Cryptocurrency, blockchains and markets — Queen’s University Belfast, Tuesday 22 February 2022

I did a talk for William Quinn’s final year fintech class at Queen’s University Belfast — and we have the video! [QUB; YouTube]



I was going to go over to Belfast, for my first outside talk in two years — but unwell relatives meant I couldn’t get away from London. But the video sound is surprisingly good given it’s the laptop microphone! (You can hear our cats in the background.)

We had a two-hour slot to fill, so I felt free to go on at length — this is the extended disco remix. You can watch at 1.25× just fine.

I go through the fabulous promises of cryptocurrencies, my usual routine on what a blockchain is, why Bitcoin is like it is, due cautions in crypto trading, and a bit on blockchain in the enterprise.

The students’ questions start at 1:02:00 or so. These were excellent questions! This is like a fresh interview segment.

One student did ask the obvious question: why can’t I just bootstrap a crypto scam and do a rugpull? Well, this is a plan to go into a den of thieves, completely fresh, and bet that you’re a better thief than all of them. You could make money! Or you could be the sucker who thinks he’s the scammer. Trade carefully!

I won’t put the 63 slides into this post, but you can see them in the PDF. I decorated them with silly pictures. [DocDroid, PDF]

(Slide 25 says “terawatts” — those should, of course, be “terawatt-hours.”)

frickin’ Microsoft Teams. This laptop has eight threads and 32 GB of RAM and it was still pausing and hiccuping, as you’ll see in the questions section.



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9 Comments on “Cryptocurrency, blockchains and markets — Queen’s University Belfast, Tuesday 22 February 2022”

  1. Teams isn’t at fault. It’s got more to do with intrinsic IPv4 issues than software running on it. IPv6 address protocol and its superior engineering will be much better, when they get everyone to adopt it.

    Or is it muh blockchain that’ll save us all??

    1. I am eagerly awaiting TCP-over-BlockChaon (TCP/BC will of course be technically superior to TCP/IP, as we all know that TCP over Intellectual Property is not Web3.0 enough).

      It will feature Packet-of-Work mechanisms, and bring the three-way handshake down to a mere 15-20 minutes! It will make packet loss a thing of the past!

      [ yes, this is obviously satire ]

      1. *Is* it obviously satire though? I get replies just like those sentences every time I wade into the crypto swamp on Twitter from people who are, to all appearances, *not* trying to be satirical or otherwise humorous.

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