South Korea just ruled that bitcoin is a legally recognizable asset, which is good news for investors, but not such good news for convicted criminals that had managed to hold onto their cryptocurrency in the past. While 5,300 miles away in Slovenia, we see BTC City adopting full cryptocurrency support via blockchain by all vendors in the shopping center. Meanwhile, The Woz continues to have a sunny outlook on Bitcoin and predicts that, within 10 years, bitcoin will become a unifying currency around the world.
Looking back in the history of blockchain, we explore the evolution of blockchain education, from chatrooms to classrooms in this month’s cover story and the history of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work protocol.
Featured stories by Colin Harper, Nick Marinoff and Aaron van Wirdum
Stay on top of the best stories in the bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Subscribe to our newsletter here.
From Chatroom to Classroom: The Evolution of Blockchain Education
With the creation of Bitcoin and its blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced an entirely new practical application for cryptography, unearthing an unexplored area for computer science and technological development. Demand for instructional information and educational materials has risen dramatically since that time, with the first universities beginning to offer formal courses in 2013.
In this month’s cover story, we take a look at the different ways that people have been able to learn about the bitcoin and blockchain space, from the earliest days of message boards and meet-ups to the latest in university curricula and online resources.
The Genesis Files: Hashcash or How Adam Back Designed Bitcoin’s Motor Block
Hashcash killed two birds with one stone. It solved the double-spending problem in a decentralized way, while providing a trick to get new coins into circulation with no centralized issuer.
In his latest installment of The Genesis Files series, Aaron van Wirdum looks back at the roots of proof of work. He examines not only the important role that Dr. Adam Back played in the development of Hashcash, which would eventually help to lay the groundwork for Bitcoin’s proof of work protocol, but also the seminal work of IBM researchers Dr. Cynthia Dwork and Dr. Moni Naor.
South Korean Supreme Court Rules Bitcoin Is an Asset
South Korea’s Supreme Court just ruled that bitcoin is a legally recognizable asset. The landmark ruling occurred on May 30, 2018, and it overturns a decision made by one of the country’s lower courts in a case dating back to last year. In September 2017, the Suwon District Court charged 33-year-old Ahn with the sale and distribution of child pornography.
Even though the court handed Ahn a guilty verdict and 18 months in prison for his actions, it did not confiscate the 216 bitcoins Ahn accumulated in exchange for the porn. According to the court, the government could not seize Ahn’s bitcoins because, unlike other assets tied to illicit dealings, they aren’t tangible. Now, the country’s Supreme Court thinks otherwise. The Suwon District Court’s decision was appealed, and, upon being challenged in South Korea’s highest court, it didn’t hold up.
Slovenia Plays Host to the World’s First “Bitcoin City”
Slovenia has announced that its largest shopping center, known as BTC City, will transform into a complete bitcoin city, in which every store and venture will accept cryptocurrency and operate via blockchain technology. BTC City presently plays host to several travel and tourism ventures including a luxury hotel and casino, a multiplex cinema, a waterpark and the Crystal Palace office park — home to Slovenia’s tallest building. Executives of BTC City say they’re hoping Bitcoin City will give rise to new businesses that push the cryptocurrency space toward mainstream territory and lead to further blockchain developments.
Steve Wozniak Wants Bitcoin to Become the World’s Single Currency
In a recent interview with CNBC, the computer mogul admitted that he hopes bitcoin will become a single global currency and that he shares the sentiment of Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who expressed his belief last March that bitcoin will become a unifying cryptocurrency for every nation within the next 10 years.
This is not the first time Wozniak has been vocally positive about bitcoin. At a Money 20/20 event in Las Vegas last October, he lauded the cryptocurrency and its blockchain technology as stronger and more financially sound than both gold and USD. He stated that traditional currencies are “kind of phony,” as they are widely vulnerable to inflation, and that the problem with gold is that there is no fixed supply.