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Bitcoin $6,457
Ethereum $218.15
Crypto Mkt Cap $203 Billion
BTC Dominance 54.80%

“I was co-chairing our risk committee, and I saw the news article. I never thought I’d hear myself actually use this term, but I’d really have to describe that as fake news.” 
- Marty Chavez, Goldman Sachs CFO, on reports the bank is delaying plans to trade cryptocurrencies. 

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The Big Block

Social media platforms have been under pressure from what many see as acts of censorship and mismanagement of data. Before the age of the internet, traditional media companies were the gatekeepers of society. Media companies determined what people watch and hear — actively shaping the political and social landscape as they saw fit. In the online era, we haven seen the power shift from traditional media to social media.

Social media platforms are now the gatekeepers of our society, but increasingly are morepowerful than their predecessors. By leveraging data produced by their users and the widespread reach of their platforms, social media companies can change the behavior of their users and quite literally manipulate the minds of people.

It is, then, no surprise that users are looking for alternatives and lowering their use of social media platforms. Rising from the anger of users, are a distinct brand of alternatives: decentralized social media platforms.

Where are the points of entry for decentralized social media platforms?

To understand the shift in the mindset of users and the growing interest in alternative platforms, we take a look at the failings of centralized social media platforms:

  • Censorship: For the average user, censorship may not feel like a pronounced issue. For the fringe user, however, censorship is very much real. As businesses, centralized social media platforms have full control over who gets access to their platforms. And, as we’ve seen, many platforms leverage that control as they see fit.
  • Data security: Centralized social media platforms rely on advertising. To generate revenue, social media platforms collect an immense amount of data from users, which improves their ad-targeting and social engineering tools. When users access centralized social media platforms, they have to trust that these platforms will properly secure their data. However, as shown by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, user data is not being properly secured.
  • Content curation: Because it is free to create an account and engage with users, centralized social media platforms face bots and spammers. There are few consequences for bots to spam comments or inflate engagement numbers such as likes, upvotes, and shares. As such, the presence of bots and spammers creates a content ecosystem that is not reflective of real users. This presence contributes to the spread of truly fake news and what is essentially a denial-of-service attack on user content.

Around The Block

David Sacks joins the board of the 0x protocol

This move comes after an alliance between 0x and Sacks’ new startup Harbor, a compliance service for security tokens. Sacks is a prominent venture capitalist and the former COO of PayPal. If you want to learn more about security tokens read our analysis of the space here.

Goldman Sachs CFO calls bitcoin report 'fake news'

The bank's CFO Marty Chavez denied a report that Goldman Sachs was dropping its plans to build a bitcoin trading desk. Instead, Chavez states that the investment bank is still considering its options to offer Bitcoin-related trading, but has not yet set a timeline.

Facebook looks for blockchain dealmaker

A job post from Facebook revealed that the social media giant was looking for a “head of business development & partnerships” for blockchain. Facebook’s blockchain plans were solidified when David Marcus, the head of Facebook Messenger, announced that he was setting up a group to explore how to leverage blockchain for the social media platform.

Ripple’s general counsel leaves the startup

Brynly Llyr joined Ripple in 2016 and remained at the company for over two years. This news comes as Ripple prepares to face multiple lawsuits against the claims that its cryptocurrency XRP is a security.

Despite the crypto bear market, Coinbase continues to grow

The cryptocurrency exchange has hit its 2018 target of doubling its staff. From February 2018 to September 2018, Coinbase staff grew from 250 people to 500.

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