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What Blockchain Technology Can Do and What Could Be Overstretched Expectations
May 5, 2016
What Blockchain Technology Can Do and What Could Be Overstretched Expectations

A lot is possible on the blockchain. But, the blockchain does not have power to solve every problem thrown at it.

Diamond provenance protection, asset trading, land title registry, passport issuance, smart contracts, currency... you name it, there is already a startup building the solutions for it on the blockchain (the decentralized public ledger that underlines most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin). And the list of possible opportunities that the technology has to offer seems to grow longer each passing day.

As a matter of fact, it is now almost a given that at every Bitcoin meetup, conference or forum you attend, there will be someone who sees it as the right place to let the world know of the new blockchain innovation they have been working on. What's more, the impression that there is nothing that can't find a solution from the distributed ledger technology has done more than take hold in the Bitcoin community. It is now catching on with the mainstream financial institutions, technology companies and even beyond.

Distributed Blockchain Technology vs. Centralized ICANN. Will There Be a Collision?
March 17, 2016
Distributed Blockchain Technology vs. Centralized ICANN. Will There Be a Collision?

I have a phone, and I have no idea how it actually works despite the fact that people, like me, created it. I know that there are detailed descriptions of its operation, nevertheless, when I make a call, it is magic for me. I am used to it, and I perceive it as something routine, but it is still a kind of magic.

We are surrounded by these "black boxes" that perform some operations we do not understand. We have created some of them and, generally, understand what they do. Some "boxes", however, were created by nature and we have poor understanding of their magic, or we have none at all.

What are we going to discuss here? The point that a number of small super-efficient systems are better than one large system. Does that mean that a number of alternative DNS root are better than one large ICANN? Well... What about Blockchain-powered roots?

P2P Finance: Are Banks Losing Their Positions?
February 16, 2016

A man was honored for 50 years of loyal service to a Virginia bank. At the party celebrating his long service, he was asked what he thought had been 'the most important change that he had seen in banking in his half century of service?' The man paused for a few minutes, then went to the microphone and said: 'air conditioning'. Martin Mayer, The Bankers.

Financial experts put enormous effort into making their work look like rocket science. It pays off by keeping their club closed. However, the basic financial concepts are simple enough to explain them in ten minutes. Understanding how banks work leads to understanding how alternatives to banks work, what their advantages and disadvantages are and if we can trust them.

Peer-to-Peer lending is one of such alternatives. The Internet provides people with an option to permanently abandon the large and cumbersome centralized mediator that makes decisions for issuing loans or sets interest for deposits. Now, the Internet allows people to lend money to each other. All they need is a suitable platform.

How to Be Smart with Smart Phones and Smart Contracts
January 26, 2016
How to Be Smart with Smart Phones and Smart Contracts

Smart Contracts are mentioned more and more frequently on the Internet. Banks issue investment advice and publish research, journalists write articles describing the hi-tech future, and opinion leaders share their forecasts about when Smart Contracts are going to turn the world around.

The forecasts, as it often happens, are too optimistic, and the possible effect that Smart Contracts will have on people's lives is exaggerated. Should we keep going deeper into this field and keep track of development and adoption of Smart Contracts?

Bytecoin Team's view: Yes, we certainly should. Despite the fact that Smart Contracts cannot reform our world as much as some activists believe, they will have a niche in the world economy: Increase reliability of the contracts, reduce the role of the State in economy and automate many routine processes.

In order to improve the world, Smart Contracts should be implemented smartly. To do this, we need to start with some non-utopic capabilities of Smart Contracts, but approaching them from their limitations.

Cryptocurrency Frauds or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Invest Smarter
November 12, 2015

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist.

Cryptocurrency frauds constitute a very sensitive issue. Though sensitive and unpleasant, we cannot evade it and act as if it does not exist. The Alpha and the Omega for fighting the frauds are knowledge and capability for reasonable thinking.

Cryptocurrencies stay out of the legislation of any country. Their very essence protests against interference and control executed by the government. Therefore, the options offered by the cryptocurrencies for the development of the business also open possibilities for development of fraudulent projects.

Negligible involvement of the states in the life of cryptocurrencies means only one thing: the quad has become a bicycle. In order to balance, we have to be responsible, reasonable and learned.

What is Privacy and Why is It Important?
October 10, 2015
What is Privacy and Why is It Important?

This is a guest post by Edvin Dahlstrom

Is privacy good or evil? Does any person have a right to be privacy-protected? Can we apply common statement "If you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide" to our lives?

Right now, society is desperately looking for the answers to these particular questions, but it seems that government has solid position regarding them, too. Lack of privacy in our lives seems to be relatively farfetched problem for the majority of people, but eventually debates could turn into a serious confrontation. A careful eye would notice that for now there is little resistance.

The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurrencies: Brief History. Part 2
July 17, 2015
The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurrencies: Brief History. Part 2

This is a guest post by Ray Patterson

Read the first part

Crossmating: The Altcoin Boom

By the mid-summer of the year 2013, more than a hundred altcoins were up and running, with almost half of them appeared in the latest couple of months. Should we mention that all those 'newbies' were LItecoin forks and utilized scrypt? Another trend of the season was an upstart Proof-of-Stake from PPcoin, so scrypt+PoS combo could be called 'standard alt-coin-beginner package'.

Such (quantitative) popularity of scrypt and exponential growth of Bitcoin complexity led to a simple thought: scrypt-ASICs will appear as soon as they are profitable. Despite the fact that giant November bubble (when Bitcoin was rated up to $1200) was far from beginning to balloon, the search for the new PoW function started again...

The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurrencies: Brief History. Part 1
July 14, 2014
The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurrencies: Brief History. Part 1

The Proof-of-work concept appeared for the first time in the paper "Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail" in 1993. Despite the fact that authors never used this notion in the article itself (it is 6 years before it appears), we are going to name it this way (or PoW).

So, what was the Idea proposed by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor in their paper?..

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