cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, etc.: revolutionary tech?

short answer: Yes!

Zooko

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Bitcoin arrived eight years ago, and has now spawned a dazzling array of follow-on technologies, including smart contracts, censorship-resistant computation, trustless databases (“blockchains”) and more. This talk attempts to highlight a few of the most significant developments in both technology and in society's response to it, including some nation-state governments banning cryptocurrencies and/or launching their own cryptocurrencies.

This talk will briefly summarize in broad strokes what previously-impossible technologies have now been proven and deployed (starting with Bitcoin), as well as the general outlines of nascent technologies are currently under development. It will also briefly outline the evolution of the market and the social response to these technologies, such as the ICO boom and the varying reactions of different populations and governments. It will also draw out a few examples that illustrate the situation in more detail, such as the recent crackdown by the Chinese government, the deployment and evolution of Ethereum, and the massive investment into new technologies which is being fueled by the ICO boom.

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