Follow Discovery Science Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook

It was originally published on sundayscaries.com
Madeline Taylor POSTED ONNovember 18, 2018

Depression and anxiety disorders affect approximately one in 15 adults every year in the United States alone and one in six people will experience depression during their lifetime.  Depression is one of the most difficult diseases in the world to deal with and when paired with anxiety it gets even worse.

Some people have found that prescription medicines that are often used to treat the symptoms of depression, anxiety, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as chronic pain,  have side effects that seem to make them feel worse and not better. This is why many people are now turning to medical marijuana and CBD products like hemp oil without THC to help them overcome this debilitating illness and so far, they have been surprised by its powerful and positive results.

If you have been left feeling exhausted and disappointed due to not being able to find a medicine that actually works for treating the anxiety and depression you are experiencing and you prefer to take a natural approach to heal, then this oil for anxiety could be the perfect option for you.

How Does CBD Work to Treat Depression and Anxiety?

Like with marijuana, many existing consumers of nature’s miracle oil report that they have noticed just how much it lifts their otherwise flat mood. This makes perfect sense, as CBD has the ability to positively boost serotonin in your body. Serotonin is naturally found in the body and when you experience anxiety or depression, the levels of the “happy” chemical drop substantially.

That aside, CBD oil for anxiety has proven itself as a wonderful sleep aid, which is important to recognize as insomnia only adds to increased anxiety and depression.

Should You Use CBD Instead of Antidepressants?

First, if you are already prescribed antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, then you need to consult your physician before making any drastic changes. Some anti-anxiety medications like Xanax can product terrible withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking your recommended dose suddenly. Ironically, this is one of the main reasons that people prefer to take CBD products instead of pharmaceutical medications as they find the side effects too harmful to cope with. Here are just a few of the negatives that can accompany traditional anxiety medications:

  • Weight Gain
  • Nausea
  • Decreased libido
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety

There are also those who prefer to take a more holistic approach to life, in which case they turn to CBD. THC and CBD are very different and the effects of CBD or cannabidiol are minimal and, if you take it, you won’t experience feeling “high” so you can rest assured that you can still be on the ball and productive, regardless of the time of day you take your CBD oil.

Benefits of CBD to Treat Depression and Anxiety

More often than not, people who experience depression are also prone to anxiety. Using CBD oil will stop any anxiety almost instantly, thanks to its calming nature.

Bad memories and permanently bad moods can be alleviated through taking CBD, as it allows you to quiet your mind and focus on obtaining a positive mindset via the ability to put things in perspective. Depression affects everyone differently, so if you feel angry or in a slump, then it could be time to try CBD.

One consequence of depression that many people fail to realize is that it can affect your physical being, as well as your emotional wellness. It can significantly weaken your immune system, which CBD can also help with.

Many people struggling with anxiety and depression either eat too much in a bit to comfort themselves or they entirely lose their appetite. CBD is often used to help increase the appetites of senior citizens and those struggling with eating disorders.

What Is the Recommended Dose of CBD to Take?

Because research has yet to pinpoint exactly how much CBD should be taken, it comes down to trial and error. Remember, you cannot do yourself any harm by taking too little or too much CBD, as there are hardly any side effects associated with it. When you buy your CBD oil, you will usually be able to see a recommended dose on the back of the bottle, but if not, you will need to start by taking small doses and gradually increasing the amount you take until you reach a level that you feel is working for you.

If you can seek to advise from an open-minded physician, then even better. This is especially important if you are already taking medication for your anxiety and your end goal is to wean yourself off it and rely entirely on CBD. The same is true if you are pregnant or suffering from any other type of illness. It’s always better to seek expert opinions on anything in life, so CBD is no different.

If you have made the decision to try CBD, then it’s time to decide how you will take it. There are a variety of different products available online and in physical legal dispensaries. Here are a few of our favorites:

CBD Oil Tinctures/Drops

CBD oil is one of the most efficient and effective ways to experience all of the positive benefits CBD has to offer in a timely manner. One drawback of the drops for many people is the “hempy” flavor and slimy texture of the oil. If you don’t like the taste, then you can try putting a few drops under the tongue where you will notice it less. This will also make it more effective, as the mucous membranes in your mouth will absorb the product and deliver it straight to your bloodstream.

CBD Edibles

CBD-infused edibles can be purchased easily and many manufacturers create them with flavors. CBD gummies can be a great alternative to oil, but they do taste rather nice, so be careful not to eat them all in one go! You can also obtain CBD capsules that you take daily with different dosages and strains to select from.


Vaping is also one of the quickest ways of absorbing CBD oil, so if you are a vaper anyway, you might want to investigate CBD infused liquids that can be used in your existing vape pen.

If you are battling depression and anxiety, then you are not alone. While you might feel that you will never see an end to your struggles, CBD oil might just give you the miracle relief that you have been so desperately seeking.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A mosquito bite? That’s child’s play. Spider bite? No problem. But a bee sting – heck, does it ever hurt!

About 2 million people in the U.S. are allergic to the venom of stinging insects, according to WebMD, and even those who aren’t allergic can be afraid because of the acute pain caused by those fuzzy little critters.

Redness, swelling and a dull ache are the hallmarks of a bee sting, after the initial sharp blast of pain at the time of incident, of course.

The hurt inflicted by a bee is two-pronged.

First, when bees sting they release a chemical called melittin into their victim. This venom immediately triggers pain receptors, causing a burning sensation. Second, because a bee’s stinger is in fact barbed like a jagged sword, when it penetrates the victim’s skin it actually dislodges from the bee, remaining there. The longer the stinger stays in the skin, the more venom is released, continuing its toxic assault for up to a minute.

As long as you’re not allergic to bee venom, your immune system will react to the sting by sending fluids there to flush out the melittin, causing swelling and redness. The pain may last several days, but can be soothed with a cold compress or an antihistamine.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When science-fiction worlds introduce robots that look and behave like people, sooner or later those worlds’ inhabitants confront the question of robot self-awareness. If a machine is built to truly mimic a human, its “brain” must be complex enough not only to process information as ours does, but also to achieve certain types of abstract thinking that make us human. This includes recognition of our “selves” and our place in the world, a state known as consciousness.

One example of a sci-fi struggle to define AI consciousness is AMC’s “Humans”. At this point in the series, human-like machines called Synths have become self-aware; as they band together in communities to live independent lives and define who they are, they must also battle for acceptance and survival against the hostile humans who created and used them.

But what exactly might “consciousness” mean for artificial intelligence (AI) in the real world, and how close is AI to reaching that goal?

Philosophers have described consciousness as having a unique sense of self coupled with an awareness of what’s going on around you. And neuroscientists have offered their own perspective on how consciousness might be quantified, through analysis of a person’s brain activity as it integrates and interprets sensory data.

However, applying those rules to AI is tricky. In some ways, the processing abilities of AI are not unlike those that take place in human brains. Sophisticated AI systems use a process called deep learning to solve computational tasks quickly, using networks of layered algorithms that communicate with each other to solve more and more complex problems.

It’s a strategy very similar to that of our own brains, where information speeds across connections between neurons. In a neural network, deep learning enables AI to teach itself how to identify disease, win a strategy game against the best human player in the world, or write a pop song.

But to accomplish these feats, any neural network still relies on a human programmer setting the tasks and selecting the data for it to learn from. Consciousness for AI would mean that neural networks could make those initial choices themselves, “deviating from the programmers’ intentions and doing their own thing,” Edith Elkind, a professor of computing science at the University of Oxford in the U.K., told Live Science in an email.

In the third season of the AMC series “Humans,” humanlike robots called Synths that have achieved self-awareness struggle with the consequences

“Machines will become conscious when they start to set their own goals and act according to these goals rather than do what they were programmed to do,” Elkind said.

“This is different from autonomy: Even a fully autonomous car would still drive from A to B as told,” she added.

Three stages of consciousness

One of the pitfalls for machines becoming self-aware is that consciousness in humans is not well-defined enough, which would make it difficult if not impossible for programmers to replicate such a state in algorithms for AI, researchers reported in a study published in October 2017 in the journal Science.

The scientists defined three levels of human consciousness, based on the computation that happens in the brain. The first, which they labeled “C0,” represents calculations that happen without our knowledge, such as during facial recognition, and most AI functions at this level, the scientists wrote in the study.

The second level, “C1,” involves a so-called “global” awareness of information — in other words, actively sifting and evaluating quantities of data to make an informed, deliberate choice in response to specific circumstances.

Self-awareness emerges in the third level, “C2,” in which individuals recognize and correct mistakes and investigate the unknown, the study authors reported.

“Once we can spell out in computational terms what the differences may be in humans between conscious and unconsciousness, coding that into computers may not be that hard,” study co-author Hakwan Lau, a UCLA neuroscientist.

To a certain extent, some types of AI can evaluate their actions and correct them responsively — a component of the C2 level of human consciousness. But don’t expect to meet self-aware AI anytime soon, Elkind said in the email.

“While we are quite close to having machines that can operate autonomously (self-driving cars, robots that can explore an unknown terrain, etc.), we are very far from having conscious machines,” Elkind said.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The P3 (platform performance prototype) at the University of Cambridge, used to test the design for the Science Data Processor, a new supercomputer that will be the fastest in the world.

The fastest supercomputer in the world will soon be outpaced by a newer, swifter rival.

Scientists recently completed the engineering design for the first of two paired supercomputers called the Science Data Processor (SDP). Together, these supercomputers will manage vast quantities of data collected by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a network of radio telescopes in Perth, Australia, and Cape Town, South Africa, SKA representatives said in a statement.

An international team of researchers representing 11 countries collaborated for five years to produce the hardware, software and algorithms to drive the first of the two supercomputers, according to the statement.

When completed, the powerhouse processors — one installed in Perth and one in Cape Town — will wrangle 600 petabytes (1 petabyte is equal to a million gigabytes) of data per year, or “enough to fill more than a million average laptops,” said Maurizio Miccolis, an SDP project manager based in the United Kingdom.

How fast will the new supercomputer be? Processing speed is measured in floating-point operations per second, or flops. A powerful supercomputer’s performance is expressed in petaflops: a quadrillion calculations per second. By comparison, the speed of most personal computers is measured in gigaflops: 1 billion calculations per second.

Researchers estimate that SDP will operate at 250 petaflops, or 250 quadrillion calculations in an instant, making it 25% faster than IBM’s Summit, “the current fastest supercomputer in the world,” Miccolis said.

At the same time that SDP is moving enormous amounts of radio telescope data at record speeds, the supercomputer will also conduct nearly real-time data analysis to sift signal from noise, according to SDP representatives.

“SDP is where data becomes information,” SKA data-center scientist Rosie Bolton said in the statement. “This is where we start making sense of the data and produce detailed astronomical images.”

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
It was originally published on sundayscaries.com

There are so many benefits to being your own boss. Whether you get to curl up at home and work in the comfort of your pajamas or you get the thrill of running your own store, the life of an entrepreneur is more often than not a rewarding one.

However, it can also come with its fair share of stress and anxiety. After all, when you have no boss or superiors to take the bulk of the responsibility for missteps, you find yourself taking on high-stakes situations without anyone help you out.

Sometimes, anxiety can feel like a never-ending, incurable curse. As soon as you finally get past a major project, something else comes up that you immediately need to start chipping away at. It can feel like there is no relief or real solution, and you may even wonder if a career as an entrepreneur was truly worth it.

Well, please know that your career is worth the challenges, and there are steps you can take to manage your stress and overcome anxiety. One safe, legal, and effective option can be cannabidiol oil (CBD oil).

Sure, you might be thinking that smoking up before a big meeting with new clients could impact your performance or make your anxiety worse, but CBD is not the same as THC cannabis products. OK, so they both come from the cannabis plant, as does marijuana, though the effects of CBD are totally different. THC is a psychoactive chemical that affects your brain function and make you feel high, whereas high-quality CBD products will actually have no traces of THC, meaning getting high is an impossibility. In fact, your morning cup of coffee will have stronger psychoactive effects than even a strong dosage of CBD.

For years, research into CBD was minimal, in part, because people wanted to know more about how THC works more so than CBD. Now that research is starting to pick up, studies are showing positive results associated with CBD, including to combat anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

In fact, CBD is already known to aid a multitude of mental and physical illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, Dravet syndrome, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. So why can’t it help relieve chronic stress and the symptoms of anxiety?

How Stress and Anxiety Impact Your Daily Life

Our public understanding of mental health has historically been subpar, to say the least. Although we now know that over 40 million Americans have a mental illness, there was a time not long ago when many of the most common psychiatric disorders did not have a name or an effective treatment.

Now, we are starting to understand the ways in which our emotional well-being influences other aspects of our physical health. Even if you have not been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or any other mental illness, it does not mean that great amounts of stress and pressure will not put a strain on your relationships, your work performance, and your health. Here are just a few ways in which stress and anxiety have very real impacts on our lives:

  • An impacted sleep schedule, including insomnia and nightmares
  • Irritability and depression, which can impact our personal relationships
  • Feeling fatigued and having low energy that impacts our work performance
  • Problems with memory and attention span
  • Breathing problems
  • Muscle pains and aches
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive health problems similar to symptoms of IBS
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Loss of libido
  • Higher likelihood of poor coping mechanisms such as substance abuse, self-harm and a poor diet

Many of these symptoms can not only impact our personal lives but can have a direct impact on our career as well. It’s hard to make a good impression on new clients when we are constantly crabby or trailing off mid-sentence because our focus is poor. It can be hard to have a productive work day when we are battling fatigue and a bout of digestive troubles.

How CBD Can Help

Everyone experiences anxiety and stress differently, and so everyone has a different treatment that is right for them. While some people might benefit from a prescribed medication or behavioral therapy, other people might feel more comfortable pursuing holistic, all-natural options. Although CBD might not be the right treatment for everyone, research has shown that CBD can help with anxiety and stress in a number of ways, including:

Stress Management

Numerous studies have shown that CBD can increase emotional resilience, reduce feelings of anxiety, improve learning, and boost your mood. This, in turn, could also treat some of the nastier symptoms of stress, such as headaches and indigestion.

Sleep Quality

Sleep is an essential element of our health. Anxiety and stress can make it harder to us to fall asleep and stay asleep and, in turn, a poor sleep schedule can make our anxiety worse, causing a vicious cycle. As entrepreneurs, we sometimes tend to make our sleep patterns worse with unhealthy habits such as taking our work home with us, spending too much time on screens before bed or sleeping and working at irregular hours. Studies have shown that by improving your sleep schedule, CBD can have a tangible impact on your stress levels.

Energy Boosting

On top of helping with your sleep, CBD is also known to improve your energy and wakefulness throughout the day, which can help you stay productive and avoid the pile-up of responsibilities that lead to stress in the first place.

If stress and anxiety have been impacting your life, you should remember that you are not alone. Millions of Americans struggle every year with an anxiety disorder, and all of us can relate to the feelings of being stressed and overworked. It is important to take care of yourself, and on top of using CBD, also make lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, consistent sleep schedule and time for leisure and unwinding.

You should also speak to your doctor if you believe that you might have an anxiety disorder. Together, you can create a treatment plan that might include CBD as well as therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. Ultimately, your career should be one of the joys in your life. With the right support, it does not have to be a source of unnecessary stress. Whether you go for CBD vape, CBD gummies, or a CBD tincture, the effects of CBD are there for all to see.


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
It was originally published on mintdice.com

In 2018, the blockchain landscape was a mix of negative and positive events that were in equal parts hectic, eye-opening and indicative of future developments within the digital currency industry.

From the beginning of the year, corporations, venture capitalists, investors, and regulators were locked in a mash of uncertainty. While some would take the year in all its gore and glory as a learning experience, others may have had a much bumpier ride. Some of the events that marked the year are discussed below.

  • January saw Bitcoin, the largest asset underpinned by blockchain technology, see a rapid decline from its December peak prices, which a good number of investors bought into. Other cryptocurrencies followed soon after. Despite several predictions from industry experts, the end of the year has shown just how unpredictable the terrain can be.
  • Ethereum, which began the year as the second-largest digital asset by market capitalization, has also had a bumpy year. First, it began its decline early in the year and worsened in the second quarter, eventually relinquishing its rank to Ripple (XRP). Despite the issues faced by the currency, analysts remain bullish and predict a possible trend reversal in 2019.
  • Regarding regulation, several countries including Korea, Singapore, and Switzerland have made various moves that may materialize in 2019. The US and China cryptocurrency scene have also focused heavily on cryptocurrency regulation by cracking down on illegal exchanges, ICOs, and other money laundering schemes. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has called for stricter laws which trickle down into other areas including the denial of a Bitcoin ETF proposed by the Winklevoss twins.
  • Global blockchain innovation has not slowed down in the face of these issues. Several top corporations, including MastercardWalmartAmazonIBM and financial institutions like J.P.Morgan, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs have pioneered one or more blockchain projects this year.
  • Countries such as Switzerland and India have established blockchain districts or hubs. And, education within the field has been established in several major universities such as Stanford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, London School of Economics and University of Malta among others.

Several blockchain startups have also emerged in various industries with solutions to some of the biggest problems — from Bitpesa dealing with payment issues to VeChain assisting China in drug tracking. Shipping and supply chain management, data and content distribution, real estate, entertainment, art, and voting are other areas that blockchain startups have emerged in.

While a lot of these companies are great, some show the potential to achieve great things and hit new milestones in 2019. Here are the blockchain startups to watch in 2019:


Qtum is a decentralized open-source platform which focuses on the creation and management of smart contracts for different types of transactions. The platform also carries out value transfer protocol on its DGP-governed blockchain which gives its community participants the right to vote on certain network issues.

Bitcoin and Ethereum — being two of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence — are often in the spotlight for the consensus protocols that form their blockchain operations. Unfortunately, the news is mostly negative since both networks have faced centralization issues for their Proof-of-Work protocols. Qtum uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus, which has fewer drawbacks.

With Qtum, users can easily create their secure smart contracts. This is highly significant since it focuses on something that may form the base operation for future decentralized applications and agreements.


Easily one of the most popular blockchain startups, TRON focuses on fixing content distribution issues faced by creators. Larger platforms like Facebook and Netflix make it more difficult for creators to earn money for their work without facing third-party involvement.

The TRON platform rewards users for content uploads and connects them with their target audience using blockchain technology. Creators who are well compensated for their work are incentivized to create more. This sustains the ecosystem indefinitely.


Aelf is a “customizable operating system” made to cater to blockchains since most decentralized applications are incompatible with major operating systems like Mac, Windows, and Linux. The blockchains that currently house these applications also have scalability issues, inefficient smart contract creation processes, and drawbacks with their consensus protocols.

Aelf solves every one of these problems by creating a scalable blockchain and decentralized cloud-based computing network. According to the company website, it aims to make blockchains more accessible and workable to users.


One industry that is being disrupted positively by blockchain is that of environmental sustainability. Since the arguments on climate change began, reducing the earth’s carbon footprint has become a priority for individuals and companies.

Veridium is an environmental blockchain company that offers sustainable solutions for Fortune 500 companies. By reducing carbon emission, the company aims to “create a regenerative economy that sustains the planet’s natural resources.”

Veridium is highly important because it finds a way to turn carbon emissions into a tradable asset. With partners like IBM, this blockchain startup is set to create a marketplace for the automation of the entire process across global supply chains.


Asset management involves the use of several tools to gain insights into investor and market behavior, as well as place products in ways that they can be seen by their target market. As the industry has grown, using more complex tools to achieve this has become a necessity.

Caspian is an asset management platform that charts the entire lifecycle of asset trade. It has an OEMS, PMS, and RMS and a single interface into all major cryptocurrency exchanges. It also provides a complete suite of complex trading algorithms, real-time and historical P&L, as well as tools for tracking exposure


Devery is an open-source blockchain protocol for verifying goods and services. It stores their unique identifiers on an immutable blockchain, giving users complete transparency. The firm provides the following:

  • A digital immutable record of product data which can be used to identify different products globally
  • Individual product authenticity tracking which allows users to view the history of each product
  • An increase in sales and engagement due to product transparency which builds trust in the system

The inadequacies and information gaps within the health industry make it ripe for blockchain intervention. Leading the charge is Medibloc, a project that seeks to solve the issues associated with centralized electronic health record data storage by giving users more power over their data.

Medibloc breaks down health information into batches which are redistributed to individuals. The project aims to:

  • Save patients’ time and resources
  • Provide quality healthcare
  • Reduce medical error made by healthcare providers due to insufficient information
  • Promote further innovation within the industry

Recognized by Forbes as one of the blockchain startups to watch, Cardstack is a framework that promotes blockchain usability and scalability for the mass market. Blockchain applications are as unique as they come, and their interoperability is a constant challenge for developers.

Some applications of these networks may require collaboration between blockchains — which is unfortunately difficult. This is where Cardstack comes in, acting as a bridge between such systems. Development in 2019 may take a different turn and show even more usability for blockchain. This is why this project is so significant.


Virtual reality (VR) is another emerging technology that has been integrated into several industries like gaming and health. However, some projects make things a little more interesting by powering VR systems with blockchain-based currencies.

One such project is CEEK, a company that uses blockchain and cryptocurrency tokens to enhance user interaction in VR. Not only is this project exciting, but it is also fresh and joins two cohesive elements to make an even better application.


2018 has been a great year in blockchain, one in which developers have been forced to re-evaluate their applications outside the slowly dying hype train of cryptocurrency. While several projects have flopped, a lot of them are still standing, growing and strategizing for the coming year. In the end, the success of these companies translates to success for users and global industries as a whole.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
It was originally published on mintdice.com

Bitcoin is still generating as much buzz as it did in recent years. If anything, more people are now learning about it. Unfortunately, the stigma of its use in illicit transactions on the dark web, including money laundering, the purchase of illegal items, and trafficking has left a stain that is difficult to scrub off. There are also many accounts of Bitcoin being used in schemes to defraud users, so it is no surprise that many people are reluctant to touch it.

However, adoption is important for the sustained growth and evolution of cryptocurrency. This is why there are so many learning materials available for new and old users to see the true extent of global Bitcoin use and its continued development. Watching Bitcoin documentaries is an easy way to learn all of this, and there are many such documentaries on the internet. These are the top 5 Bitcoin documentaries based on critical reception, awards, and content quality.


“The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” is an American documentary which looks at the events and key players in the emergence and the rising popularity of Bitcoin. Directed by Nicholas Mross, the documentary premiered  on April 23, 2014, at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. While several people and companies were interviewed to determine the weight of their roles in the development of Bitcoin so far, the film follows the life of Daniel Mross, a computer programmer and Bitcoin enthusiast.

He juggles family life with his love for cryptocurrency and talks about how far he has come since he first discovered it in 2011.  In 96 minutes Nicholas Mross captures Daniel’s journey to meet global Bitcoin pioneers. As the brother of the director, Daniel Mross gives the film a personal twist, as opposed to the average formal documentary.

It is informative and great for anyone who is just learning about cryptocurrencies, or curious about those who have pushed it so far.  Although the film did not see widespread release, its reception has been fairly good, with ratings of 67% and 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB respectively, two of the biggest film critic sites. In addition to its ratings, it was nominated for the “Best International Documentary Film” at the Zurich Film Festival in 2014.


This is China’s debut Bitcoin documentary, which seeks to inform the public about the development of blockchain in the country since its creation. It was produced by Bitkan, a Chinese over-the-counter trading platform. Bitkan has been functional since 2013 and continues to operate in the country alongside other trading platforms.

The film covers the mystery of Bitcoin creation as well as its creator, the development and operation of local Bitcoin exchanges, the risks associated with the currency, regulatory efforts, grey areas, and many other topics. It also highlights the famous “Bitcoin Pizza Day” in which the first Bitcoin exchange occurred between two users in a pizza sale.

Filmed over the course of six months, the crew, including Chinese film director Li Yunqi and BitKan Co-CEO Fanny Yu, moved through Beijing, Dongguan, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Inner Mongolia. In these places, they interviewed prominent industry figures including former Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, Bitkan Co-CEO Fang Yu, Bitkan CEO Yang Liu, Bixin CEO Gang Wu, Huobi CEO Lin Li, ViaBTC CEO Haipo Yang, and more than ten other executives. They also interviewed Bitcoin users and Investors, giving the documentary a quality that the average Bitcoin user can relate to.

[Bitcoin Documentary]Bitcoin--Shape the Future - YouTube

Created by renowned economist and Filmmaker Manuel Stagars, “The Blockchain and Us” is a deep dive into blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. It is packed with important questions that the audience and industry should ask themselves when approaching the subject of Bitcoin development.

These questions center around the potential public influence of blockchain, its potential to completely disrupt society, and its social implications. To get answers to these questions, Stagars interviewed some of the most prominent researchers, cryptologists, software developers, venture capitalists, financial experts, entrepreneurs,blockchain startup founders, and other experts from the US, UK, Canada, Switzerland, and Australia.

“The Blockchain and Us” is credited as the first blockchain-focused documentary film and has been screened at various international events and locations, including the World Economic Forum held in Davos, the Fraude Film Festival in Amsterdam, the Open Everything Film Festival in Vienna (where it won the award for Best Documentary Short), Tech Tuesday in Zurich, the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (SCCIJ), the Transitions Film Festival in Melbourne, the Analytics and Financial Innovation Conference (AXFI) in Minneapolis, and the Everyman Theatre and Coinscrum in London. Today, there are German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Portuguese versions of the film.

The Blockchain and Us (2017) - YouTube

This is one of the many country-specific Bitcoin documentaries, which gives its audience a glimpse into the currency’s development in Australia. The documentary covers the country’s adoption and future plans for Bitcoin.

It is no secret that industry figures in Australia see Bitcoin as the future of money, and this short takes an in-depth look at the reasons why. The film also shows the audience the Australian working culture, with a focus on Bitcoin startups.

The documentary highlights Australia’s rapidly developing cryptocurrency mining operations, as well as merchants who accept Bitcoin. The audience is able to construct a detailed timeline from the first signs of Bitcoin adoption in the country to the level of development it has achieved so far. It is packed with useful and interesting information and is certainly a must-see for every BTC user.

Bitcoin Full Documentary (Must See!) - YouTube

This documentary takes the audience into a time when the world struggled with the great economic depression of 1929. At the time, the structures in place to control financial outcomes had failed and the repercussions were seismic.

From that point, the film shows the structural efficiencies and inefficiencies associated with traditional money in a clear way for easy understanding. The federal government’s role in shaping the use of money is also exposed in this 98-minute documentary.

Finally, the film shows the audience about a new type of technology that can give people total control over their money and other assets, which is what Bitcoin and other digital currencies propose.

Bitcoin Documentary by Discovery Channel - YouTube

While Bitcoin has grown in popularity over the past ten years, its adoption rate is still negligible compared to the population of fiat-only users. With the staggering amount of written content on the internet, it can be difficult to find out how exactly the world is reacting to the pioneer cryptocurrency. This is especially due to the rate of global development within the industry.

These documentaries show just how far development has gone, in a simple yet interesting way. They are also a great way for new users to learn the origin, benefits, and flaws of Bitcoin across several economies, industries, and applications. The promotion of such material is essential for pushing Bitcoin into global corners where it would not reach otherwise. It also familiarizes Bitcoin users with the makers and breakers of the industry who have the power to influence important decisions regarding the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
It was originally published on sundayscaries.com

The CBD industry has hit the mainstream media and is sweeping the nation’s shelves, as well as the Internet. There are now a vast array of companies both online and offline who are releasing products from CBD-infused gummies to healing balms and creams. CBD oil is legal in almost every state in the US and since the UK legalized it last year, the market is booming bigger than ever.

The medical marijuana, hemp oil, and CBD industry have attracted household names like Snoop Dogg and Morgan Freeman, who swear by its powerful therapeutic abilities and Crypto Entrepreneurs are now flocking to CBD too. As the industry grows from strength to strength, it is becoming increasingly notable that there are so many similarities between these two vastly different industries. And this is why it makes perfect sense for blockchain and CBD to take on the future side by side.

CBD and Cryptocurrency

Silicon Valley is without a doubt the center of the blockchain and cryptocurrency universe and it has always had a somewhat complicated relationship with the health and wellness industry. Startups are absolutely booming, particularly those focusing on new and improved ways that their technology could help to improve health care systems around the world, yet the employees suffer at the hands of the pressure, stress, and burnout of the Silicon Valley environment.

This is probably one of the primary reasons that crypto entrepreneurs are becoming hugely interested in CBD and a simple Internet search will reveal a huge quantity of forums focusing specifically on the links between crypto entrepreneurs and CBD. There is, of course, the added catalyst of the fact that almost every single crypto worker has experienced the consequences of stress and anxiety and how important it is to treat it before it gets out of hand.

There are other important factors that come into play too. The number of Big Pharma scandals that have graced the headlines over recent years has caused even the most closed-minded individuals to think seriously about if they want to continue taking pharmaceutical medication. Feelings of mistrust and doubt towards Big Pharma companies are pushing natural medicines like CBD into the spotlight and the “thinking outside the box” mentality used by successful crypto startups can be easily applied to succeeding in the CBD industry.

The Similarities Don’t End There

Just like CBD and medical marijuana, Bitcoin was also once a frowned upon currency mainly used by drug dealers and dark web users. Last year saw a huge amount of blue-collar financial investors as well as successful individuals making huge profits from trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and this year this same boom is taking place within the world of CBD.

There is one major difference, however.

The majority of people still believe that cryptocurrency will ultimately fail in the long run and that Bitcoin has already seen its glory days. Cryptocurrency is still not commonly accepted as a mainstream form of payment and you can’t pay your bill at your local grocery store using crypto. In contrast, CBD is absolutely everywhere and while there is still some outstanding research required to make its classification as a medicine possible, good quality CBD products are selling out quickly, creating a demand that is set to continue outweighing supply. This is good news for the CBD industry and even better news for the crypto entrepreneurs who know how to come up with the technology that is required to keep up with the ever-growing CBD boom taking place worldwide.

Cannabis-Focused Cryptos

There are already a couple of cryptocurrencies in existence, most notably HempCoin that gives us good reason to believe that the marriage between cannabis and CBD-based products and cryptocurrency is going to go from strength to strength. With more crossovers happening between CBD companies and crypto entrepreneurs, it seems like the two are almost destined to be together. Many people believe that it is just a matter of time before Big Pharma companies buy out all the smaller independent CBD businesses and the most viable people to stop that from happening would be those who have survived the cryptocurrency storm by learning to apply new and innovative ways of problem-solving, as well as technology.

Final Thoughts

The next few years are going to be make or break for both the crypto and CBD industry; and so far, everything is looking incredibly positive. With more money invested in health and wellness companies, better quality products and better technology for manufacturers will continue to emerge and drive the market from strength to strength.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
It was originally published on mintdice.com

The blockchain market is anticipated to grow to over $7.5 billion by 2024 according to a report by Grandview Research. This is largely due to its adoption across multiple industries as more companies emerge with different use cases for the technology. In a world filled with flaws in every major system, there is potentially no limit to the applications of technology like blockchain.

A blockchain is a distributed ledger which stores data in an immutable way. Since records cannot be altered, the technology targets systems in which transparency, authentication, and tracking are required. This covers a wide range of applications from shipping, to real estate, global supply chain management, art, financial transactions and more.

There is also the added bonus of high-level security due to the more technical aspects of blockchain in which transactions are added to it. When blockchain first emerged, it was known mainly as the supporting technology behind Bitcoin and soon after, other cryptocurrencies as well.

As the frenzy behind the major digital currencies reduced, newer blockchain startups emerged and with time, older corporations like IBM, Microsoft, Mastercard, and Amazon carved out their own operations in what has become a rapidly growing niche.

Today, the blockchain ecosystem is a diverse ball of large and small corporations, merchants, governments, research and development. The blockchain ball does not seem like it will stop rolling anytime soon. For now, a handful of blockchain startups are dominating the space and providing opportunities for growth, employment, and even investment. Here are the top 15 blockchain startups.


This is one of the most interesting and successful blockchain startups that has emerged over the past few years. It was created by a group of young developers with the vision of combining the entertainment of the gaming industrywith the financial efficiency of blockchain technology.

MobileGo is a mobile cryptocurrency gaming platform which allows gamers to benefit from playing up to 500 free games. The gaming industry has proven to be a profitable one, and there are many opportunities for the application of emerging technologies to make the experience even better for its users. Games like Fortnite and PUBG have shown that there is an interest in multiplayer games which allow communication between gamers in different locations.

As an example, Fortnite has amassed a user base of more than 200 million players and about $1.2 billion in sales so far. MobileGo offers a similar model with its platform.  In return for playing, gamers are credited with cryptocurrency known as Gshare Gold, with which they are allowed to enter into tournaments. When they enter these tournaments on the website, they can win MGO tokens which can be stored in a wallet like Lumi, Coinomi or Myetherwallet. It can also be exchanged for other currencies on a cryptocurrency exchange like HitBTC, DigiFinex, or Bitfinex.

According to the MobileGo website, “The MGO token has an extremely broad scope of application, providing numerous benefits for different populations. For gamers, it will facilitate peer-to-peer matchplay and decentralized tournaments, serving both as a match reward and an entrance fee. Moreover, token holders will be able to earn additional discounts for purchasing in-game content.”


Brave is popular for gaining over 20 million downloads of what is credited as the first blockchain-fueled browser in the world. The company was first established and incorporated in 2015, as Hyperware Labs Inc in Delaware. Later, it was registered in California with its name changed to Brave Software, Inc. and is currently headquartered there.

The uniqueness of the Brave browser lies in the distribution of tokens to users as a reward for watching ads. These tokens, known as Basic Attention Token (BAT), can be exchanged for cash on a cryptocurrency exchange later. Brave aims to give users control over their data and the ads they view by blocking off invasive ads and refusing to monitor user location and activity. There has been discontent over how larger corporations such as Google or Facebook distribute content and show ads.

Brave Software’s newer developments include a feature that will allow users to choose which ads to receive, between those sold by the company and those blocked by the browser. The company will pay its content publishers 55% of ad revenue, while the company, its users and ad partners will get 15% each.

Users will also be allowed to donate a portion of their proceeds to content publishers through simple micropayments.  To launch its platform, Brave Software and its Basic Attention Token ad platform have been backed by investors such as Founders Fund, Digital Currency Group, Propel Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, Huiyin Blockchain Venture, Danhua Capital, and Pantera Capital.


This is a Singapore-based blockchain project that is bringing digital currencies closer to people by allowing them to safely store their cryptocurrency in a cloud multicurrency wallet.

TenX offers a digital wallet and physical card that people can use to spend digital currencies, even at stores that do not normally accept cryptocurrency. This solves the problem of not having enough places to spend all the digital currency that users continue to accumulate.

Users can set spending rules as well as daily spending limits, purchase limits, and withdrawal limits for their cards using a DSS. This gives them control over their funds. Cardholders can also choose which cryptocurrencies they would like to spend and even split them into percentages.

Currently, the platform has no transaction fees. However, there is an issuing fee of $15 for a physical card and $1.50 for a digital one. Users are also required to pay an annual fee of $10 if they don’t spend up to $1000 in a year.

The TenX platform has modern safety and efficiency features such as:

  •   2-factor authentication (2FA) to secure and protect all accounts
  •   Multi-signature cold storage wallet management for the long-term safety of user funds.
  •   Industry standard private key storage for every TenX Wallet which will eventually give way for their COMIT network, which will allow users to store the keys themselves.
  •   Email account notifications for any account activity or breaches.
  •   Data encryption
  •   Fingerprint unlock on mobile devices.

TenX has plans to release new developer tools for businesses, startups, and merchants and explore other asset classes such as blockchain ETFs.


Status is similar to telegram but comes off as a more sophisticated platform. It provides an easy way for users to interact with decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain. Decentralized applications (DApps) became popular after the creation of Ethereum, the platform which enables developers to build them.

As the capabilities of the Ethereum blockchain grew, so did the number of decentralized applications and projects which there are now thousands of. However, they are so many that it can be difficult for users to keep track of all their favorite applications.

This is where Status comes in, allowing such users to interact with these decentralized applications on Android or iOS. According to Status, connected devices become light client nodes on the Ethereum blockchain network and as a result, they can be used to access the Ethereum ecosystem from anywhere in the world.

The building blocks of the Status ecosystem include:

  •   Its app on which users can chat, carry out transactions, and access DApps.
  •   Incubate, an incubator for early-stage startups that require funding, legal support, and mentorship.
  •   Embark, a simple framework for developers who want to build and deploy their own decentralized applications.
  •   Studio, an integrated developer environment designed to give educational support for DApp development.
  •   Nimbus, a research project and light client implementation for Ethereum 2.0
  •   Keycard, a card-form hardware wallet.

Status is slated to function as both an Ethereum browser and a decentralized messenger platform. Using this hybrid system, the company plans to increase its reach and level of user adoption, while staying close to Ethereum’s mission and principles.

The messenger will be a way for users across the globe to effectively communicate and carry out private transactions with each other. The browser, on the other hand, will be able to find and run any Misk or Metamask-compatible decentralized applications. It is open source and any developer can list their applications whenever they want. Currently, there are already some DApps listed on the platform, including Gnosis, uPort, Ethlance, Oasis Exchange, Aragon, Ujo, and Etherisc.

5. EOS

This is a decentralized platform for the creation of smart contracts and has been one of Ethereum’s biggest competitors, in light of the larger currency’s poor performance. EOS is extremely popular in the blockchain ecosystem, mostly due to its groundbreaking ICO in which the company raised $170 million. Block.One, the company behind the EOS ICO first revealed its testing environment at BlockshowAsia in 2017.

Soon after, the company published its plans in a whitepaper and the EOS platform was released as an open source software platform in June 2018. Block.One sold 1 billion EOS tokens on Ethereum’s network to ensure fair distribution of their tokens. 10% is reserved for the company, 20% were sold off in the first five days of the ICO, and 70% is reserved and traded at market value.

The popularity of EOS is also largely due to the launch of the platform’s mainnet, as well as a steady rise in its price and market capitalization which has landed it a position as the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.

Like Ethereum, EOS is a decentralized operating system which supports and hosts decentralized applications through a series of interesting features and functionalities.

Businesses can successfully build the blockchain version of apps and retain the feel of a regular web-based application with the added benefits of blockchain technology such as security, efficiency, and transparency. EOS also claims that it has eliminated transaction fees and promises speeds of millions of transactions per second. This is not the case for many other digital decentralized platforms.


Founded by Japanese influencer Atsushi Hisatsumi, Patron is a blockchain platform geared towards modifying the current influencer marketing model. It is a modern influencer ecosystem, in which people can pay for influential posts or influencers, through the system’s token.

Although influencer marketing has been predicted to grow into an $8 billion industry by 2020, influencers still encounter earning problems in the system. For one thing, a lot of them are held back by agents and agencies which charge large commissions of up to 40% and without these agencies, influencers find it difficult to get new clients.

Patron basically cuts off the intermediary from the process, giving clients a way to search for influencers on the platform, hire them, and pay directly to them. It works on the same principle as Airbnb, which allows people to become hosts without being subjected to outrageous requirements.

Not only will this allow influencers to earn more, but it will also boost the way marketing is done in that part of the world. Companies will be able to reach influencers easily, and more influencers will be willing to enter the market due to the positive environment which encourages the establishment and growth of their own brands.

Atsushi Hisatsumi is a popular influencer, award-winning singer, dancer, DJ, and entrepreneur who specializes in marketing and creating a better environment for marketing professionals. The budding blockchain startup conducted its ICO private sale and pre-sale in February 2018, raising $10 million and $20 million each.

The token sale event was backed by software development and ICO marketing company Extravaganza, and raised $40 million in total. Patron was also supported by IOTA co-founder, David Cohen, and Coinhills founder, Francisco Jo.


This decentralized platform is trying to change the way B2B marketing is typically done. According to its statement, “The marketing effect for B2B is different from consumers. In the consumer space, it is users who generate users. In the B2B space, it is opportunities that generate opportunities. We aim to create a go-to place for companies to advertise to other companies over the Internet in a precise way, just like Google does in the consumer space, and eventually create a B2B ecosystem in which anyone who wants to do business will come to our site, a multibillion-dollar company.”

Its platform is a light, fast and secure B2B payment network for cross-border transactions and became immensely popular when it had one of the top ICOs in 2018. TraDove is responsible for launching the world’s first B2B token, which will possibly create a demand for cryptocurrency within marketing circles.

Tradove claims to do the following things:

  •   Connect people, products/services and companies using a private business network and industry associations, etc.
  •   Help buyers and sellers to save time by providing a way for them to find each other.
  •   Provide transparency within the B2B space by making information less one-sided.
  •   Give companies a better way to target other companies for advertisement, more accurately and efficiently over the internet.
  •   Provide a B2B cloud storage service for companies to store marketing material such as whitepapers.
  •   Offer B2B Big Data, Machine Learning and Analytics services for matching people and companies.

TraDove’s main asset is an ERC20 standard token known as B2BCoin. It will be used on the platform for B2B sales and marketing campaigns. The company issued 1,000,000,000 B2BCoins of which 50% were released for its ICO and 20% is reserved for operational use.


Celsius network is a blockchain lending startup which allows borrowers to use their digital currency holdings as collateral. The platform has been doing well since its establishment and recently announced that it lent out $630 million worth of cryptocurrency-backed loans within the last five months of 2018.

The statement on their website reads: “Celsius launched its services in July 2018 and since, we have done over $600M in coin loans. We used the interest we earned from these coin loans to buy BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies to pay interest to our community of Crypto depositors and to buy back CEL tokens. We also funded the industry’s largest single dollar loan of $5,000,000.”

Lending is one of the many ways to monetize the growing popularity of crypto-assets. It happens on an individual level on many exchanges already. Having a trusted platform in which users who do not want to spend their cryptocurrency but require fiat currency is necessary.

For example, a user may hold Bitcoin but need fiat currency to pay bills and may not want to go through the hassle of exchanging their cryptocurrency which they’ve decided to HODL for fiat currency. With Celsius, they can just put it up as collateral and take it back when the loan is repaid.

Based in London, Celsius Network also provides users with the option of interest-earning wallets, and claims that they have a user base of more than 15,000 people spread across 100 countries. Since the interest rates that Celsius offers are relatively low, borrowers find it an attractive deal. Loans can be secured for as low as 4.5% APR, but the company only accepts a limited number of digital currencies– Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) andRipple (XRP).


Menlo is a blockchain framework for developing and deploying decentralized applications (DApps) in a simple and efficient way. While the idea of decentralized applications may come off as complex, Menlo is letting developers create them in a similar way to the centralized applications that they are used to developing.

It can be used to build various types of decentralized applications such as blogs, censorship-resistant social networks, eCommerce sites, or cryptocurrency exchanges, and is popular for their Proof-of-Reputation protocol which brings extra security measures to blockchain technology.

According to Menlo, their goal is “to aid the adoption of blockchain technology by helping people build great software. Our framework is designed as a launching point for entrepreneurs, startups and enterprise to build blockchain software by minimizing learning and cost of entry barriers. We’ll help you build the future of decentralized technology through discovery, design, rapid prototyping, solution delivery, system integration, and ongoing support.”

Menlo also gives companies the opportunity to outsource the development of decentralized applications without overshooting their IT or logistics budgets. The platform handles the installation, management, and provision of Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) tools so that companies can focus on their other tasks.

The Menlo Ecosystem consists of:

  •   The Menlo ONE Token, an open source ERC20 Standard token on the Ethereum blockchain, which powers the entire system in terms of Gas and other payments. According to Menlo, it integrates seamlessly with the platform and ensures user-friendly transactions.
  •   Content Nodes, which provide security and speed for the platform’s operations, from developer to enterprise frameworks. According to Menlo, “They create a decentralized cloud server network run by individual users who are incentivized to deliver the correct content to websites or applications. Even the fastest blockchain today can’t deliver content as quickly as a centralized cloud-based server.”

Gameflip is a Silicon Valley-based platform that allows users to trade digital games and goods in such games. Gamers own and develop every part of the platform, which now has more than 2 million members and a huge global digital goods marketplace in which more than 500,000 active monthly users transact millions in digital goods each month. The platform has the goal of becoming one of the best gaming marketplaces by offering a high level of security and transparency. It is achieving this through blockchain technology, which powers its ecosystem and digital asset, FLIP token.

Gamers can move their digital goods onto the blockchain when transacting and are provided enough flexibility to buy and sell them for cash. According to GameFlip, this ensures that the goods maintain their value. This, in turn, encourages more gamers to participate in the ecosystem.

Game publishers on the platform receive a commission for every transaction conducted by another gamer using FLIP, via the digital goods of the partnering publisher. The platform has plugins which monitor the blockchain history of all published goods so that payments and commissions are accounted for.

The gaming industry is embracing further technological advancement and platforms like GameFlip make things even more interesting. The idea of communicating with multiple players was one of the first exciting steps taken within the industry. Next, there were marketplaces which allowed users to trade items using in-game tokens. Now those tokens can be exchanged for real cash across the globe without any restrictions because of platforms like Gameflip. It’s no surprise that the company made it to this list.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Recognition never comes easy, and is often the result of collaborative work. Thanks to the much-appreciated support of its subscribers and visitors, The Discovery Science Blog has just been listed by Feedspot among the Top 100 Science Blogs, Websites & Newsletters To Follow in 2019. and I’m honored to be a part of this. My heart-felt appreciation goes to the dedicated team of Feedspot.

Feedspot uses this criteria to create their rankings:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Check out the full list here: https://blog.feedspot.com/science_blogs/

Happy Scrapping!

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview