SINGULAR DTV CROWDSALE DISCUSSION (ETHEREUM)
A Blockchain Entertainment Studio, Smart Contract Rights Management Platform and Video On-Demand Portal
SingularDTV (S-DTV) is a film and television entertainment studio focused on the production and distribution of original science fiction content, as well as educational documentaries about blockchain technology, decentralization and Ethereum. Through developing applications on Ethereum’s blockchain, S-DTV is creating a first-of-its-kind rights management platform for the entertainment industry and a world-wide video on demand portal. For more information visit www.singulardtv.com.
From DAO to CODE, 'Centrally Organized Distributed Entity
The Singularity: https://singulardtv.com/singularity
Film Division: https://singulardtv.com/film-division
Summary Documents: https://singulardtv.com/resources/default/pdf/Sing...
The Singular Der.com/SingularDTV
Medium: https:[email protected]
See the countdown timer on http://icocountdown.com
More Details coming Soon!
Singulardtv interview with zach lebeau:
The SingularDTV Lightwallet
For ETH and SNGLS
The SingularDTV Lightwallet is here!
Our lightwallet implementation is built on top of eth-lightwallet (https://github.com/ConsenSys/eth-lightwallet). Eth-lightwallet is an HD wallet that can store your private keys encrypted in a browser. This allows you to run Ethereum dapps even if you’re not running a local Ethereum node. This is the same eth-lightwallet library used by Digix, Metamask, Jaxx and others. Still in beta, this eth-lightwallet is presently not recommended for the storage of large amounts of ETH.
The SingularDTV Lighwallet stores and transacts both ETH and SNGLS tokens. SNGLS are the token that power the SingularDTV ecosystem. Once SingularDTV’s Smart Contract System (SCS) is deployed, SNGLS can be bought directly from this lightwallet or through the Mist wallet using SingularDTV’s deployed contracts.
For more information on how to generate, use and restore your SingularDTV Lightwallet, please watch the instructional video below.
The SingularDTV SCS, the technical engine that drives our CODE structure (Centrally Organized Distributed Entity), is scheduled to launch at the end of the summer. The CODE structure, as administered by the SCS, is designed to decentralize real world assets and place them on Ethereum’s blockchain — specifically SingularDTV intellectual property in the form of film, television and software projects.
Alternatively, the SCS also directs the flow of decentralized assets to build projects in the legacy world. The SCS then directs the revenue generated from these projects back onto the blockchain via the SNGLS token.
All revenue claimed by the SNGLS token is distributed in ETH.SINGULAR DTV CROWDSALE DISCUSSION (ETHEREUM)
Weekend Bug Bounty - 5 BTC for Major Bugs! 10 BTC for Fatal Flaws!
We’ve had several participants and a few false alarms, but so far no one has found a bug in our Smart Contract System yet. We’re challenging anyone out there, over the weekend, to find flaws in our system. Anonymous submissions welcome!
Open for submissions NOW! Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, 12:01 am, September 6th.
Email your submissions to: [email protected]
Don't forget to include your BTC or ETH address so you can be rewarded. (If more than 1 address is specified, only one will be used at the discretion of the bounty program administrators.)
Major bugs will be rewarded 5 BTC or ETH equivalent. Much higher rewards are possible (up to 10 BTC or ETH equivalent) in case of very severe vulnerabilities.
The SingularDTV Token Launch spec is at: https://singulardtv.com/resources/default/pdf/Sing...
Most of the rules on https://bounty.ethereum.org2 apply. For example: First come, first serve. Issues that have already been submitted by another user or are already known, such as these, to the team are not eligible for bounty rewards.
Scope of SingularDTV Bounty Program
Out of scope:
• Bugs related to Internet Explorer
• All browser rendering bugs that don't affect the display of critical information such as ETH, SNGLS
• Most user experience improvements on the frontend
Examples of what’s in scope:
• Being able to withdraw more ETH than contributed
• Being able to obtain more tokens (SNGLS) than expected
• Being able to obtain SNGLS from someone without their permission
• Demonstrating that the workshop can transfer their SNGLS before 2 years
• Being able to put SingularDTVCrowdfunding in emergency state by making the checkInvariants() throw
• Bugs in eth-lightwallet that lead to loss or theft of ETH
• Bugs causing a transaction to be sent that was different from what user confirmed: for example, user transfers 10 SNGLS in the UI, but exactly 10 wasn't transferred.
Examples of what’s out of scope:
• Being able to softWithdraw another person's revenue
• Most user experience improvements on the frontend, for example some part of the website doesn't update unless the page is refreshed
Bug Bounty Has Increased - 30 BTC for Major Bugs/Fatal Flaws!
We’ve had several participants and some false alarms but no one has found a bug in our Smart Contract System yet! We’re challenging anyone out there to find flaws in our Smart Contract System. Anonymous submissions welcome!
Major/fatal bugs will be rewarded 30 BTC or ETH equivalent.
For questions use the forum https://forum.singulardtv.com/t/singulardtv-bug-bo... or email [email protected].
The SingularDTV Token Launch spec is at: https://singulardtv.com/resources/default/pdf/Sing...
Most of the rules on https://bounty.ethereum.org5 apply. For example: First come, first serve. Issues that have already been submitted by another user or are already known, such as these, to the team are not eligible for bounty rewards.
Scope of SingularDTV Bounty Program
Email your submissions to: [email protected]
SingularDTV ICO starts at Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9am EST / 9pm GMT+8
We are pleased to announce that our launch prep has gone smoothly. Not only are we able to announce an exact time, we are also able to move the date forward as well.
SingularDTV will be launching its SNGLS ecosystem on:
Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9am EST / 9pm GMT+8.
Due to overwhelming demand we are projecting a quick launch. We originally intended our "First Contact List" to give our most dedicated supporters the heads up - first and foremost to ensure you are able to participate - but our list has grown quite large. We hope you all will have time to secure your SNGLS but in the event anyone is left out, you will be able to buy SNGLS on exchanges shortly after the launch has completed (we hope about a week or so after).
The founders/devs decided on the date of Sunday, Oct 2, 9am EST / 9pm GMT+8 because it seemed the most democratic time/date. It is during "normal", waking hours for both the East and West. It is SingularDTV's intent to hopefully have SNGLS holders from all over the world rather than concentrated in just one region.
Even though our "First Contact List" has grown quite large, you will be the first to hear any and all announcements. The process for disseminating launch info/announcements - Contract addresses and such - go first to you, 2nd to our website and then to SingularDTV's official Medium Blog, Bitcointalk thread and Ethereum/SingularDTV reddit. In order to avoid any potential misinformation or spam attacks, please verify all official SingularDTV announcements from at least 2 sources, our website being one of them. And please don't hesitate to contact me anytime if you have questions.
Thank you all again and hope you have a great weekend.
Zach LeBeau, CEO
LAUNCH: SingularDTV Contract Addresses / JSON
We have launched!
SNGLS are now available in the SingularDTV Lightwallet.
Contract Addresses and JSON Interface data for Mist/Ethereum Wallet are here:
Contract SingularDTVCrowdfunding was created at address 0xbdf5c4f1c1a9d7335a6a68d9aa011d5f40cf5520
Contract SingularDTVToken was created at address 0xaec2e87e0a235266d9c5adc9deb4b2e29b54d009
JSON Interface Data
SingularDTV - The Age of Tokenized Ecosystems
The Next Great Technological Boom
An overview of Zach LeBeau’s presentation at Blockchain 360 in Boston on October 17, 2016.
By Zach LeBeau
“The Age of Tokenized Ecosystems” has begun. This new era directly correlates with the beginning of a new technological boom that is quietly gaining momentum — the decentralization revolution. It may not be so apparent right now, but within a few years we’re going to see the beginning of trillions upon trillions of dollars worth of centralized assets being decentralized and placed on blockchains, predominantly Ethereum’s blockchain. This upcoming technological boom will be as great, if not greater, than the internet boom of the late nineties and tokenized ecosystems will play an important role.
Before we examine what tokenized ecosystems are, let’s cover some of the basics first — for those new to the blockchain space.
We all know what Bitcoin is right? Bitcoin is basically a distributed ledger that performs best as digital money — digital money that is not owned or controlled by an intermediary. Well, it is when it’s in the hands of exchanges but it doesn’t have to be. Bitcoin can exist purely peer-to-peer, in a decentralized network. When you hold bitcoin in your wallet, the bank doesn’t own those bitcoin, you do. And you can send bitcoin to any other bitcoin address around the world, quickly and for a fee of pennies. It’s probably the most simple example of the power of decentralization. Satoshi Nakamoto’s consensus process is revolutionary.
ETHEREUM — “The Smart Protocol”
Ethereum can do what bitcoin does. It can be digital money (a store of value), if you want it to be. Not only in the form of its Ether — bitcoin’s got BTC, Ethereum’s got ETH— but also in the form of tokens generated on its protocol. But Ethereum is so much more…
Ethereum is essentially a decentralized world computer existing on nodes all across the world, just like bitcoin. But unlike bitcoin, Ethereum is highly programmable. In fact, Ethereum is a “smart protocol”. With Ethereum we can program a new world of “smart systems”, not like the systems we have now, which are siloed and separate. There is no interconnected flow of data in the centralized paradigm of the internet we live in right now. The government databases don’t know what other government databases know, services databases don’t know what other services databases know — everyone’s got their own database and info isn’t shared so its pretty much disorganized data flow chaos. But with Ethereum — the decentralized world computer — “Where there is data there is network and where there is network there is data.” (a mantra coined by the great Ethereum orator Vinay Gupta.) If you haven’t seen Vinay’s “Promise of Blockchain” and if you’re new to the decentralization revolution, do yourself a favor and take a look.
The synergy — the convergence of data and network — gives us the possibility of building smart systems to manage our way of life. Smarter societal systems will be able to do such things as show us the way forward to eradicating hunger on this planet through innovations in resource management alone. We’re not talking about collecting data, we’re talking about collecting “smart data”, we can turn that into greater knowledge, we can turn that into greater awareness. That’s the power of Ethereum.
This is what the revolution is all about — Decentralization.
From the beginning of time — probably — we human beings have cohabitated in a centralized scheme. We gathered together for safety, to share resources, to survive, to thrive, to grow from clans to villages to towns to cities to an international world. And in doing so we created intermediaries — government and services — that helped build civilization. But centralization has a ceiling, it has its evolutionary limits. And thanks to blockchain technology we can see these limits now.
A decentralized computer network is inherently more powerful than a centralized one. And with decentralized computer networks we’re able to pioneer and innovate new technologies and methodologies we could not before. I’ve already briefly explained how it can be smarter — “where there is network, there is data.” Decentralization basically takes the centralized command and control structure, the top down hierarchical pyramid structure that tends to become monopolistic and obfuscated over time, and distributes it horizontally. It tears downs walls, ushers in transparency and a new type of peer-to-peer interaction.
A blockchain is a digital ledger made out of a virtual “chain of blocks”. It records every transaction that has ever occurred. It is protected by powerful cryptography generally thought of as impossible to break. The blockchain resides not in a single server, but across a distributed network of computers. Bitcoin’s got its blockchain and Ethereum has its blockchain.
So far, the blockchain is the way decentralized data is best organized.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Bitcoin, Ethereum, decentralization and the blockchain… When you put them all together, what does it mean? It means that decentralization and blockchain technology give us the ability to interact with each other and the world in a smarter way, in a more meaningful and efficient way. Most of what’s coming is emergent — frankly we don’t know what’s coming — but the first and simplest example— bitcoin — foreshadows an exciting future ahead. Another exciting example of the power of decentralization and blockchain technology is exemplified through digital identity.
uPORT— Decentralized Identity
uPort is a great example of how a decentralized computer network is more evolved than the centralized network of the internet today.
The way things work right now with identity is if you’re on Facebook, Facebook corp owns your digital identity. If you’re on Twitter, Twitter corp owns your digital identity. With uPort, on a decentralized computer network, you — the user — own your digital identity. This may not seem like a big deal to many but it is to millions of people around the world that rely on identity and reputation to make a living from the internet. And as the years pass our digital identities will become just as important as our real-world, physical identities. If you’ve ever been hacked or if you’ve ever had your identity stolen, you may make the case that it’s just as important now.
Anyway, back to centralized identity… Right now if you’re a merchant selling on Amazon and if you’ve been doing so for many years, you have ratings and reviews which garnered you a following and a certain level of trust. People know they can trust you because of your “identity history”. But if you move your business over to eBay, you have to start this history — your identity — from the very beginning. You can’t take it with you! Why, because data and network don’t converge on the internet in a centralized computer network paradigm. But in a decentralized computer network paradigm data and network converge. With uPort, when you log in to your SingularDTV interface, your identity is there. When you go elsewhere on Ethereum, your same identity is there... Your exact same “self-sovereign identity” follows you everywhere. Why? “Where the is data, there is network”...
So, what does this all equate to? Why does it matter?
I mentioned above that this next great tech boom will amount to trillions and trillions of dollars worth of centralized assets being decentralized and placed on blockchains, right? Yes. Why? Why decentralize assets?
If you look at your business and the world with “eyes of decentralization”, you’ll see ways to innovate and disintermediate like never before. It doesn’t matter how monopolistic and powerful your competitors are, if you find a way to make decentralization work for your enterprise, if you start to blockchain (yes, using it as a verb), you will have a decided strategic advantage over your most powerful competitors. I’m not talking about advantages in small measures, I’m talking about paradigm shifting advantages. This is why you decentralize. This is why SingularDTV has the possibility to challenge Nextflix in the next 5 years, and possibly render them obsolete in the next 10- 15 years.
So the question is, “why should you decentralize?” Why did SingularDTV decentralize? It was simple for us. Basically, our producers and entertainment investors were tired of being screwed over by the monopolistic, obfuscated Hollywood sales and distribution machine that perfected creative accounting practices. By building a rights, revenue, royalty management platform and decentralizing our assets, by creating a tokenized ecosystem, we can begin the journey of building a decentralized entertainment industry that is totally transparent, where revenue is distributed instantaneously. Not only that, it also gives us the opportunity to go from a regionalized entertainment paradigm into a truly international, universal one.
How can your enterprise benefit from decentralization and by adopting blockchain technology? If you know the answer and you’re not doing something about it, someone else will.
Tokens are the way to represent your assets — your enterprise — on the blockchain.
With SingularDTV, our SNGLS tokens represent our intellectual property — our film, TV and software projects. Every attribute of our IP is programmed into the SNGLS token, or more accurately our SCS (Smart Contract System).
CODE — Centrally Organized Distributed Entity
The DAO model wasn’t going to work for us. We needed to build a bridge between the legacy world and the Ethereum world. We needed a structure that could decentralize assets, while at the same time use these assets to create real world projects and take that revenue generated from these projects and cycle them back to the blockchain. So we created a decentralization generator — the CODE structure.
CODE stands for Centrally Organized Distributed Entity. It’s an organization of legacy business and blockchain entities that build a bridge between centralization and decentralization for the purpose of proliferating decentralization. The trillions of dollars of assets that will be placed on the blockchain will be done so through regulatory and tax compliant structures like the CODE structure.
The first thing an enterprise needs to do is figure out the functionality of their token. Why start here? Because the CODE structure and Smart Contract System (SCS) is dependent on the functionality of its tokens. All legal, tax, technical and conceptual specifics must converge. Token functionality, CODE structure and SCS programming specs must all mirror one another.
Up until SingularDTV’s SNGLS token, all other coins or tokens in the realm of cryptos seemed to only represent the value of an enterprise on a cryptocurrency exchange. But with SNGLS tokens, we not only needed them to represent our IP, we also needed a way to instantaneously distribute revenue throughout our ecosystem. This transparent and instantaneous revenue distribution function is the main reason for the existence of our rights, royalty and revenue management platform. It is the main reason SingularDTV exists, to disintermediate the monopolistic and obfuscated world-wide film and television distribution system.
Proliferation of tokenized ecosystems is paramount in creating a decentralized world. If you are an enterprise looking to decentralize and have questions about how to move forward, feel free to send us an email at [email protected] We will point you in the right direction, saving you valuable time and money. After all, in order to build a decentralized world, we must all do it together.
"ETHEREUM: The World Computer”, SingularDTV's debut feature documentary
SingularDTV's Documentary Film Division is dedicated to the creation of feature length documentary films and short form documentary series about blockchain technology, decentralization and the Ethereum world computer. Rather than producing content that is technical in nature, or content that “preaches to the choir” so to speak, SingularDTV produces documentaries for the uninitiated- for those vast number of progressive and vigilant minds around the world unaware of the liberties, benefits and opportunities that blockchain technology and decentralization provide. SingularDTV aims to educate and inspire all generations- our future generations- about the revolution of decentralization and the Ethereum world computer.
OUR FIRST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
“ETHEREUM: The World Computer”, SingularDTV's debut feature documentary, takes the audience on a journey of exploration that culminates in a new understanding of what blockchain technology is. Rather than focusing solely on the “how” of the technology, it focuses on the “why”, exhibiting several relatable use cases from around the world on why blockchain technology and Ethereum are transforming the world for the better.
SINGULAR DTV POST-LAUNCH UPDATE
Dear SingularDTV token holders,
Thank you for taking this journey with us. We have completed our transition phase and we very much appreciate your patience and support.This journey to create a tokenized entertainment ecosystem began in 2013. Significant creative and conceptual work took place in 2014. Extensive programming and development occurred in 2015. In 2016, we launched the SingularDTV Smart Contract System, CODE structure (Centrally Organized Distributed Entity) and SNGLS token. A contemplative and internal transition phase post-launch was crucial to formulate our development roadmap. We look forward to an exciting and eventful 2017.I am happy to report that on December 9, 2016, the first blueprint of the SingularDTV development roadmap was completed. This roadmap outlines the schedule for the construction of the SingularDTV ecosystem over the next 2 years. During this time, 11 modules will be released to lay the foundation for a decentralized entertainment industry. Each module is the hub for a decentralized application or portion of an application. When the use of these modules is combined, a powerful and synergistic decentralized experience becomes available/possible. This experience will begin by allowing content creators to register, set usage policies for and decentralize/distribute their Intellectual Property through the SingularDTV Rights Management Gateway (Module #1). Audience will be able to access this Intellectual Property through our Transaction Video On-Demand Portal (Module #11).For strategic reasons, details on modules 2–10 will not be released until they roll out into the SingularDTV ecosystem. April 2017 is the unofficial release date of Module #1 — the Rights Management Gateway. The official date is expected to be solidified by the end of January, 2017. We hope to have an announcement date for Module #11 — the TVOD Portal — by the end of January as well. Our plan is to roll out Module #1 first, followed by Module #11. These two modules will give the ecosystem basic functionality for both Audience and Content Creators. As they become ready, subsequent modules will continue to roll out throughout 2017 and 2018. These additional modules will further add dimension and value to the user experience and SingularDTV ecosystem.The production and release of SingularDTV branded creative content is being pushed back to accommodate the roll-out of infrastructure/modules. This is vital to ensure the impact and profit of the SingularDTV ecosystem is maximized. There is no specific time-line established yet for release of creative content. Announcements regarding the production and release of SingularDTV branded creative content will occur near the end of Q1 2017. SingularDTV’s brand has always been focused on the science-fiction genre and Ethereum-centric documentary content. We will be expanding to also include “socially conscious” fiction and documentaries as well.In the SingularDTV Summary Overview that existed pre-launch, the projected budget for the Rights Management platform was $2m. The projected budget for the TVOD Portal was $1m. The ongoing development of Module #1 (Rights) and Module #11 (TVOD) over 2017 and 2018 will be less than the projected budgets. This frees up funds to be used for the development of modules 2–10 as well as the production of additional creative content.The pre-launch Summary Overview outlined potential revenue streams for SNGLS holders as being the Rights Management Platform, the TVOD Portal, the First Season of “Singular” and Documentary Film properties. We are happy to announce that the revenue potential for SNGLS holders has increased during the drafting of the development roadmap. Adding to this revenue potential are the 9 additional modules as well as other creative properties (films/TV) to be produced by SingularDTV and its strategic partners.Important to note, SingularDTV will not be able to shoulder the entire cost or development of all 11 modules. In certain cases, modules will be developed in partnership with other entities.Also important to note, a new/post-launch Summary Overview will not be drafted or published.
The atmosphere inside of SingularDTV is one of excitement and positivity. The development roadmap has exceeded our expectations and we have never been more inspired. We look forward to adding new members to the team and will begin introducing them to you shortly. We will also be establishing a regular cadence for updating you to our plans and progress. These updates will begin the first week of January, 2017 in both English and Chinese and continue at regular intervals.During the creation of our development roadmap, 2 rules were established for the construction of our modules. Rule 1 is that modules need SNGLS tokens to operate. Users — Audience and Content Creators — must use or have SNGLS tokens to interact with SingularDTV modules. This gives SNGLS tokens absolute utility and value throughout our ecosystem. Rule 2 is to make sure that an intuitive and pleasurable User Interface always remains a top priority and focus. The way in which the SingularDTV ecosystem is presented to the user is vitally important. 2017 will be exciting for Ethereum, as several entities begin releasing their applications and UIs to the world.
As a non-regionalized, universal and international entertainment ecosystem, we are working to include every language of the world to be represented in our modules and user interface. At present, all internal documents and development endeavors are being written in English and Chinese.
Upon roll-out of our modules a SNGLS token upgrade will become available. This upgrade will make the SNGLS token divisible to several decimal places. You will not be required to upgrade if you do not want to.Real-time transparent accounting does not yet exist. Therefore, we and Balanc3 need time to build it. We aim to launch transparent accounting in April, with the roll-out of our first module.
To date, 2.2% of SingularDTV’s total ETH resources have been used during the 11 weeks since launch. Q1 of 2017 is projected to use an additional 5.1% of total ETH resources. This means we are currently operating under budget. When transparent accounting launches, all above expenditure activities will be available to the public.We look forward to the year ahead pioneering SingularDTV with all of you. Thank you for being part of this journey and we’ll be issuing the first of our regular updates in the beginning of January, 2017.
SingularDTV Town Meeting/Update, Jan 24 2017
Hello everyone, Here is a recording from SingularDTV Town Meeting On Jan 24, 2017 1:00 PM:
SingularDTV Update Feb 20 2017
Hello everyone ,
Here is the latest SingularDTV Update to the SNGLS token holders by Zach LeBeau (CEO S-DTV):
SingularDTV Wiki (internal)
There’s something amazing happening at the fringes of computer science right now… what’s happening is something called “decentralized computing”. You can call it blockchain technology, many people do, but at the very core, what’s really happening is all about decentralized computing.
There are thousands and thousands of people around the world building applications and platforms powered by decentralized computing and the reason why this is so important is that decentralized computing consolidates mechanisms and functions under one user experience, which wasn’t practical or possible before, not the way the internet and software systems are presently engineered. It also creates a whole new set of functions that didn’t previously exist.
The easiest way to explain what this blockchain revolution is all about, is to simply understand that we are upgrading the internet, we are upgrading software systems, with these new set of functions powered by decentralized computing.
SingularDTV is laying the groundwork for a decentralized entertainment industry. Through its ecosystem of 11 modules, from a Rights Management Gateway to a Decentralized Distribution Portal, SingularDTV is empowering creators with tools to create and manage projects from development to distribution.
SingularDTV will remain in stealth mode until Q2 2017 when module #1 (Rights Management Gateway) will be released.
The SingularDTV Team:
Khushnuda Shukurova, Videographer
Mathias Chachay, Videographer
Development Team, UX/UI:
Jesse Grushack, Rights Management Simon De La Rouviere, Tokenization
SingularDTV Produced and Original Content Release Date:
SingularDTV original content will not be released before module #11 - the Decentralized Entertainment Portal is launched. Module #11, is scheduled to launch in Q4, 2017.
The decision to not release SingularDTV original content before Module #11 is ready is a strategic one. It is SingularDTV’s intention to maximize revenue potential for its original content and releasing this content on a centralized distribution portal not only goes against its ethos but does not directly help its decentralized ecosystem grow.
SingularDTV Development Roadmap:
This roadmap outlines the schedule for the construction of the complete SingularDTV ecosystem over the next 2 years. During this time, 11 modules will be released to lay the foundation for a decentralized entertainment industry, from development to distribution. Each module is the hub for a decentralized application (DAPP) or portion of an application. When the use of these modules is combined, a powerful synergistic experience occurs for the user that empowers creators and their projects from development to distribution.
Module #1: Rights Management Gateway Module #2: not made public Module #3: not made public Module #4: not made public Module #5: not made public Module #6: not made public Module #7: not made public Module #8: Fiat to SNGLS gateway Module #9: not made public Module #10: not made public Module #11: Decentralized Distribution Portal
SingularDTV website: https://singulardtv.com/
SingularDTV Twitter: https://twitter.com/SingularDTV
SingularDTV Forum: https://singulardtv.com/
SingulraDTV Reddit page: https://www.reddit.com/r/SingularDTV/
No Bitcoin ETF-No Problem!
S.E.C. Rejects Winklevoss Brothers’ Bid to Create Bitcoin E.T.F.
By: David Vandervort
If I had a crypto-libertarian outlook, I might be quite happy with the SEC’s decision this week to deny a rules change that would allow the Winklevoss brothers to publicly open their Bitcoin Exchange Trading Fund (ETF). On the plus side, the spectre of cryptocurrencies being shoe-horned into the role of “financial vehicles,” where regulation is the norm and very large amounts of money are a prerequisite for being involved, has been delayed, if not completely side-tracked. Or to put it more simply, if you don’t like Wall Street, the SEC’s negative response to the Winklevoss fund is a good thing for cryptocurrencies.
As far back as the white paper in which Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin, there has been a strong streak of financial rebellion in the cryptocurrency world. There is considerable appeal to the idea that the blockchain removes the need to trust third parties, like bankers and regulators, with your money. It doesn’t just lower transaction fees, it makes the world a little more free. Blockchain-enabled smart contracts, giving rise to concepts such as Distributed Autonomous Organizations, where software automatically makes many decisions without human intervention, push this idea even farther. Why do we need regulators at all if it can all be programmed?
Appealing though those ideas might seem, there is a definite trend toward more regulation of cryptocurrencies. The Winklevoss setback illustrates the point. The SEC reasoning (text of the decision at: https://www.sec.gov/rules/sro/batsbzx/2017/34-80206.pdf) was straight forward. The SEC requires that any ETF have enough information available that a credible investigation of fraud or other illegal activity on that exchange can be performed. Further, since ETFs do business with other entities like them, the SEC requires that those other entities also have that kind of information available, so that investigations don’t hit a stone wall when the trail of evidence leads off of a particular site. Bitcoin intentionally obscures much of the information that would be needed to pursue a fraud or money laundering investigation and there are, apparently, not enough laws in other jurisdictions forcing ETFs in other countries to find and provide that information anyway. The SEC concluded, basically, that it cannot protect consumers who would do business with the Winklevoss ETF, therefore it will not allow the ETF to do business.
It all sounds very logical. From a law enforcement perspective, maybe it is. It simply ignores the possibility that people could get protection through other means, such as by buying insurance, or by being careful about how much money they are risk in any particular market. Two smart guys like the Winklevoss’s might even be willing to spend money to develop AI-powered fraud detection algorithms, a field that is currently very hot. Why not allow that?
Because that’s not the way the regulations were written. When the regulations were written, or more likely when the regulators were learning about their field, the idea of Artificial Intelligence fighting fraud (Should we call it MoneyNet?) was not even on anyone’s radar. I would call it science fiction except that in a lifetime of reading science fiction, that particular idea is not one I remember ever seeing.
This brings us to the underlying tension between the realities of a regulated world and the ideology of crypto-based finance giving everyone more freedom and more control over their own affairs. Fraud is a real problem. Money-laundering is a real problem (though whether or not the laws against these things are good solutions is an entirely different question we won’t be considering today). Anti-usury laws go back thousands of years! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usury). Modern banks, investment houses, insurance companies and assorted other financial entities have evolved to survive in this regulated landscape. Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies are only getting started.
This does not mean that all is lost. Just a few weeks ago, the Arizona state legislature passed by a vote of 49–0, a bill that formally recognizes smart contracts as legitimately transferring asset ownership. It also affirms a signature stored on a blockchain as a legally binding electronic signature. This is an example of government helping advance the freedom to use the technology as we choose.
The bill has not yet passed the Arizona Senate (Keep an eye on it here: https://legiscan.com/AZ/bill/HB2417/2017). Whether it does or not, it should be model legislation for the other states and even for the federal government. It has been said that a contract is a promise the government will enforce. This bill says that a smart contract is enforceable, at least some of the time. That reduces the possibility that someone could sue over a perfectly executed smart contract and get their money back. That’s important.
A purist might say that the world of blockchain technology would be better off without any government interference, either way, but we don’t live in a pure world. We live in a world where regulators have great power and sometimes do things we would rather they didn’t. I live in New York, home of the BitLicense (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitLicense) which is less helpful than the bill in Arizona but also not as immense a roadblock as the SEC Winklevoss decision. In the middle, the Ontario Securities Commission recently issued a warning that companies seeking to deal in blockchain-based finance, Initial Coin Offerings in particular, should contact them to ensure that they are in compliance with existing securities laws (https://www.coindesk.com/ontario-securities-regulator-warning-ico-blockchain). They didn’t come right out and say no, and they didn’t say yes, either. Unless this is some strange form of sting operation, at least they are willing to talk.
The problems of regulation may not be entirely caused by lack of understanding or by a profound difference in philosophy between regulators and crypto-freedom enthusiasts. The immaturity of blockchain and smart contract technology probably plays into it as well. The death of the DAO last summer was a high profile reminder that the world is at the start of the learning curve when it comes to smart contract security. When it comes to security, experience matters and currently no one has very much experience in the field. If I were a regulator, I would worry, too.
But being worried is no excuse for being a roadblock. While the American SEC has said no (for now), they have created an opening for others to work with the community to try to find ways of solving problems. And by “opening,” I mean “potentially lucrative consulting opportunity.” Those who have even a little experience in blockchain and smart contract security, should be in high demand, That especially now that the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is bringing many high stakes finance players together in attempting to adapt blockchains to commercial uses. The EEA may, indeed, be a force in convincing regulators to worry less, and approve more. That alone would be an achievement.
It has been said that, in science, new theories advance only as the generation believing in the old ones dies off. The regulatory environment does not appear to be quite that conservative. Consider that Satoshi Nakamoto announced Bitcoin only 8 years ago, and already his creation has been banned in multiple places, licensed,, and explicitly allowed in others. This so clearly shows that regulations can change quickly, that lawmakers may actually respond to what is going on, and that mistakes in over regulation might actually be revisited or even corrected. As the technology matures, and the skills to deal with it improve, we might yet see some kind of happy medium between regulation for safety and law enforcement on one hand, and freedom and economic innovation on the other.
Just don’t ask me to say exactly when that point will be.
SingularDTV_Update March 13 2017