A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 7): Being Consistent

Previous Article   -   Next Article   -   Table of Contents The Problem The next big problem with our distributed ledger is more subtle, and much harder to solve.  Indeed as we shall see it's a problem that leads to the crazy genius at the heart of Bitcoin. However, it's in no way a new problem.  I … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 7): Being Consistent

A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 6): Paying for Bitcoin’s Computers

Previous Article   -   Next Article   -   Table of Contents Printing Money: the Block Reward Another problem for Bitcoin is that someone has to pay for all the computers running this ledger.  With conventional money the government pays to create coins and banknotes from general taxation, and banks pay for systems that deal with checking accounts … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 6): Paying for Bitcoin’s Computers

A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 5): Technical Description – The Big Book

Previous Article   -   Next Article   -   Table of Contents Introduction This article and a few that follow attempt a description of the technical aspects of Bitcoin in fairly simple terms.  This includes a long section describing and justifying mining. We start with the big book. One Big Book A Big Paper Book Suppose that we … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 5): Technical Description – The Big Book

A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 4): Problems with Bitcoin

Previous Article   -   Next Article   -   Table of Contents Even from the very brief description so far in this series of articles you can see that Bitcoin is a kind of cool and weird form of money.  However it has some very serious problems. Technical Problems Bitcoin is slow.  In fact it’s deliberately slow and … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 4): Problems with Bitcoin

A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 3): Why the Excitement?

Previous Article   -   Next Article   -   Table of Contents Bitcoin is a New Form of Money If you're reading this I expect you're aware of all the excitement surrounding Bitcoin.  Of course it's a new form of money, and that's quite interesting.  However I could issue my own money in paper form, and I suspect … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 3): Why the Excitement?

A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 2): Bitcoin vs Money

Previous Article   -   Next Article   -   Table of Contents Bitcoin Overview Basics As I've already said I'm not assuming you know anything about Bitcoin.  To get started, below is a high level overview of the basics of Bitcoin and how payments in our new money are processed.  You may well know some of this already. … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin (Part 2): Bitcoin vs Money

Beginner’s Guide to Techniques for Refreshing Web Pages: Ajax, Comet, HTML5

Introduction This article briefly discusses the technologies used in modern browsers to display web pages, and goes into a little more detail about the user experience on those web pages, in particular how we can get part of a web page to refresh automatically when data changes on a web server. Browsers and HTML I'm … Continue reading Beginner’s Guide to Techniques for Refreshing Web Pages: Ajax, Comet, HTML5

A Beginner’s Guide To Credit Default Swaps (Part 4)

Introduction This post continues the discussion of changes in the credit default swap (CDS) since 2007.  Part 2 and part 3 of this series of articles discussed changes in the mechanics of CDS trading.  This part will discuss changes around how credit events are handled, and future changes in the market. Changes in the CDS Market … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide To Credit Default Swaps (Part 4)

A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Default Swaps (Part 3)

Introduction Part 1 of this series of articles described the basic mechanics of a credit default swap. Part 2 started to describe some of the changes in the market since part 1 was written.  This part will continue that description by describing the upfront fee that is now paid on a standard CDS contract, and … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Default Swaps (Part 3)

A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Default Swaps (Part 2)

Introduction Part 1 of the 'Beginner's Guide to Credit Default Swaps' was written in 2007. Since that time we have seen what many are calling the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and a global recession. Rightly or wrongly, some of the blame for the crisis has been attributed to credit derivatives and speculation … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Default Swaps (Part 2)