cross pond high tech
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Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus

Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

I have decided to offload "Cross Pond High Tech" that may have been perceived recently as being crowded with too many Bitcoin / Blockchain curated links, and have created a new topic dedicated to Decentralized Consensus. It will be both in French and English and is at present managed by several curators including @CHECy and others.

The goal is to build it as a reference repository for e-Litterature on this fast morphing and still highly speculative topic.

-- Fork de Cross Pond High Tech dédié à Blockchain, Ethereum, aux Smart Contracts et au Consensus Décentralisé en général

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

You are welcome to susbcribe to this fork of "Cross Pond High Tech" focusing on Decentralized Consensus ; don't hesitate to submit enlightning and quality content. Thank you for your interest and future contributions !

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The Trust Machine : The Technology Behind Bitcoin Could Transform How The Economy Works by @theeconomist

The Trust Machine : The Technology Behind Bitcoin Could Transform How The Economy Works by @theeconomist | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

BITCOIN has a bad reputation. The decentralised digital cryptocurrency, powered by a vast computer network, is notorious for the wild fluctuations in its value, the zeal of its supporters and its degenerate uses, such as extortion, buying drugs and hiring hitmen in the online bazaars of the “dark net”. This is unfair. The value of a bitcoin has been pretty stable, at around $250, for most of this year. Among regulators and financial institutions, scepticism has given way to enthusiasm (the European Union recently recognised it as a currency). But most unfair of all is that bitcoin’s shady image causes people to overlook the extraordinary potential of the “blockchain”, the technology that underpins it. This innovation carries a significance stretching far beyond cryptocurrency. The blockchain lets people who have no particular confidence in each other collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority. Simply put, it is a machine for creating trust.
To understand the power of blockchain systems, and the things they can do, it is important to distinguish between three things that are commonly muddled up, namely the bitcoin currency, the specific blockchain that underpins it and the idea of blockchains in general. A helpful analogy is with Napster, the pioneering but illegal “peer-to-peer” file-sharing service that went on line in 1999, providing free access to millions of music tracks. Napster itself was swiftly shut down, but it inspired a host of other peer-to-peer services. Many of these were also used for pirating music and films. Yet despite its dubious origins, peer-to-peer technology found legitimate uses, powering internet startups such as Skype (for telephony) and Spotify (for music streaming)—and also, as it happens, bitcoin.

The blockchain is an even more potent technology. In essence it is a shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls. The participants in a blockchain system collectively keep the ledger up to date: it can be amended only according to strict rules and by general agreement. Bitcoin’s blockchain ledger prevents double-spending and keeps track of transactions continuously. It is what makes possible a currency without a central bank.

 

Blockchains are also the latest example of the unexpected fruits of cryptography. Mathematical scrambling is used to boil down an original piece of information into a code, known as a hash. Any attempt to tamper with any part of the blockchain is apparent immediately—because the new hash will not match the old ones. In this way a science that keeps information secret (vital for encrypting messages and online shopping and banking) is, paradoxically, also a tool for open dealing. Bitcoin itself may never be more than a curiosity. However blockchains have a host of other uses because they meet the need for a trustworthy record, something vital for transactions of every sort. Dozens of startups now hope to capitalise on the blockchain technology, either by doing clever things with the bitcoin blockchain or by creating new blockchains of their own (see article).

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

There has been a frenzy of articles on Bitcoin/Blockchain recently and The Economist closes the week with a very clear "paper" on this (again) hot-trending topic.

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Cédric Ollagnier's curator insight, November 1, 2015 11:31 AM

Bitcoin: huge buzz or real disruptive technology? You will have good answers reading this good article from "The Economist"

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The Blockchain Might Be The Next Disruptive Technology

The Blockchain Might Be The Next Disruptive Technology | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

To process a transaction, you need first to make sure the sender owns the asset he wants to transfer, and make sure he will not trade it twice.


In the blockchain, information is stored in blocks that record all transactions ever done through the network. Hence, it allows validating both the existence of assets to be traded and ownership.


To avoid double spending, the technology requests several nodes to agree on a transaction to process it. A validation is also artificially difficult to achieve: miners leverage computer power to solve complex cryptographic problems (the proof-of-work). Every time a problem is cracked, a block is added to the chain, and all the transactions it includes are thus validated. The updated chain, including the new block, is shared with other nodes and becomes the new reference; this process leverages cryptography to prevent duplicate transactions.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Very clear summary of Blockchain's principles, potential and pitfalls as seen by a financial institution's strategic venture arm. Must read if you are allergic to tech.

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, October 4, 2015 6:33 PM

Very clear summary of Blockchain's principles, potential and pitfalls as seen by a financial institution's strategic venture arm. Must read if you are allergic to tech.

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The Value of Blockchain Technology according to an Ethereum founder

The Value of Blockchain Technology according to an Ethereum founder | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

One of the questions that has perhaps been central to my own research in blockchain technology is: ultimately, what is it even useful for? Why do we need blockchains for anything, what kinds of services should be run on blockchain-like architectures, and why specifically should services be run on blockchains instead of just living on …

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Brilliant essay by Vitalik Buterin, one of Ethereum founding members, about what Blockchain is / is not (for).

And his very interesting and generic definition of what a blockchain is:

A blockchain is a magic computer that anyone can upload programs to and leave the programs to self-execute, where the current and all previous states of every program are always publicly visible, and which carries a very strong cryptoeconomically secured guarantee that programs running on the chain will continue to execute in exactly the way that the blockchain protocol specifies.

Notice that this definition does NOT:

- Use financially-charged terms like “ledger”, “money” or “transactions”, or indeed any terms geared toward a particular use case

- Mention any particular consensus algorithm, or indeed mention anything about the technical properties of how a blockchain works (except for the fact that it’s “cryptoeconomic”, a technical term roughly meaning “it’s decentralized, it uses public key cryptography for authentication, and it uses economic incentives to ensure that it keeps going and doesn’t go back in time or incur any other glitch”)

- Make a restriction to any particular type of state transition function

 

I do strongly recommend to anybody interested or curious in this field to take the time to (re)read this post in extenso...

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Blockstream Raises $55 Million to Build Out Bitcoin’s Blockchain

Blockstream Raises $55 Million to Build Out Bitcoin’s Blockchain | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Blockstream has raised $55m in Series A funding to continue its work expanding the bitcoin code base for commercial use.

With the news, Blockstream's total funding rises to $76m over two investment rounds. To date, the company's signature technology has been its sidechains offering, currently in testing, which enables the creation of blockchains that can validate data from, and transfer assets to, other blockchains.

Blockstream’s round was led by venture capital firms AXA Strategic Ventures, the venture capital arm of French multinational insurance firm AXA Group; Digital Garage, the Tokyo-based online payments firm co-founded by Joi Ito; and Hong Kong venture capital firm Horizons Ventures.

AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital and Future\Perfect Ventures were among other investment firms that participated in the deal.

Given the recent interest in private and permissioned blockchains, Blockstream sought to underscore the versatility of its technology as well as its early efforts to bring added functionality to the bitcoin network through interoperable blockchains.

Blockstream CEO Austin Hill told CoinDesk:

"We were one of the first companies that painted a vision for interoperable blockchains, that there wasn’t going to be one blockchain, but many of them, all building off the bitcoin codebase to deliver the technology."

Still, Hill said the company remains dedicated to developing technology for the open-source bitcoin blockchain, which it called the "most mature, well-tested and secure" infrastructure for blockchain services.

"What we would hate to see happen is the most robust and secure blockchain protocol getting left by the wayside if people moved on to different protocols and tech stacks that bitcoin isn’t designed for," Hill continued, adding:

"We believe there is a benefit to society to have all these blockchains be interoperable."
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting as :

1/ Money continues to flow towards decentralized consensus companies (disclosure : AXA is one of CDC Blockchain Initiative member)

2/ Corporates intensify their presence in either projects or investments

3/ The debate between the Bitcoin Blockchain and other Blockchains is far for being closed despite what consultants or half journalist try to explain

So in-between, let's experiment further ! And together.

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, February 16, 2:05 PM

Interesting as :

1/ Money continues to flow towards decentralized consensus companies (disclosure : AXA is one of CDC Blockchain Initiative member)

2/ Corporates intensify their presence in either projects or investments

3/ The debate between the Bitcoin Blockchain and other Blockchains is far for being closed despite what consultants or half journalist try to explain

So in-between, let's experiment further ! And together.

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From Competition to Cooperation by Primavera De Filippi @ TEDxCambridge

The animal kingdom contains numerous examples of individuals cooperating with one another to achieve impressive outcomes without the need for planning, control, or even direct communication between agents – examples are bees, ants, and schools of fish. Humans, however, have only been able to achieve goals cooperatively through the imposition of organizational hierarchies, centralized coordination, and rules.

 

Blockchain technologies offer a new approach, allowing us to achieve large-scale and systematic cooperation in an entirely distributed and decentralized manner. The application of this technology, however, has mostly focused on transaction-driven financial models like Bitcoin, but the Blockchain’s ability to transact and cooperate on a peer-to-peer basis, without relying on any centralized authority or middlemen, has many other applications. The Blockchain offers a new governance model with implications well beyond financial markets.

Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. She is currently a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where she’s investigating the concept of governance-by-design as it relates to distributed online architectures. Most of her research focuses on the legal challenges raised, and faced by emergent decentralized technologies – such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain-based applications – and how these technologies could be used to design new governance models capable of supporting large-scale decentralized collaboration and more participatory decision-making.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Must see enjoyable and remarkable TEDx talk with a nice approach to the blockchain topic.

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Qui gère le bitcoin ?

Qui gère le bitcoin ? | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Une question revient souvent dans les débats sur le bitcoin : « quelle est l’autorité centrale qui le gère ? » La réponse, connue même si elle n’est pas toujours bien comprise, est : « il n’y en a pas, c’est un réseau pair à pair décentralisé et les règles de gestion sont inscrites dans le code ».

Pour beaucoup, cette réponse ne fait que déplacer le problème : « quelle est alors l’autorité centrale qui gère le code ? » demandent-ils. La réponse à cette deuxième question est beaucoup moins connue : « Il n’y en a pas non plus, les règles d’évolution du code sont elles aussi inscrites dans le code ».

L’explication nécessite un assez long détour par la technique, notamment par le protocole de construction de la « blockchain », qui est très mal connu bien qu’il forme le véritable cœur du système. Pour beaucoup, cette opération se résume à la constitution des « blocs » de transactions, alors que la phase suivante d’assemblage des blocs, qui est encore plus vitale pour la sécurité du système, est largement ignorée. Comme si on réduisait la construction de la Tour Eiffel à la fabrication de ses éléments dans les ateliers de Levallois, en ignorant son montage sur le Champ de Mars. C’est donc à cette deuxième phase que le présent article est consacré.

 


Via CHECy
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Excellent "papier" en français permettant de rendre accessibles les mystères du consensus décentralisé et de la Blockchain.

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CHECy's curator insight, September 17, 2015 11:22 AM

A cette question simple, la réponse est encore plus simple : personne ! Enfin, pas complètement... Et c'est là que ça se complique. Le processus est quand même très contre-intuitif. Merci à Jacques Favier qui nous a suggéré cet article, particulièrement bien aligné sur la thématique du consensus décentralisé, fil rouge de la session 2015/2016 du CHECy.

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All you wanted to know about Bitcoin, now that the (last) bubble has bursted

All you wanted to know about Bitcoin, now that the (last) bubble has bursted | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The value of Bitcoins – the peer-to-peer currency – has been soaring so much of late that you have certainly heard about it. It is also likely that you still don’t fully understand how this decentralized payment mechanism works in practice as it is hard to build a bridge between the overly general and the overly complicated descriptions of the system. Here is our (imperfect) take at it based on what we have read so far. The monetary economics of it is fairly straightforward and uninteresting, but the mechanics of making payments over a communications channel without a trusted party is really interesting.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

crystal clear explanation by the Bruegel Think-Tank folks

 

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Larry's comment, April 18, 2013 6:59 AM
How to use them in every day life is not yet clear for me