John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times. He runs the Technotopia podcast about a better future. He has written five books including the best book on blogging, Bloggers Boot Camp, and a book about the most expensive timepiece ever made, Marie Antoinette’s Watch. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Disclosure: Biggs owns and maintains cryptocurrencies in a private account and has been consulting with startups regarding blockchain-based products. He also edits and writes for startup clients.

A wild ICO solution appeared on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, is getting its own ICO solution through Stratis, a turnkey ICO platform that offers KYC, custom branding, and multiple currency support. Things might be amiss, however. The MarketPlace listing is live but when you try to click through the tool isn’t available in the Azure market. Perhaps this ICO solution, like so […]
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Feb 23, 2019, 5:34PM UTC

Facebook pulls privacy-invading VPN tool

Facebook is pulling the plug on an intrusive VPN app that they were using to spy on the data usage habits of children as young as 13. The app, based on a tool called Onavo, offered teens $20 gift cards for using the service which, in turn, reported on the teen’s browsing habits. Facebook claimed […]
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Feb 23, 2019, 8:18AM UTC

Elon Musk thinks paper money is going away and crypto will take its place

During an episode of ARK Invest’s FYI podcast with Elon Musk the discussion veered away from Tesla and into Crypto. Musk’s answers, though limited, were enlightening. “Crypto, seriously?” he asked when the hosts brought it up. He laughed, recalling a time when crypto got him in trouble. “Bitcoin and ethereum scammers were so rampant on […]
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Feb 19, 2019, 8:00PM UTC

Voting app Votem shuts down Cleveland office before Series B raise

Votem, the mobile, decentralized voting platform, was about to close a Series B raise with Medici Ventures,’s venture arm, when an odd report by ClevelandScene claimed the company had shut down. “One of Cleveland’s largest blockchain start-ups abruptly closed last week due to a lack of funding. Employees at Votem, a company making innovations […]
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Feb 19, 2019, 6:00PM UTC

Argo blames bear market as it terminates mining services

Argo, a mining-as-a-service company based in the UK, will shut down its mining services on April 1, 2019. The announcement, which appeared in a strategy update posted on February 15, cites the money-losing bear market as the primary reason for terminating all customer contracts. Argo went public on the London Stock Exchange last year “Argo, a UK-based provider […]
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Feb 17, 2019, 7:47PM UTC

Apple aims to adopt some basic blockchain tech

An SEC filing points to some tantalizing, if limited, news of Apple’s interest in blockchain. The filing, available here, describes Apple’s commitment to avoiding “conflict minerals” and outlines its goal of responsible sourcing. After a few paragraphs preamble, the document points to the blockchain guidelines at the Responsible Minerals Initiative at the Responsible Business Alliance Foundation. […]
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Feb 15, 2019, 8:00PM UTC

Explore wine on the blockchain with your tipsy Valentine

A bottle of red, a bottle of white, remember that Merkle trees keep your chain size light. That’s right: wine is now on the blockchain. Vinsent, a new app that allows purchasers to pick up a bottle of fancy (mostly Israeli) vino, is turning to the blockchain to register wine futures purchases while ensuring that […]
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Feb 14, 2019, 4:45PM UTC

Let's meet in Barcelona in two weeks

The Block would like to cordially invite you to our first-ever meetup. We’re holding it at Betahaus in Barcelona, an amazing co-working space on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. The event will be part networking, part opportunity to chat about your startup with the media, and a quick and dirty pitch-off with 10 crypto, AI, […]
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Feb 14, 2019, 3:10PM UTC

Ross Ulbricht, martyr

A popular meme circulating this week compares the life sentence prosecutors are expected to seek for gangster El Chapo – a convicted drug trafficker with ties to crimes up to and including murder – and the sentence of Ross Ulbricht, founder of the original Silk Road, who received double life without parole, plus 40 years. […]
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Feb 13, 2019, 10:04PM UTC

Novem is a blockchain-connected hoard of gold

Tired: Fiat stablecoins. Wired: Gold on the blockchain. Just ask Novem, a blockchain company that plans to create a stable coin pegged to a hoard of gold that will exist in Germany and allow token holders to buy and trade ounces with the ease of a crypto wallet. Like every stablecoin we have to take […]
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Feb 10, 2019, 8:25PM UTC

The fields are alive with the sound of blockchain

What do you get when you link a bunch of satellite-connected micro sensors to groundwater and then beam that data to an IBM blockchain? I don’t know, but it’s “accurately monitor[ing] and track[ing] groundwater use in one of the largest and at risk aquifers in North America.” A project by the Freshwater Trust, IBM Research, […]
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Feb 8, 2019, 11:00AM UTC

Medici Ventures president, Jonathan Johnson, talks about his investment strategy

Jonathan Johnson is president of Medici Ventures, the blockchain venture firm that spun out of Overstock’s early forays into cryptocurrency. The firm has funded about twenty separate companies including two blockchain voting solutions and a number of fascinating players in the property registry and management space. I spoke to Johnson at the Peace Coliseum, a building […]
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Feb 3, 2019, 5:20PM UTC

This decentralized chat app is like a real-life Omegle

A new messaging app, Berkanan, lets you connect with people in a decentralized way in real life. Whether you want to chat with other people in real life or not is a different matter.   Created by Zsombor Szabo and Carmen Claudia Samaki-Hegyes, the project holds no chat data and connects two users via Bluetooth. Each device […]
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Feb 2, 2019, 5:05PM UTC

IBM puts literal oranges on the blockchain

Oranges. What other food’s name is its own color? And what other food is on the blockchain? No other foods except oranges.  Just in time for Lunar New Year, Pacific International Lines and IBM Blockchain are using an electronic Bill of Lading – essentially an invoice that helps shippers follow a product from factory to […]
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Feb 1, 2019, 1:30AM UTC

Media company Cheddar partners with Brave to unlock premium content for free

In what could be one of the most visible partnerships with the thus-far beleaguered Brave browser, Cheddar is now using it to offer users three months of free access to premium content. The companies state that the partnership could fund hundreds of thousands of subscriptions out of Brave’s 5.5 million monthly active users. Brave, a […]
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Jan 29, 2019, 11:45AM UTC

Short strategy helped Multicoin Capital post solid 2018 results

The Block can reveal exclusively that Multicoin Capital, the crypto hedge fund founded in 2017 by Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain, held up well in a brutal 2018 crypto market. According to the “Multicoin Capital 2018 Annual Letter,” a document that The Block received, Multicoin’s performance beat the relevant indexes: The Fund’s inception was October 1, […]
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Jan 25, 2019, 12:57PM UTC

Meet the team that builds The Block

Walk up Broadway from the Cortlandt Street stop in Manhattan. Turn right down Park Place and go up four flights in an old building built by long dead bankers and financiers. Make your way through a warren of tiny cubicles and you’ll find the The Block offices, the home of the scrappiest, most punk-rock team […]
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Jan 23, 2019, 11:17PM UTC

How The Block works

I’m John Biggs and I’m The Block‘s new editor-in-chief.  In about 2011 my friend Tom Printy AIMed me (!) to tell me about a new currency that he was mining on his computer. I thought the idea was silly – a network-based currency? That I could generate using my computer? It would never work. It […]
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Jan 15, 2019, 3:01PM UTC

Into the dark heart of crypto weirdness in Las Vegas

Not far from Wayne Newton’s former ranch, nestled in a neighborhood that looks like a construction site gone to seed, is a massive house on Tomiyasu Lane. This was Mike Tyson’s former mansion, the flaccid fever dream of a structure where they filmed The Hangover, and last night it was the home to a half dozen […]
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Jan 7, 2019, 10:54PM UTC