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The Weekend Read: Dec 12

1. Satoshi

The big headline this week was the near simultaneous discovery of the man (or men) behind the Satoshi Nakamoto alias. Both Wired and Gizmodo published exposes that included a trove of strong evidence that Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Except it turns out that he probably isn't. For debunking and rebuttals, see here and here and here and here. Or just fire up the Twitter and search there. Or you can listen to "Satoshi" himself, channeling Spartacus.

Some folks question why we care or find all this interesting. Really? Is there a more compelling narrative structure for our lizard brains than having a creation myth coupled with a whodunit? In fact, it was this Oct 2011 New Yorker article that first got me interested in Bitcoin and all that comes with it. (Although I read it some time in 2012 after finding it in a deep pile of New Yorkers at my in-law's house. Only sociopaths can keep up to date with New Yorker and Economist issues!)

2. Blockchain Love in the Time of Hype Cycle

The indefatigable William Mougayar has updated his Blockchain-for-financial-services company lumascape, finding an extra 76 (!) companies to add to his chart:

A gold rush in infographic form...and a reminder to keep some healthy skepticism as we navigate (hopefully) from hype to production. This somewhat older posting strikes a good balance between the risk of excitement turning into empty buzzwords if blockchain doesn't find that product-market fit: "the database is not the point (even if developers find decentralization cool). The applications are." In the full skeptic corner, Tyler Cowen riffs on the recent FT article on blockchain, "sticking with" his prediction that no investment bank will implement a "meaningful" blockchain any time soon. Even our own Tim Swanson got into the act, with one of the best pull quotes of 2015 in the above FT article:

Blockchain is a bit like gluten. Everyone is talking about it but no one knows what it is in great detail.

...and finally

A reminder that we are hiring. For some interview tips to get the proper attention of the R3 team, please study this training film. Good luck!