When it comes to computer data storage, it can seem like we are running out of numbers. If you are old enough, you may remember when diskette storage was measured in kilobytes in the 1980s. If you are a little younger, you are probably more familiar with the thumb drives denominated in gigabytes or hard drives that hold terabytes today.
Humanity’s unfathomable data footprint
But we are now producing data at an unprecedented rate. As a result, we are going to need to be able to grasp numbers so large that they seem almost beyond human comprehension. In order to get a sense for the new realm into which we are entering, consider this: Market intelligence firm IDC estimates that the total global creation and consumption of data amounted to 59 zettabytes in 2020 — that’s 59 trillion gigabytes in old money.
Yet while the total volume of data in existence is now at an almost unfathomable scale, the rate at which it is growing is even more striking. Back in 2012, IBM calculated that 90% of the world’s data had been created in the previous two years. Since then, the exponential growth in global data volume has continued apace, and the trend looks set to continue. Indeed, IDC projects that over the next three years, humanity will create more data than it did during the previous three decades.
The obvious question is: What has changed? Why are we suddenly producing much more data than ever before? Of course, smartphones are part of the story. Everyone now effectively carries a mobile computer in their pocket, dwarfing the power of desktop computers of previous generations. These machines are constantly tethered to the internet and continuously receive and transmit data, even when idle. The average American Generation Z adult unlocks their phone 79 times a day, approximately once every 13 minutes. The always-on nature of these devices has contributed to the avalanche of new data produced, with 500 million new tweets, 4,000 terabytes of Facebook posts and 65 billion new WhatsApp messages fired out into cyberspace every 24 hours.
Smartphones are just the tip of the iceberg
Smartphones are merely the most visible manifestation of the new data reality, however. Whereas you might assume that video platforms such as Netflix and YouTube constitute the lion’s share of global data, in fact, the entire consumer share amounts only to approximately 50%, and this percentage is projected to gradually fall in the coming years. So, what makes up the rest?
The rise of the Internet of Things and connected devices has been further expanding our global data footprint. Indeed, the fastest year-on-year growth is taking place in a category of information known as embedded and productivity data. This is information derived from sensors, connected machines and automatically generated metadata that exists behind the scenes, beyond the visibility of end-users.
Take autonomous vehicles, for example, which use technologies, such as cameras, sonar, LIDAR, radar and GPS, to monitor the traffic environment, chart a route, and avoid hazards. Intel has calculated that the average autonomous vehicle using current technologies will produce four terabytes of data per day. To put that in perspective, a single vehicle will produce a volume of data each day equivalent to almost 3,000 people. Furthermore, it will be critically important that this data is stored securely.
On the one hand, it will be useful in order to schedule service intervals and diagnose technical problems most efficiently. It could also be used as part of a decentralized system to coordinate traffic flow and minimize energy consumption in a specific city. Finally and probably most importantly in the short run, it will be essential in order to settle legal disputes in the event of injuries or accidents.
Autonomous vehicles are just a tiny part of the overall story. According to McKinsey & Company, the percentage of businesses that use IoT technology has increased from 13% to 25% between 2014 and 2019, with the overall number of devices projected to have reached 43 billion by 2023. From industrial IoT to entire smart cities, the future economy will have a hugely increased number of connected devices producing potentially highly sensitive, or even critical data.
Is the end in sight for Moore’s Law?
There are two factors to consider, and both point to the increasing utility of decentralized networks. Firstly, while we have more data than ever before to tackle global challenges, such as climate change, financial instability and the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19, we may be approaching a hard technical boundary in terms of how much of this information can be processed by centralized computers in real time. While data volumes have exponentially grown in recent years, processing power has not increased at the same rate.
In the 1960s, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore coined Moore’s Law, which stated that as the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, computing power will increase at a corresponding rate. But Moore himself conceded that it was not a scientific law; it was more of a transitory statistical observation. In 2010, he acknowledged that as transistors are now approaching the size of atoms, computer processing power will reach a hard technical limit in the coming decades. After that, more cores can be added to processors to increase speed, but this will increase the size, cost and power consumption of the device. To avoid a bottleneck effect, therefore, we will need to find new ways of monitoring and responding to data.
The second factor to consider is cybersecurity. In an increasingly interconnected world, millions of new devices are going online. The data they provide will potentially influence things like how electrical grids are controlled, how healthcare is administered, and how traffic is managed. As a result, edge security — the security of data that resides outside of the network core — becomes paramount. This provides a complex challenge for cybersecurity experts, as the many different combinations of devices and protocols provide new attack surfaces and opportunities for man-in-the-middle intrusions.
Learning from networks in nature
If centralized processing is too slow and insecure for the data-abundant economies to come, what is the alternative? Some experts have been looking for inspiration in the natural world, arguing that we should move from a top-down to a bottom-up model of monitoring and responding to data. Take ant colonies, for example. While each individual ant has relatively modest intelligence, collectively, ant colonies manage to create and maintain complex, dynamic networks of foraging trails that can connect multiple nests with transient food sources. They do this by following a few simple behaviors and responding to stimuli in their local environment, such as the pheromone trails of other ants. Over time, however, evolution unearthed instincts and behaviors on an individual level that produce a system that is highly effective and robust on a macro level. If a trail is destroyed by wind or rain, the ants will find a new route, without any individual ant even being aware of the overall objective to maintain the network.
What if this same logic could be applied to organizing computer networks? Similar to ant colonies, in a blockchain network, many nodes of modest processing power can combine to produce a global outcome greater than the sum of its parts. Just as instincts and behavior are crucial in nature, the rules governing how nodes interact are critical in determining how successful a network will be at achieving macro-level goals.
Aligning the incentives of each decentralized actor in a mutually beneficial network took thousands of years for nature to master. It is unsurprising, therefore, that is also a difficult challenge for the human designers of decentralized networks. But while the genetic mutations of animals are essentially random in terms of their potential benefit, we have the advantage of being able to purposely model and design incentives to achieve common overall goals. This was at the forefront of our minds: The objective was to eliminate all perverse incentives for individual actors that erode the utility and security of the network as a whole.
By carefully designing incentive structures in this way, decentralized networks can greatly strengthen the degree of edge security. Just as the pathfinding network of an ant colony will continue to function even if a single ant gets lost or dies, decentralized networks are equally robust, enabling the network to remain fully functional even when individual nodes crash or go offline. Furthermore, not a single node needs to process or understand all the data in its totality for the network as a whole to be able to respond to it. This way, some researchers believe we can create an economic incentive structure that automatically detects and responds to common challenges in a decentralized way.
The volume of data we are producing is exploding, and our ability to monitor and respond to it using centralized computer networks is approaching its limits. For this reason, decentralized networks are uniquely suited to the challenges ahead. A lot of research, testing and experimentation remains to be done, but the fundamental robustness and utility of the underlying technology have been demonstrated. As we move toward a data-abundant, hyperconnected world, decentralized networks could play an important role in deriving the maximum economic and societal benefit from the Internet of Things.
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.
Stephanie So is an economist, policy analyst and co-founder of Geeq, a blockchain security company. Throughout her career, she has applied technology within her specialist disciplines. In 2001, she was the first to use machine learning on social science data at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. More recently, she researched the use of distributed networking processes in healthcare and patient safety in her role as a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University. Stephanie is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Rochester.
Crypto Scam Watchdog Group Wants To Get Back At Vitalik Buterin
A crypto scam watchdog group wants to get back at Ethereum’s creator after he got rid of all of his SHIB token holdings. Now, the group created a token that dumps ETH for rival BNB as we can see more in our latest Ethereum news today.
The market for SHIB collapsed after Buterin got rid of all of his tokens and now one crypto scam watchdog group wants revenge. The Telegram group War on Rugs hates rug pulls but now they are trying to rug pull Ethereum. The group says it’s composed of developers and auditors that created the Rug Ethereum token in retaliation for the ETH co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s decisions o transfer millions of his SHIB tokens to charity while at the same time he crashed the market for the token:
“Vitalik rug pulled Shiba, innocent investors have been hurt. He should never be shown as a hero for this.”
@VitalikButerin rug pulled Shiba Inu $SHIB. Let’s rug Ethereum $ETH. Introducing Rug Ethereum $RETH on the Binance Smart Chain. A token that dumps ETH for BNB. The first @WARONRUGS token. #SellYourETHhttps://t.co/lZ7zckBqIG
— #WARONRUGS❌ (@WARONRUGS) May 14, 2021
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao agreed to list the token on Binance’s Innovation Zone and called SHIB high risk. War on Rugs which looked at the smart contract said that this year Buterin had a huge stake in the token which meant it could be vulnerable. A rug pull is a type of scam where developers leave a project and take investors’ money with them. They are most common in the DeFi space where people can go to get crypto loans, earn interest, and trade assets without getting the help of a financial intermediary or insurance that intermediaries provide.
Buterin didn’t develop the token so now the creators of the meme token sent trillions of the asset to Buterin who is reversed among ETH acolytes for his intellectual capacity and lack of concern for the things money can buy. Sending the funds to Buterin’s wallet lent the project a veneer of legitimacy while also decreasing the supply because he wouldn’t touch the funds. DeFi researcher Chris Blec said:
“If you consider a ‘rug pull’ to be quickly, without notice, removing a damaging amount of liquidity from a pool, then I guess that’s what Vitalik did. The fact that he never asked for the liquidity in the first place definitely changes things though.The SHIB token project was originally deployed with a specific set of risks and a whole lot of inherent problems. Vitalik didn’t change any of that. He simply exposed the token for what it was.”
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Bitcoinist Book Club: “The Bitcoin Standard” (Prologue and Chapter 1)
To lay the foundation for everything we’ll learn in the Bitcoinist Book Club, we had to start with “The Bitcoin Standard” by Saifedean Ammous. A fair amount of experts in the field recommend it as the first Bitcoin book people should read. Does that mean it’s too basic for the Bitcoinist audience? Not at all. Our readers might already be familiar with these concepts, but seeing them used as building blocks to construct a case for Bitcoin is a thing of beauty.
Here’s an introductory deep dive into The Bitcoin Standard and the first iteration of the Bitcoin Book Club.
About The Coolest Club On Earth
The Bitcoinist Book Club has two different use cases:
1.- For the superstar-executive-investor on the run, we’ll summarize the must-read books for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. One by one. Chapter by chapter. We read them so you don’t have to, and give you just the meaty bits.
2.- For the meditative bookworm who’s here for the research, we’ll provide liner notes to accompany your reading. After our book club finishes with the book, you can always come back to refresh the concepts and find crucial quotes.
That’s it. Let’s get into it.
“The Bitcoin Standard” – Prologue
The book is divided into three parts. The first one discusses the concept of money and everything it implies. The second part goes back in time and analyzes the use of “sound and unsound forms of money throughout history.” The third, finally, gets into Bitcoin and the possibilities it brings to the table, “and analyzes the possible uses of Bitcoin as a form of sound money.”
The prologue also provides a solid definition of what Bitcoin is:
In essence, Bitcoin offered a payment network with its own native currency, and used a sophisticated method for members to verify all transactions without having to trust in any single member of the network. The currency was issued at a predetermined rate to reward the members who spent their processing power on verifying the transactions, thus providing a reward for their work.
That means Bitcoin is, “the first demonstrably reliable operational example of digital cash and digital hard money.” This is huge. This is what the world needs. And, as we go through this book, we’ll find out exactly why.
The prologue cannot end without a familiar disclaimer: “This book does not offer investment advice.” Of course it doesn’t, and everybody involved resents the implication.
BTC price chart on Bitstamp | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
“The Bitcoin Standard” – Chapter 1: Money
The main function of money is as a medium of exchange. The second is as a store of value, and the third is as a unit of account. We need money because barter is not an efficient enough system for a complex society. So, “A good that assumes the role of a widely accepted medium of exchange is called money.” It doesn’t matter what it is and it doesn’t have to be “government paper.”
What the market looks for in potential money is salability. That is, “the ease with which a good can be sold on the market whenever its holder desires, with the least loss in its price.” If that characteristic persists across time, then the asset displays an “ability to hold value into the future.” So, it becomes a store of value.
It therefore follows that for something to assume a monetary role, it has to be costly to produce, otherwise the temptation to make money on the cheap will destroy the wealth of the savers, and destroy the incentive anyone has to save in this medium.
If it’s difficult to produce new “monetary units,” that’s “hard money.” If it isn’t, then it’s “easy money.” Over time, people who use hard money will tremendously outperform people who use easy money. A constant increase in the supply will erode the purchasing power of the easy money, it’s as simple as that. The law of supply and demand never fails.
The ratio between the stock and flow is a reliable indicator of a good’s hardness as money, and how well it is suited to playing a monetary role.
With flow being the “extra production that will be made in the next time period.” These core concepts are the basis for PlanB’s Stock-To-Flow model. And this is the main reason that model works, “The higher the ratio of the stock to the flow, the more likely a good is to maintain its value over time.” Or to, you know… augment its value.
It’s time to talk about liquidity, “the more people accept a monetary medium, the more liquid it is.” And acceptance throughout a community is the characteristic that allows for pricing to be, “expressed in its terms, which allows it to play the third function of money: unit of account.”
So, money plays “the roles of medium of exchange to allow specialization; store of value to create future-orientation and incentivize individuals to direct resources to investment instead of consumption; and unit of account to allow economic calculation of profits and losses.”
So simple, and yet it eludes even the smartest of us.
Related Reading | A new year – new opportunities in crypto
A Critique, Because It Can’t All Be Positive
This sentence should’ve been heavily edited, it sounds like a bad joke:
Producers can specialize in producing capital goods that will only produce final consumer goods after longer intervals, which allows for more productive and superior products.
Five product-related words in a row? Come on! And, as a bonus, in the same paragraph:
The production of these tools stretches the duration of the production process significantly while also increasing its productivity.
Three more product-related words? That’s a total of eight in the same paragraph. Too much.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Bitcoinist Book Club.
Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he would forever work to make bitcoin better.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed his support for the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin on his microblogging platform Twitter, in response to a tweet by the Square chief financial officer, Amrita Ahuja. “Our bitcoin strategy hasn’t changed. We’re deeply committed to this community, including working towards a greener future through our Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative,” Ms Ahuja wrote on Twitter. These comments came a few days after Elon Musk’s Tesla suspended bitcoin payments.
#bitcoin changes *everything*…for the better.
And we will forever work to make bitcoin better. https://t.co/wssrF2U0P0
— jack (@jack) May 14, 2021
Square’s Bitcoin asset is valued at $410m.
Square is a digital payments company founded by Twitter chief executive and Jim Kelvey and launched in 2020. The company valued at over $100 billion in 2020 is evaluating Bitcoin as an investment opportunity. Square has purchased a total of $220 million Bitcoin to date. Its Bitcoin asset is valued at $410m. Bitcoin was trading at $48,523.20 on Saturday and is down 13 percent over the past five days since Tesla announced to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment method. “Square is doing exactly this for bitcoin with @SqCrypto,” Jack Dorsey had tweeted last year.
Tesla suspends the bitcoin payment option citing environmental reasons.
Less than two months after Elon Musk had announced to accept the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles, the company discontinued its support. Elon Musk announced that the reason they are suspending bitcoin payments is because of environmental concerns. Bitcoin mining uses specialized computers that use massive energy for the process of mining. However, Tesla would continue to retain bitcoin holdings that it acquired sometime in January this year. The leading electric car maker had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins earlier this year, sending the price of the leading cryptocurrency to new highs.
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