Elastos Weekly Updates — 01 June 2018
What I’m suggesting to you is that this could be a renaissance. We may be on the cusp of a future which could provide a tremendous leap forward for humanity.
— Jeremy Rifkin
Partners. Partners. Partners. If only this opening could blink in neon lights.
This week Elastos visited the offices of Arm, and partnered up with three new projects, one of which just might be essential to the renaissance that will shape all our futures…
Elastos continued its forward momentum this week. Let’s recap.
1.Trinity CAR and Javascipt data type conversion — 40% complete;
2. Defined the Elastos Browser (Code Name: Trinity) application framework model; the main body is based on the w3c widget standard;
3. Completed the Trinity UI design;
4. Published a new type of full node that does not generate nor broadcast new blocks(non-mineable node) to support exchange docking of ELA;
5. Mobile wallet development testing and KYC interface joint debugging was done;
Please check out our Github links:
• Elastos has published two new comprehensive beginner’s guides. Non-Developer Guide: https://github.com/elastos/Elastos/blob/master/NonDeveloperGuide/README.md and Developer Guide: https://github.com/elastos/Elastos/blob/master/DeveloperGuide/README.md
• Around June 10th, Elastos will be publishing a new type of full non-mining node that is neither expected to generate nor broadcast new blocks. Exchanges and wallets can easily set up and connect to these new nodes via BTC compatible JSON RPC interfaces. Although technically all the exchanges and wallets can connect to ELA via the non-mining nodes, at the early stage, for security consideration, we will only provide access to limited exchanges. The nodes of these exchanges will be whitelisted and thereby, allowed access to be connected to our mainnet which will allow for the integration of ELA. After a trial period, we will provide accessibility for ELA integration to the entire public.
• Elastos has announced the hire of two new team members: Donnie Bullers https://twitter.com/elastos_org/status/1000453315044495360 and Zach W. https://twitter.com/elastos_org/status/1000477815144402944
• The Elastos Foundation Youtube channel has added team member interviews from the New York Meetup. Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy5AjgpQIQq3bv8oy_L5WTQ
• Elastos has received over 50 community members’ applications from over 20 provinces since the new ambassador recruitment started. The Elastos team is planning to start training and reviewing the candidates. Once they pass the screening, selected ones will become the first batch of certified ambassadors who will start running meetups nationwide in China.
• The Elastos Video Contest deadline is July 15th. https://medium.com/elastos/elastos-video-contest-final-version-5efb9fbebf19 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3089082.0#post_a2
• The Fresco Art Award competition is now open. The competition runs through August 22nd https://medium.com/fresco-network/introducing-fresco-art-award-the-worlds-first-blockchain-art-award-f94294925413
Elastos founder Rong Chen met with Mr. Yue Dong, the former technical director of YHD.com, lashow.com, SPI Solarbao and team members from GameCell. They had a friendly and thorough discussion on the Elastos OS and ecology construction.
Elastos partnered with Weatherblock.
Elastos partnered with BIT.GAME and joined the Meta Union Alliance.
Elastos partnered with HashWorld, an educational blockchain game.
Elastos visited the headquarters of Arm in Shanghai, where the two teams discussed potential collaboration strategies, how the Elastos ecology could be integrated, and collaboration opportunities on hardware products. https://www.arm.com
On June 3rd Feng Han will speak at the 2018 Global Digital Asset Vancouver Summit
As part of our Community Writer Series, FlatOutCrypto contributed an analysis of BitGame and Elastos and the future of the gaming industry:
Jeremy from God Country Crypto passionately reviewed Elastos again as part of a group review of his favorite projects.
RPLUS Design has posted an Elastos Concept Video to Youtube.
Kara Hass reviewed Elastos with an article on Seeking Cryptos.
FUD TV reviewed Elastos on its Youtube channel.
Elastos hosted a Virtual Meetup for developers on Thursday night that focused on Github Projects.
Some topics covered were the OS, Runtime, ELA, SPV, Client program, Utilities, Carrier, Node.js, iOS SDK, Android SDK, Demp apps, Trinity, DittoBox, and questions for Kevin Zhang.
Elastos Partners with HashWorld
On May 28th, Elastos signed a contract with the Hash Future Foundation and formed a strategic partnership with HashWorld.
HashWorld is a blockchain game that allows users to learn about blockchain technology while also enabling them to earn real digital currencies like BTC, ETH, and ELA. Users can “mine” currencies in the game and purchase virtual lands that can grow in value. The goal of HashWorld is to teach the world about blockchain technology and reward them with real economic value.
HashWorld comes with a user base of over 1.2 million people. Elastos is excited to partner with a game that teaches the world the fundamentals of how blockchain and smart contracts work while spreading the use of ELA to HashWorld’s large customer base.
Elastos Partners with BIT.GAME and Joins Meta Union Alliance
On May 26th, at the Beijing National Aquatics Center, Elastos signed a strategic cooperation agreement with BIT.GAME.
Elastos and BIT.GAME will jointly construct an ecosystem for blockchain games and launch a comprehensive cooperation for ecological development.
Also at the conference, Elastos announced its membership in a strategic alliance with four other public chains, collectively called, META Union. The alliance includes Matrix AI Network (MAN), TrustNote (TTT), Achain, Aurora, and Elastos. All members will work together to conduct blockchain research that will facilitate innovation, transform ideas into real world utilities, and promote blockchain technology to the world.
Elastos Partners with Weatherblock
On May 24th, Elastos partnered with Weatherblock, the first blockchain based weather data exchange platform.
Analysis to come below.
Thoughts and Conclusions
This week Elastos announced partnerships with BIT.GAME, HashWorld, and Weatherblock, three very different projects, all with ambitious goals. While BIT.GAME and HashWorld may appear more comprehensible and even more logical on the surface, a deeper look at Weatherblock and the future of shared economic models reveals an equally interesting landscape and yet most people are completely unaware of its existence.
To do this, a little background is needed.
Jeremy Rifkin is an economic and social theorist. He taught at The Wharton School Of Business for 15 years. He is now known mainly as the author of “The Third Industrial Revolution, How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, The Economy, And The World.”
Rifkin proposes that the GDP has slowed internationally and will continue to for decades. To combat this, society must change its energy sources, its communications, and its transportation systems to a sustainable model if we are to succeed as a species in the coming century. The Internet of Things and renewable energy are at the heart of his proposal. His platform for the future was officially endorsed by the European Union in 2007 in a vision called Smart Europe, now a $744 billion dollar initiative. That same initiative in now in China. To quote Rifkin,
“When President Xi and Premier Li came into office, Premier Li published his official biography, which mentioned that he had read my book The Third Industrial Revolution and had instructed the central government to pay close attention to the narrative and proposals outlined in the book. President Xi and Premier Li realized that their country had been locked out of the first Industrial Revolution and much of the second, and they didn’t want to lose out on the third. Shortly after the first of several formal visits I had with Chinese leaders, the chairman of the national electric power grid announced an [US]$82 billion commitment to digitize the state electric power grid in the current Five-Year Plan. Millions of Chinese people can produce their own solar and wind power, and use it locally or sell it back to the grid. With the Belt and Road project, they’re moving the same technologies to other countries. China calls this digital transformation the Internet Plus revolution, which is similar to the Smart Europe initiative.”
Just this week President Xi Jinping said in a speech,
“A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications.”
He went on to say,
“A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure.”
Mr. Rifkin’s vision is far too large and meticulously researched to cover here. But the basics will illustrate how Elastos fits in with nothing less than the future of our society’s success.
Here is Rifkin’s definition of a technology platform.
“At a certain moment in time, three technologies emerge and converge to create in what we call in engineering a general-purpose technology platform. That’s a fancy way of saying ‘a new infrastructure’ that fundamentally changes the way we manage power and move economic life. What are those three technologies? First, new communication technologies to allow us to more efficiently manage our economic activity. Second, new sources of energy, to allow us to more efficiently power our economic activity. And third, new modes of mobility, transportation logistics, to allow us to more efficiently move the economic activity. So when communication revolutions join with new energy regimes it does change the way we manage power and move economic life.”
The first industrial revolution began in the 19th century. It started in England as a communications revolution combining the new technologies of steam powered printing and the telegraph, with the new energy of coal. This led to the steam engine, and then, to the railroads.
The second industrial revolution began in the 20th century. It started in The United States when centralized electricity and the new technologies of the telephone, the radio, and then the television, combined with the new energy of oil.
According to Rifkin, the one important factor that economists have not historically included in economic models is called ‘aggregate efficiency.’ “Aggregate efficiency is the ratio of potential work to the actual useful work that gets embedded into a product or service. The higher the aggregate efficiency of a good or service, the less waste is produced in every single conversion in its journey across the value chain.” He makes it clearer with this example. If a lion hunting an antelope chases the antelope down and then kills it and eats it for energy, about 10–20% of the antelope’s energy then becomes ‘embedded’ into the lion. The rest of the energy is lost in the conversion. This percentage that the lion gets is the ‘aggregate efficiency.’
In 1905, when the 2nd industrial revolution began in The United States, there was a 3% aggregate efficiency. By the 1990’s, The United States hit its ceiling on that ratio with an aggregate efficiency of 14%. But the ceiling was also hit worldwide. The economic model of the 2nd Industrial revolution plateaued everywhere. Even Japan, which hit a 20% ratio, never went any higher.
This second industrial revolution took society all the way into the 21st century, where it finally peaked in July of 2008. It was a month that saw oil hit a record price of $147 per barrel that simultaneously stalled global economies. This was the economic earthquake. 60 days later, the world financial markets collapsed…this was the aftershock. The financial collapse of 2008, the worst since the Great Depression, caused by the downward pinnacle of an outdated fossil fuel infrastructure, signaled the coming end of an unsustainable era, and yet… a new beginning.
Because something else happened in that same aftershock…as if the script of history is penned by more than one trajectory at a time, perhaps a narrative with a pendulum-like balance. On Halloween of 2008, amidst the peak price in the history of oil and the global financial markets epic collapse, amidst actual international doom and demise, an anonymous figure released an essay of sorts about a new technology…it was a whitepaper for something called Bitcoin…it’s author, Satoshi Nakamoto.
These events occurring together is no mere coincidence and looking back decades from now it will not be seen as one.
One giant door may have been shut on human progress, but another door was opened, and it remains open today.
The question after 2008 became, for those willing to look forward with a realistic view of the future and its specific challenges was, how do we create a new sustainable economy with new energy sources and new technologies to support it?
Rifkin puts it this way,
“Communication internet is converging with a nascent, digitalized, renewable-energy internet. And now both of these internets are converging with a fledgling, automated, GPS, and very soon driverless, road, rail, water, and air transport, to create three internets: communication internet, renewable energy internet, automated transportation-logistic internet. One super internet to manage power and move economic life.”
This is a vision of smart agriculture, smart homes, smarts cars, smart roads, smart sensors all collecting data and creating immense efficiency and economic opportunity for everyone. Rifkin predicts this internet will be ubiquitous by 2030. He calls it, “A distributed nervous system,” that will allow citizens of the Earth to directly engage each other at minimum cost and circumvent middle men that before, separated us. He states, “This is the revolution. This evens the playing field.”
“This new platform is really radical, because the third industrial revolution platform is designed to be distributed, not centralized. It works best when it is collaborative, and open, and transparent, rather than closed and proprietary. And benefits come when more and more people join the network, and each contributes their talents, which benefit the network and then benefits us. This is what moves us from the 1% and the 99% to a vast, vast expansion of social entrepreneurialism and global networks.”
…if the above quote is not a definition of the goal of Elastos…what is?
Here is where it gets very interesting and very important. We can have an interconnected society with sensors that enable data to flow and create efficiency, renewable energy, and economic growth for individuals instead of only corporations…but Rifkin raises some serious concerns after stating, “I am not a techno-determinist. I am not a utopian.”
Here the real-world concerns raised by Rifkin as we head towards this new model.
How do we ensure that everyone has access to this new platform?
How do we ensure governments don’t steal this platform?
How do we ensure the giant monopolies, many on the internet, don’t use the data for their own commercial purposes at our expense?
How do we ensure privacy when everyone’s connected?
How do we ensure data security when everyone’s connected?
How do we prevent cyber crime and cyber terrorism that could disrupt the system and take it down when everyone’s connected?
He says about these concerns, “The DarkNet is as impressive as an opportunity as the BrightNet. This is an uphill battle. This is not a cakewalk.”
Elastos is the BrightNet.
The prospect of the DarkNet is one of the most serious challenges in the coming decades. There is no doubt that the more connected we become, the more security issues we face. There is also no doubt that we must drastically change our ways in the world and online if we are to succeed as a global family.
Elastos is the definition of a new technology platform, providing a new infrastructure for the convergence of new communications, new sources of energy, and new modes of transportation. But most importantly, every one of Rifkin’s concerns can be addressed with the potential of Elastos. Access. Decentralization. Privacy. Data ownership. Revolutionary security for people and smart devices. A global economic platform for person to person exchange of digital assets and data, including new energy sources. Who else can say that?
“Our society, especially our young people are going to be heavily engaged in a new political movement and that movement is going to ensure against the DarkNet prevailing and making sure that we all have equal access, so that the human family can engage in a distributed nervous system to begin to have a vast expansion of social entrepreneurialism.”
“The 62 richest people on Earth now have the combined wealth of half the population of Earth, over 3.5 billion people. There is something really dysfunctional about the way the human family is organizing its economic relationships on this Earth.”
Human family….what a very particular way of looking at society. It is a view that Elastos shares.
This is an immense and global family we are building — and you reading this are a unique part of it. This is a movement. Rong is not our leader nor is he our boss, and this is not his project. It is ours and he is one of us. We are all modern entrepreneurs here. We are the future of this Earth and the stakes are extremely high.
What is interesting about Rifkin’s ideas is that at their core is the concept of zero-marginal cost, meaning that some goods and services will become nearly free to produce and will be able to be shared with one another for free. While this concept is hard to imagine for many, what is even more interesting than sharing things that are limitless like solar and wind, is being able to make things that were limitless, scarce.
While being agreeable with Rifkin’s theories is certainly a contextualization that is much needed to understand the massive scope of Elastos, throwing a wrench in them is fun too.
Rifkin is not, or was not before, familiar with the idea of scarcity of digital assets. In fact, he frequently mentions Napster as the dawn of zero-marginal cost economies on the internet where one can very cheaply produce music and videos and books and then share them for free. While this is true, this is one area where margins would actually help the individual. Content does not pour out of us like cosmic energy from the sun. Those who take the time to produce it, even for near zero cost, deserve a platform to be paid for it and create some margin for their time and effort. Elastos is marvelously part of the future of the modern economy and yet floating above it because of its unique technological vision.
But back to sharing limitless goods that will help to heal our economies and our planet.
If we can monetize the value of art, of music, of literature, of cinema, and even of time…why can we not do it with the wind, and the sun, and the rain, and the snow, and the energy contained in a wisp of thin air?
Why can the individual not benefit from the unlimited abundance of its natural world? Is this not the first place one should look when creating an economy?
As the planet and its mirror the internet both continue on a path of obvious illness, the question becomes…
Can we have a more holistic economy, internet, world? And can we make these things all intersect?
And we might have to.
Enter Green Panda.
Elastos is partnered with Green Panda Energy Group Limited and New Energy Exchange Limited.
Green Panda is a leading global eco-development solution provider. They notably have large solar panel fields built in the shape of panda bears which aim to engage young people in sustainable development issues. In 2017, they signed an action plan with the Chinese government and the United Nations Development Programme. They are building green power plants in China that include wind, solar, and hydro and have plans for 100 more along the “Belt and Road.” The Belt and Road initiative is a Chinese government sponsored multi-decade international infrastructure project connecting nearly 70 countries that evokes a giant, smart, modern day silk road trade route. It is an integral part of the future of the Third Industrial Revolution for those involved.
New Energy Exchange provides a platform for global energy exchange using blockchain technology.
Rifkin has explained the progress in this field. “The payback for renewable energy is much more rapid than people think. The fixed costs — materials and installation — have gone down exponentially. In 1979, the fixed cost of producing one watt of solar electricity was $79. As of August 2017, it’s 55 cents. By 2020, it will be 35 cents. The viability of the technology is just now reaching a tipping point. As for the marginal costs, there aren’t any. The sun and wind haven’t sent us a bill.”
The dots are easy to connect with this one. Rifkin has laid out the context for the reason this type of economic platform is vital, if not deadly serious to our future. Being able to switch to zero-marginal cost renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro and being able to exchange those energies through a blockchain backed person to person platform is the definition of The Third Industrial Revolution. This is it. This is the first step to putting solar panels in our back yard and selling the energy. This is what a plan to heal the planet and the economy looks like. Green Panda is literally part of the Rifkin-inspired platform adopted by Premier Li and China. Elastos is the Cyber Republic for the BrightNet to flourish on — it is the holistic internet for a holistic world. This is a literal modern day industrial revolution — and we are part of it.
Which brings us to SAIC. Rifkin predicts that society will eliminate 80% of cars worldwide in the coming decades, with the remaining 200 million cars being powered by renewable energy. “The Millennials, their children, their grandchildren, are never going to own cars again. This I know.” It is already happening. Especially in cities, ride sharing programs and soon self-driving cars will disrupt the car industry forever. Cars will become self-driving data collecting machines that connect to our cities, connect to our computers, and connect to other sensors creating a smart and efficient society. SAIC is the largest car company in China. They, like China as a whole, are preparing accordingly. They are currently testing Elastos tech for their smart cars.
And then…there was Weatherblock. Almost forgot in all of that preparation to properly introduce them.
Why do we need weather data?
Jermey Rifkin predicts that many of our products will be delivered by drones at zero-marginal cost.
Drone delivery sounds terrifying to some, but other than its newness, it actually is a very eco-friendly and economically efficient way of delivering goods and collecting data. Companies like Amazon and Domino’s Pizza are already developing large scale plans for drone delivery that will enable them to deliver goods directly to your home without the use of a car or truck. There is just one huge problem holding the technology up: weather.
Drones require low-level atmospheric data. For Amazon to safely deliver your package with a drone, it would need block by block weather data. It would basically need to know the exact wind conditions directly over your house. This kind of data is not available. Currently, weather data is collected mostly in high altitude areas and lower ones around airports.
The director of safety and regulatory affairs for Amazon’s drone unit, Sean Cassidy, has said, “The weather issue is a very significant one. We don’t have anything at the level of granularity that you would need to operate.”
But it’s not just large corporations. A Silicon Valley company called Zipline has a program to deliver blood samples to hospitals in Rwanda. Their number one issue: weather.
Weatherblock specializes in that level of granularity. This is what makes their model relevant and part of the future and The Third Industrial Revolution.
Take this hypothetical example.
A Domino’s delivery person loses their job to a drone. But the person is smart and has prepared for this day. They have bought a backyard weather data center and now charges Domino’s for the data they need for their drone to deliver pizza. This is a machine replacing a human job and the human adapting to technology to create income. While this is hypothetical, the uses for weather data are immense and go far beyond drones. From smart cities and self-driving cars to accurate weather on a massive scale, this will become a commodity and it is society’s for the taking.
If data is the currency of the future, then the data in our backyards is ours.
Imagine making money off of the sun, the wind, the rain and the snow. To be able to monetize the natural world as a citizen of the Earth…to be able to go out into your backyard and look at the clouds and think…I can get paid for that information…talk about making it rain. We are part of a real ecosystem, the Earth. There is value everywhere we look. Most just never look, or never know how to use these free sources of value. Solar panels, IoT sensors, blockchain decentralized platform economies… there is wealth to be had for individuals. We may not have to go to a factory, but we can turn our homes into factories. Our properties can be power stations, like we’re the tornado chasing crew from the film Twister.
There is data to be had. Data to be organized and out of the silos and onto an efficient marketplace to buy and sell it. Let’s do it. Let’s buy and sell our data. Why not? If not us, then some big company will. Be a company unto yourself! Everyone in Elastos is an entrepreneur!
We need to grasp the enormity of our current, not future situation, and begin preparing for it. We must start to become “smart” in our societies, in our cities, and in our backyards. As we do this, we will make the planet healthier and create new economies. We cannot ignore the disturbing realities of our planet — but must prepare for them.
Finally, on a lighter note.
There is currently an IMAX film playing in theaters across America entitled, “Dream Big, Engineering Our World.” The film is an educational documentary about how engineers are the artists that keep us safe, design our futures, and will save our planet. Any community member of Elastos would not be able to avoid thinking of Elastos during this fantastic film.
The film travels the world following engineers as they study and design our infrastructures.
After an earthquake in Nepal in 2015, one engineer went and studied the foundations of buildings that were not designed by engineers and helped rebuild communities devastated by the quake with buildings that would be prepared for the next one.
Another engineer traveled to The Great Wall in China to study why this structure has help up so well over time. He used a drone to scan the wall for places it particularly held up and discovered something interesting. In places the wall was in the best shape, the builders used sticky rice to hold the wall together and thus allow it to expand, or as the engineer says in the film, “be more elastic.”
In Shanghai, engineers studied the world’s second largest building, The Shanghai Tower. The building uses wind turbines to generate 10% of the building’s 127 stories of power while the building itself uses an elegant spiraling technique to combat wind and protect its massive vertical infrastructure.
In Texas, students built solar powered cars and raced them on a track.
The film explains that by the end of the century, it is projected that 90% of the globe will live in cities. The film is teaching our societies and especially our children, that we are starting to prepare for a smart world where engineering using the most advanced technologies and renewable energies will power our world. Engineers are the artists of our future and we need more of them and a society prepared to adapt. The film states an engineer’s number one job is to keep people safe. What, if nothing else, has the engineer behind Elastos tried to do?
We will need to live off of the Earth, the sun, the cosmic energy. Tesla understood that there is energy everywhere and it can power the planet for practically no cost. Our energy is here. A sustainable economy is here. We need engineers to build the world, in the physical world and on the internet. By upgrading the internet to make it sustainable and to support a platform for a sustainable economy and world, we are upgrading the world for the challenges of the future. Green Panda, Weatherblock, SAIC, these companies could all work together to make our world smart and efficient. These are companies of the future.
A mission as large as this takes time. Jeremy Rifkin’s plans adopted by the EU and China are plans that unfold over decades. They are literally upgrading every building and industry to prepare for the future. America needs to start preparing for this now. We not only desperately need a new infrastructure, we need a smart infrastructure like Smart Europe and China Internet Plus. This kind of rebuild requires humans, not machines, and could provide millions of jobs for decades. This should be on the news at night in America — maybe every night — not just in IMAX theaters.
“We need to transform every building in the United States to a node. These nodes then connect, and they are big data centers. They are micro power plants. The nodes connect like wifi and all those nodes, those buildings — homes, offices, factories — that’s your internet of things.”
This is a huge undertaking and much of the world is already preparing. Jeremy Rifkin says that when humans get the story, they move quickly. But we need to hear the story first.
Elastos has also been preparing — for 18 years so far. This is no drop in the bucket blockchain project. The label blockchain is not even accurate. Elastos is the internet platform for the future of this planet — because when we pull all the way back…and back…and back…and back some more…we can see that what has been engineered here, is no less than the internet of the next industrial revolution.
Onward! Upward! Elastos!
“There’s a change in the way you define freedom. The way you define power. And the way you define community. And these changes really suggest the real revolution. For my generation and the generation before me, freedom was very simple, to be free, is to be an autonomous agent. To be not beholden to others. To be an island to oneself so one can have freedom as exclusivity. For the millennial generation that grew up on the internet, autonomy is death. Because for your generation, you ask the question, “How can I flourish to the full extent of my possibilities on the planet?” And it’s clear that your answer to that is that I flourish to the extent that I am embedded in network after network after network; community after community, where I can share my talents. And those talents can benefit the network and come back to benefit myself. I am free because I have access, and for you, freedom is not exclusivity. It’s inclusivity. It’s access to others in networks. This is very alien to our generation. We may have to change all the constitutions in the world. This is a completely different idea of freedom. You have a different sensibility about power, which makes the older generation very nervous. We essentially believe that power is always a pyramid. It goes from the top down. That is power. There is no other way to define power. But young people that grow up on the internet, for you power is not vertical, it is lateral. Power is being embedded in network after network where you benefit each other. Open source. This is so strange to our older generation. We do not have this notion of power. It makes no sense to us actually, but it makes total sense to you.”
— Jeremy Rifkin
Elastos is hiring full-time and part-time community members for technical and non-technical positions: https://medium.com/elastos/we-want-you-elastos-community-recruitment-da0e97694f63