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My Views on Cryptocurrencies

Bill Roscoe University College Oxford Blockchain Research Centre   It is easy to argue that blockchains and cryptocurrencies go together like strawberries and cream. Blockchains provide a nice solution to the double spending problem that is fundamental to digital assets and currency: how can we stop someone that has a digital token spending it twice: after all, unlike a banknote, it is easy to copy a string of bits. So if you want to hold cash in a distributed digital setting a blockchain implementation is ideal. If the community needs to pay people to perform tasks such as mining and maintaining a blockchain, it is much cheaper (I.e. free) to do this by minting a new currency rather than having to pay with real pounds, euros, yen or dollars. A cynic might hold this up as a perfect illustration of the old adage that “bad money drives out good”.   Blockchains are held up as an ideal distributed platform for maintaining records with integrity in a way that is publicly open and visible, all the more so in a public context where no organisation or small clique of organisations can dominate it. It can be seen to be managed with[…]

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