Bitcoin Barbados connection

bitcoin_barbadosThe massive half-billion dollar theft of Bitcoins from Mt. Gox took a new twist today as allegations surfaced that Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles lied about the alleged theft.

For me, I’ll put my little wealth in gold, silver, artificially low Chinese currency, land and tools. If everything else fails, tools can keep you fed and happy.

There’s nothing like a new 90 degree drill and a few good clecos to make me happy.

Bitcoin? Ya takes ya chances…

The recent success of Bitcoin, a decentralized cryptographic currency, has raised new research questions on the opportunities and risks of virtual currencies. A handful of research papers have appeared in multiple disciplines, spanning a range of outlets, including top security conferences, legal journals, and reports of international financial organizations. This workshop aims to bring together interested scholars who study virtual currencies, Bitcoin in particular, and their supporting ecosystems from a technical or socio-economic perspective.”

… from the website of International Financial Cryptography and Data Security AssociationThey sure got that one wrong!

While Media Chased Nakamoto, Crypto-Geeks in Barbados Marveled at his Creation

While the hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto morphed into a media circus last week, a community of cryptocurrency experts from which the bitcoin founder likely sprang was tucked away in sunny Barbados discussing the present and future of his remarkable invention. 

It was the 18th annual conference of the International Financial Cryptography Association, but it was the first one to occur while a real-life cryptocurrency – the idea they’d championed for decades – was actually showing traction in wider society. Compared to its relatively low profile at the time of last year’s IFCA conference, bitcoin is now used by tens of thousands of merchants and millions of consumers, has a market capitalization of almost $8 billion, and has the entire world watching it – for better or worse.

Marking this coming-of-age moment, the Bitcoin Foundation signed on as a conference sponsor and hosted a packed workshop Thursday to discuss research developments for bitcoin.

It was “a watershed event,” said Emir Gun Sirer, a professor at Cornell University. “We have this community of academics who have been thinking about these problems since the 1980s and suddenly here’s this actual currency that people are using. It’s exciting.”

Mr. Sirer was there to present a paper that he and his Cornell colleague Ittay Eyal produced last November, which gained notoriety among the bitcoin community for showing how it was possible for bitcoin miners to collude and engage in “selfish mining.” Mr Sirer was there to present proposals to prevent such a development – which would destroy faith in the bitcoin network and central transactions ledger – and to discuss other challenges that he believes need addressing before bitcoin is ready for the big league.

The “topic of the day” at the workshop, he said, was “transaction malleability.”

… continue reading this article at the Wall Street Journal

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Technology

6 responses to “Bitcoin Barbados connection

  1. The Watcher

    It is very interesting that no one has bothered to even submit as little as one response regarding this post. It is possible, and very likely, that this post has gone stratospheric in relation to the average reader. However, whether that is so or not, I will venture to say this much, or little about the implications of Bitcoin on Barbados.
    Bitcoin, a Cryptocurrency, which is really a virtual form of money which is uber-secure or to simplify it to old time Bajan terms, “mock money dat real safe”. Hence, Bitcoin is a new implementation on an old concept. That age old, and well established concept, is the concept of bartering. What is great about Bitcoin, is that it unshackles us, the general population, from the bonds of the banks and banking system which is sometimes seen as being un-necessarily oppressive.
    So, imagine for a minute, the recently wedded young couple who wishes to build a home for themselves. Instead of going to the bank and securing a mortgage, they start by bartering with the suppliers of good and services they have identified as being pivotal to their project. Lats assume that this young couple comprises of an attorney and the other an engineer. They barter with their chosen suppliers by starting to exchange blocks of their time and expertise for wood, steel , cement and other building materials. The net result of this agreement is that the recipient received needed services, while the providers receive the needed goods to build. No money of any form is passed here, but value has been exchanged.
    While this is over-simplified, and purposely so, you can start to grasp the concept of not requiring the bank to provide you the resources needed to build that house wholly and solely.
    So, where does Bitcoin provide similarities? Well, Bitcoin allows the holders of those “coins” to exchange them with participating merchants and service providers for their products and services. There is no Bank involved, hence no interest added. The net impact is that more value can be realized for projects as there is no central piper to pay.
    This concept scares the banks to their core. If these CryptoCurrenciies start to take root, it could signal the weakening of the banking system as we know it in less than 10 years. It also means that people can start to, or gain the additional potential to, control and chart their own financial destiny without the apparently repressive oversight of global financial organizations. It also means that exchanges for goods and services can happen faster as there is no central “clearing house” needed to route the payments to their destinations. Hence goods and services can become accessible to many more as their apparent value is no longer out of reach of the masses, Taken into perspective CryptoCurrencies can do for financial transactions, what Social Media has done for communications. The decentralization of these concepts means that we all, to a greater degree are responsible for their success or demise as opposed to some central authority answerable only to itself. And because of the inherent safety controls built into their composition, these Cryptocurrencies are harder to steal, manipulate unscrupulously, and manipulate.
    In Barbados’ case, we should be looking at getting in on the CryptoCurrency management and storage business while this technology is still in its infancy. The establishment of “Exchanges” where these entities are bought and sold, as well as generated could signal the possible rise of the country to a status of other nations who have significantly more resources than we do. The financial “playing field” has the potential to be leveled to the point where with well placed and prudent investment could yield extravagant results.
    This type of development scares countries and systems whose strengths are rooted in excessive controls and secrecy of those systems, because it means that anyone now potential has the ability to rise above the systems put in place to keep them in check. The possible demise of Bitcoin as it is being projected by recent events surrounding its existence will only give rise to more, stronger and better versions of the virtual currencies. This means that these CryptoCurrencies are here to stay and its in our interest, to move towards an understanding of their value to our economy and their ability to future-proof our financial destiny.
    We have the human capital, and the technology at our disposal to invest in this market. The question is, “Do we have the collective will, and “one-ness” of vision and purpose to achieve it”
    Time, and only time will tell how we focus our vision to either achieve greatness, or continue to accept and embrace mediocrity.

  2. Real Money Lover

    @The Watcher

    Put all your own money into it and tell us how it tuns out. Poppet!

  3. robert ross

    “No-one will come…” Sorry, what did you say?

    Watcher……Real Money Lover calls you a poppet but offers nothing – an empty poppet pocket. Do you think your talents are being wasted?

  4. old_CT

    Barbados has very little….virtual or otherwise….and it seems someone is out to grab what’s left.
    Keep your dollars under the pillow and leave the bits of this and that to the academics.

  5. Green Monkey

    Positive Money is a not-for-profit research and campaign group. They work to raise awareness of the connections between our current monetary and banking system and the serious social, economic and ecological problems that face the UK and the world today. In particular they focus on the role of banks in creating the nation’s money supply through the accounting process they use when they make loans – an aspect of banking which is poorly understood. Positive Money believe these fundamental flaws are at the root of – or a major contributor to – problems of poverty, excessive debt, growing inequality and environmental degradation.

  6. Just Commenting

    @Real Money Lover.
    Thanks for the compliment. Didn’t ask anyone to put money into anything. Read again carefully is you may. Said Barbados should look towards providing the infrastructure mechanisms on which this system operates in order to make ” money” out of it. Never said they should invest in it directly. We will think its the greatest thing to grace the planet earth only when the Americans, Canadians and even St.Lucians have realized its value, and then we will want to make out like we are doing the smartest thing by getting invested into it. But by then, the value to us would have diminished significantly.
    Oh whatever!
    We just realized that our Tourism governance system is flawed, so we’re now about to break it up to appear and resemble more of a corporate entity than what it originally was. To little too late. St Lucia and Dominica have already beaten us soundly. But whatever!
    In my parting comments to you, I will emphatically state that all are entitled to their views. If you expand your view on why I should put money into it then to tell you how it turns out, maybe we could have a conversation or debate. Its hard to extrapolate from your one line comment what your true feeling about it(BitCoin) and Barbados’ position in it is.
    Thanks again.

    @ Robert Ross.
    People are entitled to their view(s) and beliefs. Cant beat them up for that as much as you agree or disagree. I think talents are wasted in Barbados generally when they don’t carry the characteristic of being old, antiquated, failing ideas disguised as new concepts of stripped down and re-dressed ideas posing eloquently as novel ideas. We, as a society, are very risk averse and pro establishment. So nothing that makes the social and class structure rumble or shake is going to be accepted without an avalanche of failure to change that way of thinking. An avalanche which we are quickly heading towards.
    So when the lone voices in the wilderness disappear, and the lost start to cry for direction and leadership it will be to their detriment as the wolves localize their cries and salivate at the thought of their next meal.
    What can I say.
    It is what it is. And we don’t want to change what it is.