Category Archives: FinTech and Alternative Finance

Most ICOs Fail: Tale of Two Worlds

Share

Hackernoon | Eric Risley | Sep 26, 2017

The number of Initial coin offerings has surged over the past six months. However, all is not as rosy as it appears. A nuanced assessment of token distribution activity tells a tale of two very different issuer experiences. Architect Partners evaluated over 100 project white papers augmented by data published by Smith + Crown and tokendata.io to move beyond the breathless headlines.

Successes

Yes, there are many successful token distributions. Since the beginning of June 2017, 46 projects have completed an ICO in line with their stated objectives, raising over $1.6 billion. On average these projects have raised $36mm to fund their efforts although outliers skew the data as the median raise was $19mm. Clearly these projects have demonstrated excellent receptivity by token purchasers.

Failures

However, most ICOs fail, sometimes miserably, at achieving their objectives. The vast majority of issuers indicated their token distribution goals via a stated goal, a soft cap or a hard cap. We simply evaluated final results vs. stated objectives. If an issuer achieved greater than 75% of their hoped-for token distribution, we considered it a success, below that level, a failure.

The token distribution market has quickly become more difficult. In June 2017, only one project failed to reach their objective. However, subsequent months tell a far different tale. From July 1 through September 25th 2017, 51 ICOs launched with high hopes, yet failed to meet their own objectives. These represented an astounding 59% failure rate for all ICOs during that time period.

Join us Nov 16 for a Toronto event:  New Frontiers in Capital Innovation - Initial Coin Offerings

Some may contend that even failure is beneficial to a project as it raises funds to allow the initiation or continued development of the project and team’s vision. In some cases, that’s a quite reasonable argument, however, in many cases the value proposition of the actual token issued is seriously compromised, perhaps permanently. Also, the level of capital raised from a failed token distribution is rapidly declining, from a median of $4mm in July 2017 to $2mm in September 2017 and 21 (43% of the total) raised $1mm or less from their efforts.

Chart: Token Distribution Success Rate

The chart below details each project evaluated and the results:

Lessons and The Future

We are clearly seeing a first step in the maturation of the ICO market. While each token distribution success and failure requires its own analysis, it’s clear that the market is doing what markets do best: make efficient decisions. That’s not to say all the successful token distributions will become successful projects and vice versa, however, a stark two-tier market has quickly developed via “crowd behaviour”.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Vancouver Conf + Hackathon (NOV 28): 3rd VanFUNDING 2017 New Frontiers Fintech Conference + Sandbox Hackathon (Registration Now OPEN)

Share

NOV 28:  3rd Annual VanFUNDING 2017

New Frontiers Full Day Fintech Conference (#VF2017)

When:  Tuesday, NOV 28, 2017 (8am - 6pm)

Venue: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (Asian pacific hall)

580 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 (map)

$350 Registration / *$395 VIP Pass

 $250 Member Discount / *$295 VIP Pass

*VIP Passes (Include Nov 28 + Nov 27 Networking)


NOV 28:  VF2017 Sandbox Hackathon

Full Day Mini-Hack + Cash Prize + Rewards

When:  Tuesday, NOV 28, 2017 (8am - 6pm)

Venue: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (Concourse)

580 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 (map)

*$400 Small Team (2-3 members)

*$650 Large Team (Up to 6 members)

* Hackathon is co-hosted with the BC Securities Commission

 


NOV 27:  VIP Networking Reception

Pre-VanFUNDING VIP Mixer

Monday, NOV 27, 2017

Venue:  TBD

$75 Registration

* Networking with speakers, partners, investors and VIP attendees

SAVE 30% EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

View #VF2017 Release

Not to be missed - will sell out! Last conference of the year...

3rd VanFUNDING 2017 (#VF2017) is an immersive full day financial innovation forum and premiere hackathon hosted by the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, partners and affiliates on Tuesday, Nov 28 in downtown Vancouver, Canada at SFU's Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue. #VF2017 is a leading conference dedicated to accelerating access and development of emerging financial technologies, funding opportunities and capital innovation markets across Canada and around the world. The conference ignites venture markets and provides opportunities for startups and scaleups seeking to connect with financial innovators, private capital markets, investors, and partners to expand their networks. The 2017 agenda covers the hottest topics from Blockchain smart contracts and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the latest developments, emerging regulations, new business models in PeerToPeer (P2P) crowdfinance, fintech, alternative finance, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence applications, and global financial marketplaces. Other vital capital innovation topics will cover international developments, perk/rewards, lending, equity, royalty, market provisioning and infrastructure; investor marketing, leadership culture, cyber security and legal and financial considerations.


Learn the Latest Funding Opportunities and Fintech Market Developments and Plug into a Collaborative Community of Experts, Investors, Stealth Startups, Prospective Partners and Financial Innovators

VanFUNDING 2017 is a not to be missed BLOCKCHAIN and FINTECH FUNDING conference that pushes boundaries to discuss the latest developments, educate, inspire, and connect ‘You and your vision’ with leading innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, vendors, thought leaders and policy makers in the quickly emerging sectors of fintech, P2P, crowdfinance, blockchain ICOs, digital currencies and alternative finance.

Be part of the Future of Financial Services - Get Involved Today!

Interested in speaking? Applications Now Open

Partnership opportunities available! Sponsorship Info

Volunteer? Apply here

MEDIA pass? Visit here

 

Questions or in-kind Partnerships?

Email: info@ncfacanada.org

 

Visit the full VanFUNDING.ca website --> now

View Last year: Speakers | Partners | Wrap-up

Share

Global Regulators Play Bitcoin Whack-a-Mole as Demand Explodes

Share

Bloomberg | By Olga Kharif and Camila Russo | Oct 11, 2017

Regulators worldwide are finding that it’s incredibly hard to control the explosive growth of money tied to no nation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is the latest to call for regulation of cryptocurrencies, saying there are “serious risks” they can be used for money laundering or tax evasion. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has called for regulating digital money as securities, while central bank officials vowed to work with prosecutors to block websites that allow retail investors access to bitcoin exchanges. “We think this is a pyramid scheme,” said Sergey Shvetsov, first deputy governor of the central bank.

See:  The Summer of ICOs: VC Implications

 

Global efforts to regulate digital money have accelerated in the past month since China banned initial coin offerings and ordered all cryptocurrency exchanges to close, following inspections of more than 1,000 trading venues over a six-month period. At least 13 other countries have imposed new rules or announced plans to tighten regulations, including South Korea, which also banned ICOs. Last week, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said the bank is discussing "concrete legal restrictions" on digital coin sales.

It’s a development that creators of bitcoin, the best-known digital currency, saw coming, and prepared for. Since it works on a peer-to-peer network, users can buy and sell coins and secure and perpetuate the system without any government or central bank involvement. Trying to control it is “like trying to catch water,” said Alex Tapscott, chief executive of NextBlock Global Ltd., a venture-capital firm that invests in blockchain startups.

Nine years after a mysterious coder that goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed bitcoin on the world, some see it as a revolutionary use of technology that takes power away from governments and gives it to individuals, like handheld video cameras in the hands of civil rights activists, or social media during the Arab Spring uprisings.

"As cryptocurrencies gain wider acceptance, their ability to undermine politicians increases,” said Roger Ver, an early investor in bitcoin who is known as Bitcoin Jesus, for proselytizing about the digital currency in its early days. "The invention of bitcoin is one of the most liberating technologies in all of human history. It is on par with the importance of the invention of the printing press, or the internet itself."

Digital currencies live on computers and can be held by millions worldwide, bought and sold on websites, at MeetUps, or in person-to-person meetings. Even if there’s no ATM or exchange nearby, anyone with access to the Internet can buy them. And they can be used to purchase everything from a sandwich to a carpet to a house, or they can be held as an investment.

An investment of $1,000 in bitcoin in 2012 would now be worth about $4.9 million, while the number of transactions continues to increase. In the second quarter, they reached an average of about 291,000 per day for bitcoin and nearly double that when other major cryptocurrencies are included, from about 60,000 per day in 2013, according to researcher CoinDesk.

 

 

Bitcoin Mining

China is the leader in bitcoin mining capacity -- computers that are used to support bitcoin transactions and then get paid for the service with newly minted coins. Regulators have so far refrained from any action in that area. Wu Jihan, CEO of Bitmain Technologies Ltd., the world’s biggest mining operation, said in an interview that regional governments are welcome to legally set up bitcoin mining farms which are clean and considered part of the high-tech industry.

See:  Canadian Regulatory ‘Sandbox’ Seeks to Avoid Crypto Coin Quicksand

Cryptocurrencies are attractive where there are restrictions on taking cash abroad or where the local currency is weakening because of inflation. In Venezuela, a place with both problems, bitcoin’s weekly trading volume spiked to an all-time high in early April, when violent clashes between protesters and police started. The government has conducted raids on bitcoin miners, accusing them of “internet fraud and electricity theft.”

The same combination of capital controls, high inflation and a weakening currency have driven demand for cryptocurrencies across Latin America. Bitcoin demand spiked in Argentina in 2013 after former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner banned dollar purchases, while Ecuador and Bolivia are among the few countries that have outright bans on the currency.

By contrast, the U.K. has exempted bitcoin from value-added taxes, and says it should be considered a foreign currency for corporate tax purposes. The U.K. was early in publishing clear directives, ruling in 2014 that "bitcoin may be held as an investment or used to pay for goods or services at merchants where it is accepted.”

Crypto-Friendly Japan

Japan this year began enforcing a law that recognizes bitcoin as a legal method of payment, and overseeing cryptocurrency exchanges -- effectively providing clarity and support to local entrepreneurs. That’s something Vietnam may do as well.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Former PayPal President Scott Thompson Joins Canadian Fintech Payment Rails As Investor & Board Advisor

Share

Crowdfund Insider | | Oct 10, 2017

Payment Rails, a Canada-based API-first payouts platform for businesses, announced on Tuesday it has appointed former President of PayPal, Scott Thompson, as an investor and board advisor. This news comes just after the company completed its seed round and brought total investment funding to $1.1 million. Founded in 2015, Payment Rails stated it is simplifying cross-border payouts for online marketplaces, share economy, crowdsourcing, affiliate platforms, app stores, and crowdfunding platforms.

Make payouts to your independent contractors, affiliates and suppliers anywhere in the world in 150+ currencies through our payouts-as-a-service platform. We offer a powerful API or you can upload batch files through our dashboard portal. Recipients have the choice of how they want to receive their funds and in which currency: direct to their own bank account, credit card, prepaid card, cash pick-up, check, paypal + other options.”

Payment Rails’ Co-founder and CEO,  Tim Nixon, explained:

“Our vision is to enable all businesses to offer an exceptional payout experience to their on-demand workers and suppliers, whether that business is a startup or a Fortune 500 company. Our focus on delivering the fastest global payments at fair and transparent prices, coupled with our easy integration, is what businesses have been demanding. With the guidance of industry experts like Scott, we’re on the way to achieving this vision.”

See:  PayPal launches Slack bot for peer-to-peer payments

While sharing details about Thompson’s appointment, Ferhan Patel, Co-Founder and President of Payment Rails, stated:

“We are thrilled to have Scott join our team as an advisor and investor. Scott is an industry giant having led PayPal and making it a dominant force in payments.  His experience and expertise will be extremely valuable as we scale our platform globally. Payment Rails is honored to be backed by our seed-round investors, like Scott. As we launch our business payouts platform, we truly appreciate the expertise that Scott, who through his leadership scaled PayPal to over 105M active users, brings to the Payment Rails board.”

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Five common options for financing your small business

Share

Financial Post | Danny Bradbury | Oct 10, 2017

Which method you choose depends on your company's current situation and its goals

For most small businesses, financing can be a challenge. Whether you need bridge capital to keep the business running in tough times, or structured debt for long-term growth, it pays to have a strategy for seeking out those elusive financing dollars. Statistics Canada found that just over half (51.3 per cent) of businesses requested external financing in 2014.

Equity-based financing options like venture capital often make the headlines, but less than one per cent of small businesses requested this in 2014. Debt-based financing is far more common, as is trade credit from suppliers.

Here are five financing options to turn to, depending on the type of small business you run, and its situation.

Bootstrapping

Funding yourself is a long-established and responsible way to get a small business off the ground. Bootstrappers are risk takers but also lateral thinkers. Rather than saddling themselves with debt or giving up ownership of their small company, they will use their own savings and potentially sell some assets to help finance their business in the early days.

Bootstrappers may work a side gig until they are confident that their new business idea has the legs to stand on its own. They may pre-sell products and services to help fund early-stage development. The successful ones cleave to one overarching principle: get to revenue quickly. If you’re going to bootstrap your company, the only thing that counts is the sale.

Small business loan

A small business loan is the most traditional route for those taking a debt-based approach to small business financing. Banks are often a first port of call, although they are naturally conservative, and they understand the higher risk involved with smaller operations that may have little to no credit history or collateral. This can make bank loans difficult to secure and could drive businesses toward such alternative lenders as OnDeck. Always ensure you understand the exact terms – and your payment commitments – before agreeing to a loan.

In Canada, another option is the government’s Small Business Financing Program, which provides up to $1 million in financing for purchasing or improving land, property or equipment. There are limitations though: working capital, inventory, labour and advertising are all excluded under this initiative.

Friends and family

If conditions from a financial institution are not to your liking, you could always borrow money from the Bank of Mom & Dad. Friends and family funding is a common way for small, high-growth businesses to get started, but it comes with some baggage.

See:  Current Fintech, Altfi, P2P, ICO, Crowdfunding News

It’s easy for money issues to cloud personal relationships, so small business people pursuing friends and family financing must be careful not to let emotion get in the way. Set out clear expectations around loan terms, including a percentage and payback date. Just because you were raised by those doing the lending doesn’t mean you can do away with legal advice. It keeps everyone on the same page.

Angel investors

Small business owners willing to give up some equity can go in search of an angel investor. These full-or part-time investors put their own money into early-stage businesses, hoping for future return if they succeed.

You may give up part ownership of your company to these investors, but they often bring contacts and experience difficult to find elsewhere. It also means that you aren’t saddled with loan payments that can cripple your cash flow. AngelList connects investors with startups, while Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization has a directory of potential investors.

These investors suit entrepreneurs with high-growth businesses and a clear exit strategy. Would-be Mark Zuckerbergs should apply. Owners of family-run laundromats with no plans to take over the world should look elsewhere.

Crowdfunding

If your business idea is that good, why not spread it around? Crowdfunding is a growing financing model, with $133 million raised in 2015 alone, according to a report from the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. Consumer-focused businesses with some digital element to their products or services tend to do well with this model.

See:  VanFUNDING 2017 - NOV 28 Vancouver:  Raise Funding for Your Business leveraging All the Latest Methods

You can crowdfund using two broad approaches: reward/donation-based models, or debt/equity funding. The former are unregulated outside of traditional consumer protection and business laws. Selling equity in the company or taking loans with some promise of payback will bring you under regulatory scrutiny, but is still possible in some regions.

The Government of Canada’s Canada Business Network says equity crowdfunding is currently an option in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Conditions vary between provinces and depend on exactly how your crowdfunding process works.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Bitcoin is making banks nervous. Here’s why

Share

World Economic Forum | Marc-David L. Seidel | Oct 6, 2017

Technology blogs and financial news networks are buzzing about blockchain, a cryptographic, distributed trust technology. The key innovation is how it reduces the need for central third-party institutions to serve as central authorities of trust — banks, courts, large corporations, stock markets and even governments, for example.

Distributed trust enables co-operative forms of organization without a centre. It can distribute power away from centralized institutions to those that traditionally have less power. Such powerful institutions do not let go of their influence easily.

The ongoing debate about how to regulate distributed trust technologies assumes that the advocates of the technologies will seek both legal status and enforceability. Scholars proposethat such developments in distributed trust are a competitive threat to nation-state paper currencies.

Much of the current, popular focus is on cryptographic currency — or cryptocurrency — applications such as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin vs. banks

Regulators are struggling to deal with a fundamental shift in market structure. National central banks are implementing policies to keep control and regulate distributed trust technology.

For example, the Chinese government has banned several types of distributed trust activities, and is launching its own non-distributed, centralized digital currency.

The Japanese government has made Bitcoin a legal payment method, and major Japanese banks are planning to launch a J-Coin digital currency pegged to the Yen which may be built on a blockchain.


Upcoming Related Events:


Russia initially treated non-approved currency trades as illegal, but is now determining how to regulate them.

In fact, traditional centralized, powerful organizations like banks, governments, regulators and technology behemoths are all spending billions figuring out how to use and control distributed trust technologies.

But distributed trust technologies have many uses beyond cryptocurrency.

Volunteer-driven communities

Organizational theory has a lot to say about this transition. Distributed trust technologies are organized in what we call a Community Form (C-Form) of organization.

C-Forms are not new. They have been around since the 1800s when the Oxford English Dictionary was created by a distributed community of volunteers.

The growth of C-Forms was accelerated by technological developments enabling inexpensive peer-to-peer communication. C-Forms came into focus with the last internet-enabled major organizational shift to distributed information-creation platforms.

As a result of that innovation, we have seen many forms of information production shift to C-Forms. Open source software such as the Linux computer operating system, which competes with Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS, is produced and shared by individuals in C-Forms instead of centralized software companies. Encyclopedias such as Wikipedia are created by individuals in a C-Form instead of a centralized publishing house. Video content on Vimeo is produced and shared by individuals in a C-Form instead of centralized studios.

See:  Where is technology taking the economy?

Similarly, distributed trust technologies are shifting the organizational landscape of how trust is produced and managed from centralized institutions to a C-Form.

The development of distributed trust technologies is having a similar enabling effect on the growth of C-Forms replacing the trust functions of centralized institutions.

Fundamentally, this is a decentralization of power.

Power shift

Many of our previous assumptions about formal organization are being challenged by shifts to distributed forms of trust.

Individuals can now enter into direct peer-to-peer trusted exchanges with strangers. They no longer need a central institution to vouch for the other party. A blockchain-enabled microgrid in Brooklyn is already allowing individuals to sell their excess solar energy directly to neighbours without involving a central utility company.

This is a drastic shift to many of the underlying assumptions about how markets and society are organized. As power centralizes, opportunities emerge.

Many Silicon Valley success stories are simply centralized platforms. They capitalize on the power and legitimacy of enabling trusted interactions for others.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

This ICO for an AI blockchain is the most tech-hype idea of the year

Share

Wired |

We might have just hit Peak 2017 Buzzword: a startup is about to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to fund a blockchain-based network of Artificial Intelligences (AI), called SingularityNET.

Its goal — as the venture’s Kurzweilian name sort of gives away — is fostering the emergence of human-level artificial intelligence on a decentralised, open-source platform, spoiling the game for governments and technology colossuses striving to conjure up general AI in their secretive data centres.

The driving force behind the project is Ben Goertzel, a Hong Kong-based AI researcher and Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, a company specialised in building humanoid robots — such as eerie talking head Sophia. Over the last few years, Goertzel has grown wary of the concentration of AI power in the hands of a few Silicon Valley giants.

“I don’t think that what’s happening—with a few companies essentially owning AI, hiring every AI researcher, and buying every AI startup— is best for humanity,” he says. “It means that eventually human-level AI will come from these big corporations.”

Making that undesirable, Goertzel’s reasoning goes, is the fact that those companies might train their AIs towards finding new ways of lining their makers’ pockets—for instance, by perfecting targeted advertising—rather than tap into their power for tackling serious issues like climate change. Government-funded AI research is also problematic, as the resulting AI would be in thrall to powerful lobbyists or self-serving bureaucrats.

See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech

To break the AI oligopoly, Goertzel is turning to the blockchain, the digital scaffolding underpinning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Transactions on a blockchain are collectively processed by a multitude of computers (“nodes”), a structure ensuring that no single party controls the network. Recent developments have expanded the technology’s potential beyond exchanging digital currency: second-wave blockchains like Ethereum can run whole applications, able to interact with each other through self-enforcing sets of rules dubbed “smart contracts.” These features make the technology particularly attractive to Goertzel.

“SingularityNET’s idea is to create a distributed AI platform on the [Ethereum] blockchain, with each blockchain node backing up an AI algorithm,” Goertzel explains. AI researchers or developers would be able to make their AI products available to SingularityNET users, which would pay for services with network-specific crypto-tokens.

Initially, the plan is to have a system that provides visibility — and payment — to independent developers of AI programmes. “As a customer, you'll be getting AI from anyone, be it a technology giant or a programmer in Ethiopia or Kazakhstan,” Goertzel says. At first, these programmes will probably be relatively mundane applications, such as translation services or image recognition software.

The wrinkle is that, courtesy of the smart contract mechanism, these AI agents would be capable of communicating with each other, and even working together when necessary. For instance, Goertzel says, a translation application coming across a picture while translating a file could automatically ask (and pay) a computer vision programme to caption the image. Over time, Goertzel hopes that these repeated synergies would go on to become something more complex.

“We want create a system that learns on its own how to cobble together modules to carry out different functions. You'll see a sort of federation of AIs emerge from the spontaneous interaction among the nodes, without human guidance,” he explains. “It’ll have AI inside each and every nodes, and between them, and they’ll learn how to combine their skills.”

The expected endgame is that these swarms of smart nodes would get as intertwined as clusters of neurons, eventually evolving into human-level AI. Goertzel admits that it might take decades for that to happen, but he is positive that the primary purpose of the SingularityNET project is bringing about “beneficial Artificial General Intelligence” (that is: human-level AI).

Despite the hype which has characterised AI products — essentially, anything using some measure of machine learning — over the last couple of years, a hype partly fuelled by objective breakthroughs such as DeepMind AlphaGo’s achievements, the prospect of human-level AI spontaneously arising anytime soon is pretty remote. But if that were to happen, Goertzel says that what comes out of SingularityNET would be a strong AI that is beholden to no one and theoretically open to everybody to use; its decentralised infrastructure would also ensure that it would be very hard for ill-disposed parties to take it down. That resilience is good if the resulting super-intelligent entity is a juggernaut of artificial wisdom, humanity and self-restraint — much less so if what the network begets is the villainous robo-villain Elon Musk keeps warning us about.

But Goertzel is relatively untroubled by the Skynet scenario, which he thinks could be prevented by ensuring that SingularityNET's nodes only host beneficial projects.

See:  [Nov 16, Toronto Event]: New Frontiers in Capital Innovation – Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

“One way to go about this would be to guarantee that a certain percentage of the network is devoted to tasks that are voted by the community as being of common benefit: charitable tasks, biomedical research, education,” he says. “If the first human-level AI grows up helping everyone, then it's more likely that it'll that ethos. It's not a guarantee, but it's certainly better than it would be if it were spawned from a killer robot or an advertisement engine.”

All of this is very far off in time, though. Right now, Goertzel and his partner Simone Giacomelli hope to launch the project in the second quarter of 2018. In November, SingularityNET will crowdfund the completion of the project by launching an Initial Coin Offering or ICO: the sale of virtual tokens—to be used as a form of payment on the platform—to future users or speculators betting on the tokens' appreciation over time.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Share