Bře 24

Why The Bitcoin Miners Are Destined To Lose The Forking Wars

· March 24, 2017 · 6:00 pm

2,706 views

Excuse me for indulging myself, but there are many points of view towards what may be an impending hard fork for Bitcoin. This may come across as a loosely coherent ramble, but at least it is short and sweet. There is enough here to put it on wax, so here’s what I see, in the big picture.


This is in response to the Medium post created by Peter Rizun yesterday, outlining how this hard fork may play out, and essentially showing a way BTU wins, in the long run. (Roger Ver tweeted his support for this post, so I read it and posted most of these thoughts in the comments section, and here we are.)

In my humble opinion, the problem I see coming is if BCU breaks off, it will become an altcoin, as has been established by the Bitcoin exchange establishment. These miners can mine all the blocks they want, if the greater community doesn’t trust their developers, doesn’t want an altcoin, and isn’t buying BCU, it is irrelevant by design.

The market will decide who wins, and anybody who is not a miner wants to stick with Core and their chain. The miners are one thing, the market is something else. The miners might win a battle, but they would lose that war. They should keep that in mind.

Without those miners, BTC would definitely take a hit, but the Core developers could then quickly move to a 2MB upgrade and get SegWit and The Lightning Network approved, creating greater Bitcoin functionality, from a trusted group of developers, and an incredible upside in off-chain scalability that an on-chain approach would be hard pressed to match. All without the centralization and control of the miners.

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Users will follow anyone who is going to implement SegWit. The market is sold on this concept as a boon to Bitcoin functionality. BTU has not done a very good sales job at all regarding their position. Scaling away from miners will hurt mining, but it will let Bitcoin reach its full potential.

BTU needs to sell their mined Bitcoins to a market. I’m not seeing much of a market for BTU, outside of the miners and BTU investors, themselves. The miners do not control Bitcoin, and even Core does not control Bitcoin. Maybe, just maybe, The People control Bitcoin’s future growth? Anyone who thinks the market doesn’t have a handle on who each side is looking out for here is fooling themselves.

Just seeing how the community is responding, keeping my ear to the ground, the greater community will not follow the miners, who are primarily looking to turn a digital buck in Bitcoin. They will follow Core, who is looking after the greater good. Miners will lose that tug of war.

Bitcoin miners vs Bitcoin core

It has become clear that BTU developers cannot replace BTC developers, as the recent bugs have shown the world, but BTC miners can be replaced. There are plenty of people around the world who want that job and can do it just as well.

This power struggle is really temporary in nature. People will not follow miners looking for profit first, and who want to hijack the entire system, from now on, in order to get it. That is not leadership.

At the end of the day, The People will decide to back Core. The only question is when will the dissenting miners, clouded by visions of endless Bitcoin profiteering, figure this fact out?

If the miners didn’t get the memo, that the vast majority of the market will stick with Core and not dump BTC for any BTU altcoin, use this. Like Bitcoin itself, it’s far from perfect, but it’ll do just fine.

How do you think a hard fork would play out? Should there be an increase in block size? Let us know what you think below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoin Core, AdobeStock

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Úno 13

VP Mike Pence’s New Chief Economist is a Bitcoin Supporter

· February 13, 2017 · 8:00 am

Bitcoin supporter Mark Calabria from the Cato Institute has been selected to serve as Chief Economist for Vice President Mike Pence.


Bitcoin-Supporter to Advise Mike Pence

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, has selected a well-known libertarian and Bitcoin advocate, Mark Calabria, as his chief economist.

calabria

Having also previously worked for the Senate Banking Committee, Calabria is best known as the former director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute. He is also an outspoken advocate of free markets, housing reform and alternative currencies.

He expressed his support for Bitcoin on multiple occasions. In an interview, Calabria said:

While I’m an economist, not a tech guy, I’m very excited about Bitcoin, as I am about alternative currencies in general, and perhaps even more interested in the blockchain.

According to Jim Parrot, a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, Calabria provides the Trump administration with “a voice around the table that will give them their philosophical true North.”

Moreover, Calabria even acknowledged in 2015 that “pretty much everyone at Cato, to varying degrees, is supportive of Bitcoin.” In fact, a few even own bitcoin, “as well as a few other alt-currencies.”

Bitcoin-Advocates Fill Administration

Mark Calabria is not the first Bitcoin advocate to join the ranks of the Trump administration. The president’s Bitcoin-friendly entourage is one of the main reasons why many Bitcoinists are optimistic about the Trump presidency.

Among these is Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and initial financier of Facebook. Thiel has been part of Trump’s transitional team for over a year and has invested millions of dollars in Bitcoin businesses over the years.

Greater

Senator Mick Mulvaney, also known as ‘Bitcoin Congressman,’ has been chosen as Trump’s budget chief. Mulvaney has been actively promoting Bitcoin education in Washington for several years.

Most notable, however, is perhaps Balaji Srinivasan, an executive at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and founder of the Bitcoin startup 21.co, who is contending to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bitcoin Gaining Ground in Washington D.C.

Furthermore, the U.S. Government is taking other steps to better understand Blockchain and its industry. This is the case with the new Congressional Blockchain Caucus, an initiative spearheaded by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.).

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In 2015, Calabria expressed his concern with regards to Bitcoin regulations, saying:

I don’t think the Bitcoin community should be complacent about the current regulatory environment. The potential to get a lot worse is definitely there.

The Congressional Blockchain Caucus hopes to improve the approach to regulating cryptocurrencies through education about Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Hopefully, Calabria’s libertarian and laissez-faire approach can help lawmakers establish a sensible policy towards Bitcoin regulation in the near future.

Will the addition of Mark Calabria as Chief Economist help push Bitcoin adoption forward? Will it be good for the American Economy? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cato.org

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Úno 10

U.S. Congress Creates New Blockchain Caucus in Washington

· February 10, 2017 · 8:00 am

What is constantly an issue, both now and in the future, is the concept of regulating and understanding blockchain and digital currency technology at a government level. The U.S. Government is taking steps to better understand this industry with their new Congressional Blockchain Caucus.


Blockchain Caucus Will Educate Lawmakers

Spearheaded by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), this will create a soundboard for future policy creation dealing with blockchain technology and the growing world of digital currency.

The term caucus might imply that this might be a one-off meeting, however this will be a continuing forum for ongoing education and policy reform in the field of distributed ledger technology.

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“Blockchain has the potential to transform the 21st-century economy,” Polis said. “Lawmakers need to understand that as the world rapidly changes, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we craft policies and adopt laws that match our ingenuity.”

Blockchain’s potential to reshape everything from the financial industry, to supply chains, to cyber security, to health care is something we should embrace.

Mulvaney Replaced by Schweikert

This blockchain technology initiative has actually been in the making for over a year, led by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) who has to spend much of the last two years looking to get Washington politicians educated on the industry. With Mulvaney currently undergoing confirmation in the Senate as President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Schweikert replaces Mulvaney.

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“Open blockchain networks and distributed ledger technologies are still new, but it’s critical for members of Congress to begin comprehending both their current applications and future use cases,” Rep. Schweikert said. “It is critically important the United States remain competitive regarding emerging technologies, and distributed ledger technology is the open, secure, efficient technology backbone we’ve been looking for.”

Building this platform will also allow a clearer path for members of the Bitcoin community to add value and education to a group of governors who will truly need their expertise, going forward. This moves in marked contrast to how Japan has mishandled the adoption of digital currency and blockchain technology without proper input from industry leaders.

The move was applauded by influencers such as Jerry Brito of Coin Center and Perianne Boring, Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

Perianne Boring

“Blockchain technology is one of the most important inventions in modern finance,” stated Perianne Boring. “[The] key to unleashing the power of this technology is collaboration and engagement between the industry and policy makers. [We] look forward to playing a significant role in the development of this sector by working with Rep. Polis, Rep, Schweikert and the Blockchain Caucus towards building a legal environment that fosters innovation, jobs, and investment.”

Will the Blockchain Caucus have a positive impact on Bitcoin adoption? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia, Shutterstock, CDC

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Úno 08

Litecoin: SegWit ‘Testbed’ at Risk as Bitcoin Politics Spread

· February 8, 2017 · 8:00 am

The Segregated Witness (SegWit) update has received lukewarm support thus far since it was announced on Litecoin on January 28th.


Beyond Bitcoin: ‘Testbed’ for SegWit

After Bitcoin, the SegWit scaling update has now been introduced to Litecoin along with some other cryptocurrencies including Vertcoin, Groestlcoin, and Viacoin.

Right now, Litecoin miners are in the process of voting on the update. Currently at 3%, support is lower than it is in Bitcoin, which rapidly climbed up to 22% in its first two weeks.

Bitcoinist_Litecoin Logo

The vote has attracted the attention of the Bitcoin community. Litecoin (and other coins) could become a testbed for the potential SegWit soft-fork on Bitcoin, and could offer a sneak peek as to how this update fares in the real world. Moreover, SegWit may have better chances on Litecoin since its activation threshold is just 75% compared to Bitcoin’s 95%. 

But this “testbed” mentality may be part of the reason why Litecoin users are not so eager to activate the update, which would make them, in a sense, Bitcoin’s ‘lab rat.’ Dubbed the “silver to Bitcoin gold,” it currently has a market cap of about $198 million USD, which could be negatively affected if the update goes sour.

Creator: ‘Litecoin Became Political Too’

Nevertheless, the SegWit update is supported by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee.

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In a recently held Reddit AMA (in Chinese), he stated:

Yes, it’s unfortunate that SegWit on Litecoin became political too. One of the reasons I’m doing this AMA is to try to pull the politics out of the Segwit on Litecoin. Let’s not let Bitcoin politics pollute Litecoin for no reason.

Meanwhile, LTC1BTC founder Jiang Zhuoer stated that his pool, which controls 10% of the network, will not support the SegWit update. His motives, however, seem to stem directly from the Bitcoin debate. 

“Why do the Bitcoin Core developers say that the Segwit soft fork basically fixes every line of Bitcoin’s code? Zhuoer said. “As the complexity of a system increases, it follows that the stability of that system must decrease.”

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Still, other pools have demonstrated their support for SegWit. F2Pool, the biggest Litecoin pool with 45.6% of the network’s hash rate, announced it will signal their support for SegWit in the coming weeks.

Litecoin Could Help Bitcoin Break Deadlock

Since Litecoin has a small number of users compared to Bitcoin, scaling is not exactly a pressing issue at the moment. Though SegWit was introduced to Bitcoin as a scaling solution, it also introduces additional features and paves the way for other upgrades such as the Lightning Network. 

Lee explained the motive for supporting SegWit saying,

The main fix is transaction malleability, which would allow Lightning Networks (LN) to be built on top of Litecoin. And there are a bunch more nice features of SegWit. With SegWit and Bitcoin’s current block scaling deadlock, I see a potential for Litecoin to help Bitcoin break through this deadlock[…]. We have been drafting behind the Bitcoin race car for many years. It’s about time to take a turn out front.

During the AMA, Lee also expressed his opinion regarding the alternatives that have been proposed, reassuring that Litecoin will stick to SegWit.

Litecoin roadmap

When asked what will Litecoin do if Bitcoin goes with Bitcoin Unlimited and FlexTrans, he said:

With such a controversial topic, I can’t see how Bitcoin can possibly go BU and FlexTrans. It will likely just not change, and that’s fine. It’s still the best store of value we have ever seen. Whatever happens, Litecoin is going the SegWit direction. And we welcome any Bitcoin Core devs to join us if Bitcoin, for some reason, goes in another direction.

Charlie Lee is currently holding another AMA thread on this topic (in english) here.

Will Litecoin pave the way for Bitcoin’s SegWit? Or will it fail to reach consensus?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, litecoinpool.org

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Led 20

4 ‘Yuuge’ Reasons Why Trump Will Make Bitcoin Greater

· January 20, 2017 · 6:00 am

Here are four reasons why we at Bitcoinist believe the Trump presidency can make Bitcoin even greater in the next four years. 


Making Bitcoin Even Greater

We at Bitcoinist believe the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is already great. Indeed, it has shown that it can weather any political storm. But what about the looming ‘Trumpocalypse’ that some political pundits have predicted?

Judging by Trump’s actions and comments thus far: Bitcoin will not only survive, but will also become greater than ever. Here’s four reasons why…

An Entourage of Bitcoin Supporters

Trump’s team includes some of the Bitcoin industry’s most well-known investors.

As Bitcoinist previously reported, among them is Peter Thiel, a serial entrepreneur who has been part of Trump’s transitional team for over a year. Various Thiel associates, themselves crypto startup investors, namely 21 Inc. CEO Balaji S. Srinivasan, are meanwhile contending for positions at the Food And Drug Administration (FDA).

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In addition, Trump announced wildcard senator Mick Mulvaney as his budget chief last month. Also known as ‘Bitcoin Congressman,’ Mulvaney has been actively promoting Bitcoin education in Washington for several years, liaising with various community figures and launching a Bitcoin Caucus to raise awareness among politicians.

mick

Mulvaney and fellow congressman Jared Polis are also working with the Coin Center, a Washington-based nonprofit that focuses on digital currency technology, to help Congress understand how it all works.

“For the past two years we have worked with Representatives Mulvaney and Polis to educate their colleagues through briefings and other events, and the new Congressional Blockchain Caucus will be a wonderful new platform to continue these efforts,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center.

Their forward-thinking leadership on blockchain technology in Congress is unmatched.

Bitcoin: The Remedy to Protectionism

It is no secret that Trump’s policy is firmly focussed on strengthening domestic identity. Critics have long hailed the Trump era as a time when globalization will take a back seat and the US will look inward.

Bitcoin, as a borderless tool excluding no one – even those without the internet – is the antithesis of this stance. What’s more, as has been witnessed by various failed crackdowns worldwide in recent years, Bitcoin’s relentless spread is impossible to control.

Bitcoinist_BTC_World

An example lies in Trump’s expected new ally, Russia. Having previously sought to block information and trading sites connected with Bitcoin and other “surrogate currencies,” this month saw the country’s central bank officially admit that it had to work with Bitcoin rather than ban it and pretend it would go away.

Devil’s in the Dollar

Trump’s ingrowing toenail style fiscal policies have been slated as extremely bad news for the US budget deficit. Saxo Bank stated last month it expects Trump to increase the imbalance from “from $600 billion to $1.2-1.8 trillion,” which could propel the price to as high as $2,100 in 2017.

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This, it says, will cause knock-on effects worldwide as the Federal Reserve increases interest rates, leading to an overly strong dollar and demand for alternatives among foreign investors.

“This leads to an increased popularity of cryptocurrency alternatives, with Bitcoin benefiting the most,” it concluded.

Moreover, he will inherit nearly $20 trillion dollars in US national debt that he hopes to alleviate by decreasing government spending and being “very strong on the debt limit.” He said:

OK, I would use the debt limit. I want to be unpredictable, because, you know, we need unpredictability. Everything is so predictable with our country. But I would be very, very strong on the debt limit.

Bitcoin meanwhile has been known to thrive under conditions of unpredictability and global economic uncertainty.

No More Bricks in the Wall

Trump’s classic threat of walling in Mexico with a physical barrier he would make it pay for is already looking less and less watertight thanks to borderless currencies.

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As Mexico’s currency takes a continued beating following a major drop on election day, November 8, interest in Bitcoin and trading is growing fast.

As is being witnessed in countries such as Argentina and Venezuela, citizens are actively looking for a safe haven for their capital, which will be safe from geopolitical posturing. In Bitcoin, they have flexibility combined with increasing practicality as a day-to-day currency (although, as we have seen, it is by no means there yet).

What YOU Can Do For Your Country…

While Trump has still made no official comments about Bitcoin or its status under his rule, the community is already hitting the ground running with a concerted petition efforts.

In the meantime, for those who can’t wait until the inauguration, here’s something to hold you over while looking stylish at the same time:

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Will Trump’s presidency boost Bitcoin into the mainstream? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of genesis-mining.com, mulvaney.house.gov, shutterstock, btcc.com

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Led 13

Bitcoin Goes to Washington – Trump May Hire More Digital Currency Leaders

· January 13, 2017 · 3:00 pm

2,899 views

President-elect Donald John Trump seems to have a lengthy to-do list when it comes to “making America Great Again.” This apparently includes meeting with, and potentially hiring many Bitcoin advocates and executives to join him in his administration.


Trump Set to Shake Things Up

Yesterday, Trump met with two more people aligned with Bitcoin and its supporters for potential positions in Washington.

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This movement started with Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder (with Tesla’s Elon Musk), and initial financier of Facebook, who has been a part of Trump’s political Transition Team since the election last year.

Thiel has been on the record saying that Bitcoin was what PayPal was supposed to be, as it pertains to being a future online medium of exchange itself, not necessarily envisioned as the online fiat currency clearing house that it has become. Theil has invested millions in Bitcoin businesses over the years.

Thiel is closely linked to the two men Trump met with yesterday, who are both being interviewed for potential roles in the Food and Drug Administration, and both have been critical of the FDA’s leadership recently.

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Jim O’Neill was once a former Health and Human Services official under President George W. Bush, and he currently works at Mithril Capital Management, where Thiel is also a co-founder. His recent commentary about the FDA has raised eyebrows in Washington, and this seems to have attracted the interest of Trump.

“We should reform FDA so that it’s approving drugs after their sponsors have demonstrated safety and let people start using them at their own risk, but not much risk of safety,” O’Neill said back in 2014. “But let’s prove efficacy after they’ve been legalized.”

Bitcoin Startup CEO Under Consideration

The other gentlemen under consideration is Balaji Srinivasan, who is an executive at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and founder of 21.co. The startup made headlines last March when it set a record for venture capital funding for a Bitcoin start-up, generating $116 million USD in capital.

balaji

The company creates Bitcoin mining computers, among other components. He has tweeted about his displeasure of the FDA in the past.

Other Bitcoin-Friendly, Friends of Trump

Next week could be the finalization of these roles under consideration. Trump has already tapped known Bitcoin advocate Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to run the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney has been a fixture on any discussion on Capitol Hill dealing with blockchain, digital currencies, and fintech. He has been seen teaching other politicians about the benefits of these new technologies to the future of American economics.

Will Trump’s administration be a boon for Bitcoin? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of teleport.org, shutterstock, investors.com

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Říj 27

Bitcoin-Friendly Pirate Party May Win Iceland Elections Saturday

Source: bitcoin

Iceland Pirate Party

Iceland’s Pirate Party, part of a worldwide movement representing hackers, anarchists and Bitcoin enthusiasts, could possibly lead the country’s next government after Saturday. Current opinion polls have it ahead of any other party.

Also read: Only Permissioned Blockchains Can Transform Finance, Says Chain’s Ludwin

Although eight parties appear on the polling chart, under a parliamentary system it’s usually the largest party that has the opportunity to form a government first. Unlike the U.S. and U.K., it’s not winner-take-all. Iceland elects its parliament proportionally, meaning the legislature may look exactly like this pie chart soon.

Early Election Due to Political, Economic Turmoil

Iceland votes in an early election on October 29. All 63 seats in the national parliament, the Althing, are up for grabs and the winner needs 32 seats for a majority.

The election is happening six months ahead of schedule. They follow mass protests in April that saw prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resign after becoming embroiled in the “Panama Papers” scandal.

Iceland’s Pirate Party bases its ideology on the original Swedish party of the same name. Many other countries also have local branches. The Swedish Pirate Party’s founder Richard Falkvinge is a well-known and fierce Bitcoin advocate.

Bitcoin-Friendly, But Let’s See

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

While some proclaim Iceland’s party plans to make bitcoin an official national currency, this is probably too optimistic. The party does not mention bitcoin on its website, though there are a few cases of party officials speaking in Bitcoin’s favor.

However leader Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a prominent digital-rights activist, said she was inspired by fellow activist John Perry Barlow‘s wish to turn Iceland into “a Switzerland of bits“. This refers to a haven for all kinds of data, which no doubt includes Bitcoin on some level.

Previously a minor party, the Icelandic Pirate Party currently only has three seats in the national legislature. To go from there to a leading position in opinion polls suggests a volcanic shift in political sentiment.

2016 a Bad Year for Political Establishment

Perhaps this shift is happening worldwide, not just in Iceland.

So far, 2016 has been a bad year to be an Establishment politician. Financial scandals and economic disillusion saw formerly dominant political parties fall in important elections across the Western world.

While most eyes are on the upcoming U.S. election, Europe has already borne the anti-mainstream brunt most. Countries like Greece, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Netherlands have all seen populist movements from across the political spectrum capture public attention — and votes.

Parties with long histories can no longer rely on majorities to hold their noses and vote for them come election day.

Iceland and Bitcoin

Like many countries, Iceland has a colorful history with its financial industry, and with Bitcoin. Previously a financial services center serving offshore customers in the U.K. and Europe, its banks and currency collapsed in 2008 as part of the Global Financial Crisis. Given that financial services controlled assets worth 10 times Iceland’s GDP at the time, this caused great economic and political upheaval. The people have maintained an often-hostile mistrust of bankers ever since.

Iceland’s Central Bank has previously stated that “to engage in foreign exchange trading with the electronic currency bitcoin” is prohibited. However to date there’s no record of anyone being arrested or punished for doing so.

On the contrary, Iceland is popular with Bitcoin mining facilities due to its frigid climate, which cuts cooling expenses.

Whether the Pirate Party wins government or not, it looks set to have a much more powerful voice in the future. Expect Bitcoin to at least be a major discussion topic there in the coming years.

Would you vote for the Pirate Party, whether it made any Bitcoin promises or not? Let’s hear your thoughts.


Images via Pirate Party, Wikimedia Commons

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Bitcoin-Friendly Pirate Party May Win Iceland Elections Saturday

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Srp 20

Ripple Executive Rails Against Bitcoin in New Essay

Source: bitcoin

Ripple Executive Rails Against Bitcoin in New Essay

Longtime blockchain developer, enthusiast and Ripple executive has warned in a new essay that blockchains could bring about a dystopia.

Also read: New Malware Sneaking Onto Mac Computers, Bitcoinists Be Warned

Ripple Exec Cites Failures of Social Consensus Model

Stefan Thomas, Chief Technology Officer at Ripple Labs, a leading private and public ledger company, wrote an essay titled “The Subtle Tyranny of Blockchain.”

The blockchain industry, he writes, foresees a blockchain revolution across a swathe of industries like finance, international trade and health care. However, Thomas pens, “blockchains are a pain to work with.”

“Harmony and consensus are valuable. But harmony taken to the extreme becomes a detriment,” he continues. “In the Lego Movie utopia, ‘everything is awesome’ only on the surface. Behind the scenes, there is tremendous diversity and a rapidly changing world, which doesn’t match the established consensus.” A picture of the authoritarian President Business from The Lego Movie graces the essay, implying that — like the movie — everything about blockchain technology is not as rosy as it seems.

Thomas also evokes the Bitcoin block size debate when writing about the difficulties of blockchain technology. With issues like network scalability, Thomas says the blockchain’s social consensus model represents an obstacle.

Despite his less-than-positive words, Thomas is still a Bitcoin proponent, running the website weusecoins.com — “a single resource” where the currency is “explained for the average non-technical user.”

The budding blockchain technology industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in funding so far this year. The largest technology companies (think IBM, Microsoft), and the largest financial institutions in the world (your bank) are investing in research and development for Bitcoin technology.

The foundation for their experimentation is Ethereum, but their technology will likely pair together new distributed ledger technologies for a secure and more efficient end-result. Distributed ledger and blockchain technology is designed to do one thing: track payments, back office processes, securities and derivatives, health records – everything.

But, as Thomas’ essay poses, what if there is a darker side to blockchain technology? Thomas suggests issues in growing the technology.

In particular, experimentation and improvements to the software are hampered in a blockchain system because a majority of miners who run the software must agree to deploy the update before it can be rolled out.

“The fact that one corner of the system can be updated and good ideas can eventually spread to the system as a whole has been essential for the Web’s ability to keep pace with technological innovation,” he said.

“In a blockchain like Ethereum’s, everyone has to think the same,” he said, suggesting that differing opinions can lead to developmental gridlock — something that has been an issue in the Bitcoin community for a few years.

Thomas concludes his essay with a plug for Ripple’s Interledger Protocol, describing it as a more flexible and individualized way to send or receive payments. Because of this added choice, “crucially,” he said, “our thoughts can be — once again — our own.”

Ripple has fallen out of the crypto-spotlight in recent years, after internal strife gave rise to a community-wide scandal in 2014 that tarnished the project’s reputation.

Thomas is perhaps best known for his “What is Bitcoin?” video on YouTube, which has been viewed more than 6.8 million times.

What do you think about Thomas’ essay? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Galen Valle via RedBubble, Ripple.

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Čvc 02

Industry Report: How China, France, and the FBI Do Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

China loves digital currency, France wants to fight it, and the FBI doesn’t know how to handle it. Want to catch up on your latest digital currency news? Check out the stories below.

Also read: Industry Report: Bitcoin Thieves Abound As Popularity Skyrockets

CHINA

China has proposed a new civil law that recognizes the people’s right to own virtual assets. This includes bitcoin and additional cryptocurrencies.

The civil code was introduced in the National People’s Congress on June 27 and states that all virtual and physical financial entities possess equal status. In other words, you can own bitcoin, and you can own yuan. Either way, they’re both money and they’ve both been created for the same purposes.

OKCoin founder Star Xu was enthusiastic about the law, stating:

“Since the Chinese laws have not clearly defined the virtual asset in the past, property disputes involving ‘virtual commodities’ are difficult to be resolved under the existing law. This proposed new civil law draft, which includes digital assets with legal rights, will contribute to the protection of such property rights while also establishing a framework for the development of future specific rules.”

PARIS

Despite the light in China, there’s a dark sky hovering over Paris. Bernard Debre of the National Assembly of France wants to place a ban on bitcoin in the city of Paris, fearing its use will lead to online drug purchases. Debre believes drug trafficking is at an all-time high. He’s also aiming to shut down “La Maison du Bitcoin” (the house of bitcoin), a bitcoin-advocacy organization operated by Ledger.

Following the terrorist attacks of last year, Debre is hard on his stance, and proposing that the country takes a legislative approach towards stopping anything that could further criminal activity.

THE FBI

Three years have gone by since the original Silk Road went offline. Ross Ulbricht is behind bars, and yet this story hasn’t come to a definite close.

Gary Davis, allegedly known as “Libertas” on the darknet market, is presently fighting his extradition to the U.S. He will not be charged for his involvement in Silk Road if he’s successful in his process.

Back in 2013, Microsoft was issued a warrant when the DOJ wanted to investigate a particular Outlook account belonging to Gary Davis. The case to which the investigation pertained was never revealed to Microsoft, and the company is now seeking legal assistance regarding what they say was a “breach of privacy.”

The case is in the hands of the US Court of Appeals and is likely to set new precedents for the technology industry. The outcome should be decided in July, and Microsoft is receiving support from several technology companies ranging from Apple to Cisco and AT&T.

Know of any stories worthy of being included in our regular industry reports? Post your thoughts and comments below!


Image courtesy of Alexandre Beaudry blog.

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Industry Report: How China, France, and the FBI Do Bitcoin

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Čvn 15

Clinton Recommends Expanding State Surveillance

Source: bitcoin

Clinton Recommends Expanding State Surveillance

Hillary Clinton has come out in support of extending the surveillance state in response to the Orlando Mass Shooting in a recent interview with NPR. Her Proposals include a dedicated task force applied to preventing “self-radicalization,”  more “integrated intelligence use” among the different levels of law enforcement, working with silicon valley to “prevent online radicalization” and broadening the scope of federal watch lists, gun control related databases, and surveillance.

Read Also: KAT puts up official Tor Hidden Service

 

Clinton Expresses Support of State Surveillance, Both Candidates Dislike Encryption

 

In the interview with NPR, Clinton makes several statements in support of current and future programs that surreptitiously collect information on US citizens:

“This Killer Was interviewed by the FBI three times … If someone comes to the attention of the FBI not once, but three times, that suggests that law enforcement needs to know, that people need to be more aware. Do we need to push the Congress harder, to pass a law forbidding anybody on the no-fly list from buying a weapon in our country?”

She reasons further that had there been more rigorous surveillance or an “expanded database” in place, it could have prevented the tragic event, and that the issue should be something that Americans should be voting on in the coming presidential election:

“I think it’s only fair, that Americans take into account who can keep them safe, who has the best ideas for defeating ISIS, and protecting us here at home. I think I have laid out what I believe would work…”

 

This is not the first occasion the Democratic presidential candidate has hinted at expanding state surveillance as part of her platform. She mentioned a desire to initiate a “Manhattan-like project” against encryption and other technological privacy measures during the third democratic debate in December of last year:

“I would hope that, given the extraordinary capacities that the tech community has and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, that there could be a Manhattan-like project, something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they’re not adversaries, they’ve got to be partners. It doesn’t do anybody any good if terrorists can move toward encrypted communication that no law enforcement agency can break into before or after. There must be some way. I don’t know enough about the technology, to be able to say what it is, but I have a lot of confidence in our tech experts.”

Donald Trump has expressed very different ideas about the causes of/solution to the Orlando Shooting and ones similar to it, but came out in similar fashion against encryption previously, during events following the San Bernadino Shooting, regarding the Apple vs. FBI case:

“These are two people radicalized who were given a wedding party by the people that they killed. There’s something going on. We have to be very careful. We have to be very vigilant. But to think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cellphone,” he continued. “Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up.”

State supported surveillance and undermining of encryption is a complicated and contentious issue, of particular concern to those with cryptocurrency holdings, as many rely on strong encryption and network privacy to conduct business and safeguard their assets. It will be interesting to see how each candidate develops their position on these issues in the coming months.

 

Thoughts? Comments? Be sure to leave them below!


Interview Source; Images Courtesy Wikimedia Foundation

The post Clinton Recommends Expanding State Surveillance appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Clinton Recommends Expanding State Surveillance

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