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discussion 2

  • The vast majority of the population associates Blockchain with cryptocurrency Bitcoin; however, there are many other uses of blockchain; such as Litecoin, Ether, and other currencies. In this discussion, please describe at least two cryptocurrencies with applicable examples. Discuss some similarities and differences. Lastly, discuss if you have any experience using any cryptocurrencies.

  • Please make your initial post and two response posts substantive. A substantive post will do at least TWO of the following:

  • Ask an interesting, thoughtful question pertaining to the topic
  • Answer a question (in detail) posted by another student or the instructor
  • Provide extensive additional information on the topic
  • Explain, define, or analyze the topic in detail
  • Share an applicable personal experience
  • Provide an outside source (for example, an article from the UC Library) that applies to the topic, along with additional information about the topic or the source (please cite properly in APA)
  • Make an argument concerning the topic.
  • At least one scholarly source should be used in the initial discussion thread. Be sure to use information from your readings and other sources from the UC Library. Use proper citations and references in your post.

Other Info

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO BLOCKCHAIN “BLOCKCHAIN” HAS MANY MEANINGS “To understand the power of blockchain systems, and the things they can do, it is important to distinguish between three things that are commonly muddled up, namely the bitcoin currency, the specific blockchain that underpins it and the idea of blockchains in general.” The Trust Machine, THE ECONOMIST, Oct. 31, 2015 “BLOCKCHAIN” HAS MANY MEANINGS Phone • The idea of a phone network • A specific phone network (e.g., AT&T) • A specific use of the phone network (e.g., fax) Blockchain • The idea of blockchain • The specific blockchain that underlies Bitcoin or another coin offering • Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN? A technology that: permits transactions to be gathered into blocks and recorded; allows the resulting ledger to be accessed by different servers. cryptographically chains blocks in chronological order; and WHAT IS A DISTRIBUTED LEDGER? Centralized Ledger Bank Client A Client C Client D Client B Distributed Ledger Node A Node B Node CNode D Node E • There are multiple ledgers, but Bank holds the “golden record” • Client B must reconcile its own ledger against that of Bank, and must convince Bank of the “true state” of the Bank ledger if discrepancies arise • There is one ledger. All Nodes have some level of access to that ledger. • All Nodes agree to a protocol that determines the “true state” of the ledger at any point in time. The application of this protocol is sometimes called “achieving consensus.” WHAT IS A DISTRIBUTED LEDGER? Single Entity Multiple Entities HOW MIGHT A DISTRIBUTED LEDGER WORK? Users initiate transactions using their Digital Signatures Users Broadcast their transactions to Nodes One or more Nodes begin validating each transaction Nodes aggregate validated transactions into Blocks Nodes Broadcast Blocks to each other Consensus protocol used Block reflecting “true state” is chained to prior Block WHERE MIGHT BLOCKCHAIN USE CRYPTOGRAPHY? • Digital Signatures • Private/Public Keys Initiation and Broadcasting of Transaction • Proof of Work and certain alternativesValidation of Transaction • Hash FunctionChaining Blocks THE POWER OF DISTRIBUTED LEDGERS BLOCKCHAIN It can be used to allow owners of assets to exercise certain rights associated with ownership, and to record the exercise of those rights. •Proxy Voting It can be used to record those transfers of value or ownership of assets •These records may be very difficult to alter, such that they are sometimes called effectively immutable It can be used to transfer value or the ownership of assets •A human being or a Smart Contract can initiate the transfer It can be used to create value or issue assets It can be used without a central authority by individuals or entities with no basis to trust each other The degree of trust between users determines the technological configuration of a distributed ledger. HOW MIGHT DISTRIBUTED LEDGER PROPOSALS DIFFER? Participation Open Closed Permission Permissionless Permissioned Ledger Design One ledger One ledger or Segregated ledgers Validation Methodology depends on degree of trust between nodes. Where there is no basis for trust, may be achieved through proof of work, which requires the algorithmic solving of a cryptographic hash. Consensus Mechanism Mechanism depends on degree of trust between nodes. Where there is no centralized authority, consensus may be determined algorithmically. References • Stoyanovich, M., & Tanz, F. E. (2019). Coming to Grips with Blockchain. Benefits Magazine, 56(5), 20-25. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=f5h&AN=135900272&site=eds-live • Waldo, J. (2019). A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Blockchain Universe. Communications of the ACM, 62(3), 38–42. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1145/3303868 • Burns, S. (2019). Blockchain: Hype Vs Reality. Computer Weekly, 21-24. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=f5h&AN=138564674&site=eds-live • Tarzey, B. (2019). Inside Blockchain and Its Various Applications. Computer Weekly, 16-20. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=f5h&AN=138681123&site=eds-live • Carson, B., Romanelli, G., Walsh, P., & Zhumaev, A. (2018). Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value? McKinsey Quarterly, (4), 118–127. Retrieved from http:// search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=buh&AN=133693412&site=eds-live A Brief Introduction to Blockchain “blockchain” Has many meanings “Blockchain” has many meanings What is Blockchain? What is a Distributed Ledger? What is a distributed ledger? How might a distributed ledger Work? Where might Blockchain use cryptography? The power of Distributed ledgers How might distributed ledger proposals differ? Questions?
Impact of Blockchain on IT Audit Blockchain Technology Overview Three Levels of Blockchain, Tokens Alliances and Industry Adoption Smart Contracts Identity Management Criticism and Challenges Impact on the IT Audit Function Learning and Engagement Agenda * Blockchain technology is a digital innovation that is poised to significantly alter financial markets within the next few years, within a cryptographic ecosystem that has the potential to also significantly impact trusted computing activities and therefore cybersecurity concerns as a whole. Blockchain Overview . * How many of you: Have heard of bitcoins? Own cryptocurrency? Feel you understand the underlying blockchain technology? Feel you can summarize for us the benefits of the “trust economy”? Are involved in projects that involve blockchain technology implementation or related activities? Student Exposure * Where It All Started Blockchain technology was first introduced in a whitepaper entitled: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. No reliance on trust Digital signatures Peer-to-peer network Proof-of-work Public history of transactions Honest, independent nodes control majority of CPU computing power Nodes vote with CPU computing power Rules and incentives enforced through consensus mechanism https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf * Cryptocurrency Summarized Bitcoin was the first digital, i.e., cryptocurrency A maximum of 21 million Bitcoins can be generated Just as with real world mining, energy must be invested to solve complex mathematical problems by which systems earn Bitcoins https://www.cryptocoincharts.info/coins/info claims to be indexing 4,220 cryptocurrencies Most circulated: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin * The Technology Behind Bitcoin Think of Bitcoin as an electronic asset (as well as a digital currency) A network of computers keeps track of Bitcoin payments, and adds them to an ever-growing list of all the Bitcoin payments that have been made, called “The Bitcoin Blockchain” The file that contains data about all the Bitcoin transactions is often called a “ledger” Bitcoin value is created through transaction processing, referred to as “mining,” which is performed by distributed processors called “nodes” of the peer-to-peer network A Gentle Introduction to Bitcoin by Antony Lewis, https://bravenewcoin.com/assets/Reference-Papers/A-Gentle-Introduction/A-Gentle-Introduction-To-Bitcoin-WEB.pdf * Mining Evolution Mining is the process whereby value is created through transaction processing that occurs on nodes of the network. In 2009, one could mine 200 Bitcoins with a personal, home computer. In 2015, it would take about 98 years to mine just 1 Bitcoin. Today there is almost no money to be made through traditional home mining. ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) has been designed strictly for mining Bitcoins. Groups of miners have formed mining pools, with each being paid their relative share for their contribution to the work performed. My Dirty Little Bitcoin Secrets by Ofir Beigel, www.99bitcoins.com * Storage for digital records Exchanging digital assets (called tokens) Executing smart contracts Ground rules – Terms & conditions recorded in code Distributed network executes contract & monitors compliance Outcomes are automatically validated without third party Tech Trends 2017, The Kenetic Enterprise, “Blockchain: Trust economy”, Deloitte University Press, 2017 Three “Levels” of Blockchain * A broader use is supported by the digital infrastructure introduced through Bitcoin, as represented by “tokens”. A “token” can be defined as a “scarce digital asset based on underlying technology inspired by Bitcoin.” Tokens may use similar codebases but different blockchain databases. Ethereum was Bitcoin-inspired but has its own blockchain and is engineered to be more programmable. Tokens can be issued on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Token buyers are buying private keys, which are similar to API keys, but can be transferred to other parties without consent. “Thoughts on Tokens”, Balaji S. Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant A General Discussion about Tokens * Tokens have a value and therefore a price. Tokens are a new model for technology and can be an alternative to equity-based financing. Tokens do not dilute capital. They introduce a huge increase to buyer base and time-to-liquidity. Token launches differ from equity sales; however, they can be issued as a way to share profits. Tokens can be sold internationally over the internet and are always open for business. Tokens decentralize the process of funding technology. Thoughts on Tokens, Balaji S. Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant Tokens, continued * Tokens enable a better-than-free new business model. Tokens will introduce the rise of the “tech savvy senior executive.” Tokens accommodate immediate custody without an intermediary. Tokens can be extended to hardware, as part of the internet of things. Thoughts on Tokens, Balaji S. Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant Tokens, continued * Smart Contracts Consensus protocols are key to determining the sequence of actions resulting from the contract’s code. This enables peer-to-peer trading of everything from renewable energy to automated hotel room bookings. “Contracts Get Smarter with Blockchain”, CIO Journal, The Wall Street Journal, World Trade Organization, International Trade Statistics 2015, 2015, p. 41. Current paper-based systems drive $18 trillion in transactions per year. * Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing, and technology. Business Blockchain Frameworks are hosted with Hyperledger. Hyperledger addresses important features for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger as a Collaborative Project under the foundation.  To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org /. www.hyperledger.org Hyperledger * Hyperledger Projects A few of the Hyperledger Projects include: Hyperledger Burrow – Permissible smart contract machine with a modular blockchain client, built in part to the specification of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Hyperledger Fabric – Foundation for developing plug-n-play solutions within a modular architecture Hyperledger Iroha – Simple and easy blockchain framework designed to be incorporated into infrastructure projects requiring distributed ledger technology Hyperledger Sawtooth – A modular platform for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers * Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third party interference. The Ethereum project was bootstrapped via an ether pre-sale during August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit, with contributions from individuals and organizations across the globe. www.ethereum.org Ethereum Alliance * Several Ethereum offerings include: The  Ethereum Wallet, which is a gateway to decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing users to hold and secure ether and other crypto-assets built on Ethereum, as well as write, deploy and use smart contracts Design and issue your own cryptocurrency/traceable token Kickstart a project with Crowdsale www.ethereum.org Ethereum Tools * Ether is the crypto-fuel for the Ethereum network. Ether is a necessary element – a fuel – for operating the distributed application platform Ethereum. It is a form of payment made by the clients of the platform to the machines executing the requested operations, functioning as the incentive that ensures that developers will write quality applications, and that the network remains healthy. The total supply of ether and its rate of issuance was decided by the donations gathered on the 2014 presale. Developers who intend to build apps that will use the Ethereum blockchain need ether. Users who want to access and interact with smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain also need ether. www.ethereum.org What is Ether? * Cross-Industry Adoption Sectors leading the way in blockchain implementation: Consumer products Manufacturing Technology Media Telecommunications Health care Life sciences Thirty-nine percent of the senior executives at large U.S. companies initially surveyed indicate they have little or no knowledge about blockchain technology. Many deemed it to be crucial for their companies and industries. Forty-two percent believe it will disrupt their industries. “Blockchain Adoption Varies by Industry”, CIO Journal, The Wall Street Journal * Financial Services Industry As noted by A. Michael Smith in “Creating Assurance in Blockchain,” trust and efficiency are the main value drivers for any use case. The finance world is driven by technology. Tracking risk and monitoring compliance with laws and regulations within an increasingly complex cybersecurity environment requires considerable time and resources. The financial services industry immediately saw opportunities in blockchain and has been investing heavily in its usage, primarily as a part of private implementations. Creating Assurance in Blockchain, Volume 2, 2017, by A. Michael Smith Banking on change: How to respond to new expectations for audit committees by PWC Internal Audit Foundation, Douglas Anderson, CIA, CRMA, Cassian Joe, and Klaas J. Westerling * Identity Management The IT audit is broadly concerned with identity management concerns. Protecting access to data, and the systems that are in place to process, store, and report on that data, requires ongoing resource dedication. Multiple solutions are available, all of which require configuring and managing multiple identifiers for an individual’s various identities. Identity management is an area that will certainly be impacted by widespread use of private keys to secure transactions. * Distributed Access Management Creating an identity on blockchain can give individuals greater control over who has their personal information and how they access it Areas impacted include passports, e-residency, birth certificates, wedding certificates, IDs, online account logins, etc Digital ID’s can provide digital watermarks that can be assigned to every online transaction of any asset “21 Companies Leveraging Blockchain for Identity Management and Authentication” by Elena Mesropyan, https://letstalkpayments.com/22-companies-leveraging-blockchain-for-identity-management-and-authentication/ * Protecting Private Keys Within the blockchain, trust relies on the safekeeping of private keys, in support of a truly distributed identity management Ultimately, that safekeeping resides with the actions taken by individuals to secure their private key For cryptocurrency traders, one frequently sees the recommendation to write one’s private key down on a piece of paper and put it up for safekeeping in, for example, a safe deposit box * Digital ID Solutions May 24, 2017, saw the release of a Digitial ID solution by Netki, a California blockchain startup Released at Consensus 2017, this is a highly-anticipated Digital ID smartphone app that uses Hyperledger blockchain to provide decentralized, open-source identity management Approved by governments, fully Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) inclusive https ://bravenewcoin.com/news/netki-launches-digital-id-solution-which-bitt-is-using-with-central-banks-in-the-caribbean/ * Criticism and Challenges Critics have cited the following blockchain challenges: Nascent technology Uncertain regulatory status Large energy consumption Control, security and privacy Integration concerns Cultural adoption Cost Challenges associated with audit, taxes, and compliance Creating Assurance in Blockchain, Volume 2, 2017, by A. Michael Smith Deloitte’s Blockchain technology: 9 benefits & 7 challenges, https://www2.deloitte.com/nl/nl/pages/innovatie/artikelen/blockchain-technology-9-benefits-and-7-challenges.html * An area of heavy criticism has to do with the vast amounts of energy necessary to process and store transactions, especially as the use of blockchain technology increases The Bitcoin blockchain network’s miners are attempting 450 thousand trillion solutions per second in efforts to validate transactions, using substantial amounts of computer power Note that there are also opportunities to decentralize the energy grid Wasted resources: Mining Bitcoin wastes huge amounts of energy ($15million/day) Deloitte’s Blockchain technology: 9 benefits & 7 challenges, https:// www2.deloitte.com/nl/nl/pages/innovatie/artikelen/blockchain-technology-9-benefits-and-7-challenges.html Blockchain in the Energy Sector: Institutional Disruption? By Marius Buchmann http://www.theenergycollective.com/enerquire/2402120/blockchain-energy-sector-institutional-disruption Energy Consumption * Summary Although the technology is still in its infancy, boundless usage opportunities exist The identity management landscape is likely to shift dramatically There is sure to be evolution within IT audit as various use cases unfold Features that create trust could drive unachievable overhead costs Compliance burden should eventually be eased as the technology is adopted, but this requires regulatory updates, which could take a while Tech Trends 2017, The Kenetic Enterprise, “Blockchain: Trust economy”, Deloitte University Press, 2017 * * . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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