How to not get rich from bitcoin

27 Dec

Turing's Invisible Hand

Bitcoin developer Amir TaakiBitcoin has been popping up in conversations lately, mostly in the context of people urging me to invest (real money) in it. But being the sad academic that I am, this mainly makes me wonder if there is some more interesting research to be done on bitcoin. Actually, “bitcoin” almost sounds like something that could have been the name of a blog on computation and economics so where better to discuss it than right here?

I found out a bit about bitcoin (no pun intended) through a great, detailed blog post by Michael Nielsen. Here are some of the points I found most interesting, very briefly summarized:

  1. Let’s say that Alice has a bitcoin. One worries that she would try to “double spend” it by giving it to Bob and Charlie. The way bitcoin deals with this is by letting the recipient broadcast the transaction, and getting other…

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