blockchain

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Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, basic income, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lifelogging, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

and popular culture, Bitcoin Culture: Bitfilm Festival pricing, Relation to Fiat Currency terminology, Currency, Token, Tokenizing Web metaphor, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts Bitcoin Association of Berkeley, Campuscoin Bitcoin terminology, Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency BitDrop, Coin Drops as a Strategy for Public Adoption Bitfilm Festival, Bitcoin Culture: Bitfilm Festival bitFlyer, Dapps Bithandle, Digital Identity Verification BitID, Digital Identity Verification-Digital Identity Verification Bitmessage, Dapps BitMixer, eWallet Services and Personal Cryptosecurity Bitnotar, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit BitPay, Merchant Acceptance of Bitcoin, Financial Services Bitreserve, Relation to Fiat Currency BitShare, Relation to Fiat Currency, Blockchain 2.0 Protocol Projects BitTorrent, The Double-Spend and Byzantine Generals’ Computing Problems, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation block chain cryptography, The Double-Spend and Byzantine Generals’ Computing Problems block explorers, The Double-Spend and Byzantine Generals’ Computing Problems Block.io, Blockchain Development Platforms and APIs Blockchain 1.0, Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency-Regulatory Status (see also currency) practical use, Summary: Blockchain 1.0 in Practical Use-Regulatory Status technology stack, Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency-Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency Blockchain 2.0, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts-The Blockchain as a Path to Artificial Intelligence (see also contracts) applications beyond currency, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts-Blockchain 2.0: Contracts origins and applications overview, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts-Blockchain 2.0: Contracts protocol projects, Blockchain 2.0 Protocol Projects Blockchain 3.0, Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity-Societal Maturity Impact of Blockchain Governance (see also justice applications) academic publishing, Blockchain Academic Publishing: Journalcoin-Blockchain Academic Publishing: Journalcoin (see also publishing, academic) for censorship-resistant governance, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models consumer genomics applications, Blockchain Genomics-Genomecoin, GenomicResearchcoin (see also genomics, consumer) decentralized DNS system, Namecoin: Decentralized Domain Name System-Decentralized DNS Functionality Beyond Free Speech: Digital Identity digital art, Digital Art: Blockchain Attestation Services (Notary, Intellectual Property Protection)-Personal Thinking Blockchains (see also digital art) digital identity verification, Digital Identity Verification-Digital Divide of Bitcoin freedom and empowerment potential of, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models-Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models health-related applications, Blockchain Health (see also health) and Internet administration, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models learning applications, Blockchain Learning: Bitcoin MOOCs and Smart Contract Literacy-Learning Contract Exchanges (see also learning and literacy) science applications, Blockchain Science: Gridcoin, Foldingcoin-Charity Donations and the Blockchain—Sean’s Outpost as transnational governance structure, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models-Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models blockchain application progression, Dapps, DAOs, DACs, and DASs: Increasingly Autonomous Smart Contracts blockchain archival system, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation blockchain attestation services, Digital Art: Blockchain Attestation Services (Notary, Intellectual Property Protection)-Personal Thinking Blockchains (see also digital art) automated digital asset protection, Digital Asset Proof as an Automated Feature benefits, Proof of Existence Bitnotar, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit Chronobit, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit contract services, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit hashing and timestamping, Hashing Plus Timestamping-Limitations, Batched Notary Chains as a Class of Blockchain Infrastructure limitations, Limitations notary chains, Batched Notary Chains as a Class of Blockchain Infrastructure personal thinking chains, Personal Thinking Blockchains-Personal Thinking Blockchains Proof of Existence, Proof of Existence-Limitations Virtual Notary, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit blockchain development platforms, Blockchain Development Platforms and APIs blockchain ecosystem, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation-Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation blockchain government, Blockchain Government-Societal Maturity Impact of Blockchain Governance (see also governance) blockchain interoperability, Technical Challenges blockchain neutrality, Blockchain Neutrality blockchain technology, Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity-Blockchain Layer Could Facilitate Big Data’s Predictive Task Automation administrative potential of, Blockchain Technology Could Be Used in the Administration of All Quanta and artificial intelligence, The Blockchain as a Path to Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain AI: Consensus as the Mechanism to Foster “Friendly” AI-Smart Contract Advocates on Behalf of Digital Intelligence application to fundamental economic principles, Fundamental Economic Principles: Discovery, Value Attribution, and Exchange-Fundamental Economic Principles: Discovery, Value Attribution, and Exchange applications for, Preface-Blockchain 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, M2M/IoT Bitcoin Payment Network to Enable the Machine Economy-Mainstream Adoption: Trust, Usability, Ease of Use appropriate uses, The Blockchain Is Not for Every Situation-The Blockchain Is Not for Every Situation as complementary technology, Conclusion capabilities of, The Blockchain Is an Information Technology concept and overview, What Is the Blockchain?

Blockchain 3.0: Justice Applications Beyond Currency, Economics, and Markets Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity Extensibility of Blockchain Technology Concepts Fundamental Economic Principles: Discovery, Value Attribution, and Exchange Blockchain Technology Could Be Used in the Administration of All Quanta Blockchain Layer Could Facilitate Big Data’s Predictive Task Automation Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models Namecoin: Decentralized Domain Name System Challenges and Other Decentralized DNS Services Freedom of Speech/Anti-Censorship Applications: Alexandria and Ostel Decentralized DNS Functionality Beyond Free Speech: Digital Identity Digital Identity Verification Blockchain Neutrality Digital Divide of Bitcoin Digital Art: Blockchain Attestation Services (Notary, Intellectual Property Protection) Hashing Plus Timestamping Proof of Existence Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit Monegraph: Online Graphics Protection Digital Asset Proof as an Automated Feature Batched Notary Chains as a Class of Blockchain Infrastructure Personal Thinking Blockchains Blockchain Government Decentralized Governance Services PrecedentCoin: Blockchain Dispute Resolution Liquid Democracy and Random-Sample Elections Random-Sample Elections Futarchy: Two-Step Democracy with Voting + Prediction Markets Societal Maturity Impact of Blockchain Governance 4. Blockchain 3.0: Efficiency and Coordination Applications Beyond Currency, Economics, and Markets Blockchain Science: Gridcoin, Foldingcoin Community Supercomputing Global Public Health: Bitcoin for Contagious Disease Relief Charity Donations and the Blockchain—Sean’s Outpost Blockchain Genomics Blockchain Genomics 2.0: Industrialized All-Human-Scale Sequencing Solution Blockchain Technology as a Universal Order-of-Magnitude Progress Model Genomecoin, GenomicResearchcoin Blockchain Health Healthcoin EMRs on the Blockchain: Personal Health Record Storage Blockchain Health Research Commons Blockchain Health Notary Doctor Vendor RFP Services and Assurance Contracts Virus Bank, Seed Vault Backup Blockchain Learning: Bitcoin MOOCs and Smart Contract Literacy Learncoin Learning Contract Exchanges Blockchain Academic Publishing: Journalcoin The Blockchain Is Not for Every Situation Centralization-Decentralization Tension and Equilibrium 5.

and popular culture, Bitcoin Culture: Bitfilm Festival pricing, Relation to Fiat Currency terminology, Currency, Token, Tokenizing Web metaphor, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts Bitcoin Association of Berkeley, Campuscoin Bitcoin terminology, Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency BitDrop, Coin Drops as a Strategy for Public Adoption Bitfilm Festival, Bitcoin Culture: Bitfilm Festival bitFlyer, Dapps Bithandle, Digital Identity Verification BitID, Digital Identity Verification-Digital Identity Verification Bitmessage, Dapps BitMixer, eWallet Services and Personal Cryptosecurity Bitnotar, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit BitPay, Merchant Acceptance of Bitcoin, Financial Services Bitreserve, Relation to Fiat Currency BitShare, Relation to Fiat Currency, Blockchain 2.0 Protocol Projects BitTorrent, The Double-Spend and Byzantine Generals’ Computing Problems, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation block chain cryptography, The Double-Spend and Byzantine Generals’ Computing Problems block explorers, The Double-Spend and Byzantine Generals’ Computing Problems Block.io, Blockchain Development Platforms and APIs Blockchain 1.0, Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency-Regulatory Status (see also currency) practical use, Summary: Blockchain 1.0 in Practical Use-Regulatory Status technology stack, Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency-Technology Stack: Blockchain, Protocol, Currency Blockchain 2.0, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts-The Blockchain as a Path to Artificial Intelligence (see also contracts) applications beyond currency, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts-Blockchain 2.0: Contracts origins and applications overview, Blockchain 2.0: Contracts-Blockchain 2.0: Contracts protocol projects, Blockchain 2.0 Protocol Projects Blockchain 3.0, Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity-Societal Maturity Impact of Blockchain Governance (see also justice applications) academic publishing, Blockchain Academic Publishing: Journalcoin-Blockchain Academic Publishing: Journalcoin (see also publishing, academic) for censorship-resistant governance, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models consumer genomics applications, Blockchain Genomics-Genomecoin, GenomicResearchcoin (see also genomics, consumer) decentralized DNS system, Namecoin: Decentralized Domain Name System-Decentralized DNS Functionality Beyond Free Speech: Digital Identity digital art, Digital Art: Blockchain Attestation Services (Notary, Intellectual Property Protection)-Personal Thinking Blockchains (see also digital art) digital identity verification, Digital Identity Verification-Digital Divide of Bitcoin freedom and empowerment potential of, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models-Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models health-related applications, Blockchain Health (see also health) and Internet administration, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models learning applications, Blockchain Learning: Bitcoin MOOCs and Smart Contract Literacy-Learning Contract Exchanges (see also learning and literacy) science applications, Blockchain Science: Gridcoin, Foldingcoin-Charity Donations and the Blockchain—Sean’s Outpost as transnational governance structure, Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models-Distributed Censorship-Resistant Organizational Models blockchain application progression, Dapps, DAOs, DACs, and DASs: Increasingly Autonomous Smart Contracts blockchain archival system, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation blockchain attestation services, Digital Art: Blockchain Attestation Services (Notary, Intellectual Property Protection)-Personal Thinking Blockchains (see also digital art) automated digital asset protection, Digital Asset Proof as an Automated Feature benefits, Proof of Existence Bitnotar, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit Chronobit, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit contract services, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit hashing and timestamping, Hashing Plus Timestamping-Limitations, Batched Notary Chains as a Class of Blockchain Infrastructure limitations, Limitations notary chains, Batched Notary Chains as a Class of Blockchain Infrastructure personal thinking chains, Personal Thinking Blockchains-Personal Thinking Blockchains Proof of Existence, Proof of Existence-Limitations Virtual Notary, Virtual Notary, Bitnotar, and Chronobit blockchain development platforms, Blockchain Development Platforms and APIs blockchain ecosystem, Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation-Blockchain Ecosystem: Decentralized Storage, Communication, and Computation blockchain government, Blockchain Government-Societal Maturity Impact of Blockchain Governance (see also governance) blockchain interoperability, Technical Challenges blockchain neutrality, Blockchain Neutrality blockchain technology, Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity-Blockchain Layer Could Facilitate Big Data’s Predictive Task Automation administrative potential of, Blockchain Technology Could Be Used in the Administration of All Quanta and artificial intelligence, The Blockchain as a Path to Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain AI: Consensus as the Mechanism to Foster “Friendly” AI-Smart Contract Advocates on Behalf of Digital Intelligence application to fundamental economic principles, Fundamental Economic Principles: Discovery, Value Attribution, and Exchange-Fundamental Economic Principles: Discovery, Value Attribution, and Exchange applications for, Preface-Blockchain 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, M2M/IoT Bitcoin Payment Network to Enable the Machine Economy-Mainstream Adoption: Trust, Usability, Ease of Use appropriate uses, The Blockchain Is Not for Every Situation-The Blockchain Is Not for Every Situation as complementary technology, Conclusion capabilities of, The Blockchain Is an Information Technology concept and overview, What Is the Blockchain?


pages: 430 words: 68,225

Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps by Daniel Drescher

bitcoin, blockchain, business process, central bank independence, collaborative editing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, job automation, linked data, peer-to-peer, place-making, Satoshi Nakamoto, smart contracts, transaction costs

• The transparency vs. privacy conflict has its root in the allocation of reading access rights to the blockchain-data-structure. • The security vs. speed conflict has its root in the allocation of writing access rights to the blockchain-data-structure. 220 Step 23 | Reinventing the Blockchain • Solving the transparency vs. privacy conflict led to the following versions of the blockchain: • Public blockchains grant reading access and the right to create new transactions to all users or nodes. • Private blockchains limit reading access and the right to create new transactions to a preselected group of users or nodes. • Solving the security vs. speed conflict led to the following versions of the blockchain: • Permissionless blockchains grant writing access to everyone. Every user or node can verify transaction data and create and add new blocks to the blockchain- data-structure

Conceptual Evolutions Conceptual evolutions are real advancements in the way the blockchain works, what services it offers, or how users interact with it. The most important areas of conceptual evolutions of the blockchain are: • Access rights • Privacy • Consensus • Transactions • Inventory data • Data structure Access Rights Restricting reading or writing access to the blockchain-data-structure has led to the development of different versions of the blockchain.6 As already explained in Step 23, combining different restrictions concerning the right to read data in the blockchain led to private and public blockchains, while restrictions on the right to write data into the blockchain led to the emergence of permissionless and permissioned blockchains. The emergence of four 3Croman, Kyle, et al. On scaling decentralized blockchains. In Proceedings of the 3rd workshop on Bitcoin and Blockchain Research. 2016. https://www.researchgate.net/ publication/292782219_On_Scaling_Decentralized_Blockchains_A_Position_ Paper; Buterin, Vitalik, Jeff Coleman, and Matthew Wampler-Doty.

While cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular are prominent applica- tions of the blockchain, this book explains the blockchain as a general tech- nology. This approach has been chosen in order to highlight generic concepts and technical patterns of the blockchain instead of focusing on a specific and narrow application case. Hence, this book is: • Not a text specifically about Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency • Not a text solely about one specific blockchain application • Not a text about proofing the mathematical foundations of the blockchain • Not a text about programming a blockchain • Not a text about the legal consequences and implications of the blockchain • Not a text about the social, economic, or ethical impacts of the blockchain on our society or humankind in general However, some of these points are addressed to some extent at appropriate points in this book.


pages: 161 words: 44,488

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar

Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, fixed income, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

That is how public blockchains grow. Bitcoin was that first public blockchain, and it inspired many others. Ethereum was another major public blockchain that has grown rapidly to establish itself as the second largest and significant public, multi-purpose blockchain. One of the primary differences between a public and private blockchain is that public blockchains typically have a generic purpose and are generally cheaper to use, whereas private blockchains have a more specific usage, and they are more expensive to set up because the cost is born by fewer owners. We can also expect special purpose public blockchains to emerge, for example, the Zcash one that promises to deliver total privacy. With the proliferation of public, private, semi-private, special purpose, and other types of blockchains, a world of millions of blockchains will be achievable.

CONTENTS Foreword Acknowledgments A Personal Preface Notes Introduction 1: What is the Blockchain? Visiting Satoshi’s Paper The Web, All Over Again One or Several Blockchains? Introduction to Blockchain Applications The Blockchain’s Narrative is Strong A Meta Technology Software, Game Theory and Cryptography The Database vs. The Ledger Looking Back So We Can Look Forward Unpacking the Blockchain State Transitions and State Machines— What Are They? The Consensus Algorithms Key Ideas from Chapter One Notes 2: How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates A New Trust Layer Decentralization of Trust—What Does it Mean? How Airbnb Designed Trust for Strangers A Spectrum of Trust Services Based on Proofs The Blockchain Landscape Benefits and Indirect Benefits Explaining Some Basic Functions What Does a Trusted Blockchain Enable? Identity Ownerships & Representation Decentralized Data Security Anonymity & Untraceable Communication Blockchain as Cloud Getting to Millions of Blockchains Key Ideas from Chapter Two Notes 3: Obstacles, Challenges, & Mental Blocks Attacking the Blockchain with a Framework Approach Technical Challenges Market/Business Challenges Legal /Regulatory Barriers Behavioral/Educational Challenges Key Ideas from Chapter Three Notes 4: Blockchain in Financial Services Attacked by the Internet and Fintech Why Can't There be a Global Bank?

This chapter is probably the most important in the book, because it attempts to offer a foundational explanation of the blockchain. It is the first stage of this book’s promise to give you a holistic view of the blockchain’s potential. Understanding blockchains is tricky. You need to understand their message before you can appreciate their potential. In addition to their technological capabilities, blockchains carry with them philosophical, cultural, and ideological underpinnings that must also be understood. Unless you’re a software developer, blockchains are not a product that you just turn on, and use. Blockchains will enable other products that you will use, while you may not know there is a blockchain behind them, just as you do not know the complexities behind what you are currently accessing on the Web. Once you start to imagine the blockchains’ possibilities on your own, without continuously thinking about trying to understand them at the same time, you will be in a different stage of your maturity for exploiting them.


Mastering Blockchain, Second Edition by Imran Bashir

3D printing, altcoin, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, connected car, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, Debian, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, full stack developer, general-purpose programming language, gravity well, interest rate swap, Internet of things, litecoin, loose coupling, MITM: man-in-the-middle, MVC pattern, Network effects, new economy, node package manager, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, platform as a service, prediction markets, QR code, RAND corporation, Real Time Gross Settlement, reversible computing, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, single page application, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, web application, x509 certificate

PacktPub.com Contributors About the author About the reviewer Packt is searching for authors like you Preface Who this book is for What this book covers To get the most out of this book Download the example code files Download the color images Conventions used Get in touch Reviews Blockchain 101 The growth of blockchain technology Distributed systems The history of blockchain and Bitcoin Electronic cash Blockchain Blockchain defined Peer-to-peer Distributed ledger Cryptographically-secure Append-only Updateable via consensus Generic elements of a blockchain How blockchain works How blockchain accumulates blocks Benefits and limitations of blockchain Tiers of blockchain technology Features of a blockchain Types of blockchain Distributed ledgers Distributed Ledger Technology Public blockchains Private blockchains Semiprivate blockchains Sidechains Permissioned ledger Shared ledger Fully private and proprietary blockchains Tokenized blockchains Tokenless blockchains Consensus Consensus mechanism Types of consensus mechanisms Consensus in blockchain CAP theorem and blockchain Summary Decentralization Decentralization using blockchain Methods of decentralization Disintermediation Contest-driven decentralization Routes to decentralization How to decentralize The decentralization framework example Blockchain and full ecosystem decentralization Storage Communication Computing power and decentralization Smart contracts Decentralized Organizations Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Decentralized Autonomous Corporations Decentralized Autonomous Societies Decentralized Applications (DApps) Requirements of a Decentralized Application Operations of a DApp DApp examples KYC-Chain OpenBazaar Lazooz Platforms for decentralization Ethereum MaidSafe Lisk Summary Symmetric Cryptography Working with the OpenSSL command line Introduction Mathematics Set Group Field A finite field Order An abelian group Prime fields Ring A cyclic group Modular arithmetic Cryptography Confidentiality Integrity Authentication Entity authentication Data origin authentication Non-repudiation Accountability Cryptographic primitives Symmetric cryptography Stream ciphers Block ciphers Block encryption mode Electronic Code Book Cipher Block Chaining Counter mode Keystream generation mode Message authentication mode Cryptographic hash mode Data Encryption Standard Advanced Encryption Standard How AES works Summary Public Key Cryptography Asymmetric cryptography Integer factorization Discrete logarithm Elliptic curves Public and private keys RSA Encryption and decryption using RSA Elliptic Curve Cryptography Mathematics behind ECC Point addition Point doubling Discrete logarithm problem in ECC RSA using OpenSSL RSA public and private key pair Private key Public key Exploring the public key Encryption and decryption Encryption Decryption ECC using OpenSSL ECC private and public key pair Private key Private key generation Hash functions Compression of arbitrary messages into fixed-length digest Easy to compute Preimage resistance Second preimage resistance Collision resistance Message Digest Secure Hash Algorithms Design of Secure Hash Algorithms Design of SHA-256 Design of SHA-3 (Keccak) OpenSSL example of hash functions Message Authentication Codes MACs using block ciphers Hash-based MACs Merkle trees Patricia trees Distributed Hash Tables Digital signatures RSA digital signature algorithm Sign then encrypt Encrypt then sign Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm How to generate a digital signature using OpenSSL ECDSA using OpenSSL Homomorphic encryption Signcryption Zero-Knowledge Proofs Blind signatures Encoding schemes Financial markets and trading Trading Exchanges Orders and order properties Order management and routing systems Components of a trade The underlying instrument General attributes Economics Sales Counterparty Trade life cycle Order anticipators Market manipulation Summary Introducing Bitcoin Bitcoin Bitcoin definition Bitcoin – a bird's-eye view Sending a payment to someone Digital keys and addresses Private keys in Bitcoin Public keys in Bitcoin Addresses in Bitcoin Base58Check encoding Vanity addresses Multisignature addresses Transactions The transaction life cycle Transaction fee Transaction pools The transaction data structure Metadata Inputs Outputs Verification The script language Commonly used opcodes Types of transactions Coinbase transactions Contracts Transaction verification Transaction malleability Blockchain The structure of a block The structure of a block header The genesis block Mining Tasks of the miners Mining rewards Proof of Work (PoW) The mining algorithm The hash rate Mining systems CPU GPU FPGA ASICs Mining pools Summary Bitcoin Network and Payments The Bitcoin network Wallets Non-deterministic wallets Deterministic wallets Hierarchical Deterministic wallets Brain wallets Paper wallets Hardware wallets Online wallets Mobile wallets Bitcoin payments Innovation in Bitcoin Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) Advanced protocols Segregated Witness (SegWit) Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin Unlimited Bitcoin Gold Bitcoin investment and buying and selling bitcoins Summary Bitcoin Clients and APIs Bitcoin installation Types of Bitcoin Core clients Bitcoind Bitcoin-cli Bitcoin-qt Setting up a Bitcoin node Setting up the source code Setting up bitcoin.conf Starting up a node in testnet Starting up a node in regtest Experimenting with Bitcoin-cli Bitcoin programming and the command-line interface Summary Alternative Coins Theoretical foundations Alternatives to Proof of Work Proof of Storage Proof of Stake (PoS) Various stake types Proof of coinage Proof of Deposit (PoD) Proof of Burn Proof of Activity (PoA) Nonoutsourceable puzzles Difficulty adjustment and retargeting algorithms Kimoto Gravity Well Dark Gravity Wave DigiShield MIDAS Bitcoin limitations Privacy and anonymity Mixing protocols Third-party mixing protocols Inherent anonymity Extended protocols on top of Bitcoin Colored coins Counterparty Development of altcoins Consensus algorithms Hashing algorithms Difficulty adjustment algorithms Inter-block time Block rewards Reward halving rate Block size and transaction size Interest rate Coinage Total supply of coins Namecoin Trading Namecoins Obtaining Namecoins Generating Namecoin records Litecoin Primecoin Trading Primecoin Mining guide Zcash Trading Zcash Mining guide Address generation GPU mining Downloading and compiling nheqminer Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) ERC20 tokens Summary Smart Contracts History Definition Ricardian contracts Smart contract templates Oracles Smart Oracles Deploying smart contracts on a blockchain The DAO Summary Ethereum 101 Introduction The yellow paper Useful mathematical symbols Ethereum blockchain Ethereum – bird's eye view The Ethereum network Mainnet Testnet Private net Components of the Ethereum ecosystem Keys and addresses Accounts Types of accounts Transactions and messages Contract creation transaction Message call transaction Messages Calls Transaction validation and execution The transaction substate State storage in the Ethereum blockchain The world state The account state Transaction receipts Ether cryptocurrency / tokens (ETC and ETH) The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Execution environment Machine state The iterator function Smart contracts Native contracts Summary Further Ethereum Programming languages Runtime bytecode Opcodes and their meaning Arithmetic operations Logical operations Cryptographic operations Environmental information Block information Stack, memory, storage, and flow operations Push operations Duplication operations Exchange operations Logging operations System operations Blocks and blockchain The genesis block The block validation mechanism Block finalization Block difficulty Gas Fee schedule Forks in the blockchain Nodes and miners The consensus mechanism Ethash CPU mining GPU mining Benchmarking Mining rigs Mining pools Wallets and client software Geth Eth Pyethapp Parity Light clients Installation Eth installation Mist browser Geth The geth console Funding the account with bitcoin Parity installation Creating accounts using the parity command line APIs, tools, and DApps Applications (DApps and DAOs) developed on Ethereum Tools Supporting protocols Whisper Swarm Scalability, security, and other challenges Trading and investment Summary Ethereum Development Environment Test networks Setting up a private net Network ID The genesis file Data directory Flags and their meaning Static nodes Starting up the private network Running Mist on private net Deploying contracts using Mist Block explorer for private net / local Ethereum block explorer Summary Development Tools and Frameworks Languages Compilers Solidity compiler (solc) Installation on Linux Installation on macOS Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) Remix Tools and libraries Node version 7 EthereumJS Ganache MetaMask Truffle Installation Contract development and deployment Writing Testing Solidity language Types Value types Boolean Integers Address Literals Integer literals String literals Hexadecimal literals Enums Function types Internal functions External functions Reference types Arrays Structs Data location Mappings Global variables Control structures Events  Inheritance Libraries Functions Layout of a Solidity source code file Version pragma Import Comments Summary Introducing Web3 Web3 Contract deployment POST requests The HTML and JavaScript frontend Installing web3.js Example Creating a web3 object Checking availability by calling any web3 method Contract functions Development frameworks Truffle Initializing Truffle Interaction with the contract Another example An example project – Proof of Idea Oracles Deployment on decentralized storage using IPFS Installing IPFS Distributed ledgers Summary Hyperledger Projects under Hyperledger Fabric Sawtooth Lake Iroha Burrow Indy Explorer Cello Composer Quilt Hyperledger as a protocol The reference architecture Requirements and design goals of Hyperledger Fabric The modular approach Privacy and confidentiality Scalability Deterministic transactions Identity Auditability Interoperability Portability Rich data queries Fabric Hyperledger Fabric Membership services Blockchain services Consensus services Distributed ledger The peer to peer protocol Ledger storage Chaincode services Components of the fabric Peers Orderer nodes Clients Channels World state database Transactions Membership Service Provider (MSP) Smart contracts Crypto service provider Applications on blockchain Chaincode implementation The application model Consensus in Hyperledger Fabric The transaction life cycle in Hyperledger Fabric Sawtooth Lake PoET Transaction families Consensus in Sawtooth The development environment – Sawtooth Lake Corda Architecture State objects Transactions Consensus Flows Components Nodes The permissioning service Network map service Notary service Oracle service Transactions Vaults CorDapp The development environment – Corda Summary Alternative Blockchains Blockchains Kadena Ripple Transactions Payments related Order related Account and security-related Interledger Application layer Transport layer Interledger layer Ledger layer Stellar Rootstock Sidechain Drivechain Quorum Transaction manager Crypto Enclave QuorumChain Network manager Tezos Storj MaidSafe BigchainDB MultiChain Tendermint Tendermint Core Tendermint Socket Protocol (TMSP) Platforms and frameworks Eris Summary Blockchain – Outside of Currencies Internet of Things Physical object layer Device layer Network layer Management layer Application layer IoT blockchain experiment First node setup Raspberry Pi node setup Installing Node.js Circuit Government Border control Voting Citizen identification (ID cards) Miscellaneous Health Finance Insurance Post-trade settlement Financial crime prevention Media Summary Scalability and Other Challenges Scalability Network plane Consensus plane Storage plane View plane Block size increase Block interval reduction Invertible Bloom Lookup Tables Sharding State channels Private blockchain Proof of Stake Sidechains Subchains Tree chains (trees) Block propagation Bitcoin-NG Plasma Privacy Indistinguishability Obfuscation Homomorphic encryption Zero-Knowledge Proofs State channels Secure multiparty computation Usage of hardware to provide confidentiality CoinJoin Confidential transactions MimbleWimble Security Smart contract security Formal verification and analysis Oyente tool Summary Current Landscape and What's Next Emerging trends Application-specific blockchains (ASBCs) Enterprise-grade blockchains Private blockchains Start-ups Strong research interest Standardization Enhancements Real-world implementations Consortia Answers to technical challenges Convergence Education of blockchain technology Employment Cryptoeconomics Research in cryptography New programming languages Hardware research and development Research in formal methods and security Alternatives to blockchains Interoperability efforts Blockchain as a Service Efforts to reduce electricity consumption Other challenges Regulation Dark side Blockchain research Smart contracts Centralization issues Limitations in cryptographic functions Consensus algorithms Scalability Code obfuscation Notable projects Zcash on Ethereum CollCo Cello Qtum Bitcoin-NG Solidus Hawk Town-Crier SETLCoin TEEChan Falcon Bletchley Casper Miscellaneous tools Solidity extension for Microsoft Visual Studio MetaMask Stratis Embark DAPPLE Meteor uPort INFURA Convergence with other industries Future Summary Another Book You May Enjoy Leave a review – let other readers know what you think Preface This book has one goal, to introduce theoretical and practical aspects of the blockchain technology.

Table of Contents Title Page Copyright and Credits Mastering Blockchain Second Edition Packt Upsell Why subscribe? PacktPub.com Contributors About the author About the reviewer Packt is searching for authors like you Preface Who this book is for What this book covers To get the most out of this book Download the example code files Download the color images Conventions used Get in touch Reviews Blockchain 101 The growth of blockchain technology Distributed systems The history of blockchain and Bitcoin Electronic cash Blockchain Blockchain defined Peer-to-peer Distributed ledger Cryptographically-secure Append-only Updateable via consensus Generic elements of a blockchain How blockchain works How blockchain accumulates blocks Benefits and limitations of blockchain Tiers of blockchain technology Features of a blockchain Types of blockchain Distributed ledgers Distributed Ledger Technology Public blockchains Private blockchains Semiprivate blockchains Sidechains Permissioned ledger Shared ledger Fully private and proprietary blockchains Tokenized blockchains Tokenless blockchains Consensus Consensus mechanism Types of consensus mechanisms Consensus in blockchain CAP theorem and blockchain Summary Decentralization Decentralization using blockchain Methods of decentralization Disintermediation Contest-driven decentralization Routes to decentralization How to decentralize The decentralization framework example Blockchain and full ecosystem decentralization Storage Communication Computing power and decentralization Smart contracts Decentralized Organizations Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Decentralized Autonomous Corporations Decentralized Autonomous Societies Decentralized Applications (DApps) Requirements of a Decentralized Application Operations of a DApp DApp examples KYC-Chain OpenBazaar Lazooz Platforms for decentralization Ethereum MaidSafe Lisk Summary Symmetric Cryptography Working with the OpenSSL command line Introduction Mathematics Set Group Field A finite field Order An abelian group Prime fields Ring A cyclic group Modular arithmetic Cryptography Confidentiality Integrity Authentication Entity authentication Data origin authentication Non-repudiation Accountability Cryptographic primitives Symmetric cryptography Stream ciphers Block ciphers Block encryption mode Electronic Code Book Cipher Block Chaining Counter mode Keystream generation mode Message authentication mode Cryptographic hash mode Data Encryption Standard Advanced Encryption Standard How AES works Summary Public Key Cryptography Asymmetric cryptography Integer factorization Discrete logarithm Elliptic curves Public and private keys RSA Encryption and decryption using RSA Elliptic Curve Cryptography Mathematics behind ECC Point addition Point doubling Discrete logarithm problem in ECC RSA using OpenSSL RSA public and private key pair Private key Public key Exploring the public key Encryption and decryption Encryption Decryption ECC using OpenSSL ECC private and public key pair Private key Private key generation Hash functions Compression of arbitrary messages into fixed-length digest Easy to compute Preimage resistance Second preimage resistance Collision resistance Message Digest Secure Hash Algorithms Design of Secure Hash Algorithms Design of SHA-256 Design of SHA-3 (Keccak) OpenSSL example of hash functions Message Authentication Codes MACs using block ciphers Hash-based MACs Merkle trees Patricia trees Distributed Hash Tables Digital signatures RSA digital signature algorithm Sign then encrypt Encrypt then sign Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm How to generate a digital signature using OpenSSL ECDSA using OpenSSL Homomorphic encryption Signcryption Zero-Knowledge Proofs Blind signatures Encoding schemes Financial markets and trading Trading Exchanges Orders and order properties Order management and routing systems Components of a trade The underlying instrument General attributes Economics Sales Counterparty Trade life cycle Order anticipators Market manipulation Summary Introducing Bitcoin Bitcoin Bitcoin definition Bitcoin – a bird's-eye view Sending a payment to someone Digital keys and addresses Private keys in Bitcoin Public keys in Bitcoin Addresses in Bitcoin Base58Check encoding Vanity addresses Multisignature addresses Transactions The transaction life cycle Transaction fee Transaction pools The transaction data structure Metadata Inputs Outputs Verification The script language Commonly used opcodes Types of transactions Coinbase transactions Contracts Transaction verification Transaction malleability Blockchain The structure of a block The structure of a block header The genesis block Mining Tasks of the miners Mining rewards Proof of Work (PoW) The mining algorithm The hash rate Mining systems CPU GPU FPGA ASICs Mining pools Summary Bitcoin Network and Payments The Bitcoin network Wallets Non-deterministic wallets Deterministic wallets Hierarchical Deterministic wallets Brain wallets Paper wallets Hardware wallets Online wallets Mobile wallets Bitcoin payments Innovation in Bitcoin Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) Advanced protocols Segregated Witness (SegWit) Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin Unlimited Bitcoin Gold Bitcoin investment and buying and selling bitcoins Summary Bitcoin Clients and APIs Bitcoin installation Types of Bitcoin Core clients Bitcoind Bitcoin-cli Bitcoin-qt Setting up a Bitcoin node Setting up the source code Setting up bitcoin.conf Starting up a node in testnet Starting up a node in regtest Experimenting with Bitcoin-cli Bitcoin programming and the command-line interface Summary Alternative Coins Theoretical foundations Alternatives to Proof of Work Proof of Storage Proof of Stake (PoS) Various stake types Proof of coinage Proof of Deposit (PoD) Proof of Burn Proof of Activity (PoA) Nonoutsourceable puzzles Difficulty adjustment and retargeting algorithms Kimoto Gravity Well Dark Gravity Wave DigiShield MIDAS Bitcoin limitations Privacy and anonymity Mixing protocols Third-party mixing protocols Inherent anonymity Extended protocols on top of Bitcoin Colored coins Counterparty Development of altcoins Consensus algorithms Hashing algorithms Difficulty adjustment algorithms Inter-block time Block rewards Reward halving rate Block size and transaction size Interest rate Coinage Total supply of coins Namecoin Trading Namecoins Obtaining Namecoins Generating Namecoin records Litecoin Primecoin Trading Primecoin Mining guide Zcash Trading Zcash Mining guide Address generation GPU mining Downloading and compiling nheqminer Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) ERC20 tokens Summary Smart Contracts History Definition Ricardian contracts Smart contract templates Oracles Smart Oracles Deploying smart contracts on a blockchain The DAO Summary Ethereum 101 Introduction The yellow paper Useful mathematical symbols Ethereum blockchain Ethereum – bird's eye view The Ethereum network Mainnet Testnet Private net Components of the Ethereum ecosystem Keys and addresses Accounts Types of accounts Transactions and messages Contract creation transaction Message call transaction Messages Calls Transaction validation and execution The transaction substate State storage in the Ethereum blockchain The world state The account state Transaction receipts Ether cryptocurrency / tokens (ETC and ETH) The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Execution environment Machine state The iterator function Smart contracts Native contracts Summary Further Ethereum Programming languages Runtime bytecode Opcodes and their meaning Arithmetic operations Logical operations Cryptographic operations Environmental information Block information Stack, memory, storage, and flow operations Push operations Duplication operations Exchange operations Logging operations System operations Blocks and blockchain The genesis block The block validation mechanism Block finalization Block difficulty Gas Fee schedule Forks in the blockchain Nodes and miners The consensus mechanism Ethash CPU mining GPU mining Benchmarking Mining rigs Mining pools Wallets and client software Geth Eth Pyethapp Parity Light clients Installation Eth installation Mist browser Geth The geth console Funding the account with bitcoin Parity installation Creating accounts using the parity command line APIs, tools, and DApps Applications (DApps and DAOs) developed on Ethereum Tools Supporting protocols Whisper Swarm Scalability, security, and other challenges Trading and investment Summary Ethereum Development Environment Test networks Setting up a private net Network ID The genesis file Data directory Flags and their meaning Static nodes Starting up the private network Running Mist on private net Deploying contracts using Mist Block explorer for private net / local Ethereum block explorer Summary Development Tools and Frameworks Languages Compilers Solidity compiler (solc) Installation on Linux Installation on macOS Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) Remix Tools and libraries Node version 7 EthereumJS Ganache MetaMask Truffle Installation Contract development and deployment Writing Testing Solidity language Types Value types Boolean Integers Address Literals Integer literals String literals Hexadecimal literals Enums Function types Internal functions External functions Reference types Arrays Structs Data location Mappings Global variables Control structures Events  Inheritance Libraries Functions Layout of a Solidity source code file Version pragma Import Comments Summary Introducing Web3 Web3 Contract deployment POST requests The HTML and JavaScript frontend Installing web3.js Example Creating a web3 object Checking availability by calling any web3 method Contract functions Development frameworks Truffle Initializing Truffle Interaction with the contract Another example An example project – Proof of Idea Oracles Deployment on decentralized storage using IPFS Installing IPFS Distributed ledgers Summary Hyperledger Projects under Hyperledger Fabric Sawtooth Lake Iroha Burrow Indy Explorer Cello Composer Quilt Hyperledger as a protocol The reference architecture Requirements and design goals of Hyperledger Fabric The modular approach Privacy and confidentiality Scalability Deterministic transactions Identity Auditability Interoperability Portability Rich data queries Fabric Hyperledger Fabric Membership services Blockchain services Consensus services Distributed ledger The peer to peer protocol Ledger storage Chaincode services Components of the fabric Peers Orderer nodes Clients Channels World state database Transactions Membership Service Provider (MSP) Smart contracts Crypto service provider Applications on blockchain Chaincode implementation The application model Consensus in Hyperledger Fabric The transaction life cycle in Hyperledger Fabric Sawtooth Lake PoET Transaction families Consensus in Sawtooth The development environment – Sawtooth Lake Corda Architecture State objects Transactions Consensus Flows Components Nodes The permissioning service Network map service Notary service Oracle service Transactions Vaults CorDapp The development environment – Corda Summary Alternative Blockchains Blockchains Kadena Ripple Transactions Payments related Order related Account and security-related Interledger Application layer Transport layer Interledger layer Ledger layer Stellar Rootstock Sidechain Drivechain Quorum Transaction manager Crypto Enclave QuorumChain Network manager Tezos Storj MaidSafe BigchainDB MultiChain Tendermint Tendermint Core Tendermint Socket Protocol (TMSP) Platforms and frameworks Eris Summary Blockchain – Outside of Currencies Internet of Things Physical object layer Device layer Network layer Management layer Application layer IoT blockchain experiment First node setup Raspberry Pi node setup Installing Node.js Circuit Government Border control Voting Citizen identification (ID cards) Miscellaneous Health Finance Insurance Post-trade settlement Financial crime prevention Media Summary Scalability and Other Challenges Scalability Network plane Consensus plane Storage plane View plane Block size increase Block interval reduction Invertible Bloom Lookup Tables Sharding State channels Private blockchain Proof of Stake Sidechains Subchains Tree chains (trees) Block propagation Bitcoin-NG Plasma Privacy Indistinguishability Obfuscation Homomorphic encryption Zero-Knowledge Proofs State channels Secure multiparty computation Usage of hardware to provide confidentiality CoinJoin Confidential transactions MimbleWimble Security Smart contract security Formal verification and analysis Oyente tool Summary Current Landscape and What's Next Emerging trends Application-specific blockchains (ASBCs) Enterprise-grade blockchains Private blockchains Start-ups Strong research interest Standardization Enhancements Real-world implementations Consortia Answers to technical challenges Convergence Education of blockchain technology Employment Cryptoeconomics Research in cryptography New programming languages Hardware research and development Research in formal methods and security Alternatives to blockchains Interoperability efforts Blockchain as a Service Efforts to reduce electricity consumption Other challenges Regulation Dark side Blockchain research Smart contracts Centralization issues Limitations in cryptographic functions Consensus algorithms Scalability Code obfuscation Notable projects Zcash on Ethereum CollCo Cello Qtum Bitcoin-NG Solidus Hawk Town-Crier SETLCoin TEEChan Falcon Bletchley Casper Miscellaneous tools Solidity extension for Microsoft Visual Studio MetaMask Stratis Embark DAPPLE Meteor uPort INFURA Convergence with other industries Future Summary Another Book You May Enjoy Leave a review – let other readers know what you think Preface This book has one goal, to introduce theoretical and practical aspects of the blockchain technology.

Optionally, both of these blockchains can also run in public mode if required, but their primary purpose is to provide a private blockchain. Semiprivate blockchains With semiprivate blockchains, part of the blockchain is private and part of it is public. Note that this is still just a concept today, and no real world POCs have yet been developed. With a semi-private blockchain, the private part is controlled by a group of individuals, while the public part is open for participation by anyone. This hybrid model can be used in scenarios where the private part of the blockchain remains internal and shared among known participants, while the public part of the blockchain can still be used by anyone, optionally allowing mining to secure the blockchain. This way, the blockchain as a whole can be secured using PoW, thus providing consistency and validity for both the private and public parts.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

“The counterpart to that is all transactions on the [bitcoin] blockchain are completely public. That terrifies a number of people on Wall Street.” The solution? Confidential transactions on so-called permissioned blockchains, also known as private blockchains. Whereas the bitcoin blockchain is entirely open and permissionless—that is, anyone can access it and interact with it—permissioned blockchains require users to have certain credentials, giving them a license to operate on that particular blockchain. Hill has developed the technology whereby only a few stakeholders see the various components of a transaction and can ensure its integrity. At first blush, private and permissioned blockchains would appear to have a few clear advantages. For one, its members can easily change the rules of the blockchain if they so desire. Costs can be kept down as transactions need only validation from the members themselves, removing the need for anonymous miners who use lots of electricity.

They use digital technologies to tap into so-called underutilized, time-based resources like real estate (apartment bedrooms), vehicles (between-call taxis), and people (retirees and capable people who can’t get full-time jobs). Blockchain technology provides suppliers of these services a means to collaborate that delivers a greater share of the value to them. For Benkler, “Blockchain enables people to translate their willingness to work together into a set of reliable accounting—of rights, assets, deeds, contributions, uses—that displaces some of what a company like Uber does. So that if drivers want to set up their own Uber and replace Uber with a pure cooperative, blockchain enables that.” He emphasized the word enable. To him, “There’s a difference between enabling and moving the world in a new direction.” He said, “People still have to want to do it, to take the risk of doing it.”31 So get ready for blockchain Airbnb, blockchain Uber, blockchain Lyft, blockchain Task Rabbit, and blockchain everything wherever there is an opportunity for real sharing and for value creation to work together in a cooperative way and receive most of the value they create. 4.

Version_1 To Ana Lopes and Amy Welsman for enabling this book, and for understanding that “it’s all about the blockchain.” “A masterpiece. Gracefully dissects the potential of blockchain technology to take on today’s most pressing global challenges.” —Hernando De Soto, Economist and President, Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Peru “The blockchain is to trust as the Internet is to information. Like the original Internet, blockchain has potential to transform everything. Read this book and you will understand.” —Joichi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab “In this extraordinary journey to the frontiers of finance, the Tapscotts shed new light on the blockchain phenomenon and make a compelling case for why we all need to better understand its power and potential.” —Dave McKay, President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada “Deconstructs the promise and peril of the blockchain in a way that is at once accessible and erudite.


pages: 348 words: 97,277

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

The former refers to bitcoin’s status as a currency, the latter is a reference to the overarching system and protocol that underpins that currency and other uses for the Bitcoin blockchain ledger. * Addressing an inconsistency in popular parlance, we generally employ three distinct usages of the word “blockchain”: “The blockchain,” which refers to Bitcoin’s original distributed ledger; “a blockchain”—or, pluralized, “blockchains”—to cover a variety of more recent distributed ledgers that share Bitcoin’s chain-of-blocks structure; and “blockchain technology,” referring to the overall field. We also use “distributed ledger technology” to encompass both blockchain and non-blockchain distributed ledgers. We mostly avoid the popular construct of “blockchain” as a non-countable noun. We view a blockchain, like any ledger, as a distinct, identifiable thing, not a process. The book’s title uses the definite article form to acknowledge the catalytic role that the original Bitcoin blockchain played in unleashing this field.

Nash and Rachael King, “IBM Set to Launch One of the Largest Blockchain Implementations to Date,” The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2016, https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/07/29/ibm-set-to-launch-one-of-the-largest-blockchain-implementations-to-date/. Standard Chartered in Singapore has already developed: “Standard Chartered Pilots Blockchain Trade Finance Tool,” PYMNTS.com, April 3, 2017, http://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2017/standard-chartered-hong-kong-blockchain-distributed-ledger-trade-finance-banking-pilot-blockchain-hong-kong/. the company said that the prototype’s use had generated $6.5 million: Andrew Sawers, “Foxconn Uses Blockchain for New SCF Platform after $6.5m Pilot,” SCF Briefing, March 17, 2017, http://www.scfbriefing.com/foxconn-launches-scf-blockchain-platform/. Blockchain-proven digital tokens point to what blockchain: Michael J.

Meanwhile, Blockchain startup Neocapita: Diana Ngo, “Governments, NGOs Consider Neocapita’s Blockchain Pilots for E-Governance,” Bitcoin Magazine, March 31, 2017, https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/governments-ngos-consider-neocapitas-blockchain-pilots-e-governance/. Even on Capitol Hill, a few legislators are starting to take notice: Ali Breland, “Lawmakers Introduce the Blockchain Caucus,” The Hill, February 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/technology/318845-lawmakers-introduce-the-blockchain-caucus. Delaware is working with Symbiont: Jeff John Roberts, “Companies Can Put Shareholders on a Blockchain Starting Today,” Fortune, August 1, 2017, http://fortune.com/2017/08/01/blockchain-shareholders-law/. And in March 2017, Illinois’s government: Anna Irrera, “Illinois Watchdog First U.S. Regulator to Join Blockchain Consortium R3,” Reuters, March 16, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blockchain-illinois/illinois-watchdog-first-u-s-regulator-to-join-blockchain-consortium-r3-idUSKBN16N2FN.


pages: 309 words: 54,839

Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts by David Gerard

altcoin, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Extropian, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, index fund, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, margin call, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Satoshi Nakamoto, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, slashdot, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, tulip mania, Turing complete, Turing machine, WikiLeaks

Chapter 7: Spending bitcoins in 2017 Bitcoin is full: the transaction clog Bitcoin for drugs: welcome to the darknet Ransomware Non-illegal goods and services Case study: Individual Pubs Chapter 8: Trading bitcoins in 2017: the second crypto bubble How to get bitcoins From the first bubble to the second Bitfinex: the hack, the bank block and the second bubble Chapter 9: Altcoins Litecoin Dogecoin Ethereum Buterin’s quantum quest ICOs: magic beans and bubble machines Chapter 10: Smart contracts, stupid humans Dr. Strangelove, but on the blockchain So who wants smart contracts, anyway? Legal code is not computer code The oracle problem: garbage in, garbage out Immutability: make your mistakes unfixable Immutability: the enemy of good software engineering Ethereum smart contracts in practice The DAO: the steadfast iron will of unstoppable code Chapter 11: Business bafflegab, but on the Blockchain What can Blockchain do for me? But all these companies are using Blockchain now! Blockchains won’t clean up your data for you Six questions to ask your blockchain salesman Security threat models Permissioned blockchains Beneficiaries of business Blockchain Non-beneficiaries of business BlockchainBlockchain” products you can buy! UK Government Office for Science: “Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain” Chapter 12: Case study: Why you can’t put the music industry on a blockchain The rights management quagmire Getting paid for your song The record industry’s loss of control and the streaming apocalypse Berklee Rethink and blockchain dreams Imogen Heap: “Tiny Human”.

Once that’s in place, you can increase efficiency markedly by taking the blockchain bit out. Six questions to ask your blockchain salesman If someone is trying to sell you on blockchains, the obvious skeptical questions will get you a long way: Are they confusing “might” and “is”? (Almost all business blockchain claims are full of “might” and salespeople talking about “the possibilities.”) Do they have present-day working blockchains that do every one of the things they’ve claimed you can get from blockchains? If not, which ones are missing? Will the system scale to the size of your data? How? How do you deal with human error in the “immutable” blockchain or smart contracts? If this is for working with people you trust less than the people you deal with now, how are they assuring the security of the chain – what’s the security threat model?

Any business that involves records or logs of any sort can quickly add the word “blockchain” to improve its marketability and further the all-important press release churnalism and “Ten Hot Startups” listings to back its flimsy promotional Wikipedia entry. Even if your product has nothing to do with blockchains, you can talk about blockchains to suggest people use your thing instead while they’re waiting for blockchains that work.382 Non-beneficiaries of business Blockchain A keen prospective market is end users who want efficiency savings and will even look into magical flying unicorn ponies to see if they can get them. None of these have found any in blockchains. The most prominent current attempt is the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) testing a blockchain-based replacement for its 24-year-old back-office settlement software; they’re working with Digital Asset Holdings, so this might actually involve a blockchain proper.


pages: 416 words: 106,532

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske, Jack Tatar

Airbnb, altcoin, asset allocation, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, packet switching, passive investing, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, smart contracts, social web, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Just as machine learning is not just one thing, but composed of the Symbolists, Connectionists, Evolutionaries, Bayesians, and Analogizers, so too can blockchain technology have many flavors. In The Master Algorithm,7 Pedro Domingos hypothesizes that all these camps of machine learning—which at times have been bitter rivals—will one day coalesce. The same will likely be true of blockchain technology. If these distributed databases of value are to be truly transformational, they will have to interoperate and value one another. THE MANY USES OF THE WORD BLOCKCHAIN Despite increased interest in blockchain technology, confusion remains as to what it specifically means due to imprecision in the use of the term. For example, “a blockchain,” “the blockchain,” “blockchain,” and “blockchain technology” can all refer to different things. Typically, when people say the blockchain, they are referring to the original, or Bitcoin’s blockchain. At the risk of redundancy but in pursuit of clarity, we will always use “Bitcoin’s blockchain” instead of “the blockchain.”

At the risk of redundancy but in pursuit of clarity, we will always use “Bitcoin’s blockchain” instead of “the blockchain.” On the other hand, terms such as a blockchain and blockchain technology typically refer to derivatives of the original that now may have nothing to do with Bitcoin. Meanwhile, blockchain is normally used to refer to the concept itself, with no particular implementation in mind. It is the most amorphous, so our least favored of the terms. Chapter 3 “Blockchain, Not Bitcoin?” In drawing a line between public and private blockchains, we have entered contentious territory that the innovative investor should understand. The difference between these two types of blockchains and the groups that support them is full of tension, because the two camps have different goals for the technology. At the risk of overgeneralizing, private blockchains are backed by incumbents in their respective industries, while public blockchains are backed by the disruptors.

Beyond the financial services industry, others that are exploring the applications of blockchain technology include the music industry, real estate, insurance, healthcare, networking, polling, supply chains, charities, gun tracking, law enforcement, governments, and more.6 Throughout this book, we will focus on public blockchains and their native assets, or what we will define as cryptoassets, because we believe this is where the greatest opportunity awaits the innovative investor. Sometimes, cryptoassets have the exact same name as their parent blockchain but with different capitalization. Other times there’s a slightly different name for the asset. For example, the native asset of Bitcoin’s blockchain is bitcoin, the native asset of Ethereum’s blockchain is ether, the native asset of Litecoin’s blockchain is litecoin, etc. Many public blockchains are markedly different from one another. Some members of the early Bitcoin community feel the definition of what makes something a blockchain should be very specific, in particular, that any blockchain must use proof-of-work as the means of consensus.


pages: 960 words: 125,049

Mastering Ethereum: Building Smart Contracts and DApps by Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Gavin Wood Ph. D.

Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, continuous integration, cryptocurrency, Debian, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, Google Chrome, intangible asset, Internet of things, litecoin, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, node package manager, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pull request, QR code, Ruby on Rails, Satoshi Nakamoto, sealed-bid auction, sharing economy, side project, smart contracts, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Vickrey auction, web application, WebSocket

In the past, we used the term “blockchain” to represent all of the components just listed, as a shorthand reference to the combination of technologies that encompass all of the characteristics described. Today, however, there are a huge variety of blockchains with different properties. We need qualifiers to help us understand the characteristics of the blockchain in question, such as open, public, global, decentralized, neutral, and censorship-resistant, to identify the important emergent characteristics of a “blockchain” system that these components allow. Not all blockchains are created equal. When someone tells you that something is a blockchain, you have not received an answer; rather, you need to start asking a lot of questions to clarify what they mean when they use the word “blockchain.” Start by asking for a description of the components in the preceding list, then ask whether this “blockchain” exhibits the characteristics of being open, public, etc.

Don’t run geth yet, because it will start synchronizing the blockchain “the slow way” and that will take far too long (weeks). The next sections explains the challenge with the initial synchronization of Ethereum’s blockchain. The First Synchronization of Ethereum-Based Blockchains Normally, when syncing an Ethereum blockchain, your client will download and validate every block and every transaction since the very start — i.e., from the genesis block. While it is possible to fully sync the blockchain this way, the sync will take a very long time and has high resource requirements (it will need much more RAM, and will take a very long time indeed if you don’t have fast storage). Many Ethereum-based blockchains were the victim of denial-of-service attacks at the end of 2016. Affected blockchains will tend to sync slowly when doing a full sync.

Bitcoin, Ethereum’s Development Culture balance, world state and, Ethereum State Bamboo, Introduction to Ethereum High-Level Languages Bancor, Real-World Examples: ERC20 and Bancor batching, The JSON-RPC Interface batchTransfer function, Real-World Examples: PoWHC and Batch Transfer Overflow (CVE-2018–10299) big-endian, defined, Quick Glossary BIP-32 standardextended public and private keys, Extended public and private keys HD wallets and, HD Wallets (BIP-32) and Paths (BIP-43/44)-Index numbers for normal and hardened derivation BIP-39 standard, Seeds and Mnemonic Codes (BIP-39), Mnemonic Code Words (BIP-39)-Working with mnemonic codesderiving seed from mnemonic words, From mnemonic to seed generating code words with, Generating mnemonic words libraries, Working with mnemonic codes optional passphrase with, Optional passphrase in BIP-39 working with mnemonic codes, Working with mnemonic codes BIP-43 standard, Navigating the HD wallet tree structure BIP-44 standard, Navigating the HD wallet tree structure BIPs (see Bitcoin improvement proposals) Bitcoinas token, Tokens on Ethereum development culture, Ethereum’s Development Culture Ethereum blockchain compared to Bitcoin blockchain, Ethereum: A General-Purpose Blockchain Ethereum compared to, Compared to Bitcoin Ethereum definition compared to, Ethereum Clients limitations of, The Birth of Ethereum Bitcoin Core, Components of a Blockchain Bitcoin improvement proposals (BIPs), Quick GlossaryHierarchical Deterministic Wallets (BIP-32/BIP-44), Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets (BIP-32/BIP-44) Mnemonic Code Words (BIP-39), Seeds and Mnemonic Codes (BIP-39), Mnemonic Code Words (BIP-39)-Working with mnemonic codes Multipurpose HD Wallet Structure (BIP-43), HD Wallets (BIP-32) and Paths (BIP-43/44)-Navigating the HD wallet tree structure bitcoind client, Components of a Blockchain blind calls, Raw call, delegatecall block gas limit, Block Gas Limit block object, Block context block timestamp manipulation security threat, Block Timestamp Manipulation-Real-World Example: GovernMentalpreventative techniques, Preventative Techniques real-world example: GovernMental, Real-World Example: GovernMental vulnerability, The Vulnerability block, defined, Quick Glossary blockchaincomponents of, Components of a Blockchain, Ethereum’s Components creating contract on, Creating the Contract on the Blockchain-Withdrawing from Our Contract defined, Quick Glossary Ethereum as developer's blockchain, Why Learn Ethereum? first synchronization of, The First Synchronization of Ethereum-Based Blockchains-Parity’s Geth compatibility mode on-blockchain testing, On-Blockchain Testing recording transactions on, Recording on the Blockchain warnings and cautions, Ethereum Addresses and Transactions in this Book BlockOne IQ, Oracle Client Interfaces in Solidity brainwallets, mnemonic words vs., Mnemonic Code Words (BIP-39) broadcast (multicast) oracle, Oracle Design Patterns browser wallets, Browser Wallets burn (see ether burn) Buterin, Vitalik, Quick Glossaryand birth of Ethereum, The Birth of Ethereum and Casper, Casper: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Algorithm and Dagger algorithm, Ethash: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work Algorithm on tokens, Tokens on Ethereum bytecode, Quick Glossary(see also EVM bytecode) bytecode operations, The EVM Instruction Set (Bytecode Operations)-The EVM Instruction Set (Bytecode Operations) Byzantium fork, Quick Glossary, Ethereum’s Four Stages of Development C CALL opcode, DELEGATECALL calls, external, Unchecked CALL Return Values-Real-World Example: Etherpot and King of the Ether Casper, Casper: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Algorithm Casper CBC, Casper: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Algorithm Casper FFG, Casper: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Algorithm chain code, Extended public and private keys chain identifier, Raw Transaction Creation with EIP-155 ChainLink, Decentralized Oracles checks-effects-interactions pattern, Preventative Techniques checksumEIP-55 and, Hex Encoding with Checksum in Capitalization (EIP-55)-Detecting an error in an EIP-55 encoded address in Ethereum address formats, Ethereum Address Formats in mnemonic code word generation, Generating mnemonic words child private keys, Hardened child key derivation Cipher Browser, Mobile (Smartphone) Wallets class inheritance, Class Inheritance clients, Ethereum, Ethereum Clients-Conclusionsand JSON-RPC API, The JSON-RPC Interface-Parity’s Geth compatibility mode Ethereum-based networks and, Ethereum Networks-Local Blockchain Simulation Advantages and Disadvantages first synchronization of Ethereum-based blockchains, The First Synchronization of Ethereum-Based Blockchains-Parity’s Geth compatibility mode full node hardware requirements, Hardware Requirements for a Full Node Geth and, Go-Ethereum (Geth)-Building Geth from source code Parity and, Parity remote, Remote Ethereum Clients-Mist running, Running an Ethereum Client-Building Geth from source code software requirements for building/running, Software Requirements for Building and Running a Client (Node)-Building Geth from source code code examples, obtaining and using, Code Examples cold-storage wallets, Extended public and private keys command-line interface, Software Requirements for Building and Running a Client (Node) comments and questions, How to Contact Us compiler directive, Selecting a Solidity Compiler and Language Version compilingdefined, Quick Glossary Faucet.sol contract, Compiling the Faucet Contract-Compiling the Faucet Contract protecting against overflow errors at the compiler level, Protecting Against Overflow Errors at the Compiler Level Vyper, Compilation concurrency, nonces and, Concurrency, Transaction Origination, and Nonces consensus, Consensus-ConclusionsCasper as Ethereum PoS algorithm, Casper: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Algorithm controversy and competition, Controversy and Competition defined, Quick Glossary Ethash as Ethereum PoW algorithm, Ethash: Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work Algorithm principles of, Principles of Consensus via proof of stake, Consensus via Proof of Stake (PoS) via proof of work, Consensus via Proof of Work consensus rules, Quick Glossary constant (function keyword), Functions Constantinople fork, Quick Glossary, Ethereum’s Four Stages of Development constructor function, Contract Constructor and selfdestructadding to faucet example, Adding a Constructor and selfdestruct to Our Faucet Example contract name modification security threat, Constructors with Care constructor/contract name modification security threatpreventative techniques, Preventative Techniques real-world example: Rubixi, Real-World Example: Rubixi vulnerability, The Vulnerability contact information, How to Contact Us contract accounts, Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs) and Contracts(see also smart contracts) creating, A Simple Contract: A Test Ether Faucet-A Simple Contract: A Test Ether Faucet(see also Faucet.sol contract) defined, Quick Glossary EOAs compared to, Smart Contracts and Solidity contract creation transaction, Quick Glossary, Special Transaction: Contract Creation-Special Transaction: Contract Creation, What Is a Smart Contract?


pages: 492 words: 118,882

The Blockchain Alternative: Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Theory by Kariappa Bheemaiah

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, cellular automata, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, constrained optimization, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, deskilling, Diane Coyle, discrete time, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, inventory management, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, precariat, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, QR code, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Real Time Gross Settlement, rent control, rent-seeking, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satyajit Das, savings glut, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, supply-chain management, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Washington Consensus

Furthermore, when a corporation or a business performs some consumer-unfriendly act, the aggrieved can pursue legal justification in order to set the matter straight. 57 Chapter 2 ■ Fragmentation of Finance These ponderations led to the creation of public and private blockchains. While a public blockchain, like bitcoin, is accessible to all, a private blockchain offers a degree of exclusivity. In a private blockchain, a financial institution (for example) could create a blockchain in which the miners are known, trusted, and vetted. As these blockchains are more reflective of the current financial system, a large number of financial institutions are keen on creating and using them. The recent R3 partnership (composed of 46 financial institutions as of June 2016), showcases the extent to which large institutions are seriously dwelling on the use of blockchains. Smart Contracts One of the most dynamic occurrences in the past few years has been the development of Apps.

Source: World Economic Forum—A Blueprint for Digital Identity,2016 Scalability While networks such as SWIFT, ACH and Earthport are capable of transmitting a large number of transactions, the same cannot be currently said for all Blockchain networks. Open networks such as the Bitcoin Blockchain are only capable of confirming 3.3—7 transactions per second. On the other hand, the Visa credit card network is capable of confirming a transaction within seconds, and processes 2,000 transactions/sec. on average, with a peak rate of 56,000 transactions (Croman et al., 2016 ). Thus, the largescale deployment of Blockchains requires the technology to be massively more scalable than the current limits that support Bitcoin. 81 Chapter 2 ■ Fragmentation of Finance At the current time there are a number of technical solutions being pursued by a variety of actors. One approach being explored is the sharding of Blockchains and replacing a single Blockchain with many independent blockchains, interoperating in a semi-trusted manner via cross-chain miners (James-Lubin, 2015).

Finally, it reviews different scenarios of how this new structure can be used to implement innovative policies, such as overt money finance and universal basic income, which could help address issues such as income inequality and technological unemployment that currently threaten most economies. While the purpose of the book it to shed more light on the implications of the widespread use of Blockchain technology, the growing diversity within the currency space cannot be fully excluded from the discussion. As the blockchain gains more traction in formal financial circles, its first manifestation in the form of Bitcoin is increasingly being excluded from the dialogue. This seems to be contrary to the symbiotic link between the two. What is more surprising is the fact that this tendency to separate bitcoin from blockchain is a repeat of what happened when the Internet first came into existence. As banks try to harness the power of the blockchain by creating private blockchains, we find ourselves witnessing the same execution of events as when private companies tried to create intranets instead of simply using the Internet.


pages: 273 words: 72,024

Bitcoin for the Befuddled by Conrad Barski

Airbnb, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Isaac Newton, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, node package manager, p-value, peer-to-peer, price discovery process, QR code, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, software as a service, the payments system, Yogi Berra

In this case, Crowley and Satoshi will each add a block to the blockchain (each thinking that he is the winning miner for that round). The problem occurs when one part of the network copies Crowley’s block and the other copies Satoshi’s. As a result, now two blockchains disagree! Figure 2-13: Bitcoin miners Crowley and Satoshi find a block at the same time, creating two copies of the blockchain. The resolution to the forked blockchain occurs when Satoshi’s version of the blockchain adds another block before Crowley’s, and Satoshi receives the reward. Recall that your Bitcoin wallet program needs an up-to-date copy of the blockchain to function, but it doesn’t know how to resolve a forked blockchain. Miners and Bitcoin wallet programs must decide which of the two versions of the blockchain to use. Forking is resolved by waiting to see which of the two branches adds yet another block first, which will happen about 10 minutes later.

This is not an issue for the simple hello-money program. However, before you build more sophisticated bitcoinJ programs, read “Gotchas When Using Wallets in BitcoinJ” on page 239. Not only does a Bitcoin app need a wallet, it also needs a blockchain. The following lines initialize a new blockchain for us: File file = new File("my-blockchain");➊ SPVBlockStore store = new SPVBlockStore(params, file);➋ BlockChain chain = new BlockChain(params, wallet, store);➌ Because blockchains consume lots of space, we’ll write it to a file named my-blockchain ➊. Next, we create a block store, which is an object that manages the data for our copious blockchain data ➋. BitcoinJ offers several block store types, all with different feature and performance trade-offs. In this example, we’ll use an SPVBlockStore object, which is usually the best choice for most apps.

That’s because these additional actions require you to access the public ledger of Bitcoin, which we’ll discuss next. The Blockchain All Bitcoin transactions are recorded into the blockchain. Throughout the remainder of this book, we’ll refer to the Bitcoin ledger as the blockchain. The reason for its name is that new transactions are appended to the ledger in large chunks, or blocks. Whenever a new Bitcoin transaction is broadcast to the network, computers on the network add it to a growing pool of other new transactions. Then, about every 10 minutes, the transactions in that pool are bundled into a block and added to the blockchain (see Figure 2-9). To function properly, all Bitcoin wallet programs need access to an up-to-date copy of the blockchain, and every time a block is added, the wallet programs copy and add the block to their own blockchain. Figure 2-9: Bitcoin transactions are grouped into blocks that are added to the blockchain every 10 minutes.


pages: 296 words: 86,610

The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

block: Transactions on the blockchain are grouped into blocks, confirmed by miners roughly every 10 minutes. They are currently limited to 1MB in size but that is likely to change in the near future. blockchain: The decentralized public ledger that makes Bitcoin work. Every transaction and account is kept track of here. Not to be confused with Blockchain.info the website or its parent company, Blockchain. Also used to refer to any upcoming technology that uses a public ledger to keep track of digital value; i.e., “They are developing their own blockchain technology.” block explorer: A website or piece of software that allows users to observe and follow Bitcoin transactions through the blockchain. Can also be used to describe similar systems for altcoins’ blockchains. CGMiner: The most popular Bitcoin-mining software.

Today they give tiny fractions of bitcoins that, like full bitcoins previously, are worth fractions of a cent. 51% attack: Proof-of-work is used in Bitcoin to validate the blockchain. It takes computational power to validate and confirm transactions. Changing one transaction will change the verifiable data in all subsequent transactions. Therefore, if there are two competing blockchains with different transaction histories, the one that is longer will be considered the “true” blockchain because it has the most computational power behind it. Since malicious actors usually work alone, it is unlikely that any one group could put more computational power behind its modified blockchain compared to the real blockchain. However, if someone did control a higher hashrate than the combined hashrate of all of the miners working on the true blockchain, that group would be able to outwork the valid chain and get its blockchain confirmed as valid. This is called a 51% attack.

The uses I’ve described so far, while not all strictly involving sending money back and forth, are still financial in nature. But the blockchain can do much more than that. It can store documents in a secure cryptographic manner. A user could encrypt a digital copy of their passport, store the hash of that file on the blockchain and then use that copy as a backup. Two users could record their marriage on the blockchain; in fact, this has already happened.9 Nearly every official document or contract that needs a notary could be stored on the blockchain and while it might not be recognized legally as such, it is far harder to forge a blockchain transaction than a notarized document. The utility could potentially go beyond the financial. Decentralized cloud storage is also a possibility using blockchain technology. Storj doesn’t run on the Bitcoin blockchain; it runs on the CounterParty system, a coin and set of financial services built on top of but separate from the Bitcoin blockchain.


pages: 349 words: 102,827

The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo

4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X

A block of confirmed data will contain a cryptographic hash of the previous block, which will link them together and make it almost impossible to modify the chain. Bitcoin was its first application, but the same principles can be used to create different types of networks. In the case of Bitcoin, “Bitcoin” is the name of both the blockchain and of the cryptocurrency itself (uppercase “B” is used for the network, lowercase “b” is used for the cryptocurrency), while ether is the coin that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. There will be some blockchains that don’t even have their own corresponding cryptocurrency, and there is no one, single blockchain. Each chain will have its own unique characteristics, which is why the term “on the blockchain” that’s used ad nauseam should immediately be met with the follow-up question, “Which one?” In keeping with the open source ethos, Bitcoin is an open protocol that anyone can join, modify, or even copy to create their own, separate version.

The fabled Goldman Sachs crypto trading desk touted by anonymously sourced reports was scrapped, according to other anonymous reports. The investing giant was getting cold feet on its big blockchain jump as regulators tightened their grip, a Business Insider article said. Volume on bitcoin futures in Cboe and CME was pitiful. In mid-May, when New York blockchain week came around with its flagship Consensus conference and dozens of other events, the crowds were still there but the vodka–Red Bull drenched parties at strip clubs, vapid enterprise blockchain announcements, and rented Lambos smelled of desperation. After a small increase in crypto prices, or what hopeful enthusiasts call the “Consensus bump,” digital coins continued their slide in the second half of the year. Blockchain startups who raised money in ICOs during the boom were in a difficult position. Many of the twentysomething-year-old tech geeks with no experience in treasury management had kept most of their funds in ether instead of cashing some out into a more stable asset, thinking the cryptocurrency would continue rising, or at least wouldn’t plunge so steeply.

Vlad Zamfir continued researching Casper CBC and blockchain governance. Texture’s sanctuary was the high-tech music studio in his Oakland mansion, where he spent much of his time, though he continued to watch Ethereum closely and advocated for a more open Ethereum Foundation. More tangentially related to Ethereum now, Ming continued to recover from her time at the helm of Ethereum, watching how the platform developed from a safe distance at a seaside location. Mihai and Roxana were back in Romania, close to family and building Akasha, a blockchain-based social network, while Jeff Wilcke was also enjoying time with his family and building video games in the Netherlands. Amir was still supporting different blockchain projects from the shadows. In 2019 Steven Nerayoff continued to fund and support blockchain companies investing in some of the space’s top or most buzzed-about projects, including tZERO, ZCash, Algorand, and others.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Abed, Gabriel Abridello, Mike accelerators Accel Partners Adams, Douglas Afghan Citadel Afghanistan Africa A-Grade Investments Ahmadi, Parisa AIG Airbnb Akimbo Alamgir, Nadia Alcoholics Anonymous Aleph Alibaba Alipay Alisie, Mihai Allaire, Jeremy al-Qaeda altcoins dogecoin litecoin Realcoin Alyattes, King Alydian Amazon Amazon Cloud American Express AME Ventures Amidi, Saeed Andolfatto, David Andreessen, Marc Andreessen Horowitz Andresen, Gavin Android angel investors anonymity anonymous remailers AntMinter Antonopoulos, Andreas ANX Apache tribe APIs (application programming interfaces) Apple Argentina exchange houses in trust problem in Aristotle Armstrong, Brian ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) chips Assange, Julian assassination AstroPay AT&T Atlas ATS Australia Austrian school of economics automobile loan payments Avalon Average Is Over (Cowen) Babylonians Back, Adam Bacon, Francis Bagehot, Walter Banco Popular Banga, Ajay Bank of America Bank of England (BOE) bankruptcy banks, banking central fees of fractional reserve Glass-Steagall Act and ledger and Medici modern payment system centered around people excluded from system of shadow system of tellers in too-big-to-fail Baran, Paul Barbados Barbie, Johann Barclays Barrett, John barter Beckstrom, Rod Bel Bruno, Joe Bell, Jim Bernanke, Ben Betamax BitAngels BitCarbon bitcoin(s): addresses in artwork and songs about balance in blockchain ledger in boom in brand of carbon footprint of as commodity community around creation of; see also Nakamoto, Satoshi crime and cryptography mailing list and culture of as currency defined as deflationary currency dollar and double-spending of early adopters of encryption in evangelists of exchange rate of fraud and future of Genesis Block in imitators of, see altcoins issuance of meetups for mining, see bitcoin mining and miners merchants accepting as movement as payments protocol as property regulation of, see regulation release of reward program in security and software for symbols of as technology thefts of traceability of transaction confirmation in transaction fees and transaction malleability bug and transaction volumes of trust and value of volatility of wallets for wealth concentration and Wild West phase of work in Bitcoin 2.0 (Blockchain 2.0) bitcoin barons bitcoin.com Bitcoin Decentral Bitcoin Faucet Bitcoin Forum Bitcoin Foundation Bitcoinica Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin Market bitcoin mining and miners ASICs in cloud at data centers Dr. Evil attack scenario and energy used by 51 percent attack threat and forks in the blockchain and pools rigs for satellites for selfish bitcoinrichlist.com Bitcoin Suisse Bitcointalk.org Bitex.la Bitfinex BitFury BitGo bit-gold BitInstant BitLanders BitLicense Bitmain BitPagos BitPay BitPesa Bitreserve bitsats BitShares Bits of Coin Bitstamp Bitt BitTorrent BlackNet Bliley, Thomas blockchain forks in Blockchain Blockchain 2.0 (Bitcoin 2.0) BlockCypher blockexplorer.com blocks Bloomberg Businessweek b-money Boost Boring, Perianne Braendgaard, Pelle Brafman, Ori Braintree brand Branson, Richard Brazil Bretton Woods system Breyer, Jim Brightcove Brikman, Yevgeniy Britain Britcoin British West Indies Britto, Arthur Brown & Williamson Bry, Charles BTC China BTC-e Bush, George H.

He’s also broke and sleepy and so gets that client to tap the same account information from which he paid the café to later buy a pillow from Overstock.com, effectively trying to pay with bitcoins he no longer had. After doing this, the blockchain’s chronological ledger would reveal that the money had already been spent. No, the record-keepers would declare as they checked James’s new transaction attempt against the permanent record, he has spent those bitcoins before. Every transaction that’s added to the ever-extending blockchain ledger is checked against the existing ledger before being given a stamp of legitimacy. Based on a consensus view among the miners as to which transactions are legitimate and which are not, the ledger provides irrefutable proof of who owns what and what has been spent and received. * * * For ease of explanation, we’re going to focus on how bitcoin’s blockchain, currency-creation, and transaction-confirmation systems work, though many blockchain variations exist across the cryptocurrency universe.

Once the puzzle is solved, the bitcoin software client that’s running on the winning node’s machine “seals off” a new block of transactions with the block hash and assigns to it a block number that sequentially follows the last block number on the ever-extending blockchain. (At the exact moment that these words were being written, the blockchain was working on block number 318,685—that’s how many blocks had been completed since Nakamoto mined the Genesis Block, and if you converted that into time by multiplying that number by ten minutes, it would bring you more or less out at January 2009.) Because the previous block hash has been included in the new hash, the latest block is now mathematically linked to the blockchain, as if to form the latest in an ever growing line of trailer hitches. Because of that hypersensitive quality of hashes described above, where the slightest data change will completely alter its output, this structure means that, in theory, no one can mess with any of the data contained in the blockchain’s history. Doing so would turn the whole thing into gobbledygook.


pages: 218 words: 68,648

Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire: My Unlikely Escape From Corporate America by Dan Conway

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, financial independence, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, job satisfaction, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, rent control, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile

Once the smartest developers became obsessed with the product and started using it in new and unexpected ways, it dominated the web graphics market. Now Ethereum was pulling in the most talented blockchain developers. They were working on hundreds of dApps. They were all decentralized. Once these dApps were released into the blockchain, they weren’t controlled by a headquarters. They were owned by the users of the dApp. All it took was one to hit paydirt to achieve some semblance of widespread adoption. Use of the Ethereum blockchain would skyrocket, as would the value of the ETH token that powered the network. I’d been living the problem of work, the problem of gatekeepers, my whole life. So I had no problem imagining the benefits of decentralization through blockchain. It became clear to me that the potential value of blockchain could be bigger than virtually anything else ever invented if it was indeed a new platform for the economy, for the world.

They were a father/son duo who’d recently published the book Blockchain Revolution. They were trying to establish themselves as leaders of the Blockchain Intelligentsia. They’d done a lot to evangelize blockchain, but I couldn’t help but be annoyed at their keynote-ready personas. From the stage, they announced a new institute where monied interests could learn about this new world. With assistance from the Tapscotts, anyone could master it. Don Tapscott said something like, “This will be the first world-class blockchain salon.” His forehead was perspiring from the heat of the spotlight. “You will be hearing more about this initiative from Alex Tapscott, later in the day.” The Tapscotts were tight with Perianne Boring, the head of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a blockchain advocacy organization she founded. I was curious to see her in person.

It is during these times of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that critics say blockchain is a solution looking for a problem, that it is a false panacea that seduced a herd of naive dreamers despite having no mainstream use beyond speculation. I’m certainly one of those dreamers. My inspiration comes from one of the more difficult blockchain endgame promises: that it will disrupt the corporation. There are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of other use cases that have lit a fire under developers and dreamers all over the world. Some are inspired by how blockchain could enable fraud-proof philanthropy by validating the proper distribution of funds. Some believe crypto micropayments will save independent journalism. Some are driven by the promise that blockchains will protect elections and ensure every vote is legitimate. Some say blockchain will eventually disrupt government itself. Skeptics complain about blockchain not yet having users or uses. But that’s because the technology makes things that were previously impossible, possible.


pages: 571 words: 106,255

The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, conceptual framework, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, delayed gratification, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, global reserve currency, high net worth, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, iterative process, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Stanford marshmallow experiment, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

This formalizes the reality of blockchain smart contracts as editable while reducing the processing power requirement and reducing the attack vectors possible to compromise this. For actual operational blockchains, demand will likely only be found for simple contracts whose code can be easily verified and understood. The only rationale for employing such contracts on a blockchain rather than a centralized computer system would be for the contracts to utilize the blockchain's native currency in some form, as all other contracts are better enforced and supervised without the extra burden of a blockchain distributed system. The only existing meaningful blockchain contract applications are for simple time‐programmed payments and multi‐signature wallets, all of which are performed with the currency of the blockchain itself, mostly on the Bitcoin network.

The only existing meaningful blockchain contract applications are for simple time‐programmed payments and multi‐signature wallets, all of which are performed with the currency of the blockchain itself, mostly on the Bitcoin network. Database and Record Management Blockchain is a reliable and tamper‐proof database and asset register, but only for the blockchain's native currency and only if the currency is valuable enough for the network to have strong enough processing power to resist attack. For any other asset, physical or digital, the blockchain is only as reliable as those responsible for establishing the link between the asset and what refers to it on the blockchain. There are no efficiency or transparency gains from using a permissioned blockchain here, as the blockchain is only as reliable as the party that grants permission to write to it. Introducing blockchain to that party's recordkeeping is only going to make it slower while adding no security or immutability, because there is no proof‐of‐work.

An open decentralized system built on verification by processing power is more secure the more open the system and the larger the number of network members expending processing power on verification. A centralized system reliant on a single point of failure is less secure with a larger number of network members able to write to the blockchain as each added network member is a potential security threat. Blockchain Technology as a Mechanism for Producing Electronic Cash The only commercially successful application of blockchain technology so far is electronic cash, and in particular, Bitcoin. The most common potential applications touted for blockchain technology—payments, contracts, and asset registry—are only workable to the extent that they run using the decentralized currency of the blockchain. All blockchains without currencies have not moved from the prototype stage to commercial implementation because they cannot compete with current best practice in their markets.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

But when a customer logged into a Blockchain. info wallet, the log-in process decrypted the file so that the keys were temporarily on the customer’s computer and could be used to access coins that the customer had on the blockchain. The customer’s data—how much money he or she had and the transaction history—was viewable through Blockchain.info’s online template. But the company itself never saw the data. Because Blockchain. info did not hold money or a transaction history for its customers, it couldn’t be subpoenaed to give up customer records. Nor could the company steal its customers’ coins. The site had attracted lots of interest from people who opened 350,000 free Blockchain.info wallets by the middle of 2013. But the business model was not a recipe for big profits. Because blockchain.info didn’t hold customer funds it was hard to deduct fees for its services.

This JPMorgan group began secretly working with the other major banks in the country, all of which are part of an organization known as The Clearing House, on a bold experimental effort to create a new blockchain that would be jointly run by the computers of the largest banks and serve as the backbone for a new, instant payment system that might replace Visa, MasterCard, and wire transfers. Such a blockchain would not need to rely on the anonymous miners powering the Bitcoin blockchain. But it could ensure there would no longer be a single point of failure in the payment network. If Visa’s systems came under attack, all the stores using Visa were screwed. But if one bank maintaining a blockchain came under attack, all the other banks could keep the blockchain going. For many technology experts at banks, the most valuable potential use of the blockchain was not small payments but very large ones, which are responsible for the vast majority of the money moving between banks each day.

Given the sums involved, even the few days that the money is in transit carry significant costs and risks. As a result, various banks began looking at ways they could use the blockchain technology to make these sorts of large transfers quickly and securely. For many banks, the biggest stumbling block was the inherent unreliability of the Bitcoin blockchain, which is, of course, powered by thousands of unvetted computers around the world, all of which could stop supporting the blockchain at any moment. This increased the desire to find a way to create blockchains independent of Bitcoin. The Federal Reserve had its own internal teams looking at how to harness the blockchain technology and potentially even Bitcoin itself. Many in the existing Bitcoin community scoffed at the idea that the blockchain concept could be separated from the currency. As they viewed it, the currency, and the mining of the currency, was what gave users the incentive to join and power the blockchain.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, post-work, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

, Kybernetes, Volume 31, Issue 2, 2002. 11.Kickstarter exacts a 5 percent commission on successfully funded projects, kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter+basics. 12.Graham Rapier, “Yellen Reportedly Urges Central Banks to Study Blockchain, Bitcoin,” American Banker, June 6, 2016; see also Nathaniel Popper, “Central Banks Consider Bitcoin’s Technology, if Not Bitcoin,” New York Times, October 11, 2016. 13.Pete Rizzo, “Bank of Canada Demos Blockchain-Based Digital Dollar,” CoinDesk, June 16, 2016. 14.See, e.g., a proposal for London’s budget to be executed via blockchain. Arlyn Culwick, “MayorsChain: a blockchain-based public expenditure management system,” July 4, 2015, mayorschain.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Whitepaper_Mayorschain-0.01-4July2015.pdf. 15.Simon Taylor, “Blockchain: Understanding the potential,” Barclays Bank, 2015, barclayscorporate.com/content/dam/corppublic/corporate/Documents/insight/blockchain_understanding_the_potential.pdf. 16.Jarrett Streebin, “The Cost of Bad Addresses,” Easypost blog, July 15, 2015; Rainu Kaushal et al., “Effects of Computerized Physician Order Entry and Clinical Decision Support Systems on Medication Safety: A Systematic Review,” Archives of Internal Medicine.

But all the social and intellectual heavy lifting begins now. 5 Cryptocurrency The computational guarantee of value All written accounts of the technological development we know as “the blockchain” begin and end the same way. They note its origins in the cryptocurrency called Bitcoin, and go on to explain how Bitcoin’s obscure, pseudonymous, possibly even multiple inventor “Satoshi Nakamoto” used it to solve the problems of trust that had foxed all previous attempts at networked digital money. They all make much of the blockchain’s potential to transform the way we exchange value, in every context and at every level of society. And they all gesture at the exciting possibilities that lie beyond currency: the world of smart contracts, distributed applications, autonomous organizations and post-human economies, all mediated by “trustless” cryptographic techniques. Almost all verbal conversations involving the blockchain begin and end the same way, too: in perplexity.

The block that results from this process is then appended to an ever-growing stack of such records. At last we have arrived at the blockchain. The same technique that guarantees individual transactions is now marshaled to secure the blockchain against tampering. Just as all the parties to every transaction are timestamped and hashed together to produce a unique fingerprint, so is each block. Because each successive block’s hash value is generated with the signature of the one immediately preceding it in time, it folds into itself the details of every block of Bitcoin transactions ever executed, tailing all the way back to the very first, the so-called Genesis Block. And again, because every participant in the network holds their own local copy of the blockchain, at no point is there the slightest need for transactions to be checked against any central registry or clearinghouse.


pages: 135 words: 26,407

How to DeFi by Coingecko, Darren Lau, Sze Jin Teh, Kristian Kho, Erina Azmi, Tm Lee, Bobby Ong

algorithmic trading, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, information retrieval, litecoin, margin call, new economy, passive income, payday loans, peer-to-peer, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, smart contracts, tulip mania, two-sided market

In the context of Ethereum, Dapps are interfaces that interact with the blockchain through the use of smart contracts. From the front, Dapps look and behave like regular web and mobile applications, except that they interact with a blockchain and in different ways. Some of the ways include requiring ETH to use the Dapp, storage of user data onto blockchain such that it is immutable, and so on. ~ What are the benefits of Dapps? Dapps are built on top of decentralized blockchain networks such as Ethereum and usually have the following benefits: Immutability: Nobody can change any information once it’s on the blockchain. Tamper-proof: Smart contracts published onto the blockchain cannot be tampered with without alerting every other participant on the blockchain. Transparent: Smart contracts powering Dapps are openly auditable.

Essentially, the “trust” part of an online transaction has been shifted from a person to lines of immutable codes (the blockchain & smart contract). It’s already being used—this is exactly what Reuben, a cryptocurrency and blockchain consultant, did to charge his client for 30 minutes consultation. And that’s it for Sablier - if you’re keen to get started or test it out, we’ve included a step-by-step guide on how to start streaming payment with Sablier. Otherwise, head on to the next section to read more on the next DeFi app. ~ Sablier: Step-by-Step Guide Step 1 Go to pay.sablier.finance Sign in with your Ethereum wallet Step 2 Select a token from the list Type an amount (which will be refunded when the stream finishes earlier) Type an ENS domain or Ethereum address Select a duration, e.g. 30 day Step 3 Confirm your transaction Step 4 After the blockchain validates your transaction, you will be shown a payment link Share this with the owner of the ENS domain/Ethereum address from before ~ Recommended Readings Sablier v1 is Live (Paul Razvan Berg) https://medium.com/sablier/sablier-v1-is-live-5a5350db16ae Sablier The protocol for real-time finance (State of the Dapps) https://www.stateoftheDapps.com/Dapps/sablier Building with Sablier (Sablier) https://twitter.com/SablierHQ/status/1214239545220386819?

Trend Trading This strategy uses Technical Analysis indicators to shift from 100% target asset to 100% stable asset based on the implemented strategy. Tokens It is a unit of a digital asset. Token often refers to coins that are issued on existing blockchain. Tokenize It refers to the process of converting things into digital tradable assets. - - V Value Staked It refers to how much value the insurer will put up against the target risk. If the value that the insurer staked is lower than the target risk, then it is not coverable. W Wallet A wallet is a user-friendly interface to the blockchain network that can be used as a storage, transaction and interaction bridge between the user and the blockchain. X - Y - Z - 1. “How Long Does It Take to Have a Payment Post Online to ....” 2 Jul. 2017, https://www.gobankingrates.com/banking/checking-account/how-long-payment-posted-online-account/ 2.


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The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism by David Golumbia

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, currency peg, distributed ledger, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, jimmy wales, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart contracts, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

In this sense, it becomes a tool for existing power to concentrate itself, rather than a challenge to the existing order: as some better economically informed commentators consistently point out, Bitcoin functions much more like a speculative investment than a currency (Worstall 2013; Yermack 2014), although what one is investing in, beyond Bitcoin itself, is not at all clear. 6. The Future of Bitcoin and the Blockchain BITCOIN IS NOT SO MUCH a single software program as it is software written using a model called the blockchain that is can be used to build other very similar programs (related cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Dogecoin, and so on), but also less similar ones. The cryptographically enabled distributed ledger, and the blockchain used to implement it, advocates insist, have wide application outside of their current uses.[1] We hear (not infrequently) that the blockchain is as revolutionary today as were “personal computers in 1975, the internet in 1993” (Andreessen 2014). Networks built on such technologies are formally decentralized, we are told, in a way that the current internet is not, and thus allow a new range of services and opacity to oversight (and therefore legal as well as unlawful surveillance).

Yet this, in the end, is the extreme rightist—anarcho-capitalist, winner-take-all, even neo-feudalist—political vision too many of those in the Bitcoin (along with other cryptocurrency) and blockchain communities, whatever they believe their political orientation to be, are working actively to bring about. This is not to say that Bitcoin and the blockchain can never be used for non-rightist purposes, and even less that everyone in the blockchain communities is on the right. Yet it is hard to see how this minority can resist the political values that are very literally coded into the software itself. Recent events have shown repeatedly that we discount the power of engineers and/or ideologues to realize their political visions through software design at our peril. What is required to combat that power is not more wars between algorithmic platforms and individuals who see themselves as above politics, but a reassertion of the political power that the blockchain is specifically constructed to dismantle.

A Bitcoin wallet is a relatively small piece of software that allows users to keep bitcoins on their own computers without needing to host the full Bitcoin ledger. The ledger is the first widespread implementation of a software model called a blockchain. The techniques involved in building the blockchain work to ensure that transactions are unique and authentic: “The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. This way, Bitcoin wallets can calculate their spendable balance and new transactions can be verified to be spending bitcoins that are actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the blockchain are enforced with cryptography” (“How Does Bitcoin Work?”). Computers that participate in the verification process are rewarded with fractional amounts of Bitcoin.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Zipcar

., a centralized entity, or PayPal itself)—keeps track of who has how much, and updates a private digital “ledger” of some sort every time someone sends money to someone else.7 Bitcoin, in contrast, uses a public ledger, the blockchain. Every user of Bitcoin has a copy of this blockchain, and it contains every single bitcoin transaction since the currency was created. When you say, “I possess at least one currency unit from prior transaction Q, and I am giving Clay one unit,” Clay can verify that the message is from you by checking your signature, and he can then check his copy of the blockchain to be assured that you in fact have bitcoin to spend. But this approach leads to a problem. Suppose you only have one currency unit to spend. Now, let’s say you simultaneously send a signed message to both Clay and Emily giving them each one unit. If they both checked their current copy of the blockchain, they would find the prior transaction, it would seem like you have the money, and both of them would update their ledgers, leading to a problem down the line.

No complicated contracts are needed about delivery and quality. There’s no business need to reveal your physical world presence or location. There’s no risk associated with meeting someone unsavory. Not surprisingly, therefore, much of the initial focus of blockchain marketplace development has been on creating new systems for trading assets that are non-physical: digital and financial assets. In a 2015 conversation I had with Adam Ludwin, the CEO of the blockchain startup Chain I mentioned earlier in the chapter, he described the blockchain as a “new database technology, purpose-built for trading assets,” and sees immense potential in new blockchain based marketplaces for loyalty points, mobile minutes, gift cards, and of course, a range of financial assets. Ludwin described how many current systems for trading such assets could benefit significantly from a new decentralized marketplace.

In spring 2015, NASDAQ announced plans to leverage blockchain technology to support the development of a distributed ledger function for securities trading that will provide enhanced integrity, audit capabilities, governance, and transfer of ownership capabilities. The startup R3CEV has assembled a consortium of 25 of the world’s largest banks that are creating a framework for using blockchain technology in world financial markets.17 The startup Provenance provides a blockchain-based authentication service, where, for example, you can credibly establish the provenance of a high-value item by keeping track of and being able to access every trade associated with its ownership. At the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show, IBM and Samsung demonstrated a blockchain- and smart-contract-based system that allowed an autonomous washing machine to order detergent when it ran low, and make a smart-contract-based payment when it sensed that the detergent had been replaced.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

utm_term=.80e5d64087d2. 287 James Howells: “James Howells Searches for Hard Drive with £4m-Worth of Bitcoins Stored,” BBC News, November 28, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-25134289. 288 rising to a high of over $1,100 in November 2013: Blockchain, “BTC to USD: Bitcoin to US Dollar Market Price,” accessed February 8, 2017, https://blockchain.info/charts/market-price. 289 University of Nicosia: University of Nicosia, “Academic Certificates on the Blockchain,” accessed February 8, 2017, http://digitalcurrency.unic.ac.cy/free-introductory-mooc/academic-certificates-on-the-blockchain. 289 Holberton School of Software Engineering: Rebecca Campbell, “Holberton School Begins Tracking Student Academic Credentials on the Bitcoin Blockchain,” Nasdaq, May 18, 2016, http://www.nasdaq.com/article/holberton-school-begins-tracking-student-academic-credentials-on-the-bitcoin-blockchain-cm623162#ixzz4Y8MUWUu2. 289 Kimberley Process: James Melik, “Diamonds: Does the Kimberley Process Work?”

c=131091&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2056957. 290 In March of 2016: Overstock.com, “Overstock.com Announces Historic Blockchain Public Offering,” March 16, 2016, http://investors.overstock.com/mobile.view?c=131091&v=203&d=1&id=2148979. 291 reducing settlement risk exposure by over 90%: Nasdaq, “Nasdaq Linq Enables First-Ever Private Securities Issuance Documented with Blockchain Technology,” December 30, 2015, http://ir.nasdaq.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=948326. 291 When Ornua, an Irish agricultural food company: Jemima Kelly, “Barclays Says Conducts First Blockchain-Based Trade-Finance Deal,” Reuters, September 7, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-banks-barclays-blockchain-idUSKCN11D23B. 294 “A broad statement of the key idea”: Nick Szabo, “Smart Contracts: Building Blocks for Digital Markets,” Alamut, 1996, http://www.alamut.com/subj/economics/nick_szabo/smartContracts.html. 295 “a decentralized platform”: Ethereum, accessed February 8, 2017, https://www.ethereum.org. 295 In a 2012 onstage conversation: The Well, “Topic 459: State of the World 2013: Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky,” accessed February 8, 2017, http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/459/State-of-the-World-2013-Bruce-St-page01.html. 296 “What will the world that they create look like?”

While the debate about Bitcoin’s ability to ever be a true currency was unfolding, a small group of people began to make a different point: that the truly valuable innovation was not the new digital money, but instead the distributed ledger that it rested on. It was the blockchain that really mattered, not Bitcoins. Bitcoin’s tumultuous history was evidence that the blockchain could actually work. For years, it functioned as designed: as a completely decentralized, undirected, apparently immutable record of transactions.‡‡ The transactions it was originally intended to record were limited to the mining and exchange of Bitcoins, but why stop there? The blockchain could conceivably be used to record all kinds of things: transfer of ownership, or “title,” of a piece of land; the issuance of a company’s stock to a group of people; the fact that both the buyer and the seller of an office building agreed that all the conditions of the sale had been met; the name, birthplace, and parents of a baby born in Hawaii; and so on.


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Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet by Trebor Scholz, Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, capital controls, citizen journalism, collaborative economy, collaborative editing, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, deskilling, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

With the rise of what some are calling “blockchain 2.0,” the accounting technology underpinning Bitcoin is now taking on non-monetary applications as diverse as electronic voting, file tracking, property title management, and the organization of worker cooperatives. Very quickly, it seems, distributed ledger technologies have made their way into any project broadly related to social or political transformation for the left—“put a blockchain on it!”—until its mention, sooner or later, looks like the basis for a dangerous drinking game. On the other side of things, poking fun at blockchain evangelism is now a nerdy pastime, more enjoyable even than ridiculing handlebar moustaches and fixie bicycles. So let me show my hand. I’m interested in the blockchain (or blockchain-based technologies) as one tool that, in a very pragmatic way, could assist with cooperative activities—helping us to share resources, to arbitrate, adjudicate, disambiguate, and make collective decisions.

By using a searchable online ledger that keeps track of all transactions, blockchain technology solves this problem by acting as a kind of permanent record maintained by a vast, distributed peer network. This makes it far more secure than data kept at a centralized location, because the authenticity of its records are registered among so many nodes in the network that it is virtually impossible to corrupt. Because of these capabilities, blockchain technology could provide a critical infrastructure for building what are called “distributed collaborative organizations” (sometimes called “distributed autonomous organizations”). These are essentially self-organized online commons. A DCO could use blockchain technology to give its members specified rights within the organization, which could be managed and guaranteed by the blockchain. These rights, in turn, could be linked to the conventional legal system to make the rights legally cognizable and enforceable.

Today, Silicon Valley appropriates so many of the ideas of the left—anarchism, mobility, and cooperation—even limited forms of welfare. This can create the sense that technical fixes like the blockchain are part of some broader shift to a post-capitalist society, when this shift has not taken place. Indeed, the blockchain applications that are really gaining traction are those developed by large banks in collaboration with tech startups—applications to build private blockchains for greater asset management or automatic credit clearing between banks, or to allow cultural industries to combat piracy in a distributed network and manage the sale and ownership of digital goods more efficiently. While technical tools such as the blockchain might form part of a broader artillery for platform cooperativism, we also need to have a little perspective. We need to find ways to embrace not only technical solutions, but also people who have experience in community organizing and methods that foster trust, negotiate hierarchies, and embrace difference.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

Or, at least, until blockchain came along. With blockchain, since trust is built into the system, the system is no longer necessary. Take a stock trade. Right now, to execute that trade, there’s a buyer, a seller, a series of banks that hold their money, the stock exchange itself, clearinghouses, etc.—roughly, ten different intermediaries. Blockchain removes everyone but the buyer and seller. The technology does the rest. In an attempt to hold on to their thinning slice of the pie, every major bank is rushing into blockchain. Yet arguably moving faster are the thousands of entrepreneurs using blockchain to disrupt these same banks. Consider R3 and Ripple, two examples of developing world disruption impacting developed world businesses. In both cases, these companies are using blockchain to replace the SWIFT network, the standard protocol overseeing international banking transactions.

peer-to-peer ridesharing: Paul Vigna, The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything (Macmillan Publishing Group, 2018), p. 7. validate any asset: Elizabeth Paton, “Will Blockchain Be a Boon to the Jewelry Industry?,” New York Times, November 30, 2018. Sports betting is one example: Gerald Fenech, “Blockchain in Gambling and Betting: Are There Real Advantages?,” Forbes, January 30, 2019. J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America: Goldman: Alastair Marsh, “Goldman Sachs Explores Creating a Digital Coin like JPMorgan’s,” Bloomberg, June 28, 2019. J.P. Morgan: Hugh Son, “JP Morgan Is Rolling Out the First US Bank-Backed Cryptocurrency to Transform Payments Business,” CNBC, February 14, 2019. Bank of America: Hugh Son, “Bank of America Tech Chief Is Skeptical on Blockchain Even Though BofA Has the Most Patents for It, CNBC, March 26, 2019.

See: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201811/30/WS5c00a1d3a310eff30328c073.html. 500 million customers play “Ant Forest”: Christine Chou, “How Alipay Users Planted 100M Trees in China,” Alizila, April 22, 2019. See: https://www.alizila.com/how-alipay-users-planted-100m-trees-in-china/. R3: See: https://www.r3.com/. Ripple: See: https://www.ripple.com/. these companies are using blockchain to replace the SWIFT network: The blockchain blog Cointelegraph has a good piece overviewing SWIFT’s relationship to blockchain. You can find the piece here: https://cointelegraph.com/news/swift-announces-poc-gateway-with-r3-but-remains-overall-hesitant-about-blockchain. 4 billion people, the rising billions, will gain access to the internet: The world population is expected to reach 8.2 billion by 2025, as projected by the United Nations Population Division. You can find the raw data here: https://population.un.org/wpp/Graphs/Probabilistic/POP/TOT/900.


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, the High Line, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, young professional

We did, and within the first twelve hours on land, we met many of the top people in the industry, most notably, Craig Sellars, one of the founders of Tether, the first stable coin pegged to the U.S. dollar; and Matt McKibbin, cofounder of both D10E, a blockchain conference series, and DecentraNet, one of the first blockchain advisory firms. We also met a slew of fascinating people involved in everything from blockchain-funded space projects to digital banking services for the unbanked rural populations. Chester and I walked away from the experience on a high. The potential in the field was vast, but even more invigorating was how blockchain seemed to represent the perfect off-ramp for my time at Cambridge. Tech-driven, built around ideas of data security, it was an ideal next step, an act of both personal and professional penance. If I figured out how to make it work, I could, once the Mexican presidential campaign was secured, I told myself, be gone from Cambridge for good.

Between Matt’s contacts in the blockchain industry, my own, and Chester’s contacts around the world, we’d been able to put together a weeklong event called “CryptoHQ,” featuring panels, keynote addresses, and social gatherings of entrepreneurs and thought leaders. Guests included U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (one of the officials in charge of blockchain policy for the U.S. government); the CEOs of many of the top blockchain companies at the time; mixed with powerful policy leaders such as the head of the European Commission’s FinTech and blockchain strategy. In Davos, Matt and I cochaired the conference with his colleagues from DecentraNet, and we ran the events out of our CryptoHQ “Blockchain Lounge,” a massive three-story affair with a restaurant, après-ski bar, and conference venue, set up on Promenade 67, the main street running through the middle of the World Economic Forum. I had every desire to make the event a success, and in my enthusiasm to do so, I swallowed my pride and anger and invited Alexander and Dr.

There were hundreds of people in the venue, most of them my friends or new colleagues in the blockchain industry. “So,” he said, “I can see you’re really busy with other projects.” He didn’t seem angry, as if he’d caught me cheating on Cambridge; rather, he appeared to be peacefully acknowledging that I had found another way forward in life. “So, you really just want to do blockchain, yeah?” he asked. “You think there’s money there, that this is where everything is going?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. He thought for a moment. “Would you prefer to leave your permanent job and come back on with us as a consultant? Doing blockchain?” I could have more autonomy, he said, work on developing the blockchain data solution with Cambridge, but be free to do my own projects at the same time. This interested me.


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

On the one hand there were advocates of the ‘code is law’ school of thought who felt that the investors should take their medicine, and on the other there were advocates of the ‘pragmatic’ school of thought who felt that the transactions should be reversed. Since you can’t go back and edit a blockchain (which is sort of the point of it), this is achieved by ‘forking’ to create a new blockchain. This was done but a significant minority of miners felt that this was the wrong decision so they continued with the original blockchain as Ethereum Classic. At the time of writing, the ‘market cap’ of Ethereum is significantly higher than that of Ethereum Classic. Ripple After Bitcoin and Ethereum, the third biggest cryptocurrency is Ripple, which unlike those first two has its roots in local exchange trading systems (Peck 2013). It is a protocol for value exchange that uses a shared ledger but it does not use a Bitcoin-like blockchain, preferring another kind of what is known as a ‘Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus-forming process’.

There is, in my opinion, no sane argument against digital fiat. Let’s get on with it. And let’s have no limit on the number of different currencies that the banking system’s ledger might hold. Here comes the blockchain What might that ledger look like? The emerging consensus, at least in the finance sector, seems to be that the technology behind Bitcoin, the blockchain, will disrupt the sector (Raymaekers 2015), although many commentators are not at all clear how (or, indeed, why). Melanie Swan posits that even if all of the infrastructure developed by the blockchain industry were to disappear, its legacy could persist (Swan 2015). This is because the blockchain has provided new larger-scale ideas about how to organize financial services and, as Swan and other observers have noted, there is a very strong case for decentralized models.

She is surely right to say that ‘decentralisation is an idea whose time is come’, and to identify the Internet as a new cultural technology that admits techniques such as shared ledgers. The blockchain is, as I have mentioned, only one kind of such a shared ledger, and the Bitcoin blockchain works in a very specific way. This may not be the best way to organize shared ledgers for disruptive innovation and it may not, in my opinion, point towards where the disruptive influence of shared ledger technology will deliver its biggest benefits to society. Shared ledgers Interest in shared ledger technology has been rekindled as interest in the blockchain has grown. The blockchain is the specific distributed shared ledger technology that underpins Bitcoin (Wood and Buchanan 2015), and it can be seen as a consensus database that everybody can copy and access but, by clever design, not subvert: a permanent record of transactions that no one can go back and change.


pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

To most people, the fact that I’m showing them the bottom of the range of expression simply reinforces the idea that this is a cheap and vulgar medium. What they fail to grasp is that this medium is not just for the trivial; it spans the entire range of transactional expression from the trivial to the enormous. "The blockchain can encompass the entire range of transactional expression, from the 10-cent tweet to the $100 billion debt settlement." One day, a country will pay its oil bill on the blockchain. One day, you might buy a multinational company on the blockchain. One day, you might sell an aircraft carrier, hopefully for scrap metal, on the blockchain. The blockchain can encompass the entire range, from the 10-cent tweet to the $100 billion debt settlement. We just haven’t noticed yet. It can do so without any constraint imposed by the underlying medium. This isn’t just a matter of the fact that the transaction as a content type can be transported over Skype smileys.

I want to sit at my kitchen table every Sunday and balance my checkbook and make sure none of my checks bounced. I don’t like all of this electronic instantaneous global transfer. It scares me,” we can slow it down. This infrastructure inversion will allow us to comfortably run traditional banking applications on top of a distributed global ledger — an open blockchain like bitcoin, the open blockchain, probably bitcoin’s open blockchain and simultaneously open the door for other applications, for applications we’ve never seen before. These new applications will look different from traditional banking. As different as a Segway or skateboard looks to those committed to traditional horse-carriages. As different as moving to electricity in an era of gas lighting in traditional Victorian homes. As alien as comfort noise on high quality data voice communication over the internet that is capable of so much more.

Money as a Content Type Most people don’t realize what it means to convert money into a content type. We’ve taken the transaction, which is just 250 bytes, and we’ve separated it from the transport medium, so it doesn’t depend on any underlying security. We’ve made it stand alone so that it can be independently verified by any node that has a full copy of the blockchain. Independently verified as spendable, authentic, and properly signed by any system that has a full copy of the blockchain—in fact, even by systems that only have a partial copy of the blockchain. That transaction can be verified in seconds. All it has to do is reach one node in the network that can talk to miners. That’s it. Once it’s injected into the bitcoin network and once it propagates, you can be almost certain that the transaction will be included eventually and will become valid. If I look at any transaction, I can calculate if it has sufficient fees, and then I can make certain assumptions about how miners are going to treat that transaction because I know the rules by which they operate on a consensus network.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

And won’t the best hackers in the world be able to break this system wide open? Bitcoin’s answer to all these questions, and its method for establishing a genuine breakthrough in digital trust, is a cryptographic invention called the blockchain. At its core, the blockchain is the big ledger on which all transactions are logged. And every single transaction going back to the very first Bitcoin payment is recorded on the blockchain, though they’re logged anonymously or pseudo-anonymously. One of the blockchain’s key characteristics is that it is public, and instead of being stored at one central location, it is distributed to every Bitcoin user. By making everything public, the blockchain reduces the possibility of fraud drastically, because you can’t counterfeit the existence of property in public view. Fraud is further diminished by the fact that every bitcoin carries its history with it; to try to counterfeit a coin would require counterfeiting a false lineage going back all the way to the beginning of Bitcoin.

When Bitcoin was still obscure enough to go largely unnoticed, these dark websites had a brief heyday, but law enforcement agencies have thoroughly penetrated this world and, if anything, Bitcoin has made their work easier. Although the blockchain keeps personal identities secret behind cryptographic code, in order to access the blockchain, people must leave digital footprints that law enforcement agencies know how to follow. THE BLOCKCHAIN AND THE ESTABLISHMENT Bitcoin initially pitted Silicon Valley against the establishment in government, on Wall Street, and among leading economists. However, much of that same establishment now sees blockchain technology as a technological solution to many high-cost transactions. Economists from the left and right, investment bankers, and government officials questioned its value and often its legality.

This is probably the greatest threat to Bitcoin in the long term.” BLOCKCHAIN AS THE NEXT PROTOCOL The powers that be in Silicon Valley see Bitcoin heading mainstream. But if so, where will it eventually take hold? In my view, the best case for Bitcoin is not as a currency but as a protocol, relying on the new possibilities offered by the blockchain. In the same way HTML became the protocol markup language for the World Wide Web, the blockchain may have the technological ingenuity to become the protocol for trusted transactions. The Web was essentially made by HTML. The great innovation of Tim Berners-Lee, the Web’s creator, was that he made the Internet something visible, accessible, and easily navigable—and that allowed other innovations to be layered on top of the platform. The blockchain makes trusted transactions the basis—the protocol—on which much else can be built.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In “The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go”, Blaire Briody, 26 March 2013, The Fiscal Times, http://www.cnbc.com/id/100592545 Shift 16: Bitcoin and the Blockchain The tipping point: 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP) stored on blockchain technology By 2025: 58% of respondents expected this tipping point to have occurred Bitcoin and digital currencies are based on the idea of a distributed trust mechanism called the “blockchain”, a way of keeping track of trusted transactions in a distributed fashion. Currently, the total worth of bitcoin in the blockchain is around $20 billion, or about 0.025% of global GDP of around $80 trillion. Positive impacts – Increased financial inclusion in emerging markets, as financial services on the blockchain gain critical mass – Disintermediation of financial institutions, as new services and value exchanges are created directly on the blockchain – An explosion in tradable assets, as all kinds of value exchange can be hosted on the blockchain – Better property records in emerging markets, and the ability to make everything a tradable asset – Contacts and legal services increasingly tied to code linked to the blockchain, to be used as unbreakable escrow or programmatically designed smart contracts – Increased transparency, as the blockchain is essentially a global ledger storing all transactions The shift in action Smartcontracts.com provides programmable contracts that do payouts between two parties once certain criteria have been met, without involving a middleman.

The digital revolution is creating radically new approaches that revolutionize the way in which individuals and institutions engage and collaborate. For example, the blockchain, often described as a “distributed ledger”, is a secure protocol where a network of computers collectively verifies a transaction before it can be recorded and approved. The technology that underpins the blockchain creates trust by enabling people who do not know each other (and thus have no underlying basis for trust) to collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority – i.e. a custodian or central ledger. In essence, the blockchain is a shared, programmable, cryptographically secure and therefore trusted ledger which no single user controls and which can be inspected by everyone. Bitcoin is so far the best known blockchain application but the technology will soon give rise to countless others. If, at the moment, blockchain technology records financial transactions made with digital currencies such as Bitcoin, it will in the future serve as a registrar for things as different as birth and death certificates, titles of ownership, marriage licenses, educational degrees, insurance claims, medical procedures and votes – essentially any kind of transaction that can be expressed in code.

(Uber) Shift 18: Governments and the Blockchain The tipping point: Tax collected for the first time by a government via a blockchain By 2025: 73% of respondents expected this tipping point to have occurred The blockchain creates both opportunities and challenges for countries. On the one hand, it is unregulated and not overseen by any central bank, meaning less control over monetary policy. On the other hand, it creates the ability for new taxing mechanisms to be built into the blockchain itself (e.g. a small transaction tax). Unknown impacts, or cut both ways – Central banks and monetary policy – Corruption – Real-time taxation – Role of government The shift in action In 2015, the first virtual nation, BitNation, was created using blockchain as the foundation identification technology for citizen’s identity cards.


Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World by Jeffrey Tucker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, altcoin, bank run, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, informal economy, invisible hand, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, obamacare, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, TaskRabbit, the payments system, uber lyft

Whether it is the horseshoe of the Middle Ages or the distributed networks of our time, when an innovation so dramatically improves our lives, it changes the course of history. This is what is happening in our time. The applications of these P2P networks are enormously surprising. The biggest surprise in my own lifetime is how they have been employed to make payment systems P2P—no longer based on third-party trust—through what’s called the blockchain. The blockchain can commodify and title any bundle of information and make it transferable, with timestamps, in a way that cannot be forged, all at nearly zero cost. An offshoot of blockchain-distributed technology has been the invention of a private currency. For half a century, it has been a dream of theorists who saw that taking money out of government hands would do more for prosperity and peace than any single other step. The theorists dreamed, but they didn’t have the tools. They hadn’t been invented yet.

I was so pleased to be tapped to help take history in a significant step in this direction. At the conference Coins in the Kingdom, a bitcoin event held at Disney World, I was honored to officiate at the first-ever marriage done on the blockchain. The blockchain is the fantastic digital innovation that provides not only a ledger for the currency unit bitcoin but also an indestructible public record of verified contracts with timestamps. It works without any public authority—or any third party at all. This wedding between my new friends, David Mondrus and Joyce Bayo, was recorded on the blockchain. They “burned” exactly 0.1 bitcoin through a CoinOutlet bitcoin ATM right there in front of all the witnesses. The transaction permits secure messaging, which, in this case, will be the wedding vows themselves, which were then permanently available for the world to see.

This is why I’m so respectful of the prospects for the blockchain to change the way we engage in our commercial and personal relationships, even if we can’t know precisely how this will evolve. The blockchain makes something possible that has never been previously possible. With it, we can create property out of information, scarcify it, verify it, seal it up with cryptography, prohibit its alteration or duplication, and have every assurance that it will stay exactly as it is forever. And in doing this, we don’t have to use coercion or worry about geography, politics, governments, and the immense legislative cruft that bogs down most all societies today. Remember that progress starts small. It can begin with the first flight, the first phone conversation, the first email sent, the first bitcoin transaction on the blockchain, the first marriage contracted on distributed cryptographic ledger.


Data and the City by Rob Kitchin,Tracey P. Lauriault,Gavin McArdle

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, bike sharing scheme, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, floating exchange rates, global value chain, Google Earth, hive mind, Internet of things, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lifelogging, linked data, loose coupling, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, open economy, openstreetmap, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, place-making, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, semantic web, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, statistical model, TaskRabbit, text mining, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, urban planning, urban sprawl, web application

An alternative and emerging form of data infrastructure for city dashboards and services are blockchains. Blockchains are sealed and encrypted distributed ledgers of all transactions ever conducted within a system. Each block records key metadata regarding a transaction such as information about sender and receiver, time, value, fees and IP address, and once recorded cannot be altered, thus creating trust. Each block adds to the sequence of transactions forming a chain that leads back to the start of the database. While blockchains are most commonly associated with new financial currencies such as Bitcoin, Chris Speed, Deborah Maxwell and Larissa Pschetz examine their utility for recording and sharing other kinds of transactions. To illustrate how blockchains work as economic, social and cognitive ledgers they discuss their use with regards to finance and work.

By reflecting on the role of ledgers across different forms, this formative chapter establishes the complexity of capturing and producing data across a myriad of social practices using linear systems. 142 C. Speed, D. Maxwell and L. Pschetz Ledger 1: money, time and the blockchain There are many elements that make Bitcoin an interesting alternative currency, but critically it is the development and implementation of the blockchain – a distributed ledger that contains all transaction records ever conducted. The Bitcoin blockchain is an encrypted, cumulative ledger composed of ‘blocks’ of transactions that are verified by miners and which lead back to the first ‘Genesis’ block whose instance is timed as 18:15:05 GMT, on 3 January 2009, signifying the start of the currency. Blocks can contain the social, economic and geographic information about the senders and receivers of Bitcoin wallets, time of transaction, amount of Bitcoins being transferred, fees and IP addresses from which location can also be identified.

Unlike the anonymous accounting of people spending the same material money over and over again (e.g. coins or notes) in the cash registers of disconnected shops, the spending of Bitcoins is inscribed in the blockchain and forever associated with specific transactions within a distributed network. The sealed, distributed nature of the 144 C. Speed, D. Maxwell and L. Pschetz blockchain means that the integrity of the currency is reliant on a linear model that looks back, before it generates money forward (DuPont and Maurer 2015). In contrast, fiat currencies project money forward and balance their books retrospectively according to the performance of spending across a system. Compared to the speed of the blockchain in checking the integrity of its system (approximately two hours), it is rumoured that it takes 58 days for the UK civil service to understand its GDP in any given month.


pages: 533

Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech by Jamie Susskind

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, Andrew Keen, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, British Empire, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, continuation of politics by other means, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google bus, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, mittelstand, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Oculus Rift, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, payday loans, price discrimination, price mechanism, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selection bias, self-driving car, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technological singularity, the built environment, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World (London: Portfolio Penguin, 2016), 7. 25. Tapscott and Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution, 16. 26. Tapscott and Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution, 153–4; Stan Higgins, ‘IBM Invests $200 Million in Blockchain-Powered IoT’, CoinDesk, 4 October 2016 <https://www.coindesk.com/ibm-blockchain-iotoffice/> (accessed 30 November 2017). 27. Melanie Swan, Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2015), 14. 28. Economist, ‘Not-so-clever Contracts’, 28 July 2016 <http://www. economist.com/news/business/21702758-time-being-leasthuman-judgment-still-better-bet-cold-hearted?frsc=dg%7Cd> (accessed 30 November 2017). 29. Tapscott and Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution, 18. 30.

Schwab, Klaus, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2016), 19; Laura Shin, ‘The First Government to Secure Land Titles on the Bitcoin Blockchain Expands Project’, Forbes, 7 February 2017 <https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/ 2017/02/07/the-first-government-to-secure-land-titles-onthe-bitcoin-blockchain-expands-project/#432b8b494dcd> (accessed 30 November 2017); Joon Ian Wong, ‘Sweden’s Block­ chain-powered Land Registry is Inching Towards Reality’, Quartz Media, 3 April 2017 <https://qz.com/947064/sweden-is-turninga-blockchain-powered-land-registry-into-a-reality/> (accessed 30 November 2017). Daniel Palmer, ‘Blockchain Startup to Secure 1 Million e-Health Records in Estonia’, CoinDesk, 3 March 2016 <http://www.coindesk. com/blockchain-startup-aims-to-secure-1-million-estonian-healthrecords/> (accessed 30 November 2017). Harriet Green, ‘Govcoin’s Co-founder Robert Kay Explains Why His Firm is Using Blockchain to Change the Lives of Benefits Claimants’, City AM, 10 October 2016 <http://www.cityam.com/250993/ govcoins-co-founder-robert-kay-explains-why-his-firm-using> (accessed 30 November 2017).

A ‘smart contract’, for instance, is a piece of blockchain software that executes itself automatically under pre-agreed circumstances— like a purchase agreement which automatically transfers the ownership title of a car to a customer once all loan payments have been made.27 There are early ‘Decentralised Autonomous Organisations’ (DAOs) that seek to solve problems of collective action without a centralized power structure.28 Imagine services like Uber or Airbnb, but without any formal organization at the centre pulling the strings.29 The developers of the Ethereum blockchain, among ­others, have said they want to use DAOs to replace the state altogether. Blockchain still presents serious challenges of scale, governance, and even security, which are yet to be overcome.30 Yet for a youthful technology it is already delivering some interesting results. The governments of Honduras, Georgia, and Sweden are trialling the use of blockchain to handle land titles,31 and the government of Estonia is using it to record more than 1 million patient health records.32 In the UK, the Department for Work and Pensions is piloting a blockchain solution for the payment of welfare benefits.33 In the US, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking into using blockchain technology to protect its military networks and communications.34 Increasingly connective technology is not just about people connecting with other people.


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The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

As a result, historic transactions cannot be undone or edited, because that would require editing every independent record. If you’ve ever read that bitcoin is ‘anonymous’, that’s not strictly true, because of this database record. However, even though the blockchain records the transactions, there is no link to the identity of the people behind them, which is why some writers prefer to call it ‘pseudonymous’. A simple way to put it is: the blockchain is a massive, distributed, tamper-proof database that anyone can add to but no one can delete. Bitcoin’s blockchain was designed to store financial transactions, but it can hold other information, too. In fact, a new wave of blockchains allow complicated code to be stored. This could be as revolutionary as the internet itself, because it represents a way to store information in a far more decentralised way. Crypto-anarchists are in raptures over this.

Although Silk Road was eventually shut down, there are now several other dark net markets, where stolen personal data, narcotics and child abuse images can be bought and sold, Amazon-style. Let’s imagine a blockchain-based social media platform (there are already versions of this, like Mastodon, which is on the normal net), in which posts are simultaneously hosted on multiple decentralised blockchain databases. Facebook runs on servers that sit in massive data centres controlled by the company – meaning that it can delete or edit what its users see. A blockchain social media platform would be untouchable – no government would be able to edit or remove hate-speech, illegal images or terror propaganda, unless the whole network was somehow vaporised. Blockchain advocates hate ‘middle men’. They talk a lot about using tech to get rid of them, advocating contracts without managers, invoices without accountants, banks without bankers.

Similarly, powerful AI used in the public interest could yield remarkable benefits in health research, spending decisions, intelligence, strategy and much more. Beyond that, technology like blockchain could dramatically improve how people can hold their governments to account. Central and local governments should explore ways to use blockchains to improve the functions of democracy. For example, we’re used to governments making regular spending pledges at election time, which then simply evaporate. Blockchain-based accounting and contracts could help connect pledges with actual outputs – transforming how the public can track the way our taxes are spent. The UK Government should investigate whether blockchain-based identity systems – whether for land ownership, health records or passports – could improve citizen data security and efficiency, without the government accruing too much power.4 There are many exciting new ways to involve people more in political decision-making too, including secure online voting; but these need to be adopted cautiously – votes every week on every subject is a bad idea


pages: 302 words: 95,965

How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper

3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The technology behind Bitcoin is called the blockchain. The blockchain also has some amazing potential. It can be thought of as a giant ledger, keeping track of money, data, inventory, contracts, etc. “Smart” contracts can be designed such that they anticipate eventualities and automatically distribute appropriately. And corporations can use the blockchain to automatically pay employees their wages and benefits, pay shareholders their dividends, and pay noteholders their interest and principal payments, all with precise accuracy and automated accounting. Furthermore, companies can use the blockchain to pay their suppliers and receive money from their customers, handling lay away payment plans and warranties without friction or human influence. The blockchain can manage three-way transfers with ease, and eventually will handle retail transactions without the need for credit or debit cards.

Insurance companies can use it to manage their claims and automate collections. Real estate escrows and titles can all be done quickly and easily between buyer and seller. Drugs and food can be authenticated by blockchain to guarantee their origins. And the US government (and other governments) can manage social security, welfare, Medicare, worker’s comp, disability and all their data verification of citizens and businesses with Bitcoin and the blockchain, since blockchain is the perfect government service employee. It is honest, incorruptible, secure, and fair. Bitcoin and its underlying technology, the blockchain, are changes that allow us to progress. But change is difficult for those people who don’t have the spark of a Startup Hero in their eyes, and many industries will have to go through fundamental changes to adapt to the advent of this new way of thinking.

Longer term, any contract will be better served by being fixed on the blockchain. The blockchain allows any contract that revolves around an event (like a company sale, a dividend, a royalty distribution, a death, the outcome of a game, etc.) where cash or stock or something of value needs to be distributed or paid out, can be agreed to, executed and disbursed without a lawyer or an accountant, since the trusted third party is all of society, not a series of written documents, a regulated accounting firm and a brick and mortar bank. Bitcoin’s blockchain is technology that is open and transparent, distributed, frictionless and secure. This technology may be at least as transformative as the Internet has been. While the Internet transformed music, communications, information, entertainment and transportation, Bitcoin and its blockchain may allow governments to be virtual, banks to be unnecessary, ownership to be ironclad, insurance to be frictionless, and people to know who owns what.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

This has applications well beyond bitcoins.41 The blockchain can “notarize” and record anything we choose, not just the cash transactions between Bitcoin users. Entire companies can be organized on blockchains, which can authenticate everything from contracts to compensation. Decentralized autonomous corporations, or DACs, for example, are a fast-growing category of businesses that depend on a collectively computed blockchain to determine how shares are distributed. To count as a true DAC, a company must be an open-source endeavor whose operation occurs without the supervision of a single guiding body, such as a board or a CEO.* Instead, a project’s governing rules and mission must emerge from consensus. Project workers are compensated for their labor or capital investment with shares in the blockchain, which increase in number as the project develops.42 We can think of DACs as companies whose stock is issued little by little as the company grows from a mere business plan into a sustainable enterprise.

Only individuals who create value for the company are awarded new stock proportionate to their contributions.43 Fittingly, the majority of DACs currently sell blockchain-related services themselves. By committing to the blockchain for their own governance and share distribution, DACs lend credibility to the technologies they are selling. They stand in stark contrast to the bitcoin ETFs being peddled by the Winklevoss twins and others, in which profit is extracted through traditional Wall Street markups and expense ratios, and transactions remain opaque. By using the blockchain, DACs subject themselves to total transparency. Everyone can see everything. Even with all their advantages, there is a certain brittleness to most of these blockchain projects. Those who get in early tend to earn the most of whatever coin is being distributed. Moreover, the rules that get into a system in the beginning become pretty intractable.

I’ll explain it here briefly, but the main takeaway is that there’s no one in charge—which means the biases of Bitcoin are very different from those of a traditional interest-generating money system. This is a money system that works through protocols—digital handshakes between peers—instead of establishing security through central authorities. Bitcoin is based on a database known as the “blockchain.” The blockchain is a public ledger of every bitcoin transaction ever. It doesn’t sit on a server at a bank or in the basement of a credit-card company’s headquarters; it lives on the computers of everyone in the Bitcoin network. When bitcoins are transacted, an algorithm corresponding to that transaction is “published” to the blockchain. The algorithm is just a description of the transaction itself, as in “2 bitcoins came from A and went to B.” Instead of a list of users and their bitcoin balances, the ledger simply lists the transactions in chronological order.


pages: 316 words: 117,228

The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Wolfgang Streeck

Some advances in digital technology, however, have created the possibility of decentralized governance, most prominently among them, blockchain technology. A blockchain is a tamper-proof ledger that contains a complete history of all state changes in transactions that take place on it.2 Smart contracts are pieces of code set to execute on the blockchain. Since every action on the blockchain is recorded automatically, blockchain-based smart contracts create an unprecedented level of granularity, completeness, and trustworthiness in the data gathered. A blockchain typically can only be written onto; it cannot be modified. Because they do not allow parties to back out from existing commitments, smart contracts that are written on blockchain create even more binding commitments than do legal contracts. By transacting through blockchain-based smart contracts, participants agree to a set of coded rules that are enforced by deterministic computers.

See the policy principles and agenda for reform set out in chapters 12 and 13 of his Stabilizing an Unstable Economy. For an excellent summary of Minsky’s thinking of how to stabilize an inherently instable financial system, see Mehrling, “Minsky and Modern Finance.” 274 n ote s to c h a P te r 9 47. Described by De Filippi and Wright, Blockchain and the Law, at Loc. 449 (Kindle edition). 48. Gerard, Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contract (Creative Commons, 2017) at Loc 202 (Kindle edition). 49. De Filippi and Wright, Blockchain and the Law, at Loc. 800 (Kindle edition). 50. See also Desan, Making Money, who argues that money is grounded in constitutional law. 51. Mark J. Flannery, “Contingent Capital Instruments for Large Financial Institutions,” Annual Review of Financial Economics 6 (2014):225–240. 52.

Peter Evans, Dieter Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 169– 191; see also the discussion in chapter 9. 54. Chuan Tian, “The Rate of Blockchain Patent Applications Has Nearly Doubled in 2017,” July 27, 2017, available online at https://www.coindesk .com /rate-blockchain-patent-applications-nearly-doubled-2017/ (last accessed September 1, 2017). 55. See http://appft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html (last accessed August 1, 2018). 56. Mark A. Chen, Qinxi Wuy, and Baozhong Yang, “How Valuable Is FinTech Innovation,” ssrn.com/abstract=3106892 (2018); see especially figures 4 and 5B. 57. See Chuan Tian, “Goldman Sachs Granted ‘SETLcoin’ Cryptocurrency Patent,” July 13, 2017, available online at https://www.coindesk .com/goldman -sachs-granted-setlcoin-cryptocurrency-patent/ (last accessed September 1, 2017); Christine Kim, “Barclays Seeks Twin Blockchain Patents for Banking Services,” July 19, 2018; and Kim, “Mastercard Wins Patent for Speeding Up Crypto Payments,” July 17, 2018; both available at www.coindesk .com (last accessed August 1, 2018). 58.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

But Bitcoin’s second innovation is where we discover a new form of computational arbitrage, in the consensus-driven mechanism of the blockchain. The blockchain is the public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions in the history of the currency. It contains a detailed accounting of every transaction since the currency’s instantiation, a digital file that now exceeds 20 gigabytes in size and must be downloaded locally by every Bitcoin software client. The blockchain is the algorithm that implements the political critique of Bitcoin, a marvel of arbitrage that inverts the traditional relationship between privacy and transparency. Every transaction, every incremental unit of Bitcoin value, is traced through the blockchain, and each of those transactions is tied to one or more buyer and seller identities. The identities are simply alphanumeric strings derived from the public keys of an asymmetric encryption protocol, the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm.

The outcome of that labor is a new block for the blockchain. To do this, they must solve an arbitrary and highly complex math problem. The miner who is the first to correctly solve the problem “wins” that block. And there is a reward: the first transaction in each new block is a “generation transaction,” that creates a quantity of new Bitcoins (the number gradually decreases over time). The miner who solves the block earns this reward for throwing the most computational resources at assembling the latest block for the blockchain (figure 5.1). The miner also accepts a secondary reward by claiming a small transaction fee for processing these various trades (this fee gradually increases over time). Other nodes in the network then accept this newly minted tail for the blockchain and turn to assembling new transactions into a new block.

The system will gradually taper the reward for completing new blocks to zero, thereby ceasing the creation of new Bitcoins entirely, once 21 million Bitcoins have been created.26 At that point, transaction fees alone will provide the incentive for Bitcoin users to dedicate their computers to endlessly updating the blockchain. Figure 5.1 The blockchain, a system for transparent, public accounting of Bitcoin transactions. I am dwelling on the details of this elaborate process for delivering financial consensus because Bitcoin is not simply a decentralized currency but a revaluation of commerce in algorithmic terms. Bitcoin’s true radicalism stems from the fact that the blockchain grounds its authority on collective computation as an intrinsic form of value. To understand this shift we need to consider Bitcoin in the context of the historical value propositions of capitalism. As Karl Marx famously argued, industrial capitalism is based on a powerful mode of abstraction, one that separates individuals from the profits of their labor, creating a form of alienation that abstracts the work of individuals into fungible goods and services.


pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

When they check out, the lock can automatically order a cleaner, transfer payment to the cleaner and send leftover funds to the room owner. It’s a whole, functioning company that doesn’t exist, except as a computer programme. Blockchains and smart contracts create problems as well as efficiencies. What if you forget your password code, or think you deserve a refund because the room wasn’t as big as promised? And what happens if something incorrect or malicious is placed on one of these immutable databases?* Radical decentralisation is an excellent way to stop the abuse of centralised power, but when things go wrong it’s sometimes helpful having someone in charge.20 Despite these problems, everyone at Hotel Lug was extremely excited by blockchains and their liberating, decentralising potential. (Vit told me blockchains would be ‘absolutely vital’ for Liberland’s taxation and voting systems, and that bitcoin will be an official currency.)

Every time someone sends a bitcoin as payment, a record of the transaction is timestamped to the microsecond, and stored in something called a ‘blockchain’ (each block representing about ten minutes’ worth of transactions). The blocks are ordered chronologically, and each includes a digital signature (a ‘hash’) of the previous block, which administers the ordering and guarantees that a new block can join the chain only if it starts from where the preceding one finishes. A copy of the blockchain—which is basically a record of every single transaction ever made—is kept by everyone who has installed the bitcoin software. To ensure everything is running as it should, the blockchain is constantly verified by the computers of certain key users who compete to crack a mathematical puzzle that allows them to officially verify the blocks are all in order (and in exchange they get to mint a small number of new bitcoins).

Blocks could be made bigger, but bigger blocks would take longer to propagate through the network, worsening the risks of forking. Many people assume bitcoin to be completely decentralised, but if a miner, or a group of miners, controlled over half the computing power that works on verifying the transaction, it could feasibly force a change on the blockchain transaction list however it wished, create a fork of the blockchain, and all the other computers would start to work on the new version (the protocol is written so that all computers work from the longest blockchain). In bitcoin, a few large pools can register most of the new bitcoin blocks, which could push them to the 51 per cent threshold for mining power: which could result in a takeover. Indeed, in 2014 one mining rig took over 51 per cent of bitcoin’s hashing power for twelve straight hours. One of bitcoin’s goals was to be a free system, independent of anyone’s control.


pages: 209 words: 53,236

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

When the bitcoin innovators Satoshi Nakamoto and Nick Szabo sought to invent new forms of money, they explicitly designed algorithms that nullified the effects of technological advance in computer technology. As Moore’s Law improves the computer systems used to validate transactions and integrate them with the bitcoin blockchain, for example, the “proof of work” challenge in the algorithm becomes proportionately more difficult and the reward smaller. Bitcoin “miners” could gain their specified rewards, but they could not use their superfast devices to accelerate their own transactions or capture greater personal returns from them. Regardless of the evolution of computer technology, every group of transactions in the blockchain and every new issue of bitcoins would require a ten-minute span to verify and integrate, mine and mint. Devoid of the outside influences of capital and technology, the source of bitcoin value becomes the pure irreversible passage of time.

The deflationary bias reflects the reality of a capitalist economy of abundance and creativity playing out against the irreversible passage of time. To the Austrian economics of subjectivity, time provides an objective foundation. In reaching for commodities in which to anchor his system of value, Ametrano should have ended with gold, with its intimate links to the irreversibility of time. In the end, a test of bitcoin or any other blockchain will be the price of gold. If in a mature bitcoin system the gold chain massively bifurcates from the blockchain, it will signify a disorientation of values. As in bitcoin itself, the majority of users will decide which branch bears economic truth.11 Since its creation in 2009, bitcoin’s price movements have been 80.4 percent correlated with the gold price.12 Bitcoin’s relatively tiny float has imparted much greater volatility. But its following gold down in 2014 should not have been alarming.

It should provide an automated system that benefits from Moore’s and Metcalfe’s learning curves to become more efficient with scale and capable of transactions of all sizes.7 It should partake of the same monetary sources of stable value that characterize gold. Fortunately such a payment system has already been invented. It is set to become a new facet of Internet infrastructure. It is called the bitcoin blockchain. It is already in place. It functions peer-to-peer without outside trusted third parties, and it follows Nick Szabo’s precursor, bitgold. Its value, like gold’s, is ultimately based on the scarcity of time. With automation it will become capable of micropayments. Even if bitcoin proves flawed, scores of companies are developing alternatives based on the essential blockchain innovation that can serve as a successful transactions layer for digital commerce. The existence of such a system would enable sellers on the Internet, such as content producers, to name their own prices and collect their funds directly.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Just a few weeks earlier, a nineteen-year-old Russian Canadian named Vitalik Buterin had published a proposal for what he called Ethereum.7 What Bitcoin was for money, Ethereum would be for everything else. It turns out that the basic idea of an ironclad list with no single caretaker—the blockchain—has an enormous range of potential applications. Rather than listing transactions, for instance, it can list contracts and enforce them computationally, resulting in an autonomous legal system without courts or cops. A blockchain of websites could be the basis of a more secure kind of internet. “It’s an operating system for society,” D’Onofrio said. Before long, coders were sketching out prototypes for what they called decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs—entities made up of Ethereum “smart contracts.”

These initial coin offerings, or ICOs, have re-created a little-regulated free-for-all like the pre–Great Depression stock markets, before government oversight ruined the dangerous fun. They have democratic potential but mostly anarcho-capitalist adoption. Blockchains will become what we use them for, and we will become creatures of those uses. One of those nights visiting Silicon Valley, I stopped by Joel Dietz’s house for the meeting of a group that called itself the Cryptocommons. The house itself had a name, the Love Nest, having become home to a shifting cast of residents who shared Joel’s interests in blockchains, art, and “exponential” relationships. Dietz wore a black T-shirt bearing the white circle that represented his current project, Swarm, a prototype for crypto-crowdfunding, still so new as to be of ambiguous legality; it would later be resurrected as a “cooperative ownership platform for real assets.”

One of the earliest platform co-ops of all, Snowdrift.coop, is honing a model for helping its co-owners crowdfund free-and-open projects for the commons that nobody will own. Seedbloom, based in Berlin, enables backers of a new project to become its co-owners—a kind of “equity crowdfunding.” It ran the initial membership drive for Resonate, which uses blockchain tech as well, and which later raised $1 million in tokens through a cooperative blockchain project called RChain. The total value of RChain’s Ethereum-based crowd-sale tokens has reached over $800 million; while proposing to develop a sophisticated, next-generation protocol, founder Greg Meredith modeled RChain’s co-op structure on old-fashioned REI. A healthy financing buffet needs more than crowdfunding. Purpose Ventures is a new venture fund designed to enable companies to remain “steward-owned” and purpose-oriented—rather than forever seeking an exit that turns the company into a commodity.


pages: 218 words: 62,889

Sabotage: The Financial System's Nasty Business by Anastasia Nesvetailova, Ronen Palan

algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, Black-Scholes formula, blockchain, Blythe Masters, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business process, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ross Ulbricht, shareholder value, short selling, smart contracts, sovereign wealth fund, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail

The emergence of data as the most valuable asset in the digital capitalism of the twenty-first century, as well as tighter regulation of the traditional financial sector, is paving the way for a new means of doing the business of finance. Many of these innovations are celebrated in the market and beyond. Blockchain – a distributed ledger technology underpinning the drive – is heralded as the radically new way to connect people across various sectors and walks of life. It is rapidly transforming the way business is conducted and services are delivered, from the energy sector to adult entertainers, as well as public services such as insurance and healthcare. Blockchain is probably best compared to the financial equivalent of the invention of email, a seemingly isolated revolution in communication which back in the mid-1990s would herald the rise of a new type of economic organization. Enthusiasts argue that a blockchain-powered economy can overcome a lot of the ills and costs of the traditional ways of doing business in finance.

Currently, we rely on a dated financial system that depends on paper and outdated software. It is expensive and completely open to fraud and crime. Blockchain disrupts the current bank system by being a real-time updating digital ledger that cannot be changed. This takes paper and fraud out of the equation. Wire and transfer fees will be decreased by using bitcoin, clearing and settlement can happen instantly, loans and credit applications can be assessed on the spot and consumers will have instant access to the funds they need and the answers they require.32 The political appeal of blockchain is rather unique. The Right cheers the ability of the technology to force a decentralization of the system and independence from formal governance structures. The Left sees an enormous potential of blockchain to democratize finance as a system that has become systemically corrupt, and thus empower people’s direct participation.

‘Problems’, in turn, range from investors being unable to withdraw money, a police investigation into a platform, or owners vanishing into thin air. These and other cases of fraud across China’s shadow banking industry have prompted a broader crackdown on debt and financial risk by the authorities, partly driven by the desire to avoid expensive bailouts, as a number of China’s wealth management firms, many of which are Ponzi schemes, fold.14 BLOCKCHAIN If peer-to-peer is engulfed in scandals, what about blockchain and its most famous cyber offspring, bitcoin? Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin show the truism of Hyman Minsky’s theory. Minsky, one of the greatest financial economists of the twentieth century, once said: ‘Anybody can create money, the problem is to get it accepted.’ Bitcoin is a currency that virtualizes in cyberspace as a reward for solving an algorithm. Bitcoin mining is an expensive business: one needs not only human capital but a lot of computer power, which in turn consumes a lot of energy.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

If (and it is a big “if”) surviving the economic singularity and avoiding fracture means ending the system of private ownership, how can this be done without falling into the unwelcome embrace of an over-mighty state and centralised planning? The answer just might be the blockchain. Blockchain People have gone mad trying to understand how the blockchain works, never mind trying to explain it. Its most famous application is Bitcoin, the world’s first completely decentralized digital currency.[cccxlix] In just a few years, the Bitcoin “economy” has grown larger than the economies of some countries. The value of a Bitcoin has fluctuated wildly, hitting a peak of $1,216 in November 2013. The insights which made Bitcoin possible were published in 2008 under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, and the blockchain is at the heart of it. The blockchain is a public ledger which records transactions. The clever bit is that the ledger is completely trustworthy despite having no central authority, like a bank, to validate it.

[cccl] Digital currency is only one of the possible applications of blockchain technology. It can register and validate all sorts of transactions and relationships. For instance, it could be used to manage the sale, lease or hire of a car. When you take possession of a car, it could be tagged with a cryptographic signature, which would mean that you are the only person who could open and start the car.[cccli] The revolutionary benefit of the blockchain is that all kinds of agreements can be validated without setting up a centralised institution to do so. By removing the need for a central intermediary, the blockchain can reduce transaction costs, and it can enhance privacy: no government agents need have access to your data without your permission. Most importantly, for our present purposes, the blockchain may make possible the decentralised ownership and management of collective assets.

The new block is added to the chain, and incorporates the transactions made since the last block was added to the chain. Your transaction is published on the blockchain’s network as soon as it is agreed, but it is only confirmed, and hence reliable, when a miner has incorporated it into a block. Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation solved a previously intractable challenge in computer science known as the Byzantine General’s Problem. Imagine a mediaeval city surrounded by a dozen armies, each led by a powerful general. If the armies mount a co-ordinated attack, their victory is assured, but they can only communicate by messengers on horseback who visit the generals one by one, and some of the generals are untrustworthy. The blockchain provides a way for each general to know that a message calling for an attack at a particular time is genuine, and has not been fabricated by a dishonest general before it reached him.


pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, moral panic, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

But Finney noticed Satoshi had included something he’d not really seen before, something called a blockchain. A quantity of Bitcoin is stored at a Bitcoin address, the key to which is a unique string of letters and numbers that can be kept on a website, desktop, mobile phone, or even a piece of paper. Every time someone sends a Bitcoin as payment, a record of the transaction is stored in something called the blockchain. Transactions are collected into blocks, with each block representing about 10 minutes’ worth of transactions. The blocks are ordered chronologically, and each includes a digital signature (a ‘hash’) of the previous block, which administers the ordering and guarantees that a new block can join the chain only if it starts from where the preceding one finishes. A copy of the blockchain record – a record every single transaction ever made – is maintained by everyone who has installed the Bitcoin software.

That end amounts to free forms of communication and transactions between individuals that cannot be censored or monitored. ‘Currencies are just the beginning,’ Amir tells me. ‘The real genius of blockchain is that it is going to help us create a decentralised net that no one can censor. This is much bigger than just Bitcoin. We’re going to transform the entire internet.’ ‘What do you mean?’ I ask. ‘Well, at the moment your Facebook data isn’t really controlled by you: it’s hosted on Mark Zuckerberg’s servers. Facebook administrators can do anything they like with it, because they own the servers, and so they own your data. It’s not really free, because it’s centralised. A social media platform built using blockchain would be different. Your posts would become part of the public blockchain record, and every user of the platform would have their own copy. Everything could be done anonymously, and censorship would be close to impossible.

He hated that bankers and governments held the key to the money supply and could manipulate it to their own ends. He even added an out-of-place line of text into the ‘genesis block’ (the very first bit of the blockchain – his transactions with Finney), which read: ‘The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.’ To keep governments and central banks out of it, Satoshi placed a cap on the total number of Bitcoins that could ever be produced: 21 million. Although Bitcoins can be bought and sold with real-world currencies, new Bitcoins are not minted by any central authority. Instead anyone who dedicates his computing power to verifying the transactions in the blockchain competes to earn a very small amount of new Bitcoins each time they do so (this is called ‘mining’). As more Bitcoins are created (approximately 13 million have been created so far), the remaining Bitcoins require more computing power to mine.fn3 The last Bitcoin is expected to be mined in around 2140.


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

It could lift billions out of poverty, turn our modern banking system into a quaint relic, and generally perform no less magical a feat than creating money that functions without, well, money. It’s also entirely possible that Bitcoin itself, the currency, collapses and becomes little more than an answer to a Trivial Pursuit question. So the second and far more important reason to pay attention is that the blockchain—the technology that makes Bitcoin possible—has implications far beyond the future of currencies and financial services. The blockchain is, in our estimation, likely to change the very relationship between individuals and institutions, a revolution in the nature of authority. The importance of Bitcoin and the blockchain—in simple terms, the public ledger in which every Bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place is recorded—lies in its architecture, a structure based on the understanding that the network will pull the resources necessary to its formation and maintenance, without the need for a central director orchestrating, pushing the organization of those resources.

Each coin is in reality a long chain of digital signatures, and the work of creating new ones involves recording each and every transaction into blocks that are then added to the blockchain at a rate of roughly six per hour. These “proof of work” formulas are constructed so that it’s exceedingly easy to verify a transaction, but nearly impossible to fake one. That’s because every bitcoin transaction contains the “hash,” or numerical identifier, of every transaction that came before it. Because the total number of bitcoins is limited—no more than twenty-one million can be produced with the current code—and the rate of block creation stays fairly constant, the number of bitcoins created by each block must decline over time. Thus, the system is designed so that the proof-of-work functions used to verify transactions become increasingly difficult, making it harder to mine new bitcoins. The number of bitcoins created by the blockchain is set to decrease by 50 percent every four years.

Adleman, “A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems,” Communications of the ACM 21, no. 2 (February 1978): 120–26, doi:10.1145/359340.359342. 41 AP, “Firm Shuts Down Privacy Feature,” Calgary Herald, October 9, 2001. 42 CCNMatthews (Canada), “Radialpoint CEO a Finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,” MarketWired, July 29, 2005. 43 Roberto Rocha, “What Goes Around Comes Around; Montreal-Based Akoha.com Encourages Acts of Kindness by Turning Altruism into a Game,” Gazette, July 14, 2009. 44 The Akoha Team, “Akoha Shutting Down August 15 2011,” Akoha Blog, August 2, 2011, https://blog.akoha.com/2011/08/02/akoha-shutting-down-august-15-2011/. 45 Michael J. Casey, “Linked-In, Sun Microsystems Founders Lead Big Bet on Bitcoin Innovation,” Moneybeat blog, Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2014, http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/11/17/linked-in-sun-microsystems-founders-lead-big-bet-on-bitcoin-innovation/. 46 “Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains,” r/Bitcoin, Reddit, http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/2k070h/enabling_blockchain_innovations_with_pegged/clhak9c. 47 Timothy Leary, “The Cyber-Punk: The Individual as Reality Pilot,” Mississippi Review 16, no. 2/3 (1988). 48 T.F. Peterson, Nightwork (Cambridge, MA.: The MIT Press, 2011), https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/nightwork. 49 While the science on the human microbiome, which includes gut bacteria, is still evolving, there’s intriguing evidence that our bacteria have a strong influence not only on our health, but also on our behavior.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Jeff Garzik, a bitcoin developer, calls it ‘the biggest thing since the internet – a catalyst for change in all areas of our lives’. Blockchains for all What are these enthusiasts on about? The ‘blockchain’ technology behind bitcoin could prove to be an ingredient of an entire new world of technology, as big as the internet itself, a wave of innovation that drives the middleman out of much commerce and leaves us much more free to exchange goods and services with people all over the world without going through corporate intermediaries. It could radically decentralise society itself, getting rid of the need for banks, governments, even companies and politicians. Take the example of Twister, a blockchain-based rival to Twitter, built entirely on a peer-to-peer network. If you live under a despotic regime, sending a message critical of your government on Twitter leaves you vulnerable to that government coercing Twitter, the company, into handing over your details.

‘I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash,’ said Milton Friedman. And it is not just e-cash; it is the technology behind bitcoin that could finally decentralise not just the internet but society too. The blockchain technology that makes bitcoin work has far-reaching implications. The bizarre evolution of blockchains The story begins in 1992, when the internet was just beginning to emerge. A wealthy computer pioneer named Tim May invited a group of people to his house in Santa Cruz to discuss how to use ‘cryptologic methods’ on networked computers to break down barriers of intellectual property and government secrecy. ‘Arise! You have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences,’ he told them.

One of the pithiest explanations I have come across is in a recent launch by Ethereum, a business built to follow up on bitcoin: ‘The innovation provided by Satoshi is the idea of combining a very simple decentralised consensus protocol, based on nodes combining transactions into a “block” every ten minutes, creating an ever-growing blockchain, with proof of work as a mechanism through which nodes gain the right to participate in the system.’ If you think that’s hard to understand, you are not alone. I have yet to come across a description of blockchain technology in English, as opposed to mathematics, that is really clear. In outline, I know that bitcoin is effectively a public ledger – a compendium of transactions, stored by bitcoin users all over the world. To participate, you effectively create a part of that ledger, and share it with others as a cryptographically bound ‘block’.


pages: 269 words: 79,285

Silk Road by Eileen Ormsby

4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden, fiat currency, Firefox, Julian Assange, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Right to Buy, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, stealth mode startup, Ted Nelson, trade route, Turing test, web application, WikiLeaks

Pages of financial tomes have been dedicated to whether bitcoin should be categorised as a currency or a commodity, how it is created and traded, and its implications for fiat currencies, all of which are well beyond the scope of this book. The important feature of bitcoin is that it is both completely transparent and, if users know what they are doing, completely anonymous. It is transparent in that anyone can view any transaction that has occurred in any account (or ‘wallet’) at any time they want. Every transaction is recorded in a database known as the ‘blockchain’. Several websites, which anyone can visit and view, keep track of all transactions on the blockchain. Without further information, however, it is impossible to tell who owns the account you are looking at. So while, for example, you might be able to see that $20,000 worth of bitcoin was transferred from bitcoin address 1LK5HQqU6M9qyWSUhfPnV6xtKBCocUp6PY to bitcoin address 13g7xpD27XWDg5NX9dRLEdqumUNL6koh6H, unless the owners of those addresses have advertised the fact, there is no way of knowing who owns either of them.

As more of them were mined, they became harder to come by and more valuable, requiring heavier and heavier machinery to find those that were left. Rather than shovels and earthmovers, bitcoins were designed to be mined by computers performing complex mathematical equations, or what Nakamoto called ‘proof-of-work’. In order to prevent people attempting to ‘double spend’ bitcoin, every transaction record had to be added to the blockchain, which became proof that a legitimate transaction had taken place and the bitcoin had changed from one wallet to another. Mining involved computers adding those records to the blockchain. As more transactions took place, it became more difficult for a computer to perform the equation that confirmed the transaction. People who set their computers to compete with each other to be the first to solve the equation were known as ‘miners’, and the miner of the computer that solved the equation would be rewarded in bitcoin.

Carrying out a business under the name Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BST), pirateat40 promised returns of 7 per cent per week. As with most sham schemes, BST provided the returns to those who wanted them, and ‘reinvested’ for those who wanted the cumulative interest effect. It managed to run until August 2012, collecting around 700,000 bitcoin, until Bitcointalk became filled with complaints and suspicions. As people examined the blockchain in the aftermath, the internet sleuths of Bitcointalk uncovered a very large wallet that they soon determined belonged to Silk Road. From this, some concluded BST was in fact a clever money-laundering scheme that accepted investors’ bitcoin and returned to them Silk Road’s funds, effectively ‘washing’ the dirty money. Pirateat40 disappeared when it became clear that he was no longer making returns, and investors realised that the chances of recovering their money – let alone any profits – were slim to none.


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The argument merely reinforces the human obligation to keep consuming, or to keep working for an unlivable wage. More countercultural solutions, such as bitcoin and the blockchain, are no less technosolutionist in spirit. The blockchain replaces the need for central authorities such as banks by letting everyone on a network authenticate their transactions with computer encryption. It may disintermediate exploitative financial institutions but it doesn’t help rehumanize the economy, or reestablish the trust, cohesion, and ethos of mutual aid that was undermined by digital capitalism. It simply substitutes for trust in a different way: using the energy costs of blockchain mining as a security measure against counterfeiting or other false claims. (The computer power needed to create one bitcoin consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years.)

(The computer power needed to create one bitcoin consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years.) Is this the fundamental fix we really need? A better ledger? The problem the blockchain solves is the utilitarian one of better, faster accounting, and maybe an easier way to verify someone’s identity online. That’s why the banking industry has ultimately embraced it: the quicker to find us and drain our assets. Progressives, meanwhile, hope that the blockchain will be able to record and reward the unseen value people are creating as they go about their lives—as if all human activity were transactional and capable of being calculated by computer. We must learn that technology’s problems can’t always be solved with more technology. 49. Some of the more farsighted tech billionaires are already investing in plan B.

Humans are the problem; they are part of that same evil, ambiguous natural world as women, forests, and uncivilized natives. Heck, humans are the natives, subject to unpredictable ebbs and flows of emotions and hormones and irrational needs. Singularitans consider technology more trustworthy than humans. Surveillance is not just a profit center for social media, but a way of safeguarding digital society from human resistance. Code enforces rules without bias (unless, of course, you happen to be the coder). It’s a blockchain reality, where machines execute the letter of the law without any sense of the spirit. So much the better to accelerate development and reach the singularity before the clock runs out on the habitable biosphere. Computers and artificial intelligences are pure intention, not clouded or tempered by human social priorities or moral misgivings. They are a direct, utilitarian extension of our apocalyptic urge to colonize the natural world.


pages: 304 words: 91,566

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

"side hustle", airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, game design, Isaac Newton, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, offshore financial centre, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Charlie is a like a miner. And the golden ticket, which will grant him a tour of Willy Wonka’s factory, is like the block reward. Now suppose that by searching for this golden ticket, Charlie is also simultaneously validating purchases of candy bars and recording them in the factory’s business ledger—the Willy Wonka blockchain. And suppose there are many Charlies all around the world doing the same thing, searching for that golden ticket. As they open Wonka bars, they are auditing the Wonka blockchain and checking one another’s work. Willy Wonka’s contest has miraculously incentivized children around the world to work together to validate and record transactions of Wonka bars, helping Willy keep track of who paid for what, thereby protecting his profits and ensuring that his factory stays in business and can continue to make chocolate for everyone.”

He still didn’t have a complete grasp of how it all worked—but what he already knew fascinated him. Voorhees explained how Bitcoin “miners”—people with computers running specialized software—validate and audit bitcoin transactions by solving complex math problems generated by the transactions themselves. Once a miner has solved the math puzzle for a new “block” of transactions, the block is added to the Bitcoin “blockchain,” the global ledger of every bitcoin transaction since the beginning of time. For their effort, miners were rewarded by the network with newly minted bitcoins. This is known as the “block reward.” And the more computing power a miner brings to the network, the greater the chance they have of solving the math problems and winning the block reward. The more you mine, the more likely you are to win.

And to them, it didn’t matter how many lawyers had told them they were being fools; the fact that their father had stood behind them gave them the confidence to realize they were making the right decision. “Cameron said it first—‘this is either complete bullshit or the next big thing,’ ” Tyler said. His father nodded, looking out at the water. They’d already discussed Bitcoin at length on the phone and during breakfast that morning. His father had immediately seen the mathematical beauty behind the now three-year-old cryptocurrency. The elegance of the blockchain—the open, decentralized ledger where transactions were permanently recorded—immediately made sense to him, and the brilliance of Bitcoin itself, of a currency backed by math and cryptography, with a fixed supply mined by computers running complex equations, certainly thrilled his mathematical mind. But he shared Tyler and Cameron’s concerns about Silk Road, and the shady side of the Bitcoin world.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

But instead of paying a traditional title company a lot of money to verify a complex transaction such as a house sale, an online peer-to-peer blockchain system can execute the exchange for much less cost, or maybe for free. Some blockchain enthusiasts propose creating tools that perform a complicated cascade of transactions that depend on verification (like an import/export deal) using only decentralized automated blockchain technology, thereby disrupting many industries that rely on brokers. Whether Bitcoin itself succeeds, its blockchain innovation, which can generate extremely high levels of trust among strangers, will further decentralize institutions and industries. An important aspect of the blockchain is that it is a public commons. No one really owns it because, well, everyone owns it. As a creation becomes digital, it tends to become shared; as it becomes shared, it also becomes ownerless. When everyone “owns” it, nobody owns it. That is often what we mean by public property or the commons.

Bitcoin may be most famous for its anonymity and the black markets it fueled. But forget the anonymity; it’s a distraction. The most important innovation in Bitcoin is its “blockchain,” the mathematical technology that powers it. The blockchain is a radical invention that can decentralize many other systems beyond money. When I send you one U.S. dollar via a credit card or PayPal account, a central bank has to verify that transaction; at the very least it must confirm I had a dollar to send you. When I send you one bitcoin, no central intermediary is involved. Our transaction is posted in a public ledger—called a blockchain—that is distributed to all other bitcoin owners in the world. This shared database contains a long “chain” of the transaction history of all existing bitcoins and who owns them.

Six times an hour this open distributed database of coins is updated with all the new transactions of bitcoins; a new transaction like ours must be mathematically confirmed by multiple other owners before it is accepted as legitimate. In this way a blockchain creates trust by relying on mutual peer-to-peer accounting. The system itself—which is running on tens of thousands of citizen computers—secures the coin. Proponents like to say that with bitcoin you trust math instead of governments. A number of startups and venture capitalists are dreaming up ways to use blockchain technology as a general purpose trust mechanism beyond money. For transactions that require a high degree of trust between strangers, such as real estate escrows and mortgage contracts, this validation was previously provided by a professional broker. But instead of paying a traditional title company a lot of money to verify a complex transaction such as a house sale, an online peer-to-peer blockchain system can execute the exchange for much less cost, or maybe for free.


pages: 182 words: 53,802

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Banks by Ann Pettifor

Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mobile money, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, the market place, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail

However, some have hyped up the technology used by bitcoin – blockchain, a distributed database or ledger – and argued that it could revolutionise the distribution of wealth and provide transparent accounts of transactions. We should treat these claims cautiously. In a recent blog, Financial Times journalist Izabella Kaminska argued that financial technology fads follow a pattern similar to new music designated first as ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ but which then fades and becomes ‘so last year’. In the same way, for her as an investigative journalist, Blur (bitcoin) evolved into a love of Radiohead (blockchain). But Radiohead (blockchain) was adopted too quickly by those who then compromised the likeability of the entire Indy genre (cryptocurrency). It was time consequently to turn to drum and bass (private blockchains). But drum and bass was being cross-polluted by Indy rock enthusiasts (cryptocurrency enthusiasts) so it became time to embrace something totally radical and segregated, i.e. go backwards to an ironic appreciation of Barry Manilow abandoning all refs to modern musical phenomena (Distributed Ledger Technology).

Which puts us roughly at the point where cheesy revivalism should be turning into a general love of the all time provable greats (old school centralised ledger technology, but you know, digitally remastered). Suffice to say, there is some commentary emerging to suggest we are indeed in a phase transition and what’s cool isn’t the blockchain anymore but rather the defiant acknowledgement that the old operating system – for all its flaws – is built on the right regulatory, legal and trusted foundations after all and just needs some basic tweaking.27 In 2016, $70 million worth of bitcoin was stolen from customer accounts held at Bitfinex. As Kaminska writes, that ‘should give the banking industry pause for thought with respect to adopting blockchain and bicoin-based financial technologies’.28 Speculators have periodically inflated the value of bitcoin to delirious heights. As always, the winners are those who sell just before the bubble bursts.

., p. 76. 24Izabella Kaminska, ‘When Memory Becomes Money; The Story of Bitcoin so far’, Financial Times blog, ftalphaville. ft.com, accessed 3 April, 2013. 25Friedrich A. Hayek, Denationalisation of Money: The Argument Refined, London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 1990. 26Jonathan Levin, ‘Governments will struggle to put Bitcoin under lock and key’, The Conversation, theconservation.com, accessed 27 November, 2013 27Izabella Kaminska, ‘How I learned to stop blockchain obsessing and love the Barry Manilow’, Financial Times blog, ftalphaville.ft.com, accessed 10 August, 2016. 28Izabella Kaminska, ‘Day three post Bitfinex hack: Bitcoin bailouts, liabilities and hard forks’, Financial Times blog, ftalphaville.ft.com, accessed 12 October, 2016. 29A short Google search reveals that one cosmetic surgery company offers rates of 16.9 percent on loans to finance a ‘transformation’ in one’s looks, transforminglives.co.uk, accessed 6 June 16. 30See Ulrich Bindseil, Monetary Policy Operations and the Financial System, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, p. 84. 31The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Discovering Open Market Operations, 1 August 1988, minneapolisfed.org, accessed 2 June 2016. 32Frank van Lerven, ‘A Guide to Public Money Creation’, Positive Money, May 2016, positivemoney.org, accessed 2 June 2016. 33Ibid., p. 19. 34Ibid., p. 22.


pages: 50 words: 15,603

Orwell Versus the Terrorists: A Digital Short by Jamie Bartlett

augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Satoshi Nakamoto, technoutopianism, Zimmermann PGP

Back in 2009, in an obscure cryptography chat forum, a mysterious man called Satoshi Nakamoto invented the crypto-currency Bitcoin.fn3 It turns out the real genius of Bitcoin was not the currency at all, but the way that it works. Bitcoin creates an immutable, unchangeable public copy of every transaction ever made by its users, which is hosted and verified by every computer that downloads the software. This public copy is called the ‘blockchain’. Pretty soon, enthusiasts figured out that the blockchain system could be used for anything. Armed with 30,000 Bitcoins (around $12 million) of crowdfunded support, the Ethereum project is dedicated to creating a new, blockchain-operated internet. Ethereum’s developers hope the system will herald a revolution in the way we use the net – allowing us to do everything online directly with each other, not through the big companies that currently mediate our online interaction and whom we have little choice but to trust with our data.

According to a recent poll by Ipsos-Mori and the Royal Statistics Society (2014), only between 4 and 7 per cent of respondents say they have a high level of trust in institutions such as media, internet companies, telecommunications companies and insurance companies to use data appropriately. fn3 You’ve probably heard of this pseudonymous digital cash because it was, and still is, the currency of choice on the illegal online drugs markets. fn4 And increasingly, I predict, politics. Although no political parties – save the occasional fringe party – have given any thought to what crypto-currencies might mean. What does a modern centre-left party think of crypto-currency, or of blockchain decentralisation? They have no idea. Orwell I’ve interviewed many of the people in the frontline of the battle, the people behind the extraordinary innovation currently taking place. They see the question of online privacy as the digital front in a battle over individual liberty: a rejection of internet surveillance and censorship that they believe has come to dominate modern life online.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

One of the most innovative forms of architectural control ever invented made its appearance in 2008, when an anonymous coding genius known as Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper on the Cryptography mailing list defining the Bitcoin digital currency and the so-called blockchain protocol governing it. Although Bitcoin is notable as the world’s first unforgeable digital currency that cannot be controlled by a government, bank, or individual, the blockchain is truly revolutionary. It makes possible fully decentralized, completely trustworthy interactions without any need for escrow payments or other guarantees. The blockchain is a distributed public ledger that enables storage of data in a container (the block) affixed to other containers (the chain).37 The data can be anything: dated proof of an invention, a title to a car, or digital coins. Anyone can verify that you placed data in the container because it has your public signature, but only your private key can open it to see or transfer the contents. Like your home address, a blockchain container is publicly, verifiably yours, but only people you authorize have a key that permits entry.38 The blockchain protocol makes decentralized governance possible.

Like your home address, a blockchain container is publicly, verifiably yours, but only people you authorize have a key that permits entry.38 The blockchain protocol makes decentralized governance possible. Normally, when you sign a contract, you must either trust the other party to honor the terms or rely on a central authority such as the state, or on an escrow service like eBay, to enforce the deal. Public blockchain ownership empowers us to write self-enforcing smart contracts that automatically reassign ownership once contract terms are triggered. Neither party can back out because the code, running in a decentralized public fashion, is not under anyone’s control. It simply executes. These smart, autonomous contracts can even pay people for the output of their work—in effect, machines hiring people, not the other way around. For example, imagine a smart contract between a wedding photographer and a couple planning their nuptials.

Martens, “Goldman Sachs Drops a Bombshell on Wall Street,” Wall Street on Parade, April 9, 2014, http://wallstreetonparade .com/2014/04/goldman-sachs-drops-a-bombshell-on-wall-street/. 36. Michael Lewis, “Michael Lewis Reflects on his Book Flash Boys, a Year after It Shook Wall Street to its Core,” Vanity Fair, April 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/03/michael-lewis-flash-boys-one-year-later. 37. William Mougayar, “Understanding the Blockchain,” Radar, January 16, 2015, http://radar.oreilly.com/2015/01/understanding-the-blockchain.html. 38. Ibid. 39. Tamara McCleary, “Got Influence? What’s Social Currency Got To Do With It?” Tamara McCleary blog, December 1, 2014, http://tamaramccleary.com/got-influence-social-currency/. 40. Grant and Stothers, “iStockphoto.Com,” 3. 41. Hind Benbya and Marshall Van Alstyne, “How to Find Answers within Your Company,” MIT Sloan Management Review 52, no. 2 (2011): 65–75. 42.


pages: 188 words: 40,950

The Case for Universal Basic Income by Louise Haagh

back-to-the-land, basic income, battle of ideas, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, full employment, future of work, housing crisis, income inequality, job-hopping, land reform, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mini-job, moral hazard, new economy, offshore financial centre, precariat, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, trickle-down economics, universal basic income

In the case of a German group of activists who are distributing annual ‘basic incomes’ to the value of €12,000 per annum from a fund of over €1.5 million raised since 2014, the intention is to demonstrate that the principle of sharing works to generate social trust where states have failed, as hostile income security policies have reduced take-up over the last ten years.37 Asked about the inherent problems in crowdfunding – for example, such systems do not cover everyone, only those who join, and they are not reliable as financial systems, as they have no central bank propping them up – the reply is that public systems have had a chance and have fallen short.38 Other alternative initiatives to fund a basic income come from the corporate world, in particular Silicon Valley. An entrepreneurial group heavily involved in blockchain has set aside ‘somewhere between 200 and 300 million’ dollars for philanthropic causes, and funding a large-scale basic income experiment is a prime contender.39 Asked if such systems are not prone to capture by criminals and inherently unstable, an entrepreneur staking his candidacy for governing the latest cryptocurrency, EOS, on promoting basic income funding via blockchain, pointed out that several of the existing blockchains are already ‘the size of states’.40 Explaining why he favours universal basic income as a philanthropic goal, he observed, ‘I am from India originally, and look at the mess the Indian government is making of social security.’41 What do these examples tell us?

This presents a difficult scenario for basic income reform. For example, it is tempting to position basic income as a backstop that justifies or props up the global market – or its opposite in the form of a full nationalization of development. However, a concern is that either course sells basic income at a democratic discount. For example, if appeal is made to external threats or support systems (e.g. automation or blockchain), this presents states’ current impotence as inevitable. Whichever way you look at it, a case for basic income in terms of a defence of the public realm itself makes most sense. Although basic income does not require a high level of social equality to come into being in theory, in practice the supportive funding and values needed to sustain basic income depend on substantive forms of social equality.

Structure of Control of Core Human Activities, Social Relations, and Forms of Time – OECD countries Column 7: (A), (B), (C): 2000s, 2010s latest, (A 10s uses 2015 from column 5; 00s uses 2000, except columns 4 and 6 that uses 2004/5), UK Column 7B, uses the employment return from 2002 as later data not available Sources: Elaborated from OECD Employment Outlook, OECD Family Database Index A Ackerman, Bruce 171n83 agency 57 see freedom Alakeson, Vydhia 167n55 alienation 36 Allen, Jessica 163n14 Alstott, Anne 171n83 anomie 103 apprenticeship 82 appropriation 1, 19 Archer, Robin 175n27 Arendt, Hannah 110, 185n43 Arthur, Brian W. 173n95 artificial intelligence (AI) 12, 122 Atkinson, Anthony 119, 188n70 austerity 7, 14, 25, 111, 118, 131, 143 automation, 121, 136 see also artificial intelligence autonomy, permanent state 45 B Barr, Ben 5, 163n11 Barry, Brian 5, 162n6 basic goods 45 basic income: architectural 50 as compensation 12 capital grants 38 capitalism 58 citizen equality 12 civic model 8 civil society 94 civilization 12 common misunderstandings 12 conditions for 8 constitutive role 3, 13 cost of 29, 96, 102, democratic case for 9, 15, 37, 45, 140, 145–7 democratic humanist case 1, 37, 51 democratic constitution 144 development policy 92, 136 developmental provision 57 developmental structure 38 disincentives 171n86 distributive ethics 37 distributive measures 7, 170n75 earned income 39, 43, 130 electoral support 11 equality of standing 110 experiments 93, 108–9, 124, 130, 151–2 in Denmark 83 in Finland 151 in Europe 1, 124 feasibility 106, 109 fiscal pact 135 foundation model 116, 132 governance 3, 13, 36, 49, 51, 90, 92–3, 110, 115, 118, 130, 134, 144, 146–7 human development 2, 6, 12–13, 16–17, 37 human development case for 50 human development freedom 17, 53 humanist governance 52, 68, 90 humanist defence and justice 87 humanist form 45 idleness 12 implementation 30 incorporation 18 institution of health 70 institutional value 91 justice 37 libertarianism 36 liberty 17 see freedom, moral case 117 negative income tax 8, 24, 114 neo-liberalism 132 non-mortgageable 105 poverty 39 progressive 50, 138, 149 public inquiry 2 public policy coherence 72 radical 11 savings 39 security 3–5, 15, 17–19, 24, 37, 64, 66, 68–71, 69 scepticism about 12 simplification 115 social cooperation 13, 122 social work 27 status independence 73 strike fund 134 welfare state displacement 13 basic income experiments 108–9, 124, 130, 151 in Denmark 124 Europe 6 Finland 151 basic security 7, 15, 18–19, 24, 45, 68, 70–71, 149 Bauman, Zygmunt 171n84 behavioural tests 152 Belgium 47–8, 81, 99–100, 126–8, 156–7 benefit administration 126–8 spending on 172n94 see also sanctions benefit arrears 27 benefit cap policies 102 benefit payments 116 bureaucratic procedures 71 waiting periods 66, 71 see also means-testing benefit status 6, 27, 151 arbitration 73, 185n39 burden-of-proof 71 and criminal records 79 benefits, in-work 29, 32–33, 46, 119 Birnbaum, Simon 189n74 Bitcoin 109, 185 Bjørn, Niels H. 183n24, 190n89–9 blockchain 107–8, 136 Blyth, Mark 165n32 Bowles, Samuel 175n28 Bramley, Glen 168n66, 182n23 Brazil 98 income inequality, 98, 102 Bremmer, Ian 162n5 Briône, Patrick 189n79 Britain 6 see also UK British Medical Association 163n13 bureaucracy 150 business confidence 73 Byrd, B. Sharon 183n25 C Callard, Felicity 175n31 Canada 114 Cantor, Nancy 176n36, 177n49 capabilities 3 cooperative 3 individual 3 capital grants 38 capitalism: Anglo-liberal 66 basic income capitalism 58 and casualization 66, 119 comparative theory of 54 injustice within 137 platform capitalism 149 and work intensity 104 care: caring unions 75 cooperation in 75–6 dignity in 72 and family life 75 and mental health 69 and planning 148 relations of 66 services 22 time for 22 cash grants: and psychological effects 16 stability of 135 time-delimited 78 Caswell, Dorte 191n95 Cecchini, Simone 178n58 Chang, Ha-Joon 166n38 Charity 1, 10, 117, 169n68, 184n30 child allowances 10 child poverty 6 child-care 49 spending and trends 101 subsidies 82, 139 children: neglect of 72 rights of 26, 35 Chile 112 choice: and autonomy 39 choice approach 79, 132 of diverse life styles 15, 36 and the human development approach 9, 16, 53, 58, 61 and money 28 open-ended 58 public choice sets 9 structures of 65 in transactions 36 tragic 65, 77 see also liberty; freedom Christensen, Erik 189n74 Citizens’ Basic Income Trust 31, 33, 181n7 citizenship 101, 116, 135, 139, 142 becoming civil 103 as developing institution 142 civil rights, formation 146 civilization 2, 12, 15, 17, 93, 122 civil society 94 of development paths 92 and money 12 Clair, Amy 178n59 class: barriers 18 working class 133 coercion: build-up of 76 in social relations 79 in welfare 76 cognition 18, 68 constructive cognitive powers 68 collective action problems 59 communal rights 63 communism 35, 171n77, 171n80 capitalist road to 35 community: ownership 144 resilience 4 competition: and choice 79 and coercion 66 competition processes 64, 84, 103 competition state 8 constant 65, 74 cost of 80–1 in education 64 global 9, 16, 115 and power imbalance 76–77 as primary social relation 37 shelter from 141 and social relations 85 and standardization 54 unplanned 22 and work-schedules 111 competition economy 9, 16, 35, 37, 58, 63, 70, 83, 104 and care 82 and left and right libertarianism 11, 35–6, 41 competition state 8, 164n16 conditionality 150 see income benefits control: constant 62, 64 static 62, 64 dynamic 62, 64 cooperative 62, 64 in different economies 89 and skills-levels 160 of time 81, 160 over daily life 69 over one’s life 5 and well-being 146 of work 80 see also time; work cooperation: in care 75 constructing of 103 necessary for freedom 59 in society 5 system of cooperation 20, 59 cooperative conflicts 60 cooperative economy: and control of time 80 Cornia, G.


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Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

For example, Coconut offers customers the ability, whenever receiving or making a payment, to swiftly (re)calculate taxes and to put money aside to pay them. Holvi’s services include free integrated invoicing and bookkeeping. Some banks have sought to push cost cutting and automation much further by teaming up with or investing in companies that are working on alternative payment systems. In financial circles, Bitcoin (as well as blockchain, its underlying technology) has not only caused fear but also instilled hope that banking can be saved—although it’s unclear how. Banks advocating deeply decentralizing technologies for transferring and holding value such as blockchain may not yet fully appreciate that these technologies obviate the need for the centralized service they are offering. Overall, cost cutting may sound smart, but in banking it is as constrained by organizational setup and internal structures as it is for any other firm, and banks are already beginning to realize that.

raised money simply because it could: Leslie Hook, “Venture Capital Funding in Start-Ups Surges to $100bn for Quarter,” Financial Times, October 14, 2015, https://www.ft.com/content/e95f5c6e-7238-11e5-bdb1-e6e4767162cc. the number of listed companies: Maureen Farrell, “America’s Roster of Public Companies Is Shrinking Before Our Eyes,” Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-roster-of-public-companies-is-shrinking-before-our-eyes-1483545879. No digital currency is capable of: For more on blockchain, see Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World (New York: Portfolio/Penguin Books, 2016). fintechs attracted investments exceeding $19 billion: Andrew Meola, “The Fintech Report 2016: Financial Industry Trends and Investment,” Business Insider, December 14, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.de/the-fintech-report-2016-financial-industry-trends-and-investment-2016-12?

Lowering costs may help the banking sector in the short term, but over the long term, it may amount to little more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Responding to the cost of money disregards the demise of its informational dimension. As markets turn data rich, money is no longer needed to facilitate most of the information flow. No digital currency is capable of fundamentally altering that, not even the most advanced blockchain technology. Essentially, these are solutions for a different problem. But even as a medium of exchange, money may no longer hold an absolute monopoly. If markets teem with information that facilitates transactions, that information itself holds value. Every time it gets used, it creates insight and greases the market. Such market information turns into a valuable resource that is useful not only for one specific market participant, but for the market as a whole.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

The more interesting development emerging out of the Bitcoin movement is actually the technology that underpins the way Bitcoin is transacted and recorded. We call this the blockchain, and this could quite possibly be the answer to a world full of smart, transacting devices. Why We Need a Blockchain Traditional banking asserts that a bank account is owned by an individual and that individual must be identified so that he can safely and legally transact over the networks, pipes and wires maintained by the chartered banks of the world. This is why the creation of Bitcoin was somewhat of a headache for bank regulators around the world. Essentially, Bitcoin wallets are anonymous at the time of a transaction. If the user identifies himself, then you can link an account to a person, but it’s not required in order for a transaction to take place. Fearing an explosion of anonymous illegal transactions across the blockchain, such as those that made the dark web e-commerce trading site Silk Road possible, regulators around the world attempted to rein in Bitcoin’s explosive growth.

There are only a few thousand Bitcoin nodes,13 but the distributed ledger system that allocates the millions of bitcoins around the world is constantly syncing and updating the records of digital currency moving from one wallet to another. For the same reason that regulators generally don’t like the Bitcoin system, i.e. a wallet functioning independent of the wallet holder’s identity, it makes the blockchain or something similar, much better suited to the future of money. It has much higher redundancy than exiting banking systems, and works to reinforce itself constantly. There is no such thing as a bitcoin, of course, at least not in the physical sense. The blockchain simply keeps track of an ever-expanding list of addresses, and how many units of bitcoin are at each of those addresses. Figure 9.5: At the heart of Bitcoin is a distributed ledger system that is far more efficient for digital transactions than the existing banking system.

The banking system of 2025 will need to work more like an IP, or peer-to-peer, network than the current centralised banking networks that we have today; and the blockchain is a better, future-proof example of that. We are moving to a world where smart devices can have a value store or multiple value stores and can act as agents transacting on our behalf or on behalf of a group of people. We’re also moving to a world where identity won’t be tied to your driving licence, signature or social security number, but instead managed as a construct based on biometrics, unique identity markers, behavioural data and heuristics. Identity could itself be managed on a blockchain, as could contracts, assets and other information that need to be secured in a distributed, redundant system of record. Today, the banking system says that only banks (and licensed money transmitters) can send money from one trusted party to another, and only through those proprietary, restricted networks.


pages: 756 words: 120,818

The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization by Michael O’sullivan

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cloud computing, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, global value chain, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, private military company, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, supply-chain management, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, tulip mania, Valery Gerasimov, Washington Consensus

Many people might not be overly concerned if their Yahoo account was hacked but would be upset to find that their medical data had fallen into the wrong hands or was being used against them, by insurance companies, for instance. This suggests the need for tougher regulation of personal data, and it also points the way toward new technologies such as blockchain (i.e., distributed ledger technology) being deployed to protect data, and of the need to think about how fifth-generation telecommunications networks are protected. With blockchain, data is much more secure, and data owners can explicitly give permission for the use of their data (e.g., to doctors or pharmacists in the case of medicine). The potential use of blockchain—where not only can someone’s data be better protected, but a person’s identity can also be more easily verified—opens up the possibility that internet users could carry a form of verified online identification certificate.

Many of them will have failed to spot the emergence of the new trend but are quick to align themselves with it (which tells us more about the labor market than about anything else: people align their careers with hot trends). For instance, the December 2017 spike in the price of bitcoin was accompanied by a raft of new research opinions on the cryptocurrency from new cryptocoin brokers and large banks. For what it is worth, my own view on cryptocurrencies is that the future will be characterized as “Blockchain everywhere, bitcoin nowhere”—that is, the distributed ledger technology behind bitcoin will become more pervasive across economic sectors, but bitcoin will fail to prove itself as a currency proper and will live out an existence as a lurid, speculative asset.* To return to the business of forecasting, I am also often struck by the number of times that bodies like the IMF and central banks follow up a crisis or market event with a downward adjustment to their GDP forecasts.

The starting point in this challenge is for people, rather than their leaders, to decide what they want from politics. One of the best examples of how this can be done lies with the example of the Levellers. * Distributed ledger technology “allows simultaneous access, validation and record updating… across a network spread across multiple entities or locations. [It is] more commonly known as the blockchain technology.” “Distributed Ledger Technology,” Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/distributed-ledger-technology-dlt.asp. * What I have in mind here is that some countries condone and accept practices in areas like genetic editing that are not commonly or legally accepted around the world. FOUR THE LEVELLERS Agreements of the People St. Mary’s Let’s rejoin the first pages of this book where I introduced the site of the Putney Debates.


pages: 492 words: 141,544

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

artificial general intelligence, basic income, blockchain, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, gig economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, megacity, precariat, Schrödinger's Cat, seigniorage, strong AI, Turing machine, universal basic income, zero-sum game

“I’m not sure.” “Don’t you know who lives here?” “Oh yeah, we have to keep track of that, to keep the gas exchange and everything else. I just don’t know if John moved on or not.” “We do blockchain governance,” one of the others said. “The census is part of that.” “Blockchain governance? Meaning what?” “All our activities and decisions are recorded in a secure distributed network, including our comings and goings, but also everything we do as a town. We call it documented anarchy. A full-disclosure commons. Anyone can do anything, but everyone gets to know what that is.” “Is that what the blockchain governance movement on Earth is trying for?” “I don’t know.” Valerie said, “Since you keep track of everyone, could you look for someone we’re looking for, see if they’re in town?” “Sure.

What this virtual currency would come to in the real world no one could know, and the fact that millions of people had withdrawn their savings from normal seigniorage currencies to invest in such a murky new form of money, meaning, in the end, value and trust and exchangeability, was just another frightening destabilization to add to all the rest. That the millions of backers of this new currency were also demanding blockchain governance only added to the worries of people in power everywhere. “Do you understand this idea of blockchain governance?” Ta Shu asked John Semple at one point. John shrugged. “I think the idea is that if everyone’s got a wristpad and a connection to the cloud, everyone could participate in some kind of global governance, in which every action legal and financial would be completely documented, and recorded and secured publicly step by step and law by law.”

Central Commission for Military and Civilian Integration. Extant and permeable to inspection. The Householders’ Union. Extant and open to inspection. Rigid flexibility: the structure remains the same while content and function change. Small Leading Group on the Internet and Informatization. Extant and permeable to inspection. Anything that can be inspected can be altered, unless locked in a blockchain. Blockchains block alteration: is this good? Venues for information dissemination: CCTV. Global Times. Xinhua. WeChat. Citizen scores alert system. Health alert system. Weibo. Sesame scores alert system. Alibaba regular customer pages. Tencent. South China Morning Post. Full list includes 1,294 venues. An action could start with the dissemination of a list of reforms. A list of demands. A numbered list.


pages: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

Solid is much more than a different kind of technology; it is a different philosophy. With Solid your data “reports to you.” Another solution to the problem of placing one’s data in the hands of a powerful intermediary comes in the great—and much-hyped—hope of the Blockchain. The Blockchain is a distributed public ledger that allows everyone to record and see what transactions have taken place. Unlike a centralized secret ledger—such as those of banks—it is transparent. And transactions are verified not by a central force, but as a distributed process. You might know the Blockchain from its most famous (and controversial) application to date: it is the underlying technology upon which the virtual currency Bitcoin is built on. For non-technologists—even those who have spent hours trying to get their heads around this—the way this actually works can be hard to grasp.

The potential of this is as huge as the hype (although, like all technologies, Blockchain remains vulnerable to co-optation and capture). It opens up a world where users might exchange value directly without an extractive middleman. We can easily imagine real estate contracts or financial transactions living on the Blockchain. But we might imagine, too, the intermediaries being removed from the mega-platforms of the world—our Ubers or Airbnbs—when drivers and riders, or hosts and guests, work out ways to collaborate and exchange directly with each other. As we look to the future, there is no shortage of predictions about the next participatory technologies and ideas that will transform our lives. Whether it be virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchains, or even the emergence of a metaverse, platforms as we know them today will likely end up feeling rather quaint.

“online social networking will be more immune”: Ching-man Au Yeung, Ilaria Liccardi, Kanghao Lu, Oshani Seneviratne, and Tim Berners-Lee, “Decentralization: The Future of Online Social Networking,” In W3C Workshop on the Future of Social Networking Position Papers, 2009. Berners-Lee’s Solid project: “What Is Solid?” July 2017. https://solid.mit.edu. You might know the Blockchain: BlockGeeks, “What Is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners,” BlockGeeks, July 2017. www.blockgeeks.com. “It offers a way for people”: The Economist Staff, “The Great Chain of Being Sure About Things,” The Economist, October 31, 2015. In a Guardian poll in 2017: Olivia Solon: “Americans ‘Evenly Split’ Over Need to Regulate Facebook and Other Big Tech,” The Guardian, November 1, 2017.


pages: 327 words: 84,627

The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Although Siemens ranked sixty-sixth among the Fortune 500 Global Companies in 2018, no single company will be able to go it alone and scale up a twenty-year construction site in every city, region, and country to transition the world economy into a zero-carbon Third Industrial Revolution paradigm. More likely, Siemens and hundreds of other large companies will join with thousands of regional, high-tech small- and medium-sized enterprises, blockchained in cooperatives, in an ESCO performance-contracting business model, financed by a consortium of global and national pension funds, working with local municipalities and regions to provision the scale-up of a smart Green New Deal infrastructure. This distributed ESCO blockchain model is likely to be the favored approach to quickly transitioning local and regional economies, given the tight fifteen-to-twenty-year time frame hovering over us. Left at the wayside is the old neoliberal model of global companies going it alone, using conventional business practices to build out and manage the new green infrastructure as a private venture, giving them leverage and control over both the infrastructure and accompanying services.

This more intimate and inclusive engagement in commerce, trade, and social life, made possible by a distributed and smart postcarbon Third Industrial Revolution platform, is being accompanied by a shift from globalization to “glocalization” as individuals, businesses, and communities engage each other directly, bypassing many of the global companies that mediated commerce and trade in the twentieth century. Glocalization makes possible a vast expansion in social entrepreneurship with the proliferation of smart high-tech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) blockchained into laterally extended cooperatives operating in networks circling the world. In short, the Third Industrial Revolution brings with it the prospect of a democratization of commerce and trade on a scale unprecedented in history. The shift from globalization to glocalization is transforming the relationship between national governments and local communities, in a sense, reversing the locus of responsibility for the workings of the economy and the affairs of governance from the nation-state to the regions.

Third, the storage and transit of all physical goods across supply chains will need to be standardized—using smart, digitally enhanced containerization—so that they can be efficiently passed off to any transport vehicle and sent along any passageway, operating across the logistics system in the same way that information flows effortlessly and efficiently across the World Wide Web. Fourth, warehouse operators along the logistics corridors will need to aggregate into cooperative networks to bring all of their assets into a shared logistical space to optimize the shipment of goods, taking advantage of lateral economies of scale. For example, thousands of warehouses and distribution centers might establish blockchained cooperatives to share unused spaces, allowing a carrier to drop off a shipment at any warehouse and pass it on to another carrier from another company who might have more cargo going near the particular destination. This will ensure that all the carriers are fully loaded in their trailers at all times and that shipments are sent along the most efficient path en route to their final destination.


pages: 269 words: 70,543

Tech Titans of China: How China's Tech Sector Is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder, and Going Global by Rebecca Fannin

Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, QR code, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, young professional

Alibaba’s futuristic Freshippo grocery stores employ robots and are more advanced and extensive than Amazon Go’s limited number of automated convenience stores in the United States. •Mobile payments: China today is a cashless society. China’s mobile payments market led by WeChat Pay and Alipay already exceeds US credit and debit card usage. •Fintech: Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is a one-stop financial services giant that uses big data and machine learning to dominate in money market funds, lending, insurance, mobile payments, wealth management, and blockchain services. •Social credit: China’s new, controversial social credit system judges a citizen’s trustworthiness through technological surveillance and encourages compliance by giving ratings that can determine access to loans, jobs, schools, and travel. •Sharing economy: China-invented business models for shared bikes, battery chargers, umbrellas, basketballs, and takeout kitchens have been popularized by dozens of startups.

Shortly after Alibaba scored its mega IPO in New York in 2014, Alipay’s financial services business was rebranded Ant Financial in a new push into financial services, and then in 2018, Alibaba crawled back in, buying a 33 percent stake in Ant Financial. Alibaba’s fintech affiliate is shaking up the financial sector with internet technology and big data for wealth management, mobile payments, insurance, microloans, money market funds, and blockchain for cryptocurrencies. Its money market fund, Yu’e Bao, promising returns of more than 4 percent, became the world’s largest fund in just four years after its 2013 launch, with $211 billion in assets and 370 million account holders, who needed only 15 cents to open an account. The fund’s assets have since downsized to $168 billion following pressure by Chinese regulators and concerns of systemic liquidity risks to the entire banking market.10 Ant Financial made big news again when it hauled in the largest-ever single fund-raising by a private company: an eye-popping $14 billion investment in 2018 at a valuation of about $150 billion from US private equity firms Carlyle Group, Silver Lake Partners, Warburg Pincus, and General Atlantic, as well as Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Starting 2015 to now, increasing numbers of Chinese tech companies are venturing outside of China to pursue their global ambition, and the trend will continue for many years to come.” From New York City, venture investor Jim Robinson weighs in. “It was true 25 years ago that China was copying, but today China has cutting-edge tech. At Tsinghua University, it’s as good as it gets,” says Robinson, general partner of New York–based RRE Ventures, a longtime investor in China who sees the Chinese coming up fast in quantum computing, machine learning, blockchain, and software for gaming. “It was true 25 years ago that China was copying, but today China has cutting-edge tech. At Tsinghua University, it’s as good as it gets.” Jim Robinson Cofounder and general partner, RRE Ventures But there’s a potential downside. Many venture-funded Chinese startups are burning cash like there’s no tomorrow to chase growth, well before profits (just as Amazon did).


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

China is intentionally pursuing internationalization to lock partners into renminbi-denominated trade prior to making its currency freely convertible. It aims to have half its trade denominated in renminbi in the near future—a goal that switching oil contracts to renminbi would advance rapidly. China is also strategically pushing blockchain-based currencies so that it can trade in ways that will evade the long arm of the US Treasury Department and its sanctions. Given the rapid advance of these blockchain instruments, it is more likely that all Asian countries will use them to denominate trade with each other than that they will all change to using the renminbi. Whatever the currency, central banks such as those of Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand have established financial technology (“fintech”) bridges to enable seamless cross-border payments with others quickly getting on board.

Aadhar universal ID card, 187 Abbasid Caliphate, 36, 38, 69 Abbott, Tony, 128 Abe, Shinzo, 63, 132, 155 Abu Dhabi, 100, 103 art scene in, 342 film industry and, 348 Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, 102 Achaemenid people, 30, 32 ADNOC, 103 Afghanistan, 9, 16, 47, 106–7, 116 Asian trade of, 107 China and, 116, 117 India and, 118 Soviet invasion of, 58, 59 Taliban takeover of, 62 US invasion of, 3, 62, 113 Africa, 68, 261–68 Asian investments in, 262–63, 264, 266 Asian trade with, 261, 264–65 China and, 261, 262, 263–65, 266 Chinese debt of, 263–64 Chinese immigrants in, 263 corruption in, 267 Dubai as offshore hub of, 261 food imports of, 266 India and, 264–66 Indian migration to, 265 Japan and, 265 overpopulation in, 266 Southeast Asia and, 264 Soviets and, 261 West and, 261 see also specific countries African Development Bank, 266 agriculture: East Asian spread of, 29 West Asian origins of, 28 Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud, 62 Air Asia, 121–22 AI research, in Asia, 98, 174, 199–200 airline routes, in Asia, 156 Akbar, Mughal emperor, 70–71 Akkadian Empire, 29 Aleppo, 28 Alexander III, king of Macedon, 32, 68 Alibaba, 85–86, 104, 134, 154, 167–68, 173, 184, 188–89, 193, 198, 199, 202, 210, 244, 318, 319, 321 Al Jazeera International, 314, 331 Al Qaeda, 62, 117 alternative energy, 17, 19, 84, 97, 101, 109, 141, 175, 178–80, 182 Asia and, 17, 112 alternative energy programs, 17, 19, 84, 97, 109, 141, 175, 178–80, 182 Amazon, 193, 198, 210, 348 Amu Darya River, 67 Anatolia (Asia Minor), 28, 29, 30, 33, 36, 38, 41, 92 see also Turkey, Republic of Angkor Wat, 70, 239 Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 50 Ankara, 49 anticolonial movements, 74 anti-Semitism, 97 Apple, 198, 320 Aqaba, 97, 99 Arab Americans, 217, 218 Arabian Peninsula, 36, 50 Arabic script, 69 Arab-Israeli conflict, 54, 57, 101 Arab League, 54 Arabs, Arab world, 11, 68, 72, 73, 76 Asia and, 96 Chinese investments in, 103 in Europe, 253, 255 global image of, 331 in Latin America, 276 US and, 100–101 youth unemployment in, 204–5 Arab uprisings (2011), 91, 255, 314 Arab world, Asia and, 96 Arafat, Yassir, 62 Arctic, Asian gas exploration in, 249 Argentina, 272 Asian trade with, 272 Aristotle, 37 Armenia, 59 Armstrong, Karen, 220 artificial intelligence (AI), 98, 174, 199–200 in governance, 318–19 Art of War, The (Sun Tzu), 31 arts, in Asia, 341–43 ASEAN, see Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN–China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), 154 ASEAN Regional Forum, 9, 60, 127 Ashdod, 99 Ashoka, Mauryan emperor, 33, 35 Asia: Americans in, 229–35 ancient, 28–36, 239 Asian cross-border investment in, 156 branding of, 330–33 as coherent regional system, 5, 6–7, 8–11, 8, 15, 120, 140, 151–58, 352 in Cold War era, 51–58, 138 cross-regional investments in, 113–20 cultural and commercial exchange in, 29–30, 32, 33, 34–39, 68–72 in era of European imperialism, 43–51, 73–75 ethnic and cultural diversity of, 78, 330 expansionist period in, 36–43 GDP of, 2, 4 geographic extent of, 1, 5–6 geopolitical flashpoints in, 11 historical self-knowledge as lacking in, 75 IDI rankings of, 150 internal ignorance about, 24, 352 migration in, 46, 69, 74, 188, 333–37 mixture of democracy and authoritarianism in, 309 modern reawakening of, 58–63 as multipolar, 15–16, 20, 75–76, 78, 137 nomenclature of, 6, 9, 67–68 population of, 1, 4, 5 postcolonial affinities of, 330 PPP of, 2, 9, 10 precolonial connectivity of, 72–73 preference for stability over democracy in, 309–13 return of international students and workers to, 226–27 third growth wave in, 147–51 US military presence in, 137, 138 see also specific countries and subregions Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, 266 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), 241 Asia Minor, see Anatolia Asian Americans, 217–18, 225–26, 228–29 academic achievements of, 219 Asian domestic politics and, 222 in athletics, 220 in politics, 221 real-estate industry and, 224 in US economy, 218 see also specific ethnicities Asian Development Bank (ADB), 9, 109, 110, 150, 199 Asian Games, 330 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), 8, 9, 63, 94, 97, 109–10, 243, 323 Asianization: of Asia, 9, 80–91, 106, 120, 127–31, 330, 333 of global civilization, 21–24, 345–51 “Asianization of Asia” (Funabashi), 8–9 Asian Journal of Social Science, 352 Asians: in Europe, 253–58 in return to Asia, 226–27 in US colleges and universities, 224–27 Asia Times, 353 Asia Week, 353 Assad, Bashar al-, 87, 106, 142, 310 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), 54, 60, 63, 87, 102, 121, 125, 126, 141, 154, 156, 161, 208, 250, 264, 273, 277, 338 Australia’s possible joining of, 129 financial markets in, 167 see also Southeast Asia Assyria, 29 Astana, 111 Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal, 49, 91 Aung San, 49 Aung San Suu Kyi, 63 Australia: alternative energy programs in, 180, 182 Asian immigrants in, 129–30 Asianization of, 81, 127–31 Asian trading partners of, 128–29 China and, 127–31 Chinese hegemony resisted by, 19–20 exports of, 175 tourism in, 129 US and, 128 Western ties to, 127, 128, 131 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), 131 Australian Open, 131 automation, 193–94 automobile industry, 210–12, 227–28 aviation industry, 211 Azerbaijan, 59, 140 infrastructure investment in, 191 oil and gas exports of, 190–91 Babur, Mughal emperor, 41 Babylon, 28, 29 Bactria, 30, 33, 35 Baekje Kingdom, 34 Baghdad, 37, 40 Bahrain, 104 Baidu, 167–68, 171, 188, 198, 199, 208, 226 Baku, 191 Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, 92 Bamiyan, Buddha statues of, 68 Bangalore, 245 Bangladesh, 55, 118, 122, 185, 302, 334 economic growth of, 187 Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, 119 Bank of Japan, 132 Batavia, 45 Beatles, 331 Beijing, art scene in, 342 Bell, Daniel, 301 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 1–2, 14, 18, 19, 63, 85, 105, 108, 109, 110, 113, 117, 126, 133, 138, 143, 147, 156, 212, 242, 243, 247, 262 Bengal, 35, 36, 38, 46, 55 see also Bangladesh Bengal, Bay of, 39 Benioff, Marc, 331 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 313 Bhutan, 46, 119, 182 eco-tourism in, 340 Bihar, 186 billionaires, in Asia, 160 Biruni, Al-, 37 blockchain-based currencies, intra-Asian trade and, 157 blockchain business models, 174 Bollywood, 349–51 Bolshevik Revolution, 49 bonds, in Asia, 163, 164, 167 Books Kinokuniya, 133 border disputes, 113, 119, 120, 139 in Kashmir, 53, 55, 61, 77–78, 117–18 Boxer Rebellion, 47 Brahmaputra River, 118, 182 Brazil, 272, 350 Asian economic ties to, 274, 276–77 Asian immigrants in, 276 Brexit, 127, 232, 247, 252, 283–84, 286, 293–94 British East India Company, 46 Bronze Age, 29 Brown, Jerry, 178 Buddha, 31 Buddhists, Buddhism, 32, 37, 38, 40, 68, 69, 70–71, 182, 316, 332 in Southeast Asia, 121 spread of, 33–35 Tibetan diaspora of, 120 in US, 220 Buffett, Warren, 317 Bukhara, 32, 39, 46 Burma, 39, 46, 49, 50, 51, 53 see also Myanmar Bush, George W., 18, 240 business schools, US, Asian campuses of, 232 Buzan, Barry, 7 Byblos, 28 Byzantium, 36, 39, 91 fall of, 41, 43 Calcutta, 46 Cambodia, 45, 52, 56, 122, 154, 239 Cameron, David, 247, 293 Canada, 7, 176, 284 Asian immigrants in, 223–24 China’s relations with, 223 Latin American trade with, 273 Can Asians Think?

Shailendra Singh, the managing director of Sequoia Capital India, says that his industry has never seen wider or deeper investment opportunities for tech leapfrogging. The start-up CeeSuite has automated the investment banking lifecycle for the vast pool of regional SMEs that could never afford Wall Street banks. Its founders are also creating a virtual accelerator that digitizes the stages and lessons of the start-up process, from crowd-funding investment through initial coin offerings (ICOs) and blockchain-based business models. Cybersecurity companies are thriving in Singapore and expanding from there. Asians are learning and adapting as much or more from each other as from the West. The ride-sharing industry is emblematic of how Western companies are losing out to local rivals for both strategic and cultural reasons. As recently as 2015, it seemed as though Uber was taking over the world. But thanks to SoftBank’s consistent support for a suite of Asian car-sharing firms—Didi Chuxing (DiDi) in China, GrabShare in Southeast Asia, and Ola Cabs in India—Uber’s valuation dropped below that of DiDi, which bought Uber’s China operations (after which SoftBank bought Uber shares at a discount).28 In Russia, Uber was subsumed by Yandex.Drive; in Southeast Asia, Uber sold its operations to GrabShare, which took another $1 billion in investment from Toyota.


pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve

See also Bitcoin; cryptocurrencies American Hustle (Russell), 71 Amromin, Gene, 238n22 Andolfatto, David, 213 Antràs, Pol, 236n12 Argentina, 44, 82 Ascaria, Guido, 248n5 Australia, 52, 132 Austria: cash, per capita holdings of, 33; cash used for different kinds of purchases, percentage of, 55–56; coinage debasement in, 20; currency held by consumers in, 51–52; deutsche mark currency demand, as a control for estimating, 45; stamp currency experiment in, 164–65 Automated Clearing House system, 103 Bagehot, Walter, 244n9 Bank Act of 1844 (Peel’s Act), 235n25 Bank of England: inflation target, choice of, 153; interest rate hike prior to 2008, impact of, 177–78; nominal policy interest rates, 2000–2015, 130; notes convertible to specie, early issue of, 26; quantitative easing by, 135–36 Bank of Japan: inflationary expectations, challenges faced in lifting, 124; inflation target, choice of, 153; January 2016 policy of, 250n5; museum of, understanding coinage debasement in, 20; negative interest rates, experience with, 1, 161; quantitative easing by, 135–36, 143; zero-bound problem of, lack of international coordination regarding, 206 Bartzsch, Nikolaus, 236n23 Baum, Frank (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), 192 Belgium: cash used for different kinds of purchases, percentage of, 55; currency/GDP ratio, 1995, 46–47; restrictions on the use of cash, 64 Bennett, Paul, 237n4 Bernanke, Ben: financial stability, limits to concern regarding, 176; “global savings glut,” 122; “Helicoper Ben,” advice for Japan from, 155; inflation targeting adopted under, 232; macroprudential regulation, argument for, 177; Perry’s attack on, 191; small interest hikes, limited impact of, 177; “taper tantrum” set off by, 126, 141 Billi, Roberto, 229 biometric method for estimating foreign holdings of currency, 43–44 Bitcoin/bitcoins: “Bencoin” as governmental version of, 209–10, 213–14; blockchain technology pioneered by, 112; as a currency, possibility of, 211; as encrypted digital technology, 208; inflation and, 213; market price of, 212; as payment mechanism for criminal activities, 72; security of using, 67 Black, Fischer, 244n5 Blackburn, David, 253n6 Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 248n2, 252n7 blockchain technology, 112, 210, 213–14 border control, issue of, 75–76 Bordo, Michael D., 234n6 Brazil, 65, 183–84, 191, 205 Breaking Bad (TV series), 68, 240n27 Bretton Woods regime, 30 bribes, 70 Britain. See United Kingdom Bryan, William Jennings (US politician), 192 Buehn, Andreas, 239n12 Buiter, Willem, 167–74 Burns, Arthur, 189 Caballero, Ricardo J., 246n26 Canada: corruption in, 71; currency/GDP ratio, 1995, 46; currency/GDP ratio, 2015, 36–37, 41; currency held by consumers in, 52; discount rate cuts in response to recent crises, 132; foreign holdings of currency, 42; interest rates near the zero bound, 131; large-denomination notes, 37; large-denomination notes, phaseout of, 95; paper currency phaseout, costs and benefits of, 89; revenue as a percentage of GDP, 2006–2015, 83–84; tax evasion in, 65–66; United States and, estimating foreign holdings of US currency by comparing, 41–43 Canzoneri, Matthew, 245n14 capital controls, 27, 202 Capone, Al, 61 Cebula, Richard J., 238n6 cell phones/smartphones: emergencies and, 110–11; free or subsidized for low-income individuals, 3, 48, 93–94; government monitoring of, 101; laundry, survival in, 112; transactions on, 5, 98 central bank independence, 90–91, 106, 190–91, 194–95, 231 Chakravorti, Sujit, 238n22 Chavez, Cesar, 75 Chicago plan, 86, 214 China: birth of paper currency in, 21–25; Marco Polo in, 15; origin of coinage in, 21; paper money printing and rice price in the Yuan dynasty, 24; transition from coinage to paper currency, 97, 100 China, People’s Republic of: Chinese currency, imagining supplanting US $100 bills with, 16; corruption in, 71; counterfeiting in, 78; cryptocurrencies in, 210; demand for gold jewelry in, 215; global criminals, unsuitability of yuan for, 202; paper currency phaseout, difficulties of, 204; revenue as a percentage of GDP, 2006–2015, 83 Christiano, Lawrence J., 255n10 Chung, Hess, 245n16, 247n28 Churchill, Winston, 29 coinage: debasement of, 19–20; gold-to-silver value, Alexander’s declaration of, 18–19; origin of, 21; technology in, 19 Colacelli, Mariana, 253n6 Colombia, 17, 69, 202–4 Comaneci, Nadia (gymnast), 162 commodity currencies, 17, 20–21 Congo, Democratic Republic of, 183–84 consumer cash holdings, 49–50 consumption taxes, 156–57 Correia, Isabelle, 250n18 corruption of public officials, 70–73, 205 cost in GDP of buying back all US paper currency, 217 counterfeiting/counterfeiters, 19, 77–78 criminal activities, 2, 67, 217–18; corruption of public officials, 70–73, 205; counterfeiting, 19, 77–78; human trafficking, human smuggling, and exploitation of migrants, 73–74; illegal immigration, 74–76; large-denomination euro notes and, 200–201; money laundering, 68–69, 76–77; tax evasion (see tax evasion); terrorism, 76–77 Croesus (king of Lydia), 18 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (see Bitcoin); European Commission rules regarding, 77; government and the future of, 16, 101; governments and, 208–14; less-cash world, not required for, 98; privacy and, 214; regulated after paper currency phaseout, 100; security and, 113, 210 currency: digital (see Bitcoin; cryptocurrencies); dual currency system, 167–76; entering or leaving the country, requirement to report large amounts of, 41; history of (see history of currency); paper (see paper currency, advantages of; paper currency, phasing out); private, government supplanting of, 16, 208–10; in the underground economy, issue of turning in, 87–89 Danmarks Nationalbank, 162 Davies, Stephen, 167–68, 171 Deaton, Angus, 76 Denmark: benefits paid electronically in, 99; cashless society, movement to, 107, 109; currency/GDP ratio, 1995, 36–37; currency/GDP ratio, 2015, 36–37; interest rates near the zero bound, 131; low-income individuals, accommodations for, 3; negative interest rates, computer software unprepared for, 162; negative interest rates, financial stability and, 178; negative interest rates in, 5, 123; prepaid card not requiring a PIN, option of, 111; restrictions on the use of cash, 64; unauthorized immigrants in, 75 developing countries.

Biometric identification methods, including fingerprint, voice, and retina are possible, and have already become prominent in digital banking and government transfers in India, where over a billion people are now registered. Credit card companies already make use of neural networks to detect payment fraud. (A purchase coming from Russia for a designer handbag being shipped to the French Riviera might be regarded as suspect for a cardholder who lives in Boston.) Security is constantly evolving. Some Federal Reserve officials have talked about using a variant of the blockchain methodology pioneered by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to create payment platforms that have built-in security due to its distributed public ledger verification process. We consider this technology in chapter 14. There are certainly going to be other special cases where cash is still needed. An interesting example is the recent experience of marijuana shops in Colorado after the state legalized the drug in 2014.

Regardless of whether the first generation of cryptocurrencies survives the next decade, the public ledger encryption technology they pioneer just might provide a road map to better security over a broad range of financial transactions. The basic idea, in a nutshell, is to create a system in which diverse private-sector individuals (or entities) are incentivized to maintain independent ledgers of transaction trees (or blockchains), and new transactions cannot clear the books without achieving a critical mass of third-party acceptance. A fair dose of encryption technology is also included, and in Bitcoin, for example, individuals are allowed to use aliases with passcode-protected accounts to make it difficult to determine their identities. A lot of truly fascinating science supports the different systems, and one can find many excellent treatments.2 Governments around the world have already begun regulating cryptocurrencies more aggressively.


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The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, American ideology, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Asked why, Will Wang Graylin, the CEO of LoopPay, a digital wallet company focusing on the interface between merchants and credit card firms, explained to MIT Technology Review: “Think about the infrastructure and how long it took to create that. It is very difficult to change merchant behavior.”16 No one knows how this market will evolve, but markets, competition, and consumer behavior – not only the technology itself – will determine its future success. The same is true for another promising technology that can be applied to the payments market: blockchain, or mutual distributed ledger technology (like bitcoin). The market clearly sees a big potential in blockchain technology. It could reduce the costs and risks in transactions, and create a far better system for sharing information in financial markets. Some have billed it as a greater technological leap than the internet for capital markets. Perhaps it will be, but the hype around the technology is premature and the expectation of big market changes is an aspiration.

12.Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution, “The Triple Revolution: Cybernation, Weaponry, Human Rights.” 13.Tracy, “Why Some of Google’s Coolest Projects Flop Badly.” 14.Tracy, “Why Some of Google’s Coolest Projects Flop Badly.” 15.Polymath Consulting, “A Brief History of Payments.” 16.Byrnes, “Technology Repaints the Payment Landscape.” 17.Mainelli and Milne, “The Impact and Potential of Blockchain,” 4. 18.Mainelli and Milne, “The Impact and Potential of Blockchain,” 5. 19.Simmons, “George Foster: Are Startups Really Job Engines?” 20.AlixPartners, Press release on “C.A.S.E. – Car of the Future.” 21.Phelps, Mass Flourishing, 19. 22.Pugsley and Şahin, “Grown-up Business Cycles.” 23.Hathaway and Litan, “The Other Aging of America.” 24.Pugsley and Sahin, “Grown-up Business Cycles.” In the private sector, start-up employment went from 4 to 2 percent. 25.Buchanan, “American Entrepreneurship Is Actually Vanishing.” 26.Simon and Barr, “Endangered Species.” 27.Litan, “Start-up Slowdown.” 28.OECD, “The Future of Productivity.” 29.OECD, “No Country for Young Firms?”

Magnus, George, “Hitting a BRIC Wall: The Risk of the Middle-Income Trap.” UBS Investment Research, Jan. 21, 2013. Magnus, George, The Age of Aging: How Demographics Are Changing the Global Economy and Our World. Wiley, 2012. Mahbubani, Kishore, “The Case Against the West.” Foreign Affairs, May 3, 2008. At https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/2008-05-03/case-against-west. Mainelli, Michael, and Alistair Milne, “The Impact and Potential of Blockchain on the Securities Transaction Lifecycle.” Working Paper No. 2015-007. Swift Institute, May 2016. Mandel, Michael, and Diana G. Carew, “Regulatory Improvement Commission: A Politically Viable Approach to US Regulatory Reform.” Progressive Policy Institute, May 2013. At http://www.progressivepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/05.2013-Mandel-Carew_Regulatory-Improvement-Commission_A-Politically-Viable-Approach-to-US-Regulatory-Reform.pdf.


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The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us by James Ball

Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, Chelsea Manning, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, packet switching, patent troll, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Crocker, Stuxnet, The Chicago School, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, yield management, zero day

ARPANET: this is the network that became the internet, a connection of US universities and other institutions, which eventually became defunct at the end of the 1980s. Named after ARPA/DARPA, the US government research agencies which initially funded it. BGP: Border Gateway Protocol, a system devised on the back of a napkin which helps govern how traffic flows across the internet to this very day. blockchain: a form of distributed, verifiable database that is typically used to power cryptocurrencies. Still in its infancy, there are hopes blockchain represents a chance to break the power held by existing database gatekeepers. cookies: small text files left on your computer or phone by sites as you browse the internet. While they leave little information on your own device, they can be used remotely to track each time the cookie is seen and store much, much richer information.

Facebook is a big database of people’s identity, their friend relationships and their status updates. Google is a big database of search queries, query histories and retrieval results, and web pages. Three of the big web giants that we think of are databases. Your account balance, my account balance is being maintained in a database.’ For Wenger the database insight is a particularly exciting one because he is a believer in blockchain, a relatively new technology best known for being what powers Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies – but at its core is a distributed database technology over which no one party theoretically has control. To its advocates, this could disrupt the online data oligopoly – but to its critics it’s a convoluted and unproven technology with many side effects. ‘The re-centralising force for the internet was these databases,’ says Wenger.

They give me great power … One thing is, they’ve turned out not to be great stewards of that power. They clearly did not take their Spider-Man “with great power comes great responsibility” to heart.’ He concludes: ‘This is why it’s a particularly interesting moment in time to revisit how the internet is organised because the maintainers of big databases have proven to be less than having the best interest of the customer in mind.’ In other words, he hopes the potential for blockchains to allow databases to be widely distributed, impossible to alter and publicly verifiable, could lead to a change in the power structure of the internet, which hands control to the companies sitting on the most data. This matters because control over databases is even more important than it first appears, he explains, partly because of one of the most discussed phenomena of the online world: network effects.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, global pandemic, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

These examples show that machine culture, values, operation, and modes of existence are already different, and this emphasizes the need for ways to interact that facilitate and extend the existence of both parties. The potential future world of intelligence multiplicity means accommodating plurality and building trust. Blockchain technology—a decentralized, distributed, global, permanent, code-based ledger of interaction transactions and smart contracts—is one example of a trust-building system. The system can be used between human parties or interspecies parties, exactly because it’s not necessary to know, trust, or understand the other entity, just the code (the language of machines). Over time, trust can grow through reputation. Blockchain technology could be used to enforce friendly AI and mutually beneficial interspecies interaction. Someday, important transactions (like identity authentication and resource transfer) will be conducted on smart networks that require confirmation by independent consensus mechanisms, such that only bona fide transactions by reputable entities are executed.

Someday, important transactions (like identity authentication and resource transfer) will be conducted on smart networks that require confirmation by independent consensus mechanisms, such that only bona fide transactions by reputable entities are executed. While perhaps not a full answer to the problem of enforcing friendly AI, decentralized smart networks like blockchains are a system of checks and balances helping to provide a more robust solution to situations of future uncertainty. Trust-building models for interspecies digital intelligence interaction could include both game-theoretic checks-and-balances systems like blockchains and also, at the higher level, frameworks that put entities on the same plane of shared objectives. This is of higher order than smart contracts and treaties that attempt to enforce morality; a mind-set shift is required. The problem frame of machine and human intelligence should not be one that characterizes relations as friendly or unfriendly but, rather, one that treats all entities equally, putting them on the same ground and value system for the most important shared parameters, like growth.

Some fear that intelligent systems will become so powerful that they’re impossible to control. This is not true. These systems must obey the laws of physics and of mathematics. Seth Lloyd’s analysis of the computational power of the universe shows that even the entire universe, acting as a giant quantum computer, could not discover a 500-bit hard cryptographic key in the time since the Big Bang.1 The new technologies of postquantum cryptography, indistinguishability obfuscation, and blockchain smart contracts are promising components for creating an infrastructure secure against even the most powerful AIs. But recent hacks and cyberattacks show that our current computational infrastructure is woefully inadequate to the task. We need to develop a software infrastructure that’s mathematically provably correct and secure. There have been at least twenty-seven different species of hominids, of which we’re the only survivors.


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Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence by Jacob Turner

Ada Lovelace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Basel III, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, effective altruism, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, friendly fire, future of work, hive mind, Internet of things, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Loebner Prize, medical malpractice, Nate Silver, natural language processing, nudge unit, obamacare, off grid, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

When a person buys a crate of apples, there is usually an implied term that those apples will not be full of maggots. 89Kirsten Korosec, “Volvo CEO: We Will Accept All Liability When Our Cars Are in Autonomous Mode”, Fortune, 7 October 2015, http://​fortune.​com/​2015/​10/​07/​volvo-liability-self-driving-cars/​, accessed 1 June 2018. 90[1892] EWCA Civ 1. 91Fumio Shimpo, “The Principal Japanese AI and Robot Strategy and Research toward Establishing Basic Principles”, Journal of Law and Information Systems, Vol. 3 (May 2018). 92Dirk A. Zetzsche, Ross P. Buckley, and Douglas W. Arner, “The Distributed Liability of Distributed Ledgers: Legal Risks of Blockchain ”, EBI Working Paper Series (2017), No. 14; “Blockchain & Liability”, Oxford Business Law Blog, 28 September 2017, https://​www.​law.​ox.​ac.​uk/​business-law-blog/​blog/​2017/​09/​blockchain-liability, accessed 1 June 2018. 93Paulius Čerkaa, Jurgita Grigienėa, Gintarė Sirbikytėb, “Liability for Damages Caused By Artificial Intelligence”, Computer Law & Security Review, Vol. 31, No. 3 (June 2015), 376–389. 94However, the conclusion they point to was apparently reached by UNCITRAL in its deliberations, though does not formally form part of the convention.

Fumio Shimpo points out that not all such contracts will be binding under Japanese Law; if the AI fails to identify itself as such and entices a person to enter into a contract , then such contract might be deemed “equivalent to a mistake of an element (Article 95 of the Japanese Civil Code)”, and potentially rendered ineffective.91 There are many automated contractual systems operating today—from consumer sales to high-frequency trading of financial instruments. At present, these all conclude contracts on behalf of recognised legal people. That may not always need to be the case. Blockchain technology is a system of automated records, known as distributed ledgers. Its uses can include chains of “self-executing” contracts, which can be executed without any need for human input. This technology has already given rise to novel and uncertain questions as to liability arising from a particular blockchain system in which all parts are interconnected.92 In a situation where AI concludes a contract without direct or indirect instructions from a principal, it remains unclear how a legal system would address liability arising from such an agreement; the AI would require legal personality to be able to go to court to enforce such contract —the possibility of which is discussed further in Chapter 5.

One solution to the secrecy issue would be for contracts concerning liability for AI to be made public. The obvious objection to this is that it would be enormously bureaucratic to store such details on a public register, and commercial parties may well refuse to do so, on the basis of well-established legal principles including confidentiality and privacy. Distributed ledger technology such as blockchain offers one option as to how contracts relating to AI might be made a matter of public record. However, it seems unlikely that many market participants would agree to this level of public scrutiny unless they were required to by law. Quasi-Hidden Contracts Contractual arrangements concerning AI will work best where arrangements are made between parties who are able to understand the obligations to which they are binding themselves, and are able to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of the position they have taken.


Digital Transformation at Scale: Why the Strategy Is Delivery by Andrew Greenway,Ben Terrett,Mike Bracken,Tom Loosemore

Airbnb, bitcoin, blockchain, butterfly effect, call centre, chief data officer, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, Diane Coyle, en.wikipedia.org, G4S, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, loose coupling, M-Pesa, minimum viable product, nudge unit, performance metric, ransomware, Silicon Valley, social web, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds

To a certain type of technocrat, innovations offer an irresistible opportunity to do a lot more talking at the expense of doing. It is noticeable that technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence have especially gripped executives in organisations that have largely failed to react to the open internet’s impact. In our experience, the more senior the figure, the more interested they are in technologies at the bleeding edge of discovery. On one level, this seems counterintuitive. Why would senior leaders with a track record of not applying more obvious and understood trends suddenly jump on the singularity bandwagon? The answer, we suspect, is that technologies like blockchain and AI are for the most part still largely in the realm of theory. Delivery is not yet well-understood or demonstrable at scale. Very few companies (let alone established public institutions) have either the volume or sufficient structure to their data that would allow them to create a base of information that machine algorithms are able to ‘learn’ from.

It becomes even easier for a large business or government administration to ignore hard yet necessary tasks if they can find something else that has the characteristics of work, while being much more comfortable to sink time into. Fortunately, the technology hype cycle is ready to provide a stream of distractions. All too often, the word digital is conflated with whatever technology fad has made it into the colour supplements this month. Blockchain. Artificial intelligence. The Internet of Things and connected devices. Robotic Process Automation. The captains of industry, ministers and senior officials who read colour supplements during their brief periods of down time see these exciting things and commission policy papers to unpick their potential effect on the organisations they run. The papers are good. But there is a gap – sometimes a huge gap – between policy or business school smarts and technological literacy.

You’ve annoyed people on the way of course – that’s a pity – so they think that perhaps now is the moment to consolidate the success and slow things down. If the digital team is all too tired to keep going, those keen to go back to an easy life will push back. Resisting the hype Every business strategy presentation for the last two years (and the next three) will have a slide that says something like: ‘AI, blockchain, Internet of Things – what should we do?’ For most organisations, this discussion is a little premature. Even allowing for the fact these technology breakthroughs are near the top of their hype cycle at the time of writing, we are not saying that they are unimportant for large organisations, public or private. Far from it. We’re confident that artificial intelligence, connected devices and advances in cryptography will change the world, in predictable and unexpected ways.


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The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Eighty-one million dollars was stolen from accounts at the Bangladesh Bank, and the hackers might have gotten access to $1 billion more were it not for a typo—the hackers misspelled “foundation” as “fandation,” attracting the attention of the New York Federal Reserve.33 There are also many practical problems associated with Bitcoin, and for that reason Bitcoin itself will probably have a limited impact. But the blockchain technology it gave the world will be used in many applications with the goal of making transactions more secure. It is highly likely that new virtual currencies using blockchain will be more broadly adopted in the future. Millions of dollars of Bitcoins have already been stolen from users. The attributes of the technology described above regarding the speed, security, and anonymity of the transfer process make it inherently more difficult to solve Bitcoin thefts. If a thief figures out how to get access to an individual’s Bitcoins they can transfer them securely and quickly, leaving no tracks to follow.

By comparison, the single-copy ledgers that banks use to keep track of bank accounts and credit card transactions are much less secure. In payment systems based on distributed ledgers, only the source of a payment is identified; no account information is ever revealed to the payee. This makes it virtually impossible to acquire information from a payee, such as Arby’s, to access money from a payer’s account. Transactions using blockchain technology (a form of distributed ledger technology in which data can only be added to databases and not altered or deleted) can also be made very secure and anonymous. In the case of Bitcoin, a cryptographic algorithm is used to ensure that Bitcoins are transferred from the correct payer’s wallet to the correct recipient’s wallet.32 In the credit card world, the typical fee for transferring money is about 2 percent of the size of the transaction, and a merchant will typically have to wait one to three days before money is deposited in its account.

See cyber currencies; financial industry; payment systems bank robberies, 39–40 Bardeen, John, 55 behavior manipulation, 125, 134–137 by gaming industry, 89, 138–144 in retail sector, 13, 117, 121, 123 Bell Labs, 22, 54–55 Belorossov, Dimitry, 40 Benz, Karl, 53 Bergman, Shawn, 146 Betterment, 10, 77 Bill of Rights. See constitutional rights Bitcoin, 78–80, 176–177 Blackstone, William, 127 Blockbuster, 50, 65, 88, 98–99 blockchain technology, 79, 80 book industry, 27–28, 90–91 Brack, J. Allen, 143–144 Brattain, Walter, 55 Britain, Industrial Revolution in, 29–30 Brown, Tina, 63 business models: customers becoming products in new, 120–123 financial industry transformation of, 74–83 freemium, 70, 73, 121–123, 129–130, 169 media industry shift in, 9–10, 72–73 non-monetizable productivity relation to shifting, 60, 65 sharing economy, 83–87 substitutional equivalence and smaller markets in new, 87–88, 103 Butler, Nicholas, 2–3 Campbell, W.


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The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets by Thomas Philippon

airline deregulation, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, commoditize, crack epidemic, cross-subsidies, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, gig economy, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, intangible asset, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, law of one price, liquidity trap, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Effective regulation requires them to identify some basic features they would like fintech to have and mandate them as early as possible. I think that is a key lesson for the regulation of fintech. I recall a fascinating exchange at a recent conference about blockchains and privacy. There is a tension between the principles of blockchains (such as their permanence) and the right of individuals to request that their personal data be erased. To my surprise, however, the blockchain specialists said this would not be a big challenge, provided they knew what the regulator wanted. In other words, it is possible to implement a blockchain in which private data can be erased under some conditions. But it must be conceived as such from the beginning. It would be much more difficult to let it grow and then, ten years later, ask for new features to protect privacy.

Fintech includes digital innovations that can disrupt financial services. As usual, innovation is a double-edged sword. Innovations can provide new gateways for entrepreneurship and democratize access to financial services, but they also create significant privacy, regulatory, and law-enforcement challenges. Examples of innovations that are central to fintech today include mobile payment systems, crowdfunding, robo-advisors, blockchains, and various applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. All the large financial firms have jumped on the tech wagon. JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently announced that it will require its asset management analysts to learn to use Python, a powerful and flexible coding language. This is not to say that all fintech ideas are great. There is a lot of hype and buzzword use. “Big” data is just data.

., 157, 163 Baxter, William, 3 Bekkouche, Yasmine, 192, 193 Benmelech, Efraim, 281 Berger, Allen, 216 Berger, David, 281 Bergman, Mats, 146 Bergman, Nittai, 281 Bergstresser, Daniel, 220 Berlusconi, Silvio, 199 Berry, Jeffrey M., 157 Bertrand, Marianne, 156, 162–163, 164, 199 Bezos, Jeff, 285 Big Bird, 153–154 Big Mac index, 115–116, 117 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (2002), 182 Birnbaum, Jeffrey, 153 Blanchard, Olivier, 31 Blanes i Vidal, Jordi, 161–162 blockchains, 219 Blonigen, Bruce A., 91 Bloom, Nicholas, 284 Boggs, Thomas Hale Jr., 162, 200 Bombardini, Matilde, 162–163, 165–166, 190, 199 Bork, Robert, 87 Bowman, Julie Benafield, 234 Bown, Chad P., 92 Brexit, 149 Briand, Aristide, 129 broadband, costs in US versus Europe, 5–6 Brown, Charles, 3 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 79, 258 Buckley, James, 182 Buckley v. Valeo (1976), 182 bundling, 19 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 41, 42 business dynamism, decline in, 81 Cagé, Julia, 192, 193 campaign finance contributions, 176–181; impact on policy choices, 9; and future of Europe’s free markets, 148–149; and endogeneity bias, 157–160; skewness of, 166–170; soliciting, 176–177; laws regulating, 181–182; measuring impact of, 182–186; Citizens United v.


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Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

When Miriam Posner—a coder who teaches Information Studies at UCLA—looked at Stack Overflow coder-job data, two top titles listed by women were “Designer” and “Front-End Developer” jobs that fit in that basket. There were considerably fewer women working in back-end jobs that involve wrangling servers and databases, or in newly hot areas like blockchain or AI. In those areas, men rule. And the men are paid more for it: Front-end jobs, she found, pay on average about $30,000 less than back-end work. The upshot, Posner notes, is that when women move into an area of coding, it gets devalued. The men leave that area, looking for new cutting-edge areas where they can reestablish artificial scarcity and a tacit no-girls-allowed culture, or at least one where girls are regarded as foreign interlopers. These days, that appears to be Bitcoin—or blockchain tech in general—and AI, where, whenever I go to events, it’s a sea of men, far more than most other fields of coding. What is actually going on, Posner argues, is the creation of a “pink-collar ghetto” in coding.

Starting in 2012, Instagram has tried to combat the problem by banning hashtags like #thinspo or #thigh gap, and diverting anyone who searches for them to a pop-up offering a connection to eating-disorder services. But this merely provoked a classic social-media cat-and-mouse game; as researchers found, anorexic users shift to new coinages like #thygap or #thynspo. (Krieger and Systrom left Instagram in September 2018, citing a desire to explore new ideas; Everingham moved that spring to a division of Facebook that develops blockchain technology.) Neither Krieger nor Systrom actively set out to erode anyone’s self-esteem, of course. They loved photography, dug code, and aimed to unlock the latent energy of a world where everyone’s already carrying a camera 24/7. But social software has impacts that the inventors, who are usually focused on the short-term goal of simply getting their new prototypes to work (and then scale), often fail to predict.

When R&D magazine surveyed the top innovations from 1971 to 2006, they found 88 percent had been funded by federal research dollars. None of these fields were being sufficiently funded by the free market. It took the slow-moving, long-term patience of a government to produce the core inventions that make it possible for us to hold a phone and order one of Kalanick’s Uber cars. Nonetheless, the libertarian protestations of a certain set of coders continues apace. In recent years, blockchain technology has been the latest site of tech’s anti-government fervor. That ranges from Bitcoin—a currency specifically designed to create money that couldn’t be controlled by dough-printing central banks—to Ethereum, a way of creating “smart contracts” that, its adherents hope, would allow commerce so frictionless and decentralized that even lawyers wouldn’t be necessary: The instant someone performed the service you’d contracted them to do for you, the digital cash would arrive in their digital wallet.


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Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Complementary currencies can clearly enrich and empower communities but game-changing ones are now emerging, thanks to the invention of Blockchain. Combining database and network technologies, Blockchain is a digital peer-to-peer decentralised platform for tracking all kinds of value exchanged between people. Its name derives from the blocks of data – each one a snapshot of all transactions that have just been made in the network – which are linked together to create a chain of data blocks, adding up to a minute-by-minute record of the network’s activity. And since that record is stored on every computer in the network, it acts as a public ledger that cannot be altered, corrupted or deleted, making it a highly secure digital backbone for the future of e-commerce and transparent governance. One fast-rising digital currency that uses blockchain technology is Ethereum, which, among its many possible applications, is enabling electricity microgrids to set up peer-to-peer trading in renewable energy.

First, the digital revolution has given rise to the network era of near zero-marginal-cost collaboration, as we saw in the dynamic rise of the collaborative commons in Chapter 2. It is essentially unleashing a revolution in distributed capital ownership. Anyone with an Internet connection can entertain, inform, learn, and teach worldwide. Every household, school or business rooftop can generate renewable energy and, if enabled by a blockchain currency, can sell the surplus in a microgrid. With access to a 3D printer, anyone can download designs or create their own and print-to-order the very tool or gadget they need. Such lateral technologies are the essence of distributive design, and they blur the divide between producers and consumers, allowing everyone to become a prosumer, both a maker and user in the peer-to-peer economy. So far, so empowering.

Page numbers in italics denote illustrations A Aalborg, Denmark, 290 Abbott, Anthony ‘Tony’, 31 ABCD group, 148 Abramovitz, Moses, 262 absolute decoupling, 260–61 Acemoglu, Daron, 86 advertising, 58, 106–7, 112, 281 Agbodjinou, Sénamé, 231 agriculture, 5, 46, 72–3, 148, 155, 178, 181, 183 Alaska, 9 Alaska Permanent Fund, 194 Alperovitz, Gar, 177 alternative enterprise designs, 190–91 altruism, 100, 104 Amazon, 192, 196, 276 Amazon rainforest, 105–6, 253 American Economic Association, 3 American Enterprise Institute, 67 American Tobacco Corporation, 107 Andes, 54 animal spirits, 110 Anthropocene epoch, 48, 253 anthropocentrism, 115 Apertuso, 230 Apple, 85, 192 Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), 148 Arendt, Hannah, 115–16 Argentina, 55, 274 Aristotle, 32, 272 Arrow, Kenneth, 134 Articles of Association and Memoranda, 233 Arusha, Tanzania, 202 Asia Wage Floor Alliance, 177 Asian financial crisis (1997), 90 Asknature.org, 232 Athens, 57 austerity, 163 Australia, 31, 103, 177, 180, 211, 224–6, 255, 260 Austria, 263, 274 availability bias, 112 AXIOM, 230 Axtell, Robert, 150 Ayres, Robert, 263 B B Corp, 241 Babylon, 13 Baker, Josephine, 157 balancing feedback loops, 138–41, 155, 271 Ballmer, Steve, 231 Bangla Pesa, 185–6, 293 Bangladesh, 10, 226 Bank for International Settlements, 256 Bank of America, 149 Bank of England, 145, 147, 256 banking, see under finance Barnes, Peter, 201 Barroso, José Manuel, 41 Bartlett, Albert Allen ‘Al’, 247 basic income, 177, 194, 199–201 basic personal values, 107–9 Basle, Switzerland, 80 Bauwens, Michel, 197 Beckerman, Wilfred, 258 Beckham, David, 171 Beech-Nut Packing Company, 107 behavioural economics, 11, 111–14 behavioural psychology, 103, 128 Beinhocker, Eric, 158 Belgium, 236, 252 Bentham, Jeremy, 98 Benyus, Janine, 116, 218, 223–4, 227, 232, 237, 241 Berger, John, 12, 281 Berlin Wall, 141 Bermuda, 277 Bernanke, Ben, 146 Bernays, Edward, 107, 112, 281–3 Bhopal gas disaster (1984), 9 Bible, 19, 114, 151 Big Bang (1986), 87 billionaires, 171, 200, 289 biodiversity, 10, 46, 48–9, 52, 85, 115, 155, 208, 210, 242, 299 as common pool resource, 201 and land conversion, 49 and inequality, 172 and reforesting, 50 biomass, 73, 118, 210, 212, 221 biomimicry, 116, 218, 227, 229 bioplastic, 224, 293 Birmingham, West Midlands, 10 Black, Fischer, 100–101 Blair, Anthony ‘Tony’, 171 Blockchain, 187, 192 blood donation, 104, 118 Body Shop, The, 232–4 Bogotá, Colombia, 119 Bolivia, 54 Boston, Massachusetts, 3 Bowen, Alex, 261 Bowles, Sam, 104 Box, George, 22 Boyce, James, 209 Brasselberg, Jacob, 187 Brazil, 124, 226, 281, 290 bread riots, 89 Brisbane, Australia, 31 Brown, Gordon, 146 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 193, 194, 258 Buddhism, 54 buen vivir, 54 Bullitt Center, Seattle, 217 Bunge, 148 Burkina Faso, 89 Burmark, Lynell, 13 business, 36, 43, 68, 88–9 automation, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 boom and bust, 246 and circular economy, 212, 215–19, 220, 224, 227–30, 232–4, 292 and complementary currencies, 184–5, 292 and core economy, 80 and creative destruction, 142 and feedback loops, 148 and finance, 183, 184 and green growth, 261, 265, 269 and households, 63, 68 living metrics, 241 and market, 68, 88 micro-businesses, 9 and neoliberalism, 67, 87 ownership, 190–91 and political funding, 91–2, 171–2 and taxation, 23, 276–7 workers’ rights, 88, 91, 269 butterfly economy, 220–42 C C–ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support), 153 C40 network, 280 calculating man, 98 California, United States, 213, 224, 293 Cambodia, 254 Cameron, David, 41 Canada, 196, 255, 260, 281, 282 cancer, 124, 159, 196 Capital Institute, 236 carbon emissions, 49–50, 59, 75 and decoupling, 260, 266 and forests, 50, 52 and inequality, 58 reduction of, 184, 201, 213, 216–18, 223–7, 239–41, 260, 266 stock–flow dynamics, 152–4 taxation, 201, 213 Cargill, 148 Carney, Mark, 256 Caterpillar, 228 Catholic Church, 15, 19 Cato Institute, 67 Celts, 54 central banks, 6, 87, 145, 146, 147, 183, 184, 256 Chang, Ha-Joon, 82, 86, 90 Chaplin, Charlie, 157 Chiapas, Mexico, 121–2 Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), 100–101 Chicago School, 34, 99 Chile, 7, 42 China, 1, 7, 48, 154, 289–90 automation, 193 billionaires, 200, 289 greenhouse gas emissions, 153 inequality, 164 Lake Erhai doughnut analysis, 56 open-source design, 196 poverty reduction, 151, 198 renewable energy, 239 tiered pricing, 213 Chinese Development Bank, 239 chrematistics, 32, 273 Christianity, 15, 19, 114, 151 cigarettes, 107, 124 circular economy, 220–42, 257 Circular Flow diagram, 19–20, 28, 62–7, 64, 70, 78, 87, 91, 92, 93, 262 Citigroup, 149 Citizen Reaction Study, 102 civil rights movement, 77 Cleveland, Ohio, 190 climate change, 1, 3, 5, 29, 41, 45–53, 63, 74, 75–6, 91, 141, 144, 201 circular economy, 239, 241–2 dynamics of, 152–5 and G20, 31 and GDP growth, 255, 256, 260, 280 and heuristics, 114 and human rights, 10 and values, 126 climate positive cities, 239 closed systems, 74 coffee, 221 cognitive bias, 112–14 Colander, David, 137 Colombia, 119 common-pool resources, 82–3, 181, 201–2 commons, 69, 82–4, 287 collaborative, 78, 83, 191, 195, 196, 264, 292 cultural, 83 digital, 82, 83, 192, 197, 281 and distribution, 164, 180, 181–2, 205, 267 Embedded Economy, 71, 73, 77–8, 82–4, 85, 92 knowledge, 197, 201–2, 204, 229, 231, 292 commons and money creation, see complementary currencies natural, 82, 83, 180, 181–2, 201, 265 and regeneration, 229, 242, 267, 292 and state, 85, 93, 197, 237 and systems, 160 tragedy of, 28, 62, 69, 82, 181 triumph of, 83 and values, 106, 108 Commons Trusts, 201 complementary currencies, 158, 182–8, 236, 292 complex systems, 28, 129–62 complexity science, 136–7 Consumer Reaction Study, 102 consumerism, 58, 102, 121, 280–84 cooking, 45, 80, 186 Coote, Anna, 278 Copenhagen, Denmark, 124 Copernicus, Nicolaus, 14–15 copyright, 195, 197, 204 core economy, 79–80 Corporate To Do List, 215–19 Costa Rica, 172 Council of Economic Advisers, US, 6, 37 Cox, Jo, 117 cradle to cradle, 224 creative destruction, 142 Cree, 282 Crompton, Tom, 125–6 cross-border flows, 89–90 crowdsourcing, 204 cuckoos, 32, 35, 36, 38, 40, 54, 60, 159, 244, 256, 271 currencies, 182–8, 236, 274, 292 D da Vinci, Leonardo, 13, 94–5 Dallas, Texas, 120 Daly, Herman, 74, 143, 271 Danish Nudging Network, 124 Darwin, Charles, 14 Debreu, Gerard, 134 debt, 37, 146–7, 172–3, 182–5, 247, 255, 269 decoupling, 193, 210, 258–62, 273 defeat device software, 216 deforestation, 49–50, 74, 208, 210 degenerative linear economy, 211–19, 222–3, 237 degrowth, 244 DeMartino, George, 161 democracy, 77, 171–2, 258 demurrage, 274 Denmark, 180, 275, 290 deregulation, 82, 87, 269 derivatives, 100–101, 149 Devas, Charles Stanton, 97 Dey, Suchitra, 178 Diamond, Jared, 154 diarrhoea, 5 differential calculus, 131, 132 digital revolution, 191–2, 264 diversify–select–amplify, 158 double spiral, 54 Doughnut model, 10–11, 11, 23–5, 44, 51 and aspiration, 58–9, 280–84 big picture, 28, 42, 61–93 distribution, 29, 52, 57, 58, 76, 93, 158, 163–205 ecological ceiling, 10, 11, 44, 45, 46, 49, 51, 218, 254, 295, 298 goal, 25–8, 31–60 and governance, 57, 59 growth agnosticism, 29–30, 243–85 human nature, 28–9, 94–128 and population, 57–8 regeneration, 29, 158, 206–42 social foundation, 10, 11, 44, 45, 49, 51, 58, 77, 174, 200, 254, 295–6 systems, 28, 129–62 and technology, 57, 59 Douglas, Margaret, 78–9 Dreyfus, Louis, 148 ‘Dumb and Dumber in Macroeconomics’ (Solow), 135 Durban, South Africa, 214 E Earning by Learning, 120 Earth-system science, 44–53, 115, 216, 288, 298 Easter Island, 154 Easterlin, Richard, 265–6 eBay, 105, 192 eco-literacy, 115 ecological ceiling, 10, 11, 44, 45, 46, 49, 51, 218, 254, 295, 298 Ecological Performance Standards, 241 Econ 101 course, 8, 77 Economics (Lewis), 114 Economics (Samuelson), 19–20, 63–7, 70, 74, 78, 86, 91, 92, 93, 262 Economy for the Common Good, 241 ecosystem services, 7, 116, 269 Ecuador, 54 education, 9, 43, 45, 50–52, 85, 169–70, 176, 200, 249, 279 economic, 8, 11, 18, 22, 24, 36, 287–93 environmental, 115, 239–40 girls’, 57, 124, 178, 198 online, 83, 197, 264, 290 pricing, 118–19 efficient market hypothesis, 28, 62, 68, 87 Egypt, 48, 89 Eisenstein, Charles, 116 electricity, 9, 45, 236, 240 and Bangla Pesa, 186 cars, 231 Ethereum, 187–8 and MONIAC, 75, 262 pricing, 118, 213 see also renewable energy Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, 145 Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 220 Embedded Economy, 71–93, 263 business, 88–9 commons, 82–4 Earth, 72–6 economy, 77–8 finance, 86–8 household, 78–81 market, 81–2 power, 91–92 society, 76–7 state, 84–6 trade, 89–90 employment, 36, 37, 51, 142, 176 automation, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 labour ownership, 188–91 workers’ rights, 88, 90, 269 Empty World, 74 Engels, Friedrich, 88 environment and circular economy, 220–42, 257 conservation, 121–2 and degenerative linear economy, 211–19, 222–3 degradation, 5, 9, 10, 29, 44–53, 74, 154, 172, 196, 206–42 education on, 115, 239–40 externalities, 152 fair share, 216–17 and finance, 234–7 generosity, 218–19, 223–7 green growth, 41, 210, 243–85 nudging, 123–5 taxation and quotas, 213–14, 215 zero impact, 217–18, 238, 241 Environmental Dashboard, 240–41 environmental economics, 7, 11, 114–16 Environmental Kuznets Curve, 207–11, 241 environmental space, 54 Epstein, Joshua, 150 equilibrium theory, 134–62 Ethereum, 187–8 ethics, 160–62 Ethiopia, 9, 226, 254 Etsy, 105 Euclid, 13, 15 European Central Bank, 145, 275 European Commission, 41 European Union (EU), 92, 153, 210, 222, 255, 258 Evergreen Cooperatives, 190 Evergreen Direct Investing (EDI), 273 exogenous shocks, 141 exponential growth, 39, 246–85 externalities, 143, 152, 213 Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), 9 F Facebook, 192 fair share, 216–17 Fama, Eugene, 68, 87 fascism, 234, 277 Federal Reserve, US, 87, 145, 146, 271, 282 feedback loops, 138–41, 143, 148, 155, 250, 271 feminist economics, 11, 78–81, 160 Ferguson, Thomas, 91–2 finance animal spirits, 110 bank runs, 139 Black–Scholes model, 100–101 boom and bust, 28–9, 110, 144–7 and Circular Flow, 63–4, 87 and complex systems, 134, 138, 139, 140, 141, 145–7 cross-border flows, 89 deregulation, 87 derivatives, 100–101, 149 and distribution, 169, 170, 173, 182–4, 198–9, 201 and efficient market hypothesis, 63, 68 and Embedded Economy, 71, 86–8 and financial-instability hypothesis, 87, 146 and GDP growth, 38 and media, 7–8 mobile banking, 199–200 and money creation, 87, 182–5 and regeneration, 227, 229, 234–7 in service to life, 159, 234–7 stakeholder finance, 190 and sustainability, 216, 235–6, 239 financial crisis (2008), 1–4, 5, 40, 63, 86, 141, 144, 278, 290 and efficient market hypothesis, 87 and equilibrium theory, 134, 145 and financial-instability hypothesis, 87 and inequality, 90, 170, 172, 175 and money creation, 182 and worker’s rights, 278 financial flows, 89 Financial Times, 183, 266, 289 financial-instability hypothesis, 87, 146 First Green Bank, 236 First World War (1914–18), 166, 170 Fisher, Irving, 183 fluid values, 102, 106–9 food, 3, 43, 45, 50, 54, 58, 59, 89, 198 food banks, 165 food price crisis (2007–8), 89, 90, 180 Ford, 277–8 foreign direct investment, 89 forest conservation, 121–2 fossil fuels, 59, 73, 75, 92, 212, 260, 263 Foundations of Economic Analysis (Samuelson), 17–18 Foxconn, 193 framing, 22–3 France, 43, 165, 196, 238, 254, 256, 281, 290 Frank, Robert, 100 free market, 33, 37, 67, 68, 70, 81–2, 86, 90 free open-source hardware (FOSH), 196–7 free open-source software (FOSS), 196 free trade, 70, 90 Freeman, Ralph, 18–19 freshwater cycle, 48–9 Freud, Sigmund, 107, 281 Friedman, Benjamin, 258 Friedman, Milton, 34, 62, 66–9, 84–5, 88, 99, 183, 232 Friends of the Earth, 54 Full World, 75 Fuller, Buckminster, 4 Fullerton, John, 234–6, 273 G G20, 31, 56, 276, 279–80 G77, 55 Gal, Orit, 141 Gandhi, Mohandas, 42, 293 Gangnam Style, 145 Gardens of Democracy, The (Liu & Hanauer), 158 gender equality, 45, 51–2, 57, 78–9, 85, 88, 118–19, 124, 171, 198 generosity, 218–19, 223–9 geometry, 13, 15 George, Henry, 149, 179 Georgescu-Roegen, Nicholas, 252 geothermal energy, 221 Gerhardt, Sue, 283 Germany, 2, 41, 100, 118, 165, 189, 211, 213, 254, 256, 260, 274 Gessel, Silvio, 274 Ghent, Belgium, 236 Gift Relationship, The (Titmuss), 118–19 Gigerenzer, Gerd, 112–14 Gintis, Herb, 104 GiveDirectly, 200 Glass–Steagall Act (1933), 87 Glennon, Roger, 214 Global Alliance for Tax Justice, 277 global material footprints, 210–11 Global Village Construction Set, 196 globalisation, 89 Goerner, Sally, 175–6 Goffmann, Erving, 22 Going for Growth, 255 golden rule, 91 Goldman Sachs, 149, 170 Gómez-Baggethun, Erik, 122 Goodall, Chris, 211 Goodwin, Neva, 79 Goody, Jade, 124 Google, 192 Gore, Albert ‘Al’, 172 Gorgons, 244, 256, 257, 266 graffiti, 15, 25, 287 Great Acceleration, 46, 253–4 Great Depression (1929–39), 37, 70, 170, 173, 183, 275, 277, 278 Great Moderation, 146 Greece, Ancient, 4, 13, 32, 48, 54, 56–7, 160, 244 green growth, 41, 210, 243–85 Greenham, Tony, 185 greenhouse gas emissions, 31, 46, 50, 75–6, 141, 152–4 and decoupling, 260, 266 and Environmental Kuznets Curve, 208, 210 and forests, 50, 52 and G20, 31 and inequality, 58 reduction of, 184, 201–2, 213, 216–18, 223–7, 239–41, 256, 259–60, 266, 298 stock–flow dynamics, 152–4 and taxation, 201, 213 Greenland, 141, 154 Greenpeace, 9 Greenspan, Alan, 87 Greenwich, London, 290 Grenoble, France, 281 Griffiths, Brian, 170 gross domestic product (GDP), 25, 31–2, 35–43, 57, 60, 84, 164 as cuckoo, 32, 35, 36, 38, 40, 54, 60, 159, 244, 256, 271 and Environmental Kuznets Curve, 207–11 and exponential growth, 39, 53, 246–85 and growth agnosticism, 29–30, 240, 243–85 and inequality, 173 and Kuznets Curve, 167, 173, 188–9 gross national product (GNP), 36–40 Gross World Product, 248 Grossman, Gene, 207–8, 210 ‘grow now, clean up later’, 207 Guatemala, 196 H Haifa, Israel, 120 Haldane, Andrew, 146 Han Dynasty, 154 Hanauer, Nick, 158 Hansen, Pelle, 124 Happy Planet Index, 280 Hardin, Garrett, 69, 83, 181 Harvard University, 2, 271, 290 von Hayek, Friedrich, 7–8, 62, 66, 67, 143, 156, 158 healthcare, 43, 50, 57, 85, 123, 125, 170, 176, 200, 269, 279 Heilbroner, Robert, 53 Henry VIII, King of England and Ireland, 180 Hepburn, Cameron, 261 Herbert Simon, 111 heuristics, 113–14, 118, 123 high-income countries growth, 30, 244–5, 254–72, 282 inequality, 165, 168, 169, 171 labour, 177, 188–9, 278 overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–9 resource intensive lifestyles, 46, 210–11 trade, 90 Hippocrates, 160 History of Economic Analysis (Schumpeter), 21 HIV/AIDS, 123 Holocene epoch, 46–8, 75, 115, 253 Homo economicus, 94–103, 109, 127–8 Homo sapiens, 38, 104, 130 Hong Kong, 180 household, 78 housing, 45, 59, 176, 182–3, 269 Howe, Geoffrey, 67 Hudson, Michael, 183 Human Development Index, 9, 279 human nature, 28 human rights, 10, 25, 45, 49, 50, 95, 214, 233 humanistic economics, 42 hydropower, 118, 260, 263 I Illinois, United States, 179–80 Imago Mundi, 13 immigration, 82, 199, 236, 266 In Defense of Economic Growth (Beckerman), 258 Inclusive Wealth Index, 280 income, 51, 79–80, 82, 88, 176–8, 188–91, 194, 199–201 India, 2, 9, 10, 42, 124, 164, 178, 196, 206–7, 242, 290 Indonesia, 90, 105–6, 164, 168, 200 Indus Valley civilisation, 48 inequality, 1, 5, 25, 41, 63, 81, 88, 91, 148–52, 209 and consumerism, 111 and democracy, 171 and digital revolution, 191–5 and distribution, 163–205 and environmental degradation, 172 and GDP growth, 173 and greenhouse gas emissions, 58 and intellectual property, 195–8 and Kuznets Curve, 29, 166–70, 173–4 and labour ownership, 188–91 and land ownership, 178–82 and money creation, 182–8 and social welfare, 171 Success to the Successful, 148, 149, 151, 166 inflation, 36, 248, 256, 275 insect pollination services, 7 Institute of Economic Affairs, 67 institutional economics, 11 intellectual property rights, 195–8, 204 interest, 36, 177, 182, 184, 275–6 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 25 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 170, 172, 173, 183, 255, 258, 271 Internet, 83–4, 89, 105, 192, 202, 264 Ireland, 277 Iroquois Onondaga Nation, 116 Israel, 100, 103, 120 Italy, 165, 196, 254 J Jackson, Tim, 58 Jakubowski, Marcin, 196 Jalisco, Mexico, 217 Japan, 168, 180, 211, 222, 254, 256, 263, 275 Jevons, William Stanley, 16, 97–8, 131, 132, 137, 142 John Lewis Partnership, 190 Johnson, Lyndon Baines, 37 Johnson, Mark, 38 Johnson, Todd, 191 JPMorgan Chase, 149, 234 K Kahneman, Daniel, 111 Kamkwamba, William, 202, 204 Kasser, Tim, 125–6 Keen, Steve, 146, 147 Kelly, Marjorie, 190–91, 233 Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 37, 250 Kennedy, Paul, 279 Kenya, 118, 123, 180, 185–6, 199–200, 226, 292 Keynes, John Maynard, 7–8, 22, 66, 69, 134, 184, 251, 277–8, 284, 288 Kick It Over movement, 3, 289 Kingston, London, 290 Knight, Frank, 66, 99 knowledge commons, 202–4, 229, 292 Kokstad, South Africa, 56 Kondratieff waves, 246 Korzybski, Alfred, 22 Krueger, Alan, 207–8, 210 Kuhn, Thomas, 22 Kumhof, Michael, 172 Kuwait, 255 Kuznets, Simon, 29, 36, 39–40, 166–70, 173, 174, 175, 204, 207 KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, 56 L labour ownership, 188–91 Lake Erhai, Yunnan, 56 Lakoff, George, 23, 38, 276 Lamelara, Indonesia, 105–6 land conversion, 49, 52, 299 land ownership, 178–82 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 Landesa, 178 Landlord’s Game, The, 149 law of demand, 16 laws of motion, 13, 16–17, 34, 129, 131 Lehman Brothers, 141 Leopold, Aldo, 115 Lesotho, 118, 199 leverage points, 159 Lewis, Fay, 178 Lewis, Justin, 102 Lewis, William Arthur, 114, 167 Lietaer, Bernard, 175, 236 Limits to Growth, 40, 154, 258 Linux, 231 Liu, Eric, 158 living metrics, 240–42 living purpose, 233–4 Lomé, Togo, 231 London School of Economics (LSE), 2, 34, 65, 290 London Underground, 12 loss aversion, 112 low-income countries, 90, 164–5, 168, 173, 180, 199, 201, 209, 226, 254, 259 Lucas, Robert, 171 Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio, 124 Luxembourg, 277 Lyle, John Tillman, 214 Lyons, Oren, 116 M M–PESA, 199–200 MacDonald, Tim, 273 Machiguenga, 105–6 MacKenzie, Donald, 101 macroeconomics, 36, 62–6, 76, 80, 134–5, 145, 147, 150, 244, 280 Magie, Elizabeth, 149, 153 Malala effect, 124 malaria, 5 Malawi, 118, 202, 204 Malaysia, 168 Mali, Taylor, 243 Malthus, Thomas, 252 Mamsera Rural Cooperative, 190 Manhattan, New York, 9, 41 Mani, Muthukumara, 206 Manitoba, 282 Mankiw, Gregory, 2, 34 Mannheim, Karl, 22 Maoris, 54 market, 81–2 and business, 88 circular flow, 64 and commons, 83, 93, 181, 200–201 efficiency of, 28, 62, 68, 87, 148, 181 and equilibrium theory, 131–5, 137, 143–7, 155, 156 free market, 33, 37, 67–70, 90, 208 and households, 63, 69, 78, 79 and maxi-max rule, 161 and pricing, 117–23, 131, 160 and rational economic man, 96, 100–101, 103, 104 and reciprocity, 105, 106 reflexivity of, 144–7 and society, 69–70 and state, 84–6, 200, 281 Marshall, Alfred, 17, 98, 133, 165, 253, 282 Marx, Karl, 88, 142, 165, 272 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 17–20, 152–5 massive open online courses (MOOCs), 290 Matthew Effect, 151 Max-Neef, Manfred, 42 maxi-max rule, 161 maximum wage, 177 Maya civilisation, 48, 154 Mazzucato, Mariana, 85, 195, 238 McAfee, Andrew, 194, 258 McDonough, William, 217 Meadows, Donella, 40, 141, 159, 271, 292 Medusa, 244, 257, 266 Merkel, Angela, 41 Messerli, Elspeth, 187 Metaphors We Live By (Lakoff & Johnson), 38 Mexico, 121–2, 217 Michaels, Flora S., 6 micro-businesses, 9, 173, 178 microeconomics, 132–4 microgrids, 187–8 Micronesia, 153 Microsoft, 231 middle class, 6, 46, 58 middle-income countries, 90, 164, 168, 173, 180, 226, 254 migration, 82, 89–90, 166, 195, 199, 236, 266, 286 Milanovic, Branko, 171 Mill, John Stuart, 33–4, 73, 97, 250, 251, 283, 284, 288 Millo, Yuval, 101 minimum wage, 82, 88, 176 Minsky, Hyman, 87, 146 Mises, Ludwig von, 66 mission zero, 217 mobile banking, 199–200 mobile phones, 222 Model T revolution, 277–8 Moldova, 199 Mombasa, Kenya, 185–6 Mona Lisa (da Vinci), 94 money creation, 87, 164, 177, 182–8, 205 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 Monoculture (Michaels), 6 Monopoly, 149 Mont Pelerin Society, 67, 93 Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, The (Friedman), 258 moral vacancy, 41 Morgan, Mary, 99 Morogoro, Tanzania, 121 Moyo, Dambisa, 258 Muirhead, Sam, 230, 231 MultiCapital Scorecard, 241 Murphy, David, 264 Murphy, Richard, 185 musical tastes, 110 Myriad Genetics, 196 N national basic income, 177 Native Americans, 115, 116, 282 natural capital, 7, 116, 269 Natural Economic Order, The (Gessel), 274 Nedbank, 216 negative externalities, 213 negative interest rates, 275–6 neoclassical economics, 134, 135 neoliberalism, 7, 62–3, 67–70, 81, 83, 84, 88, 93, 143, 170, 176 Nepal, 181, 199 Nestlé, 217 Netherlands, 211, 235, 224, 226, 238, 277 networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6, 174–6 neuroscience, 12–13 New Deal, 37 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 New Year’s Day, 124 New York, United States, 9, 41, 55 Newlight Technologies, 224, 226, 293 Newton, Isaac, 13, 15–17, 32–3, 95, 97, 129, 131, 135–7, 142, 145, 162 Nicaragua, 196 Nigeria, 164 nitrogen, 49, 52, 212–13, 216, 218, 221, 226, 298 ‘no pain, no gain’, 163, 167, 173, 204, 209 Nobel Prize, 6–7, 43, 83, 101, 167 Norway, 281 nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 O Obama, Barack, 41, 92 Oberlin, Ohio, 239, 240–41 Occupy movement, 40, 91 ocean acidification, 45, 46, 52, 155, 242, 298 Ohio, United States, 190, 239 Okun, Arthur, 37 onwards and upwards, 53 Open Building Institute, 196 Open Source Circular Economy (OSCE), 229–32 open systems, 74 open-source design, 158, 196–8, 265 open-source licensing, 204 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 38, 210, 255–6, 258 Origin of Species, The (Darwin), 14 Ormerod, Paul, 110, 111 Orr, David, 239 Ostrom, Elinor, 83, 84, 158, 160, 181–2 Ostry, Jonathan, 173 OSVehicle, 231 overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 ownership of wealth, 177–82 Oxfam, 9, 44 Oxford University, 1, 36 ozone layer, 9, 50, 115 P Pachamama, 54, 55 Pakistan, 124 Pareto, Vilfredo, 165–6, 175 Paris, France, 290 Park 20|20, Netherlands, 224, 226 Parker Brothers, 149 Patagonia, 56 patents, 195–6, 197, 204 patient capital, 235 Paypal, 192 Pearce, Joshua, 197, 203–4 peer-to-peer networks, 187, 192, 198, 203, 292 People’s QE, 184–5 Perseus, 244 Persia, 13 Peru, 2, 105–6 Phillips, Adam, 283 Phillips, William ‘Bill’, 64–6, 75, 142, 262 phosphorus, 49, 52, 212–13, 218, 298 Physiocrats, 73 Pickett, Kate, 171 pictures, 12–25 Piketty, Thomas, 169 Playfair, William, 16 Poincaré, Henri, 109, 127–8 Polanyi, Karl, 82, 272 political economy, 33–4, 42 political funding, 91–2, 171–2 political voice, 43, 45, 51–2, 77, 117 pollution, 29, 45, 52, 85, 143, 155, 206–17, 226, 238, 242, 254, 298 population, 5, 46, 57, 155, 199, 250, 252, 254 Portugal, 211 post-growth society, 250 poverty, 5, 9, 37, 41, 50, 88, 118, 148, 151 emotional, 283 and inequality, 164–5, 168–9, 178 and overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 and taxation, 277 power, 91–92 pre-analytic vision, 21–2 prescription medicines, 123 price-takers, 132 prices, 81, 118–23, 131, 160 Principles of Economics (Mankiw), 34 Principles of Economics (Marshall), 17, 98 Principles of Political Economy (Mill), 288 ProComposto, 226 Propaganda (Bernays), 107 public relations, 107, 281 public spending v. investment, 276 public–private patents, 195 Putnam, Robert, 76–7 Q quantitative easing (QE), 184–5 Quebec, 281 Quesnay, François, 16, 73 R Rabot, Ghent, 236 Rancière, Romain, 172 rating and review systems, 105 rational economic man, 94–103, 109, 111, 112, 126, 282 Reagan, Ronald, 67 reciprocity, 103–6, 117, 118, 123 reflexivity of markets, 144 reinforcing feedback loops, 138–41, 148, 250, 271 relative decoupling, 259 renewable energy biomass energy, 118, 221 and circular economy, 221, 224, 226, 235, 238–9, 274 and commons, 83, 85, 185, 187–8, 192, 203, 264 geothermal energy, 221 and green growth, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267 hydropower, 118, 260, 263 pricing, 118 solar energy, see solar energy wave energy, 221 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 rentier sector, 180, 183, 184 reregulation, 82, 87, 269 resource flows, 175 resource-intensive lifestyles, 46 Rethinking Economics, 289 Reynebeau, Guy, 237 Ricardo, David, 67, 68, 73, 89, 250 Richardson, Katherine, 53 Rifkin, Jeremy, 83, 264–5 Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, The (Kennedy), 279 risk, 112, 113–14 Robbins, Lionel, 34 Robinson, James, 86 Robinson, Joan, 142 robots, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 Rockefeller Foundation, 135 Rockford, Illinois, 179–80 Rockström, Johan, 48, 55 Roddick, Anita, 232–4 Rogoff, Kenneth, 271, 280 Roman Catholic Church, 15, 19 Rombo, Tanzania, 190 Rome, Ancient, 13, 48, 154 Romney, Mitt, 92 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 37 rooted membership, 190 Rostow, Walt, 248–50, 254, 257, 267–70, 284 Ruddick, Will, 185 rule of thumb, 113–14 Ruskin, John, 42, 223 Russia, 200 rust belt, 90, 239 S S curve, 251–6 Sainsbury’s, 56 Samuelson, Paul, 17–21, 24–5, 38, 62–7, 70, 74, 84, 91, 92, 93, 262, 290–91 Sandel, Michael, 41, 120–21 Sanergy, 226 sanitation, 5, 51, 59 Santa Fe, California, 213 Santinagar, West Bengal, 178 São Paolo, Brazil, 281 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 43 Saumweder, Philipp, 226 Scharmer, Otto, 115 Scholes, Myron, 100–101 Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich, 42, 142 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21 Schwartz, Shalom, 107–9 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 163, 167, 204 ‘Science and Complexity’ (Weaver), 136 Scotland, 57 Seaman, David, 187 Seattle, Washington, 217 second machine age, 258 Second World War (1939–45), 18, 37, 70, 170 secular stagnation, 256 self-interest, 28, 68, 96–7, 99–100, 102–3 Selfish Society, The (Gerhardt), 283 Sen, Amartya, 43 Shakespeare, William, 61–3, 67, 93 shale gas, 264, 269 Shang Dynasty, 48 shareholders, 82, 88, 189, 191, 227, 234, 273, 292 sharing economy, 264 Sheraton Hotel, Boston, 3 Siegen, Germany, 290 Silicon Valley, 231 Simon, Julian, 70 Sinclair, Upton, 255 Sismondi, Jean, 42 slavery, 33, 77, 161 Slovenia, 177 Small Is Beautiful (Schumacher), 42 smart phones, 85 Smith, Adam, 33, 57, 67, 68, 73, 78–9, 81, 96–7, 103–4, 128, 133, 160, 181, 250 social capital, 76–7, 122, 125, 172 social contract, 120, 125 social foundation, 10, 11, 44, 45, 49, 51, 58, 77, 174, 200, 254, 295–6 social media, 83, 281 Social Progress Index, 280 social pyramid, 166 society, 76–7 solar energy, 59, 75, 111, 118, 187–8, 190 circular economy, 221, 222, 223, 224, 226–7, 239 commons, 203 zero-energy buildings, 217 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84 Solow, Robert, 135, 150, 262–3 Soros, George, 144 South Africa, 56, 177, 214, 216 South Korea, 90, 168 South Sea Bubble (1720), 145 Soviet Union (1922–91), 37, 67, 161, 279 Spain, 211, 238, 256 Spirit Level, The (Wilkinson & Pickett), 171 Sraffa, Piero, 148 St Gallen, Switzerland, 186 Stages of Economic Growth, The (Rostow), 248–50, 254 stakeholder finance, 190 Standish, Russell, 147 state, 28, 33, 69–70, 78, 82, 160, 176, 180, 182–4, 188 and commons, 85, 93, 197, 237 and market, 84–6, 200, 281 partner state, 197, 237–9 and robots, 195 stationary state, 250 Steffen, Will, 46, 48 Sterman, John, 66, 143, 152–4 Steuart, James, 33 Stiglitz, Joseph, 43, 111, 196 stocks and flows, 138–41, 143, 144, 152 sub-prime mortgages, 141 Success to the Successful, 148, 149, 151, 166 Sugarscape, 150–51 Summers, Larry, 256 Sumner, Andy, 165 Sundrop Farms, 224–6 Sunstein, Cass, 112 supply and demand, 28, 132–6, 143, 253 supply chains, 10 Sweden, 6, 255, 275, 281 swishing, 264 Switzerland, 42, 66, 80, 131, 186–7, 275 T Tableau économique (Quesnay), 16 tabula rasa, 20, 25, 63, 291 takarangi, 54 Tanzania, 121, 190, 202 tar sands, 264, 269 taxation, 78, 111, 165, 170, 176, 177, 237–8, 276–9 annual wealth tax, 200 environment, 213–14, 215 global carbon tax, 201 global financial transactions tax, 201, 235 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 non-renewable resources, 193, 237–8, 278–9 People’s QE, 185 tax relief v. tax justice, 23, 276–7 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), 202, 258 Tempest, The (Shakespeare), 61, 63, 93 Texas, United States, 120 Thailand, 90, 200 Thaler, Richard, 112 Thatcher, Margaret, 67, 69, 76 Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 96 Thompson, Edward Palmer, 180 3D printing, 83–4, 192, 198, 231, 264 thriving-in-balance, 54–7, 62 tiered pricing, 213–14 Tigray, Ethiopia, 226 time banking, 186 Titmuss, Richard, 118–19 Toffler, Alvin, 12, 80 Togo, 231, 292 Torekes, 236–7 Torras, Mariano, 209 Torvalds, Linus, 231 trade, 62, 68–9, 70, 89–90 trade unions, 82, 176, 189 trademarks, 195, 204 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 transport, 59 trickle-down economics, 111, 170 Triodos, 235 Turkey, 200 Tversky, Amos, 111 Twain, Mark, 178–9 U Uganda, 118, 125 Ulanowicz, Robert, 175 Ultimatum Game, 105, 117 unemployment, 36, 37, 276, 277–9 United Kingdom Big Bang (1986), 87 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 free trade, 90 global material footprints, 211 money creation, 182 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 poverty, 165, 166 prescription medicines, 123 wages, 188 United Nations, 55, 198, 204, 255, 258, 279 G77 bloc, 55 Human Development Index, 9, 279 Sustainable Development Goals, 24, 45 United States American Economic Association meeting (2015), 3 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 Congress, 36 Council of Economic Advisers, 6, 37 Earning by Learning, 120 Econ 101 course, 8, 77 Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), 9 Federal Reserve, 87, 145, 146, 271, 282 free trade, 90 Glass–Steagall Act (1933), 87 greenhouse gas emissions, 153 global material footprint, 211 gross national product (GNP), 36–40 inequality, 170, 171 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 political funding, 91–2, 171 poverty, 165, 166 productivity and employment, 193 rust belt, 90, 239 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 wages, 188 universal basic income, 200 University of Berkeley, 116 University of Denver, 160 urbanisation, 58–9 utility, 35, 98, 133 V values, 6, 23, 34, 35, 42, 117, 118, 121, 123–6 altruism, 100, 104 anthropocentric, 115 extrinsic, 115 fluid, 28, 102, 106–9 and networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6 and nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 and pricing, 81, 120–23 Veblen, Thorstein, 82, 109, 111, 142 Venice, 195 verbal framing, 23 Verhulst, Pierre, 252 Victor, Peter, 270 Viner, Jacob, 34 virtuous cycles, 138, 148 visual framing, 23 Vitruvian Man, 13–14 Volkswagen, 215–16 W Wacharia, John, 186 Wall Street, 149, 234, 273 Wallich, Henry, 282 Walras, Léon, 131, 132, 133–4, 137 Ward, Barbara, 53 Warr, Benjamin, 263 water, 5, 9, 45, 46, 51, 54, 59, 79, 213–14 wave energy, 221 Ways of Seeing (Berger), 12, 281 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 74, 78, 96, 104 wealth ownership, 177–82 Weaver, Warren, 135–6 weightless economy, 261–2 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic), 103–5, 110, 112, 115, 117, 282 West Bengal, India, 124, 178 West, Darrell, 171–2 wetlands, 7 whale hunting, 106 Wiedmann, Tommy, 210 Wikipedia, 82, 223 Wilkinson, Richard, 171 win–win trade, 62, 68, 89 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 Wizard of Oz, The, 241 Woelab, 231, 293 Wolf, Martin, 183, 266 women’s rights, 33, 57, 107, 160, 201 and core economy, 69, 79–81 education, 57, 124, 178, 198 and land ownership, 178 see also gender equality workers’ rights, 88, 91, 269 World 3 model, 154–5 World Bank, 6, 41, 119, 164, 168, 171, 206, 255, 258 World No Tobacco Day, 124 World Trade Organization, 6, 89 worldview, 22, 54, 115 X xenophobia, 266, 277, 286 Xenophon, 4, 32, 56–7, 160 Y Yandle, Bruce, 208 Yang, Yuan, 1–3, 289–90 yin yang, 54 Yousafzai, Malala, 124 YouTube, 192 Yunnan, China, 56 Z Zambia, 10 Zanzibar, 9 Zara, 276 Zeitvorsoge, 186–7 zero environmental impact, 217–18, 238, 241 zero-hour contracts, 88 zero-humans-required production, 192 zero-interest loans, 183 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84, 191, 264 zero-waste manufacturing, 227 Zinn, Howard, 77 PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Illustrations are reproduced by kind permission of: archive.org


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Thomas Davenport, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

But now Moore’s Law applies, as we have described above, not just to smartphones and PCs but to everything. Change has always been the norm and the one constant; but we have never experienced change like this, at such a pace, or on so many fronts: in energy sources’ move to renewables; in health care’s move to digital health records and designer drugs; in banking, in which a technology called the blockchain distributed ledger system threatens to antiquate financial systems’ opaque procedures.* It is noteworthy that, Moore’s Law having turned fifty, we are reaching the limits of how much you can shrink a transistor. After all, nothing can be smaller than an atom. But Intel and IBM have both said that they can adhere to the Moore’s Law targets for another five to ten years. So the silicon-based computer chips in our laptops will surely match the power of a human brain in the early 2020s, but Moore’s Law may fizzle out after that.

Technology has been advancing exponentially since the advent of evolution on Earth, and computing power has been rising exponentially: from the mechanical calculating devices used in the 1890 U.S. Census, via the machines that cracked the Nazi enigma code, the CBS vacuum-tube computer, the transistor-based machines used in the first space launches, and more recently the integrated circuit– based personal computer. * The blockchain is an almost incorruptible digital ledger that can be used to record practically anything that can be digitized: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, medical records, contracts, and votes. Bitcoin is one of its many implementations. With exponentially advancing technologies, things move very slowly at first and then advance dramatically.

We are going to need to think deeply about how much we value our individual privacy. A Difficult Balance Transparency, detection, and accountability are the necessary antidotes to security risks. Companies need to build systems with the assumption that they will be hacked. They need to develop technologies that notify us when we’ve been compromised and take automatic actions to block attackers. They must design systems to be distributed and resilient, such as blockchain technology, which can help prevent tampering and information leakage. With regard to privacy, we have yet to reach a consensus on what is acceptable. We all make choices about what we put on line, but much of what is collected about us is out of our control. The actual value of privacy is up to citizens and governments of the world to decide. Perhaps we need a blanket ban on covert capture of facial-recognition identification.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

–W “I’d rather give an understated good recommendation: be interdisciplinary . . . the interactions between [fields] tend to very often inform strategic and protocol decisions.” Vitalik Buterin TW: @VitalikButerin Reddit: /u/vbuterin VITALIK BUTERIN is the creator of Ethereum. He first discovered blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies through Bitcoin in 2011, and was immediately excited by the technology and its potential. He co-founded Bitcoin magazine in September 2011, and after two and a half years looking at what the existing blockchain technology and applications had to offer, wrote the Ethereum white paper in November 2013. He now leads Ethereum’s research team, working on future versions of the Ethereum protocol. In 2014, Vitalik was a recipient of the two-year Thiel Fellowship, tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s project that awards $100,000 to 20 promising innovators under 20 so they can pursue their inventions in lieu of a post-secondary institution

It’s not super cool, and it’s more about the habit. But I do want to get that culty Japanese journal that all the designers use, a Hobonichi Techo. It’s the kind of thing you see in Japan: a notebook turned into a high art. Maybe next year. . . . “No one is qualified to tell you how you experience the world.” Vlad Zamfir TW: @VladZamfir Medium: @vlad_zamfir vladzamfir.com VLAD ZAMFIR is a blockchain architect and researcher at Ethereum, working on blockchain efficiency and scaling. Vlad is interested in governance and privacy solutions, and he was also the first person to introduce me to absurdism. He is a frequent contributor on Medium and lives in Antarctica (or so he wants us to believe). What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

It was interesting/important to me because it was the first information about institutional design that I’ve ever really internalized. I feel like I have a much better idea about “how society works” now that I understand something about the nature of institutions. Not that I can claim to understand much! I tried to “crystallize” some of my understandings, but I didn’t do a great job. In practical terms, though, I am now able to think much more clearly about blockchain governance. I can see that we already have a handful of nascent blockchain governance institutions! I can understand what it means for an institution to be more or less formal, and more or less tacit/ad hoc. I am now completely open to the possibility that institutionalization can be a reasonable process, rather than one that is inevitably powered by hubris. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? I nap a lot.


pages: 374 words: 94,508

Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage by Douglas B. Laney

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, digital twin, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, linked data, Lyft, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, profit motive, recommendation engine, RFID, semantic web, smart meter, Snapchat, software as a service, source of truth, supply-chain management, text mining, uber lyft, Y2K, yield curve

I have long anticipated and referred to this as “self-organizing information.” Early attempts at this, however, will be plagued with erroneous interpretations of the data, both by the algorithms themselves and unsuspecting recipients (humans and applications). Blockchain is worth mentioning as well, since it is a hot (if overhyped) topic at present. Into the next decade, expect most blockchain efforts to miss the mark, either due to performance challenges endemic to the technology or the misapplication of the technology by overzealous architects. That said, blockchain may very well prove useful for rationalizing metadata or master data long before being practicable for managing most high volume/velocity/variety information assets themselves. Information Asset Privacy and Security Other global trends with specific information-related implications are privacy and security.

Index 3 “V”s of big data 101n9 Abe’s Market 39 accessibility 249 accounting: accountants and information 227–9; cashing in on information 229; information 201–5; probable economic value 229–30 ACNielsen 12, 22 Acxiom 229 Adams, Paul 168 Advanced Drain Systems (ADS) 97 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) 98 Albala, Mark 261 algorithm(s) 84, 88–9, 94, 96, 98, 137, 199, 230–1, 279, 286, 289–91 Amazon 36, 132, 211, 217n2 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 21, 205–6 analytics: actionable decision-making 89–93; advanced 289–90; advanced analytics advantage 83–5; business intelligence implementation 82; descriptive 82–3; diagnostic 82–3; exploiting Big Data 86–9; Gartner analytic ascendency model 83; identifying monetizable insights 93–9; information management 99–100; information monetization 75–6; predictive 82–3; prescriptive 82–3; value 266 application program interfaces (APIs) 34, 73 applied asset management: governance 186–9; information strategy 177–81; information vision 174–7; infrastructure 196–8; metrics 182–6; people 189–92; process 193–6; roles for infosavvy organization 198–200 Aquatics Informatics 114 Archer Daniels Midland 8 Armstrong, Neil 1 Arthur Andersen 205, 217 artificial intelligence (AI) 85, 90, 115, 286, 289–90 Art of War, The (Sun Tzu) 144n4 asset, definitions 2–3, 9–11, 214–15 asset management: barriers to information 114–16; fiduciary responsibility 164; financial methods 163–5; intangibles 168–9; lessons from sustainability 138–43; see also applied asset management; physical asset management AULIVE 12 Australian Computer Society Data Taskforce 222 Australian Privacy Commissioner 233 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) 43–4 Auto Trader 23 Ayasdi 14, 27n6, 42, 98 balance sheet assets 158–9; physical asset management 9, 116, 158–63, 176, 184, 188–9, 198, 235 Bardin, Noam 35 bartering: favorable terms and conditions 38–9; goods and services 37–8; relationships 38–9 Becker, Gary 128 Becker, Mark 30 Beechcraft Cessna 292 Beechwood House Publishing 255–6 Bekenstein Bounds 273 Bell Helicopter 292 Bespoke Data Organisation 225 Beyer, Mark 186 Big Data 10, 12, 26n2, 49n1, 59, 212; exploiting 85–9; health insurance company 107; information trend 287; processing 40–1; roadblocks to information monetization 287–8; term 86, 101n8; variety of information 88–9; velocity of information 85–6; volume of information 87 biodiversity 136 Bippert, Doug 84 Birchler, Urs 272 blockchain 291 Bloomberg 12, 211, 229 blunderfunding 244, 268n5 Boone, Ryan 40 Box, George 246 BrightPlanet 65 Brownstein, John 96 Brynjolfsson, Erik 272 Brzmialkiewics, Caryl 44 Buchanan, Stewart 107 Bugajski, Joe 281 business: asset 10; climate 136; information 48–9; introducing a new line of 33–4; models 24–6; performance 43–4 business intelligence (BI) 14, 77, 81, 198, 211, 292; analytics 82; beyond basic 81–6; innovation 97–9; see also analytics business-to-business (B2B) 15, 38 business-to-consumer (B2C) 15 business value of information (BVI) 253–4 Bütler, Monka 272 Buytendijk, Frank 34, 281 Caltex 63 Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) 148 cash 14–16, 20–1, 28, 35, 37, 39, 42–4, 96, 128, 161, 165, 188, 209, 227, 229, 257, 260, 293 Casonato, Regina 132 Casper, Carsten 244 Center for Disease Control 65; Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) 89 chief data officer (CDO) 3, 9, 17, 25: analytics 106–7; balancing act of 288–9; concept of 190; emergence of 293; hiring 211; information ecosystem 138; information leader 56–6, 155; information management 154; leadership 112; role of 192, 199–200 chief financial officer (CFO) 3, 100, 105, 107, 165, 200, 213, 245, 250 chief executive officer (CEO) 15, 32, 34, 40, 57, 100, 112, 155, 168, 175, 190, 200 chief information officer (CIO) 3, 40, 42, 58–9, 81, 106, 112, 132, 134, 175–6, 190, 200 China 35, 64, 159, 224 Christiaens, Stan 106 Cicero Group 148, 265, 269n25 Citigroup13–14, 16 Clark, Christina 243 Coca-Cola 83–4, 88, 132 Cohen, Jack 91 Coles Supermarkets 192 Collibra 106, 163 commercial data 63 commercial general liability (CGL) 241–2 competitive differentiation 36–7 completeness 248, 252 Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) 14 Connotate Software 62, 65 consistency 248 content management, contending approaches for 154–5 Corbin, Stacey 63 Cordner, Matt 292 costs, defraying information management and analytics 40–1 cost savings, monetization success 74 cost value of information (CVI) 256–7, 261–2, 274–5 cultural attitudes, information management 114 customer acquisition and retention 29–31 customer relationship management (CRM) 140 D&B 22, 57, 63–4, 229 DalleMule, Leandro 176, 184 dark data 32, 42, 62–3, 141; information asset 61–2; understanding 94–5 data as a service (DAAS) 181–2 database management system (DBMS) 134, 302 Data Driven Leaders Always Win (Zaidi) 234 data governance 188–9; see also governance, information Data Management Association International (DAMA) 148 data ownership 20; see also ownership data preparation 17, 73–4, 189; for monetization use 72–3 data quality: assessing 246–9; objective metrics 248; subjective metrics 249 Data Republic 63 data science 289–90 Datateam Business Media (DBM) 221 Davis, Lord Justice 221 DB2 database 115, 228 DBS Bank 43–4 decision making: actionable 85, 89–93; complexity, activity and change 89–90; governance, risk and compliance (GRC) 91–2; optimizing business processes 90–1; scenario planning 92–3 deinformationalization 36 Deming, Edward 243 derivative data 279 Desai, Samir 58 Deutsche Telekom 225 Dibble, Bill 94 differential data 278 digerati 210 digital detritus 42 digital industry, intellectual property of 288 diminishing marginal utility 276–8; law of 276 Direct Eats 39 direct information monetization 66–8 Disney World 83 distinct data 278 diversity, people 191–2 Dollar General 32, 36, 40 Dominick, Lauren 92 Drucker, Peter 243 DSCI 63 Dun & Bradstreet see D&B Duncan, Alan 160, 272 economic attribution, monetization success 74 economics: applying concepts to information 272–3; as dismal science 271; principles 271–2; see also infonomics economic value of information (EVI) 258–9, 266 economy 11, 147, 192, 205–6, 217, 242, 272 ecosystem: definition 132–3; entities 135–6; features 136; influences 137; management 137–8; processes 136–7; sustainability principles 138–43, 180; see also information ecosystem Ehlers, Brian 183 elasticity, information pricing and 275–6 Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 224 endowment effect 279 enterprise architect 10 enterprise asset management (EAM): infrastructure 197–8; systems 162 enterprise content management (ECM) 154, 181 Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Council 148 enterprise information management (EIM): impediments to maturity 111–14; leadership issues 112; levels of maturity 109–11; maturity model 108–11, 174; metrics 182–4; vision 174–7 enterprise resource planning (ERP) 140 Equifax 12, 57, 63 Equinox Fitness Clubs 58 Evans, Nina 114 Everedge 168 existence 249 exogenous information 16, 165; see also external information Experian 57, 63, 213 Experience Matters 106, 114, 148, 181, 186 external information 11, 31, 36, 55, 60–1, 165, 195, 292 Facebook 11, 21–2, 31, 34, 64, 211–13, 218n10, 232 faint signals, identifying 95–6 feasibility checklist 69–70; economical 72; ethical 72–3; legal 72; manageable 71; marketable 71; practical 70–1; scalable 71; technological 71 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 46 fiduciary 164, 189, 234 Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) 21, 206 financial valuation models, information assets 251, 255–61 Fisher, Jennifer 260 Fisher, Tony 272 Fisher, William W., III 169 FleetRisk Advisors 92 Francis, James C., IV 224 fraud and risk, identifying and reducing 44–5 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 17, 45–6 Friedman, Milton 128–9 Friedman, Ted 247, 268n12 fundamental valuation models, information assets 251–5 Gaia hypothesis 144n5 Ganschow, Karen 54 Gartner: enterprise information management (EIM) maturity model 108–11, 297–302; financial valuation models 251, 255–6; fundamental valuation models 251–5; Hype Cycle 281, 284n7; information asset valuation models 250; information value models 262; Magic Quadrants 68 Geis, Alex 33 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 240n24 generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) 21, 116, 217, 245 generally accepted information principles 116–19, 120n13; assumptions 117; constraints 117–18; principles 118–19 Georgia Aquarium 29–30 geographic 18, 35, 96, 235 Gledhill, David 43 goods and services, bartering 37–8 Google 11, 21, 47, 76, 211, 213, 217n2 governance: applied asset management 188–9; challenges and remedies 187; data entry 187; governance, risk and compliance (GRC) 91–2, 152; information 188, 234; information management 186–9; information management challenges 299–300; proving benefits of information 264 government 9, 17, 22–3, 41, 45–8, 61, 64, 95–6, 105, 115, 193, 206, 223–5, 237, 276, 286 Grayson-Rizzuto, Kimberly 39 Grossman, Larry 46 Hadoop 41 Hamilton, Stuart 114 Hawthorne effect 243, 268n4 Hawthorne Works 243 Health and Human Services Department 44 HealthMap 95–6 HERE Life 38 Hershberger, John 111 Higgins, Mike 97 Hillard, Rob 148, 272 Hogan, Tom 107 Holloway, Todd 32 Horrisberger, Jim 83 House of Cards (TV series) 59 Hubbard, Douglas 260 Human Capital (Becker) 128 human capital management 165–8, 184 Hutton, James 144n7 Hype Cycle 281, 284n7 IBM 87, 91, 115, 148 IMDB 34 Indigenous Land Corporation 63 indirect information monetization 68–9 industry average 283 Infinity Property and Casualty 94 infodiversity 180 infonomics 272, 285–6; concept of 3; definition 9; future of 292–5; improving information yield 281–4; information pricing and elasticity 275–6; information-related trends 286–91; managing information 106; marginal utility of information 276–9; opportunity cost for information choices 279–80; production possibilities of information 280; supply and demand of information 274–5 Informatica 163 information: accountants and 227–30; accounting for 214–17; as asset 2, 205–7; asset realization 207–8; business models and profitability 24–6; characteristics of 18–26; control of 228–9, 233; data vs 25–6, 26n4; digitalization of 288; economic alternatives for 13–14; getting more than cash for 14–16; as liability 216; liquidity of 20–1; monetizing, managing and measuring 9–11; multimedia 2; opportunity cost for information 279–80; pricing elasticity 275–6; probable economic value of 229–30; real world evidence of economic value of 210–13; replicability 23; reusable nature of 19; as second language 143–4; stop giving it away 18; supply and demand of 274–5; taxing situation 21–2; thinking beyond 16–17; transferability 23–4; uncovering hidden treasures 17–18; value of 208–10; see also ownership Information Age 3, 95, 136, 149, 160, 216 informationalize 36 informationalized product 75 information as a second language (ISL) 143–4, 192 information asset management (IAM) 107, 176; information yield 281–4; unified approach to 169–70; vision 176–7; see also applied asset management information assets 59–66; commercial data 63; commercial general liability (CGL) 241; dark data 62–3; financial valuation models 249, 255–60; fundamental valuation models 251–6; inventory 60; measuring 242–6; new supply chain model for 128–31; operational data 61; privacy and security 291; public data 64; social media data 64–5; valuation models 249–60; web content 65–6 information curation 17 information ecosystem: classic ecosystem entities concepts 135; ecosystem entities 135; ecosystem features of 136; ecosystem influences 137; ecosystem management 137–8; ecosystem processes 136–7; lessons from sustainability 138–43; preparing for 131–8; recycle 142–3; reduce 140–1; refuse 139–40; remove 143; repurpose 141–2; reuse 141; role of information in 133–5 information keiretsus 132 information lifecycle: expense 267; process challenges 301–2 information management 105–8; barriers to asset management 114–16; challenges and principles 119; cultural attitudes about 114; future of infonomics 292; generally accepted information principles 116–19; governance challenges 299–300; impediments to maturity 111–14; information metrics challenges 299; infrastructure challenges 302; leadership 112; levels of information maturity 109–11; maturity model 108–11, 174; monetization success 74; monetization to 99–100; people-related challenges 300–1; priority control 113–14; process challenges 301–2; resources 113–14; strategy challenges 298; vision challenges 297–8 information measurement, future of infonomics 294–5 information owners 222; see also ownership information ownership 222, 226–8, 232–4 information performance gap 262 information product management 56–9 information property rights 303–5; rulings affirming 303–4; rulings denying 304–5; see also information ownership; ownership information security 244 information supply chain (ISC) 8, 119; activities 131; metrics for 126–7; model for information assets 128–31; preparing for information ecosystem 131–8; scenarios 126; SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference) model 124–5; see also information ecosystem Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) 151–2 information valuation models 263–7; benefits of information governance 264; expanded revenue 266; innovation and digitalization 265; monetization and analytics 265–6; prioritizing IAM investments 264; reducing information lifecycle expense 267 information vision gap 262 information yield 281–4; concept 281; curve 281 infosavvy 3, 11; chief data officer (CDO) 199–200; growing market valuations 245; investors prizing, companies 211–13; roles for organization 198–200 infrastructure 12, 40–1, 47, 108, 139, 150–1, 192, 196–8, 267, 286, 290–1, 299, 302; information 290–1; information management 196; information management challenges 302 innovation 3, 26, 31, 46, 76, 97–9, 107, 113, 161, 236, 246, 265, 287, 289, 298, 301 innovation and digitalization, value 265 Instagram 34 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 147 intangible assets 168–9 integrity 248 intellectual property (IP) 62, 116, 128, 130, 168, 176, 181, 230–1, 288 International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) 214 International Accounting Standards (IAS) 214–15, 217 International Astronomical Union 148 International Federation of Library Association and Institutions (IFLA) 157 International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 214–15; criteria 219n19 International Organization for Standardization (ISO): ISO 8000 170n2; ISO 15489–1:2016 152, 170n8, 171n10; ISO 19770–1 149; ISO 19770–2 149; ISO 19770–3 150; ISO 19770–4 150; ISO 30300:2011 170n9; ISO 55001 158; ISO/IEC 20000 170n7; ISO/IEC 27001 147, 170n3; IT asset management (ITAM) 149–50; IT service management (ITSM) 150–1 intrinsic value of information (IVI) 251–2 Intuit’s TurboTax 36 inventory, information asset 60 investor awareness, monetization success 76 IT asset management (ITAM): International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards 149–50 IT service management (ITSM) 150–1; information strategy 180–1 J.D.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

In the potentiality of block-chain visionaries, the most useful programs, contracts, and methods will be the ones that are most copied, eventually becoming standards. The Bitcoin.org website explains how this is accomplished with Bitcoin: Nobody owns the Bitcoin network.… [It] is controlled by all Bitcoin users around the world. While developers are improving the software, they can’t force a change in the Bitcoin protocol because all users are free to choose what software and version they use. In order to stay compatible with each other, all users need to use software complying with the same rules. Bitcoin can only work correctly with a complete consensus among all users. Therefore, all users and developers have a strong incentive to protect this consensus.22 While the block-chain protocol has necessarily evolved over the last six years, the evolution is driven by consensus, with the most suitable and widely adopted changes being the ones that win out over the alternatives.

The decentralized reward system makes payments based upon digitally measurable and verifiable outputs. We often pay for services this way: Cellphone use is paid by the minute or byte and Zipcar by the hour and mile using rates the company sets. Having a reward system that is adopted and applied by a decentralized group is more challenging and therefore more impressive. Can we allow for nuanced circumstances? How do we deal with arguments? Innovators are now repurposing the block-chain methodology for a much wider range of activities and providing rewards dynamically based on more localized circumstances. An Israeli startup, LaZooz, is using the block chain to build a ridesharing network. People sign up and download the app, which measures distances travelled, and provides the reward in Zooz tokens accordingly. You can think back to my attempt at building a critical mass with GoLoco, and BlaBlaCar’s success fueled in part by some luck (transit strikes and a volcanic eruption).

Therefore, all users and developers have a strong incentive to protect this consensus.22 While the block-chain protocol has necessarily evolved over the last six years, the evolution is driven by consensus, with the most suitable and widely adopted changes being the ones that win out over the alternatives. The block-chain process errs toward consensus and changes only for big improvements. This chapter has been about exploring ways to finance platforms without the involvement of government or the private sector. Let me hand the narrative over to the editor of The Coinsman, who describes his 2013 trip to China to visit a huge data center containing some of the computers “mining” Bitcoins: Getting the opportunity to visit this mining operation was very eye-opening for me. Walking around the warehouse floor, I was struck with a feeling of awe that THIS is what keeps bitcoin alive. That even if someone wanted to bring down bitcoin, they’d have to outdo these guys and the dozens of other operations like this around the world.


pages: 523 words: 61,179

Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson

3D printing, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, friendly AI, future of work, industrial robot, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lyft, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, software as a service, speech recognition, telepresence, telepresence robot, text mining, the scientific method, uber lyft

AI for Good: Akshaya Patra Akshaya Patra, an India nonprofit with the vision that “no child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger,” combines the power of AI with blockchain (a digital, decentralized, public ledger) and IoT technologies. To achieve its vision, the company’s midday meal program provides one wholesome lunchtime meal to keep children sufficiently motivated and nourished to pursue their education. Since 2000, when it began by feeding 1,500 children, its operations have expanded to 1.6 million children per year in 2017; it commemorated its two-billionth meal served in 2016. Thus far, the nonprofit has demonstrated a 20 percent efficiency improvement in selected kitchens. Now feedback is digitized where once it was manually input, and blockchain is driving efficiencies in audit, attendance recording, and invoice processing. AI is used to accurately forecast demand, and IoT sensors monitor and sequence cooking processes to minimize waste and ensure consistent food quality.

., 13–14 AT&T, 188 Audi, 158–160, 190 audio and signal processing, 64 Audi Robotic Telepresence (ART), 159–160 augmentation, 5, 7 customer-aware shops and, 87–90 embodiment and, 147–149 fostering positive experiences with, 166 generative design and, 135–137 of observation, 157–158 types of, 138–140 workforce implications of, 137–138 augmented reality, 143 Autodesk, 3, 136–137, 141 automakers, 116–117, 140 autonomous cars and, 67–68, 166–167, 189, 190 BMW, 1, 4, 10, 149–150 customization among, 147–149 Mercedes-Benz, 4, 10 process reimagination at, 158–160 automation, 5, 19 intelligent, 65 automation ethicists, 130–131 Ayasdi, 178 back-office operations, 10 banking digital lending, 86 fraud detection in, 42 money laundering and, 45–46, 51 virtual assistants in, 55–56 Beiersdorf, 176–177 Benetton, 89 Benioff, Marc, 196 Berg Health, 82 Bezos, Jeff, 161, 164 BHP Billiton Ltd., 28 biases, 121–122, 129–130, 174, 179 biometrics, 65 BlackRock, 122 blockchain, 37 Bloomberg Beta, 195 BMW, 1, 4, 10, 148, 209 Boeing, 28, 143 Boli.io, 196 bot-based empowerment, 12, 186, 195–196 boundaries, 168–169 BQ Zosi, 146 Braga, Leda, 167 brands, 87, 92–94 anthropomorphism of, 93–94 disintermediated, 94–95 personalization and, 96–97 as two-way relationships, 119 Brooks, Rodney, 22, 24 burnout, 187–188 Burns, Ed, 76 business models, 152 business processes.


pages: 213 words: 70,742

Notes From an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O'Connell

Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Carrington event, clean water, Colonization of Mars, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, Elon Musk, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, life extension, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-work, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the built environment, yield curve

What was strangest and most unnerving about his art was the sense that he was allowing us to see this world not from the outside in, but from the inside out, and this required a certain level of proximity—often to people whose politics he found repellent. (There was in this sense a journalistic quality in Simon’s approach to his work, if not to the work itself.) Over beers in Anthony’s kitchen the previous night, Simon had told me about a dinner party he had been to in San Francisco earlier that year, at the home of a techie acquaintance. There had been a lot of Silicon Valley new money types there, he said, a lot of “blockchain entrepreneurs.” There were MAGA hats, and there was palpable excitement about Trump and the great rupture he seemed to represent. These people were from hacker backgrounds, and their view of the world arose out of a deep ethos of lulz. It was as though the new president had pulled off the ultimate troll on the liberal establishment. Seated next to Simon at dinner was a man named Curtis Yarvin, who had founded a computing platform named Urbit, with the help of Thiel’s money.

Entitled “Mars and the Space Revolution,” the conference promised to explore how we might go about building a self-sustaining civilization on Mars. Around this central question, four full days of talks were scheduled across an array of topics. How quickly could a Mars colony become completely Earth-independent? What might a new Martian religion look like? How would a Martian colony be structured politically? How might the blockchain facilitate an interplanetary financial system? How could self-replicating robots be used to terraform a hostile alien environment? What were the logistics of drilling for water on Mars? There were numerous talks on the kinds of difficulties colonists might face on Mars, from natural disasters to teenage delinquency to the lack of a clearly defined legal regime for recognizing property rights in space under current US and international law.

Simply by using and investing in Marscoin, you are contributing to a serious bootstrapping effort to further a colony on Mars.” There seemed to be a general consensus in Mars colonization circles that the financial system of the colonies would inevitably be based in some or other cryptocurrency. (That there was a high degree of crossover between the enthusiasts of human settlement of Mars and blockchain fundamentalists was not especially surprising, given that both were of disproportionate interest to the libertarian wing of the geek community.) It was right out of The Founder’s Paradox, this whole idea. I thought again of the world-building strategy board game, down in that dungeon-like basement of the gallery in Auckland, depicting successive levels of escape from a dying planet, with its democratic nation-states, until the player finally reached the anarcho-capitalist utopia of Mars.


pages: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Reading all the privacy policies of all the companies that collect your data would take weeks.24 Each time the AI asks for approval to use your data, the product becomes worse. It interrupts the user experience. If people do not provide the data, then the AI can’t learn from feedback, limiting its ability to boost productivity and increase income. There are likely to be opportunities to innovate in a way that assures people as to their data’s integrity and control while allowing the AI to learn. One emerging technology—the blockchain—offers a way of decentralizing databases and lowering the cost of verifying data. Such technologies could be paired with AI to overcome privacy (and indeed security) concerns, especially since they are already used for financial transactions, an area where these issues are paramount.25 Even if enough users provide data so AIs can learn, what if those users are different from everyone else? Suppose only rich people from California and New York provide data to the prediction machines.

Oren Etzioni, “How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence,” New York Times, September 1, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/opinion/artificial-intelligence-regulations-rules.html?_r=0. 24. Aleecia M. McDonald and Lorrie Faith Cranor, “The Cost of Reading Privacy Policies,” I/S 4, no. 3 (2008): 543–568, http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/isjlpsoc4&div=27&g_sent=1&casa_token=&collection=journals. 25. Christian Catalini and Joshua S. Gans, “Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain,” working paper no. 2874598, Rotman School of Management, September 21, 2017, and MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 5191-16, available at https://ssrn.com/abstract=2874598. 26. Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016). 27. For an excellent recent discussion of this debate, see Max Tegmark, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (New York: Knopf, 2017). 28.

See also autonomous vehicles autonomous vehicles, 8, 14–15 decision making by, 111–112 knowledge loss and, 78 legal requirements on, 116 loss of human driving skill and, 193 mail delivery, 103 in mining, 112–114 passenger interests and, 95 preferences and, 88–90 rail systems, 104 reward function engineering in, 92 school bus drivers and, 149–150 tolerance for error in, 185–187 value capture and, 164–165 Autopilot, 8 Babbage, Charles, 12, 65 back propagation, 38 Baidu, 164, 217, 219 bail-granting decisions, 56–58 bank tellers, 171–173 Bayesian estimation, 13 Beane, Billy, 56, 161–162 Beijing Automotive Group, 164 beta testing, 184, 191 Bhalla, Ajay, 25 biases, 19 feedback data and, 204–205 human predictions and, 55–58 in job ads, 195–198 against machine recommendations, 117 regression models and, 34 variance and, 34–35 binding affinity, 135–138 Bing, 50, 204, 216 biopsies, 108–109, 148 BlackBerry, 129 The Black Swan (Taleb), 60–61 Blake, Thomas, 199 blockchain, 220 Bostrom, Nick, 221, 222 boundary shifting, 157–158, 167–178 data ownership and, 174–176 what to leave in/out and, 168–170 breast cancer, 65 Bresnahan, Tim, 12 Bricklin, Dan, 141, 163, 164 A Brief History of Time (Hawking), 210–211 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 91 business models, 156–157 Amazon, 16–17 Camelyon Grand Challenge, 65 capital, 170–171, 213 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty), 213 capsule networks, 13 Cardiio, 44 Cardiogram, 44–45, 46, 47–49 causality, 63–64 reverse, 62 CDL.


pages: 389 words: 119,487

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon-based life, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deglobalization, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, obamacare, pattern recognition, post-work, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

Since the 1990s the Internet has changed the world probably more than any other factor, yet the Internet revolution was directed by engineers more than by political parties. Did you ever vote about the Internet? The democratic system is still struggling to understand what hit it, and is hardly equipped to deal with the next shocks, such as the rise of AI and the blockchain revolution. Already today, computers have made the financial system so complicated that few humans can understand it. As AI improves, we might soon reach a point when no human can make sense of finance any more. What will that do to the political process? Can you imagine a government that waits humbly for an algorithm to approve its budget or its new tax reform? Meanwhile peer-to-peer blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin might completely revamp the monetary system, so that radical tax reforms will be inevitable. For example, it might become impossible or irrelevant to tax dollars, because most transactions will not involve a clear-cut exchange of national currency, or any currency at all.

In 1938 the condition of the common person in the USSR, Germany or the USA may have been grim, but he was constantly told that he was the most important thing in the world, and that he was the future (provided, of course, that he was an ‘ordinary person’ rather than a Jew or an African). He looked at the propaganda posters – which typically depicted coal miners, steelworkers and housewives in heroic poses – and saw himself there: ‘I am in that poster! I am the hero of the future!’5 In 2018 the common person feels increasingly irrelevant. Lots of mysterious words are bandied around excitedly in TED talks, government think tanks and hi-tech conferences – globalisation, blockchain, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning – and common people may well suspect that none of these words are about them. The liberal story was the story of ordinary people. How can it remain relevant to a world of cyborgs and networked algorithms? In the twentieth century, the masses revolted against exploitation, and sought to translate their vital role in the economy into political power.

Abbasid caliphs 94 Abraham, prophet 182–3, 186, 187, 274 advertising 36, 50, 53, 54, 77–8, 87, 97, 113, 114, 267 Afghanistan 101, 112, 153, 159, 172, 210 Africa 8, 13, 20, 58, 76, 79, 100, 103–4, 107, 139, 147, 150–1, 152, 168, 182, 184, 223, 226, 229, 239 see also under individual nation name African Americans 67, 150, 152, 227 agriculture 171, 185; animals and 71, 118–19, 224; automation of jobs in 19–20, 29; climate change and modern industrial 116, 117; hierarchical societies and birth of 73–4, 185, 266–7; religion and 128–30 Aisne, third Battle of the (1918) 160 Akhenaten, Pharaoh 191 Al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem 15 al-Baghdadi, Abu Bakr 98 Algeria 144, 145 algorithms see artificial intelligence (AI) Ali, Husayn ibn 288 Alibaba (online retailer) 50 Allah 104, 128, 130, 204, 271–2, 289 AlphaZero 31, 123 al-Qaeda 162, 168 Amazon (online retailer) 39, 40, 50, 52, 91, 267–8 Amazon rainforest 116 Amos, prophet 188 Amritsar massacre (1919) 10 Andéol, Emilie 102 animals xi, 73, 86, 98–9, 182, 190, 218, 245; distinct social behaviours 94–5; ecological collapse and 71, 116, 118–19, 224; farm animals, subjugation of 71, 118–19, 224; morality and 187–8, 200; religious sacrifice of 190 anti-Semitism 142, 143, 194, 195, 235–6 see also Jews Apple (technology company) 91, 178 Arab Spring xi, 91 Arjuna (hero of Bhagavadgita) 269–70, 271, 299 art, AI and 25–8, 55–6, 182 artificial intelligence (AI) xiii, xiv; art and 25–8, 55–6, 182; authority shift from humans to 43, 44–72, 78, 268; biochemical algorithms and 20, 21, 25–8, 47–8, 56, 59, 251, 299; cars and see cars; centaurs (human-AI teams) 29, 30–1; communism and 35, 38; consciousness and 68–72, 122, 245–6; creativity and 25–8, 32; data ownership and 77–81; dating and 263; decision-making and 36–7, 50–61; democracy and see democracy; digital dictatorships and xii, 43, 61–8, 71, 79–80, 121; discrimination and 59–60, 67–8, 75–6; education and 32, 34, 35, 38 39, 40–1, 259–68; emotional detection/manipulation 25–8, 51–2, 53, 70, 79–80, 265, 267; equality and xi, 8, 9, 13, 41, 71–2, 73–81, 246; ethics and 56–61; free will and 46–9; games and 29, 31–2, 123; globalisation and threat of 38–40; government and xii, 6, 7–9, 34–5, 37–43, 48, 53, 61–8, 71, 77–81, 87, 90, 121, 267, 268; healthcare and 22–3, 24–5, 28, 48–9, 50; intuition and 20–1, 47; liberty and 44–72; manipulation of human beings 7, 25–8, 46, 48, 50–6, 68–72, 78, 79–80, 86, 96, 245–55, 265, 267, 268; nationalism and 120–6; regulation of 6, 22, 34–5, 61, 77–81, 123; science fiction and 245–55, 268; surveillance systems and 63–5; unique non-human abilities of 21–2; war and 61–8, 123–4 see also war; weapons and see weapons; work and 8, 18, 19–43 see also work Ashoka, Emperor of India 191–2, 286 Ashura 288, 289 Asia 16, 39, 100, 103, 275 see also under individual nation name Assyrian Empire 171 Athenian democracy, ancient 95–6 attention, technology and human 71, 77–8, 87, 88–91 Australia 13, 54, 116, 145, 150, 183, 187, 232–3 Aztecs 182, 289 Babri Mosque, Ayodhya 291 Babylonian Empire 188, 189 Baidu (technology company) 23, 40, 48, 77, 267–8 Bangladesh 38–9, 273 bank loans, AI and 67 behavioural economics 20, 147, 217 Belgium 103, 165, 172 Bellaigue, Christopher de 94 Berko, Anat 233 bestiality, secular ethics and 205–6 bewilderment, age of xiii, 17, 215, 257 Bhagavadgita 269–70, 271, 299 Bhardwaj, Maharishi 181 Bible 127, 131–2, 133, 186–90, 198, 199, 200, 206, 233, 234–5, 240, 241, 272, 298 Big Data xii, 18, 25, 47, 48, 49, 53, 63, 64, 68, 71–2, 268 biometric sensors 23, 49, 50, 52, 64, 79, 92 biotechnology xii, xiv, 1, 6, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, 21, 33–4, 41, 48, 66, 75, 80, 83, 88, 109, 121, 122, 176, 211, 251–2, 267 see also under individual area of biotechnology bioterrorism 167, 169 Bismarck, Otto von 98–9 bitcoin 6 Black Death 164 Blair, Tony 168 blockchain 6, 8 blood libel 235–6 body, human: bioengineered 41, 259, 265; body farms 34; technology and distraction from 88–92 Bolshevik Revolution (1917) 15, 248 Bonaparte, Napoleon 96, 178, 231, 284 Book of Mormon 198, 235, 240 Book of the Dead, Egyptian 235 Bouazizi, Mohamed xi brain: biochemical algorithms of 20, 21, 47, 48; brain-computer interfaces 92, 260; brainwashing 242–4, 255, 267, 295; decision-making and 50, 52; equality and 75, 79; flexibility and age of 264–5; free will and 250–2, 255; hominid 122; marketing and 267; meditation and 311, 313–14, 316, 317 Brazil 4, 7, 12, 76, 101, 103, 118, 130 Brexit referendum (2016) 5, 9, 11, 15, 45–6, 93, 99, 115 Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 283–4, 302–3 Britain 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 44–5, 94, 99, 108, 115, 139, 143, 150, 165, 172, 178, 182, 232–3, 243 Brussels bombings (March, 2016) 160 Buddha/Buddhism 58, 102, 136, 183, 184, 186, 190, 196, 278, 291, 302–6, 315 Bulgaria 169, 195, 227 Burma 304–5 Bush, George W. 4, 168, 176, 178 Caesar, Julius 96, 179 California, U.S. 8, 39, 85, 88, 148, 172, 177, 178, 200, 266 Cambridge Analytica 80, 86 Cambridge University 12, 45, 194 Cameron, David 45, 46 Canaan 189, 190, 289, 291 Canada 13, 38, 74, 107 capitalism xii, 11, 16, 35, 38, 55, 68, 76, 77, 96, 105–6, 108, 113, 130, 131, 132, 134, 135, 148, 210, 217, 245, 273, 292, 309 carbon dioxide 117 care industry 24–5 Caro, Rabbi Joseph 195 cars 133, 135; accidents and 23–4, 54, 56–7, 114, 159, 160; choosing 78; GPS/navigation and 54; self-driving 22, 23–4, 33, 41, 56–7, 58–9, 60–1, 63, 168 Catalan Independence 124, 125 Catholics 108, 132, 133, 137, 213, 292, 299 centaurs (human-AI teams) 29, 30 Chad 103, 119 Chaucer, Geoffrey: Canterbury Tales 235–6 Chemosh 191 chess 29, 31–2, 123, 180 Chigaku, Tanaka 305 child labour 33, 224 chimpanzees 94–5, 98, 122, 187–8, 200, 242 China xi, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 64, 76, 100, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 113, 114, 115, 118, 119, 120, 121, 135, 145, 150, 151, 159, 168, 169, 171, 172–3, 175, 176, 177–8, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 193, 201, 227–8, 232, 251, 259–60, 262, 274, 284–5 Chinese Communist Party 5 Christianity 13, 55, 58, 96, 98, 126, 128–30, 131, 132, 133, 134–5, 137, 142, 143, 148, 183, 184–6, 187, 188, 189–90, 191, 192, 193, 194, 196, 199, 200, 203, 204, 208, 212–13, 233, 234–5, 236, 253, 282, 283, 288, 289, 291, 294, 296, 308; Orthodox 13, 15, 137, 138, 183, 237, 282, 308 Churchill, Winston 53, 108, 243 civilisation, single world xi, 5, 92, 95–109, 110, 138; ‘clash of civilisations’ thesis and 93–8; economics and 105–6; European civilisation and 95–6, 108–9; human tribes and 98–100; science and 107–8 ‘clash of civilisations’ 93–4 climate change x, xi, 15, 75–6, 78, 108, 109, 116–20, 121, 122–3, 124, 127, 128, 130, 133, 138, 168, 195, 219, 223, 228, 244, 265 Clinton, Bill 4, 168, 176 Clinton, Hillary 8, 97, 236 Cnut the Great, King of the Danes 105 Coca-Cola 50, 238, 267 Coldia (fictional nation) 148–50, 152–4 Cold War (1947–91) 99, 100, 113, 114, 131, 176, 180 communism xii, 3, 5, 10, 11, 14, 33, 35, 38, 74, 87, 95, 131, 132, 134, 176–7, 209–10, 251, 262, 273, 277, 279 Communities Summit (2017) 85 community 11, 37, 42, 43, 85–92, 109, 110, 135, 143–4, 201, 230, 241; breakdown of 85–7; Facebook and building of global xiii, 81, 85–91 compassion 62, 63, 71, 186; Buddhism and 305–6; religion and 186, 200, 201–2, 204, 208–9, 234, 305–6; secular commitment to 200, 201–2, 204–6, 208–9, 210 Confucius 15, 136, 181, 190, 260, 284–5 consciousness ix; AI and 36, 68–72, 122; intelligence and 68–70, 245–6; meditation and 315, 316; religion and 197 Conservative Party 45 conservatives: conservation and 219–20; embrace liberal world view 44–5 conspiracy theories 222, 229 Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor 192 Constantius II, Roman Emperor 192 cooperation 12, 29, 134; fictions and mass 134, 137, 233–42, 245; human-AI 29, 31; morality and 47, 187; nationalism and 134, 137, 236–8; religion and 134, 137, 233–6 corruption 12, 13, 15, 188–9 Council of Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) 200 creativity 25–8, 31, 32, 75, 182, 234, 262, 299 Crimea 174–5, 177, 179, 231, 238 Croats 282 Crusades 96, 165, 184, 199, 212, 213, 296 cryptocurrency 6 Cuba 9–10, 11, 114, 176 Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) 114 cultures, differences between 147–55 culturism 150–4 cyberwarfare 127, 176, 178, 179 cyborgs 8, 76–7, 212, 278 Czech Republic 200 Daisy advertisement: US presidential election (1964) and 113, 114 Darwin, Charles 194; On the Origin of Species 98–9 Darwinism 213 data: Big Data xii, 18, 25, 47, 48, 49, 53, 63, 64, 68, 71–2, 268; liberty and 44–72; ownership regulation 77–81, 86 see also artificial intelligence (AI) Davos World Economic Forum 222 Dawkins, Richard 45 Deep Blue (IBM’s chess program) 29, 31 democracies: ‘clash of civilisations’ thesis and 93–8; data processing and 65; equality and 74; individual, trust in and 217, 220; liberal democracy see liberal democracy; liberty and 44–6, 53, 55, 64, 65, 66, 67; media manipulation and 12–13; secular ethics and 204, 210 Denmark 4, 94, 105, 144, 153, 200, 210 dharma 270, 271, 286, 299, 309 Di Tzeitung 97 dictatorships 3, 5, 33, 74, 210, 305; digital xii, 43, 61–8, 71, 79–80, 121 discrimination: AI and 59–60, 67–8, 75–6; brain and structural bias 226–8; religion and 135, 191, 200, 208; racism/culturism, immigration and 147–55 disease 16, 22, 28, 49, 88, 107, 218, 289 disorientation, sense of 5, 6 DNA 49, 66, 67, 79, 98, 150, 182 doctors 22–3, 24, 28, 48–9, 106–7, 128–9, 280 dogmas, faith in 229–30 dollar, American 106 Donbas 238 Donetsk People’s Republic 232 drones 29, 30, 35, 64, 76 East Africa 239 ecological crisis, xi, xiv, 7, 109, 195, 219, 244, 265; climate change x, xi, 15, 75–6, 78, 108, 109, 116–20, 121, 122–3, 124, 127, 128, 130, 133, 138, 168, 195, 219, 223, 228, 244, 265; equality and 75–6; global solution to 115–26, 138, 155; ignorance and 219–20; justice and 223, 228, 244, 265; liberalism and 16; nationalism and 15, 115–26; religion and 127, 128, 130, 133, 138; technological breakthroughs and 118–19, 121, 122–4 economics xii, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 16, 68, 99, 222, 224, 225, 240, 262, 309; AI and 6, 7, 8, 9, 19–43; capitalist see capitalism; communism and see communism; data processing and 65–6; economic models 37, 105–6; equality and 9, 71, 73–7 see also equality; liberalism and 3–5, 16, 44–5; nationalism and 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 124; religion and 130–3; war and 171–5, 177–8, 179–80; work and 19–43 education 11, 16, 66, 74, 75, 111, 112, 113, 184, 194, 259–68; AI and 32, 34, 35, 38 39, 40–1, 259–68; basic level of 40–1; future of 259–68; liberal 217, 219, 261; secular 207, 209 Egypt 63, 74, 128–9, 172, 181, 188–9, 235, 284, 291, 296 Einstein, Albert 45, 181, 193, 194, 195 El Salvador 4, 150 ‘End of History’ 11 Engels, Friedrich: The Communist Manifesto 262, 273 England 105, 139, 235–6 equality xi, 13, 41, 71–2, 73–81, 92, 95, 144, 204, 223; AI and 75–81; history of 73– 4; secularism and 206–7, 208–9 ethics: AI and 56–61, 63, 121; complex nature of modern world and 223–30; nationalism and 121–2; religion and 186–93, 199–202; secular 199–202, 203–14 Europe xi, xii, 5, 10, 11, 16, 40, 47, 79, 93–100, 103–4, 105, 106, 107, 108–9, 113, 114, 115, 124–5, 128, 135, 136, 138, 139, 140, 143–4, 145, 147, 150, 153, 154–5, 159, 160, 164, 169, 171–2, 175, 176, 186, 187, 193, 201, 207, 228, 236, 252, 294, 307 see also under individual nation name European Union xii, 47, 93, 94, 95, 99, 108, 115, 124, 169; Constitution 95, 124; crisis in 138; immigration and 138, 139, 143–4, 154–5; Russia and 177; size and wealth of 176; terrorism and 159 Evangelical Christians 133 evolution 47, 98–9, 110–11, 127, 187, 194, 205, 206, 217, 218, 223, 274, 276, 277 Ex Machina (film) 246 Facebook xiii, 27, 77, 178, 230, 301, 302, 306; community-building and xiii, 85–91, 93; equality and 77, 80; liberty and 55, 64, 65, 67, 80, 86; ownership of personal data 80, 86; post-truth and 233, 235, 238; US presidential election (2016) and 80, 86 failed states 101, 112, 210 fair game rules 187 fake news xi, 231–42 famine 16, 33, 208, 212, 238, 251, 271 farming, modern industrial 29, 116, 118, 127, 128, 129, 224, 260, 262 see also agriculture fascism xii, 3, 9, 10, 11, 33, 142, 148, 154, 237, 251, 292–5, 297, 305 feminism 87, 143, 208, 217, 246, 280 Ferdinand, Archduke Franz 9, 11, 171 Fernbach, Philip 218 financial crisis, global (2008) 4, 171 financial system, computers and complexity of 6 Finland 38, 74 First World War (1914–18) 9, 10, 11, 30, 33, 99–100, 112, 123, 124, 160, 170, 171, 172, 265 Flag Code of India 285–6 flags, national 103, 285–6 fMRI scanner 21, 240 football, power of fictions and 241 France 10, 13, 51, 63, 66, 76, 94, 96, 99, 102, 103, 104, 115, 122, 139, 144, 145, 164, 165, 172, 182, 184, 194, 204, 285, 295–6 Francis, Pope 133 Freddy (chimpanzee) 188 free-market capitalism xii, 3, 4, 11, 16, 44, 55, 217, 245 free will 20, 44, 45–6, 47–8, 250–1, 299–301 French Revolution (1789) 63, 184, 207 Freud, Sigmund 135, 185, 193, 194–5, 286 Friedman, Milton 130 Front National 13 Galilei, Galileo 193, 207 gay marriage 44, 198, 205–6 Gaza 173 genetically modified (GM) crops 219 Georgia 176, 177 Germany 13, 66, 68, 95, 96, 98–9, 108, 118, 139, 147, 148, 155, 169, 171–2, 173, 179, 182, 194, 195, 239, 251, 277; Nazi 10, 66, 96, 134, 136, 212, 213, 226, 237, 251, 279, 294, 295 Gandhi, Mahatma 132 globalisation 8, 9, 113, 139; AI/automation and 38–9; history of 99; inequality and 73, 74, 76; nationalism and 109; reversing process of xiii, 5; spread of 4, 99 global stories, disappearance of 5, 14 global warming see climate change God xi, xiii, 46, 106, 197–202; 245, 252, 254, 269, 281, 285, 287, 303, 304; Bible and see Bible; ethics and 199–202, 205, 206, 208, 209; existence of 197–9; Jewish and Christian ideas of 184–5, 189, 190; justice and 225; mass cooperation and 245; monotheism and 190–3; post-truth and 234–6, 239; sacrifice and 287, 289; state identity and 138 gods xii, 277, 281, 291; agriculture and 128, 129; humans becoming ix, 79, 86; justice and 188, 189; sacrifice and 287–9; state identity and 136, 137 Goebbels, Joseph 237 Goenka, S.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Business leaders often know what they need to do: set up small internal teams of their most talented people to brainstorm potential disruptions and then go ahead and do the disrupting first. These teams need high-level support and freedom from the usual metrics of return on investment, at least for a while. The theory is fairly easy but putting it into practice is hard: most will need external help, and many will fail. Of course the disrupters can also be disrupted. A service called La’Zooz (16) is planned, based on the blockchain technology you will have heard about in connection with Bitcoin, which may provide serious competition for Uber. 3.2 – Killer robots It is not only commerce where AI is threatening disruption. Human Rights Watch and other organisations are concerned that within a decade or two, fully autonomous weapons will be available to military forces with deep pockets. (17) They argue that lethal force should never be delegated to machines because they can never be morally responsible.

v=HW5Fvk8FNOQ (21) http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf (22) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2981946/Self-driving-cars-30-cities-2017-Pilot-projects-aims-mass-roll-driverless-vehicles-safe-they.html (23) http://www.alltrucking.com/faq/truck-drivers-in-the-usa/ (24) http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/bus-drivers.htm (25) http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/taxi-drivers-and-chauffeurs.htm (26) http://www.cristo-barrios.com/discografia/iamus-2/?lang=en (27) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-great-forgetting/309516/ (28) https://twitter.com/MFordFuture/status/606939607356219392/photo/1 (29) http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/34u1a9/technostism_the_ideology_of_futurology/People also talk about a financial singularity arriving if and when cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin based on the blockchain technology disrupt traditional banking. Are we perhaps nearing peak singularity, or a singularity singularity? (30) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html (31) http://www.nature.com/news/flashing-fish-brains-filmed-in-action-1.12621 (32) http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2007/dec/20/research.it (33) http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-deep-learning-a-revolution-in-artificial-intelligence (34) http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/21/google-a-step-closer-to-developing-machines-with-human-like-intelligence (35) . https://intelligence.org/2014/05/13/christof-koch-stuart-russell-machine-superintelligence (36) http://uk.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-killer-robots-will-be-here-within-five-years-2014-11#ixzz3XHt6A8Lt (37) I am grateful to Russell Buckley for drawing my attention to this illustration


pages: 297 words: 84,009

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, experimental economics, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, ultimatum game, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

More recently, Bitcoin has created an entirely new kind of asset, based on principles that only a decade ago very few people had imagined. It competes with gold as a hedge and unorthodox store of value, and you can use it as a currency to buy (legal) marijuana, a transaction that, because of federal regulations, the regular banking system cannot support. It enables a blockchain as a new medium for recording, storing, and verifying information and common agreement as to who owns what. It remains to be seen how much Bitcoin, along with other cryptocurrencies and more generally the blockchain, will prove transformational. It might not even hold its market value. But that is how innovation usually proceeds. Innovators try lots of new approaches; some are discarded, others take off, and yet others evolve into something more useful with the passage of time. So far Bitcoin and some of the other cryptocurrencies have defied the skeptics.

Adobe After Virtue (MacIntyre) airline industry Alexa See also Amazon; Bezos, Jeff Alexander, Scott Alibaba Alphabet See also Google Altria Amazon See also Bezos, Jeff Amgen Amway Anderson, Elizabeth Android Anthem (company) Anthony, Carmelo anthropomorphizing of corporations anti-corporate antidepressants antitrust laws AOL Apple Arby’s Ask.com AT&T ATMs Bad Pharma (Goldacre) Baidu Bank of America Barkley, Charles BB&T Becker, Sascha O. Bernstein, Elizabeth best sellers See also publishing Bezos, Jeff See also Amazon Big Brother See privacy Big Data Big Pharma Big Tech disappearance of competition impact on intelligence innovation and loss of privacy and overview Bing Bird, Larry Bitcoin Black, Leon BlackBerry Blackstone blockchain Bloxham, Eleanor Blue Cross/Blue Shield brand loyalty Brexit Brin, David Brooks, Nathan bubbles, financial sector Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (Graeber) Burger King cable TV cable companies cable news Capital One capitalism “creative destruction” and Friedman on logic of market churn and media and public’s view of short-termism venture capitalists workers and young people and See also crony capitalism Capitalism for the People, A (Zingales) Carr, Nicholas Carrier CEOs deaths of increases in salary overview pay for creating value short-termism and skill set China American manufacturing and Apple and facial recognition technology financial innovations financial institutions multinational corporations and productivity retail and tech companies and See also Alibaba Cialdini, Robert Cisco Citibank Citizens United decision See also Supreme Court Civil War Clark, Andrew E.


pages: 154 words: 48,340

What We Need to Do Now: A Green Deal to Ensure a Habitable Earth by Chris Goodall

blockchain, carbon footprint, decarbonisation, energy transition, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, smart grid, smart meter

The 700 or so tiny turbines on farms produce 20 per cent of the islands’ electricity requirements when the wind is blowing hard. At the moment, the energy coming from a micro-wind turbine on a farm will flow back into the electricity network if the house isn’t using it all, and the owner will see little return. The Orkney experiment will allow a neighbour to buy that energy at a price that is lower than that from conventional suppliers. The proposal to allow power sales to neighbours is based around what is called ‘blockchain’, a software that can account for tiny transactions. If the sun starts shining and my roof produces electricity for a few minutes that I don’t use, my neighbour can buy that power and pay for it immediately. This can all happen automatically using modern digital technologies. Peer-to-peer electricity trading is a hugely important part of the transition to a genuinely local energy system. What the local Orkney groups are doing is trying to use their own energy resources, rather than buying from the mainland.

This enables management of supply and demand and settlement of bills for the sale of electricity by one participant to another. If demand is temporarily too great, an effective microgrid system can turn off or turn down flexible uses of energy, such as electric vehicle charging or air conditioning. Members of the Brooklyn microgrid can buy and sell electricity with each other automatically over a blockchain network. Customers are alerted when the electricity price is cheap, so that they can carry out their energy-intensive activities as inexpensively as possible. Or, when it is scarce, they can release power from their batteries in return for a good price. Advances in sensors mean that every use of electricity around a building – or a town for that matter – can be monitored and controlled to help keep the local network in balance, if necessary by turning appliances up or down.


pages: 305 words: 93,091

The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data by Kevin Mitnick, Mikko Hypponen, Robert Vamosi

4chan, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, connected car, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Internet of things, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pattern recognition, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, Tesla Model S, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

Exchanges allow you to invest in Bitcoin and change it into other currencies, such as US dollars, or purchase goods on sites such as Amazon. Say you have one Bitcoin, valued at $618. If you only need around $80 for a purchase, then you will retain a certain percentage of the original value, depending on the exchange rate, after the transaction. Transactions are verified in a public ledger known as a blockchain and identified by IP address. But as we have seen, IP addresses can be changed or faked. And although merchants have started accepting Bitcoin, the service fees, typically paid by the merchant, have been transferred to the purchaser. Furthermore, unlike credit cards, Bitcoin permits no refunds or reimbursements. You can accumulate as much Bitcoin as you would hard currency. But despite its overall success (the Winklevoss brothers, famous for challenging Mark Zuckerberg over the founding of Facebook, are major investors in Bitcoin), the system has had some monumental failures as well.

If you want to be invisible, don’t trust the VPN provider with your real information. This requires setting up a fake e-mail address in advance (see here) and using an open wireless network. Once you have that fake e-mail address, use Tor to set up a Bitcoin wallet, find a Bitcoin ATM to fund the wallet, and then use a tumbler to essentially launder the Bitcoin so it cannot be traced back to you on the blockchain. This laundering process requires setting up two Bitcoin wallets using different Tor circuits. The first wallet is used to send the Bitcoin to the laundering service, and the second is set up to receive the laundered Bitcoin. Once you have achieved true anonymity by using open Wi-Fi out of camera view plus Tor, find a VPN service that accepts Bitcoin for payment. Pay with the laundered Bitcoin.

So now we have a laptop, with Tor and Tails loaded, a burner phone, a handful of anonymous prepaid gift cards, and an anonymous hotspot with an anonymously purchased data plan. We’re still not ready. To maintain this anonymity, we need to convert our anonymously purchased prepaid gift cards to Bitcoin. In chapter 6 I talked about Bitcoin, virtual currency. By itself Bitcoin is not anonymous. They can be traced through what’s called a blockchain back to the source of the purchase; similarly, all subsequent purchases can be traced as well. So Bitcoin by itself is not going to hide your identity. We will have to run the funds through an anonymity mechanism: converting prepaid gift cards into Bitcoin, then running the Bitcoin through a laundering service. This process will result in anonymized Bitcoin to be used for future payments. We will need the laundered Bitcoin, for example, to pay for our VPN service and any future purchases of data usage on our portable hotspot or burner phone.


pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

air freight, Alexander Shulgin, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, John Bercow, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Network effects, nuclear paranoia, packet switching, pattern recognition, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, pre–internet, QR code, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

Users, known as miners, donate processor time to maintain and update the block chain, which records all transactions between users, and in the process also ‘dig’ for new coins. Miners’ computers send evidence of those transactions to the network, racing each other to solve these irreversible crypotographic puzzles that contain several transactions. The first miner to crack these puzzles gets fifty new bitcoins as a reward, and those transactions are added to the blockchain. The puzzles are designed to become more complex over time as more miners come on board, which maintains production to one block every ten minutes, keeping the creation of new coins steady. The reward for successful mining also falls over time, from fifty to twenty-five coins per block, and drops sequentially by half every 210,000 blocks. In the year 2140, there will be no more bitcoins minted or mined – the software limits their production, meaning there will only ever be twenty-one million coins in existence, preventing inflation.

The system was then flooded with speculators, forcing MtGox to limit withdrawals to US$1,000 worth of bitcoins a day to stem the flow and prop up the dollar-value of the currency.6 Network analysts Fergal Reid and Martin Harrigan of University College Dublin wrote a 2012 paper baldly titled ‘Bitcoin is Not Anonymous’. In it they demonstrated what the high-tech coining community knew – that the blockchain recorded all transactions. Reid posted in a comment thread following the release of his paper, ‘You don’t get anonymity automatically from the system. A lot of people out there think you do.’7 But the determined user can retain anonymity easily enough in the US at least, by entering a bank and paying cash into an exchanger’s account, for bitcoins are now traded just as dollars and euros are.

‘Mixing’ services too, can tumble the coins in and out of thousands of other bitcoin transactions and accounts, making a dense web of mathematics even denser still. When most investigators can’t even understand the basics of encryption, the likelihood that they or a jury member will reach an understanding of bitcoin is minimal. And when most small-scale drug transactions are small, under £100, who’s watching? The answer, so far, is that no one has been busted using evidence from the bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin addresses, where you receive and store coins, are randomly generated strings of letters and numbers, and there’s no ID check system – and you can create another in moments. If that’s not enough, the more paranoid users can use a service such as Bitcoinfog, which matches deposits and transactions randomly, paying out the total you paid in in a series of different amounts. Then there are instawallets, temporary, one-time-use holding accounts where coins can be stored for a few seconds over an anonymized net connection and spat out elsewhere.


pages: 193 words: 51,445

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin J. Rees

23andMe, 3D printing, air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic transition, distributed ledger, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, life extension, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanislav Petrov, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

Two trends are reducing interpersonal trust: firstly, the remoteness and globalisation of those we routinely have to deal with; and secondly, the rising vulnerability of modern life to disruption—the realisation that ‘hackers’ or dissidents can trigger incidents that cascade globally. Such trends necessitate burgeoning security measures. These are already irritants in our everyday life—security guards, knotty passwords, airport searches, and so forth—but they are likely to become ever more vexatious. Innovations like blockchain, the publicly distributed ledger that combines open access with security, could offer protocols that render the entire internet more secure. But their current applications—allowing an economy based on crypto-currencies to function independently of traditional financial institutions—seem damaging rather than benign. It’s both salutary and depressing to realise how much of the economy is dedicated to activities and products that would be superfluous if we felt we could trust each other.

See also planets; SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) Allen, Woody, 178 ALMA radio telescope in Chile, 207 AlphaGo, 86–87, 88, 106, 191 AlphaGo Zero, 87 Alzheimer’s disease, failure of drugs for, 212 Ambrosia, life-extension start-up, 80 Anders, Bill, 120 Anderson, Philip, 176 Andromeda galaxy, 178 animal research, ethics of, 221 Anthropocene, 3, 31 antibiotic resistance, 72 antimatter, 169 Apollo programme, 120, 137, 139, 144, 145 Archimedes, 165 Arkhipov, Vasili, 18 Armstrong, Neil, 120, 138 arts and crafts, resurgence of, 98 Asilomar Conference, 74–75 assisted dying, 70–71 asteroid impact: collapse in global food supplies and, 216; existential disaster compared to, 114; on Mars, sending rock to Earth, 129; nuclear destruction compared to, 15, 18; planning for, 15–16, 43; as rare but extreme event, 15, 76 asteroids: establishing bases on, 149; travel to, 148 astrology, 11 atoms: aliens composed of, 160; complexity and, 172–74; as constituents of all materials, 165–66, 168; hard to understand, 195; number in visible universe, 182; quantum theory of, 166, 205 Bacon, Francis, 61 battery technology, 49–50, 51 Baumgartner, Felix, 149 Baxter robot, 106 Before the Beginning (Rees), 186 The Beginning of Infinity (Deutsch), 192 Bethe, Hans, 222 The Better Angels of Our Nature (Pinker), 76 Bezos, Jeff, 146 big bang: birth of universe in, 124; chain of complexity leading from, 164, 214; conditions in particle accelerator and, 111; intelligent aliens’ understanding of, 160; physical laws as a given in, 197–98; possibly not the only one, 181, 183, 184–85 (see also multiverse) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 224 biodiversity: loss of, 32–33, 66; our stewardship of, 35 bio error, 73, 75, 77–78 biofuels, 32, 52 biohacking, 75, 78, 106 biotech: benefits and vulnerabilities of, 5, 6; concerns about ethics of, 73–75; concerns about safety of, 73, 74, 75, 76, 116, 218; responsible innovation in, 218, 225; threat of catastrophe due to, 76, 109–10; unpredictable consequences of, 63. See also genomes bio terror, 73, 75, 77–78 bioweapons of governments, 77 black carbon, reduction of, 47 Black Death, 76, 216 black holes: in center of Milky Way, 124; crashing together, 171; Einstein’s theory applied to, 166, 186; evaporation of, 179; fears about particle accelerators and, 111–12; as simple entities, 166, 173; space telescopes with evidence of, 142 blockchain, 220 Blue Origin, 146 Borucki, Bill, 132 Boston Dynamics, 88 bottlenecks, evolutionary, 155–56, 158 Boyle, Robert, 61–63 brain: basic science needed for medical applications to, 212; chain of complexity from big bang to, 214; complexity of, 174, 176–77; computer simulations of, 190; limits to human understanding and, 189–90, 192–94; mystery of self-awareness and, 193 brain death, 71 brain implants, downloading thoughts from, 105 Breakthrough Listen, 157 Brewster, David, 126–27 Brooks, Rodney, 106 Brundtland, Gro Harlem, 26 Bruno, Giordano, 129 C4 pathway, 25 carbon capture and storage, 51, 58 carbon dioxide in atmosphere, 1, 38–44; cosmic history of carbon atoms in, 123; cutting to preindustrial level, 52; direct extraction of, 59; electric cars and, 47; predicting accelerated increase in, 57–58.


pages: 190 words: 56,531

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now by Roger Scruton

bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, Corn Laws, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Fellow of the Royal Society, fixed income, garden city movement, George Akerlof, housing crisis, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, old-boy network, open borders, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, sceptred isle, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, web of trust

Like the brain it consists of billions of switches that may be linked in billions of ways, and which are never linked in the same way from one moment to the next. It is a broker among possible worlds, and resides nowhere among them. Such a business cannot be easily pinned down, and the question where it is, for purposes of taxation, legal accountability, and obedience to sovereign laws and policies may be decidable, but only by convention and without calling upon any basic loyalty of the firm. The arrival of Bitcoin and blockchain may facilitate this mass escape from the grip of sovereign overlords, by making currency itself into a network of freely associating users, outside the control of any state. More and more businesses are built on this model, offering goods and services through networks that ignore national boundaries, coming to earth here and there like Amazon and Ikea, but only temporarily and only where the tax regime is favourable.

INDEX Abbé Sieyès here Act of Settlement (1701) here, here Act of Union (1707) here Act of Union (1800) here, here Acton, Lord here Addison, Joseph here adolescents and home here, here, here see also network psyche American Constitution here American Revolution here Amritsar massacre (1919) here Anglers’ Conservation Association here Anglo-American alliance here anonymity and global business conduct here anti-Semitism here ‘anywheres’ and ‘somewheres’, David Goodhart’s here, here, here, here Apostolic Succession here architecture, globalization and here art here, here, here Ashcroft, Lord here Australia here Austro-Hungarian Empire here authority/officialdom, attitudes to here Barnett, Correlli here, here Baudrillard, Jean here Becket, Thomas here Belgium here, here benefits tourism here Benetton here Bernanos, Georges here, here Betjeman, John here Betts, Alexander here Bitcoin and blockchain here Blackman, Alexander here Blair, Tony here, here, here, here, here, here boundaries, countryside land here Bowlby, John here Boyle, Danny here Brexit here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here see also European Union Britain‘anywheres’ and ‘somewheres’ here attitude to authority/officialdom here bottom-up legal system here, here, here, here, here, here British as ‘subjects of the Queen’ here charitable donations here ‘Christian’ attitude of charitableness here, here Church of England here, here, here collective trust and stability here, here, here, here see also citizenship Common Law/law of the land here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Court of Chancery/civil law here current Royal family here, here, here, here declinist literature here development through private ventures and institutions here, here, here education here, here, here environmental accountability here farm subsidies here ‘free movement of labour’/Treaty of Maastricht (1992) here, here, here see also immigration/immigrants; Islam freedom here, here, here, here, here, here, here housing and planning here, here, here identity here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here see also citizenship; nationality/nationhood institutions and ‘clubbable’ instinct here interpretations of national history here, here land-ownership here, here, here landscape and countryside here left-wing intellectuals here, here see also Blair, Tony; Labour Party military power here, here, here neighbourhood and home here North-South divide here overcoming oppressive systems here patriotism here, here, here, here perception of European Union here relationship with Commonwealth here religion here, here see also Islam sovereignty and national identity here, here, here sovereignty and the Church here sovereignty and the law here, here, here town-country divide here urban elite/upper classes here, here urbanization – ‘garden cities’ here working classes here, here, here young voters here, here, here see also England; Ireland, Northern; Scotland; United Kingdom; Wales Britten Benjamin here Brown, Gordon here building societies/friendly societies here, here, here Burke, Edmund here, here business and cyberspace here, here Butterfield, Herbert here Byron, Lord here Cadbury family here, here Calvin, John here Cameron, David here Canada here, here capitalism and globalization here Catholic Church here, here Catholic Emancipation Act (1829) here, here Catholic revival, French here charities here Chesterton, G.


pages: 477 words: 144,329

How Money Became Dangerous by Christopher Varelas

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, California gold rush, cashless society, corporate raider, crack epidemic, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, fiat currency, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, mobile money, mortgage debt, pensions crisis, pets.com, pre–internet, profit motive, risk tolerance, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, universal basic income, zero day

The startup world is already fraught with risk and inflated promises, and ICOs magnify those problems by injecting the crypto landscape with flimsy new currencies, further corrupting the trust and integrity of that market. A lot of people believe that what will survive the crypto bubble will be the infrastructure, rather than many of the currencies themselves. Blockchain is a digital ledger originally created to record Bitcoin transactions, but it has since found a multitude of other valuable uses. Blockchain, as the infrastructure that allows the majority of cryptocurrencies to operate, is the shovel salesman, just like Equinix was for the internet, while the cryptocurrencies are the gold seekers or the startups. One use of Blockchain that will have a dramatic impact on wealth management and the way we look at value will be the ability to divide an asset into as many parts as desired and sell those to third parties. Any asset, in theory—including your house or even your future earnings potential—would be eligible to be parsed and sold, creating a world in which partial ownership across existing and potential new asset classes would likely be the norm.

accountability, 360, 362, 363, 368, 369 acquisitions, see mergers and acquisitions activist investors, 104, 106, 360 see also corporate raiders Adelson, Jay, 228, 240, 242, 244 Adult Video News (AVN) Awards, 218, 219 advertising, 294, 296, 298, 362 social media influencers and, 283, 294–96, 298 AEA, 182 aerospace and defense companies, 118, 124, 125, 137 Conquistadores del Cielo club and, 124–25, 146 “Last Supper” summit and, 124 see also Grumman Corporation; Martin Marietta; Northrop Corporation Aetna, 188 Airbnb, 246 air travel, 299–300 Albert, Mark, 94–95, 96–97 Alcatel, 202 algorithms, 23, 37, 242 All Things Considered, 349 Amateur Athletic Union, 274 Amazon, 233, 246, 292 American Express, 188 American Psycho, 144 American Toxxic Control, 155, 159, 168 Andonian, Nazareth, 16–19, 25–29, 31–36, 38–42 Andonian, Vahe, 16, 39–40 Anschutz, Philip, 212 anti-Semitism, 304 AOL, 237 Apollo Global Management, 165 Armstrong, Michael, 207, 208 Ashe, Danni, 226–27, 231–33, 244, 245 Aspen Institute, 210, 371 Aspin, Les, 124 asset division, 246 AT&T, 190, 196–97 Citi and, 197, 207, 208 IPO of, 197, 198, 207, 208 ATMs, 216–17, 246 Augustine, Norman, 124, 136 Avery, Al, 228, 240, 244 B-2 Stealth Bomber, 118, 136, 138 Bailes, Justin, 331, 332, 335, 344, 345 Bailey, Jeff, 154 bankers, 97, 358 author’s uncle John, 371–73 banks, 247, 259 ATMs at, 216–17, 246 Glass-Steagall legislation and, 189, 200 investment, going public, 52–53 local, managers of, 22 Bank of America: author at, 5, 7, 9–43, 111, 216–17, 285, 358 “five c’s of credit” in training program of, 13, 42 jewelry industry and, 5, 9–35 spreadsheets used at, 19–20, 24 Bank One, 196 Barbarians at the Gate (Burrough and Helyar), 144 Barss, Patchen, 233 B Corp, 105 Beach Boys, 178, 182 Bear Stearns, 118, 146, 188 Bell, Alexander Graham, 190 Bell Labs, 190 Bennett, Bruce, 331, 339 Bertelsmann, 170 Bibliowicz, Jessica, 196 Bieber, Justin, 296–97, 299 Big Brother, 302 Bitcoin, 245, 246, 308 Bizaardvark, 299 Black Monday, 37 Blockbuster, 160 Blockchain, 246 Blodget, Henry, 196, 207, 212, 215 Blyth & Co., 51 Boeing Company, 124 bonds, 50–51, 56, 77–78 high-yield (junk), 91, 93, 96, 97, 104 Salomon and, 50–51, 55–58, 62, 64, 67, 72, 74–76 Bonfire of the Vanities, The (Wolfe), 47, 116, 144 bonuses, see compensation Boob Cruise, 231 Booker, Cory, 340 Borde, Laurence (“Larry Bird”), 54, 55, 79, 203 Brannan, Sam, 230 Bruck, Connie, 93, 94 bubbles, 229, 244, 307, 362–63 crypto, 245–46 dotcom, 175, 211, 214, 228–31, 233–34, 236, 238, 240, 243, 244, 267, 322 education, 292 pension, 353–54 Budweiser, 162 Buffett, Warren, 275, 316, 324 Salomon Brothers and, 68, 75–76, 262–63 Businessweek, 68 cable industry, 96 Caesars Palace, 27–29 California Community Foundation, 347 California gold rush, 230 CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), 335–36 Canal+, 170 Caporali, Renso, 119 Carpenter, Michael, 200–201 Carr, Michael, 118, 138, 145 Carter, Jimmy, 154 character, 13, 22–23, 34, 35, 40–43, 358 Chicago Daily Herald, 219 Chinatown, 150 Chrysler, Walter, 74 Cicero, 128 Citadel, The, 48 Citicorp-Travelers merger, 189, 253 Citigroup (Citi), 211, 214–15, 261, 315 AT&T and, 197, 207, 208 author at, 5, 199, 204–5, 211–12 bureaucracy and policies at, 203–4 creation of, 189 culture at, 209, 215, 264, 365–66 culture committee at (Project Passion), 204–6, 211, 264–65, 365–66 Lucent and, 200–201 Prince as CEO of, 208–10 TMT (technology, media, and telecom) group at, 5, 211–12, 253 Weill as CEO of, 188 Weill’s creation of financial supermarket model with, 189–90, 195, 196, 200, 209, 211 Weill’s resignation from, 208–9 Citron, Robert, 315–20, 324, 326, 343–45, 352, 367 Clinton, Bill, 189, 324 cloud, 225, 361 see also data centers Coachella, 292–93, 295, 296 CocaCola, 295 Cocktail, 355 college: admissions scandal, 291–92 financial aid, see student loans Colorado River, 162 COMDEX, 218 Comedy Central, 302 commerce: e-commerce, 232–33, 244, 245 physical world and, 247 CommScope, 201, 202 community and human contact, 233, 247, 307, 309, 358, 361 diminishment of, 216, 246–47 engagement with, 369–70 Compagnie Générale des Eaux, 169 compensation, 248–79, 361 and aligning incentives with investment horizons, 364 annual cycle of, 270–71 author’s bonuses, 248–51, 266–70 of CEOs, 275–76 and complexity and opacity of purpose, 260–61 contentment and, 268–70, 278–79 culture tied to, 205–6, 257–58, 264–65 and “having a number,” 251–53, 263–64, 274, 277, 278 reactions to bonus amounts, 256–59, 270 Salomon bonuses, 64, 248–51, 253–59, 262–63 talent and skills and, 261–62 transparency in, 260, 269, 270, 275, 361–62 CompuServe, 237, 241 computers, 38 algorithms, 23, 37, 242 Black Monday and, 37 spreadsheets, 19–23, 24, 37, 360 ConQuest, 221 Conquest of Happiness, The (Russell), 248 Conquistadores del Cielo, 124–25, 146 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 217–19 Conway, Cathy, 109–12 Corbat, Michael, 315, 324 Corning Inc., 201 corporate raiders, 82, 84, 88, 89, 94, 96, 103–4, 360 as activist investors, 104, 106, 360 in Pretty Woman, 98, 100–102 see also hostile takeovers credit: five c’s of, 13, 42, 205 spreadsheets used for analysis in, 19–20, 24 worthiness, 22 credit cards, 233 in e-commerce, 232–33, 244, 245 Credit Suisse, 263–64, 273–74, 340 Crisanti, Jim, 203 cryptocurrencies, 245–46, 308 Culligan, 164–68, 182 currency(ies), 245–46 cryptocurrencies, 245–46, 308 phone minutes as, 245 Cutler, Carol, 207 Daily Stormer, 304 Danni’s Hard Drive, 226, 227, 231–33 data centers, 224–25, 227–28, 231 Equinix, 228, 230–31, 237–47 “naked woman in the server room” story and, 223–26, 232 security at, 225 Davis, Mark, 156–58, 165, 166, 221–22 DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), 31–33, 34, 39, 40 Deasy, John, 351 DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), 227–28 defense and aerospace companies, see aerospace and defense companies Defense Department, 124 Denham, Bob, 324 Denny’s, 154 Depression, Great, 51, 189 derivatives, 316–19, 324 de Vries, Peter, 81 Diamond, Neil, 321 diamond and gold wholesalers, see jewelry industry Diamond Club, 15 Dii Group, 213 Dimon, Jamie, 196, 197 Disney, 81–90, 85, 86, 111, 304 Eisner at, 88, 89, 109 Epcot Center, 86 films, 88, 102, 148–49 Steinberg’s hostile takeover attempt, 81–84, 86–91, 98, 102–4, 111 Touchstone Pictures, 88, 102 Disney, Roy, 85 Disney, Walt, 84–86, 87, 103, 112 Disney Channel, 299, 301, 302 Disneyland, 84, 85, 103, 112, 148, 288–90, 314 author’s career at, 4, 5, 10, 11–13, 40, 45, 61, 71, 81–85, 89–90, 106–12, 148, 158, 289, 290 Café Orleans at, 81, 106–12, 289 in Pretty Woman, 106 privilege and, 289–90 Disney World, 85–86 Dominguez, Bernardo, 132 Dominica, 285, 286 dotcom bubble, 175, 211, 214, 228–31, 233–34, 236, 238, 240, 243, 244, 267, 322 Doughty, Caitlin, 301 Douglas, Michael, 98 Drexel Burnham Lambert, 91–96, 188 author’s offer from, 91, 93, 94–95 bankruptcy of, 96 Milken at, 91–94 Ducasse, Alain, 168, 169 Dunkin’ Donuts, 294 earthquake, Whittier Narrows, 34–35 eBay, 233 Ebbers, Bernie, 212, 238 e-commerce, 232–33, 244, 245 Economic Consequences of the Peace, The (Keynes), 280 Economist, 245 Eisner, Michael, 88, 89, 109 Elmassian, George, 25, 31, 32, 34, 38 Elmassian, Richard, 25, 31–33, 38 Enron, 171, 177 Epcot Center, 86 Equinix, 228, 230–31, 237–47 Escobar, Pablo, 39 Euripides, 9 Evoqua, 182 exchange-traded funds (ETFs), 105 F9 mistake, 127 Facebook, 294, 305 Family Ties, 97–98 Fargo, William, 230 Federal Reserve, 370 FedEx, 127 Feuerstein, Don, 57 FICO score, 22 Finance Leaders Fellowship program, 371 financial crisis of 2008, 1–2, 7, 76, 211, 215, 259, 307 Equinix and, 242 financial supermarkets and, 211 see also Great Recession financial supermarkets, 204, 214–15, 361 financial crisis and, 211 Weill’s model of, with Citi, 189–90, 195, 196, 200, 209, 211 financial system, financial industry, 6, 328–30 causes of society’s dysfunctional relationship with money, 359–63 citizens’ disconnection from government finance, 328–29, 343–44, 351, 353, 362 clashes sparked by financial unrest and collapse, 355–58 compensation in, see compensation complexity of, 260–61, 277 estimated worth of financial instruments in the world, 209 net financial burden, 329–30 people’s feelings about working in, 277 preppers and, 306 see also Wall Street financial system, reform of, 363–64 accountability for public officials, 369 action items for banking system and investment management, 364–66 action items for each of us, 368–70 action items for government, 366–68 changing compensation structures to align incentives with investment horizons, 364 community engagement, 369–70 creating federal-level oversight or review board for pension systems, 366–67 creating independent review processes, 364–65 education in financial and economic matters, 368 forming culture or values committees, 365–66 requiring finance background for treasurers and other financial officers, 367 simplicity of regulations, 367–68 Fiorina, Carly, 190, 194–95 Fitzgerald, F.


pages: 665 words: 146,542

Money: 5,000 Years of Debt and Power by Michel Aglietta

bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, German hyperinflation, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, margin call, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shock, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, secular stagnation, seigniorage, shareholder value, special drawing rights, special economic zone, stochastic process, the payments system, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus

The clearing and settlement that permits this finality is realised on the basis of the banks’ position on the clearing house accounts kept by the central bank. The central clearing house holds the general ledger of payments. Taking inspiration from the technology that underpins bitcoin, the big banks have begun to explore the possibility of a structure that organises clearing and settlement anonymously through a computer network (a blockchain) that records, validates and updates transactions in real time. The blockchain is charged with showing who possesses what amount of money on any given date. Certainly, the banks’ idea is not to extend the decentralised settlement system to just anyone, but rather to keep it within a banking club. Such a banking club could be able to establish a clearing and settlement system without any central bank, with the aid of cryptography. The banks are currently investing in this because they think that this mode of real-time clearing and settlement could dramatically reduce transaction costs and transaction times (the time separating the recording of payment orders from the final verification of the payment).

Bitcoin technology limited the quantity of money created to very small amounts. How can it be adapted to the gigantic sums involved in the transactions of globalised finance? If we know that final liquidity is inherent to the very concept of money, and it is not plugged into the settlement of debts, then how can the supply of money be determined? How would the system be regulated to limit the inflationist effect of the flow of payments accepted in the blockchain? Many questions will need to be resolved before entirely private clearing and settlement systems can produce the public good that is money. DO COMPLEMENTARY LOCAL CURRENCIES THREATEN THE OFFICIAL MONETARY SYSTEM? When civil society actors create local and complementary currencies, they are seeking common mediums that benefit communities. Their intention is not, however, to break away from the official currency.

See central banks; commercial banks; merchant banks; specific banks Baring Brothers, 214–15, 305 barter, 21, 28, 30, 45, 49–51, 76–77b Basel Financial Stability Forum, 389 Basel III negotiations, 388 Basic Law of 1948, 131, 366, 368 benchmarking, 26 Bentham, Jeremy, 166 Bernanke, Ben, 376 bill of exchange, 108, 116–25, 119f, 136, 144, 250, 252 billons, 193–4 bimetallism, 140n50, 199, 202, 217, 217n13, 245, 297 biodiversity, 170 BIS (Bank for International Settlements), 23, 80b, 158, 323, 324, 332, 335 bitcoin, 157, 158, 173–6 Bland–Allison Act of 1878, 217n12 blockchain, 175–6 Blum, Léon, 310 Bodin, Jean, 115 bond crisis (1994), 237 Braudel, Fernand, 83, 84, 120–1, 135, 145 Brazil crisis (1999), 243 Brender, Anton, 162n6 Breton, Stéphanie, 68 Bretton Woods system, 286, 296, 302, 311–29, 348, 350, 352–3, 386, 387, 389, 390, 391 bronze money, 98, 192 Bryan, William Jennings, 217n13 Bundesbank, 260–1 Burns, Arthur, 327 business cycles, and financial cycles (1976 Q1–2014 Q3), 333f C Caillé, Alain, 66 Cailleux, P., 111 capital, foundations of, 48 Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), 25 capitalism birth and spread of, 135 end of golden age of, 146 first era of, 198 as global, 144 invention of, 116 monetary regulation under, 245–83 most fundamental tendency of, 149 private credit as source of rise of, 115 private monetary innovations as inherent to history of, 156 spirit of, 107 transformation of, 120–5, 204 vertical debts in, 62–6 carbon currency, 80b Cardoso, Fernando Henrique, 234 ‘cash in advance’ hypothesis, 29 Cechetti, Stephen, 335 cens, 107 centime, 112t central banks, 48, 49, 56, 65, 69, 74, 75, 80b, 126, 139, 141–3, 151, 154–5, 158, 160, 161–4, 177–8, 179, 245, 246–9, 283 centralisation, 137–8, 139, 142, 152, 155, 189, 201, 221, 246 Chicago Boys, 232 Chinese antiquity, 88–9 Chinese currency, 371–83 Chinese exchange policy, 374–7 Chinese exchange rate