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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Funding Circle, a P2P SME lending platform, steps towards an IPO

UK founded startup Funding Circle, a p2p lending platform which focuses on the underserved small business market, has announced a “potential intention” to float on the London Stock Exchange.

In a press release today, announcing the publication of a Registration Document for a possible future IPO, Funding Circle says that should it proceed with floating on the stock market it would be looking to raise around £300 million (~$387M). According to the document the business is being valued at up to £1.65BN (~$2.1BN).

Heartland A/S, the private holding company of Danish billionaire businessman, Anders Holch Povlsen, has 

Funding Circle has raised more than $373M to date since being founded back in 2010. The founders had the idea to help small businesses obtain loans after the retrenching of traditional financing sources after the 2008 financial crash.

The global lending platform now connects investors in the U.K., U.S., Germany and the Netherlands with small businesses wanting to borrow money for growth. More than 80,000 retail investors, banks, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities and funds have lent more than £5BN to over 50,000 businesses globally since the platform’s launch in 2010.

In a statement on the IPO announcement, Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder, said: “At Funding Circle our mission is to build a better financial world. Today’s announcement is the start of the next stage in our exciting and transformational journey. Over the last eight years, we have worked hard to build a platform that is number one in every market we operate in.

“By combining cutting-edge technology with our own proprietary credit models and sophisticated data analytics, we deliver a better deal for small businesses and investors around the world. I am very proud of the team and culture we have created at Funding Circle, both of which have been integral to our success to date”.

A year and half ago Desai told us that while the business had “no current plans to IPO” that was the longer term aim. “We’ve always said that we’d like Funding Circle to be a listed business, in line with the things that we care about deeply like transparency and being a tech platform versus being a lender ourselves,” he said then.

Should it now go ahead with floating the business, Funding Circle says it will use the proceeds to enhance its balance sheet position — which it says would help grow trust in the business with investors, borrowers and regulators, as well as support it pursuing growth over profitability in the medium term.

It also says going public would give it strategic flexibility and let it take advantage of opportunities “either in current markets or new geographies”.

The registration document describes Funding Circle as a high growth business, revealing it had revenue in the year ended 31 December 2017 of £94.5M compared to £50.9M in the year ended 31 December 2016.

It also highlights an improving financial profile, flagging up strong growth in revenue — with 78% CAGR from 2015 to 2017 (excluding property loans), primarily driven by an increase in loan originations from £607M in 2015 to £1,631M in 2017 (both excluding property loans).

Funding Circle exited the property loans business in 2016, tightening its focus on small business financing.

According to the registration document, repeat business is growing, with approximately 40% of Funding Circle’s revenue generated from existing customers in 2017 (again excluding property loans).

It also says that attractive unit economics are driving expanded margins, with the margin per loan in 2017 rising from approximately 20% for the first loan, to ~57% for repeat loans in the UK. And it adds that the path to superior margins is driven by operational leverage.

The business is targeting in excess of 40% revenue growth in the medium term and longer term, and adjusted EBITDA margins of 35% or above.

Commenting on Funding Circle’s announcement in a statement, Neil Rimer, partner at Index Ventures and a Funding Circle board member, said: Just as banks have become more reluctant lenders, Funding Circle has become an indispensable source of financing for small businesses in the UK, the US and in continental Europe; directly supporting the growth of the most critical engines of the economy.

“It is a prime example of a new breed of financial services companies, who by making their products more transparent and more convenient, have democratised access to valuable services and increased economic activity.

Rimer added: “Funding Circle has a broad impact on the growing businesses it funds, the employees they hire, the communities they operate, their customers and the countries they operate in. This is an important milestone that will allow the company to support tens of thousands of additional small businesses: something everyone should celebrate.”

Index is Funding Circle’s largest shareholder and has been a backer of the business since its Series A funding round in 2011 — when it became the 2010 founded UK startup’s first institutional investor. It’s just posted a blog post to coincide with Funding Circle’s announcement — taking an inside look at the company mission and ethos.

Index also has several other fintech investments in its portfolio, including the likes of Adyen, iZettle, Revolut and Robinhood. Though the VC firm did not take an investment in UK-based payday loans firm Wonga, which collapsed into administration last week.

TechCrunch’s Steve O’Hear contributed to this report

Source: TechCrunch

Countingup, the business bank account that combines bookkeeping, raises £2.3M seed

Countingup, the U.K. fintech that provides a business bank account that combines bookkeeping, has raised £2.3 million in seed funding. Leading the round is Forward Partners, with participation from previous backer Frontline Ventures, and JamJar Investments.

Founded last year by Tim Fouracre, who previously founded cloud accounting software Clear Books, Countingup wants to simplify the life of sole traders and other small businesses by reinventing the business current account. Fouracre’s vision is that for small enterprises, business banking and accounting software should be merged so that bookkeeping and filing accounts can be a lot more automated.

“If you are running a business then bookkeeping is a chore, wastes your time and is boring,” the Countingup up founder told me last year. “Your bank surprises you with hidden fees and you’ve probably lost faith in their customer service. Countingup is making starting and running a business really simple… We’re doing that by combining accounting and banking into one simple smartphone app”.

After downloading the ​Countingup for iOS or Andriod, ​you are able to ​open ​a ​current ​account ​on your ​smartphone ​in ​a claimed ​5 ​minutes. ​The account comes with ​a ​U.K. ​sort ​code/account ​number ​and ​a ​contactless ​Mastercard. The accounting functionality currently includes a profit and loss report, bookkeeping categorisation and the ability to attach receipts to transactions.

However, the big feature that will be launched later this year is invoicing, while things like “automated receipt scanning,” and tax calculations and filing are also in the 2018 roadmap.

Fouracre says Countingup wants to be the financial platform for 1 million U.K. small businesses. It already has four thousand customers and I’m told is signing up new users at a rate of 1,500 businesses per month.

Source: TechCrunch

US and intelligence allies take aim at tech companies over encryption – CNET

The “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance wants tech companies to give them access to data and communications, saying “privacy is not absolute.”
Source: CNET

Here are the speakers so far for TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018

We’re excited to head to Beirut, Lebanon, on October 3rd for TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018. Yes, we’re bringing our premier startup pitch competition to the Middle East / North Africa, and as well as launching 15 of the hottest startups in MENA on stage for the first time, we’ll also be joined by some leading lights of the scene.

Tickets to this event — our first in this part of the world — cost $29 (including VAT), and you can buy your tickets right here.

Startup Battlefield consists of three preliminary rounds with 15 teams — five startups per round — who have only six minutes to pitch and present a live demo to a panel of expert technologists and VC investors. After each pitch, the judges have six minutes to grill the team with tough questions. This is all after the free pitch-coaching they receive from TechCrunch editors.

One startup will emerge the winner of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018 — and receive a US$25,000 no-equity cash prize and win a trip for two to compete in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at the time).

Joining us on stage will be the following speakers, drawn from many of the key founders and investors in the region. Here are the speakers so far for TechCrunch Startup Battlefield MENA 2018 and there are more to come!

Kenza Lahlou
Managing Partner

Kenza is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Outlierz Ventures, is a seed investment fund, based out of Morocco, providing smart capital to African tech enabled startups. Kenza started the fund after 4 years experience building the Moroccan startup scene through StartupYourLife, one of the key ecosystem players. She co-founded it after gaining experience in San Francisco working closely with startups and accelerators in emerging markets. Prior to that, she worked in PE, management consulting and tech industry.







Mai Medhat

Mai Medhat is the CEO and co-founder of Eventtus; an events engagement platform and the leading event app provider in the Middle East. Mai is an Egyptian tech entrepreneur holds a Computer Engineering degree from Ain Shams University. She co-founded Eventtus in 2012 with a mission to mobilize events after a personal experience at some events that used to be managed manually. The company successfully served 10,000 events since then and is growing into 35+ cities. Mai was named “Entrepreneur of the year” by Arabian Business in 2016 and she has been recognized by the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 as one of the most promising MENA entrepreneurs.

Ameer Sheerif

Ameer Sherif is CEO and Co-founder of WUZZUF – Egypt’s #1 Online Recruitment Platform. Having co-founded WUZZUF 5 years ago, Ameer managed to bootstrap for 3 years during the tough revolution years until reaching profitability and then successfully fundraising from top angel investors in Egypt as well as top VCs in Silicon Valley – making WUZZUF the 1st startup from Egypt to join the [500 Startups] accelerator program in San Francisco. Now, WUZZUF helps 150,000+ people looking for jobs each month and serves 4,000+ companies. A total of 40,000+ Egyptians got hired directly through the platform so far.

Priscilla Elora Sharuk
Co-Founder & COO

Priscilla Elora Sharuk is the Co-Founder & COO of Myki, named one of the Best Free Password Managers of 2018 by PCMag. Priscilla has appeared in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and CSO. Forbes has also recognised her as one of the “Top 7 Female Entrepreneurs in MENA in 2017”. Priscilla believes in sharing what she continues to learn on her entrepreneurial journey in hopes of inspiring others.

Paul Chucrallah
Managing Director
BeryTech Fund

Paul Chucrallah is managing director at BeryTech Fund II. Prior to this, he was the business & strategy senor advisor at BeryTech. He was previously executive director at BeryTech Technology and Health.

Henri Asseily
Managing Partner
Leap Ventures

Henri Asseily is a managing partner at Leap Ventures, a late-stage venture capital firm based in Beirut and Paris. For the previous 20 years he was a serial entrepreneur focused on internet-related businesses, and he has particular expertise in algorithmics and computer science. He is the founder of Bizrate.com / Shopzilla, acting as CTO until its sale in 2005 for $569 million. He was designing flat models before they were called NoSQL, and led the creation of the first product-centric online search engine.

Amir Barsoum
CEO & Founder

Amir Barsoum is the CEO & Founder of Vezeeta.com, a leading digital healthcare platform in MENA that connects patients with healthcare providers and health services. Prior to Vezeeta, Amir was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company advising Healthcare and FMCGs across public and private sectors in Europe and MENA. He also led the Strategy Team of AstraZeneca in MENA. Amir introduced Vezeeta in 2012 empowering millions of patients through data and the ability to better access healthcare in the region.

Rami Al Qawasmi

Founder and CEO of Mawdoo3.com, holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Sussex in England, with a passion in business,





Omar Gabr

Omar started Instabug in 2012 right after graduating from college. He studied Computer Science at the Cairo University in Egypt. Instabug is an Egyptian based company that empowers mobile-first companies to iterate faster and enhance their app quality. Instabug is currently serving over one billion users worldwide and being used by the top apps in world including eBay, Lyft, Electronic Arts and thousands more.

Hussam Hammo
CEO & Founder
Tamatem Inc.

Hussam Hammo is founder & CEO of Tamatem Inc., the leading mobile games publisher in the Arabic speaking market. He is a serial-entrepreneur who founded Faye3.com, the first Arabic social network that was acquired by Maktoob.com which was later acquired by Yahoo. Hussam then co-founded Wizards Productions in 2009 a gaming studio and finally Tamatem, which currently has 30 employees in its HQ in Amman, Jordan where they have published 40 games with over 50M downloads.

Source: TechCrunch

Google plans crackdown on tech-support scams appearing in search ads

Concerned about the number of “tech-support” scams showing up in its search engine ads, Google says it’s to launch a verification program to ensure that only legitimate providers of third-party tech support can use the platform.

The post Google plans crackdown on tech-support scams appearing in search ads appeared first on Digital Trends.

Source: Digital trends

Microsoft no longer taking new enrollments for its Surface Plus financing program

Microsoft has quietly ended its Surface Plus financing program about a year after it launched. In a message on its site, the company said it stopped taking new enrollments on August 31 “after much thought and consideration.” The change does not affect existing customers, however, who will still be covered by their current financing plans.

Financed by Klarna, a Stockholm-headquartered online financial services provider, the Surface Plus financing program launched in August 2017. It targeted students and other people who wanted an affordable way to own a Surface device, allowing them to spread payments over 24 months. The Surface Plus plan also enabled customers to upgrade to the latest device after 18 months, as long as they returned their previous device in good working condition.

In a FAQ, Microsoft said existing customers will still be able to upgrade their Surface under the plan’s terms. The program’s end also does not affect existing warranty plans.

Microsoft’s Surface Plus for Business payment plans launched around the same time as the Surface Plus program and it looks like it will continue. TechCrunch has contacted Microsoft for more information.

Source: TechCrunch

20 million historical artifacts destroyed in Brazil National Museum fire – CNET

Brazil’s oldest human fossil, an expansive ancient Egyptian collection and a 5.5-ton meteorite were housed within Rio’s Museu Nacional.
Source: CNET

How to help Californians whose tap water is tainted

Karen Lewis knows about water problems. The 67-year-old lives in Compton, where the water coming out of her tap is tinged brown by manganese, a metal similar to iron, from old pipes.

The water is supplied by the troubled Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. The district has been plagued by administrative scandal and charges of mismanagement, and it hasn’t been able to generate the money needed to fix the brown water.

Lewis has sat through innumerable community meetings and heard years’ worth of explanations, and she’s had enough. “Nothing’s been changed,” she said. “They’re not going to change.”

Lewis is one of an estimated 360,000 Californians who can’t safely drink the water that flows to their homes. It’s not a new issue. In the Central Valley, in particular, excess amounts of arsenic, nitrates and other substances that can cause cancers and birth defects have tainted drinking water. In Compton, residents have been living with foul-smelling brown water because the cost of fixing the pipes is high, and many can’t afford to buy a constant supply of bottled water.

Now, in the wake of the state’s prolonged drought and the notorious water crisis in Flint, Mich., a number of new solutions have been proposed in California.

  • On Friday, lawmakers shelved two bills that supporters said would have helped. Under one voluntary measure, nearly all water districts in the state would have charged customers an additional 95 cents a month, unless the customers opted out of paying it. First proposed by Democratic state Sen. Bill Monning of Carmel as a mandatory tax, it didn’t muster the necessary two-thirds vote for passage, and Monning scaled it back.
  • Monning also advanced a tax on dairies and fertilizer makers, industries that are heavy contributors to the nitrates found in some of the state’s groundwater. Associations representing those industries endorsed the bill, in part because the paying companies would have been protected from having to clean tainted water of nitrates. Legislators estimated that together the two bills could have raised more than $100 million a year. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Democrat from Paramount, declined Friday to put the two measures to a vote.
  • In November, California voters will decide on Proposition 3, which would permit the state to borrow almost $9 billion to help fund all kinds of water infrastructure projects: storage, dam repairs, watershed improvements and restoration of fisheries and other habitat. Voters in June approved a bond measure for more than $4 billion, some of it for waterway cleanup.
  • In this summer’s state budget agreement, more than $23 million was set aside for safer drinking water, with another $5 million to address lead in water at child-care centers.

This week, activists rallied outside California’s Capitol, trying to build support for the two Monning bills. The measures wouldn’t have solved all the state’s drinking-water problems, but money from both could have been used for operations, not just infrastructure projects, said Phoebe Seaton, co-director of the nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, based in Fresno .

“The reason they’re so important is they provide the revenue necessary for operations maintenance,” Seaton said. The ballot measure bond money could be spent only on infrastructure improvements.

“That means helping … some districts get solvent so they can apply for grants,” she said. “They complement the bond funds.”

That was music to the ears of Compton residents. Their water district was the poster child for Monning’s bills. One crucial step for that district, Seaton said, is to get financially straight so it can secure the grants necessary to make improvements. Without the operational funding from the bills, she said, the Sativa district will continue to founder.

Cindy Tuck, deputy executive director of the Association of Water Agencies, a statewide trade group, said another tax is not the way to go and might cause more problems than it would solve.

“This is a social issue for the state of California, and the state should do something about it,” Tuck said.

The opt-out provision of the voluntary fee, she said, could have caused chaos in water companies’ billing systems.

“Water agencies have automated electronic systems,” Tuck said, and giving people a choice about paying one part of their bill runs counter to that. “I had one city tell me it would be over a million dollars just to change their system.”

Many customers might not even have known they’d paid an additional fee, she said, particularly if they used an auto-pay feature.

And if customers paid the voluntary charge without meaning to, they could have had their money refunded, setting off another complicated accounting procedure, Tuck said.

“It’s just a logistical nightmare,” she said.

Seaton had a different view: “There has been a lot of thinking on this. That’s why (there would have been) a notification period beforehand to include people.”

And the bill wouldn’t have gone into effect until 2020, she noted—enough time for some of those logistical details to be ironed out.

Lewis just wants relief from the brown stuff dribbling from her faucet.

“It’s not safe,” she said. “It can’t be safe.”

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

Source: TechCrunch

Original Content podcast: Going on a true crime spree with Netflix’s ‘Evil Genius’

“Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist” is a tough title to live up to, but the Netflix docuseries pulls it off.

That’s because the story that “Evil Genius” retells is full of impossible-seeming details — it starts out with a botched bank robbery committed by a man with a bomb attached to his neck and gets stranger from there.

In the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we talk about our reactions to the show — it tells an unforgettable story, but might have benefited from tighter editing.

We also mull over the growing genre of true crime miniseries, covering “The Staircase,” plus fictionalized depictions of real-world events like “Mindhunter” and “Manhunt: Unabomber.”

And we go over some recent streaming headlines, including Hulu’s rumored revival of “Veronica Mars” and Netflix picking up the U.S. rights to “The Great British Baking Show”.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Source: TechCrunch

The collapse of ETH is inevitable

Here’s a prediction. ETH — the asset, not the Ethereum Network itself — will go to zero.

Those who already think that ETH will not see real adoption — thanks to a failure to scale, to adopt more secure contract authoring practices, or to out-compete its competitors — don’t need to be convinced that a price collapse would follow as a consequence.

But, if one believes that Ethereum will succeed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams as a platform then the proposition that ETH (as a currency) will go to zero will take a bit more convincing running a substantial share of the world’s commerce securely.

So here’s how Ethereum ends up succeeding wildly but ETH becomes worthless. Ethereum’s value proposition, as given by ethereum.org, is as follows:

Build unstoppable applications

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.

These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property.

This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middleman or counterparty risk.

If Ethereum succeeds on its value proposition it will therefore mitigate external risk factors for decentralized applications.

İstanbul, Turkey – January 28, 2018: Close up shot of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum memorial coins and shovels on soil. Bitcoin Litecoin and Ethereum are crypto currencies and a worldwide payment system.

No Future for ‘Gas’

There’s no value proposition for ETH in the official description. Perhaps this omission is because ETH’s value seems so obvious to the Ethereum Foundation that it is hardly worth mentioning: $ETH fees (dubbed ‘Gas’) is how you pay for all this.

If the concept of gas isn’t immediately obvious, let’s expand the metaphor: The Ethereum network is like a shared car. When a contract wants to be driven by the shared car, the car uses up fuel, which you have to pay the driver for. How much gas money you owe depends on how far you had to be driven, and how much trash you left in the car.

Gas is a nice metaphor, but the metaphor is insufficient as an argument to support non-zero $ETH prices. Gasoline actually burns inside an internal combustion engine; an internal combustion engine will not work without a combustible fuel. $ETH as Gas is a metaphor for how gasoline is consumed; there is no hard requirement for Gas in an Ethereum contract.

(Photo by Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Buying the “BuzzwordCoin”

Suppose we’re building a new decentralized application, BuzzwordCoin. By default, following a standard ERC-20 Token template, every transaction on BuzzwordCoin will pay gas in $ETH. Requiring every BuzzwordCoin transaction to also depend on ETH for fees creates substantial risk, third party dependency, and artificial downwards pressure on the price of the underlying token (if one must sell BuzzwordCoin for ETH ahead of time to run a BuzzwordCoin transaction, then the sell-pressure will happen before the transaction requires it, and must be a larger sale than necessary to ensure sufficient funds to cover the transaction).

Instead of paying for Gas in ETH, we could make every BuzzwordCoin transaction deposit a small amount of BuzzwordCoin directly to the block’s miner’s address to pay for the contract’s execution. Paying for Gas in a non-ETH asset is sometimes referred  to as economic abstraction in the Ethereum community.

The revised BuzzwordCoin contract has no functional dependence on ETH. We’re able to incentivize miners to mine transactions without paying any fees in ETH whatsoever.

If the BuzzwordCoin contract has non-transactional contractual clauses — that is, a functionality that should be regularly called by any party for tasking like computing and updating cached statistics in the contract — we can specify that the miner performing those clauses receives coins from an inflation or shared gas pool. In the shared pool, all fees for user’s transactions in a specific contract are paid to the contract’s wallet. A fee dispensing contract call performing the non-transactional clauses releases the fee to the miner (this bears some semblance to Child Pays for Parent in the Bitcoin Ecosystem).

Battling the economic abstraction

There are four main counterarguments to economically abstracting Ethereum: the lack of software support for economic abstraction; difficulty in pricing many tokens; the existence of contracts not tied to tokens; and the need for ETH for Proof-of-Stake. While nuanced, all four arguments fall flat.

Software Support: Currently, miners select transactions based on the amount of Gas provided in ETH. As ETH is not a contract (like an ERC-20 token), the code is special-cased for transactions dealing in ETH. However, there are efforts to make Ethereum treat ETH less special-cased and more like other ERC-20 Tokens and vice-versa. Weth, for instance, wraps ETH in a 1:1 pegged ERC-20 compliant token for trading in Decentralized Exchanges.

Detractors of economic abstraction (notably, Vitalik Buterin) argue that the added complexity is not worth the ecosystem gains. This argument is absurd. If the software doesn’t support the needs of rational users, then the software should be amended. Furthermore, the actual wallet software required for any given token is made much more complex, as the wallet must manage balances in both ETH and the application’s token.

Market Pricing: To mine on Ethereum with economic abstraction, miners simply need software which allows them to account for discrepancies in their perceived value of active tokens and include transactions rationally on that basis.  Such software requires dynamically re-ordering pending transactions based on pricing information, gleaned either through the miner’s own outlook or monitoring cryptocurrency exchanges prices.

Vlad Zamfir argues that the potential need to monitor market information on prices makes economic abstraction difficult.

However, miners requiring pricing information is already the status quo — rational actors need a model of future ETH prices before mining (or staking) to maximize profit against electricity costs, hardware costs, and opportunity costs.

Non-Token Contracts: Not all contracts have coins, or if they do, they may not be widely recognized, valuable, and traded on exchanges. Can such contracts pay fees without ETH?

Users of a tokenless contract can pay fees in whichever tokens they want. For example, a user of TokenlessContract can pay their fees in a 50/50 mix of LemonadeCoin and TeaBucks. To ensure liquidity between users and miners with different assets they would pay or accept fees with, a user can simply issue multiple mutually-exclusive transactions paying with fees in different assets.

Specialized wallet contracts could also negotiate fees with miners directly .  A miner could also process transactions paying fee with an asset they do not want if there is an open Decentralized Exchange (DEX) offer to exchange the fee asset for something they prefer —  it is possible to create DEX orders for paying fees which allowing only a block’s miner to fill a user’s offers in proportion to the fees that a user has paid in that block preventing the case where a user’s fee diversifying offers are taken by non-miners.

Proof-of-Stake: Without ETH, a modified version of Proof-of-Stake with a multitude of assets could still decide consensus if each node selects a weight vector for the voting power of all assets (let’s call it HD-PoS, or Heterogeneous Deposit Proof Of Stake). While it is an open research question to

show under which conditions HD-PoS would maintain consensus, consensus may be possible if the weight vectors are similar enough.

Proofs of HD-PoS may be possible by assuming a bound on the pairwise euclidean distance of the weight vectors or the maximum difference between any two prices. If such a consensus algorithm proves impossible, the failure to find such an algorithm points to a more general vulnerability in Ethereum PoS.  

Assuming a future where ETH’s main utility is governance voting, why wouldn’t all the other valuable applications on Ethereum have a say in the consensus process? Rolling back actions in a valuable token contract by burning ETH stake could be a lucrative business; if HD-PoS is used such attacks are impossible.

Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum Foundation) at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017

ETH’s ethereal value

If all the applications and their transactions can run without ETH, there’s no reason for ETH to be valuable unless the miners enforce some sort of racket to require users to pay in ETH. But if miners are uncoordinated, mutually disinterested, and rational, they would prefer to be paid in assets of their own choosing rather than in something like ETH. Furthermore, risk-averse users would want to minimize their exposure to volatile assets they don’t have to use. Lastly, token developers benefit because pricing in their native asset should serve to reduce sell-pressure. Thus, in a stateless ecosystem, replacing ETH is a Pareto Improvement (i.e., all parties are better off). The only party disadvantaged is existing ETH holders.

  • The author holds Stellar and Bitcoin,  but has relatively little holdings in other cryptocurrencies. He has previously done a Virtual Lapel Pin Sale (like an ICO) for his cause, “Fuck Nazis”, on top of Ethereum which faced both government censorship and censorship from the Ethereum community. 

Source: TechCrunch