Facing competition from blockchain-based tokens, SWIFT has made significant upgrades we all benefit from.
Bitcoin and Blockchain
It’s hard to say with a straight face that Bitcoin is “the stable cryptocurrency,” but compared to its cousins, its wild price swings are a little less wild.
The beauty of the art example of distributed ownership is that it gets the creative juices flowing. How many other applications of blockchain are out there waiting? Blockchain is like oil, like the Internet, like fire; that is, not a single instance with one use case but a resource with potentially limitless uses. doing countless other things. It is technology for building things and for making human relationships more peaceful and more prosperous.
Telling an entrepreneur with a great idea in a blossoming industry to sit on their hands for a couple of years is a tough sell, but there are of reasons why sitting down and taking a deep breath today might lead to greater success down the road.
Get ready, crypto community, because the czars are coming for you! On Monday, June 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission appointed Valerie Szczepanik to a new position: “associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for digital assets and innovation,” known informally as the “crypto czar.”
Blockchain enthusiasts often focus on the potential for smart contracts to replace biased and fallible humans with cut-and-dry computer code. But this emphasis on code over humans can confuse both the definition and true potential of smart contacts.
This week, it was my pleasure to sit on a panel with Gavin Brennen of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, a physicist and one of the world experts on this topic. He presented a very nice paper that examined this question in some detail. He began with his frustration over the headlines that swept the tech world last October and November. They were as alarmist as they were misleading. He set the record straight.
The fact that about half of altcoins failed or came close to doing so over five years is a promising sign for that market, rather than an indictment of anything not named Bitcoin.
We love to prognosticate, but it’s impossible to do so without severely glossing over the complexities of the real world. That leads us to false dichotomies, like “Blockchain technology will change everything” versus “Blockchain is all hype.”
It is the great presumption of public policy that some people with power, resources, and status can know what is true, and therefore what must be better. This is in contrast to the lowly actors in the marketplace who must deal daily with the problem of not knowing. To navigate life, to find profitable investment opportunities, to discover what it is that society needs now and what can wait, is the great challenge of material life. But the state takes a different route. It declares what is true, attempts to freeze the process of life, and then impose it as a matter of law.
Dividing the world into “centralized” and “decentralized” obscures important features of the bitcoin protocol. A more sophisticated lexicon would leave scope for “distributed” processes.
The fact that Anderson’s theory of money seems to fail the Bitcoin test forces us to question our long tradition of issuing new coins that contain precious metals, or banknotes redeemable for some other, already valuable instrument.
Many people who are bullish on blockchain make grandiose claims that the technology will completely overhaul industries and institutions. But these claims often ignore the complexity of the real world and misunderstand what revolutionary technologies actually do.