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How Bitcoin can decentralize society

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By Luis Iván Cuende, hacker, co-founder of Stampery

Once upon a time there was a problem. A mathematical problem. A problem that nobody ever solved before: The Byzantine Generals’ Problem. It is about the capacity of systems to continue correctly working if some of the components of the system fail or don’t act as they should when reaching consensus.

So, if a computer system can keep a common consensus without having central points of failure, it means it solved the problem. And that means you could create decentralized databases, decentralized apps and decentralized social networks that are on the same page, for example.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Lessons from Linux: the future is collaboration

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By Jim Zemlin, executive director, the Linux Foundation1.

Linus Torvalds was named the 17th most influential person of the century by Time magazine. Maybe you’ve never heard of him but you’ve probably heard of the software he created, the world’s most successful software, Linux. It runs everything, I am not kidding. It is in your phone, you car, your TV; it runs your bank, most of the global economy, air traffic control systems, nuclear submarines, most of the Internet. You use Linux every single day, multiple times a day, and you don’t even notice.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees