Why The Block-Chain Matters In So Many Ways!

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This article was taken from the June 2015 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED’s articles in print before they’re posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online. At least one global cryptocurrency will achieve mass-market adoption. That cryptocurrency will either be Bitcoin or a derivative inspired by it. The chance that it will be the former is so strong that in 2014 I invested in Bitcoin startups Xapo and Blockstream. And yet, perhaps surprisingly, when one of the very smart people I know in Silicon Valley recently told me he’s a major “Bitcoin sceptic” who has not yet seen “many real use cases” for the technology, I considered it a good sign. Why? Because in my experience, the most transformative ideas are not the ones that achieve broad consensus early on. Instead, they’re the ones that are so uniquely out there, so contrarian, that even informed observers have wildly differing opinions regarding their potential value. The internet itself was like this. It started as a strange new parallel universe called “cyberspace” and then became a part of everyday life. LinkedIn, eBay, Twitter and Airbnb were all bizarre concepts at first, …

BitFury to Release Light Bulbs that Mine Bitcoin in 2015

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Following the revelation last week that BitFury had developed a prototype light bulb capable of mining bitcoin, the company has announced it plans to take steps to bring the devices to market in 2015. Though much about the market strategy remains in early stages, the news follows increasing reports that industry companies are attempting to find use cases for bitcoin in line with the broader trend toward connecting everyday devices to the Internet. BitFury said it intends to invite the community to become a part of its rollout plans, and that it would solicit ideas on how the light bulbs should be marketed to a wider audience as part of a collaborative release. In statements, CEO Valery Vavilov suggested that the goal of the project would be to galvanize interest in bitcoin as a technology, and that making any money on the initiative would be secondary to promoting discovery. Vavilov said: “We believe that the project’s focus should not be on making money from bitcoin mining, but on creating innovative solutions with main purpose to use this product for educational purposes and fun.” The light bulb garnered significant attention on Reddit last week when pictures of the devices first began appearing from attendees at …

Blockchain Technology to Transform Monetary System

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While bitcoin has had its share of ups and downs in the past years, the underlying blockchain technology has the potential to change the entire monetary system. Renowned futurist Peter Diamandis claimed that the financial system could see an extraordinary transformation in the next decade due mostly to bitcoin-like technology. “You might have heard of bitcoin, which is the decentralized (global), democratized, highly secure cryptocurrency based on the blockchain. But the real innovation is the blockchain itself, a protocol that allows for secure, direct (without a middleman), digital transfers of value and assets (think money, contracts, stocks, IP),” Diamandis mentioned. “Investors like Marc Andreesen have poured tens of millions into the development and believe this is as important of an opportunity as the creation of the Internet itself.” Blockchain Technology Protocol “At its core, bitcoin is a smart currency, designed by very forward-thinking engineers. It eliminates the need for banks, gets rid of credit card fees, currency exchange fees, money transfer fees, and reduces the need for lawyers in transitions… all good things,” Diamandis wrote in Forbes last year. “Most importantly, it is an ‘exponential currency’ that will change the way we think about money. Much the same way email …

MOST OF THE WEB IS INVISIBLE TO GOOGLE. HERE’S WHAT IT CONTAINS

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Below The Surface Graphic by Katie Peek You thought you knew the Internet. But sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram are just the surface. There’s a whole other world out there: theDeep Web. It’s a place where online information is password protected, trapped behind paywalls, or requires special software to access—and it’s massive. By some estimates, it is 500 times larger than the surface Web that most people search every day. Yet it’s almost completely out of sight. According to a study published in Nature, Google indexes no more than 16 percent of the surface Web and misses all of the Deep Web. Any given search turns up just 0.03 percent of the information that exists online (one in 3,000 pages). It’s like fishing in the top two feet of the ocean—you miss the virtual Mariana Trench below. Much of the Deep Web’s unindexed material lies in mundane data­bases such as LexisNexis or the rolls of the U.S. Patent Office. But like a Russian matryoshka doll, the Deep Web contains a further hidden world, a smaller but significant community where malicious actors unite in common purpose for ill. Welcome to the Dark Web, sometimes called the Darknet, a vast …