Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain

quote [ Everyone says the blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is going to change EVERYTHING. And yet, after years of tireless effort and billions of dollars invested, nobody has actually come up with a use for the blockchain—besides currency speculation and illegal transactions. ]

To be fair, the blockchain has become an excellent demonstration for how and why the value of a "currency" is dependent on the healthy and stable infrastructure of that currency's "society." Sadly, that lesson seems to be completely lost on the people who are typically gungho about the blockchain.
[SFW] [science & technology] [+4 Underrated]
[by raphael_the_turtle@11:48pmGMT]


Ankylosaur said @ 1:59am GMT on 4th Jan [Score:5 Funny]
My raw water company, Mother Earth's Golden Shower LLC, will henceforth be renamed Blockchain Systems LLC, trading under the ticker symbol BS. We will leverage innovative blockchain solutions to disrupt the raw water sector as a first step to bringing about the Singularity, where all my bros will be free to cuddle puddle with sexy robot avatars containing copies of the uploaded brain of Stacy from marketing. Please deposit your venture capital directly into my Cypriot bank account (no crypto currencies accepted.)
raphael_the_turtle said[2] @ 12:01am GMT on 4th Jan [Score:1 Informative]
steele it's been 13 20 30 minutes and I still have the edit button available. I'm going to stop watching for it now.
raphael_the_turtle said @ 1:11am GMT on 4th Jan
It's been over an hour and 20 minutes.
raphael_the_turtle said @ 2:50am GMT on 4th Jan [Score:2]
Gone after two hours.
satanspenis666 said @ 12:30am GMT on 4th Jan [Score:1 Sad]
Ankylosaur said @ 1:27am GMT on 4th Jan
satanspenis666 said @ 1:37am GMT on 4th Jan
Kama-Kiri said[1] @ 2:33am GMT on 4th Jan [Score:1 Underrated]
"It turns out that for the person paying for a product, the key feature of a new payment system — think of PayPal in its early days — is the confidence that if the goods aren’t as described you’ll get your money back. "

This is false. I have had a Paypal account since a couple of months after it started in 1998. It was initially popular because was it was free (as in beer) to send and receive money for (primarily ebay) purchases, in a world where sending postal money orders, writing checks, and going to the bank to transfer money were still common activities. At the time Paypal offered no dispute resolution services, and was not linked to ebay (which was itself new). Paypal fees were added quickly afterwards, ebay integration next, and the various levels of buyer protection much, much later.

raphael_the_turtle said @ 1:41pm GMT on 4th Jan
ebay acquired paypal just after its IPO in 2002, what's your cutoff for early days?
Kama-Kiri said @ 2:15pm GMT on 4th Jan
Point taken. It was all a long time ago now. The big change though was when ebay stepped in and forced sellers to be liable for customer satisfaction by issuing Paypal refunds even without the seller consent. That was, when ... 2007 or so?
raphael_the_turtle said @ 4:52pm GMT on 4th Jan [Score:1 Interesting]
Don't even remember, not a fan of paypal, but that would still be about ten years ago. 5 years after mainstream adoption. You have to figure back in those early early days us old people were the same sort of people who were first messing around with bitcoin, the technical literates that set the groundwork. I think the author's point is we're just not seeing bitcoin or the blockchain being adopted for mainstream currency use outside of that group because it doesn't offer the protections and perks that banks and paypal do. If you want to supplant a system you either have to completely destroy the old one or offer something better. The blockchain is offering neither for those of us in the first world.
Kama-Kiri said @ 10:39pm GMT on 4th Jan
Technically though, as a new payment system, Paypal's key feature and the reason it became widely adopted was low cost, speed, and ease of use - only after it became quite massive did more "bank like" or "credit card like" features of institutional services like buyer protection get rolled out.

I know nothing about the blockchain above what I've read in the news. It seems to me crypto-currencies are still in their volatile infancy and could yet go either way: settle into mainstream, regulated, and guaranteed usage, or fade back into the, um, ether. The author's overall point seems valid though: Unlike Paypal, Bitcoin does not address an obvious consumer need. Outside of an ideological attraction, speculative frenzy, and the obvious criminal advantages, I can't see any pressing reason to use it over existing services. Still, I think we are closer to the beginning of it all than the end and wouldn't bet large sums on it either way.
Mythtyn said[1] @ 12:44am GMT on 4th Jan
Look into stellar. Its being implemented in a few real world cases.
raphael_the_turtle said @ 1:10am GMT on 4th Jan
Would stellar fall under the realm of currency speculation and illegal transactions?
Mythtyn said @ 11:06am GMT on 4th Jan [Score:1 Funny]
According to the US irs, crypto is a property not a currency.
raphael_the_turtle said @ 1:30pm GMT on 4th Jan
Sorry, crypto-what now?
zenviper said[1] @ 11:13am GMT on 4th Jan
Yes and no. There is speculation on Stellar as an asset, however, it is also being used as a system for cross-border financial transactions.

There are a lot of financial business processes that stand to be improved by block-chain. For another example, tZERO is worth checking out.

It is still very early days for blockchain. If used for currency and transactions (highly speculative) it actually stands to eliminate the shadiness that we have come to expect from central bankers and financial institutions by introducing transparency and an operating framework that doesn't allow tampering with the numbers.
raphael_the_turtle said @ 1:37pm GMT on 4th Jan
It is early. I'm not even against crypto-currencies, but sometimes the hype train needs to be put in check if you ever want to see real progress. The author makes some excellent points that most blockchain aficionados don't really have decent answers for besides dropping yet another crypto-currency. Ankylosaur seems to have hit on the most mainstream use of a blockchain which is to completely ignore what a blockchain is and use the term as a marketing gimmick.
LurkerAtTheGate said[1] @ 3:57am GMT on 4th Jan
Blockchain voting system. Idea I want to fiddle with in my spare time if I ever get any. Probably would never be used precisely because it would be more secure than what we've got, but wheee side project. Ok so the article kind of addresses it - an election with lots of attention should be fairly easy to ensure a lack of foul play...except that we still get an awful lot of recounts. Plus there are a lot of voting system outside the political arena - ex: stockholder votes. There are some companies that still do that shit by phone and paper, amazingly. Seed a new chain, voters with verified identity get a key, cast a vote, results tallied and verified against other ledgers, vote is recorded and chain is dropped.

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