It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price.submitted by dForceProtocol to u/dForceProtocol [link] [comments]
“It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.”
Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product even exists, and he thinks making the blockchain more accessible is the next big thing. Just as Google enabled (and ultimately profited) from making the internet more usable 20 years ago, its next billions may come from shining a bright light on blockchains. If Day is successful, the world will know whether blockchain’s real usage is living up to its hype.
Danish researcher Thomas Silkjaer is using Google's BigQuery to map publicly available information about XRP cryptocurrency addresses. The craters represent some of cryptocurrency's largest exchanges.
Last year Day and a small team of open-source developers quietly began loading data for the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains into Google’s big-data analytics platform, BigQuery. Then, with the help of lead developer Evgeny Medvedev, he created a suite of sophisticated software to search the data.
In spite of a total lack of publicity, word of the project spread quickly among crypto-minded coders. In the past year, more than 500 projects were created using the new tools, trying to do everything from predicting the price of bitcoin to analyzing wealth disparity among ether holders.
When it comes to cloud computing, Google is far behind Amazon and Microsoft. Last year Google pocketed an estimated $3 billion in revenue from cloud services. Amazon and Microsoft, meanwhile, generated about $27 billion and $10 billion, respectively.
Day is hoping that his project, known as Blockchain ETL (extract, transform, load), will help even the playing field. But even here Google is trying to catch up. Amazon entered blockchain in a big way in 2018 with a suite of tools for building and managing distributed ledgers. Microsoft got into the space in 2015, when it released tools for Ethereum’s blockchain. It now hosts a range of services as part of its Azure Blockchain Workbench. But while Amazon and Microsoft are focusing on making it easier to build blockchain apps, Day is focusing on exposing how blockchains are actually being used, and by whom.
“In the future, moving more economic activity on chain won’t just require a consensus level of trust,” says Day, referring to the core validating mechanism of blockchain technology. “It will require having some trust in knowing about who it is you’re actually interacting with.” In other words, if blockchain is to go mainstream, some of its beloved anonymity features will have to be abandoned.
A native of Placer County, California, Day got his first computer at the age of 5 and a few years later started writing simple programs. A fascination with volcanoes and dinosaurs turned his interest to life sciences, and he ultimately graduated from the University of Oregon with a dual degree in biology and Mandarin in 2000. From there he headed to UCLA to pursue a doctorate in human genetics and helped build a computer program to browse the genome.
It was at UCLA where Day began relying on distributed computing, a concept that is core to blockchains, which store their data on a large network of individual computers. In the early 2000s Day needed to analyze the massive amounts of data that make up the human genome. To solve this problem he hooked many small computers together, vastly increasing their power.
“Distributed-systems technology has been in my tool kit for a while,” Day says. “I could see there were interesting characteristics of blockchains that could run a global supercomputer.”
Hired in 2016 to work in the health and bioinformatics areas of Google, Day segued to blockchains, the hottest distributed-computing effort on the planet. But the talents he had honed—sequencing genomes for infectious diseases in real time and using AI to increase rice yields—were not easily applied to decoding blockchain.
Before Day and Medvedev released their tools, just searching a blockchain required specialized software called “block explorers,” which let users hunt only for specific transactions, each labeled with a unique tangle of 26-plus alphanumeric characters. Google’s Blockchain ETL, by contrast, lets users make more generalized searches of entire ecosystems of transactions.
To demonstrate how customers could use Blockchain ETL to make improvements to the crypto economy, Day has used his tools to examine the so-called hard fork, or an irrevocable split in a blockchain database, that created a new cryptocurrency—bitcoin cash—from bitcoin in the summer of 2017.
Google Cloud developer advocate Allen Day presents his early cryptocurrency work at Google's Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore in August 2018. DORJEE SUN / PERLIN
This particular split was the result of a Hatfield and McCoy “war” within the bitcoin community between a group who wanted to leave bitcoin as it was and another who wanted to develop a currency that, like cash, was cheaper and faster to use for small payments. Using Google’s BigQuery, Day discovered that bitcoin cash, rather than increasing so-called micro-transactions, as the defecting developers claimed, was actually being hoarded among big holders of bitcoin cash. “I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the legitimate use cases are for blockchain,” Day says. “Then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.”
Day’s work is inspiring others. Tomasz Kolinko is a Warsaw-based programmer and the creator of a service that analyzes smart contracts, a feature of certain blockchains that is designed to transparently enforce contractual obligations like collateralized loans but with less reliance on third parties, like lawyers. Kolinko was frustrated with his blockchain queries.
In December, Kolinko met Day at a hackathon in Singapore. Within a month of the meeting, Kolinko was using Google’s tools to search for a smart contract feature called a “selfdestruct,” designed to limit a contract’s life span. Using his own software in conjunction with Day’s, Kolinko took 23 seconds to search 1.2 million smart contracts—something that would have taken hours before. The result: Almost 700 of them had left open a selfdestruct feature that would let anyone instantly kill the smart contract, whether that person was authorized or not. “In the past you couldn’t just easily check all the contracts that were using it,” Kolinko says. “This tool is both the most scary and most inspiring I’ve ever built.”
Day is now expanding beyond bitcoin and ethereum. Litecoin, zcash, dash, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic and dogecoin are being added to BigQuery. Independent developers are loading their own crypto data sets on Google. Last August, a Dutch developer named Wietse Wind uploaded the entire 400 gigabytes of transaction data from Ripple’s XRP blockchain, another popular cryptocurrency, into BigQuery. Wind’s data, which he updates every 15 minutes, prompted a Danish designer named Thomas Silkjaer to create a heat map of crypto flows. The resulting colorful orb reveals at a glance more than a million crypto wallets, including big exchanges like Binance and London’s crypto debit card startup Wirex, which are neck deep in XRP transactions.
“Google has been a bit of a sleeping giant in blockchain,” says BlockApps CEO Kieren James-Lubin, who is partnering with Google to sell enterprise blockchain apps. In addition to Day’s work, Google has filed numerous patents related to the blockchain, including one in 2018 to use a “lattice” of interoperating blockchains to increase security, a big deal in a world where untold millions of crypto have been stolen by hackers. The company is also pushing its developers to build apps on the Ethereum blockchain, and Google’s venture arm, GV, has made a number of significant investments in crypto startups.
The giant, it seems, is waking up.
Reach Michael del Castillo at [email protected]. Cover image by Munshi Ahmed.
The objective of this post is to share rich yet simple information about ICON (ICX) so that an average Crypto investor can understand the future potential of ICON. Disclaimer – I am a big ICON fan and have done extensive research on ICON over the last 3 months but not related to the team in anyway.
Simply put, ICON is a massive scale blockchain platform that allows –
You can also check ICON’s comparison with Ether and EOS on their website to learn more about its unique technical capabilities.
- Decentralized Application (DAPPS) – Build DAPPS on ICON Platform like on Ethereum and NEO. Yes, soon, you will see ICOs happening on ICON platform for different DAPPS
- Interchain (Interoperability with Blockchains) – Allows different blockchains connecting to one another through their protocol. ICON is fully compatible with traditional blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum and in future can bridge other public blockchains such as Qtum, NEO and many others to achieve their mission statement – “Hyperconnect the world”
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Use of AI to ensure all nodes contributing to ICON Republic/platform are rewarded fairly and not to have certain powers over distribution policies. AI will continue to learn a variety of variables to determine optimal distribution policies and achieve complete decentralization.
- Decentralized Exchange (DEX) – ICON will integrate different DEX protocols on their platform to facilitate exchange of ICX and other future ICON platform currencies. Bancor protocol will be their first DEX protocol when mainent launches this month end and Kyber and others will follow. Not just throwing Kyber’s name out there, it was confirmed they are working with each other, official partnership yet to be announced.
ICON’s credentials and why it can become the biggest blockchain in the world (In my humble opinion):
What’s next –
- ICON is started by a Korean fintech company Dayli Financial Group, which is currently valued at $4 billion. Dayli was formerly known as Yello Financial Group. Dayli is now established as the market leader in Korea with the largest blockchain network, with over 40 organizations in the financial services, insurance, education, artifiical intelligence, cryptocurrency and hospital space. They are trying to bring all this together through ICON. Btw, Dayli also owns Coinone, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with ~ 800 Million in daily trading volume and the first exchange to introduce Ethereum to South Korea.
- An experienced and 31 member dedicated team - 6 foundation council members who are also the founders of Dayli : ) This is how much ICON means to them. 15 blockchain developers and product managers, 5 Artificial intelligence specialists, 5 marketing, design and security specialists – a total of 31 member dedicated team at the time of ICO, which will grow many folds in the future. This team is supported by 8 world class advisors, including Don Tapascott, who visited Seoul to work with the team and other 100 employees of Dayli Financial. All employee bios can be accessed on ICON website.
- ICON project has been under development for over 2 years now, under TheLOOP and has real world applications. Loopchain is a distributed ledger that provides industry specific blockchain solutions The first production blockchain service, a KYC authentication platform, was launched in August 2017 with 25 securities firms. Check out their website to look at their impressive partners – Samsung, Kyobo, Meritz and many more. ICON also has Artifiical intelligence in house capability under the company DaVinci, which will support the development of the main platform. Read more about it on Davinci website.
- ICON has developed its own blockchain protocol called LFT (Loop Fault Tolerance), which is an enhanced BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerance)32-based algorithm that promotes faster consensus and ensures the finality of the consensus without the possibility of forks within the network
- South Korea is ranked top 5 in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and the 11th largest economy in the world. South Koreans also have immense interest in the crypto space, where daily trading account for ~20-40% of total global volume. Most consider cryptocurrencies as an investment vehicle rather than payment solution or functional blockchain platforms. It’ll be interesting to see when one of their own public blockchain introduced in the country, how sectors from different industries come up with new use cases, and actual form of payment adapted by end consumers.
- Key Partnerships - 3 top Korean universities, Woori bank developing their digital coin(leading Korean bank), Daishain Securities, Chain ID for Kofia, SBI Ripple Asia parternship, DAVinCI selected as AI Solution Partner for Carnegie Mellon University x Emirate Hackathon. ( Will keep this up to date)
Final words – ICON has real contractual partnerships in place, with many more to come and a solid/dedicated team with big corporate backing to take ICON platform to the next level. These guys mean business. I strongly believe ICX will be one of the 10 Cryptocurrencies by end of 2018. Hope you found this post helpful. Cheers.
- ICON (ICX) started trading on Binance this morning and will get listed on all the major exchanges soon. OkEx tomorrow.
- Testnet is already launched and Mainnet is expected to launch by end of this month – mid of January. Native ICX wallets for each platform (Web, desktop, IOS and Android) and DEX will also launch around the same time. Pro tip - Get ICON before this launch ; )
- Detailed roadmap for next year can be accessed through their website.
Edits - Formatting and grammar.
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