Patents in crypto – not a way to go

Cryptocurrencies are usually open-source and it’s by design. They would be less trustworthy if they were not. It is essential for the nodes to be open-source, for multiple implementations to be viable. These implementations can independently verify the validity of rules. There is one “backdoor” to open-source and that is (software) patents. Some countries do not allow to patent algorithms, while others do.

So what is the problem with patents? There are many…

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Who would run full nodes? Who would build the roads?: How to solve the scarcity issue of full nodes – a different look at the scaling debate


Who would run full nodes? Who would build the roads?: How to solve the scarcity issue of full nodes - a different look at the scaling debate

I am going to provide a different perspective on the scaling debate, specifically looking for solutions to problems that both sides of the debate present, not only weighting which side is more important or true. I think that both sides have some valid concerns. But first of all, we must understand basic economic principles. What is money for? What are prices for? And how it relates to our mindset and scaling? All will become clear soon. Let’s start.

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More privacy with DNS over HTTPS


More privacy with DNS over HTTPS

As Cloudflare announced their 1.1.1.1 DNS service yesterday, I decided to give it a try. There are two reasons for that: They promise not to log your requests and it seems that it is the fastest DNS service available (another source).

When you visit any website, even though it is encrypted, the name of the server usually goes unencrypted and everyone (your ISP, the free wifi provider like the cafeteria you are in, etc.) sees the domain name.

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Positive libertarianism: beyond hating the state (from HCPP17)

Most libertarians will go through several phases. Seeing the inefficiency or injustice of the state is one of them. I want to suggest that there is another phase: Taking your liberty into your own hands. Hate taxes? Go to tax haven! Don’t like public schools? Unschool your kids. Do you want banking privacy? Cryptos! Don’t like traditional models of relationships? Invent and build your own.

This is a talk from HCPP 2017 about how to get your freedom – here and now.

Crypto is an alien planet to Wall Street


Crypto is an alien planet to Wall Street

I was thinking about the relationship between traditional financial system and the parallel crypto world, about hard forks and the fight between big blockers, bigger blockers and core.

I find all this completely funny, but in a totally different way than most people. If you look at traditional finance (gonna call them Wall Street), they are sometimes jerks in private (famous recording from a private bank meeting), but they would not normally tell anyone to eat shit at a conference or start a twitter flame-war (except for Nassim Nicholas Taleb, but he is almost always right).

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Detokenizing cryptos


Detokenizing cryptos

With the recent Initial Coin Offering (ICO) craze, one cannot stop thinking if all those tokens are really required for the applications or if it’s just a way to raise capital (crowdfund).

While I appreaciate new ways of funding Internet protocols and decentralized applications, there are drawback of doing it this way, one of the main drawbacks is increased transaction costs, especially if the tokens don’t come with their own network. Also, if the software is open-source, what blocks people from taking the code and just removing the token and either getting rid of it completely or just replacing it with the network’s native currency (like Ethereum or Bitcoin, depending on the underlying network).

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Blockchains and network effects


Blockchains and network effects

An insight that is important in relation to recent talks about hard forks:

Blockchain creates a shared view of one history (or reality) among the participants who enforce the same set of rules.

Also, with the recent talks about scammy ICOs and whitepaper-backed shitcoins, remember Metcalfe’s and Reed’s laws (the value of network is either proportional to n^2 or 2^n, n being the number of nodes in the network. The difference is that Reed’s law includes groups of people who make connections among themselves, simply put, for more info see Wikipedia).

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Liberty is a DIY project

A recording from my HCPP 2016 talk. In previous years I had a talk about why I think Liberty is a DIY project – that it’s a personal responsibility of each and every one of us. Then I had two presentations about hacking the biology of our bodies and brain. This talk is continuation of all this work – how does liberty tie to our health, mental and physical performance? What are some of the best hacks to be more free, improve your brain and bodily function?

Slides are also available

Make sure to come to Liberate! – Hackers Congress Paralelní Polis in Prague, I have something even more epic and you wouldn’t believe what kind of speakers will be there. This is for me the best conference there is with no close second.