Sunday, August 13, 2017

Op Ed: Is the Blockchain Economy Ushering in a New World Economic Order?

Op Ed: Is the Blockchain Economy Ushering in a New World Economic Order?

The first important recent event in the blockchain economy is the long-anticipated Bitcoin hard fork that happened on August 1, 2017. A hard fork is a change to the software protocol that creates a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain, such that nodes running the old software are no longer accepted by the newer version. The change was for the purpose of improving scalability, the Bitcoin blockchain’s ability to handle larger-size blocks of transactions.


The number of transactions per block swelled from 400 in 2014 to 2,000 at the beginning of 2017, so developers had plenty of advance warning to work out a solution for greater scalability. The hard fork is an example of decentralized democracy in action in that participants registered their preference regarding one of two methods for addressing the scalability challenge. The majority of the constituencies (developers, miners, exchanges, wallet companies and merchants) elected the hard fork to one of the new protocols (SegWit2x), while the other group split to a new Bitcoin blockchain, Bitcoin Cash, which supports another protocol.


It was almost possible to see Adam Smith’s invisible hand operating in real-time as transactions amassed and the first block was recorded on the new Bitcoin Cash blockchain six hours after the split. It comprised of 6,985 transactions in a block size of 1.9 MB, indeed almost two times the previous block size, thus demonstrating greater scalability.


The economic theory upshot of the Bitcoin hard fork is that it is a demonstration of competitive markets proceeding in an orderly and efficient fashion, offering choices to participants, who coordinated themselves between the two options.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2uPf5If


Source: Bitcoin Magazine


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