32 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. 若先不論這些國家實踐國家數字貨幣的可能性,比特幣這種無主權的貨幣背後的區塊鏈技術,確實勾起了這些反美國家的興趣。 在數位化時代下,透過分散式帳本技術,它賦予了國家發行具有主權性質的密碼貨幣的能力,這也讓國際政治之間的糾紛多添了一些變數。 一方想要透過區塊鏈自建金融體系,一方想要強烈抵制這樣的行為,區塊鏈作為達到開放性金融(Open Finance)的一種「手段」,而美國作為目前世界的霸權,反美政權有機會挑戰該國對於世界經濟的「完全主導權」?還是對於透過區塊鏈創造金融壁壘的想像只是曇花一現?值得關注。

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/> 「比特币这种无主权货币背后的区块链技术,赋予了国家发行具有主权性质的密码货币的能力」,此番境遇,放到加密货币市场遇冷的 2019 年初来看,着实有股「有心栽花花不开,无心插柳柳成荫」的意味。分布式账本技术真的能在国际政坛间再度搅起波澜吗?区块链技术真能引导现有体系走向开放性金融(Open Finance)吗?或许,人类自身的求生欲会给予上述提问一个肯定的答复,但是这种充满跳跃性的惊喜感赖以维系的前提在于——比特币是一种无主权的货币,信息技术能够自由流动。

    1. 駭客入侵了 DNS 的服務商,欺騙惡意將用戶從一個站點重定向到虛假網站點,在竊取用戶的敏感個人資訊後,使用它來訪問用戶的帳戶。 簡單的舉例來說,你在前往銀行的路上迷路了,有人假冒警察給你指了一條通往假銀行的路,你在存錢之後輸入了銀行密碼,假銀行就拿著你的密碼去真銀行領錢。照理來說,真銀行不該負責,而是真警察沒有做好被假冒的風險防護。(唯一不同的是,在網路世界你必須要詢問 DNS 才能知道銀行的所在) 因此,遭受攻擊的是 DNS 的提供商,而不是交易所本身。照理來說,交易所沒有承擔責任的義務。

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/> 比特币诞生初期,就有人欢呼 “We don't need banks anymore”。时至今日,对此愿景翘首以盼的拥趸也大有人在,只不过他们把目光移向了比普惠金融更高阶的开放性金融,措辞也变得更为「绅士」:By crypto like Bitcoin we can “bank” the unbanked(为那些没能享受到金融基础服务的底层民众提供服务)。试问,假以时日加密货币登上舞台,人类是否还需要银行?如果需要,这种状态还会持续多长时间?在未来,银行这条清结算渠道是否会演化成其他范式,而非被取代? <br/><br/> 对此,许多人认同「非黑即白」的二元论答案,或者再暧昧一点,他们会说,要达到质变的最终目的,不过是时间长短的问题。「将 DNS 提供商比作警察,交易所比作银行」,如是比喻固然沿袭了旧世界的工程化思维,却无疑给了这群人当头一棒。

  2. Jan 2019
    1. Regulating cryptocurrency without hindering innovation is a challenge for many governments. But Japan seems to be striking a pretty good balance. After the Coincheck incident, the FSA “studied very hard about cryptocurrency and cybersecurity” and wound up better informed than most consultants in the industry, says Oki Matsumoto, chairman and managing director of Monex, Coincheck’s new owner.

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>中介是多余的,但是它促进了市场资本主义中社会和人的有机互惠,散发出人情味儿;去中介化的点对点模式是高效的,但却单一追求不信任个体间的速生联系,显得冰冷淡漠。在行业监管这件事上,日本政府也活学活用玩起了「去中介化」,甩掉了那帮以兜售智谋为生的顾问,直接参与到行业监管政策的制定和落实过程中。这本不是什么很有人情味的举动,但却因为一个较为开放的结果而受到了区块链从业者的一致好评。或许这将启发人们思考,什么是「合格」(qualified)的监管者?什么是「好」(enlightened)的监管者?怎样才能被 Oki Matsumoto 称为 “better informed”?

    1. Grin is easily the most technologically advanced and fascinating cryptocurrency to be released since Bitcoin. It'll be interesting seeing Bitcoin maximalists come up with logic to convince themselves to be OK with shilling it. Personally, I'm a big fan, will be buying lots of it!

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/> 2018 年的冬天对于加密货币市场来说无疑是寒冷的,但仍然阻挡不住投资机构们对新一代隐私币 Grin 的兴趣。没有 ICO,没有预挖,开发团队不接受投资只接受捐赠——所有这些都让这张「咧嘴笑脸」带上了谜一般的独特气质。 <br/><br/> 值得提出的是,在 Grin 最初的挖矿设计中,团队采取的是 Cuckoo Cycle 算法,这是完全抗 ASIC 的算法。团队每 6 个月会调整一次算法参数,来保持抗 ASIC 的特性,并希望凭此做到真正的去中心化挖矿——用团队自己的话来说就是 “specifically designed to be resistant to Bitcoin style hardware arms-races”。 <br/><br/> 看起来很酷吧?更酷的是,这份「螳臂当车式」勇气背后的社会意义。这话听来不免有点末世英雄的悲壮,但对于那些在面对疯狂通胀不惜冒险自行挖矿的委内瑞拉民众来说,何尝不是雪中送炭?Medium 上 @kovalskee 的一篇文章亦呼应了这一点: <br/><br/>

      In the first years it is mass distribution and adoption by merchants and services will be the key over time to realizing Grin’s vision, and over a long time horizon Grin can likely become a store of value. Perhaps that which will drive demand will be a single privacy- or micropayment-focused service “killer app” (the holy grail so highly sought out in the “crypto” space) that will propel usage of Grin. Perhaps it’ll be an array of applications or use-cases focused on privacy. It might be in the developing world, in some authoritarian regime, in emerging markets, or in the West.

      <br/><br/>以为故事说到这儿就完了?并非如此。Cuckoo Cycle 算法的精心设计无法阻止一些公司秘密研究 ASIC,故而仍不能做到完全抵抗中心化的算力聚集。因此 Grin 团队规划了一个限定期,预计之后的新算法将对「抗 ASIC」特性进行改进,从「完全抗 ASIC」逐渐过渡到「对 ASIC 友好」——即在两年的时间里,从最初的「90% GPU + 10% ASIC」转为「100% ASIC」。这样的妥协之举使得算力不会在项目初始阶段过分集中,甚至能让个人 computing devices 也得以参与到挖矿中来。 <br/><br/> 说到底,算力的中心化趋势是任何 PoW 算法区块链都不可避免的问题。在萎靡熊市里半路杀出的 Grin,为这群急需新鲜感的玩家示范了如何在腹背受敌的牢笼里自娱自乐般带着镣铐起舞。而这支舞留给人们的思考,却已然超出了资本博弈的范畴,触及到了更广的社会维度。

    1. 援引《彭博社》消息,華爾街證券研究公司 Fundstrat Global Advisors 的聯合創辦人 Tom Lee 12 月 13 日向客戶發電郵時透露,已經厭倦人們不斷詢問目標價格,有鑑於加密貨幣的內在波動性,該公司將停止提供任何「實現公允價格」的時程表。 換句話說,這表示華爾街最著名的比特幣預言家,已經決定放棄對其價格進行預測。 原因很簡單,若回顧 Tom Lee 過去的研究報告,我們會發現他曾預測比特幣的價格將在 2018 年終達到 20,000 美元的目標價格;而年終的預測價格則為 25,000 美元。到了 11 月,他將目標價格削減至 15,000 美元,但比特幣當時的交易價格僅為 5,500 美元,隨後更跌至 4,000 美元左右。總體而言,比特幣價格全年下降超過 70%,而 Tom Lee 最近一次預測的「公允價格」範圍在 13,800 美元到 14,800 美元之間。

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>出于加密货币与生俱来的独特性,其价格走势本不应该被人为地解读,而场外观众们也无需矫情地揣测低迷熊市与失守分析师之间的暧昧联系。比特币可谓区块链世界第一个广为人知的创业项目,考虑到它对现有金融体系的颠覆性冲击,这些华尔街拥趸们的「洋相」或许不失为一种班门弄斧式的保身明哲。

    1. 欲戴皇冠,必承其重。“交易即挖矿”曾使FCoin撬动了老牌交易所的地位,不可否认它是成功的,它可以帮助新交易所快速积累用户和交易量,但FT没有实际价值支撑,则是一切崩盘最根本的原因。蜂拥而来的用户并没有忠诚度,对于交易所来说并不是健康的发展模式,人们最关心的是平台币涨跌,交易所的政策、发展、生态建设与他们毫无关系。当进度条推动到此时,和张健所说的要建立一个透明社区的理想,恐怕已经相去甚远。 

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>「忠诚度」这一概念对区块链玩家来说,或许是烫手山芋。抱团取暖向来是人类偏爱的过冬方式之一,但实际上,他们需要释出的不是忠诚(loyalty),而是信任(trust)。忠诚一旦聚集,很容易又落回中心化的窠臼,后果如同勒庞在《乌合之众》一书里所言:「群体不善推理,却急于采取行动。它们目前的组织赋予它们巨大的力量。我们目睹其诞生的那些教条,很快也会具有旧式教条的威力,也就是说,不容讨论的专横武断的力量」。

    1. According to Capital, customers can purchase Bitcoin for the sums of 50, 100 or 250 euros. The tobacco shop then provides a ticket with an alphanumeric code and a QR code, which can then be used to obtain the purchased bitcoins via Keplerk’s website. The magazine adds that Keplerk collects a 7 percent fee on each payment, 1.25 of which then goes to the tobacco shop.

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/> 大众获得加密货币的渠道越来越广,这是件好事吗?抛开「万事都有好坏两面」的哲学论断不谈,我们似乎没有理由认为这是件坏事——加密货币愈加普及和流行,愈加深入日常生活,从而间接影响到人们的思维观念。但值得关注的是,在这五花八门的渠道里,有多少被中心化的力量操控着?当比特币像烟草一样成为专营专卖的「商品」和重要的财政收入来源,当大头交易所托管了市面上流通的绝大部分数字资产,「去中心化」的理想可能又将化为一纸空谈。届时人们关心的不是「怎样构筑新的价值体系」,而是「怎样挣更多的钱抽更好的『烟』」。

    1. 市场并不是保持不动的,减产一方面会减小市场抛压,可能使得人们会将其视为一种利好,但通常会在分叉发生前表现出来,而一旦落地之后,所谓的利好就会被消耗一空,并在短时间内表现为利空。而等到市场转向理性之后,又会逐步平衡。

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/> 「比如我们当中很多人喜欢吃甜食,但由于担心发胖又不得不控制自己的食欲。什么原因造成我们爱吃甜食呢?人类在 200 多万年的进化过程中,绝大多数时间都处于营养不良和饥荒的边缘,饥饿是造成人类死亡的最大威胁。这种环境下,爱吃甜食的人往往可以获得更多热量,更容易存活,并把自己的基因传递下去。由于我们是远古时期爱吃甜食人类的后代,所以我们今天爱吃甜食的行为就不难理解了。但现代社会中物质极大丰富后,高热量食物随处可见,吃甜食这种曾经帮助人类生存的习惯却变成了一个负担,成了一种看似不理性的行为。因此很多现代社会里看起来非理性的心理和行为实际上都是深度理性的:这些心理和行为在远古时期曾经有利于我们祖先生存和繁衍后代。」 </br></br> 从进化论角度来看, 这些在远古时期理性的心理和行为可以解释现代股票市场中很多看似非理性的投资行为,此类行为偏差其实是人类长期进化的结果。 </br></br> 尽管如此,我们仍难以回答的问题是:进化到廿一世纪的现代人类,果真在进化过程中尝到甜头了吗?社会学家告诉我们「是的没错,我们站在前人的肩膀上」,但与此同时化学家们在努力地合成「代糖甜味剂」,以打消人类摄入甜食的最后顾虑。在新一波糖衣炮弹的冲击下,密码朋克们构想的理性世界可能会演化成与「廿一世纪理性的非理性金融体系」并无大异的光怪图景。

    1. Who would have thought crypto investors would be U.S. securities law experts by the end of 2018

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>《金瓶梅》第四十八回有曰:「常言:『兵来将挡,水来土掩』。事到其间,道在人为,少不的你我打点礼物,早差人上东京,央及老爷那里去」。人生如戏,每个人顾及的都是如何演好自己的戏份。好在如今已不是投机倒把等同犯罪的年代,嗅觉灵敏的市场玩家们逢场作戏也无可厚非,但是谁来「打点礼物」制造惊喜呢?2018年,玩家们反倒收获了不少惊恐。<br/><br/>专业的投资者和政客总是能在自己的地盘上长袖善舞,但是在这个野蛮生长的年代,恐怕他们也得多向口译员们学习快速熟悉陌生领域的技能——共情、抗压、不服输,或许称之为「人格特质」更加合适。

    1. Billions of dollars are “wasted” via proof of work, which results in a “loss of resources that’s spread out across every single cryptocurrency user, and ultimately through all the environmental externalities, every single person in society.” It‘s also pretty bad for the brand: “Like, it could mean the difference between anyone who really cares about the environment being your friend versus trying to stop you.”

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>被时代洪流裹挟着的个体,在多大程度上遭受非主流的社会边际现象之冲击?我们固然可以辩称,蝴蝶效应在社会学领域的渗透是毋庸置疑的,哥斯达黎加矿厂工人的罢工很可能促成伏尔加河沿岸青年的思想革命。但是真正的区块链世界不会惧怕这下自成蹊的「燎原之火」——「牵一发而动全身」不过是停留在次贷危机那个旧世界的脆弱秩序——在新世界里,每个独立个体都是主流之外的完整存在,他们自己即是主流。

    1. 被修复的并不是这些互联网巨头,而是区块链本身。那些承诺将世界从资本主义的枷锁中解放出来的加密货币创业公司,现在甚至无法保证其自己员工的收益。Facebook的方法是整合区块链的碎片并紧跟潮流,从而让股东更容易接受。

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>鲁迅先生曾说过这么一句话:「我家院子里有两棵树,一棵是枣树,另一棵也是枣树」。有趣的是,以「榨取」用户隐私商业价值起家的 Facebook,其创始人 Zuckerberg 为了避免狗仔队的骚扰,把自家房子周围的其他四所房子也给买了下来。现在,我们可以回答,what is beside the walled garden? It’s another walled garden.

    1. DX Exchange uses Nasdaq’s Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol to facilitate trades. Using this platform, DX Exchange allows users to swap tokenized stocks in major global companies, including Amazon, Baidu, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, and Tesla. All of these companies will be available for trading on the platform as easily as you would swap tokens on a conventional cryptocurrency exchange.

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>

      DX.Exchange 此举中,值得讨论的一点在于,「每一种数字代币都有一股普通股作为支撑,持有者将有权获得相同的现金股息,尽管这些公司本身并未参与其中」。 </br></br> 这让人联想到这些年来社交网络上有关「被代表」的讨论。时不时有声音呼吁民众对巨型官僚机构和商业公司保持警惕,但是当「代表」与「被代表」的两方角色互换,反转后的清奇画面又让人惊愕。这样一来,那些发声者又该如何回应?也许他们可以说,这不过是巨型商业公司的自导自演而已。

    1. The Bank of England’s survey asks participants to choose their preferred way to receive money as a Christmas gift, showing the options cash, bank transfer, gift voucher and digital currency. At press time, 8,230 people have responded and 70 percent of them have chosen digital currency.Cash is in second place, with 21 percent of respondents indicating it as a their “favorite way to get” money as a gift. Bank transfers and gift vouchers are currently the least popular forms, chosen by 7 percent and 2 percent of respondents respectively.

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>「礼物」是一种颇有人文主义关怀的存在,它让人直观感受到 “live in the moment” 的美好。不管是国外的 gift card 还是中国人喜欢发的红包,它们身上那种「即时触碰」的特质都能触发某种廉价而有质感的梦幻——就像过去几十年人类为各种平权运动摇旗呼喊时一样。<br/><br/>现如今,数字货币以暧昧的身份介入到这场并无虚荣可言的游戏中。有多少人是奔着它的匿名性而去?可能暗恋中的小青年和别有心思的贿赂者会为了不暴露身份而选用其作为礼物。但是不争的事实是,大部分人已不再贪图现世,转而把目光锁定在了未来的价值。

  3. Oct 2018
    1. We must be careful to distinguish between blockchain ledgers and proof-of-work, because they are separate things that just happen to have been combined to make Bitcoin. There are energy-efficient ways of managing blockchain ledgers, such as proof-of-stake algorithms. Some of these algorithms are already being implemented by rival cryptocurrency schemes

      . . .

      PoW is obscenely wasteful, consuming more electricity than all of Ireland to generate an endless stream of mathematical garbage.

  4. Jul 2018
  5. Nov 2017
    1. Bitcoin mining uses a lot of electricity -- currently as much as Ecuador.

      The cryptocurrency network Ethereum recently announced that it will try "proof of stake" rather than "proof of work".

  6. Jul 2017
    1. Chipmakers Nvidia, AMD Ride Cryptocurrency Wave — for Now

      Shares of Nvidia Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. have gained at least 14 percent since the beginning of June, spurred in part by about a 10-fold boom from April to June in a market, known as ethereum, for a currency that can be used to buy computing power over the internet.

  7. Jun 2016
    1. DAO, a venture capital fund based on Ethereum cryptocurrency, was hacked, and ether coins valued at about $55M were fraudulently transferred. This article gives some details of the hack.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/investment-fund-based-on-digital-currency-to-wind-down-after-alleged-hack-1466175033 The account with the stolen ether coins has been frozen, and they plan to undo the fraudulent transactions. But this itself is disturbing to some, as part of the idea behind cryptocurrency is lack of a central authority.

      The creators of DAO proclaimed that the code is the contract. So if no laws were broken in the course of the hack, one could argue that the transfer is legitimate under those terms. https://medium.com/@Swarm/daos-hacks-and-the-law-eb6a33808e3e

      Apparently there are new attacks already. https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/4ot3z8/dao_is_under_attack_again/

  8. May 2016
    1. Hence Linux, hence Wikipedia. Because these communities could grow and collaborate without geographic constraint, major work was done at significantly lower cost and often zero price.

      I would argue this was a mistake which we are now paying for structurally.

      If Linux was licensed such that derivative profitable use payed equity to the contributors to Linux, than many more people would share in the profits of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Rackspace, and so many more. If you take Google as an example, the company earns ~4.5M$ in profit per employee, of course 80% of their infrastructure is free software. Now imagine that each project on github was wired up using microtransaction systems and a system for assigning equity to those who contribute to the source code. Then as for-profit use of the application generates microtransactions that revenue is split by the current equity distribution to the equity holders.

      This distribution of revenue would allow for a hybrid between the open and distributed, also a more sovereign participation model of open source and the benefits of economic integration rather than simple exposure to economic exploitation.

    1. Recent posts by Adrian Hope Baille and Sina Motamedi have got me thinking again about the idea of the Federal Reserve (or any other central bank for that matter) adopting bitcoin technology. Here's an older post of mine on the idea, although this post will take a different tack.

      This post seems to have gotten the conversation started across some important sites about the idea of a federal backed cryptocurrency in the US.

  9. Feb 2016
  10. Jan 2016
    1. http://r3cev.com/s/Watermarked-tokens-and-pseudonymity-on-public-blockchains-Swanson.pdf

      Yet if a network is comprised of known and trusted entities with legal, off-chain obligations to fulfill, then you have a set of different security assumptions to build around. And in the case of financial institutions, a feature such as proof-of-work via mining, which is currently core to public blockchains is an unnecessary and even redundant.

      This paper explores several of the drawbacks and challenges of using public blockchains for securing off-chain titles and concludes that these types of networks are not fit-for-purpose for globally regulated financial institutions.

  11. Dec 2015
    1. Omidyar Network, established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, is funding a company called eCurrency Mint, eCM, for a technology that will allow central banks to issue digital currency called cryptocomplex cash. They have been working with 30 central banks, and two of them are about to announce deployment.

  12. Nov 2015
    1. 80 percent of those transactions are mere speculation, where bitcoin is traded as a commodity in search of a profit. That 20 percent figure is actually much higher than in previous years, but Coinbase hopes to push it higher still. This morning, in an effort to nudge bitcoin toward the mainstream, the company unveiled the country’s first bitcoin debit card. It’s called the Shift Card, and it lets you spend bitcoin at any merchant—both online and off—that accepts an ordinary VISA card.
    2. The more people who use bitcoin, the more useful it becomes—the closer we get to a place where we can send money across the Internet as easily as we send texts or emails.
    1. Blockchains can also implement business rules, such as transactions that take place only if two or more parties endorse them, or if another transaction has been completed first.
    2. Blockchains are also the latest example of the unexpected fruits of cryptography. Mathematical scrambling is used to boil down an original piece of information into a code, known as a hash. Any attempt to tamper with any part of the blockchain is apparent immediately—because the new hash will not match the old ones. In this way a science that keeps information secret (vital for encrypting messages and online shopping and banking) is, paradoxically, also a tool for open dealing.
    3. The blockchain is an even more potent technology. In essence it is a shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls. The participants in a blockchain system collectively keep the ledger up to date: it can be amended only according to strict rules and by general agreement. Bitcoin’s blockchain ledger prevents double-spending and keeps track of transactions continuously. It is what makes possible a currency without a central bank.
    4. But most unfair of all is that bitcoin’s shady image causes people to overlook the extraordinary potential of the “blockchain”, the technology that underpins it. This innovation carries a significance stretching far beyond cryptocurrency. The blockchain lets people who have no particular confidence in each other collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority. Simply put, it is a machine for creating trust.
  13. May 2015
    1. I’m intrigued by the notion that social networks could eventually replace our currency. If economic growth lives up to the hype, we’ll all live like the rich someday, so why not print our own money, too?

      I've often thought that my ideal currency would actually be a multitude of currencies, each person minting their own (or even multiple), but I don't see at all what this has to do especially with art.

      I think the point being made is that art has valued tied to the reputation of the artist. Mostly true, perhaps, but probably not unique to art. Credit scores seem not dissimilar except that individuals aren't lenders. Familiar social dynamics like "friendship" and "trust" might capture what we're talking about, though.

    2. we can build a cryptocurrency where each digital coin is unique and singular, just like the art hoarded in Basel and Singapore.

      Is there a crypto-currency that doesn't do this? Each coin is unique. I would think that's a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for preventing double spending.

  14. Nov 2014