Sooloox Turns Consumers From Data Providers to Data Authorizers 9 522

The ICO space is anything but dull. What started out as a small market a couple of years ago, in which a million dollar sale was a rarity, has now become a fast moving train that everyone’s clamoring to get on. But while a new ICO may succeed at raising funds (certainly a necessary start), that’s no guarantee of success in this uncharted landscape.

Almost half of the ICOs released in 2017 have already failed. And with Ether’s boss predicting that as many as 95 percent will go belly up this year, what’s needed to succeed in this cutthroat marketplace is a truly viable idea that stands out from the crowd.

Moreover, the truly interesting ICOs are the ones that heavily rely on blockchain technology — the component of ICOs that experts agree will long outlast many of the speculative coin assets.

Sooloox is a company that’s dedicated to placing the power over what happens to their data into the consumers’ hands. Seeing as the main characteristic of the blockchain is its decentralization, which goes hand in hand with the democratization of transactions and information, Sooloox certainly has an interesting idea.

“Consumers are currently the cash cows of the advertising industry,” they say, “and data is collected and processed in countless places with or without the consumer’s knowledge.” Blockchain technology will change all that by cutting out the middlemen (large data warehousing companies) and allowing consumers to have control over how their data is used–and make money from it in the process.

How Does Sooloox Work?

The vision behind Sooloox is that consumers should be able to earn with their data and trade directly with the companies who want to buy it. The Sooloox platform uses a digital tool called an IDTX (Interest Dimension & Transaction Box), which allows participants to join a large community — a kind of giant marketplace in which data is bought and sold. Users then become the authorizers of their own data, as it is no longer owned by any one company. The data has been democratized.

Those in the market for certain consumer data can see what kind of information it contains and purchase data in the form of leads that are truly relevant to them. When vendors can buy leads that are qualified and targeted, they can convert them into purchase agreements much faster and with less expense than buying irrelevant data blocks.

If you’re wondering how much money there is to made from selling your personal data, the answer is, quite a lot. In fact, the blockchain already houses data that’s racked up trillions of dollars of value. As the technology expands into further areas, such as finance, healthcare, and retail, that figure will only rise.

By 2030, the blockchain has been predicted to make up some 20 percent of the entire big data market (more than PayPal, Visa and Mastercard put together).

Disruptive Marketing

Through the Sooloox IDTX platform, not only can consumers earn money with their data, but a revolution in the marketing industry begins to make its presence felt. Sooloox takes traditional marketing, from company to consumer, and turns it on its head by creating a model that starts with the consumer and bubbles up to the company. Both company and consumer win.

The company receives the exact information they require and the consumer is compensated. And if the consumer doesn’t want to allow certain companies to use their data, they have the option to refuse to sell, as well.

There are already enough ICOs in finance (around 14 percent) and plenty of ICOs competing for the same ideas. Sooloox and its plan to empower consumers, give them control over their data, and disrupt the marketing industry may just make up part of the 5 percent that succeed in the long term. It’s certainly one to watch.

 

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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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Bitcoin Uses As Much Energy As Austria, Could Add 2°C to Earth’s Atmosphere 2,182 10457

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.

Kenya Looks to Blockchain for Affordable Housing Project 9 9458

The “Silicon Savannah” is moving deeper in direction of tech. The Kenyan government has announced a plan to manage the property allocation and funding of 500,000 affordable housing units with blockchain technology.

The units, which the government aims to build by 2022, will be set aside for households with an annual income below 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, about $990 USD. The World Bank estimates Kenya’s gross national income per capita at $1,290, according to Business Daily.

Blockchain will help ensure that the affordable housing is in fact going to those who fall below the average income bracket. Land title fraud has caused problems for Kenyans, as land grabbers target homes and even schools for illegal sales and development. Blockchain’s ability to store verifiable proof of title could help safeguard against fraudsters.

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, speaking with the World Bank on Monday.

Hinga said the plan will be financed by the National Housing Fund, which will raise over $59.5 million per month to get the project underway. But Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia said it will take $31.7 billion to build a million homes, each of which will cost between $3,000 and $30,000. Macharia called for support from private sector financing.

Under the financing plan, working Kenyans will contribute 1.5 percent of their salary, which will be matched by their employers. “On affordable housing one should not spend more than 30% of their disposable income for housing,” Hinga tweeted yesterday. “Anything above 30% is not affordable.”

A Trustless Relationship Between People and Government

The initiative represents a considerable push to solve housing and title problems for the nation’s lower income families. But how will the government decide to whom the housing units will go? With so much talk about financing underway, people are already calling on the government to outline a plan for how they’ll distribute the affordable housing units.

The government will need to deliver the housing projects in a time when, Hinga acknowledges, the public is skeptical. Earlier this year $78 million went missing in a corruption scandal involving the National Youth Services. Where there is little trust between the people and their government, Kenya hopes to establish transparency through the blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Kenya’s Move Toward Tech

In March, Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology appointed a blockchain taskforce to explore the ways the nation could use blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. They called it the Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence taskforce, and by September its chairman, Bitange Ndemo, was calling on the government to tokenize the economy.

Ndemo also proposed government implementation of blockchain to certify the authenticity of retail goods, so consumers can be sure of where their food is coming from, for example.

Governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge has also voiced support for the use of blockchain technology to strengthen service delivery, although he’s opposed the use of tokens and digital currencies.

But the affordable housing initiative could be the Kenyan government’s first real world implementation of the blockchain.

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