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Is a Decentralized Internet the Solution to Outages?

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“Attacks that we witnessed today were possible mainly because there is a centralized infrastructure which could have been targeted,” said Piotr Janiuk, CTO of  Golem,  which seeks to decentralize the internet using peer-to-peer technology. “The attack itself isn’t easy to carry out, but it is obvious that even the backbone infrastructure behind the Internet contains single points of failure which are prone to such malicious activity – even though the infrastructure may comprise multiple machines. As of today, the trend is to move towards distributed solutions and the main problem is the lack of standard way of setting up the infrastructure.”

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Golem  is among a legion of technologists who believe a decentralized everything is the best way avoid problems such as the widespread outages experienced in the US, the UK and western Europe going into the weekend.

The source of the Friday outages is New Hampshire internet infrastructure company, Dyn, which endured two separate cyber attacks within hours of each other. Dozens of websites, including PayPal, Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and others went down.

Netflix

Netflix was among several major websites that saw an outage.

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 The outages began in the Eastern United States before affecting other parts of the country. Gizmodo cited five dozen sites seemingly affected by the attack, including CNN, HBO Now, Mashable, the New York Times, People.com, the Wall Street Journal and Yelp! affected by the attacks. U.S. officials from the U.S. State Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into the attacks.

Amazon reported the outage affected users in Western Europe.  Twitter and select news sites were out in London on Friday evening. PayPal Holdings Inc. experienced outages in “certain regions” affecting payments.

Spotify, Reddit, AirBnB, the Verge all reportedly suffered outages. Amazon.com Inc’s web services, cloud computing service, reported outages, as well. That meant companies like Visa, Twitter and Netflix went down. Could all this be avoided with a decentralized internet?

“If you do a Google patent search you will see the state-of-the-art there,” Maidsafe CEO David Irvine told Hacked.com. “It’s very new.”

Maidsafe, and it’s SAFE network is modelled on colonies in nature, servers and intermediaries do not make logical sense and we sort of all know that in our deepest thoughts. Some say a decentralized internet is not possible.

“DDOS depends on a target, in SAFE the target is everyone’s computers,” Mr. Irvine said.  “An analogy would be DDOS is like swatting a large fly, in SAFE the large fly is a mass swarm of mossies which makes it hard even with 8 arms filled with fly swatters.” Mr. Irvine hopes the SAFE network might help to form the primordial soup of a decentralized internet.

SAFE uses xor addressing, a type of data structure used in computer programming, which means any node outages will be covered by the nearest nodes.

“This makes those mossies like zombie mossies or perhaps hydra like,” Mr. Irvine said.

This is stretching a little, he admits. Since no such decentralized networks exist, it’s difficult to know what one’s vulnerabilities might be. Maidsafe employs university research to help answer some questions. Maidsafe uses data chains, which are different from blockchains.

The Maidsafe model does not assume every node/person needs to know and agree on all information like in the Bitcoin blockchain model. “Detailed information is local and less detailed is more global,” he said. “This is like posting a letter, the closer to the destination the more info is known of the destination.”

The Golem Project’s vision of a decentralized internet entails running the ‘Golem app.’

“It’s hard to predict the definite direction in which distributed solutions will go but if infrastructure similar to Golem (production version with lots of nodes) was up and running then any service running on top of it would be resilient to this type of attacks,” Mr Janiuk told Hacked.com. “Of course at this point there is still a lot of work in the field not only because the infrastructure has to be deployed but also all sorts of utilities which are available today would have to be tailored to this new paradigm.”

He adds: “It seems that the centralised Internet of today is more and more pushed to its limits and the change of paradigm is inevitable in a longer run.” If the Internet is to grow and thrive, then the decentralization seems to be one of the best (if not the best) options.”

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Altcoins

DragonChain (DRGN): Release the Dragons

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DragonChain (DRGN) was originally developed at Disney in 2015-16 and was later released as open source. DragonChain ICO recently ended and the value has climbed considerably, even though it is still only listed on Etherdelta. The cryptocurrency allows companies to build on a server-less platform with built-in protection of data using popular languages such as Java, Python, Node, and C#.

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DragonChain is building relationships with companies to help them bring their product onto the blockchain. DragonChain is a sleeping giant in that it already worked through 20 or so use cases while in development to tweak the initial implementation of the platform. While some companies struggle to find use cases after they are done with their product, DragonChain has figured out a way to simplify the integration of real business applications onto the blockchain in a secure way.

Underserved industries are the initial target of the DragonChain platform, which includes Wine, Arts, Automotive, Legal and Digital Marketing. Some of these industries are lagging behind for lack of innovation and Dragonchain is bridging the gap. DragonChain is creating a turnkey platform for startups and mature companies to rapidly deploy applications on the blockchain. As one might appreciate, blockchain development can be incredibly complex, is hard to understand and sometimes uses archaic development languages for implementation. DragonChain allows companies to use programming languages they are already familiar with to take advantage of blockchain features.

The Benefits of DRGN:

  • Smart contract integration, which has recently only been available on the Ethereum network.
  • High scalability and faster speed to market, which reduces development costs.
  • Built-in security that is inherent to blockchains.

From an investor standpoint, DragonChain is already light years ahead of a lot of ICOs that are creating platforms. It has an incubator program that will fund startups that will help real-world companies get up and running on the DragonChain platform. Unlike Ethereum, which has mainly become an ICO launch pad, DragonChain is building a platform for existing businesses to be able to build on top of the blockchain. While Ethereum is mainly a platform that is there to build on, Dragonchain is a platform with support.

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The DRGN platform is focused on reaching companies just as much as they are building out the platform itself. This will accelerate platform adoption and business growth while increasing the value of DragonChain. Larger companies are approaching the blockchain with skepticism and reluctance. DragonChain can be the bridge that connects the two. It is very expensive to try and leverage blockchain technology in already existing companies. The DRGN platform attempts to solve this by putting businesses first based on past experience and offering restful interfaces, interoperability with other blockchains, ease of integration, a simplified architecture and more.

Dragons or DRGNs will be utilized by developers and organizations to interact with the DragonChain commercial platform’s products and services. Dragon tokens will also be used to support startups in the DragonFund Incubator providing early access to data and technology as well as first access to purchase tokens for use on the developed platforms.

The DragonChain ICO raised $21,358,506 USD. It has since grown to around three times that level and appears to be expanding more rapidly as time goes on. Once the DRGN token is listed on larger exchanges there will a lot great liquidity. DragonChain has a current value of approximately $60,000,000. This is low for a platform that is already so mature, was originally backed by Disney and has an incredibly capable development team.

Disclaimer: Analyst current invests in Dragonchain.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Offensive Continues as Prices Breach $3,400

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Bitcoin’s value jumped to a new record on Tuesday, a clear indication that the bull market was back in vogue following a month of turmoil.

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$3,000 & Beyond

The virtual currency (BTC/USD) rose 2.4% to $3,468.00 in overnight trading, according to Bitstamp. Before the weekend, the BTC/USD had crossed the $3,000 mark only once.

At current prices, the market value for all bitcoins is more than $57 billion – the highest on record.

While post-fork exuberance shows no signs of fading, traders are reminded that bitcoin’s recent leg up has been accompanied by decreasing volume. In fact, a similar trend has been observed during every leg up from $1,800.

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Zooming out to the 1-day Bollinger Band, the market appears to be overbought. A historical analysis reveals that, more often than not, a puncturing of the Bollinger Band in either direction leads to a broad pullback in the market.

The daily RSI also adds credence to the view that the market is approaching overbought territory.

Bitcoin Cash Trading Well Below Its Peak

Bitcoin’s surge followed the creation of a spin-off digital currency – Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – last week. The newly minted coin spiked above $700.00 on Aug. 2 before a series of volatile moves dragged prices back toward $200.00.

BCH was back above $300 on Tuesday, having gained more than 27%. Its total market is valued at more than $5 billion.

Coinbase Caves to Investor Demand

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced that it plans to support BCH as of January 2018. Initially, the exchange said it would not support the new coin, triggering outrage among users and a surge in withdrawals.

A contingency of Coinbase customers also threatened to sue the exchange for not supporting BCH, equating the decision to a brokerage withholding new shares from its investors.

“We are planning to have support for Bitcoin Cash by 1 January 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time,” the leading exchange said on its blog.

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Blockchain

Bulletproof

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Hi Everyone,

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One of the things that’s been bugging me about blockchain technology is another technology that is on the rise just as fast and could possibly make it irrelevant.

Quantum computing is currently under development by some of the biggest tech players in the world. IBM, the NSA, and Google are all working hard to make everything that we know about computers irrelevant within the next decade.

The idea is quite simple, in the world of quantum physics anything is possible. For example, throwing a basketball through a brick wall is not a very probable thing to occur but the odds of it happening are greater than zero.

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In computers, it means rather than making one calculation at a time in a sequential order, a quantum computer could theoretically just calculate all the possibilities at once.

So things like passwords or private keys, for example, could theoretically be reproduced in a matter of moments. This of course, threatens not just Bitcoin but all digital payments, online banking, and virtually all areas of encryption and cyber-security.

Now, we’re still several years away from this becoming a real concern. So now is the right time to start building the infrastructure to protect ourselves against it.

A company called Droplex, who’s pre-ICO is just entering its final hour aims to build a bullet proof blockchain that will be impervious to future Q-hackers. Now, I haven’t personally looked too deep at this project as of yet but I am extremely comforted by the fact that somebody is building a fix for this already.

Perhaps in 5 years or so we can have another debate about the best way to upgrade Bitcoin for Q-safety.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

Stocks are down

Bezos Briefly Best

August 1st BTC Deadline

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of July 28th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Market Overview

Problems pursue in Washington for the precarious President.

The newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci is now taking swipes at the chief of staff and Trump himself has been lashing out at his own attorney general Jeff Sessions.

Some speculate that Trump is getting ready to fire Sessions in order to get the special prosecutor Robert Muller off his back.

Meanwhile, the bill to repeal Obamacare was just shot down in the Senate as the notable Republican and previous presidential candidate (2008) John Mccain voted no.

Stock markets have not been performing well so far in Asia and the European markets just opened with a notable gap down.

At least the USD seems to be getting some support.

This chart showing USDollar support was posted by @4exPirate Dawid Kowalski in Poland who is arguably one of the most consistent traders on the eToro network.

Congratulations to Jeff Bezos

…for briefly becoming the world’s richest person. Jeff managed to snag the top spot off Bill and kept it for almost 3.5 hours.

Most of Bezos’ fortune is in Amazon shares, so when the market opened with a significant gap up his net worth reached $90 Billion. However, a sour earnings report from Amazon sent the stock back down.

Turbulence in Crypto

If he times it right, Bezos may just be able to buy all of the cryptocurrencies currently in circulation, which is now holding steady at about $90 Billion.

Or not, the sale of 17% of all AMZN shares along with word that the founder is selling would probably push the price significantly down before he could offload most of them. Of course, that much buying pressure would also move the cryptos up.

In any case, if anybody were considering to buy that many digital assets they might want to wait until next week. Given that August 1st is coming up this Tuesday and still nobody really knows what’s about to happen to Bitcoin.

For those of you looking to trade this event, make sure to get your orders in as early as possible as there may be some downtime on BTC depending on the way it plays out.

Wishing you and yours a very pleasant weekend.

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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