On March 1 of last year, Ariel Gabizon was tidying up a presentation he was preparing to deliver the following day at a financial cryptography conference on the Caribbean island of Curaçao when he spotted a seemingly small mathematical mistake that could, he realized, jeopardize billions of dollars in capital.
A celebration of 10 years of Bitcoin features DCI's Tadge Dryja story:
““I thought I would go to jail.”
That’s why Tadge Dryja, one of two principal researchers who would go on to envision lightning – what has become arguably the most important innovation in the quest to bring bitcoin to the masses – kept his passion for the technology to himself when he first heard about it in 2011.”
You may not have heard of Vertcoin, a crypto project designed to curtail concentration in mining power in the interests of broad-based participation. But if you care about security, decentralization and open access for cryptocurrencies, then the questions raised by a recent breach of its blockchain will matter to you.
Today at the WIRED25 Summit, Neha Narula and Alexis Ohanian talked about some of the ways blockchain, the decentralized ledger technology at the heart of bitcoin and other "cryptocurrencies," could press forward through the current slump and actually become useful.
One of the earliest-seen and most persistent problems with Bitcoin has been scalability. Bitcoin takes the idea of "be your own bank" quite literally, with every computer on the bitcoin network storing every account of every user who owns money in the system. In Bitcoin, this is stored as a collection of "Unspent transaction outputs", or "utxo"s, which are somewhat unintuitive, but provide privacy and efficiency benefits over the alternative "account" based model used in traditional finance.
This week our colleague Gary Gensler was profiled in The New York Times talking about how Ethereum and Ripple should be classified as securities. DCI director Neha Narula continues the conversation about how cryptocurrencies and tokens should be regulated.
From the New York Times, Nathaniel Popper profiles DCI Senior Advisor Gary Gensler, former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission ahead of his statements on the regulation of cryptocurrencies to be made at the Business of Blockchain Conference.
The MIT Technology review interviews Robleh Ali, former manager of digital currency for the Bank of England, now research scientist at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, on why initial coin offerings are dangerous and how to make them more useful. From the piece:
Neha Narula, director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, helps PBS NewsHour understand how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies work. Watch the video below or read the transcript interview with Neha, "This is how Bitcoin works."
The dot-com bubble of the 1990s is popularly viewed as a period of crazy excess that ended with hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth being destroyed. What’s less often discussed is how all the cheap capital of the boom years helped fund the infrastructure upon which the most important internet innovations would be built after the bubble burst.
Tadge Dryja, research scientist at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, is featured in this recent WIRED article by Sandra Upson, "The Lightning Network Could Make Bitcoin Faster—and Cheaper." Tadge continues to lead the development of Lightning, now with us at the MIT Media Lab.
On Friday, MIT Technology Review published an article on the cryptocurrency IOTA. The headline stated that the currency “could outperform Bitcoin.” However, we here at the MIT Media Lab have issues with the story.
Imagine that every EHR sent updates about medications, problems, and allergy lists to an open-source, community-wide trusted ledger, so additions and subtractions to the medical record were well understood and auditable across organizations.