区块链“失控”:​对等可信网络夺回自主权与数据所有权

在未来,数据肯定是金矿。如果你只能依赖服务器去存储和传递数据的话,数据的所有权是被该服务器所属的服务商控制的,你无法真正的掌握数据。

受访者:陈晖,PPk技术社区发起人

采访&撰文:李画

区块链是一幅未完成的拼图,我们在做的是寻找可能正确的拼图块,并试着把块与块组合到一起。有的拼图块引入注目,它占据中心位置并主导着其周边的图案;有的拼图块却相对生僻,但它们可能带来新的思路与线索,帮助我们去完成对区块链的探索。


PPk技术社区带来的就是这样一个奇怪的拼图块:不是在互联网基础之上的区块链,而是用区块链去改进互联网本身。把一个依赖服务器提供中心化服务的网络进化成一个对等可信的网络。在这种网络中,用户不仅作为客户端存在,也作为服务端存在;在这种网络中,用户能拿回自主权和对数据的所有权。


陈晖是PPk技术社区发起人之一,曾任职北邮网络与交换技术国家重点实验室,多年专注于网络管理领域的科研工作。PPk技术社区认为区块链技术有着成为下一代网络基础设施的潜力和价值,也正在以开源项目的形式推动区块链技术与网络通信领域技术的融合与发展。



互联网本身需要进化



问:互联网本身在进化,它为什么需要进化?


陈晖:互联网面临的主要问题是在它最初被提出来的时候,没有想到网络会发展的这么快。最初的网络是基于当时的有线固定电话网来设计的,节点很少且节点位置固定,但伴随万维网的普及,节点数量迅猛增长,2000年以后无线移动网络又大规模发展并成为了目前的主流网络,这样一来,既有的IP网络体系架构会面临着可扩展性、安全性和动态性等多方面的问题。


举个例子,在无线移动网络下,每次换个连接的WIFI路由器,你的IP地址就会发生变化,你没法拥有一个固定不变的IP地址作为具有全网唯一性的标识。


问:IP地址变动会带来什么问题?


陈晖:以我们所在的星巴克咖啡馆为例,你的手机连入星巴克的WIFI路由器,会动态获得一个子网IP地址。你作为客户端往外访问没有什么大的问题,但如果别人想要主动访问你就有问题了,因为不知道你的新获得的子网IP地址,即使知道,在路由器不做特别设置时也无法顺利访问到。


因此,普通用户的网络设备像手机只能做为客户端而不能作为服务端存在,只能依赖服务器提供的中心化服务。问题就在这里,这就相当于你是不对等的,是被控制的,你的行为是受限的。你现在发布一条微博,是发到新浪的服务器上,你一旦脱离它,没有中心化的服务器帮你中转,别人就访问不到。


在大家熟悉的传统互联网业态下,不对等是常态,传统IP体系的问题表现得不是很明显。但现在新的趋势是要往对等的方向走,简单地说,就是将来你的手机既是一个内容访问端,同时也是一个可以被直接访问的内容提供端,在这种需求下,传统的IP体系架构特别是IPv4支持起来很难。



我们需要对等网络,对等是关键



问:为什么要往对等的方向走?


陈晖:你有没有比特币,有没有把它提到自己掌握私钥的钱包地址里,这一步是关键,只有这样你才能真正地了解比特币到底有什么好处。如果你是放在一个交易网站的账户里,那跟你放在支付宝里的法币没有什么区别。


只有提到自己的钱包,才是真正完全自主的控制,因为只有你有私钥,别人无法剥夺你对财产的拥有权,这才是完全不一样的地方。比特币为什么被人追捧,除了一些投机炒作者,那些最坚定的信仰者在信仰什么?就是对等的、去控制的自主选择权。


问:这是比特币的例子,如果我们延伸到网络,是不是说在一个对等网络,我们产生的内容以及我们的数据是属于自己的,我们拥有对它们的自主权?


陈晖:是的。


问:所以对等网络的发展与大众的自主意识是相关的?


陈晖:对,就像区块链,它要真正落地使用也是要个体自主意识起来才行。这是一个博弈,你要享受方便就要牺牲权益,你要获得更大的自主权,你就要付出更多的行动,或者你要舍弃一些方便。


比特币能发展起来就说明它符合了一些人的信仰,或者说匹配了某种趋势,如果大家都不想改变,谁会想到需要比特币呢。


问:你们是在有区块链这个概念之前就开始研究对等网络的,还是在有区块链之后?


陈晖:之前。PPk的最初思路在2008年就有了,就是想给个体一个在网络上自主对等的身份,让个体拥有信息的控制权和数据对应的价值回报。就数据来说,你肯定要先确定所有权,因为确权后的数据才能给你回报,简单地说,就是你的数据要关联上你的标识,有了可验证的标识才能确定所有权。


在未来,数据肯定是“金矿”。如果你只能依赖服务器去存储和传输数据的话,数据的所有权是由服务器来决定的,也就是被该服务器所属的服务商控制的,你无法真正的掌控数据。


问:除了大众的自主意识,对等网络与网络自身的进化方向有关吗?


陈晖:其实互联网的设计初衷就是一种对等网络,只不过IP地址的局限性导致个体逐渐丧失了网络中的对等性。因为没有静态IP地址的话就只能受制于路由器分配给你的动态IP地址,只能依赖服务器去达成信息交换,于是个体变成了不对等的客户端。IPv6其实是想给出一个永久有效的IP地址的,但IPv6还没有发展起来,因为它还停留在IP作为点对点传输通道的层次,没有更好地解决应用的新问题。


另外,从失控这种发展趋势看,对等网络也是自然的发展方向。比特币是一种失控,网络也需要失控。失控是自然的本来要求,或者说是进化的需求,因为受控的进化会走入多样性日趋贫乏的死胡同,只有失控才能保障多样化。失控的前提是什么?是个体拥有自主权,只有对等网络才能给个体更好地自主发展空间。


自主的个体组成对等的网络,对等的网络满足自主、失控的发展趋势。而不对等的中心化网络走向的是封闭,越来越受控,越来越丧失自主性。


问:如果我们提下一代互联网的话,对等是下一代互联网的特征?


陈晖:光有对等还不行,还要有可信。对等、可信加起来才是下一代互联网的特性。这个可信是指用户是可信的、可自证的。用户拥有一个对等可信的标识,因而能够延伸出来对更多信息的对等可信的自主自证能力。



从面向主机到面向内容的寻址



问:在对等可信的网络中,每个设备或个体可能同时作为客户端和服务端,所以变动的IP地址是不适合作为唯一标识的,别人很难通过这个变动的IP地址来主动访问它。


陈晖:对的。现在的互联网是基于IP数据包的,为了解决上述问题,将来它会改变为基于内容标识的数据包。也就是说应用在获取内容时,从面向主机转变为面向内容,以内容标识来获取内容,不再需要关心数据的具体存放位置。


问:NDN似乎在做这件事。


陈晖:NDN(Named Data Network,命名数据网络)是美国政府主导的一个未来网络发展研究项目,它的思路就是打造面向未来的新一代互联网架构,我们会把它的思路跟区块链技术融合来做一些有意思的事情。


(编者注:互联网目前主要用作信息平台,但这并非 IP 作为点对点传输通道的强项,通信网络应该允许用户专注于自己需要的内容而不必指定内容取自哪个实际位置/主机。NDN的目标在于从现今以主机为中心的IP网络架构演进到以内容为中心的网络架构,这一转变将对人们设计、开发、部署和使用网络以及应用程序产生深远的影响 。)


问:从面向主机到面向内容,需要改变IP协议吗?


陈晖:原来的协议不用变,IP该做什么还是继续做什么。我们是在如今的应用层之下,网络层之上,设计一个基于内容的传输协议层。


以NDN为例,网络使用者在应用层直接使用这个协议就行,至于NDN是把它翻译成IP协议还是别的协议你不用关心,底层网络怎么去实现被透明掉了。只要告诉NDN需要什么样内容,它就能给你取回来。


问:那么PPk做的工作是什么?


陈晖:我们主要通过两个协议来实现NDN的突破思路。第一个是ODIN标识(Open Data Index Name),它是基于区块链的命名标识协议,解决映射问题,与传统DNS服务类似。第二个是PTTP协议(Peer Trusted Transfer Protocol),它是对等可信的传输协议,解决数据获取传输问题,与传统HTTP协议类似。


(编者注:DNS为互联网提供域名解析服务,主要是网站域名与IP地址的相互转换,这样一来访问者能够通过域名实现对IP地址的访问,这种服务需要借助于网络上的某台中心化的域名服务器才能实现;HTTP协议是互联网数据通信的基础,它规定了一个客户端终端和服务器端的请求和应答的标准。)


问:为什么需要把DNS变为ODIN,把HTTP变成PTTP?


陈晖:传统的DNS承载在中心化的DNS服务商的服务器里,但ODIN是基于区块链的,我们用区块链把中心化的服务器代替掉,ODIN能够提供更好的自主性、开放性、可信性和安全性。

ODIN标识可以映射到任何服务上,可以是一个网站服务,可以是ETH或EOS游戏,可以是一个去中心化的数字资产交易平台,可以是你手机上的图片。每一个采用ODIN标识定义的内容资源URI(Uniform Resource Identifier,统一资源标识符)会被解析映射到一个或若干个AP(Access Point,数据访问点)上,由AP节点按照PTTP协议进行中转路由或提供具体内容服务。

PTTP协议就是AP向外提供数据内容的访问接口标准协议,与HTTP的不同在于HTTP是基于域名发生作用的,PTTP是基于ODIN标识发生作用的。你发出一个请求,这个请求里面带上一个ODIN标识,PTTP协议就按照这个ODIN标识给你返回一个对应的数据。



对等可信网络的意义



问:我们刚才讲到了区块链在对等可信网络构建中的作用,反过来,对等可信网络,或者这一套通信协议对区块链网络有什么作用?


陈晖:现在有多种彼此分隔的区块链平台,跨链协议是在这些异构区块链“局域网”之间建立价值转移、互联互通的解决方案,而PPk开放协议是在这些区块链网络之上提供一个命名协议和一个传输协议,上层的应用层可以通过PPk开放协议更方便地访问到底层区块链互联互通网络的各种信息,而不用关心底层区块链平台的实现细节。


同一个ODIN标识,你可以把它映射到以太坊上,也可以把它切换成映射到EOS上,都没问题,但对于访问者来说访问入口是不变的。按照ODIN标识协议,访问者就知道该去哪条公链上取数据,而PTTP协议具体负责去取回数据,当然,PTTP协议也可以受益于跨链底层协议的发展来更方便地对接更多样公链。


问:对等可信网络可以实现去中心化吗?


陈晖:中心化只是表象,我们真正要的是对等。用户在面对多样化服务时,是可以对等选择的,是自主的、不受控的,这才是关键。如果你选择的是一个中心化的服务来达成你的需求,也没有关系,这只是某一次的选择结果,下一次你仍然可以灵活选择其它服务。


问:你说对等可信网络可以实现“网络即平台,网络即数据”,这是什么意思?


陈晖:这个是指你不用关心你想要的服务在哪里,或者你想要的内容在哪里,你唯一要做的事情就是对接到网络,然后把你的需求广播出去,网络就会返回你所需要的内容。


就像比特币交易广播一样,你可以完全开放的去广播需求,这个广播可能通过若干条路径,这个路径是完全开放的,不像滴滴打车只能经到滴滴指定的若干服务器,差别就在这里。


当你的需求广播出去后,网路中会有很多服务节点接收到,你的使用场景不是被一个有限的中心点控制,你的业务模型是完全开放的。网络将是唯一的平台,而这个平台是大家共同组成的,没有谁控制谁,大家是对等的。


传统的互联网业态是一定要存在“控制”的,因为它是注意力经济,控制你的注意力到互联网巨头所控制的狭窄信息通道里来,这样他们的通道才值钱。所以会存在一个有控制力的大平台位于信息流的中间,位于消费者和服务者之间。比如滴滴打车,打车的人和驾驶员之间必须通过滴滴平台达成服务。那在未来,希望能削弱甚至去掉这些“控制用户”的传统平台,只留下一个平台:网络即平台。


问:对等可信网络和Web3.0是什么关系?


陈晖:Web1.0的代表是雅虎,门户网站,访问者浏览网页,只是从网站服务器读数据。


Web2.0,用户的自主权多了一些,可以产生数据了,但产生的数据是依附于中心化的服务器的,用户并没有真正拥有数据的自主权,虽然现在欧盟制定数据保护法,但那只是政策层面的,从技术层面而言,数据的控制权跟你完全没有关系,数据仍然是放在别人的数据库里受服务商支配。


按这个趋势往下走的话,Web3.0就是对等,用户不仅能产生数据,还完全拥有数据的所有权。用户不仅可以作为数据的生产节点存在,也可以作为数据的发布节点,或者说有能力直接扮演内容服务端,我认为这是Web3.0的核心特征



结束语



一幅盛世图景,以“控制”为特征的传统互联网时代。“服务器运营者们”不仅聚拢了巨额的财富,也攫取了人们的注意力和数据,而注意力和数据比财富意味的更多。


互联网盛世之下是涌动的危机。这种危机来自于互联网巨头们的贪婪、来自于包括区块链在内的技术的发展,也来自于人们自主意识的觉醒。危机带来的是互联网变革的希望。


也许再过5年、10年,或者需要更久,但总会有那么一天,当我们回过头,就会看见真正的潮水的方向。


< END >

India: RBI Stalls its Plans to Launch Central Bank Digital Currency

According to a report from Business Line, published on January 1, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stalled its plan to launch a national digital currency.

Too Early for Central Bank Digital Currency

The cryptocurrency ecosystem in India has been plagued with confusion and indecisiveness, and the latest decision by the country’s financial watchdog is no exception.

Citing unnamed sources close to the matter, Business Line’s mentioned that the government and the RBI “think it is too early to even think about a digital currency.”

The RBI as not responded to Business Line’s queries regarding the subject matter.

In August 2018, the RBI had quietly formed an inter-departmental group of people to explore the feasibility of issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). However, none of the findings were ever released or made available to the public.

It was speculated that the financial watchdog’s idea of launching a CBDC stemmed from the need to check rampant money laundering, cyber-security threats, and tax evasion. However, the lack of any official word on the development has left things up in the air. Praveen Kumar, the founder of Bengaluru-based cryptocurrency exchange Belfrics, said:

“It is premature for RBI to launch [a] crypto-rupee, as more understanding of the crypto economy need to be achieved. It is a right decision to delay the process and see how the publicly traded peer-to-peer economy is shaping up.”

It would seem that the Indian government is following the wait-and-watch approach with regard to digital currencies. A number of smaller nations, including Malta, UAE, and Gibraltar have already delved deep into the world of cryptocurrencies. Depending on the outcome of pro-crypto regulations, 2019 could prove to be a critical year for the fate of cryptocurrencies the world over.

2018 Recap of India’s ban on Cryptocurrencies

While cryptocurrencies are slowly gaining recognition the world over, their state in India is nothing short of abysmal.

Things took a particularly dark turn on April 5, 2018, when India banned banks in the country from dealing with crypto businesses. The decision was seen as a dramatic one, especially after the ruling government’s push towards digitization and a cashless economy. The decision was subsequently challenged in the High Court on April 25, 2018.

The case later reached the Supreme Court of India, which, on July 20, 2018, rescheduled the final hearing to September 2018. Since then, the final hearing has been continually delayed by the country’s apex court with no signs of conclusion in sight.

However, all is not lost for the Indian crypto enthusiasts. BTCManager reported on December 26, 2018, that bitcoin could soon become legal in the country, as the second interdisciplinary committee appointed to vote on the legality of cryptocurrencies is in favor of legalizing it.

Bitcoin Price Watch: BTC Primed To Break $4K

Key Points

  • Bitcoin price is grinding higher and it recently broke the $3,900 resistance against the US Dollar.
  • There is a key ascending channel formed with support at $3,850 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The price may decline a few points before it makes an attempt to clear the $4,000 resistance.

Bitcoin price is showing positive signs above $3,800 against the US Dollar. BTC remains well supported on the downside for more gains above $4,000.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Yesterday, we discussed that bitcoin price remains buy on dips near the $3,700 level against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair remained in a nice uptrend and it moved above the $3,820 and $3,900 resistance levels. The price traded as high as $3,923 and it is currently correcting lower. It broke the $3,900 support, but it is placed well above the 100 hourly simple moving average.

At the outset, the price is testing the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $3,646 low to $3,923 high. More importantly, there is a key ascending channel formed with support at $3,850 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Should there be a downside break below the channel support, the price may test the $3,780 support. It represents the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $3,646 low to $3,923 high. Therefore, if the price corrects lower in the short term, buyers may appear near $3,850 or $3,780. On the upside, a break above the $3,900 and $3,930 levels may push the price towards $4,000.

Bitcoin Price Analysis BTC Chart

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price is trading nicely above the $3,780 support. If there are more declines, the next key support is near the $3,750 and the 100 hourly SMA.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is slowly moving in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is placed nicely above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $3,780

Major Resistance Level – $3,930

How to Last the Crypto Winter? Seek Simplicity, Manage Complexity

Jake Yocom-Piatt is the Project Lead for Decred, a hyper-secure, adaptable and self-funding digital currency.

The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.

2018 year in review

In 2018, we have seen the cryptocurrency market cap go from all-time highs in January to falling over 80 percent by December, despite little changing in the context of the technological fundamentals.

If little has changed with the fundamentals, then there must be other factors driving the manic buying and panic selling cycles present in these markets? A persistent pattern I have observed in the context of investors and projects in the space is one of information asymmetry.

This information asymmetry manifests itself in various contexts, e.g. either being a very informed or a very uninformed investor, the ability to determine if a project has overpromised on its technological deliverables or not. Another way of viewing this asymmetry is that it arises from hidden complexity, whether we’re talking about perceiving the value in an asset or implementing a new piece of software.

While I can describe bitcoin in a single phrase as “gamification of time-stamping,” describing and delivering a working system that implements that concept is a serious technical challenge.

With Decred, we experienced this hidden complexity firsthand while building Politeia, a time-ordered filesystem, for use as our proposal system. Making cryptocurrency markets less volatile and projects more substantive is a matter of doing what we can to eliminate the information asymmetry that arises from technological complexity, both with investors and software alike.

Complexity for Investors

I have observed a very bimodal distribution when it comes to the extent to which cryptocurrency investors are informed. There is a minority that is incredibly well informed and a majority who are quite uninformed.

This knowledge gap often benefits the well-informed at the direct expense of the uninformed, so the former are incentivized to maintain this arrangement. Similar to many other markets, the less-informed chase the carrot of easy profits dangled in front of them by the better-informed. When this herd-like behavior is combined with relatively thinly traded markets, it creates serious volatility, which has much in common with over-the-counter (“OTC”) stocks.

The perception of value drives investor decision-making, so the collective psychological state of investors determines the value of an asset. Unlike many other assets, cryptocurrency fundamentals do not change substantially as a function of time. This constancy of fundamentals is a major driver for using cryptocurrencies as a store-of-value (“SoV”) over longer timescales.

It is this SoV property that separates cryptocurrencies from OTC stocks, and it drives a longer timescale periodicity that is not present in most OTC stocks. Many uninformed investors are keen to buy low and sell high, capturing a profit in fiat terms, whereas well-informed investors understand the SoV property is a longer term play, which incentivizes them to buy low and avoid liquidating their positions.

Informed investors using cryptocurrencies as a SoV fuel these longer term boom-bust cycles, so episodic spikes in valuation occur without the value crashing to zero after each manic buying phase.

Complexity for Projects

After managing several software projects over the past decade, I can say that, even as someone who participates on a technical level, it is easy to overpromise on deliverables.

The main driver of this disconnect between promises and quality working code is the hidden complexity of the cryptocurrency development process. Over the past few years, I have seen many projects make massive promises and raise staggering amounts of capital in ICOs and similar processes, only to not deliver, deliver incredibly late or deliver barely-working software.

Similar to the situation for investors, projects have a bimodal distribution of technical ability: a minority that keeps their promises roughly in line with what they can realistically deliver and a majority that grossly overpromises on a regular basis. Overpromising on software deliverables is often the result of a combination of underestimating the complexity of cryptocurrency software and conscious overstatement on part of project leads.

Because the domain of cryptocurrency software is still rather new and complex, there are correspondingly few people who are well-suited to understand what can and cannot be achieved in a particular amount of time, on a technical basis. So, a project may make some really impressive claims about what it will achieve, but when there are so few people who are capable of realistically assessing how feasible the claims are, it incentivizes malicious actors to bait-and-switch investors.

Numerous projects that have been funded on a bait-and-switch basis have seen their valuations collapse throughout 2017 and 2018 once investors become aware they are unlikely to deliver on their claims.

Complexity in Practice

As the Project Lead for Decred, I am familiar with the process of dealing with complexity from a technical and management standpoint, and our off-chain time-ordered filesystem, Politeia, serves as a good example for how hidden complexity can delay even seasoned development teams in the space.

Our goal was to have Politeia in production as our proposal system in roughly 12 months from the start of the project in April 2017, and we didn’t go into production until six months after the projected date in October 2018. Despite building on top of a working versioned filesystem, git and attempting to avoid complexity, it still took several additional months to get the metadata formats just right and have the frontend perform suitably.

Politeia is based on a pretty simple idea “create an off-chain store of data where you can demonstrate who said what when using cryptography and an existing blockchain.”

Once you split this apart into its components, it doesn’t seem very difficult:

  • Make episodic self-contained timestamps using the Decred blockchain
  • User identities correspond to keypairs in a PKI system
  • User messages are all signed by the corresponding identity private key
  • Up and down votes are a special form of user message
  • Tracking user ticket votes based on snapshots of the Decred ticket pool

This list is pretty short and each component is relatively simple, but handling the edge and corner cases that arise between these components quickly becomes non-trivial. Despite the final working implementation being complex, it can be described as a handful of simple components that even less-informed market participants can understand.

Simplicity for Investors

There are myriad ways to become a well-informed cryptocurrency investor, but after making my own missteps, I have a few simple policies that can help cut through some of the complexity:

  • Stay skeptical – When someone makes extraordinary claims, they need to supply extraordinary evidence. If any claim made by a project sounds too good to be true, see what someone external to that project has to say about it, and attempt to understand more about how they will deliver on their claim.
  • Do your own research – There is no substitute for doing some self-directed research about a project before investing in it. Even in my case, as someone who has been working in the space for almost six years, it still takes me several hours to do a good job footprinting another project and understanding their value proposition in some detail. Are there other projects that serve a similar niche? What makes this project better than others in the same niche?
  • Dollar-cost averaging – Not everyone has the ability to dictate the schedule on which they acquire cryptocurrency, but I recommend considering a dollar-cost averaging approach, where you make regular purchases over a longer time period. It is challenging to buy at a local minimum price, so rather than load up at single price, you purchase regularly over a wide range of prices. This way, you are not beholden to the psychology of having bought everything at a single price, and you can lower your average acquisition cost by buying as prices drop.
  • Psychological periodicity – As discussed above, there is a periodicity present in cryptocurrency markets that is not present in other similar markets. Before investing, consider that you may have to wait several years for the market to cycle to a point where you have made a good investment. 2018 has had a lot of similarity to 2014 in that all-time highs occurred near the start of the year and markets have sold off in stages throughout the year. For much of 2015, BTC/USD was in the 200s and this was an excellent time to acquire Bitcoin. I suspect 2019 will be similar to 2015, where valuations stay depressed and the market consolidates throughout the year.

Simplicity for Projects

Overcoming the complexity barrier between promises and implementation for cryptocurrency projects is challenging. Here are some policies that have served me well:

  • Avoid overpromising – It is easy to be coerced or otherwise convinced that you need to make huge promises to generate interest in your project, financial or otherwise. If you care about not looking like a doofus later on, make a point to reflect on whether or not your promises can be delivered on before making them publicly. In my case, this has meant not publishing projected completion dates for work because I am often wrong about when it ends up being done, e.g. Politeia. Managing expectations matters.
  • Avoid complexity – Once you have some established promises or have otherwise chosen a path forward to address a technical problem, do what you can to avoid complexity and still achieve your goal. Cryptocurrency software is often, as a function of the domain, quite complex, so it especially important to keep things as simple as possible. Less complexity means you are more likely to deliver your software sooner.

Conclusion

By working together to increase our collective comprehension, participants in the cryptocurrency ecosystem can take many steps to help reduce market volatility, create more substantive technology, and efficiently educate newcomers.

If 2019 is anything like 2015, the cryptocurrency market is in a consolidation phase, and the next several months will continue to shake out underperforming projects. Very little has changed with the fundamentals of the space, despite the pullback in valuations, so I expect a continued and bright future for cryptocurrencies in 2019 and beyond.

Have an opinionated take on 2018? CoinDesk is seeking submissions for our 2018 in Review. Email news [at] coindesk.com to learn how to get involved.

Cracks in the ice via Shutterstock

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH’s Bullish Extension Above $150

Key Highlights

  • ETH price climbed higher sharply and broke the $150 resistance area against the US Dollar.
  • There is a short term bullish flag pattern formed with support at $150 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair is gaining momentum and it may extend gains above the $155 level in the near term.

Ethereum price is trading nicely against the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH/USD is placed nicely above the $144 support and it may continue to move higher.

Ethereum Price Analysis

Yesterday, we discussed that ETH price could revisit the $150 and $155 levels against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair did move higher, broke the $144 resistance and climbed towards the $150 and $155 resistance levels. A new weekly high was formed at $156 and later the price started a downside correction. It declined below the $155 and $152 levels, but it is currently well above the 100 hourly simple moving average.

There was a break below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $139 low to $156 high. However, there are many supports near the $150 and $144 levels. Moreover, there is a short term bullish flag pattern formed with support at $150 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. Below the channel support, the next buy zone is near the $148 level. It represents the 50% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $139 low to $156 high. Therefore, if there is a downside correction, the price may find support near $150 or $148.

Ethereum Price Analysis ETH Chart

Looking at the chart, ETH price is trading nicely above the $144 support. The price action is positive and it seems like there could be more gains above the $155 level. On the downside, the main supports are $148 and $144.

Hourly MACDThe MACD is slightly placed in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSIThe RSI is now placed well above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $144

Major Resistance Level – $155

交易所剧变的一年:格局已定,黑马陨落 | 2019"大佬说"


新一年的钟声已经敲响,属于 2019 的喧嚣、疯狂、奇迹、感动正在开启。

2018,作为区块链行业媒体,Odaily星球日报既陪伴了区块链行业疯狂的从零到一,也见证了非理性繁荣的泡沫破裂。有人感叹,这短暂却精彩的时代片段,再也无法被复制了。

因此,我们希望记录下那些行业亲历者、开拓者的真实声音,为行业的探索者、守望者指引前路。

《 2019  大佬说》是 Odaily星球日报推出的区块链访谈栏目,我们采访了 50 余位区块链行业引领者,将访谈精华整理沉淀为系列文章。

文 | Aesop、秦晓峰

编辑 | 卢晓明

出品 |  Odaily星球日报(ID:o-daily)

2018 年,交易所行业剧变的一年。

有人从攀升至第一梯队后稳固头部交易所位置,譬如币安,也有人一冲而上又迅即坠落,譬如 FCoin。后来千所大战,前赴后继。

2018 年,交易所格局终究没变。

头部依然是头部,大多数中小型沦为配角。一大批 2017 年末牛市入场的交易所,在经历了这一年过山车式的行情变化后,默默退场。

当我们讨论谁将会成为下一个币安时,这些交易所想到的只是如何活下去。

2019 年会变得更好吗?Odaily星球日报采访诸多当事人,以期还原数字货币交易所行业过去 1 年内的变革规律,预测 2019 年的发展趋势。

Q1.过去一年交易所行业您印象最深的事是什么?

钟庚发:印象最深刻的肯定是行情从最火到最寒冬的转变,交易所行业收入发生巨大的变化,上币费萎缩得非常厉害。交易所的收入方式也发生了转变,最早是靠上币费获取大量收入,现在主要通过交易手续费以及一些增值服务譬如期货杠杆等。对于中小型交易所,尤其是没有实际用户支持的交易所,到了下半年生存相对比较艰难。

Q2.你觉得目前交易所面临的最大瓶颈和挑战是什么?

瓶颈在于整个行情都在往下走。整个交易所最大有两个挑战。一部分来自用户端:机构用户有套现压力,散户或个人投资者没有交易情绪、增量用户不敢进入。行业情绪低迷。另一部分来自项目端:好项目太少。现在项目背后必须要有价值。很多项目上所即破发,导致项目方不敢上所,投资者也不敢买。这导致没有新项目上所,交易更加低迷。

Q3.怎么看待“交易即挖矿”模式?你觉得 FCoin 还能崛起吗?

它不是交易所的经营模式,他是一个营销模式。这种营销模式相当于透支了交易所的未来,也没法将负面影响消化掉。我觉得 FCoin 回来可能性很低,因为用户已经对 FCoin 有了一个品牌定位,很难再去转变。

Q4.交易挖矿给交易所行业带来什么教训或启发?

交易挖矿让二三梯队的交易所看到了机会,在好的历史机遇或者外部条件下,能够实现对头部交易所的弯道超车。之前从业者以为可能只能等待九四这样的机会,二三线交易所才有机会成为头部交易所,但是后来发现有可能琢磨新产品去进行弯道超车。我们转变了原来被动服务的模式,而去主动设计一些产品。

Q5.您觉得 2019 年交易所或者区块链会有哪些变化或趋势?

我觉得一个大的方向是合规化,我们很多合作客户,合规牌照变成第一步。另一个是垂直化,做通用型交易所对后进者而言竞争太激烈,所以他们会选择做垂直领域的交易所,比如版权、游戏或其他行业。第三是低成本运作的交易所,因为我们判断 2019 年可能以横盘为主。

Q1.2018 年,交易所领域让您印象最深刻的一件事或几件事分别是什么?

2018 年经历的事还挺多的。第一就是年初比特币价格大涨,引发大家对这个行业的关注,很多人涌入这个行业;第二就是随后的大跌,对于整个市场也是一种考验。但对于真正想将这个行业建设起来的人而言,反而是一种好事。其实你去反观互联网的发展史,你会发现,今天这些成功的互联网公司,都是在互联网泡沫破裂的时候诞生的。这是一种螺旋上升。对币安而言,这一年也是极为重要的一年。我们经历了从一个创业公司到行业顶级公司的过程。

Q2.你觉得目前交易所面临的最大瓶颈和挑战是什么?

2018 年,我觉得最有挑战性的一点就是全球化竞争。

Q3.您怎么看待“交易即挖矿”模式?你觉得它失败了吗?

“交易即挖矿”,或者说“持币分红”,从逻辑上来讲,它本身是不可持续的。如果你用公式算一算,从第一天你就知道到哪一天会崩溃,所有的资金盘都是这样的模型。我们一开始就觉得,它可能对行业是一个损害,而不是所谓的增长。 因为最终受伤的是用户,用户受损以后他就离场了,他就觉得你们这帮人都是骗子。我们的决策机制是保护用户,所以我们自始至终没做这个东西。

Q4.您觉得目前来说,交易所最大壁垒是什么?

首先,交易所本身的壁垒还在于技术层面,比如说撮合交易,你开个饭店,你只需要接待十个客人,这是很容易的;但你要接待 10 万个客人,或者说 100 万客人的时候,你的压力是不一样的。再者是国际化竞争;最后是牌照。

Q5.您觉得 2019 年交易所或者区块链会有哪些变化或趋势?

我觉得 2019 年可能是行业的调整年:一个是应用的落地,一个是管理的规范。其次,我觉得这个行业本身,就一直在不断地和主流的金融业慢慢趋近或者趋同。2019 年,我觉得在各个国家和地区,可能看到对区块链行业和比特币有更清晰的监管模型。

Q1.你觉得目前交易所面临的最大瓶颈和挑战是什么?

瓶颈有两点,第一点是世界各个国家、地区对这个行业本身看法不一致,监管政策步骤不统一,这就导致(交易所)发展,特别是做国际化进程时,节奏很难统一。第二点,整个区块链行业还是处于一个比较早期的阶段,我们这些行业参与者的努力可能还需要依靠外部社会对我们的理解才能发挥力量。

Q2.您觉得目前来说,交易所最大壁垒是什么?

从我个人来看的话,我认为首先是产品和口碑。产品方面,交易所毕竟做的是一个为他人提供服务的产品,所以稳定性、安全性还有应用性非常重要,我觉得产品方面虽然在某一阶段可能不太具有差异化,很多新入场者可以很快去获客,但当整个行业越来越成熟,参与者越来越多,专业机构参与进来,产品的稳定性、API 是否好用还有效率,是非常重要的壁垒。另一方面是口碑,这一点不可以快速通过一些引爆活动去吸引,而是需要长期的服务输出和整个运营价值观。

Q1.2018 年,交易所领域让您印象最深刻的一件事或几件事分别是什么?

交易挖矿。我是龙网的早期玩家,交易挖矿其实是龙网首创的,当时 2017 年底,在没有大佬站台的情况下,龙网通过这种创新模式吸引了一大批用户。当 FCoin 出现时,我以为这种模式很多人已经把他看穿了,实际上我忽略了一点,就是交易挖矿这种模式还没有任何一个知名大佬去做这件事。不仅需要商业模式的创新,同时需要足够的影响力宣传。FCoin 的影响力远远不是龙网能比的,它实际上是一种旁氏骗局、资金盘模式,利用后面人的钱给前面人分红,和 F3D 本质差不多的。我意识到 FCoin 会比龙网跌得还惨烈,于是和身边很多朋友提示了风险,让他们在高位全部抛掉。

Q2.你觉得目前交易所面临的最大瓶颈和挑战是什么?

区块链技术未来还是有很多方向可以去挖掘,但是太多急功近利或者短视的投机者,之所以熊市来得这么快,就是因为投机者的急功近利在透支这个行业。

Q3.您觉得 2019 年交易所或者区块链会有哪些变化或趋势?

目前来看新交易所崛起是非常难的。一切交易所的兴旺还是基于用户,但是在这么一个用户持续滑坡、市场走熊的趋势下,很难有新的交易所脱颖而出。明年市场回暖的概率是非常小的,就算有的化也可能只是小的反弹,而这个时候各大交易所对新的运营方式或模式也能很快上手,就像我们之前看到交易挖矿兴起之后,主流的大型交易所纷纷推出自己的产品,如果仅仅只是商业模式的创新,那么很容易就被抄袭。 

原创文章,转载/内容合作/寻求报道请联系 report@odaily.com;未经授权严禁转载,违规转载法律必究。

推荐阅读


优质的推送带来深刻的思考

给 Odaily 标星,让你先与众不同


以太坊分叉在即:影响ETH投资决策?

前言:以太坊网络将在7,080,000区块高度上激活君士坦丁堡硬分叉。在以太坊历史上有过5次硬分叉,这五次分叉毫无例外都带来了一定价格波动。即将到来的硬分叉(预计在2019年1月中旬),会产生样的结果呢?谁也不清楚。历史可以给我们参考,正如本文所分析的那样,但每一次所处的背景不同,其作用的因素也不同,结果也不一样。慎重做好自己的决策。本文作者LongHash,来源于Longhash.com,由“蓝狐笔记”公众号社群“Leo”翻译。

 

以太坊是一个持续升级的项目,它偶尔会进行重大的升级,也就是所谓的分叉,分叉允许实施新技术或改变区块链的规则。

 

下一个计划的升级是“君士坦丁堡”,它的主要变化是关于以太坊的出块奖励以及在链中实施新的ETH生成规则。它计划在7,080,000的区块高度激活,时间可能在2019年1月中旬。(译注:以太坊计划中的项目阶段:Frontier、Homestead、Metropolis以及Serenity,其中即将到来的君士坦丁堡硬分叉是Metropolis时期的第二次升级。)

 


虽然有些人认为分叉是看涨的迹象,不过,分叉也是有风险的事件。在硬分叉前后,应该如何做投资决策?我们决定回顾一下以太坊历史上五次硬分叉前后的市场表现。

 

当然,并非所有的分叉都是一样的。Homestead和Byzantium是有计划的分叉,在以太坊的白皮书也有提及。但是其他的三次分叉则是规划外的,是对网络中出现的意料之外的问题做出的回应。

 

对于这五次分叉,收集了分叉前后共30天的数据,也就是分叉前10天,和分叉后20天数据。下面对分叉前和分叉后的价格进行可视化的呈现。

 

除每日价格数据外,我们还计算了每日价格差异。

 

可以学到什么?

 

根据绘制的图表可以看出,计划外的三次硬分叉(DAO、EIP150以及Spurious Dragon)在分叉当天的价格波动最大。同时,在分叉之后的波动比分叉前波动略大些。

 

而对于计划内的分叉(Homestead和Byzantium),波动峰值出现在分叉前,而分叉后价格波动显著下降。

 

即将推出的君士坦丁堡硬分叉也是一次有计划的系统升级,我们是否可以预期价格的波动跟之前HomeStead和Byzantium分叉期间看到的类似?

 

不过,还有其他的情况。不管分叉是否是有计划的还是规划外的,我们都可以观察到在历史上分叉后的前十天比之后十天波动更高。

 


然而,这种影响似乎更多是因为分叉当天整体价格更高的原因,往往在分叉后十天内进行调整修正,然后在之后的十天内趋于稳定。

 

显然,过去的表现可能不是未来结果的好指标。不过如果这些模式不是巧合的话,也许会给你带来启示。比如尽可能避免在分叉后10天购买以太坊等。(译注:历史只能作为参考,不代表未来的结果,谨慎做好投资决策。)


——

风险警示:蓝狐笔记所有文章都不构成投资推荐投资有风险,投资应该考虑个人风险承受能力,建议对项目进行深入考察,慎重做好自己的投资决策。

通往区块链的新世界:关注“蓝狐笔记”区块链公众号:lanhubiji 

或加入蓝狐笔记的知识星球:https://t.zsxq.com/iaQNnIq

New York Becomes the First State in the U.S. to Have a Crypto Task Force

/latest/2019/01/new-york-becomes-the-first-state-in-the-u-s-to-have-a-crypto-task-force/

New York Becomes the First State in the U.S. to Have a Crypto Task Force

On Wednesday (2 January 2018), New York State Assemblyman Clyde Vanel announced via a press release posted to his Facebook account that his state had become the first in the U.S. “to create a cryptocurrency task force to study how to properly regulate, define and use cryptocurrency.”

Vanel, who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology at the New York State Assembly, says that the creation of this crypto task force has been authorized by Assembly Bill A8783B, which had been “signed into law” on 21 December 2018 by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

According to the text of the bill, the purpose of the New York state “digital currency task force” is “to provide the governor and the legislature with information on the effects of the widespread use of cryptocurrencies and other forms of digital currencies and their ancillary systems in the state.”

In his Facebook post, Vanel stated that:

  • “The members of the task force, appointed by the Governor, Senate and Assembly, are to submit reports by December 15, 2020. The members will include stakeholders such as, technologists, consumers, institutional and small investors, large and small blockchain enterprises and academics. The group shall report on digital currency, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.”
  • “In the early days, too often there were instances of Bitcoin exchanges getting hacked and people losing their holdings. In response to a major exchange compromise, in 2015, under Governor Cuomo, New York State’s Department of Financial Services promulgated the BitLicense to protect New Yorkers on cryptocurrency exchanges. New York was first to act and to this day, the BitLicense is modeled by many states and countries.”
  • “It has been in ten years since the advent of cryptocurrency. It has been nearly four years since the implementation of the BitLicense. In the cryptocurrency space and technology in general, a few months is equivalent to years.”

Here are some comments on this initiative from Vanel, his colleagues, and other interested parties:

Clyde Vanel:

“New York leads the country in finance. We will also lead in proper fintech regulation. The task force of experts will help us strike the balance between having a robust blockchain industry and cryptocurrency economic environment while at the same time protecting New York investors and consumers.”

New York State Assemblyman Ed Ra:

“New York must properly balance consumer protection with creating an environment ripe for investment and innovation in New York State. “Convening experts and stakeholders is a good step forward and I thank Assemblyman Vanel for this leadership on this issue.”

New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim:

“I want to thank my friend and colleague Assemblyman Clyde Vanel for working hard and creating this task force to examine how we need to improve the way we view and embrace crypto currency and blockchain technology in New York. I look forward to working with him and others to bring in the next chapter of decentralization, which can help build more resilient local economies.”

Julie Samuels, Executive Director of Tech:NYC:

“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will, without a doubt, greatly impact finance and many other industries across the globe for years to come. New York’s cryptocurrency task force – the first of its kind in the nation – shows how our state is leading the way in studying and understanding these technologies to ensure they can thrive in a responsible and effective way, further solidifying New York’s position as a global hub for smart innovation.”

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Last Year’s Altcoin Army Have Become This Year’s Bitcoin Brigade

This time last year, altcoiners were jubilant at the soaring value of their respective cryptos, while gloating at BTC’s diminishing dominance. “Penny coins” such as Ripple, Iota, and Verge were rocketing, with fanboys decrying any media outlets that dared to “FUD” them. One year later, and most of those altcoiners have crawled back into the woodwork or returned to their first love – Bitcoin.

Also read: Over 900 Retailers Worldwide Now Accept Bitcoin Cash

What a Difference a Year Makes

2018 is commonly perceived as having been a bad year for Bitcoin, but a closer examination of the facts shows that isn’t necessarily the case. As Jameson Lopp noted in his ‘Bitcoin By the Numbers: 2018 Recap’: “2018 was the worst year for Bitcoin. Also, 2018 was the best year for Bitcoin. It just depends upon which metrics you’re focused.” One lesser documented way in which 2018 benefited BTC was through the death, to all intents and purposes, of many altcoins, leading their apostate acolytes back to the Church of Bitcoin.

Last Year’s Altcoin Army Have Become This Year’s Bitcoin Brigade

In 2018, BTC may have lost the boomers – the mom and pop investors who bought near the top and then ran a mile when the market crashed – but it won over a good proportion of altcoin investors. Those with the perspicacity to recognize the huge difference between an 80 percent and a 95 percent drawdown have sheepishly rediscovered their love of Bitcoin. One year ago, for instance, Twitter user “The Coin Dad” was taking aim at news.Bitcoin.com for publishing a “MAJOR FUD ARTICLE” about verge (XVG), in which the altcoin was described as vaporware. One year on and The Coin Dad’s tweets show that he is firmly back in Casa Bitcoin.

Last Year’s Altcoin Army Have Become This Year’s Bitcoin Brigade

While Some Flit Towards the Light, Others Retreat

While The Coin Dad has had the good grace to regret his dalliance with Verge in the heady days of early 2018, many of his kind have simply withered away and left the crypto scene altogether. The replies tweeted at news.Bitcoin.com and other media organizations, one year ago, for publishing unflattering coverage of altcoins was littered with expletives and invective. In hindsight, it is safe to assert that these individuals were less concerned with the accuracy of the reporting than with the effect it may have had on their portfolios.

Last Year’s Altcoin Army Have Become This Year’s Bitcoin BrigadeHéctor Rodríguez, for example, was fighting “FUD” in the most colorful of terms last January, but by mid August had given up on crypto Twitter. Dog walker and IOTA fan, Steven Fowler, didn’t even last that long; last January he was venomously accusing news.Bitcoin.com of “Spreading more FUD bullshit as usual” but by February had left Twitter. Media outlets that warned investors about the dangers of Bitconnect prior to its collapse were greeted with similar protestations from token-holders. News.Bitcoin.com’s article dating from Nov. 2017, for example, contains 264 comments, many of them defending the ponzi lending scheme.

Last Year’s Altcoin Army Have Become This Year’s Bitcoin Brigade
Comments from news.Bitcoin.com’s Nov. 2017 article on Bitconnect

Media publications don’t always get things right, and in a community as fractured as that of the crypto space, it is impossible to please everyone. As a retrospective of last year’s altcoin mania shows, however, much of the news decried as FUD was in fact news that readers would have done well to heed rather than hiss at. Those who were savvy enough to return to the relative safety of Bitcoin can look forward to 2019 with confidence. Those who are stubbornly betting on their altcoin to return to its previous all-time high – and then do another 10x – could have a long year ahead.

Do you think 2018’s bear market has driven many altcoin investors back to BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Twitter


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

Indian Police Warn Public Against Investing in Cryptocurrencies

The police of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir have issued a public statement, warning the public against investing in cryptocurrencies, local business news daily the Business Standard reported on Jan. 2.

Police reportedly warned the public against the “heightened risk” of investments like Bitcoin (BTC) and reminded investors that cryptocurrencies are not sanctioned by the government. The Business Standard quoted the branch’s inspector general as saying:

“The general public is informed not to make any type of investment in cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin because there is a real and heightened risk associated with them.”

The inspector general further stated that the crypto market could experience a “sudden and prolonged crash, exposing investors; especially retail consumers who stand to lose their hard-earned money.”

India currently enforces a ban on banks servicing cryptocurrency-related operations following a circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  The hard line against digital assets has led to the exit of several local businesses and a challenge in the Indian Supreme Court.

Earlier this week, Pon Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Shipping, said that the government is approaching cryptocurrency regulation with caution. Radhakrishnan said that the lack of a “globally acceptable solution” meant lawmakers were unlikely to issue formal statues in the short term.

Yesterday, the RBI announced that it has postponed plans to develop a national cryptocurrency or “crypto-rupee.” India’s central bank originally announced it was considering a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in April 2018, going so far as to establish an interdepartmental group to investigate the potential advantages of a CBDC.

The findings of the group have not been disclosed, and the Hindu Business Line quotes an unidentified source as saying, “The government doesn’t want the digital currency any more. It thinks it is too early to even think about a digital currency.”