Bitcoin and the Blockchain

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since I last wrote on the topic of bitcoin, and my remaining 1 bitcoin is worth rather less than it was back then. During the week I presented at the Sydney Financial Mathematics Workshop on the topic of bitcoin, taking a rather more technical look at the mechanics of the blockchain than in my previous posts here on the Mule. For those who are interested in how Satoshi Nakamoto solved the “double spend” problem, here are the slides from that presentation.

Bitcoin and the Blockchain

As part of my preparation for the presentation, I read Bitcon: The Naked Truth About Bitcoin. If you are a bitcoin sceptic, you should enjoy the book. If you are a Bitcoin true believer, you will probably hate it. It is over-blown in parts and gets a few technical details wrong, but I am increasingly convinced by the core argument of the book: the blockchain is an extraordinary innovation which may well change the way money moves around the world, but bitcoin the currency will prove to be a fad.

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3 thoughts on “Bitcoin and the Blockchain

  1. Giulio Katis

    When will you write a note on the problems Ripple’s consensus mechanism claims to solve that Bitcoin’s block chain mining doesn’t.

  2. Zebra

    I read an article in SMH about how blockchain will save the world. I know you are a bit of a fan Sean so I wondered what you think of the following:
    1. Currently a bunch of banks (Them) use a central agent (C) to process payments. T+3, coupon clipping etc. Old school.
    2. They adopt classic blockchain instead.
    3. They adopt a distributed ledger system (inc distributed management of the distributed ledger)
    4. They put it all in a cloud.
    5. In the particular cloud they choose there is a central mgt system
    6. Each bank now communicates directly with the cloud central system (database + management)
    7. You now have a centralised cloud based system run by the correspondent banks, without that guy.

    So how is this different from just having a cloud based system+central database management owned by the users? Sure you have got rid of the old coupon clippers, good. But not sure what this has to do with blockchain? Apart from that it gave people a kick up the wazoo to utilize cloud technology and get rid of some rent seekers. Always good. Thoughts?

  3. Zebra

    By “what has this got to do with blockchain” I mean how is blockchain classic better than this?

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