On June 19th, 2019, a new blockchain called Algorand will start the sale of its native tokens; ‘Algos’. This article provides a summary of some of Algorand’s properties and particularly reflects on its token dynamics, the upcoming token sale and some possible implications for its future.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop

What is Algorand?

Initially, Algorand introduced itself as the “blockchain for business”, but lately has changed its narrative to the ‘borderless economy’. A lot of Algorand’s fame so far is related to its founder Silvio Micali, a professor in computer science at MIT that was granted the Turing Award (more popularly known as the ‘Nobel Prize of computing’) in 2012. Micali was one of the creators of zero knowledge proofs, a cryptographic protocol that can be used to prove to another party that you know something, without having to share the underlying information itself. …

Comparing Bitcoin and Cardano

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of the technology company that is building Cardano (Input Output Hong Kong, IOHK), has recently stated that “Cardano will be a 100 times more decentralized than Bitcoin”. By saying that, he refers to the fact that Cardano’s system includes monetary incentives to diversify the number of evenly distributed stake pools in the system up to 1000. Hoskinson also implicitly assumes that the 10 largest Bitcoin mining pools control >50% of the network’s total hash rate, meaning Cardano will have a hundred times as many nodes creating blocks on the network. However, is this a fair metric for decentralization? …

Since I described a name change and that I was joining the Medium Partner program in my last post, this may come as a bit of a surprise, but I’ve decided to stop writing Medium articles for now. As a result, I will not be able to comply with the content creator criteria for the Cardano ambassador program, and thus will also be stepping down from that. This post will be quite short, but since I know some people follow me for my posts, I figured I would at least explain my choice.

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Image source

For the past nine months, I’ve written several articles on crypto, most of them about Cardano. Some of the most read articles were Cardano — The self-sovereign economy of the future?, Unraveling the Myths of Cardano’s nomenclature and How secure is Cardano?, but I received a lot of positive responses on more general article What gives cryptocurrencies value? as well. I’ve always enjoyed writing these articles — and still do. It’s a good practice to articulate the things you just learned in an article, but it helps validate your findings as well, as people tend to tell you when you’re wrong. And off course it’s always nice when other people enjoy your work and find it useful, as good content is very important for this very young industry. …

Over the past year, I’ve used this Belowsearcher alias to Twitter and blog about cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin and Cardano. On January 22nd, 2019, sending someone a Twitter DM with the draft link to my latest article on Cardano seems to have triggered a filtering algorithm, which got my account suspended. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get it back since. On January 31st, 2019, I was named a ‘Content Creator Ambassador’ by the Cardano Foundation, which caused commotion under some community members felt uncomfortable with an anonymous account being labelled an ambassador. This, combined with the fact that Hackernoon is leaving Medium and some anticipated upcoming demands in my private and professional life forced me to reconsider if, what, how and where I want to continue contributing to the cryptocurrencies space. …

On January 31st, the Cardano Ambassador program was launched. With the program, the Cardano Foundation hopes to facilitate community building by acknowledging “very active community members for going above and beyond what a normal community member might do by offering regular, consistent and positive contributions to the project”. This includes roles for meetup organizers, forum moderators, content creators and translators. Based on my Medium posts on Cardano, such as my first general overview article, the article on Cardano’s nomenclature and the recent in-depth article on Cardano’s security model, I was selected for the Content Creator Ambassador role. Shortly after, a large discussion about anonymous profiles being selected as ambassadors arose. While I am not the only anonymous profile to be selected as an ambassador, due to attempts of doxxing me and my profile picture repeatedly being mentioned, even in relation to making “a mockery of Cardano”, I do tend to take some of these allegations personally. …

Lately, 51% attacks on cryptocurrencies have been a hot topic. Particularly the recent attack on Ethereum Classic left communities of other cryptocurrencies wondering if their blockchains are actually secure. This long-read attempts to give a complete overview of the security model of Cardano’s settlement layer. The article first addresses Bitcoin’s security, 51% attacks and common problems in the security model of most Proof-of-Stake (PoS) cryptocurrencies on the market today. The article then continues by describing how Cardano’s PoS consensus mechanism (Ouroboros) works, the coins’ initial and current distribution, how stake pool distribution is incentivized and closes with some final thoughts.

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How secure is Cardano? (source)

Why is Bitcoin secure?

To understand what makes a blockchain secure in the first place, lets first have a look at Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that started it all. …

I’ve been using Twitter for many years and it has been my favorite social network by far. After falling down the rabbit hole late 2017, I created the @belowsearcher alias to follow cryptocurrencies related news and engage with the community, as I don’t want to attach my full name to it (e.g., for security reasons). During 2018, I also started blogging, essentially using my Medium account to share longer, more complex thoughts, research findings and educational content, and Twitter as the ideal supplement for shorter and more time-sensitive information and interaction related to the articles. However, this Tuesday (January 22nd), Twitter suspended my account for ‘automated behavior’ and I’ve not been able to get it back, even after appealing. …

Just over a year ago, after Bitcoin had just retraced from it’s all time high, I naïvely bought my first Bitcoin and fell down the rabbit hole. One thing I’ve learned is that cryptocurrencies are not just a technological innovation but potentially have a major economic and political impact on society as well. In this article I’ll discuss some of the lessons on the economics behind cryptocurrencies that I’ve learned over the past year to give other newcomers to the space a better feel for what got people excited in the first place.

What is money?

The ‘coin’ in Bitcoin and ‘currency’ in cryptocurrency clearly suggest their intended use case; they’re meant to be a form of money. The first thing that comes to mind is likely the native currency you use to buy groceries. But where do they come from? Who decided that these coins, bills or numbers on your bank account app are worth anything? …

Ever wondered why the ticker of Cardano’s cryptocurrency is “ADA”, or why its wallets are named after Greek myths? What is the project named after in the first place, and who are all the people mentioned in the roadmap release titles? This article will provide a bird’s eye view and links for further reading.

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Custom painting that includes Ada Lovelace, Icarus and Daedalus’ labyrinth and Minotaur (source)

Gerolamo Cardano

Gerolamo Cardano (1501–1576) was an Italian mathematician, physicist, biologist, physician, chemist, astrologist, philosopher, writer and gambler. During his lifetime he wrote over 200 scientific works and was one of the key figures in the mathematical field of probability during the Renaissance.

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Gerolamo Cardano (source)

For a cryptocurrency project that is looking to utilize rigorous scientific methods based on mathematical proofs and game theory to build a highly flexible and interoperable form of programmable money, adopting the name of this Italian polymath seems very appropriate. …

This article follows up on a previous Hackernoon article titled “What’s going on with Cardano?” (October 22nd). While the previous article described why Cardano Foundation’s chairman became discredited and what the community initiative was about, this article summarizes the subsequent developments that were followed by the chairman’s resignation on November 13th.

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What happened before?

To get a full grasp of the situation, it is best to just read the previous article (14 min read). For the sake of completeness we’ll do a short recap.

Cardano aims to have an on-chain liquid democracy in the future. Until that point is reached (2020?), Cardano is federated by three entities. Growing the community and driving adoption are two of the Cardano Foundation’s main responsibilities. Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) and Emurgo take care of the technical development and business adoption of the Cardano ecosystem. …



Retired account.

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