Is Bitcoin Teaching Us to Dream Again?

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People forget, but in the 60s when NASA was doing its best to put a man on the moon, we had ulterior motives. The cold war was raging and there’s a reason all the rockets looked like missiles. Thankfully, the warmongers did not win the day and instead of orbital nuclear platforms we ended up with a plethora of technologies that make the world smaller and borders less meaningful. We also got (in this author’s opinion) the most important picture ever taken. [Read more…]

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In Which I Respond to MasterCard’s Bitcoin Hate

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This is going to be a short post because most of what I have to say is encapsulated in the video below, but I’d like to give you all a little context. MasterCard recently released a video┬áin which they absolutely blasted Bitcoin for completely invalid reasons. Needless to say, this angered the community quite a bit – myself included. Of course (as we’ll see in the video) this is hardly the first time MasterCard has been deceptive/evil in the name of profit. [Read more…]

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The Secrets We Use to Spend

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Passwords are everywhere. The idea of authorization via a shared secret has come a long way since the days of whispering a password through a slot in a speakeasy door. We’re very comfortable using packets of information as gatekeepers of a sort – we even use them to secure our finances. Banks even issue us a special packet of information that we use to do almost all of our regular spending: A credit card number. [Read more…]

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I Don’t Think That Means What You Think It Means: Legal Tender

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There’s a bit of a kerfuffle going on right now between Bitcoiners and a certain popular tech publication. ZDNet author Ken Hess recently wrote a piece with the unnecessarily-incendiary title “Senator Tom Coburn agrees that Bitcoin is not legal currency.” It should be noted that in addition to being incendiary that title is also, quite simply, wrong. Really wrong. Can’t-believe-a-tech-writer-couldn’t-google-this wrong. Wrong. [Read more…]

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2FA: What It Is, How It Works and When It Can’t Save You

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Bitcoin is the exception to a lot of rules, but there’s one universal truth even it can’t escape: Wherever there is money to be stolen, someone will try to steal it – and occasionally they will succeed. They will succeed because the tools we build are imperfect, certainly, but they will also succeed because we’re imperfect and we use those tools imperfectly or worse, not at all. Today I’d like to discuss one such tool: Two-factor authentication. [Read more…]

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