Why This 4-Time Grammy Award Winning Producer Is Launching An ICO 3 1027

In today’s society, when something happens in the news or the public eye, where do you go?

You turn to the Internet.

However, the Internet itself is far from an objective source. A single Google search, one comment thread on a viral social media post, and suddenly a reader’s perspective loses context. This might be what one publication or one subsection of a fanbase is talking about, but is this niched narrative an accurate reflection of the full crowd?

When it comes to news, current events, and pop culture, the question isn’t “who said what.”

The real questions are, “Based on what everyone is saying about a specific topic, what is the complete story? How are people feeling about it? How has the conversation changed over time? And most importantly, what is the bias of those contributing to the conversation?”

No one knows this issue more intimately than celebrities, artists, producers, and industry leaders who spend their lives watching narratives about them unfold before their very eyes. While everyday content consumers see the Internet and its vast library of content as a rotating carousel of stories, public figures see it as a reflection of the things they create—and in turn, an aspect of themselves.

Some of the stories capture their narrative perfectly.

Others leave it distorted.

And for as long as anyone can remember, these two worlds—outlet and subject, platform and person—have been separate.

Here’s how blockchain technology wants to change that, for good.

Ryan Lewis, the famed producer known for his talents alongside breakout musician and independent hip-hop artist, Macklemore, has lived a life in the limelight. From winning a Grammy for Best Rap Album of 2014, to being involved in handfuls of tangential creative endeavors and collaborative projects, Lewis has seemingly lived two lives: his own, and the perception created as a result—across news outlets, industry blogs, and social media channels, each telling his story from their own angle and perspective.

Lewis, who has a track record of applying technology and an understanding of the role it can play in creating public conversations, saw this as an opportunity to answer that tough question: “What’s at the heart of what everyone is saying about a topic or a person online?”

And he’s decided to leverage blockchain technology to do it, with a handful of early investors already on board and an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) planned for this year.

“As soon as this idea started to marinate, I began to form a team to move the vision forward,” said Lewis, talking about his deliberate shift from time spent on music to balance time in the tech scene. “I’ve always had an interest in tech, just by the nature of the projects I’ve been involved in over the past decade. And one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a music producer is that a great producer knows what they’re good at and what they’re not good at. As I began to realize there could be a better way to more accurately and objectively organize stories on the Internet, I knew I needed a team.”

The first person Lewis shared his idea with was longtime collaborator and close friend, Macklemore, who immediately saw the value and came on board as the first investor and company advisor. Ryan then worked closely with Josh Karp and Scott Lewis, early creative partners, to continue articulating the vision. After achieving initial milestones, Ryan connected with current tech partner, RJ Smith, a 20-year technology veteran with a unique background pioneering transformational initiatives inside the US government.

Together, they have built a tight-knit team of technologists, journalists, and entrepreneurs who saw the vision. RedPen, as Lewis and Smith called it, wants to take a “red pen to the Internet.”

“These were problems I was already working on,” said Smith. “To meet another person with a ton of talent and a different set of skills, but with a shared passion, was invaluable. The challenges in a new start are humbling, and it was exciting to join forces with Ryan and other team members to execute this huge vision together.”

When I asked Lewis why he chose to go the ICO route and build RedPen on the blockchain, he said, “The technology is perfect for what we’re looking to solve, which is how to navigate mass content online. We’re utilizing blockchain technology to build the first decentralized open source reputation, foundational to our entire platform. I believe this could fundamentally change the internet.”

He went on to explain that the way we communicate with each other today, in 2017, is very different than how things were in 2007, or even 1997. And now is the time to start questioning how we can take the fundamental building blocks that have made the Internet so fruitful, and refine them.

If anything, blockchain tech aligns perfectly with Lewis’ history of taking the road less traveled and doing things independently.

“A lot of celebrities will act as influencers and co-sign projects for a quick buck. I’m not endorsing RedPen—I’m creating RedPen alongside a powerful team. This is an idea that came from consuming mass media, like everyone else, but also watching my own narrative change from platform to platform in the public eye. I couldn’t be more excited to be working with such talented team members bringing a huge vision to life,” said Lewis.

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post on November 1, 2017.

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Starting her career on Wall Street at just 19 years old, Danielle went on to be one of the youngest equity traders in the industry. After a successful career in Financial Planning, she went on to found her media company What Vibes Your Tribe, which connects the worlds of digital marketing and public relations. Her experience in brand strategy along with successfully developing the thought leadership of C -level executives has played an integral part in her client's achieving prestigious awards such as Inc 500, Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startup, Entrepreneur 360 among other top level recognition.


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Freelance Terrorist Carried Out Hundreds of Bomb Threats in Exchange For Bitcoin 45 7071

An American-Israeli teen is sentenced to a decade in prison after a Tel Aviv court convicted him for a series of fake bomb threats he carried out in exchange for Bitcoin.

The 19 year old began making threats professionally at the age of 16. He is convicted only for crimes committed while over the age of 18. These include making false threats and reports, extortion, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

While the Israeli courts withheld the defendant’s identity because some of his alleged crimes occurred while he was a minor, the Guardian identified him as Michael Kadar at the time of his arrest. He was originally indicted for over 2,000 bomb threats, carried out between 2015 and 2017.

Kadar Targeted Children and Jewish Community Centers

The targets of Kadar’s threats included Jewish community centers, the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, elementary schools, shopping centers, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, airports and airlines.

A threat to an El-Al flight resulted in the deployment of fighter jets for an escorted emergency landing; another threat to a Canadian airport left six people injured during emergency disembarkment; a Virgin flight dumped eight tons of fuel before landing because of a threat; and another threat went to a plane carrying the Boston Celtics.

Kadar also targeted Republican Delaware state senator Ernesto Lopez, who he threatened with blackmail and the murder of his daughter. After Lopez ignored the demands, Kadar ordered drugs to have sent to Lopez’s residence.

Dealing Terror From Mom and Dad’s Apartment

His reign of terror operated from his parent’s fifth floor apartment near the beach in a posh neighborhood in Ashkelon, about 30 miles south of Tel Aviv. But his threats landed in over a dozen countries, including Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Argentina, Israel, the United States, and Canada.

“One can easily imagine the terror, the fear and the horror that gripped the airplane passengers who were forced to make an emergency landing, some of whom were injured while evacuating the plane,” read the verdict by judge Zvi Gurfinkel, “and the terrified panic caused when there was a need to evacuate pupils from schools because of fake bomb threats.”

The Judge also divulged Kadar’s fees for his services: $40 for a threatening phone call to a private residence, $80 for a bomb threat to a school, and $500 for an airplane scare. Kadar operated on the dark net and disguised his IP address, using a powerful self-installed antenna to tap into remote networks, and software to mask his voice. According to an indictment filed against him in Florida, he spent some of his calls going into graphic detail threatening the deaths of children in American Jewish centers.

A Small Fortune in Bitcoins

At the time of his arrest, Kadar had amassed around 184 Bitcoins for such services—about half a million dollars at the time, and closer to $680,000 today. He also dealt in bomb making manuals, drugs, and child pornography.

Kadar is the son of an American mother, and his father is an Israeli engineer, and has dual citizenship. The US Department of Justice has also indicted Kadar for 32 crimes, including hate crimes, cyberstalking, giving false information to the police, and making threatening phone calls to around 200 institutions. A separate indictment also accuses Kadar of threatening the children of a former CIA and Pentagon official with kidnapping and murder, and links him to over 245 threatening calls.

When Kadar was arrested, he tried to escape by grabbing a pistol from a police officer, but was wrestled to the ground. Thursday’s conviction follows a cooperative investigation by the FBI and Israeli authorities, who have not been able to recover Kadar’s Bitcoins.

Teen’s Mother Calls Conviction ‘Cruel’

Kadar’s mother spoke outside the courtroom after her son’s sentencing, saying “This is the most cruel, cruel thing in the world. I’m very sorry, but I am ashamed that the country acts this way.” She insisted that her son needed treatment, not prison.

In an earlier interview she told Israeli TV her sun was suffering from a brain tumor, which made school difficult for him. Because of this and his autism, Kadar was homeschooled.

Defense lawyer Shira Nir said these conditions made Kadar unfit to stand trial, as he could not distinguish right from wrong. A medical panel confirmed the defendant’s autistic condition, but concluded he was capable of understanding the consequences of his actions. Judge Gurfinkel said Kadar’s conditions were taken into account, lessening the sentence from 17 years in prison to 10.

Bitcoin Uses As Much Energy As Austria, Could Add 2°C to Earth’s Atmosphere 2,187 14286

Bitcoin mining, it turns out, damages the earth more than more traditional environmental assaults like actual mineral mining.

According to a paper published Monday in Nature Sustainability, the power-hungry Bitcoin mining process consumes more than triple the amount of energy needed to mine the equivalent amount of gold, more than quadruple what’s needed for copper, and more than double what it takes to mine platinum.

Other coins didn’t fare much better. By their measurements, Ethereum and Litecoin consume 7 megajoules of electricity to produce the equivalent of $1, the same energy expenditure as copper mining but more than that of platinum or gold. Monero eats up 14 megajoules to produce $1.

Naturally, these measurements refer to the notoriously variable dollar valuations of such tokens. “While the market prices of the coins are quite volatile,” write researchers Max J. Krause and Thabet Tolaymat, “the network hashrates for three of the four cryptocurrencies have trended consistently upward, suggesting that energy requirements will continue to increase.”

Bitcoin’s Growing Electricity Bill is Bigger Than Some Countries

We’ve long known that Bitcoin is unsustainable. In a 2015 article for Motherboard, Christopher Malmo pointed out that a single Bitcoin transaction used 5,033 times as much energy as a Visa swipe, and could power 1.5 American homes for a day.

The electricity used to crunch Bitcoin code—and its environmental cost—has been growing with its increasing popularity. Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index shows Bitcoin currently consuming 73.12 terawatt hours (or 263.232 billion megajoules) of electricity annually. To put that in context, it’s comparable to the amount of energy it takes to power Austria for a year.

That means there are 175ish countries on earth using less energy than Bitcoin (to say nothing of crypto on the whole), while 66 countries consume less energy per capita than one Bitcoin transaction (it takes 94 thousand kilowatt hours of electricity to mine a single Bitcoin).

Iceland, a major hub of Bitcoin mining farms, spends nearly as much energy on Bitcoin as it does powering its residential homes. In this case, the damage is mitigated because most of Iceland’s power comes from renewable energy.

Canada’s Bitcoin emissions are also on the lower end due to renewable energy sources. They’re using this to court mining companies from China, where mining emissions are about four times that of Canada’s. Montreal International attracts foreign investment by calling Quebec the land of “green bitcoin”. This has caught the eye of some Chinese mining companies looking to go overseas as the Chinese government has discouraged expansion and shut down some mining operations altogether.

Depending on Bitcoin’s growth, some have projected that it could use as much energy as the entire world by 2020.

Digital Currency Has a Real Carbon Footprint

Krause’s and Tolaymat’s research reminds us of the sobering reality that all this invisible wealth has real world costs.

For the 30 months they measured between January 2016 and June 2018, they estimate their four featured tokens collectively belched out at least 3 million tons of CO2 emissions, possibly as much as 15 million tons.

These findings follow another study, published last month, which determined Bitcoin alone could add two degrees Celcius to global warming within the next three decades. That’s enough to raise ocean acidity by 29 percent.

Solving Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption Crisis

So what is the solution? If the world were to switch to 100 percent renewable energy overnight, the problem would be moot. But we can’t hold our breath for that. There could be ways of incentivizing clean energy so greener mines reap more coins, or of implementing clean energy in other ways.

It’s also possible to adopt less computationally intensive mining algorithms so the mining computers don’t guzzle as much juice. This would disappoint a lot of old school Bitcoiners who have invested in hardware, but their feelings don’t really outweigh that 2 degrees celcius that everyone will have to live with (or die by).

Whatever the best solution turns out to be, something needs to change soon. Bitcoin is growing up, and it’s time for it to mature into something more sustainable.

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