Daily bits March 21st, 2017

Today I came across yet another excellent article from Elaine Ou, this time on bitcoin fees. Which are not, by the way, expensive or even increasing.

“Even if the transaction fees haven’t gone up much in terms of bitcoin, the dollar-denominated price of bitcoin has increased by a lot, so the transaction fees look a lot higher these days when considered in dollars. But it’s not Bitcoin’s fault that your stupid fiat currency can’t hold its value.”

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Janan Ganesh of the FT gives us a blissfully scathing take on the fiasco that is the Brexit negotiation. Poetry.

“Seeing these ministers talk their way out of old promises leaves you with a sense of sinuous political skill but also smallness — of a trio pulling themselves up to their full height to look at the monumental work of exit straight in the ankles.”

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Tyler Cowen dropped another video in his Complacent Class series, this one looking at stasis in American business. “What?,” you say. “With so much disruption going on?” See, it turns out that there actually isn’t. In spite of the technological advances and new business models, “disruption” is still the exception rather than the rule.

The US has an ageing business environment, slower rates of productivity growth, and a government that couldn’t react swiftly even if it knew what to do. As Tyler puts it, “this is troublesome”, and the Great Reset that he predicts is disconcerting, to say the least. (No, it hasn’t happened yet.)

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CoinDesk reports that a “wide range” of traders are expecting a hard fork of the bitcoin blockchain, and are pulling back funds and/or hedging. Yikes.

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CoinDesk also features an interview with Blythe Masters, CEO of blockchain company Digital Asset Holdings, who estimates that blockchain technology could squeeze out 30-60% of jobs through increased efficiency. Sure, it’s creating jobs, but these are difficult to fill.

It is refreshing to hear a blockchain executive shine a light on the impending social upheaval the technology is likely to bring about. If only more would follow suit. It wouldn’t be enough to stem the disruption, but it could be a start, and it’s definitely better than pretending it’s not going to happen.



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