Happy Halloween! Let’s talk about the scariest thing in the tech world today. No, no, not bubbles, drones, or unicorns: Bitcoin. Seriously. (Mostly.) Whether you think it’s a boondoggle scam, a libertarian Trojan horse that threatens governments, the scourge of Wall Street, or the thin edge of the post-capitalist wedge, you face two scary prospects: what if you’re right? And what if you’re wrong?
I’m a long-term Bitcoin believer, in case it isn’t clear, esconced in the (counterintuitive, possibly hopelessly optimistic) “thin edge of the post-capitalist wedge” camp. And while you probably weren’t watching, interesting things have been happening in the Bitcoin world of late. Angry conflicts that could break the Bitcoin blockchain! Fascinating launches and proofs-of-concept! And, most entertaining of all, the ongoing teetering crawl towards mainstream acceptance! Be still your beating hearts.
Let’s start with the angry conflict; everybody loves angry conflict.
I Got The Blocksize Blues
Bitcoin 101: bitcoin transactions are stored on a globally distributed blockchain, which is, surprise, a chain of “blocks” of cryptographically verified Bitcoin transactions, each linking to the previous block in the chain. Lo these many years ago, Bitcoin’s implausibly mysterious1 creator Satoshi Nakamoto