The Miami Aftermath, Golden Nudity And Ethereum London 869

My previous longer article was about the January Miami BTC conference and the promised follow up is Al Capone style criminally overdue. The event moved at breakneck speed and had such a driven, positive vibe. Dealing with the atomic aftermath took till now to become a cohesive-ish write up. In short, the journey was a f**k yes, as I tend to vulgarly state in social occasions seemingly inappropriate for the expression. I’ll keep this punchy.

Coming To My Senses

Having scored the perfect Airbnb place 5 minutes from the conference center (actual balcony view pic below), I was pumped to get going but jet-lagged beyond available bodily resources. Getting everything ready for a two fair trip, including an overnight ‘stay awake painting’ just before the flight, took its toll. The free flow whiskey pouring by my generous hosts was a welcome edge smoother but not too many before a 48hr crypto sprint. Right? The fleeting pleasure of alcohol was replaced by a sauna, jacuzzi, and a city view pool. I realised also that I was staying with people who run a high-end print place. This trip is going to roast like a Run The Jewels track.

Being new to blockchain conferences, the hunger for the next new thing felt all around was inspiring. No joke. The integration solutions to the ‘real world’ in service prospects or made human connections were a much-needed chilli infusion for the brain. Much respect for Keynote for sponsoring the booth and helping me get physically visible in the scene.

Out of talking so much, my voice blew out halfway conference. At one point I got badly distracted from talking to a Coin Telegraph guy due to another conversation starting with a couple who represent the graffiti artist Banksy. Apologetic as I was about it to him upon this dawning on me, it was a good problem to have. It felt like being able to charge my phone from the surrounding air alone.

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

The buzz around my booth gave me a sense that I’m really onto something with crypto art. It’s nothing short from being able to tell the story of a vast societal change in visual form. To uniquely communicate it to insiders and outsiders alike. One of the chance encounters was Eben Pagan popping by the space with his lovely wife Annie Lalla. It was a strange moment, as I must have spent thousands of hours with his material since 2004 and he hadn’t a clue the other way around. I rarely loose my cool but embarrassingly enough, this was one of those times. Appropriately so I think.

Far too many memories struggling with childhood trauma, depression, figuring out relationships and finding my way in life in general came flooding in talking to him. During those times, the abundance of value Eben delivered to my life through video seminars was a 100% unparalleled. There is no way my other platform Artevo, the LUX project nor my engagement would have happened without the influence his work had on me.

Some people in the crypto space, who think Lambos are the answer, could greatly benefit from his ‘ManTransformation’ program for example. There is a bunch of millionaires within the community still living their ‘Sweet 16’ at 30 and beyond – during global crisis times. Some really need to wake the hell up to smell the ‘more to life than a bit of money’ monologue. As he came to my booth space, I interrupted him eating a sandwich by asking: “Eben Pagan. What are you doing here?” He simply replied: “I’m eating”. Glad to know he is into crypto and I’ll make a better first impression next time.


Eben, Annie and their daughter in Miami.

The Emerging Collector Class

The nr.1 “T(r)opical – Gold Edition” piece, central to the booth picture, was sold to the striking model Gabriella Katia and her entrepreneur husband Matt Crown via Litecoin. By chance encounters, the three of us would all later on end up at a club for a night out. I’d spent a full month working my ass off to be ready for the trip and the official business of the conference was done. It was time to let loose before the coming AFL fair.


Matt & Gabriella

The other awesome person at the afterparty, clearly responsible for me drinking straight from the vodka bottle at the end of the night, was my new collector Michael Jonsson. After mentioning this personal responsibility disclaimer I can admit to literally waking up with my boots still on the following morning. A true flashback to some 20 years ago at a University party in Newcastle. We decided to meet up on Miami Beach for some breakfast to follow up.

His Bitcoin 1/1 piece “Unblocked” is now safely in Toronto being float framed.

A Worthy And Relevant Sidenote

The whole trip was quite an investment so could’t hodl all the benefits. Now if only Coinbase would sort out their customer service I could actually use the converted money trapped behind their non-service lines. Anyone else have this with them or just me?

Bit rude to hold someone else’s money for over a month, not reply to emails and then ask them to ‘rate their service’ – if you are really asking. The survey request was two weeks ago and I’m yet to hear back from them. Ok. Enough complaining. Still with me? Golden nudity ahead.

A 5m$ Home Full of Art Anyone?

Next up was the Tranter-Sinni Gallery organised participation with Art Fort Lauderdale. This fair was our first collaboration with the gallery. They had a few of my large Artevo pieces in their multi-million dollar homes loaded full of art, facilitated a keynote spot and a temperature rising performance at the W Hotel titled ‘Kintsukuroi’.


Watch the performance here

It was rejuvenating to be in front of people performing again so felt it best midway through to drown my suit in gold paint, with a little help from a fellow performer Dayanis Mondeja.

Much love also to the phenomenal dancers of the other performance Carlos Torres and Evelyn Robaina. They did a more classical dance performance version of the same theme. The passionate professionalism of all three performers blew me away. Thanks also for Alexis Espejo at W Fort Lauderdale for facilitating this madness. The plan is to repeat these at crypto conferences all over the world. It’s appropriate as the blockchain is helping to fix money.


Youtube here.

Mom, I’m on TV.

The below segment of the Deco Drive TV show features the Artevo works, the houses and quite prominently, the back of my head. Both Evan Snow and Andrew Martineau did an ‘all in’ job getting this whole fair organised so props to those guys for pulling it off. Bring on AFL 2019.

Watch it here

Crypto Giveth and Crypto Taketh Away

And will likely soon giveth again. Some of you might have seen the previous announcement for the crypto art tour with 4NEW as the primary sponsor. Unfortunately, the recent events in crypto forced them to focus on their live ICO for now, so the mentioned tour is now open for a new main sponsor. 

I’ll be attending the crypto investor show this coming Saturday here in London regarding this. The tour is ready to take off and everything is in place with regards to the gallery and most locations. All that is needed is a funder ready to make some international waves with guaranteed traditional and blockchain press. On April 18th at 5pm I’ll also be presenting at the Ethereum London slot of the London Blockchain conference. Big ups for Stephan Tual for giving me my first crypto keynote opportunity. More to come this year as this fresh speaker page suggests.

2018 is going to be a massive year for me personally and about as exciting as it gets for crypto. None of the people, organisations or businesses in this article have paid to be mentioned. In case you are wondering if what you just read was news, promotional, a blog or something else, all I can say is that I don’t represent legacy media.

This is  the circle of transparent good stuff.

 V E S A
Visual Artist
London / Helsinki
@artbyvesa
Art: www.artforcrypto.com
Merc: www.artforcrypto.live
Artevo: www.artevo.org

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Covalent Taps IBM Blockchain to Help Track the Carbon Impact of its AirCarbon-based Fashion Goods 3851

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Covalent, a fashion brand recently launched by Newlight Technologies, today announced that Covalent is using IBM Blockchain technology on IBM LinuxONE so consumers can track the carbon footprint and supply chain of its sustainable, AirCarbon-based fashion accessories, from eyewear to handbags. Purchasing sustainable products is a growing motivation for consumers. A recent study by IBM showed 57% of consumers surveyed were willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. Covalent’s products, which can be purchased on its website, are made with AirCarbon, a biomaterial made by microorganisms that is meltable and can be used as an alternative to fiber, plastic and leather. Because it is made using renewable power, AirCarbon is certified as carbon-negative by the Carbon Trust, meaning it reduces the amount of carbon in the air.

In addition to being part of a new category of “regenerative” products emerging that can have a positive impact on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, Covalent’s AirCarbon-based products provide a new level of traceability through the application of IBM Blockchain technology. Often, when consumers buy products labeled as sustainable fashion, they cannot see a verified record of how the product was made or how it affects the environment. Covalent’s products bridge that gap with a blockchain-based number that can be used to show the steps in the production process for that specific product as well as its third-party-verified carbon impact so customers can view impact the product is having on the environment.

A unique 12-digit number printed on each Covalent product, known as the “Carbon Date,” represents the time when the AirCarbon used to create that specific product was created. The number can be entered into Covalent’s website to trace the steps that went into creating the product. The supply chain journey that brought each product to life is stored in an immutable record on the blockchain and stretches from when the AirCarbon was formed and molded into a handbag to who independently verified its carbon footprint and when it was moved to a stockroom.

“Our goal was to give people the information they need to decide what kind of impact they want to make,” Newlight CEO Mark Herrema said. “With IBM Blockchain and LinuxONE technology, we can now provide visibility into not only the steps used to make each Covalent product, but also the carbon impact that each specific product has on the environment. For us, that’s important, because it helps make tangible the unique pathway that led to the creation of that product.”

By working with IBM Business Partner Cognition Foundry, a services provider and systems integrator, Covalent is able to host its IBM Blockchain solution on IBM LinuxONE, a highly secured server for mission critical workloads and that provides scalability and resiliency, including the industry’s first and only FIPS 140-2 Level 4 certified Hardware Security Module (HSM).[1]

“Blockchain’s ability to foster trust gives Covalent’s customers a better understanding of how their products were made,” said Alistair Rennie, General Manager of IBM Blockchain. “In turn, Covalent can create a better customer experience, and a better opportunity for consumers to understand how their choices impact the environment. This is another great example of how blockchain is supporting our mission of using technology for good.”

AccuChain Secures Investment from Vertex Partners 4337

AccuChain, Inc. today announced that it has received an investment from Vertex Partners Inc. in Tokyo, Japan. This investment will accelerate development of AccuChain’s Human Resource technology software. The funding also demonstrates Vertex Partners’ long-term vision and commitment to launch AccuChain in Japan and other countries in SE Asia. AccuChain is developing a resume validation and recruitment platform. This innovative platform will allow individuals to create their own validated resumes and enable HR departments to find the best qualified candidates.

Vertex Partners, a business development firm, reveals that there is a growing need for AccuChain in SE Asia. Junichi Yukihira, Co-founder of Vertex Partners Inc., said “It is very exciting and also significant for us to have the opportunity to participate in the AccuChain investment this time. We highly value the potential of AccuChain’s HR solutions based on AI/machine learning and blockchain technology, and as their business co-creation partner, we are now working together to develop markets in Japan and other Asian countries. We are confident that this investment will strengthen our relationship.” Hiring in SE Asia demonstrates a growing need for qualified candidates. AccuChain will reduce bad hires using validation methodologies, immutable records, matching of jobs to qualified candidates and uncovering false information.

AccuChain CEO, Tim R. Connelly adds “The Vertex Partners investment demonstrates the importance both of our organizations see in next generation HR recruitment software. The combined resources of our companies will make a positive difference in the successful launch of AccuChain in Japan and then SE Asia.” AccuChain is working to improve their hiring process, and create a new standard for applicants’ digital resumes. The technology will help reduce fraudulent resumes.

Stratis Brings Blockchain as a Service to All Businesses via Its C# Native Platform 4946

Stratis was created for a simple purpose – to provide enterprises with blockchain as a service (BaaS) solutions, designed to implement complex blockchain architecture within mainstream coding languages, used by everyday companies away from the crypto niche. It does this through cloud solutions, support for C# and .NET application building, alongside tool customization via its open source protocol. The result of this? Stratis unlocks the power of blockchain technology for mainstream businesses, and unlocks the mainstream market for the blockchain industry – two powerful combinations.

Enterprises that find themselves relying on the Stratis tool set will access a less expensive and less complex blockchain building framework. Companies no longer need to purchase and manage their own full nodes, nor do they need to build a blockchain infrastructure from scratch – something which is niche and represents a huge barrier to entry by setup cost to all but the largest of companies. Moreover, businesses in need of smart contract support will be pleased to find that Stratis supports virtual machines via Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Stratis – Tailored with Perfection

Stratis holds several key values that make it an optimal choice for blockchain operations – decentralization, privacy, scalability, practicality, accessibility, reliability, security, and performance. To better understand this, Stratis blockchains run a number of cloud-based full nodes, so decentralization is assured. Privacy is guaranteed – through cryptographic encryption, all transactions and communications remain private. Stratis is also keen on providing an adaptable degree of scalability, achieved through the means of intuitive sidechain usage.

Companies looking to leverage the power of smart contracts must know that Stratis is the only platform providing support for C# execution, so developers can efficiently code self-enforcing programs utilising their existing development tools and existing knowledge of a rich and versatile programming language. Stratis is also working on facilitating cross-chain communication between contracts running within Stratis’ ecosystem and those deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, hence increasing their suitability for today’s interconnected world.

STRAX Swap on Binance

In September 2020, the team introduced STRAX, a more powerful protocol designed to flawlessly integrate within the platform’s existing business model. Previously-minted STRAT tokens have been swapped to STRAX tokens on a 1:1 basis via Binance. Following the shift, Stratis will introduce a series of other advanced features, such as the STRAX SideChain, Stratis InterFlux, SegWit support, cold-staking, the DeFi app library, IoT development tools, and many others.

Since STRAX is based on the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, network participants can receive token-based rewards in exchange for staking their STRAX tokens. Stratis is well-aware of the security risks posed by hot wallet storage, so the team has decided to use cold-staking for ideal token security.

2021 – The Year for Stratis & BaaS

In Q1 2021, Stratis will launch the Unity Development Kit (allowing the integration of NFTs and decentralized identities within the gaming ecosystem), the DeFi Software Library (a catalogue of C# standardized smart contracts), the Stratis DAO (a means of funding next-gen developments via voting), the Stratis System Contracts (introducing on-chain logic and simplifying user-driven processes), and the mobile wallet featuring token support (supporting tokens issued on the Cirrus Sidechain).

In Q2 2021, Stratis will launch the Python Development Kit (allowing Python coders to build on Stratis), the IoT Development Kit (meant to introduce Stratis solutions to IoT hardware), a new version of Proof-of-Stake (boasting improved security and additional features), Stratis Oracles (a distributed means of accessing off-chain data), and Dex Mobile Support (allowing mobile trading of SRC20 tokens).

In Q4 2021, Stratis will launch Ethereum Interoperability (known as InterFlux, this will enable usage of wrapped STRAX tokens on the Ethereum chain), alongside the STO & Digital Asset Platform (providing the tools needed to manage token offerings).

Kim Dotcom’s Next-Generation Content-Monetization Service K.IM Announces Bitcoin Cash Integration 5714

Dotcom, whose website Megaupload was once the 13th most popular site on the Internet and responsible for 4% of all Internet traffic, said K.IM turns “digital files into file shops. Users can use our service to package a file that they want to sell into an encrypted container file and then they can place it anywhere on the Internet. Customers who want to access the content inside the encrypted container can make a payment using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin Cash.”

Asked why he was excited about K.IM and Bitcoin Cash in particular, Dotcom said that while Bitcoin (BTC) has been a great tool for asset storage, Bitcoin Cash is “great for payments” for services like K.IM and offers new financial opportunities for consumers, vendors and investors. Kim had the following to say about the crypto market:

“My opinion is that crypto use is on the rise and BCH is in a good position to accumulate market share. For me it’s simple: The more users you have the more value you have.”

“The winners in the crypto race will be decided by vendors and users. Focus on the fundamental question: What do vendors and users want? Low fees, fast transactions, high security and ease of use.”

He went on to say that Bitcoin Cash was currently “undervalued” and that the “upside potential for those who missed the BTC train” is enormous. Bitcoin.com Founder and friend of Dotcom, Roger Ver, said that Dotcom has “always been ahead of the rest of the market and that people should pay attention to his predictions.” He went on further to say:

“When you look at interest in BTC these days, a lot of it comes in trying to chase its historic investment gains. As long as the price keeps going up, there is going to be a lot of interest. But what happens when people want to start actually using it to pay for things? They will discover the limitations of Bitcoin and look for an asset that can be both an investment and a true peer-to-peer payment system like Bitcoin was originally meant to be. That’s what Bitcoin Cash is.”

SwiftPass and Wallyt to Partner with Findora on Payments Network 7017

Findora announced today that the company will integrate their solutions with SwiftPass, a leading mobile payments service provider in Asia, and Wallyt, a Hong Kong based Fintech that provides international mobile payments and open banking solutions. Findora is a blockchain network that leverages zero-knowledge proof technology to ensure privacy for financial transactions while remaining auditable. Findora supports confidential transaction processing, verification and asset issuance for any cryptocurrency or financial asset, such as equities, derivatives, debt and cash.

“Among its peers, Findora has a unique approach to financial systems, with a balance between transparency and privacy for building a large-scale transaction network. We are excited to partner with Findora and, together, provide more Fintech solutions,” said CEO of Wallyt, Tong Liu.

Wallyt’s global presence and SwiftPass’ expansive platform and user base are ideally suited for Findora’s confidential ledger. The use of Findora is expected to provide enhanced data safety and privacy for the financial institutions and other clients they serve.

“Findora Development Foundation is excited to partner with two dynamic platforms in Wallyt and SwiftPass, in the constantly evolving Fintech and payments sector. The Findora blockchain’s unique approach to combining cryptography and blockchain will help Wallyt and SwiftPass achieve both confidentiality and auditability,” said F.I.R.S.T. Director of Findora Foundation, Paul Sherer.

MEG Announces Purchase Agreement for 2,000 Units of D1, BYD’s Custom Electric Ride-hailing Vehicle 8016

Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX) (“Ideanomics” or the “Company”) announces that its Mobile Energy Global (“MEG”) and its contracting entity Qingdao Chengyang Medici have signed an agreement with Meihao Chuxing, a joint venture between BYD and Didi, to purchase an initial 2,000 units of model BYD D1. The ride-hailing vehicles are intended for deployment in multiple cities within China, with deliveries expected to begin in H1 2021.

“The D1 is a very thoughtfully designed ride-hailing EV and is a culmination of the latest design and technology to bring drivers and their customers an enjoyable travel experience. We are very pleased to work with Meihao Chuxing and BYD to promote the sales of the D1,” said Alf Poor, Ideanomics CEO. “Supported by a viable government subsidy program, the proliferation of EVs in China is a testament to the value that public and private partnerships can bring to large scale global challenges. We look forward to developing these types of partnerships and the rollout of more innovative vehicles like the D1 to our taxi and ride-hailing customers.”

Meihao Chuxing (Hangzhou) Automobile Technology Co., Ltd. was established in 2019, though a 65/35 joint venture between BYD and Didi with BYD having controlling interest. Launched in November 2020, model BYD D1 was jointly developed by BYD and Didi as the world’s first custom-built, all electric car for ride-hailing. The vehicles feature L2 Assisted Driving system, are linked with a fleet management system that helps large fleet operators track and optimize operational status, real-time energy management, as well as a myriad of other safety and comfort features. BYD D1 is equipped with its latest Blade Battery (LFP chemistry) with a range of 418 km (260 miles) and can reach top speeds of 130 km/h (81 mph). Didi Chuxing is deploying and promoting the ride-hailing service in a number of Chinese cities. Passengers can order the customized ride-sharing service via the Didi app.