Couple of weeks ago i posted the observation below on my tumblr. reposting this here since i have just come across an article in Slate (‘How the Bitcoin Protocol Could Help Improve Copyright‘) that makes the interesting argument that what i characterized as an ‘evil’ property might just as well be turned into something really useful.
have been thinking a lot about this short exchange from a planet money podcast on bitcoin from a few weeks back. Makes me suspect that the one bitcoin that i am keeping for my own amusement somewhere on my laptop is more evil than i initially thought it was (it is also worth much less then when i bought it but that is much less surprising)
David Kestenbaum: Ben why do you think that bitcoin does have a future? Ben Horowitz: So it’s a real computer science breakthrough. So this is a problem that we have been trying to solve in computer science since the early 80s, which is how do you prevent the double spending problem Ben Horowitz: How do you make sure that it is only in one place at one time Ben Horowitz: Right David Kestenbaum: One of the problems with trying to make digital money is that, like if you have a movie online everybody can copy it and it can be in a 100 different places at once, Money that cannot happen with, right you have to, it has to… Ben Horowitz: …that would be a bad problem, that would pretty much defeat the money. David Kestenbaum: So that was the break-through basically, someone figured out how to do that. Ben Horowitz: Exactly, exactly! David Kestenbaum: So that is one reason why Ben likes bitcoins: you cant make extra copies of them, there is no way to counterfeit them, no way for bad people to use the same bitcoin to buy two different things at once or 20 different things at once. It makes online cash possible.
Unsurprisingly there is a discussion on bitcointalk.org where people are hatching not so clever BC as DRM schemes.