Bitcoin Bits: 7 May, 2016

The weekly roundup of interesting articles (totally subjective, and it’s not like I’ve read all the articles published, I WISH I had time for that) from the bitcoin and blockchain world… And I’m not going to touch the whole Craig Wright/Satoshi Nakamoto drama, because enough already.

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The Story of the ‘Accidental’ $137K Bitcoin Payment Just Got Very Strange – by Jordan Pearson, for Motherboard

An intriguing story that shows that, often, all is not what it seems in the bitcoin world.

“There are bad days, and then there are days when you accidentally send $137,000 worth of bitcoin to somebody with no way to retrieve it.”

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by Danilo Dungo via Colossal
by Danilo Dungo via Colossal

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5 ways digital currencies will change the world – by Susan Athey, for the World Economic Fund

  1. Faster, cheaper bank transfers
  2. A boost to global remittances
  3. Safe money for the poor
  4. Unleashing the potential of e-commerce
  5. Programmable money and smart contracts

Stanford professor Susan Athey provides examples for each of these use cases, and shows how the technology could have a significant impact on the developing world.

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King George meets Bitcoin and walks away confused – by Bernard Lunn, for Daily Fintech

An interesting slant on Bitcoin’s impact, which looks at the type of countries that could/should be early adopters.

  • Offshore Countries positioning as global hubs: “If other countries adopt overly restrictive regulations, Bitcoin activity will move to these hubs. They have a natural role as a place to locate exchanges and vaults. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are two counties positioning in this way.”
  • Countries with weak currencies: “The simple rule of thumb is that when you see a country ban Bitcoin, they are worried about currency flight.” – Tunisia is a country to watch, as an example of money innovation
  • Countries with a tendency towards freedom & innovation – Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Luxembourg
  • Superpowers that may set the de facto standard – the European Union looks the most likely

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Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five – by Nik Custodio, via Medium

A brilliantly simple way to grasp the strength of the bitcoin protocol – how you can actually prove digital uniqueness. This should be used in classrooms.

“My apple was physically put into your hand.

You know it happened. I was there. You were there. You touched it.

We didn’t need a third person there to help us make the transfer. We didn’t need to pull in Uncle Tommy (who’s a famous judge) to sit with us on the bench and confirm that the apple went from me to you.”

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I’m thinking of turning this roundup into a newsletter. And I’m taking the Bitcoin Bits off the post feed, to reduce “clutter”. This will take a bit of time to set up, but I’ll keep you posted!

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