SiGMA 2019 shines spotlight on AI, blockchain

It is a little over a month until SiGMA 2019 event kicks off in Malta, but the event already promises to be one that should provide an impressive assortment of speakers and presenters on the latest innovations. This is especially true in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology, where eight different presentations are scheduled during the three-day event.

SiGMA 2019 kicks off on November 27, and AI and Blockchain will highlight the first day. Jimmy Nguyen will get things started by providing his insights on how Bitcoin SV (BSV) has made the iGaming sector a focus for the upcoming year. Nguyen is the Founding President of the Bitcoin Association, and will address how BSV could very well become the leading digital currency for iGaming.

The first three presentations will all be based around BSV, which will include a 25-minute discussion on how it could very well replace such digital wallets as PayPal.

Discussions of blockchain technology will be showcased during this event. That starts at 14:55, with a discussion on how this technology is growing within the industry, and what that will exactly mean for iGaming. Also part of the discussion will be how tokenized assets will be implemented by operators to reduce costs and streamline gaming.

The final three presentations should be fascinating. The first will look at how blockchain applications are already being heavily used within iGaming and how there is a need to use this technology to a higher degree.

That will be followed by a discussion on the advancements in this technology in relation to esports. With esports growing in popularity across the globe, the need for improved technology to handle the large number of players, tournaments, and other competitions is creating a need for a more efficient and secure system. This will be addressed during this presentation.

Finally, Nguyen will be joined by Dr. Craig Wright as they discuss the future of blockchain and how it relates to iGaming. This will be an informal discussion, which will not only allow participants to receive valuable information but will also allow them to ask questions and interact with two of the leading minds in Bitcoin.

As blockchain continues to become a technology that is dominating the Internet, this presentation should be one that few other sectors can match in terms of importance. Register for the event now and make sure you don’t miss out.

Blockchain devices market to hit $1.3B by 2024: report

The blockchain devices market is expected to grow into a $1.3 billion market by 2024, a new report has revealed. The report by research firm MarketsandMarkets revealed that the sector will be propelled by the rising adoption of blockchain technology in retail as well as increased venture capital funding for the industry.

The report predicts the market to grow at compound annual growth rate of 42.5% between 2019 and 2024, pushing it from the current $218 million valuation to $1.285 billion.

The rising adoption of blockchain technology in the retail and supply chain industry is one of the key drivers of the growth, the report noted. Applied with other technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology is solving some of the recurring challenges in these industries including tracing, security and sharing of data between participants.

The industry has also seen increased venture funding, the report stated.

Blockchain devices have continued to expand and now consist of such devices as blockchain smartphones, PoS devices and crypto hardware wallets. In the past year, this industry has greatly expanded with HTC, Sirin Labs, Samsung and Pundi X making great advances in the blockchain phone industry while Trezor and Ledger led the crypto hardware sector.

Of all the types of blockchain devices in the market, the report by the Indian intelligence firm singled out blockchain gateways and pre-configured devices as the fastest growing segment. These devices have become especially crucial for institutions that seek to connect their legacy systems with blockchain networks.

The report explained, “The pre-configured devices equipped with an operating system allow access to the blockchain network from a normal network. They are used to provide Web3 access and personal home servers to blockchain networks. This device majorly adopted in industries such as banking, financial service, and insurance (BFSI), government, retail & e-commerce, travel & hospitality, automotive, transportation & logistics, IT & telecommunication, etc.”

The report also recognized the North American region as the world leader in the field, with the United States taking the lion’s share. The region has many large corporations which are intent on securing the latest technology to stay ahead of the “ever-increasing challenges related to security & transparency of the data and the transactions.”

Ledger, HTC, Pundi X, Filament, AVADO, Satoshi Labs, SIRIN Labs, Blockchain Luxembourg and Genesis Coin were recognized as some of the major players in the blockchain devices market.

The race for the best blockchain phone has heated up in recent months, with Samsung, HTC and SIRIN Labs all making great advances in the field. The latest to venture into the industry is China Telecom which announced recently that it was readying its plans for a 5G blockchain-powered phone.

Dubai police use AI to nab group behind $1.9M crypto heist

Dubai police use AI to nab group behind $1.9M crypto heist

Ten members of a gang have been arrested in Dubai, accused of carrying out a cryptocurrency heist that resulted in the theft of $1.9 million worth of BTC. Their millionaire lifestyle didn’t last long, however, as the crimes are said to have taken place on Wednesday, and by Saturday, the entire gang had been rounded up, Gulf News reported.

The idea probably looked better on paper than it did in practice. According to the news outlet, the gang took over an empty office under the pretense of purchasing it for their new office space. It then set their nefarious plan in action, seeking out potential victims in a market in Al Muraqqabat using the ruse that it was interested in buying cryptocurrency. It didn’t take long to find two candidates, both brothers, who agreed to meet the “buyers” at their office.

When the brothers showed up, they were assaulted and robbed at gunpoint. Of the 10 members of the gang, six were reportedly waiting at the office and three more were keeping watch outside. The last was probably getting the Cristal champagne ready.

The brothers were tied up and left inside the office, but managed to free themselves. They went to the police the same day, and were able to recognize the group’s leader. He was found in a neighboring emirate, confessed and taken into custody. With 48 hours, all 10 suspects were found in four different emirates and arrested.

According to the Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, the police and used both smart programs and artificial intelligence to track and locate the members of the gang.

There have been several high-profile cryptocurrency thefts already this year. In January, a Russian crypto blogger got a little carried away, boasting of he had amassed a fortune from digital currency. He was later assaulted at his home and reportedly had about $380 million worth of rubles stolen, according to reports.

In another crypto caper, a Malaysian man was reportedly attacked this month in Singapore and robbed of about $365,000 in what turned out to be a bogus BTC sale.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
AI for governance: Can governments be replaced with decentralized intelligence?

AI for governance: Can governments be replaced with decentralized intelligence?

A column exploring blockchain-related possibilities in the far future.
 Here, we look at blockchain technology in conjunction
 with other developing technologies. 
 Disclaimer: this post may be closer to science fiction than fact.

It didn’t take long before technologists decided to combine artificial intelligence (AI) with blockchain technology. I’ve come across projects that use artificial intelligence to recognize patterns and combining these functions with smart contracts—bringing the power of both technologies to unprecedented scales.

The assemblage, called decentralized intelligence, is capable of automating consensus mechanisms as well as managerial decisions for blockchain-based organizations. By analyzing collected data, AI can make business decisions for decentralized applications and subsequently enforce them.

The implications of combining the two technologies are quite vast. And because these are both new and continuously developing territories, it’s hard to see their limits.

One of the biggest questions many have been wondering is whether it’s possible to automate entire governments using this combination. Some have actually started trying: the UK has started their test run for a blockchain-run social welfare system. Russia has also started using it for a voting system. Stretching this use case further, I imagine a world where cases taken to the International Court can instead be decided upon by neutral delegates from anywhere in the world through a blockchain-enabled voting system. Instead of years, decisions can be arrived at faster.

Government adoption

It’s easy to see how this transition can quickly spread throughout government systems. I asked Dr. Paolo Di Prodi, senior data scientist at FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet for his personal opinion on the matter (he would like to clarify that these are his own personal stances, and not his employer’s). Dr. Di Prodi worked very closely with machine learning applications for big firms, including the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) in the UK, and Microsoft.

Dr. Di Prodi thinks the UK’s blockchain test run is particularly interesting, but deploying the technology laterally, across all government agencies will be difficult—as interruptions are expected between administration changes.

“Yes, it will be interesting to see the outcome of that trial to manage welfare support payments in the UK. For me, it does solve a very practical security problem as well as an efficiency problem of receiving cash. The larger implication of adopting this payment system is that all the other interconnected services like housing services will need to be crypto-enabled to receive payments. This will reduce spending in processing and IT administration but of course will require an initial expenditure to modernize all the IT platforms which will need to come from the tax payers. The problem of deploying a blockchain solution is that it will span several administrations and thus will require a long term commitment from all political parties. I believe Russia or China will not have the same issue paradoxically.”

Additionally, the rise of AI in governance will be slow, especially because there are limitations arising now when it comes to acquiring the data needed to build machine learning models.  Governments will probably remain cautious as the technology proceeds.

“One of the most interesting projects in this field is which allows the construction of decentralized machine learning models without disclosing private personal data. Other companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple—under recent pressure of privacy concerns—are working on privacy preserving machine learning especially after the deployment of the GDPR regulation in Europe.

The largest concern for using AI at a government level and by AI—I mean a fully automated process, is that the decisions will be biased on the actual data as we have seen in the press recently about racial discrimination performed by the COMPAS program in US courts. The governments of this world will be probably still cautious about using AI for decision making but instead still rely on their data scientist to propose new policies. I believe an area where the government will invest more will be more in protecting and exchanging citizen data to improve the quality of service they provide,” Dr. Di Prodi wrote.

He also agrees with blockchain’s advantages as a consensus mechanism, and how it can help curb influence and illicit activities. But admits it has its limits in terms of battling human frailty.

“The citizen could even have a major role in deciding in real time via electronic voting. However a shift will be required to move from a democracy to a technocracy which might still suffer from the influence of lobbies and wealthy individuals perhaps in a lesser form. I think AI will not be able to solve the human nature of greed but with the power of data into the citizen’s hands will be more likely to expose frauds, evasion, crime and in general inefficiencies.”

AI for governance: Can governments be replaced with decentralized intelligence?

Current Limitations

Data collection is crucial in building the necessities of decentralized intelligence, and machine learning as a whole. But data is as powerful as it is energy-intensive, Dr. Di Prodi says, yet he is optimistic that this hurdle will be overcome soon. He adds that a fully decentralized intelligence-run government depends on certain factors

“Yes this would be possible when we will live in a fully digitized word where we could possibly collect and process all the information from the macro to the micro economic factors. This will allow the government to run for example future scenario of the effect of a new tax structure, health service or pension scheme. More data will require more compute power and thus a larger footprint for the environment. Do you know for example that data centres across the world are already using 3% of global electricity supply? This means we will have to be more efficient in storing and computing data. The good news is that GPU and TPU are overcoming the limitation of the Moore’s Law suffered by CPU so there will be enough firepower to process all the data we need.”

Another obstacle he sees is the fact that although AI can be encoded with moral rules, these rules would have to be pre-set by humans themselves—something that is easier said than done due to highly relative and debatable morality standards.

“The AI will need to be programmed with moral rules, over population is a growing concern and we can’t really save the environment if we can’t reduce our birth rate thus consuming less. Look at what China did with the one child policy, most western countries define it as inhumane, but it was rationally the only choice to make the economy sustainable. The AI cannot make those sort of decisions for us, we are still responsible to program what is good and what is bad. To quote an old Latin proverb: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who watches the watchmen)?

Is singularity in the horizon?

Dr. Di Prodi doesn’t think so—at least not in the near future.

“Well shallow or deep AI is still in its infancy, the most imminent risk to humans is just what I call ‘poor AI’. We have allowed companies like Uber (and others like Waymo, Cruise, etc.) to run their automated driving cars in our streets without thorough certification and testing. As a result, a few lethal accidents have skewed public perception of AI. There is of course debate whether the accident would have been avoided by a real person but in most accidents, it was evident that the supervisor in the car was not vigilant. I believe the technology right now could be best applied in reducing specific behavior like drowsy driving or driving under the influence of alcohol. I believe there is need to more regulation and testing for physical AI (any AI that interacts with the physical world), because the legal frameworks like the FMVSS in US don’t work for driverless cars.”

He says that developing AI in self-driving cars will help decrease car accidents—which he says keeps him up at night.

“All governments have the same issue and will have to work together to develop one. In the long term when all cars will be automated and being able to talk to each other, there will be far less accidents due to human error but is the transition from mixed automated and manual traffic that keeps me awake at night!”

“We are far away from the singularity point, some people say is 30 years away, and even if we achieve the computational power of the brain we are still far away from understanding how the human mind works,” he adds.

“I believe the most likely scenario will be an AI bug – where bug can be a programming error or unexpected behavior – like the flash crash of the markets in 2010 most likely caused by high frequency trading bots. The most danger comes where AI is used in a closed loop fashion with fast decision making, although we have a kill switch [if] we are not fast enough to press it as in the flash crash or in the self driving accident scenario.”

Cecille de Jesus

Agorai to Democratize AI with the Launch of Integrated Marketplaces

Agorai to democratize AI with the launch of Integrated Marketplaces

Agorai Delivers Unprecedented Access to Data Assets, Making AI Accessible for All

New York, NY, April 13, 2018 – Agorai, the only integrated marketplaces for Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and the data assets that fuel them, today announced the Agorai Marketplaces. Designed to remove market inefficiencies, reward data creators and drive measurable value, Agorai brings together data owners and AI companies to create AI-driven solutions that solve real business problems. Comprised of two distinct marketplaces, the AI Marketplace and the Data Marketplace, the Agorai platform is being built on blockchain technology and will allow users to retain ownership of their own AI tools and data assets, while enabling others to access them at scale, across the globe.

“While it may seem that we are constantly hearing about new AI advancements, the reality is that AI is today controlled by no more than five companies,” says Josh Sutton, CEO Agorai. “The underlying problem is that AI needs data to fuel its development. And if you aren’t Google, Microsoft or IBM for example, you are unlikely to have access to, or be able to afford to buy, the data you need to develop your idea and take it to market. Not only is this uncompetitive, but it deprives the world of some potentially ground-breaking advancements. We are working to make AI more accessible for all, with the added bonus that these Marketplaces will drive significant improvements in automation and efficiencies across industries.”

Agorai is creating a user-friendly one-stop shop, via which AI companies can cost effectively access the massive data assets they need to create world class AI tools. At the same time, it is delivering a previously unavailable path for them to take these tools to market. Built on blockchain technology, every transaction that takes place on the Agorai Marketplaces will be fully transparent, completely distributed and securely validated.

The Agorai AI Marketplace enables people building AI tools and applications to access and share assets otherwise unavailable to them and provides a distribution channel for AI companies to put AI in the hands of those who need it. Agorai’s Data Marketplace keeps data ownership in the hands of those who create it and has developed a way for data owners, individuals or companies, to securely monetize their data assets. The Agorai Marketplaces match data owners with companies developing AI tools, so they can create more intelligent AI. For advertisers, for example, this means access to data-at-scale, delivering a much more accurate view of the customer. It also provides access to AI tools that deliver the next generation of advertising targeting.

The Agorai Marketplaces are currently being piloted and are scheduled for launch in late-2018. To participate in the pilot or for more information visit

Media Enquiries:

Clare Rhodes
Articulate Communications for Agorai
[email protected]
O: +1 212 255 0080
M: +61 466 281 000

About Agorai

Agorai offers the only integrated marketplaces for AI tools and the data assets that fuel them. The distributed platform brings together data owners and AI companies to create AI-driven solutions that solve real business problems. The Agorai AI Marketplace enables people building AI tools and applications to access and share assets otherwise unavailable to them and provides a distribution channel for AI companies to reach corporate and individual buyers. Agorai’s Data Marketplace helps transfer data ownership to those who create it and provides access to AI to those who need it, globally and at scale. Built on blockchain technology, Agorai ensures every transaction is fully transparent, completely distributed and securely validated.

Social Networks:

Twitter: @agorai_market

Artificial Intelligence meets blockchain in new trading platform

Artificial intelligence meets blockchain in new trading platform

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced astronomically over the years. Apart from being used in projects to help fight world hunger and create autonomous cars, the technology has also seen a lot of success in games like poker and chess. Now, AI is looking to take on blockchain to help investors predict how to manage their portfolios.

OpenBlock has created OBi, a trading bot that is built around AI. It never sleeps, constantly crunching data to help users determine when to buy or sell, or keep things the way they are. OBi follows a strict set of rules, compiles analysis based on these rules and then supplies its results to OpenBlock users.

Obi took developers two years to create. It now works with more than 20 cryptocurrency pairs and can manage up to 1,200 round trips each day. The bot’s algorithm purportedly will provide the users with maximum returns if its output is followed.

OpenBlock started its presale on February 28. During the initial round, the price was $0.50, but went up to $0.65 in the second round, which is currently ongoing. When it moves into round three on March 6, the price will rise again, reaching $0.70. The initial coin offering (ICO) will follow the presale and begin on April 3, lasting for a month.

With the high volatility in the markets right now, traders need all the help they can get. With new cryptocurrencies being launched daily, predicting how to direct investments becomes a more and more confusing task. Currently, more than 1,500 digital coins are on the market, with new coins being released almost daily.

Every day, it seems that new information is being disseminated that is difficult to verify, making the decision-making process a complete chore. The information may be low-quality, irrelevant or even immaterial, perpetuating the confusion around cryptocurrencies and their true place in global finance.

Those investors who have had a lot of success in the markets will say that cryptocurrencies are great. On the other hand, the unlucky ones who have lost would prefer to never hear of cryptocurrencies again. The broad range of options, irregular information, major fluctuations and the relatively young age of crypto, makes a tool such as OBi a highly-valuable resource.

While trading of any kind—cryptocurrency, stocks, futures—has an element of risk attached to it, any tool that can assist investors in making their decisions is welcome. Based on how far AI has advanced in recently years, and how it continues to advance, having an AI buddy as a guide can be a huge benefit.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Thomson Reuters new tool uses 'feelings' for crypto analysis

Thomson Reuters new tool uses ‘feelings’ for crypto analysis

Feelings aren’t just a topic discussed with a therapist. Investors now have a new tool at their disposal to monitor cryptocurrency activity and understand how users “feel” about the subject.

Media giant Thomson Reuters has launched a data feed that will help cryptocurrency traders have a better understanding of how crypto is being accepted or rejected around the world. The data feed was included in the company’s suite of tools called MarketPsych Indices, which analyzes an array of activities, from bonds to private and public companies.

The “Bitcoin sentiment feed” works with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and pulls data from over 400 sources to determine where cryptocurrency—in this case, legacy Bitcoin (BTC)—stands across the globe. The data comes from a variety of sources, including news articles and social media posts, and uses metrics like “greed” and “fear” to allow investors to determine the best buy or sell opportunities. The feed will provide the necessary underlying information so that customers can ascertain a better risk balance to their portfolios.

The technology behind the feed comes from programs called Bayesian filters. These filters are a type of AI that was created initially to evaluate the header and content of incoming email messages to determine whether or not the message contained spam. Bayesian filters, as with all AI, are constantly being updated to learn better the type of traffic they process.

The use of “crowd sentiment” to provide analysis on investment trends has gained in popularity in recent years, according to a CoinDesk report. Companies like Santiment and Token AI were created specifically for the purpose of using emotional insight to help cryptocurrency traders make their investment decisions. Reuters’ move to integrate a sentiment analysis tool will leverage its already successful business into the volatile cryptocurrency markets, and allow for greater amounts of data to be considered in the investment process.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.