Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

Bitcoin, ‘the Coming Digital Anarchy’ and the Blockchain

475112161 445x296 Bitcoin, the Coming Digital Anarchy and the Blockchain

Shirts for sale at the Bitcoin Center NYC in February during a class on the basics of the digital currency. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The rise of digital currency (i.e. Bitcoin) points toward a future in which similar uses of “cryptographic proof” could drive huge changes in society and government, writes Matthew Sparkes in a long, detailed argument for the Telegraph. At stake are control and sustainability of the Internet, as well as the viability of laws, banks and other institutions, he says.

It’s a familiarly dystopian vision (or utopian, depending on your point of view), but Sparkes hangs it specifically on the power of the blockchain, or the type of cryptography that gives Bitcoin and similar currencies a “peer-to-peer ledger which creates and records agreement on contentious issues.”

“Now we have a small piece of pure, incorruptible mathematics enshrined in computer code that will allow people to solve the thorniest problems without reference to ‘the authorities,’” Sparkes writes.

Rob Wile of the Business Insider also looked at the “profound implications” of the blockchain back in April, with an emphasis on commerce. (There are, of course, counterarguments about why the blockchain isn’t as powerful as anybody says it is.)

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