Neil Woodfine is the Growth Manager for Wyre in Asia and the Organiser of Beijing’s Bitcoin Meetup. He is Long Bitcoin. In this follow up episode of The Fintech in China Show with Neil Woodfine on Bitcoin in China, Neil talks with us about the tumultuous events within the Bitcoin network up to early August 2017.
This episode was recorded before the People’s Bank of China’s decision on September 2, 2017 to halt unregulated Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in China. Nevertheless, the questions we discuss—the recent attempt to fork Bitcoin and the creation of Bitcash, the extent to which power over the Bitcoin network protocol had become concentrated among Bitcoin miners in China, and the resilience of the Bitcoin network—will remain crucial to Bitcoin’s future beyond the recent regulatory moves in China against illegal fundraising via ICOs, and beyond temporary halts to trading by any Bitcoin exchanges in China.
In this follow up episode on Bitcoin in China, Neil talks with us about:
- The recent attempt to split Bitcoin and the creation of the altcoin, Bitcash.
- Why ‘scalability’ is a big issue for Bitcoin.
- The degree to which control over the Bitcoin protocol is decentralised.
- Whether ICOs are primarily scams.
- How these dynamics have played out inside and outside China.
- Bitcoin’s development potential in China and elsewhere.
We hope you enjoy this Q & A with Neil Woodfine. You can catch our earlier discussion with Neil here on Bitcoin in China: Part 1.
Wyre is a cross-border payment platform for businesses making payments around the world. Wyre use blockchain technology to beat the banks and fintech competitors who are stuck using ageing traditional payment networks. Payments via Wyre are completed within six hours and fees are completely transparent. Key markets include China, Korea, Brazil and Mexico.
Selected links from the Episode
For updates on Bitcoin, Crypto-Currency and Blockchain in China, follow @CNledger
- Bitcoin Cash: What You Need to Know by Jimmy Song
- Why China Is Cracking Down on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs by Martin Chorzempa (September 15, 2017).
*With thanks to Xuan Shi for help with detailed show notes.
- Introduction to Neil Woodfine and Wyre. (2.00)
- What was behind the recent attempt to split Bitcoin? (4:20)
- The failed attempt to take control of the bitcoin protocol. (5:22)
- How the Segwit upgrade to the bitcoin blockchain increases the blocksize and allows more transactions. (7:30)
- How the bitcoin blockchain uses consensus to verify transactions. (9:45)
- What the attempt to split Bitcoin tells us about the view that too much power had become concentrated in the hands of bitcoin miners in China. (11.20)
- The underlying resilience of the Bitcoin protocol’s decentralised network model. (15:00)
- The surge in demand for Bitcoin after the creation of Bitcash. (16.00)
- How many over-hyped blockchain projects have yet to show results. (17:00)
- Whether the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) model is a viable model for disrupting VC’s and equity markets or primarily a vehicle for fraudulent fundraising. (19:20)
- The problems with attempting to tie real world assets to the digital world via blockchain technology: the need for third-party verification. (24:00)
- Whether Bitcoin can be used to raise funds in a rational way. (28:15)
- Why scalability is a big issue for Bitcoin. (31:19)
- The security of Bitcoin transactions. (33:25)
- Bitcoin as a store of value. (35.00)
- How Bitcoin’s incentive structure differs from traditional banking models. (38:00)
- Bitcash’s following in China. (42.00)
- Bitcoin and blockchain development potential in China. (43:18)