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, Bitcoin 2, Bitcoin is Slow Motion
I would say 94,504 bitcoins is real folding money, buy you can’t fold bitcoins. In any case, someone moved $1,018,147,900 worth of bitcoin between wallets and no one knows for sure who it was. The Token Analyst tweeted, “We took a look and saw that a large percentage of it could be traced to @HuobiGlobal […]
Approximately once every ten minutes, the Bitcoin network issues one “miner” with a block reward of freshly minted bitcoins. When bitcoin launched in 2009, the block reward was 50 bitcoins. Every four years, the reward is cut in half. Currently the block reward is 12.5 BTC. In May 2020 it will go down to 6.25 […]
The IRS knows about the cryptocoins and wants you to pay taxes on them. The Wall Street Journal reports that the warning letters are going out. An IRS spokesman declined to say whether the letters stem from information turned over by digital-currency platform Coinbase. In mid-March of 2018, Coinbase provided data—under a federal court order—on […]
As much as vaping has taken over the market during the last decade, there’s still a lot of questions about the technology, as well as health concerns that we’re just now finding out about. One thing you can say about smoking: You know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to pipes that you […]
We can’t all go through life with just a pair of sneakers and flip-flops. Sometimes, you have to invest in a pair of high-quality dress shoes. However, you’ve probably discovered that high-end footwear almost always comes with eye-popping price tags. You’ve got to compromise on second-hand or just suck it up and take out a […]
We have a theory about those throw blankets that are barely big enough to cover your legs. The only people who seem to make them or use them are grandmothers, and the blankets are only that small because Nana got bored halfway through the sewing job. Look, we’re sure she means well. But if you […]