This week on the podcast we zero in on blockchain with Tradestreaming’s payments reporter, Josh Liggett. Josh drills down on his monthly Blockchain Hype Meter, which looks at how the mainstream media covers the space in an effort to distill signal from the noise. To be sure, distributed ledger technology portends to be super transformative — but there’s a vast distance between there and here.
We also talk about newly-launched cryptocurrency Zcash and why there was so much excitement around its launch. We’ll also chat about the growing influence of just a handful of people on the future of the blockchain.
Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode.
Blockchain Hype Meter
We decided to start the hype meter as our creative way to cover what’s happening in the world now. We cover the FT, WSJ, CNBC, Bloomberg and NYT. Inside all the sass and fun we have covering the hype around blockchain, it’s important to realize not much is really happening right now. But it is the appropriate time to begin discussing it and have the important conversations about what the impact of the blockchain will have on the financial services industry.
Harvard report on the tightly-controlled blockchain
A hacker and associate professor at Harvard got together and argue that it’s actually a very small group of people who make decisions about the direction of Bitcoin. There’s a programmer in the Netherlands who has a lot of decision power, including over block size. Tradestreaming’s Gidon Belmaker also explains that only 15 mining pools control global mining operations. It’s not just mining — they also control the verification and approval of all transactions.
Blockchain around the world
Tradestreaming’s Hadas Tayeb joins the podcast to talk about what’s going on in Japanese blockchain news. On November 2, a consortium was launched with support from the Japanese government. The government is trying to spur innovation by encouraging large investment companies to invest in fintech startups, including those focused on distributed ledger technology.