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·         Blockchain: The revolution that hasn't quite happened

·         Wikipedia founder confirms blockchain is of no use to him: “We already store data. In a database. It works well.”



Blockchain: The revolution that hasn't quite happened


By Chris Baraniuk, BBC News

11 February 2020


Imagine you are out shopping and get to the till but your card doesn't work. It turns out that your bank has had a computer meltdown and none of its customers, including you, can pay for anything.


But what if the till had access to a record, or ledger, of the balance on your credit and debit cards that was updated anytime you bought something?


Even with the bank's systems down your card would still work at the supermarket, because the till itself would know your balance.


That is just one possibility offered by a distributed ledger, also referred to as a blockchain. The technology has been around for more than a decade and has been heavily hyped.


It sounds pretty handy, but in practice, it is hardly used. So what happened?


Blockchain has struggled to find a purpose, beyond powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.


In that scenario, the blockchain acts as a universal record of every Bitcoin transaction ever made. The blockchain is a ledger, or log, of those transactions and users on the network collaborate to verify new transactions when they occur. They're rewarded financially for this effort - an enterprise known as "Bitcoin mining".


But the basic idea, of a ledger of information distributed around lots of different users instead of held centrally, has provoked a lot of interest.


Proponents have long argued it could be a better alternative to traditional databases.


But how transformative would blockchain-style alternatives really be? The shop tills example was suggested by Dave Birch, an author and advisor on digital financial services, who has been critical of some proposed blockchain schemes in the past.


"I'm prepared to buy that," he says, of the tills idea. "I think there's some value to it."


There are other ideas out there...





Wikipedia founder confirms blockchain is of no use to him: “We already store data. In a database. It works well.”


Christina Comben, CryptoSlate

February 11, 2020


On Friday, Feb. 7, CryptoSlate reported that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said Bitcoin SV offered “nothing for Wikipedia and that there is zero chance we would ever use it.” Yesterday, he amplified the debate to include blockchain technology in general, arguing:


    “We already store data. In a database. It works well.”


Wikipedia founder highlights why blockchain isn’t for him


It all began after Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales agreed to act as a keynote speaker at the CoinGeek London conference. That was his first mistake it seems since the pro-Bitcoin SV outlet took his acceptance as an endorsement for BSV.


Conference organizers missed no opportunity to insinuate that the BSV and Wikipedia may be teaming up. They stated that no other blockchain had the scalability to handle the “staggering amount of data Wikipedia carries.”


Wales was quick to take to Twitter shutting its misleading messages down. In fact, he stated that he was not coming as a BSV supporter, but instead, to speak his mind. He added that there was “zero chance” Wikipedia would be using BSV.


While Bitcoin supporters may have gotten a laugh out of another BSV camp public faux pas, it turns out that Wales is against the idea of blockchain period. He pointed out that Wikipedia had no use of a blockchain to do what its database already does.


Moreover, the argument that Bitcoin transactions leave records and blockchain technology could help Wikipedia fight against illegal content wasn’t swaying him either. He stated:


    “That suggestion – to force people to strongly identify and pay for the privilege of editing Wikipedia – is a bad idea independently. And [it] would be easy and cheap to implement without blockchain.”


He also highlighted the fact that an immutable ledger would go against the core principles of Wikipedia:


    “It is really important that records can be changed. Removing that feature would be bad.”


The real use cases for blockchain ...


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