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The power of cryptocurrency education

Vlad Poptamas

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If mass adoption of cryptocurrency is ever going to happen, we need widely-available cryptocurrency education to happen first.

People won’t use what they don’t understand. We saw this with initial resistance to the internet, social media, and smartphones. In the case of these three technologies, there wasn’t a lot of education needed to get people to eventually get on board: the tech just had to become more accessible, more useful, or cool enough that suddenly everybody wanted it.

Cryptocurrency is more complicated than a smartphone, however. Just as we educate children about fiat money in age-appropriate ways, through allowances and budgeting and savings accounts, we must also teach the mainstream audience about how to use and interact with cryptocurrency, to protect them from making foolish decisions.

A child who has not been educated about money might blow their allowance on candy rather than saving up for a new video. An adult who has not been educated about cryptocurrency, on the other hand, might share their private keys with a scammer or invest in a KaratBars-style scam.

 

Knowledge is power

When we teach people about cryptocurrency, we empower them to make smart decisions. A person who understands the importance of their private keys will keep them in a safe place and not share them with scammers. A person who has learned how to perform due diligence won’t invest in the first get-rich-quick scheme that lands in their inbox. A person who has learned how the blockchain works will understand whether or not blockchain implementation will improve their business’s operations.

We can’t just hand the world blockchain and cryptocurrency and expect them to know what to do with it. If mass adoption of cryptocurrency is ever going to happen, we need widely-available cryptocurrency education to happen first.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already a member of the crypto community and you have some understanding of the underlying technology and tokenomics. But if you’re relatively new yourself, you may have trouble properly explaining these concepts to the people in your life. It’s a frustrating experience, having just enough knowledge about something to be excited about it, but not enough to get other people to understand and be excited, too.

 

Invite people to learn alongside you

You are in the perfect position to serve as an ambassador for cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Your passion and excitement is probably contagious, and your curiosity is likely driving you to learn more. Harness that! Now is the time to ask your friends and family to join you on this exciting journey into the new frontier of cryptocurrency.

One good way to do this is to get people to join you for a class. You may be able to find an in-person workshop that’s open to the public. But another good option is to join an online class together — this offers a lot more flexibility, and also allows you to invite people to join you regardless of the geographical distance between you.

The great thing about learning alongside someone is that there’s a lot of opportunity for discussion. When you’re attending the same class, you’re on the same ground. You know what your friend has already learned, because you learned it alongside them. And because you have a little more experience than they do, you’ll be in a good position to help them, by clearing up something they didn’t quite understand in class, or pointing them to good resources for further learning.

 

Top tips for getting a good crypto education

  1. Whether you decide to sign up for an on-line course or educate yourself by reading articles and watching videos, make sure you’re learning from a reliable, up-to-date source.
  2. Learn how to do your own due diligence. Whether you’re considering a workshop, an exchange, or an investment opportunity, you should know how to perform the proper research.
  3. Be wary of anyone offering fast profits or guaranteed returns. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  4. Never transfer your crypto funds to a teaching platform without being 100% confident that they are trustworthy. Actually, never transfer your crypto funds to anyone unless you’re confident in who you’re dealing with.
  5. Stay on top of news and developments in the industry by getting your news from trusted, crypto-centric sources.
  6. Look for high-quality subreddits, Telegram chats, and forums where people actually discuss cryptocurrency rather than hyping the next get-rich-quick scheme.

Mass adoption doesn’t just happen. It happens because people find something great, and they want to share it with others. You’ve learned how exciting cryptocurrency can be. How will you share that with the people in your life?

 

Online platforms for a crypto education

You have several options available if you’d like to pursue an online education in cryptocurrency and the blockchain:

  • Cointelligence Academy – If you’re looking for an online class suitable for everyone from crypto enthusiasts to total beginners, we’d like to invite you to Cointelligence Academy, a course series designed to cover everything from the basics of bitcoin and blockchain to how to perform due diligence on crypto projects. These classes are presented by Cointelligence staff who have years of experience in cryptocurrency and a passion for crypto education. 
  • Introduction to Digital Currencies at UNIC – Get a taste of the University of Nicosia experience by enrolling in the world’s first free MOOC (massive open online course) on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. This introductory course is taught by the CEO of UNIC and a Bitcoin entrepreneur, so students are sure to get an expert education.
  • BlockGeeks – Considered by many to be the leading crypto academy, this platform offers unlimited access to a variety of courses at a monthly fee. They also offer a “Blockdegree” in ETH. Much of their education is geared towards Ethereum, so those looking to get a job on an ERC-based project may do well to look into this platform for their professional development.

There’s an option out there for every student. Consider what your goals are, how much time and money you have to invest in your education, and how you like to learn, and get started on getting a great crypto education today. Every step you take to learn more is another step towards mass adoption.

 

About the author: On Yavin is the founder and CEO at Cointelligence, a company that conducts data research and analysis for the crypto economy. On has extensive experience as a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, as well as more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry. On uses his deep, hands-on experience and knowledge of online marketing to create winning strategies for crypto, and blockchain companies. Having earned the reputation of “crypto expert”, On continues to contribute to this industry in ways that advance cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. On has a law degree (LLB) and is also a certified Advocate by the Israeli Bar Association.

Artificial Intelligence

KDD 2020 Announces Special Diversity & Inclusion Track

Vlad Poptamas

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KDD 2020, the premier interdisciplinary conference in data science, today announced an additional conference track dedicated to diversity and inclusion (D&I). Throughout the conference, taking place virtually between Aug. 23-27, the special track will offer speaking sessions, live panels and research papers on D&I topics related to engaging and representing traditionally underrepresented groups in all areas of the field – academia, industry, and artificial intelligence solutions.

The 13 talks featured in the D&I track will include a presentation on broadening participation in technology policy by Briana Posadas, Media Democracy Fund PhD fellow at the National Hispanic Media Coalition, as well as a presentation on creating a diverse workspace from academia to government to industry by Hasan Jackson, principal data scientist and solution architect at data science research lab QUADGRID.

“As a community, data scientists are doing a disservice to our downstream customers if we think of our industry as a diversity-neutral environment,” said Latifa Jackson, co-chair of the D&I track at KDD 2020 and assistant professor of pediatrics at Howard University. “If we want to effectively use data, we need to make sure it is truly representative of our environment. If we want to create a product which is helpful to all Americans, we need all types of people in every stage of the process including data collection, analysis, and programming.”

Additional speaking topics include how computer science education can address societal inequities, using machine learning to encourage greater participation from all backgrounds, ensuring virtual conferences are accessible to all, advancing indigenous genomic data sovereignty, and avoiding data and algorithm bias. Expert speakers include Krystal Tsosie, a Navajo geneticist and bioethicist at Vanderbilt University, and Keolu Fox, an assistant professor of anthropology and global health at the University of California San Diego, among others.

The conference will highlight research papers on D&I including one authored by Jackson and Heriberto Acosta, a fellow co-chair of the D&I track and PhD candidate at Nova Southeastern University, titled, “The Data Science Fire Next Time: Innovative Strategies for Mentoring in Data Science.” The paper is a direct play on James Baldwin’s book about the Civil Rights Movement, “The Fire Next Time,” and focusses on fostering mentorship, guidance, and connections for minority and underrepresented groups in the data science and machine learning community.

The D&I track at KDD 2020 also includes two live, one-hour long panels featuring experts on artificial intelligence for the betterment of inclusivity initiatives.

“As the most important data science conference in the world, KDD has the opportunity to set an example for other conferences and the industry to be more active in promoting diversity and inclusion in tech,” said Acosta. “Through KDD’s leadership, we have the power to communicate the benefits of diversity and translate this into actionable change within data science and throughout the world.”

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Artificial Intelligence

Xantrion Inc. Among World’s Elite Managed Service Providers 9 Years in a Row

Vlad Poptamas

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Xantrion Inc. has been named as one of the world’s premier managed service providers on the prestigious 13th-annual Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings.

For the 13th year running, MSPs from around the globe completed an exhaustive survey and application this spring to self-report product offerings, annual total and recurring revenues, profits, revenue mix, growth opportunities and company and customer demographic information. Applicants are ranked on a unique methodology that weights revenue figures according to long-term health and viability; commitment to recurring revenue; and operational efficiency.

“We’re thrilled to be on the MSPmentor 501 list for the ninth time,” said Anne Bisagno, President, Xantrion, Inc. “I attribute our staying power to world class support and the ability to deliver cutting edge solutions like our Xantrion Managed Security service.”

In the 13 years since its inception, the MSP 501 has evolved from a competitive ranking list into a vibrant group of service providers, vendors, distributors, consultants and industry analysts working together to define the growing managed service opportunity.

“For the third year running, the applicant pool for the annual MSP 501 has grown year-over-year, making this year’s list the most competitive in the survey’s history,” says Kris Blackmon, Senior Content Director at Channel Partners and Channel Futures. “The MSP 501 leveraged judgement methodology brand-new in 2020 to drill down into not just what makes a big managed service provider, but what makes a great managed service provider. The 2020 winners are truly the best examples of innovation, business acumen and strategic savvy on the planet. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the 2020 winners and gratitude to the thousands of MSPs that have contributed to the continuing growth and success of both the 501 and the thriving managed services sector.”

Ten MSP 501 special award winners will be recognized at the MSP 501 Awards Gala at Channel Partners Virtual: Digital Events for the Modern Channel on September 8 – 10. Nominations for these special awards, including Digital Innovator of the Year, Executive of the Year and the Newcomer Award, were included in the MSP 501 application, and all candidates were encouraged to submit for them.

The data collected by the annual MSP 501 program drives Channel Partners’ and Channel Futures’ market intelligence insights, creating robust data sets and data-based trend reports that support our editorial coverage, event programming, community and networking strategies and educational offerings. It serves as a lynchpin to dozens of programs and initiatives.

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Artificial Intelligence

Ping An AskBob Doctor’s Deep Learning Model Improves Diagnosis of Kidney Disease

Vlad Poptamas

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Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEx:2318; SSE:601318) is pleased to announce that its smart healthcare team[1] has joined the National Clinical Research Center of Kidney Diseases in China, to present its analytic renal pathology system (ARPS) in a paper published in the Journal of Pathology[2], a respected global peer-reviewed medical journal. The system uses deep learning, a type of machine learning, to identify certain types of kidney lesions and cells to help doctors diagnose kidney disease with greater accuracy.

The ARPS is currently being trialed in house by Ping An through AskBob Doctor, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnosis and treatment assistant tool developed by Ping An. AskBob Doctor, launched in June 2019, has been used 33 million times by 430,000 doctors for smart medical decision support, smart imaging recognition, diagnosis follow-up and patient education.

The ARPS focuses on the glomerulus, a tuft-like group of small blood vessels in the nephron, the structural unit in the kidney that filters blood and produces urine. There are about one million nephrons in a human kidney. Identification of glomerular lesions and their structure is critical for diagnosis, treatment and prognosis evaluation in kidney disease. The process is time consuming and requires a very accurate quantitative analysis method. In the research, 400 Chinese patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) were studied, with a comparison of the performance of the ARPS and four junior pathologists.

The study found that the ARPS identified three kinds of intrinsic glomerular cells with 92.2% accuracy, which was 5% to 11% more accurate than the pathologists. With sufficient training, the ARPS could obtain an average precision of 0.882 for intrinsic glomerular cell recognition, surpassing the pathologists by 3% to 15%. It took only 0.6 seconds for the ARPS to estimate the number of intrinsic cells per glomerulus, 50 to 90 times faster than the pathologists. The ARPS also achieved an extraordinary performance for glomerular lesion identification and classification with an average accuracy of 92.8%.

Metric

ARPS

Doctor 1

Doctor 2

Doctor 3

Doctor 4

Precision

0.882

0.763

0.764

0.828

0.856

Accuracy

0.922

0.810

0.814

0.874

0.882

Time taken

0.6 s/image

32-54 s/image

Source: Identification of glomerular lesions and intrinsic glomerular cell types in kidney diseases via deep learning, Journal of Pathology, 16 June 2020

Dr. Xie Guotong, Ping An Group Chief Healthcare Scientist, said: “Pathology sets a gold standard for disease diagnosis and treatment. It takes several decades to train a qualified pathologist and it is a great challenge to conduct accurate quantitative analyses due to the high complexity of pathological images. The ARPS can be employed in training and improving the level of pathologists in glomerular lesion identification and effectively improve the diagnostic speed and accuracy of junior pathologists. We hope our work can pave a path for highly accurate pathology-based diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and scientific research.”

Ping An Group, driven by its “finance + technology” and “finance + ecosystem” strategies, has made great strides in healthcare technology development and innovation. Ping An’s smart healthcare team has provided an AI technology platform to more than 17,000 medical institutions across 90 cities in China up to July 2020.

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