Storing Bitcoin should be simple. A Bitcoin wallet can be generated from a list of 12 or 24 pseudo-random words (the “mnemonic recovery phrase”). With some wallets, the same words will generate a valid wallet for most existing cryptocurrencies. This word list can be written on paper and placed in a
Understanding how Bitcoin ownership works requires understanding what it means to “own” a single Bitcoin address. At a practical level, Bitcoin ownership means the ability to send some amount of Bitcoin from one address to another or to cryptographically prove that one has that ability by “signing” a Bitcoin address.
If you read on the topic of money’s history from any mainstream textbook, you will already know the drill. In the past, money took many forms. It was shells, pelts, salt, and various metals. Finally we got paper money, credit institutions, then central banks. At this point, we are told,
The classic criticism against the gold standard is that it was too costly. Why are these guys wasting resources to suit up, dig into mountains, desperately seeking a finite resource, and slogging the results all the way to Treasury Department? This is all just silly. We know how to make
I constantly get the question: why do we need this blockchain thing anyway? Here is why. Every society with a vibrant commercial life exalts private property as an institution. The entrenchment of this institution occurs in three stages. All three are essential. The first stage is to create private property
What is the future of banking, central banking and financial intermediation in a world in which cryptocurrency is dominant? Let’s speculate a bit, with the proviso that no one can fully anticipate how these markets will evolve. We can find hints in the speech by IMF head Christine Lagarde at
It was the second week of February 2013 when I first ventured a public opinion that Bitcoin is the real deal. The dollar exchange rate was at $25, on its way toward another run-up and crash that had been the pattern for two years. I had just returned from a
[This article was written for publication on April 1, 2013] Understanding Bitcoin requires that we understand the limits of our ability to imagine the future that the market can create for us. Thirty years ago, for example, if someone had said that electronic text—digits flying through the air and landing