Fungibility – why Bitcoin or Ether aren’t the most democratic currencies yet

Fungible currency is, or must be, a cornerstone of a democratic and free society. In this blog I will explore what a fungible currency is and why Bitcoin and Ether currently are lacking in this respect. What does “fungible” mean? Goods or items in a collection are “fungible” if all of the items have the … Continue reading Fungibility – why Bitcoin or Ether aren’t the most democratic currencies yet

New era of personal computing

On this blog I’ve talked a lot about blockchain technology recently. And while blockchains certainly are disruptive to how we use and agree on shared information, or run shared applications, they aren’t changing how we do general purpose computing, or personal computing.<!—more—> What is personal computing? Storing or reading private documents, storing emails or maintaining … Continue reading New era of personal computing

Should developers be responsible for potentially harmful software?

With the recent news concerning the arrest of Marcus Hutchins — the security researchers who stopped the biggest-ever ransomware attack — I’ve been thinking (more than usual) about the ethics of software development. But before we go into that, who’s Marcus Hutchins and what did he really do? Hutchins, is a so-called security researcher which … Continue reading Should developers be responsible for potentially harmful software?

Simple yet comprehensive explanation of blockchains

I’ve been writing about blockchain technology and Ethereum for a while on my blog. But as these technologies are becoming wider spread I’ve found it challenging to explain these concepts to people not familiar with them. There’s a few layers of technology that are important to understand. When talking about blockchains you often hear about … Continue reading Simple yet comprehensive explanation of blockchains

Building dapps on Ethereum – part 5: Ethereum Name Service and Swarm

A common usability problem with cryptographic systems like blockchains is that accounts, smart contracts and content on the blockchain are addressed with hashes like 0x7eF963588706a8d39D481634eB46f5c54A04c584. These addresses are easy for machines to securely verify but hard for humans to type and remember. And anything that’s difficult for humans creates vulnerability vectors, like phishing attacks by … Continue reading Building dapps on Ethereum – part 5: Ethereum Name Service and Swarm

Building dapps on Ethereum – part 2: smart contracts

This is the second post in my series about building decentralised apps (dapps) on Ethereum. In this post we will cover installation and configuration of the development environment for coding, compiling and testing smart contracts. You’ll also learn how to set up two different Ethereum blockchains on your local computer, firstly with testrpc for automated … Continue reading Building dapps on Ethereum – part 2: smart contracts

Building dapps on Ethereum – part 1: overview

In this blog post series I’m going to cover how to build decentralised applications, so called “dapps”, for the Ethereum network. Specifically for Ethereum’s lasted release called Homestead. We will cover topics such as the development environment, essential blockchain concepts, how to develop so called smart contracts, the user interface, automated testing, and the importance … Continue reading Building dapps on Ethereum – part 1: overview

A practical example of benefits using blockchain technology

What we will discover in this blog post are some practical examples of how the social economics of any organisation can benefit with more auditable democracy and decentralised processes using blockchain technology. I’m writing this post in the context of the Iron Blogger (IB) organisation, but these concepts can of course scale to almost any … Continue reading A practical example of benefits using blockchain technology