Technology

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The Evolution of E-Commerce

What Came Before and What to Expect Next

Venice (1733–1734) by Giovanni Antonio Canaletto

Realizing that the e-commerce industry, as with all industries in modern economies, as a whole continuously moves towards increased efficiency, we can make predictions about how the industry will evolve next. At the same time, the move towards efficiency comes with growing industry complexity through furthering both horizontal and vertical market integration. Efficiency and complexity are tied to each other. Complexity is necessary for increasing an industry’s efficiency, but at...

Freedom in Blockchains

How Bitcoin’s Technology Transcends Class Interest

Landscape with Charon Crossing the Styx (1515–1524) by Joachim Patinir

Will Bitcoin’s underlying technology be able to free the people from financial slavery? Or will proprietary blockchain algorithms imprison people as serfs in a high-tech feudal state? Transcending class interest, I believe decentralized ledger technology can provide a mutual benefit to both the people and its ruling classes.

Bitcoin’s Historical Promise

In the early days, decentralized internet money...

Who Are the Central Banks' Sysadmins with Root Access to Your Bank Account?

When the Federal Reserve decides to up inflation from 2% to 3%, increasing the money supply by say $10bn USD, they don’t actually turn on the printing presses or mint new coins. This kind of money exists only in electronic form — they don’t need to go mine for gold, nor print paper money. This inflation is created “from nothing” (believe it or not).

Using an actual printing press to counterfeit money is laughably primitive...

Blockchains for Copyright

Making Use of Bitcoin's Technology to Protect, Track and Monetize Digital Works

The very nature of the internet that allows content creators to disseminate their work globally and instantly also allows for anyone to pirate near-free copies of identical quality. Content creators that broadcast their work online give up control, hoping that the benefits of internet dissemination outweigh its potential loss of income due to piracy.

Anti-piracy efforts have come a long way since early attempts at disabling the ‘Right click…’...

A Decentralized Platform for Permissionless Innovation

Introducing Creative Patents

“Mont Blanc” by Tom Fahy  |  CC BY-NC-ND

“Creative Patents democratize technology ownership. Instead of patents that enforce an exclusive owner, Creative Patents irreversibly make technology available to all mankind, thus rendering proprietary patents obsolete. To accelerate collaboration, inventors can store their technology blueprints on a decentralized ledger anyone can access. Anyone can ‘fork’ or ‘clone’ a Creative Patent — like a GitHub of things — and pursue commercial application, without

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Bitcoin’s Sellout to Big Government and Big Business

Source: “good side” by kPluto | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When I joined the Bitcoin community late 2012, I thought I had joined the Rebellion. We weren’t going to rebuild the financial industry with new technology, but undermine it, returning financial power into the hands of We the People. We would build a global payment mechanism, circumvent central banks, do without central government regulation and service the unbanked while we were at it. The Bitcoin Dream promised to give people back ownership over their finances, freeing...

Lessons Learned from a Botched Bitcoin Startup

How eCash became eCrash

Late 2013 I founded a Bitcoin payments company, eCash BV, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Admitting defeat, we dissolved the company early 2015. What went wrong, why and what did we learn? To counter survivorship bias, I wish to share and document lessons learned.

Bitcoin as a Payment ...

Is Bitcoin Money?

Photo by zcopley / CC BY-SA

I recently attended two discussions of the Amsterdam Bitcoin community about the question whether Bitcoin is money. A commercial Bitcoin company set the community in motion after launching an effort to overturn a recent court ruling that Bitcoin was not money, the ‘Bitcoin is Geld’ initiative (...