- To understand the power of blockchain systems, and the things they can do, it is important to distinguish between three things that are commonly muddled up, namely the bitcoin currency, the specific blockchain that underpins it and the idea of blockchains in general.
- Bitcoin’s blockchain ledger prevents double-spending and keeps track of transactions continuously.
- Dozens of startups now hope to capitalise on the blockchain technology, either by doing clever things with the bitcoin blockchain or by creating new blockchains of their own (see article ).
- These new blockchains need not work in exactly the way that bitcoin’s does.
- New chains on the block
The spread of blockchains is bad for anyone in the “trust business”—the centralised institutions and bureaucracies, such as banks, clearing houses and government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions.
BITCOIN has a bad reputation. The decentralised digital cryptocurrency, powered by a vast computer network, is notorious for the wild fluctuations in its value, the zeal of its supporters and its degenerate uses, such as extortion, buying drugs and hiring hitmen in the online bazaars of the “dark net”.
This is unfair.
@MartinUetz: The trust machine (via @pocket)
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