How to Prevent Groups of Malicious Nodes from Exploiting your Network

Incentive markets that use blockchain technology can create trustless networks that efficiently solve problems before dissolving shortly thereafter. These so-called “trust-less incentive markets” face a number of vulnerabilities worth investigating. One of the most well-known is the threat of a Sybil attack, whereby fake identities are created by the attacker to gain more rewards than they are fairly owed. We’ve discussed in previous posts like this and this a number of strategies that can mitigate the risk of Sybils.

A less commonly identified vulnerability is the threat of collusion by different members of the network working together to cheat the…


Join our upcoming blockchain hackathon on Oct. 6 in Redwood City, CA

Our last hackathon was a great success. We developed applications using the referral mechanism outlined in our featured article about red balloons. One member of the winning team recently joined nCent as a full-time engineer. Now, we are setting the stage for our next blockchain hackathon event on October 6th in Redwood City, CA. (Remote participants are welcome.) Register Here!


The Fountain of Eternal Life in Cleveland, Ohio

Humans have always been curious about the possibility of immortality. Whether it is delivered by scientists in the form of Medicine or by a divine being in the form of Grace, eternal life attracts attention from cultures around the world. Who among us is not tempted by the prospect of living forever?

“Man rising above death, reaching upward to G-d and toward Peace.” — Marshall Fredericks (describing the Fountain of Eternal Life pictured above)

At nCent, we think that blockchain-driven networks could be the next step towards satisfying our primal desire for immortality. But how can transmitting an electronic token…


Using Consistency, Cost and Incentives to Create Virality

Going viral is the holy grail for most network designers. Networks that quickly expand and connect scores of members are more likely to achieve their goals. The Ice Bucket Challenge, for example, got 17 million people to either donate or soak themselves in cold water in front of a video camera, raising more than $115 million for ALS.

Many doubt that there is a recipe for virality, probably because it can sometimes seem like what goes viral is totally arbitrary. …


How to Fulfill the Dream of Democratizing Opportunity with Incentive-Driven Blockchain Technology

The internet was created with the intent to connect the world, empower people, and give everyone the opportunity to contribute in unique ways to society. Unfortunately, it seems we have lost sight of this dream, as users increasingly forfeit the value they generate together to a few internet giants that control the networks they use.

During the first dot-com boom, everyone had the opportunity to carve out their own piece of the world wide web. We dreamt that this would unlock our potential by democratizing the “land of opportunity.” …


We know a lot about the people in our networks, like their skills, preferences, aspirations, and potential, sometimes even better than themselves. This is a huge, and in many cases untapped, source of value. What’s missing is a way to create a market where anybody can be rewarded for using that knowledge to solve important problems. But what kind of market rewards people for what they already know?

Unlike a prediction market or an exchange market, this kind of market has not received a lot of attention.


Why nCent is a Heat Seeking Missile for the Weak Ties of Your Network

Some ideas have long lives, like the idea that “weak ties” are more critical for successful networks than “strong ties.” Some 45 years after sociologist Mark Granovetter published the original academic paper that established this idea, we at nCent thought that it deserves revisiting. In a world where technology is creating tremendous advances in our ability to create and sustain social networks, it helps to remind ourselves of the original discoveries in network theory. These discoveries also help highlight the potential power of tapping into our “weak ties” with blockchain technology.

What are “weak ties” and why are they important?

Imagine that you recently found out you will be…


ESL Intel Extreme Masters 2014, San Jose (4 Million Online eSports Viewers)

A tribal network has the potential to become a viral network, especially in certain online contexts. That is why the world of blockchain has assigned an aspirational meaning to the word ‘tribalism.’ If you can create or tap into a “tribal” network, then its users will keep it (the “tribe”) alive and growing. If we knew more precisely what tribalism was and how we could create it, therefore, we could motivate large groups of people to act as essentially one. Combined with the right incentive market, especially one implemented on a blockchain, the effects of tribalism in our economy could…


nCent Announces Endgame of Revolutionary Hackathon

There can only be one winner at hackCent. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire © 2013 Lions Gate Films Inc. All Rights Reserved.

On August 18th, 2018, nCent sponsored the first ever global hackathon event focused on hacking incentives on a blockchain. 27 participants gathered at our Silicon Valley headquarters to fight tooth and nail at their keyboards. They hailed from places like Utah and Montana to Mexico City and Cambridge.

Their goal? To build the best application using the nCent SDK and sandbox to demonstrate the power of incentive markets. After meeting one another, 10 teams formed, and 3 finalists emerged. The finalists were selected by a panel that included special judge Narendran Thiagarajan from FloydHub and by the votes of our…


How Blockchain Legacy Incentives Can Help Cure Cancer

Medical research has made tremendous strides in understanding the causes of cancer and mitigating its devastating effects. This research dates back to 1775, when it was first understood that exposure to chimney soot is a risk factor. Over the past 250 years, we have (i) developed living models of cancer in the lab, (ii) found drugs that kill cancer cells efficiently in a dish, and (iii) even cured mice of this deadly disease. However, if these treatments even make it to a clinical trial, they usually fail to achieve better outcomes than…

KK Jain (@kk_ncnt)

Left DEShaw to BUILD multi$Bn quant fund for me. Left Stanford faculty to BUIDL a new internet for my kids. Developer. Scientist. Dad. Bitcoin Max. BUILDER.

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