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Archive for the ‘cryptocurrencies’ category: Page 34

Sep 25, 2015

The Future of Money

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, mobile phones, wearables

Money is the primary mechanism for storing and exchanging value, especially in our daily purchases, and it’s heading rapidly into a faster, smarter and more mobile future. Nevertheless, the constant in the midst of change will remain levels of human trust in the proliferating forms of money. That’s because we have an ancient and abiding partnership with money and no relationship is ever sustainable without trust.

It’s a time of accelerated innovation in this field due to the rapid global expansion of digital banking, especially online and mobile financial services. However, while payments and transfer of money shift inexorably towards mobile devices as the consumer technology of choice, digital currencies expand in scope and number and online shopping begins to enter a golden age, cash is still the most successful and popular form of money ever. Its trust level, as public money backed up by a promise to pay from the government which minted and manufactured it, remains extremely high. This is evidenced by the way the Greeks turned to cash during their fiscal and monetary crisis which rocked the whole European Union, as well as by cash’s current 8.9% per annum average global growth rate. Cash is undoubtedly one of the most successful social technologies in history.

In short, the future of money will be mobile, faster in execution and settlement, and yet as heavily dependent on trust as ever. In my view, for that very reason, there’s unlikely to be a cashless world in this century. Nor is such a scenario desirable, unless you’re a fan of a Big Brother society largely dominated and dictated by multinationals more powerful than many national governments. A cashless world would subvert the economic freedom of citizens to choose the form of money and payment they want and, if that weren’t bad enough, it would lead inevitably to even further marginalisation of the world’s poor. Besides, cash is already universally trusted, instant in execution and mobile in nature (that is, just as portable as a smart phone).

That said, digital banking is here to stay and provides massive levels of convenience and efficiency. Financial institutions the world over are fiercely focused on developing omnichannel (“every channel”) strategies to provide seamless customer experiences across all their banking channels.

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Sep 15, 2015

What is a Blockchain?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, government, internet, transparency

This short post is not about Bitcoin. It’s about a new method of organizing and arbitrating communications that is at the heart of Bitcoin

We hear a lot about the blockchain. We also hear a lot of misconceptions about its purpose and benefits. Some have said that it represents a threat to banks or to governments. Nonsense! It is time to form a simple, non-political, and non-economic explanation…

What is a Blockchain?

The blockchain is a distributed approach to bookkeeping. It offers an empowering, efficient and trusted way for disparate parties to reach consensus. It is “empowering”, because conclusions built on a blockchain can be constructed in a way that is inherently fair, transparent, and resistant to manipulation.

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Sep 12, 2015

Will Bitcoin End the Reign of Government?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, government

When my daughter was just starting primary school, she would look inside a book for the pictures before reading the text. She was old enough to read without pictures, but she wanted to get a quick synopsis before diving in. “Look, Dad! a bunny is carrying a giant clock into a rabbit hole.”

White Rabbt-01This is my first article without pictures. At least none of Bitcoin, because the copper coin metaphors are tired and inaccurate. At the user level, owning bitcoin is simply your stake in a widely distributed ledger. Ownership exists only as strings of secret code and public code. There is no physical coin.

Since the only pictures in this post show a white rabbit with a big clock, let me give you the quick synopsis: The answer is “No”. Bitcoin will not end government, nor its ability to tax, spend—or even enforce compliance.

But there is an irony: Most lawmakers and regulators have not yet figured this out. They perceive a great threat to their national interests. That’s why Andreas M. Antonopoulos runs around the world. He briefs prime ministers, cabinets and legislators with the noble purpose of demystifying and de-boogieing Bitcoin.

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Sep 10, 2015

Digital Currencies: A Reckoning of Aggressive Economic Advancement

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, economics

Bitcoin Economics
There’s an interesting insight on the possible reasons why the idea of decentralisation of money has gained friction over the past couple of years. What ignites its relevance to an age of drastic and fragile transition to digital forms? Apart from the technicalities and advantages of the use of asymmetric cryptography to substitute the way we transact articles of trade, digital currencies are a highly economic advancement. The mere traits of strengthened security a cryptographic hash entails have transcended just an innovation of technology, but rather become social and tangible assets (however volatile).

Analysts argue that cryptocurrencies are a purely technological progression, and that the Bitcoin ecosystem is filled with geeks who don’t understand the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of economics. That conclusion, of course, is a bit of an assumption, but the general populace can sometimes find the way cryptocurrencies are designed to be convoluted. For instance, Bitcoin evangelists have strived to make sure that the public knows how easy it is to deal, trade, and transact with digital currencies, exhausting alternative coins and minting new ones to target a specific niche of need and inspire interest. From that perspective alone, there is economics at work already with the cryptocurrency fashioning itself to satisfy an established demand.

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Sep 8, 2015

What gives Bitcoin Value?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, Elon Musk, finance

For most of us, figuring out the value of something that we want, comes from research. If you want a new set of wine glasses, you check the price online. Perhaps you consult a catalog. If the set of 8 stemware goblets that you like are a current model from a major company, there are probably many places to buy them. If there are multiple Ebay sellers and many recently completed sales, then you can establish the value with precision.

I’ve written a lot of Bitcoin articles on this Lifeboat Blog and elsewhere, so, let’s dig a bit deeper this time. Let’s talk about from where value really comes.

Supply and Demand

In the end, an item’s value is a direct result of supply and demand. It’s no different with a currency. And let’s be clear: Despite a raging debate, Bitcoin is a currency and not just a payment instrument. How can I be certain? Try this mental exercise—

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Aug 20, 2015

Tech’s Biggest Ideas and How They Take Hold — With Marc Andreessen and Dan Siroker | Andreessen Horowitz

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, cryptocurrencies, encryption, internet, mobile phones, polls, robotics/AI, transparency, virtual reality

Aug 13, 2015

Bitcoin needs a quantum theory of money

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, theory

Is Bitcoin money? To its users the answer is probably yes, but to many people the answer is less clear. Alan Greenspan, for example, said in December 2013: “I do not understand where the backing of Bitcoin is coming from. There is no fundamental issue of capabilities of repaying it in anything which is universally acceptable, which is either intrinsic value of the currency or the credit or trust of the individual who is issuing the money, whether it’s a government or an individual.” Indeed, one of the things holding back the adoption of cybercurrencies such as Bitcoin is that they do not fit well with traditional ideas about money.

Answers to the question “what is money” have typically fallen into one of three camps. The first, known as metallism or bullionism, holds that money needs to be backed by precious metal. The second camp is chartalism (from the Latin charta for a record) which holds that coins and other money objects are just tokens, that the state agrees to accept as payment of things like taxes. Finally, there is the dominant, hands-off school of thought, which most mainstream economists would agree with, which says that money has no unique or special qualities, but instead is defined by its roles, e.g. a medium of exchange.

Bullionists and chartalists therefore emphasise a different aspect of money – the inherent value or the authorising stamp – while most economists treat it as an inert chip. But none of them seem to apply well to emerging cybercurrencies, which are not backed by precious metal or the state, and (at least at first) are not much use as a medium of exchange. So how do they become money? The answer to this question is that money has quantum properties which allow it to be booted up from the ether.

Quantum money

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Aug 6, 2015

Japanese Court: Bitcoin Cannot be Owned

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, government, internet

Responding to this nugget from Engadget:

Tokyo District CourtTokyo’s district court has ruled that it’s not possible for people to own bitcoin, and therefore they cannot sue for compensation in the wake of Mt. Gox’s collapse.

The ruling comes days after the head of the world’s largest bitcoin exchange was arrested on charges of fraud. Judge Masumi Kurachi felt that bitcoins do not possess “tangible qualities” to constitute owned property. Mt. Gox held thousands of individual accounts, and so there’s plenty of angry customers looking for compensation.

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Jul 27, 2015

Why Generation Z will definitely embrace Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, education, innovation

children-593313_640

Can you picture a world without physical money? A world where we don’t have to carry bills and coins in our pockets and wallets? Generation Z can.
(more…)

Jul 6, 2015

Major bank admits bitcoin could destroy banks, brokers & exchanges

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, finance, geopolitics

July 9 update:
3 days after posting, Visa acknowledged that Bitcoin has a future in payments. This is an understatement, of course. The bank described below goes a step further by acknowledging that the entire financial infrastructure may cave to cryptocurrencies.

burning-cashFrench bank BNP Paribas warned customers and investors that the technology behind bitcoin might one day overtake conventional, account-based financial institutions, thus rendering existing companies redundant (that’s British for “obsolete”).* It’s a tectonic acknowledgement from one of the world’s biggest banks.

Analyst Johann Palychata writes in the company’s magazine Quintessence that Bitcoin’s blockchain, the underlying architecture that allows cryptocurrency to function, “should be considered as an invention like the steam or combustion engine,” that has the potential to transform the world of finance and beyond.

Check out the full story by Oscar Williams-Grut at Business Insider.

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