Category: Data

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Virtual Currency Firm Adds Nobel Prize Winners to its Team

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Data

Virtual currency firm adds Nobel Prize winners to its team

Cryptic Labs is a leading blockchain research firm, has taken on two new advisors, both of which are Nobel Prize winners in the field of economics.

In a press release, Cryptic Labs announced that Dr Eric S. Maskin and Sir Christopher Pissarides would be joining the team to provide insights into incentive mechanisms, game theory, and macroeconomic policies.

Currently, a professor at Harvard University, Dr Maskin brings his extensive game theory knowledge and mechanism design experience to the company, with a particular focus on how blockchain-based projects can develop incentives. In 2007, Dr Maskin was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics, for laying the foundations of the mechanism design theory.

In the press release, Dr Maskin stated:

“I think that blockchain technology is potentially important for a modern economy. Most discussions of blockchain technology focus on technical issues. I am more interested in the economic value such technology can bring.”

Sir Pissarides was awarded his Nobel Prize in 2010 for his work on the analysis of markets with theory search frictions. He will be lending his expertise to advise the company and its clients on the understanding of macroeconomics.

Cryptic Labs’ co-founder and managing director, Humphrey Polanen, commented: “For the first time in the industry, Drs. Maskin and Pissarides will offer unparalleled expertise and insight to the blockchain industry, providing nuanced understandings of behavioural economics to our clients.”

Adding two such distinguished academics to the team behind a cryptocurrency business is yet another big boost for the industry. It shows that some of the world’s best minds see the potential in both blockchain and crypto technology. At a time when the markets are experiencing a bit of turbulence, this is pleasant news for businesses operating in the crypto-sphere.

Whilst as of yet, E&S Group doesn’t have any in-house Nobel Prize Winners, we do have a very experienced team of lawyers, advisors, and tokenomics experts, who are able to guide you through every step of the ICO or crypto-business related process. Contact us on [email protected] to find out more.

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A guide to token usage, utility, and value

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, E&S Group, Technology, Tokenomics, Tokens, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, Data, Cryptoeconomics

A guide to token usage, utility, and value

There is no shortage of information available about cryptocurrencies, but there is very little in the way of defining exactly the type of tokens. When it comes to technical details about blockchain, the concept of a cryptocurrency coin is well understood; a programmable currency until that is linked to a blockchain and relates to smart contract logic in the context of a certain software application. But when it comes to the non-technical details, what is a token?

A token is another way of naming a privately issued currency. When we consider sovereign governments that issue currency, they do so with set terms and governance, directing how the economy functions with fiat currency as the medium of value. Then, we have the blockchain with new types of organisations who issue their own currency in the form of digital assets, otherwise known as cryptocurrency. These issuers are setting their own rules and terms around their operations and essentially creating new, self-sustainable micro-economies.

In other words, what was once the sole preserve of governments, is now in the hands of anyone that has the capability to create their own tokens.

A few years ago, no one was talking about ICOs or STOs, or even token models, and with much confusion still present around these phenomena, this article is designed to make things a little clearer.

Tokenomics vs Cryptoeconomics

At E&S Group, we believe that there is a difference between tokenomics and cryptoeconomics. When we talk about cryptoeconomics we refer to the incentive structures that are designed to facilitate the creation and subsequent transaction validation of a particular cryptocurrency. For example, the cryptoeconomics of Bitcoin is designed to give Bitcoin miners a reason to mine new BTC. These miners validate each Bitcoin transaction and then receive newly minted BTC as a reward for their efforts.

Individuals, businesses, and users of BTC then pay a transaction fee to the miners so that their transaction is included in the mining of the next block. This means that even when all BTC has been mined (something that is estimated to happen in 2140), miners of Bitcoin will still be incentivised to keep mining and validating transactions.

This is what we refer to as cryptoeconomics. Whilst it is quite similar to tokenomics in terms of the incentivisation of stakeholders to ensure specific behaviour, there are some differences between the two.

Tokenomics focusses specifically on the application layer of a token so that the goal of it is to ensure that a crypto-token is used within the ecosystem as intended.

This means that tokenomics is not just about the supply and transaction validation of a token, but more about the things that happen afterwards. When we consider tokenomics, we have to consider what the token is used for and what behaviour we are trying to elicit.

Having explained that tokenomics is not the same as cryptoeconomics, we must define exactly what tokenomics entails as depending on who you speak to, it can have different meanings. For some, the tokenomics of an ICO refers to certain token metrics including supply and the amount that is reserved for founders and advisors to the project. Others believe that tokenomics is a four-layer model that comprises of token functionality, token distribution, token workflow, and token governance.

Token use

A token must have a purpose, and during the ICO boom this was mainly to raise funds to the project, but now things are changing. Even if the main goal is to raise funds, the token still needs to have an additional, secondary purpose. Eventually, the aim is for investors to use the token and not just to invest in it for later speculation.

Whether the token is used to start an online platform, or whether it is to incentivise another kind of behaviour, it is of the utmost importance that the purpose of the token is clear. To be able to set up a long-term sustainable token, it needs to be designed with the tokens utility clearly set out, because if not, it will hurt the business.

Token Utilisation

A second part of the tokenomics is the way that the token will be utilised. Once you have established your purpose, clarification needs to be given as to whether the token will be used, when it will be used, and how it will be used. Consideration also needs to be given to how often it will be used and by whom. Just because you have a clear purpose for the token, does not mean that people will use it effectively, therefore you need to do token research to understand how the token will be used.

Token utilisation is as important as token value. For example, what happens when the token increases in value due to speculation? In such cases, users of the platform will be less likely to use it for its intended purpose and more likely to hold it so that they can cash in at a later date.

Token functionality

Programmable money is a term that has been used to describe cryptocurrency tokens but you also need to have an idea of what sort of functions the token will have.

For example, in the case of a security token offering, a company can issue its shares as a token, therefore, providing a financing mechanism for the company whilst also providing value for the shareholders. To be able to provide such value, the token needs to be structured in such a way that allows people with no tokens to vote and receive dividend payments. Functions such as dividend payments of voting are clear examples of functionalities that could be programmed into the token.

Token Distribution

Another aspect of tokenomics is the way that it is distributed. Often, ICO projects make mistakes in their token distribution by making it fixed that is issued at just one time moment.

If we look at fiat currencies, their supply is never fixed, instead, the central bank is able to print more money or a local bank can provide a loan. These are both means of creating money where previously there was none. From this, we can ascertain that a fixed token distribution is likely to have negative effects on its value, inflation, and of course, usage. For these reasons, it is incredibly important that special attention is paid to how the token is distributed, for example:

  • When will the token go into circulation?
  • When will it leave circulation?
  • How much will be released at first?
  • How do current and projected utilisation and value coexist?

Token Value

The value of the token is another important aspect of tokenomics. When a token is issued as a share or security, the value of the token should be clear and straightforward. For example, if a company is valued at $50 million, and 10 million equity tokens are made available, each token/share should be worth $5.

If a token doesn’t have a clear value, things can get a lot more complicated. If an issuer thinks that a token is worth X, the market may put it at a different value. This can become even more complicated when you want to enable users to exchange tokens for specific services. If the value of a token falls in the market, the price should be adjusted by the issuer.

Tokens that work in the long-run

Tokenomics has a lot of complicated and very different facets that include token purpose, utility, functionality, distribution, and supply. But there are many others that can be taken into consideration such as mechanism design, stakeholder interviews, and token governance, meaning the good token design is not as easy as some would believe.

Even if all of these things have been given consideration, the task is still not completed because to properly set up a tokenised business due attention to other parts of the business such as the token market, the business technical infrastructure, and the token and revenue model. This is not an easy task and it is one that requires the help and guidance of a professional.

E&S Group has solid experience in designing tokenomics infrastructures, as well as advising companies on all of the other important aspects of creating a successful project. For further information please send us an email on [email protected]

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Real Estate Agents in Malta to Use Blockchain to Share Property Market Data

Categories Blockchain, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Data, Real Estate, Property

Real Estate Agents in Malta to Use Blockchain to Share Property Market Data

 

Some of the leading real estate agents in Malta have announced plans to use a blockchain-based platform to share information and data that related to the local property market.

Ledger Projects is a Maltese company that has also announced an application that will allow notaries to record promise-of-sale agreements on the blockchain, after they have been signed. This platform will allow local notaries to be informed in real-time when a property has been sold, thus removing any possibility of human error.

The new platform will be supported by Exonum and will be built by one of the world’s largest blockchain infrastructure providers, Bitfury.

“Our Distributed Ledger Technology platform will make it possible for stakeholders to have accurate real time information about the industry for the first time ever within a blockchain environment that is secure, distributed and immutable,” Ledger Projects’ directors Anthony Mamo and David Schranz said. “Eventually the data collected within the system may also assist other stakeholders to understand emerging trends and to enable these to pre-empt infrastructural requirements.”

One of the real estate agencies that has signed up to use the new platform believes that the ability to collect and share information will be of great use to the property industry on the island. “The blockchain technology and its applications are moving forward at a fast pace and we are very excited to be getting involved at this early stage,” he said.

As Malta’s property industry continues to boom, it is attracting a lot of international attention and investment. By implementing operational services over blockchain platforms, Malta becomes one of the first countries to do so, thus offering a significant competitive edge. Blockchain has offered many possible use cases to the real estate market – from the use of smart contracts in the purchasing process, to the storing of contracts and deeds in a secure and immutable manner.

 

To find out more about the implementation of DLT technology into your business operations, or how to create your own blockchain-based solution, contact us today on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected].

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Hospital in Taiwan launches a ledger technology-based record keeping system

Categories Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Data

Hospital in Taiwan launches a ledger technology-based record keeping system

The Taiwanese government is in the process of consolidating its Hierarchical Medical system policy and this is set to include a blockchain-driven platform that will be used to advance the way that medical records are stored.

The Healthcare Blockchain Platform will increase the efficiency of patient referral services as well as integrating healthcare networks so that individuals are able to access their medical data as and when they want.

In a statement released by the hospital, they stated that the new platform will be a one-stop referral service and will provide long-term care services in terms of the HMS policy.

The project came to fruition due to a collaborative effort between 100 community-based clinics that chose to utilise the use of the blockchain. By addressing issues that commonly affected them, issues like the transfer of data between institutions, personal patient portals, and referral processes could be simplified.

“Using smart contracts, hospitals and clinics can request and authorize patient record sharing easily and securely,” the report noted.

Chen Ray-Jade, the superintendent of a leading hospital stated that the programme would provide a way of synchronising medical records with electronic health records from a large network of hospitals and clinics. It would also have the ability to notify and require consent before any transfer of data would be executed.

Back in August, a medical Big Data ecosystem designed for the storage of sensitive personal information was created by a South Korean biotech enterprise called Macron, and a local firm called Bigster. This was a significant move that made waves in the medical community by facilitation the secure storage and transfer of sensitive information over the blockchain.

A German company called Camelot Consulting Group also created a similar blockchain portal that would manage medical data.

 

Are you looking for ICO Legal Advice? Click this link to know more.

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Our Freedom Does Not Belong to Us Anymore!

Categories Blockchain, Malta, The Blockchain Island, E&S Group, Technology, Data Protection, Data

Our Freedom Does Not Belong to Us Anymore!

During Julian Assange’s final interview before Ecuadorian officials shut off his internet access, the WikiLeaks founder told the World Ethical Data Forum in Barcelona, Spain, that it will soon be impossible for any human being to not be included in global databases collected by governments and state-like entities.

“This generation being born now… is the last free generation. You are born and either immediately or within say a year you are known globally. Your identity, in one form or another –is coming as a result of your idiotic parents plastering your name and photos all over Facebook or as a result of insurance applications or passport applications– is known to all major world powers.”

Keeping in mind such technology giants as Google, Facebook, and Amazon, Assange stated that that Silicon Valley’s biggest and most powerful companies will deploy Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to gather big data, that will lead to a reconstitution of the global economic order. “They are basically open-cut harvesting the knowledge of humankind as we express it, when we communicate with each other, this classical model, which people in academia call “surveillance capitalism” has changed now” – he said.

Being included in the global network with all the personal data open to the supervising authorities will take away the individual freedom and stays almost out of our control. With the successful implementation of big data and AI in collecting and sharing the information, the next step is for the new economic model to follow suit.

Mr Assange predicts that “It’s a really very important and severe economic change. Which is to take the surveillance capitalism model and transform it instead into a model that does not yet have a name, an ‘AI model’. Which is to use this vast reservoir to train Artificial Intelligence of different kinds. This would replace not only intermediary sectors –most things you do on the internet is in a sense more efficient intermediation– but to take over the transport sector, or create whole new sectors”.

Speaking at the World Ethical Data Forum, Jennifer Robinson, the lawyer of Julian Assange stated: “For more than eight years we have been fighting a number of landmark cases, in multiple jurisdictions, to protect something we thought was sacrosanct, that perhaps too many have taken for granted: the right to freedom of speech and the freedom of publishers to publish information in the public interest.”

Robinson also spoke of the financial “blockade”, under which the worlds major credit card companies and payment transfer services banned WikiLeaks, cutting them from donations and basically taking the control over the individual’s willingness to support the activity of the organisation, restricting the available means of payment. The case against WikiLeaks can be used as precedent against other media organisations in the future.

However, the basic personal information itself is not that valuable before it is used for marketing, monitoring or restricting the individual. The calculator, developed by the Financial Times in 2013, shows that the information about age, gender, and location costs an average of $0.00054 (including the US inflation), income details and shopping histories are a little more valuable, they both sell for $0.0011. The information about people, who are believed to be “influential” within their social networks, sells for $0.00081.

The digital industry is boiling with new inventions, financial models shifts and ethical controversies. Ralph Merkle, an inventor of cryptographic hashing and Merkle trees, made a talk on the public-key cryptography – a system that uses pairs of keys: public keys which may be disseminated widely, and private keys which are known only to the owner. This accomplishes two functions: authentication, where the public key verifies that a holder of the paired private key sent the message, and encryption, where only the paired private key holder can decrypt the message encrypted with the public key. Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer at MI5, and David Brin, scientist, the New York Times bestselling author, also spoke on the topic of digital technology implementation in data collecting and protection.

E&S Group is one of the companies concerned about the development direction of the DLT technology as well as the market regulation framework, data protection and rights violations that can be the other side of the coin of rapid digitalisation. Yuliya Khrenova, Education and Communications Manager at E&S Group, took part at the World Ethical Data Forum to highlight the situation on the Maltese market and discuss the focal points of the upcoming transparency promising regulation and potential of the companies moving to operate on the Blockchain Island.

Contact E&S Group directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out more.

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