Today in Bitcoin (2018-05-14) - I ordered a blockchain but all I got was a database - Consensus 2018

in bitcoin •  last year 

Good Morning Bitcoin!

Today is Monday, May 14, 2018

My name is Thomas Hunt

And here’s what happened, Today in Bitcoin…

The price of bitcoin was up 0.71 percent in the last 24 hours
with a last of 8,757
A high of 8,800
And a low of 8,311

That’s one dollar for 11,452 satoshis!

Coindesk Consensus conference in New York City is kicking off

With the price of Bitcoin already on the move,

Popping above $8,700 as they open the doors…

Outside however, some folks had some questions about this Bit-Coin thing.

Meanwhile, internet hype continued un-abaited

Bitcoin Could Hit $64,000 a coin in 2019: says Fundstrat

When it comes to predictions about digital currencies like bitcoin, investors often turn to experts in the field. Tom Lee, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a longtime bitcoin advocate, fits that bill nicely. Now, Lee's team of financial researchers has revealed a dramatically bullish prediction for the price of the world's leading digital currency by market cap. Fundstrat's Sam Doctor wrote late last week that the price of one BTC could climb to at least $20,000 and might soar as high as $64,000 sometime in 2019.

Hubba Hubba Hubba

Forbes guy thinks that the Bitcoin bubble is over, but now feels free to come out with his newfound -- blockchain love!

My college buddy AC wrote to me after the bitcoin bubble crashed:

“You were very right! All the cryptos have CRASHED. Good call!”

I didn’t address the crypto situation much as it unfolded because I didn’t want readers mistakenly buying into the bubble. Now that the air has come out of the crypto-mania, I hope it’s safe to talk about the real opportunity.

I’m not talking about bitcoin. I’m talking about the blockchain – and the dividend growth opportunities that will unfold as this “megatrend” plays out in the coming years and decades.

The blockchain is the nascent technology that serves as the backbone for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Today, I’m going to introduce you to five pioneering income plays that boast a “blockchain kicker.”

First, a quick primer on blockchain.

The simplest way to describe the technology is to call it a digital ledger of sorts. It’s essentially just a group of encrypted records (“blocks”) that can be used to record transactions and other interactions. (wam chu waa waa)

The utilization of blockchain that people are most familiar with are cryptocurrencies – products such as Bitcoin that are meant to serve as digital currencies, but have quickly become extremely speculative investments as they’ve gained thousands of percent in just a few years. But companies are increasingly learning that blockchain can be used for so much more, from tracing medical histories to keeping voting records.

--

Wait a minute? How’d you jump from there to there? Because blockchains can be used to track who owns a crypto currency and prevent them from double-spending it, they can be useful to store medical histories and voting records?

It feels like we’re being set up. Like when the Wall Street Bankers packaged and sold bad mortgage loans as good loans -- because they were in a package. A blockchain of loans -- if you will. Because you can trust the blockchain, you can trust the loan. This doesn’t sound like a very good deal. I hope that no one mentions this. It’d be a shame to see this kinda mess coming and not say anything.

And now back to conference hype

Bitcoin conferences flood New York, bringing millions in ticket sales

Well over 4,000 people are expected to attend the CoinDesk Consensus conference in New York City

With tickets roughly $2,000 each, the conference is likely bringing in at least $8 million dollars (finger to mouth)

Not everyone in the cryptocurrency world is happy about the conferences: Ethereum co-founder

Vitalik Buterin vowed to boycott Consensus this year, partly because of the high ticket price

And partly because he’s a little bitch.

As Vitalik himself said:

"The conference costs $2-$3k to attend. I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent seeking," "Coindesk is recklessly complicit in enabling giveaway scams," and their coverage of of the ethereum split was "highly sensationalist."

Ah, what principled stand would be complete without a personal axe to grind. To say nothing of the level of ICO scams enabled by Ethereum… anyway -- we’ve got more scams and more hype! Moving on.

Bitcoin Under Pressure: Can A Technology Summit Goose It Higher Next Week?

Usually the answer to all headlines that ask a question is No, but why not give Yes a try as all the previous Consensus conventions have had convincing effects. It’s contagious. Why it might even be constantaneously consequential. It’s certainly not a con. Nothing to do with cons.

First Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain Now Secured By 1 in 10 Miners

RSK is rolling out. Admittedly in a limited fashion as it’s not pegged to bitcoin in a trustless manner as advocates have promised for so long. Instead anyone who wants to move their bitcoin to the sidechain needs the approval of a gatekeeper -- a “federation of third parties”. Sounds really revolutionary. Trust no one, except the Federation. Come on guys now really. Not everything can be about Star Trek.

While for now only a small fraction of miners are securing the RSK sidechain-- they claim to have 80% of miners committed for the future. The merge-mined federation based RSK could provide short term solutions to Bitcoin scaling offering “smart bitcoins” that would be similar to the lightning network. RSK continues their plan to build sidechains around bitcoin that would allow for the creation of decentralized applications.

BitGo Courts Wall Street With New Bitcoin Custody Products

Institutional money is on it’s way into Bitcoin -- and they may have found a partner -- with Bitgo. The company has expanded its offerings to focus on not only securely holding consumer funds but also providing large scale security for institutional holdings. This is good -- for Bitcoin.

Don’t let bitcoin greed blind you to the potential of blockchain technology

The mechanism that underpins cryptocurrencies could help to provide secure public records in countries susceptible to corruption

Or -- it could recreate the financial crisis -- just as in 2008 when they all trusted that the Collateralized Debt Objects -- the CDOs or boxes or we could just call them blocks -- that were supposed to contain only good loans were actually filled with bad loans. Things are different now. Now that the media is selling the public on the all powerful and truthtelling blockchain-- only to realize that it’s just another delivery mechanism for bad fish. Bad fish in secure blocks.

The author places a lot of trust in Don and Alex Tapscott, former Wall Street veterans who wrote in a book -- conveniently titled Blockchain Revolution, and their belief that

a blockchain “is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value”.

Now the first part of that statement is fine. “The blockchain “is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions”

But the second part -- starts to get a little fishy.

“a blockchain can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value”.

Sure -- I guess it’s still valid -- it could be “programmed to record” -- but that’s just blind recording. It could “store anything” but that data would be unverified. You could put a whole buncha bad fish in and label them all as good fish.

The author returns to the “Tapscott definition” later in the article saying that: This is a really big idea, because well-governed societies depend on keeping certain kinds of documentation – birth and death certificates, title deeds, wills and so on – in ledgers that are both public and secure.”

The problem is -- the blockchains he’s talking about are not public. If they were public, everyone would be able to see everyone’s bank records -- no wait -- that’s how bitcoin works -- everyone can see everyone’s bank records and the system verifies that they are accurate. The same is not true for medical records, deeds, wills, etc. Duplicate and inaccurate data could be stored in a blockchain.

Additionally private blockchains that are not being mined by independent third parties lack integrity and transparency. As HackerNoon says in their article, Blockchains versus Traditional Databases -

A key property of blockchain technology, which distinguishes it from traditional database technology, is public verifiability, which is enabled by integrity and transparency.

Integrity: every user can be sure that the data they are retrieving is uncorrupted and unaltered since the moment it was recorded

Transparency: every user can verify how the blockchain has been appended over time

In the systems proposed by the new centralized and private blockchain gatekeepers -- all of the mining would be done by the same party entering in the data.

They proudly eliminate the need for a “token of value” to reward the decentralized miners by simply eliminating the decentralized miners.

And With it they eliminate the integrity of their blockchain.

So now we have private databases claiming to be immutable blockchains.

We are surrounded by boxes full of bad fish

At a beautiful convention hall full of fabulous people

Who all heard about Bitcoin just yesterday

But are very excited by blockchain today

While the rest of us are

Just waiting

For the fish to go bad.

My name is Thomas Hunt

This has been -- Today in Bitcoin

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