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Registration Free limited access. Receive free limited access to select FT areas including email newsletters, Alphaville and 3 articles of your choice. Learn more and compare subscriptions content expands above. That was their best option. And now, bitcoin is facing much the same conundrum.
It's a flaw that could ultimately bring the digital currency crashing down. But Arthur and Kathleen Breitman are working to eliminate this flaw. They're building a new blockchain where the stakeholders can change the underlying technology through a kind of online voting systema blockchain that can evolve according to the will of its community.
That would harm the network. The project may indeed provide a better way of building this kind of vastly distributed systemand possibly create a new kind of business. But it also raises questions about the fundamental nature of these projects and, indeed, the fundamental nature of democracy.
The Brietmans are husband-and-wife entrepreneurs based in Silicon Valley. Part of the vibrant, idealistic, and sometimes strange community of young free thinkers working to build a new kind of company using blockchain technologies, they call their creation Tezos. Under the cheeky pseudonym LM Goodmana thinly veiled reference to the Newsweek journalist who incorrectly identified the creator of bitcoin they first released a paper describing the project in Now, as they prepare to unveil the technology amid the battle over bitcoin, it carries a new significance.
On the bitcoin blockchain, transactions are processed and recorded by a vast network of "miners," specialized machines that lend their computing power to the operation. In exchange for their participation, the miners receive bitcoin.
But Tezos doesn't work that way. It will sell its tokens to the world at large, and then the token holders will help process and record the transactions. Basically, in recording each transaction, the system asks for help from a random token holder. What's more, these token holders will have the right to suggest and vote on changes to the network itself. The more tokens you hold, the more voting power you have.
In other words, the token holders control the system in full. In this way, Tezos becomes a working democracy. Everyone can vote, and the vote decides outcomes. Some blockchain veterans believe Tezos could fundamentally change the dynamics of blockchain technology, helping to move projects closer to the grand ideals they espouse.
When people participate in a Tezos network, they're accepting that the democratic vote of the other coin holders will govern the way the protocol moves. Bitcoin, you could argue, is also a democracy. But the system operates in an ad hoc way. Participants must individually and manually upgrade the software running on miners and other machines, and this leads to the kind of thing you now see with the digital currency: months of people arguing, both online and off, about how the network should evolve.
Tezos removes this unorganized in-fightingand then some. Through the Tezos voting system, stakeholders can also change the voting system. If Tezos works, the knock-on effect is potentially enormous. Like Ethereum, the Tezos blockchain is designed to run "smart contracts," online agreements built with computer code that can be used to bootstrap all sorts of other businesses and applications.
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votes, 53 comments. You have probably heard of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin after its meteoric rise in price last year, but you may not. 'Bitcoin Jesus' on the Bitcoin Civil War The biggest Bitcoin conference of called Consensus concludes today in New York City. Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm BKCM, has said the market is experiencing a “crypto civil war” as the announced “hard fork”.