Dropping to a technical level, if the miners are all run by Telegram, then I think it's just a pointless overhead over Mysql. On the other hand, if anybody can run miners, I don't comprehend what value that adds, what it means.
It also helps you trust that movement of the asset will not be hindered by the issuer's inability to keep servers running in the face of potential DDoS attacks.
All of the substantial ICOs require some level of KYC/AML registration for direct public sales and pre-sales. Tokens later become available to everyone else through independent exchanges, which happens quickly these days.
With a database there's always ways around editing the data if you own the entire system.
With a blockchain it's not possible to edit the data without replacing the entire chain.
If you are in control of write access to the blockchain, you can roll back to whatever block suits you better, and just fork it. Others might protest, but those fools have no write access, so they're stuck with your fork for the time being.
Blockchain is just a protocol for consensus-based DB replication, you don't somehow magically end up with a superior DB because of that.
So let's say you do set up a meeting with Experian, TransUnion and EquiFax and now need to prepare a slide deck to convince them to migrate their existing tech (let's say a master MySQL with a bunch of slaves, shared write access for trusted entities) to blockchain.
What's your selling point? Lower costs when deployed at the datacenter? Decreased hardware costs? Greatly increased TPS? Faster lookups? Easier to build applications on top compared to the existing stack?
In corporate IT the mighty dollar rules the day. MySQL and Postgres had hostile incumbents, Linux and open source in general had hostile incumbents, commodity hardware for the data center had hostile incumbents, AWS (or Google Cloud) had hostile incumbents, Splunk, Cloudera, SalesForce and any other SAAS company had plenty of hostile incumbents.
Yet end of the day they were able to show cost savings, and either sell it at the CTO/CIO level to existing companies or enable startups with much more rigid cost base, which in big companies quickly got the CIO's attention.
There's nothing particular about blockchain tech that I can see that introduces a major game changer on the cost savings front. Launch two identical startups today, one on top of blockchain, another on top of MySQL. Will the first one have lower operating costs 1, 5, 10, 20 years down the road?
 Not sure that's the appropriate term.
In a word -- decentralization -- is the key difference between a virtual currency described by some SQL tables and an API and one described by a blockchain.
A gov if it wants can take down a server if it is physically hosted in that country. A blockchain unless you've gargantuan CPU power is nigh on impossible to take down.
Exactly, if someone with >50% power can essentially double spend it makes the currency as a whole almost worthless. As a result it's very much in the creator's interest to either not have >50% or to come up with a distributed consensus algorithm where a majority party can't double spend (very hard).
That is the difference, but what is the value in that? You're making things much more complicated and for what - especially for an in-app currency.
It depends on the value of the backups I guess and the total cost involved. If you're looking at store of value there needs to be backups of backups. I see room for both depending on the needs of the business. It's just a trade off -- the blockchain is inherently more stable and secure than a server for certain purposes and server is far faster and cheaper depending on how you use it.
Is there anyone using bitcoin for transactions anymore? Fees are absurdly prohibitive.
My point was that if the central bank behind a currency goes away so does all of its utility, even if the currency is still physically or digitally there.
No one said anything about default. You can't default on a currency that isn't backed by anything.
That's not true. Unless the bank is critical for conducting transactions, their presence is not required for a currency they produced/backed to have value.
Value in currencies is whatever people assign to it. Utility is whether people will accept it as payment. If the US government goes tango uniform next week, and I and those around me have enough cash available (let's also assume the banks and CC companies we rely on for card/digital transactions also disappear) we can use the remaining physical currency as our method of denominating our local economy, and likely would.
"Telegram will The white paper also makes clear that four percent of the supply of Grams (200 million Grams) will be reserved for Telegram’s development team with a four-year vesting period. Telegram also plans to retain “at least 52 percent” of the entire supply of the Grams cryptocurrency to protect it from speculative trading and maintain flexibility. The remaining 44 percent will be sold in both the public and private sale.
The currency will be listed on external exchanges and used inside the Telegram app."
For example in Solidity a language that targets the Ethereum Virtual Machine. You can have constructor parameters in your contracts like addressOfTokenUsedAsReward, then you provide the smart contract address ex "0x12dgsdg..." of the token you built. These contracts unlike your mysql database are immutable and the code can't be changed, even if there is a vulnerability in it.
If mining is somehow built on shuffling messages around this might be the good parts about old Skype (close to decentralized) without the problems (steals your bandwidth without asking).
That said: as with anything cryptocurrency-related I'm hugely sceptical.
Telegram founder is also big into cryptocurrency and owns a bunch of bitcoin . I think after kik  and Status  this was inevitable.
This is what has stopped me from doing payment in my apps until now - you never know when some apple or google employee decides to smash you in the face with the ban hammer.
You cant join Telegram chats marked as NSFW on iOS devices.
Why are they doing this? Because companies are raising vastly more money and at a faster speed than going the traditional VC or even IPO route right now. The strategy: Make up any reason and do it.
I think the decentralized, semi-anonymous, open source development route can benefit from this approach better in the long term than a centralized for profit company can.
Games may also end up being some of the biggest success stories. When you can actually prove that something is rare, and even potentially decentralize the gameplay, it presents interesting options for anti-cheating and proof of value. What is dumber: crypto kitties or con artists making hundreds of millions of dollars off sloppy copy and pasted documents?
How come, for example, they don't demand their cut from Monzo person to person transfers?
>3.1.5 (a) Physical Goods and Services Outside of the App: If your app enables people to purchase goods or services that will be consumed outside of the app, you must use purchase methods other than in-app purchase to collect those payments, such as Apple Pay or traditional credit card entry.
But if this applies to Bandcamp, then it would equally apply to Amazon... So I don't know.
I don't pretend it is secure and listening to HN I've been halfway expecting a huge flaw to show up but so far, -nothing.
I'm not clear on stellar.
Tinfoil in me says that bank created Ripple just to get easy Bitcoin.
See for a good example how Byteball is doing this in their Android client, encrypted chat inside their wallet, chat with bots and oracles and chat with other people to send 'MBytes' to their wallet or using e-mail with a 'claim' link. I paid my lunch that way to colleagues (who are now stuck with MBytes to play with).
To get around the Apple walled garden you could even make gateway GBYTE/NEO/XBT bots for Discord, Matrix/Riot or IRC.
There are around 1 million people who are big into altcoins that are constantly ogling icos to get in early for the cryptocurrency to go 100x or 1000x.
As more and more standalone cryptocurrencies are launched, the total amount of computational power expended on each will decrease and therefore make each more vulnerable to a 51% attack.
This problem is especially pertinent to niche currencies like Telegram's which are tied to a specific company service rather than those trying to act as a general unit of storage or exchange like Bitcoin or even an industry or economy wide tool like Ripple's XRP which. The more specific a currency's use case, the less processing power that will be dedicated to processing that currency's blockchain. And the more vulnerable it will be.
This seems like a real problem for the ecosystem as a whole.
Once that is done, you can move your mining rigs onto the next MinorCoin, or you can put them back to mining BTC without you having lost any value except for the opportunity cost when you weren't mining BTC.
With PoS, you need to buy up 51% of the coins in order to make the attack. As you buy more and more coins, the price will rise, so you will spend more money than you expect to get to 51%. Then, once you're there, you do some double spend attacks and destroy the value of the network. Now, all that money you pumped into it is gone. That is the key difference between PoS and PoW in this scenario.
PoS mining is just rewarding the rich simply for being rich. What could be wrong with that?
PoS doesn't reward the rich for being rich any more than a savings account rewards the rich for being rich by letting them make more money off of a given interest rate.
BTC ASICs are a case of failure to prevent centralization. Nearly every successor to Bitcoin has developed ASIC resistant algorithms to allow normal users to contribute to securing the network activity and be rewarded with newly minted supply for doing so.
Block rewards are nothing like savings interest because it works like an all or nothing lottery.
If the developer or an exchange controls 40% or even 10% of the supply, they have a significantly higher likelihood of taking newly minted coins which compounds further increases to their probability of increasing their control of the supply. All the while those who have less of the supply or are too poor to qualify for staking will not be exponentially increasing their wealth.
The same currency that you must use to keep away the taxman, and that can always be used to settle debts.
A lot lot lot of crypto projects use Telegram for their official chat lines.
1. The app owners control the denominations in which the currency can be purchased, and they can structure prices to maximize the average user's unused balance.
2. Once the proprietary currency has been purchased, transactions using that currency need not go through the confirmation dialogs required for cash purchases. That removes a chance for users to reconsider and back out.
3. Because of (2), apps can inject dialogs with 'offers' to buy things at points in the workflow where the user expects some other dialog. Users who aren't paying close attention will end up wasting their currency on accidental purchases.
4. The only "real money" transaction is the purchase of the currency, so any protections that consumers might have had with cash purchases in their jurisdiction may not apply when the proprietary currency is used.
5. On top of the usual bank/credit/debit fees, you can expect app currencies with a cash out capability to include additional fees from the app developer.
Yeah, they will. Cryptocurrency in 2018 is the machine learning of 2017.
Startups will get asked "what is your blockchain strategy" instead of "what is your machine learning strategy".
Fear of the SEC is likely preventing plenty of them.
How do you subvert an increasingly connected population where information travels and spreads like wildfire that can force you out of power?
You bring those people on a platform where they are told they are safe because of technical jargon here.
It's in their best interest to not reveal these relationships or make it obvious that the people on such platform are being monitored. Nor are they trying to catch people who are smart enough to not use the platform. ex. "terrorists"
What's important is that they've essentially captured a large bracket of the population using such privacy tools thinking they are free from surveillance when in fact it's the complete opposite. Now you have full ability to disrupt and destroy any type of anti-government organization.
This is described in a book "KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev" by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Gordievsky, a former KGB officer.
> Messaging apps shouldn't make money
An interview which of course does not bind him nor the company to that philosophy, but it is slightly encouraging.
This all sounds a bit .. timecube?
Telegram is not a secure messaging platform, despite marketing themselves as such.
Signal has built a simple, seamless, and beautiful messaging platform whose security is based on solid cryptography, not marketing, bug contests, or chasing the latest tech fad.
I love Signal, but it really could use non-phone-number identifiers (this could be easily implemented e.g. with tel: & mailto: URLs) and federation.
One place where Signal falls down is visible with the recent Haven app, which uses the Signal network to send messages. This is wonderful, but unfortunately it requires a second phone number to register the Haven device.
Here are some publications about security problems with the platform:
- A class project at MIT found several problems (May 2017) 
- They were featured on Crypto Fails (Dec 2013) 
- Jakob Jakobsen @ Aarhus University published a vulnerability discovery (May 2015)  and then did his Masters thesis on additional problems (Sep 2015) 
-Tomas Susanka @ Czech Technical University in Prague published additional vulnerabilities (2016) 
Plenty more out there.
I admire Signal for its security, and Mr. Marlinspike et al. have contributed much to the field but seamless and beautiful are not words I'd use to describe Signal.
- Their desktop "app" is but an Electron app that feels native nowhere and is built from their old Chrome plugin
- The app requires my phone to be on and connected (I am aware of why this is).
- Their iPad app is non-existent and if ever released (no indication I can find that it is even planned) it would likely have the same requirement to keep my phone on and connected.
- It doesn't appear possible to search conversations.
- If I transfer to a new device, all my messages are gone unless I restore from a backup.
To give an alternative secure messenger that has less of these problems, I've been investigating Wire. It has some of the same drawbacks vs Telegram but lacks the primary flaw of Signal's design: the dependence on my phone.
But both Wire and Signal have one problem that I can't easily work around: No one I know uses them. No one I know wants to use them, because the user experience and convenience of the less secure messengers outweigh the decreased security.