Bitcoin

The abstract to the original (2008) Bitcoin paper by Satoshi Nakamoto:

A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they’ll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

Essential Reading (See also ‘Documents’ below)
Shelling Out, Nick Szabo (2002)

Resources
An Epic List of Bitcoin Research (English).
Bitcoin Price
Bitcoin Days Destroyed (explanation)
Bitcoin Developer Documentation.
Bitcoin Technology (Reddit).
SNI Mempool Crash Course in Bitcoin Political Economy (Bitstein).

Blogged Bitcoin (Online commentary and news)
Alex Millar
Bitcoin Assets Blogs (Meta)
Bitcoin Magazine
CoinDesk
ContraVex
The Memory Pool (Nakamoto Institute)
Qntra.net
Trilema

Articles
The Bitcoin Central Bank’s Perfect Monetary Policy, Pierre Rochard, Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, 2013/12/15.
Bitcoin isn’t Money—It’s the Internet of Money, Eli Dourado, The Ümlaut, 2014/01/08.
Can Namecoin Obsolete ICANN (and More)? Eli Dourado, The Ümlaut, 2014/02/05.
Bitcoin: Both Buffett and Andreessen are right, Fortune, 2014/03/27
Hyperbitcoinization, Daniel Krawisz, Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, 2014/03/29.
Marc Andreessen: In 20 years, we’ll talk about Bitcoin like we talk about the Internet today, Brian Fung, The Washington Post, 2014/05/21.
Visions of a Techno-Leviathan: The Politics of the Bitcoin Blockchain, Brett Scott, 2014/06/01.
Legacy of the Dread Pirate Roberts, Daniel Krawisz, CryptoBiz Magazine, 2014/06/26.
Speculative Attack, Pierre Rochard, Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, 2014/07/04.
Bitcoin and block-chain could transform the world, Matt Ridley, 2014/10/09.
Why Bitcoin is and isn’t like the Internet, Joichi Ito, 2015/01/18.
Bitcoin and the Digital-Currency Revolution, Michael J. Caset and Paul Vigna, WSJ, 2015/01/23.
‘Cheetahs’: Africa’s Young Minds Embrace Bitcoin, Cointelegraph, 2015/02/07.

Documents
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Satoshi Nakamoto (2008).
The Complete Satoshi (Bitcoin paper and emails).
Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers. Jerry Brito, Andrea Castillo, 2013/08/19.
Dai/Nakamoto emails. Gwern, 2014/03/17.
Crypto Glossary. Timothy C. May and Eric Hughes, 1992/11/22.

Blockchain Revolution
Ethereum.
Autopoietic Social Structures.
Sidechains.
Litecoin. (Silver to Bitcoin’s gold.)
Dogecoin.
Truthcoin. (Prediction markets.)
Dark Wallet. (“It’s just money laundering software.”)
Darkcoin.
Blockchain-based assurance contracts.
Crypto-equity.
Proof of existence.
Blockchain-based genetic back-ups.
Blockchain-based data storage.

Technical Essays
Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains. Multiple authors, 22/10/2014. (More here.)

Miscellaneous
Visualization of the Bitcoin battlefield.
Bitcoin in orbit.
Bicoin v. M-Pesa.
Monkeycoin. (Bizarre.)

China, Crypto-Currency, and the World Order
Part-1: Tribute and Tribulations
Part-2: Digital Denominations
Part-3: Clone Wars

***

Bitcoins are not just good money, they are the best money. The Bitcoin network has the best monetary policy and the best brand. We should therefore expect that bitcoins will drive out bad, weak currencies. By what process will bitcoins become the dominant currency? Which fiat currencies will the first to disappear? These are the interesting questions of the day, as the necessary premises for these questions are already established truths.

***

With bitcoin under so much pressure, how could it possibly become as all-powerful and all-reaching as Skynet? […] The answer is pretty simple: it’s not about bitcoin as a currency. It’s about bitcoin as a technology, a highly-distributed, leaderless, jurisdictionless, identityless, nearly anonymous decentralized architecture for managing ownership.

***

“Dark Wallet is a way to reify that [FBI] nightmare and give it back to them,” says [Cody] Wilson. “There is a ‘go dark’ problem, and we’re going to have it with bitcoin. That’s what bitcoin is for. That’s what we want to see.”

***

Bitcoin really is one of the most important inventions ever made in the entire history of the world.

11 thoughts on “Bitcoin

  1. Reading Justin Yifu Lin’s, Against the Consensus of late, he’s Chief Economist of the World Bank: He argues that conventional economic theories provide inadequate solutions, he proposes new initiatives toward the creation of a new global Marshall Plan and a new supranational global reserve currency that is multi-polar with yuan, euro, and dollar.

    Looks like this notion of economic governance and the merger of the key players in a larger economic bloc may be in the offing. Where does Bitcoin play in this strategy I wonder? This notion of s Supranational Global Reserve Currency based on the mutli-polar Yuan, Euro, and Dollar has been bandied about for a while now: is there any sign of this from Shanghai? Haven’t finished the section on his Marshall Plan but appears to be more Austerity and Global Economic Governance with such entities as World Bank and IMF at the helm… typical.

  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b066wfp4
    Episode 3: The Blockchain
    Can computer technology and its systems for record-keeping, transparency and verification replace the role of trust in our society? The digital currency Bitcoin can be used to make peer to peer financial transactions without a central banking authority. The technology underlying this system is called the blockchain, and is enthusiastically advocated by libertarians. In this programme Timandra and Leo investigate whether its ramifications could go much further than currency and reach into disrupting the roles of government, from providing identity documents to tax collection. Or will governments, banks and other large powerful bodies meet the political and technical challenges of the blockchain by incorporating it into their own activities?

  3. http://www.steptoe.com/resources-detail-11348.html
    In our 121st episode of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Alan Cohn and Jason Weinstein discuss:

    Ethereum and the DAO
    The New York State Department of Financial Services issued its second Bitlicense, this time to Ripple
    European Parliament moves to develop digital currency regulations
    Blockchain comes to DC
    Bank of Canada develops a digital version of the Canadian dollar

    Our interview is with Jamie Smith, Global Chief Communications Officer for the BitFury Group, one of the largest full-service blockchain technology companies

  4. Bitcoin’s future price is very unpredictable but It would really sky rocket very soon. Probably 3-4 years from now, a bitcoin will be on 4-5 figures each. Buying as early as now is a good investment. There are plenty of ways you can buy bitcoin though and one of them is xmlgold.eu if you are outside US and Canada. They offer several withdrawal options too and they just re-launched their XMLGold card that helps people withdraw their bitcoins easily.

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