Crazy crypto evening

in #bitcoin2 years ago (edited)

Bitcoin as conceptual art

Yesterday evening was extremly unusual. A few weeks ago I had been contacted on LinkedIn by a young luxembourgish lawyer who sent me a surprisingly sharp legal analysis on the aspects of crypto currencies in relationship with European Value Added Tax (VAT). We exchanged a few more messages and I decided that this guy was definitely an extremly bright mind and I had to meet and get to know him.

He suggested an "after-hours" drink in a hip pub in the old city, "de Gudde Wëllen" ("The Good Vibes", in luxembourgish). We were going to discuss bitcoin and more generally the attitude of the local authorities with respect to crypto.

I arrived in the bar a few minutes before him and went to the gents room. I was struck by some very coïncidental surroundings ...

To fully appreciate the situation, we need to step back about one year ago when I stumbled upon an article by @sikoba called "Bitcoin as conceptual art".

The article draws a parallel between (revolutionary and misunderstood) bitcoin at the beginning of 2017 and a particular event in the history of art, the birth of what was later called "conceptual art" when, in 1917, Marcel Duchamp submitted to the first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York a ... white urinal, with the title "Fountain"

Duchamp_Fountaine.jpg
Original picture by Stieglitz, Public Domain

Imagine what was the first thing that came to my (already "primed") mind when I entered the gents room and saw ... this

when-moon-upright.jpg
"When moon?"

Bitcoin as systemic hedge

The discussion with the young lawyer was a bit surrealistic but went extremly well - he is exceptionally gifted and passionate and told me that there are some big investors (Canadian pension funds) where a new investiment strategy is about to gain hold, the so called "0.1%" This strategy is about having 0,1% of the assets under management by the fund invested in crypto (mostly BTC and ETH) as a "systematic hedge". The reasoning behind this is detailed in a recent article on Coin Telegraph.

The four most dreaded letters in crypto-universe: GDPR!

The evening ended fittingly with a very interesting discussion around a position paper that is slightly becoming a reference in the institutional world when discussing blockchain in conjunction with GDPR, a paper authored by Dr. Michèle Finck from the Max Planck Institute (one of the most prestigious research institutions in the world) who is also an Oxford scholar.
michele_finck.PNG

As it happened, I had read that paper shortly after coming back from Malta and was struck by ... how bad it was! But I felt uneasy about trying to come out against the many logical flaws in it as I'm not myself a lawyer ...

I felt a lot of relief when this guy who is a lawyer, and a very well read one, shared my opinion! Michèle Finck's article is dross! But the problem is that it has been published by an Oxford scholar under the banner of the Max Planck Institute ! It is therefore both extremely hard to disprove it and all the more important to do so as soon as possible, before the opinions expressed in it become entrenched.

We ended the evening by deciding to join forces and pool our shared competences into writing a critical analysis of the deep flaws and misunderstandings in Dr. Finck's paper. Hubris? Maybe, but better to come out publicly and let the community debate than to say nothing and let non-lawyers assume that "it's the commonly agreed position".

Other posts on blockchain technology that you might enjoy:

Other posts on the impact cryptocurrencies are likely to have on our societies:

  1. Help Yourself! (steemit for dummies) (in short)
    and in more detail in this post:
  2. Best way to Grow on Steemit
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better to come out publicly and let the community debate than to say nothing and let non-lawyers assume that "it's the commonly agreed position".

Definitely better! I'm one of the guys who didn't read a line in GDPR.

But what can we do if we want to keep using the services which now updated their privacy policies to comply with this GDPR?

As you said, the GDPR itself would need to be revised, if it contains logical flaws.

I've read GDPR. Not in full, I've tried to skip through directly to the relevant sections. And I didn't attempt a full-blown analysis. I could do it but I'm not a certified lawyer so very few people would accept my analysis as valid

It's not the GDPR which contains logical flaws, it is Michele's Finck "pseudo analysis" of what GDPR means for blockchain-based systems !

Ah, sorry. I was in a hurry and read in diagonal your post. I should've refrain from commenting since I didn't read it carefully. Thanks for the correction.

It was a pleasure to attend the Meet-Up in Luxembourg and to meet you! We're hoping to see you in Strasbourg Meet-Ups soon.
@louishugo

I'll try to attend as soon as I manage to free a bit of time

it's really crazy. keep it up.

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Your post had been curated by the @buildawhale team and mentioned here:

https://steemit.com/curation/@buildawhale/buildawhale-curation-digest-06-05-18

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