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Eugene Romanenko

Nooor talks with Eugene Romanenko

Eugene Romanenko — was one of our hosts during the ChainPoint 19 Conference.

Being the #1 Crypto Emcee in the CIS area with 72 events covered in 13 cities and 6 countries since 2017, he has more than 3,000 interviews with 20 million views on YouTube. 100 articles published and 10 years of Austrian Economics studies.

By flourishing Chainpoint 19 Conference with his presence and making a set of interviews of the speakers involved, he added his own colors to the grandiose painting of the conference.

Nooor talks, 5 Questions, and Eugene Romanenko. Here we go!

1. Let’s zoom out and take a look at the bigger picture. How do you perceive blockchain in its current form, and what will it take for it to finally become a globally adopted technology?

Blockchain has been a working technology that gives us the proven opportunity to do some stuff in a decentralized way. It eliminates some crucial negative features of centralized systems which can damage people and, moreover, have “successfully” done that regularly.

Blockchain eliminates ineffective, expensive and potentially dangerous centers from the stage leaving the key functions of the systems working.

The key advantages of blockchain are obvious for developers and technological entrepreneurs. So we need some time to develop more friendly user interfaces of decentralized applications, education and social proof that blockchain-based solutions are far better in key features than the centralized ones.

2. What prompted you to delve into the blockchain industry?

I have dedicated 10 years to Austrian Economics studies. That’s why I have exactly known very well how modern banking system had been constructed more than 100 years ago, who are it’s beneficiaries, how it’s been distorting world economy recent century and provokes crises and why it will collapse inevitable. Its key essence are unsound money, fiat money. I understand clearly that humanity will inevitably return to sound money — private, commodity-based, competitive. That’s my theoretical base.

Till 2009 humanity had no technology for sound money in the conditions when the gold standard has become politically impossible (strictly speaking from the economic point of view, it would have been the best scenario if it was possible like it was in the 19th century, but we should be realistic). Satoshi’s invention — bitcoin — has returned the opportunity to have sound money to humanity. The key feature here is that this solution can neither be controlled nor prohibited by any government, because it is decentralized. The era of government-controlled unsound money fraud was over with glory-less and shame when Bitcoin came. I want to witness this great event. That’s why I am in.

3. What would be your key argument to really trust the blockchain technology and its developers today?

You don’t need to trust anyone. Including the greatest fraudsters in the history of humanity — government and banks. Educate yourself in economics, how the world works, what is the essence of exchange, money, entrepreneurship, banks, and government.

Blockchain is just technology. It’s one of the many ways we do what we do in our life. If it lets us do some things better than other technologies and it works — why should we reject it? By the way, blockchain literally requires you not to trust anyone you work with — it lets you reach your goals in the trustless environment.

4. If a good friend or acquaintance asks you what is special about the Blockchain: What do you answer him?

Imagine any centralized service you use in everyday life: bank, notary, government real estate ledger and so on. Yes, it works when you need it, not so bad, but it’s inefficient and costs a lot.

These problems exist by one reason — because acting center exists.

It’s the so-called point of failure. Then make a mental experiment: eliminate the acting center but leave the working function of the system. Money transfer — without banks and so on. How can it be possible? With blockchain. Blockchain is the technology that lets us solve usual life tasks in other architectural ways — without inefficient centers, in a decentralized way.

5. As you were a part of CP19, what can be the feedback about the Country and its potential to become a leader in the blockchain space?

I`ve been observing our borderless crypto-industry in recent years. It’s obvious that there is no country in the world with no reaction to the new technological reality. It’s obvious too, that small countries without resource diseases are much more progressive in these issues than bigger ones. Why? Because people there understand the potential economic advantages of blockchain adoption very well. While China, Russia or the USA are trying to ban crypto-industry unsuccessfully, small clever countries are competing for future blockchain-related entrepreneurs.

Armenia has been traditionally gathering the best crypto industry people recent two years and I’m totally convinced that Armenia has huge chances to become a very progressive technological blockchain-related hub in the Caucasus.

Stay tuned to our updates as we are preparing for the ChainPoint 2020.

Toufi Saliba

Nooor talks with Toufi Saliba

Toufi Saliba was one of our speakers during the ChainPoint 19 Conference. As a human being willing to make a change not only by inspiring others and dreaming about the future full of prosperity, he is actually making tons of effort every single day, pursuing and struggling to find the ideal path of development. Toufi is heavily involved with dozens of projects. Not forget to mention that he is currently doing advisory for several governments, some are the largest and most powerful ones, others the smallest and the most agile and nimble.

Toufi is also the CEO of the TODA network. It is a platform and incubator lab built on top of TODA/IP a packet-level protocol. Moreover, it is effectively enabling network packets to manage and transmit value without dependence on a ledger or any third party.

Nooor talks, 5 Questions, and Toufi Saliba. Here we go!

1. What are the major challenges in the Blockchain industry today?

Everyone would tell you Scalability and Usability. We did talk about scalability 4 years ago and nobody listened, hence the entire industry is on the verge of collapse with less than 0.2% global market penetration… not the number you’d expect from a revolutionary technology.

To answer your question: They are not SECSI

  • S for Security (Autonomous Decentralized Governance is a Security model) not a single Blockchain out there is living up to its promises with decentralization, let alone its potential
  • E for Efficiencies. If the net/net cost to run any operation at scale is larger or even comparable with the current method of accomplishing similar results, then we will not be describing a revolutionary tech. Maybe evolutionary and in some aspect regressive or at most mediocre.
  • C for confidentiality. If your Blockchain provides confidentiality with extra layers and methods to be deployed, go home. It must be by design and not a single Blockchain provides it by design, there are some added on deployment layer which of course could work but at a cost that eats up from the previous (E) point
  • S for Scalability. Of course, everyone is talking about this one, but solving it most had to compromise other elements and started a trend called trilemma. Anyone with a trilemma, should go home. They are not necessary. Trilemma is an excuse, not a solution.
  • I for Interoperability. Here’s what’s so ironic, in this p2p revolutionary technology, those with yet another layer to accomplish interoperability should go home and never come back… it’s an oxymoron at most.

2. What is your company’s mission and how far have you come in completing it?

My companies have missions but they are independent of the Protocols mission. In fact on the protocol layer we never raised any money, it’s been bootstrapped all the way through.

I’m currently involved in about a dozen companies building on TODA many raised funds from private investors, old school equity models. Mainly a company called Toda. Network Corp which the first year in business 2018 generated about $5.3M in revenue, the second year in 2019 about to close the year with $21M USD. For a startup, it’s not a bad start at all.

3. The trends in cryptocurrencies have deemed them unfavorable in most governments. Since the blockchain is the underlying technology, do you think various states, starting with Armenia, would be open to adopting the tech?

Rightfully so. I don’t blame any governments from rejecting a tech that is crippled by design. Most projects are scams and most of the remainings are failures built on failures. However, a smart nation like China, already realized by its own president and announced the marching towards the Blockchain. The question is, would they get in the real Blockchain or the faky ones out there? We don’t know.

4. Everyone is talking about the leading innovating technologies of the 21st century and the possible synergy of Blockchain, IoT and AI. What is your personal stance regarding the synergy in between of these three technologies? Should we as a world, focus more on blockchain technology rather than AI or IoT?

Not sure those 3 are of the same magnitude in the attention they are getting. I’m a lot more interested in filling the gaps that all 3 and others will suffer from if solutions haven’t commenced. It goes back to security by design. The absence of which may very well be detrimental.

5. As you were a part of CP19, what can be the feedback about Armenia and its potential to become one of the leaders in the blockchain space?

I’d like to see that, but highly doubt it would unless we see significant actions to take a lead role. Note: for example, recently Toufi Saliba became founding Global Chair Ai Standards for all humankind at IEEE TEMS. See more details here: https://www.ieee-tems.org/ai-standards-toufi-saliba/

I am getting other nations putting $100M+ to get their names on it. Armenia could participate but it will unlikely do that with money. Will it do with other aspects? I don’t know.

What I do realize is that everything in the world will be cryptofied within the next decade, we will reach global prosperity. I no longer worry about those 2. There will be no hunger and no extreme poverty. I used to worry about those, not anymore.

Where I sit right now I’m capable of seeing this reality coming together with the same way you see the sunrise every day. What keeps me up at night is AI with very little security to prevent an attack from within… I insist on what I do, not only as an author of a network protocol but as an executive and human being to focus my work and effort to benefit every single homo sapien that would like to benefit from it. No exceptions. I will continue the awareness and building organizations to provide an alternative to humanity to use.

Alejandro De La Torre

Nooor talks with Alejandro De La Torre

Alejandro De La Torre was one of our speakers during the ChainPoint 19 Conference. He is a Former VP & Co-Founder of BTC.com and VP of Poolin which is a multi-currency mining pool service launched in 2017.

With a mostly entrepreneurial background and the ability to run businesses from a young age, Alejandro has got interested in blockchain technology almost since the beginning of the development of the industry.

Having an eye on the latest trends in development and picturing all the possibilities that the technology cares, Alejandro shared his vision towards some crucial edges of mining and the development of the technology in general.

Nooor talks, 5 Questions, and Alejandro De La Torre. Here we go!

1. How blockchain will change our world and which industries will have the most influence?

I got into the blockchain world early in 2013, when it was not even called blockchain. I believed back then that having an alternative financial system based on different fundamentals from what we have now in the traditional financial world would be a nett positive for society… and I still staunchly believe in this today.

These different fundamentals, that primarily bitcoin and other prominent coins have, are non-human manipulation in the economics of the system, the deflationary aspect of it and the possibility of it being used by anyone, anywhere without the approval from anyone.

These revolutionary ideals have and will continue to change and shape the world in ways we can only begin to imagine. Bitcoin and other fair and decentralized blockchain based coins are revolutionary financial tools.

2. What is already running smoothly and well with blockchain and comparable distributed ledger technologies today?

Blockchains & DLT require security in the form of hashpower (mining) for the features inherent in them to actually work.

The blockchain is immutable if and only if there is a sufficient amount of hashpower behind each block to secure it from any form of attack.

Thus, what has been running efficiently, I say without a doubt, is the mining industry supporting the security of the blockchain and the transfer of wealth enabled by it.

3. What is one thing about mining that fascinates you the most? Why did you decide to get deeper into this aspect of the technology?

For me, the most fascinating aspect of mining is that multiple aspects of every player in this industry must be considered at all times. The mining rig market, for example, must consider the fabrication times of microchips, fierce competition, the costs of shipping and taxes when exporting, the list goes on.

Another aspect that is high on the lists of importance in mining is electricity costs. Finding cheap sources of electricity is difficult. It might be that the cheap electricity is on the other side of the world for example, or that the electricity from the hydropower plant is seasonal, so you must consider perhaps moving to another location half of the year.

These are just two aspects of mining that require a lot of understanding and hard work for players to crack the code and be bitcoin profitable.

4. The Achilles’ heel of the technology, 50 +1% Attack. What is your stance regarding the possibility of hacking the system?

This is a known attack vector in bitcoin, however, I highly doubt it will ever occur. The reason being is that once a pool or mining farm (although it would most likely have to be a pool) does a 51% attack, the network would lose ALL of its incredible features which would, in turn, affect the price negatively and drastically.

A pool that makes money on bitcoin would not want this, no one that is mining wants this, thus it is in every player’s self-interest to maintain the power of pools and farms to much less than 51%.

5. As you were a part of CP19, what can be the feedback about Armenia and its potential to become one of the leaders in the blockchain space?

There are multiple opportunities in this industry. I would bet on things that have been working for the last 10 years and not try to recreate a database with the word “blockchain” as that will only lead to nowhere.

The potential of Armenia is huge. The country has agreeable weather which would save costs for cooling. Armenia is a stable country and the government wants to provide incentives such as the tech city to help bring in companies. Political stability and a government willing to listen and help a blossoming industry like crypto mining are very important. This allows miners to continue their business and forecast into the future with confidence. I foresee Armenia playing an important role in the future with both blockchain development and crypto mining.

blockchain in aviation image

Blockchain in Aviation: looking for transparency in the transparent?

“The blockchain does one thing: It replaces third-party trust with mathematical proof that something happened. — Adam Draper

Airplanes. Airports. Cities. Countries.

Being a young girl with a fueled imagination I used to think that there is some kind of magic, which leads those huge metal birds into the air.

Spending a summer vacays in motherland may become impossible for a diaspora kid growing up in another country without those special buildings with distinct and entangled metamorphoses going around in it.

Growing up, understanding that under “magic” there is a much more likely a constructive explanation I’ve started to look closer every time I’ve got an opportunity to came back to the airports always buzzing with noises, goodbyes and serious people in ties.

On my way of becoming older with a constant appearings in the buildings, I’ve started to notice much more ways of the improvement of this special place

Working in an IT company, involved in the progress of the blockchain technology for more than a year, I’ve started to wonder, how DLT can change the efficiency of the Airport and make the traveling for people even more transparent, safe and easy.

So, please, fasten your seatbelt, dear reader, we are going on an adventure in the future of aviation!

Saying NO to the Overbooking

When Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from his seat and dragged off of a United Airlines flight in April 2017, it was easy to blame the three Chicago police officers who did it as the primary culprits. The video was horrific, and the three officers eventually lost their jobs later that year. But was it really their fault, or were they simply doing their jobs? After all, it was United Airlines that overbooked the flight, not the police officers. After the investigation, it was found that the ticket was overbooked by 4 passengers.

Smart contracts and tokenized tickets may help ensure that a truly fixed number of tickets are issued. Airlines will often sell an excess number of tickets, banking on late cancellations, passengers missing their flights, or any other number of possibilities that could result in a plane flying at less than capacity. An empty seat is lost revenue for the airline, but when everybody shows up, someone’s plans have to change. Currently, airlines can feign ignorance as to why or how the flight was overbooked, but with tokenized ticket-issuance systems, more advanced features like flight-delay insurance and ticket bidding can help ensure that all parties make out economically without the need to overbook a flight.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Volantio — Helping airlines protect passengers from overbooking challenges.
  • Fizzy — Decentralized “smart travel insurance contracts” to protect passengers when airlines don’t.

Flight Records Systems Security

“What the aerospace industry doesn’t know about its planes is costing it serious money.”

When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March 2014, it immediately became one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. With 239 people on board, a bizarre change in the flight pattern, and still no indication of where the wreckage may actually be, countless friends and family members still don’t know what happened. Even though one of the men on board was an IBM executive, and another was an actor cast in Netflix’s Marco Polo, the lack of solid information surrounding the flight continues to astound.

In the wake of the disappearance, Malaysia’s official response was slammed as “inaccurate, or at least incomplete” by a Chinese media organization, and it’s difficult to argue with the assessment. The lack of details about where the flight was headed and where it maybe is a prime example that better oversight systems for such critical information are still needed.

Data pertaining to a given flight — manifests, baggage onboarding, flight path, and the like — carry varying degrees of importance. Some information may save serious time and effort, like tracking down a lost bag more efficiently. Other information — like who was on a flight, where they sat, and where the flight was headed — could be the key to solving mysteries in the unfortunate event that a flight doesn’t reach its destination. Regardless of a piece of information’s use or relative importance, securing all flight-related intel remotely on a blockchain backup record would be an added measure of security to the centralized systems of today.

Companies willing to make a change:
SITA, British Airways, Heathrow Airport — Partnered to create a blockchain-secured data-sharing model — Flight Chain

Identity management

In the airline sector, forging identities of individuals comes with serious threats, including the possibility of terrorist activity at airports or on flights. The adoption of blockchain in aviation will eliminate the pain and hassle of passengers waiting for long hours to verify their documents.

Passenger details like biometric data, required documents, and the ticket will be stored on a blockchain network. People while entering the airport can enter the unique code, for verifying themselves. The airport authorities, who are a member of the network, will be able to enter the check-in details for passenger’s further references.

The introduction of smart contracts automates paper-based airline operations, allowing airport authorities to take up other roles. As a result of this, increased productivity, accuracy, and efficiency will be achieved.

Companies willing to make a change:

Vchain — a patented blockchain SaaS solution for digital identity management.

Baggage Tracking

Every baggage will comprise of a unique code, which will be encrypted and stored on a blockchain network. During the check-in process, the luggage will be scanned and the location of it will be updated to the system in real-time. Every detail about the baggage, ranging from its unique code to the current location, will be updated on the blockchain network. The authorities and passengers can easily locate their luggage if gone missing.

Companies willing to make a change:

BagX — a neutral blockchain platform for baggage handling developed by a Swiss-port team. This will make the process completely documentable and transparent across all the involved stakeholders.

Maintenance Transparency

Whether you own one plane or an entire airline, aircraft maintenance is neither cheap nor easy. The average hangar cost is $275 per month, plus an additional $100 for tie-downs. Annual inspections can cost as much as $1,200 for small aircraft, and far more for commercial airliners (which must be inspected far more frequently). Then there are factors such as gas and oil, part depreciation, and insurance to consider. Airliners have much steeper costs associated with them, an average of $1,430 in maintenance per flight hour. Supply chain costs related to aircraft maintenance accounted for 80% of direct maintenance spending in 2009 and is likely higher now.

We’ve all experienced the dreaded “creeping delay” at the airport. It seems to get longer and longer due to some unspecified maintenance issues. These delays cost countless amounts of money and are responsible for much of airline travel’s poor reputation. Between June 2015 and June 2016, more than 1 million flights were delayed, with those delays chewing up approximately 64 million minutes worth of their passengers’ time. About 50% of those delays are due to controllable factors, like aircraft maintenance.

Several industry leaders are in the works developing systems by which maintenance issues can be more easily foreseen and dealt with using blockchain distributed ledger technology. Tracing individual parts to gauge their fitness for flight and anticipate declines in their quality is one use of the technology, as is providing a more connected record for maintenance-related departments to rely upon. These uses could cut down on the one thing that gives airlines and passengers the most consistent trouble: delays.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Accenture — Prototype for aviation manufacturing and parts provenance.
  • Aeron — Better data traceability and management for aviation firms.
  • Lufthansa — Launched blockchain innovation challenge to tackle transparency issues.
  • 500labs — a decentralized data network for the global aviation industry to mitigate the effects of flight delays, among other things.

Airline Alliance Revenue Sharing

The first airline alliance was established over 21 years ago, and while the nature of revenue sharing between partnered airlines has evolved over the years, it remains an integral part of the commercial aviation sector. Today, there are three major airline alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld.

Star Alliance was founded by member airlines United, Scandinavian, Thai, Lufthansa, and Air Canada, and has expanded to a roster of 27 airlines, covering 18,800 daily flights to 1,300 destinations across 193 countries. SkyTeam is the newest of the alliances, founded in 2000 by Delta, Aeromexico, Air France, and Korea Air, totaling 20 members with a reach not far off of Star’s. Last but not least, Oneworld, founded by American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Canadian Airlines, teamed up in 1999 to provide a more intelligent revenue-sharing model and a greater array of connection options for passengers of its airlines. These alliances have necessitated revenue-sharing algorithms, but they remain flawed. They lack measures to prevent inter-airline squabbles and time delays that defeat the purpose of cooperation among member airlines.

Cooperation among airlines can make sense economically, especially in terms of the less quantifiable PR aspect. When a flight is cancelled or international connections run thin, the ability to tap into partner airlines to accommodate passengers is invaluable, both in terms of preserving revenue for the airline and ensuring that passengers don’t miss critical plans or meetings. That said, revenue sharing systems remain complex and fragmented. The ability to rely upon a unified system that could use algorithms to immediately settle predetermined revenue shares among cooperating airlines would reduce costs, improve timeliness, and result in more customers reaching their destinations in a reasonably timely manner.

Streamlined Frequent Flyer Programs

Many airlines have frequent flyer programs (FFPs) that allow airlines customers to accumulate points that can then be redeemed for air travel. Members of loyalty programs that travel with a partner airline may want to have their points or miles reconciled at their customer account which can be a time-consuming and error-prone process.

One way that airlines could take better advantage of customer loyalty is to merge alliance member airlines to provide a more appealing frequent flyer package. This would foster a greater likelihood that passengers would actually redeem their accrued miles, therefore being incentivized to earn them in the first place. With a wider array of airlines to choose from, frequent flyer programs could become more appealing than they already are, and the blockchain could serve as a platform to seamlessly integrate revenue sharing and automated point redemption in a cost-effective manner.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Singapore Airlines — Tokenizing frequent flyer programs.
  • Loyyal — Smart contract-based loyalty solutions
  • Sweetbridge: a virtual blockchain-based marketplace with a scalable solution for multi-vendor loyalty programs.

Multi-Tier Oversight in Private and Commercial Flights

Fortunately, flight, and commercial aviation especially, has become a safe proposition. According to many metrics, 2017 was the safest year in the history of commercial air travel. When hijackings, suicide, and sabotage are accounted for, 59 people died worldwide as a result of commercial aircraft accidents or malfunctions, which is a modest number considering the sheer volume of daily flights spanning the world.

However, these statistics, though low, cannot be assessed lightly — each life is a life, after all. No story brings that fact to life quite like the case of the Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team, who were on their way to an unlikely championship match when their plane crashed into a mountainside in Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 of the 77 passengers. The pilot had chosen not to refuel in an effort to save money — precisely the sort of decision that should be taken out of the hands of humans with an inordinate financial stake in such choices.

One of blockchain technology’s primary benefits is the ability for several parties to access the ledger, regardless of their location. This decentralized facet could set in place a system of checks and balances that would regulate pilots and owners of private airlines, who may otherwise be tempted to cut corners in order to save money. Whether this involves regulatory agencies, specific airports, or organizations will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but if blockchain can help prevent another Chapecoense, it is a cause well worth pursuing.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Avinoc — a freely available, transparent database for the coordination of private business flights — without a third party intermediary.
  • 14bls — Supply Tracking a blockchain technology that allows the supply chain of aircraft components to be documented thoroughly and with absolute transparency.
  • Sorablocks — a blockchain-based platform for the aviation industry, which brings transparency to the management of kerosene across all airlines and airports.
  • Skyy network — a blockchain-based solution that consolidates the aviation management of drones in a decentralized and clearly regulated system, enabling the rule-based and automated operations of drones.

I would like to conclude with the stress of your attention to the research made by IATA (The International Air Transport Association). The document explores blockchain, its potential, and the challenges, though the focus is on public blockchains. It outlines a substantial vision in both breadth and depth.

Reference:

https://blockchain-x.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/flightchain-whitepaper.pdf

https://hackernoon.com/5-global-domains-that-will-transform-blockchain-in-aviation-by-2025-2j1cx3v08

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ie/Documents/Tax/ie-blockchain-a-game-changer-in-aircraft-leasing.pdf

https://www.bbntimes.com/en/technology/blockchain-in-the-aviation-industry

https://www.ledgerinsights.com/sita-blockchain-changing-air-industry/

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/aerospace-defence/assets/data-for-the-life-of-the-aircraft.pdf

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/aerospace-defence/publications/blockchain-in-aerospace.html

https://www.iata.org/publications/Pages/blockchain.aspx

Anton Mozgovoy at ChainPoint

Nooor talks with Anton Mozgovoy

ChainPoint 19 Conference — an international blockchain conference that we at Nooor hosted earlier in October become a platform for people involved in the industry to get acquainted with the ones who strive to make a change and share the ideas of the disruptive nature of the distributed ledger technology as much in masses as possible.

Anton Mozgovoy was one of our speakers during the ChainPoint 19 Conference. Being a really promising young man, an interesting individual, public speaker — he has the exact mindset to become the one that will catch your eye and make you wonder of how you wouldn’t think of the possibilities that the blockchain technology can serve in a synergy with other technologies and the way it possibly can change our world for the better.

Not forget to mention, Anton is currently a Head of a product called Jthereum — software that gives you an opportunity to write and deploy Ethereum smart contracts in Java (kudos to the developers here!), and is one of our lecturers during our educational course — The Blockchain Challenger vol.3!

Nooor talks, 5 Questions, and Anton Mozgovoy. Here we go!

1. How important is education in the blockchain, and what will it take to undergo a complete adoption?

That is a very contradicting question. On one hand, education is a vital part of any emerging technology adoption. On the other hand, mass adoption does not depend on people’s understanding of how blockchain works. After all, most people will resist change or the need to learn new ideas. Therefore, the more subtle the changes they have to make the more likely they will adopt new technology.

That leads us to the point that Blockchain as a consumer-oriented technology still needs to pass through numerous iterations in order to become user friendly.

2. What fascinates you personally about Distributed Ledger Technology in the context of technology, economy and society?

Unfortunately, today the majority of blockchain projects are aimed at raising funds and generating profits with meaningless products. Yet, two main areas of DLT development excites me the most are stable coins and social impact. I wrote articles on both, and you can read more about stable coins and social impact.

To me, the biggest hidden gem about Blockchain is the ability to design technology to help those in need, through joint efforts of the community, solve acute social problems and conduct non-commercial activities in the fields of ecology, health, and education.

3. If I am a 6 y/o how would you explain to me what blockchain is?

To be honest, today’s 6-year olds are so tech-savvy, that probably as they grow up DeFi will feel so natural to them, they won’t even bother. But let me try to explain what is blockchain. Remember the game when each kid writes a word on a paper, and then scrolls it and passes to the next kid so on and so on? So, in the end, we roll up the paper and read those funny gibberish sentences? Well, blockchain is a tool that will allow us to see if anyone changed their word after they already wrote it. If they did — we’ll know who exactly was that and what was the initial word. That is blockchain.

4. In which areas do developers in the community and IT industry still have to accelerate their efforts?

Regulation. The first thing that comes to my mind is regulation. To drive Blockchain adoption, the industry needs to mature. One of the ways to do that is to create a clear and precise regulatory framework. It is a joint effort from both regulators, and industry players.

5. As you were a part of ChainPoint 19 Conference, what can be the feedback about Armenia and its potential to become a leader in the blockchain space?

Blockchain is still an emerging global market. Just recently China has announced a nation-wide Blockchain development program. This move alone will create a massive race between countries. Armenia has a very strong position and an opportunity to be among the Blockchain leading countries. ChainPoint 19 Conference is exactly what Armenia needs to attract not only international leaders but also local great minds.

Many thanks to Anton Mozgovoy for this engaging interview. If you want to read our Nooor talks with other leading representatives of the blockchain industry go here.

Blockchain in Horeca

Blockchain in HORECA Part 2: Restaurants

Food. Food. Food… did I mention food?

The one thing without which it is impossible to imagine the existence of a creature with a beating heart and breathing lungs. To have a meetup with friends, to meet a business partner, or just to treat yourself-  we are usually going to restaurants because we want to feel special in the warm embrace of food; that someone made just for us, and just for the pleasure of our taste buds.

In this perfect food paradise, what can blockchain possibly change?

The truth is that trust is a fragile thing. I mean, break that perfect food paradise even once, and people will never forget. Blockchain is about trust and transparency. So how can we implement this glorious technology in restaurants?

Let’s find it out!

Elimination of food fraud cases

What some may not consider is that the fake goods market can be deadly, especially when it comes to the glut of fake food, drink, and formula being pushed across the globe. In 2017, Brazil — already in the throes of political scandal, a violent crime wave, and economic uncertainty — was struck with the “mother of all food fraud cases.” Several companies, including meatpacking titans JBS S.A. and BRF S.A., were at the center of an investigation dubbed “Operation Weak Flesh.” The companies were found to be issuing bribes to food inspectors, which allowed them to export rotten meat across countries, using acid to camouflage foul odors and disguising cheap imitations for higher-priced meat items.

Brazil isn’t alone in the world of food fraud. China’s “food safety” policies are notoriously lax — to the point of comedy if the stakes weren’t so high. Among 900 “meat fraud” arrests in China in 2013, one that stood out was the arrest of a gang of fraudsters allegedly using chemicals to transform rat meat to take on a more mutton-like appearance. 2016 was a particularly bad year, with headlines including “The Parmesan Cheese You Sprinkle On Your Penne Could Be Wood.”

The blockchain’s ability to oversee products’ movements along a supply chain allows for easier identification of the source of contamination or counterfeit. This allows suppliers and restaurants to state definitively to their customers what the issue was, and ensure that the unsatisfactory product has been excised from the inventory. Overall, this means fewer cases of contaminated foods, less inventory unnecessarily trashed, and more hard-earned reputations preserved.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Zego – Blockchain-based provenance solution used to identify harmful chemicals in Monsanto foods.
  • TE-Food – Farm to table food traceability.  
  • Connecting Food – Tracing food along the supply chain, from farm to the point of sale.

Reducing Food Waste

From a class of third graders to a lecture hall full of grown adults, lecturing a crowd about the perils of food waste is one sure-fire way to induce a collective eye-roll. Yet, it’s actually a very important topic. An astounding one-third of the food produced on the earth for human consumption goes to waste. That one-third is the equivalent of 1.3 billion tons each year! And it’s the food that’s best for us, fruits and vegetables, that tends to go down the drain or to the dump most often.

While grocers and even fast-food restaurants often get criticized for throwing away “perfectly good” food, statistics show us that consumers probably would have ended up throwing away excess or barely-expired food, anyway. According to the New York Times, around 40% of wasted food in developed countries is thrown out by the consumer, not the seller.  Food waste is sometimes unavoidable; that’s in part because our systems for planning, picking, shipment, and purchase are often not nearly strategic or data-driven enough.

Those who make their money in food sales know that over-ordering, spoilage, and contamination seriously hurt the bottom line, too. Monitoring products more closely by utilizing a blockchain record of customer buying patterns, a product’s life course before and after it is in a grocer or restaurateurs’ possession, and even more, insightful intel will help those in the foodservice industry make informed decisions to minimize food waste.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Goodr – Blockchain-based platform to reduce food waste/inefficiency.

Restaurant Management Processes

In 2018, San Francisco became the “first major city” to adopt a $15 minimum wage, but they are far from the first city to take such a step toward raising the wage floor for the lowest-paid employees.

Though there are plenty of studies touting the benefits of such a wage increase, the effect that a higher-paid workforce will have on industries that rely on low-skilled workers remains unclear. The rise of completely-automated restaurants such as Spyce Kitchen is, as they describe, an almost direct response to the likelihood that chefs, servers, bussers, and other restaurant employees are almost certain to account for greater shares of the operating budget going forward.  

Automation is set to fundamentally alter the foodservice sector. This is not a matter of if, but of when and how. The incorporation of smart contract technology could underpin transactions between humans and kiosks, and a network of sensors could provide data about customer purchase patterns and food quality standards — standardized information that could also be stored on the blockchain for analysis by decision-makers within a company regardless of their location. These are just two examples of how the blockchain may come to play a role in increasingly automated processes in the foodservice sphere.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Mobivity Blockchain-based loyalty programs for restaurants.

Food Supply Chain Provenance

Back in the day, there was a general trust among consumers and retailers across industry lines that goods being sold would be of a certain quality and safety standard. Perhaps that was naïve, but today there’s no doubt that how a product was made, how and where it was grown — was this Kobe beef educated in private or public school? — and virtually every other specification you can imagine is required for consumers to sleep soundly at night.

Admittedly, the pickiness doesn’t come without good reason. Perhaps you can recall one of the many outbreaks of mad cow disease; they occurred in 1986, 1988, 1989, the early 90s, 1993, the mid-90s, 1995, 1996…to be honest, basically every year. In each of these instances, it would have been a help and comfort to be able to trace the meat back to its source. In the recent past, high-profile chains, such as Chipotle, have suffered serious revenue and PR hits thanks to E. coli, while fraudulent products — see: the 2003 European horsemeat scandal — are also a concern to safety, our consciences, and palettes. Standards are only going to get more stringent for grocers and restaurateurs going forward; turns out, millennials want ethically sourced food, and they want it to go.

When outbreaks of foodborne illness occur, the restaurants or grocery stores that served the food are often left wringing their hands, promising to get to the bottom of it. But blockchain track-and-trace will help them immediately track affected items to their origins, locating the issue quickly so they can remove the contaminated products from menus, shelves, and supply chains. If participants on a chain log information pertaining to a food product’s growth method, harvest, and shipment, consumers will no longer be limited to the trust that comes with sell-by dates and the often misleading appearance of a product.  

They will have a verifiable record of how a steak was raised or a vegetable was grown when it was shipped, when it arrived in store, and how long it has been sitting on the shelf. This, in turn, will differentiate the grocers and restaurants with best practices from those hocking nearly-expired products to an unsuspecting consumer base.

Companies willing to make a change

Proving Marketing/Label Claims

Labeling a product as organic, cruelty-free, or sustainable is a popular marketing tactic. But have you ever wondered what those labels really mean? Who determines if something is organic, how do they do it, and can we trust it?

The food industry is notorious for espousing false, intentionally misleading claims about products for the sake of appealing to a healthier or trendier consumer base. The reality is that for those who don’t have a Ph.D. in reading the back of a product label, deciphering the fakers from the honest can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. In fact, 50% of Americans find food labels to be misleading.

It’s easy to see why consumers feel misled when a closer examination of specific claims is conducted. For instance, many probably don’t know that “non-GMO” is a completely different claim from “certified non-GMO,” or that “low calorie” generally means that any subtracted calories have been replaced with a chemical sweetener. Another common practice that the untrained consumer’s eye may gloss over is the reality that “multigrain” is not nearly as healthy as it sounds, or that darker breads and items aren’t always healthier — a common conception — because some are injected with caramel coloring to imitate healthier grains. It’s no wonder why trust in the food industry is so degraded.

Blockchain ledgers offer consumers the opportunity to trace a product back to its source, and the technology could provide a standard of provenance that food producers will conform to if they seek to remain competitive. This means not just claiming that a product is organic, but proving it, too. The same goes for products that claim to be GMO-free, etc. If consumers know a company’s labeling is backed by a traceable, immutable blockchain system, the trust will inevitably increase.

Once an honest producer puts their blockchain where their mouth is, the rest of the industry will have little room not to do the same, and a more accurate picture of labels’ and marketing campaigns’ respective honesty will emerge.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Deloitte Advising on the use of blockchain provenance for label verification.

Quality Reviews

False and misleading restaurant reviews are a problem for both restaurants and customers. Because reviews can be written without knowing the identity of the author, it’s difficult to know which comments are honest and which are fabricated to help or hurt an establishment.

When reviews are stored on a blockchain, they can’t be altered, and users and restaurants can’t delete or create new accounts to wipe away bad reviews. This keeps reviews, and the subsequent recommendations of machine-learning algorithms, above board and honest.

Companies willing to make a change

  • SynchroLife –the first social restaurant review platform that offers blockchain-based token rewards to users for high-quality restaurant review content.

With the technologies developing and current disruption in different industries, it is important to take out the best from both sides and collide it onto the newest and better alternative. Restaurants are always there to give us the rest and pleasure needed.

If blockchain has the potential to make it better, then we are willing to wait for it!

In the end don’t forget to check the “Blockchain in HORECA:  Part 1“. You will find our about the applications of blockchain in hospitality and tourism.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/04/26/3-innovative-ways-blockchain-will-build-trust-in-the-food-industry/#10dbc8632afc

https://www.disruptordaily.com/blockchain-use-cases-food-service/

https://www.blockchain-council.org/blockchain/how-can-a-restaurant-use-blockchain-technology/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennysplitter/2018/09/30/what-can-blockchain-really-do-for-the-food-industry/#1834740c488e

https://www.business.com/articles/blockchain-restaurant-benefits/

Women in blockchain

Let me guess the first feeling you had when you weren’t even born yet. When the world was going through its usual circle, but without your existence in it.

At this moment you perceive this text diligently through the prism of your understandings, and your memory keeps alive all the moments that matter, all the emotions that are important and the moments that are dear to your heart. In the same instant, memories also keep the worst of your life episodes, the devastation and hardships.

But there are several years that your mind just blows away with time, where you were so tiny and new to the world- a world that had been waiting for you for too long. I’ll give you the moment of silence at my keyboard so you can try to remember. No? Nothing?…Exactly!

Our minds cleared away the most precious memory of our first ever feeling – tenderness.

Tenderness of the first voice that you have ever heard. The first touch that calmed you in a wild-wild world of misunderstandings. And there was a woman who was by your side all the time. Your mom. The one, with whom you were from the beginning. Who has a part in your soul, who was there even when the world was only yours and hers.

Tenderness – since the beginning.

So why can’t we claim that blockchain has its tenderness, or that during its creation, behind the technology was the one, who gave that tenderness not only to her child but also to humanity by inventing the technology of the century?

Everyone is so confident in the fact that Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of blockchain)  is a man, or a group of men, therefore, automatically eliminating the possibility of a woman being the main figure behind the creation of this technology.

– Satoshi Nakamoto is a man!

– No, you dummy, it is a group of people!

– Oh, sure, ha-ha a woman? Keep yourself together!  They are just women and they have no place in technology like this.

-… Um, excuse me?  

Can you imagine for a second what would it be if a woman was behind the creation of blockchain technology?

  • She would have made it damn hard to understand ( probably, that’s why men are trying too hard to understand women, hence creating tons of books on: “How to understand a woman”,  ” What a girl wants?” and so on)
  • She would probably add some spice by creating a currency, so men can compete with each other on having most of it. Just like you asked your mom to buy you more toys when you already had enough.
  • Also, she would have made it fair and logical. YES, LOGICAL! Breaking the stereotypes at its finest.
  • And lastly, she would add some tenderness, by making you think that she is a Satoshi Nakamoto, a Man not a Woman, so your ego will give in by a tender grasp of a lady.

Well, let’s be adults for a second, ok? Do we actually care if it is a man or a woman? Is it THAT important?  Maybe we will never ever find out about the real identity of the creator. Maybe we will, maybe even today or a year after, who knows? What really matters is that we are living in the  21st century, where genders are starting to create and learn with the same rights and opportunities.

We shouldn’t have to emphasize that a woman achieved something in tech and be like “…she’s a woman and we will let her talk”.  NO! We need to perceive both women and men NOT by their gender, but for their ideas, skills, and experience.

We decided to trust math and logic instead of people in suits. Let’s trust in knowledge – not in gender.  

Tenderness was there from the beginning. Tenderness is in the knowledge, cause tenderness is power!

So embrace that power and stop labeling capacities of people in different spheres based on their gender, race, or nation.

Blockchain is leaving you weaponless, as you are dealing with the transparent network where the technology sees only the true potential and bright ideas shining within yourself.

By being the technology of the future, the peer to peer network already doesn’t care about your gender, as all the participants, creators and contributors are coming as peer nodes, hence, making your physical appearance invisible. Regardless if you are a man or woman, black or white, Asian or Armenian, blockchain technology perceives you as a peer node,  that can push things forward without centralizing on who you are and what you can “do”. Blockchain is here to make a difference!

That’s why I’m asking you to take a deep breath and focus on your memories. Try to find that very first feeling of tenderness. Eventually, you will discover the tremendous warmth, that will fill you up with enthusiasm and empathy.

Embrace the power. Embrace the tenderness.

Mother Armenia

Will blockchain become BlockchainYAN? Or blockchain with Armenian charm.

The world is spinning around incredibly fast. During the past twenty years, we have witnessed a period of innovations, new beginnings, and the creation of a totally different world; with new technologies without which it is almost impossible to imagine the 21st century. With giving human breath to the machines, and making them think like creatures with a beating heart. With the medicine that is trying to cure every existing disease, making every life count, ​bearing in mind that ​everyone can make a difference. With the internet, which simplifies life to its core, giving access to unlimited information. With the digitalization of almost everything we touch. We have witnessed the creation of blockchain, which keeps your data safe and promises to change the world even more, by reshaping several realms of your world and mine, in the span of the next several years.

As an Armenian, I know that a small country can make a difference. I know, that after a devastating and inhumane period of time in the history of the world, a nation can be reborn and blossom with brighter colors. The world was spinning all the way through our hardships and happiness. It is spinning around right now, as you are reading this text. Standing in front of the constant development of the world, understanding that I can’t change the process; I decided to predict it.

So, as I mentioned above, blockchain aims to change several spheres of our world. I’m willing to not only define already existing predictions but also imply those onto Armenian reality. And don’t tell me later I didn’t warn you (the wind of change is coming for ya :D)

Security

First and foremost, blockchain is about security. Decentralized data storage, virtually unhackable due to the algorithm? Yes. This is the reality we are living in. I’m not saying you will not use google drive or any cloud-based app. But after the Cambridge Analytica and Snowden cases, can you ever fully trust centralized data storage? With blockchain, it is impossible to collect all information from different accounts into one place. It is decentralized, and only you are the king of your data.

Just to mention, even blockchain can’t do anything about your relatives or neighbors, who are occasionally sharing your data without your permission.
(Armenian care is just another level of caring at all. Obviously, out of the spinning world). Let’s hope, that we will change that, once we will get older.

Financial technology

Bitcoin is the word around which we have all this hype. Even though blockchain is not only for bitcoin, banking is the most developed sphere of blockchain implementation. With faster transactions, no government control, or any other third parties, it has made some steps towards reshaping the banking systems in several countries.

Armenia doesn’t have any regulations from the Central Bank of Armenia, or any law, banning cryptos. Probably, dram (Armenian currency) has enough courage to not respond to the world’s hype around his fellow competitor – bitcoin.
We hope, that one day Crypto and FIAT can work in sync at the government level. Who knows, maybe Armenia is the next country in the region to change its banking system for good? Maybe that’s why they’ve changed the way dram looks recently? Make it water resilient and fancier? 10 points go to … Dram! Come on bitcoin! Show Armenia what you’ve got!

Politics

Oh, I know! We have been talking about politics maybe a little too much within the last year, due to the Velvet Revolution and elections of the new parliament. You have my promise, I’m not going to talk about past political events again. Instead, we will look into the depth of our nearest future.
Blockchain will disrupt a voting system, that’s for sure! Imagine absolutely transparent, automatized voting, without a tiny possibility of a falsification? Looks damn good, right? Blockchain will keep your future in its tight warm hug and what is really important, is that it won’t let bad guys steal that beauty from you!

Armenia has already proved to the world, that it is possible to have a peaceful revolution and stand for what is right. So, why can’t we as Armenians stand for transparent votings? ​If we are a peaceful nation with a burning heart of changes, we need blockchain like a flower needs water. Let’s wait a bit, maybe that wind of change is on its way!

The world is spinning around incredibly fast, my friend. You are the one who needs to decide, whether you are spinning around with it, swallowing all possible information, or are you staying still in the box of your comfort zone, arguing with the wall about the life you are living in, and the world that dares to spin without any rest for more than 4.5 billion years.