Week 7: A Little Bit about Bitcoin

Greenfield, chapter 5: “Cryptocurrency: The computational guarantee of value;” chapter 6: “Blockchain beyond Bitcoin: a trellis for posthuman institutions” Sterling, “Stop Saying Smart Cities”: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/stupid-cities/553052/ The Aura of Familiarity, “II. Apricot Lane”

As Greenfield essentially stated, if cryptocurrencies and blockchains are going to be powerful tools in a world of digital currency – laypeople should know what these things are and how to use them. I agree, given the fact that I had no idea what a Bitcoin was until my friend tried to explain it to me a year ago (and I still did not get it…). Quite excitedly, Greenfield discusses Bitcoin and blockchain and the ways in which they fix the pitfalls of ledgers, mints, and double spending. Greenfield explains what a Bitcoin is without all of the jargon (thank you) and what the disadvantages are to being involved in the whole Bitcoin system. To me (and Greenfield), it is digital money that can only be spent in certain places that accept digital money (except when you get lucky enough to find a Bitcoin ATM, but you would have to be lotto lucky). Other issues associated with Bitcoin involve security issues, energy usage and heat waste. Ah, but with the most definite death of Bitcoin, according to Greenfield – let there be light (or dark…) – there is still the concept of the blockchain…

What happened to putting paper money under your mattress? I am sure some baby boomers are thinking that as they ask themselves what a Bitcoin is and if it has the current president’s face on it.

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