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Intro to privacy coins w/ Snappy Snap of PIVX

 

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Cryptocurrencies come wrapped in many kinds of packaging: altcoins, memecoins, stablecoins… and of course everyone’s favorite: shitcoins. Among these potentially confusing categories you are likely to find mention of the privacy coin. What differentiates a privacy coin from the others… and what exactly are their purpose?

For today’s Crypto 101 interview we are given an overview of privacy coins from our guest Bryan (aka Snappy Snap) of the PIVX community. Understanding this subcategory of cryptocurrency is fortunately not that complicated — but the conversation did open a number of other questions about the future of the cryptosphere, the way people connect within it, and how the powers that be may impact it. Let’s dig in.

The essential feature of a privacy coin (and PIVX in particular), is to protect its users from sharing personal financial information. PIVX puts this aspect front and center with its name: Private, Instant, Verified Transaction. Detractors of cryptocurrency like to use Bitcoin’s past association with the Silk Road website and inaccurately paint it as private and anonymous… therefore ideal for illegal transactions.

Bitcoin, however, is most certainly not a privacy coin which provides this anonymity. As its blockchain is a transparent and very public transaction history. The amount of and time of Bitcoin transactions are easily viewable with the block explorer. Snappy also points out that Bitcoin provides no IP masking (which makes identifying a user even easier).

Privacy as it relates to cryptocurrencies is often painted as a negative thing, and only of interest to criminals or people who are involved in questionable activities. In actuality, privacy is the reason you have curtains on your windows and a door on the bathroom. However, there’s no digital curtain to pull over your Bitcoin transactions — your wallet address holds your transaction history and balance up for inspection by any who care to look. Whether that be a curious look or a malicious one is anyone’s guess.

In response to Bitcoin user’s vulnerability, small pockets of developers began to work on improving the privacy aspect of cryptocurrency. Most notably, the zerocoin protocol was developed as an extension of Bitcoin which provided temporarily pooling and then trading the currency for ‘zerocoins,’ which obscured their transaction history. As a cryptocurrency in its own right, Zcoin was developed from the zerocoin protocol and then fully launched in 2016. PIVX became the first proof-of-stake currency to adopt the zerocoin protocol in 2017 .

Since that time, PIVX developed itself as a currency (units of which are called Piv) which is focused on inexpensive and speedy transactions with an option for privacy. Using the zerocoin protocol, Piv are converted into zPiv, making the currency completely fungible. Following conversion, the wallet, sender and receiver information become completely private. Instead of a one-to-one swap, base denominations (units of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000) are used to further obfuscate the transactions. The cost of sending a zPiv transaction is only 0.01 piv per minted denomination.

 

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of PIVX is the community which has developed around the currency. It defines itself as a digital autonomous organization (DAO) and has no central governance authority. Instead, a system of proposals are voted on regularly by the masternode operators. Developers and promoters earn their compensation in this way. Being a proof-of-stake blockchain, PIVX allows holders of the coin to participate in staking or running a masternode as well, both which net a monthly reward for helping to secure the network.

Regarding the privacy aspect of PIVX, Snappy notes that the community is aware that there is likely to be government scrutiny on the users in an attempt to tax the income. While the currency itself can be used to thwart outside efforts to audit transactions and balances, PIVX as a whole is eager to be at the forefront of digital asset projects which will help guide the discussion that will need to occur with governments to adapt to a world in which cryptoassets are destined to become an increasing piece of domestic and global economies. I personally feel that this demonstrates tremendous foresight on the part of the PIVX community.

PIVX is an interesting project which promotes the idea of community and interdependence in a way seldom seen in other cryptocurrency projects. It is at this level of community where the models we need as a whole will develop, and it very well may be that PIVX is a top contender in setting these new standards. For the adaptation for the cryptoeconomy to develop, survive and coexist with legacy models of economic participation, privacy and fungibility will be key components which demand our attention.


Check out the interview HERE

PIVX website

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DaveTradesCrypto – Diary of an Unmade Man – Ep4

Episode 4 – A stab in the dark…

I logged into Binance and it suddenly dawned on me I was in way over my head. I still couldn’t understand what type of trade I was looking to do. I couldn’t understand whether I was trying to buy in £s, $s, Satoshis (whatever they are!) or even Bitcoin for that matter. I didn’t truly understand the limit or stops or market trades and how to value a coin or how to read a chart for that matter. But I had found something I was enjoying. Just like I described Blockfolio like crystal meth, crypto was my pimp, it was giving dopamine away for free and I was lapping it up. I couldn’t sleep for thinking about which coin I’d like to invest in next. I held the big boys, but that wasn’t enough I wanted in on the twitter hype of 3x or 5x or 10x or even the granddaddy 100x! I’d missed out on buying Bitcoin at less than $1000, I’d missed out on buying Ethereum when it was merely cents, and I’d missed out on buying Neo when it was Ant shares. I had major jealousy, I felt as though I had completed missed the Bitcoin bubble and I should have looked into it deeper in 2016 when I had the chance! Idiot! Well hindsight is beautiful, but she’s also a snake which will bite you in the ass if your not careful. I felt like I was missing out, all these alt-coins were getting thrown around on twitter and I wanted a piece of the moon action, I fell victim to my own stupidity and my own greed. I didn’t do my own research! Ok I said it, yes, I realise everyone says its every 2 minutes and everyone tells you not to listen to hype or take any advice, other than your own. But if you don’t make these stupid mistakes then you won’t learn yourself. And now I’ve learnt the hard way, surely that gives me experience in trading and investing which is priceless?! I’m trying to look at the positives at least.

Yes, I’d bought into a so-called ‘shitcoin’. I had watched a youtube video of an intellectual and well dressed looking chap talking about a technology and language I couldn’t probably understand. The proposed product sounded awesome, it was literally going to revolutionise crypto! Little did I know that there was already 317 other projects just like that of which some even had working products! But I was keen, far too keen and I wanted to start making my first big profit moves. So far I had invested about £1000. I had originally agreed to £500 with the missus but I’d taken my telling off for that! The ‘shitcoin’ which I won’t name because I am sure behind the scenes people are probably working hard to create a product and there will be others out there who have invested int hat dream and I don’t wish to start damaging their investments – was relatively ‘cheap’ to buy and apparently it was fairly early so getting in now would show profits almost immediately. The next morning I ploughed in £100 worth of Bitcoin. I was at least sensible not to put too much more than that in to start with. I watched it climb to about 4/5% that day and went to bed looking forward to seeing a nice little return in the morning. I’d put in zero effort myself and getting trading tips online was an absolute winner! WRONG! You absolute f**king idiot, what were you thinking? You just got sold one of the oldest cons in the book, you f**king noob! Overnight the ‘shitcoin’ had bottomed out at about 60% in the red. I could have cried, I was fuming with myself and I certainly didn’t mention that one to the missus over breakfast and coffee. I couldn’t get out the house quick enough. I checked Blockfolio 46 times on the way to work hoping to see some sort of recovery but deep down I knew I’d learnt a harsh lesson straight away. I’d been sold a false dream, I’d bought the bag that some internet genius had sold, I’m sure he had made a tidy profit at least. So when someone gives you a bit of advice, at least have the courtesy to listen, you never know it might save you some heartache as well as dollar down the line!

…”I didn’t do my own research!”…

So as any noob in crypto does, I went back to the drawing board. This time I was going to put in the graft, learn my stuff and show the world I wasn’t as stupid as I had just made out. I immersed myself in the community, subscribed to as much free material as possible, listened to as much crypto podcast content as possible, and I had managed to stop myself ploughing in money in order to make gazillions over night. I didn’t know the first thing about technical analysis and so far my fundamentals were pretty much; ‘well I like the sound of that coin’. I needed to get a grip on this crypto lark soon or I would have to give it all up with my tail between my legs, and earn back what I had lost the hard way! I took a couple of days off.

The break was what I needed and with a new found ambition, and enthusiasm to succeed I set back to it. I kept listening to CRYPTO101 enjoying interviews and learning about new technology and innovations happening in the space. I kept reading articles online, medium, telegram, facebook, every spare minute I was trying to find new projects to delve into. I’ve never been one for standing back and letting someone else make the mistakes to win. This is the reason I hate ping pong, because I have to win the point on EVERY shot! Attack is the best form of defence and I’m not frightened to take a risk. I wanted to prove I could win.

After going through many different alt coins I kept coming back to the same one, Icon. A project that looked as though it had potential. A well put together website in my opinion, with a decent sized team and fundamentally the project was based in Korea, away from Chinese regulation but close enough to make an impact on the massive Asian market. It was also very well discussed and talked about throughout numerous communities. I did see a few people talk about it on youtube and twitter but I didn’t jump straight in, I waited out a couple of days before deciding on my position. I wasn’t going to go all in but I’d allocated a fair size of my portfolio ready for this investment, what could possibly go wrong?!…

DaveTradesCrypto – Diary of an Unmade Man – Ep3

Episode Three – ‘Walk before you can run!’

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Welcome back folks, and thanks for following my journey so far. If you’ve missed any of my other episodes then please go back and check them out. If not then you’d know it was only day 1 and I was already up the creek without a paddle!…

Because I was in so deep I knew I needed to up my game. I had to go looking for the gains, it wasn’t just going to land in my lap. I proceeded to spend the next two days watching Youtube videos, reading articles online and listening to the CRYPTO101 podcast religiously. I was learning more stuff every day. I knew I’d rushed into buying Bitcoin and I knew I had bought too much, too fast. But I was confident, I wasn’t going to lose, it’ll all be fine! I was trying to take advice left, right and centre. But not everything was sinking in. Really if truth be told it was all just too much, too soon. One piece of info that I did pick up was to download an app called Blockfolio. That way I could track my purchases and at least keep an eye on how things were going. Well, I am sure you guys will agree, Blockfolio is a great app, easy to use, easy to navigate, easy to input and best of all it’s free. But, and I mean a big assed BUT; it is also the DEVIL! I do mean that in the nicest way. Honestly it’s certainly not the worst app I’ve ever come across, and I apologise to the developers for calling it bad names. But I can only describe it like crypto’s crystal meth! In fact it’s even more addictive. Now I’ll probably get stick from insensitive souls saying I am being insensitive about drug use and I shouldn’t use comparisons like that because of this story and that story but come on, I am right! I know personally I cannot get enough of it, I am constantly checking it! The big ‘They’ say Facebook and Instagram are addictive, but Blockfolio is next level! The first thing I do in the morning is check my portfolio, straight up. If I attend the throne room for my gentlemanly business, I’m checking it again. Cooking dinner, once again. Brushing my teeth, well thats another twice a day! And I even thought about checking it before bedtime ceremonies the other evening, when, you know, night time prayers and all that! I’ve checked it 3 times whilst writing this bleeding blog! It just messes with your emotions. Red equals bad mood. Green means, sweet, the day will be awesome! But then you get the swings, oh the swings! One minute green, the next red, then green, then red. AAAAARRRGGGHHH! If only there was something which could cure the addiction of Blockfolio. Better still, why can’t I just bring myself to actually deleting the blasted app! …*and breathe*…

I’ve read that in trading you need to leave the emotion at the door, it is mighty hard and at the moment my emotion is well and truly in the room stood next to me! Must do better.

“Blockfolio… it’s like crystal meth! In fact it’s even more addictive…”

After Blockfolio you’ve got Twitter; that is also the DEVIL! FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) well that’s also bad for your health, and CoinMarketCap or Apogeecrypto.com just tops off the epitome of addiction and reasons for you to book yourself into a specialist crypto rehab! It’s a struggle to decide where to look. I feel like I am genuinely trying so hard to do my own thing and make my own decision but at the same time looking to learn from whomever is willing to teach. I am always looking for advice, trying to make good, well constructed decisions. But unfortunately, especially when you are new, you have no idea what is good, and what is bad! During one my youtube stints I found some guys I enjoyed watching, they seemed like genuine people and I’m sure they are. Now I won’t call anyone out because it was my naivety, but they lead me down the garden path a little bit. As I say, I was naive, I’d gotten in a bit quick and should have learnt more about how things went down before I got my head buried too deep, but I’ve learnt some lessons, valuable ones and thankfully I didn’t come off too bad. Possibly I got a little bit lucky or possibly you could say I had at least used a small bit of risk management. Only time will tell, and the search for a quick buck led me to my next crypto venture.

Alt-coins. I’m sure you’ve heard of them all already. Well, I had a faint idea about them. I’d heard them mentioned a load of times and by this point I’d seen there was more to Crypto than just Bitcoin and Litecoin, but my word, I didn’t realise there was so many! I didn’t for one second understand the whole coin/token/ICO/ITO aspect of it and I also didn’t realise there was so many exchanges! I had a lot more homework to do. My research taught me that GDAX was a great place to start, but if I was to make the so called ‘big bucks’, I needed to delve into a slightly more bad ass world of the Alt-coins. I get that it it’s cool to own Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, and that you need those coins to be able to pair more coins. And it’s also great to be part of a new immersing market and community, but I just felt like I needed more. It’s like when you make your first bet on the horses; or you can remember back to the old school days of spending your Friday evening doing the football polls with your old man ready for the Saturday games. It’s just a buzz to be involved, to have something to talk and speculate about and to have something riding on an outcome. So I found my way to Binance. 

Binance was my first ‘proper’ exchange. I’m not saying GDAX isn’t a proper exchange but I’m saying it in terms of what is available, the amount of coins and tokens ready to suck you up and spit you back out! Market makers rubbing their hands with green eyes, candidly eyeing up new traders ready to initiate them into a dangerously addictive world. Binance is an exchange with a whole heap of different coins that would open up a few more possibilities. Then as ever, just as aI was signing up, Binance hit me with a massive slap round the face bringing me back to reality. I was just some dumb kid, not massively into computing and tech, but trying to fumble my way through something I knew so little about. How foolish, I hadn’t even heard of 2FA! How could I be so naive, how had this bit of simple technology passed me by? Well 2 Factor Authentication, for that matter, is a security measure which I now know exists in the wider daily world and I now, 100% use it for all things crypto. A good friend of mine had worked for IBM a few years back and whilst there he’d been given a little dongle thing with a little digital display. The display would contain 9 numbers which would randomly change every 90 seconds. Any time he needed to log into his laptop he would have to insert the code which was shown on the display at that time. The code on the dongle was connected to a satellite somewhere out in space and would correspond to a computer system somewhere in the world. If the two codes matched up, hey presto, you’d have access. Simple and effective, banks even use a similar system for online banking. I realised then that this was the same premise of 2FA, only it was a 6-digit code instead of 9. I downloaded the Google version and boom, I was in. Locked and loaded, the bright lights, moving lines and numbers of Binance, here we come.

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As ever guys thanks for reading. You can follow my series on the CRYPTO101 blog page. You will also find some great content there from all the guys and girls at the CRYPTO101 team. Everyone works real hard to bring new exciting content, information and discussion every week so please check it out,  give it a like and get discussing. If you haven’t already then please get involved at the CRYPTO101 Facebook page where I myself have received a lot of love and support from the awesome community there!

And finally if you’ve got the time, please take a quick trip to Patreon and if possible become a Rarris on Mars member to help keep the community going! I myself am a Patreon and I do this because I feel that my mistakes would have been a hell of a lot worse had CRYPTO101 not been there for me. Not only will you get exclusive content from Matthew Aaron and the team but hopefully it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside for helping such an awesome project!

Happy Trading

Dave x

E – davetradescrypto@gmail.com

T – @DaveDustpan

DaveTradesCrypto – The Diary of an Unmade Man – Ep2

Episode Two – ‘So what really is this crypto lark?’

 

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Want to learn what Crypto, Blockchain and Bitcoin is? Well, so did I!

I was looking forward to getting rich quick, and making multiple millions of whatever currency I wanted and it was all going to be as easy as a quick stroll in the park. I did realise I would actually need to start finding out about this alien new world and learning what certain things actually were, and what certain terms actually meant, otherwise it really was going to be a car crash! So I set about it. I book marked a day in the diary to really sit down and learn. To scroll through the wonderful world of internet searches and wikipedia explanations, and to start to unravel a terrifyingly puzzling world. I decided to start with the basics (at least I made a decent start!);

  • What is blockchain?
  • What is cryptocurrency?
  • What is Bitcoin?
  • How did Bitcoin start?
  • How does Bitcoin work?
  • What is mining?

After a bit of keyboard poking, much head scratching and confused monitor stare-downs, I decided I needed to reduce the jargon and bring it down to layman terms – I am a tradesman after all. I acquired an old fashioned pen and pad of paper from a near defunct drawer in the office and started to come up with my own answers. Basically I whittled down most of the technical jargon and make it palatable for myself to understand. I am an average consumer, let’s not forget that. I do not understand computer science, coding or anything of a real technical computing nature. But I do have an understanding of how I like to understand things, simple! And a quick note for developers; from my point of view, if you are unable to explain something to a child then how are the mainstream going to adopt something? After all, humans DO NOT like change! Not everyone can, and will be able to read and/or write code, whereas we can tap a button on a phone screen, and we do like pretty icons!

With scratchy eyeballs and squared vision I realised I’d learnt a hell of a lot, I was ready to conquer the world. Coinbase here I come…

 

…’After all, humans DO NOT like change!…’

 

Armed with my new found, kindergarten level of knowledge, I felt ready to tackle the next task; buy me some Bitcoin! Thankfully after listening to the CRYPTO 101 all week I had gained some knowledge of a place called ‘Coinbase’. This was supposedly the place to go for Bitcoin virgins; so that’s where I headed. To my surprise I was greeted by a decent looking website, and some more mysterious coins?! Ethereum? Litecoin? What are these bad boys all about?! Obviously there’s Bitcoin but there’s more choice, oh dear this could get messy! I spent a few minutes poking around and I’ll be honest it’s a not a bad website. It looks exactly like a slick, well oiled, multi million dollar website should look like. It’s appealing to the eye, it looks like someone has thought;

‘Ok, so what do new people to this crypto market want? Yeah, that’s right, some more of exactly what they are used to already in a mainstream market. A good looking website that looks like it’s easy to navigate. Let’s not change anything to scare anyone off, especially by overcomplicating things, no, let’s keep it nice and simple. After all the Joe public LOVE simple!!’ 

Boom! That right there is A-grade, numero uno. First up, foremost, make it look good and keep it simple! Honestly, I know now that guys are looking to create Web 2.0 or whatever they call it, but trust me, it is really not blockchain/computer/nuclear/quantum/physic science! Please guys, just keep it simple! 

Google; you tap the search button and away you go. Amazon; you look for what you want, and hey presto, you click it and buy it. Twitter; you type in what you’re looking for and, damn, scrolling is hard right?! Ebay, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Uber. They are all adopted by the masses, for one reason, they are easy to use! What happens when they change something? There’s uproar, because developers start meddling with things. Humans DO NOT like change! (remember?!) Making things overcomplicated and difficult to use is an idea/company killer. Before Google there was Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and various others but Google made it easiest and most convenient to search for something, that’s why it stuck!

Signing up to Coinbase was relatively easy, although I did have a bit of scepticism giving my details still not wholly believing in the security issues associated with crypto. I’m new and my trust levels are currently quite low until proven otherwise. I then tried adding my credit card to transfer a payment and basically choked on my brew at how much they wanted to charge me for automatically converting my Great British Pounds into Euros! I nearly gave up at that point, genuine! But I’d come too far, I was determined to see this through. I took a little trip to the good ole Youtube and found what I was after. A little workaround via an app called Revolut, I converted my GBP into Euros and transferred it across to Coinbase. The first of many, many codes found it’s way into my shiny new notebook and there I sat patiently waiting for my monies to find it’s way across cyber-space. Jeez, it took it’s time! I know patience is a virtue, but it was definitely sketchy having to wait 2 whole days for it to appear! With the money then safely in my newly established Coinbase account I headed back to Youtube and CRYPTO 101 to find out where to go next.

I did the usual GDAX set up and switch across from Coinbase, with again, a little help from Youtube (thank god for youtube, I’d barely be able to tie my own shoelaces in the morning!). GDAX however, is a different beast to Coinbase. It is 100% overwhelming to start with, and I had a near on epileptic fit the first time I sat there watching the numbers and lines moving about the screen like an army of bustling ants! I am not a trader of any kind, and I am extremely new to all this exchange lark so it really didn’t make any sense. I’d listened to CRYPTO 101 about ‘Maker and Taker’ fees – didn’t fully understand it but hey why not just give it a go. I didn’t have a clue whether anything was trading up or down that day but I did know basic rule #1; buy red, sell green! I’d worked out about the green and red lines and decided to get involved. Limit and Stop didn’t make a whole deal of sense either but I’d guessed Market was a my kind of level to start with. I’d transferred about £100 to play with, so I put that in and hey presto I’d bought me some Bitcoin. I must admit it was a good feeling, it had taken long enough to get to this point. And having some sort of ‘internet money’ made me feel like part of an exclusive community. I’d made my first move, I was officially a crypto investor. I now just had to work out how to transfer it back to relative safety and then it was all systems go, strapping on my seat belt and getting ready to ride this ship to the moon!

I’d had my first taste, I didn’t fully understand how much I had bought or what it was worth, but I was ready for some more. I transferred another few quid across and got to work filling other people’s bank accounts with my hard earned money. Slow down you fool, just slow down god dammit! I’d promised the missus only a couple of hundred quid. I’d doubled it, and it was only day 1. I was in the doghouse and I needed to get myself out. Sharpish!

 

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If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please go back and check out my others. If you’ve already done that, never fear, I am looking to write a post every week, and get something posted at the weekends.

Next up;  Episode Three – ‘Walk before you can run!

As ever, thanks for reading and happy trading folks!

 

Dave x

 

E – davetradescrypto@gmail.com

T – @DaveDustpan

Taylor Monahan on Starting a Crypto Business


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The creator of both My Etherum Wallet and now MyCrypto.com, Taylor Monahan, joined us for another discussion in what is fast becoming a mainstay of the Crypto 101 podcast. This time the topic of conversation was what to expect when building a crypto company from the ground up. Taylor has had ample experience — including mistakes made and lessons learned — and she shared some of her journey with us.

For most of us, our journey into the crypto space began as a hobby. We all learned about this strange concept called ‘the blockchain’ or had a friend who was evangelistic about Bitcoin. For most, being interested and engaged in the cryptosphere as a hobby is more than enough and a perfectly interesting and enjoyable past-time — maybe even a way to see some return on investment. But for some, that hobby has the potential to begin blossoming into something a bit more complex. Crypto 101 is the perfect example of an interest-turned-hobby-turned-potential business.

But when should a hobby become something more official? Should it ever? If you are interested in developing a company around blockchain or cryptocurrency, Taylor has some hard-won advice and some passionate concerns.

Her advice on when to start putting formalities in place is it is always best to be early rather than late. Below are some practical steps derived from lessons learned along the way. Taylor’s initial warning is that “these things take time and they’re not fun” but that doesn’t take away from their importance.

As everyone’s circumstances are different it is impossible to give a blanket “this is what you need to do” list. The first thing Taylor says when asked the “when do you make the call to start a crypto business” is:

You’ll know

We can’t answer this for you. But Taylor’s advice is that you’ll know when you know. Maybe you are unhappy in your current position, or perhaps the income you are receiving from your crypto hobby is starting to look competitive with your other income streams. The main thing to be concerned about here is to be reasonable and prepared. This is not something to take lightly or begin on a whim. Which leads to the next point.

Figure out if it is reasonable

Sometimes hobbies are so enjoyable because they are hobbies. Turning a hobby into work isn’t always the best idea. Be reasonable. Make sure to be as objective as possible before you turn this fun side project into something you are depending on for your next meal or rent payment. Things can go bad, and fast — we will come back to this.

Be mentally and organizationally prepared

Taylor stressed to not assume you can just figure it out as you go. You need to prepare yourself mentally for the task ahead. Not only that but you need to be organised. Make a list, have a plan. If you have a plan you are preparing yourself well for when circumstances change — because they will change. Don’t be scared when they do. Be flexible. Part of that plan involves being clear with business partners about expectations. These are people who have mouths to feed and bills to pay too. Treat them with respect.

Put it on paper and be clear on expectations

Be proactive and do the things that aren’t fun early. Write up contracts/agreements before it gets uncomfortable or messy. Be clear with each other up front.

These are just a few well-earned lessons from a pioneer in the crypto world. They bear a similar theme — that is that they are all rather simple and practical.

An important warning

So should a hobby be turned into a job? Taylor’s most passionate advice came not from mistakes she has made but worries she now has. If your hobby turns into a job for other people too, if your crypto company pays people, you now have a LOT of responsibility. You then have people that depend on you. If your company makes a misstep, that could result in people not being paid, or worse, losing their job. This is not to be taken lightly, and making sure you get the boring stuff right upfront can guard against this nightmare.

A last word

During the interview, Dani brought up a well-known business mantra — “fail fast” — and wondered if Taylor agreed. The mantra is designed to encourage people to find their weaknesses and fail quickly in order to minimize the damage and negative effects the failure brings. Taylor’s take on this was insightful and especially true for the crypto space. Her reasoning was more along the lines of ‘act fast.’ Get something to market, something people can engage with. Because “you have no idea how people will use your product.” Once it is out in the open you can learn what the community likes and dislikes and what they are using your creation for, thus giving you the opportunity to hone and tailor your product or service to be more effective.

If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, click the link below to hear our candid discussion with Taylor.


Crypto 101 interview with Taylor — here

What We All Need To Hear — A Fireside Chat


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Former President of the USA, Franklin D. Roosevelt, famously inaugurated a since forsaken ritual known as the “Fireside Chats” in which he would speak openly to the American people over the radio. Rather fittingly, some of the topics he discussed in the earlier chats included banking crises and a looming recession.

ICO 101 host, Aaron Paul, recently sat down for his own fireside chat of sorts, not because he had planned to, but because a prospective interview had completely abandoned the podcast recording with no warning, no apology. If you haven’t already listened to the podcast, I recommend you do now — it is only 10 minutes.

Aaron hits on some incredibly important points concerning the professionalism — or lack thereof — in the ICO space currently. Speaking from his business background, he rightly highlights that small habits and behavioural traits can go a long way in establishing your product, your brand, and ultimately your project, as a leader in the ICO space. No-showing an arranged interview, not being able to clearly explain your project’s tech, and failing to justify enormous hard caps are not good habits to develop. Unfortunately, they are patterns of behaviour we are seeing more and more frequently of late.

While the point of this fireside chat was to do what Crypto 101 and ICO 101 have made a habit of doing — demanding excellence from the space — there was one more thing I felt needed to be stressed. That is our role as investors, as students, as early adopters in the cryptocurrency + blockchain universe. The crypto + blockchain space includes tens of thousands of people like us — the university students, parents, retail workers, truck drivers, nurses. The lack of professionalism often displayed by these ICOs is a slap in the face to us all who are investing time and money into this promising new technology and trusting them to deliver their end of the deal in bringing about a less centralised future.

It often feels like the focus is all-too-often squarely placed on the next promising ICO, or the latest success, even the latest exposed scam. The ICOs currently on the market or asking for our support are both heroes and villains of the story.

But where does that leave us?

We have become standers-by. We are left to either fortuitously ride the success of the heroes, or go down hard with the villains. On both occasions, we are nothing more than hangers-on — extras on set. For some of these ICOs we are little more than piñatas full of cash, waiting to be cracked open to reach that absurd, astronomical hard cap. Then, if the ICO turns out to be a scam, or fails for any number of reasons, we are often treated as idiots for having invested in the first place.

This is not acceptable. As early adopters, as investors in these projects, these teams, we are the essential ingredient that makes the ideas come to life. Without us the ICOs are nothing, they have no capital, no tangible way of putting their ideas into practice. As such, we need to start seeing ourselves not as standers-by or hangers-on, passively waiting to go to the moon on the back of some pump and dump, but as protagonists too.

We are part of the main cast in this blockchain blockbuster.

We need to start seeing ourselves as major players in the space. When we do, we start to demand excellence from ICOs, not because we are waiting to go to the moon, but because we value the tech, we see the potential in revolutionary ideas, and we believed in a promise, in a team, who said sold us on the idea that they alone could bring about a small part of the decentralised future.

If Aaron Paul’s fireside chat serves as a reminder to the many complacent, unprofessional ICOs currently in the space. I hope this write-up can serve as a reminder to us, the investors, to not be complacent and to see ourselves as the protagonists driving the story forward.


Aaron Paul’s Fireside Chat — https://apple.co/2GGANEU

Unibright Templates Make It Easy to Integrate Blockchain Into Your Business

What is the biggest problem with blockchain technology? Besides understanding it in general, integrating blockchain into current business models seems like a daunting task. Unibright helps customers do this with its more than 20 years of experience in the software development and business integration fields. Unibright uses templates much like Microsoft Word has templates for building a resume or making a brochure.

Blockchain Image

What is blockchain technology? “Blockchain is a shared, distributed ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible – a house, a car, cash, land – or intangible like intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, or branding. Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved,” according to Manav Gupta from his book Blockchain for Dummies.

How does the Unibright Framework function? Start by picking out a template to meet your current business needs, then customize the workflow integration using visual models, and finally, Unibright automatically generates everything you need for blockchain-based business integration: Smart Contracts, Smart Adapters, and Smart Queries. The Unibright solution is broken down into the following four parts:

  • The Unibright Visual Workflow Designer provides users the ability to design powerful blockchain-based technology solutions using visual aids with no coding skills or expensive developers required.
  • The Unibright Contract Lifecycle Manager helps transform the visual solutions you pick out into a useable platform at the push of a button and generates Smart Contracts for the most appropriate blockchain automatically.
  • The Unibright Explorer monitors the ongoing business processes using Smart Queries to organize the Smart Contracts onto an easy to understand dashboard.
  • The Unibright Connector connects your existing IT landscape with different appropriate blockchains and Smart Contracts, using automatically generated Smart Adapters.

The three Unibright templates currently available to choose from are as follows: Multi Party Approval, Batch Tracing, and Asset Lifecycle. The Multi Party Approval template integrates a suppliers’ approval process, which saves time and cuts out many human errors. The Batch Tracing template tracks and communicates the production process, which creates a detailed and transparent description of the production process for customers to access. The Asset Lifecycle template provides tracking of the lifecycle of the product, which provides multiple parties access to years of pertinent information related to a product so they can make a more informed purchasing decision.

As mentioned earlier, Unibright addresses one of the biggest roadblocks for people wanting to take advantage of blockchain-based technology solutions but too afraid to pull the trigger – integration into their current business. Unibright is saying that by using their platform, any company, big or small who wants to do business on the block chain will be able to. Just choose a template that meets your business use case and plug and play.

Using its visual platform of user-friendly templates, Unibright is striving to become the business leader in blockchain integration. The applications of blockchain technology are limitless and now you do not even need to know how to code or hire an expensive developer to upgrade your business — just pick out one of Unibright’s templates and continue doing what you do best.