30 December 2013

2013: Year in review.

It seemed to me like 2013 was a particularly strange year. As evidence, here is a condensed summary of the news stories I posted about on Google+ this year. If you like this sort of thing, I plan to post the links on my own web site in 2014, so feel free to subscribe. ⁂ Oxfam International reported that the combined income of the 100 richest people in the world could end global poverty four times over. ... Read more

22 December 2013

Bitcoin: Other dissenting voices

I haven’t even begun to cover all the reasons why Bitcoin fails as a currency, so instead here are some links. Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology by Alex Payne. Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire by Charles Stross. The Bitcoin bubble and the future of currency by Felix Salmon. Recovering stolen bitcoin: a digital wild goose chase. Bitcoin: Whatever It Is, It’s Not Money! by Steve Forbes. ... Read more

21 December 2013

The future of Bitcoin

[One of a series of articles.] So far I’ve talked about Bitcoin myths and how Bitcoin is in a speculative bubble. In this article I’m going to discuss Bitcoin’s future. My view regarding the long term future of Bitcoin is fairly simple: I maintain that it doesn’t have one. And not just because there are pre-existing superior digital cash systems. No, the fact that better digital cash systems were invented in the 90s points at the fact that there are specific reasons why they haven’t taken off, and that it’s not to do with technology. ... Read more

20 December 2013

Bitcoin and quantitative easing

Update 2015-08-16: People told me I was wrong, and Bitcoin could never be forked. And then suddenly, Bitcoin was deliberately forked… Update 2017-12-01: Bitcoin was forked again, and the fork was a success (i.e. it kept value). So now, inevitably, there are half a dozen more forks planned. Original 2013 article follows: It’s frequently stated that Bitcoin is finite, that there can be exactly 21 million Bitcoins, and that’s it. ... Read more

19 December 2013

Explaining Bitcoin

[One of a series of articles.] You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin. You might not really understand what it’s all about though, so here’s my non-technical explanation. Imagine you’re growing tulips. Anyone can grow tulips, but it takes time and energy, which puts a limit on the number of tulips around. However, they have no intrinsic value; you can’t use them to heat your home or feed your kids. But, people like them, they’re pretty. ... Read more

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