Wednesday 30 September 2015

Blockchain Design is Academic Work?

Blockchain design is academic work and shouldn't just be decided by banks, suggests Dr Gideon Greenspan, who is the founder of Coin Sciences and MultiChain.  Dr Greenspan believes that the fundamentals of blockchain design constitutes "academic work" and is probably not something that should just be decided by banks alone. 

He continues; "...rather, I think this is work that should be done by experienced computer scientists and system architects, wherever they might happen to be."

Monday 21 September 2015

Blockchain in an Investment Bank

What does blockchain technology mean for an investment bank?

"Blockchain is a disruptive technology platform that uses cryptography and a distributed messaging protocol to create a shared ledger between trading counterparties. The idea is to allow for a simple transfer of asset ownership or more complex transactions using “smart contracts" 

Blockchain technology was originally leveraged by cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin being the first and most successful) whose popularity gave
rise to the idea of Blockchains as a means of building consensus. To that end, there are many functions within capital markets and other industries which can be simplified and enhanced by the order and validation in a distributed ledger via Blockchains."

Sunday 13 September 2015

Distributed Ledgers

Distributed ledgers
The Blockchain is just one type of public, permissionless, proof-of-work, peer-to-peer distributed ledger. Distributed ledgers are probably the future of financial services. 
Consider this statement from the Bank of England (2014 Quarterly Bulletin Q3): “Although the monetary aspects of digital currencies have attracted considerable attention, the distributed ledger underlying their payment systems is a significant innovation. The potential impact of the distributed ledger may be much broader than on payment systems alone. The majority of financial assets — such as loans, bonds, stocks and derivatives — now exist only in electronic form, meaning that the financial system itself is already simply a set of digital records.”

Concepts of trust arise in many philosophical puzzles. Mutual distributed ledgers look like becoming the system of trust in shared economies. If mutual distributed ledgers displace trusted third parties, they will change the systems outside them, most notably today’s financial services.

Read the full article by Professor Michael Mainelli: Unblock the Shared Economy

Monday 7 September 2015

Blockchains Without Tokens

Is there any value in a Blockchain without a cryptocurrency (token)? 
And can these “tokenless shared ledgers” be called blockchains at all?

Dr Gideon Greenspan, of Coinspark - Coin Sciences Ltd, explains and debates the issue:

Saturday 5 September 2015

What are Colored Coins?

Colored Coins: 

Due to the nature of the Bitcoin blockchain, bitcoins are not inherently fungible: every single coin mined can be uniquely identified and its entire history tracked. The smallest identifiable, indivisible, unit is known as a “satoshi.” A single “bitcoin” is a collection of 100,000,000 satoshis; thus the price of a satoshi is very low: about $0.0000026 at current market rates.

This lack of fungibility, though potentially problematic, opens the door to the implementation of ledgers on top of the Bitcoin ledger. If several parties agree to attach meaning to a particular satoshi and to recognize its control as representative of the ownership of some other asset — potentially existing outside of the blockchain — then they can use the decentralized consensus offered by the Bitcoin blockchain to track ownership of the asset and permit secure transactions. The antecedent is crucial. The asset can only be tracked on the blockchain insofar as its physical custodians, or the relevant authorities, agree to recognize the legitimacy of the colored coin. The mere technological ability to track an asset, from common stocks to parcels of land, does not magically translate into the ability to form an authoritative record of ownership. All too often is that obvious fact sacrificed upon the altar of hype.

Assuming such an agreement is in place, these tiny, identifiable, pieces of bitcoin can be used to represent and track assets. Such a coin is known as a “colored coin.” In addition to the ownership tracking abilities inherited from the Bitcoin blockchain, small amounts of data can be embedded in the blockchain, allowing for potentially more complex mechanisms.

Read the full article by ArthurB:

"Making Sense of Colored Coins"