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Former Reddit Cryptocurrency Engineer Hosts Hackathon For Reddit Alternative

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RedditWhen fired from Reddit, the world’s first cryptocurrency engineer at a large corporation, Ryan Charles, hadn’t seen it coming.

“I was shocked. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have been shocked in hindsight. It was obvious that my project was not going to work after some changes at Reddit, but only in hindsight,” Charles tells Hacked. He concluded he needed to leverage the newsworthiness of his firing to ensure he could continue earning an income, as he had no backup plan.

“Since it was newsworthy it led a whole bunch of people to reach out to me, which opened up new opportunities for me,” he said. “I deliberately talked about it in public to make sure I met a lot of people.” The experience was not easy, as anybody who unsuspectedly lost their job knows.

“I had never been fired before,” Charles told me. “On day one, I was super, super stressed. A bunch of people contacted me and I was able to interview at companies right away.” For a few weeks, the uncertainty about his future caused him stress. “In San Francisco, my rent is very expensive, so it is stressful without income,” he said. In the end, he sees the change as positive.

“In hindsight it all makes perfect sense,” Charles said. “I feel like I am better off any way. If I had stayed with Reddit, I couldn’t have done what I was interested in doing.” His new project fits better outside of Reddit.

ryan charles

Ryan Charles // Twitter

According to much press coverage, Charles has embarked upon a decentralized Reddit project. Charles does not see it that way exactly. “It’s a bit of a misnomer because I don’t think things are going to look and feel like Reddit.”

The former Reddit cryptocurrency engineer believes a solution is possible, and will hold a hackathon on Saturday towards that end. His new project, Datt, which stands for “Decentralize All The Things,” represents a decentralized platform where users own their content.

Using the core technology behind Bitcoin, Charles envisages a mainstream application that functions like Reddit. Employing the power of Bitcoin’s distributed public ledger, Charles envisages an alternative to Reddit distributed across thousands of computers known as nodes.

“If we pull this off, the goal is to make a mainstream applications where users can directly award each other and achieve that vision of leveraging Bitcoin in a way so that anybody can participate and pay each other for their content,” Charles said.

Charles’ idea calls for a P2P network that runs like a normal web app. Each user funds an app with a small amount of Bitcoin, which functions to download content. Users pay a small amount of Bitcoin to incentivize people to keep the app connected. An upvote triggers a transaction of a small amount of Bitcoin to the content creator.

“I think it will be better for people who want to produce really valuable content,” he said.

At a technical level we have to implement a bunch of stuff to make this possible. However, it is possible in theory. I think we will probably want to integrate the Lighting Network, where users can enable micropayments.

The reason the Lightning Network would be useful is Bitcoin’s limits when it comes to tiny transactions.

“No one has implemented the Lightning Network yet,” Charles points out. “We are going to need to make it user-friendly and integrate it into the world wide web.” Not only technological challenges face Datt. There’s also the ‘community problem.’

Many people have tried to build a community. But if no one uses it, you don’t have a community. It’s harder to build a self-sustaining community through a website or an app than the technology itself is at this point.

There will be similarities in layout between Datt and Reddit.

“The application will look like Reddit, I think, but the technology underneath will be completely different because anyone can run a node and share content and host content sans a central server.” The technology incentivizes users completely differently than Reddit.

“Money will be integrated into the very core of Datt, so the incentives would be much different, inspiring users to produce quality content so they get paid.” Currently, people are frustrated with the tools made available by Reddit, as well as the lack of communication from the company.

Charles posits that Reddit’s centralized nature causes these problems. One of Datt’s goals would be to monetize user content, ensuring it stayed their intellectual property. DATT strives to create a system in which moderators and contributors earn money mostly through a tipping system like ChangeTip.

“Reddit, the company, controls all the content, so it is lose-lose for the moderators and users,” Charles explains.

My system will empower them to own their content, so many of the issues Reddit currently faces are non-issues.

A block chain grounded system would ensure content cannot be removed retroactively. Operators of nodes on Datt would pick-and-choose information they would like to hide. If individuals grew frustrated with a specific nodes practices, they would switch to another node.

“They can just share their own node and moderate themselves without worrying about a conflict while benefitting financially from creating good content.” In Charles’ mind, this is a huge missed opportunity for Reddit.

“This technology makes things possible not previously possible when Reddit and all other social media companies were invented. Back then, advertising was the only way to earn revenue, so the products were all designed around advertisements,” Charles, who publishes his ideas for Datt at Medium, observes.

Bitcoin and related technology makes new business models possible. It’s a missed opportunity for Reddit to make new types of products that could have been revolutionary. If Reddit initiated peer-to-peer payments in the website, there could be a whole Reddit economy possible.

Charles believes the easiest path for this would have been to integrate further with ChangeTip.

Reddit has already seen its market share drop due to redditor’s discontent with recent changes made by the company. Some have signed up for Voat, a Swiss-based Reddit-esque website with a marketing campaign that highlights commitment to free speech.

Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson penned a blog post in which he entertained the notion of something like Charles’ idea, stating there is a “very interesting opportunity to build a truly decentralized media platform.”

To join in the hackathon, learn more here.  Hackathons will be held in Mumbai, Buenos Aires and San Francisco. An online version will hopefully be available at the Slack channel.

Images from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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5 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsJustin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.




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Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis: When is BCH/USD Taking Another Extended Move Higher?

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  • The Bitcoin Cash price behavior suggests another imminent breakout is likely. Upside surprises appear move likely than any potential downside breakouts.
  • BCH/USD continues to move within a bullish pennant pattern formation. Narrowing price action indicates a breach is near.

The Bitcoin Cash price after the huge surge to the upside on 26th September, attributed to the Bitmain IPO news, has remained elevated. Risks appear tilted to the upside, given current price behavior and technical patterns observed. Outside of the technical view, news flow and updates have remained positive around Bitcoin Cash.

News Flow Remains Positive

Bitcoin Cash adoption continues to take place. It was reported that the events ticketing company, Bigtickets.com, has expanded its payment options, with acceptance of cryptocurrency. Customers will be able to pay using Bitcoin Cash. The CTO said “We know our dedication to innovation is deserving of a secure and seamless purchase method for our event attendees. The use of Bitcoin Cash is a major social trend we’ve been following. Therefore, we’re excited to be one of the first event ticketing platforms in the United States to accept the burgeoning cryptocurrency,”

Elsewhere, earlier in the week, TD Ameritrade, announced it is investing in a cryptocurrency exchange platform, ErisX. This will be facilitating a range of products, including crypto futures contracts. Fortunately for Bitcoin Cash, it has earned its way into the top 4 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Given its status, Bitcoin Cash will be one of the crypto futures products offered by ErisX.

This follows news back in August, Crypto Facilities announcing a Bitcoin Cash futures product. Crypto Facilities are regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The move came given Bitcoin Cash has a growing presence and acknowledgement across the market. The introduction of Bitcoin Cash futures is joining the company’s other crypto-based products.

Near-term Analysis (60-minute chart)

Eyes are locked on BCH/USD movement within a bullish pennant pattern formation. Price action is well-supported by the lower trend line. It for now remains within consolidation mode, after the strong surge on 26th September. The price is moving towards the end of the pattern, into a narrower range. This behavior suggests a breakout could very much be imminent, subject to bullish momentum.

BCH/USD 60-minute chart

Resistance to the upside is seen at the above trend line of the pennant, $523. Given the pole of the mentioned pattern, the breakout may be chunky. A retest of the supply around $640-$660, will therefore be the likely first target area. The price last traded in this region from the 1st to the 4th September. Support is eyed around $510-509, as mentioned above, the lower trend line of the pennant.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 33 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Events

Many Great Things to Come

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Many thanks for all the comments and feedback from yesterday’s blog about my trip. Many of you were asking to be more specific about the information that I received there. So I did want to let you know that most of what I did was more networking and meeting people than anything else.

In line with that, I did meet some people who blew my mind with some of the things they’re working on. I have added all of them to this daily update and asked many of them to send back further details about what they’re doing so I can update all of you on these exciting projects.

The experiences we have help shape who we are and influence what we say and do. So expect further updates about this in the coming weeks and months.

To answer your question more pointedly, the main takeaway that I got from Davos was that each individual has the power to change the world. However, the key to doing it is not by making it your end goal. Rather, find something positive that you are passionate about and work hard on it.

“If you want to change the world start by making your own bed.” -Admiral William McRaven

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Time of War
  • Dollar Getting Crushed
  • Weiss on Crypto

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 25th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The big boys are talking in Davos and it seems to be influencing the markets a bit. On Tuesday, President Trump imposed some tariffs on a few specific import items that are usually made in China. Suspicions that Trump was finally making good on his campaign rhetoric to start a trade war with China seem to have been confirmed yesterday by Wilber Ross…

Stocks around the world are taking a bit of a hit as the increased possibility of an all-out trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Adding fuel to the fire, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seemed to have changed his mind about the US Dollar’s role in the economy. Previously he had been advocating for a stronger Dollar but yesterday he was quoted as saying…

These comments are actually more in line with what Trump has been saying from the beginning but now that Mnuchin seems committed, the Dollar had a grand sell-off, falling to its lowest point in more than three years.

The weaker Dollar sent Gold and Oil up to fresh highs as well and we can also observe a stronger Japanese Yen.

Crypto Ratings

For the longest time, I’ve been telling people that we need a better way to grade cryptocurrencies. The market cap is one metric but it’s really only a small part of the story and not a great indication of the strength or viability for most digital assets.

It seems now that the crypto craze is going mainstream, an official US rating agency just released a comprehensive grade on 74 of the top traded cryptos.

At first glance, it looks like they actually did a pretty good job. It makes sense that none of them got an A rating. This is an extremely risky market and it would be really misleading to say that any of them are “solid” investments.

I really liked that Ethereum was rated slightly higher than Bitcoin, and their reasoning is exactly what we’ve been talking about in these daily updates. The Bitcoin blockchain is congested.

The event was a bit chaotic and their website went down due DDoS hacking and a massive surge in visitors.

For cryptotraders, this is the first really great event so far this year. This is a direct endorsement by an established financial firm and cements the “cryptocurrency” label as an acceptable asset class in the eyes of the world. Since the announcement, we’re seeing a nice rally in the market.

As we stated previously, prices might fall further but they don’t necessarily have to. If momentum off this event builds or we get some other positive updates, we could be in for some great things ahead.

As always, let me know your thoughts and opinions. Post directly to my wall on eToro or tag me on any other social network.

Have an outstanding day!

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. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 133 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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Events

My Davos Experience

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Humble apologies for the format of today’s Email. The markets, crypto and stocks, have been rather flat over the last 24 hours so there should be no need for price graphs and this should actually be a good point for reflection. I apologize as well for the delay in getting it to you. I’ve been from plane to plane to train to meeting to train since Sunday night and now writing to you from the Starbucks at ZRH.

Would like to wish a very warm welcome to all the new people who are getting the daily market update for the first time today. Though this trip was very short, it was incredibly productive. In addition to the scheduled meetings, I managed to meet scores of interesting people who I hope to stay in touch with for many years to come.

It was incredible to see the overwhelming presence of crypto and blockchain enthusiasts. In the center of the main promenade in Davos were two buildings that happened to be next door to each other.

I managed to get a selfie in front of one of them.

Crypto HQ was filled with new age anarchists and revolutionaries, people involved in all sorts of ICOs and other fascinating projects, many of which with a good chance to change the world for the better.

Next door was the more elegant looking Ethereal Lounge that was put up by Consensys and hosted the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. The people there were more involved in the integration of blockchain into already existing frameworks like government and big business, mostly using the Ethereum blockchain.

As most of my time was spent in these two buildings, I didn’t get the chance to “rub elbows” with the rich and famous. It was very interesting to see some of the sneers and smiles from people passing by the crypto events. It felt like some people saw us more as unwanted party crashers then the builders of the next layer of the internet.

In fact, there are two events on the main stage today that emphasize this dichotomy. The “crypto asset bubble” will have anti-blockchain enthusiasts speaking but the second is actually called “the remaking of global finance” and will have speakers like Steven Mnuchin and Christine Lagarde.

From my perspective, I’d much rather ignore the naysayers. They will come around once blockchain technology is more tangible and user-friendly. Certainly, I’d be happy to help educate them but only if and when they’re interested. It does seem though, that we’ve managed to push through all that. Much more people are now aware of this revolution and plenty of bright people are getting involved. Probably the incredible price movement had something to do with that but now that the genie is out of the bottle people are using it to improve their own lives and the lives of others and at the end of the day that’s what Davos is supposed to be about.

Was very proud to represent eToro in a place like this.

Have an amazing day ahead. As always, feel free to reach me with any thoughts questions or comments.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 133 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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