Tag Archives: blockchain

Beyond the Bitcoin bubble

Source: New York Times
by Steven Johnson

“If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the recent history of the internet, it’s that seemingly esoteric decisions about software architecture can unleash profound global forces once the technology moves into wider circulation. If the email standards adopted in the 1970s had included public-private key cryptography as a default setting, we might have avoided the cataclysmic email hacks that have afflicted everyone from Sony to John Podesta, and millions of ordinary consumers might be spared routinized identity theft. If Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, had included a protocol for mapping our social identity in his original specs, we might not have Facebook. The true believers behind blockchain platforms like Ethereum argue that a network of distributed trust is one of those advances in software architecture that will prove, in the long run, to have historic significance.” [hat tip — David Klaus] (01/16/18)


The Bob Zadek Show, 01/14/18

Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“The Basics of Bitcoin & Blockchain with Stan Larimer” [various formats] (01/14/18)


It is silly season in the land of cryptocurrency

Source: The Atlantic
by Derek Thompson

“In October, the Colorado biotech company Bioptix changed its name to Riot Blockchain. The company’s valuation doubled within a few days. … Weeks later, the British company Online PLC changed its name to Online Blockchain. The company’s shares jumped 400 percent. In December, the Long Island Iced Tea Corporatio — which, as you might expect, sold iced tea — rebranded itself Long Blockchain. The company’s shares promptly rose nearly 300 percent. On Tuesday this week, the legacy photography company Kodak announced the launch of KODAKCoin, a ‘photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.’ The stock rose 80 percent in a matter of hours. It is officially silly season in the land of cryptocurrency. … seemingly every multinational company, small business, and fledgling entrepreneur is desperately slapping blockchain onto press releases and venture-capital pitches. Some of these companies might conjure an actual consumer business from this exercise in magical word choice. So far, most of them are doing no such thing.” (01/10/18)


Real Bitcoin, aka Bitcoin Cash, hard forks in bid to ease mining difficulties

Source: CoinDesk

“Bitcoin cash appears to be successfully navigating a planned hard fork. At press time, the majority of the network nodes (roughly 82 percent) have transitioned to new software (version 0.16.0 or later) that includes rules aimed at making the protocol’s reward distribution more attractive to the miners that secure its blockchain. Executed at roughly 21:00 UTC, the new version of the bitcoin cash blockchain has since amassed six blocks, while none have yet been mined on the older network. The results suggest that, while still possible, the fork will pass without the creation of a competing cryptocurrency.” (11/13/17)


The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 2, part 4

Source: Bitcoin.com
by Wendy McElroy

“On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a White Paper entitled ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ on the Cryptography Mailing List at metzdowd.com. It spelled out the reasoning behind bitcoin and the design of bitcoin’s instrument of implementation: the blockchain. The White Paper also solved a problem that had haunted cryptocurrency: double spending. Satoshi’s brief explanation is a defining document of our century. It is all the more remarkable, therefore, that no one seems to know Satoshi’s identity or even whether he is an individual or a team of programmers. Clearly, he coded from a love of the technology rather from than a desire for fame. Since the code was open source, unpatented and offered widely to all, acquiring wealth does not appear to be the driving goal either. By process of elimination, political motivation becomes more probable. But arriving at that conclusion requires an examination of the evidence and background surrounding Bitcoin.” (11/11/17)


The Satoshi Revolution, chapter 2, part 3

Source: Bitcoin.com
by Wendy McElroy

“Versions of digital cash and online transfer systems existed before Bitcoin. DigiCash and e-gold are among the better-known ones, but neither could shake the dogged trusted third party problem. Both lacked the essential vehicle of privacy and self-banking created by Satoshi Nakamoto: the blockchain. The early systems are useful as cautionary tales, however, and they spotlight the elegance of Bitcoin.” (11/04/17)


Why big institutions fear blockchain apps

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Sam Bocetta

“One of the most powerful tools available to governments — be they democratic or totalitarian — is their control over currency. Today, access to the economic system is regulated by a huge number of intermediaries, all of whom have an interest in keeping its workings opaque. A lack of economic freedom entails a lack of political freedom, as everyone from Milton Friedman to Kanye West has noted. One of the most promising recent developments in democracy has been decentralization. Since the internet took off in the 1990s, the mainstream media has rapidly lost ground to the opinions of individuals. Today, a tweet has more power than a New York Times op-ed, shifting power away from an entrenched establishment and toward the people. Blockchain technology promises a similar revolution in access to currency. By decentralizing the creation and control of finance, it has the power to democratically empower individuals in both the West and in developing countries.” (10/04/17)


Does Universal Basic Income require a state?

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Lexi Linnell

“The Resilience protocol may end up forming one part of a decentralized, voluntary, and freed market social safety net. Another part will involve various types of P2P sharing services, such as a decentralized version of Uber or Airbnb, run as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) on the blockchain. Since the sharing economy allows people to stay afloat during financial hardship, these two ideas may make a good safety net when combined. This combination of DAOs and the Resilience protocol also forms a decentralized version of the co-operative economy. Indeed, Resilience was inspired by both the Rochdale principles of the modern co-op movement and by mutual credit. This particular form, however, cannot be shut down. The only way the system can stop functioning is if people stop using it.” (10/02/17)


Jamie Dimon is right to fear cryptocurrency

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Dimon considers cryptocurrency ‘worth nothing’ for one reason only: Because his company — the largest bank in the United States and among the largest in the world — doesn’t control it. And that’s one of several reasons why others find it very valuable indeed. Cryptocurrencies run on blockchains, ‘distributed ledgers’ without central authorities. Dimon prefers fiat currencies, which are created by governments, managed by central banks, and funneled through institutions like his, legally privileged choke points taking generous rake-offs from wealth created by others but forced to pass through them. Neither crypto nor fiat currencies are backed by physical commodities like gold or silver, but the resemblance ends there. Crypto is backed by the work of maintaining its ledgers, called by the imaginative name ‘mining.’ Fiat currency is backed only by your trust in the governments (and the Jamie Dimons) of the world.”


Europol on blockchain

Source: Cobden Centre
by Europol

“This piece was kindly produced for The Cobden Centre by Europol as part of the The Cobden Centre’s guide to policy makers on blockchain.” (09/07/17)