Thanks for joining us for this weekly bitcoin news recap, a series where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin and fintech. This week we discovered that the number of people learning to develop for bitcoin and blockchain technology could grow to 100,000 in less than two years. We’re also continuing to see a pattern of focus on user privacy on the blockchain. And if you’re looking for the low-down on interactive, engaging local events (or you’re an avid traveler with a fondness for bitcoin), we’ve got a variety of them to share. Get all these details and more, in our weekly Blockchain recap.
More people are learning about bitcoin
According to Bloomberg, many workshops and bootcamps are popping up to help people in all industries — especially software developers — get the hang of the blockchain. The number of developers is projected to rise rapidly. About 250 people are true masters, said Jeff Garzik, one of the few experts working on the bitcoin blockchain. Globally, 7,000 to 8,000 people can develop for the blockchain with various levels of proficiency. Their ranks could grow to 100,000 in 18 to 24 months if more industries move from testing to deployment, said William Mougayar, an investor and author of “The Business Blockchain.”
It can be daunting thinking about learning bitcoin and the blockchain for the first time, but as an opinion article on CoinDesk writes, if you’re able to understand the concept of Google Docs, you can also understand the blockchain too. The more people that understand, the more we’ll see a proliferation of useful cases for it, enabling innovative ideas and technologies.
Blockchain Co-Founder Peter Smith said in an interview with Virgin, “I’ve learned that true disruption must not only advance a discipline or industry, it must have a broader societal reach.” This philosophy holds true for bitcoin and the blockchain, which has the potential to provide unparalleled access to a better economic future for billions of people worldwide.
The importance of privacy
George Samman who is Committee Chair of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and co-founded BTC.sx, now magnr, and is the former CMO of Fuzo, wrote a primer on blockchain and the need for privacy, and the different methods the industry is taking to get there while achieving speed, scalability, and network stability.
Universities are also getting involved. This week a team of researchers at Boston University have made an announcement about a new payment system that enhances privacy while being fully compatible with today’s bitcoin protocol. TumbleBit allows parties to make fast, private, off-blockchain payments through an untrusted intermediary called the Tumbler.
In other development news, core bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik discussed in a video about the advantages and disadvantages of soft-forks. This has become an important topic lately in bitcoin development due to the impending Segregated Witness soft-fork. Earlier this year, Peter Smith and Kristov Atlas teamed up to write about the pros and cons of hard and soft forks (there’s a TL;DR at the start if you want to get the basic ideas).
Bitcoin’s artistic side, and exciting community events
Petzel Gallery in New York City is presenting an exhibition of works by Berlin-based New Zealand artist Simon Denny entitled, “Blockchain Future States,” running from Sept. 8 through Oct. 22. A similar exhibition, “Blockchain Visionaries,” is on display at the Berlin Biennale through Sept. 18.
If you’ve got a growing pile of questions about bitcoin and are interested in an interactive, social event to ask them at, bitcoin meetups may be a great place to start. For anyone in the Belo Horizonte area in Brazil, a bitcoin and blockchain meetup is being hosted by Bitcoin BH on Monday, September 12th (that’s tomorrow!). Our Co-Founder Nic Cary would love to see you there – he’ll be attending (albeit virtually via Skype) and is looking forward to meeting everyone. For bitcoin meetups that happen regularly near you, check this out.
In the latter half of September is Bitcoin Conference Kiev, and anyone is welcome to attend. The event focuses on answering some basic fundamentals about bitcoin, and the value it can provide to the people of Ukraine. If you’ll be in Kiev on September 23rd, we highly recommend adding this to your calendar.
Fast forward to November, a new financial technology conference will be taking place in London. The event Blockchain: Money will incorporate some of the most well-known innovators and executives in the digital currency and blockchain industry. Last but not least is the fourth annual Latin American Bitcoin Conference, which will feature over 40 speakers.
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