Mark Brinkerhoff

Going the Extra Mile (July 2019)

Going the Extra Mile (July 2019)

Greetings, CyberMilers! We’ve launched a new DApp, released a new app (v3.0), plus a new staking tool and our “hot take” on Facebook’s Libra. Read on for more, along with blockchain and cryptocurrency news.

Announcements

CyberMiles releases version 3.0 of its app

You now can download the latest version of the CyberMiles app, which allows users like you to stake their CyberMiles Tokens (CMT) to start earning awards. So wait no more. Try out our long-awaited staking function today!

In addition, you can create and/or take part in various raffles thanks to our latest DApp. Visit blog.cybermiles.io to learn more about CyberMiles’ most recent updates.

CMT award calculator introduced

Want to estimate a block award at your fingertips? With our new calculator, now you can, simply by entering the amount you wish to stake.

You can access our Award Calculator today at cmttracking.io/nodes.

Libra, post-announcement impressions

One of the most anticipated tech stories of the year is the Libra project (also known as Facebook’s cryptocurrency). On June 18, Facebook released the Libra white paper, including the first iteration of the project source code and a technical white paper. With the goal of a denationalized global currency (Hayek 1976), the Libra project has ambitious cryptoeconomic designs, governance rules, and an impressive coalition of partners.

CyberMiles’ own Dr. Michael Yuan explores the Move programming language — and the smart contracts it enables — in the first of a series of reports for Hackernoon, which, in turn, has compiled a roundup of Libra analyses.

Follow Dr. Yuan on Twitter or visit hackernoon.com for continued coverage.

[Does Facebook’s Libra Deserve the Hatred of the Crypto-Community? A Neutral Analysis]

ICYMI: CyberMiles launches new “DApp,” FairPlay

On June 4, CyberMiles launched its latest decentralized application: FairPlay. How does it work? Well, its smart contract enables anyone to create a prize drawing of virtually anything — digital products, physical merchandise…whatever can be sold via e-commerce. A key milestone to CyberMiles’ decentralized e-commerce marketplace, the FairPlay DApp lets users browse or search for FairPlay drawings by keywords or CyberMiles Token address.

Learn more, including how to create your very own FairPlay drawing, at blog.cybermiles.io.

In the News

Cryptocurrency and the law: What small businesses should know

The rise of Bitcoin has raised legal questions for regulators, investors and entrepreneurs alike. Small businesses could possibly benefit from the adoption of cryptocurrencies; however, understanding the legal implications and how the shifting regulatory landscape could ultimately impact digital payments is critical.

According to CyberMiles’ own Dr. Michael Yuan:

"Today, [cryptocurrency] is treated widely as a ‘store of value’ rather than an everyday currency that can be used to pay for basic goods and services. Why? Like gold or diamonds, the value of cryptocurrency is not its underlying utility but how much people believe in it."

As the underlying technology behind cryptocurrency is blockchain, many users (or nodes) hold a complete record of all transactions that have occurred on the platform. Because the full ledger of historic transactions exists across all computers on the blockchain, it’s difficult to forge fraudulent transactions; every user has access to a complete, verified record and can see discrepancies that arise from foul play.

Better yet, cryptocurrencies are designed to be securely transferred at will between multiple parties without the need for a central authority, like a bank, to control the process. Why is this so special?

"It holds the promise of simplifying … [business-to-business] payment networks, from faster payments to lower transaction fees."

Read more about the legal and tax implications of cryptocurrency for businesses, big and small, at businessnewsdaily.com.

What blockchain companies need to do to succeed

Interest in blockchain continues to be high, but there is still a significant gap between the hype and market reality. Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda Survey of more than 3,000 executives shows, for example, that only 11 percent of CIOs have deployed or are in short-term planning with blockchain.

Part of the challenge are specific problems that enterprise leaders need to be aware of before launching a blockchain project. Dr. Michael Yuan, CyberMiles’ chief scientist, outlined a number of mistakes that blockchain developers or leaders may make when initiating a project:

1. Overestimating blockchain

"As a high-tech ledger system, blockchain has the potential to secure and drastically streamline transactions. However, though touted as a secure technology, it certainly is not without faults and isn’t always the most efficient, as each “node” (i.e. network computers or users) must process every transaction."

2. Underestimating network-building challenges

"While Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) can help solve one of the biggest problems of network-building, 'cold start,' most don’t have tens of millions of dollars to pour into the market to jumpstart it. We know that the real value of blockchain technology may lie in its ability to facilitate digital currencies, which can allow businesses to entice users and compete better against established industry players."

Learn more at cmswire.com.

The future of cryptocurrency explained

Crypto and fintech have been growing strongly in niche businesses that traditional banks have not filled. So, what of the growth of this innovative sector? Do certain system failures (wallets or exchange markets, for example) put this new sector at risk? Fintech Zoom asked CyberMiles, among other experts, how the market sees the future of crypto.

"In countries where cash is still king, blockchain promises to simplify B2B and C2C payment networks — from better micro payments, to lower transaction fees, to easier cross-border remittances, and more. Moreover, fiat currency-tethered stable coins may help cryptocurrency go mainstream, enabling cross-border transactions — village to village, region to region, country to country — to occur with little to no interference; in more transparent, efficient and cost-effective ways."

For more insights, visit fintechzoom.com.

What is the future of retail? And which technologies (and trends) will shape it?

It doesn’t take an industry insider to recognize the big-picture trends shaping the future of retail. Most shoppers are aware of the convenience of e-commerce, as well as the flaws with shopper-derived data security.

But a closer look reveals far more about the future of retail than the average consumer knows. Experts including CyberMiles’ co-founder, Dr. Lucas Lu, are helping to shape this future. Here’s how Dr. Lu sees it unfolding:

"Today’s high-tech, urbanized environment favors big-box retailers like Walmart and e-commerce giants like Amazon. Centralized operations, though efficient, tend to focus on selling new, standardized products, leading to less durability and more waste. However, we’re starting to see a return to decentralized, localized commerce."

[What’s the Future of Retail?

Digitization also is altering the retail landscape, but to what extent will artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotics affect the way we shop? According to Dr. Lu:

"'Smart contracts' promise to bring increased transparency, better product authentication (while limiting fraud — i.e. counterfeit goods), and less need for middlemen. The result: cost-savings for multiple parties — retailers, suppliers, and customers."

[What Technology Will Most Impact the Retail Industry?]

Though it may seem that blockchain adoption in retail is moving slowly, there are undeniable signs of gaining momentum. Walmart, for example, is steadily weaving the technology into its daily operations. As such a massive retail player, Walmart itself could set a pace that forces other retailers to keep up. But what about the world at large? Dr. Lu adds:

"Much of the developing world today lacks the financial infrastructure that we enjoy in the west (and parts of the east). What this means is that traditional payment methods, such as fiat currency or even barter, exist to a large degree and are highly localized (i.e. within villages and small, insular communities). However, mobile technology already has penetrated much of even sub-Saharan Africa to a significant degree (80–90 percent), opening up opportunities to connect people mobily and let them transact with each other more widely and broadly, geographically. One need to look only at the rise of digital wallets, micro lending, online banking, etc. to get a glimpse of what crypto payments could have in store."

[Which Trends Are Shaping Blockchain in Retail?]

Read more at disruptordaily.com.

The Crypto Countdown

  • Azerbaijan Government Partners With IBM on Blockchain Customs Deal (Source: Cointelegraph)
  • ‘Bitcoin Pokémon Parody’ Song Hits the Internet (Source: Bitcoinist)
  • CCN Shuts Down Shutdown Plans as Google Appears to Correct Visibility (Source: CCN Markets)
  • China, Bitcoin, and the Escalating Trade War (Source: Off the Chain)
  • Facebook Launches a New Cryptocurrency Called Libra, Which Stumbles Upon Regulatory Scrutiny (Sources: CNBCCoingape)
  • Florida City to Pay Ransomware Hackers 65 BTC to Restore Computer Systems (Source: Chepicap)
  • Hackers Infect 50,000 Servers with Sophisticated Crypto Mining Malware (Source: CoinDesk)
  • Iran Bitcoin Miners Set Up Shop in Mosques Amid Government Crackdown (Source: Cointelegraph)
  • Ripple to invest up to $50 million in MoneyGram (Source: Fortune)
  • SEC vs. Kik: #DefendCrypto Campaign Raises $4 Million for a Most Iconic Crypto-Case (Source: Coingape)
  • Seychelles Stock Market Plans World-First Listed Security Token (Source: Bloomberg)
  • Tron Founder Pays More Than $4.5 Million for Lunch with Warren Buffett (Source: Bloomberg)
  • Vancouver Mayor Proposes City-Wide Ban on Bitcoin ATMs (Source: Finance Magnates)

Thanks for your support, CyberMilers! Help us spread the word, won’t you? — Mark Brinkerhoff, Community Manager

Mark Brinkerhoff, a CyberMiles advisor and VP of Communications at 5miles, writes about the mainstreaming of emerging technology in business.

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