How Bitcoin’s Blockchain Could Power an Alternate Internet

“There is a tendency in computer-land to seek technical solutions to political problems,” Ceglowski says. “In my opinion, the focus on the blockchain (and related ideas) falls into that misguided category. The idea that we should look to algorithms and technology to reclaim our freedoms is fundamentally undemocratic. It presupposes a technical elite who would ‘fix the Internet’ for everyone else. While I can see how this appeals to romantic ideas of hacking the system, I see it as a dangerous trend at worst, and a distraction at best.“We are terrible at predicting the social outcomes of technological innovation. There’s no reason Bitcoin-like distributed systems would be immune from that rule. I say let’s wise up and actually fight this battle on the level where it belongs.”Ceglowski’s argument is surely worth braking for as we race down the blockchain road. A world in which math secures all our property, communications and identities looks cool. Maybe it will solve some of our problems. It might even be better than what we have now.The question to ask is, do these blockchain-based enhancements of our technologies end up giving us more freedom and initiative? Or will a world of “distributed autonomous organizations,” empowered financial algorithms and bots that own themselves only hem in our human sphere of control?It could be exciting to sit back and watch the future drive itself. But it might be smart to keep our eyes on the road and our hands on the wheel.

Source: How Bitcoin’s Blockchain Could Power an Alternate Internet

Bitcoin: A Means for Global Independence (2014)

With some research and a little technical aptitude, distributed forms of money such as bitcoin can be used as the digital equivalent of cash, offering the potential for anyone to theoretically bank themselves without relying on traditional financial institutions.Additionally, innovative wallet technologies mean anyone can store vast amounts of value without the need to trust governments or banks. From brain wallets to paper wallets, multisig to BIP32 hierarchical deterministic technologies, the ability to store cryptocurrency value independent of a third party is becoming more sophisticated by the month.This all adds up to a revolution in personal finance that can be attributed to smart and enterprising developers who see digital currencies as a means for independence that has never before been possible.

Source: Bitcoin: A Means for Global Independence

‘Blockchainiacs’ en onafhankelijkheid – Bits of Freedom

Sommige Bitcoin- en blockchainadepten geloven dat deze gedistribueerde database een technische oplossing kan zijn voor veel maatschappelijke problemen. Maar gaan ze daarmee niet te makkelijk voorbij aan het feit dat technologie óók altijd politiek is?

Source: ‘Blockchainiacs’ en onafhankelijkheid – Bits of Freedom

The Financialization of Life – Startups & Venture Capital

On the one hand, they are a very powerful agent towards the “transactionalization of life”, that is of the fact that all the elements of our lives are progressively turning into transactions.Which overlaps with the fact that they become “financialized”. Everything, including our relations and emotions, progressively becomes transactionalized/financialized, and the Blockchain represent an apex of this tendency. This is already becoming a problem for informality, for the possibility of transgression, for the normation and normalization of conflicts and, thus, in prospect, for our liberties and fundamental rights, and for our possibility to perceive them (because we are talking about psychological effects).On the other hand, they move attention onto the algorithm, on the system, on the framework. Instead of supporting and maintaining the necessity and culture of establishing co-responsibility between human beings, these systems include “trust” in procedural ways. In ways which are technical. Thus, the necessity for trust (and, thus, on the responsibility to attribute trust, based on human relations) progressively disappears.Therefore, together with it, society disappears. Society as actively and consciously built by people who freely decide if and when to trust each other, and who collectively agree to the modalities of this attribution.

Source: The Financialization of Life – Startups & Venture Capital

A New Approach to Consensus: Swirlds HashGraph — SAMMANTICS

As many people here know, my interest in consensus mechanisms runs far and wide.  In the KPMG research report I co-authored “Consensus: Immutable Agreement for the Internet of Value”, many consensus mechanisms were discussed. In Appendix 3 of the paper, many of the major players in the space discussed their consensus methodologies.  One consensus mechanism which wasn’t in the paper was the Swirlds Hashgraph Consensus Algorithm. That whitepaper is a great read and this consensus mechanism holds quite a lot of promise.  I have had many discussions with its creator, Leemon Baird and this blog post comes from conversations, questions and emails about the topic.  Also at the end of the blog I asked Leemon to fill out the consensus questionnaire from the KPMG report and he graciously did. His answers appear at the end of this post.

Source: A New Approach to Consensus: Swirlds HashGraph — SAMMANTICS

A Crypto-Decentralist Manifesto – Bit Novosti – Medium

We decentralists are committed to keeping blockchains open, neutral andimmutable. We’re committed to keeping blockchain systems decentralized. This informs all our actions and positions towards any developments in the crypto world and beyond. All attempts to violate any of the key blockchaincharacteristics should be fought. All changes to a blockchain’s rules thatintroduce new centralization risks or strengthen existing ones should be fought. Only developments that are clearly beneficial to decentralization or strengthen the three key blockchain characteristics should be supported and encouraged.The blockchain revolution won’t be centralized. Let’s make sure of it.

Source: A Crypto-Decentralist Manifesto – Bit Novosti – Medium

What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain

Over the past year, we have been working on a set of tools to issue, display, and verify digital credentials using the Bitcoin blockchain and the open badges specification. Today we are releasing version 1 of our code under the MIT open-source license to make it easier for others to start experimenting with similar ideas. In addition to opening up the code, we also want to share some of our thinking behind the design, as well as some of the interesting questions about managing digital reputations that we plan to continue working on.

Source: What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain

my.pages – Do we have to make financial use of blockchains illegal?

The anarcho-capitalist incentive method is a bypass of societal payment systems. It allows bitcoin billionaires to make a fortune with crime and speculation on crime, or alternatively speculation on speculation on crime, without ever being traced (except maybe by the NSA), nor taxed.

Let me explain this reasoning in more detail, so you can let me know if any of it is wrong. All of the societally harmless uses of Bitcoin and Ethereum can be implemented in a safer manner using TALER, without bypassing the tax system which is, as flawed as it may be, the only instrument society has to redistribute from the wealthy to the poor. Without such a redistribution, the capitalist architecture collapses and humanity’s ability to exist on the planet dies with it. If everyone just cares about themselves, a future comes when the rich get chased by pitchforks while global challenges such as pollution and climate change would not be tackled by anyone.

Source: my.pages – Do we have to make financial use of blockchains illegal?

uncensorme.xyz

Censorship has a long history and is practiced in many societies. There have been book burnings by fascist regimes, religions censoring texts, and even social media is being monitored and censored by governments. Uncensorme.xyz is a decentralized, censorship-free communication platform that runs on blockchain technology. The inherent immutability of the technology allows us to store messages in the massively shared and spread database that is the blockchain. Any data stored in the blockchain is permanent, and therefore free from any form of censorship. Information wants to be free. Uncensorme.xyz is not only here for freedom of communication, but also the preservation of information.

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