The Weekend Read: Mar 13

horse 1. Bitcoin's positive news cycle

It was party time for bitcoin this week. The company formerly known as 21e6 announced a $116m funding round, topping the recent bitcoin record of $75 from Coinbase. The same day, DA Holdings announced that former JP Morgan global head of commodities Blythe Masters will be their CEO. And later Goldman Sachs released a report explaining how cryptocurrencies could be part of a "megatrend" that fundamentally changes the global payments industry. All of this feel good news helped BTC test the important 300/310 resistance level.

2. (de) Central Banking (cont.)

A "sources say" report from Reuters dishes on a proposal from IBM to build out infrastructure for FedCoin-like digital currency:

Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said. "These coins will be part of the money supply," the source said. "It's the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain."

3. Three Reasons Why Bitcoin Won’t Be the New Internet

In a similar vein to the above central bank story, Sidney Zhang does an excellent job of arguing what blockchains could do, or perhaps better said what they shouldn't do. These points echo quite a few of the thoughts often put forward by Richard Brown. They also capture the spirit of the constant internal debate at R3 about the role and value of trust and the costs associated with the trust-minimization inherent in bitcoin:

The benefit of blockchain technologies is not to replace the central parties. Instead, it should be to make an industry far more competitive. [snip] The future is not going to be one without centralized, trusted parties. To remove trust is expensive. It requires a lot of costly trade-offs. Trust is also something that we can establish in the real world. Unlike the world of drug dealers.

bitcoin spectrum


4. and finally...

A somewhat oddball article from Fusion on the "young stars of bitcoin." By far the best part (even better than the inexplicable body painting) is the mention of Vitalik Buterin's t shirt, which reads: "You read my t-shirt. That’s enough social interaction for one day." Classic. He even tries to decentralize his human interactions...