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privacy and philosophy, part 1

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introduction Privacy is important. This is something that I believe the majority of readers of this post will agree upon, considering my audience is mostly composed of people who work or are interested in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. But why? If you search for articles about privacy and cryptocurrencies, you will get plenty of hits for writings about the technical side of privacy and...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 9

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For privacy to be widespread it must be part of a social contract. People must come and together deploy these systems for the common good. Privacy only extends so far as the cooperation of one’s fellows in society. We the Cypherpunks seek your questions and your concerns and hope we may engage you so that we do not deceive ourselves. We will not, however, be moved out of our course because some...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 8

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Cypherpunks write code. We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and since we can’t get privacy unless we all do, we’re going to write it. We publish our code so that our fellow Cypherpunks may practice and play with it. Our code is free for all to use, worldwide. We don’t much care if you don’t approve of the software we write. We know that software can’t be destroyed and...

Bitcoin: More than Miners, revisited

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I wrote this article on 25th of October last year, explaining how slavishly following the “longest chain with most cumulative work” is naive and dumb. Bitcoin: More than Miners At the time, BCH (then mostly BCC) proponents were vocally saying it was “Nakamoto consensus” and the way Bitcoin works (according to the Whitepaper)”. They decided to interpret the WP...

[Dutch] In antwoord op De Volkskrant on Blockchain

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Bron: De Volkskrant 05-11-2018 Het is duidelijk voor de Volkskrant, bij monde van Koen Haegens: “blockchain” heeft haar beloftes van vorig jaar niet waargemaakt. Er is veel geld uitgegeven, en we hebben daar bar weinig voor terug gekregen. Is dat ook zo? Hypejaar 2017 Vorig jaar, tussen juni en december 2017, stonden de kranten bol van de artikelen over Bitcoin en “de...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 7

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We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any. We must come together and create systems which allow anonymous transactions to take place. People have been defending their own privacy for centuries with whispers, darkness, envelopes, closed doors, secret handshakes, and couriers. The technologies of the past did not allow for strong privacy, but electronic technologies do. We the...

The Wisdom of Crowds: not as easy as you think

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I’ve been speaking against the idea of “Wisdom of the Crowd” in many tweets, but it might be good to explain why this is. As usual, it starts with bad definitions of a good concept. For starters, the concept is not “Wisdom of THE Crowd”, but the book title by James Surowiecki is “The Wisdom of Crowds“. That is a big distinction, as the former implies that...

Thoughts on “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”, part 6

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We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy out of their beneficence. It is to their advantage to speak of us, and we should expect that they will speak. To try to prevent their speech is to fight against the realities of information. Information does not just want to be free, it longs to be free. Information expands to fill the available...

Finally! Competition for Smart Contracts.

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I have always been opposed to seeing Ethereum being pitched as a competitor to Bitcoin. Not because I am a Bitcoin maximalist, but because the two are so fundamentally different in scope no comparison is possible. Ethereum is not aiming to change world finance, it is offering a platform for applications. Moreover, Ethereum as a project has much more in common with a company offering a product...

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