Web 3.0: the decentralised web promises to make the internet free again

Khakimullin Aleksandr/Shutterstock Have you recently considered deleting your Facebook account, boycotting Amazon or trying to find an alternative to Google? You wouldn’t be alone. The tech giants are invading our privacy, misusing our data, strangling economic growth and helping governments spy on us. Yet because these few companies own so many of the internet’s key …

The future of blockchain according to experts in the energy sector

Romanian electric power transmission lines. Wikipedia Blockchain technology is a decentralised digital ledger that keeps public but encrypted records of peer-to-peer transactions. All members of a blockchain network can verify whether a transaction occurred or not, rendering clearinghouses or other intermediaries obsolete. The technology originally served as the backbone of bitcoin, the well-known crypto-currency, and …

Regulations needed after cryptocurrency CEO takes passwords to his grave

Canadian CEO Gerald Cotten died in December, taking to his grave the passwords to unlock his cryptocurrency clients' millions. Dmitry Moraine/Unsplash A high-stakes legal drama featuring cryptocurrencies has been unfolding in a Canadian court recently. The antics that led to the litigation almost defy credulity, and they highlight the need for new regulations to better …

Chinese internet users turn to the blockchain to fight against government censorship

For a small fee, anyone can post sensitive documents publicly on a blockchain. Ivan Marc/shutterstock.com Thanks to blockchain, internet users have achieved some victories in the fight against China’s strict internet censorship. A historic moment was made on April 23. Peking University‘s former student, Yue Xin, had penned a letter detailing the university’s attempts to …

Is blockchain all hype? A financier and supply chain expert discuss

Iaremenko Sergii/Shutterstock.com This is an article from Head to Head, a series in which academics from different disciplines chew over current debates. Let us know what else you’d like covered – all questions are welcome. Details of how to contact us are at the end of the article. Arturo Bris: Have you ever watched footage …

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere. Blockchain is a secure chain of …

Five reasons Bitcoin could enter a more extreme death spiral

Shutterstock Back in December 2017, when its price reached close to US$20,000, Bitcoin looked like it had finally disrupted financial markets with the potential to enter the mainstream. A year later and things looked quite different. Bitcoin is now steadily trading below US$4,000 and has been constantly on a downward ride over the last year, …

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with …

Bitcoin’s successor? More consistent values might make ‘stablecoins’ a safer cryptocurrency option

hiv360/Shutterstock Bitcoin has plunged from a high of almost US$20,000 in December 2017 to as low as US$3,675. So it’s understandable that some cryptocurrency users might be looking for more stability. With the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies uncertain, a possible new solution known as “stablecoins” has emerged. This cryptocurrency aims to hold its …

You may not actually own your Bitcoin – legal expert

shutterstoc Tiratus Phaesuwan/Shutterstock The price of Bitcoin has dropped by 75% in the past year, so anyone who invested heavily at the peak will have lost a lot of money. And now there’s more bad news for crypto-currency investors to worry about: they may not legally own the digital assets they have purchased. My colleagues …