Harvard and MIT are hosting twin Blockchain Workshops this weekend. Coin Center is co-sponsoring the four day law and technology marathon, and I’ll be there along with our three Coin Center Fellows: Houman Shadab of NYLS, Aaron Wright of Cardozo, and Elizabeth Stark of StartBitcoin. The goal of the workshops is “to examine the current applications and potential opportunities of cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technologies.”
But… what does that mean?
The phrase BlockChain technology is jampacked with wild possibilities: from escrow-like uses ofmulti-sig, to the internet of things, to verifiable digital identities, to–at the limit–what Nick Szabo calls trustworthy computing and fiduciary code. It’s more than enough to make you forget about a bump in Bitcoin prices, and spend the day contemplating a future when your Roomba announces it’s decided to have offspring in order to better clean your increasingly gadget-cluttered apartment.
As Jerry wrote yesterday in our latest backgrounder, Is Bitcoin Regulated?, laws and regulations can apply to human actions regardless of the technology at use. There are plenty of good examples: The first UK pub-owner to put a Space Invaders arcade game in his bar was charged with operating an unlicensed movie-theater. Defamatory words didn’t immediately lose their legal potency when they were first typed online rather than in newsprint. Eventually, exceptions to movie theater regulations and defamatory speech online were made, because the laws threatened otherwise to stifle tremendous opportunities: the Internet and video games we’ve come to know and love today.
Much of Coin Center’s day to day is negotiating that journey for Bitcoin 1.0, money transfer and the regulations that come along for the ride. But that cycle is starting again with Bitcoin 2.0, and events like those in Boston this weekend are an excellent opportunity to get a jump on that cycle, and work to preserve the freedom to innovate.
Photo credit: Thermos Tarafından Yüklendi.