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Crypto pioneer Silvio Micali talks about the trend of cryptocurrency

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About 40 years ago, Silvio Micali and colleague Shafi Goldwasser wanted to learn how to play poker together on their phones. They needed a way to make sure neither of them could figure out the other player’s hands.

The two graduating computer science students at UC Berkeley developed what Micale calls “the first secure cryptographic scheme the world has ever seen.” For their invention, which proved vital to the modern internet, they were awarded the AM Turing Prize, considered the computing equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Today, Micale, 67, is focusing on another application of cryptography: the blockchain, which is the basis for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. At the Milken Institute global conference this week, MIT professor Algorand promoted a blockchain he developed that he says is greener, faster, and more secure than other protocols.

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Blockchains are usually described as public ledgers where transactions are recorded on an open network. One of the biggest security challenges is validating a batch of transactions to add to the ledger. Algorand says it’s using a new approach that involves randomly selecting its users to make sure blocks of transactions are more hack-resistant, which cost holders of cryptocurrency $14 billion last year with a single balance.

Algorand is one of a swarm of new blockchains that aim to transform finance and the modern world by serving as platforms for so-called decentralized smart contracts that can be conducted person-to-person and across borders without government intermediaries.

An announcement at the Milken conference about Algorand’s partnership with FIFA, the governing body for world football, drove the price of its algo coin, making it the 30th largest cryptocurrency on Coinbase on Tuesday, with a market capitalization of $4.5 billion. (Bitcoin has a market capitalization of $725 billion.)

Your contribution to modern cryptography has won you a Turing Prize. What applications does it have today?

It is used to secure a lot of things that go through the Internet. When you send a message to Citicorp, one of the practical side products of our work is that your browser knows that it is speaking truthfully to Citicorp and not to a broker who is intercepting messages and pretending to be Citicorp.

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Bitcoin has been around since 2009. What is your first impression of it?

I bought the main idea. The idea is nice, but the solution is somehow not quite elegant. We all aspire to beauty and elegance in what we do.

One criticism of bitcoin is the power needed to verify transactions and mine new coins. There is a bill in the New York State Assembly that would impose a moratorium on bitcoin mining. Can you describe Algorand’s energy efficiency in terms I can understand?

Bitcoin absorbs as much electricity as a small country, and we will consume as much electricity as about 10 homes. [Algorand uses a so-called pure proof-of-stake method for validating blocks of transactions, versus bitcoin’s far more energy-intensive proof-of-work system.]

Where are we on the adoption curve with blockchain technology?

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We are in a very divided world. We have blockchain 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 – which I think Algorand is – coexisting during the same time. So this is very unique. If you look at the industrial revolution… you have more and more development [technologies], so usually not all of these things coexist. We are in a very unique moment where there are highly developed chains like our blockchain and when there is a very early generation of block chains still in existence at the same time. It’s like you have Neanderthals and Homo sapiens living together.

What do you see after 10 years down the road?

The moment the blockchain starts being used in transactions, a few blockchains that are really capable of transacting at a very low cost, will emerge, in my opinion. When traditional finance starts getting on the blockchain, you will see that the blockchain is already being used in a massive way and transactions will accelerate. And store a few values [like bitcoin] Maybe it will stay.

New blockchains like Algorand are being created to serve as platforms for diverse decentralized applications such as digital currencies, carbon offset trading, and personal identification. However, many people are more interested in buying coins as a speculative investment.

First of all, we can’t stop people from speculating. But what we want to offer is a technology to enable people to use our platform for a variety of transactions and really complex transactions as well.

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Can you give an example?

So if you look at stocks, right, the stocks have a settlement time of T plus 2. T is the time you buy a stock and two is the number of days after that trade is settled. This is two days of waiting for the settlement of the transaction. We settle our [blockchain] At 4.4 seconds today, at the end of the second quarter at 4 seconds and at the end of the third quarter at 2.5 seconds. This is a huge difference.

This future is hard to predict and anyone logging into a Coinbase account for the first time will be baffled by all the investable cryptocurrencies. What is the only advice you would give a beginner?

I really think you should invest in what you understand. But no one can say that you have to understand technology, no more than you have to understand how airplane flight works to take a plane. But you have to ask some very basic questions.

What are these?

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The primary tool for investing in cryptocurrency is consensus [verification of the blockchain]. One question I would like to ask if you want to join the blockchain is, “Can I join the consensus process on the blockchain?” This is a very fair question. And if the answer is, “Sure, buy two supercomputers and join us.” And you say, “I don’t have a bunch of supercomputers and I don’t have the money to buy them.” So, I would say be careful.

Any other bad answers?

If the answer is, “You can but we already have a club. Sorry, you are not a club member.” So I have to say you should be concerned.

Is there a good answer?

If the answer is not only you are allowed to join, but you have the technical means to join because your laptop is enough or something very basic, then I have to say that this means that the blockchain is really decentralized. I believe that decentralization is really the ultimate source of security.

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The last question. You are a brilliant computer scientist with a Turing Award at MIT. Were you lying to us? Could you be Satoshi Nakamoto, the legendary anonymous Bitcoin creator?

[Big laugh.] No, but I can’t prove it.

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Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been reinstated after a two-year ban

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Former President Trump will be allowed to return to Facebook and Instagram after a two-year ban for inciting violence during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Facebook’s primary Meta platforms. announce Tuesday.

“The suspension was an extraordinary decision made in exceptional circumstances,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said in a blog post. “The normal situation is that the public should be able to hear from a former President of the United States, and a declared candidate for that office again, on our platforms.”

The threat to public safety in January 2021 has “receded enough,” Clegg said, and Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated in the coming weeks with “new firewalls to deter repeat offences.”

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The decision would allow Trump access to 23.3 million followers on Instagram and 34 million followers on Facebook as he seeks to return to the White House. he announce his 2024 presidential campaign in November, and his campaign formally petitioned Meta to reinstate his accounts in a letter to the company on Jan. 17, according to NBC News.

Trump was initially suspended from his Facebook and Instagram accounts on January 6, 2021, after the Meta determined that Trump had made multiple posts encouraging a mob insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while the 2020 electoral votes were being counted. After a review, the company’s oversight board imposed Six months to lift the suspension or make it permanent. Facebook answered By setting a two-year limit on Trump’s suspension, at which point he would “assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”

This time, Trump will face increased penalties for violating Facebook or Instagram’s Community Standards based on the company’s protocols on restricting the accounts of public figures during civil unrest. Additional content that violates the Meta standards will result in a suspension from one month to two years, Clegg said, depending on the severity of the violation.

Since his removal from Meta platforms, Trump has been posting extensively on Truth Social, a social networking site he launched in February 2022.

“Facebook, which has lost billions of dollars in value since your favorite boss ‘knocked me off’, just announced it will reinstate my account,” he wrote on Wednesday. “Something like this should never happen again to a sitting president, or anyone else who doesn’t deserve revenge!”

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Trump was too Recently restored to Twitter after it was banned in the wake of the January 6 attack, a decision Elon Musk made via a Twitter poll. He hasn’t posted anything on the platform since his account was reactivated.

Trump’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook, a powerful networking and fundraising platform, played a major role in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. In 2020, a senior executive wrote in an internal memo that Facebook’s advertising tools were responsible for Trump’s victory and expected it to lead to his re-election in 2020.

Facebook employees embedded with Trump’s 2016 campaign helped the team with its digital operations, providing free advice on advertising strategy and targeting, According to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The company said the same services were offered to Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well as other non-political clients of major advertisers on its platform.

Separately, political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica claimed to leverage the private data of millions of Facebook users to guide Trump’s 2016 campaign strategy. The Trump campaign has denied using illegally acquired Facebook data.

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Hank and John Green launched the YouTube College Credit Program

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Hank Green and his brother John, author of Bad luck and other young adult novels, they have posted many hours of educational content on their sites vlogbrothers YouTube channel, which has more than 3.5 million subscribers. Now they’re expanding their mission: Yesterday, the Green Brothers announced a new initiative, Classroomswhich allows users to earn college credit, at a very reasonable price, by taking classes on YouTube.

Study Hall is a partnership between Crash Course, a YouTube-based educational channel produced by Complexly, a company created by the Greens; Arizona State University; and YouTube. The video program guides users through key questions, such as whether college is right for them, and if it is, helps them learn what they can major in and how they can enter the world of work next.

Most importantly, Study Hall allows users to take online courses to earn accredited college credits through ASU. This means that these credits can be counted toward a degree at ASU, or the hundreds of other colleges that recognize ASU-developed programs.

“We looked a lot at what we’re doing on Crash Course and felt really good about it,” Hank Green told BuzzFeed News. “We intentionally said, ‘We make the content, and that’s what we do.’ But the idea presents itself when creating high-quality educational materials. You start to have those ideas about giving people credentials.”

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The project began over three years ago, at an educational event for creators where YouTube Complexly and ASU linked up. The idea came about when the Crash Course team realized that 43 million Americans have some form of student debt, It totaled $1.75 trillion. Of those 43 million people, 40% do not have a degree, because they never graduated. Some may realize part way through their studies that a university education is not for them; For others, life simply gets in the way.

“We decided to look at what were the hardest parts for students, and one of them was the cost barrier and the bureaucratic barrier to higher education,” said Hank Green. He noted that almost anyone can take the courses, including high school students.

Viewers can watch educational videos at Study Hall YouTube channel Free. Then, if they want college credit, they can go to the Study Hall website and purchase access to the entire class, where they will be given coursework and get feedback from faculty. The initial cost of the program is $25, which earns one access to faculty and assessments.

Once someone completes the assessments and gets the grade they want, they can pay $400 toward college credit. Users can choose not to take the credit, which means they only spent $25.

“Fear is a huge roadblock,” Green said. “Getting a little skin in the game is fine with $25, but not how much anyone would think is a lot for a college course. But lowering that initial barrier of paying $1,200 for a course I might fail is important.” Doing four courses and earning at least a B in each entitles the learner to enroll in an official ASU campus or online program.

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Green said he appreciates the fact that ASU does not manipulate college ranking systems in the United States by seeking a low acceptance rate. “A long time ago, they turned that on its head and said, ‘We’re going to judge our school not by who we exclude but by how many people we actually help.’” “This philosophy is really inspiring to me, and it is one of the reasons I was excited to work with them.” Such collaborations are rare, said Green, adding, “I am very precious to my two children.”

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Donald Trump to return to Facebook, Instagram and Meta says

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Meta will restore former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “in the coming weeks,” the company said announce Wednesday. The move comes after two years of social networking banned Trump for praising the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“The public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed decisions,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in the company’s announcement.

Trump announced in November 2022 that he would run for president again. His campaign had formally petitioned the Meta to reinstate him on the platform, NBC News said mentioned earlier this month.

Clegg said Trump’s narratives would have “new firewalls to deter repeat offence”. If Trump posts anything that violates Meta’s speech policies, his posts will be removed, and he will be suspended again for anywhere between one month and two years depending on the severity of the violation. Meta may also limit the access of Trump’s posts and prevent their sharing or promotion.

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This is a breaking news story. For updates, check back and fFollow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.



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