Bitcoin Q&A, responses to Bitcoin skeptics.

I frequently talk with people regarding Bitcoin. I have noticed that skeptics tend to ask the same questions. I thought it would be useful to compile the top questions and concerns of Bitcoin skeptics Anyone can create a new digital currency in seconds by copying/forking Bitcoin’s source code. Therefore Bitcoin has no value. Bitcoin’s value over other cryptocurrencies is the network: users, miners, merchants, developers. You can create a new cryptocurrency in very little time, but to build an entire ecosystem around it takes effort and time. The analogy I like to use is as follows: you could probably create a copy of Facebook (there is open source social network software). However can you have 1 billion + users? Of

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BIP91 & SegWit2x Lock-in, Activation

There seems to be a lot of confusion about BIP91, SegWit, SegWit2x timelines lock-in and activation dates. This is a quick explainer. BIP91 Explained BIP91 Forces signalling for BIP141. 269/336 blocks are required to lock BIP91 in. Current BIP91 period started at block 476448. If at block 476783 we have 269 blocks that signalled bit 4, then bip91 will be locked-in. Once that (lock-in) happens BIP91 will be activated 336 blocks later (roughly two and one third of a day). BIP91-enabled nodes will reject blocks that do not signal BIP141. BIP91 was devised to avoid BIP148 activation. Once signaling BIP141 becomes “mandatory” we still need to have enough votes for BIP141 to lock it in and activate it. Lock-in happens after

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Blockchains: Empowering Individuals or Corporations?

TWO MAIN TYPES Not all blockchains are created equal. Some empower individuals, others profit corporations. This article takes a look at who benefits and why. Of course, the world isn’t neatly divided into two categories: people and corporations. Companies are composed of individuals after all. However, the interests of people, in contrast to corporate motivations, may be a useful framework for understanding two primary types of blockchains: “public” and “private”—or perhaps, “public” and “corporate”, is a more apt depiction. Let’s first cover some basic terminology to better make sense of blockchains and how they are used in real-world applications. BLOCKCHAIN JARGON A blockchain is simply a special type of database—one that is usually replicated and distributed amongst numerous interested parties.

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Code != Law

by Dr Bryant Joseph GILOT Code is Cruel generated criticism and discussion which I read with great interest. Ethereum: What’s the fuss? shows my enthusiasm for the Ethereum Project. Below, I continue the conversation. The Current Situation The DAO was hacked on 17 June 2016.  The Ethereum Community voted for the soft fork proposed by the Ethereum Foundation only to abort it due to a denial of service vulnerability.  A hard fork is now widely viewed as the best approach to recover the ‘stolen’ funds.  The DarkDAO is subject to a 27 day holding period under the terms of the DAO Ethereum contract.  This will prevent the DarkDAO from being drained until 27 days after 17 June 2016.  I have not confirmed the exact moment

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DAO Dilemma: Hard Fork or No Fork

Why I changed my mind and now endorse a hard fork Introduction This post is inspired by a live discussion led by Andreas Antonopoulos on June 29, covering the most recent developments in TheDAO and Ethereum. This excellent discussion can be viewed in its entirety here. The opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the panelists or other researchers at CryptoIQ. In the spirit of full- disclosure, I own both DAO tokens and ether. Nothing here should be construed as investment advice. A Costly Experiment Shortly after TheDAO hack came to light, and it became evident there is an unintended flaw in the code, allowing an unscrupulous party to enrich itself at

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Code is Cruel

by Dr Bryant Joseph GILOT – 19 June 2016 Recent events at the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) are unfortunate. Despite the gravity of the consequences; we, the cryptocurrency community, must be certain to proceed in a very thoughtful, prudent and deliberate manner. A reactive and emotional response will have a long lasting impact on the entire cryptocurrency community, including Bitcoin. I wish to offer my condolences to all those who have been negatively impacted. What has happened has been perpetrated by a cruel individual or individuals, is unfair, and is not consistent with the true spirit of the DAO smart contract code. A vulnerability of the DAO contract code has been exploited causing the DAO, its courageous participants and the

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Bitcoin Privacy & Traceability #001- Untraceable bitcoin Transfer

Recently I have been thinking about privacy in Bitcoin. It seems to me that the general public is not clear as to what degree of financial privacy comes with Bitcoin. As a result i have decided to start another series of posts to talk about Bitcoin privacy. Perhaps the first post should have been about the very basics. However, I felt compelled to point out a way to transfer bitcoins in a way that it is untraceable. There is one caveat, it is between parties that trust each other. So technically the title should have been “Untraceable bitcoin transfer between trusted parties”. We can transfer bitcoins using the blockchain, that is send them from one address to another. By doing

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The DAO Ka-Ching!

The Yin and Yang of Crypto Speculation “Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub; It is the center hole that makes it useful. Shape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful. Cut doors and windows for a room; It is the holes which make it useful. Therefore profit comes from what is there; Usefulness from what is not there.” [1] In Crypto We Trust Ka-ching! The DAO is big news in the startup world, shattering previous records for crowdfunding ventures [2]. With still another two days to go before the offering closes, The DAO has raised an astonishing sum, about $143 million so far, denominated in ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency of the open source Ethereum

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Coding for Better Regulatory Outcomes in The Internet Age of Bitcoin and Blockchains

Background From globally diverse legal perspectives, the current regulations affecting Bitcoin and blockchains are quite disparate, ranging on the spectrum from laissez-faire to outright prohibition, enforced with severe criminal penalties. The conundrum, however, lies with the fact that Bitcoin and blockchains are really an extension of the ever more ubiquitous Internet, albeit a radical extension, permitting digital value to be transmitted peer-to-peer, and diminishing the need for third-party intermediaries, who too often exploit their power and privilege. Given that access to the Internet is proclaimed as a fundamental human right by the UN [1], and that non-profit initiatives from high-profile tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are on a mission to bring the Internet to all corners of

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Decentralized Autonomous Organizations from a legal perspective.

Smart contracts are an idea that date back to the 1990’s [1]. Until very recently and practically speaking even now smart contracts are difficult if not impossible to create in practice. The implementation of a decentralized, trustless public ledger provided an important component for smart contracts to become practically viable. Some thinkers have taken the idea further and envisioned corporations or non-profit organizations structured as smart contracts. In 2014 a project called Ethereum [3][4] set out to create a platform devoted to smart contracts bringing smart contracts a step closer to reality. Ethereum went live on July 30 2015 [5]. It is now possible to create in code (or with visual tools) a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) [8] on the

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New Internet Technologies To Remedy The Unfairness of Clickwrap Contracts

“Courts do not enforce consumer-proffered online terms as enforceable contractual terms, but they also do not admit that this is what they are doing. Courts instead exclude the consumer preference from the four corners of the online agreement. What the company wrote is “the contract,” and the expression of consumer preference is simply not part of that contract. Courts manipulate the contours of the contractual agreement to exclude expressions of consumer preference in online agreements. If, however, consumers were able to somehow express their preferences unmistakably within the contours of what courts consider to be the online agreement, then courts would have no choice but to recognize consumer-proffered online contract terms. Instead of just clicking “I Agree,” consumers could actually

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