Bitcoin Bits: 28 January 2016

Some good bitcoin-related reads from the week:

State of Bitcoin and Blockchain 2016: Blockchain Hits Critical Mass – from Coindesk

Coindesk has released its State of Bitcoin report for 2016, usually well worth going through. It summarises the main themes of 2015, such as the increasing media focus on the blockchain vs. bitcoin, the venture capital preference for bitcoin vs. the blockchain, the slow-down in venture capital investment growth, the concentration of mining pools, and the predominance of China in the bitcoin exchange market.

state of bitcoin vc investment

Among its predictions for 2016 are that we will see plenty more blockchain hype, the block size debate will be resolved, and we will see a proliferation of private distributed ledger application experiments.

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Don’t Listen to the Mainstream Media on Bitcoin or Blockchain – by Jon Southurst, via Medium

A scathing take-down of general media articles about bitcoin. With some exceptions, so true.

“Do people buy drugs with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Yep! That’s because it is money. People use digital money to buy goods just like they use paper cash. Paper cash, for the record, is still the most common way to buy such party goods.”

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Bitcoin owners are still white, male techies, to no one’s surprise – by Kirsty Styles, for The Next Web

While not particularly relevant to use cases, this article does shed light on the barriers to adoption, and the necessary improvement in bitcoin “marketing” – difficult, given the poorly-researched media articles referenced above.

“Unfortunately, rather than representing a positive alternative to cash or a great technology to many owners, most people surveyed said they brought Bitcoin as an investment.”

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Embracing disruption – tapping the potential of distributed ledgers to improve the post-trade landscape – by the DTCC

A surprisingly good report from the venerable Wall Street institution DTCC (the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, which handles virtually all clearing and settlement for US security trades) on the potential impact of the blockchain on security settlement. I say surprisingly good because it´s well written, easy to understand, and sounds sensible. It talks about the positive and the negative, the hype and the reality, and warns about both rapid adoption and the risk of ignoring this important innovation. It highlights the sector’s relative immaturity and points out that it won’t be able to improve on all settlement process or solve all problems; it also sets out a potential path for testing of blockchain applications

“Over the past year, many industry participants have begun to pursue individual experiments and have established islands of private partnership. As a result, it appears there is a disorganized and almost chaotic market-driven rush to productize different ledger opportunities. While it is the inherent nature of free markets to focus on short-term opportunities for gain, history could be repeating itself in that the existing state of complexity in financial market infrastructure arose through a similar series of uncoordinated implementations, market opportunities and regulatory responses.”

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