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At the end of September 2017, in the wake of China’s announcement that they would be placing a ban on bitcoin trading on mainland exchanges, the BitKan “Shape The Future” Blockchain Global Summit 2017 took place in Hong Kong. With technical obstacles being a major theme for Bitcoin this year, the conference drew vast interest with delegates and speakers from across the world in attendance.
Including our CEO, Michael Hudson.
And while the rest of us may not have been able to attend in person, we were excited by the insights he shared with us upon his return. In order to get more of a ‘first hand’ perspective, we scoured the Internet for recordings of the BitKan presentations that Michael had recommended. We were pleased to find several of them available online and thought we’d share our top 3 with you today.
In this seminar, nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig S Wright talks about some of the technology brought forth by nChain’s research projects aimed at furthering global blockchain adoption. “We want a world where people can use Bitcoin on a daily basis. Bitcoin Cash is perfect (for this purpose),” opens Dr. Wright.
“We’re going to get people to start trusting it (Bitcoin Cash) because they don’t need to trust it. That’s the secret to trust. When you don’t need to trust a system, you can. Not because of what people tell you, but because of the mathematics, the system… and because it’s distributed. That’s the secret.”
“You know what markets are? They’re competition. They find efficient uses of time and people and resources. That’s why we compete: so we don’t waste. So we make the best world possible.”
Bitcoin Cash was created on 1 August 2017 as a result of a hard fork in the Bitcoin chain. After an extended period of debate, the Bitcoin community could not agree on a single viable solution to allow Bitcoin to scale in order to eradicate the congestion caused by aggressive adoption.
A majority of the Bitcoin community voted for the implementation of SegWit - a solution that introduced a ‘segregated witness’ element - and promised to scale through off-chain applications and networks. At the same time, a number of key players in the community opted to support a solution without SegWit, and rather have scaling come about on-chain by means of bigger block sizes. As a result, the Bitcoin blockchain hard forked (split) and Bitcoin Cash was created as the token of the new chain.
The fact that Bitcoin Cash is built on the original Bitcoin code puts it on a different playing field than altcoins, and it would be more accurate to refer to it as a ‘Genesis Coin’. Since the hard fork, a growing proportion of the cryptocurrency community has taken to adopting Bitcoin Cash as their preferred coin, motivated by factors such as its competitive fee structure and close alignment with the vision set forth by Satoshi Nakamoto in the first place.
In light of the main Bitcoin network’s introduction of SegWit, Bitcoin Angel Investor and Bitcoin Evangelist, Roger Ver spoke about why he believes that Bitcoin Cash, as scaling solution, has a brighter future than SegWit. In this presentation, he discusses how Bitcoin Cash will lead to the growth of the Bitcoin network for everyone's benefit.
When hecklers respond with criticism, Roger tells them they’re free not to use it.
“These are the characteristics of ‘good money’: it’s easy to store, hard to counterfeit, scarce, divisible, homogeneous, durable, easy to transport.
Bitcoin was pretty much all of those things, from day one. And for the first eight years, it had those characteristics, and it grew incredibly quickly. It grew to where people all over the world were incredibly excited about it, started using it in their businesses, and started using it in their daily lives… until about a year ago. The blocks became full and that damaged the ‘easy to transport’ aspect of bitcoin. It made bitcoin transactions expensive, it became slow, it became unreliable. And that damaged Bitcoin’s character as ‘good money’.”
“As Bitcoin started losing its characteristics as good money, Bitcoin’s share of the overall cryptocurrency market cap plummeted as a direct result. As bitcoin becomes less useful as money, people are not going to save it and use it as money. In economics, there’s the concept of Substitute Goods that proposes that if two goods can be used for the same purpose and the price of one of them increases, the demand for substitute goods is likely to rise. The exact same is true of cryptocurrencies: people will start to use a different cryptocurrency if the price increases - not only in terms of fees, but also in terms of time, effort, and inconvenience to the user.”
“Prepare for a world filled with altcoins. Choose the ones that have the characteristics of ‘good money’.”
Roger Ver’s presentation slides are available here.
Chief IP, Communications and Legal Officer for nChain, Jimmy Nguyen, reveals seven key inventions they have been working on whilst the company has remained in what they call ‘stealth mode’. Although theoretically technical, Nguyen does a good job of simplifying the technology purpose and providing real-life examples of the application and the benefits.
“nChain’s mission, in a nutshell, is to enable bitcoin’s exponential growth for everyone to WIN.”
“We are an enabling company. We are developing research and technologies that, of course, we want to find business success with, but it is really designed for all of you (referring to the audience) and the people around the world in the Bitcoin community to enable you to achieve your WINS.”
“Our research has these two goals. Firstly to enable massive on-chain scaling of the bitcoin network, and, secondly, allow companies to perform more complex functions on the Bitcoin network.”
Primary security issues of digital wallets, such as those held on an open exchange, are resolved using a combination of alternative techniques to the existing interaction between private and public keys between the two parties, providing a far more secure transactional environment and wallets that are less susceptible to hacking attacks. Another interesting development is the creation of a computational process that would allow for the bitcoin blockchain to be used for secure voting purposes, eliminating the risk of human error in counting ballots or fraudulent electoral processes.
These presentations, while only a select few, offer an enlightening glimpse into what we can expect from blockchain development, not only in the immediate future but well into the years to come too.
Not yet secured your cryptocurrency wealth for the future? We invite you to get in touch with our cryptocurrency market advisors, who will gladly discuss your requirements.