Physicist turned serial entrepreneur. Formerly in big data, currently building #bitcoin native financial services @unchainedcap. One day I'm going to space.
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Aug 3, 2020 • 25 tweets • 5 min read
\1 Try this one on:
#Bitcoin is a distributed, append-only, eventually-consistent, content-addressable key-value store written to by public auction.
Multisig UTXOs are stateful synchronization primitives enabling "database transactions" for client applications at higher layers.
\2 Congrats if you made it past tweet #1! (Phew)
This thread explains the tweet above by comparing bitcoin to NoSQL databases.
To be clear, bitcoin is *much* more than "just" a database. But we might learn something from thinking about it like one.
First, a little history...
Mar 3, 2020 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
\1 "#Bitcoin is a game we play where we can easily tell when someone is cheating."
When I first saw this (in some ELI5 bitcoin Tweet) I thought it just some pithy phrase.
But over time this simple sentence has come to resonate with me as a profound summary of the bitcoin ethos.
\2 Bitcoin IS a game, but an *infinite* one, where the goal is to keep playing -- not a finite game where the goal is to win.
"Finite games are theatrical, necessitating an audience; infinite ones are dramatic, involving participants"
Lightning & mesh networks, PoW merging with energy production, the fracturing of nation states & global corporations, environmental degradation & mega-engineering marvels -- hyperbitcoinization delivers it all.
What happens on Mars?
Jul 22, 2018 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
1\ Do any other Bitcoiners like the book "The Once & Future King" by T. H. White?
It's one of my favorites and I've been revisiting it recently, thinking about cryptocurrency, political representation, & blockchains.
2\ It opens with Merlyn teaching a young King Arthur (Wart) about different forms of government, the fallacy of "might makes right", all through a series of adventuresome allegories.
Disney's "The Sword in the Stone", is a cute (if imperfect) adaptation of this part of the book.
Jul 10, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
\1 I continue to struggle with @ParityTech's software design decisions. My #Parity node keeps dropping peers. The advice I get is "upgrade to the latest unstable version". Parity is even configured to auto-update itself by default. Why do I have to run at the edge just to work?
2\ Parity is either (a) consumer software or (b) bad software.
It's (sometimes) OK when consumer software forces you to upgrade b/c, as a consumer, you're dumb & insecure. Business (or prosumer) software achieves a higher level of security & control by sacrificing ease of use.
Feb 8, 2018 • 17 tweets • 5 min read
1\ A thought experiment: The year is 2277. You're the bartender at a spaceport in a faraway Earth colony on a planet orbiting α-Centauri: a distance of ~4 light years. Guy walks into your bar, slams down a credit chit, and asks for a drink.
How do you know his money is any good?
2\ If the credit chit were guaranteed by a bank or a blockchain or something local to α-Centauri it'd be easy, just like it is here on Earth in 2018.
But say this guy is fresh-thawed after his long journey from Earth aboard a lighthugger. What kind of wealth could he even have?
Jan 28, 2018 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
1\ Have you heard this reasoning? "#Ethereum is better than #Bitcoin because it can do more." => "The EVM is Turing-complete and Bitcoin Script isn't, so Ethereum is a better cryptocurrency." => "Bitcoin's creators were too early/stupid/blind to make Bitcoin Turing-complete."
2\ This is a blatant misunderstanding! To a non-technical person, Turing-completeness and being able to compute anything is *obviously* better. But programmers know that Turing-completeness is Pandora's box: you don't know what it contains and you can't close it once opened...
Jan 22, 2018 • 9 tweets • 4 min read
1\ Physicists have a word "crank": a person who doesn't know physics but persists in promulgating their personal theory. Cranks pop in all fields of physics but especially in certain areas: quantum mechanics, field theories, relativity, cosmology, &c.
2\ Why these subjects? B/c they are abstract & esoteric. It's hard to crank in Newtonian mechanics because your bogus theory is easily disproved by direct human experience. It's easier to crank in quantum b/c few outside the tribe of physics really understand quantum mechanics.