• Cavacava
    2.4k
    Blockchain is a biz system, a re conceptualization of double ledger accounting, the first real change in the last 250 years (per Google video as follows).

    If I want to wire funds to someone in another part of the world, I have to go to a Bank to send a wire of funds. I do this from time to time and it is a pain in the butt. You have to complete a forms that really wants to know a lot about what you are up to and then they charge you $30/40 dollars to send it and it takes time, depending on where it is going it can take several days for the transaction to clear on the other end, and the receiver also has to pay a fee.

    An alternate idea is now being offered, and very actively pursued all over the world. It is based on the sharing of a general ledger by all participants in a network, each with their own ledger, which instantly updates to reflect changes in the general ledger for all participants. Instead of going to the Bank I have a app to deposit funds and they are immediately available if you are a member of the network. My deposit gets certified automatically, so instead of days minutes, instead of middlemen getting $70 dollars or so in fees, the transaction costs less than a cent. It is machine to machine/software driven.

    Here are a couple of videos that explain the concept. The first one gives the basic explanation, the next one is a Google lecture which details why Blockchain is so advantageous and how it will change our lives in the coming years.

    https://youtu.be/93E_GzvpMA0
    https://youtu.be/3PdO7zVqOwc

    The blockchain general ledger does not have to be confined to cash, any commodity, including such land titles or music licensing can be handled by the block chain, so when a rapper samples Little Richard, a percentage of the licensing fee associated with the song can be paid to whomever holds the license.

    The Google video indicates that approximately 2.5 billion people don't have a Bank account and they have no way to transfer funds currently, which severely limits their chances for economic improvement. mobility and equality.

    I have been reading more and more about this paradigm and it seems to picking up speed all over the world.
  • Barry Etheridge
    349
    So how many shares have you got in this?
  • StreetlightX
    3.8k
    Blockchain tech was and is actually the basis of bitcoin, and was in use as such before the accounting boffins got a hold of it. Since they did though, there's been heaps of money poured into making it the basis of commercial accounting systems, and it'll be interesting to see if it does end up revolutionizing that industry.
  • Barry Etheridge
    349


    Yeah, but what's it got to do with philosophy?
  • StreetlightX
    3.8k
    What's the point of your contribution to this thread other than to be a prat?
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    I am not sure about the Philosophical implications, however anything with the potential to affect as many people as this new technology may effect ought to be reviewed. It may be worth your while to understand it.

    The structure of the networks is interesting in itself. It reminds me of neural networks with nodes, & some of those nodes actually do the verification process.

    Also the Marxian interpretation of productions, alienation, value exchange and the rest...mathematics replacement of trust in value exchange.
  • Barry Etheridge
    349


    Then why post in Philosophy of Science which would seem to be the least appropriate place for it?
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Because ultimately it is about mechanical systems and software, and how technology and the rest is affecting our life style, and how this can be interpreted. It seemed to fit. The Blockchain is dubbed as the next great technology.
  • m-theory
    1.1k

    There are issues with the blockchain that concern me.
    The first issue is privacy, it is possible to monitor each transaction of the blockchain.
    The second issue relates to resources, as the blockchain grows it takes increassing computing power to produce transactions and increasing memory to store the information of the ledger.

    The promise of blockchain decentralization is somewhat misleading because of this.
    For example blockchain proponents claim that the blockchain will decentralize transactions but because it will cost more resources to process the transactions of a blockchain it will mean that current centralized organization, that can afford the expensive mining rigs, will remain advantaged compared to the average consumer.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    Yes privacy is a concern but I understand they are trying to make anonymous systems (I read that Goldman Sack has such a system). Since everyone on the network is aware of the transaction when it is made, this also helps secure the transaction. I read that a truly operational Blockchain system is very difficult to hack, that if it had been in place, the 80 million dollar Bangladesh hack would not have been possible.

    The speed, safety, and the cost of doing transaction will determine whether all the money currently being thrown at this system will pay off. The issues you bring up about size and anonymity are real issues but I get the impression that it is just a matter of time, and apparently a lot of money thinks it is worth their investment to overcome these issues.

    The uses of this system goes beyond the transfer of money, any transactions that require independent confirmations can be accomplished using Blockchain.
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    I read that a truly operational Blockchain system is very difficult to hack, that if it had been in place, the 80 million dollar Bangladesh hack would not have been possible.Cavacava
    Bitcoin was hacked, I am sure it was difficult but really the person cannot spend what they stole without exposing themselves, so basically the stole money that they can spend without fear of being traced.
    http://www.coindesk.com/bitfinex-bitcoin-hack-know-dont-know/
    The speed, safety, and the cost of doing transaction will determine whether all the money currently being thrown at this system will pay off. The issues you bring up about size and anonymity are real issues but I get the impression that it is just a matter of time, and apparently a lot of money thinks it is worth their investment to overcome these issues.Cavacava

    If you used a digital currency like bitcoin does, then this means as you mine the currency the system demands increase more and more until only people with extremely powerful computers can mine for the coin in a reasonable amount of time.
    But I watched one of your vids and he suggested just using the blockcahin for transactions only.
    That would be more reasonable but it would still cost a lot of memory to maintain the ledger.
    Imagine billions of people generating multipul transactions a day.
    That is a lot of information that would have to be stored and it would continue to grow, you would have to remember all the old transactions, and each new one.
    It could quickly become more of a demand than personal computers could handle in terms of memory.
    Which would mean you would have to create centralization to store that information in server farms like we do now.
    This would then begin to eliminate the benefits of the blockchain.
  • JJJJS
    207
    Cryptocurrency is all the rage right now, but I don't understand it.. Does anyone know the benefits of investing in Cryptocurrency?
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Bitcoin went from $580.00 US to $3000 US last year, so no stable track record, but it does have great potential...it could be a world-wide currency in the future, taking place of the dollar...but it needs a much longer track record. I'm not sure about all of Kurzweil's ideas (2045?!), but I think his position on this is sound.

    http://www.coindesk.com/googles-director-engineering-wont-invest-bitcoin/
  • JJJJS
    207
    Thanks for the link, going to send it to a few Kool-aid drinking friends. Also, 'Ethereum' sounds like an element
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Accenture, Microsoft team up on blockchain-based digital ID network in effort to reach the UN goal 2030 Sustainable Development Goal of providing legal identity for everyone on the planet. Here

    Having a digital identity is a basic human right.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    My understanding is that nobody knows right now whether blockchain will be a genuine disruptor that mostly replaces existing payment systems, or a fad that withers away. But for as long as there is potential for the former - and currently most believe there is - financial institutions, software companies and financial regulators are all investing in understanding and experimenting with it so that they don't get left flat-footed if it takes off. So far it hasn't, but that doesn't mean it won't.
  • T Clark
    3.7k
    I have been reading more and more about this paradigm and it seems to picking up speed all over the world.Cavacava

    I have heard about blockchains but never knew what they were. Thanks for the lesson.
  • Benkei
    2k
    This. I work in the financial industry and the energy cost along with the increased time it will take the more people make use of the same blockchain system, is why the blockchain has very serious issues. Miners aren't regulated either, so theoretically, if someone can resolve 50+% of the block, it's possible to corrupt that block.

    It's basically overkill to have it fully distributed. Why not a ledger distributed among a few (3 is enough!) and the ability to check it publicly?

    The Google video indicates that approximately 2.5 billion people don't have a Bank account and they have no way to transfer funds currently, which severely limits their chances for economic improvement. mobility and equality.Cavacava

    Check out Venmo. There's other payment methods out there that are similar.
  • Dzung
    45
    Let's get it straight. Are you interested in Bitcoin or in Blockchain? they are related but not the same thing.
    Blockchain is merely a new technology as any other new things, it should be and has been praised.
    Bitcoin went from $580.00 US to $3000 US last yearCavacava
    now this may be the interest down at the bottom of the heart - Bitcoin B? We are having more data about its fever just now so we don't need to search for more phenomenal symbols. The philosophy of something can only emerge after a good time of experience. We are at times of it taking off with a lot of big figures (like Bill Gates) applauding it so a few sharp declines are just making people more greedy just like on a roller coaster. We are yet to face its drama, or at least the other side of the coin. No philosophy is reliable as of yet. Nevertheless,
    At first before discussing anything, we need to agree what it is. Ignoring the plain facts that everyone knows and virtually no questions about it, we can look at some more disputable aspects:
    1. Its name - Bitcoin: well a farther can give any name to his son, just as in this case. However, legitimate coins are only valid by national banks or certain authorities. It's certainly yet to be a coin in this sense. This is regardless of its factual crypto-currency status. Historians may help recall the age where no governments were and people used barter exchange systems. However still unverifiable whether nobody influenced such a system. Nowadays if it's not governed by a legitimate body, then by a black society for sure. "Black" here means invisible, untraceable or even unimaginable.
    2. Implications of the name: freedom of any censorship, modern social currency in much the same hails you gave to Facebook, saviors for the poor as hinted by Bill Gates when he talked about its low costs.
    3. Its behaviors: you need to be a researcher to document about this sufficiently. While I am not, I will just focus on its price chart and it looks exactly like any other speculative assets in the large scale. Interests on this aspect need more than common knowledge therefore I don't go further unless there's more discussions around it.
    Another vague aspect is on its social merit, I am still wondering where's the equality for women and the poor, according to this demographics https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-user-demographics-european-males-age-25-34/
    Now is it enough to call it what it is?
  • ssu
    1.5k
    My understanding is that nobody knows right now whether blockchain will be a genuine disruptor that mostly replaces existing payment systems, or a fad that withers away. But for as long as there is potential for the former - and currently most believe there is - financial institutions, software companies and financial regulators are all investing in understanding and experimenting with it so that they don't get left flat-footed if it takes off. So far it hasn't, but that doesn't mean it won't.andrewk
    Yep.

    This is one thing which the cryptocurrency believers talking about a new paradigm usually don't assume: that the new technology is simply harnessed by excisting financial service providers. The little thing still is that people have their money in banks and above all, get loans from banks. Let's not forget that the payment system has dramatically changed even now. The idea that existing payment systems hasn't changed much is ridiculous. I would think it wouldn't be far fetched that soon any bank transfer or payment to anywhere would be settled in nanoseconds, not days.

    We really have to separate here the totally crazy hype thanks to the speculative bubble around Bitcoin, which actually hasn't anything to do with the technology, just like during the times of the dot com bubble hadn't something to do with the underlying technology back then.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    I wonder whether the confusion between blockchain and Bitcoin may be partly fuelling the Bitcoin price bubble. It seems possible that blockchain may become the dominant currency mechanism, and completely disrupt existing currency mechanisms. But if that were to happen, it doesn't imply that Bitcoin will soar further in price. It may even mean that Bitcoin crashes and disappears.

    A limited but perhaps useful analogy is between the internet (for blockchain) and Cisco (for Bitcoin). People speculated in the nineties about whether the internet would completely disrupt existing communications technologies, and the prices of internet stocks were bid up to ridiculous-seeming levels as a result. Cisco was one such stock. STarting at around $1 in the early nineties, it hit a high of $80 in the late nineties. THen it crashed. It didn't disappear, but it is currently at $40, around half the late nineties high.

    So Cisco didn't end up becoming the goldmine stock that many were hoping - although those that bought in 1995 and sold in 1998 would have done tremendously well.

    Yet the internet has indeed proved to be an enormous disruptor of communication technology.

    But you couldn't buy shares in 'the internet', and we can't buy shares in 'blockchain'. And buying Bitcoin is a very poor proxy for investing in the eventual success of blockchain.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    I wonder whether the confusion between blockchain and Bitcoin may be partly fuelling the Bitcoin price bubble. It seems possible that blockchain may become the dominant currency mechanism, and completely disrupt existing currency mechanisms. But if that were to happen, it doesn't imply that Bitcoin will soar further in price. It may even mean that Bitcoin crashes and disappears.andrewk

    I'd say it's a combination of Bitcoin being first to make it to the market with a semi-tangible good (meaning that it is convertible through barter or trade). Someone said around here, can't remember who it might have been you actually, that there were more efficient and better variations of bitcoin devised subsequently to its development. Bitcoin being first must have been that enabling factor for exclusive adoption, which devalues the rest of the competition.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    What do you guys and gals think about what these hoards of bitcoin that drug cartels have and hackers have are going to do? Do they just buy gold and convert it to cash and then launder from them using other methods?
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