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Archive for the ‘blockchain’ tag: Page 3

Mar 13, 2017

Perspective of a former “Bitcoin Maximalist”

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

This pundit is very cogent, as he criticizes early Bitcoin adopters and evangelists. He believes that they are too wrapped up in the original blockchain implementation, and that what goes up must come down—or, at least, that the earliest implementation of a new technology cannot adapt and become the durable leader in the field that it launched.

It’s the 15-minutes-of fame argument. But, I disagree! There are plenty of reasons to support, repair and expand Bitcoin—rather than fragment goodwill and abandon and a viable, two-sided network into 3,000 altcoins and blockchain startups.

Still, the author is very very bright and defends his position.

Mar 6, 2017

The World’s Largest Shipping Company Trials Blockchain to Track Cargo — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in category: transportation

“The shipping company Maersk has now announced that it has been working with IBM to use the blockchain to keep track of shipments as they’re hauled across the seas.”

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Mar 4, 2017

Antonopolous Clarifies Blockchain’s Profound Leap

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, education, geopolitics

I use to hate it when my dad insisted that I read something longer than 2 paragraphs. (Something related to his interests, but not to my school work, his career or our family). That’s because it shouldn’t require a 30 minute read to determine if it piques my interest, as it does his.

But I am asking Lifeboat readers to invest 37 minutes in the video linked below. Even if you give it just 5 minutes, it will provide sufficient motive for you to stick around until the end. [continue below video]

I want you view it because we are on the threshold of something bigger than many people realize. Bitcoin and the blockchain is not just a new currency or a way of distributing books among network users. We are becoming involved with a radical experiment in applied game theory that is shockingly simple, but nascent. Opportunities abound, and the individuals who recognize those opportunities or learn to exploit them will benefit themselves as they benefit the global community. Because it is so radical (and because it clashes with deeply ingrained beliefs about authority, control mechanisms, democracy and money), it seems complex and risky—but it’s really not.

Continue reading “Antonopolous Clarifies Blockchain’s Profound Leap” »

Feb 18, 2017

MIT is working on 3 BIG Blockchain Ideas

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, internet, software

MIT has never stood stand still in the presence of change and opportunity. Their Media Lab Currency Initiative is at the forefront of Blockchain and Bitcoin research. With the fracture of the founding core team, MIT stands to become the universal hub for research and development.

The initiative now has a team of 22 people and at least
seven ongoing research projects, and it nurtures three startups that use cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology in a variety of ways. Blockchain research now sits alongside transparent robots that eat real-world fish, solar nebula research, and other imaginative, futuristic projects in progress at the university.

The initiative has already funded the work of bitcoin protocol developers and has supported research, going far beyond bitcoin—even partnering with Ripple Labs and developing enterprise data projects.

Now, the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative is working on 3 big Blockchain ideas:

Continue reading “MIT is working on 3 BIG Blockchain Ideas” »

Feb 12, 2017

Distributed Objective Consensus: Beyond POW & POS

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, privacy, software

At the heart of Bitcoin or any Blockchain ledger is a distributed consensus mechanism. It’s a lot like voting. A large and diverse deliberative community validates each, individual user transaction, ownership stake or vote.

But a distributed consensus mechanism is only effective and faithful if the community is impartial. To be impartial, voters must be fairly separated. That is, there must be no collusion enabled by concentration or hidden collaboration. They must be separated from the buyer and seller; they must be separated from the big stakeholders; and they must be separated from each other. Without believable and measurable separation, all sorts of problems ensue. One problem that has made news in the Bitcoin word is the geographical concentration of miners and mining pools.

A distributed or decentralized transaction validation is typically achieved based on Proof-of-Work (POW) or Proof-of-Stake (POS). [explain]. But in practice, these methodologies exhibit subtle problems…

The problem is that Proof-of-Work can waste an enormous amount of energy and both techniques result in a concentration of power (either by geography or by special interest) — rather than a fair, distributed consensus.

Continue reading “Distributed Objective Consensus: Beyond POW & POS” »

Feb 7, 2017

Blockchain Scalability: Proof-of-Work vs BFT Replication

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, innovation

Research can seem bland to us laypersons. But, Marko Vukolić shares many of my research interests and he exceeds my academic credentials (with just enough overlap for me to understand his work). So, in my opinion, his writing is anything but bland…

Vukolić started his career as a post-doc intern at IBM in Zurich Switzerland. After a teaching stint as assistant professor at Eurecom and visiting professor at ETH Zurich, he rejoined the IBM research staff in both cloud computing infrastructure and the Blockchain Group.*

As a researcher and academic, Vukolić is a rising star in consensus-based mechanisms and low latency replicated state machines. At Institut Mines-Télécom in Paris, he wrote papers and participated in research projects on fault tolerance, scalability, cloud computing and distributed trust mechanisms.

Now, at IBM Zurich, Vukolić has published a superior analysis addressing the first and biggest elephant in the Bitcoin ballroom, Each elephant addresses an urgent need:

Continue reading “Blockchain Scalability: Proof-of-Work vs BFT Replication” »

Dec 7, 2016

Is it too late to get into Bitcoin and the Blockchain?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, hardware, innovation, internet

At Quora, I occasionally role play, “Ask the expert” under the pen name, Ellery. Today, I was asked “Is it too late to get into Bitcoin and the Blockchain”.

A few other Bitcoin enthusiasts interpreted the question to mean “Is it too late to invest in Bitcoin”. But, I took to to mean “Is it too late to develop the next big application—or create a successful startup?”. This is my answer. [co-published at Quora]…


The question is a lot like asking if it is too late to get into the television craze—back in the early 1930s. My dad played a small role in this saga. He was an apprentice to Vladamir Zworykin, inventor of the cathode ray tube oscilloscope. (From 1940 until the early 2000s, televisions and computer monitors were based on the oscilloscope). So—for me—there is fun in this very accurate analogy…

John Logie Baird demonstrated his crude mechanical Televisor in 1926. For the next 8 years, hobbyist TV sets were mechanical. Viewers peeked through slots on a spinning cylinder or at an image created from edge-lit spinning platters. The legendary Howdy Doody, Lucille Ball and Ed Sullivan were still decades away.

Continue reading “Is it too late to get into Bitcoin and the Blockchain?” »

Nov 27, 2016

Video Of The Week: A Crypto Economy — By Fred Wilson | AVC

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, finance

“It’s a fairly concise but expansive vision of what is possible to build with open public blockchains.”

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Nov 23, 2016

From Bitcoin to puke-tracking: Walmart uses blockchains to monitor food — By Beth Mole | Ars Technica UK

Posted by in categories: business, computing

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In October, the commercial giant teamed up with IBM and Tsinghua University in Beijing to track pork in China as it moves from the farm to the shelves.”

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Nov 22, 2016

Proof Of Stake — By Fred Wilson | AVC

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

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“One of the most interesting questions to me is whether we can figure out how to implement a proof of stake consensus mechanism in a large decentralized trustless public blockchain (ie Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc).”

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