The ramifications of blockchain technology?

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The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#1  Postby jamest » Dec 07, 2018 9:08 pm

I was pondering whether to purchase some cryptocurrency so have been doing some reading these last few days to try and educate myself. I'm left wondering how a 'currency' as volatile as it obviously is can have any utility, so cannot see it becoming the backbone of trade. That aside, during my reading I of course stumbled upon the concept of the blockchain* which facilitates such transactions... and much more. My current conclusion is that even if the future looks bleak for cryptocurrency, blockchain technology is here to stay and has the potential to radically change our lives.

For instance, I've just been reading some ordinary bloke's opinion about blockchain technology (am I allowed to C & P their post?), who essentially suggests that a blockchain community could ultimately (theoretically) be used as a cyber revolutionary means to making Catalonia a country: "secede from Spain where it matters most: information, finance and governance", he says.

Though this bloke may be smoking something, the point is that once blockchain technology evolves to the point where we can all use it, there may be some serious ramifications - social and otherwise - for civilisation as we presently know it. Opinions welcome.

* https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-b ... echnology/

... gives a reasonable overview for dummies to the technology, I think. Also includes the subsequent discussion with the aforementioned opinion.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#2  Postby felltoearth » Dec 07, 2018 9:38 pm

Blockchain started out as a well intentioned alternative to currency for web based trade. Unfortunately the good intentions have been overtaken by trading schemes and speculation.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#3  Postby jamest » Dec 07, 2018 9:51 pm

felltoearth wrote:Blockchain started out as a well intentioned alternative to currency for web based trade. Unfortunately the good intentions have been overtaken by trading schemes and speculation.

Just to make clear: blockchain and bitcoin/cryptocurrency are not the same thing, as I'm sure you know. Though not every reader here might.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#4  Postby jamest » Dec 08, 2018 3:09 am

I'm guessing that the lack of interest here is due to ignorance. However, rest assured that I wouldn't have made this post if I myself didn't find something significant within this technology.

In years to come they'll talk about trains; flight; cars; QM; rockets; computers; the internet. Then, blockchain. Please, give it some thought.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#5  Postby Hermit » Dec 08, 2018 4:48 am

I did give it some thought when I stumbled across an article on the topic around 2008. That was probably several years before you became aware of blockchains.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#6  Postby Thommo » Dec 08, 2018 5:37 am

jamest wrote:I'm guessing that the lack of interest here is due to ignorance. However, rest assured that I wouldn't have made this post if I myself didn't find something significant within this technology.

In years to come they'll talk about trains; flight; cars; QM; rockets; computers; the internet. Then, blockchain. Please, give it some thought.


Well, it could be that or it could be that people said what they had to say in some of the far more informative discussions that have taken place here over the last decade.

It takes a pretty extreme form of conceit to think that you finding interest in something a decade after the fact must mean it's revolutionary, and pasting a bunch of what is essentially advertising copy does little to reinforce the view that your opinion means terribly much.

There have been much more informative links provided by others as to the technical limitations of block chain. E.g. http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2622342

Exactly why some eejit thinks block chain has something to do with Catalonian independence is of much less interest. The problems there are with what the people think, what constitutes a democratic mandate, who the civil authorities like police respond to and so on. The reason they aren't independent has little to do with the technological capability to handle data or taxes. As it stands, with or without block chain, Catalonians who don't pay their Spanish taxes would find themselves up in court.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#7  Postby LucidFlight » Dec 08, 2018 5:42 am

A lot of people think that AI will be the next big thing after the Internet, but they haven't thought about the ramifications of blockchain.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#8  Postby laklak » Dec 08, 2018 5:45 am

Maybe they got quantum blockchains. Make those old blockchains look like IMS/DB.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#9  Postby LucidFlight » Dec 08, 2018 5:52 am

laklak wrote:Maybe they got quantum blockchains. Make those old blockchains look like IMS/DB.

We're going to need quantum-quantum computers to break the quantum blockchains.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#10  Postby Matt_B » Dec 08, 2018 9:29 am

My boss at work a few years back to have a look at blockchains as an alternative to the relational databases that we were using. I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that they couldn't do it, because they perform poorly with a high volume of transactions.

Also, even on more modest scales, the processing requirements are intensive. Cryptocurrency works because you can pay people to do it all for you with magic beans. If you've got to pay real money it adds up quickly. Mind you, enterprise relational databases aren't cheap either, and there may be cases where the balance tips.

I wouldn't say that it's without applications - and IBM, Accenture and Spotify make for some high profile users already - but for every one of them there are ten out and out chancers. My overall impression was that it's probably a niche area, for the time being at least.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#11  Postby jamest » Dec 08, 2018 2:23 pm

Thommo wrote:
jamest wrote:I'm guessing that the lack of interest here is due to ignorance. However, rest assured that I wouldn't have made this post if I myself didn't find something significant within this technology.

In years to come they'll talk about trains; flight; cars; QM; rockets; computers; the internet. Then, blockchain. Please, give it some thought.


Well, it could be that or it could be that people said what they had to say in some of the far more informative discussions that have taken place here over the last decade.

Well I couldn't find a single thread about blockchain and only one thread about cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin, which as stated is not blockchain.

There have been much more informative links provided by others as to the technical limitations of block chain. E.g. http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... l#p2622342

That's a link about bitcoin. :nono:

Exactly why some eejit thinks block chain has something to do with Catalonian independence is of much less interest. The problems there are with what the people think, what constitutes a democratic mandate, who the civil authorities like police respond to and so on. The reason they aren't independent has little to do with the technological capability to handle data or taxes. As it stands, with or without block chain, Catalonians who don't pay their Spanish taxes would find themselves up in court.

I'm not concerned here with Catalonia. I merely mentioned that post to emphasise the potential blockchain has to radically alter the status quo right across the globe.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#12  Postby jamest » Dec 08, 2018 2:24 pm

Hermit wrote:I did give it some thought when I stumbled across an article on the topic around 2008. That was probably several years before you became aware of blockchains.

By my own admission I've only just started reading about it all, but things have come a long way since 2008.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#13  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 08, 2018 2:48 pm

Really? More mugs around?
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#14  Postby felltoearth » Dec 08, 2018 3:12 pm

Matt_B wrote:My boss at work a few years back to have a look at blockchains as an alternative to the relational databases that we were using. I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that they couldn't do it, because they perform poorly with a high volume of transactions.

Also, even on more modest scales, the processing requirements are intensive. Cryptocurrency works because you can pay people to do it all for you with magic beans. If you've got to pay real money it adds up quickly. Mind you, enterprise relational databases aren't cheap either, and there may be cases where the balance tips.

I wouldn't say that it's without applications - and IBM, Accenture and Spotify make for some high profile users already - but for every one of them there are ten out and out chancers. My overall impression was that it's probably a niche area, for the time being at least.


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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#15  Postby Macdoc » Dec 08, 2018 6:18 pm

Jamest its been discussed on this forum extensively should you have used the search function :roll:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post2 ... n#p2622375

My associate/investor is in the bitcoin business not as a speculator.
There is lots of applications for blockchain that are emerging.

Settling of high speed financial transactions securely could save many millions of dollars and cost a lot of jobs so the technology is certainly viable but TBD.

Bitcoin mining just now cannot be profitable at certain levels and those heavily invested in farms in Iceland etc are hurting.

I would STRONGLY recommend you purchase a subscription to The Economist. It will GREATLY improve your awareness on a large number of topics.

There is no better reliable information value.

https://www.economist.com/

You just need to sign up to get 3 articles a week free.

You might appreciate this one
https://www.economist.com/open-future/2 ... l-collapse
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#16  Postby Thommo » Dec 08, 2018 9:56 pm

jamest wrote:Well I couldn't find a single thread about blockchain and only one thread about cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin, which as stated is not blockchain.


Actually, Bitcoin is block chain, it's just not the only use of it.

jamest wrote:That's a link about bitcoin. :nono:


Yes, it's a specific technical limitation on the primary application of block chain technology, that is directly caused by its use of block chain technology.

In a wider sense it points out the limits on block chain in terms of computing power and, perhaps more importantly, power consumption.

Unlike the link in the OP, it makes actual concrete claims about a concrete application, rather than vague quasi-prophetic promises about applications in potentia. It informs us about the caps on the potential scope of any block chain application and gives some guidance as to the potential costs of using block chain as a particular form of data security - although it is tamper proof the system is not impregnable and the power consumption means it will not be suitable for all applications to which it could be put.

Perhaps the block chain revolution will be comparable to the internet revolution. On the other hand perhaps it will be more like the MP4 file format revolution. There's a rather large difference between the two. Non-expert assurances about which, if any, it will be are worth precisely nothing.

jamest wrote:

Exactly why some eejit thinks block chain has something to do with Catalonian independence is of much less interest. The problems there are with what the people think, what constitutes a democratic mandate, who the civil authorities like police respond to and so on. The reason they aren't independent has little to do with the technological capability to handle data or taxes. As it stands, with or without block chain, Catalonians who don't pay their Spanish taxes would find themselves up in court.

I'm not concerned here with Catalonia. I merely mentioned that post to emphasise the potential blockchain has to radically alter the status quo right across the globe.


But as an example it fails to show that. It's some eejit in an internet comments section who is tacking two separate issues that have no place together together. He's suggesting that Catalonia should become the central hub for Bitcoin - a decentralised currency. Centralised decentralisation, right? And this will magically solve some unspecified problem.

We should not take such examples seriously. It's actually hard to do so, being as oxymoronic and lacking in information as they are.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#17  Postby jamest » Feb 16, 2019 12:00 am

jamest wrote:I was pondering whether to purchase some cryptocurrency so have been doing some reading these last few days to try and educate myself. I'm left wondering how a 'currency' as volatile as it obviously is can have any utility, so cannot see it becoming the backbone of trade. That aside, during my reading I of course stumbled upon the concept of the blockchain* which facilitates such transactions... and much more. My current conclusion is that even if the future looks bleak for cryptocurrency, blockchain technology is here to stay and has the potential to radically change our lives.

For instance, I've just been reading some ordinary bloke's opinion about blockchain technology (am I allowed to C & P their post?), who essentially suggests that a blockchain community could ultimately (theoretically) be used as a cyber revolutionary means to making Catalonia a country: "secede from Spain where it matters most: information, finance and governance", he says.

Though this bloke may be smoking something, the point is that once blockchain technology evolves to the point where we can all use it, there may be some serious ramifications - social and otherwise - for civilisation as we presently know it. Opinions welcome.

* https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-b ... echnology/

... gives a reasonable overview for dummies to the technology, I think. Also includes the subsequent discussion with the aforementioned opinion.

"The market doesn't care about your ideals/reasoning/principles", to paraphrase the meat of a video I watched earlier today. I'd definitely agree with that.

Two months further down the line of my research, I've recently purchased a significant amount of bitcoin. Not because I love it, or any such idealistic nonsense, but because I now genuinely see it as a good investment and store of value ('digital gold'). Full stop.

Crypto has had a bad press, but the devastating bear market which started over a year ago is now close to bottom with the potential for mega-returns within the next few years. Just a heads-up. Do your own research, of course.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#18  Postby Thommo » Feb 16, 2019 4:45 am

jamest wrote:Two months further down the line of my research, I've recently purchased a significant amount of bitcoin. Not because I love it, or any such idealistic nonsense, but because I now genuinely see it as a good investment and store of value ('digital gold'). Full stop.

Crypto has had a bad press, but the devastating bear market which started over a year ago is now close to bottom with the potential for mega-returns within the next few years. Just a heads-up. Do your own research, of course.


How much increase, and on what date are you forecasting?

50% higher price than today exactly two years from now?

Yahoo finance has bitcoin at about $3,615 right now, down from its peak of $19,783.06 a couple of years ago.
Image

Putting my cards on the table, I think bitcoin is a terrible investment with almost no underlying value. It's incredibly volatile and risky.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#19  Postby Hermit » Feb 16, 2019 7:29 am

Bitcoin traded below US$1000 for its first nine years. After a huge rise between May 2017 and February 2018 it did a few dead cat bounces, but still trades well above its initial levels.

Image

Like all the other cryptocurrencies, bitcoin is backed by absolutely nothing other than expectation. It is not kept afloat by any economy or product. With tulips there was at least one tangible item money was exchanged for, and they remained at the bottom since 1637.

If I had any intention of speculating with bitcoin at all I'd wait for a few more bounces until bitcoin settles down to trading around, say, the $350 mark before buying into it.
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Re: The ramifications of blockchain technology?

#20  Postby jamest » Feb 16, 2019 2:12 pm

Hermit wrote:Bitcoin traded below US$1000 for its first nine years. After a huge rise between May 2017 and February 2018 it did a few dead cat bounces, but still trades well above its initial levels.

Image


Have you compared the charts for the December 2017 high with those of the December 2013 high? Remarkably similar in progression.

There's two ways this could go:
1) All cryptocurrency becomes worthless, including bitcoin.
2) Some crypto survives and - being close to bottom - their prices skyrocket within the near future.


Like all the other cryptocurrencies, bitcoin is backed by absolutely nothing other than expectation. It is not kept afloat by any economy or product. With tulips there was at least one tangible item money was exchanged for, and they remained at the bottom since 1637.

There are reasons why I don't like it too, primarily the energy consumption required to mine the stuff. But there are compelling reasons to invest in it I think. Not least as a store of value - a hedge against fiat, similar to gold. There are only 21 million of them (less actually, given that many have been lost).

If I had any intention of speculating with bitcoin at all I'd wait for a few more bounces until bitcoin settles down to trading around, say, the $350 mark before buying into it.

Well it's currently trading at 10 times that value. Nobody knows for sure what the bottom will be, but if it reaches 350 that will probably indicate that option 1 above is the most likely outcome.
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