In light of the recent cryptocurrency meltdown and mounting criticism of a technology that has promised much but delivered little, National University of Singapore law professor Kelvin Low revisited Satoshi Nakamoto's bitcoin white paper this week to consider what it gets wrong and why many believe that blockchains cannot work, likening the technology's much-vaunted security to the famously outmaneuvered Maginot Line.
"Because the blockchain's obsession is with preventing this entirely imagined problem of double-spending, it completely ignores the far more commonplace frauds that occur on a daily basis," writes Low. As anyone studying frauds involving ledgers knows, adds Low, whether bank ledgers or land registers, "no fraudster targets the ledger itself. Rather, they target the end-users directly."
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