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

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

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

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one is left with the feeling that a more in-depth exploration of the overlap between Bitcoin and Austrian economics would be worthwhile in its own right. I'm not sure some of the unrelated details of the past of some of the participants are as relevant as the book makes them, but the amount of issues exposed around the crypto ecosystem makes the read with it anyway. I just think it is a currency designed by people with with only a dim idea of what money is and what it is used for. The book does a great job of describing how bitcoins are incapable of doing the work they’re supposed to do (e. David Golumbia’s The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism is a short but very useful academic survey that traces just where the Bitcoin cluster of crank political and economic ideas sprang from.

In light of this, dramatic fiascoes like the Mt Gox collapse seem more like irrelevant sideshows, distracting from the pervasive pointlessness of the technology. Therefore, Vampire Dollars is a system of currency where one or more actors within it is openly malevolent and the majority of other actors are of unclear allegiance or morality. It was entirely unclear to any observer what possible arrangement could be more interesting to the thief than “I have all your bitcoins now”. This includes the decentralisation of the currency, and its ambitions to handle international money transfer, remittance, and reaching the unbanked population in the developing world.The book has a lot less material on the the application (or rather potential application) of Blockchain in general, particularly in financial services. The book provides a useful and timely counterpoint to all those making claims for the benefits of blockchain and its associated technologies. To me it showed what bitcoin and the cryptocurrency realm needs to work on and what pitfalls to avoid. Some days it seem like they’re trying to recreate every possible coding and cryptographical mistake as well.

Using a variety of examples from all types of industries the case is made that while blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies may have some use in the future, the uses that it is currently being promoted for are far from achieving what is promised and probably never will. As a Computer Scientist currently working in IT Consulting, I found this book to strike the perfect balance between technical details and specific industry knowledge, very insightful and very well argued. The Bitcoin community is now sufficiently dysfunctional that even such a simple proposal as “OK, let’s increase the block size to two megabytes” led to community schisms, code forks, retributive DDOS attacks, death threats, a split between Chinese miners and American core programmers … and plenty of other clear evidence that this and other problems in the Bitcoin protocol will never be fixed by a consensus process. Cryptocurrencies have a patchy history, for sure, and there are still a lot of foundational problems out there hindering their adoption that either remain unsolved or have solutions the powers that be seemingly aren't so interested in.

The “smart contracts”, offered by other blockchain-based platforms (notably, Ethereum) are also proving to be difficult to use in businesses. Bitcoin’s cryptography is solid, but it’s a bit like putting a six inch thick steel vault door in a cardboard frame. While Gerard takes care to explain the key technical terms (and includes a very good glossary) he also assumes a reader with a baseline level of IT competence, especially when he turns to the ‘respectable’ iteration of Bitcoin hype in the form of business blockchain. But Gerard’s book is a general-audiences primer, not an in-depth history, and as such it’s extremely solid.

Into all this walks David Gerard, whose self-published book, Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain, sets out to answer the lay person’s main question about Bitcoin: ‘what the hell is this bullshit anyway? These chapters also define some of the fringe concepts that have acquired common parlance within the Bitcoin community, but which may be unfamiliar to newcomers. As a relative newcomer to the IT industry I confess I ended up googling quite a few terms along the way, but Gerard does a good deal more to keep the reader’s feet on the ground than the average blockchain hype-monger, and the reader is never allowed to get completely lost. It’s an idiosyncratic journalistic beat, just as Attack winds up a fairly idiosyncratic book (the final chapter, ‘Case Study: Why you can’t put the music industry on a blockchain’ feels like it’s largely there based on the author’s wider interests, though it does have a spectacular Imogen Heap anecdote). The next three chapters cover alternative cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin and Ethereum, before looking in more depth at smart contracts and the growing use of blockchain as a separate technology divorced from cryptocurrencies.Zeitungsartikel über blockchain und bitcoin helfen nicht weiter, da sie nur das Immergesagte nachplappern. g. the ability of people with money to avoid Government regulation and to put their interests beyond the reach of ordinary voters).

A fine book, well written, arguing the stuff that's familiar to cryptocurrency sceptics - this whole sounds just sounds like a sham. Gerard's tales of vapidity, cupidity, and stupidity will have you facepalming your whole way through. Blockchains might be used for x” is equated to “blockchains are used for x”, which in turn is equated to “blockchains are the best solution for x”.You should try mentally replacing the word “Blockchain” with “Cloud” and see if the article seems eerily familiar. Having set the scene, the next chapter deals with the early years of Bitcoin history up to and including the Mt Gox crash and the Silk Road dark market.

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