BITCOIN CRACKED …every 10 minutes

Bitcoin’s proof-of-work mechanism, as many of you will know, requires the fast and repetitive re-computation of a hash value based on the current block candidate. This is the job of the miners, they build a block candidate, inject a random number to add some variation, then compute a hash. If the hash is below the current difficulty level – a universally known value which provides a numerical upper acceptable limit on valid hashes – then Read more…

The unexpected collision of altcoins, cross-chain atomic swaps and proof-of-work consensus

James Bullard, CEO of the US St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank gave a welcome and insightful speech this week at Consensus 2018 in New York. Some of the most important things he said in his presentation entitled, “Non-uniform currencies and exchange rate chaos” are repeated here… “Economic literature says that publicly issued and privately issued currency can co-exist in-equilibrium.” “Privately issued currencies can facilitate transactions that otherwise would not have happened.” “Cryptocurrency in my opinion Read more…

Stablecoins: Where the stability comes from

Cryptocurrencies are new and volatile. This wild volatility has repeatedly raised the question as to whether they should be more stable and how stability could be achieved. A stable coin is a cryptocurrency which maintains a stable market valuation over time and doesn’t shoot up and down as Bitcoin currently does for example. Valuation volatility in a money harms its ability to be a currency as it becomes difficult for anyone to know how much Read more…

The birth of block explorer 2.0

Block Explorers have been gradually improving over the past few years and they do what they do well, but that’s not such a challenge when they don’t do very much. They are mostly a graphical display for a blockchain node. A blockchain based financial system is unlike any we have had before because it is built on a shared public database of all transactions ever performed. This gives us an incredible resource for data mining Read more…

Weasel terms and conditions or how to empower insurance buyers

Yesterday Olivier Rikken published this (1) compelling piece about disrupting insurance business models through P2P funding mediated by blockchain. I have been thinking about this area for some time. I agree with everything he said but would like to offer my take on how this could emerge, wider applications and why things should change. I use as little insurance as I can get away with day to day as the terms and conditions I come Read more…

The Panama papers: How can we foster financial transparency in government?

The Panama Papers leak has dramatically focused the UK public eye on tax avoidance. Although the scale of the offshore tax avoidance industry is surprising the suspects and their methods are perhaps less so. Transparency International writes: It’s true that in some senses, the Panama Papers do not reveal much that is new. This is familiar territory for Transparency International: trusts and companies being created for the purposes of secrecy… (1) I dare say most people Read more…