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Antonopoulos On Trust: Fake News ‘Is About To Happen To Money’

· May 14, 2017 · 9:00 pm

Andreas Antonopoulos has predicted that the world’s money supply will suffer the fate of information in the fake news era.

Money To Get Its Fake News Moment

In a talk originally held April 11 but republished Saturday, Antonopoulos said that in light of the multiple currency failures seen in recent times, consumers no longer know what gives cash in their pockets value. During the discussion Antonopoulos commented:

blockchain training conference Antonopoulos

What’s really interesting is what just happened in [the] news that has left an entire generation of people now unable to discern truth from fiction, easily manipulated through propaganda […] What I’m going to suggest today is this is about to happen to money.

Just like the information consumer watching television or reading news sources online, the debate about whom to trust and whether the reputation of a source means that source can be considered reliable is now transferring to the financial sector.

…And Bitcoin Is Already On Consumers’ Radar

Antonopoulos highlights the currency failures in countries including Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Ukraine as prime examples of central banks failing to uphold the promise that cash will be worth approximately the same tomorrow as today.

One day, that phrase which seemed so meaningful and strong and satisfying – ‘the full faith and credit of the United States of America’ […] – compare it to this one: ‘the full faith and credit of the National Bank of Zimbabwe.’ […] That sentence no longer has much weight to it.

In terms of Bitcoin’s role in providing a haven away from trusting third party authority, Antonopoulos used India’s increased interest in the virtual currency following demonetization of 86% of its cash supply last November.

Bitcoin is not going after replacing national currency; […] it’s doing something far more dangerous: it’s encouraging people to put their savings outside the system.

Germany: ‘If You Think Bitcoin Is Safe As Fiat, Take Responsibility’

For those reading the news a month after Antonopoulos’ words, a warning against using Bitcoin, this time from Germany’s central bank, now strikes an altogether less sincere tone.

“From our perspective Bitcoin does not constitute a suitable medium for storage of wealth,” Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told German newspaper, Die Welt, last weekend. “Just one look at the highly volatile exchange rate demonstrates that.”

In further comments even more ironic in light of Antonopoulos’ words about trust, Thiele continued:

Carl-Ludwig Thiele

Whoever nonetheless thinks Bitcoin is as safe as the euro or dollar must take responsibility for that. All we can do is warn people about using Bitcoin as a means of wealth storage.

What do you think about Andreas Antonopoulos and Carl-Ludwig Thiele’s opinions? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Andreas Antonopoulos, Reuters, AdobeStock

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Kvě 11

Andreas Antonopoulos’ Folly On Private Blockchains

Source: bitcoin


Editor’s Note: The following article is the opinion of the writer. It has started debate along with both positive and negative reactions. All voices should be heard and acknowledged.

Andreas Antonopoulos and others are perpetuating a misconception about the nature of power by advancing the notion that the most monied institutions on the planet won’t crack the code for their own blockchain-based systems. Antonopolous claims that, if a blockchain is not an “open” — or public — blockchain, then it “ain’t worth shit.”

Also read: Andreas Antonopoulos Makes Bold Prediction on Bitcoin Consensus

Antonopoulos: ‘If it ain’t open, it ain’t worth shit”

Tell that to the people investing millions, likely soon to be billions, in just that.

The question Antonopoulos brings up has little to do with distributed ledger tech, blockchain or bitcoin, but rather the way in which power works in our world.

Power is the influence an individual or organization holds over others. Power allows individuals to sway worldly events and worldly relationships. Power allows people to control others. Increasing amounts of power can be obtained by various techniques.

In R3, the most powerful institutions on the planet have united in order to thoroughly investigate the possibility of blockchain technology — namely, private technology —  in streamlining banking and governance processes. A consortium of the world’s power-brokers, R3 members are already proposing systems and schematics. In many cases, these banks are exploring private blockchains or confederated-consortium chains.

Antonopoulos argues these firms will fail. There won’t be functional private blockchains. What Antonopoulos ignores is the sheer amounts of money these institutions have.

Antonopoulos’ notion that these financial institutions will not succeed in developing a private blockchain is similar to a misconception in another nascent industry: cannabis. In cannabis — an industry that evolved underground for much longer than Bitcoin — many participants believe that the foremost bio-technology firms on the planet, like Monsanto, will not be able to quickly create and patent their own strains of marijuana. As scientists in the space will tell you, that is a naive thought. Major corporations — with billions, and even trillions, in assets — have the best in scientists working for them, as well as the best in technology. They will be able to create new, potentially superior strains in mere years, patent them, and offer them at better prices than “mom and pop” growers.

Similarly, technology firms like IBM, Intel and Red Hat can afford the very best developers. If developers are not interested in working in the corporate world, the economics of the situation do not suggest they will go and work for an online creation community like Bitcoin, with its uncertainty, and pay based on future bitcoin price gains. Almost invariably, they will go where the money takes them. True believers work on Bitcoin, not those agnostic to how their wealth is obtained.

In reality, the brightest minds in technology seem to be moving towards experimenting with private blockchains. Most of their time will be spent on experimenting with how to  secure such systems. What they develop in the future, we cannot know in the present. At IBM, the developers there will tell you that Bitcoin is not secure. And that, in fact, it is they who will crack the code for truly securing a blockchain system. And, in their minds, they will have done so for the first time. 

The shortcomings of Bitcoin’s security system have long been known. Hal Finney took issue with the CO2 emissions of Bitcoin’s demand for wasteful computing power.

Antonopoulos doubts the effectiveness of the power held by the most influential organizations on the planet to guide the evolution of blockchain technology, and how it is perceived. To think, as Antonopolous seems to think, that an unprecedented online creation community will successfully figure out how to implement blockchain technology for consumers is extremely risky conjecturing. Consumers are for more likely to trust brands that have spent billions upon billions on marketing over decades than a tyranny (or democracy, depending upon who you ask) of online developers.

Antonopoulos’ line of reasoning parallels that among many Bitcoiners, particularly the libertarian and anarcho-capitalist factions, who believe Bitcoin will replace the modern financial system. While a fun notion to consider, there is little objective evidence for this happening. Let’s take a look at a disruptive technology — the Gutenberg Technology — to which some have compared Bitcoin. If the most popular book printed on the Gutenberg press were a science book, I might more easily accept the notion that Bitcoin could become the keystone banking system. But, that book was the Bible. And, still today, the world is marred by fantasies about the way things truly are. We are drowned in a sea of ignorance. Could it be, similar to the Gutenberg press, that not decentralized money is propagated by blockchain-inspired technology, but, rather, the furthering of baseless, fiat currencies?

Many deep minds in the technology space believe that a private blockchain is a possible iteration for the technology. Indeed, these people have spent more time on developer forums and developing for blockchain technology than Antonopoulos himself (and, admittedly, myself).

In summation, there will not only be public blockchains, and public-confederated blockchains. There will also be private blockchains, private-confederated blockchains, and maybe even state-enterprise blockchains.

What do you think about Antonopoulos’ opinions on private blockchains? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of LondonReal, R3.

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Andreas Antonopoulos’ Folly On Private Blockchains