We’ve seen this before. Zynga, and the gamification trend; Groupon, and the daily-deal verticals, deal-ification of everything. Now, we see the same play in the cryptocurrency world.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe Bitcoin is real because it is essentially banking, disrupted. I call it more of a bank than currency because the daily trade has not shifted away a bit from fiat-currencies. To me, it’s more a response to increasing (for arguably good reasons nevertheless) violations of privacy in the banking system (e.g. FATCA and the likes). Thus the power of the collective operation behind BTC is similar to an international bank like HSBC. read more

Steeming ahead

Blockchain is one of the most intriguing technologies out there in 2017, in no small part due to its open nature. Open in the sense that there’s a lot of open source work happening (in particular, its two largest projects: Bitcoin and Ethereum). But also ‘open’ in the sense that blockchain is the epitome of a decentralized platform. For this reason, many see blockchain as a potentially huge disrupting force on the Internet. Think about what a decentralized eBay, or a decentralized Uber, would mean for the economy. Essentially, a blockchain version of eBay or Uber cuts out the middleman – meaning the buyer/passenger gets to liaise directly with the seller/driver. read more

New York Times published an opinion article yesterday that suggests ethereum may take over bitcoin as the gold standard of cryptocurrencies. I disagree. And the proof is in the technical details.

Ethereum is a currency that’s vulnerable to hacks. Any cryptocurrency is, but with ethereum, it is more so. In fact, ethereum was hacked once in its less than three years long history. $80MM worth of ethers were stolen, and the Ethereum Foundation decided to change the source code so that the thieves would not be able to use the money. The idea was, this way, the heist would be contained. But, to some, this was no different than governments seizing individuals’ properties, hence against the decentralized spirit of blockchains. As a result, the ethereum-classic hard-fork was born. read more

Friends,

Welcome to our new blog here on the Internet. AltPlatform is a co-op nonprofit tech blog infused with the spirit of Open Web. Richard summed up our goals in his manifesto.

We realize that the world has changed a lot since our good old ReadWriteWeb days. Web 2.0 is no longer relevant. Things are changing so quickly in tech that even Marc Andreessen’s “software is eating the world” mantra is no more. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang puts it, now AI is eating the software.

We’re in the early stages of a new period of humanity, where bots and robots will take over not only labor-intensive jobs but also artistic ones. Computers have been fixing punctuation and grammar in our writing for some time now. But soon, well-trained networks will be able to consume the latest news articles and generate an opinion article in a snap. A decade from now, Saturday Night Live jokes will be produced not by a factory of writers, but by neural networks. Need proof? Just look at what the Prisma app can do without human intervention. read more