Showing posts with the label blockchain

What's Going On with Bitcoin Now? Brendan Cody, Impact Investing Intern, George Washington University

The meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies supported by the blockchain has regulatory agencies, financial institutions and central banks around the globe asking the same question: What in the world is going on here?

Applications in finance, data storage, cybersecurity, and government merit the attention blockchain technology has received. As of last week, Bitcoin (the first and most notable cryptocurrency) approached $5,000, up +600% on the year compared to a 20% return for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the same time. (Bitcoin has since returned to the more mundane level of $4,470 as of 9/5/17) Other cryptocurrencies ,including Litecoin and Ethereum, have seen a similar pattern of rise, retreat and rise.

Governments and financiers acted decisively in the past month in an attempt to seemingly make up for lost time. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued new regulations on the proliferation of Initial Coin Offerings (see: the American Banker Newspaper BankThink section - SEC t…

Why we need a Global ICO Census and Database

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent report defines tokens sold through ICO offerings as “securities.” This is neither appropriate nor in the public interest. This definition will restrict the ability of startups to raise much needed capital without having to go to commercial banks, investment banks and venture capitalists, institutions who long ago abdicated their role in providing capital to deserving startups and small businesses. (Commercial banks, investment banks and venture capitalists focus on providing capital to a narrow group of non-minority and non female firms. As Uber and others (Google?) have shown, many of the women who dared work for these commercial bank, investment bank and venture capitalist supported firms found themselves harassed..and we know what happened when they sought funding.)

In a press release, the SEC concluded that anyone using "..distributed ledger or blockchain enabled means for capital raising (needs) to take appropriate steps…

CIR Interns at the U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum

An inter-agency forum for executives across the federal government to learn about advances in Blockchain technology, discuss use cases and set an agenda for working together to evaluate and implement it among our diverse missions.
The U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum is a program of GSA’s Emerging Citizen Technology program, organized in partnership with the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships and GSA’s Office of Information Technology Category.

Blockchain 1.0

NOTE: Previously, I wrote an introductory article on cryptocurrencies and other applications of blockchain, The article can be found here: The article below builds on this by explaining the actual “nuts and bolts” of the bitcoin blockchain. Our goal is to have the reader walk away with a better, more technical understanding of the bitcoin blockchain. If the reader is not familiar with terms and concepts such as: blockchain, cryptocurrencies, distributed ledger, bitcoin mining, etc. It may be best to read the introductory article first or obtain the basic knowledge from other sources.)

Many people have a rough idea of how the bitcoin blockchain works, but few understand precisely how it works. This article intends to explain the blockchain in a clear, simple, and visual way.
Part 1 The Hash and the Blockchain [1]
Before we talk about blockchain, let’s talk about a hash [2]. The hash is the foundation of blockc…

Identity and Blockchain by Henry Zhang, Impact Investing Intern, University of Toronto

With the breakout in the price of bitcoin (from $1177 on March 16 to $1832 on May 16) and the rise of blockchain technology, people now have a “blockchain” view on the future of society. Just about every industry has to deal with internet data and the inherit the risks - data integrity, data transparency, and/or third party inefficiency. This means they can all use blockchain technology and the distributed ledger technology to mitigate or eliminate some or all of the these risks.

One industry which has recently gotten a lot of attention is the identity management industry. Fortunately, since I am in Washington DC for the summer, I had an opportunity to attend the 2017 K(NO)W Identity “intellectual fest” and hear what experts in the identity management field have to say about the issue.

Admittedly, this was a hard conversation to follow. Half of the time they were throwing out jargon I did not understand and the other half of the time they did not provide clear, concise answers to ques…

Summary of bitcoin and its underlying technology-blockchain, by Henry Zhang, Impact Investing Intern. University of Toronto.


Everyone’s probably heard of “bitcoin,” but many only have the vaguest idea about it and little understand the underlying technology. Even fewer realize the true impact this technology may have on the future.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a digital program or asset designed to work like currency. It seeks to have the following properties: a store of value, a unit of account, and a medium of exchange  Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency of the seven hundred out there. Other major cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.

Cryptocurrencies work via a system of paired-public, private keys - randomly generated numbers. Each user in the cryptocurrency network has a unique pair of public and private keys. The public key is a string of numbers available to everybody on the network. They are used for encryption. The private key is only available to an individual. It is used for decryption of the paired public key. The bitcoin transfer mechanism works…