Cornucopia is a biweekly podcast that covers research stories unfolding across campus. Join hosts Addison Huneycutt ’18 and Ali Jenkins ’18 as they dig into the juiciest discoveries they can find. In each episode, you’ll meet a researcher, chat with Addison and Ali and hear some corny jokes. Check out the science section of The Cornell Daily Sun for biweekly updates about the latest episodes. Queries relating to Cornucopia may be sent to email@example.com.
Addison and Ali sat down with Prof. Emin Gün Sirer, computer science, to discuss crytocurrency. Specifically, they talked about Bitcoin, which Sirer described as “a collaboratively designed currency system.” The three discussed the stigma that Bitcoin carries, acknowledging that many people do not understand the Bitcoin system and do not completely trust it.
In order to explain how Bitcoin works, Sirer simplified the process and employed several analogies. He primarily used Sudoku puzzles to describe the underlying structure of Bitcoin. Sirer stated that “miners” — the individuals behind Bitcoin’s codes — use computer programs to solve complex puzzles, which are somewhat like Sudoku puzzles.
The puzzles contain all the financial transactions within the Bitcoin system and lock the financial history into place. He explained that