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Software Developer Role in the Blockchain Industry

A number of new opportunities are arising for software developers as the blockchain technology and its numerous applications are getting more and more popular. One of the leading job positions in the industry is the blockchain developer. Yet due to being such a unique profession, the position is not as defined as other tech positions that have been in the market for many years. That is because any software engineer that is capable of working with blockchain technologies can be considered as a blockchain developer.

In recent years, blockchain has become a very desirable skill. Moreover, it is the most in-demand hard skill in 2020 according to LinkedIn. This is owing to its main features: transparency, decentralization, and immutability. Blockchain has developed a lot since the Bitcoin boom, and currently, cryptocurrency is one of its least significant uses.

As a result, there are so few professionals in the space that four out of five positions are left unfilled regardless of the highest salaries in the tech industry. An average salary for a blockchain developer is $70K for entry-level to $175K for more experienced professionals. Thus, if you are curious about entering the sphere of blockchain development, this is the perfect time for you.

Moreover, if you are a software engineer or developer based in Armenia, Nooor can guide you through your journey of becoming a blockchain developer. Learn more about the opportunity here.

Career Paths

Any software engineer can turn into a blockchain professional. In fact, the majority of blockchain professionals worked at first as programmers or software developers. Therefore, you can get the typical software engineer education and cover several specialized courses on blockchain technologies afterwards. Alternatively, if you don’t have any tech skills, you can learn programming languages that you will use for blockchain development later. These languages include JavaScript, Python, C++, and SQL. Now let’s look at the leading positions in the blockchain industry.

Back-end or core blockchain developer

In software development, some developers create actual programs and tools, while others make applications and websites. The same is in the blockchain: some developers create the core structures of blockchain technologies like cryptocurrencies or the Ethereum platform.

Back-end or core blockchain developers create and manage blockchain systems and protocols for other developers to use later. They have a deeper understanding of the technology and build the foundations where the blockchain applications will lay. Decentralized app developers and smart contract engineers depend on the technologies that core blockchain developers design.

Smart contract engineer

Smart contracts are agreements in the form of computer codes that fulfill themselves when the terms they were programmed with are met. This has a huge potential to transform the way we make transactions. Generally, if two parties want to make a deal, an authorized third party takes part in making sure everything is transparent and fair.

A third party will not be necessary with smart contracts since they only work if the pre-agreed conditions are met. Furthermore, they are available to the participating parties to access and to the network to store. This is due to the fact that they are programmed on blockchain technology. To illustrate, they are contracts with iron-clad security.

Smart contracts are becoming more popular because they have plenty of applications, specifically in the fintech industry. Some banks and companies in real estate are already using them for crucial transactions. You can learn how to create Smart contracts during the 1st Ethereum and Solidity development course.

Decentralized app developer

We all use centralized apps on our devices. That means they are in a server and if it crashes, the app will crash too. Decentralized apps (Dapp), on the other hand, work on blockchain. In other words, they don’t have only one source but are stored in different nodes of the network.

Decentralization makes apps very immutable and transparent. The whole system will know if someone changes a variable.

Dapp developers should publish the source code so other people in the blockchain can verify it. Moreover, dapps can’t have one administrator, the community should administer them. Golem is an example of a Dapp. It is a supercomputer powered by many computers in the world based on Ethereum.

Qualifications

According to Glassdoor’s most recent open positions for blockchain developers, these are the main common qualifications:

  • Proficiency in C++, Java, JavaScript, and Python
  • 3+ years of experience in software development
  • Experience in Blockchain platforms like Ethereum
  • Degree in Computer Science
  • Experience in developing smart contracts
  • Experience with cryptocurrencies

In Conclusion

Software developers have passed half of the path for becoming blockchain professionals. Now they only need to transform their mindset to learn programming for decentralized systems and master a couple of skills. They also have leading roles in developing blockchain technologies, which will give them a lot of opportunities. Taking into consideration the shortage of blockchain developers, this is the perfect time to enter the industry.

Contributor: Artur Meyster

Artur Meyster is the Founder and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Career Karma. It is an online marketplace that helps people eager to become software engineers by matching them with the right coding bootcamp and supporting them throughout their careers. Get in contact with Artur via LinkedIn.

Celebrities in crypto: Singers

Top 5 Celebrities in Crypto: Singers

The number of cryptocurrency users is growing as fast as greased lightning, and celebrities occupy a prominent place among them. More and more stars are shifting to the decentralized world which surely deserves praise. Today we have prepared this blog post for you about 5 celebrities you won’t believe are into crypto. So let’s not wait any more, and jump into the most interesting part!

1. Mel B

Do you know who is one of the first artists to accept Bitcoin as payment for their songs and performances? The original Scary Spice from the pop band Spice Girls, aka Melanie Brown, aka Mel B!

She sold her 2013-2014 Christmas single “For Once In My Life” directly from her website in exchange for Bitcoin through a partnership with CloudHashing. Cloudhashing is one of the biggest companies in the industry which offers bitcoin-mining contracts. 

“I love how the new technologies make our lives easier, and to me that’s exciting,” said the artist. She also added that Bitcoin unites her fans all over the world with just one currency.

2. Akon

Earlier this year the 47-year-old artist Akon shared a tweet telling about the finalization of the agreement for AKON CITY. Akon initially announced plans for the futuristic “Crypto city” in 2018 to be built on a 2,000-acre land gifted to him in 2018 by Senegal’s President – Macky Sall. After the city construction, the community will trade using only the Akoin – a Stellar-based cryptocurrency the singer will launch later this year.

As Akon claimed, the city is going to be mainly focusing on solar energy, with the transactions fully based on crypto.“It’s a 10-year building block so we’re doing it in stages. We started construction in March and stage two is going to be in 2025”, Akon said in an interview with Power 106 Los Angeles.

Estimates put the value of constructing the self-sufficient, eco-friendly city at around $2 billion.

According to Akon, blockchain and crypto will save Africa, return the power to the public and make them independent from the government. 

As regards to Akoin, it will be available in all 54 African countries, according to its website.

The Akoin ecosystem is intended to be not just a currency, but also a way to establish credit, borrow money, access government services, and more. Akoin whitepaper went live in March this year.

3. Katy Perry 

The well-known singer and currently the third most-followed person on Twitter Katy Perry has shown her support towards crypto in 2018 by posting an image of her crypto-themed manicure on Instagram. Her nails were decorated with 3D images of five cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar, and Monero) over a background of US dollar bills. 

With the caption: “$—CrYpTo ClAwS—$”, the singer also tagged the Instagram accounts of all five cryptocurrencies to show her support for the blockchain. Overall it gained more than 200,000 likes.

Moreover, in November 2017 Perry shared another post on Instagram with American investor Warren Buffett saying: “nbd just asking Warren Buffett his thoughts on cryptocurrency”.

4. 50 Cent 

Famous rapper Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent, was a bitcoin millionaire for years and found out about that only at the beginning of 2018.

In 2014 he sold his album “Animal Ambition” for a fraction of a single bitcoin and earned about 700 bitcoins – worth nearly $662 each at that time, and about $400,000 in total. Apparently, he forgot about them afterwards. In 2018 they were worth more than $7 mln and nearly $6.8 mln now.

“Not Bad for a kid from the South Side, I’m so proud of me”, 50 Cent wrote in an Instagram post, but later deleted.

5. Nasir “Nas” Jones

American rapper Nas is also a venture capitalist. In 2014 QueensBridge Venture Partners was launched, when the firm invested in Bitfury Group as part of a $20 million Series A investment round. The track record of the QBVP investing in blockchain and crypto projects also includes BlockCypher, Coinbase, and Robinhood. 

Nas also told in an interview with Coindesk in 2014 that he was an investor in Coinbase. “Bitcoin will evolve into an industry as big, if not bigger, than the Internet. This isn’t of the Internet age, bitcoin is its own age,” Nas explained. The rap star added that many obstacles will occur from the security and privacy side, yet 20 years ago the internet was in the same condition.

Unbelievable, right? Now you know a little more about your favorite singers and their involvement in the blockchain industry. You see the more we explore the world of crypto the more we see people choosing it as it is more convenient, more secure and provides lots of benefits. You can become a part of this emerging world already today. So don’t lose your time and start investigating the blockchain and crypto space!

Our Blockchain Glossary and Blogposts can be a good start for you!

Nooor talks with David Stancel

Nooor talks with David Stancel

We continue the series of our special Nooor talks with the most outstanding players in the industry. Today our guest is David Stancel, who is the co-founder of Blockchain Slovakia – an NGO focused on education, research, and policy advocacy in the area of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. David also lectures courses on cryptocurrencies at the Slovak University of Technology and the University of Economics in Bratislava. More about himself, his very promising initiatives in crypto and blockchain can be found in our interview. 

1. Tell us about David Stancel before crypto. What was the trigger to enter the blockchain space? 

Well, before crypto I was a student of Economics & International Affairs at Masaryk University. I heard of Bitcoin in 2012 and even though I liked the idea of free, decentralized, and independent money I did not pay that much attention to it at the time. In 2013 I got really excited about Bitcoin and the possibilities it brought so I started to organize first Bitcoin events at my university, and eventually decided to choose it as a topic for my thesis. In my thesis, I wrote about Bitcoin protocol extensions such as Colored Coins and Mastercoin, and even Ethereum which was getting ready for the launch of the mainnet. It was an exciting time and from that point onwards I have been falling into the rabbit hole and exploring the world of cryptocurrencies at full blast!

2. The blockchain space is growing, we see the rise of new use cases every day. What is the most exciting thing about the technology you can consider and what are the biggest challenges we still face today? 

I think that definitely one of the most exciting things, often underrated, is Bitcoin alone. Whether it’s from the technological, economical or even social view — its impact on our society is tremendous and will increase even more in the future. 

Other use cases are definitely within the so-called DeFi space. New cryptographic primitives coupled with open blockchains allow us to create a new financial system that is not based on trust, but on math and open source movement. 

While I  believe there are some other use cases on the blockchain that might increase transparency and efficiency of certain processes, I think that open finance is definitely something that may transform our society the most. 

As for the challenges, we have been facing similar obstacles for the past years — mainly scalability, UX/UI, and lack of awareness and technical understanding on the government level as well as on the user level. Progress has been made but there is still a long way to go. 

3. What is your key to success in the crypto industry and what are the most interesting projects you have worked on? 

I have been mainly just trying to dig deep into the cryptocurrency world, decompose it and connect the dots. It has been my greatest passion and it’s definitely helpful when I can use it to help other people and companies understand how they can utilize these technologies for their benefit.

I have worked on many different projects from the tokenization platform, through blockchain-based app fighting counterfeiting to DeFi apps, and they all were interesting in one way or another. But for me personally, the most interesting part is to educate people because I learn from it a lot. For instance, every single time I give lectures on cryptocurrencies at university, it amazes me that through interaction with students I always find new perspectives and angles to look at crypto and blockchain. In the book I am working on, I have been interviewing some of the smartest minds in the space and that’s been incredibly enriching for me, and I hope the readers will feel that way after reading it too. 

4. Which blockchain, crypto project you can consider the most promising today? 

 For me, it’s definitely Bitcoin and Etheruem. Bitcoin and Lightning Network are getting lots of useful protocol updates that will make it much more useful in the upcoming months. Of course, as Etherreum is going to transition to PoS it is going to face great challenges, yet it looks very promising. 

I really like also some corporate efforts in this area, more precisely the Nightfall protocol by EY that aims to make Ethereum useful for deployments in the public sector, and uses some great cryptographic techniques. 

I also curiously follow the so-called Ethereum Killers many of which launch this year. A number of them look promising f.e. Ava, Near, Solana, etc. but that may not be enough. 

5. We are all facing the challenges that the pandemic has exposed. How is the crypto market affected by the virus in general? What are the specifics in the Slovakian market? 

Covid-19 caused lots of volatility not only on the stock markets but in crypto as well. This was a great opportunity for battle-test antifragility of the infrastructure especially when it comes to the DeFi space. We saw that while the price volatility in crypto is not a big deal and users are already accustomed to that, in DeFi it can cause a chain of events that have tremendous impacts. We saw people losing millions of dollars in MakerDAO collaterals because of the combination of price volatility, congested Ethereum network, and lagging oracles that fed the smart contracts. It will be curious to watch the aftermath of this event playing out on the court in a class action against MakerDAO. 

At the same time, many investors found that their belief that Bitcoin may be a hedge against any kind of economic crisis was flawed, and Bitcoin is too vulnerable mainly because there is a lot of speculative capital in the space. Yet, it is likely that in the aftermath of all the monetary and fiscal stimuli that have been ongoing in many countries, Bitcoin may prove to be a rather safer option for storing capital.

6. How do you think Bitcoin Halving is affecting the crypto market? Do you have any predictions about the price changes for the upcoming months? 

We have been witnessing an interesting trend since halving as institutional investors have been buying up heavily all the “new” bitcoins since halving. This is a positive trend for the Bitcoin price predictions. I believe we will see some serious upward movements in the upcoming months, but I don’t dare to predict the price levels. 

7. As we know now you are working on your book (Coinstory: The Evolution of Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies), we would like to have some more insights before it becomes a bestseller. 

That’s right, I have been working on it for the past years. My goal with the book is to map all the ideological and technological concepts that preceded the inception of Bitcoin, and that have followed after its creation. So the book will serve as a timeline of all the important things that so far happened and shaped the cryptocurrency world until today (June 2020).

Along the way, I have attended lots of conferences in the past years where I collected data, inspiration, and materials. I have been talking to many of the brightest minds in the space such as Andreas Antonopoulos, Scott Stornetta, Peter Todd, Sergio Lerner, etc. to understand different perspectives that have shaped the crypto world. 

I have been releasing interviews with them continuously in the past months as a sort of complementary material for the book at coinstory.tech. Apart from that, some other complementary materials will include an extensive list of resources on cryptocurrencies that I maintain on Github as well as my course on cryptocurrencies I teach for computer science students at Slovak University of Technology.

I hope that these sources as well the book itself will in the future become more of a collaborative joint effort from the community.

So overall, I believe people interested in the cryptocurrencies will find there a lot of useful data and information that will help them understand the whole space.

8. What has been a source of inspiration for you to fulfill your initiatives? 

I love cryptocurrencies because they are a blend of different fields such as economics, distributed systems, cryptography, and social sciences in the form of open-source code. The whole space is fascinating on so many levels, and it will have a tremendous impact on the way our world works. So it is very easy to keep falling down the rabbit hole and get constantly inspired. Also, it naturally attracts lots of really smart and interesting people, many of which have been really inspiring to me. 

9. What will be the main message you would like to share with the blockchain and crypto community. 

I wish there would be fewer clashes and less in-fighting within the crypto community. The omnipresent conflicts and divisions over minor details, in the community that is connected with the common overarching cause, have been one of the reasons why I started to write my book. I have hoped that it can help understand not only many of the cryptocurrency innovations but also the people and ideas behind them. 

So my message would be to try to strive for more tolerance, heartfulness, and understanding. 

Stay tuned for our next interview

Subscribe to our newsletter to get monthly updates on our initiatives and opportunities.  

Artur Kuczmowski answering questions for Nooor Talks

Nooor Talks with Artur Kuczmowski

As we continue our Nooor Talks series, we are excited to talk to Artur Kuczmowski, the Senior Partner at Thompson&Stein, regarding how Poland is getting over the issues resulting from the pandemic, his thoughts on stablecoins, and the biggest challenge of blockchain technology.

Nooor Talks, Artur Kuczmowski, five questions, five answers. Here we go!

1. We are all facing the challenges that the pandemic has exposed. How is the economy of Poland tackling the situation, what actions can be helpful to keep the economy on track? 

Well… Polish government has allocated 1.5 billion zlotys to help entrepreneurs during the current economic slowdown. That’s a great assistance to entrepreneurs. The government focused primarily on protecting job and maintaining liquidity. Entrepreneurs have been exempted from social security tax and can receive a subsidy (of 5 thousand zloty), fully redeemable. What’s more, Polish Development Fund in cooperation with banks created a revolutionary program. Its aim is to help companies maintain liquidity during the coronavirus pandemic. By using data from tax authorities, all data processing has been automated and the application process takes only 48 hours.

2. As you are working with blockchain related projects, please share some insights on the state of the industry in Poland and perhaps Estonia: focus, growth trends, risks. 

Many cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain companies originate from Poland, which may give the illusion that we are leading in this industry. Well… we are not. However, Polish government is working to introduce a simple joint stock company, which will definitely facilitate the tokenization of companies. The law in Estonia, which I also specialize in, is changing as well. The policy of granting the license to trade cryptocurrency has been tightened. In the future, they want to make sure that companies, which operate in virtual space, are more involved in the Estonian society. This will lead to the disappearance of many blockchain companies from Estonia, but the ones which are the most credible will stay.

3. What can be your personal feedback regarding stablecoins? Can they possibly fix the broken economy of today? 

Personally, I’m a big fan of stablecoins. Last year, we even participated in its emission. But there is always the question of its reliability. We, as a law firm, offer stablecoin audit services to make sure that the number of tokens in circulation actually correspond to their amount expressed in fiat currencies. 

4. The blockchain space is growing, we see the rise of new use cases every day. What is the most exciting thing about the technology you can consider and what are the biggest challenges we still face today? 

From my perspective, the biggest challenge is still the turbulent relationship between traditional banking and entrepreneurs operating in the cryptocurrency industry. Rearrangement of these relations would lead to ensuring credibility of blockchain enterprises by providing them an access to reliable bank accounts. 

From my point of view, credibility is the most exciting thing about the technology. The impossibility of falsifying the information opens up the certainty of economic turnover. 

5. We are happy to see you as a part of our ChainPoint family, thank you very much for sharing your expertise last year at ChainPoint 19 in Armenia. As we are planning for the next conference, it will be great to get feedback on what you liked most about ChainPoint and where it can be improved. Also what are your expectations for the next event?  

I primarily hope that ChainPoint 2020 will take place and we have a chance to meet again. It is a great project which hosts many specialists from all over the world. It is an honor for me to be part of it. What makes your conference stand out is the participation of government representatives. I have a fondness for the ChainPoint 19, because our cooperation began there. I hope that our law firm Thompson&Stein and Nooor will undertake many new projects together.

Stay tuned for the next interviews with the industry leaders, that will give you insights on the state of the blockchain and crypto space.

Ani Alexander photo

Nooor talks with Ani Alexander

Today our guest is a blockchain marketer, a startup mentor and a bestselling fiction author – Ani Alexander. Consulting a number of projects, she is currently the head of marketing at Amazix, a full-service consultancy for blockchain businesses.

We sat down with Ani to learn about her inspiring journey in the field and her views on the current trends.

– Ani, please tell us about your journey into the blockchain industry. 

I got into the industry by accident. My friend, who was a fiction author, introduced me to Steemit. I interviewed someone from the team for my podcast and later started writing there and earning crypto for that. That made me fall down the rabbit hole and learn about crypto and blockchain. Shortly after that, I landed my first job in the space. It’s been over 3 years already… 

– What was the most exciting experience throughout your career path? 

It depends on what you consider to be a career. On a personal level, having my pen name on book covers and books on bestseller’s charts was exciting. Launching and growing a podcast from scratch was a very inspiring experience too. As to the blockchain, marketing an ICO from scratch with a completely different approach from what was out there at that time was a risky but exciting experience of its own.

– How different is the marketing pattern of blockchain projects now and then? How did the market change after the meteoric rise of ICOs back in 2017 – 2018? 

Back in 2017, what projects did for ICO marketing is what I call “lazy marketing”. In fact, calling it marketing would be a stretch. It was mainly paid placements—paying for PR, paying influencers, paying ICO listing sites… which is why they mostly attracted speculators who were ready to dump their tokens at any time.

The market has matured now. These days, projects need to have way more than just a whitepaper (which in some cases read like fiction). They need to look at and deal with marketing like any other tech startup that needs to raise brand awareness and acquire users.

– The new reality of COVID-19: please outline the importance of reshaping of marketing strategies during the pandemic. 

Whatever you’d planned before COVID-19 definitely will need to be modified and, in some cases, even pushed back or forgotten completely. But that does not mean that you should disappear and do nothing. At minimum, maintaining your online presence is crucial.  

These are the times when brands need to be sensitive and relevant with their online content. The focus should be more on building relationships and engaging with your audience and communities vs pushing sales and pitching projects. 

– As you know there are lots of people in the crypto and blockchain space, who as well have Armenian roots. Who is your go-to person in the industry? 

The beauty of the blockchain community is that it unites different people from all over the world around a technology that has a true philosophy behind it. It’s a decentralized community that is beyond geography, ethnicity, and religion. I love working with many of them and would prefer not to mention names, risking to forget a few.

You are the author of a number of best-selling books, you run a series of podcasts. What is your source of inspiration? 

Life itself is the best source of inspiration. Real-life stories and real people are what I look at. There is so much one can notice if we just pay attention. 

– We have many young folks in our community who are trying to pave their way in the space. What will be your advice to them? 

Don’t get intimidated. Often, you may think that people in space are way smarter than you are, but that is not true. No one in this space knew and understood blockchain from Day 1. We all started from scratch, just like you are doing now.

– Thank you very much and looking forward to more exciting endeavors on you side, Ani!

Want to know more about projects Ani is working on or about first-hand insights from Ani’s podcast guests? Make sure to subscribe on https://anialexander.com/

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 supply chain

3 Use cases of Blockchain in Supply Chain Management

The time has come to talk about a use case that is one of the most popular: SUPPLY CHAIN. Firstly, let’s find out what Supply Chain is. It is a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product to the final buyer. This network includes different activities, people, entities, information, and resources. The supply chain also represents the steps it takes to get the product or service from its original state to the customer. Depending on the product, the supply chain can span over hundreds of stages, multiple geographical (international) locations, a multitude of invoices and payments, have several individuals and entities involved, and extend over months of time.

So what does the supply chain need? Of course, it needs reliability and integrity, which are provided by blockchain and there is no dispute in the chain regarding transactions because all entities on the chain have the same version of the ledger. One of the advantages of blockchain-based supply chain systems over standard databases is that nobody can change the data in blockchain. Another advantage of blockchain is that a retailer can control suppliers by monitoring products from the moment they are moved from a warehouse.

Let’s take a look at interesting aspects of blockchain applications in supply chain management.

Diamond supply chain

The history of blockchain in the diamond industry can go back to May 2015. Back then an Australian entrepreneur Leanne Kemp founded Everledger — a global digital registry for diamonds powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform. One of its main goals was to solve the “blood diamonds” issue. Blood diamonds are not the only issue, as gem retailers are also trying to detect laboratory-grown diamonds. They are less valuable among customers and sometimes are sold as natural ones.

Food & Agriculture

We can take Provenance as a good example. It enables every physical product to come with a digital ‘passport’ that proves authenticity and origin, creating an auditable record of the journey behind all physical products.

Moreover, Retail chain Walmart is using blockchain to focus on food safety, tracking, and traceability. For example, the company is already carrying out tests using the tech to track food products like mangoes from Mexico and pork from China. The system uses sensors to record temperature in a blockchain system. In this way, the company can assure quality and food condition during transit. Last year, it took two months for experts to trace the source of a salmonella outbreak in Mexican papayas. With blockchain, this process can take some seconds.

Healthcare

In the medical field genomic data is used for customized patient diagnosis and treatment. While the pharmaceutical industry can use it for the development of new drugs and therapeutic agents. Macrogen is not the only technology giant looking to apply blockchain tech within the genomics industry. As far back as 2014, an Israeli startup called DNA.Bits announced plans to store genetic and medical record data using blockchain technology.

For example, transplantChain is a medical supply-chain management tool that tracks the protocols and signatures required for organ transplantation. It uses blockchain technology to fix donor matching issues to make the process faster and more efficient. The platform would allow hospitals to select organs within proximity and have them prepared to be transported. The platform would also provide detailed information and the medical history of each organ.

All of this showcase how blockchain revolutionizes supply chains in various fields. And above-mentioned examples are just the little part of them. It is obvious that blockchain and supply chain are like synergy and the whole potential is more than you can find from projects.

Find out a more thorough investigation of blockchain applications in various industries here. The industries range from fashion to healthcare, from real estate to education, and more.

References

CryptoRobby

Nooor talks with Robert Schwertner

Robby Schwertner, also known as CryptoRobby is active in the blockchain domain: he serves as a business development manager focusing on blockchain-based use cases in mobility, real estates, and energy supporting large European and Asian companies.

Robby is a frequent speaker at international blockchain-related conferences, was the expert speaker at the British Parliament, held a TEDxTalk and was a speaker at the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum. He holds a master’s degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Vienna. Previously Robby managed R&D funds for Smart City and Urban Technology projects and has many years of industry experience including nanotech and sustainable energy services, alternating frequently between Europe and Asia.

Nooor talks, 5 Questions, and Robert Schwertner. Here we go!

1. In which industry blockchain will have the best application and what companies/ projects are already trying to make a change?

Whereas the internet´s strength was to bring information to our computers, to our smartphones, it has a major weakness: it is not possible to transfer value over the internet. Always a bank or a notary or a governmental institution has to confirm transactions. With blockchain, one can solve this problem of the internet. Blockchain will firstly make payment transfers faster, cheaper and safer. But we will see a lot of different applications of blockchain e.g. in the real estate sector, for energy, for mobility. The governments will also use blockchain widely And blockchain will make digital versions of national currencies possible.

2. What fascinates you the most in the blockchain industry?

I am so excited about blockchain technology because I see it as a new life form. We do not have the slightest idea for the moment what will be possible, but the potential of this technology is enormous. Just to give you 2 examples. Bank accounts will in the quite near future not be at banks, there won’t be a necessity. We will have our “bank” accounts on our smartphones, on our laptops. Second example: cars will also have a wallet included, they will pay for services themselves, for parking, road tolling, even insurance, and tax. And this is necessary because we will have a lot more autonomous cars without drivers. Autonomous cars MUST pay for their services themselves!

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

Cryptocurrencies are seen as critical by many governments and central banks. Why? Because it could lead to a loss of power. Take Bitcoin: nobody manages this cryptocurrency, no government, no bank in charge. This thought frightens many people. However, Bitcoin is working quite well, it is not a means of payment but definitely a store of value. But in the near future, we will also see alternative cryptocurrencies which will also not be linked to a government or a company but will be independent and decentralized and just serve the people. Isn’t it a wonderful thought that we have a new organism, a new life form which is a currency, not controlled by anyone.

4. Tell us more about CryptoRobby. When did it have its first appearance and become your second name?

My father, grandfather and great grandfather all are named Robert, so I was always called Robby. I started with CryptoRobby in 2016, I used it as a username in chat groups, and later it became popular on LinkedIn. My focus is to support blockchain use cases with added value to the society, to people. I call this initiative #ReturnonSociety and it became widely used in social media.

5. As you were in Armenia in 2001, what differences have you noticed in the country? And of course, 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 was in Armenia for humanitarian relief projects and construction project for houses after the Earthquake in Gyumri and also projects in Yerevan and Vanadzor. Armenia has changed a lot: Cities are modern, the internet is fast (almost faster than in Austria and Germany!), people speak more English than it used to be the case back 20 years ago when I needed to speak Russian all the time. I see modern cars in the street. What makes me very happy, is seeing the new government which obviously tries hard to open up the country, to fight corruption and to ensure that the income gap becomes closer. One thing has not changed: the food is as good as 20 years ago!

I see that it is necessary to have coders for blockchain applications. In Austria there are 80–100 coders which can realize projects on the most popular Blockchain Ethereum, there is a lack of excellent programmers. And Armenian brains are as good as the ones in the rest of the world, the internet is fast here in Yerevan and computers are available. And one big advantage: the income level is lower in Armenia, which is VERY interesting for many international companies. This means Armenians, which have a vast network of people in the Diaspora — I have many Armenian friends here in Austria — should use this network to establish business with these countries.