Covering the technology, people, and culture of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world

Must-reads for October 31, 2018: #MeToo goes blockchain in China, U.S. gov’t and Bitcoin, and Africa’s hope in DLT

These are the crypto stories you should be following today

Skeleton Bitcoin

A really tiny skeleton and bitcoin. We’re totally reusing this stock photo for Halloween (via Pixabay).

Chinese Activists Are Using Blockchain to Document #MeToo Stories (Harvard Business Review)
Censors in China cracked down on women sharing their experiences on social media of being sexually harassed. In response, some began putting their stories into a blockchain ledger. That raises some tough questions, however, because the stories become immutable. “What do libel suits look like when records can’t be deleted from the blockchain? What about the “right to be forgotten” that is built into privacy policy in some countries?” asks MIT’s Catherine Tucker and Harbin Institute of Technology’s Yudan Pang.

 

EY Reveals Zero-Knowledge Proof Privacy Solution for Ethereum (CoinDesk)
Accounting firm EY (what, they’re too cool to go by Ernst & Young these days?) is launching what they claim is the world’s first “zero-knowledge proof” tool for the public Ethereum blockchain. “ZKPs are a cryptographic method that allows two parties to prove that a secret is true without revealing the actual secret. In the case of cryptocurrencies and blockchains, this is most often data about transactions,” write CoinDesk’s Yogita Khatri.

 

No, Bitcoin probably won’t doom our climate—but we have no idea how much electricity it uses (MIT Technology Review)
Yes, we wrote pretty much the same thing (but with more detail), though Mike Orcutt added, “It’s hard enough knowing how much electricity Bitcoin is using today… since the best estimates don’t include much, if any, data from real facilities.”

 

Bitcoin: The first ten years (BBC)
Here’s a 97-second video about Bitcoin on the 10th anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper.

 

The US Government Maintains a Fork of Bitcoin (CCN)
CCN’s P. H. Madore looks at how the U.S. government’s research can be found in Bitcoin’s DNA and people in government are looking for ways to work with crypto. Peter Mell of the U.S. National Institution of Standards and Technology recently wrote a paper called “Managed Blockchain Based Cryptocurrencies with Consensus Enforced Rules and Transparency.” “The gist of the paper is that there is a happy medium between public, wild blockchains like Bitcoin, which follow the laws of consensus and little else, and managed blockchains which give their permissioned owners an untrustworthy amount of paper,” writes Madore. He also adds that NIST has been running a version of Bitcoin for some time. “Presumably the software has only been run in government labs, but it could inadvertently provide a boost to countries like Sweden which are actively working toward developing their own nationalized cryptocurrencies.”

 

Blockchain Is Changing Lives in Africa (Reason)
For many sub-Saharan African nations, a functioning bureaucracy and accurate government records are too far a reach. But this problem has made that region a hotbed of blockchain activity. Many startups are trying to fill the void, and providing a system to keep accurate track of property rights, for example, could provide long-term economic benefits.

 

 

 

Lawrence Lewitinn, CFA is editor in chief of Modern Consensus. Disclosure: Lewitinn owns no cryptocurrencies in his portfolio.

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