bZx Hack: Blockchain Security Firm, Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Weigh In
The bZx glitches that resulted in a hacker exploiting the platform up to the tune of $350,000
has generated uproar in the cryptocurrency space, resulting in experts questioning the technology behind DeFi with some revealing its shortcomings. As discussion on the hack increases, blockchain security firm PeckShield has lent the space its voice on the matter. Researchers as PeckShield took their time to look into what transpired. The firm claimed the issue that led to the exploit is peculiar to current DeFi projects that share so-called composable liquidity.
The issue, according to the firm is “likely exploitable in a number of similar settings (particularly with margin trades or borrows).” The firm says the exploit, is technically “original”. The attack, as analyzed by PeckShield is an interesting one that employs a combination of features like flashloan, margin trade, and pump-and-dump, and made possible through the current shared composable liquidity model. The 5x margin trade gives room for a large volume of tokens with relatively low cost and the shared liquidity. This the analysis avers contributed to the pump-and-dump scheme from one DeFi project to another.
Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Weighs In
Litecoin creator, Charlie Lee, upon hearing about the exploits, said it was one of the reasons he never trust DeFi. Claiming DeFi is not decentralized, Charlie Lee said most DeFi can be shut down by a centralized party and hacks on cannot be undo or exploited unless more centralization is added. He said: “This is why I don’t believe in DeFi. It’s the worst of both worlds. Most DeFi can be shut down by a centralized party, so it’s just decentralization theatre. And yet no one can undo a hack or exploit unless we add more centralization. So how is this better than what we have now?”
Placeholder VC partner Joel Monegro, in his formative article on value captured by protocols,
explained that shared data layers in decentralized networks and limited supply cryptographic access tokens (i.e., cryptocurrencies) make blockchain protocols valuable and accessible for all. The proliferation of blockchains has led to an influx of these “fat” protocols, which are capturing more value than the leaner application layers on top vis-à-vis thin ones in traditional internet stacks such as TCP/IP. As a result, decentralized protocol solutions looking to solve various problems have come to the fore. Some of these problems being the disadvantages in traditional internet communication, centralized control over web accessibility, and mass surveillance. Blockchain-based VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a solution to this problem. Two major companies that are working on products in this space are Orchid and Tachyon Protocol. With their VPN services going live this month, let’s compare how the two match up.
An Introduction to Orchid and Tachyon
Orchid is building an open-source internet protocol on top of the internet stack to allow anonymous web access in order to circumvent surveillance states. It does so by incentivizing users to share bandwidth with others in a marketplace setting. This breaks up traffic and directs it over Orchid’s network of distributed nodes. Kind of a decentralized alternative to TOR (The Onion Router). Launched back in 2017, Orchid has so far raised USD 48M from marquee investors such as Sequoia, DFJ, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Box Group, Blockchain Capital, etc.
Tachyon Protocol is building an alternate stack to disrupt traditional communication protocols over the internet in order to eliminate drawbacks in TCP/IP. It is a collaboration between X-VPN and V Systems. X-VPN is a renowned VPN service provider used by 50 million + people worldwide. V Systems is a blockchain database cloud project that uses a unique Supernode-Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism for security. Tachyon brings to fruition years of experience and research by Sunny King (inventor of Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism), Peerchemist (Peercoin Project Leader, and President of the Peercoin Foundation) and FinTech investor Alex Yang. More on the collaborators and team members later. With a focus on VPN, both platforms are built on public blockchains (Ethereum and V Systems). Nodes on each network need to stake tokens for verification before they can offer traffic to users. In return, they receive crypto payments (in the respective tokens) through smart contracts. However, there are major differences between the two projects that set them apart.
Orchid vs. Tachyon Protocol
Orchid Protocol works on top of traditional internet protocols and creates a privacy layer using blockchain. This is done by using the open-source WebRTC for transmission to perform preliminary data obfuscation and multi-hop to reduce the chances of data theft. Data obfuscation makes Orchid traffic look like normal internet traffic with no identifier to detect that Orchid is being used. However, this also leads to the possibility of deterioration in the transmission quality of data being moved. In normal practice, data obfuscation has been seen to have adverse impacts on network security and firewall identification. Similarly, multi-hop, while hiding original nodes, does not mask individual node activity in a P2P network. As a result, source nodes can be tracked using traffic analysis. For storage and routing, Orchid uses IPFS and Ethereum’s DHT, respectively.
The Orchid Protocol acts as a layer on top of the normal Internet stack. In comparison, Tachyon Protocol’s approach has been to disrupt the core transmission protocols themselves, thereby providing a more comprehensive solution. It is reconstructing the TCP/IP model using its own iterations of proven P2P technologies – DHT, blockchain, UDP, and encryption.As opposed to WebRTC, it uses its own Booster UDP to improve network connection success rates and transmission quality. The Tachyon Security Protocol is designed for end-to-end encryption and protocol imitation. With respect to multi-hop, the Tachyon Anti-analysis helps multi-relay forwarding to reduce the risk of information exposure after a single node is attacked. Tachyon also uses its own DHT for routing.
Tachyon Protocol replaces traditional Internet Protocols with distributed technologies Orchid is built on Ethereum, which is a mature ecosystem with thousands of dApps and platforms built over it. However, in its current state, the Ethereum chain is limited in terms of TPS (transactions per second) and hence leads to performance bottlenecks during times of high traffic. Orchid Protocol’s whitepaper mentions that if it were to rely on Ethereum solely, the network would allow up to 7 million users only. Comparatively, V Systems, the blockchain on which Tachyon is based, has much higher TPS and hence can theoretically support a billion users. However, it is a smaller ecosystem compared to Ethereum and is relatively newer.
For verification, Orchid Protocol uses a stake weighting plan for nodes with staking time as the adjustable parameter. The initial staking period is set at 30 days, which is good for network security but increases the barrier to entry for user participation since they need to bear more opportunity costs from higher risks of price fluctuations. To solve this issue, Orchid lets nodes with higher/longer stakes to get more traffic. This, however, runs the risk of Matthew effect: “rich get richer, poor get poorer.” In Tachyon Protocol, staking amounts and staking periods are both adjustable parameters, thereby allowing more parameters to be tweaked in the event of an early-stage attack. The initial staking time is set to 7 days in Tachyon. In order to make up for the opportunity costs of users, the system provides fixed staking rewards to participants.
Key team members of Orchid Protocol are:
CEO Dr. Steven “Seven” Waterhouse who co-founded RPX Corp and was a project lead at Fortress, Pantera Capital and Sun Microsystems. Steven has extensive experience in the blockchain industry, with key connections in the VC investment space.
Co-Founder Brian J. Fox who was the first employee of the Free Software Foundation and is the author of the GNU Bash shell. Brian has a rich experience in open source community development.
Co-Founder Jay Freeman who developed the popular Cydia software.
Co-Founder Gustav Simonsson, who helped launch Ethereum and is an authority figure in blockchain security.
Key Tachyon people include:
Founding Member Sunny King who invented the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism and is the founder of V Systems blockchain project. Sunny is a cult hero figure in the cryptocurrency space making rare appearances in public to maintain his anonymity.
Founding Member Peerchemist who is a project leader at Peercoin. As an OG crypto developer, he is highly regarded in the developer community and maintains a global developer network influence.
Founding Member Alex Yang who is a FinTech investor and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in banking and finance including Nomura as an Executive Director and UBS as a VP. He is also a Co-Founder of Beam Capital.
Sunny King’s first “public appearance” at The Capital event by CoinMarketCap (source).For making settlements, Orchid uses nano payments, which is also one of its major points of focus. Nano payments allow for a large number of small transactions at low transaction costs. However, nano payments aren’t completely untraceable, and as mentioned earlier, individual node traffic can be tracked to identify source nodes.In comparison, Tachyon has a unique mainchain payment channel. In addition to allowing for a large number of small transactions, the transaction fees in the sidechain are nil. Payments using this sidechain method are anonymous since they use payment pools. But the implementation complexity is high.Having analyzed both projects at length, there are certainly pros and cons to both platforms. However, one major advantage that Tachyon has over Orchid is that it is backed by established brands like X-VPN and V Systems, which have been battle-tested by millions of users. As the war of the VPN protocols heats up, it will be interesting to see how these two platforms grow and influence the segment and each other over time.
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Clearing Confusion: Can Blockchain Transactions be Hacked?
Transparency and security – whenever these two words are taken together,
the first name that hits our mind is blockchain.Blockchain technology, since its inception, has given us an assurance that the data stored in blocks will be transparent, accessible, yet secure. It has emerged as a superhero who can save the world of healthcare, finance, education, and enterprise from frauds, duplicate data storage, hidden costs, and much more. The technology has proven its potential beyond cryptocurrencies and has landed among the top trends. It has encouraged developers and entrepreneurs to get a profound knowledge of blockchain basics before entering the market.
But, is blockchain actually hackproof? Before you nod in affirmation, let us say: No, it’s not. A majority of blockchain networks operate on public databases. Because of this, anyone having the authorization to view the transactions within the network can easily look into history. They might not figure out what is the real name of the user but can easily find out when a particular transaction has been performed and using which wallet.
Besides, since any data added in a block is often approved by the user with the highest spending, it is possible that the hacker double-spend their cryptocurrencies to get this privilege and fork the transaction. Something termed as 51% attack in the technical world. Clear evidence of which is that nearly $1 billion have been stolen by opportunistic attackers from varied exchanges as disclosed by an analytics firm Chainanalysis. Now, knowing this, the next question that hits everyone’s mind is: How to prevent blockchain transactions hacking? The answer is: Zero-Knowledge Proof.
Brief Introduction to Zero-Knowledge Proof
Proposed by the MIT researchers Shafi Goldwasser, Charles Rackoff, and Silvio Micali, Zero-Knowledge proof (ZKP), in layman language, is encryption process where a person (prover) confirms whether a statement is true to another person (verifier) without revealing any information.
Let us explain with an example.
Suppose, two employees, A and B who are working in the same company got incentives. They are curious to know if they have received the same amount of incentive, but are not comfortable in disclosing it. So, assuming that the incentive can be either $100, $200, $300, or $400, employee A brought four lockable boxes and placed them in a vacant room. He marked them $100, $200, $300, and $400, and left with the key of the box related to his incentive value. Now, Employee B entered the room with 4 pieces of clothes. He inked ‘1’ on one of the papers while ‘0’ on the others. Here, the ‘1’ sign represents his incentive value while the ‘0’ denotes other values. He opened the boxes and kept the clothes in all the lockable boxes and left the room while informing Employee A about the meaning of signs.
Employee A revisits and checks if the box’s key he has, has the clothes with ‘1’ sign inked. When not, he gets to know they haven’t received the same amount of incentive. Likewise, when Employee B finds Employee A with the clothes having ‘0’ sign inked, he too realizes that they got a different amount of incentives. In this way, both come to the conclusion that they have not received the same amount of incentives. But, since none of them revealed the real numbers, they have no idea whether Employee A has got more incentive than Employee B, or vice- versa.
So, this is what we call Zero-Knowledge Proof.
The protocol enables users to conduct an action while maintaining data anonymity and privacy – something that the Blockchain transaction is lacking presently. Now, since the approach is made clear, there are high chances that you want to know how you can introduce the ZKP concept in the Blockchain ecosystem. But before we jump to that part, let’s have a look at the real-world implementations to understand its scope far better.
Real-World Examples of Implementation of ZKP in the Blockchain Arena
ZCoin. The foremost example of the implementation of Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) in the blockchain system is ZCoin. The company employs ZKP-based Zerocoin protocol to introduce the power of security, anonymity and scalability in the transactions.
ZCash. It is the open-source blockchain network which adds the possibility to keep the transactions transparent when safeguarding the associated information.
ING. Another example is ING which is a bank in Netherland. This bank has revamped the Zero-Knowledge proof to introduce their own Zero-Knowledge range proof which reduces the demand for higher computational power.
With this covered, let’s make no more hassle and cover the core part of the article, i.e, possible implementations of Zero-Knowledge Proof in the Blockchain world.
How Can Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) Be Implemented in Blockchain?
Authentication. As you can learn from the example shared above, Zero-Knowledge Proof helps build Blockchain networks where users need not share sensitive information for performing any transaction. Something that lowers the risk of data leakage.
Messaging System. In the current mechanism followed by messaging systems, users have to reveal some sensitive information to the server for identity verification. But, when ZKP is introduced in the process, users aren’t required to share extra information for building end-to-end trust.
File System Control. Zero-Knowledge Proofs concept can add numerous security layers to files, logins, and even users. This can make it tough for everyone to hack or update the stored information.
Complicated Documentation. Lastly, Zero-Knowledge proof will increase the chances of data encryption in small chunks. It will also offer access to certain users while impeding access to others. This can further help in protecting complex documentation from unauthorized users.
So, these were some of the ways the concept of Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) can be introduced in the blockchain system and make the transactions unhackable. However, this is again not an easy task. Various challenges are associated with the process of collaborating the concept into the blockchain development process. So, it is advisable to bring an experienced blockchain developer on board for reaping higher benefits with this integration.
This Week Gamers Invested $1 Million in Virtual Blockchain Real Estate
This week alone, gamers, virtual reality enthusiasts, and the cryptocurrency community have invested nearly a million dollars
worth of real world currencies into virtual real estate generated and maintained by blockchains. The three largest blockchain generated virtual world games, The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Cryptovoxels, all saw the total trading volume of their digital tokens surge above $940,000 USD. That’s according to data compiled by Nonfungible, the largest database of blockchain gaming and crypto collectible markets. That figure includes volume from direct sales of blockchain real estate, and token trading in secondary exchange markets.
Blockchain Real Estate Sale at The Sandbox
Part of the surge in volume is likely due to a big virtual “land sale” going on in The Sandbox. The creative, blockchain generated virtual world is selling about 7% of its virtual land in the cryptocurrency video game’s second land sale. The Sandbox raised $168,000 from the sale in the last week. The platform registered over six thousand sales to Sandbox players, and the average order was for $28. There is still some 300 parcels of land available, but inventories are dwindling fast. Decentraland (MANA) is the largest crypto video game out there as far as trading volume goes. Its virtual world is preparing for a Feb 20 launch. It’s attracted a lot of attention from gamers and cryptocurrency investors. Using the Ethereum blockchain, players can buy and secure their virtual names (registered through Ethereum Name Service Domains), while virtual clothes and player accessories are also blockchain available for sale.
Decentraland and Cryptovoxels Burgeon
Players and crypto speculators are also buying blockchain real estate on Decentraland. Over the past week, the Decentraland blockchain has seen some $572,000 in trading volume. Cryptovoxels has experienced over $200,000 in weekly trading volume as well. Anyone can buy blockchain real estate in these digital worlds. Players who own crypto-secured virtual land can build structures on their land, and even run business enterprises in world and monetize their land to generate cryptocurrency cashflow as a source of income. The digital marketplace is attracting a mix of gaming enthusiasts and business people looking for a lucrative opportunity.
These blockchain powered titles to digital land in virtual worlds are shifting the entire gaming paradigm. (They could disrupt titling for real world real estate as well.) Now players can be more than consumers. They can be both consumers of gaming entertainment, and agents of production and market enterprise in digital universes. That’s something for economists and human behavior theorists to ponder. It’s something revolutionary, but it’s not something entirely new.
From Consumers to Blockchain Powered Producers
We began to see this shift in the role of gamers when Second Life debuted in 2003. It didn’t take long for a thriving digital economy to populate the virtual landscape of Second Life, complete with its own digital currency, Linden dollars, that had an equivalent real world economic value. The phenomenon was fascinating to economists and computer theorists. It may have even been a visionary preview of what blockchain would make possible less than a decade later, digital currency that is completely secured by code in a trustless, distributed network. That would be a necessary next step in the evolution of virtual economies for them to scale with any degree of reliability and trust from the new consumer/producers who would participate in them.
The next step for blockchain powered virtual reality? Players may want to begin forming virtual governments with a democratic ethos, so they can have an equal stake, responsibility, and influence in the governance of these worlds. People could end up supporting their livelihoods with full time jobs in these worlds, so a government to protect their enterprise is a likely eventuality. These pioneers are colonizing the final frontier—blockchain.
Article Produced By Wesley Messamore
Econ, finance, history, and politics nerd. Bachelor of Business Administration. Majored in Entrepreneurship. Wesley loves blockchain and hashbrowns.
Cardano Makes More Inroads – Donates $500k Worth Of ADA To The University Of Wyoming For Blockchain Research
Cardano has been one of the heavyweights when it comes to blockchain-based solutions.
The company behind the Cardano project is IOHK, a software company. Cardano is particularly popular as the creator of Cardano (ADA), the cryptocurrency that currently sits at position 11 on the crypto market charts. Of late, Cardano has been on a charm offensive, trying to take its blockchain-based solutions mainstream as well as shore up support for ADA. Indeed, the company even sought to partner with various governments to streamline their economic sectors. Last year, Cardano started an Education and Business Development program in Ethiopia.
Supporting Blockchain Research
Basically, Cardano’s main objective is to spur interest among learners to focus on blockchain research. To do this, the company has sought to support various institutions of higher learning. This time, Cardano is coughing up a cool $500,000 in support of the University of Wyoming. This donation is expected to help fund the University’s Blockchain Research and Development Lab. For one, blockchain research needs various high-priced resources that would be otherwise no affordable especially by independent researchers. However, in the world of research, there are always some serious contributors that are willing to fund the most promising ventures. Cardano being one of these stakeholders when it comes to blockchain research.
First off, Cardano doesn’t fund the select blockchain research and learning projects for the sake of it. Rather, CEO and founder Charles Hoskinson and the company at large have a long-term goal, which is to get as many young learners as possible interested in blockchain development – and precisely on the Cardano network. As such, these developers would very likely inspire new and innovative use cases for ADA as well as popularize Cardano as a viable project capable of handling various issues of concern within both the corporate and public institutions. It’s a win for everyone.
Article Produced By Nick James
Nick is a cool guy with lots of love for technology especially cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He likes to share the juicy nitty-gritty about the latest developments in the crypto world. When he's not immersed in his crypto world and creative mindset, you can find him having fun with friends and family.
MAXathon – Blockchain Hackathon by Maxonrow with 15.000€ Prize Pool in Berlin April 18-19, 2020
Maxonrow will host its first-ever MAXathon from April 18-19, 2020 in Berlin,
where participants will have the chance to win from a 15.000€ prize pool and explore how blockchain can be used to create solutions for healthcare, education, and governments using Maxonrow’s SDK. MAXathon will take place at Factory Berlin Görlitzer Park, a community space and startup lab, host of hackathons and events, where Berlin’s diverse network of innovators come together. MAXathon will be free of cost, and in addition to all meals and after-party, it will also feature workshops and activities led by industry leaders for participants who want to take a break from coding.
“Last year, before Maxonrow began launching its product suite, we planned and attended over 30 events around the world to spread the word about the world’s first KYC Blockchain. This year, we want to kick of 2020 with our largest event yet, where participants will finally be able to play around with our SDK and features. We are expecting over 150 participants that include blockchain experts and enthusiasts, developers, students, and experienced techies.” said Carlo Chung, Maxonrow’s CTO.
“A 15.000€ prize pool will be distributed among the top projects of the industry tracks that include solutions for healthcare, government, and education. There will also be awards for winners of the surprise challenges. I think this event is a must for the tech community in Europe as Maxonrow will soon become a key player in the blockchain space.” said Riccardo Lammana, Maxonrow Advisor and Founder of Crypto Wallet Check.
Introducing MAXathon: Maxonrow’s First Hackathon
We are excited to announce our first ever Hackathon to take place from April 18–19, 2020, in Berlin where participants will have the chance to win from a 15.000€ prize pool and explore how blockchain can be used to create solutions for healthcare, education, and governments using Maxonrow’s SDK. MAXathon will take place at Factory Berlin Görlitzer Park, a community space and startup lab, host of hackathons and events, where Berlin’s diverse network of innovators come together.
Build Blockchain Solutions + Learn from Top Speakers and Mentors
MAXathon will be free of cost, and in addition to free meals and an after-party, it will also feature workshops and activities led by industry leaders for participants who want to take a break from coding. Last year, before Maxonrow began launching its product suite, we planned and attended over 30 events around the world to spread the word about the world’s first KYC Blockchain. This year, we want to kick off 2020 with our largest event yet, where participants will finally be able to play around with our SDK features. We are expecting over 150 participants that include blockchain experts and enthusiasts, developers, students, and experienced techies.
Don’t Miss a Chance to Win from the 15.000€ Prize Pool
A 15.000€ prize pool will be distributed among the top projects of the industry tracks that include solutions for healthcare, government, and education. There will also be awards for winners of the surprise challenges. MAXathon is a must for the tech community in Europe as Maxonrow will soon become a key player in the worldwide blockchain space.
Article Produced By Carolyn Coley
Carolyn Coley is a blockchain reporter. She joined Smartereum after graduating from UC Berkeley in 2018.
Continuing on from Part 1 of Kanye West’s Journey, for over a decade long, the artistic genius went on to successfully create hit albums of a variety of music genres that were critically acclaimed, polarizing, influential and captivating, earning him the reputation of “America’s favorite bad boy”.
West toured with U2 in 2005 – 06 which inspired him to make hip hop more atmospheric and empowering to be performed in stadiums and arenas. He started to draw influence from both rock & roll music like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Killers, plus house music which originated in Chicago, where he grew up.
Kanye puts himself in places where a vain or trendy person wouldn't dare try, like wearing pink polos, kilts and, skinny jeans. He made a career of consistently and willingly making himself the underdog by going against the grain for the sake of not just being able to say he did it first but to also avoid being boxed in or marginalized.
His dedicated passion to reinvent the wheel along with his intense and dynamic creativity amassed him international acclaim and godly recognition. On West’s sixth album “Yeezus”, his song “I Am A God” was a powerhouse and punchy approach that has come to define the genius of Kanye West. “Yeezus” remains the only album to have sold fewer than 1 million copies in the US. Yet it was critically well-received, not least by the rock legend Lou Reed, who told Rolling Stone that “Each track is like making a movie… The guy really, really, really is talented.”
In an interview with Zane Lowe, Kanye explains his meaning behind his song “I Am A God”
Kanye West always sees an opportunity in just about everything and when the music industry began to worry about the effect the internet was having on its profit margins, West just embraced the change with a video for his single “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and he hired the comedian/actor Zach Galifianakis to lip-sync the lyrics on an alternate version which created a viral sensation.
Kanye was on top of the world, hailed as the artist who killed gangster rap. But in November 2007, tragedy struck. His beloved mother, Donda, died from a heart attack following cosmetic surgery. Kanye West dedicated a performance of “Hey Mama” to her at the first concert he did following the funeral. Given the bond Kanye and his mother had this put him in a very dark place. Months later, he separated from his then-fiancee Alexis Phifer and his next album, 808s & Heartbreak that he released 12 months later was laden with grief, pain, and alienation.
Kanye with his mother Donda West
At that point West abandoned rapping completely, preferring to sing through an Auto-Tune vocal processor. This technique (ubiquitous in hip hop today) turned his voice into a robotic tone and he classified the new album and sound as “Pop Art”.
It’s not to be confused with the visual art movement, but interestingly, when you consider West has Synesthesia, which is the condition where one sense, like hearing, is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses, such as sight, so everything that Kanye sonically creates is a painting in his creative mind.
West then announced, “Hip hop is over for me”. However, it wasn’t. He won two Grammys for guest raps he made that year, on Estelles’ “American Boy” and TI’s “Swagger Like Us”.
Oops! A Faux-Pas Or…
Notorious for his controversial statements, (of which there were many) and after the passing of his mother, West’s state of mind was fragile and coupled with a bottle of Hennessy, he invaded the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Vocal award at the MTV Video Music Awards the following year. He took the microphone from her and said although he was happy for Swift, Beyonce did a fantastic video clip, inferring Beyonce should have won the award instead.
“Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!”
The reverberations from that moment are still being felt, however, West did apologize publically, then retracted his apology in a 2013 interview with the New York Times. However, by 2015, they became friends. It’s evident that some on social media are still riled by the act, but time and circumstance have a way of healing and leading to self-development as Swift recounts in her biopic, “Miss Americana”.
In her story, she makes it clear how much these incidents wounded her, and how a young woman desperate to be liked could be deeply hurt when she finds out it’s impossible to be everyone’s favorite. It made her stronger, more independent and the woman she is today. It could be said that one person’s faux-pas is another person’s gateway to a life lesson learned and growth.
2009 VMA Awards Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech interrupted by Kanye West
Kanye West Focus On Fashion
Following the Swift fiasco, West took a break from music and relocated to Rome stopping off at Japan along the way for a time. His focus was on fashion at that point. He had already been collaborating with labels including A Bathing Ape and Nike on limited-edition sneakers since 2006. He gained more experience as an intern for other labels, reportedly for Gap and Fendi. In 2009, West partners with Nike for his own shoe, the Air Yeezys.
West launched his first collection in Paris in 2011 which was very much criticized. Feeling wounded, West gave a speech at the show’s after-party, pleading “Please be easy. Please give me a chance to grow.” His second collection a year later only received lukewarm acceptance, subsequently West announced he would no longer be showing in Paris.
In 2013 he collaborated with the French label APC on his capsule collection. In an interview with W Magazine, he explained,
“I tried to come out of the gate going crazy. And it didn’t work. So now I have to somehow put out something that says, ‘I look sensible!’?”
Contrary to his personality, the collection consisted of understated tees, hoodies, and jeans.
Kanye West’s Capsule Collection: Adidas “Yeezy” sneakers and Jewelry collection
He then signed a $10 million deal with Adidas and launched his first apparel collection of Yeezy Season 1 in 2015. This collection had a mixed reception but his Season 5 collection in 2017 won praise and notably, Yeezy is the No 1 searched brand on the internet.
He had a passion for fashion, showcasing his own style of apparel and the collection of Yeezy sneakers with Adidas Boost technology. West maintains that his brand expresses how he feels, not to keep up with trends or societal culture. Prior to that, he donned other high-end designer labels because he could and it made him feel good – It helped to feed his ego. He is still perceived today as the Louis Vuitton Don.
Now on a new quest, keeping his ego in check and getting back to grassroots, it’s all about bringing manufacturing back to America, from seed to sew, along with job opportunities for people in prison reform or second chance people. More about that later.
As a musician, what makes Kanye West one of the greats is his ability to innovate – to push the sonic boundaries of hip-hop. As a Fashionista, he has become a force in fashion with the desire to create designer fashion affordable to the people en-masse.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian – Equally Yolked
Kanye West and reality TV star, Kim Kardashian began their relationship in April of 2013, engaged in October, then married in May 2014. Happily married for nearly 6 years with 4 children. Their first daughter North (born June 15, 2013) son Saint (born December 5, 2015) and another daughter (born via surrogate January 15, 2018). Then came their fourth child, son Psalm, via surrogate in May 2019.
Married life and fatherhood have helped West grow and realize what is important in life. In a recent interview, he described his relationship with Kim as equally yoked. They both have a spiritual connection to God. West considers his union with Kim a life-long commitment
“It’s a God bond,” he says, Someone to call on, or call out. Someone that can call on you or call you out – Equally yoked. Someone to complain to and someone to grow with… as we grow and raise our children”
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are one of the strongest couples in Hollywood and beyond after almost 6 years together.
The West Family at Christmas 2019
The Turning Point
West went on to make his 7th album in 2016, “The Life Of Pablo”, tweaking his songs and resending them to streaming services, describing the album as a “living, breathing, changing creative expression”. That same year he started his Saint Pablo Tour, where he performs on a stage suspended in mid-air. However, with still 21 shows on the agenda the tour was canceled.
In his last performance, West delivered a 15-minute rant, speaking his mind on personal gripes, naming names, business issues, revealing he was $53 million in debt and political stance, hailing Trump for President, before storming off the stage saying the show’s over.
Subsequently, Kanye West was admitted into UCLA Medical Center, initially for exhaustion, only then to go through psychiatric tests and ultimately diagnosed with mental health issues. More succinctly, Bi-Polar Disorder. Reportedly, West never got over his mother’s untimely death. He has been put in the category of an HSP – Highly Sensitive People, but he has been called “crazy” by many.
According to West, this was a crucial wake-up call that would change his life. His time in the hospital gave him space and the time he needed to not only get back on track but to re-evaluate his life and purpose. He had visions and divine messages to help him in his time of renewal. People call it a break-down, Kanye likes to call it a “break-through.”
The next 2 years West closeted himself, holed-up in the studio creating his 8th album “Ye” which has been a nickname of his and touched on issues ranging from sexual assault topics to West’s own controversial comments about slavery and being bipolar. In an interview following the album’s release, he expanded on the bipolar topic saying it is his “superpower”. He asserted that the condition fueled his creativity, but he also admitted that it led to unfortunate consequences.
West deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts during that time due to the backlash he was receiving from many of his controversial comments, beliefs, and support for President Trump. Like him or not, he believes he has the right to express his own opinions and not be controlled by the system or manipulated into being something that he’s not.
In 2018, Kanye dusts off the cobwebs and returns to the public eye, reactivating his Twitter account and music output with “Ye Vs.The People”. As the title insinuates, he needed to express his thoughts and feelings after becoming a recluse resulting from his experiences. It may even be seen as cathartic to some degree. Incidentally, the track was not included on the album.
By this time West had relocated to Wyoming with his family, which is his “happy place”, a place away from “it all” Although West was working on a new album titled Yandhi with a planned release date of September 29, 2018, it was delayed indefinitely. In April of 2019, Kanye West “woke up” and completely changed his direction spiritually, emotionally and physically. In August of 2019, it was announced that he was working on another project which would display Kanye and his career in a whole new light that continues to gain momentum.
Next, we’ll focus on Kanye’s life after renewal to the present day along with what has been deemed as Kanyean Philosophy.
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.
Kanye West His Journey
Authenticity vs Controversy
Who Is Kanye West?
Kanye West is a Grammy Award-winning Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer, and Entrepreneur. With a keen interest in designing and fashion, he also released his fashion label “Yeezy”, clothing and footwear apparel. His music has jumped from being a sensation to very much in demand in the rap industry, while his personality, his philosophies, and his willingness to speak out for what he believes in consistently land him at the center of controversy.
Because West is renowned for being outspoken on his views about life, culture, religion, and politics, these controversial topics attract widespread media attention. He is a huge cultural figure who encourages people to think freely and be their own person and is often demonized by society and media channels.
Known for his arrogance Kanye West will be the first one to tell you he is a 21st-century phenomenon. A producer turned rap superstar who has reinvented hip hop many times over in the course of his outstanding career. The creative genius that he is, is somewhat overshadowed by his ability to put his entire foot in his mouth. He says he’s only human and often retracts any emotionally-based derogatory opinions and statements he blurts out publically.
His name, his style, and the way he conducts his business are unique. His thoughtful reflections in interviews reveal a complex man that few have taken the time to understand. This and subsequent articles look at that multifaceted star, exploring his career as singer and producer, but also looking at the forces that prepared him to be the man he is today, relaying his mission and his message to anyone who will listen.
Kanye West rapping in NYC at 19 Years
The Genesis Of Kanye West
Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977 and grew up in Chicago from the age of three after his parents, Ray West and Donda Williams divorced amicably. He was raised in South Shore, Chicago, a middle-class neighborhood, by his mother and spent the summers with his father.
Ray West (Father) was a photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal newspaper and a political activist in the Black Panthers. He later became a Christian counselor. Kanye’s mother, Donda West, was a teacher who became a professor of English at Chicago State University. West admits he came from “the wrong side of the mall” rather than the wrong side of the tracks. At the age of 10, Kanye and his mother moved to China for a year where she taught as part of a university exchange program. He had a somewhat religious upbringing which reflects in his music but somewhere along the way he admits he got lost.
Talented and Determined
After the China experience and returning to Chicago, Donda, West’s mother, helped a then 13-year-old Kanye and paid $25 to cut his first record in a basement studio. In 2004, Donda recalled in an interview with Red Eye, Chicago Tribune,
“The microphone was hanging from the ceiling with a wire coat hanger. But he was so excited, I couldn’t say no.”
Donda West told the Tribune his talent was evident even as a small boy at the age of 5, composing poems from gazing at the flora and his surroundings creatively visualizing it through the eyes of an artist and then transcribe it the way a poet would. She went on to say,
“People say Kanye and humility don’t belong in the same sentence, but he had that determination since he was 3. We need more people who aren't afraid to speak their minds,
I have always encouraged him to think and to speak the truth as he sees it."
Kanye West and his mother had a very close bond, “My mother was my everything”he told TV News in 2005. Donda became his manager playing a significant part in his music career before she died from heart disease in 2007 at the age of 58. Her death profoundly impacted West musically and personally.
“Drop-Out” On The Road To Fame
West got caught up in the South Side hip-hop scene where he met his mentor DJ and producer No I.D. West graduated from Polaris High School and received a scholarship to study at Chicago’s American Academy Of Art. He has a love for the visual arts but dropped out of college to pursue music where he channeled that love for the arts into his music.
He spent time working with local artists in Chicago where he realized his talent for producing and developed his own signature style dubbed “Chipmonk Soul”. He got his big break when he relocated to New York in 2001, handling the production for Jay-Z’s songs, a well-known New York Rapper. He then went on to produce for other major talents, including rappers, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Ludacris, also singers Alicia Keys and Beyonce.
Music Producer Not Enough For Kanye
Although Kanye West was cementing his reputation as a brilliant producer, he was not content with that. He wanted to be upfront as a rapper, however, he was not taken seriously as a rap artist. According to Jay-Z, the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records,
"We all grew up street guys who had to do whatever we had to do to get by. Then there's Kanye, who to my knowledge has never hustled a day in his life. I didn't see how it could work."
West lacked the “Gangsta” credentials that were a prerequisite at that time. He was an arty middle-class kid who wore pink polo shirts and Gucci loafers. He got similar negative responses from other labels and recalled how he’d leave meetings disappointed and crying every time. West pleaded with Roc-A-Fella Records and finally in 2002, Damon Dash reluctantly signed him to record his music, but did so mainly to retain him as a producer.
Not long after in October 2002, West was involved in a head-on car collision while driving home from a recording session in California, which left him with a shattered jaw. He wrote and recorded a song about that experience “Through The Wire” while his jaw was wired shut as a result of reconstructive surgery. Nothing was going to stop him and after writing the rest of his debut album while convalescing in L.A. he revised, rewrote and refined the production adding gospel choirs and strings that he paid for out of his own pocket.
"Through The Wire" Video Clip
The album named “The College Dropout” was finally released in 2004 and made Kanye West a star. It sold 2.6 million copies and broke the mold of Gangsta Rap with themes that included consumerism, racism, higher education, and his religious beliefs. On the single of that album, "Jesus Walks" he rapped:
"They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus. That means guns, sex, lies, videotapes, but if I talk about God, my record won't get played."
A Young Kanye West Makes His Mark
"Jesus Walks" – The original version.
The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and West received 10 Grammy nominations and winning 3 awards for the best rap song, “Jesus Walks” and best rap album. West went on to create his own record label, GOOD Music, (an acronym for Getting Out Our Dreams) in collaboration with Sony BMG.
Kanye West, being the restless bourgeoisie, brimming with creativity, wanted to see how far he could expand the hip hop genre of music and hired an orchestra. He spent $2 million and a year working with the composer John Brion, who had never worked with a rapper before. The results were prodigious, and he won another three Grammy awards. Best Rap Album again, “Late Registration” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. Plus Best Rap Song for "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," and Best Rap Solo Performance for "Gold Digger." This is an achievement West would repeat with every subsequent solo album release.
Gold Digger is one of my fav songs from his newly branded genre of hip hop, which incidentally West asked Jamie Foxx (Comedian/Actor) to accompany him on this song. As Foxx relates in this interview, this took place at a party Foxx was hosting for a number of hip hop artists where he met Kanye West for the first time. Foxx had always had a hankering to get into the music business and just happened to have a music studio at his house. He agreed to do it but didn’t think it would be a success. The rest is history.
Kanye West performing Gold Digger, with Jamie Foxx.
Success Story From The Suburbs
Kanye West became known as the success story from the suburbs – a hip hop artist without street cred. Kanye remains popular because he is regarded as truly one of the best rappers of all time. He has made headlines for his bizarre tweets and his grand pronouncements, his award-show stage invasions, his extravagant fashion sense and his marriage to reality TV star, Kim Kardashian.
Image Courtesy of Wealthy Gorilla
But when West channels his impulsive and brash swagger into his music, the results have been stellar. Consequently, he has eight solo albums debuting at No. 1 and 21 Grammy awards. (no rapper has won more). He has been included twice in Time magazine's 100 most influential people list, also praise from Lou Reed, Prince, Elon Musk and of course from Kanye West himself. His music resonates and regardless of his antics or personal life, he remains relevant to many from all walks of life.
Next, we will look at how West is now following a different path and what led him to his life change. He along with his family have moved to Wyoming where he has taken time to reflect and move forward. So Markethive and Kanye West are practically neighbors! In a recent interview at his home in Wyoming, West passionately declared…
“Things are changing and God has the last laugh"
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.
Russian State-Run Tech Firm to Decrease Spending on Blockchain by 50%
Russian government-backed corporation Rostec intends to cut spendings on the blockchain development in the country by at least 50%.
According to Rostec’s roadmap, the organization is planning to spend 28.4 billion rubles ($453.2 million) on the development of blockchain technologies in Russia by 2024, instead of initial 55 billion ($877.8 million) to 85 billion rubles ($1.3 billion). The news was reported by domestic news outlet Kommersant on Jan. 27. The corporation detailed that the introduction of blockchain tech into the product labeling system will require 650 million rubles ($10.3 million), into healthcare system 1.17 billion rubles ($18.6 million), of which 575 million rubles ($9.1 million) will be allocated to the tracking system of counterfeit and pharmaceuticals consumption. The implementation of blockchain in the housing and utility services will ostensibly require 475 million rubles ($7.5 million).
Revision of blockchain’s potential effect on economy
Rostec has revised their assessment of the potential direct and indirect economic effect of blockchain development in the country, whereas earlier versions of the roadmap suggested significantly larger investments in the technology. The downgraded forecast of the economic effect is ostensibly connected to the change in the macroeconomic situation. Rostec’s spokesperson stipulated that currently there is a change in the perception of the technology, “a self-cleaning of the market from copy projects that do not have a development strategy and a certain market niche,” while the Russian market in these conditions is developing most smoothly and is choosing the path of “less risky development.” The corporation has sent the document to the Ministry of Communications and the Analytical Center for the government of Russia for approval.
Russia’s turn to blockchain
Worth noting, the move comes in the wake of the appointment of the new Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Mishustin, who called on the country to prioritize development of the digital economy. In the meantime, Russia has implemented a number of blockchain projects in various sectors. Last December, Russia’s national energy grid operator Rosetti began testing a blockchain solution for payments in the retail electricity sector. The project aims to automate and make transactions between energy producers, suppliers and consumers more transparent. The country’s mining and smelting giant Nornickel also commenced testing its platform for digital metal tokens in collaboration with physical commodities trading group Trafigura Group Ltd., metals finance and logistics firm Traxys SA and materials technology and recycling group Umicore SA.
Article Produced By Ana Alexandre
Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.
MARKETHIVE EMAIL SYSTEM Powerful, Reliable And Ethical
The benefit of the Markethive Autoresponder is probably one of the most powerful aspects of our inbound marketing system. Our leads associate capture funnel systems unique method of using social networks to join Markethive and any other business you conduct from your Storefront within the Markethive platform ensures that Markethive produces an emailing system that delivers your messages within seconds to 97% of your recipients’ account with a 100% delivery to their INBOX.
Note: The other 3% is usually because the recipients’ inbox is full and cannot receive any more emails.
The Markethive Autoresponder System has been established for more than 20 years. The founder and CEO of Markethive, Thomas Prendergast invented the first autoresponder, then refined and established the email system and the concept of Automated Marketing which is now called Inbound Marketing.
The Reality Of Email Delivery
We’d all like to think our messages reach our customers’ inbox but the reality is 1 in 5 don’t in many autoresponder systems. The unfortunate side of email is spam and although spam filters do a good job of detecting junk and send it straight to the spam folder, many organizations’ legitimate emails end up in the spam folder. If your subscribers don’t see your emails, they can’t open, click or convert.
Emails that are able to make it past the gateway and spam filters are delivered to the inbox. Emails that are deemed malicious or untrustworthy are very often blocked at the gateway or sent straight to the spam folder. The spam filters look at the reputation of the sender, subscriber engagement and content to decide if it should be placed in the inbox or spam folder.
Now Considered Old School
Email deliverability rates can really make or break an email marketing campaign. Primarily, email campaigns and autoresponders use a capture page opt-in form to collect data, being a name, email and often times a phone number. This takes time and usually a number of steps to complete. You then in some cases need to go to your email to verify it. It is well documented that the more steps in the signup form process, the more likely prospects will be lost for lack of follow-through. Email verification can reduce lead conversion up to 50%, delayed verification and delivery to spam folder reduce conversion up to 90%.
Email Delivery A Top Priority
The delivery of email is paramount and a top priority at Markethive. We have dispensed the "old school" process of email verification replacing it with instantaneous “One Click” subscriptions, so we can now concentrate on delivering your autoresponders and email broadcasts out to your lead databases.
This virtually guarantees the data is legitimate and the email is clean and not from a spam trap often acquired through website harvesting. The actions available to build email lists in Markethive are via Markethive Capture Widgets, Markethive Capture Pages, Markethive Blogs, and Markethive Profile Pages. This guarantees email quality and delivers to the members of Markethive, their subscribers and lead prospects’ email delivery “to the Inbox” of nearly 100%.
Markethive Autoresponder Basic setup
Below is a video explaining the basics of setting up your autoresponder.
The whole purpose behind this is not to spam people or hit them with messages they don’t want, but to produce quality material that helps educate people and those who are looking for answers to their particular problem through systems like this. By using these methods you establish authority and the credibility that your sphere of Influence you create will appreciate what you are doing.
Also, be sure to go to the Tutorial Group in Markethive where you will find numerous short and on-point video tutorials to learn how to get started and engage in all the facets Markethive offers. These will eventually be integrated into the Automated Tutorial System where you will be paid via our Micropayment Faucet in MHV Coin for taking each step in the program.
Acceptable Or Unethical? You Decide…
Although it can satisfy your curiosity to track and know who clicked on your emails, this can only be achieved through sprites that are commonly used in some email systems which is essentially spying on the recipient. The email software adds a tiny invisible image to the body of your email. This is often called a web beacon or tracking pixel.
Good marketing practices breed a good reputation. We do not engage in shifty and sneaky practices. We do not send email from our system with hidden spy images. We do not report to our subscribers what you view, what you clicked or looked at on any given day.
What we do offer is a complete Market Network with everything under one roof to be able to conduct any business without having to go to individual vertical platforms for your marketing tools. Just knowing you have a delivery rate of 100% to the inbox and a good reputation with the Markethive Email System is much better than a hit and miss scenario other systems suffer from due to their practices. You can track your productivity through the Markethive Analytics Integration solely built for you and your URLs.
Markethive’s email and autoresponder systems are built for beginners through to Entrepreneurs and Business Owners at any level. It has utilized the OAuth technology to capture data via capture widgets through a choice of Social Media or verified email accounts situated on your capture pages, blogs, and profile pages.
Markethive embraces OAuth and Blockchain technology as it keeps all your data and hard work under your control. It cannot be deleted by anyone else but you. This process also prevents 3rd parties from tracking you on our secure distributed security data system. So when registering and utilizing the complete marketing system within Markethive to build your business, including the autoresponder system (CRM and CMS) your security and autonomy are our highest priority. Gone from our system is the aged old and nonsecure process of entering fields with your name, email, and phone, etc, coupled with a verification email and validation link.
The advent of the blockchain adds several new twists and may serve to be the disruption that has been overdue for marketers and advertisers that are looking to take their targeted campaigns to the next level. We are in for a ride over the next couple of years as technologies like blockchain slip into every facet of our lives. It’s not the strongest who survive or smartest, but the most adaptable.
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.