I wasn’t planning on writing about Bitcoin/blockchain today, but it’s on everyone’s mind as we close the week. From the coverage I’ve got stacked up in my browser tabs after a morning of perusing the more interesting stories from the past few days, it’s clear we’re all obsessed. So instead of the regular mix of six or seven unrelated stories, I’m going to focus today’s Money Quote column on our favorite speculative bubble, and see what sense we can make out of it, including some background reading. Given that Bitcoin futures trading officially starts next week, it seems a bit of weekend study is in order. Onwards…
I can’t vouch for the integrity of all the information in this long and clearly detailed overview, but it’s been shared widely on Medium and helped me make sense of some of the finer and more technical points around Bitcoin’s architecture. The piece covers many of the technology’s limitations, affordances, and potentials, and is a good place to start if you’re familiar, but not deeply literate in the space.
Apple is sitting on an unimaginably huge pile of spare cash —roughly $250 billion. This corporate wealth reserve will only grow if and when the Trump administration makes good on its desire to help tech giants repatriate profits that they have stashed overseas to evade U.S. taxes.
What should Apple do with all that money? There are only so many perfect doorknobs a company can buy, after all. In Quartz, David Mattin proposes a suitably grand goal for the company: Fund a giant pilot-test of a universal basic income scheme.
The news of the week is the Panama Papers, the world’s largest cache of meaningfully leaked documents. I’ve been trying to process the scale and meaning of this story, and perhaps like you I’ve found myself initially a bit overwhelmed.