ECOM6013 Topic 8 Blockchain and Cybercurrency

作者: pseudoyu | 543 字, 3 分钟 | 评论 | 2020-10-09 | 分类: Develop

e-commerce, ecom6013, hku

翻译: EN

ECOM6013 E-Commerce Technologies

Topic 8 Blockchain and Cybercurrency

Form of Money

  • Token money
    • Physical token
    • Value is lost without the token
    • No intermediary is required for spending
    • Requires faith in the issuer (a government or a bank)
  • Notationary money
    • Notation/entry in a ledger, passbook, or database
    • Can’t be lost
    • Requires an intermediary
    • Requires faith in the maintainer of the ledger
  • Hybrid money
    • Requires both a token and a ledger account
    • Can be lost
    • Requires an intermediary
    • Requires faith in the issuer
  • Virtual money
    • No token/ledger
    • Can be lost
    • No intermediary required
    • No issuer, no government backing
  • Digital money
    • String of bytes (data) stored on a device
    • Value is lost/stolen when devices fail/invaded
  • Cybercurrency
    • Bitcoin is the most influential one
    • Based on blockchain


  • Designed for the “online society”
  • An important example application of Blockchain
  • Relationship with national currencies
    • Decentralized and independent of national currencies
    • Easily convertible to national currencies
  • Excellent application Scenarios
    • Anonymous transactions
    • E-Commerce

Land Deeds - A Blockchain Analogy


  • A “chain of title” (a sequence of deeds leading from the original owner to the present owner)
  • Deeds are recorded in the Land Registry
  • Ownership is established by searching the Registry
  • The Land Registry is ledger holder
  • Double-selling is prevented by timestamps
  • If the Registry is altered, ownership can be lost

5 elements of Bitcoin

  • Currency
    • Send units of value
    • Convertible
    • Divisible
  • Commodity
    • Scarcity stores wealth
    • Market fluctuates with speculation
  • Brand
    • Marketing message
    • Commodity and sharing knowledge
  • Protocol
    • Decentralized trust
    • Distributed ledger
  • Technology
    • Blockchain

How to Get Bitcoin

  • Sell something
  • Salary (some companies)
  • Bitcoin exchange
  • Mining
    • No more than 21 million BTCs
    • Divisible into units as small as 1/100 millionth of a BTC

Bitcoin and Encryption Technologies

  • Hash functions
  • Public-private key (asymmetric) encryption
  • Digital signatures
  • All of these technologies are mature and trusted

Bitcoin Characteristics

  • No physical object (not a character string)
    • “Bitcoin” - protocol
    • “bitcoin” - value
  • A chain of digitally signed transaction records leading from the original owner to the current owner
  • Transaction records
    • Hashes
    • Addresses
  • No Bitcoin registry
  • No central authority
  • Broadcast to everyone
    • Everyone can verify the Bitcoin blockchain

Bitcoin Protocol

Bitcoin addresses

  • An elliptic curve public key
    • 25-44 characters for users
  • Send Bitcoins
    • Receiving address (public)
    • Amount
  • Receive Bitcoins
    • Receiving address (public)
  • Addresses are not directly registered to users

Possible Vulnerabilities

  • No way to reverse a transaction without the payee’s cooperation
  • Software bugs
  • Bank robbery by hackers
  • Malware attacks against wallets
  • Government attempts to control
  • Competing digital currencies easy to make (fork)
    • Auroracoin
    • Dogecoin
    • Namecoin
    • Primecoin

Challenges for Bitcoin

  • Scalability
  • Time to solve a block (security concerns in algorithms)
  • Energy consumption
  • Meaningless and highly inefficient

Possible Future of Bitcoin/Virtual Currencies (Social)

  • For the world’s unbanked
  • For small businesses, freelancers and startups
  • Inevitable development of “money”
  • Distributed trust

Possible Future of Bitcoin/Virtual Currencies (Economic/Political)

  • A future with digital currencies and decentralized stores
  • National adoption of decentralized currencies may bring political transparency and economic neutrality
  • Developing nations seeking to curb corruption and break free of economic dependence on other countries could see potential in these technologies
  • Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

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