My appearance before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Wednesday 29 June

Wednesday morning, I went to the Parliament of the United Kingdom! Well, a committee room in the building next door to Parliament. But I spread the gospel of Buttcoin to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and that’s the important part.

(I did not in fact say “buttcoin,” sorry.)

The session ran in three parts:

  • Izabella Kaminska was paired with David Shrier from Imperial College, a blockchain promoter who put forward a pile of claimed blockchain successes which furiously mixed up “could” and “is”;
  • I was paired with Tom Robinson from Elliptic, a cryptocurrency compliance firm;
  • third was John Naughton from Cambridge University, an old, cynical and un-BSable professor, paired with Craig O’Kane from Everledger, who hold that that a Hyperledger-based supply chain log is an innovation that does anything new.

The original terms of reference concerned enterprise blockchain — but everything about blockchain and cryptocurrency was mixed together, much as it is in the usual discourse on the subjects.



You can watch two hours of video at the Parliament Live TV website. My bit starts at 10:27:40am, but the other segments are also worth your time. At 10:10:42am, you can hear Aaron Bell MP entering “… forgive me, but so-called shitcoins …” into the record. [Parliament]

There should be a transcript available, some time in the fabulous future. Update: Transcript is up! [Parliament]

Yahoo! News wrote up the hearing very quickly, mostly covering what Izabella and I said. [Yahoo! News]


Izzy and David down the Starbucks later for the post-mortem

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4 Comments on “My appearance before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Wednesday 29 June”

  1. The basic claim of “decentralized” needs to be struck more often.

    Real ledgers ARE decentralized. Each company has its own bookkeeping system stored in its own filing cabinets or its own computers. It can’t be seen by another company or by government, unless the company causes trouble and gets prosecuted or audited.

    Blockchain is ONE ledger containing ALL information. That’s the exact definition of centralized.

    And when the ONE ledger is stored on NSA’s web, it’s the very worst kind of centralization. This was, of course, the sole original purpose of blockchain, and the sole original purpose of the web itself.

      1. so … it turns out you don’t need a blockchain to make copies of a ledger, not even one with hashes on it

  2. Great job David.

    You and Izzy made splendid points which hopefully landed in the right ears. The others were found wanting as usual. When pro-chainers use a developing country as an example of adoption/use-case you know they still have a lot of work to do.

    Thank you!

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