Talk: Andreas M. Antonopoulos: "Consensus Algorithms, Blockchain Technology and Bitcoin" [UCL]

  • Antonopuolos is a major proponent of Bitcoin who does a lot to make it more popular. He is the author of the book Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies - a very good one. He seems to have a computer science background but is a very good speaker and explains things nicely.
  • The consensus of Bincoin is done by 5 constituencies, so it is not 'just' a mechanicl consensus protocal, which gets usually mentioned in all blockchain debates:
    1. Software developers (process consensus - new updates, changing rules, etc.);
    2. Miners (runtime consensus - voting with hashing power based on economic incentives);
    3. Exchanges;
    4. Wallets;
    5. Merchants;
  • Consenus algorithms are going to become a new Computer Science discipline (or maybe has already became);
  • Bitcoin is going to stay, because it has accumulated enormous computing into blockchain, and computing poser that has been hashed into it means trust.
  • What is going to happen is blockchain will evolve not by starting new chains, but by building addtional layers on the existing ones (examples with TCP/IP, which is probably impossible to change and IPv4 vs IPv6 which is very difficut to change - both due to a very wide adoption);
  • Presents a few interesting examples of Bitcoin blockchain forks and how they were solved, which informs a lot how the concensus is achieved practically.