Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network.

The original Bitcoin software by Satoshi Nakamoto was released under the MIT license. Most client software, derived or “from scratch”, also use open source licensing.

Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

The cryptocurrency was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

The currency began use in 2009 when its implementation was released as open-source software.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services, but the real-world value of the coins is extremely volatile.

Bitcoin is the first successful implementation of a distributed crypto-currency, described in part in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. Building upon the notion that money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.

Bitcoins have all the desirable properties of a money-like good. They are portable, durable, divisible, recognizable, fungible, scarce and difficult to counterfeit.

Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, the large amount of electricity (and thus carbon footprint) used by mining, 
price volatility, and thefts from exchanges.

Some economists and commentators have characterized it as a speculative bubble at various times.

Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.

Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimated that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.

Why?

Bitcoin is P2P electronic cash that is valuable over legacy systems because of the monetary autonomy it brings to its users.

Bitcoin seeks to address the root problem with conventional currency: all the trust that’s required to make it work — Not that justified trust is a bad thing, but trust makes systems brittle, opaque, and costly to operate.

Trust failures result in systemic collapses, trust curation creates inequality and monopoly lock-in, and naturally arising trust choke-points can be abused to deny access to due process.

Through the use of cryptographic proof, decentralized networks and open source software Bitcoin minimizes and replaces these trust costs.

Bitcoin Transactions are:

  • Permissionless and borderless. The software can be installed by anybody worldwide.
  • Anonymous. Bitcoin does not require any ID to use making it suitable for the unbanked, the privacy-conscious, computers or people in areas with underdeveloped financial infrastructure.
  • Private. When used with care bitcoin can support strong financial privacy.
  • Censorship-resistant. Nobody is able to block or freeze a transaction of any amount.
  • Fast. Transactions can be made almost as fast as data can travel over the Internet.
  • Cheap. Fees can be very very low.Irreversible once settled, like cash. (but consumer protection is still possible.)
  • Online and available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Bitcoin can also be a store of value, some have said it is a “swiss bank account in your pocket”.

Stored Bitcoins:

  • Cannot be printed or debased. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever exist.
  • Have no storage costs. They take up no physical space regardless of amount.
  • Are easy to protect and hide. Can be stored on a phone, computer, encrypted on a paper backup or memorized in your head.
  • No counterparty risk. If you keep the private key of a bitcoin secret and the transaction has enough confirmations, then nobody can take them from you no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter what.
  • Can be under divided possession with Multisignature. For example with a 2-of-3 multisig scheme there would be three private keys, of which any two is enough to spend the money. Those three keys can be spread anywhere, perhaps in multiple locations or known by multiple people. No other asset does this, for example you cannot hold gold coins under multisig.

What is Bitcoin?

A. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency. Peer-to-peer means that no central authority issues new money or tracks transactions. These tasks are managed collectively by the network.

How does Bitcoin work?

A. Bitcoin uses public-key cryptography, peer-to-peer networking, and proof-of-work to process and verify payments. Bitcoins are sent (or signed over) from one address to another with each user potentially having many, many addresses. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network and included in the blockchain so that the included bitcoins cannot be spent twice. After an hour or two, each transaction is locked in time by the massive amount of processing power that continues to extend the blockchain. Using these techniques, Bitcoin provides a fast and extremely reliable payment network that anyone can use.

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The War for a Free Internet

The War for a Free Internet

David Vorick

Feb 14

” I came of age on the Internet. By the age of 13, I had more friends whose faces I would never see than I had peers in the classroom. Most of them won’t realize today who I am even if they are reading this now. Most of them didn’t realize I was decades their junior.

When my father was growing up, his freedom was his bicycle. It gave him access to friends, to a job, freedom from his parents, and ultimately space to carve out a personality that he could call his own. He wanted nothing more than to pass these gifts along to me, and it was often to his dismay and frustration that I never found the same joy in my bike that he had found in his.

I was too young to realize it at the time, but I had received the same gifts as my father.

Where my father’s freedom was his bicycle, my freedom was my keyboard.

A denizen of dozens of forums and hundreds of websites, countless hours each weekend contributed elements to my personality that raised me to be someone beyond anything I could have become in my hometown alone.

As middle school became high school, my online hours began to exceed my offline hours. By my sophomore year of college I was spending more than 80 hours per week on the Internet.

The Internet has become the keystone of modern society, a fact that has not been overlooked by our corporate giants.

As the 2010’s progressed, the Internet became a massive land grab. A hundred thousand independently operated forums became one front page of the Internet.

Personal cards, handwritten letters, and cozy phonecalls turned into a single wall that wished you “Happy Birthday” 1,000 times on what was often not even the right day.

What used to be an endless exploration of hand curated forums and webpages turned into a bottomless pit of AI generated filth carefully crafted by teams of PhDs with the sole intention of getting you to stare at your phone for just a little bit longer.

The modern Internet has been absolutely steamrolled by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

As these platforms have festered, they’ve made it clear that we’re here to play by their rules.

They decide which of our friends we get updates from.

They decide how large a nose ring can be before a content creator gets demonetized and loses their livelihood.

An uncomfortable percentage of our time is spent under the tyranny of whatever logic was implemented in the pursuit of higher profits next quarter.

Somewhere underneath it all, real people are living every day, taking what breaths they can between the inescapable deluge of content spawning from a clinical addiction to their devices.

The next wave of teenagers are coming of age in this environment and they are suffocating. Suicide rates are up almost 50% since 2007 for people under the age of 24.

The modern Internet is making us miserable.

Our overlords have captured our souls by bringing us gifts of amazing technology and bundling with those gifts chains and cages that capture our minds and manipulate us to maximize their bottom line.

The time has come to stand up for ourselves, for our health, and for the next generation.

The time has come to start the War for a Free Internet. “

WRITTEN BY

David Vorick

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