Ben Laurie is a respected cryptographer (he maintains OpenSSL and is in charge of security research for Google) and he's skeptical of BitCoin, a virtual, cryptography-based currency that has attracted a lot of attention. Ben has written three posts describing his objection to "proof-of-work" as a basis for a virtual currency, and they're great reading, as are the followups from his readers. I don't have the crypto chops to have a strong opinion one way or another on this, and in situations like that, watching people a lot smarter than me arguing is my best strategy for getting smarter myself:
Also, for what its worth, if you are going to deploy electronic coins, why on earth make them expensive to create? That's just burning money - the idea is to make something unforgeable as cheaply as possible. This is why all modern currencies are fiat currencies instead of being made out of gold.
Bitcoins are designed to be expensive to make: they rely on proof-of-work. It is far more sensible to use signatures over random numbers as a basis, as asymmetric encryption gives us the required unforgeability without any need to involve work. This is how Chaum's original system worked. And the only real improvement since then has been Brands' selective disclosure work.
If you want to limit supply, there are cheaper ways to do that, too. And proof-of-work doesn't, anyway (it just gives the lion's share to the guy with the cheapest/biggest hardware).
, Bitcoin 2
, Bitcoin is Slow Motion
Bitcoin’s spiking prices have been driven almost entirely by Chinese money-launderers trying to beat the country’s currency controls — controls that have tightened so much that it’s tanking the world’s real-estate markets as offshore buyers abandon their deposits and disappear.
The customer service operatives for the criminal gang that operates the Spora ransomware are relentlessly customer focused, working to soothe upset victims and streamline their payments in order to recover their data.
More news on the Chinese crackdown on money-laundering and its impact on the global property bubble: the controls the Chinese government has put on “capital outflows” (taking money out of China) are actually working, and there’s been a mass exodus of Chinese property buyers from the market, with many abandoning six-figure down payments because they […]
Wireless headphones aren’t a mind-bending thing anymore now that Apple made them the standard thing-to-be-outraged-over-in-the-new-iPhone fare, thereby killing the cool factor. But let’s be reasonable here. Wires really are a pain when you’re running, trying to get off the bus, or even just standing up from your desk. Wireless headphones make sense, they just don’t […]
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