryptocurrency bulls before today had hoped that $8,000 would be the new floor for Bitcoin.

No longer. Today the price of Bitcoin dropped to $7,448.75, down from around $8,000 earlier in the day.

Screen Shot 2019 10 23 at 2.52.43 PM

Investors aren’t sure what’s behind the crash, but Bitcoin’s commentariat pointed to two likely culprits.

One was the underwhelming performance of Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in testimony before Congress on the Libra cryptocurrency that his company is leading the charge to create.

However, an underwhelming performance from Zuckerberg and the potential fate of Libra, which cryptocurrency purists have scoffed at anyway, may be less concerning for the Bitcoin crowd than developments happening in Google’s quantum computing research labs around the world.

Earlier today, Google declared quantum dominance, indicating that it had solved a problem using quantum computing that a supercomputer would have taken years to solve. That’s great news for theoretical physicists and quantum computing aficionados, but less good for investors who’ve put their faith (and billions of dollars) into a system of record whose value depends on its inability to be cracked by computing power.

When news of Google’s achievement first began trickling out in late September (thanks to reporting by the Financial Times), Bitcoin experts

that it would cause problems for the cryptocurrency.

“We still don’t even know if it’s possible to scale quantum computers; quite possible that adding qbits will have an exponential cost,” wrote early Bitcoin developer Peter Todd, on Twitter.

The comments, flagged by CoinTelegraph, seem to indicate that the economic cost of cracking Bitcoin’s cryptography is far beyond the means of even Alphabet’s multibillion-dollar budgets.

Still, it has been a dark few months for cryptocurrencies after steadily surging throughout the year. The real test, of course, of the viability of Bitcoin and the other cryptographically secured transaction mechanisms floating around the tech world these days is whether anyone will build viable products on their open architectures.

Aside from a few flash-in-the-pan fads, the jury is very much still out on what the verdict will be.

That uncertainty affects more than just Bitcoin, and, indeed, the rest of the market also tumbled, as Coindesk pricing charts indicate.

Screen Shot 2019 10 23 at 3.23.33 PM

 


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Justin Drake from the Ethereum Foundation is coming to Disrupt Berlin

13:59 | 22 October

The Ethereum community is hard at work on Ethereum 2.0, the next major upgrade of its blockchain. It is an incredibly challenging task, and the Ethereum Foundation has been completely transparent about its roadmap and progress. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake is joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin.

Justin Drake will give us an update on Ethereum 2.0. He’s been working on sharding and scalability in order to better support the Ethereum ecosystem and enable new use cases.

The current version of Ethereum can only handle a dozen transactions per second. With sharding, the computing load will be partitioned, which should lead to a drastic increase in performance.

And the most fascinating part of Ethereum 2.0 is that it’s a moving target. The Ethereum community has put years of research and development in the update in order to refine how it’s going to work and how it’s going to be rolled out. It’s a large scale experiment of distributed development.

Ethereum 2.0 will be rolled out in multiple phases in order to ensure the finality of a transaction, construct shard chains and make sure smart contracts run properly. If that sounds complicated, Justin Drake can tell you in simple words why Ethereum is such an interesting project.

Ethereum 2.0 could transform the Ethereum blockchain into a sort of “world computer” that can execute instructions across a network of servers all around the world. And that’s what so exciting about it.

And that’s not all. In addition to an interview on Ethereum, Justin Drake will also talk about building a blockchain startup on the Extra Crunch stage with other blockchain experts.

He knows how important it is to build a community of developers and researchers around your blockchain project. And he can tell you about the best strategies to communicate and iterate on complicated blockchain projects.

Buy your ticket to Disrupt Berlin to listen to those discussions — and many others. The conference will take place December 11-12.

In addition to panels and fireside chats, like this one, new startups will participate in the Startup Battlefield to compete for the highly coveted Battlefield Cup.


Justin lives in Cambridge, UK where he studied mathematics. He founded the Cambridge Bitcoin Meetup group in 2013, and in 2014 left his job as a programmer and FPGA engineer to study the blockchain space. In 2015 he operated a Bitcoin ATM and started a company providing a web interface for OpenBazaar. He is now a researcher for the Ethereum Foundation focusing on sharding.

 


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