From June, 2017

‘The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media’

Ito, Joichi, Narula, Neha and Robleh Ali. “The “killer app” for the early internet was email; it’s what drove adoption and strengthened the network. Bitcoin is the killer app for the blockchain. Bitcoin drives adoption of its underlying blockchain, and its strong technical community and robust code review process make it the most secure and reliable of the various blockchains. Like email, it’s likely that some form of Bitcoin will persist. But the blockchain will also support a variety of other applications, including smart contracts, asset registries, and many new types of transactions that will go beyond financial and legal…

‘The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen’

Gupta, Vinay. “In a world without middle men, things get more efficient in unexpected ways. A 1% transaction fee may not seem like much, but down a 15-step supply chain, it adds up. These kinds of little frictions add just enough drag on the global economy that we’re forced to stick with short supply chains and deals done by the container load, because it’s simply too inefficient to have more links in the supply chain and to work with smaller transactions. The decentralization that blockchain provides would change that, which could have huge possible impacts for economies in the developing…

‘How Blockchain Could Help Emerging Markets Leap Ahead’

Gupta, Vinay and Rob Knight. “Transactional security extends beyond biometrics, which only secure the last link in a financial transaction; blockchain could secure the entire transactional process. For developing economies, this security is vital for ordinary people who want to trade. Even better, blockchains can spur local high-tech innovation. The natural decentralization of blockchain means that distance to infrastructure like data centers doesn’t matter. Developing nations can build their own technology hubs, and any code created there would be as secure as services created anywhere else in the world. Everywhere is the same to blockchain, which could support home-grown technology…

‘The Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Explained’ (video)

Henrik, Rodrigo. “A block chain is a transaction database shared by all nodes participating in a system based on the Bitcoin protocol. A full copy of a currency’s block chain contains every transaction ever executed in the currency. With this information, one can find out how much value belonged to each address at any point in history. Every block contains a hash of the previous block. This has the effect of creating a chain of blocks from the genesis block to the current block. Each block is guaranteed to come after the previous block chronologically because the previous block’s hash…

‘Internet is to information, what Blockchain is to value’

D’Aliessi, Michelle. “The Bitcoin network orders transaction by putting them together into groups called blocks, each block contains a definite amount of transactions and a link to the previous block. This is what puts one block after the other in time. Blocks are therefore organized into a time-related chain, that gives the name to the whole system: blockchain. Transactions in the same block are considered to have happened at the same time and transactions not yet in a block are considered unconfirmed. Each node can group transactions together into a block and broadcast it to the network as a suggestion…

‘[Blockchain] is to Bitcoin, what the internet is to email’

Thompson, Collin. “Blockchain’s decentralized, open and cryptographic nature allow people to trust each other and transact peer to peer, making the need for intermediaries obsolete. This also brings unprecedented security benefits. Hacking attacks that commonly impact large centralized intermediaries like banks would be virtually impossible to pull off on the blockchain. For example — if someone wanted to hack into a particular block in a blockchain, a hacker would not only need to hack into that specific block, but all of the proceeding blocks going back the entire history of that blockchain. And they would need to do it on every ledger…

‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ (pdf)

Nakamoto, Satoshi (image: Ogilvy). “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of…