People Don't Want To Run Their Own Bank


Photos of some porcelain piggy banks in the shape of pigs in clothes. Photo taken by William Warby.

When I was young, I had a piggy bank. A piggy bank is incredibly secure. It's fairly big - so it is hard to lose. It is brightly coloured - so you can find it easily. No one else can see how much money there is in there. The only way to get money out…

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An NFT without a Blockchain. No gas fees. No Eth. No gatekeepers


A blocky image of Rembrant.

This is a small proof-of-concept. It relies on PGP - but you could use Keybase, GPG, or any other hard-to-use encryption program. Background Suppose you want to support an artist and give them money. That's easy. Most artists take PayPal, bank transfer, or cash. But how can you prove that you've paid an artist for…

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Authorisation vs Consent


A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

I recently read this interesting, and distressing, story of a man who was drugged and robbed. A form of crime which has been going on for centuries. But the 21st Century twist is that the thieves forced him to transfer large sums of money via his phone's banking apps. While under the influence, the victim…

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And now it's… Springtime For Crypto


Still from the movie "The Producers".

You've heard of the AI Winter, right? The period where funding for AI dried up due to products failing to meet their hype. I think we're now in Springtime For Crypto1 - named after the musical "Springtime for Hitler" from movie The Producers - where scams abound. You should take a couple of hours to…

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Investing In People


A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

David Bowie invented the NFT in 19971. The "Bowie Bond" allowed you to directly invest in an artist's catalogue and receive royalty payments based on their sales. Here's how it worked2: You pay money to the artist (Bowie) Artist uses that money to buy the rights to their back catalogue Every time one of the…

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Home brewing and Cryptocurrency


A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

This is a thought experiment inspired by the sort of rambling and speculative conversations my wife and I have been having in lockdown. Most countries in the world place legal limits on alcohol production at home. There are, usually, several good reasons for this: Improperly brewed alcohol can cause severe health problems - including death.…

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Questions to ask before launching a crypto-payments feature


A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

Messaging app Signal is launching a payment service in the UK. This will allow users to send each other money cryptocurrency. Many people have written about why this is a daft idea. But they've mostly talked about why cryptocoins corrupt everything they touch. I want to talk about why this is a shitty idea from…

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Crypto Investment Scammers calling from 02085044434


Fraud alert warning signs.

Another day, another phone scam. Yesterday, I received a call from +442085044434 by someone trying to get me to "invest" in BitCoin and other Cryptocurrencies. I managed to drag the call out for 6 minutes - have a listen: The caller admits the trading and advice isn't regulated. That they don't need permission to make…

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Why You Can't Trust Government Provided Cryptography


You should visit Bletchley Park. Seriously. It's the most amazing museum - dedicated to the wartime effort to crack Enigma; the Nazi cryptographic machines. The tour guides of Bletchley Park are full of fascinating stories. They can tell you how all the primitive computers work, about the history of each building, they know all the…

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