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Social media giants must decentralize the internet… Now!

Republished by Plato

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Big Tech has been in the news a lot over the last decade. Initially, the coverage focused on the new possibilities that were created around communication and information sharing and the benefits that these would bring. New tech networks offered unprecedented tools, offering everything from reuniting families separated by emigration to assisting in the overthrow of autocratic regimes and restoring power to the people. 

Next, we heard about the tremendous value Big Tech was creating, bringing billions of dollars to founders and workers, as well as the pension funds that invested in them. We knew they were a force for good in the world, not least because they never missed an opportunity to tell us this fact.

The sentiment toward Big tech changed near the end of 2016, fuelled by an unexpected result in the United States presidential election. Big Tech platforms were no longer tools to promote individuality and self-expression; they had swiftly become enablers of hatred and lies. Seemingly overnight, these companies went from darlings to pariahs, from bastions of free speech to being weaponized by malicious interests and rogue states to sway elections, planting false narratives. Individuals in control of the platforms went from defenders of freedom to being likened to dictators. Journalists wrote that Big Tech now had more capital than many governments and greater control of speech than any media outlet — without any democratic checks and balances or regulation to curb their worst impulses.

These events brought to the fore the amount of power that currently resides within Big Tech companies, along with the need to consider how we define speech in the modern world and how it should be amplified and regulated. That, in turn, touches on how the platforms that determine modern speech should be governed.

From decentralization to streaming

To address this, we should examine how the early internet unleashed so much creativity in its early days. Back then, the web was decentralized in its own way, with each website representing its own space, resulting in a vast network of nodes threaded together by hyperlinks. Some nodes were bigger than others, but none so big that they would distort the landscape or require specific regulation. The internet could be viewed as a vast garden, being added to with each additional website.

As both the network and the number of users grew, there was increasing demand for this network to be organized and made more efficient. Google capitalized on this by building an algorithm that searched the web and returned results and, in the process, kicked off a new internet that was defined by algorithms. Content was suddenly being recommended and defined by algorithms across music (Spotify), news (Facebook and Twitter) and entertainment (Netflix). The garden became a stream, and suddenly, we were all being influenced and directed by black-box algorithms that we knew very little about.

It is this new stream model of the internet that has caused such vitriol to be directed toward Big Tech. Big Tech companies dictate what content is acceptable to share and what should be promoted often by considering what is most beneficial to their bottom lines. Content controls are described as moderation for those who approve of them and censorship by those who disagree. The loudest voices dominate the conversation, often disproportionately favoring the Big Tech workforce and the traditional media — a small group with identifiable biases.

Back to the decentralized internet

What is the correct way to govern these massive platforms? Centralizing the power of founders is far too limiting, and outsourcing it to Californian employees and western media is only slightly better. Instead, we should look back to the decentralized internet of the past and see how we could recreate the period many older heads look back on with such nostalgia. Many claim that it is impossible to put this genie back in the box, given the enormous economic value that derived specifically from centralizing digital content and making it more accessible.

Blockchain has enabled decentralized governance of companies, allowing a form of democratic decision-making that is weighted toward those with skin in the game. Individuals buy governance tokens in a network, such as decentralized finance product suite Yearn.finance, which provides them with votes on the governance of that ecosystem while also holding independent value and/or providing dividends. Companies can be natively decentralized like Yearn, or transition to this model over time, like DeFi lender Aave. This model provides returns, aligns strategy with ownership, and removes the principal-agent problem that is rife in public and private organizations. Companies can use it to distribute admin fees to owners as well as make strategic decisions.

Public discourse on content moderation often draws from legal and philosophical concepts, with a liberal sprinkle of America’s first amendment, to construct a top-down solution. This presumes that a small number of people knows what is best for millions, even billions, of users. But decentralized governance, proven effective by the booming DeFi industry, may allow for a bottom-up solution that puts the power in the hands of users. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey even announced his interest in such an approach at the end of 2019.

Decentralized governance could be achieved by providing tokens to users, as described above, which, in turn, would allow them to vote on principles of moderation. This could even be calibrated to the issue at hand — members of minority groups might have a greater weighting in issues related to discrimination or religious groups on freedom of religion. Power users might have greater weighting to their votes than casual ones. By trusting the broader issue of moderation to the wider community, users are engaging in a social contract that will make them far more likely to buy into principles that are adopted. As well as making moderation more efficient, this would likely repair some of the reputational harm suffered by social media companies, creating a clear distinction between censorship and moderation.

The biggest tech platforms have user populations bigger than the world’s largest countries, but none of them have the equivalent democratic checks and balances that we look for in governance. Identifying complex pain points, such as censorship and moderation, and finding ways to empower users to own these processes gives them skin in the game and access to create a flexible policy mechanism to help heal the bruised reputations of Big Tech. It is in the companies’ best interests, too, as the reputational hit of poor content policies has led to antitrust speculation and calls to break up Facebook, for example.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Luis Cuende is a co-founder of Aragon, a platform for building and running DAOs. Luis started his first open-source project at age 12. He got into Bitcoin in 2011, having been inspired by how crypto can bring freedom. In 2014, aged 18, he co-founded the blockchain timestamping startup Stampery. He holds multiple recognitions, including Forbes 30 under 30, MIT TR35, and best underage hacker of Europe by HackFwd.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/social-media-giants-must-decentralize-the-internet-now

Blockchain

Iranian government to penalize crypto miners using household power

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The Iranian government has now warned of hefty fines for those who will be caught mining cryptocurrencies using power intended for domestic use.

This after authorities registered a significant spike in electricity consumption for digital currency mining, further straining the already stressed hydropower generation caused by insufficient rainfall in the country this year.

The government said the illegal mining operations for virtual currencies that rely on electricity intended for households cause transformers to be overloaded, damaging the power grid. According to Tehran Times, Iranian Ministry of Energy spokesperson Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi said unauthorized miners “will be fined when identified and held responsible for the damages they cause to the electricity network.”

Mining rapidly expanding in Iran

Back in 2019, the Iranian government legalized cryptocurrency mining, classifying it as an industrial activity.

In 2020, over 1,000 mining licenses were issued by the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Trade, and power companies were provided with an avenue to increase their profits through meeting the industry’s power demands.

Selling electricity to cryptocurrency miners was seen as an option to fill the gap between revenues and expenditures in the electricity industry. However, with the current energy crisis being faced by the country, this move is now also being questioned.

Power consumption through the roof

Per the latest available data, the cryptocurrency mining sector in Iran consumes up to 1,500 megawatts of electricity each day. Back in December, this figure only sat at 300 megawatts. Authorities revealed that only around 200 megawatts of the current average daily consumption are legal.

Chinese companies have taken advantage of low and subsidized electricity prices in Iran to establish mining operations in the country’s Special Economic Zones.

The Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Trade estimates around $660 million worth of cryptocurrency is mined annually by unlicensed facilities in Iran.

Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinerx.com/blockchain/iranian-government-to-penalize-crypto-miners-using-household-power/

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Blockchain

Litecoin Price Analysis: 17 May

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The Bitcoin price faced strong volatility due to which the price has once again crumbled under $50k. This strong volatility has spread to the altcoin market and the digital silver, Litecoin [LTC], was among those alts affected. The Litecoin price slipped by 21% over the weekend and was trading at $286 with a market capitalization of $18.97 billion.

Litecoin four-hourly chart

Source: LTCUSD on TradingView

The above chart of LTC shows the strong upward march of the digital asset to $413.65 this month, after which began its descent. The coin has now slipped by almost 30% and was seeing a bearish pressure. This bearishness could result in its value stumbling further.

Reasoning

The market was open to more volatility and this was indicated by Bollinger Bands. The divergence of the bands was suggesting that the price has been moving more rapidly than before and may continue to do so. Meanwhile, the signal line was hovering above the candlesticks highlighting the downward trending price.

The rise in selling pressure has pushed the digital asset lower and as per the relative strength index, this selling pressure was rising. RSI value had briefly hit 30, which is the oversold zone. However, a recovery pushed the indicator’s value higher. Now that the selling pressure continued, RSI has been moving towards the oversold zone again.

The money which momentarily made its way into the market might seep out. Chaikin Money Flow suggested that new money was entering the market with the recent recovery.

Crucial levels 

Entry-level: $285.38
Take Profit: $273.89
Stop-level: $294.04
Risk to Reward: 1.33

Conclusion

The current Litecoin market was suggesting the rise of bearishness in the market. As LTC’s value moved close to $286, the selling pressure was visibly dominant and the traders might want to tread carefully.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/litecoin-price-analysis-17-may

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Blockchain

Bitcoin, Ethereum and alt markets: Here’s the silver lining traders need to know

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Panic settles fast in the cryptocurrency industry. The collective market declined by 4% over the past 24 hours but the actual correction has amounted to over 20% since May 20. While Bitcoin struggled to move above $50k recently, Ethereum’s dropped from its recent ATH of $4372. With speculations of a prolonged bearish period gathering pace, there are a couple of things to note before coming towards a definite conclusion.

Ethereum: A timely market re-set?

Ethereum

ETH/USD on Trading View

Since 18 April, Ethereum has rallied by 124.47% in the market. The asset has managed to breach past multiple key levels and the present corrections can be considered as an ideal re-set. The asset is already retracing from the 0.5 Fibonacci line, which is fundamentally bullish. Relative Strength Index or RSI is also reaching a neutral state, attained last during the start of April, before the rally.

Structurally, the correction isn’t outrightly bearish yet. The amount of Ethereum held on exchanges continues to remain low following the price drop, indicating little selling pressure.

Source: CryptoQuant

Traditional Market impacting Bitcoin again?

Previously, most corrections across the crypto industry would always be attributed to a decline in the traditional stock market. However, Bitcoin is primarily acting on its own for the time being.

Source: Trading View

The above comparison chart between Bitcoin vs SPX vs Dow Jones is descriptive in terms of correlation between DJI and SPX, and its collective uncorrelation with the largest crypto asset. In general, the traditional stock market has assisted the crypto market to recover in the past but its present uncorrelation means that the sell-off is organic and not triggered due to external factors.

Fundamentally, Bitcoin miners aren’t bearish either.

Source: CryptoQuant

According to data, Bitcoin Miner’s Position Index has been under the value of 1 since the beginning of March. An MPI index above 2 suggests that miners are aggressively selling in the market. Its continued position below 1 exhibits miner sentiment has altered in the short term and the market remains bullish overall.

One minor concern highlighted by Ki-Young Ju, CryptoQuant CEO was a possible whale dump over the last 24-hours. A whale dump is usually followed by a period of correction, as the market tends to shuffle out weak hands.

So, what stirred the pot?

The commotion was initiated on Twitter on May 16 after Elon Musk went on another rant. Musk’s earlier comments on BTC’s energy consumption were the topic of discussion, which led to Musk terming Bitcoin as ‘highly centralized’. While he cleared speculation that Tesla did not trigger any Bitcoin sales during this time period, Willy Woo suggested market repercussions were already unlocked.

Should Traders be worried?

At the moment, No. While a drop below $46,000 is not ideal, Bitcoin is maintaining its position above its long-term support at $42,000. At press time, the asset has been able to facilitate a recovery towards the $45k range but preferably, it should commence a position above $46.5k within the next 24-48 hours.

BTC/USDT on Trading View

The market is at the periphery of a drastic turnaround. Indicators suggest a higher possibility of a bullish rally so it isn’t time to press the panic button yet.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-ethereum-and-alt-markets-heres-the-silver-lining-traders-need-to-know

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