“Wise music is missing from our desire.—Arthur Rimbaud
This week Elastos and Bitmain set up a fantastic booth at ChinaJoy accompanied by our fierce partners Viewchain, ioeX, Bit.Game, and Hashworld. We are ready to be a beacon of light at this weekend’s expo and to continue shining in the gaming industry for years to come.
Elastos continued its forward momentum this week. Let’s recap.
Technical News: The Elastos testnet is officially open for public use. If you are a developer, you can now view our repositories on GitHub. More information can be found here: http://elanews.net/2018/07/26/elastos-developer-news-testnet-launch/ Please check out our Github links: Elastos Community Elastos Community Global
Elastos is celebrating its One Year Anniversary, August 24-27 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. As part of the festivities, we are assembling video messages and wishes from our community members to be screened during the event. More details can be found here: http://elanews.net/2018/07/24/wish-elastos-a-happy-anniversary/ Lbank and GAEX have now added support for Elastos Elastos is hosting an Infographic Contest that runs through August 15th. Info can be found here: https://medium.com/
Jiayi Lin, a Senior Editor and journalist from Deeptech MIT Technology Review, visited the Elastos Shanghai office to interview Elastos founder Rong Chen. Rong discussed Elastos strategies and visions and his views on the blockchain industry. After the interview, Lin watched the Elastos application demo. Elastos Ecosystem Committee Director, Dr. Dinghe Hu, explored potential collaboration opportunities with Microsoft Accelerator CEO, Tan Lin, on Blockchain Accelerator in Microsoft China. Elastos Ecosystem Committee Director, Dr. Dinghe Hu, attended the Amino US-China Alumni Blockchain Forum. The ZRX (0x) project manager shared the history and technology of decentralized exchanges. Dr. Hu exchanged thoughts with Amino Capital partner, Dr. Xiaoyu Xu, on how to join together to promote blockchain industry projects and funding to have established applications. Elastos team members Kevin Zhang, Clarence Lui, and KP Woods gave a presentation at the University of Texas at Arlington for students and faculty. Several collaboration plans were discussed to involve students in the construction of the Elastos ecosystem and to create courses and even degrees and certification programs around Elastos technology.
Rong Chen was a guest on the Crypto 101 Podcast presented by Matthew Aaron where he discussed several fascinating topics about Elastos’ history, the history of the internet, and what Elastos is doing differently than other projects.
Rong Chen met with Zapya and ioeX to discuss how the three could collaborate on Elastos Carrier and how a decentralized IoT network will be the key to the success of smart homes. Elastos hosted a meetup with Viewchain and ioeX in Seoul, Korea. Rong Chen spoke on Elastos and the Internet of Things and both projects shared their visions for the IoT enabled smart world of the future.
Rong Chen spoke on a panel at Huobi Carnival. Huobi Carnival is a blockchain conference held in Seoul that focuses on the Korean market and brings together over 100 projects in the space. The Chairman of South Korea’s Blockchain Committee and several members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea attended.
Events and Meetups
August 3-6 ChinaJoy
Chinajoy (http://2018-en.chinajoy.net/AboutUs/Index): Elastos and Bitmain set up their booth at ChinaJoy in anticipation of this weekend’s event. Our booth highlights the real solutions we will jointly bring to the gaming industry. Some of our collaborative ecosystem partners, Viewchain, ioeX, Bit.Game, and Hashworld will be presenting as well. China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (ChinaJoy for short) is one of the global top three digital entertainment Expos and is the most influential event in the global digital entertainment industry. ChinaJoy is held annually in late July in Shanghai, China. ChinaJoy Expo showcases online games, console games, web games, and hardware products related to digital entertainment, among other technologies. This year’s theme is “New Technology, New Entertainment , New Values.” Tens of thousands of game enthusiasts and fans will be attending. Elastos will be attending as a VIP exhibitor located at the BTOB-W4 area M102 during the expo. Elastos will focus on combining blockchain and gaming, and demonstrate how Elastos can power up the game industry with blockchain driven asset authentication, trustable transparency, decentralized distribution, self-publishing and more to bring new prospects and opportunities for the industry. The Elastos booth will be neighbored by popular booths such as Facebook, 360game, Huawei Cloud, Google, and Intel.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
KP Woods demonstrates a very early version of how apps work on Elastos Yury from Crypto Bulk interviewes Elastos founder Rong Chen Blue Collar Crypto invites KP Woods to discuss Cyber Republic Elastos Melbourne July Meetup – Video Recap Blockwolf shares an Elastos Coin Review: Elastos Explained Christian from Market Angel provides insight on why Elastos is the new internet
Thoughts and Conclusions
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
Between the thought and the act, between the user and the machine, falls our desire. This week Rong Chen had a discussion on the Crypto 101 podcast where he talked about our desires and our wish fulfillment when it comes to using our smartphones. On one side of the equation is the consumer—on the other side—the smartphone. Yet between these two, is a desire for the machine to fulfill the wishes of the consumer, be it by socializing, shopping, banking or any of the near endless ways we ask this device to please us. But between the consumer and the machine is also the application. This application is the third party entity that comes between us and what we want, and in this act of asking a third party to fulfill our desires…falls the shadow. Consumer—Application/Desire—Machine This is an interesting psychological perspective for several reasons. We are at a point where smartphone addiction and mainstream usage is prevalent. First our desire forms as a thought. Then, our hand reaches to pick up our phone to execute the operation of wish fulfillment. We are asking the machine, the smartphone, to please us, to give us what we want. But the machine itself does not do this. It is what falls between ourselves and the machine. Applications are the avenues that we travel to find what we are looking for. Our thumb pushes play on our desires and this middle party application begins to deliver content. So why is this observation important? Applications themselves are third party entities. They are the granter of wishes in the modern world. We can think of ourselves much like a traveler who has come upon a genie in a bottle. In fact, even to our recent ancestors, this comparison would be quite apt. Each of us takes this magnificent lamp we have uncovered in the mystical desert and rubs it and asks for our wishes to be granted. The smartphone is the modern day magic lamp…but the genie that is produced in our presence is where the problem begins. The genie in the modern day bottle is a third party corporation or a third party developer that we must trust to have our wishes fulfilled. If we rub the magic lamp and say, “connect me to my friends,” we may be given the genie of Facebook who grants us our wish, but this genie is not who we think it is. For in the granting of our desires the genie collects all of our data with our without our consent. We must give up our entire cyber self so that this genie can profit from us, not the other way around. In this transaction, it is not our lucky day that we have found this magic lamp, but the genie’s lucky day to have found us. We are told that we are having our desires met, our Freudian wishes fulfilled, but this is the facade of the desert speaking, not the truth. It is the mirage that we have been given a gift, when in fact much of these applications are only concerned with becoming rich themselves. It is more appropriate to say that we are the genies granting the wishes of the cyber cartels in the lamps of our phones and not the other way around. But isn’t the genie supposed to make us rich? But what if the genie was decentralized? What if we could trust it? What if the way this magic lantern worked was changed at an infrastructural level? In the early 1980’s, three things happened at about the same time—we were given the network, the operating system, and the programing paradigm. These three things now appear to work in unison to form how we all use the internet and how this genie metaphor is executable. However, while these three things came about at the same time, they were designed independently of each other. They were all released in a messy and intertwined fashion, not designed in a clear, logical, and linear way so that they could all work properly in unison. This dysfunctional relationship, between the internet, the operating system, and the application, is the same dysfunctional legacy we have today. It still exists. We have never redesigned this group of three for the modern age but have merely tried to patch up problems and proceed rather blindly forward, now into the IoT enabled world where the dysfunction we have accepted, even become fatigued by, could result in globally catastrophic attacks on our societies. Network attacks. Privacy leaks. Viruses. Consumers are “helpless, so they resort to Big Brother.” This is the internet today. Because the operating system treats the internet as a mere application and in no way takes responsibility for what happens on the internet, consumers need protection when they go online. The decentralized nature of the internet demands cartels to protect us, and the cartels pockets are therefore fat and getting fatter. The internet was designed so that anyone with a server can access the network. This decentralized nature meant that you do not need an ID to access the internet. In the 1980’s, the internet was filled with researchers and universities, and the idea of the internet seemed to work because only “good guys” were using it. However, after 1995, mainstream society began using the internet and this new consumer phenomenon meant that now “bad guys” would also begin to not only use the internet, but also expose its weaknesses in design rather easily. The infrastructure problems born out of the 1980’s were okay for a time, but that changed with mass adoption, and the problem has never been fixed. The designers of the internet did not account for human nature. In the 1990’s, Rong Chen saw what was happening and understood that an ID system would be needed to enable trust when sending packets of data online. Because anyone can send a packet of data online, and each device’s operating system does not get involved in the flow and management of this traffic, the dysfunction of the device OS and the internet being an application on the device, meant that no solution would ever be found by continuing on this trajectory. The internet being decentralized is the internet’s great flaw, for without an ID system, bad actors can act badly with ease. This is why we are in an age where the cartels protect us. Facebook, Wechat, and many others offer us an ID that allows us to trust that what we are doing while under their protection is safe. However, this protection does not come cheap. We must pay these genies a huge sum of money, including all of our data, to allow them to make sure that when we use this decentralized internet of chaos, while under their centralized care, we are safe. This tradeoff is at the heart to redecentralize the web. But again, if decentralization is the problem, and centralization is the problem, then what is the solution? First, we must change the operating system so that the OS does take responsibility for the internet. By converting from a device OS to a network OS, the internet itself becomes an operating system, or a supercomputer, and now, when packets of data are sent, the OS is involved and responsible for the traffic. Second, by creating an ID, a centralized concept, but smartly making it decentralized, we now have a way to give all people, machines, IoT devices, and individual digital assets and data a DID that can solve the problem of how bad actors get away with their crimes, while also solving several other problems. Now, this genie, the application, cannot connect to the internet without permission. So if your desire for something leads you to a bad genie, the blockchain will vet this creature before simply giving access to the internet and letting him out of the bottle. This not only solves the problem of relying on cartels to protect us, it also allows us to trust the data packets and the applications that we access. This is the operating system for the internet, where the entire internet is an OS for all smart devices, and the balance of decentralization and centralization can finally be designed with human nature and hindsight in mind. This is the modern internet. This 20 year dream for a network OS now enables the management and delegation of all network traffic on the applications behalf. The sender and the receiver of the network packet is now the network OS. No apps, no services, no IoT devices are allowed to send ANY network packets without permission. This is the key to the network OS for the internet. This connects the user, the machine, and the application in a trusted and unified method so that when we want our desires to be met, we can actually trust the smart-lamp to fulfill our desires safely and without a false reciprocity. This week the New York Times released an article discussing the concept of “data breach fatigue.” The thesis stated that with the rise of data breaches and the majority of citizens already having their data exposed on the internet, many are merely giving up caring and are now accepting this as a normal consequence of using the internet. This is really the result of an ill-designed internet and this is why society needs to know that a solution is actually being worked on. Just last year: Timehop, a photo app, was breached in July exposing 21 million user’s date of births, phone numbers, and emails; Under Armor exposed 150 million user’s data; MyHeritage exposed 92 millions user’s data; Exactis, a marketing firm, exposed 340 million user’s data; and Yahoo revealed that in 2013, an attack breached the accounts of all 3 billion of its users. That is some year and it is no wonder people are tired at the thought. At this point, all of the news of data being exposed has left many researchers theorizing that the public is now fatigued at the idea of their data being exposed, either accepting it or believing it won’t happen to them. Yet, with so many IDs and passwords and in the face of so many breaches, consumers have not been more cautious. Only 12% of people use a password manager. The truth is, people are not interested in doing the vast amount of safety precautions it takes to keep their data safe. What people need is a new infrastructure for the way applications and data are identified and given permission to access the internet, all in one package. Elastos offers this. The internet needs an operating system and it needs a permission system for data and people and machines that uses decentralized identification. While society is becoming fatigued at the thought of data being stolen, it is finally becoming energized at the notion that giving away data to the cartels is a bad thing. This past Sunday, HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did a segment on Facebook in light of their dramatic stock losses. What was almost surprising to see, however, was the very on-the-button Facebook parody commercial that the show made to make fun of Facebook’s own commercial claiming that the company cares about your privacy and that things will change. Facebook has even claimed that it will now do what it was designed to do—connect us all. John Oliver claimed differently, saying that no, Facebook is doing exactly what it was designed to do already, calling Facebook,
“a surveillance system disguised as a high school reunion.”
In the parody commercial, lines like, “You came here for the friends, you got to know the friends of your friends. We came here for your data and the data of everyone you’ve ever come into contact with.” “Seriously guys, we were making so much money off of you, you don’t even understand, but then, you found out about it, and we had to testify and release apology ads all so we could lose 120 billion dollars. But here’s the thing, nothing is really gonna change. We’ve got your data, we’ve got your friends, and really, where are you gonna go? “Facebook: We Own Who You Are.” They own who we are… Lines like these show that mainstream society, especially younger generations, are realizing the very real Faustian bargain we have made with these applications. If you are young, chances are that much of your data has not been compromised because you have less types of data online in the first place. Some may have data breach fatigue, but younger generations have a larger incentive to fix the way we access the internet. The idea that we must access the vulnerable and ill designed infrastructure of the internet without trust, and that the only way to get trust is to make a deal with some of the richest people in the world who have admitted to selling our data and influencing elections all without our permission, and that these same people got rich off of our data in the first place, is a ridiculous concept. Once a solution, an alternative, is presented to the public, that can say, “here, download this in the app store, and everything you do online with these decentralized applications will be safe and you will control your data,” we will have a chance to see if the public really does want freedom and autonomy on the internet. We all rub the magic smartphone and ask that our desires be met. But as Arthur Rimbaud said in his poem about a Genie,
“Wise music is missing from our desire.”
We must become wise to the illusion that we have all bought into. The genie is not to be trusted. The genie is here for our data and not to grant us wishes. When we have an actual overhaul of the design of the internet, and applications can all be trusted and we can have one simple ID given to us by a blockchain, we will have a level playing field for innovation. The entire internet is Big Brother’s opportunistic dream, and that dream is being exposed more and more as the breaches of our data are also being exposed more and more by regular companies who simply cannot keep data safe anymore. Rong said this week in his interview,
The internet is not fixable, the flaws are by design.
Our desire must be for a new and better internet before we can ever expect the current one to grant us what we want. If between the idea and the reality falls the shadow, falls the application, then may we shine a light between us all, and between our design of the internet, and rid ourselves of the darkness that has been accepted for so long, that we are beginning to become fatigued and even somnambulant cyber sheep. May Elastos be our wise music when we gaze with desire upon our devices and decide to direct our data to where it dare belong: with ourselves, the ones who produce it. May Elastos energize the internet…May it wake us all back up. Onwards! Upwards! Elastos!