But their system – like the Ship of Theseus – continues to exist in a form referred to as Bitcoin.But before getting to that part of the saga, let’s look at May 2013.Whereas mining initially meant (1) validation back to the genesis block and (2) generating proofs-of-work (hashes), these two processes are fully separated today.
Either way, popular euphemisms commonly used by cryptocurrency promoters and lobbyists include supposedly supporting “open” or “public” blockchains – several feelgood words – but as we empirically observe, in many cases these networks are not open to the general public: either as an actual validator or as a developer.
Access can become gated by a clique who determines who can be involved.
Several months later, in January 2009, this same person posted the code that created the functionality described in the whitepaper and began minting this new virtual currency.
Less than two years later, the creator walked away from the project and without ever revealing their real identity.
He could make a new rule that says block sizes should be arbitrarily larger or smaller. He could change how the difficulty setting adjusts. Even if other participants added computers and joined the Bobcoin network and diluted Bob’s mining hashrate, if the new participants solely rely on the code in his Git Hub repo (e.g., are unaware of and/or do not use alternative implementations of Bobcoin code), then Bob remains very influential and could still directly make changes to the network.
He could make a new version that separates the digital signatures from other data in the block. Does being very influential — controlling the code repo to a financial network — constitute “administration”?
According to some cryptocurrency fans, Liberty Reserve’s big blunder was that they attached their legal names to the payment processing enterprise. If you play with a highly regulated industry such as financial services, be prepared for the existing stakeholders such as regulators and law enforcement to increasingly scrutinize your operations as they detect familiar activities, such as the marketing and sale of securities or operating a payment platform.
If you spend your weekends cosplaying online as a cypherpunk and yet voluntarily sit on-stage wearing a name tag with your real name at public events and promote financial products and financial market infrastructure to the world at large, consider that there may be people who later watch these videos stored on Youtube.
[Note: I neither own nor have any trading position on any cryptocurrency. The views expressed below are solely my own and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization I advise.