Bitcoin Bits: 12 June, 2016

The weekly roundup of interesting bitcoin-y and blockchain-y articles from the past few days…

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Why Central Banks Will Issue Digital Currency – by Adam Ludwin, via Medium

An excellent speech given by Adam Ludwin, the co-founder and CEO of blockchain services company Chain, to an IMF-World Bank event for central bankers and regulators in Washington DC, on how bitcoin will affect the role of Central Banks. He manages to present the changes as an inevitable consequence of historical evolution…

“…the medium of money has only changed a few times in history, from precious metals to bearer currencies to now our ledger-based electronic systems. Bitcoin and blockchain represent a transition to a new medium.”

… and as the “great simplifier” of financial markets.

“The goal of the blockchain industry is to collapse these steps into a single step, where payment is the settlement, just like with physical notes. This is what I mean by digital value transfer, which I sometimes like to call money-over-IP. Soon, the phrase “cross-border payment” will make about as much sense as “cross-border email.””

Adam goes on to beautifully outline the case for the issuance of Central Bank digital dollars, with more robust security than physical dollars, and more flexibility than centralized systems.

“Many people are asking the wrong question when thinking about blockchain technology. That wrong question is “How can we use a blockchain to streamline our existing systems?”

The right question is “What role should we play in the emerging digital asset economy?””

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From YouTube to the blockchain: how music and tech are colliding in 2016 – by Stuart Dredge

Although it has only a passing reference to the potential impact of the blockchain on the music business, I include this article here because it is an example of how media attention is beginning to tire of the “disrupting banks” story.

“2016’s buzz-panel of choice for any music conference is blockchain technology. The industry is getting its head around how the idea of a decentralised database of music rights could solve some of its pressing problems.

One of the biggest: knowing which labels and publishers (and, at the next level down, which performers, songwriters and producers) own the rights to songs and recordings, and what their split of the royalties is.

The blockchain might even sort out the payments of those royalties: supporters of the technology foresee a world where every time a song is sold or streamed, the royalties are divided up and paid immediately.”

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This glass is made of sugar! I wonder if it gets sticky… (via Where Cool Things Happen)

by Fernando Laposse, via Where Cool Things Happen
by Fernando Laposse, via Where Cool Things Happen

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What is the ‘Halving’? A Primer to Bitcoin’s Big Mining Change – by Jacob Donnelly, for CoinDesk

A good overview of the upcoming “halving”…

“…there has been rigorous debate over how much of a concern the halving will be, given that the event is pre-programmed in the code and miners have likely been preparing for the event. Unlike with gold or another precious metal where a new, big discovery can happen at any time, miners know exactly what to expect and when.”

Exactly. The halving itself will not be a surprise. But it seems that no-one really knows what will happen when it arrives. If anything.

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How Blockchains Can Further Public Science – by Zach Ramsay for Bitcoin Magazine

The opening up of scientific research while protecting its integrity is now possible with blockchains and databases…

“That won’t cut it so long as the data is siloed within research labs/groups, journals are pay-per-view for the public and the average citizen hasn’t the means or method to contribute meaningfully to global shared knowledge. After all, shouldn’t citizen science really be called science proper? With blockchains I think it can be.”

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