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With the Creation of DApps, The Sky is the Limit for Tron (TRX)

On the 30th of July, Justin Sun wrote an Open Letter to the Tron Community with regards to the Beta launch of the Tron Virtual Machine. In the letter, Justin outlined the final plan of the Tron Foundation to launch a fully functional Tron platform. This would be made possible through the release of the official version of the Tron Virtual Machine. In the statement, Justin sated the following:

Today, we launched the beta version of TVM. In the following month, TVM will be tested by all the TRON community members. On August 30th SGT, TRON will complete its MainNet upgrade and launch the official version of TVM.

This means that there should be another countdown at the back of our minds with regards to the Tron project. August 30th is only 13 days from today, and at the moment of writing this. The reason the final version of the TVM is the final piece to the puzzle to make Tron great, is that it is compatible with the Ethereum platform. This will in turn make probable for developers to migrate onto the Tron Network. Justin explained this when he said:

TVM is completely compatible with Ethereum, only faster and more affordable. Developers are able to use mainstream developing tools such as Remix, Truffle, and Web3.js as well as wallet extension of the browser to create DApps based on TRON network.

The official version of the TVM is going to be more stable, secure and equipped at being developer friendly. The TVM uses bandwidth instead of gas as seen in the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This means transactions and smart contract operations are free on the Tron network and once again being more attractive to DApp creators than the Ethereum platform.

Current DApps on Tron

There are currently 18 official DApps on Tron that include Peiwo with 10 Million users. These DApps have yet to be migrated onto the Tron Mainnet due to the fact that the official TVM has not been complete. Once that is done, all Tron DApp users – that had been estimated as being 100 Million – will migrate to the Tron Network. There is also the other 100 Million users from BitTorrent that will be integrated into the ecosystem through project Atlas. All of the users and DApps will be using TRX to power their needs on the platform.

In conclusion, and what we are trying to elaborate here, is that all the news about an undervalued TRX have been true. This has been due to the fact that TRX has not yet been injected into the Tron Mainnet 100% as a utility coin. This will be made possible once DApps start being created on the platform as well as those which will migrate from other platforms such as Ethereum’s. With the Tron network being 80 times faster than that of Ethereum, it is only a matter of time till we start seeing Tron DApps in plenty as well as TRX rising like a Phoenix in the markets.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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Unstoppable Scams? Ethereum's Gambling Problem Is Only Getting Worse

Ethereum has a gambling problem.

Since July, products resembling Ponzi schemes, a fraudulent form of investment promising high returns for little cost, have topped the charts among decentralized applications (dapps) running on the world’s second-largest blockchain, outpacing even the popular CryptoKitties.

But if user counts and transaction volumes observed on these applications are high, so too is the level of concern over the risks consumers face when using them. Already mounting are warning cries from technologists who aren’t exactly known for their risk reticence, a group that includes gambling dapp developers themselves.

Such was the case for Team JUST, the group of anonymous developers behind the infamous gambling dapp FOMO 3D, who warned last week that what looked to be a near identical copy of its game was eating up one-third of the network’s total computational power, raising over $7 million in ETH within the span of seven days.

Team JUST has gone on record both publicly and in private communications with CoinDesk to allege the imposter game as being a Chinese mobile app called LastWinner supposedly created to “trick” users by displaying false, bot-driven game activity.

To elaborate, Team JUST purports that the game essentially uses its own ether, 200,000 to be exact, as a means of fueling thousands of transactions that are carried out by computer bots. The goal is to give the appearance of a highly popular and legitimate gambling dapp, thereby luring users to engage with their own ether in the hopes of winning big.

One of the lead designers in Team JUST, who goes by the pseudonym “Justo_Bot,” went so far as to issue statements in a channel-wide Discord post Tuesday, warning users that LastWinner might be run by criminals.

He wrote:

“The scale of this wallet, the scale of these bots. The amount of sheer gas being used. I genuinely think you’re probably looking at a crime syndicate running this in China to scam people on a scale the ethereum network has never seen before…It’s very bad.”

The limits of analysis

But it isn’t just the developers who are concerned.

Users and analysts alike raised alarm bells on several different online channels over the frenzy of transaction activity caused by the new gambling dapp, said to be LastWinner. First, though, there was the matter of figuring out just what exactly was occurring.

In the days after the launch, comments on Etherscan affirmed that the activity was noticeable, with users noting how the app was outperforming even those it was designed to mimic. As one user attested at the time in what amounts to an eye-witness report, “It is definitely the most popular F3D clone so far, beating the original very easily.”

Indeed, the activity was quickly identified as an anomaly by data providers.

Amberdata, a blockchain monitoring and analytics firm, explained to CoinDesk that as a result of “the clone of the FOMO 3D gambling app” the ethereum blockchain has been under a heavy load.

“Overall, about $50.7M of value (Incoming: $29,000,000 and Outgoing: $21,750,000 together) has transmitted through this contract,” the firm estimated as of August 16.

Dr. Aleksandra Sokolowska, head of research and analytics at Validity Labs, also picked up on the activity, agreeing that the “highly coordinated and automatic” interactions of the dapp are suggestive of computer bots.

Still, she concluded in an email address to CoinDesk that the true nature of the dapp, whatever its true name, cannot be fully ascertained, explaining that:

“As we don’t see the source code, it is very hard to tell what the purpose of the code is. It is possible that someone knowingly encourages honest users to play such a game by generating artificial traffic with Sibyl accounts in order to withdraw some or all funds. “

Friend or foe?

With the abilities of analysts limited, the urgent warnings put forth by Team JUST have sparked a degree of suspicion pointing back to the true nature of the original FOMO 3D application itself.

Because while both gambling dapps have clear instructions on the rules of their game, the source codes responsible for actual game deployment have yet to be fully disclosed and verified.

As far as users are concerned, though, this actually adds to the risk.

Scott Bigelow, a blockchain developer for the dapp Augur, explained in a post on Medium that when it comes to unverified source code, the potential for “malicious intent and bugs” cannot be discredited. He further explained how FOMO 3D’s “unverified contract” might just lead to a shutdown of the entire game one day, “allowing a single player to claim the jackpot for themselves.”

What Bigelow is describing here can be typified as an “exit scam” whereby game creators pull off an orchestrated attempt to hijack raised funds. The same vulnerability lies with the alleged LastWinner dapp given it also runs in part on unverified source code.

And of course, this is not the only potential danger that exists for users engaging in gambling dapps like those described above.

PeckShield, a blockchain security firm, reports in an email to CoinDesk that the alleged LastWinner dapp possesses a common “airdrop vulnerability” whereby small amounts of user funds can be intentionally skimmed from airdrop prizes. This was reportedly originally flagged by ethereum developer Peter Szilagyi as a way to “PWN” FOMO 3D, though Team JUST claims they knew of the vulnerability in advance.

As such, elements of scam accusations put forth by Team JUST against the alleged LastWinner dapp have raised lines of questioning that lead back to the intentions of the original game.

One Reddit commentator asked:

“If this is a clone, and the clone owner has the ability to exit scam, doesn’t this imply that the original owner also has the ability to exit scam?”

An unstoppable force

Nevertheless, just because something looks like a scam, that doesn’t mean it is. (Bitcoin has, after all, been labelled by its most severe critics as a Ponzi scheme).

Even for ethereum developer Lane Rettig, such determinations about the nature of activity generated by the alleged LastWinner dapp can’t be certain. He wrote in email addressed to CoinDesk that without “the contract code” it would be “impossible to say more.”

What can be said, at least on the part of Amberdata CEO Shawn Douglass, is that gambling dapps and their respective clones don’t seem to be going away anytime soon given their allure to a growing base of users on ethereum.

Douglass asserts:

“If there has been a demonstrative mechanism that you can enlist a lot of participation and accrue a large amount of money, I think you’ll see more of these… I don’t think the ethereum foundation can control it in that it’s a decentralized organization.”

Put a different way, Sokolowska likens ethereum to “a free market” in which “anyone who can make a return of investment in any way will use their opportunity.”

As such, it doesn’t come as much surprise then that despite growing concerns over user safety in games of chance on ethereum, there’s fierce opposition in the community from stopping them entirely.

As one user on Reddit argues: “It’s fascinating how people want decentralization, until it works against them…people are playing the game/gambling and paying high gas prices to do so. It’s an egalitarian model, and it’s successful because people…can’t pick and choose what to censor.”

It seems the mantra of the ethereum platform, at least for the time being, when it comes to user appetites for risky gambles is to live and let live because ultimately, the choice to engage remains in the hands of users.

And that, as with most decentralized platforms, is a pretty dicey gamble.

Dice image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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These Digital Monsters Live on Ethereum, But They'll Fight on Zilliqa

Before my one and only “mon” reached level 4, I was out of ether.

Such was the end result of my first experience with Etheremon, a game inspired by Pokemon and built on the world’s second-largest blockchain, ethereum. I had around $15 worth of ether to spare, so I decided to try it out, eventually arming myself with a cute, fire-themed creature called Kyari.

But I quickly ran into an issue with the blockchain game. Namely, with $15, I never got a chance to move on to more interesting gameplay: battling other users’ mons, “evolving” my mon into more powerful forms, laying eggs or making trades.

Every action, from “catching” the mon (in reality a non-fungible ERC-721 token) to “training” it in gym sessions with other mons (i.e., altering the data associated with that token), had cost the equivalent of a dollar or two.

The reason is that every update to Etheremon’s smart contracts calls for “gas,” part of a complex fee mechanism that incentivizes the miners who maintain the ethereum blockchain. Making matters worse, these transactions often took several minutes to complete.

Such problems – transactions that cost too much and take too long – are known by the shorthand “scalability” in the blockchain world, and they’ve caused severe headaches for game designers who want to use a decentralized platform like ethereum.

Poor user experience – which also involves having to buy ether and install a browser extension that can connect to the blockchain – has stunted adoption. Etheremon is the second-most popular ethereum-based game, but that’s not saying much. At the time of writing, it’s had just 209 users over the previous 24 hours, according to DappRadar.

At one point, gas costs rose so much that Etheremon’s developers had to take drastic action.

“It became super, super expensive, and we saw our daily active user drop a lot,” co-founder and business development director Nedrick Ngo told CoinDesk.

As a result, the team moved “battles” – in which users pit their mons against others’ for experience points and bragging rights – off the ethereum chain and onto centralized servers.

Partially re-centralizing a decentralized game seems like it’s missing the point, however, so Etheremon announced earlier this month that it is planning to move much of the gameplay to a new, soon-to-be-launched blockchain protocol called Zilliqa (both Zilliqa’s and Etheremon’s teams are based in Singapore).

But in a decision that may reflect an emerging trend in the development of decentralized applications (dapps) such as Etheremon, the designers don’t plan to move the game’s assets. The tokenized “mons” that encode data such as level, experience points and evolutionary form – data that gamers have earned through many slow and costly actions – will stay on ethereum for the time being.

In other words, Etheremon will be one game on two blockchains: a zippier, more scalable chain on top, allowing users to play the game quickly and cheaply; and an (arguably) more secure chain below, providing users with the reassurance that their hard-won assets are safe from attack.

As Ngo put it:

“Zilliqa would work as a side-chain for us.”

Zilliqa: sharding from launch

Ethereum’s developers have a number of scalability projects in the works. But according to Ngo, Etheremon’s team and its users can’t wait around for those to be implemented.

“They have to commit Casper and then proof-of-stake and then sharding, so it will take a long time,” he told CoinDesk.

Zilliqa, by contrast, is rare if not unique in the world of blockchain protocols, in that it is integrating sharding, a technique that’s been used to manage more traditional databases for decades, from the get-go.

Amrit Kumar, Zilliqa’s  co-founder and head of research, said the technique has allowed the network to process 2,488 transactions per second in tests, whereas ethereum, right now, can manage perhaps a couple dozen.

Kumar explained how sharding works in a blockchain network using an example.

Given a network of 10,000 computers (known as “nodes”), he said, a sharding protocol would split those up into 10 smaller networks (or “shards”) of 1,000 nodes each. Each shard would then process a subset of the total transactions. Every time Alice sent some cryptocurrency tokens, for example, shard A would process the transaction. Every time Bob sent some, the transaction would go to shard B.

This technique is relatively new territory for blockchains, but Zilliqa’s team brings serious academic credentials to bear on the problem.

Two authors of an early paper laying out a blockchain sharding protocol are involved: Zilliqa chief scientific advisor Prateek Saxena, and Kyber Network CEO Loi Luu, who advises the project.

Kumar said Zilliqa, which is expected to launch before the end of the third quarter, aims to be “the go-to platform for applications which require high throughput and high scalability.”

Bedrock ethereum

Scalability and throughput are not the only considerations for Etheremon’s developers, however.

Users want gameplay to be fast, but they want to be sure there’s no risk of losing their lovingly bred, trained and evolved monsters. The mons represent a good deal of accumulated time and expense for some users, and therefore there are currently no plans to migrate these tokens over to a new chain.

Instead, the data from gameplay on Zilliqa will periodically be synced over to these tokens.

“We actually feel that keeping all the in-game assets on the ethereum network is very secure,” said Ngo.

Kumar said he understood why Etheremon would keep in-game assets where they were:

“Ethereum is certainly an established network and we do understand that there’s still some benefit of using ethereum.”

He argued, however, that in certain ways Zilliqa offers more security than ethereum, because Zilliqa’s non-Turing complete language, Scilla, means “you won’t be able to write a buggy contract like [the] DAO,” the ethereum-based victim of an infamous 2016 hack. According to Kumar, because Scilla is not as complex as ethereum’s language, Solidity, it is easier to test for vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, Zilliqa’s method of reaching network consensus, practical Byzantine fault tolerance (PBFT), is potentially more vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks than ethereum’s proof-of-work method. Unlike bitcoin or ethereum, which are theoretically secure so long as the majority of the nodes follows the rules, PBFT presents a potential limitation, in that it requires two-thirds of nodes to be “honest.”

In other words, PBFT runs the risk not just of 51 percent attacks, but 34 percent attacks. Although, Kumar argued that the situation is actually more complicated, since it’s possible to attack a proof-of-work blockchain without controlling a majority of nodes.

Whatever the actual security advantages of keeping Etheremon assets on ethereum versus moving them to Zilliqa, this sort of architecture – in which a slower, battle-tested chain is used to store assets while a top layer processes transactions – may be catching on.

Loom Network offers tools to build dedicated sidechains for decentralized games that are anchored to ethereum, and has begun exploring shared sidechains that host multiple games.

“It’s really important to have that decentralized base layer of ethereum,” Loom Network co-founder James Duffy told CoinDesk in May, “because then you can use it like the high court.”

At the moment, Etheremon and Zilliqa have yet to figure out how exactly to juggle two chains, but Ngo was optimistic, telling CoinDesk this is “just the first stage of the collaboration.”

Etheremon gameplay image courtesy of Etheremon

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Decentralizing Popular Dapps Isn't Just a Scaling Problem

It’s no secret that building large-scale, fully decentralized applications is a challenge, but it turns out the hurdles have to do with more than just scaling.

Decentralized application or “dapp” developers frequently hit roadblocks, since ethereum – the go-to platform so far in dapps’ short history – can process only around 25 transactions per second, and the more transactions the network is asked to handle, the more each one costs the user. These limitations on transaction throughput are commonly referred to as “scaling” limitations, and everyone from the casual dapp user to ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is keenly aware of them.

So when a particular dapp turns out to be less-than-totally decentralized, with parts of the software running on centralized servers, say, the solution seems obvious.

Speed up transaction throughput and reduce costs, and pure, blissful decentralization will naturally follow.

Turns out, though, things aren’t that simple.

Some of the most popular dapps that currently live on ethereum – which right now fall into two categories, games and exchanges – often retain centralized features, but the reasons have little to do with throughput and instead, revolve around user experience.

Take games – for developers to be able to make updates to a blockchain-based game, they typically put backdoors into the smart contracts.

Otherwise, said James Duffy, a co-founder of Loom Network, which develops ethereum-based dapps including a Q&A site called DelegateCall, developers would only be able to deploy their dapp once and never be able to modify it.

“Obviously if you’re a player in the game you want the developers to be able to update it. You want them to be able to fix bugs, add new levels, add new features,” Duffy said.

On the other hand, decentralized exchanges (DEX) keep some centralization in their processes as it relates to their order books. The reasons for this approach have to do partly with security and partly with the difficulty of assembling a single, reliable order book across a large, distributed network of computers.

And while most of these dapp projects aim to decentralize further in the future, for now, they’re happy to work slowly through that process so that users have the best experience and don’t lose money.

Duffy told CoinDesk:

“No one’s ever built a complicated app and then launched it and it just worked perfectly on day one.”

The back door dilemma

CryptoKitties was the first decentralized application to gain widespread attention and a significant userbase.

It didn’t take long, however, for critics to notice that the game is not as decentralized as it initially seemed. Another Loom Network co-founder, Luke Zhang, wrote about the backdoors in the CryptoKitties code, which allows the company behind the game to pause it entirely or alter its closed-source breeding algorithm.

While the CryptoKitties team contends that keeping the breeding algorithm a secret makes the game more fun, this choice does mean users have to trust the company itself not to tweak the algorithm in a way that would undermine the market’s pricing of kitties (some of which are very rare and in turn very expensive).

Another piece of the Cryptokitties game that was under the company’s control, until very recently, was the art assets.

Without these, a player would still own that kitty they paid 250 ether for, but instead of being able to admire its green eyes and Himalayan, orange soda-colored fur, they’d have to admire the number sequence encoded in the non-fungible token that’s at the core of the game: 99ac5586a447g9gg44665775ddf71444488773384ccccdffc.

Cute, right?

But according to Duffy, without this centralized control of the art, developers and players might abuse the privilege.

“What happens if someone uploads something illegal, like child pornography or something?” he said. “The nodes would have to have a way of censoring that to remove that data, or it would just be a complete free-for-all.”

And yet, CryptoKitties seems to be ready to take somewhat of a chance on this – on June 26 the company, now known as Axion Zen, announced that it had updated its terms of service, making it possible for third-party applications to use CryptoKitties art. And not only that but it was open-sourcing the ownership rights of the non-fungible tokens.

Still, it’s a far cry from complete decentralization, and Duffy acknowledged that there are potential pitfalls in CryptoKitties’ approach to its business model. But he said that launching a semi-centralized dapp and decentralizing it over time is “pragmatic.”

Kyle Samani, the managing partner of Multicoin Capital, echoed Duffy’s statements, saying, “Decentralization is generally a spectrum.” He called criticism of CryptoKitties’ centralized aspects “nit-picky.”

Duffy held out hope for more complete decentralization, though.

For instance, he argues that Loom Network’s approach – building a dedicated, scalable sidechain for each dapp and pegging that chain to ethereum – would enable full decentralization without having to settle for fossilized games that never add new levels or features. Updates could be made through hard forks, assuming players could come to a collective agreement.

Making a prediction, Duffy said:

“We’re going to see actual, real, fun games that are normal games that people want to play, except that they’re actually owning the in-game assets and they can do this on a fully decentralized platform.”

Order book blues

Centralized exchanges have been cryptocurrencies’ Achilles’ heel since the early days of bitcoin – MtGox being the most famous example of what can go wrong when transparent, decentralized ledgers meet opaque, centralized intermediaries.

For this reason, advocates of decentralization have long tried to build distributed alternatives. Examples on ethereum include Idex and ForkDelta, which according to DappRadar are the first- and second-most trafficked dapps over the past 24 hours.

The only problem is that both of these exchanges use centralized order books, as do most of their peers, according to Taariq Lewis, a veteran cryptocurrency developer who is building DEX technology – codenamed Lyra Protocols for now.

These centralized order books, which collect “bids” (prices offered by buyers) and “asks” (prices offered by sellers) to facilitate trades, are the norm in traditional markets.

Despite strict regulation, however, shenanigans abound on traditional exchanges. Spoofing, front-running and layering are just a few of the (illegal) tricks traders use to take advantage of each other, and this behavior is prevalent – if not worse – on crypto exchanges.

“Unregulated centralized order books are manipulation havens,” said Lewis.

A person familiar with DEX operations, who asked not to be named, added that some exchanges see order book decentralization as a way to avoid regulatory interventions. Exchanges operating centralized order books must either register as Alternative Trading Systems or avoid listing securities – which, as is becoming increasingly clear, many crypto tokens are.

Decentralizing order books, however, is anything but simple. Traders need a main order book that is visible to everyone, Lewis said, and ensuring that everyone sees the same bids and asks without a central intermediary is “an unsolved problem.”

He continued, “It’s not trivial. A lot of these things folks have been working on for decades, well before blockchain.”

Adding to these technical difficulties, Lewis said, decentralized order books can be easy targets for Sybil attacks – whereby one user or group of users creates hundreds if not thousands of identities in an effort to spam the network with information.

Still, exchanges such as Idex and ForkDelta have said they plan to decentralize their order books when the technology enables them to.

Lewis did not want to reveal too much about Lyra Protocols, but said the project was “looking into” attack-resistant, distributed order books. And Duffy said that a number of DEXs have reached out to Loom Network wanting to take advantage of dedicated sidechains for the purpose of decentralizing more of their processes.

As such, Duffy expressed confidence, saying:

“Give it a couple years and I’d say it’ll definitely be the case, just because it’s possible and if users demand it, then someone’s going to fill that demand.”

Chalk drawing image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Nebulas (NAS) Wants To Reward You For Referrals Through Its NEW Super Contributors Program

The Nebulas (NAS) project wants to reward you through an extension of its currently running Incentive Program. This new offshoot of the Incentive Program is known as the Super Contributor incentive. With this new Super Contributor initiative, community members will be rewarded in NAS for inviting more people to join the Nebulas ecosystem. The new users include both developers and non-developers on the platform.

With Super Contributors, the top 20 accounts with the most invites that result in new users signing up to the ecosystem, will become Super Contributors. They will share a reward of 10,000 NAS per week (valued at $66,500 using current values of NAS) and get to vote on the best Decentralized Applications on the platform through the Nebulas Initiative Program.

So how does the underlying Nebulas Initiative Program work?

The initiative program has two goals, to get more developers building DApps on the platform and to encourage community member participation by rewarding them each time they refer a developer to the platform. The program is worth $5 Million in rewards and has been running since May 7th. It will end on the 2nd of July this year.

The developer rewards system works as follows:

  • 100 NAS to the developer for every valid DApp submitted
  • Submitted DApps are in turn re-awarded each week
  • 10,000 NAS for a 1st place finish each week
  • 5,000 NAS for a 2nd place finish each week
  • 3,000 NAS for a 3rd place finish each week
  • 300 NAS for 20 winners of the Excellence Award per week
  • 20,000 NAS for a Monthly Winner

The referral program works as follows:

  • 40 NAS for each successful referral
  • 20% commission based on the developer’s reward if the entry wins any prize mentioned above
  • 10,000 NAS for a 1st place referral champion per month
  • 2,500 NAS for a 2nd place referral champion per month
  • 1,000 NAS for a 3rd place referral champion per month

What is Nebulas (NAS)?

Nebulas is a new generation of public blockchain and dedicated to building a collaborative ecosystem with sustainable upgrading, and its mainnet was launched on March 30th, 2018. Nebulas features an original blockchain value discovery system, forward-looking incentive and consensus mechanisms, and the ability to avoid hard forks through self-evolution.

The platform has been compared to being the ‘Google App’ on the blockchain for it hopes to host and rank DApps on its platform for its users to decide on the best pick. Nebulas selects outstanding DApps according to its algorithm and the now active Super Contributor voting. The algorithm also measures the importance of each user and smart contract on the platform.

Current market analysis indicate that Nebulas (NAS) is trading at $6.65 at the moment of writing this. The token has dropped 4.73% in the last 24 hours amidst a relatively stable Bitcoin that is trading at current levels of $7,589. All fingers are crossed that these levels are maintained throughout the coming weekend.

Further investigation of the NAS token value in the crypto-markets indicate that the token has peaked three times this year. The first two were in January and to levels of $14.81 and $13.31 respectively. The most recent peak value was seen on May 3rd when the token was valued at $11.85.

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Steve Wozniak Compares Ethereum (ETH) To A Young Apple

The co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, has recently compared Ethereum (ETH) to a young Apple company back in the 80s. To be exact, he said that Ethereum, like Apple back then, is a platform where developers can create their own Decentralized Applications that will simplify the day to day activities of the end users. He was keen to note that back when Apple was starting out, they did not need to do much advertising for their products, for the real advertisers were the developers using their software and hardware to do amazing things.

This is the exact same thing happening with Ethereum. Every new ICO wants to build on the platform. The product (the open source Ether platform) is advertising itself through developers using it.

Wozniak said the above during an ongoing conference that ends in Vienna called WeAreDevelopers. In the interview Wozniak had this to say:

Well, it’s a platform. When we started Apple, our Apple 2 computer was a platform.

Here’s all the documentation, open source, you can see how you develop parts, look at the examples we have done. How to develop software, how to modify the softwares in here.

It was a platform for others, so thousands of companies started up. Sometimes high school kids started their own company, and then they’d put up little ads in little electronic journals, ads for my product, for the Apple 2.

Everybody in the world was advertising for us and we didn’t have to. So platforms is how the world can grow by opening up to millions of other smart people.

The product that changed my life the most from Apple isn’t the Iphone, it’s the App Store. The apps that are in the app store. Third party apps developed by all the people with all the ideas all over the place. And that’s an example of a platform

Although Mr. Wozniak admits that he does not invest in stocks or cryptocurrencies, he does own Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) for experimental purposes such as travelling without credit cards and cash. He owns 1 BTC and 2 ETH. He says he loves to keep things simple in his life and does not like the life of a trader of always looking at the markets to check the prices.

He also stated that we as humans have an innate need to develop new things. The purpose of a developer and engineer has to be one of an evolving individual who is okay with the way things are changing. He or she has to evolve with the times.

The entire interview can be found on youtube here and starts around the 7:11 minute mark.

[Photo source, ccn.com]

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Blockstack Announces 'Universal' Dapp Store for the Decentralized Web

Decentralized web developer Blockstack is one step closer to its vision of web 3.0 with the introduction of app.co, a directory for decentralized applications or dapps.

Co-founder Ryan Shea said the company was launching the resource, which is aimed at bridging the gap between decentralized app developers and potential users. The open-source project will be free for developers, and Blockstack sees “this as a critical moment for decentralized application development and discovery,” Shea said.

He went on to explain:

“The goal here is to demonstrate, to really bring together app developers and users and provide value in connecting the two. We want to help users discover decentralized applications. We launched our browser last year which was a great success, and after that we started noticing people were building real apps on top of our platform, and this last year we were focused on learning from them.”

Indeed, it’s the first step toward what is intended to become a dedicated storefront for dapp developers, with the goal of allowing devs to charge for premium versions of their app as well as expand to a wider market.

“We’re looking to make this a comprehensive dapp store, and one component is an index and you can see the most popular applications, and another component is a feature list kind of like what you can find in the Apple app store,” he added.

Blockstack is moving out of the infrastructure phase and into supporting scalable dapps, he said, adding that “they’re getting real traction and real users.”

Stepping back, Shea told CoinDesk that his company will continue to encourage the development of a decentralized web, and encouraged developers to work together. He said:

“One of the things that we want to say to the community, there might be different platforms that compete with each other but we’re still very small and the real competition is with Facebook and [the like].”

Gumball machines image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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The Tron (TRX) Decentralized Apps No One Is Talking About

Tron (TRX) is currently still basking in the glory of a successful TestNet launch and the Justin Sun live-stream on the 31st of March, less than 8 days ago. The live-stream was then followed by the Technical team explaining and answering questions about the Tron project. To add icing on the cake, Justin Sun recently graduated from the prestigious Hupan University which has Jack Ma as its Principal and co-founder. The other co-founders are 8 prominent entrepreneurs and distinguished scholars whose main aim was to groom up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the ever chaining world of global business that is shaped by technology.

Evidence of the ever evolving technology space is the Tsunami-like growth of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Tron has lead the way in terms of project developments and excitement in the blockchain space.

What has gone under the radar, is that the Tron platform based on Ethereum, has functional Decentralized apps already running on it. These DApps will in turn be migrated to the final Tron Network that is slated for release on May 31st.

The DApps currently have 100 Million existing users with Peiwo leading in popularity with 30 Million constant users. Peiwo is an anonymous chat application available for download on Android and iOS. By being anonymous, users can be themselves 100% and find new friends.

Another DApp is Game.com that provides a new world of gaming to help digital currencies provide entertainment service applications and promote the rapid development of blockchain technology by means of entertainment content. Gifto is another DApp that enables community participants from different platforms to work together to create, review, and customize a wide range of high-quality virtual gifts for content creators around the world and leverage the power of blockchain technology to create a decentralized ecosystem.

Odyssey is a DApp with the mission of building the next-generation decentralized sharing economy & Peer to Peer Ecosystem. The sharing economy is further expanded by the OBike DApp that is a stationless bike sharing platform, providing a hassle free, more sustainable, healthy, tech-friendly, and economic mode of transport.  Mico which is a mobile social networking platform for the global market.

The Kitty live DApp amplifies live-streaming around the world. GSC (Global Social China) is the world’s first new generation of social network chain that owns hundreds of millions of social users. Another DApp that uses Tron is Baofeng Xinging which helps blockchain businesses deploy massive nodes rapidly.

With the TRON community already excited about future DApps on Mainnet, the sky is the limit for the Tron Project.