Valerian Bennett: Now Is the Time to Advance the Decentralized Web – CoinDesk

On Jan. 6, 2021 (or what seems like the 739th day of 2020), a riotous mob stormed the United States Capitol. It has been over 200 years since the last storming of the Capitol during the War of 1812. This time, the building remained under occupation for several hours before the insurrection was suppressed. At least five people died.

This event was incited on Twitter, organized on Facebook and magnified on YouTube.

Valerian Bennett is managing director of The Pop Network Foundation, an organization dedicated to furthering the decentralizing the streaming economy as well as limited partner in Amentum Capital.

It will undoubtedly lead to calls for change in social media company policies, government regulations and maybe even court-ordered breakups. The incident is a scathing indictment of a centralized system that allows a handful of social media oligarchs to manufacture and monetize madness at scale. These companies have, effectively, replaced the free and open internet with algorithmic walled gardens built atop the economics of exploitation.

Source: Valerian Bennett: Now Is the Time to Advance the Decentralized Web – CoinDesk

Stacks mainnet launch brings smart contracts and DeFi to Bitcoin

Stacks mainnet launch brings smart contracts and DeFi to Bitcoin

They’re celebrating the launch with a one-day virtual event headlined by a number of industry partners.

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Stacks mainnet launch brings smart contracts and DeFi to Bitcoin

Stacks, formerly Blockstack — an open-source network for building decentralized applications — has an ambitious vision to bring smart contracts and decentralized finance to the Bitcoin (BTC) network.

On Thursday, the developer community celebrated the launch of Stacks 2.0, a bridging toolkit that allows developers to build on Bitcoin.

Stacks 2.0 is described as a layer-one blockchain with a native bridge to Bitcoin. The toolkit is underpinned by the Clarity smart contract language, a joint open-source protocol supported by Blockstack and Algorand.

From an industry perspective, the launch of Stacks 2.0 is significant for several reasons. On one hand, it expands Bitcoin’s scripting language, allowing developers to build smart contracts and other innovative tools on top of the blockchain. By bringing more use cases to Bitcoin, Stacks 2.0 could potentially dilute the value proposition of competing chains. This could secure Bitcoin’s already dominant position as the world’s largest blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Muneeb Ali, Stacks’ co-founder and Hiro PBC CEO, told Cointelegraph that optimizing the Bitcoin network doesn’t necessarily spell the end of other smart contract platforms but rather “provides more optionality.”

“Like anything, different tools for different goals,” he said. “Those with certain goals likely will choose Bitcoin, those with different goals or who operate in a different fashion or in a different environment may choose others.”

Blockstack told Cointelegraph that it’s celebrating the launch with a one-day virtual event headlined by several industry partners, including Foundry, OKCoin, Staked, Blockchain.com, Blockfolio, Floating Point Group and Blockdaemon.

Source: Stacks mainnet launch brings smart contracts and DeFi to Bitcoin

Blockstack Upgrade Introduces Smart Contracts for Bitcoin | Crypto Briefing

A new blockchain from Blockstack will allow STX token holders to delegate tokens and earn Bitcoin.

Key Takeaways

  • Blockstack will roll out its new blockchain, Stacks 2.0, on Jan. 14 and bring smart contracts to Bitcoin.
  • With Stacks 2.0 mainnet, STX holders can participate in network consensus and earn BTC.
  • Due to a change in the token’s security status, STX will be listed on crypto exchanges.

Blockstack’s soon-to-be-launched blockchain offers developers smart contracts anchored to Bitcoin and investors new ways to earn BTC.

Delegate Tokens, Earn Bitcoin

Stacks 2.0 is a Layer-1 blockchain based on the Proof-of-Transfer (PoX) mining consensus and uses Bitcoin as the base layer for providing security to decentralized apps (dApps).

The team behind Stacks 2.0, Blockstack, has developed a custom set of tools and a novel programming language called Clarity for the new blockchain.

The custom tools will allow developers to build smart contracts anchored to the Bitcoin blockchain. According to Blockstack, smart contracts could unlock a new age of DeFi apps for the largest crypto asset.

STX is the native token for Stacks 2.0 blockchain, allowing holders to participate in the consensus through a staking-like mechanism called “Stacking.”

Stacking participants delegate their STX to participate in blockchain governance and are paid in BTC rewards. This means that Stacks 2.0 gives users a new alternative to earn Bitcoin without spending money on expensive mining equipment.

Source: Blockstack Upgrade Introduces Smart Contracts for Bitcoin | Crypto Briefing

Stop being naive when it comes to things like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, etc. | Pocketnow

Facebook is breaking promises about WhatsApp, as expected. Learn how to tell if your next messaging app is going to last or will eventually become horrible just like the others.

The trend today has been to stop using WhatsApp ever since the policy was updated to allow sharing your personal information with Facebook. Some are recommending switching to other centralized messaging systems like Signal or Telegram, but there’s a problem with that too. Read on to learn how to recognize when a messaging app is out to profit off of and control you versus enabling better communications between people.

Personally, I specifically never became dependent on WhatsApp because 10 years ago I knew something like this would happen eventually. I mean the clues are pretty obvious; it’s a closed system, every app has to connect to the same centralized servers, it requires your phone number…  it was clearly designed from the beginning to:

  1. Generate a large user base over some number of years;
  2. Sell out and/or change policies in order to take advantage of the user base;
  3. Profit.

Embarrassingly, hundreds of millions of people keep falling for this scheme. I hear that in some countries, people even do business through WhatsApp.

Switching to another messaging service might seem like the solution to Facebook’s  monetization of your privacy, but be careful as you’re probably just trading one dictatorship for another dictatorship. Maybe the new dictator seems like a better dictator?

Source: Stop being naive when it comes to things like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, etc. | Pocketnow