What it is, what it isn’t, and what it could be.

Goal

To provide a high-level overview of why Libra is relevant.

Audience

This note assumes familiarity with basic blockchain concepts.

Summary

Since the Libra Association released their whitepaper to the public in June 2019, there has been substantial talk about them — much, however, has been inaccurate. This note seeks to clarify what Libra is, what Libra isn’t, and what Libra could be. In short, I proceed as follows.

What Libra is:

  • Libra is a work in progress.
  • Libra is ambitious.

What Libra is not:

  • Libra is not Facebook.
  • Libra is not a cryptocurrency.

What Libra could be:

  • Libra could be great.
  • Libra could be a spark of innovation. …


The question, and implication, of Turing completeness.

Goal

To highlight the potential for opportunity within the Libra ecosystem.

Audience

This note assumes familiarity with Turing completeness, Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains, and the distinction between cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Summary

The Move whitepaper introduces their new programming language, but makes no clear mention of whether or not it will be Turing complete. If it is, I argue that features of the Libra Association itself could afford unique opportunity to innovate on their blockchain.

Is Move Turing Complete?

The technical paper for Move describes an impressive new programming language that protects special resources i.e. coins or tokens. The key advantage here is that user created tokens can, by default, receive the same transactional protection afforded to the “main” network token. …


A guide to understand the difference.

Goal

To highlight an important distinction between cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Audience

This note assumes familiarity with Ethereum.

Definitions

  • Cryptocurrency — a blockchain native digital asset that is given as a reward to infrastructure providers (e.g. miners) for using their personal resources to add new blocks of transactions.
  • Token — a blockchain managed digital asset that is not native to that blockchain.

Discussion

User created tokens had a flood of success with ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), but they are fundamentally different than the underlying native cryptocurrency, in this case Ether. One such difference is that, while transacting with Ether is fundamental to the core of Ethereum, user created tokens are written in an EVM based scripting language (e.g. Solidity), in a style that is analogous to traditional object oriented programming. This means that it is up to the issuing user to correctly implement the ERC-20 interface that allows for token dynamics like transferring from one user to another. The problem is that non-obvious bugs do appear that end up costing real people real money. …

About

Stephen M. Lee

Thinking about computer science, economics, and innovation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store