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Central banks conspire to harvest bitcoin's revolutionary technology

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Jeremy Warner
The Telegraph, London
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

For someone who says he shuns the limelight, Craig Wright has chosen an oddly high profile way of laying claim to the title of digital genius behind the Bitcoin phenomenon.

If he wanted to keep his identity secret, did he really need to hire a public relations consultancy to broadcast it to the world, or to provide an elaborate series of "proofs" that he is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym by which the Bitcoin mastermind has long been known? ...

The real significance of bitcoin is not its value as a digital currency but the algorithm that lies behind it -- a technology called blockchain. What this in essence does is allow payments to be made without reference to a centralised ledger. Instead of relying on a trusted third party to clear and settle any given transaction, the blockchain provides a so-called "distributed ledger," where the transaction becomes widely recorded by all users and therefore verified in multiple form. Blockchain thereby renders existing payments systems pretty much obsolete.

In itself, this is revolutionary enough. Santander InnoVentures, the Spanish bank's fintech investment fund, recently estimated that blockchain could save lenders $20 billion a year in cross-border settlement payments alone. Another study by Autonomous Research estimated that the cost of clearing and settling securities in G7 countries was $54 billion a year. Theoretically, blockchain could obviate all these costs. ...

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